3sailing the NorSea


WEEK 31 2018

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Saturday 4 August  2018
Saturday - Hot.  Weather Underground has an ad-jacker running, so about half of the time I get re-directed to a "Congratulations Amazon User: You have won $1000!!"  When this happens I kill the browser and wipe the cookies and such.  Annoying.

Very smokey in the morning, becoming a bit thicker in the afternoon.  Oddly CalFire doesn't show anything local - the nearest fire is up in the Central Valley near Bakersfield, ninety miles or so. My neighbor mentioned that he saw on a satellite image that the smoke was traveling down from the Yosemite area, along the west slope of the Sierra Nevada's, so it might be that.

R was supposed to drop off his old Mercedes Super Diesel to park on the property out in back, but there was some sort of issue with the tow truck and it's been rescheduled for tomorrow.

Received an email from a friend, M. Brown, that they'd finally bought a house up in Washington state, in Everett.  It looks nice, and cool...

Fiddling around a bit with the image stuff.  I can't find the batch editor plug-in that I used before - guess it got whacked during a system upgrade, and I really really don't want to learn Python for one piddly little job.

Friday 3 August 2018
Friday -  Hot.

We have a bit of smoke from forest fires in the air, but nothing too bad.  My brother texted me from Carson City that it looks like a medium fog, and reeks.  These are apparently the California fires near Yosemite.

The foot swelling hasn't really gone down much, so no work on the house, just app stuff. I don't know that I will be able to work in the field down in Ventura next week, things kind of ache when I do much more than walk across the room. I don't want to exacerbate things - I have things to do this fall!!

I decided, since I have the extra ram and an SSD and a 2nd monitor, to try the Xcode debugger.  Remarkable, it's actually usable.  Before it was so slow that it was easier to put print statements in, rather than use the breakpoints.

The result is that the big memory leak seems to be associated with the on-the-fly generation of gray-scale images from the color cards.  I did this because I didn't want to hand generate 140 nearly identical images and have them bloat the size of the app download.  Unfortunately these are C routines, or Foundation Objective-C methods that are wrappers for C, and there are issues.  As far as I can tell I am doing everything correctly, releasing the C and relying on ARC to release the O-C stuff.  But a lot of people have been complaining for years that the UIImage and CIImage and related methods have leaks, and Apple has done nothing.

Likely, if I devoted weeks to it I might find a subtle error and a work around, but I think I'll just use GIMP in batch mode, generate the 140 images and copy them into the app resources and pass the whole issue by.

friday cat photograph

Budd asleep
Budd asleep on the couch.

Thursday 2 August 2018
Thursday - Hot again.

The foot is a bit puffy and bruised, but doesn't hurt much.  No doctor visit required. No big walk in the morning. By evening it fit (uncomfortably) into a sandal again.

I decided not to spend the morning on my feet, despite having the solar frames for the french doors to finish. The humidity is down and except for the master bedroom and office (admittedly the rooms I spend the most time in) the a/c can keep up.

I am hoping the swamp cooler's bearings don't freeze solid before I get well enough to replace them.  They are getting pretty "thumpy" now.

I checked my electric meter on Monday afternoon and again today, at the same time.  I see 20909-20871=38Kw-hr.  Over three days that comes to 12.67KWHr/day.  This comes to 392 Kw-hr/month, which is well below the 467Kw-hr Tier One maximum power usage. My neighbor kindly let me see his paper bill so I have the rates now, and they are:

[ $0.03(base) + $0.08338(delivery) + $0.08549(generation) ]* 1.045(state tax) = [19.887]*1.045 = $0.208/Kw-hr.  This is pretty much highway robbery.

There is also a minuscule state fee or tax that I haven't included.

If my usage doesn't decline that means $82 for the month.

And, BTW, "priming the pump" for billing didn't work - I now officially have an even bigger credit on my SCE login page, by the $50 I paid them.  At a guess I haven't gotten a real bill this year, the first two that I paid may well have been left over from the year before or the Stillmeadow house.

Instead of wasting the morning on poor carpentry I spent much of the day working on the app.  I decided to look for the memory leak, and surprisingly enough, found it.  Or at least know where it is - it's a chunk of code that does image processing, which is really C code and not Objective-C (thanks a bunch Apple).  C, of course, is purely manual memory management - a 1970's era language. So I just need to grind through that bit and I can fix the 4 or 5MB per hand leak.

I feel even better about the RAM and SSD purchases earlier in the year - the debugger is quite zippy, rather than the agony it was before.  And the two monitors mean I can watch the code and debugger in one window and run the simulator in the other, a huge improvement!

I discovered, by accident, that there is a new Flavia de Luce book out, published this January.  And it's available through the Los Angeles County Library (Libby) as a free 14-day-loan ebook from Amazon.  I download it and so far it seems move in the vein of the earlier books, rather than the depressing later volumes. Yay.

Wednesday 1 August 2018

Wednesday - Hot. Hard to believe it is August already.

I installed the screening and molding on the 3x5 window frame, then screwed that to the east side of the house.  This took all morning, and as usual, despite my best efforts my measurements on various things were off.  Oh well.  I did notice, while sitting and re hydrating that my radial arm saw table top has a significant "bow" to it, an eighth or 3/16" across a two foot span.  That can't help things. ( A good workman, as they say, always blames his tools ;-| )

While tacking it to the house one of the ladder legs collapsed a gopher hole and down we all went.  Fortunately I was only 3' up on the ladder, and I managed not to smash the frame, but I strained my left foot pretty well.  By evening it was bruised and puffy, but I iced it and it doesn't particularly hurt.

Cooling notes: On these days with high's in the low 100's we are seeing night time temperatures of just below 80F.  If I turn off the a/c in the early am hours the house will essentially be at 75F and then the temperature will slowly creep up during the morning to about 80F by lunch.  If I turn on the swamp cooler after breakfast it does almost exactly the same thing - there is no point in turning the a/c on until then.

After lunch I went into town, bummed a haircut off S, and dropped off a bunch of 4th of July books at the Quartz Hill library.  There were a bunch of carpentry and shop books that I never actually opened, among the fiction. I had about $10 in fines, including some from earlier in the year.

I had a couple of other errands that I didn't do - my foot was swelling out of the sandals by then, and just wanted to go home and put the foot up.

Later afternoon I did a bit of work in the office, but was kind of tired.

Dinner was the left-over chicken from Saturday's lunch.

Slept on the couch. The master bedroom is the warmest room in the house, unfortunately.

Tuesday 31 July 2018
Tuesday - Hot.

I installed the window screen for the garage window.  This took longer than it should have, I had to clean the window inside and out, and remove some nails in the old frame.  I discovered that the window is only single pane, and that the seals are essentially missing - it's held in by good intentions for the most part.  I'll have to figure a way to get that fixed - I have a few bits of the old and extremely brittle seals.  In the mean time I put up the new solar screening. It darkens things considerably, but this faces due south and in a few weeks will be getting sun all day long.  Which is probably why the old seals failed.

This took forever, so I didn't get to the next, eastern, window.  That still needs screening and screen molding applied, but it was noon and 100F or so.

Slept on the couch, much to the cat's entertainment.

I researched on how to read my electricity meter (since SCE apparently won't).  It looks like I am using between 8 and 10KwHr per day.  Tier 1 consumption has a max of 427 KwHr, at about 19 cents per kilowatt hour, so I think I'll come in below that.

Monday 30 July  2018
Monday - Hot.  And supposed to stay hot all week, with daytime humidity in the teens, and night-time humidity near 50%. I slept on the couch, under the cool draft from the swamp cooler and it felt nice.  I had to close the register closest to the master bedroom, the air is coming out rather warmer than it should, I suspect a leak and some en-trained warm air from the attic.  One more thing to look into.

Put some paint on the new window screen frames.  Went outside and cleaned off the over-spray on the next window to get a frame, that slop left from the previous owner.  I tried soap and water, cleanser,  then acetone, and finally actual paint stripper.  The stripper worked pretty well.  I also sanded the frame on that window and gave it a coat of primer. I'll have to go back and clean the previous two windows as well, and the window for tomorrow.

While I was outside and it was reasonably cool (say 90F) I started filling in the holes from the Chihuahua's. Bah.

I was going to replace the cooler bearings, but didn't get to it before it hit 100F...

Pretty wiped out, but working on the app in the afternoon.  Having trouble with Google Drive downloads and printing.  It was working last week...

Brilliant red Mars in the evening.  My neighbor says it was opposition and that Griffith Observatory has stayed open on this Monday with 50 telescopes out for people to look through.

Sunday 29 July 2018
Sunday - Hot.

Did some shopping in the morning, and some weekend chores around the house.

Since it was so blamed hot I didn't do much outside.

Earlier in the week I did my usual once-a-year search for images of my father's first ship, the PG-86 USS Action, a Flower Class Corvette.  And I hit pay dirt - here is an image of her in Canadian service as K-277 HMCS Comfrey, heading out from Halifax, probably in 1942 sometime.  She never actually served in the Canadian navy, being immediately transferred to the US.

This picture isn't dated, but the gentleman responsible, one H.B. Jefferson,  made a journal with notes of traffic.

Apparently he was the wartime censor in Halifax. and had a hobby of taking detailed records and images of ships going in and out of Halifax, on his own time.  Very strange, apparently not part of his official duties.  Lucky for me I guess, but generally that sort of thing during a war will get you serious jail time.

Caveats: It is listed as HMS Comfrey, and she's clearly an early model (mast forward of the bridge) flower class corvette, also I can see a "277" on her side, but I can't tell if that's a "K" in front of the hull number, and the stack doesn't look quite right, too tall and narrow.  In addition Comfrey was also launched in July from Collingswood Shipyards, and that is clearly snow on the ground.  She entered into US service in November of 1942, so perhaps it took until October or November to finish her "fitting out" before the trip down to New York, New York.

Picture of the Week

HMS Comfrey, K-277, in Halifax
Corvette K277, HMCS Comfrey (Pre PG-86 USS Action)..

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