WEEK 32 2013
Mon- Tue- Wed-
Picture of the Week
17 March 2002
Ago, This Week, 2002
Ago, This Week, 2003
Ago, This Week, 2006
Ago, This Week, 2007
Ago, This Week, 2008
Ago, This Week, 2009
This Week, 2010
Saturday - Got up and decided to get some work done in the yard before it got warm. This all quickly spiraled out of control.
have a bunch a bricks, about 500, that I was thinking of using to pave
an area in the side yard. To border these I'd bought some 4x4 pressure
treated lumber a few weeks ago, as I think I mentioned. In order to
place the pressure treated end caps I had to move the bricks, as they
were in the way.
As I started to move them it became clear
that I had four groups of brick: smaller smooth clay bricks, large
smooth clay brick, and larger yet clay brick with corrugated edges.
About 30% of each, with another 10% of miscellaneous stuff - concrete
brick, pavers, tiny brick, half-thickness paver brick, etc. And each of
the brick groups had a different thickness - which meant I couldn't
scree smooth the sand that they'd need to be laid on and have them
present a level surface to the pedestrian.
So I decided to use
these as trim in the back yard, and use a bunch of consistent sized
pavers. Which means I had to move 500 pavers, in a wheel barrow. It
took nearly five hours, with the required breaks for for cold drinks
and resting my nearly 57 year old back. It was also humid, in the 30%
range, which meant I sweat a lot. Once you get used to it, and have a
dry bandanna it isn't so bad.
I started with Ibuprofen, then took more 4 hours later, than a hot shower when I was done, then a nap.
called me up, from a conference she's at, with excitement over meeting
a good app person there. Who said they had their first app out the door in three months. Yikes. Sadly the connection was so bad that eventually we had to stop. I'll hear more soon, I'm sure.
After that the Time-Warner tech showed up, took one look and said "You have the wrong modem, you need a DOCSYS-3 to get over 3Mbs!"
We swapped it out, and it works pretty good now. I don't see a stable
20Mbs, but I do get in the mid-to-high teens, with occasion spikes to
20+. Which I can live with... I see uploads of 2.5Mbs, which is nice as well.
have been dismissive of Riley's hunting skills, but have to give credit
where it is due. I found the carcass pictured below, in the grass,
near a spot he likes to lurk in. So, the lifetime tally is (1) hummingbird and (1) finch. Good for him.
The might hunter's prey.
- Working away on things, including the app. Trying to figure out how
to communicate some info between modules. You can use global variables,
KVO, and it turns out that 'blocks' can access things globally as well.
Sadly a book I was reading, Book #40 Objective-C
by Jiva DeVoe isn't as good as it could be. Figures are wrong, text is
wrong, stuff is introduced without warning and without discussion. It's
clear the author knows his stuff, and I suspect that we are seeing, in
part, a cut-down version of his actual text. The book comes out to 353
pages of text, not counting appendices and intro's and 'further
reading' stuff - I suspect that the original text was more like 400 or
450 pages and that editors cut chunks out to make it 350. It's too bad.
knew enough to see errors and mistakes in the first five chapters, but
after that it becomes an irritating puzzle. Something doesn't make
sense, or clearly follow from what the book was saying, or is
apparently even in contradiction. Is that something correct, a
misprint, an error, or am I just being slow and dense? This really
plays havoc with one's self studying confidence. I'm going to put it
down as a 'read book' I think, since I'm past the halfway point. I
tried to finish it, but time is too valuable to waste on stuff like
that. It's a library book, so that's something, no money lost, just
I see that the re viewer's at Amazon pretty much came to the same conclusion.
was fiddling around in the back yard and stuck my hand in a hole I had
dug a while earlier to feed some drip lines to my tomatoes. And
something soft moved
under my touch. Argghhhh. After leaping away I realized that it was
just a toad, probably the one that's been leaving little "proof of
life" deposits on my patio each night. I wonder who was more surprised?
I'd guess the pinhole leaks from the water line keep it moist enough in
the little ditch that he's comfortable. So I'll hold off on pavers for
that little area until late fall or winter.
Thursday 8 August 2013
- Uploaded the files for Tim fairly quickly. I use a program on the
Windows side, and it's more trouble getting stuff stored on the Mac
side onto the Windows side than it is to actually upload. Sometimes you
can cut and paste using Windows Explorer, sometimes you can use Finder,
sometimes neither will work. It's a mystery.
I also uploaded the Grand Canyon pics for my friend Dave. Who thanked me politely, but said it was the Mt. Whitney pictures that he was missing. So I uploaded those as well.
took less than an hour, which is a lot faster than before. These were
from the little Optio waterproof camera, only 5 megapixels, so they
aren't great, but are better than nothing.
I noticed in the evening that I was still getting cable TV programming.
I'll have to call again tomorrow. Maybe they turn it off on the
anniversary date, which would be (for some unknown reason) the 10th.
I've been using tomatoes from my garden for various food things -
slices on sandwiches mostly. Today on a home made hamburger. I need to get into the habit of eating the
little cherry tomatoes more, as well.
really need to buy some AA batteries. I keep buying AAA's for some
reason - there will shortly be a national shortage if I keep making that
mistake. I must have 50 or more now.... Meanwhile because of the lack
of AA's the small flashlight, the blu-tooth mouse and the dome light in
the closet are all dead.
most of the day reading Objective-C gobbledygook. Bah. I need to sort
out some issues with the code that have accumulated lately.
Book #39 was Admiral's Tribulation, by Luke Sky Wachter. Number 3 in the series. There's a cameo character in the book named Luke Sky Wachter,who (probably) dies.
Wednesday 7 August
- Nice to be home. Pretty tired, didn't get up until 8am.
I finally cut the cable TV cord. Kind of. I canceled the cable TV
portion, but kept the cable Internet since it's pretty much a
requirement for work.
I guess I've been talking about it for a
while, but July put things into perspective - I was gone for over half
the month, sick for a lot of the rest, and didn't watch anything.
I had a mild urge to watch the Dodger's, but never figured out their tv
schedule enough to actually do it. And they raised the per month
rental cost of the modem to $6, which puts it all over $125 a month,
which is ridiculous. Internet alone will cost me about $45, so thats a
savings of $80. And if I cancel the TIVO service - not needed now,
that's a bigger savings yet.
weird, because I've had cable
TV since 1985, almost uninterrupted. Like the phone land line, it was
hard to start the cancellation, but easy once you've started the
process. I did have to take the cable card out of the TIVO and return
it, but the lines were short and it was no big deal.
tech support at Time Warner claimed I could get better than my 3.0
megabits per second "squalor Internet" - up to 20Mb, and that all
their customers should get at least 15Mbs. He changed the
settings on his end, and I rebooted the modem on mine, and got around
6Mbs. About a third of what he claims I should get. So they'll send a
tech out on Saturday, and they'll see if I am getting the 20Mbs at the
house, or the substation across the street. If it is their cable from
substation to house they
will replace at not cost to me. If it's mine... I'll probably just run
my own line direct to the modem. I'm pretty sure it's on their end, the
tech that came out to the house last August said I was only getting
minimal signal at the house.
Because it is a promotion, for a year I'd get 20Mbs for just $5 over the $45 I'm paying now. I could live with that....
sent a few pics of the demo sites to Tim, but he asked that I upload
all of them. I'll try it tomorrow, with the faster upload enabled the
500MB folder should not take hours like last time, even if it isn't as
fast as it's supposed to be.
The Time Warner speedtest requires
Flash and/or JAVA by the way, which I won't put on my systems, but
there is an HTML5 version at speedtest.me that works.
- OTR. We did a final walk through the three demolition sites, things went OK,
the various clients seemed happy with the condition of the sites. I had
a couple of other meetings planned, but they sort of fell through and I
just headed back to Lancaster from Thousand Oaks.
As I was driving down the 101 south there were various road signs. The first said "I-405 20 min". Five miles later there was a sign saying "I-405 20 min", and five miles past that was a sign with no 405 information at all.
I was concerned, but while there was a slowdown near the interchange it
wasn't too bad and once on the 405 north things were OK. I was home
about 3:30pm, having stopped first for lunch, then again for gas.
time I took the 118 east, just a couple of weeks ago, they had
completely shut down the 405 north exit, so I was forced to continue
driving past the next two exits that were backed up onto the freeway
with people (no doubt) trying to make a U and use the working ramp from
the other side. I think I got off on the third or fourth exit, made my
U and came back that way - about a half hour of wasted time and gas.
There was zero notification of the ramp being closed due to work until I was upon it, by the way.
I would have taken the 126 if I'd known.
There was a moderately good Space Station (ISS) flight predicted ed on
Heavens Above, about 9:00pm,
so I went into the back yard to check.
Having not been able to see a couple recently (at the coast on vacation
and just the other day in Lancaster) I was wondering if their clock was
messed up, but the ISS appeared, on schedule and where they said. About
magnitude -1.1, which is a bit brighter than the starts of Ursa Major -
the Big Dipper - whose dipper it passed in directly in front of. It had
yellowish cast, looking a bit like a bright Saturn.
- OTR, down to Ventura in the evening.
S came by in the morning looking for me, or rather, as she said: "your bloated body with a face half eaten by your cat".
Apparently my phone, though plugged into the wall and showing a nice
green light, was OFF. They'd been trying to call me all day on Sunday
and she finally came over to actually check. And there I was, out back
sitting in the Adirondack chair, with coffee and an Ipad under my
mulberry tree. When I rebooted the phone all sorts of texts and
messages appeared. Have I mentioned I hate my Samsung phone this month
already? Because I do.
I think I'd run the battery down into the
red zone on Saturday night, so it probably powered itself off just
before I plugged it in and went to bed. Thanks, Samsung.
that it's caused me to miss a great Jambalaya lunch at Lee Esther's I'm
feeling particularly aggrieved. Well, in a few months I'll be at my one
year anniversary and no doubt Verizon will let me upgrade cheaply. I
can probably hold out until then.
Let's see, there were a couple of scifi books I've read lately.
Book #37 would be Admiral Who?,
by Luke Sky Wachter. Heh - I'm pretty sure the author's name is an
alias. But it's not a terrible book, particularly as the price was
right (free) and I just wanted a piece of mind candy to take my mind
off things. Which it was and did.
Book #38 was Admiral 's Gambit, by our above mentioned nom-de-plume. I paid the outrageous price of $2.99 for it, as it was the sequel to #37 and I'm just too OCD to stop when I should.
It's been a while since a two-book day, what can I say?
- Slept in. Not much going on here. I was going to do some yard work,
but never got around to it, and then it got hot. Dry though, 10% or
less, so the swamp cooler is working well again.
swamp cooler I helped refurbish a few weeks back, for a friend's
rental, is also working well. The tenants are delighted, it apparently
works much better than the old unit. They made a service call about water
running out of it, but it turned out that this was just the second pump
doing it's timed purge.
My electric bill jumped, from 11Kwh last year to 16Kwh this year. Just
a bit into the second tier rate. I put it down to running the
mechanical a/c so much. It couldn't really be helped.
I guess Time Warner and a
network are having a battle over the fee's for carrying the network
feed, so no Dodger's on KTLA for a while. I wonder who will blink
first, TW or CBS?