sailing the NorSea


WEEK 32 2014

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Saturday 9 August 2014
Saturday - Hot out. Went to yard sales in the morning, lunch was down at the Yard House in Palmdale.

I had a late night Friday (wide awake until after 1am!) and ended up falling asleep while reading in the afternoon.

In the even I went over to R&S's and we watched some movies that were streaming on Netflix; Muscle Shoals, about the recording studio in a little town in Alabama that's famous for producing great songs (and it's competitor across town, equally prolific, run by the 'Swamp Boys'), and Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings, about the worlds best Ukelele player. Both very entertaining in a low key (heh) sort of way..

Friday 8 August 2014
Friday - Hot again, pushing 100F officially, unofficially probably beating that.

I decided to mow this morning, the grass in the backyard in particular was about 6" high, and finished both the front and back. Was feeling more than a little warm by the time I was done. No edging or weed whacking, maybe this weekend.

Apropos of that: on Monday I noticed the gardener across the street with a leaf blower (at 7:30am!). I didn't think much of it, until he started blowing the leavings and dirt across the street into the gutter in front of my house. The one I am always having to shovel partially rotted gunk out of. I looked straight at him and shook my head "NO" and he stopped. In fact he not only stopped, but put his blower in the back of his old pickup and drove away. Hah.

I have a friend who always wondered why her rose bed was always full of leaves and debris, and put it down to Lancaster winds and living nearly at the end of a cul-de-sac. That is until she happened to be home from work one day and saw the neighbor's gardener blowing stuff into her flower beds!

I think I'll talk to the homeowner, this is just laziness on the part of the gardener.

Jimmy has now learned to jump up into the small peach tree - I'll have to come up with a barrier. In general I may need to raise the walls in the side yards and make the wooden front facing walls less climbable.

At least now I know the answer to the question about why cats climb trees - to get to the birds.

 Book #34 was Objective-C for Dummies, by Neal Goldstein. Antique, but I enjoyed it and got, I think, some good things out of it. 

Thursday 7 August 2014

Thursday - It's starting to get hot, almost 100F again. For some reason I therefore decided to do yard work in the morning...

First thing was to get the sticks and branches and logs out of the Explorer, tossing them over the wall. Then I swept and vacuumed the Explorer. Next was to move some dirt into the new planter, in this case about five or six wheel barrow loads. I watered it a bit, and I'll let it settle, before putting another 'lift' in. Then it'll be weedblock and some river rock. I put a drip head on one of the sprinklers there for use with the plants, but I can't find my 1/4" poly tubing, which is annoying. It's cheap stuff, but it means another trip to Home Depot. Then I trimmed a few low hanging limbs from the fruit trees, I'm really tired of crouching down to the ground every time I have to mow under there, and the grass there needs mowing...

After a rest, shower and lunch I worked on the app until early evening. Actually I was mostly reading the Goldstein book, a lot of good stuff in there. I did work a bit on a graphical background for the new app, code name 'NOPE'.

I went out in the evening, and it's a nice waxing moon, more gibbous than I expected. Not much to see starwise because of that, but I think that Mars is in the southeast sky.

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Wednesday - Warm and sunny again. In the 90's, nothing too special.

I went over to S's place, and had lunch with her and Kirk. We discussed the negation app, and some of the issues for the settings page. I just need to get on things and get it done.

S said her mother had a major sewer backup, and had to call in cleaners it was so bad. This was after a plumber removed stuff last week, and after a roto-rooting job just before the 4th of July. I keep telling people to get a video inspection, some places do it for free, but it hasn't happened yet.

Leaving I picked up the last of the firewood from their driveway - I took most of it before the 4th, but there was a little pile still left, and I think Roger and Kirk want to try to park the Volvo's side by side and the branches were in the way. I brought my tarp, so the Explorer won't get too dirty, and I'll unload them tomorrow, over the wall. Which reminds me, I still need to get out with the chain saw and cut a pile of limbs down to size.

Somewhat alarmingly I found a piece of tooth in my food. It looks, after inspection with my tongue, that a bit of molar has come off. There's no pain, but I guess it's another expensive dentist visit soon.

Tuesday 5 August 2014
Tuesday - Warm and sunny.

The cats and I were out for an hour in the morning. There are a number of huge flying beetles about, not too much smaller than a small hummingbird, and the cats watch them with great interest. The beetles are far too fast to catch, and fly a good four or five feet above the ground. They aren't grasshoppers or crickets, so I'm not sure what they are.

Working on the app in the afternoon. Mostly just reviewing stuff I'd done, trying to figure out how to simplify things and improve the programming. S had bought several old iOS books at a thrift store for 75 cents, Xcode 3 and 4 stuff, but there's still some good meat in there. One is Goldstein's book:  Objective-C for Dummies, written back before ARC (2009!), but still with some good points.

I remembered to put out the trash, for once. I put the pail of rotten fruit in, but accidentally spilled a bit of the putrid liquid on myself - despite having the lid closed on the old kitty litter container. OMG. Eventually I had to throw my clothes in the wash, and shower myself, it was that bad!

I need to 'weed and feed' the lawn, the dandelions are rising up in rebellion once again.

In the evening I finished Book #33, Origins of a D-List Supervillain, by Jim Bernheimer. This is the prequel to 2011's Book #91, Confessions of a D-List Supervillain, and was quite well done.

Monday 4 August 2014
Monday - Mixed clouds, but clearing up a bit. Still humid.

I picked up a few more (20) landscape blocks for the back planter, since I was at Home Depot on other business anyway (window insulation). I need perhaps another 10, but that's on the end I'm letting go fallow until winter, to provide cover for Mr. Toad, so there's no urgency. I noted that there has been minor subsidence in a couple of places, but only of consequence enough to make me restack it, in one place.

Some of the near dead plants in pots have come back, just from sitting neglected over in the planter. Huh.

While working in the yard I picked up some of the apples that had fallen from the tree, and opened the little bucket that I leave them in ... big mistake. It had gone rather putrid and really stank. Gah.

Worked a bit on the app, then S came by with some notes on the "new new app". We had considered a 'Latin Squares'/Sudoku like training app ("the new app"), but then decided to reduce things even further down from there, hence the "new new app". The 'look and feel' will be similar to what I was working on, and the internals will be similar, but it teaches something different. It will be so similar in L&F, in fact, that my current problem with disappearing views will still be a problem...

I was so excited that I forgot to stop programming until late, and ended up wide awake at 2am. I hate that, I don't bounce back from late nights like I did when I was 20.

Things are progressing with the State, apparently.

While looking at Tumblr I ran across a picture someone had posted of a scuttle Clemson Class 4-piper, on the Napa River about a mile from Mare Island. Wow. There aren't any in existence any more, they were mostly all scrapped due to the Washington Naval Treaty in the 1930's (and sorely missed in the beginnings of the 1940's!). There's just a hulk left, but you know, that's enough to start a restoration!

The former USS Corry, DD-334:

uss corry



Sunday 3 August  2014
Sunday - Humid and overcast again. Indeed, while I sat outside with my morning coffee it was sprinkling. Then it turned to rain. The kittens were not happy and stayed on the patio mostly. It was a cool day and while I had to run a fan to keep the house cool it wasn't as bad as it's been.

I should point out that the overcast and clouds and rain coincides, once again, with the dark of the moon. My brother emailed to say there was a nice star/moon/planets conjunction going on, but this just wasn't meant to be an astronomical weekend.

I forgot to mention, Friday I'd gone over and helped R&K install a new ceiling fan in Kirk's room (this was part of the reason the garage shelf thing hadn't advanced much). I had a small fan sitting in the small bedroom, still in its box, that I bought two years ago and never used, so when he mentioned that his was bad I volunteered it. It went in quickly enough. The trickiest part was figuring out which circuit on the much modified house built in the 1970's the fan was on, the rest was pretty much straightforward. The old fan, even after we cleaned the blades and tried to balance it wobbled alarmingly, the new fan is quiet and very stable.

Afterwards I asked him when his fan went bad, and he said "About the time I was born I guess." Apparently it's always been broken.

Of course K only got to enjoy it for 24 hours, before heading out hiking in Yosemite with friends...

I did a bit of work on the app in the afternoon, trying to get the UIViews to show up. Debug statements say that they are there, and positioned and of a size to be clearly visible, but despite various efforts, including writing a little test case just for this and setting everything else to transparent, nothing was visible on screen. Nothing, nada, zippo.

Not much else going on.

Picture of the Week
Cayucos Pier 2014 
Photo Notes: Cayucos Pier, late June, 2014.

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