WEEK 33 2008

Last Week- Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week

Picture of the Week


Oxnard  Weather Underground
Click for Oxnard, California Forecast
Lancaster WeatherUnderground
Click for Lancaster, California Forecast
Martinez WeatherUnderground
Click for Buchanan, California Forecast

First Post, 17 March 2002
Six Years Ago, This Week, 2002 Five Years Ago, This Week, 2003 Four Years Ago, this week, 2004 Three Years Ago, This Week, 2005 Two Years Ago, This Week, 2006
A Year Ago, This Week, 2007

Saturday 16 August 2008
Saturday - I didn't do a lot - I twisted my ankle the other day, to the point where it was walkable but sore, and wanted to lay up and let it heal this weekend. The cats were grateful for a warm place person to curl up on.

Phoebe's claws need trimming again.

So I spent most of the day with a book, Book #41, By Schism Rent Asunder. It's another David Weber SciFi book, long, with overly noble good guys and a fairly predictable plot. In the evening I went over to my friends place and had some delicious home made pizza, unsuccessfully tried to talk their daughter through connecting a MacBook to a 2Wire wireless router via phone, and watched Part II of Pirates of the Carribean, until I started to fall asleep...

Still fooling about with the Ubuntu/Nvidia upgrade thing.

When I was up at my fathers place last week I discovered that he had replaced his standard cable & TIVO with some sort of digital system from Comcast. One of the things it had was a Movies on Demand option (I'm not sure it was called that, but it was similar). Essentially you can use the remote to scroll through a list of movies, select one, and start playing it immediately. There were some older free movies, and newer stuff for $4.99, so we watched National Treasure: Book of Secrets. Pretty neat! I've never been one for going to the video store, and this makes it a lot easier. Apparently you have 24 hrs to watch the download, then it goes away. You can pause it, and maybe even replay it, I'm not sure. But it was a fairly painless piece of 21st century tech.

It was...dare I say it...yes...Comcastic!

Friday 15 August 2008

Friday - back in Lancaster. Got off work about 3:00pm and took the 118 to the 405, and crawled from there to the I-14. Then things picked to a normal speed. Friday afternoon...

Turned on the telly and saw that Oakland was playing Tennessee and called Dad to place a bet. There was a bit of confusion, until we resolved that he was watching the Oakland Athletics and I was watching the Oakland Raiders - different teams and different sports. Heh.

Quantum strangeness - how fast is the collapse of a wave function? Somebody did an experiment, and it's at least 10,000c. I thought of this experiment (in principle) years ago, using the mountains on either side of the Owens Valley. Never actually did the experiment of course. My guess as to the speed: either instantaneous or c-squared, that being about  200,000c. The experiment apparently hasn't quite ruled that out, by a factor of 20.

They refer to it as entanglement, but that 'ends' when the measurement is taken, when the wave function 'collapses'. I think. I'm not a physicist.

But, as the article suggests, our notion of  'speed' is probably not that of quantum mechanics. Indeed, the 'collapse' is probably something very different than we currently view it as.

Sixty-Second Science looks like a pretty interesting site. They also have an article on some planned solar energy plants. I'm puzzled as to the location - San Luis Obispo. Near the coast sounds like a bad location for this sort of thing - the deserts of California would be better. It may be that they are using it as a 'peaking plant', trying to get a little more sun in the later afternoon in a slightly more westerly location, when Los Angeles is sucking up the most power.

Though the near coastal plains can be pretty dry. I can recall seeing the solar array on the Carrizo plain, many years ago.

As somebody pointed out, they are going to cover 12 square miles with solar cells, to get the output of a single coal plant, but it the solar plant will only work during daylight on sunny days - call it 1/3 of the time. And at a greater (subsidized) cost.

I wish them well, but it's a stunt, and one done with taxpayer money.

cat on the dock
Cat on a Glen Cove dock (not Riley).

Thursday 14 August 2008

Thursday - about 12 hrs of work. One more day, then I'm back up to Lancaster. I think the cats are lonely - Phoebe, who hates my friend S, actually came up to her to be petted, this week. Time to share quality time, on the couch in front of a ball game.

Does football start this weekend? I think the Dodger's are tied with Arizona for first in the west, so there might be a good game there.

It's odd though, Dad and I watched four or five games, without sound mostly, last weekend. We've given up, by mutual unspoken consent, on the announcers.

Wednesday 13 August 2008

Wednesday - more work. Nearly 12 hours. I find, as usual, that I'm a tough boss on myself. And then an evening meeting about the project report layout, which went to almost 11:00 pm. I'm kind of a 9:00pm kind of guy these days, so that's hard to do.

I finished Bill Bryson's In a Sunburned Country*, his book about a tour of Australia, for Book #40. I thought it very interesting, and funny. It is clearly a land - a continent really - of firsts and exceptions and weirdnesses. Some people don't like his humor, but I enjoy the self-deprecating doofus approach.

Bryson is clearly not fond of venomous snakes - Australia has ten of the most venomous in existence, or of man eating salt water alligators. His description of the victim of a 'box jellyfish' will give you chills, paraphrasing here:

"...and then here's the thing - the paramedics applied ointments, and morphine to put him out, and took him away. And he was still screaming, while unconscious, in the ambulance..."

Tuesday 12 August 2008

Tuesday - on the road early, down to work in Simi Valley.

 Monday 11 August 2008

Monday - back on the road, down to Lancaster.

Sunday 10 August 2008

Sunday - not a lot to say. Took the dog for a walk, watched some baseball. Dad and I are about even, money wise, at this point.

Picture of the Week
An old 'Farmall' tractor
Photo Notes: An old 'Farmall' tractor.

Last Week- Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week