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WEEK 35 2007

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Lancaster WeatherUnderground

First Post, 17 March 2002
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Saturday 1 September 2007

Saturday - not a lot to say. I did have a nice trip to the fair, the second this year. We met some friends and I stayed until midnight. Pretty neat stuff. My friends entered - and won - a final baking contest. It was actually rather tense, the judges fouled up the division ratings and we weren't sure that she'd won until a bit after they announced. Anyway, a nice ending to the fair.

Friday 31 August 2007

Friday - I used "it has being" in yesterday's post and nobody noticed. Probably nobody reads this. I should re-install sitemeter, just for kicks. It's perfect grammar - for a LOLCAT post.

After looking at my electric bill this evening I've turned off the central air. The swamp cooler, running at full blast, is exhausting at 79F, which is fine. They are reporting 96F and 27% humidity at the NOAA airport site, but some of the other local stations show the humidity in the teens, which makes more sense -  considering about a 17F drop in temperature. Or it could be less if it's cooler here than at the airport, which is almost certain. Yesterday's Quartz Hill site is reporting 94F and 20% humidity, so it's likely not too far off though.

I just cleaned the fish tank (again) and added some water and ice, which brought the water temp down to 78F. The smaller fish really doesn't care for the hot temps, he sits on the bottom, sulking and refusing to eat.

Speaking of refusing to eat: if you have a cat, and it's coat looks dry, and it won't eat cold tuna, and you decide to heat a bit of tuna in the microwave:


This has been your friendly homemaker hint for the day.

You learn something new every day.

Hummingbird at dawn.

Thursday 30 August  2007

Thursday - fooling about a bit on the computer last night I happened to play a YouTube video with a cat meowing in the background. Riley didn't care, but I saw Phoebe's ears perk up. So I sought out several more videos with the search term "cat meowing" and played them. The result: Phoebe attacked Riley. Cats are strange.

I woke up to the rumble of thunder this morning. It went on for a good hour, off in the distance, with the occasional flicker of the lights and hesitations in the ceiling fans letting me know that the grid was being impacted. But not enough to cause resets of any of the electronic equipment.

The clouds stuck around, even after the lightning passed - grey high dark centered cumulus, with patches of ethereal blue between. In the afternoon the thunder started again. Long regular mutterings rolling across the sky. Windless, and, despite the overcast, and so hot the concrete in the drive was painful to bare feet.

My fathers dog probably wouldn't like it.

Eventually there was some rain. Just a few scattered drops. But they were BIG drops. Here is a pic of the splashes on the sidewalk, during the rain, so the drops haven't had much time to spread out. The lens cap, for scale, is about 2.25" in diameter. It sounded like hail for a while, but it was just 100F water drops.

Big Drops.

Here is a link to a local home weather page. The time stamp shows it has being (WTH?) an event at about 4:30pm, whereas I took the picture just before 5:00. You can see a spike in the barometric pressure and wind speed as the front/cloud passes over. Quartz Hill is a mile or two away, to the southwest, so the event would have been moving with the downwind from the west and arrive here later. (There was no detectable precipitation in the graph, by the way.)


Wednesday 29 August 2007

Wednesday - so...the trick is...for now...vbscript. It's built into Windows, XP anyway. (Okay, checking the Win2k box - yep, works there as well.) It has all sort of hooks for opening and closing windows applications, which in turn have all sorts of stuff for reading and writing. But it's a bit confusing, because, this being Microsoft there is Visual Basic, Visual Basic.Net, Visual Basic for Applications, and apparently several different varieties of Visual Basic Scripting. Of course the Unix world has the C-shell, Korn Shell, Bourne Shell, PERL, tcl/tk, Ruby and god knows what else, so I suppose I can't really complain about a multiplicity of scripting tools on Windows..

I had a utility to do what I wanted to do, but lost it, and the newer utility I found wasn't really amenable to command line batch mode, my preference for this stuff. I was going to see if I could write a script to enter stuff into the utilities GUI fields, but it worked out better this way.

One of the utilities I tried was so fancy that I literally couldn't figure it out. It had a completely unique interface, no FILE..EDIT...VIEW, no browser, no OPEN or PRINT icons, and you couldn't drag and drop files into the fields. No text tips and no help. Very very pretty and completely flummoxing. (Is that a word?) Guess I'll uninstall that.

Over at Climate Audit Steve McIntyre is having fun, showing just how bad the temperature data is that purports to show global warming. It is ludicrously bad data and science, entertaining in a sort of train wreck-in-progress kind of way. 

Tuesday 28 August 2007

Tuesday - more database stuff. After using Unix for all these years trying to use DOS/Windows is a bit like wearing boxing gloves and trying to thread a needle. What ACCESS and EXCEL do, they do well. Try to do anything out of the ordinary, and, well, it's a struggle.

Miss Teen South Carolina apparently can do a bit better, she went on The 'Today Show and redeemed herself a bit:


And, as I suggested yesterday, it was nerves and stage fright as much as anything else. Some excerpts:


The 18-year-old got a chance to redeem herself Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show when she was again asked why one-fifth of Americans can't locate the U.S. on a map.

"I would love to re-answer that question," Upton said. "Well personally, my friends and I, we know exactly where the United States is on our map. I don't know anyone else who doesn't. And if the statistics are correct, I believe there should be more emphasis on geography."


Upton was taking her flubbed answer — and the attention — in stride.

"Everything did come at me at once. I was overwhelmed and I made a mistake. Everybody makes a mistake. I'm human," she said Tuesday. "I seriously think I only heard about one or two words of the actual question."

Upton's former principal Creig Tyler remembered her as a well-rounded student.

So, all is well in the world of high school education again. Indeed, she shows a laudable suspicion of statistics!

So, the question now becomes: are we to expect a flood of over-the-top stupidity/weirdness as contestants vie to get on the Today Show, or Leno, even if they don't place first?

Book #53 was The Elysium Commission, by L.E. Modesitt. Eh. Nothing special.

I've been too busy to read much lately, I think the last book I finished was several weeks ago. I am many hundreds of pages into the Access 2000 Bible, but I haven't finished it since it's 1272 pages long. I guess it partially cancels out Xena and The Magic Arrow of Myx, at 112 pages.

 Monday 27 August 2007

Monday - back to working on databases and such.

I'd heard of the Miss Teen South Carolina's oratorical skills, from many places, but finally ran across a link. A truly remarkable piece of incoherent gibberish. Maybe it was stage fright? [via Asymmetrical Information]

Sunday 26 August July 2007

Sunday - horribly hot and humid. I was working in the yard and garage most of the day. Mowing, weed whacking, fertilizing and poisoning. It looked like we might have a nice thunderstorm for a while but we only got a few miserable drops.

Juliett 484 to be raised? Providence willing. (heh.) [via Cronaca]

Shipwrecks of Mauritania. Incredible.

A Cat's Map of the Bed. Heh. I particularly relate to "Heaving Spot". I think I've linked to Strange Maps before. [via Plep via Cronaca]

Picture of the Week
rusty old gears
Photo Notes: Old Gear.

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