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Sunday 1 September 2002
Sunday - I worked on Dad's front porch a bit, painting the deck. It's 'Barcelona Brown' - although that color has officially been retired by Sears for some time, and has to be recreated especially for us. Anyway, I did about half the deck before it was too hot to paint. We were concerned that the paint would dry before adhering properly. After that I used up the rest of the fence stain, finishing up the repairs that I did earlier in the summer. Painting is fun, as you have a large and usually nice return on a minimal investment of effort...

After that, I went down to visit my sisters. K and her family are back from England, and her friend C was there as well. We had a nice visit with a good game of SCRABBLE, and I had a chance to see some of the very nice house work that my sister V has been doing.

Monday 2 September 2002

Monday - after getting up late we all went out to a leisurely breakfast/lunch. The service was a bit slow, but it is, after all, a holiday and they were swamped. Then I headed back to my Dad's to discover that my brother Bob was there, watching another edge-of-the-seat Oakland A's game. Incredibly they won again, making it a 19 game streak, tying the record set in 1906 or so... Wow.

After that we sat around and watched the bee's and hummingbird's in the back yard - it's been quite hot and they are congregating about the bird bath.

I asked Bob why he hadn't taken any pictures with the camera. He pointed out that while I had given him the Olympus 360L, I hadn't given him a download cable... Hmmm. I have only the one cable, and I need it for the 3040Z, since my USB is out on the home PC. I suggested he get one of those USB Key-drives. It's much faster, although I suppose you could eventually wear out the smartmedia card, inserting and removing it a lot.

Tuesday 3 September 2002

Tuesday - I finished the front deck, and as I had some extra paint, also did a bit of trim and a couple of doors. It looks quite nice, if I do say so myself. It was a much cooler day, perhaps in the low nineties. My dad and I sat outside, enjoying the warmth and watching Pegg, the dog, crash around through the bushes, chasing lizards and what not. She is a black ( actually black and subtle shades of chocolate ) terrier mix of some sort, described by my father to the inquisitive as a 'lizard hound'. Some of these folk nod and say "Ahhhh." whilst others chuckle.

Apparently Pegg caught a squirrel the other day, laying it next to her water dish in the house, the same place she laid the rat she caught a couple of years ago. She is fascinated by small game, squirrels, lizards, and the like - and indifferent to birds and such. Go figure...

Pegg's a good natured dog, unless you get on her bad side....

My brother in law has set up a wireless network in his house. I've been thinking of do that myself, on the grounds that it's way too much effort to walk the twenty five feet to the computer from the living room. I asked him about security and he just said that if someone hacks in he'll reinstall system... These britishers are such jokers - it turns out that he has a firewall. He has written books on computer security, and I get the distinct impression that he feels that the security flaws in WEP and in most modern OS's are there by design...

Anyway, my half hearted effort to get the old Sony laptop onto (wired) ethernet has failed already, so I'm thinking of writing over the windows installation ( 98v1 ) with Redhat Linux 7.3. Question is, is there a good wireless card/access point for Linux? I imagine there is.

Wednesday 4 September 2002

Wednesday - my vacation continues. I hadn't really intended to spend this much time away from work, but I was pretty tired and it seemed like a good idea. We've all been working hard this summer, and I've been encouraging my own co-workers to take a little time off...

I found a couple more spots on the deck that needed painting, and also did the front door, which looks better now. Probably I should have used something besides deck paint, but it's what I had. If I go over it later with a nice glossy paint it'll make a nice base coat, right?

Thursday 5 September  2002

Thursday - painted the railings and uprights. Some of these were OK, but some, those most exposed to sun and moisture, really need a good coat of paint. All the little uprights and stuff took most of the day. I'm amazed by the amount of work that it took to build this thing - my father did it just after he retired, and he did it right! Of course, he spent years building nuclear submarines, where errors are not tolerated ! I'll do a bit more, but it is mostly completed.

We then watched the 49'ers squeak out a win against the NY Giants. Both teams were rather unexceptional in their performance (first game of the season, after all) but you wouldn't know it from listening to the ghastly ESPN announcers. Every thought, every player, needed a superlative in the description, even if it meant actually ignoring reporting the plays on the field. As pointlessly gassy as the Monday Night Football announcers can be in the second half, but right from the beginning of the game.

Pegg found a skunk during the night. Fortunately it missed spraying her, but some portions of the rear patio are whiffy. I was going to sweep and clean, but thought I'd let it air for a day or two first. Yuck.

Tomorrow I mean to get down to the boat...

Friday 6 September  2002

Friday - the boat looks good. I thought about going out singlehanded (heh), but decided against it. I did decide to replace some of the lines, but got turned around in Pittsburg's lousy streets while looking for the boat shops,  and eventually just went home to Martinez. Oh well, next time. Bob has installed a little dehumidifier that seems to be working well, and there is no water in the bilges. We do need new paint and sails though.

The Oakland A's finally lost, after winning a record 20 games in a row. I imagine the team is a little bit relieved - they can now concentrate on very good baseball, rather than perfect baseball. Of course these players are all tremendous competitors and would deny such a thing, but they were clearly pretty flat the last couple of games. On the other hand they lost in the dome in Minnesota with the horrible Astroturf - it's almost not baseball at all there but rather some horrible satanic imitation. Sort of like Canadian or European football is to real football.

My Dad had a story about building the front porch. The house next door was being rebuilt at the time and the workmen there asked if he was a professional carpenter... Now that's a real compliment.

Saturday 7 September 2002

Saturday - just a little more painting today. A railing that I thought I'd painted last year, but I guess not. And it seemed as though another coat of paint on top of the all the railings would look better - and it did. There are still a couple of 'holidays' but the heck with it for now - it's my holiday too! I also mowed and cleaned up in the back and side yards. Actually I have been using the side yard as a dump lately - one of these days I'll have to make a trip to the local dump and get rid of the various bits of debris. Anyway, after sweeping and hosing down the rear patio we had dinner. When I went out a couple of hours later something had dug a hole near one edge and scattered dirt about. The dog - doubtful, she's not a digger. A mole, or perhaps Mr. Skunk?

The A's and the Giants both won, so that's good. Unless you're a die-hard Dodger fan, unlike me. I'm a fair weather fan for the most part, I just enjoy whichever is winning the most...

We were watching the game on tv, and there was a commercial where some sea bird lands on an island shaped like the Shell Oil Company logo. I've no idea why because we had the sound turned off. My father said it reminded him of Saipan, and that he had thought of revisiting there after the war. Which reminded him of the day during the invasion when a Japanese plane strafed the beach. There were about five hundred landing barges there, each equipped with two machine guns, each gun manned by a seaman first, and every one of them opened up. After the plane flew away, untouched, the petty officers spent hours going around to the boats and instructing them that the guns were only to be used against land targets... A thousand machine guns, manned by untrained personnel, all firing at once over each others head...

Augusts Links
 Julys Links
 Lemoney Snicket's The Horrid Hospital.
 FORTRAN, the language
 C , the language
U.S.S. Bayfield
Arizona , the state
Meteor Crater , Arizona
Flagstaff , Arizona
 Olympus C-3040z
 Barstow, California
 Mojave , California
 Boron, California
Route 66, the highway
 Sidney Harbor Bridge
 Golden Gate Bridge
 Needles, California
 Bullhead City, California
 Kingman, Arizona
Seligman, Arizona
 Days Inn
 London Bridge, Lake Havasu, Arizona
 Lake Havasu, Arizona
Winslow, Arizona
The Petrified Forest  National Park,
 Yahoo!, the portal
'beowulf' , supercomputer=cluster of pc's
ABIT-BP6, motherboard and cult
Redhat Linux
PVM, Parallel Virtual Machine
 coyote, wild critter
Black House, book by Stephen King
 The Talisman, book by Stephen King
 Peter Straub, the author
 XPVM, gui interface to PVM
TCL and TK, scripting languagues


> Picture of the Week

Photo Notes: Here are a couple of nieces of mine, sitting in the Poppy fields outside of Lancaster. In a good year it can be a really spectacular sight, flaming colorful flowers for miles. Lancaster even has a Poppy Festival, that has become larger and more elaborate each year.

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