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Lancaster Weather

Sunday 8 September 2002
Sunday - I drove back to Lancaster. It was a fairly average drive, as these things go. The cats were in good health when I returned, more concerned with their next meal than my presence. At some point during the last week they got into the special cat food and ate it all. Phoebe has been getting the normal stuff instead, and seems OK, no vomiting or anything. He also managed to get into a bag of dry spaghetti and strew all over. The vacuum took care of that.

My cat watcher showed up about ten minutes after I arrived, with a stray pit bull in tow. Anyone want a lovely little sweet tempered pit bull? Probably less than a year, brindle colored....

Monday 9 September 2002

Monday -  work. 

Tuesday 10 September 2002

Tuesday - no takers yet for the pit bull. I've asked around and put up posters, but have no calls yet. I'm told that if I take her to the pound that she will be destroyed immediately, that no attempt to place her will be made. She is so sweet...

I hear that Buzz Aldrin, the astronaut, has punched out some idiot who was bugging him about the moon landing being faked. He is 72, the so-called "victim" in his thirties. It's been suggested that if it comes to trial that Buzz simply claim that the fight was faked as well, the video: faked, his presence in the hotel: faked....

We walked over to the college and picked up my friends; daughter from drama class. Once again she is that star of the class, being the only one who read the assigned chapter in the book. Hamlet. Community colleges have been described as "high schools with ash trays", and many of the students take their lackadaisical "they'll pass me anyway" high school attitudes there. It must be a shock to discover that the instructor doesn't really care, and is going to flunk them... Not this kid though! 

Personally I think mandated high school is a failure. I think that after sixth grade it should be voluntary. It's turned into day care for teenagers - other people's teenagers that I'm paying for.. Perhaps the european system of exams and a split into trade schools and professional academies is the way to go. When I was in Ireland it was during the period that admissions to the universities were announced. It was bizarre to see these young kids celebrating getting into schools, and even more bizarre to see them doing it legally in bars. The drinking age is a lot less in Ireland than here...

Wednesday 11 September 2002

Wednesday - I received an email from the loan company - they forgot to call an appraiser for the refinance. Duh. So, they called one in and he's coming out tomorrow, supposedly. I guess if you search for low rates you may get something like that happening. No harm, they extended the loan lock, but annoying. I'll have to work at home in the morning until they come.

I added another machine to the beowulf cluster at work. Oddly XINETD was installed. I thought that I had done one installation and cloned all the boxes, but I guess not. That was back in February. Actually I have since read that the simple device cloning method I used,  # cp /dev/hda /dev/hdb  is frowned upon because it's a perfect image clone, and if there are bad blocks/sectors/tracks on the  hdb disk the system will try to write the data there, and you'll have trouble down the line. But for now it seems to be working. There are fancy kickstart and network upgrade methods, but I'm just a simple engineer, not a network weenie....

Went to dinner at my brothers. He has a new (to him) place over on the west side. It's a huge lot, at least half an acre, with pine trees and frogs. Very nice. Very quiet.

I have some friends that also are having a place reappraised. They bought it for next to nothing at the market bottom, as it had been empty and derelict for over ten years, spent tens of thousands gutting it and then fixing it up. Now that it's fixed up and the market is better the loan company is suspicious that it appraises well, and wants another inspection (they've already had one)! What did they think the construction loan was for ? Did they think it would lower the appraised value?

I went by the pound, or 'animal shelter' to see if there were any lost dog ads that matched my little puppy. No luck there.

dog picture
The puppy

Thursday 12 September  2002

Thursday - the appraiser came and went. Apparently the house is fine. Then off to work and another round of linux system installs between the various fires and crises that crop up.

Dinner was at Cousin's Burgers. 

Friday 13 September  2002

Friday - another busy day. We have to brief some people on a current project and were getting the papers together. Also working on another aero model - the one from Langley that is all hosed up. It's not even symmetric from side to side. Incredible. No work on the cluster, alas.

When I got home I discovered the cat had knocked over and broken the coffee pot. Not very graceful of him. The dog is fine however.

Since then some neighbors have started having a party in the street. it seems. We live in a society of rude mannerless pigs.

No word from the loan company, but then, I expect less these days. We live in a world of incompetents.

My friends house didn't pass appraisal because one sink wasn't finished, out of an entire house rebuilt. We live in a world full of idiots .

Saturday 14 September 2002

Saturday - was refreshing. I was "dirt tired" and I guess it shows in yesterday's rather cranky post. Oh well, it's there to stay - no revisionist history a la George Orwell's 1984 here. Though I understand that some online magazines and papers are doing that now. Occasionally I might correct spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes that have slipped through. Being an engineer I don't actually notice many... Hah! Take that as you will!

I got up, late, and then mowed the back lawn. One unanticipated side effect of having a stray dog housed back there is that what goes in the dog must come out. Yuck! Should I post a picture? No, I didn't think so. When finished I was exhausted - it was a long long week.

Then I went over to the city park with some friends to the Antelope Valley International Festival. This is a little, free, cross-cultural event, with food from different cultures, and little live acts. It alternates yearly between Lancaster and Palmdale. It was a lot of fun. There were Hawaiian dancers,  Phillipino dancers (good thing those guys tied those sashes tight - though one guy cheated and had his underwear on!), Tae Kwon Do demonstrations, and so on.

My friends' small boy K won some money in a 50/50 raffle they were having. With only a gentle hint from his mother he graciously donated it back to the festival. They were surprised and charmed (the other winner, a minister, didn't think to do that!), called him up on stage and announced his generosity to the world (no good deed goes unpunished ), and then gave him another prize, a little camera!  So it was a memorable day for him.

Afterwards we treated ourselves to Slushies - they now have four flavors/colors and clear plastic cups, so you can see the layers if you decide to mix them... If memory serves, I think I first had a slushy back in Vacaville, California, in the late sixties... I had "brain freeze" then as well!


> Picture of the Week

statue of george washington
Photo Notes: Here is a statue of George Washington, in London! . He once stated that he would never set foot on english soil again, so, when they sited this statue they brought in some earth from the USA to bed the plinth on.

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