sailing the NorSea


WEEK 37 2014

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Saturday 13 September 2014
Saturday - Went to yard sales with friends in the morning, and then we all had lunch at a new-to-us Japanese place. It was OK, but not spectacular.

I wasn't feeling 100% for some reason, but not sick either. Maybe it's the hot weather.

We're expecting an extended heat wave, 100F+ for the next four or five days, so I thought I'd get something for the other south facing windows. In the afternoon I picked up a couple more of the foam insulation panels, bigger ones this time, 4'x8'. Since I couldn't fit the panels in the Explorer I actually cut them to size, roughly, in the parking lot outside Home Depot. This was a hot and sweaty experience - fortunately there wasn't a lot of wind, they panels really wanted to sail in even the convection zephyrs that the parking lot created!

 I put one in, and boy, it's dim in there now. I'm not sure I want to keep it that way, despite almost never eating at the table.

Watched a couple more videos in the Wild China series. Remarkable place, China, but the growth and expansion is really endangering the wildlife I guess.

Friday 12 September 2014
Friday - Did some grocery shopping in the morning.

Worked on the app in the afternoon. Still having a bit of a problem with the shuffling logic - I thought I had fixed it, but it showed up again, after a certain sequence of actions. Sigh. At least it's not an accursed OC issue, it's just me. Still need to fix the random number generator issue too.

Apparently I'm still on the hook to go out to Red Rock Canyon with a local boy scout troop next weekend. I'm not really sure how that happened, I attended a meeting as a non-parental board member for an Eagle Palm award (S is the advancement chair), and... If one more boy cancels they'll cancel the trip. I may still go even so, and bring the telescope. I should charge the little lawn tractor battery, and use it and a 12VDC - 110VAC inverter to run the tracking motor. I haven't camped in years, I'll have to dig up a bunch of gear this week...

I did sit down and write out checks for my quarterlies, but need to put them in the mail. Sadly I owe more than I expected...

jimmy looking up for a hummingbird
Jimmy in a favorite spot, looking up at a hummingbird.

Thursday 11 September 2014

Thursday - Another hot, but dry, day. I found that the swamp a/c was still on when I got up in the morning - I can't recall setting it to ON rather than AUTO-ON-OFF. Hopefully the fancy timer isn't giving up the ghost...

I did chores in the morning (including folding, always a favorite with the cats!), and headed over and had my teeth cleaned at the college free clinic. I had hoped for a free filling, but you have to go to the regular clinic for that, and pay. Still  it was great to get the cleaning done (for free).

In the afternoon I did generate more of the app work surface functionality. Most of the transitions and animations are done, I just need one more, and to clean things up in the code, then I'll transition over to work on the settings page, which shouldn't be hard.

Also, speaking of free, there ain't no such thing. Quarterly (estimated) taxes are due in a couple of days, as well as the LLC tax.

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Wednesday - Hot again. Actually it's supposed to be hot as heck for the next week or so. They were saying 102F towards the end of the week, but they've backed off that down to ... 100F. OK. Whatever.

I was talking to Tim, and he mentioned that the utilities have gotten smart, and will now pay you to have western facing solar panels. Late afternoon and early evening are when power is needed the most in Southern California, so rather that get the max amount of power per day (pointing due south) they are now shooting for max output during high utilization times (more westerly). I think I suggested this on this blog years ago, so it makes sense to me.

Solar makes no sense for me, I only use around 200KwH per month, but I know someone who is using 2000KwH a month - for them it would make sense!

I had a drivers license renewal appointment at 11am. It went OK - a security guard was keeping the crowds out of the building because they'd reached legal capacity for occupants, but he just waved me through since I had an appointment. It's a bit like being a star at a nightclub I guess. No written exam, no problems. I did end up standing in line for my picture for about 20min, but so it goes.

Most of the day I worked on the app. It's really coming along. The game surface actually works like it should, though the back end is pretty much spaghetti  code.

Tuesday 9 September 2014
Tuesday - A normally hot day. The moisture has moved off...

I did get a notice from the water board that we are now on State drought rules, with lawn watering only three times a week, and a few other rules. Palmdale started on the rules a couple of months ago, but I suspect they've never recovered from losing the Littlerock Dam.

I spent some time doing bill pay stuff. Some oddities there, but mostly taken care of.

Other than chores in the morning I just worked on the app until early evening. I'm making progress there, moving ahead....

Monday 8 September 2014
Monday - It rained during the night, with a bit of a downpour between 6 and 7 in the morning, and sprinkled off and on until nearly noon during the day. A warm and humid rain, shirtsleeve weather.

A nice change of pace, really.

Class in the morning, or would have been, had the instructor showed up. He didn't, and didn't call in, and eventually the lab assistant came to where we were standing around in the hall and told us to go home. In theory it's a four hour lab/lecture class that meets once a week. So far we have:
 So, we're starting Week #5 next week, and we've:
He did show us some YouTube cat videos.

There is a requirement of 25 hours of lab to pass, and it's not open the last week, so we're down to 13 weeks left for the class and lab. I don't care, in the sense that I expect much out of the class or worry about the grade: it's really just a gateway to useful stuff. Still....

S and I made use of the morning, going to her house and spending about 90 minutes changing our business category at Dun&Bradstreet, to an LLC from a Partnership. Confusing and obscure web pages with opaque and incorrect documentation... Well, it's (hopefully) done there. We'll wait for the changes to propagate through their database, then try again with Apple...

Our mandatory $800 state fee is due in a few days. Had we expected setting up the LLC to take this long we could have waited to pay until Jan 15th 2015. Oh well.

I then went home and battled with Xcode and fixed stuff. A couple of different gotcha's.

Firstly if you define button methods in the implementation file (as they now want you to), then they are private methods (OK, makes sense), but now you have to use an underscore to access them!!! So, if you've a button named, say, "checkAnswer", and a method names "checkAnswer", then you have to access the method variables using  _checkAnswer (for example, to disable the button you have to say: _checkAnswer.enabled=NO; )

Once I figured this out (it used to be optional, now it's the default!) I started adding other buttons & methods. For example "newGame" - which caused a horrendous error and crash. It took a while, the error messages were almost meaningless, but it turns out that Apple has reserved anything starting with the word "new" to itself.

Because no developer would ever want to use "newGame" or "newDeal" or "newDeck" or anything else like that in his code... I actually like thinking through the little logic problems that software development entails, but these little goat pellets that Apple strews in my path are not to my taste.

Sunday 7 September  2014
Sunday - Some weather was predicted to come in, and indeed by morning you could see clouds to the east and south. It was humid, and they kept building, and by noon it was overcast enough to ... allow me to mow. So I did. It seems a bit strange, but it was better than trying to mow in 100F+!

In the evening I visited with friends out in Antelope Acres. No wind, a full moon shining through partial clouds, good company. I should move...

Not much else going on in the afternoon and evening. I did some grocery shopping, various household chores.

Working on the app again. Making progress, apart from weird problems where things that worked in iOS5 and iOS6 no longer work in the same way. Apple did me dirt, again. How I despise Objective-C....

Picture of the Week
Sunflowers in the west valley, september. 2014 
Photo Notes: Sunflowers before the storm, September 2014.

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