sailing the NorSea


WEEK 39 2012

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Picture of the Week


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Saturday 29 September 2012
Saturday - Mowed the back yard, did some miscellaneous chores, took K to lunch again (his parents are out of town).

This weekend is Carmageddon II, where the 101/405 junction is completely shutdown. Carmageddon I last year had a lot of hype, and it didn't really have as huge an impact as predicted. My friend Tim has to drive up from the San Diego area to Santa Monica today, so it'll be interesting to get a report on how the drive went. It's a big project, puts our little demolition job in it's place...


Friday 28 September 2012
Friday - Mostly a chores day. Mowed, weed whacked and edged the front lawn. Fortunately it isn't as hot as earlier in the summer, but still, I was damp by the time it was done.  I even received that most precious of suburban items - praise from a neighbor - on how it looks. It's growing like crazy right now, despite it being fall, because I fertilized it a few days ago.

Then it was lunch with K, and a bit of looking at what appears to be vandalism of trees at his house - two limbs torn off trees in the entryway, but no other damage of any sort. It almost appears to be something that an animal might do, but the limbs were big - 3" in diameter, and the damage symmetrical. We called it in as vandalism, though the sheriff didn't bother to come out. I took pictures as well. Probably they should get better lighting - motion detector lights at a minimum.

While cleaning in the house I tested the idea of bringing over and using a webcam as a security camera. Ubuntu understands webcams well enough, but the low light performance was horrible - things were barely recognizable in a well lit room at night with the Creative Labs cam, the Intel cam was a bit better, but not acceptable really.

It looks like it would use about 1.5GB an hour to store 640x480 video. This might have been a deal killer a few years back, but it's not much by current drive sizes, 350GB for 24 hours isn't too bad. There are applications, 'monitor' for example, that only record changes in a view, which saves even more space. You can even tell monitor to ignore area's you expect to change - tree's for example - and concentrate on things that should be static, your car, your front door.

But it requires a lot more horsepower. My 2.4GHZ P4 box with 1GB of ram was running at 100% CPU just to record a stream, without doing any recognition processing. The 3.2GHz P4 box with 2GB of ram did better, about 75% CPU.

Mostly I cleaned house. The room I use as a den was pretty full of debris, so I'm sorting through all of that. At least two ancient desktop computers, an ancient laptop, an ancient Ditto tape drive, several dead WAP's, a failed UPS, etc. I even found a calendar from 2001 that matches the current days and dates of 2012:

It's a match (kind of)!

 I say 'kind of' a match. Since 2012 is a leap year (even, divisible by 4 but not by 100), the days match currently, but they didn't prior to February 29th!

Thursday 27 September 2012

Thursday - OTR. After a fairly full week of looking at and creating specifications I hit the road mid-afternoon and I'm back home. It was actually a fairly productive week, despite the early scramble on Monday.

On Monday I had started to post-process that data from last Thursday, so I finished it this evening, and sent it off. I had trouble getting the reference station downloaded, which I solved by temporarily turning off the Windows firewall on the old laptop. At some point I need to get the little app onto the new (2009) Vista laptop, and off the old (2003) XP machine.

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Wednesday  - OTR.

The Wednesday night racers came in around nightfall. There is a fair amount of yelling and horn blowing as they come in, but since I know what it is, and that it's going to end, it isn't too annoying.

Tuesday 25 September 2012
Tuesday - OTR.

I had to call the Oxnard Police on a bar across the water. There was a little music and noise when I got to the boat at 7pm, which gradually got louder and louder, until at 10pm you could easily make out the words and lyrics that the drunks were singing into the Karaoke machine 1000'+ away. It took about 20 minutes until, suddenly, there was blessed SILENCE.

Book #78 was Hegemony, by Mark Kalina. This was pretty good (and inexpensive at $0.99) SciFi on the Kindle.

Monday 24 September 2012

Monday - OTR. I had to unexpectedly meet with a client for a job, so out of here for a few days...

The lights were out on the boat dock. A little eerie, but kind of nice too, they are a bit annoying at night.

Sunday  23 September 2012
Sunday - Not much going on. Working around the house and yard mostly.

Like I said, I've told my project partner that I'd have the first app running by the end of the month, but it's been going slow with all the trips out of town. We'll see, it isn't hard, just tedious.

Picture of the Week
A view from near the chesebro resevoir
Photo Notes: One of the many gulls nesting in the cushions of the dilapidated boat one slip over.

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