Travels and Images
WEEK 40 2005
Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week
Picture of the Week
Saturday 8 October
- not just tuckered out from a commute. I picked up some sort of bug -
a minor flu it seems, that, after a bit of yard sales in the morning,
laid me out for the rest of the day. I hadn't realized I was sick until
late evening, just assuming I was tired and dragging...
I think I approve of Harriet Miers. She looks like a Texas schoolmarm, and that's just what the SC needs. Whenever Breyer or Ginsberg gets out of line - whack! - out comes the yardstick.
"You go sit in the corner, mister, and just think about why you shouldn't invent things that aren't in the Constitution. And you, missy, will write on the board, 100 times, THERE IS NO PENUMBRA. And I expect your best penmanship!"
Friday 7 October
Friday - working down
at Sand Canyon the last couple of days. I'd forgotten what a commute
both ways on top of an 8 hour day feels like. Yuck. I'm tuckered out...
Thursday 6 October 2005
- lot's of heat and smoke about Bush's nominations of Miers to the
Supreme Court. Of course the reason it's such a big deal is that the
legislature has abdicated their responsibility to decide things such as
Roe, or Raich, or Kelo.
They leave it up to the SC to make a decision based on 'stare decisis',
penumbra's and 'the living Constitution'. They posture for the voters
and interest groups - but never actually get around to the hard work
(that might annoy some voters and cost them donations from the PACS and
403's) of actually pushing for a clear and specific law. So who is
sitting on the SC becomes more and more important, politically, to both
Watched the new Night Stalker. Not as good as the old - though here and
there you hear echo's of the original catch phrases. Not much humor
either, which was a big part of the whole thing.
Watched Smallville as well. Clark Kent and Lana Lang get romantic,
finally. I guess you can't have a prime time show without teen sex any
more. Too bad.
Wednesday 5 October 2005
Wednesday - took my morning walk, did OK.
Lost a little skin off my heel though. Talked to my friend last night
about the hike, his foot is out of the cast and it's 50:50 as to
whether it'll be up to the Grand Canyon by November 1st. After talking
about the hike (and I need to get out my pack and start organizing it!)
we then discussed real estate, the supreme court nomination, and the
possible biological basis for morality...
It looks more and more like the new Oklahoma explosion was a failed terrorist attack on a stadium. It also seems that TATP isn't anything to fool around with (though I, for one, encourage bombers to keep on trying):
"The stuff can detonate simply from the friction
of its crystals rubbing against each other."
Tuesday 4 October
Tuesday - watched San Diego almost come
back from an 8-0 deficit in the first game of the divisional playoffs.
It ended up 8-5, so they shouldn't feel too bad. The west, in both
leagues, is considered the weakest. The color commentator was terrible by the way - an ESPN game I think. Though most of them stink.
Vin Scully is OK.
Another attempted phishing, this one attempting to get at paypal
customers. It looks like a legitimate email, from Paypal to customers,
to have them "verify" their account - but if you place your cursor over
the any of the links:
you see a different webpage address:
Click to see more of the bogus page.
I forwarded it to the real Paypal - firstname.lastname@example.org - with the title
"Phishing Attempt" and they shortly emailed me back, telling me not to
give these scammers my info, and telling me that no legitimate
organization will ever ask for account name and password. Duh. There are also "toolbars" that can identify these things, if you feel like installing them.
Hopefully they will also send their crack team of ninja assassins after
these guys. In California, as of Friday, there is a law making it a
civil offense to "phish" and allowing one to prosecute to get back
damages. Apparently it's not even a felony to try, yet. Though, now that I think of it, isn't it a felony to conspire to commit a misdemeanor?
From the rec.boats.cruising group, on the Bristol 32, a truly mean comment:
The Bristol 32 itself is old-school, full of trim needing varnish and
would make a good liveaboard for a divorced 55 year old living with a
cat, a crate of whisky and no clue as to what's happened, but maybe
it's something chin stubble and a fisherman's cap can solve.
Maybe the writers of "House" will get him a boat...
Monday 3 October 2005
Monday - took a short walk, only 5 miles,
as my feet are still recovering from the 7.5 mile walk of a couple of
days ago. Sunday I did a 15 mile bike ride out into the west valley.
The trail bike really isn't suited for riding on the roads. The top
speed is too slow - with the wind behind you it's possible to fly
on a road bike, but not on the trail bike because of the gearing. It
does have advantages - coming back against the wind it's possible to
gear down a lot. Which is what actually eventuated.
With the trail bike one also has a better feeling of security when
going over the various dirt roads, gravel, and construction debris that
litter the west Antelope Valley.
There was an ad on teevee, for $19.95 you can get enough UrineBeGone to clean your whole house. Good god.
Book #38 is David Drake's The Way to Glory,
which is more military Sci-Fi. Obviously someone at the local library
likes this stuff more than I do. But it beats the unicorns and dragons
fantasy genre. Ugh. Anyhow, it's an attempt to merge Napoleonic sea
stories with advanced interstellar technology, via 'sailing'
hyperspace, with an aristocracy, an Admiralty, officers on half
pay, and so on. Jerry Pournelle essentially started this style of
depicting an Empire, but he's a historical scholar and his thesis was
that perhaps a monarchy and empire might prove to be more long lasting
than a republic and democracy.
Book #39 is John Vigor's 20 Small Boats to Take You Anywhere,
1999. Vigor reviews a number of small boats, from the Cal 20 to the
Westsail 32, and discusses their suitability to long distance
cruising. For the most part the boats are what you would expect,
traditional full keel (though often with a cut away forefoot)
fiberglass sloops, built to a heavier than usual specification. He
talks about the general specifications - length, displacement, etc;
then the boat hull, it's sail form, sailing qualities, and gives a
rating, in his opinion, of it's safety-at-sea factor, a PHRF speed
rating, and a comfort factor, and finally a review/anecdote by an
The safety rating is his own - it's probably reasonably accurate as
Vigor is obviously knowledgeable, but it would have been nice to see
the Capsize Ratio (which you can get here!) and Ultimate Stability Angle in there . His rating puts the least safe boat as the Catalina 27, and the most safe as the Bristol Channel Cutter 28. Since each boat has it's own chapter, and the chapters come alphabetically by boat model name,
you have to read the whole thing to know the safety rankings. Which, if
you enjoy reading about boats, isn't necessarily an onerous task.
Sunday 2 October
Sunday - Reported 10th planet Xena has moon name Gabrielle. [via Curmudgeon's Corner]
"Since the day we discovered Xena, the big question has
been whether or not it has a moon," Michael Brown, of the
California Institute of Technology, said in a statement.
"Having a moon is just inherently cool -- and it is something
that most self-respecting planets have, so it is good to see
that this one does too."
Emphasis mine. Original statement - geeky scientist's.
I went to see Serenity, the movie follow-on of the teevee series Firefly. Pretty darn good! Two thumbs up!!
I'm a bit puzzled as to the geographical makeup of the universe
portrayed in it - is it a single solar system, or a multiple star solar
system, or is there interstellar flight involved? The last would make
more sense because there are references to dozens of terraformed worlds, but would involve FTL travel. As well as FTL communication.
Went out to dinner with my brother M and friends. Had a couple of
Zombie's - harder liquor than I usually drink, but I didn't have to