Travels and Images
WEEK 41 2004
Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week
Picture of the Week
Saturday 9 October
Saturday - the Dodger's won! A shutout by
Jose Lima in a complete game! I'm 25 cents richer! Dad's 25 cents
I took the dog for a walk this morning, leash in the left hand and my
new camcorder in the right. Reviewing the tape later it is mostly a
series of shots of the road, the dog, tree's, sky; with the sound of my
in the background, cursing at the dog for winding the leash around my
legs. Peg actually managed to do this once when I was seated. The video is
clear and sharp, the sound good, the zoom fabulous, but the
isn't anything special - hey it's my first
The ship's came in today for Fleet Week and should be open for tours
tomorrow. I think there is a jeep carrier and some ddg's, along with
some Canadian ships of some sort.
The 49er's play the Cardinals tomorrow and are actually the favorite to
win, the only time those odds will happen this year, probably.
My father and I were musing over the candidates promises last
night. Each promises to fix
the economy. As if there were a magic wand in the upper left drawer of
that desk in the oval office and it just needed (paging Harry Potter, please pick up the
white courtesy phone)
the correct swishing
motion and a mysterious
incantation in a mix of greek and
latin. Some agreement here from an big-time economy blogger at Asymmetrical
Information who live blogged the debate:
never-never promises on the deficit! Bush promises magical
spending cuts! Kerry promises that Bob Rubin will spread his fairy dust
over the budget and make it balance!
Of course absolute Presidential control of the economy is one of those
agreed upon fantasies in presidential politics, like tv actors being
able to jump through plate glass windows without getting cut, or the
ability to outrun the supersonic blast wave of an explosion on the big
What about Congress - don't they have a say? What about the Fed's prime
rate, and our country's monetary oracle Alan Greenspan (who, by the
way, actually does speak in
mysterious incantations)? What about corruption in Fannie Mae and
hurricanes in the gulf cutting oil production there in half? What about
oil prices, the demand for energy in booming China and India? What
about the aging baby boomers and the illegal immigrants
entering/leaving the workplace? What about normal business cycles and
the ongoing transition from an industrial economy to an information
economy here and abroad?
I guess it would be too much to expect someone to stand there and say "Gee, yeah, times are tough. We all do what
we can but it's complicated and **** happens."
But I'd vote for that guy.
Friday 8 October
Friday - after 24
hours the pc is still up and running. Knock on wood, but it seems cured.
We watched the debate tonight. I'd score it about even, so tomorrow
expect to find both sides claiming 'victory'. The president's
performance was vastly improved over last week's, the senator's about
the same. The big evasions on Bush's part: "Any decisions that you regret?" and
"What have you done for the ecology?",
and on Kerry's side: "How do you feel
on abortion" and "What will
you do about Iran". I'm paraphrasing here, but it was fun
to watch the politician's squirm.
The hummingbirds are dealing with the new front yard arrangements just
fine, thanks for all the inquiries.
Fleet Week here in SanFran. I need to get out and take some pictures
and video tomorrow!
mystery and some detective work:
My father and I got to talking about the ship in the movie, Mr. Roberts. He said it
was clearly a FS class ship, which stands for Fleet Supply. When we
went looking in ONI-225, a recognition guide of the period, we couldn't
find it. Some sleuthing on the Internet turned up some information.
First, from the DVD's inside cover:
Note: I don't think this scene is in the movie, except perhaps in cut
An attack cargo would be with the fleet, or nearby, someplace that the
fictional LT(jg) Robert's dearly wished to be. A quick look on the
Internet turned up the fact that the author, one Thomas Heggett, had
served (and a lot nearer the front lines) on a supply ship. and was
reported as being the 'ship in the movie', with Heggett taking copious notes during his service,
aboard the USS
But this clearly wasn't the correct ship type, despite several web
sites claiming it so. It was far too large for the ship in the movie,
for one thing. My father's estimate was that the 'Reluctant' was 200'
or less. And a number of other details, like the superstructure being
in the aft end of the ship, the number of kingposts (cargo cranes), and
My father found this ship image that looked similar, at a navy
Finally I found a web
site on this entire subject, with the AKL-25 on it, and it seemed
to match the film's vessel. These ships were originally U.S. Army
ships, whence came the FS/FP designation apparently, before than the
A** nomenclature, and they were just a bit under 180' long (good eye Dad!). AK seems to be a
rather nebulous catch-all ship classification.
The page linked just above identifies
the USS Reluctant as the USS Hewell, AKL-14, (though you have to
click on the moving red ball from that page) and gives an eyewitness
account by a sailor aboard during the months of filming. Check it out.
And, this is the apparently the same original class of ship as the
heavily modified (in)famous
USS Pueblo AGER-2, ex-AKL-44, ex-FP-344.
- the pc seem stable still. So, actually doing some work for a change...
My father had a tree out in front of the house removed. It's a pang to
cut down a tree, but it was completely blocking the view of the valley,
any breezes that might cool the house and master bedroom, and growing
directly over the septic line. Time to go... The hummingbirds look a
little confused at the loss their old perch, but there are several
other bushes and trees and nearby.
6 October 2004
Wednesday - we watched 'Mister Roberts' on the
DVD this evening. An enjoyable movie. My father says that it was the
he ever read. I think that in some ways it's ancestry as a stage
production showed, but that actually adds interest.
I put a new power supply in the computer this morning, why not? System
going on and off, what's more likely than a bad power supply, even if
it is a fairly new Antec unit? Nope.
Which left the CPU or possibly the switch on the case. But... But as I was sitting there
glaring into the open case it occured to me....memory. What is there
was a RAM problem? I've been getting page faults, things failing to
start on boot, things failing to start after boot, corrupted archives
in files I'd just downloaded. To make a tedious story short it looks as
though I've a bad stick of ram, a 512MB stick. So it's running fine
now, no problems, in 128M. Accckkk.
We watched the debate last night. Interesting. I think that Cheney came
off the winner. He has gravitas,
and his long years in government show when he emulates that terrifying
erudite professor you loved and feared in college. Next to him Edwards
came off shrill and shallow. And he got in some zingers here and there.
Tuesday 5 October
Tuesday - a favorite book of mine is "Angle
of Attack: Harrison Storms and the Race to the Moon", by Mike
Gray. From the first page:
"It was a place alien to humans,
a hostile, blistering, snake-infested wasteland where the sand blew
over the bones of countless misadventurers, but Stormy loved it. With
the San Gabriel mountains behind him, he wheeled the T-bird hammer down
through the blackness, the white dashes of the centerline shooting
beneath him like tracer bullets out of the night. He and the boys
usually stayed at bachelor officers' quarters or some seedy motel in
the god forsaken town of Lancaster, but they seldom slept. It was
really just a place to play poker and wait for the phone call."
Lancaster today is a thriving splotch of suburbia, a wholly owned
subsidary of the California Association of Urban Sprawl. Not a bad
place to live, but lacking in character.. .
Computer problems persist. I spent hours reinstalling Windows, with the
new motherboard, only to have the problem repeat itself. Not the motherboard. Curses...
4 October 2004
Monday - the volcano continues to give
off little eruptions. I won't bother posting a link here - I had
several last week.
Sunday 3 October
Sunday - another nice day in the bay
area. We had a nice barbecue, with my brother B and sister G. B
has a knack for grilling the steak over the coals just right.
The 49er's looked terrible. I haven't missed much by not seeing
their first three games. They lost this game as well, but avoided a