sailing the NorSea


WEEK 41 2012

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Saturday 13 October 2012
Saturday - Since the old Seth Thomas Regulator #2 stopped working I finally took it off the wall downstairs, where it tended to confuse guests (and myself). I had it laying on the spare bed, but when I was fooling about with the new bed I hung back it on a wall, out of the way. On a lark I gave the pendulum a little push, thinking it would stop in an hour or so. Days later it is still running. Go figure...

We went out to lunch at the Korean place. Excellent food, as always. It's kind of a pity that it's located in an old beat up strip mall, rather than a nice venue, the food (and Kathy, the owner/cook) deserves better.

In the evening we tried to go to Famous Dave's, but there was a long wait. Instead we went over to the nice Italian place a mile or two to the north. The food was excellent and they had a nice acoustic guitar player, doing an interesting medley of songs. It was a bit loud to talk over - we had guests in from out of town - so we asked for a table in the adjoining room and tipped him well. So, he came in with the wait staff to sing "Happy Birthday" to my friend R!

Friday 12 October 2012
Friday - Did a bit more painting on the french doors, inside. This is unsatisfactory because you have to
  1. sand the door and all the zillion little dividers,
  2. Wipe down,
  3. putty up bad spots,
  4. sand bad spots,
  5. wipe down again,
  6. tape off nearby areas you don't want painted,
  7. paint frame and the door and its zillion little dividers,
  8. scrape off the paint next to the zillion little dividers.
  9. Remove tape and paint that snuck under the tape.
And when you are done, after hours of work, you have an old beat up door, still. Oh well. The frame around it had never been painted, it was essentially primer white. The carpenter hadn't even bothered to use a punch to drive the finishing nails below the surface of the wood. It's mostly hidden by the curtains, but still, lousy workmanship. The contractor/foreman, Brian, was a good guy, but he had a habit of trying to 'help' down on their luck people from his church. I'm guessing "luck" was associated with "doing their job right" in this case. He made his guys tear out and redo a lot of stuff, but he missed this.

Oh well, the door is done. One of these days I plan to put a nice insulated door in there, so it's no big deal.

I watched a bit of the VP debate the other day. It was kind of strange, Biden was ... I don't know what he was. It was just weird. Ryan came off as a pretty decent guy, though he hardly set the stage on fire.

Thursday 11 October 2012

Thursday - I went by the Vet and picked up the food, some pellets and soft canned stuff, and some vitamin drops to put on it. He's always been a picky eater, so it'll be interesting to see how he reacts.

Working on the iOS stuff. I had Xcode freak out and crash on me, for the first time. I've heard that it does that, but it hasn't happened to me before. Fortunately it was just a small sample program. Still, it's a bit unnerving.

Cold and windy, no rain.

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Wednesday  - So, the vet called, and Riley does show some signs of kidney problems, the proteins (or whatever) being about 25% higher than they should be. The vet called it a very mild, very early case, and we'll put him on a special diet with vitamin supplements. So, no death sentence. He may just go of old age after all.

Did a bit of work out of the house:

They are still predicting bad weather for tonight and tomorrow. We'll see. They always get excited about that first storm...

I see the Red Bull Stratojump got canceled again. High winds at the launch site.

Tuesday 9 October 2012
Tuesday - I did paint the door I'd previously (roughly) sanded. When the wood is smooth it looks OK, a nice glossy brown, but it'll need a good sanding and recoat for a lot of it. And of course the weather was just fine, no rain, no snow, no hail - not an F5 ice tornado in sight.

I then bit the bullet and took Riley into the vets. He's been drinking water - not unusual, but more than usual it seems, so it was time. Even a brief perusal of what that means is horrifying - renal failure, leukemia, and so on. Cat's livers do not regenerate and there is no "cure". He seems healthy and spry enough, for a twelve year old cat, still chasing butterfly's and birds, still batting toys about. Better safe than sorry though.

So I stuffed the poor guy in the carrier and took him over. He was VERY vocal about his dislike of the carrier. Once we were in the treatment room he huddled up against me, hiding his head against my stomach. They weighed him, took his temperature, and took some blood and urine samples, and will run tests and let me know.

We were both pretty stressed out and ready to be home.

Monday 8 October 2012

Monday - I ran AVG, SpyBot Search & Destroy and Windows Defender. None showed anything wrong. Before deleting programs I tried a suggestion I saw on line: turn off the "indexing" feature of Windows Explorer. Which seemed to have done the trick. Memory usage at idle is back down to about 1GB, ridiculous but about where it was before, and it does let the PC function.

The laptop with external monitor I'm using as a desktop has fairly limited disk space - 200GB, of which about 110GB are my archived photo's and videos.  I'm down to about 10GB free. I think about 70GB is Windows OS stuff, but I'm still missing some. Maybe that has something to do with it as well.

Did a little bit of picking up around the house, then settled in for some iOS stuff. Did you know that there is no equivalent to Microsoft Paint bundled with the elaborate state of the art OSX? Ridiculous. So I had to download and install one of those to generate some Icons for programs. Last time I generated stuff on the Vista box and transferred them over via USB drive (I really need to get a shared drive), but that's stupid. Then I started working again.

Only to be interrupted by the radio announcer saying that they expect rain - 50% chance - in the next couple of days. Sheesh. It seems unlikely, but the temps have dropped into the 70's and one door is mostly sanded to bare wood right now. So, I gathered up the (new) wood putty and went out and anointed the french doors. I'll try to finish sanding them and painting them tomorrow.

Voyager One is getting pretty close to interstellar. Recently the proton flux from the Sun dropped off dramatically:


Pretty neat to think I was around for the first man into orbit, the first man on the moon, the first landing on Mars, and now (probably) the first interstellar mission.

Sunday  7 September 2012
Sunday - Working around the house still. I have the bed frames built - I broke down and bought one for the queen after the old one from the attic broke - and in their appropriate rooms. I've picked up debris in the den and library, and almost all the books are now shelved. I found about an extra 5 linear feet when picking up in the master bedroom, so there is more tossing/donating to do... I had to toss a nightstand from the master bedroom, since it was apparently graced by Phoebe back in the day, and the particle wood had absorbed enough urine to swell to three times it's original width, and was pretty whiffy still  when I moved it. I drenched the carpet in pet odor remover, but I should probably have someone with a better sense of smell than myself check it out.

Unsurprisingly, I've discovered that it's hard to get volunteers for that sort of task.

Fortunately I usually kept the guest bedroom doors closed, so visitors won't have to deal with any ghostly odors...

I miss the little guy, but this anointing of various household items wasn't one of his more endearing traits.

The only game with a west coast team was the Chargers/Saints game. The Chargers had the lead, but then blew it. Dang.

I also recorded and watched the America's Cup race in San Francisco. If I do say so, it's pretty amazing to watch in HD, and with modern graphics overlaid on the water, and with camera's on board the boats!

The Red Bull jump from 100,000+ feet is Monday or Tuesday, I'll have to try to catch that if it's televised. Supposedly the parachutist may go supersonic.

My iPad app friend came by, with a couple of design books on the Apple interface she really likes. I guess I can look at them, and then we'll talk about how to implement things. I have more to do around the house, but maybe it's time to spend some significant programming time on the app stuff. I think the engineering work is winding down on the current projects.

My PC is having issues, using a fabulous amount of RAM even at idle (1.6GB) and sometimes locking up and overheating. I even had Windows Explorer crash, something that hasn't happened to me in years. Task Manager doesn't show any processes using extraordinary amounts of space, so I'm not sure what's happening. I'll check on a few things, recent upgrades to Firefox, AVG, Windows and the new printer driver could all be culprits.

Or, it could be a virus or malware of some kind :-(

Picture of the Week
ducks and harbor seals, channel islands, 2012
Photo Notes: Ducks and harbor seals, Channel Islands, 2012.

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