Travels and Images
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Picture of the Week
Saturday 19 October 2002
Saturday - working in the yard,
cleaning up around the house.
I was thinking, watching the World Series game, that television is all about
conflict. Obviously the cop shows and the reality shows reflect this,
but so do the game shows and the news. Science fiction - conflict again. Drama
and sport as well. Cartoons, again mostly conflict. Even the commercials are
all about overcoming some terrible problem with the aid of some product. Was
it always this way? Before tv, maybe before radio, was there this incessant
sense of battle? Certainly books existed before the rise of modern media,
with Sherlock Holmes, Ruggle's of Red Gap, and Dracula all providing fodder
- but at a much lesser level of intensity. If there was a psychohistorical
science what would it tell us about what this barrage does to us? Nothing
good I imagine.
There's been another sniper shooting, this one farther from Washington D.C.
- what did the media think would happen when they reported that there
would be military surveillance planes over the D.C. area? And did someone
in the police or media tell the media or did they ferret it out?
Friday 18 October 2002
Friday - the finger infection
really worried people, so I ended up going down to Van Nuys to have a doctor
look at it. Another day off work, alas. So now it's antibiotics and hydrogen
On the bright side, I went by Fry's, just a few miles away. It's fun to
wander around, looking at the new shiny stuff - there are some really cool
cases for example, with glowing lights and stuff. I didn't actually buy
anything however. There isn't much I really need, right now I have more
hardware and software than I can deal with. Which is good.
While sitting waiting in the doctors office I was reading Donald Kingsbury's
. It is really a continuation of Isaac Asimovs
series, though he uses different terms for the people and places. Set
many many thousands of years in the future, the 761st century, it deals
with the problems of a member of the ruling elite, a psychohistorian, one
who can predict and influence history through mathematical analysis. I'd
have to give it three or four stars out of five - the characters were a little
flat (but then so were Asimov's) and the resolution is a little too quick
and pat. It's not a bug-eyed monster sort of space opera - there are no aliens
at all, and the book deals, much like the original, with questions of history
Thursday 17 October 2002
hursday - all work. Dinner
at The Olive Garden. Without a lot of the group
present it was rather
Tired of telemarketers?
is a script on how to waste their
Wednesday 16 October 2002
Wednesday - spent a great deal of time at the therapist,
which means I worked late as well. So I'm tired.
Megapixels matter in digital cameras. Steve of
does an excellent digital camera review site, and has taken a picture
of the back of the same building (among other things) with each digital
camera he reviews. It's a brick building, with levels of finer and finer
detail resolved as the cameras have gotten better. I've wondered
for a while what the sign on the door at the top of the stairs said - my
(1280x960: 1.2Mpixels) and the
0 (2048x1536: 3.2Mpixels) didn't have enough resolution, but the
(4064x2704: 11Mpixels) does. I don't have one of those, and prefer the
smaller lighter 'point and shoot' cameras, but it's fascinating to watch
the evolution of this technology. I calculated once that a 16 Megapixel camer
should be a 35mm SLR equivalent. There isn't really any reason that I know
of to stop there however - you could, in theory, have medium format or even
large format resolution resolution in the same form factor.
Tuesday 15 October 2002
Tuesday - back to work. Kept fairly
busy all day.
In the evening I went by the surgeon, to get, I thought, some antibiotics
for the finger. Instead he grabs the button, cuts one side of the suture,
and yanks. But he doesn't stop there. He looks at the pin and says
"As long as you're here..." - and picks up some pliers! Yup,
pin free again - and I hardly cried at all.
There is a good collection of the Vandenburg launch
. Boost, separation, and the later plume as seen in my own shot below,
but from a different angle. Very cool!
Monday 14 October 2002
Monday - a fairly satisfactory
day. No work, a visit to the bookstore, the Giants won, the 49er's won,
my brother came and retrieved his dog, talked to an old friend who called
to say: "Hang Up and go look outside!". It was pretty cool:
This is a minute man launch out of Vandenburg AFB, as
seen from a hundred miles or so
Sunday 13 October 2002
Sunday - a nice quiet day. Mostly
a mix of football and the
marathon on the tv. My finger hurt a bit, a small infection on the
There are at least three major bridges going up in the San Francisco
Bay area, the new Carquinez Straits Bridge (suspension), the new Benecia
Bridge (truss?), and the new Bay Bridge (Cable Stayed). Parts
of the Bay Bridge failed during an earthquake in 1989,
and was repaired, but they have decided to replace it. It
wasn't a particularly attractive bridge, and that is
something they also hope to fix.
Picture of the Week
Photo Notes: This is the catenary
cable bridge going up across the Carquinez Straits, just east of San
Francisco. The older bridges can be seen in the background. The cables
are apparently still being strung, as you can see wheels hanging from
them, but there is no bridge deck yet. That's a bit hard to seen in this
picture because the deck would be at the same height as the older bridge
decks', to avoid rebuilding the bridge approaches.
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