self with corona Travels and Images

WEEK 43 2003

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Picture of the Week

Lancaster Weather

A Year Ago, This Week

Saturday 25 October 2003

Saturday - worked on creating a scaffold to work on the painting. That took up the entire day. I tend to overdo these things - years ago I built a workbench and my friend Tim (who was helping) said "You could rebuild an entire engine on that thing!". Which is true. Ten years later I still have it.

It was a beautiful fall day, temperatures in the low eighties I would guess. You could hear the occasional jet from the air show at Edwards, but more often you heard the throbbing roar of large piston engines. No, not the air show. Fire Bombers, landing and retanking at William J. Fox field, for the big fire southeast of here...

polar view of the earth

Here is a shot from the Earth Viewer I mentioned yesterday. Note that you can overlay this image with various real time clouds images and such.

Friday 24 October 2003

Friday - the fire continues to burn, over in Lytle canyon. That used to be a shooting area, 20 years ago, where I would go with friends. Now it is quite built up, with houses and what not, and the inescapable brush fires are threatening homes and lives.

A few years ago I happened to go there, for some reason, and was astonished to see people building in the flood plains - if its all rock and sand that means that means running water washed everything away, people. Oh well.

There was a lot of traffic headed north on the I-14 - chances are that these are people trying to get to Las Vegas for the weekend who heard that the I-15 was closed due to the fire.

Working on a parallel program. Modifying someone else's program is hard - since I can't really change the data structures too much I have to use 'helper' arrays and functions - which use up a lot of the time that would otherwise be saved. Bah.

Here is an interesting page, an Earth Viewer, from any altitude or location, showing it as it would appear from somewhere in space - the moon, perhaps. Interesting.

Thursday 23 October 2003

Thursday -  not a lot to say. I saw the old moon through the (east facing) window this morning - it will be a new moon in a few days, barely in time for Halloween next Friday. This evening is overcast, odd.

My friend R is putting up his halloween decorations. He was working on one of his fog machines, and asked me if I knew where to get a 250 Volt 12 Amp fuse. I was thinking 12 Volt and suggested the auto parts store. No luck there it turns out!

While at his house I read a chapter of "Mutiny on the Bounty" to the kids (and myself). Bligh and his men were ashore on Tafoa, with just the small boat they were put at sea in after the mutiny, and the natives are not nearly as friendly as they were when the english had a cannon laden ship backing them up. They make it off the island alive - all but one - and vote to head for the Dutch East Indies, twelve-hundred leagues away, rather than risk another island...

Wednesday 22 October 2003

Wednesday - not a lot going on. Went to the sys admin's meeting,  and it looks like we are all going XP next year. Mandated. And no, no funds will be allocated - find them yourself. Heh. But it's more modern, and most importantly, it has remote administration features built in. Which is a plus when an organization has thousands of computers!

I also discovered why some of my systems kept coming up as vulnerable, when I'd patched them in January - the database had a typo in it, so my patch reports were being assigned to someone else's computer. Arrggghhhh. Oh well, thanks to John for finding and fixing it for me...

Company safety luncheon today - free pizza and soda, yummm. Also a handout on home furnace recalls - I'll have to check mine. Apparently tens of thousands of them were sold with a burner made by a third company - one with a little tiny flaw: it can set your house afire! They also talked about the dangers of turning your home furnace on again in the fall - birds, mice, and so on could have built nests inside of the furnace and it's flue, creating a possible fire hazard. Yikes. I already turned my on however, a couple of weeks ago, and the house is still standing.

Speaking of fires, there is a big one down in the San Angeles. Yesterday it must have just been starting, I could see it coming home clearly, perhaps thirty or forty miles away, a column of smoke rising to 20,000 feet or so before being blown sideways. I thought to myself: "The Fall of Gondolin". Too much Tolkein lately, I guess. Anyway the cloud of smoke is even bigger today, but fortunately the winds are blowing it away from us today.

fire in the mountains
Fire in the distant San Angeles mountains.

Tuesday 21 October 2003

Tuesday - the World Series is in a rain delay right now, so I've time to post.

Actually I'm feeling a bit feverish - it isn't baseball, but rather the flu shot I received yesterday. A bit head-achey and tired - but it beats getting SARS or something later.

I was looking online for a book on MPI, so I went to EBAY. In their infinite stupidity they now re-direct 'non registered' users to some lame 'educational' page missing most of the old pages functionality. They are quite 'excited' about it. Hah. I suspect that putting roadblocks in the path of users is not the way to increase sales...and that when the results of this stupidity become clear some middle management type who put forward the idea will be less than 'excited' by his pink slip. I'm reasonably sure that a book I want to buy is there, cheap, but I can't find it now... Oh well, their loss.

Or not. I signed up...

Nope. Still screwed up.

Well, the Marlins lost. That's baseball I guess. And a big "boo, hiss" to FOX and AOL for their stupid cartoon character animation overlaying the actual game itself.... It's hard to believe major league baseball allowed that. Well, no, it isn't I suppose.

Monday 20 October 2003

Monday - back to work, polishing the proposal evaluations from last week. I got called in by the sub-topic head because my grading was too nice. I explained my reasoning, and I think he understood...

My former co-worker stopped by this evening, with her husband. It looks as though marriage agrees with her, she seemed happy and relaxed. They were on their way home from a dog obedience training - it sounded as though they had a pack of rabid wolves in the back of the car when I got too near...

Lot's of aircraft noise during the day, as the USAF practices for their upcoming airshow. They haven't had one since 9/11, so there is a lot of low level practising going on.

This week last year the Washington D.C. sniper was an item of interest. This week he is captured, on trial, and representing himself ( a fool for a client ).

Sunday 19 October  2003

Sunday - did a bit of work around the house, but my legs are killing me. Painting under the eaves yesterday required hours of squatting while bending backwards to look up. There was a fair amount of paint in my beard and mustache...

I watched JAG (too tired to web surf). I don't normally watch it. For some reason the lawyer is flying the "Aurora" around the skies. I thought the show premise was that he was a sidelined aviator because of bad vision or something? Amusing, anyway. The aircraft did puffs in it's contrail, which is interesting because the real Aurora supposedly uses some sort of pulse-detonation engine. But it was far too small a vehicle, F-15 sized, rather than SR-71 or bigger.

Picture of the Week
  x-15 replica at sunset, NASA-Dryden
Photo Notes: Continuing last weeks thread of just screaming along, here is the X-15 ship III replica at Dryden. I took this picture several years ago. The original ship III was destroyed in a crash in the 1960's.

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