WEEK 44 2010
Mon- Tue- Wed-
Picture of the Week
17 March 2002
Ago, This Week, 2002
Ago, This Week, 2003
Years Ago, this week, 2005
Ago, This Week, 2006
Ago, This Week, 2007
Ago, This Week, 2008
This Week, 2009
Saturday - got up late, after a night at the theater, and generally took it easy.
I am working away on bits of this and that - cleaning and organizing
stuff about the house is a lot of the effort. And a lot of the stuff is
from my parents estate, so that can be a bit saddening. It seems that
the accomplishments and memories of a mans' life should amount to more
that a box or two of odds and ends, a mere trunkful for my grandfather
and not much more for my father. And even less for my mother and
Still, looking about, what possessions do I have that would be of
import to my (imaginary) descendants? Not much. The house is full of
stuff, but little that I have a huge emotional attachment too, and even
less that I would expect someone else to have an attachment to, on my
Lunch was with friends, just down the street, in a new Japanese place.
I was given detailed instructions on how to get there - it would have
been quicker to say "Where Vince's Pizza used to be". I paid, since
rumor has it that I will get paid myself, sometime soon.
Dinner was at another friends' place, where I drank too much - three beers in five hours!
My sister called, said she visited my parents estate, and though the
roof isn't finished my brother apparently covered things well and there
are no leaks inside. I had thought of going up this weekend, but the
weather report was not favorable. Next weekend, hopefully.
- in the evening there was a performance at the LPAC, by Natalie McMaster and Donnell Leahy (which pronounced by a Cape Bretoner sounds a lot like the female name Danielle). It was excellent.
We saw her, with rather more Leahy's in tow, a few years ago and didn't
want to miss this. There were two fiddles and two piano's, and
everybody in the band played each of them, more or less in turn.
An amusing incident. A friend was invited along because we had a last
minute cancellation. Arriving before us she went to the "Will Call"
window and said "I'm here to pick up the ticket Natali left for me",
meaning Natali ****** as in the person that canceled out. But the
attendant behind the window apparently assumed she was a personal
friend of Natalie McMaster and just said "Go on in!".
The husband and wife duo of Donnell Leahy and Natalie McMaster.
You know, I had miscounted. I thought I was at 80 books for the year
and it occurred to me: I could make a big reading push and try to make
it 100 books for the entire year! Then, assembling the table, I
realized my error (I left out the 70's). I still could - a book a day
is what I used to read back in junior college and the early four year
college days. I tend to read longer stuff these days, and not as
quickly. And what's the fun is pressing ahead like that?
So, nevermind, but Book #72 was Imagers Intrigue: Third Book of the Imager Portfolio. It was OK, but very, very similar to stuff he's written before.
What else is in the queue? Some Hayek. The Federalist &
Anti-Federalist Papers. A book on math proofs. A book on the
experimental foundations of physics. A presidential biography (Tyler).
Sailing stuff, scifi.
I forgot to pick up the lawn mowers until it was too late. So, hopefully, the little shop is open tomorrow.
Thursday 4 November 2010
- I took the two push mowers into the shop, and hopefully I'll get at least one working mower back.
I'll have to take the deck off the riding mower and try to figure out
how to fix things. I could buy new aluminum mandrels, or try to turn
them myself on the lathe and mill. I'm not sure if there are inset
bearings or not.
The lawn is practically done growing - it's November after all - so I have all winter to get that done.
An update on this years reading program:
Wednesday 3 November 2010
- just messing around, cleaning and moving stuff. I rearranged the
family room a bit - it's had pretty much the same furniture and layout
for the last 15 years. Picking stuff up, throwing stuff away. The house
is a mess, everything takes twice as long as I expect.
I'd have to say I was generally pleased by the election nationwide, but California
decided to keep Barbara Boxer as Senator, elect Jerry Brown as governor, change the requirement
for raising taxes to just a simple majority from the old 2/3rds, and keep
the job killing Proposition 32 intact.
Absolutely Insane. The state government that created the near bankruptcy we are in has just been given a mandate to proceed full steam ahead with their failed policies.
Ah well. There are other places to live, I haven't planned on retiring here for years.
- Election day. This time the polling place was at the senior center, over on 30th West. A very nice place inside. No crowds.
Book #71 was Valentina, Soul in Sapphire,
by Delany and Stiegler. This is an old paperback. A computer game
becomes sentient, and with the help of it's creator and friends
eventually gets itself declared a person. There is a bad guy, pretty
one dimensional, and the hardware and software look primitive, from a
2010 viewpoint looking back at 1984. Not a bad book, for something that
originally just a story in Analog.
I did not go down to Ventura this week - a second week off in a row, first time this has happened this year, I think.
The Giants beat the Ranger's, and won the World Series. Yay!! Wish Dad was around to see it, though.
- This weeks picture is kind of interesting. While driving on Avenue H
(a while back) to get my oil changed I glimpsed what I thought were a couple of
microwave towers, glowing in the sun. On the way back I noticed that
that glow seemed unusual. Pulling off and looking it appears that
Lancaster has two large solar power towers, heated by acres of
mirror's. I had no idea there was anything like that - it's relatively
new, constructed when I was busy with work down below.
It's eSolar's Sierra Sun Towers, and it has it's own Wikipedia page.
An overhead view, from Wikipedia.
Book #70 is Against A Dark Background,
by Iain M. Banks. Stylistically it is like his Culture books, but it
isn't one of them. Somewhat like Stephenson's Anathem it considers what
a world would look like after 10,000+ years of civilization - the
rises, the falls, the various things that might happen. The plot is a
fairly pedestrian adventure story, but the background is a world alone
- circling a rogue star far from any galaxy and thus forever cut off
from even a chance of interstellar contact. In this it differs from
Anathem, which involves alien contact on an alternate earth. (Our Earth
being one of the aliens...) Anyway, pretty well written, if a bit of a
pointless downer of a conclusion.
The first review at Amazon is a hoot:
From Library Journal
On the run from a cult of intergalactic religious fanatics who want
her death, the Lady Sharrow emerges from retirement to seek out a
powerful artifact that may save her life--the legendary Lady Gun, a
weapon that kills by altering the reality around it.
First of all, everybody is intergalactic (extragalactic?), since it takes place on a world in the void between galaxies. Secondly, it's the Lazy Gun, not Lady Gun. Thirdly, the way the gun kills is a supposition - it's a creation of an older, now vanished, civilization (or possibly their AI's) - and nobody at the time the story takes place really knows. Three errors in a single sentence.
Sunday 31 October_2010
- Halloween. I went over to my friend's place, had dinner, helped dish
out candy. A decent turnout of kids, decent weather. My friend spends a
lot of time on his displays, I'm glad the weather blew through earlier
and left the weekend nice!
The Giant's have won game 4 of the World Series. So, tomorrow is the big
trial, they can close out the series with a win...
I tried installing Xubuntu on the pc I am trying to upgrade - but still
no connectivity via the built in wired Ethernet. I tried installing the wireless card, which works OK in Mint 8, and it
almost works. Almost. It knows it is there, it had wlan0
seeing it, but it just isn't
visible to the rest of the computers network stack. I give up, I think.
The network interface has changed so much that I don't really know
where to look to configure things. Maybe I can find a cheap wired
ethernet card somewhere - I used to
have a bunch of them laying about.