sailing the NorSea


WEEK 44 2010

Last Week- Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week

Picture of the Week


Oxnard  Weather Underground
Click for Oxnard, California Forecast
Lancaster Weather Unnderground
Click for Lancaster, California Forecast
Martinez WeatherUnderground
Click for Buchanan, California Forecast

First Post, 17 March 2002
Eight Years Ago, This Week, 2002 Seven Years Ago, This Week, 2003 Six Years Ago, this week, 2004 Five Years Ago, this week, 2005 Four Years Ago, This Week, 2006
Three Years Ago, This Week, 2007
Two Years Ago, This Week, 2008
One Year Ago, This Week, 2009

Saturday 6 November 2010
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 grandmother.

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 behalf.

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.

Friday 5 November 2010
Friday - 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!".

Natalie McMaster & Donnell Leahy
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

Thursday - 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:

#1 Sailing from Byzantium
#2 Wireless
#3 The Riddlemaster of Hed
#4 Heir of Sea and Fire
#5 Od Magic
#6 Storm From the Shadows
#7 Krakatoa
#8 The January Dancer
#9 The Forest of Time
#10 Over the Edge of the World
#11 Harpist In the Wind
#12 Destroyer of Worlds
#13 Unknown Quantity
#14 Transitions
#15 The God Engines
#16 The Garden of the Shaped,
#17 Shaper's Legacy
#18 Wizard's Bane
#19 The Wizardry Compiled
#20 The Wizardry Consulted
#21 The Wizardry Quested
#22 The Wiz Biz
#23 Flinx Transcendent
#24 Seize the Fire
#25 Iorich
#26 To Say Nothing of the Dog
#27 Falling Free
#28 Babel-17
#29 Way of the Pilgrim
#30 Empire Star & The Ballad of Beta-2
#31 Blackout
#32 Eifleheim
#33 Limbo System
#34 Lady of Mazes
#35 Cobra Alliance
#36 Deadman Switch
#37 Assignment In Nowhere
#38 Strange Encounters: Adventures of a Renegade Naturalist
#39 Spinneret
#40 Drinking Sapphire Wine
#41 Aristoi
#42 Elegy Beach
#43 The Splendid Little War
#44 Castle Perilous
#45 The Architect of Sleep                               ____
#46 The Cassini Division
#47 A Case of Conscience
#48 Fallen Star
#49 The Quincunx of Time
#50 Tam Lin
#51 Blown Away
#52 The Fuller Memeorandom
#53 Antares Victory
#54 Gibraltar Earth
#55 Gibraltar Sun
#56 Little, Big
#57 Gibraltar Stars
#58 Those Who Hunt the Night
#59 Traveling With the Dead
#60 Odd Thomas
#61 Forever Odd
#62 Brother Odd
#63 Odd Hours
#64 The Price of the Stars
#65 By Honor Betray'd
#66 Galileo's Dream
#67 Isaac Newton
#68 The Forgotten Genius
#69 Imager's Challenge:
#70 Against A Dark Background
#71 Valentina, Soul in Sapphire

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Wednesday - 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.

Tuesday 2 November 2010
Tuesday - 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.

Monday 1 November 2010

Monday - 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

Sunday - 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.

Picture of the Week

solar power tower in Lancaster
Photo Notes: Solar power tower, white-hot, north-east Lancaster 2010.

Last Week- Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week