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WEEK 47 2011

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Saturday 26 November 2011
Saturday - Not much going on. Went over to friends place for pizza and a movie. The movie was Captain America, and I hadn't seen it yet. In fact, never being a big comic book guy (despite all the science fiction books) it was all new to me. I had no idea of who/what the Red Skull was, for example. I liked it. It seemed to take it's character and plot fairly seriously, and any movie that contains giant flying wings built in underground lairs is pretty cool.

I did wonder just where the heck all the Nazi's were, when Cap and his men are tearing around Germany destroying various HYDRA bases.

Supposedly Cap, Iron Man, and Thor will all meet in a great big movie to be released in the next year, The Avengers'. Sounds neat. We did get to see Tony Starks' father, Howard Stark, in this movie, which was interesting.

Synchronicity. The other day I was reading a blog somewhere (I can't remember where), and the author spent a paragraph or two on how stupid the song The Night Chicago Died was, how it never happened, and never could happen. I just had a vague memory of the song, and to be honest, didn't really care enough to look it up. However, a few hours later the local moldy oldy station, KFXM, played it.

I was paging through my old copy of Windows 98 Secrets, to see what it said on VBScript. There was nothing in the index, even though Wikipedia claims VBScript was around back then. It was interesting to see just how much of the book was devoted to communication, specifically on how to set up the OS to use modems and Ethernet. 225 pages specifically, but a great deal of other chapters was apropos to that.

This was prior to getting rid of the book. I want it off my shelf - it's ancient, huge (1200+ pages) and heavy. I don't even have a working Win98 system in the house, though I may have some install disks laying about.

The book is worth almost nothing used:

Worth less than the postage...

Friday 25 November 2011
Friday - not much going on.

Doing a bit of writing in the afternoon, then some anime on Netflix in the evening. Finished the last few episodes online of Ah, My Goddess and Last Exile.

Certainly I was not out shopping! I did do a bit of online shopping, however it seems that a lot of "deals" aren't, actually. I'm not sure if it's the economy or whether retailers are keeping prices up for the Black Friday event, and perhaps planning to lower them later.

One example: the Canon T3i with the 18-55mm lens was going for $660 a week or two ago, I haven't seen it anywhere for less that about $790 today. So the price has actually gone up by $130, nearly 20%.

Book #136 was The Man Who Was Thursday, by G.K. Chesterton. A lot of people really like Chesterton, but I find him slow going. rather predictable and...well, dull. I tried a Father Brown Mystery a while back, and couldn't get into that either.

old line of battle three decker and pre-ww1 destroyer
What appears to be an old three-decker line of battle ship, being used as a coaler, and a pre-ww1 destroyer, ca. 1905.
via gCaptain and Flickr.

Thursday 24 November 2011

Thursday - Thanksgiving Day.

I was invited over to some friends for the big feast. I had meant to bring my camera, but forgot :-( The place settings at the table were beautiful, and the company and meal wonderful. It's too bad it can't be Thanksgiving all the time!

I made it a point to take a walk afterwards, in an effort to keep the holiday pounds off!

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Wednesday  - Not much going on. Fiddling about I've reduced the duplicate images to about 15GB, so the whole images directory is only about 101GB, a huge improvement. Mostly it's spaces and strange characters in the file names that are now confusing the scripts and programs, it's probably not worth pursuing the cleanup much further.

I took my friends' boy and his grandmother out to lunch, while his mom worked on fixings for tomorrow. We stopped and picked up some clothes for him at Target - he has some sort of Sea Scout affair next week and needed to spruce up a bit for it. I dropped him off in early evening to do some swimming at a local pool - Olympic sized apparently - down in Palmdale. I guess the event makes you do some sort of swimming qualification and their sea scout leader wanted to make sure everybody could do it.

Someone leaked more emails the other day, creating what people are calling Climategate 2.0. The leaked correspondence continues to make a pretty damming portrait of the supposedly honest and unbiased scientists most prominent in promoting catastrophic global warming theories. Not that it will (publicly) change many minds that weren't changed by Climategate 1.0, but I think it will accelerate the loss of support that the CAGW people having been seeing in the last couple of years.

In some ways it is too bad - if there is a problem these charlatan's will have caused people to ignore it by their incessant crying of  'wolf'.

An aside: a lot of people are saying that the CRU was 'hacked' to obtain these emails, but it seems rather more likely that they were 'leaked', probably by someone there who still has a shred of professional conscience.

Gmail is interesting. It searches your mail text for key words and phrases, and then posts ads that it thinks appropriate in the frames around the mail window proper. My sister emailed me that one of her cats had "taken off the top" of one of her coffee tables and that my other sister was feeding some wild kittens.

The main ad was from AOPA, the American Owners and Pilots Association, apparently using "taken off" as their key word, bannered across the top.


There were also ads associated with industrial manufacture off to the right:


Links to stuff actually about kittens was down at the bottom, in small print:


If I was a cat advertiser I'd be a little ticked at Google for getting this stuff wrong, Google still gets 90% of it's income from advertising. Short sell now?!

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Tuesday - Still fiddling around with the pictures backup using fdupes and grsync. I'm down from 300GB to about 180. It's all messed up.

Book #135 was The Informant, by Thomas Perry. This is the third in the Butcher's Boy series (after The Butcher's Boy and Sleeping Dogs). Well enough done, if a bit repetitive.

I'm with John Weidner at Random Jottings, last week:

I'm keenly disappointed to hear that the authorities are shutting down the "occupiers."

It's not fair. In a couple of weeks we've recapitulated Animal Farm, and were getting into Lord of the Flies. Murders, rapes, theft and robbery, arson, public defection and urination, foul obscenities, epidemic disease, total inability to self-govern... Buncha rats scuffling in a sack.

I was getting ready to take bets on when the show trials and pubic executions would start, and now they've spoiled the object lesson. We could have been munching popcorn while the barbed wire went up around the re-education tents.

Emphasis mine.

Monday 21 November 2011

Monday -  the light seemed odd in the morning. When I opened the curtains downstairs I realized why - it was foggy. Not unheard of in the AV, but certainly unusual. By noon it had burned off.

Silly advice on writing a Kindle ebook:

Finally, don’t forget to add a table of contents.  Whether you write a fiction or non-fiction book, make sure you have added a table of contents.  Put the name of each chapter or section and the page it starts on.  Just in case you didn’t know, the table of contents comes after the cover.

Emphasis mine.

Seriously, should you be writing anything that requires a table of contents, if you don't already know where it goes?

Speaking of books, Book #134 was  Firebird, by Jack McDevitt. SciFi,  well enough written. Apparently part of a series.

Sunday 20 November 2011

Sunday - Not a lot going on, rather wet and gloomy out. Riley is not pleased.

I had forgotten that the Bourne shell, 'sh', (and no doubt the Bash shell) is recursive, until last week when when I was reading the old UNIX book. I could probable write a script to clean up the duplicate images issue on the Ubuntu box, right now the duplicate image files are using up a bunch of space. It's a smallish drive, by modern standards, only 300GB or so. The images should take up about 95GB, if they match the Vista laptop, but are using a lot more, almost double that.

I have tried various tools, with no particular success, so maybe it's time to roll my own. Of course part of the problem is the inconsistent operating systems, XP, Vista, Ubuntu, Xubuntu, the external drives(s), filesystems, and various ownership issues.

Picture of the Week
boats on the Sacramento river
Photo Notes: Sailboats on the Sacramento River, near Benecia, Ca. 2004.

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