sailing the NorSea


WEEK 48 2010

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Saturday 4 December 2010
Saturday - got up late, dragged around for a bit, then packed for the trip back to Lancaster.

Took the Coast Guard documentation to the marina office, so they could make a copy. They said it's OK to tie up at an unused slip to get better viewing for next weeks boating Parade of Lights, just tell them where first. So that's cool.

Book #81 was The Line of Polity, by Neal Asher. Second book in the series - one has to read something in the evening on the boat.

Back in Lancaster I invited myself over to some friend's house for home made pizza. Also there were a couple of gifts to deliver for recent birthdays that I'd missed. The boy seemed pleased with the Periodic Table of the Elements shower curtain,

Hey kid, late for class? You can shower and cram at the same time!

and his mother with Lillian Beckwith's Hebridean Cookbook. Ever want to know how to get rid of that pesky lung froth when making Haggis? Me neither, yet my friend S was delighted with it, and particular that it was used and she could see from the stains what the "good" recipes were.

Now I'm worried. I prefer pizza....

Don't be fooled: Haggis and Conger Eel recipe's within!!

Friday 3 December 2010
Friday - Red meat is apparently the cure for a drippy nose. Excellent.

I spent the afternoon tromping around in Calleguas Creek, looking for t-posts markers, in order to generate a GPS map for some mitigation stuff. Only about half the markers were there - they probably shouldn't wait so long after eradication before starting the mitigation process!

The early evening I spent trying to get Microsoft Live Mesh/Sync/Skydrive (or whatever the name is) to work. It took about two hours to get two machines patched with software and talking to each other. It's clunky - nothing like the ease of a Dropbox install. The install documentation and process is absolutely horrible.

As a tool it has some advantages - you can sync up to 25GB of storage and sync any folder(s) you want. It has some disadvantages - you have to login on both computers to get a sync started, and every reboot forces you to restart the process, even if you stay logged in. And despite the fact that the beta version runs fine on XP Microsoft has decided only to allow it to run on Vista and Win7 machines. The rest of the world running XP is screwed, including the people currently already running and using it on XP, since they are turning it off for those folk in April 2011.

smug riley
Smug, or just happy?

Thursday 2 December 2010

Thursday - down to Ventura, meeting on some future work plans, and doing a bit of programming.

Despite admitting to the slight cold I was invited to some friends place for a nice steak dinner - I just stuffed myself!!

I was hoping to do some boat work this coming weekend, varnishing, painting and stuff like that, but the weather forecast is bad - cold, foggy, even some rain. So, probably not.

A post from Ars Mathematica back in July, Numb3rs Canceled:

I was never a big fan, so I just heard that Numb3rs was canceled for the fall. I guess the law will have to go back to fighting crime the old-fashioned way: calling in Batman to help.

I generally have no idea of what AR is talking about, but at least this time I got the joke!

It was a joke, right?

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Wednesday - Keeping busy with some work stuff - fixing a bit of version skew that crept into the scripts. Also upgrading with a menu and backwards compatibility to earlier single page form versions.

Also might be developing a slight head cold, yuck.

A sister asked for my web page URL - apparently she hadn't looked at the blog here since 2004. Well, I kind of knew that, from the stats...

Tuesday 30 November 2010
Tuesday - working away on things, not a lot to say. Probably down to Ventura tomorrow.

Book #80 was Gridlinked, by Neal Asher. Hmmm. It was fun, but more in an action/adventure way than intellectually stimulating. Quite a contrast with Iain Banks Culture novels.

Update: I guess I should say that the Iain Banks comparison is because both novels have super smart AI's as the real controllers of a modern, relatively happy interstellar civilizations. Both future history settings, Asher's Polity and Bank's Culture reflect the attempts of agents to extend/protect their civilizations at the margins - the civilizations themselves are not described in any detail not needed for the novels plotlines themselves, since most action takes place on relatively primitive backworld or outworld locales.

The style is different, Banks is the better novelist, Asher reads a bit more like a movie or teevee show.

Monday 29 November 2010

Monday - I was watching House the other day, and the team of doctor's were doing a "differential", that is, trying to guess the cause of someone's illness. This is a fairly predictable routine. (1) they make a guess (2) it turns out to be wrong and suddenly there are only hours before the patient dies (no patient ever has a slow disease) (3) more differential, and then (4) House figures it out by himself.

It's like people outrunning explosions and bad guys being expert shots until they meet the good guy, it's the plot line.

What I was thinking was: why not have a computer data base & program for of all this stuff? The patient shows symptoms x, y, and z, has had tests results A, B and C, the possible causes are: This, that, maybe the other thing, do tests D, E, and F to confirm/refine the diagnosis.

It turns out that there is such software; just Googling returned:

differential diagnosis tools
Differential Diagnosis Software packages.

It might be illegal - apparently there is at least one regulatory agency in the USA that thinks it might be illegal to use so much as a procedural checklist in ICU! Yeah, they relented, but for how long?

An interesting solution in the comments of another blog: "Finally, insurers, including Medicare, need to stop paying for care resulting from central line infections and other preventable harm."

Sunday 28 November_2010

Sunday - Cold and windy, clouds. There was a bit of a draft through various doors. The front door in particular needs to have it's weatherstripping renewed. It makes me cringe to hear the heater kick on so often, even though set at reasonably low temperatures, 64F in the daytime, 61F at night.

The house is looking better, more little chores and cleanup are done. I installed a new doorknob on the downstairs bathroom, and despite getting the same brand as the old unit had to use a wood chisel to make things fit. So a two minute job turned into a ten minute job. Chores are like that.

Then I mostly just cleaned and picked things up, did my laundry, this coming week I have to head down to Ventura.

I brought the Sony Reader over to my friends, updated & installed some s/w, and they are off and running. The first take is mildly negative - that it's hard to read non-fiction with diagrams or pictures. Indeed, I've noticed this myself.

Picture of the Week

train at Martinez
Photo Notes: Martinez train, 2010.

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