sailing the NorSea


WEEK 48 2012

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Saturday 1 December 2012
Saturday - I spent a lot of the morning going through clothes - I had a lot of stuff, some of which hasn't fit me for years. T-shirts, shirts, even some nice denim jeans. The last a friend is going to take, most of the rest I'll donate to Goodwill.

Lunch was at the Thai Cafe in town, then home for some iOS work. This was made hard to concentrate on by the people playing their music so loud, two streets down, that I could hear the bass inside my house with the doors and windows closed and the radio and TV on. That went on all afternoon, stopping about 6:00.

The fronts are still blowing through, though not with the violence of yesterday. My trees in front are mostly bare, and so is the lawn. Some raking and stuff to be done in a few days, but not like the vast piles of last year.

Friday 30 November 2012
Friday - Cool, damp, very very windy. More of a storm than I thought we'd get, actually. Kind of nice. I started to write "Cold, damp..." but in fact it's a fairly warm storm. I don't think my heater kicked on, day or last night. Probably in the 50's outside, and nearly 70 inside.

Picking up inside. I have invited my sister K down from Reno, and she surprised me by saying that she and her family would be happy to come down! I was up there last year and wanted to return the invitation. It's been a long time, perhaps ten years, since they came down this way. I used to see my brother in law, when he commuted up and down the state, but these days he mostly flys.

Back in the day I would have them stay on this horrible old hide-a-bed, long gone now, and I imagine that wasn't pleasant. Now I have new beds, almost enough for everybody, so there shouldn't be a problem.

And the winds blew over the fish tank. Around lunchtime I heard this terrible smashing sound and looked out to see that it had blown off the dolly that I was moving it about in. It had been right up against the house, next to the patio doors, but the winds were that strong.

Since the wind was howling and it was sprinkling I decided to wait until tomorrow to clean things up. Fortunately the cat, spooked by the noise of the winds, isn't bugging me to go out!

Sadly, despite the winds today and several frosts last week, there are still leaves on the trees in front.

Book #85 was The Apocalypse Codex, by Charles Stross. You know, if it wasn't for his virulent anti-Americanism this series would be a lot more fun. As it is I refuse to buy any more of his stuff, and just read it when it comes to the library.

Thursday 29 November 2012

Thursday - Another longish app day, working on the timer stuff. Our apps are simple, this isn't FPS stuff, but we need something...Overcast and a bit windy.

My peach tree started losing it's leaves last week, they are gone today. The other fruit trees are shedding as well. The tomato plants are dead.

I'm hoping that the storm blows the leaves off the tree in front and that the leaves don't fall on my lawn. It's in the hands of the gods, but raking leaves hurts my back, so one can hope!

My brother emailed to say that the water heater at the Martinez house was flooding the basement. The plumber stood him up on Wednesday - but was supposed to come out today. I'm not sure that I would hire the guy for a second chance, but hey, I'm not the one taking cold showers!

I asked him to send a picture of the upper retaining wall that he and my brother M were going to build, after we finished the lower wall in May. He had torn a muscle in his leg in July, so he replied that they hadn't done anything and that he'd thrown a tarp over the earth there, to keep it from liquefying and pouring down onto the patio and house. Hopefully it'll be a dry winter...

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Wednesday  - Keeping busy, working on the app. About eight-ten hours today. Things are moving along.

The weather is supposed to change, some big storms heading for northern California, and probably a few small fronts to move through Lancaster.

I've put the extra fish tank out on the patio, to dry out that last 1/4" of water on the bottom, then it's off to GoodWill or maybe the animal shelter. I need to bring it back indoors so that it doesn't get more water!

I turned off the water to the swamp cooler  - and it's still leaking a bit at the faucet. Same faucet that I've been avoiding cutting off and replacing with a nice threaded fitting for the last five years. No big deal. I am considering taking the swamp cooler down, taking out the fan and de-rusting it and repainting, but it's a lot of work. But it would mean fewer little bits of rust and paint blown into the house every time I use it.

Tuesday 27 November 2012
Tuesday - It looks like I'll be on the road for a few days next week, work down in Ventura. Good to be back at it. I will have to find my notes on what we did back in 2009/2010...

I think I've mentioned the solar installation at the nearby school before. Checking online they have a little tracker applet. For yesterday the output looked like this (under a nearly cloudless winter sky):

Solar Output at Nancy Cory School
Solar Output at Nancy Cory School

The panels are being used as sunshades over the cars in the school parking lot, and yesterday did not actually supply the 24hr needs of the school, 960/1400=69%. More than I thought actually. The weekly, monthly and yearly plots show more power produced than used: weekend, holidays and summer vacations are net power producing days!

One issue I have (besides the essential foolishness of buying expensive power with bond money)  is that they are barely tilted to the south on the north side, those on the west side actually tilt east. This is a huge power loss relative to what's possible, power being essentially the cosine of the angle off the normal to the sun. Using an online calculator applet from NOAA for local noon we have:

Sun angle efficiency factor
Sun angle efficiency factor

So the achievable power, simply by tilting the panels correctly, would be almost 2x what they are getting in winter, i.e. 1/0.5665=1.77X. The numbers are somewhat better in summer, but still...

Monday 26 November 2012
Monday - Hmmm. Worked on the app. For some reason Xcode is reporting that the methods for an object aren't found. The object is found, but not the methods. WTH? How is that even possible?

Insomnia again. Woke up and read for a while.

Book #84 was Queen of Sorcery, The Belgariad Book #2, by David Eddings.

Sunday  25 November 2012
Sunday - Another nice day. In the 70's in fact.

The day was spent on various chores and errands: laundry, shopping, cleaning. It's time to clean up the garage again - also to access the lumber which is stored over the cabinets on the east wall. The ladder and bicycles are hung in front of it, and I need some 1x6 and 1x8 planks for a couple of projects. I really should get the old table saw working, I have some old dry wood 8' 1x12's that I could rip if it was. The garage is better than it was, but still needs a lot of organizing.

The 49'ers game was televised, and they won, which was nice. I was impressed by Kapernik, he seems like a big, strong and mobile quarterback, those are always fun to watch. Is he good enough to justify the benching of Smith, who is a quarterback many teams would love to have? I don't know - apparently there are personalities issues between Smith and some of his teammates, if the announcers insinuations are correct. I don't follow closely enough to know if that's so. Still, if you get into the playoffs the difference between a rookie and an old hand gets more pronounced - interesting times for the coach there.
Reminds me of the glory days when the 49'ers had Joe Montana and Steve Young.

Picture of the Week
Ships, unknown photographer, from Tumblr
Photo Notes: Nice shot of some sailing ships, via Tumblr..

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