Travels and Images
WEEK 4 2004
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Picture of the Week
Saturday 24 January 2004
Saturday - today there was a memorial service for a
friend's son. He died young and my friend is dealing with this
unimaginable (to me) pain so very bravely. She had pictures at the
service, of J as an infant
just home from the hospital, and as a child, a small boy, a bigger boy
and as a young man. How hard it must have been to assemble that collage.
Later we went to a friend of hers for coffee and cookies and stayed a
bit late. I ended up tutoring the friends stepdaughter in algebra. The
kid knew the individual bits but was just having trouble organizing
them, so I could help there. The impression I get of today's math
curriculum is that the books are better than when I was a student, but that the teachers are somewhat worse.
On the other hand I tutor one-on-one, and can interact easily to see
where and what a students problems might be. In a class of thirty five
it probably isn't possible. But it's sad to see a smart little girl
thinking she is 'dumb' and 'stupid' when all she needs is a bit of
I arrive home just a bit too late to catch the Opportunity Mars landing, which went off well.
Guess I need one of these.
The Mars Clock costs $150 for an 8" dial and $175 for a 12" dial.
Friday 23 January
Friday - partial communication with 'Spirit'.
Which is good. If the controllers at JPL can access the diagnostics
onboard there is a good chance they can fix almost anything. Those guys
Tomorrow 'Opportunity' hits mars, at 9:05 PST.
The NASA rover Spirit
roams over Mars. It takes 30 minutes to move 10 feet. It's officially classified
as a government worker.
Thursday 22 January 2004
Thursday - apparently NASA has lost contact with the
'Spirit' rover. What a bummer. Mars is hard - two out of three missions
have failed, historically. It has a twin, 'Opportunity' scheduled to
land the day after tomorrow, at 9:05 PST.
"OK, so the Spirit rover rolls into a bar. Rover says to the bartender
'excuse me,' bartender ignores him. Rover again says 'excuse me,'
bartender ignores him. Martian says to bartender, 'Why don't you answer
him?' bartender says 'I know that type, all they ever want is water."
Wednesday 21 January 2004
Wednesday - my friend needs to sign a couple of pages
for the thesis before I send it off. I wasn't able to contact her today
Interesting safety presentations today on the X-43 and Helios
mishaps, for the 'safety days' here at Dryden. Actually the X-43 was
sort of raced through and I'd seen and heard the conclusions before but
Helios was interesting because of the unusual flight regime and
The presenter, a long time test pilot here at Dryden keep stressing the
need for full up nonlinear 6DOF simulation tools - which is exactly
what STARS is.
Tuesday 20 January 2004
Tuesday - hand therapy, and then back to work.
Backing up various and sundry machines, and trying to track down that
stubborn transformation problem.
The professor in Wales emailed back: "Make a good copy of the thesis on
American 8.5"x11" paper, send it to us, we'll copy it onto A4, bind it
in A4, and send you a bill." Works for me.
Monday 19 January 2004
Monday - the Patriots won on Saturday,
meaning that I have to root for the Panthers when the Superbowl
finally comes around.
Dropped off an old computer with a friend who wants to learn to use the
internet. I'll set her up initially with JUNO, for the 10 hours a month
free service. From there she can decide what to do. She was a little
surprised that you could use a computer without being connected to the
internet. Heh. How times change.
Sunday 18 January 2004
Sunday - still feeling poorly but went out for a bit.
In other news my friends child has found a wizard who "knows how" to
fix the laptop. OK. I ain't a complainin'. She was off in another town
and called me long distance to complain that I hadn't returned the
"Look in the laptop bag pocket."
Picture of the Week
While driving from the San Francisco Bay area up to Reno a few weeks
ago I stopped in Auburn, in the Sierra Nevada foothills, to buy chains
for my Explorer. I never found the chains but I did come across this
wonderful old brick courthouse and stopped to take a picture.
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