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WEEK 4 2011

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First Post, 17 March 2002
Nine Years Ago, This Week, 2002 Eight Years Ago, This Week, 2003 Seven Years Ago, this week, 2004 Six Years Ago, this week, 2005 Five Years Ago, This Week, 2006
Four Years Ago, This Week, 2007
Three Years Ago, This Week, 2008
Two Years Ago, This Week, 2009
One Year Ago, This Week, 2010

Saturday 29 January 2011
Saturday - Book #13 was Up Jim River, by Michael Flynn. This is set in the same universe as The January Dancer (Book #8, 2010) and with many of the same characters, but about twenty years later. It was a decent enough book, but I thought the ending a bit forced. Authors have their own reasons for doing things, I suppose.

This particular future history is a bit complicated, a bit of a mystery to me. It's fun to try to figure out exactly what is going on there.

Because of a pulled muscle in my heel I've been avoiding walking, trying to get it to heal in time for some inspection work coming up. So I'm beginning to feel a bit of cabin fever. I've been putting the time off my feet to good use, improving the scripts and stuff, but there is only so much programming, reading, and watching teevee a soul can do before wanting out out the house!

Looking at the Bluejackets' Manual I see that Dad recorded a lot of the dates and places he was at, on the flyleaf and cover pages. I'm fairly sure he wasn't supposed to do that, for security reasons, but he did, and it makes for interesting reading. Assembling it we have:

Sworn in
Oct 6, 1942 ???
Started Training
Oct 21, 1942 Gov't Island, Alameda, CA
Ended Training
Nov 21, 1942 San Francisco, CA
Started Sm.S.    
Dec 2, 1942 Brooklyn, NY
Ended Sm.S.  
Feb 15, 1943
Rated SM 3/c
Feb 17, 1943
Lookout Duty
March 18, 1943
Perth Amboy, NJ
First Sea Duty
June 12, 1943
USS Action, PG-86, NY, NY
Rated SM 2/c August 6, 1943

First Leave
August 9, 1944

Ship Change
Jan 16, 1944
USS Cavalier, APA-37, NY, NY
Arrived West Coast
March 3, 1944
San Francisco, CA
Training School
Sept 12, 1944
San Francisco, CA
Training School
Jan 9, 1945
San Francisco, CA
Detached Ship to Land Lookout
Sept 12, 1944
Wailupi, HI
Changed Lookout Sta.
Oct 16, 1944
Diamond Head, HI
Ship Change
Jan 23, 1945
USS Bayfield APA-33, San Francisco
Crossed Equator
May 10, 1945

Second Leave
July31-Aug14, 1945

Rated SM 1/c
Sept 14, 1945

Detached Ship
Oct 20, 1945
Wilmington, CA
October 24, 1945
Wilmington, CA
Govt Island Traffic Sta.
October 25, 1945
Alameda, CA
USCG Receiving Sta.
Jan 23, 1946
San Francisco, CA
Third Leave
Jan24 - Feb01, 1946

Honorable Discharge
February 8, 1946

Friday 28 January 2011
Friday -  It was Christmas Eve and WWII had started. My grandfather wrote his son, my father, a letter. He had learned that Dad had dropped out of college and joined the Coast Guard (which in times of war fights alongside the Navy). It being wartime the letter was first reviewed by an officer, the censor (his stamp is at upper left in the scan of the letters contents), to make sure no military secrets were being divulged. Then it was photographed, and printed in a much smaller format, to reduce the size and weight. It was called V-Mail. Sent from Oakland, California, a month later it arrived and was postmarked in New York, 28 Jan 1943, 68 years ago-

V Mail Envelope


Dear Eddie - It's been a long time since I have had any mail, and tomorrow, Christmas Day, I believe we will arrive where our mail is waiting for us, and you may be sure it will be the best Christmas gift that any of us can wish for. I have not heard since your letter dated Nov. 9th, and you were in quarantine in boot camp at that time. I wonder where you are now, and what you are doing, and how you like it all. The important thing is to do our part - to learn all we can so we can meet an emergency when it happens - as happen it will, sooner or later, in the game of war, where the stakes are human lives and ships crews, and where they "play for keeps".
I hope this thing will be short, so we can again resume our normal lives. I long to see you and to know how you are doing. I am very proud of you, my dear, and for the decisions you have made on your own. I have been promoted to Commander recently as you may know, but I'm the same old man- Love, Dad.

Thursday 27 January 2011

Thursday - futzing around with the script most of the day.

The bugs are fixed, those that I know of anyway, and the format is as about what I think they want. But the slowness was horrible, it was taking about an hour to generate a report from a weeks work of data. The client wants weekly and monthly reports, and 4 hours is just too long to be running this.

The biggest time hog turned out to be formatting. I was using the RowHeight object, and it must be phenomenally slow. By removing most of the row height calls I was able to drop the turn around to about 20 minutes. There may be a minute or two of gains to be found yet, but that's probably close to the obtainable. The vertical format is a big more congested on a couple of reports, but acceptable, I think.

Book #12 was Quarter Share, by Nathan Lowell. This is sci-fi, but in a laid back way. It is mildly reminiscent of Heinlein's juveniles, but without war and disasters, invading aliens or murderous rogue AI's. Essentially a young man signs on to a starship that does a trading route, sometime in the future. He learns that he has a knack for trade, and does well. Not very exciting, but fun to read none the less.

The author has a blog, Trader's Diary. Looking at things, the 'Shares' series was is some sort of (free?) podcast. Interesting.

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Wednesday - keeping busy, redoing the format of the script output, again. Also fixing a couple of bugs. The script has gotten S.L.O.W., even for VbScript. I'll have to look into what happened - I suspect some of the formatting commands to be time hogs. It should be fixable.

My sister has been working on a book, and is looking into self publishing. Kindle or the Nook, probably. I dug up a few links that I've run across, mostly sci-fi blogs by authors, and sent them her way. She's concerned about editing, and promotion. Some people do OK without that, but most don't.

The weather has been nice lately - nights near freezing, but daytimes it has been sunny and in the low 60's. Ventura weather has apparently been fabulous. Ah well.

Tuesday 25 January 2011
Tuesday - Working away on the scripting. I had a bunch of desired updates from last week to insert, and changes, and it's all going slower than I had thought. But it's finally proceeding in a reasonable fashion.

I was rushed getting the blog together the last couple of weeks, and in the header pointed at some dates that don't actually exist - specifically for weeks in the year 2002 before Week #12. Not a big deal, but it occurred to me that I could create some "pre-blog" pages, if I could recall what was going on. But it's hard.

Email would be the best bet, but my Google and Yahoo and personal site email accounts only go back to about 2004 or so. Before that I was using Antelecom, and Quantum, a couple of local dial-up providers (Antelcom just notified their customers that they are dropping their DSL by the way, because of issues dealing with Verizon). I had email at NASA, but of course couldn't take those with me. Though I have a faint memory of backing some of them up I don't recall where or when or to what media.

I generally save Christmas cards and snail mail, but haven't used that much for years, even by 2002 they were pretty rare.

I suppose there are also some pictures I had developed, and certainly I was using digital photo's as early as 2000, so there is some record there to jog the memory - but on a day-by-day or even weekly scale it's unlikely I can come up with much. So, probably no detailed pre-blog...

Update: Yeah, digging around I have photo folders all the way back to 2000. So maybe.

I had an annoying experience last week, or perhaps the week before. The little CD player in the front room, where I work, has been acting up. The last thing it did was to spin the CD's at some insane speed, perhaps ten times normal. It wouldn't shut off, so I had to unplug it. Now the CD portion won't work at all, it's just a radio with bad reception (but pretty lights).

Monday 24 January 2011

Monday - mostly just a heads down work day, working on some scripting items from last week. If I had felt better they'd have been done already (maybe), but I wasn't, so it was a long day.

Season 1, Episode 6, PSYCHE:

Scene: Spencer is drawing math symbols, equations, matrices, on a clear hi-tec glass screen. Gus comes in.

Gus: What's that?
Shawn: I have no idea, but it always works on NUMBERS.

So, I wonder, was there was ever any NUMBERS homage to PSYCHE?

Sunday 23 January 2011

Sunday - feeling almost human, working away on a few items.

Book #11 was Empress of Eternity, by L.E. Modesitt. Eh. Good for a few hours distraction I guess. A library book.

The Bears lost to Green Bay, which is too bad, I was hoping they'd get in, but going through three quarterbacks pretty much made that impossible. The Steelers won, which is nice, so it ought to be a fun Superbowl.

Picture of the Week

january snow in lancaster
Photo Notes: A snowfall in Lancaster, Jan 2, 2011.

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