sailing the NorSea


WEEK 4 2014

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Picture of the Week


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First Post, 17 March 2002
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Three Years Ago,
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Two Years Ago,
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This Week,

Saturday 25 January 2014
Saturday - Another nice day. I spent the morning working on the app.

My friends called, and said they'd found a little mini-fridge for me, for $30. So now I can keep stuff cold on the boat. They were amused/horrified by my tale of eating warm 2 day old Lasagna last year, and the adverse effects that action had on my intestinal flora.

We went out to lunch at Mahli's in Palmdale. It's a little better food than in the Lancaster restaurant, and the decor is much nicer. We tried to stop by Trader Joe's on the way home, to get me some more whiskey, but of course it turned out to be Free Pet Adoption Day at PetSmart next door, and there was literally no parking in front. Another time...

Apropos of whiskey, I read just last week that the whole "A single beer kills 10,000 brain cells" factoid isn't true. I'm simultaneously grateful and a little peeved that I've spent decades feeling guilty about every drink I've taken!

Friday 24 January 2014
Friday - A dark day at Casa Hahnsoft. Out of whiskey...


It's interesting that it came out so exactly even. I checked Wikipedia and while there is no official standard (except in Utah, of all places) generally a shot glass holds 1.5mL, and a bottle holds 75mL, so it's 50 shots to the bottle...

Thursday 23 January 2014

Thursday - Warm and sunny. Took a nice 5 mile walk in the afternoon.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Wednesday -  Our warm winter continues.  I guess California is in for a drought. I need to Xeriscape the back yard this summer, no sense in paying to water 2500SF of grass and weeds...

Talking to a client - we need to invoice and we want to make sure they feel that we've fulfilled our obligations. I mean, we have, but it's always good to check. They had a couple of small request - format changes - so I asked CB down in Ventura to make them, and forward them to the client with a cover letter.

Tuesday 21 January 2014
Tuesday - Working away on the app. Progress is slow. Having finished the BNR book I'm a little more up on the theory, but things get in the way.

For example: there is no native 2D Objective-C array. Seriously. There is a NSArray and a NSMutableArray, but they are 1D only. If you want a 2D (or higher dimensioned) array you have to futz around with hand rolled pointers, or, have the 1D array include arrays as elements, and then address those - i.e., screwing around with pointers again. It's like going back to the 1950's. I mean, people mock FORTRAN, but FORTRAN-66 had multidimensional array!

This is typical. Again and again I am slapped in the face with some stupidity like this. Ah well.

And, yes, I can mix in C-style stuff, but then I have to think about memory management, which is weird in Objective-C: one never sees "main" for example, so when is something allocated and deallocated? Gahhh.

Not much else going on.

Have I mentioned that Suzy likes to play "fetch"? It's the darnedest thing, I never saw a cat do it before.

Book #4 was The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce #2) by Alan Bradley. A very fun read. It is perhaps a bit slow, but then, English Manor mysteries are supposed to be slow! Flavia, the 11-year aspiring chemist (minoring in poisons), is charming. Well, not really - she's got issues, with running battles going on with her sisters, a distant widowed father, a family on the edge of bankruptcy and losing their stately manor, and of course, murders everywhere...

Though Flavia considers that last a 'plus', not a 'minus'.

Monday 20 January 2014
Monday - Working away on the app.

So, the Dryden Flight Research Center has been renamed the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center.

I'm a bit conflicted. On the one hand, if any man deserves a NASA center being named after him, it's certainly Neil Armstrong. John Glenn had the NASA Lewis Flight Research Center renamed after him.

 On the other hand pilots are, like ground crews, technicians and the janitorial staff, support for engineers. Then again, Armstrong was an engineer, too, and spent years at Dryden in flight test. In any case Dryden and Lewis are remembered now only by the naming of Lewis Field in Ohio, and the range out in California as the Hugh L. Dryden Aeronautical  Test Range.

I guess, overall, I'm in favor of it (not that anyone asked).

The official NASA press release:


President Barack Obama has signed HR 667, the congressional resolution that redesignates NASA's Hugh L. Dryden Flight Research Center as the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center, into law. The resolution also names Dryden's Western Aeronautical Test Range as the Hugh L. Dryden Aeronautical Test Range.

Both Hugh Dryden and Neil Armstrong are aerospace pioneers whose contributions are historic to NASA and the nation as a whole. NASA is developing a timeline to implement the name change. Neil A. Armstrong was born Aug. 5, 1930, in Wapakoneta, Ohio. He earned an aeronautical engineering degree from Purdue University and a master's in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California. He was a naval aviator from 1949 to 1952. During the Korean War he flew 78 combat missions. In 1955 he joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), NASA's predecessor, as a research pilot at Lewis Laboratory in Cleveland. Armstrong later transferred to NACA's High Speed Flight Research Station at Edwards AFB, Calif., later named NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center.

As a research project test pilot over the course of seven years at the center from 1955 through 1962, he was in the forefront of the development of many high-speed aircraft. This photograph shows Neil Armstrong next to the X-15 rocket-powered aircraft after a research flight. He was one of only 12 pilots to fly the hypersonic X-15 as well as the first of 12 men to later walk on the moon. In all, he flew more than 200 different types of aircraft.

Sunday 19 January 2014
Sunday - Warm and sunny. Feeling a bit better.

The 49er's lost. It was disappointing, they were ahead for a lot of the time. They had several close calls (and non-calls) go against them, but when you're down six and you're in the red zone and your QB throws an end zone interception - with less than a minute left - you can't really blame the refs.

Suzy is feeling much better. The vet said that she could be out of quarantine in "a week to ten days", I'm thinking a week it is. She is ready to be out of quarantine and I'm ready to not be enforcing it.

Amusing: I left her out yesterday morning - and Jimmy ran inside the room. So I closed the door, and left her the entire rest of the house to run around in. A half hour later she was back at the door, batting at Jimmy's paw under the door. They're pretty close.

About the Picture of the Week:

True story:

Last year I was talking with a friend. At some point in the conversation this happened:

Friend: “It's the support of friends that gets you through the tight spots in life”.

Me :”At the narrow passage there is no brother, no friend”.

Friend: “The pessimist is right more often, but the optimist has more fun”.

Me: ”The optimist has more fun, but the pessimist eats more regularly”

Friend: “You have issues”.

So, at Christmas, this little present arrived from that friend…

Picture of the Week
A Pessimist's Guide to History 
Photo Notes: this for Christmas. There's a story to go with it....

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