sailing the NorSea


WEEK 50 2013

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Picture of the Week


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First Post, 17 March 2002
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One Year Ago,
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Saturday 14 December 2013
Saturday - Working on this and that. Not much to say.

Friday 13 December 2013
Friday - Funny thing, I have seen Comet Lovejoy now. The cats woke me up early, and, as I was up I wandered out to take a glance, and saw the typical little faint "Q-tip" glow, about where the comet should have been. The sky was already starting to lighten, so it wasn't too impressive and I didn't bother to go get a camera, but I can say I saw it.

I decided to restart work on the side yard, after waiting a couple of months for my hands to recover from the pick-and-shovel work. Since I'd already done most of the grading the first thing to do was to place the pressure treated end caps in place, and to space them so that the pavers will slope away from the house and come out even. It turned out that 116" x 116" worked pretty well.


In the evening I visited with friends, and worked a bit on the app.

Thursday 12 December 2013

Thursday - Cloudy. Well, I'm officially giving up on Comet Lovejoy photography. Between clouds, haze, a waxing moon, and the low temperatures it's just not worth getting up at 4am....

The boss called. Apparently I emailed him an invoice that was blank except for the amounts owed. Heh. Well, I got the important part right....

The ants and I are still battling it out. They seem to be going for the sugar coated bait ... but the poison doesn't seem to have any effect. Which means I'm feeding the little b**tards.

I got a couple more cards this morning (Total:5, including one from the local federal Representative to Congress). At first I thought someone had accidentally sent me two cards. Instead, amusingly they were from my brother and sister, who don't get along and don't even talk.  They were nearly identical, obviously descendants of a single original photo. Blood will tell (and I probably talk too much about my kittens):

If I told them it would probably ruin their Christmas ;-)

The Anker powered USB 7 port unit arrived, and seems to work well, I can now use my expensive Mac keyboard with my expensive Mac laptop, and have ports left for the wireless mouse and the printer, and the occasional USB key drive.

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Wednesday  - Hazy at 3am. Looked out the window, didn't even bother getting out of bed. But clear at dawn, go figure.

I started getting an error message from the MacBook, telling me that I had a USB device drawing too much power, and that it was turning off the USB ports. Which, in fact, it did. Annoying.

Doing a bit of research on the Internet, it seems that the Apple A1243 keyboard is notorious for pulling too much USB power. I'm not sure why it would - there are no LED indicators or backlights on it, though it does have two daisy chained USB ports of it's own. Anyway, ordered a powered USB adapter from Amazon, and that should fix the problem, and let me print via USB at the same time, which has also been an issue.

In the meantime I'm using a Microsoft branded keyboard ("Dogs and Cats living together!", as Bill Murray would say).

Here is a picture of my house's only casualty from Monday night - a frozen bird feeder. When I took it down I could hear the outraged squawking of it's avian "owner" from a nearby tree. After it thawed out I put it back outside.

To prevent this in the future I could wrap some Xmas lights around it, or maybe some insulation or black paper, or even bring it in at night (only if the temperature is going to drop into the teens). There is also plumbers heating tape, but that seems like overkill.

Note the larger ice crystals near the bottom. It was all frozen through however,
nothing came out when I tipped it upside down.

Tuesday 10 December 2013
Tuesday - I got up a bit before 5am and went out to look for Comet Lovejoy. No luck. It was a bit hazy - you could make out the Big Dipper, and the other brighter stars, but little else. I scanned for the comet, where it should be, with no luck.

It was bitterly cold out. I wore a set of work overalls over warm clothes, and that seemed to help a lot.

Later in the morning I took a screen shot of the temperature:


As last as last night they were predicting a low of 23F, which, given that it was already 25F at 9:30pm on Monday night, and clear out, was ridiculous.

I was concerned when I heard that the Weather Channel had bought out Weather Underground, it looks like my fears were justified. People need to know when it's going to get really cold, and this was just bad reporting/prediction.

Driving around town in the morning (while doing a couple of errands) there was a lot of ice on the roads - people's pipes had broken everywhere. Even commercial properties had ice in the gutters.

Monday 9 December 2013
Monday - Working away on various chores. Bills, Christmas Cards, a few Christmas Gifts, some belated Birthday cards. Went to the bank, picked up some registered mail from the post office, dropped off overdue at the library, made a quick trip to Barnes and Noble down in Palmdale, did a load of wash.

Ants have invaded. Gah. I thought they were gone, but they're back, this time bringing some really big associates - two or three times the sizes of the ants I usually see. It's the cold and rain that seems to drive them in; but they stay for the stray crumbs, so I have to be cleaner than usual.

Sunday 8 December 2013
Sunday - Cold, but not amazingly so. I did various chores around the house.

I've been meaning to go see Ender's Game, and Gravity, but a loathing of public places in flu seasons has kept me away. I can wait until it comes out on Blu-Ray I guess.

Picture of the Week
Photo Notes: The Californian, 2008.

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