Travels and Images
WEEK 51 2003
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Picture of the Week
Saturday 20 December 2003
Saturday - took an easy day. Read a bit of "Return of the King"
- I hope to go see it tomorrow and thought I'd refresh myself with the
original. Someone said that it was a movie full of crying people at the
end. Hmmm. It does have sad parts in the book, but I would not have
expected it to be "Titanic" level weepiness.
I cleaned up a bit around the house, and mowed and edged the front lawn
- the place looks much better. Set a mouse trap for my neighbor - I
could hear the mice rustling about in her garage.
Friday 19 December
Friday - another orbiting space telescope is in business. This is the Spitzer Space Telescope,
which operates in the invisible (to human eye) infrared wavelengths.
Some of the new images, and many others from varied sources, can be
found at the Planetary Photojournal site.
For some reason I was looking at a book on postscript
today. I'm not sure why...oh yes...the books were in the way of
something else. I'd picked them up surplus a while back...you
know...free...I could stop picking stuff like that up if I wanted to.
Anyway, the point is, I opened one of the books. It had a section on
operators and functions. What the ???? sez I. Turns out that
postscript, which I thought was a plain document formatting thing, was
also a programing language. Loops, reals, integers, if statements, all
the rest. You can even run it from the command prompt using ghostscript and have stuff just pop up. So cool....
A gentleman by the name of Alan Radecki has a neat Photoblog of Mojave Airport, and of the SpaceShipOne stuff.
Thursday 18 December 2003
- dinner at: Texas Cattle Company. No one had the energy for anything more. I had a nice chicken sandwich myself, but no beer.
It's been a long week.
Wednesday 17 December 2003
- It wasn't an actual X-prize attempt, but SpaceShipOne
was dropped, lighted it's rocket motor, and accelerated almost straight
up to Mach 1.2, coasted to 65,000 feet, deployed it's innovative
'feathering tail' on the way down, then reconfigured into standard
glide mode and landed. All done by private enterprise. I didn't go, but
a friend who lives in Mojave watched it all, and reported to us at
lunch. The future I suspect. Can private enterprise do for space what
it did for the airplane, the computer, the car?
Not much else going on. Someone who went down to the mall to shop said
that things are getting serious. Open combat has started. Ugh.
Tuesday 16 December 2003
- little patches of black ice on the roads this morning, mostly near
the gutters which fill due to people having automated sprinklers. The
school down the street from me is one of the worst offenders - they
must overflow hundreds of gallons a day past my house. Oh yes, it got
down to 18 Fahrenheit last night.
Well, the stamp machine in the post office stole $7.40 from me this
morning. But it did give me a nice receipt and 40 cents change. Since
the line too the counter was out the door I just told the clerk what
was going on and that I'd be back later for a refund. Like next year.
Arrrrggghhh. At lunch I went to a different post office and bought stamps (two packs) at the counter. Once burned...
I need to do my cards, but it is now ten minutes to bed time. I was
over at a friends, after working late, trying to get some spyware off a
laptop. It has used 6+ Gigabytes of the 10 Gigabyte drive. Lavasoft
Adaware has failed, so I'll try Spybot Search and Destroy next. It is
one of those morphing things, hard to delete. Of course, the other 95
spyware programs did delete OK, so that's good.
Rumor has it that SpaceShipOne may make it's first X-prize
attempt tomorrow morning. If I wanted I could get up early and head out
to Mojave with a camera or two to catch the take off....nah. Too cold
and too early for a 'maybe'.
Coming home this evening I could see Orion, rising in the east - winter has arrived.
high in the east swung Remmirath, the Netted Stars, and slowly above
the mists red Borgil rose, glowing like a jewel of fire. Then by some
shift of airs all the mist was drawn away like a veil, and there leaned
up, as he climbed over the rim of the world, the Swordsman of the Sky,
Menelvagor with his shining belt." J.R.R. Tolkein, Fellowship of the
Monday 15 December 2003
Monday - a man with one hyperlinked weather site knows exactly what temperature it is. A man with two is never quite sure...
Possibly I need to rethink that idea. It's either 26 or 27 degrees out,
depending on where you look. What I noticed was that it was brrrrrr brrrrrr brrrrrr cold, just walking out to the car after work.
Some thoughts on the intersection of modern technology and fruitcake. ( via Geek Press ).
On randomly shooting into the air in Kentucky and Iraq: "Though they may have different meanings, the cries of 'Yeeeee-haw!'
and 'Allahu akbar!' are, in spirit, not actually all that different."( via the Volokh Conspiracy ).
I went to see "Elf". It was...well...OK. In fact, it's a good movie. Funny. Two thumbs up!!! After the horrible "Cat in the Hat" the children told us so - and they were right.
Astronomy, eight thousand years ago. Amazing.
Sunday 14 December 2003
- well, it was blue and sunny when I got up, late. So, since it was
also rather cold I decided to wait for the temperature to warm up a
bit before painting and/or mowing. It did indeed warm up, but it also clouded over and began to rain. Sigh. This
means the leaves, those that weren't blown away by the windstorm
preceding the rain, will be matted into the grass. I'll have to rake
rather than let the mower suck up and pulverize them.
In other news, Saddam Hussein has been captured. Most people, American
and Iraqi will be happy. Some won't, particularly those mentioned in
Jay Manifold's "Friday Quagmire Watch".
Note that if you click on the picture below for the usual enlargement,
you get rather a snapshot of the Yahoo! news, and in other news mention
of the possibility of a flu 'pandemic'.
I had a link to KFOG's streaming audio at the top of last week's page.
It no longer seems to work, so I took it down, after a one week's run.
No doubt the vastnumber
of readers I have inundated the site and caused it to fail under
load. Bah. Instead I have a link to another Lancaster weather site,
from the Weather Underground ( not the terrorist bombers ) that has
some cool stuff - predictions, histories, a 'clear sky clock' and so
on. And I've started archive list for the 'Picture of the Week' as well
- just through the end of 2002 so far, but I'll keep at it.
So, I'm out having coffee with a (female) friend at Barnes and Noble.
We're talking and a couple of young women sit down next to us and start
leafing through - I kid you not - a copy of the Kama Sutra Pop Up Book. And of course my date started teasing me and I turned bright red...
Picture of the Week
Photo Notes: When I arose this morning, and checked my email, I saw this.
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