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christmas cat WEEK 51 2003christmas cat

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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 2003

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 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

Thursday - 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

Wednesday - 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

Tuesday - 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.

Away 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 Ring

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

Sunday - 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
yahoo reports Hussein captured.  
Photo Notes: When I arose this morning, and checked my email, I saw this.

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