WEEK 51 2016
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Picture of the Week
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17 December 2016
Saturday - It is predicted to get cold after
this front passes, down to 20F or so overnight.
Not much to say, chores around the house in the morning, then lunch with
Over for dinner with friends out in Antelope Acres. How I wish I was living
out there now. Ah well.
As usual I ended up defending my 'prepping' ways. Which amounts to
maybe $10-20/month averaged over all of last year. After chuckling
over the usual 'Zombie Apocalypse' comments I pointed out that we were about
10 miles from the San Andreas fault, and the the I-14 and the I-15 would
probably be cut in 'the Big One'. And that Los Angeles County would,
quite properly, be concentrated on helping the millions of below in LA
proper, and the San Fernando and Simi Valley basins, and not a few
thousand in some distant desert town.
We got to talking propane and Aaron mentioned that he would drive into town
to fill propane bottles. Since he has a large tank on his property I
was surprised: but it turns out that the tank vendor is chargin retail
prices: $3+ a gallon for filling, while Costco is charging about $2.
Friday - Gray and
Storm Update: A
few more raindrops overnight and in the morning, not enough to even register
1/100th of an inch locally.
It sounds as though a lot of places had a lot of rain - my brother's rain
gauge up in Martinez registered 1.3" for example, so some good came out of
I went to open the C# program from yesterday...and the design form is
gone. Googling it turns up reports of the same bug from up
to 10 years ago... As I reported to Sheryl, "Different
circus, same monkeys". Bah.
I could feel my shoulders sag, in actual physical reaction to this.
Can't be helped I guess, that's the start of the art in programming in 2016.
I was doing a bit of research on sound recording for vocals,
interesting. It's apparently not easy to make a good studio at home
without some serious effort. Eventually it occurred to me to check for
professional studio's locally - and to my surprise there are a
lot. Who would have guessed?
Our needs are very simple - a quiet studio, a good mic, and a bit of
engineering for minor post-processing, for English, Spanish and Han.
Probably not more than a couple of hours of studio time I'd guess.
Thursday 15 December
Gray and overcast. They are predicting a big storm, for late this
Working away on this and that. Not much to say about that.
Played around a bit with Visual Studio and C#. Basic stuff.
About 3pm we had a few drops of rain, not enough to even make the streets
wet. There was wind, but no moisture. I finally went to bed at
10pm, having waited hours for the promised storm front. It looks like
it went around the valley.
Wednesday 14 December
Wednesday - Another peculiarly warm and
sunny day. They do predict a front bringing rain will come in by weeks
Did some app stuff. We were supposed to meet up with an expert in
switch-assistance technologies, but she canceled, and since she's only in
the valley once a week it'll be next Wednesday at the earliest before we can
This actually works out, because the sample switch app I wrote to illustrate
what we are doing no longer works
properly. I'm not sure why - it's true that the side loaded
development stuff expires after 6 months and I have to re-install it, but
I've done it before without problems, and as recently a four or five months
ago. The new version of Xcode perhaps?
So wearying - it's hard enough writing code without battling Apple's utter
indifference to developers and stability.
But, rather than getting take out for our guest from a fancy Indian place,
we instead went to Dickies and gorged on pulled pork and sausage. Always a
bright side, if you look hard enough.
A different tooth, the broken one, started bothering me on Tuesday evening
and into today. Sigh. I guess it's next in line for $$.
Book #64 was The
Vindication of Man, by John C. Wright. This is, I think, the fifth
book in the series. I thought it was going to be the end of the
series, but apparently not. Enjoyable, in Wright's completely
over-the-top-space-opera sort of way.
Tuesday - Another nice day. Crazy nice. About
I'm very tired of cats fighting. They usually wait until I'm
completely immersed in the project, then explode in snarls and screams
directly beneath my desk.
I wrote a very nice Objective-C object to cough up prompts on demand, but
integrating it into the old code is turning out to be a real bear. So
much spaghetti code. Can't blame anyone but myself though.
Book #63 is another 'forgotten'
novel for earlier in the year, Ronin
Games (Wearing the Cape #5) , by Marion G. Harmon. Another enjoyable
entry in the series.
Monday - Another nice day.
I called the vet, and I'll take Budd in for his FERC booster tomorrow
morning. He hasn't been on a car trip in a couple of months, wonder
how he'll react? I'm curious as to his weight as well - my scale is
rusted out and I haven't been able to find out how much he's gained.
He still eats a lot - but no longer his body weight daily, sometimes there
are morsels and scraps left....
he weighs just over 16 pounds now,
so about 4 lbs increase in six weeks! He was ok with the car trip, though
not delighted by the experience.
Worked on the app for most of the day. And worked myself into a pretty
good mad. There was a problem, some sort of namespace collision (it
happens), but the debugger was absolutely useless, as usual. As was the
"linker command failed with exit code -1 (use -v to see invocation)"
Seriously Apple, that's the best you can do? Am I supposed to take a couple
of days off and write a compiler script and do it from the command line,
because you can't be bothered to report errors correctly?
It's like I'm programming in 1966. I just need a background screen
shot of vacuum tubes with their filaments glowing to make the experience
Anyway, after failing to get any useful information from Xcode I just
completely renamed a bunch of the new stuff and the error went away.
Total voodoo programming.
Book #62 would be Thrice
the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd, by Alan Bradley. This is another of
the 'forgotten books' from earlier in the summer. This was another
Flavia de Luce story, but sadly it was not up to the earlier books, and I
actually started skipping bits in boredom.
Sunday - Sunny, pretty warm for a winter
day in the high desert.
WinCo & 99-Cent and Walmart shopping in the morning. I was puzzled by
the size of the crowds in Walmart, until I realized it was after 10am.
I also picked up a BBQ to small appliance propane adapter hose.
Not much else going on. Some chores, the usual Sunday stuff. Tried not
to do any typing, but did some thinking about the app and how to approach
the modifications for next week: definitely more modular and object-oriented