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Picture of the Week
17 March 2002
Ago, This Week, 2002
Ago, This Week, 2003
Years Ago, this
Ago, This Week, 2005
This Week, 2006
|A Year Ago,
This Week, 2007
Wednesday 31 December
Wednesday - New Years Eve.
I spent it working for free.
Helping to put together a proposal for some more work. Can't really
charge that kind of stuff. Worked fairly late, then went out for a nice
spaghetti dinner with friends, and home and in bed by 10:30. I didn't
even hear the fireworks go off.
If they did go off, it was in
thick fog. There has been a pretty nice conjuntion, they say, of three
planets and the moon in the western sky, but it hasn't been visible.
I have no idea of what is going on with the font here. Weird. I'll grab a different template for next week.
Happy New Years to you all.
Tuesday 30 December
Tuesday - back to work.
Monday 29 December
Monday - of
course, this should really be Week #53, but I decided long ago to just
make Week #52 as long as it needed to be. Back to work anyway, putting
in about a half-day. It's warm down in Ventura! Well, above 45F anyway.
Snippet from last week:
watching Phoebe walk through the snow was entertaining. One step, then
a shake of the left rear foot. Another step, shake the right rear foot.
Another step, gnaw at the left forefoot. Another step, shake the right
forefoot in annoyance. Repeat. And repeat. All while Riley watches from
the safety and dryness of the concrete patio. Then the wind shakes the
neighbors wind chime and both cats bolt for the house...
I cleaned and replenished the hummingbird feeder, despite the icy
nights and cold days. Much to my surprise Mr. H came to visit, almost
immediately. I would have thought the valley empty of them. Perhaps
with their hyperactive metabolism the cold isn't that much of an issue.
Sunday 28 December
- Not too much to say. Back to work tomorrow, so there is a lot of
cleanup and washing to do. I thought I had it under control, but found another
two loads of laundry. I also fixed some of the inspection gear,
repacked the laptop, printed out the VBscript code, moved the vise to
the correct location on the workbench, did bills, and other errands.
is not happy with the signs of imminent departure. He went over and sat
in a corner, back to the wall, and watched me. Poor little guy.
watched the 'Niners win - which cost me a quarter - on the Slingbox. My
brother is up in SF watching the game locally, so I could get the
stream on my computer. Nice.
Saturday 27 December 2008
- feeling better. Indeed, my double dip bout of flu, or whatever it
was, is easing and some energy and strength returning. I started
organizing and cleaning the house - I referred to the bookshelf's, but
that's only part of it. I also started cleaning the garage, because I
was looking for some tools to work on the birthday telescope and could not even reach the workbench to find them.
so cold out that even during the day it's better to keep the roll-up garage
door closed and use the house heat to keep the garage warm enough to
work in. Fortunately it's an insulated door, so it works reasonably
well - I can keep it at 50F or so.
Friday 26 December
- I took my friends daughter down to LAX in the morning - it seemed the
least I could do after a home cooked mincemeat pie from Sheryl! And it was an OK
trip, despite various threats on Thursday night from the weather people
about ice and snow down to 2500' - the roads were clear and dry. There
was almost no traffic. Ninety minutes to LAX from Lancaster, and
then home again.
Riley, nearly ten years old
now, is happily playing on the stairs, tossing a small Christmas
stocking in the air, watching it with a predator's gaze for a minute or
so, then pouncing!
It's odd. I was looking at a
blog the other day, and there was a question about allowable skin
temperatures for aluminum structures. The basic agreement by
commenter's' was that, in lieu of a more specific question, one would
normally use the simple mach dependent stagnation-temperature relation,
relative to the static temperature at whatever flight altitude the
vehicle was flying at. But someone mentioned that the Marquardt Rocket Ramjet Reader had a plot of that. A faint bell went off. I seemed to recall owning that pamphlet (I was a big ramjet buff in school).
So, after almost completely rearranging my aeronautical engineering bookshelves, I found this:
And it indeed had, on page 12, the correct plot:
Sixty Pages, including the index.
So...where did the United Technologies imprimatur come come from? My first guess was that UT bought up the Marquardt Company in one of the many aerospace mergers of the last quarter century, but Wikipedia says otherwise, that Kaiser Aerospace
bought them. Wiki has gotten things wrong before, and it's also
possible that the ramjet technology division or group was sold off
from page 12
However, just to make things really weird, on the blog where this whole quest started...there is no reference to the MRRR now.
Thursday 25 December
- Merry Christmas!
- Christmas Eve. Cold and gray out.
good friends Roger & Sheryl have invited me over for Christmas eve,
and Christmas day, so I won't be home alone, morose and feeling sorry
for myself. Some of their family are already sick, so I didn't have to fear infecting them.
Tuesday 23 December 2008
- after a sneezing and coughing fit today it became clear that I really
couldn't go north and infect people for Christmas, up at my Dads'. It
feels weird: that's always where I spend Christmas,
has been for decades. I have missed perhaps one or two holidays there, over the years,
not many more. Checking I see that the blog has me in Martinez for every Christmas from
2002 through 2007.
Bah. Hopefully I'll be well enough to get north for
My brother Mike stopped by and picked up a few presents to take north,
from me to the nieces there.
Also the data disk with the *.WMA files on it. I never managed to turn
them into music disks.
Book #54 was Mage-Guard of Hamor,
by L.E. Modesitt. Modesitt has a formula that works for him and he just
grinds these books out, a couple a year, year after year. Sure income
for him. Except that it's a library book, so I didn't have to pay for it. My advice: if you can get it for free, read it, otherwise just re-read another Recluce novel that you already have, and get much the same experience.
Monday 22 December
- cold and a bit wet out. My cold continues, but in a much milder
Book #52 was
of Weapons, by Iain Banks, and his Matter
was Book #53.
These are more of the 'Culture' novels, and are very similar in style,
plot, and outcome.
Books read this year:
The Year In Books, 2008
Year in Books, 2007 (64)
Year in Books, 2006 (53)
Year in Books, 2006 (53)
Sunday 21 December
- the winter solstice is today. The shortest day of the year, in the
Megan McArdle had an
interesting post the other day, where she wrote about the
history of the auto companies in
the US. I'm not sure how correct she is, but there was an interesting
proposition buried in the middle of the article
But perhaps more importantly, Detroit turned from making money on cars
to making money on financing. Detroit didn't make a big
selling you a Ford Taurus. It made money on financing your
Taurus; often, the car was sold at a loss in order to get the finance
business. The Big
Three were banks manufacturing cars as a loss leader.
That's why they could
afford to pay their workers above market wages. They were not trying
to make a profit on the manufacturing process.
emphasis mine. Which is an interesting way to look at it. Is it true? I
suppose you could look at the yearly reports, and figure out the profit
margins of the various divisions, and see. I'm just not that dedicated.
And all the comments to her post. Which are right, which are wrong,
which are correct but mis-interpreted? I'd hate to be in Obama's shoes