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Merry Christmas!WEEK 52 2009Merry Christmas!

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First Post, 17 March 2002
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Two Years Ago, This Week, 2007
One Year Ago, This Week, 2008

Thursday 31 December 2009

Thursday - New Year's Eve.

It wasn't a particularly good year, so I'm glad it's over.

I had dinner with friends (excellent steaks), then returned home and to bed before midnight. There was a low key party next door, and a few revelers yelled out at midnight, but it wasn't much of an occasion.

There seemed to be more than the usual number of books read this year, though I wasn't really 'working' at it. Indeed, it feels as if I am reading less and less, yet the total was impressive (for me), 84 finished novels.

I could probably have read a few more books this year, broken that magical 100 mark, but what's the point? 84 was a goodly number, nothing to be ashamed of!

The Year In Books, 2009
#1 Accelerando
#2 The Surgeon's Mate*,
#3 Hanging Woman Creek,
#4 She*,
#5 True North: Peary, Cook, and the Race to the Pole
#6 50 Acres and a Poodle*
#7 The Lord Protector's Daughter
#8 Simple Courage*
#9 All The Windwracked Stars.
#10 Escape from Hell
#11 Ayesha, The Return of She*
#12 Washington Schlepped Here*
#13 Crusade: Destroyermen, Book II
#14 Shakespeare: The World as a Stage
#15 The Precipice*,
#16 The Ionian Mission*
#17 Last Call,
#18 Maelstrom: Destroyermen Book III:
#19 Imager
#20 Allan Quatermain
#21 She and Allan
#22 Hammerfall
#23 Treasons' Harbor*
#24 Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats
#25 Nova,
#26 The Jennifer Morgue
#27 Wisdoms' Daughter,
#28 The Ghost Map*
#29 The Far Side of the World*
#30 Captains Courageous
#31 Irish Lace
#32 The Reverse of the Medal*
 The Moonstone
#34 H.M.S. Beagle: The Story of Darwin's Ship*
#35 Alone Around the World,
#36 was On Stranger Tides
#37 The Long Voyage
#38 The Letter of Marque*
#39 The Biofab War
#40 The Battle for Terra Two
#41, The AI War (Biofab #3)
#42, Final Assault, (Biofab #4)
#43 Runner
#44: Orbit Unlimited
#45: The Enemy Stars
#46 There Will be Time
#47 Another Fine Myth
#48 Myth Conceptions.
#49 Prime Obsession
#50 The Thirteen Gun Salute*
#51 Zoe's Tale
#52 Brainiac
#53 A Fighting Chance: How We Rowed the Atlantic in 92 Days
#54 Myth Directions
#55 Mything Persons
#56 The Nutmeg of Consolation*
#57 Hit or Myth
#58 Little Myth Marker
#59 Myth Inc., In Action
#60 Phule's Company
#61 The Wine Dark Sea*
#62 The Time Traders
#63 The Last Theorem
#64 By Heresies Distressed
#65 The Commodore*
#66 Men-0-War: Life in Nelson's Navy
#67 Silence
#68 Galactic Derelict
#69 The Skylark of Space
#70 Skylark Three
#71 Skylark of Valeron
#72 Skylark DuQuesne
#73 Time and Again
#74 The Little World of Don Camillo
#75 Subspace Encounters
#76, The Yellow Admiral*
#77 Atlantis Endgame.
#78 The Risen Empire: Book One of Succession
#79 The Hundred Days
#80 Don Camillo Takes the Devil by the Tail
#81 was Ordeal,
#82, Key out of Time,
#83 The Big Oyster**,
#84 Blue at the Mizzen*

Wednesday 30 December 2009

Wednesday - working. Making some progress.

It's a bit annoying, spending hours fixing what are essentially errors by me. On the other hand, it comes to perhaps an error or two a day, for the length of the inspection, though in reality it is mostly concentrated in the first few months, so I try to take it as a character building experience.

I've been using Vbscript to write the data checking routines - it's a bit frustrating to use, but it handles files and Excel spreadsheets easily, so it's the best choice. But strange things happen - case sensitivity in file handling routines, removal of (required) padding zero's in file names, stuff like that, problems which didn't show up in the small sample cases I created and ran earlier in the year.

And it's a massive amount of data, hundreds of gigabytes, so there is a delay of anything from a few seconds to a couple of hours any time it has to be moved, massaged, looked at, etc.

Tuesday 29 December 2009

Tuesday - working. I finished Book #84, Blue at the Mizzen*, by Patrick O'Brian.  It's a good book, but feels thinner, some of the dialog, the repartee & atmosphere being not as complete & fresh as in the earlier books. Jack Aubrey still has a ship, and a mission to complete, but is worried that he will be 'yellowed', i.e. to be passed over for promotion to admiral. Stephen Maturin has a mission, and is romancing a naturalist in Sierra Leone. Their mission is to Chile, to support the rebels against Spain there, and I feel that O'Brian could have given greater depth to what was happening. But good, recommended even.

This is the last complete book in the series, as O'Brian passed away while writing the sequel, on January 2, 2000 - almost exactly 10 years ago. Part of what he was working on has been published as The Final Unfinished Voyage of Jack Aubrey.

blue at the mizzen

This was a book on tape, played using an old battery powered Radio Shack cassette recorder plugged into the AUX port of the new car stereo.  It worked well, except when falling off the dash & bruising my passenger's knee ;-)

Monday 28 December 2009

Monday - back to work.

Still trying to untangle the data, but it's coming along pretty well now. We have the data sets broken up into the appropriate bits, and programs to check for outliers in data, and have been pouring over it night and day. Maybe things will be done by the end of the week, with this part.

Sunday 27 December_2009

Sunday - a morning spent helping to pack and clean, then on the road, back up to Lancaster.
Saturday 26 December 2009
Saturday - a more relaxing day. Hung out, met up with friends.

I thought I'd have time to read, but not so...

Friday 25 December 2009

Hey, I finally got that pony....

Just kidding.

Thursday 24 December 2009

Thursday - Christmas Eve.

Wednesday 23 December 2009

Wednesday - on the road, down to San Diego.

Tuesday 22 December 2009

Tuesday - a full days work, then on the road up to Lancaster at about 7:00pm. Traffic wasn't too bad. I still have some small presents to wrap up.

Monday 21 December 2009

Monday - back to work. Trying to untangle the first few months of data, and it's going slowly, but as it's to be permanently enshrined in a database we want to get it right.

Book #83 was The Big Oyster**, by Mark Kurlansky. This was an entertaining history of oyster harvesting in the waters around New York, from the prehistoric times (Indians) to the modern day. Entertaining and informative, if a bit dark and depressing in places as the march of industrialization and the appetite of the population decimates the oyster beds. Recommended, even in the abridged audio version.

For the record, it's nice having a working CD player again.

Sunday 20 December_2009

Sunday - more raking of leaves. I'm astonished that I was able to completely fill three trash barrels with just the front yards leaves. But my back stood up to it, and I think it will help with the possibility of fungus in the front yard. There is a bad looking patch that I may just dig up and get rid of. I messed around in the back yard, and it didn't end well.

I have been backing stuff up onto the external drive. I'm up to about 55GB of pictures and videos, starting in roughly 1999-2000. Mostly junk, mostly scattered in various places, and it's been a pain trying to get it all on one drive, and to figure out the year/month, and to avoid too many duplicates. I'll try to replicate it on an external drive, and also the Linux internal. I need to add a bigger drive to the Win2k box before I can store much on there, it is practically full.

Merry Christmas

Picture of the Week
Casa de Hahnsoft, December 2009

Photo Notes: Casa de Hahnsoft, December 2009

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