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christmas catWEEK 52 2012christmas cat

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First Post, 17 March 2002
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Monday 31 December 2012
Monday - NEW YEARS EVE. A long last week, 9 days, of the blog year. It wasn't a good year for me, it wasn't a bad year...just kind of a "meh" year I guess.

I had dinner at R&S's house, then fell asleep on their couch. About five minutes to midnight I awoke, and we listened to a fairly energetic volume of fireworks and gunshots, the loudest I have heard in several years.

Then I headed home. Where a neighbor was having a loud party. So I ended up sleeping on the downstairs family room couch with the Tv on until about 2:30am, when it quieted down enough to let me go to bed for real.

It was also very cold, predicted to be 14F, so I covered the sprinkler manifold in front with a towel. I really need to finish making the box there, it's a small job but I just haven't gotten around to it.

Book #101 was Megatokyo: Volume 6, by Fred Gallagher. So, I did OK book-wise this year, finishing the season at #101. (It's easy to win when you make the rules up as you go...).

So, finishing the table off we have:

Books Read: 2012


#1 His Majesty's Dragon: Temeraire #1
#2 Throne of Jade: Temeraire #2
#3 Black Powder War: Temeraire #3
#4 Hitch-22
#5 The Wave: In Pursuit of the ... of the Ocean
#6 Empire of Ivory, Temeraire Book #4
#7 Victory of Eagles, Temeraire #5
#8 Tongues of Serpents: Temeraire #6
#9 Return to Dakistee
#10 Villains Inc, Episode Four: Endgame
#11 The Innocence of Father Brown
#12 How Firm a Foundation
#13 Death on an Autumn River
#14 Westerly Gales
#15 The Cruise of the Albatros
#16 A Larger Universe
#17 Neptune's Inferno
#18 The Man Who Knew Too Much
#19 Sweet Silver Blues
#20 Bitter Gold Hearts
#21 Cold Copper Tears
#22 Old Tin Sorrows
#23 Dread Brass Shadows
#24 The Hunger Games
#25 Catching Fire
#26 Deadly Quicksilver Lies
#27 Red Iron Nights
#28 Petty Pewter Gods
#29 Whispering Nickel Idols
#30 Angry Lead Skies
#31 Gilded Latten Bones
#32 Scholar
#33 Programming in Objective-C
#34 Temeraire: Crucible of Gold
#35 Into the Hinterlands
#36 Pandora's Legions
#37 Shadows in Flight
#38 A Rising Thunder
#39 Beginning IOS Game Development
#40 Timeless
#41 Surrender to the Will of the Night
#42 A Path to Coldness of Heart
#43 The Wisdom of Father Brown
#44 Star Carrier: Earth Strike: Book 1
#45 Center of Gravity: Earth Strike: Book 2
#46 In The Lion's Mouth
#47 Singularity: Star Carrier: Book Three
#48 The Chequer Board
#49 Tricked (The Iron Druid Chronicles Book 4)
#50 A Fire Upon the Deep
#51 The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Invincible
#52 The Black Opera
#53 Poison Flower
#54 Hammerhead
#55 Princeps
#56 Caliban's War
#57 Double Share
#58 Quick Fixes - tales of Repairman Jack
#59 The Girls from Alcyone
#60 Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter
#61 Blue Remembered Earth
#62 Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas
#63 The Day the World Discovered the Sun
#64 In The Beginning Was the Command Line
#65 The Domino Pattern
#66 Judgment at Proteus
#67 Unbroken,
#68 The Cruel Sea,
#69 The Golden Age
#70 was The Phoenix Exultant
#71 The Golden Transcendence
#72 The Metal Monster
#73 Seven Footprints to Satan
#74 Return to the Sea
#75 Very Willing Griffin
#76 Whispers Under Ground
#77 Fate of Worlds
#78 Hegemony
#79 The Galactic Mage
#80 iOs Application Development,
#81 Pawn of Prophecy
#82 The Hydrogen Sonata
#83 Bite Me: Big Easy Nights
#84 Queen of Sorcery, The Belgariad Book #2
#85 The Apocalypse Codex
#86 Distant Thunders, Destroyermen #4
#87 Destiny's Shield
#88 Magicians Gambit (Belgariad #3)
#89 The Castle of Wizardry (Belgariad #4)
#90 Enchanter's End Game (Belgariad #5)
#91 Guardians of the West
#92 King of the Murgos
#93 Demon Lord of Karanda
#94 The Sorceress of Darshiva
#95 The Seeress of Kell
#96 Megatokyo: Volume 1
#97 Megatokyo: Volume 2
#98 Megatokyo: Volume 3
#99 Megatokyo: Volume 4
#100 Megatokyo: Volume 5
#101 Megatokyo: Volume 6

And, summing up over the years:


The Year in Books, 2012 (101)

The Year in Books, 2011 (151)

The Year in Books, 2010 (98)

The Year in Books, 2009 (84)

The Year in Books, 2008 (54)

The Year in Books, 2007 (64)

The Year in Books, 2006 (53)

The Year in Books, 2005 (50)

Sunday  30 December 2012
Sunday - Another quiet day, and cold. There was a 40% chance of snow overnight, supposedly, but it was rather clear in the evening and we didn't get much, if anything.

I watched a bit of football, and some other TV, but didn't do much else. I've work to do, but was dealing with a bit of a headache and just decided to take it easy for a bit. Not that I've been exerting myself this Christmas...

I was moving stuff around a bit, and in his old sea chest found a picture of my grandfather, at Guadalcanal:

eeh jr, at guadacanal
That's him, at the far right, holding a cigarette, the wreck of the Kinugawa Maru in the background.

uss john penn, apa-23, under attack at guadacanal
Another photo from the chest, the USS John Penn under attack and sinking, at Guadalcanal.

Saturday 29 December 2012
Saturday - It was snowing, very lightly, when I opened the patio doors to let the cat out this morning. Just a few flakes, and they were melting when they hit the ground, but it was cold and mildly damp so the cat was wanting to be let in and out all morning.

Friday 28 December 2012
Friday - Not much to say. Working on this and that.

Someone gave me a Brookstone Rover, a little tank with a video camera that you can run from an iPad app. It's pretty cool. It runs via WiFi, so you have to disconnect your internet connection to run it, but that's pretty easy, and the iPad then found the Rover easily and everything worked right off the bat. You can even take stills that are automatically saved to the iPad.

The first thing I did was to chase my cat around the patio...

friday cat photo
Riley and Brookstone Video Tank
Riley watches the Brookstone Rover from a safe distance...


The Wifi thing brings to mind a bit of research earlier in the week. One issue that S&I were talking about for the iOS app was assistance for the disabled. I knew there was a set of iOS Bluetooth interfaces and just assumed that they'd be comprehensive and that we'd use them, but it turns out that they are pretty feeble. There are a couple of problems:
  1. Apple insists that Bluetooth device manufacturers adhere to Apple's implementation, not the standard, and that they actually buy and include a special chip from Apple. So, given the annoyance and costs I'd expect fewer assistive learning devices for iPads.
  2. They did the absolute minimum implementation of any assistive device help in GameKit. Voice Over, for example, apparently only supports left/right movement, so that you can't, for example, go up and down on a virtual keyboard - if you want to write the word "one" you have to tab through 34 characters.
Now, this was just some quick research, and it's possible I'm overestimating the problem - for example, the bluetooth dongle and mouse worked just fine with the MacBook Pro, but it's a bit worrisome.

We could build interfaces through repurposing existing inexpensive Bluetooth devices, but becoming a hardware company is a whole new game. Since Gamekit also supports WiFi and AdHoc networks, that might be an alternative. I'll have to check, but it seems unlikely that even Apple could force people to make Apple-proprietary versions of the wifi protocols.

Book #100 was Megatokyo: Volume 5, by Fred Gallagher.

Thursday 27 December 2012

Thursday - Dinner at Miso's, the sushi/bar/restaurant place here in town that is our new favorite. Excellent as always, though there was a bit of a wait (maybe no-one else could face leftovers either?).

Didn't get much done during the day, it feels like. Cleaning up around the house. Dishes, vacuuming, clothes washing. Even dumped out a junk drawer in the kitchen and tossed a bunch of odds n' ends that dated, in some cases, to years back.

Book #99 was Megatokyo: Volume 4, by Fred Gallagher. I've never been a cartoon fiend, but I've enjoyed this.

According to Wikipedia the two original authors, Caston & Gallagher, had a falling out and Caston sold his share to Gallagher, and is no longer an author after Volume #3. Gallagher later got married, and new strips are apparently coming out slower and slower. About ten years worth of strips only covers about two months in strip time... But hey, free ice cream and all that...

Christmas, via this blog. It's surprising how many events and objects repeat themselves, over the years.

Wednesday 26 December 2012

Wednesday  - MERRY  Day After CHRISTMAS!

I went shoe shopping, with some friends, but without much luck. The crowds weren't a problem, despite after-Xmas sales the stores were only moderately busy around noon.

I wanted some new tennis shoes, and tried Big 5, Ross, Payless Shoe Stores, and Target. The selection was awful everywhere, and the shoes they had were bad. Big 5 had the biggest selection, but the shoes themselves were terrible - poor arch support, poor fit, poor colors (pure white or day-glo!) or obvious poor build quality. My friend had the same issues, so it's not just me being picky. Ross was ludicrously bad - no name brands and horrible knockoffs, Payless just a small step up (heh) from Ross. I was really surprised at the poor selection at Target though, we left it for last thinking that if we couldn't find shoes anywhere else in town that it'd be a sure (if expensive) thing there. But the selection was small, mostly just their store brand, and again, nothing I'd want to wear.

And my friend said one of the Target store brands was actually made by slave labor in China; not a joke, but a company known to use political dissident labor.

I wonder if the poor selection is because Lancaster is moderately poor & depressed and no-one wanted to be left with overstock after Christmas? Ventura will probably have something, when I head down there next week.

In the evening I watched some TV, thought about work stuff, and read some more graphic novel: Book #98 was Megatokyo: Volume 3, by Rodney Caston and Fred Gallagher. Zombies, mecha, gamers, magical girls, what's not to like?

Tuesday 25 December 2012
Tuesday -  MERRY CHRISTMAS. Over at my friends' place all day.

Monday 24 December 2012
Monday - Christmas Eve. Over at my friends, having a nice dinner and good conversation.

Book #97 was Megatokyo: Volume 2, by Rodney Caston and Fred Gallagher.

Sunday  23 December 2012
Sunday - A fairly busy day, doing this and that, though with my sister & family no longer coming down the urge to clean and decorate has subsided.  I seem to have lost the string of red lights that I usually put up around the porch column, but found a cheap string of blue lights at Walmart, and added that.

I had looked at (artificial) Christmas tree's, but even small trees were $50, and it just doesn't make sense for me to get one.

I didn't do much TV watching, no 49'ers football being televised around here - same as last week. I don't even know what the standings are, or if they switched back to Smith as quarterback.

Book #96 was Megatokyo: Volume 1, by Rodney Caston & Fred Gallagher. Yeah, a graphic novel, but it helps make up for the damned iOS books I've read twice... I'm not sure how to categorize this, SciFi, Fantasy, or what. The plot is so involuted that it's hard to be sure what is the characters fantasy and what isn't. Amusing. And free, online, which is nice.

And, hey, I don't have much time left to get to that 100 books this year...

Picture of the Week
Lancaster Fireplace and Cards, 2012
Photo Notes: Christmas 2012, fireplace with cards.

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