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WEEK 52 2013

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First Post, 17 March 2002
Eleven Years Ago, This Week, 2002 Ten Years Ago, This Week, 2003 Nine Years Ago, this week, 2004 Eight Years Ago, this week, 2005 Seven Years Ago, This Week, 2006
Six Years Ago, This Week, 2007
Five Years Ago, This Week, 2008
Four Years Ago, This Week, 2009
Three Years Ago, This Week, 2010
Two Years Ago,
This Week,

One Year Ago,
This Week,

Tuesday 31 December 2013
Tuesday - New Years Eve. I did a bit of work on the app, cleaned, didn't really do much.

In the evening I went over to Roger & Sheryl's and we watched a Big Bang Theory marathon until midnight. The teenage boy was already asleep, but we walked out in front and heard some kids a few houses away do a countdown. There were a few fireworks and pops, but not an amazing amount.

Sheryl is having odd problems with GIMP. It's acting like the machine is out of RAM, hanging weirdly, but Task Manager says things are fine. I swapped out each of the 1GB RAM chips, the problem persisted with either, so it's not that. Strange. We may go look at new machines tomorrow - she's running XP on a five or six year old Celeron M laptop.

Oddly their little hyper dogs weren't in the least bothered by the shooting and noises. Maybe it's a bigger dog thing?

I stayed the night, since there is usually a New Years Eve party in my neighborhood....

Books Read: 2013

#1 Domes of Fire (Tamuli Book #1)
#2 The Shining Ones (Tamuli Book #2)
#3 The Hidden City (Tamuli, Book #3)
#4 The Magistrates of Hell
#5 The Snitch, Houdini and Me
#6 Into Uncharted Seas
#7 Hide Me Among the Graves
#8 The Legion of Time
#9 Captain Vorpatril's Alliance
#10 The Magicians Nephew
#11 Midst Toil and Tribulation
#12 The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors
#13 Prey
#14 Darkship Thieves
#15 Darkship Renegades
#16 Sabriel
#17 Lirael
#18 Abhorsen
#19 Count to a Trillion
#20 The Hermetic Millennia
#21 Orphans of Chaos
#22 Fugitives of Chaos
#23 Titans of Chaos
#24 The Golden Ticket
#25 The Last Guardian of Everness
#26 Howl's Moving Castle
#27 On The Razor's Edge
#28 Abaddon's Gate
#29 The Mists of Everness
#30 Hellhole Awakening
#31 On Whale Island
#32 Retreat and Adapt
#33 Antiagon Fire
#34 The Alecto Initiative
#35 The Iron Wyrm Affair
#36 The Red Plague Affair
#37 Admiral Who?
#38 Admiral 's Gambit
#39 Admiral's Tribulation
#40 Objective-C
#41  iPhone iOs 6 Development Essentials
#42 Admirals Trial
#43 The Element of Fire
#44 All I Need to Know I Learned From My Cat
#45 American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson
#4Children of the Sky
#47 Trapped (The Iron Druid Chronicles,Book 5)
#48 Young Sentinels (Wearing the Cape)
#49 Admiral's Revenge (Spineward Sector #5)
#50 Polaris (Alex Benedict #2)
#51 Seeker (Alex Benedict #3)
#52 Echo (Alex Benedict #5)
#53 The Devil's Eye (Alex Benedict #4)

Book of the Year:
  #12 The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors

Second Place: #45 American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson

Hardest: #40 Objective-C

(Very) Last Place:  #30 Hellhole Awakening

Summing up over the past nine years, 708 total:


The Year in Books, 2013 (53)

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)

Monday 30 December 2013
Monday - Well, the Aurora Australis has given up trying to reach the Akademik Shokalskiy  and the USCGC Polar Star is on it's way to make a try. She's a somewhat bigger ship - about 11,000 tons as opposed the the AA's 8500 tons, 400' rather than 310'.  Polar Star was already heading south for fall work in McMurdo Sound after a refit in Seattle, and should be there in nine days travel or so from Hawaii.

But no competent captain is going to enter 4m pack ice on a lee shore with onshore winds.

The situation is now rated "dangerous" and they are planning on taking the passengers off the AS via helicopters from the Xue Long, should the current snowstorms, fog, and high winds subside.

Oddly there is no sense in the various tweets and comments from passengers on board that they recognize the seriousness of the situation. There is actually a video from on board, wherein someone complains that his bunk's cushion is thin, that he misses banana milkshakes and his girlfriend. Seriously, it's like a child's complaint. Perhaps the captain is minimizing the threat, trying to keep everyone calm and upbeat?

Update: OK, Yahoo has an interview with the ship's doctor, Andrew Peacock, in which he (somewhat defensively) states that the personnel on board understand the seriousness of the situation, and that they are going to drink all the remaining liquor on the ship before leaving, and that they have to be careful to stay sober in case of a rescue situation developing. Okaaaaay.

Sunday 29 December 2013
Sunday - House cleaning day. Did a lot of picking up and cleaning up. I was hoping to watch the 49'ers but Fox decided that what California really wanted to watch at seasons end was the Bears and Packers. Yeah, we wouldn't want to watch a team from our own state, that's just crazy talk... Anyway, I guess they won, which is nice.

An Xmas gift was a San Francisco license plate frame. I'm torn - I like the team, but they let the NFL treat their fans like dirt, because it pays. And construction workers, on sites I visit, are almost all Raider's fans ;-)

Speaking of presents, in my Xmas stocking stuffers was a coffee cup. I assumed it was a space shuttle cup because of the triangular logo, but on closer inspection (while putting it in the dish washer) I realized it was a souvenir cup from the 1987 America's Cup series, wherein Dennis Conner redeemed himself, Stars & Stripes over Kookaburra, 4:0. My friend found it at a yard sale earlier in the year and must have noted my covetous glances.

Since it doesn't explicitly mention Conner or Stars and Stripes it may be from just before the race, perhaps the qualifying race that selected the American challenger.

America's (Coffee) Cup 1987

Update 10am: The Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis is still on it's way to the Akademik Shokalskiy. Should be there later today. Reading up a bit on the rating, the 1.2m ice rating is continuous steaming ice breaking, she can still do the ride-up-on -and-break thing for thicker ice, but it'll be a long process. Everyone is hoping for a wind shift, which right now is pushing ice against the continent. If it turns westerly it'll lower the pressure and the ice will start to break up.

Grandpa and a couple of my cousins were in the Coast Guard - Grandpa did time in the Alaskan waters. I can just imagine their opinion of a ship's master that let himself get caught like that. I imagine the Australian Coast Guard is going have a bit of an inquiry into it. It's Russian registered, so their enforcement options are slim.

The "science" was apparently minimal, 18 scientists out of a ships complement of 74. Global warming stuff PR stuff for the most part it seems.

You have to wonder if being stuck in the ice in summer, having holes punched by it into the side of your ship, having two rescuers fail and having to call in a third from many days travel away will change any minds on board. I suspect not.

All these cruise ships fooling around in the arctic and antarctic are, literally, a disaster waiting to happen. There have already be a few close calls, engine failures and water taken aboard, one of these days a lot of lives will be lost...

Saturday 28 December 2013
Saturday - My friends returned from San Diego yesterday, so we got together for lunch at a local sushi place. Excellent as always.

They had a good trip, though Angel was a bit distraught at seeing S leave again. She's become accustomed to Ann, but apparently S still has a place of honor in her heart. But she's a lot less anxious, and has already put on a bit of weight, so I think it'll be OK.

Their daughter N was there at lunch, and we discussed cameras and photography, and she showed a couple of cute wedding video's she had made recently.

Since she had to head back to SF after lunch (stuff to do on Sunday), so we talked about the best way to get home. She had an invitation to see her grandmother in Hanford so she opted to take the somewhat longer route along the 99. Her dad and I supplied her with paper maps, and, of course, she had a new iPhone 5S with Google Maps installed.

Friday 27 December 2013
Friday - I went out, did a bit of shopping. Not much really going on.

Amusingly (right now, anyway) a tour ship - Akademik Shokalskiy - full of Global Warming enthusiasts - has gotten stuck in the icepack off Antarctica. It's the middle of summer down there, so they thought they could get away with things. Or maybe they believe their own nonsense, it's hard to say. In any case it's now an official Search & Rescue operation. Ship captains don't call out S&R unless they really really need to. They are stuck, the ship is beginning to list in the ice, and the two ships that were trying to rescue them, the Astrolabe and Xue Long, have given up. An actual icebreaker is apparently on the way, the Aurora Australis. She looks a bit small to me, actually, so I wonder if she can break through - reportedly the pack ice is about 4m thick right now, and she's rated to 1.3m or so. But perhaps she can break through rafted ice thicker than that.

You have to wonder how many tens of thousands of tons of marine diesel have been burned trying to rescue fools from their own actions?

Book #53 was The Devil's Eye(AB #4), by Jack McDevitt. Enjoyable. I've been looking around for my copy of A Talent for War(AB #1) and I can't find it. I have a distinct memory of the paperbacks cover, but it isn't shelved where it should be. Phoebe, bless his heart, had some spraying issues and a lot of books shelved near the ground in that room - authors whose names started with M and N specifically - got "sprinkled" by him and then tossed by me if they were too odorous or sticky...

Thursday 26 December 2013

Thursday - Lazed around, reading, watching my dubbed Korean soaps.

Book #51 was Seeker(AB #3), by Jack McDevitt. Benedict is an antiquities collection, in a galactic setting about 9,000 years from now. The milieu isn't much different than today

Book #52 was Echo(AB #5), by Jack McDevitt. Yeah, I've screwed up and read #5 before reading #4. It doesn't really matter, the books are pretty much stand-alone.

Christmas through the years here at Travels & Images:

Wednesday 25 December 2013

Tuesday 24 December 2013
Tuesday - Christmas Eve.

I had a nice dinner invite with some friends, it was extremely kind of them to have me over. I brought along some sparkling cider.

I also brought over a gift from another friend - a stand up Elvis template, that people could stick their heads through. It was a big hit with the adults... I put a 2x2 frame on it before coming over, but ran out of time on creating a frame that would easily let it stand up. Something like an easel would be nice I think.

It'd be a blue, blue Christmas without him..

Monday 23 December 2013
Monday - Eh. Pretty quiet. Reading, and watching anime...

Sunday 22 December 2013
Sunday - I did various chores around the house. My friends are off to San Diego, I'll be checking in on their house occasionally.

They insisted I take a present and open it early - it was a ROKU! I'd been wanting one, to use in place of the miserable VIZIO apps, so it is extremely welcome! I bought one in 2010 or so, but gave it away when I got the VIZIO, not realizing how bad the internal apps were.

I'm winding down for the holiday, not much going on around here now. Light or little posting for the next few days...

I did finish Book #50, Polaris (Alex Benedict #2), by Jack McDevitt, on the Kindle. Not bad, sort of a mystery-in-space thing. As I mentioned, I just recently recalled that there was a series in the vein. I'd read A Talent for War (AB #1) years ago, and Firebird(AB #6) was Book #134 way back in 2011.

Good to hit the 50 book mark. But even better to find a bunch of well written SF that I haven't already gone through! Guess I know what I'll be reading the rest of the holidays....

Picture of the Week
Starfish in Channel Islands Harbor 
Photo Notes: The starfish are still alongside the boat, feasting on the slip fingers wildlife.

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