WEEK 52 2013
Mon- Tue- Wed-
Picture of the Week
17 March 2002
Ago, This Week, 2002
Ago, This Week, 2003
Ago, This Week, 2006
Ago, This Week, 2007
Ago, This Week, 2008
Ago, This Week, 2009
This Week, 2010
Tuesday 31 December
- New Years Eve. I did a bit of work on the app, cleaned, didn't really do much.
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
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
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:
Monday 30 December 2013
- 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.
no competent captain is going to enter 4m pack ice on a lee shore with
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.
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
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
- 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.
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 ;-)
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.
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.
"science" was apparently minimal, 18 scientists out of a ships
complement of 74. Global warming stuff PR stuff for the most part it
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
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.
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.
- 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
- 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
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:
still see myself as an easy going kid sometimes, but it's apparent that
I am occasionally seen by others as a bit critical and a tad
opinionated. A touch irritable on occasion, perhaps."
can remember, when younger, being confused at the idea of an
observatory without telescopes. Now I understand much better - some
people back then, just as today, had the irresistible urge to stand
around in the dark, shivering. Some things never change."
- 2004:"Boxing Day, in many countries. But not in the USA. Here we box our presents before we open them. Maybe they do more returns in Britain?"
other news, it started to storm, a good storm. I feel a bit guilty for
wishing it on the rest of California, but then, what did they ever do
for me, besides annoying me on the freeway?"
turns out that there is a video tribute to A Princess of Mars on
YouTube. Heh. Safe for work, through artful fogging and careful panning
when the upper torso of Dejah Thoris is in the frame..."
- 2007: "The end of the year should be a time for taking stock of a life and circumstances: we are out of pumpkin pie, again."
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."
- 2009:"Hey, I finally got that pony.... Just kidding."
it's time again for that final book tally. There were a lot this year,
which I put down to not being quite as busy as usual, and of having
evenings free when working away from home at my parents' place, and on
the boat, and not being desperately tired."
- 2011:"There was a trailer ... for Battleship, the movie...and I loved it.
I know it's a stupid idea, that it'll be lame and poorly done...but all
the 8 year olds in the theater and myself just sucked in our breath and
thought "OH FRACK YEAH...Battleships versus Spaceships".
- 2012:"Someone gave me a Brookstone Rover,
a little tank with a video camera that you can run from an iPad
app...The first thing I did was to chase my cat around the patio..."
Wednesday 25 December
- MERRY CHRISTMAS.
- 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..
- Eh. Pretty quiet. Reading, and watching anime...
- I did various chores
around the house. My friends are off to San Diego, I'll be checking in
on their house occasionally.
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,
(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....