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xWEEK 52 2014x

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

Two Years Ago,
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One Year Ago,
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Wednesday 31 December 2014
Wednesday - New Years Eve.

I went over to my friends R&S, where we had dinner and cookies, opened a few presents (they were out of town at Christmas) and watched a MythBusters marathon until midnight.

It was very cold out at midnight, but the number of firecrackers and noisemakers seemed to be greater than the last few years.

Since my neighborhood is usually pretty noisy I accepted an invitation to stay over for the night.

The Year in Books - 2014

cat and books

#1 A Talent For War (Alex Benedict #1)
#2 iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide, 3rd Edition
#3 The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce #1)
#4 The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce #2)
#5 A Red Herring without Mustard (Flavia de Luce #3)
#6 I am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia de Luce #4)
#7 The Dead in their Vaulted Arches (Flavia de Luce #5)
#8 The Judge of Ages (Hermetic Millenia #3)
#9  Rising Tides (Destroyermen #5)
#10 Firestorm (Destroyermen #6)
#11 Iron Gray Sea (Destroyermen #7)
#12 Broken Homes (Rivers of London #4)
#13 Existence
#14 Storm Surge (Destroyermen #8)
#15 The Lure of the Basilisk (Lords of Dus #1)
#16 The Seven Altars of Dusarra (Lords of Dus #2)
#17 The Sword of Bheleu (Lords of Dus #3)
#18 The Book of Silence (Lords of Dus #4)
#1Like a Mighty Army
#20  iOS Drawing: Practical UIKit Solutions
#21 How to Massage Your Cat
#22 Blood of Tyrants (Temeraire #8)
#23 The Unwilling Warlord
#24 The Wizard and the War Machine
#25 The Martian
#26 Hyperbole and a Half
#27 Rex Regis: The Eighth book of the Imager Portfolio,
#28 Ark Royal
#29 The Nelson Touch,
#30 The Tralfalgar Gambit
#31 Mobile Learning For All, Supporting Accessibility for the iPad
#32 A Sword Into Darkness
#33 Origins of a D-List Supervillain
#34 Objective-C for Dummies
#35 The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Invincible
#36 The Lost Fleet: Beyond the Frontier: Guardian
#37 The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
#38 The Horse and His Boy
#39 Prince Caspian
#40 The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
#41 The Silver Chair
#42 The Last Battle
#43 Revelation Space
#43 Admiral's Spine (Little Admiral #6)
#45 The World Swappers
#46 The Night Circus
#47 The Magician's Land
#48 The Rheseus Chart
#49 Cibola Burn (The Expanse, Book 4)
#50 How to Succeed in Evil
#51  Redemption Ark
#52 Absolution Gap
#53 The Killing of Worlds

Books-2014, A Brief Evaluation:
  1. Book of the Year, Fiction: #25:  The Martian, by Andy Weir.
  2. Second Place Fiction: #3:  The Sweetness At The Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley.
  3. Book of the year, Non-fiction: #31:  Mobile Learning For All, Accessibility for the iPad, by Luis F. Perez.
  4. Second Place, Non-Fiction: #2:  iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide, 3rd Edition, by Conway & Hillegass.
  5. Hardest Book: Nothing really stands out. The iOS books, #2, #20, and #34 were technical, but not really 'hard'. It's hard remembering alll the contents.
  6. Worst Book: None this year. Some were dull, or short, and some suffered from the era they were written in, but none that were actively evil or insulting to the reader.

The Year in Books, A Historical Listing:

  1. The Year in Books, 2014 (53)
  2. The Year in Books, 2013 (53)
  3. The Year in Books, 2012 (101)
  4. The Year in Books, 2011 (151)
  5. The Year in Books, 2010 (98)
  6. The Year in Books, 2009 (84)
  7. The Year in Books, 2008 (54)
  8. The Year in Books, 2007 (64)
  9. The Year in Books, 2006 (53)
  10. The Year in Books, 2005 (50)

Grand Total: 761 for the last ten years....

Tuesday 30 December 2014
Tuesday - Cold and overcast in the morning, but no snow. No sleet. No rain. The postman is probably happy, but I'm a bit disappointed.

Checking the weather report: the 80% chance of snow for later in the day has turned to 0%. I thought it was weird that they were predicting snow and a high pressure, which usually forces storms away.

We had a couple of gusts of wind - not much, and that was it. They weren't strong enough to blow over the empty  garbage cans out in front of the house.

Worked on the app, mostly fixing stuff on the Settings scene. This took most of the day. Like the Work scene, I'm not entirely happy with it under the hood, but everything works pretty well now. I need to fix the score counter (again), then we are essentially done with the logic and flow for the base (gesture-driven) version. I need to get the art from S, and redo things with the correct art and sizes and vocals, in standard and retina.

She needs to review the functionality of the app as it. Maybe we can put it on her iPad this week, and she can come up with a punch list of items that need fixing. Fresh eyes and all that.

And, as I said before, do the assistive tech stuff for the physically handicapped segment of our (currently hypothetical) user base.

cats present was oat grass
The cats enjoying their Christmas eve present from S - oat grass!

Monday 29 December 2014
Monday - Cold overnight, down into the 20's. They are predicting a huge storm by late Tues/Weds, with snow accumulating on the desert floor. It's been a while since we had a good snow in the valley, I'm looking forward to it.

Not much else going on.

Back to programming. The day was reasonably productive: I fixed a bug I'd found, then added some functionality that S had asked for, in the program flow. One success a day is actually pretty good progress, two is unusual.

I need to go back to the Settings page and update that to show the Left|Right orientation within the sample display, and (maybe, see below) the sample animations.

At that point the initial gesture-driven version is done, and I'll need to get the artwork from S for the standard and retina versions.

After which it remains to create versions to add in the assistive learning stuff, tap and switches.

This means the sample animations will be for five levels and three different modes, so we're up 15 in all. This is probably getting to be too much to "inline" in the code, perhaps the external video option is the way to go.

Update: It occurs to me, since there are two orientations, we are up to 30 sample animations...

Okay, maybe it's not the most creative icon, but the artwork is Sheryl's bailiwick, I'm just the code monkey.

Sunday 28 December  2014
Sunday - Still pretty cool out.

My friends returned on Saturday evening. The traffic from the Bay Area was pretty heavy, about 7 hours of driving they said.

I haven't done a "Found CD" in a while, here's one that I saw at the college, over near the athletic fields when I went over to reset my school password a couple of weeks ago.

fresh palm fronds
The image is a bit light-struck, but I think it's Fresh Palm Fronds by Tone In Georgia.

Saturday 27 December 2014
Saturday - Did a few chores, a bit of shopping.

I finished Book #53, The Killing of Worlds by Scott Westerfield. This was the sequel to The Risen Empire, which was Book #78 in 2009.

Oddly, like the Reynold's book it has the protagonist fighting AI and (cyborged) human enemies and only 'plausible' slower-than-light starships (but then begin to flirt with scenarios full of weird science created by the god-like AI's). And, like them, it ends rather inconclusively.

Friday 26 December 2014
Friday - Laid around, watched TV at my friends house, and my house. I suppose I should be working, but hey, it's Christmas.

Thursday 25 December 2014

Thursday - Christmas Day. A  MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone!

Christmas Joshua Tree
A Christmas Cactus (though, technically, a Joshua Tree isn't a cactus).

I went over to my friends out in Antelope Acres for dinner, L&A and all their boys. A delicious meal, German brats and sauerkraut and whatnot. Apparently Grandma was of German descent, and it's their family tradition at Christmas.

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Wednesday - Christmas Eve.

I spent this with my friends R&C. We had a delicious turkey dinner, and played UNO and Hearts with the kids....

Tuesday 23 December 2014
Tuesday - Quiet around here. I spent a few hours at my friends house, feeding dogs and fish.

The new barker breakers seem to be working well. Of course I thought that last year, and someone in the neighborhood disagreed and reported them the county Animal Control.

The new barker breakers are powerful, rechargeable, digital, and "level up" if the dog keeps barking after a zap...

I finished Book #52, Absolution Gap, the third in the Alastair Reynolds series. It was OK, but after the first book there really wasn't a lot of development. For a story that covers about 500 years that's a bit of a negative.

Monday 22 December 2014
Monday - Not much to say. Winding down for the holidays I guess.

I've agreed to dogsit for friends going out of town, so I'll be over at their house for a couple of hours, morning and evening. Two inside dogs, two outside dogs, cats and fish.

Sunday 21 December  2014
Sunday - An OK day. I did a few chores, cleaned up a bit. 

I had a Christmas card come back - I'd addressed it to myself. Sheesh. So, a new envelope and stamp, and off it goes, again. I seem to screw up somehow every year - no address, wrong address, no stamp, etc.

I'm up to about 25 cards sent, and about five or six received (er, not counting the mis-addressed letter). Pretty normal year for me.

I'd invited my brother B down, but he emailed back to say that my brother M was going up to visit him. Huh.

It must have been around Christmas 2000, over 10 years ago, that my friend Tim sold his house in Lancaster and moved back south. Time does fly...


I finished Book #51 for the year, Redemption Ark, by Alastair Reynolds. Apart from TV there isn't much to do in the evenings around here.

Picture of the Week
Bob and Dad, christmas 2000.
Photo Notes: Christmas of 2000. Bob and Dad - we're a family of readers from way back.....

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