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WEEK 52 2016

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Thirteen Years Ago, This Week, 2003 Twelve Years Ago, this week, 2004 Eleven Years Ago, this week, 2005 Ten Years Ago, This Week, 2006
Nine Years Ago, This Week, 2007
Eight Years Ago, This Week, 2008
Seven Years Ago, This Week, 2009
Six Years Ago, This Week, 2010
Five Years Ago,
This Week,

Four Years Ago,
This Week,
Three Years Ago,
This Week,

Saturday 31 December 2016
Saturday - New Years Eve!

Adios and good riddance to 2016.

Rileyand books

The Books of 2016

#1  Madness in Solidar, (Imager Portfolio #9)
#2  Solar Express
#3  The Aeronaut's Windlass
#4  A Call To Arms
#5  Proven Guilty (Dresden Files, Book #8)

#6  Turn Coat (Dresden Files, Book 11)
#7  White Night (Dresden Files #9)
#8  Small Favor (Dresden Files #10)
#9 Changes (Dresden Files #12)
#10 Ghost Story (Dresden Files #13)
#11  Cold Days (Dresden Files #14)
#12  Furies of Calderon
#13 Skin Game (Dresden Files #15)
#14 Academ's Fury (Codex Alera #2)
#15 Cursor's Fury (Codex Alera #3)
#16 Captain's Fury (Codex Alera #4)
#17 Princep's Fury (Codex Alera #5)
#18 First Lord's Fury (Codex Alera #6)
#19 The Lost Gate
#20 The Gate Thief
#21 Son of the Black Sword
#22 Hell's Foundations Quiver
#23 Somewhither: A Tale of the Unwithering Realm (#1)
#24 Iron Chamber of Memory
#25 Rosario & Vampire Season 1
#26 Rosario & Vampire, Season 2
#27 The Rook (The Rook Files #1)
#28, Into The Storm
#29 Don't Make Me Think, Revisited (3rd edition)
#30, The Long Earth
#31, The Long War
#32 The Long Mars
#33 The Long Utopia
#34 The Long Cosmos
#35 Stiletto: A Novel (The Rook Files #2)
#36 Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
#37  Hollow City
#38 The Alien Way
#39 League of Dragons (Temeraire #9)
#40 Earth Unaware (The First Formic War)
#41 Earth Afire (The First Formic War)
#42 Earth Awakens (The First Formic War)
#43 The Kindred of Darkeness
#44 The Swarm
#45 Darkness on his Bones
#46 Pathfinder
#47 Blood In The Water
#48 Swan Knight's Son (The Green Knight's Squire #1)
#49 Feast of the Elf's (The Green Knight's Squire #2)
#50 Rachel and the Many-Splendored Dreamland
#51 Awake in the Night Land
#52 The Sinking of the Prince of Wales and & Repulse
#53 Two Necromancers, a Bureaucrat, and an Elf
#54 Two Necromancers, an Army of Golems, and a Demon Lord
#55 Two Necromancers, a Dragon, and a Vampire
#56 Ninth Euclid's Prince
#57 Ruins
#58 Visitors
#59 The Cunning Blood
#60 City Beyond Time: Tales of the Fall of Metachronopolis
#61 Swan Knight's Sword (The Green Knights Squire #3)
#62 Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd
#63 Ronin Games (Wearing the Cape #5)
#64 The Vindication of Man
#65 Honor at Stake (Love At First Bite #1)
#66 Murphy's Law of Vampires (Love at First Bite #2)
#67 Brass And Steel:Inferno
#68 Nethereal (Soul Cycle Book #1)

Books-2016, a Brief Evaluation
  1. Book of the Year, Fiction: #67 Brass and Steel:Inferno, by Jim Strickland. I have my doubts about the thermodynamics, but a fun read.
  2. Second Place Fiction: #48 Swan Knight's Son (The Green Knight's Squire #1) by J.C. Wright. YA Christian fiction, in an Arthurian vein.
  3. Book of the year, Non-fiction: #52 The Sinking of the Prince of Wales and & Repulse by P. Mahoney and M. Middlebrook.
  4. Second Place, Non-Fiction:#29 Don't Make Me Think, Revisited (3rd edition), by Steve Krug.
  5. Hardest Book: Nothing really stands out.
  6. Worst Book: None this year. A couple I abandoned part-way thru (the third book in the Peculiar Children series), but that was more me than any innate fault of the book.

The Year in Books, A Link to the Historical Listings:
  1. The Year in Books, 2016 (68)
  2. The Year in Books, 2015 (53)
  3. The Year in Books, 2014 (53)
  4. The Year in Books, 2013 (53)
  5. The Year in Books, 2012 (101)
  6. The Year in Books, 2011 (151)
  7. The Year in Books, 2010 (98)
  8. The Year in Books, 2009 (84)
  9. The Year in Books, 2008 (54)
  10. The Year in Books, 2007 (64)
  11. The Year in Books, 2006 (53)
  12. The Year in Books, 2005 (50)

Grand Total: 882 for the last fifteen years....

Friday 30 December 2016
Friday - Cool again.

I talked to my brother Bob a bit.  The old lanai structure in the side yard is failing in Martinez. 

Actually the earth below it is failing, so the support posts are sinking and tilting and it's in danger of falling.  It's been coming for some time - the retaining walls in the side yard are old and not well done to start with (the neighbor built them), so we'll have to tear it down.  It's a pity, it was one of Dad's nicer constructions.  The top is roughly 20'x30' of clean redwood, incredibly expensive today.  Bob says the nails have popped out all over the place, probably a sign that the underlying structure of fir/pine is rotten. 

Well, it's been 30+ years I guess, a pretty good run.

Thursday 29 December 2016
Thursday - Another quiet day. 

I haven't done much with the computers, too tired of the whole thing to want to mess with it.  I have barely even turned on the new Dell 2-in-1.  But I will. 

I will probably need to get another big monitor to work with the Windows machine, unplugging cables each and every time I need to use my one big external monitor is getting old.  And my eyes just aren't up to the miniscule type on an laptops view of Visual Studio.

Wednesday 28 December 2016

Wednesday - Cool.

Went over to a friends for dinner and was amazed at how their kids have grown in just a few months...

Their father had gotten some Raspberry Pi 2 kits last year, decided they were too advanced for the kids, but was thinking of trying them this year.  So he handed one to me, and asked me to try assembling it and to see if it was of a level for a 12 year old.  Just looking at the back of the box it's a pretty advanced setup, a quad-core processor, motherboard, and runs several variants of what looks to be Linux.  I'll give it a try.

I've started watching 'The Expanse', now streaming via Prime from Amazon.  It was a good book and it looks like a good adaptation.

Tuesday 27  December 2016
Tuesday - Not much to say.  Quiet around here.

Monday 26 December 2016
Monday - The weather continues 'mixed'.  We surely need the rain.

There is snow on the hills however, which is nice.

snow on tehachapis
Snow on the mountains to the north.

I did a quick check of the blog and it looks like I didn't skip a week, things just worked out this way.  Huh.

Sunday  25 December  2016

The H family kindly invited me over for dinner. This was mostly family and close friends, so it was a real honor to be invited.

Other than that, quiet.

I did dog sitting chores in the morning and evening, and generally tried to take it easy. 

I made sure to break up the ice on the water bowl in the morning-

ice in dogs water bowl
A skim of ice in the dogs water bowl.

Saturday 24 December 2016
Saturday - Christmas Eve.

Yeah, I know, Week #52 is shaping up to be two weeks long.  I probably messed up and skipped a week somewhere, but I'm not going to go redo dozens of blog posts. It is what it is.

Cold, scattered clouds. A little bit of rain, 1/10" in the am hours.

My friends left rather late, early afternoon, but apparently arrived OK in Walnut Creek.

I went over and fed their dogs, and spent some time with them, before penning the indoor dogs and heading home.

Book #67 was Brass And Steel:Inferno, by Jim Strickland.  It was a very enjoyable steampunk-nanotechnology stuff, set in an Old West of 1895.  This universe has apparently diverged from ours roughly about the pre-Civil War era, when AI's (built using mechanical computers, gears and rods and steam!) try to take over the country.

Their agents of choice are people, who are gutted and their insides (including brains) replaced with machinery, known as Doppelganger's - 'dopes'.  You gradually realize that the U.S. Marshal protagonist is a 'dope' himself, a failed conversion from decades earlier, who (naturally) hates the AI's and dopes with a passion, and lives (if that's the word) to destroy them.  The U.S.A. won the war, but there are still some bad guys around...

My favorite book of this last half of the year, surprised me.

(Sadly the protagonist never says "Eat hot lead Slackers!", but maybe the author, Strickland, has heard that one before? )

Book #68 was Nethereal (Soul Cycle Book #1), by Brian Niemeier.   Ummmm.   It didn't really grab me much.  Lots of christian analogy stuff, which isn't bad when done well, but the characters and settings were pretty cardboard, I couldn't get into it.  It's too bad because there are a couple of sequels that I could have looked forward too, but meh....

Friday 23 December 2016
Friday - More rain, about 1/2".  Even some snow coming down on the hills.

Talked to my friends daughter on the phone for a bit.  She's installing a sink, and there is PEX-ish stuff coming out of the wall, but just normal corrugated metal faucet attachments coming down from the faucets above.  I could only suggest that Home Depot might have a fitting/manifold to connect the two, it can't be the first time this sort of thing has happened. She will need shutoff valves under there anyway, and it sort of looks from the cell phone picture like the hot and cold lines might be reversed....

She said it's a bit cold and drafty, so I packed up some weatherstripping and foam and the storm window plastic stuff and sent it off with her parents for her. It should help.

Went by the new Quartz Hill Library, picked up some books, dropped some off.

Thursday 22 December 2016
Thursday - A storm has finally arrived in the valley, and we got 0.33" of rain, which is a lot for around here!

My friends are heading north for the holiday, but decided to hold off until Christmas Eve, because of the weather. I'll take care of their pets while they're gone.

Book #66 was Murphy's Law of Vampires (Love at First Bite #2), by Declan Finn.  An entertaining sequel to the first book.

Wednesday 21 December 2016

Wednesday - An average winter day for Lancaster.

Met up with the accessibility lady, had a good talk.  After carefully charging my Cooper switches overnight, and boxing them and bringing them down to the kitchen counter, I then left them at home.  So we mostly just talked, but learned some good stuff.

We also swung by and picked up the Dell Model 3168 2-in-1 at Staples, it was on sale for a good price. This was the 4GB Ram & 500GB disk version, kind of a low-mid range model, which is what we want: good enough to test the app but weak enough not to hide any serious performance issues.

Book #65 was Honor at Stake (Love At First Bite #1), by Declan Finn.  This was inexpensive, and a 'Christian Vampire' novel.  Who knew there was such a thing?  Anyway, pretty good, as these things go.

Tuesday  20 December 2016
Tuesday - Working away on this and that, not a lot to say.

I'm not actually feeling very motivated, not getting a lot done on the app.

I did a scan through my collection of old pictures, and the last big prepping, including the stuff I put together for my dad, was in October of 2005. I might test one of the water bottles, just out of curiosity.  The batteries were dead and the food...disappeared.

Monday 19 December 2016
Monday - Sunny but cold.

I work up in the early AM hours.  I couldn't reason why, then heard the sprinklers going.  So, since it was well below freezing, I arose and turned them off.  Later in the day, after lunch, I manually cycled them.

Trying to be organized, but kind of tired and listless all day.

I said I'd take a programming break, but it's pretty boring around here with nothing to do. There's plenty of programming work....

Sunday  18 December  2016
Sunday - Sunny,  cool.

WinCo &Albertson's shopping in the morning.

On the road, down to visit some friends in Ojai mid-morning.  Back in the late afternoon.

Picture of the Week

Ed at Havasupai
Havasupai, November 2005.

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