sailing the NorSea


WEEK 5 2013

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Saturday 2 February 2013
Saturday - Running errands, doing this and that. The weather has warmed up considerably, I really need to get out and get some exercise.

The superbowl is tomorrow, the 49ers and Ravens, it should be a pretty even match.

The printer toner arrived, which is nice.

Dinner with friends over at the Soup Plantation. It's amazing how quickly their kids are growing...


Keeping the laptop cool. Note how the coolant material (glycol?) runs down to the bottom of the blue-ice pack as it warms.

Book #5, actually read over a week ago, was The Snitch, Houdini and Me, by Johnny Virgil. Very amusing.

Friday 1 February 2013
Friday - I did order new halyards, but it'll be nearly two weeks before they arrive. Well, I started talking about doing this last March, so I can't really complain too much, I guess.

Not much else going on.

I did get the MyBook Duo to work, when directly connected to the Mac. Directly connected with, supposedly, a gigabit port on either end it acts like a very very slow USB 1.0 connection. Clearly it has problems...

Thursday 31 January 2013

Thursday - Up to feeling 85% or so. I went out to run some errands - go by the library, and pick up a few items, cat food and kitty litter at Walmart, some printer toner at Staples across the way.

While in Staples I had to check the model number of the cartridge online, since the store had a couple of different items and I got burned by that with my old Epson CX7450 last year. The smartphone reported that the cartridge was a Brother TN-450 and that it sold from $45 at Amazon, and in the display directly in front of me was that very item - priced at $76.50. A thirty dollar differential! I like to support my local brick-n-mortar stores, but that's too much. So I went home and ordered it online. I have Prime, so shipping is free, although Amazon is now (illegally in my opinion) collecting sales tax for California. My Blu-Ray burner arrived the other day, and it seems I need disks for that, so I ordered some of those while I was at it.

Since I was on a roll, ordering stuff online, I also sent rigging department at the specs for my halyard, and asked for a quote. We'll see how that goes. I've been thinking about replacing them since last March, so it's time.

The main halyard would be

I might actually order two, (solid blue for the second) and use one as the topping life/backup.

An old pet peeve of mine surfaced while going through the Defender catalog. Take a look:


So item "P", the Ronstan, lists the load in English pounds, which while it is archaic, is at least a unit of Force, which is correct. The Wichard, item "O" gives the breaking load in kilograms, which being a unit of mass in the metric system is incorrect for this use. The use being what load will cause this shackle to break.

You have to multiply kilograms by the acceleration of gravity (9.81m/s^2 in metric) to get the actual breaking load of about 11,242 Newtons. Then, to get the English measurement divide by 4.45 to get 2526 lbf. [Of course, since "working load" and "breaking load" are different, you now have to go research that!]

Or you can take the shortcut, forget the dimensional analysis, and just remember to multiply kilograms by about 2.2 to get pounds-force.

This confusion between mass and force is endemic throughout the metric world.

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Wednesday  - Feeling a bit "off". Not in pain, mostly just tired and drippy. Hopefully it's just a cold, not the really bad flu that the paper says is going around. Didn't get a lot done, despite the best of intentions.

Fiddled with the inventory for a bit. Started printing stuff out, and ran out of toner in the little Brother laser printer. I'm guessing it was one of those 250 sheet "starter" cartridges.

The software to run a PC in virtual mode on the Mac laptop, Parallels V8, arrived. It, plus a copy of Win7 cost about $150. Cheaper than buying another PC, if it works out. I wasn't feeling intelligent enough to install it though, best to do that when feeling (and hopefully actually being) mentally sharper.

Talked to S about business matters, we are working our way through a Nolo Press set of incorporation papers. Very useful as an exercise, because you start to get a feel for what is involved, though I think we'll still get some professional advice on all this. Still wondering about Nevada vs. California incorporation.

Tuesday 29 January 2013
Tuesday - I came down, almost instantaneously, with some sort of head cold on Monday evening. It was so sudden and violent that I called a friend that I'd had dinner with earlier to see if it was an allergic reaction to the food . Sneezing, nose running, sinuses so congested that my teeth hurt. Ugghhh. Very strange.

By afternoon today I was much better, but there were some issues with the work I did whilst suffering....

I did finally finish another new book. I think I mentioned that I had accidentally reread Barbara Hambly's Blood Maidens, which was Book #43 in 2011, so it doesn't count against this years total. Annoyed, I read the next book in that series.

Book #4
was therefore The Magistrates of Hell, by Barbara Hambly. This is another in her vampire series, this time set in Peking (Beijing, but see the author'
s apologia for using the old style of transliteration at the beginning of the book). Overall very similar to the last couple of books in the series - I think writing Star Wars knock-off's may have accustomed Hambly to the running-in-place method of writing, where nothing really bad ever happens to the characters. I seem to recall that she had another series where she killed off the (very likable) protagonist in the third or fouth book.

I received an email from my brother mid-morning. His cat, Rita, passed away in her sleep last night. She was 13, and was suffering from kidney failure, so it wasn't unexpected  - he was doing the hypo of water under the skin thing, but it was her time I suppose. There is a picture of her in lasts week's posts. I know how hard that is - I lost Phoebe just a while ago and my Riley is pretty old and creaky these days himself, and I am steeling myself for the sad day when it comes.

Monday 28January 2012
Monday - More fun with the old laptop. I'm transferring files to/from the backup USB stick, and it starts telling me that the disk space is low. And indeed: only about 100MB left on the 60GB disk. So I spent another hour cleaning off old junky files, old projects, someone's music video's from 2004, and so on. and I'm back to 15GB+ free, but it's another time hit. Still, things are progressing.

An old t-shirt I found while cleaning out my closet.

Sunday  27 January 2012
Sunday - Cool and windy. The cat was beside himself, wanting out, wanting in, wanting out...

Not too much else going on. I was going to watch the Pro Bowl, but forgot. It doesn't do much for me, really. No one is going to play hard/well enough to risk an injury, so though it's cool to see all the players gathered together in one spot it's unlikely that you'll see them play up to their actual abilities....

I was reading a fiction book, and it started seeming familiar. After a while I realized that I'd read it a couple of years ago...

Oddly my Kindle 3G hung up, and wouldn't show my home page and list of books. I had to do the "hold for 20 seconds" thing with the switch for it to reboot to be able to get to that and the settings pages. It seems to be OK now though.

Put in a few more hours on the GIS job. After a scare where the old laptop overheated and froze I'm careful to keep a backup of my project on a USB drive, shutting down for a half hour every couple of hours, and making sure to keep blocks of blue ice under the decrepit piece of junk, next to the cooling fan intake..

Picture of the Week
desert with joshua trees and clouds 
Photo Notes: Desert, with Joshua trees and clouds, Jan 2013.

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