Sailing Hummingbird feeder
Travels and Images

WEEK 6 2005

Last Week- Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week

Picture of the Week


Lancaster Weather NOAA
Lancaster WeatherUnderground

A Year Ago, This Week Two Years Ago, this week

Weekly Picture Archive

Saturday 12 February 2005

Saturday - Google now has a map utility in beta test, Google maps. Blazingly fast - much faster than Mapquest, though still not a finished product. In particular the directions-to portion has issues. Still, it's a hint of the future. Add in something like Geo-URL and Terra-Fly, live satellite overviews, USGS geodetic surveys, local web cams, and so on and it will be remarkable. It can already flag sites of interest - hospitals, wifi host spots and so on.

Only the continental United States seems to be mapped right now. That's sort of irritating - I mean, yeah, probably 90% of Googles visitors are interested in that, but what about the rest? It would be fun to look at the harbor at Recife, or to check out how far Stonehenge is from the nearest town. It's a bit like watching the weather channel and having no idea of what is happening in Canada and Mexico - I'm as parochial as the next guy but pretending the neighbors have no streets or towns to live in is worse than pretending they have no weather!

I suppose, if they had no weather they wouldn't actually need homes with roofs and such. They'd still need roadways though.

google map of mexican border
Case in point: down at the border - Calexico, but no Mexicali!

I spent the afternoon driving around the desert east of here, out towards Garlock. The weather was broken clouds after a couple days of rain and I was watching for road washouts and such - but didn't see any. There were some repairs that probably date to the torrential storms of a month ago, however. Unfortunately Garlock, an old ghost town, is completely fenced off. I didn't have a guide book with me, but there appears to be a tunnel that one can walk through, which would have been cool.

Stopped for a coke in nearby Randsburg and took some pictures - but the afternoon light under clouds wasn't particularly conducive to photography. Next week being a three day weekend the locals are expecting quite a crowd. It's sort of a dirt biker place, plus a destination for road touring, and there are a couple of saloons, and a lot of antique stores (mostly closed this time of year).

I recall visiting with some friends, ten years or more ago, and we had looked at some decrepit little cabin/shack perched on the side of a hill, saw that was for sale, and laughed at the thought of buying it. Well, someone obviously lives in it now. In general the houses there are mostly shacks (and trailer homes), and it is remarkable to consider that people live in them perfectly happily, protected from the elements only by tin roofs and tar paper, when I have to pay for a permit and get multiple inspections just to have a damm patio cover put on my 1980's vintage house in Lancaster.

A cynic might suspect that the City of Lancaster's permitting process was designed not so much to help homeowners as to enrich the city with permitting fee's and increased taxes on the increased appraisal value.

Now, if Randsburg was in Mexico or Canada where they have no weather,  the indifference of local authorities to modern building codes would be understandable.

My sister V gave my father a nice gift - a drawing she made of my father's dog (she has always had a bunch of talent in that direction, unlike myself), and nicely framed it, and it's currently the photo in the upper right at the top of this page. In case it goes away here is a permanent shot:

a drawing of Peggy
Peg, with her trademark floppy ear pose.

Friday 11 February 2005

Friday - Kathy and Irving - tying the knot! Wow!!! [via farm accident digest]

And, linked from the same site, clean-your-screen-for-free. Which is cute. And qualifies as Friday cat blogging.

Yeah, I am hard up for ideas this week. How could you tell?

It rained last night and today. Huge puddles, no walk. I can't get to my mailbox. My new program doesn't work. My old program doesn't work. My cat threw up.

radar screen shot of the storm

Thursday 10 February  2005

Thursday - Opentopia: webcams around the world. Kind of interesting - lots of building security cams and such, not just cams situated at photogenic spots. The Piazza in Gibraltar. Parking spots in Evansville. The National Corvette Museum. A pool hall. Black screens.  Many are very very dull. [via presurfer]

Wednesday 9 February 2005

Wednesday - shoveled and wheelbarrowed the manure from the truck in front to the new raised garden box in back. I was loaned a book called Lasagna Gardening. It might be fun.

As I was hopping in the truck to pull it out into the street  a young lady came running up to me. "Can you take me over to the college, quick? I'm late for my final!" I'd never even seen this person before today but she apparently knew me. (Can you say cranky guy on the corner?)

Nobody asks for a ride in a manure truck unless they are really really really desperate, so I dropped her off. It's only a half mile and it was 3:02 when I let her out. Good luck with your finals, mystery student-person...

Ok, more blog stuff on economy and social security stuff here. A sample:

As I see it, the key difference between Rawlsian contractarianism and Buchanan/Gauthier rational choice contractarianism is not just that Rawls posits a sense of justice, a capacity enabling agents to be motivated by considerations that nicely allow for the choice of non-Nash, Pareto-improving strategies

I have no idea what that means. Do you suppose it is the Nash from 'A Beautiful Mind'? That would make it game theory stuff of some sort. But there is an earlier post where references are made to calculators, that can model the effects of different social security plans. Which does appeal to the empirical in me.

Though I'm far too lazy to actually try them out.

Tuesday 8 February 2005

Tuesday - my brother sent me an article about Ellen MacArthur, who now holds the single-handed sailing around the world record of  71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds. It's a remarkable feat, and there is a web site here.

If you missed this years superbowl ads, they are here.

Confused about Social Security reform? Me too. Tyler Cowen is against it. Becker & Posner are for it. Complicated stuff. But I'm sort of inclining to David Frums view:

If Fred writes an IOU for $10 to Jim, Jim has an asset. But if Fred writes an IOU to Fred for $10, he has not created an asset for himself – he’s created a reminder notice.

Monday 7 February 2005

Monday - working away, keeping busy. Not entirely happy with various test cases results...

Huge cuts at NASA Langley and NASA Glenn, aeronautics related. No word yet on my old NASA Dryden stomping grounds.

Sunday 6 February 2005

Sunday - I talked to the groom, Michael, from next store. Seems like a nice guy - he's in the service and shipping out to New York tomorrow.

I told him that I had planned to shovel manure Saturday, but held off in consideration of the guests next door. He seemed appreciative...

Instead my friend came over on Sunday afternoon, put her daughter to work pruning the roses in the front, and helped me build a garden frame in the back yard for the compost. She'd already built one and it went quickly with help. My back gave out about halfway through, so it was good someone was there to finish digging the post holes, though a bit embarrassing. Tomorrow, if I unstiffen a bit I'll wheelbarrow the compost into the back yard.

Oh yes, I planted a couple more fruit trees as well - an Asian Pear and an Apricot.

How about those Patriots. Terrible clock management on the Eagles side in the second half. They were an underdog competitor and just couldn't afford the kind of mistakes they made. So it goes.

Picture of the Week
compost pile next to truck

Photo Notes: A friend gave me an entire pile of c*** the other day. The quality of Lancaster soil (sand and clay) makes it a nice gift. The wheelbarrows and truck tire off to one side gives a nice sense of scale for the pile!

Last Week- Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week