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WEEK 6 2006

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Saturday 11 February 2006

Saturday - rode the bike today, about twelve miles, up towards the hills in Palmdale. It was a beautiful day, warm and nearly windless - it would have been almost criminal not to make something out of it.

In the mid morning the Verizon tech stopped by. When I told him that I thought perhaps they'd fixed the problem at the office he just laughed cynically. On the other hand he couldn't find anything wrong with the lines, inside or out. He called them a textbook case of what noise levels should be and suggested calling the DSL people the next time, if the problem resurfaces, as they have more equipment and sometimes respond faster to problems.

Global Flyer has landed, a bit early, but apparently has set a new worlds record. Congratulations to Fossett, it's an achievement in piloting, and congratulations to Scaled Composites, for the design and building of the vehicle!

Global Flyer Tracker Applet scan
West 1.84 degrees, North 50.78

From the linked page: "He travelled 26,389.3 miles and had a flight duration of 76 hours 45 minutes."

Friday 10 February 2006

Friday - the DSL had dropped out when I got up this morning. Bah.

I don't usually check the computer in the morning - too busy - but I'd a meeting in town this morning and have time to sit about with a cup of coffee. It was interesting, the people we were meeting were doing some good work I think.

At work I finalized travel preparations - I'm off to the east coast for a few days next week for some work stuff.

Via Opentopia, the JPL mission control in Pomona, California. Er, Pasadena anyone? Heh. The Owens Valley Radio Telescope Array is near Lancaster as well. Note the snow on the mountains. Judging from the shadows this morning, the sun is to the right of the camera,  those are the mountains must be to the east, so they'd be the White Mountains.

Thursday 9 February  2006

Thursday - the DSL is still working.

Last year I read (well, as it was an audio book, listened to)  A Thread Across the Ocean, about the first transatlantic cable. (Book #47, and a good read. Er, listen.) Here is a plot of current undersea cables, with the thickness representing the amount of traffic, in Gigabits Per Second.

There is a slashdot thread on why time travel is impossible today.

Spatial velocity is given as dx/dt. Velocity in time(dt/dt) is nonsensical. As simple as that.

Oddly not one person brought up the possibility of dt/dx, traveling in time through traveling in space. Did none of the slashdot geeks ever read Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber, or his Roadmarks?

I originally recalled that last as titled Last Exit to Babylon - see the cover art at the Amazon link for the reason why. I wonder if Zelazny kicked himself, after the book was in print: "Man, I wish I'd thought of that title!"

Man, the geeks these days...pikers, the lot of them.

Wednesday 8 February 2006

Wednesday - there is sort a garbled message on the answering machine, stating that problems with my phone service had been fixed, and asking me to press "2". Naturally my phone refused to press "2", but indeed, the static seems gone and I haven't been kicked off the DSL since this morning. So maybe that's fixed.

Tim suggests that I may have had water in the underground box. I dunno, it was dark when I got home, so I haven't checked the side of the house for digging or any other disturbance... OK, just checked, the box paint is undisturbed, so whatever they fixed must be somewhere else - assuming that they did fix it. The problem comes and goes.

The feeble "story in itself" is that the static was so bad that I couldn't get through to Verizon - not on the voice mail maze which was confused by that static I guess, or on DSL, which would drop out continually. I actually had to call from my work phone. Sheesh.

The Global Flyer has taken off, on another world record attempt. I believe I met Jon Karkow - he was one of the people at the house building party the other weekend. So I've rubbed elbows with someone (Karkow) who has rubbed elbows with someone (Bert Rutan) who has rubbed elbows with Fossett. Hoorah! for Seven Degree's of Kevin Bacon and all that.

Here is a screengrab from this evening.

Tuesday 7 February 2006

Tuesday - serious connectivity problems at home. Static on the voice line, continual disconnects on the DSL. I've contacted Verizon (a story in itself) and they should come out on Saturday to fix check on things.

 Monday 6 February 2006

Monday - Note the picture of the quarter above - and that's only half my winnings!

Book #8 is Napoleon: A Penguin Life, by Paul Johnson. Johnson doesn't like Napoleon at all, and it shows. Generally the books paints him as an opportunistic psychopath. I haven't read any Napoleonic biography before, but I suspect this book would taint me, if I needed more tainting than an upbringing on C.S. Forester...

Incidentally, "A Penguin Life" is not a description of Napoleon's height and physique, but rather indicates that this book is one in a series of biographies, by the Penguin imprint.

Sunday 5 February 2006

Sunday - Steelers Win! Whoo Hoo! I'm rich, rich, rich!!

Book #7 is The Battle of Brooklyn, John J. Gallagher. I first heard of this battle in McCullough's 1776, and saw this book at B&N for $9.95 on Saturday. I wonder if it's a source for McCullough? In any case, it's just on the BOB, and has maps and charts and does a good job explaining what happened.

It also has some entertaining tidbits. For example, at one point General Washington and the British Governor were living and working in New York at the same time. Indeed, they arrived on the same day. The city father's were faced with the task of meeting, greeting and entertaining them both - slipping away from one gala to attend the other, so as not to offend. Heh.

Picture of the Week

Riley and Phoebe outside..

Photo Notes: This is Riley and Phoebe, outside.

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