sailing the NorSea


WEEK 6 2009

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First Post, 17 March 2002
Seven Years Ago, This Week, 2002 Six Years Ago, This Week, 2003 Five Years Ago, this week, 2004 Four Years Ago, This Week, 2005 Three Years Ago, This Week, 2006
Two Years Ago, This Week, 2007
Year Ago,This Week 2008

Saturday 7 February 2009
Saturday - still cold and rainy, which is good.

I made a backup of the blog, both the HTML pages and the images. Burned it to a CD and put it away. Since I post from either the laptop or the desktop, and occasionally my father's computer, the images and text pages aren't complete in any one spot, except the online server. Everything since March 2002, hopefully, though I think there is some stuff missing from the early days.

Update: Actually, upon review, none of the images made it to the backup CD. And now I am out of CD's. Bah.

Don't you hate it when you run a billion dollar missile cruiser aground, on your first voyage in her as Captain, right in front of everybody? Article and comments can be found at the USNI web site.

USS Port Royal aground off Honolulu
USS Port Royal, aground near Pearl Harbor.

Friday 6 February 2009

Friday - the rain continues, rather a lot of it. More, honestly, than I expected - I assumed the forecasters were exaggerating. Not so, not so. Looking at various Antelope Valley weather stations we seem to have had about 1" of rain.

Phoebe and open door
Phoebe, and the open back door.

Phoebe, at 18 pounds, has the heft to shoulder open the door from the outside, if it's left ajar or only kept closed by an old phone book. Then he sits, inside, staring out over the lintel as the central heat runs continuously. Eventually I notice and close the door, at which point one or both cats will want outside again.

Thursday 5 February 2009

Thursday - well, it actually did rain, so it was back to Lancaster.

Finished on the way up was Book #5, True North: Peary, Cook, and the Race to the Pole*, by Bruce Henderson. This recapitulates the controversy of whether Frederick A. Cook first reached the North Pole on April 22, 1908, or Robert E. Peary did so April 6, 1909.

It was an interesting book, somewhat slanted in favor of Cook. In the end one is led to the general conclusion that Peary almost certainly didn't achieve the pole, and despite Henderson's favorable portrait, that it is unlikely that Cook did so. The actual evidence for either achievement is sadly meager. Both were competent and experienced arctic explorers, neither had a witness capable of scientifically assessing the attainment - Cook with two illiterate Eskimo, Peary with Matthew Henson. Neither man ever produced the raw sextant data that they 'reduced' to calculate they were at the pole.

If they weren't at the pole, then the first men there were, according to the Wikipedia North Pole Article, airmen on the airship Norge flying over it, and either a Russian aircraft landed team in 1948 or an American aircraft landed team in 1952. So Cook and Peary's probable falsehoods delayed the real achievement by nearly half a century (aided by the fact that once it was realized it was just ocean ice at the pole some of the glamor faded) and robbed the actual mid-century explorer's of the glory.

You know, however, if I even find myself on a trip to Annoatok, Greenland, I plan to bring along a metal detector and look for Cook's cached box of raw data and instruments, entrusted to, then buried and lost by Harry Whitney in 1909.

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Wednesday - They are predicting rain tomorrow, and through the weekend, so it looks as though I'll have time on other stuff. It's nice to do a bit of office stuff for a change.

The last few weekends, since Christmas really, I've been working on turning the spare bedroom into more of an office. Put a desk in there, brought up some old cluster CPU's from the garage, but the mass of debris in there (the bedroom)  is amazing - it is barely possible to move, let alone assemble and get the cluster operational. Time for an early spring cleaning - those old XT's and 286's are bound for oblivion, along with a pile of other archaic and obsolete stuff.

Of course, the cluster is made of four ABIT BP-6's, running dual Celeron 300's (overclocked to 400Mhz)...which some might consider obsolete. Heh.

Anyway, the AV dump has a toxic/electronic waste drop off, so maybe this Saturday is good for that.

Over the weekend I stopped at 'The Dollar Store and bought another 2009 calendar. For fifty cents, why not? I mean, it was already February, so I didn't need the missing month of January...

Tuesday 3 February 2009

Tuesday - Warm today, borderline hot, 83F at 1:00pm by the car thermometer, which is actually fairly accurate. And considerably warmer down in the channel.

Interesting factoid:  was talking to a local after work. He mentioned that the channels there worked well, but that the little puddles of standing water in Hummingbird Creek didn't exist until after the Northridge Earthquake of 1994. I didn't see much damage, but I wonder how much of what I did see was caused by that one event?

Hummingbird Creek, by the way, is not the bucolic idyll it sounds like, but rather a boring concrete trapezoid (at least where I was).

 Monday 2 February 2009

Monday - back at work, a reasonable day. Sunny.

I discovered in the evening that some of Friday's data is missing, and will have to be done over. Including a missed piece from last July. Sheesh. There is just a point or two in a file that should contain - and did contain, at one point - hundreds. Well, it'll go quick, the points are marked, and the videos and pictures are taken, and I have a hardcopy notebook of what I saw. Still...

Sunday 1 February 2009

Sunday - I had thought I would watch the Super Bowl with my brother, but he didn't call, and didn't answer my calls, so perhaps he was out of town. So, I watched the Cardinals lose the game. At that level of play you can't afford to make mistakes, and the Cardinals made too many.

Worst part? It cost me 50 cents, to my Dad.

I understand my other brother lost really big money, $1.00, to Dad.

Picture of the Week
Hummingbird Creek, Simi Valley, Ca.
Photo Notes: Hummingbird Creek, Simi Valley, Ca.

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