WEEK 6 2012
Mon- Tue- Wed-
Picture of the Week
17 March 2002
Ago, This Week, 2002
Ago, This Week, 2003
Ago, This Week, 2006
Ago, This Week, 2007
Ago, This Week, 2008
Ago, This Week, 2009
This Week, 2010
|One Year Ago,
Saturday 11 February 2012
Saturday - went to see Celtic Knight's
at the LPAC. Not bad. A bit too much Irish schmaltzy stuff, but a lot
of good stuff too. A friend said she was concerned that it would
descend to Tony Kenny levels of horribleness, but it was OK.
Three way fiction mashup.
- Riley gave me a scare yesterday, I thought he'd gotten out of the
yard. He was nowhere to be found out there, or in the house. I walked
all the way around the block without seeing him. I then searched the
house and yard again. Then I sat down to make a "Lost Cat" poster.
Getting ready to go out and post them all over the neighborhood I
checked the back door to see that it was locked. And there he was, the
little devil, ready to come in and eat.
Stupid Cat. A false alarm, but where the heck was he?
Not much else going on. Only one tripped gopher trap (with no gopher in it).
Building up quite a stack of stuff to take down to the boat though. I'm
ready to go sailing soon. Stuff to do in town this weekend, then
probably down to Oxnard next week.
Book #17 was Neptune's Inferno, by James D. Hornfischer.
I saw this on the display table as I was walking out of the library
Thursday and checked it out. One of the first non-fiction books I
ever read about the USN was a little paperback about the Battle of Savo Island (off Guadalcanal), the loss of the Vincennes, Canberra, Quincy, Astoria
and the others, and it horrified me at the time. I had simply assumed
naval superiority and invincibility for the USN in WWII - we won, after
all - and the description of the overwhelmingly one sided initial
defeat by the IJN was a complete shock. NI
is about that same battle, and it's sequels, told from a few more
decades of information and time to reflect. Absolutely riveting, if you
are into that stuff.
The book goes into that battle, and the many successors, in which the
Japanese tried to reinforce the garrison on Guadalcanal at night, the
Americans tried to do the same in the day for their own Marines there.
The Americans had better radar, but failed to use it properly, and the
continual changing of commanders meant that lesson's learned had to be
relearned. The initial American theater commander was a bit like
McClellan, an excellent logistics and peacetime man, thrust into a
wartime job he wasn't suited for. The IJN commanders were
overconfident. Both sides were at the extreme ends of their supply
lines, six thousand miles from home, and lack of ships, fuel, men and
intelligence meant that both were often operating in the dark.
Indeed, the IJN had excellent practice in fighting in the dark, and virtually all the battles took place late at night.
In one of the later battles the USN finally had enough fuel oil to send
their battleships north (and at the time all the USN carriers were sunk
or disabled and didn't need their protection). In a night action the
USN and IJN fleets ran into one another - almost literally,
interpenetrating and fighting at 1000 yards or less, point blank range.
Battleships, cruisers, destroyers all firing at the same time, almost
indiscriminately, the torpedo's in the water sometimes failing to
explode because the range was so short their safeties hadn't disengaged.
Watched Forbidden Planet,
on my first Blu-Ray disk. An excellent picture, then I fell asleep
watching the extras. Too early, even for me (about 9:00pm), so I woke
up at 3am. I went down and played with the Blu-Ray player, figuring out
how to get YouTube and Pandora working. In theory the TV also gets
those, but I haven't seen them in the menu. Apparently Vizio updates
things occasionally, maybe they haven't been loaded into the TV proper
yet? Anyway, both work fine through the Vizio Blu-Ray player. And by
4am I was sleepy enough to go back to bed.
Thursday 9 February 2012
- Gorgeous weather, sunny and warm, probably in the 70's. And it's not even mid February.
Of the four gopher traps I put out yesterday, three were tripped. But there was no gopher in any of them. Hmm.
Another chore: I bought a seat cover to place over the Probe drivers
side seat. The original upholstery is separating and foam is coming out
(unsurprising for a car built in late 1990). I said 'cover' because
there was just one in the
box. I assumed two, but the box actually says 'cover' and not 'covers'
so I guess I can't complain. It's not that great a fit, but it beats
having little bits of foam all over my clothes. It would look better
with two similar covers I suppose.
Wednesday 8 February 2012
Wednesday - Still amusing myself with that picture of the Surprise.
- Gopher traps, Riley has volunteered to take care of the problem but I don't feel comfortable letting him outside at night.
- Stopped by
Pep Boys and picked up some automotive fuses to fix my multi-outlet
adapter on the Explorer. My friend plugged his big inverter into it a
few weeks ago and blew the fuse. It was a 5A fuse, but all Pep Boy's
had was 6A, so that's what I used. I'm pretty sure none of my phones
and GPS units use much more than 1A, and the lighter/power outlet itself is
probably on a 15 or 20 amp circuit.
- Also picked up some 6V lanterns at
Walmart. Generally I keep one in each vehicle, with the battery not
inserted, but they are all missing. Up in Martinez I suspect, I recall
using them under the house and in the attic. The new lanterns are LED,
and should be as bright and last longer.
- Drilled out some corroded seat
bolts on the u/s commode ... only to discover I've lost the nylon
washers for the new bolts. Thrown out? Anyway, back to Home Depot or
Walmart for those, eventually. Eh. Just went and got them.
- Replaced more commode innards.
Riley is obsessed by the gopher holes,
More yard work and clean up, now that my trash barrels are empty again.
and now spends much of his time sitting on top of them.
Talked to my mechanic about the bad driver's side lock on the Probe, he said to take it to a locksmith. Another chore...
I think I mentioned a
year or two ago having to get new tires for my Explorer, after local
tire stores refused to patch a flat. The tires were too old, they said.
Turns out that it's true, but that they still sometimes sell older
tires, because they can just replace them under warranty if they fail.
But the failure mode is a sidewall blowout, pretty dangerous at freeway
speeds for the unwary consumer. Bizarrely, what we need is MORE GOVERNMENT REGULATION, but the NHTSA refuses.
It never occurred to me to check the manufacture date on my new tires
for the Explorer in early 2009, I just assumed they were a month or two
old. Via The Wheel and Tyre Bible, the date stamp was the 4 digit code 4608, that is, the 46th week of 2008. The Probe tires are 5207. So, everything is good there, Costco did right by me.
7 February 2012
- More yard work, mostly just light stuff. The flower bed out front needs a lot of work.
Heh. I'd pay to see this movie...
A couple of years ago there was a young Dutch girl, Laura Dekker, who
was getting a lot of grief from various entities about her sailing
around the world. I believe her parents were even sued to make her
stop. She was only 14 when she left. Now she has made it quite safely back home,
after a quick circumnavigation. This was all about the same time as
Abby Sunderland, Zac Sunderland, Jessica Watson and Mike Palmer were
doing their sailing.
- a Christmas gift was a 1TB Seagate Goflex backup drive. I finally got
around to installing it on the main system, the laptop. It was ...
disappointing. Like a number of users I found it incredibly
slow. It took the better part of an entire day to image the 200-
gigabytes of stuff on the laptop hard drive. I actually considered
gutting the enclosure and putting the hard drive itself into the
laptop, but it's the larger 12mm form factor, not the 9mm. And, really,
it's not all that important, since you just plug it in and walk away,
and most future backups would be incremental and therefore not all that
I am a bit concerned that the s/w is piggish - I seem to see some
slowdown in the laptop system lately, but I notice that AVG 2012 is
installed as well, and maybe that is it. AVG has turned from a light
weight product into another pig. I should probably research and replace
it with something.
Indeed, I've had this laptop since 2009, it is probably time to do a
fresh Windows install, and counteract the bitrot that always sets in.
Make sure everything is backed up, then do a re-install from the
recovery partition or a recovery CD.
It was a yard work day, pruning and trimming the rose bushes and fruit
tree's, with help of a friend. My arms were aching a bit in the
evening, but I think things will look a lot better this spring and
summer. There is more to be done, but I need to get an empty green
waste container before continuing.
I see that Google continues in its progress towards the dark side. I guess one should expect being tracked 24/7 by them. Too bad, but that's the way it goes with big business these days.
I brought the old Optio waterproof camera up from the boat and
downloaded the pictures. Some from way back in 2009, and Christmas
2008. Sheesh. The picture of the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain
is a bit clearer than the picture I posted in Week #2, but not extraordinary. It's a 5 megapixel camera, like the android phone cam but with a 3x optical zoom.
Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain, better pic.
- An interesting Super Bowl. Wish I was watching it with Dad, but those
days are over. Ah well. I Tivo'ed it in SD, but actually watched in in
broadcast HD. Very nice.
It wasn’t the Niners’ (boo, hiss), so I couldn’t get too excited.
That said, it was a good game, enjoyable. As in most close games it is
who made the fewest or last mistake that decided the outcome.
I thought the commercials were overall better than the last few
years (a little less raunchy and juvenile), but also that the best this
year didn’t measure up to the best of the last couple of years.
I’m no fan of Madonna, but I thought she put on a professional show,
not to my taste but obviously well thought out and performed (that one
cast member who won’t work in the biz ever again excepted). Again, a
step up from the last couple of half time shows.
The drop off of the e-waste went OK yesterday. I had just washed my
Explorer, so the quarter mile of dirt and gravel road didn't do me any
favors. I haven't waxed it yet either - I need to put some Black Back
on the exterior plastic before doing that, and just haven't had time
with all the other stuff going on.
I actually discovered some boat damage as I was leaving last time. It
looks like the dodger cover bracket had its screws pulled out on the
port side, probably during the wind storm sometime. I'm a firm believer
in using bolts rather than screws on a boat, yet at the same time one
always wants to reduce deck/hull penetrations and the chance of a leak.
I'll look at it next week when I'm down there and decide what to do.