sailing the NorSea


WEEK 6 2014

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Saturday 8 February 2014
Saturday - Feeling a bit slow for some reason. Met up with friends for dinner, their daughter was visiting from SF and we all had a nice evening.

Friday7 February 2014
Friday - Not much to say. Cool and windy.

Working away on the app. I find the hardest part is starting in the morning. I use the small bedroom upstairs as an office, and make a point of not web surfing or anything else distracting in there. Even this blog is done on the downstairs computer! And I've been avoiding working on the house during the week - it's too easy to get wrapped up in yard/'house work and not make any progress.

I'm reasonably happy with progress - it's slower than I had hoped, but the hours are producing some results. To the point where the vagueness in the specifications is coming back to roost, I need to get together with S and get a better idea of what is wanted in certain areas. But using the NSUserDefaults and a separate model object is making the code a bit more straightforward, though also a little more verbose.

In general, the fixation on avoiding global variables is a pain in the butt. The weenies that develop iOS are apparently terrified of the idea. You have to wonder if they've every developed anything for the real world themselves. I suspect not. It would be interesting to find just how many apps the developers themselves have written that are rated in the top 100, or even top 1,000? Zero would be my guess...

Thursday6 February 2014

Thursday - I ran a few errands in the morning, then headed back to Lancaster. Since apparently they had closed the 23 north I took the 101 all the way to the 405 - which meant I sat in traffic for about half an hour, because of a wreck at the 405 backing up traffic on the 101. I really do hate driving in LA, it's always something.

It was cold and windy in Lancaster, and it even rained a bit.

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Wednesday -  I went down to Oxnard Tuesday evening. The boat was tight and dry. Of course, with the drought there hasn't been much rain to leak in.... It was cold at night - about 45F, and I ended up getting the sleeping bag out and kicking the little electric heater on once or twice.

I also brought down a little refrigerator that friends had found at a yard sale. It looked tiny in the house, and huge in the boat. Perspective is everything I guess.  I put the beer and soda in it. We'll see what it does to the electric bill this month.

Down to San Diego on the train. It was nice - the last train I was on was the San Joaquin line, some years ago, and this was a much nicer train. It took about four hours to make the trip, east from Oxnard to Union Station, then Union Station southerly to the coast somewhere south of Long Beach.

The platform at Union Station. Kind of rundown, actually.

From there it was mostly down along the coast to San Diego proper, Santa Fe station at the end of the line.

Inside Santa Fe station.

We then walked down to Seaport Village and had lunch, then up to the Embarcadero, past the Star of India and the Midway. Very nice, the weather was glorious, probably 68F with just a nice breeze.

The Star of India.

We saw a couple of boats out doing some tacking duels on the water, with the America's Cup insignia on their sails. I knew that one had to be Stars and Stripes, but wasn't sure of the other. It was, it turns out, the Abracadabra, another 12-meter boat.

Left to right: the Californian, the USS Ronald Reagan, the Stars & Stripes and Abracadabra.

Dave had bought the tickets, finding that a ten pack was cheaper than a six pack, so I rode for free - always a pleasant experience. I didn't bring my camera along, as CB was originally going to come and he's a better photographer, but he came down with the flu and didn't come along. So all the photo's are cell phone pics.

We only had about three hours in SD, before having to head back to Santa Fe station. We had a good time, but it wasn't time enough to justify the cost of getting tickets to the Maritime Museum, for four people.

And again, the trip north was fine. A bunch of people in Chicago colors kept getting on: it turns out that the Blackhawks were playing the Ducks in Anaheim, where the train stops at the stadium. But they were a pleasant well behaved bunch, so no harm done.

Dave and I passed some of the time by discussing the upcoming job. It's a two or three step process, to satisfy the County and the Army Core of Engineers, so it's maybe a bit more paperwork that the usual inspection would be.

Everyone seemed to be on a cell phone, laptop or tablet. Kind of amusing, but what did people do before 3G and the Internet? Read the papers, and books I guess. I didn't see anyone reading an actual dead tree newspaper, but at least on person was using their ereader. My friends had iPhones, I had my Droid, but mostly we talked and looked out the window.

Back in Oxnard I took everyone to dinner at BJ's. We were concerned that it'd be crammed with the ice hockey game going on, but the game was over by the time we arrived - after 9pm - and it was nice. I was practically falling asleep, but a nice burger picked me up enough to get back to the boat and crash...

Tuesday 4 February 2014
Tuesday - Spent the day working on the app - the "Settings" page is pretty much finished. Also cleaning up around the house.

I'm off to Ventura tomorrow and that always starts me on a frenzy of cleaning. Since not much got done in that vein on Saturday and Sunday I ended up doing a lot of dishes, laundry, trash, and general pickup. Also a boatload of bills...

Monday 3 February 2014
Monday - A full day's work on the app. Getting into the flow of things again. Unfortunately it's been so long - August, really - since I did any real deep programming that I've forgotten things that I did and figured out. But that's mostly behind me (again) and I'm proceeding forward. Things are really starting to take shape.

Jimmy was running down the stairs the other day, and as usual, just went through the bars on the railing at the bottom. Or tried to - he's grown a lot and there is one set of bars that is closer together than the others. There was this loud "CLUNK" and a rather stunned cat. It doesn't seem to have caused any injury, but it was quite a loud "bonk bonk on the head"!

Suzy's surgery has healed nicely. We just finished the course of antibiotics - about the time she grew resigned to the eyedropper.

Sunday 2 February 2014
Sunday - Cold, mixed clouds and sun. Doing various household chores - my back is still pretty stiff and sore. Probably from the weed pulling, and maybe a bit from the shoveling. Bah.

Last week was the 10th anniversary of Tim and I getting laid off at NASA. Time really flies... Financially kind of difficult, but maybe the best thing for me, anyway.

We went out for a quick lunch at the Thai Cafe', next to the local Target. My friends' boy needs a new laptop, so we thought we'd look in Target for one. His old machine died a final death Saturday, after being on life support all of the last few months. Indeed, it lasted until the day after his intersession classes ended! Sadly the Target selection was minimal, just a few low end machines (5).

He is interested in getting a Windows 8 Surface Tablet/Laptop combination, so that he can download textbooks with Windows DRM, take the machine as a tablet to school, but also have a decent laptop experience at home.

We decided to go check CostCo laptops out. Best Buy would have the biggest selection in the valley, but no one wanted to drive down to Palmdale again - we were there yesterday and it was a zoo.

Somehow this segued into my friends deciding they needed a new TV.  I'm not sure how, perhaps because I've been bugging them and mentioning how inexpensive they were at CostCo, but in any case we trooped off to the warehouse. They didn't have any of the Surface machines (sorry Kirk!) but they did have a few 60" flat screens left, so we picked one up, took it back to their place, hooked it up, and had it running in time to almost catch the beginning of the Superbowl.

Only 17 seconds missed, and the SeaHawks had already scored. And continued to score. I'm glad the Bronco's got a least one score, it was humiliating enough as it was. I was wearing Bronco colors - orange t-shirt with a blue vest - but it didn't help. Colorado was just completely flat and uninspired. Bah.

Picture of the Week
Overcast skies in Lancaster 
Photo Notes: Overcast skies in Lancaster.

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