sailing the NorSea


WEEK 6 2015

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

Picture of the Week


Oxnard  Weather Underground
Click for Oxnard, California Forecast
Lancaster Weather Underground
Click for Lancaster, California Forecast
Martinez WeatherUnderground
Click for Buchanan, California Forecast

Twelve Years Ago, This Week, 2003 Eleven Years Ago, this week, 2004 Ten Years Ago, this week, 2005 Nine Years Ago, This Week, 2006
Eight Years Ago, This Week, 2007
Seven Years Ago, This Week, 2008
Six Years Ago, This Week, 2009
Five Years Ago, This Week, 2010
Four Years Ago,
This Week,

Three Years Ago,
This Week,
Two Years Ago,
This Week,

Saturday 7 February 2015
Saturday - Nice weather.

Yard sales with R&S in the morning, then lunch, then a nap, then some reading, then back over for movie night.

S had seen the same problem with the spec as I did, and independently came up with the same solution, so I think we can forge ahead now. On Monday, when my hands will (in theory) feel better.

C called to say that her Dad passed away in the hospital. There is no good side to the passing of a parent, but at least it wasn't long or painful, his body just shut down in his sleep.

Friday 6 February 2015
Friday - Nice weather. Hints of rain, but no actual moisture, sadly.

I worked about a half day on the app, then had to stop, when my hands gave out...

Thursday 5 February 2015

Thursday - Nice weather, really.

Busy on the app, or at least an interface for it. I made a couple to show S, though they don't do much but look pretty. I did identify what might be a problem with the spec, but also came up with a possible solution. S is busy, so it might be a couple days until we get together about it, but there's plenty to do.

Book #6 was The Dragon Society, by Lawrence Watt-Evans. This was the sequel to Book #5 Dragon Weather, and was pretty good. It was an interlibrary loan book, and I also have the third in the trilogy. The plot thickens: the Dragon Society, of which the protagonist is a member, is dedicated to the destruction of dragons, but when the members learn that the dragon's destruction means their own death most desert and many start siding with the dragons...

My heel still hurts a bit, so no walk today.

My friend C's dad is in the hospital, and she needed to leave the valley, so I watched her dog Samantha until her husband came by and picked her up in the late afternoon.

Wednesday 4 February 2015

Wednesday - Warm and mostly sunny.

I did some grocery shopping in the morning, and picked up a free 55 gallon aquarium to transfer the turtle to. He's a bit cramped in his current tank, and I want to move him to the living room where he can hang out with the rest of us... I need to make a stand, and since I have some scrap plywood I think I'll just do some cinder blocks for supports. I'll paint them to give it a better look.

Worked on the app until about 7pm. S called with some more ideas on the work surface layout, so I'm going to make an abbreviated version with the new version, so we don't go down the path taken before, where it took several months to get to spec, but the spec itself was too hard for the (notional) customers...

I spent a fair amount of time also trying to make it 'stateless'. You know, that's actually more work and code then creating a model to track the state, so I'm back to the old way. I guess the previous design decision was correct, back in the day (October of last year).

No comet observing - high clouds and a full moon mean it's impossible. Ah well.

I was thinking of attaching the camera to the old Celestron via a piggyback mount and using the drive to track the stars and get long exposures.

There's a mount for a finder scope, but it appears to have been glued on. I don't really think I trust glue from the 1980's with my good camera and lens.

There are some screws around the finder end of the scope, and a couple are missing where there was probably something once attached, and I could probably use those. But then again, I don't have a mount and plate I really trust, just some plastic stuff on tripods that's OK for loads in a terrestrial (horizontal) mode. For a nearly vertical arrangement I think I'd prefer metal. There is a design mount and plate design called the ARCA, that would do, and I do have a metal lathe and mill in the garage...

Tuesday  3 February 2015
Tuesday - Pretty tired. I worked on the app for a half day or so.

I also tried to do my usual walk, but had to give up after a mile, as the left heel was really aching. It's not that I mind the pain, but I don't want to re-injure that Achilles tendon, which would put the kibosh on the big hike.

While picking up some books at the Quartz Hill Library the other day I wandered over to the New Books section. I noticed there was a shelf full of what seemed to be CD cases, with various topics on the sides. Intrigued I took one down, and discovered that actually they were placeholders for loaner Kindle Readers!

You can check them out with your library card, no deposits or extra stuff required, and they are pre-loaded with about 10 books on the subject in question, and another 200 or so free books (i.e. out of copyright stuff: Moby Dick, the Bible, etc). You can check them out for three weeks, just like a book, and they come with a charger and packet of documentation.

The ten book limit makes sense - at that point the cost of the ebooks is equal to the cost of the hardware, so if you lose or break the Kindle it causes the least impact.

This has Team of Rivals, which I've been meaning to read.

Monday  2 February 2015
Monday - I did some chores around A's house in the morning.

I fiddled with the upstairs TV, and got it to where it would stream again. I also played a bit with a window type HD antenna for it, and was able to pick up a few stations, but didn't have long enough cables to reach to the TV from most.

I also untangled all the cables for a computer desk downstairs - about twelve things were plugged into three separate extension cables, a fire hazard if there ever was one. Once that was done, and we were down to four cords, I turned the PC there on. It hadn't been turned on in a few years and was running Windows XP in 256MB of ram. Actually in 271MB of Ram - it was swapping to the disk not doing anything in userland at all! A says she has another,newer, PC upstairs and I'll see about getting it going next time. We were out of time...

In the early afternoon we headed north for Lancaster, arriving about 5:15pm. The house looked good and the pets well taken care of. I was pretty tired and went to bed about 9pm :-)

Sunday 1 February 2015
Sunday - OTR, in San Diego.

More maintenance.

The big one for me was installing a new fluorescent light fixture in the kitchen overhead. It was easy enough, though made a bit more difficult by the fact the the old fixture was held in by molly bolts, of which I had none. I used a couple of small screws to attach it to the drywall, and will attach it properly next time I'm down, and install two more replacement fixtures.

In theory one could just replace the ballast, but you don't save much and it takes a lot longer.

Saturday we had done shopping and installations.

We had taken the front off the washer to see where the leak was, and then part of the back in search of the location. We'd hoped it was in the plastic valve manifold or rubber hose, but it turned out to be within the spinning drum assembly. An expert could probably still fix it, but the unit was built in 1979, and a new one was just $329 at the local Sears Outlet. So when we went to lunch we picked a nice place, le Champagne, next to the Sears Outlet and killed two birds with one stone.

Three birds, because we did a bunch of shopping at Trader Joe's next door.

And, while we were there, we picked up the light fixture for the kitchen from Home Depot. Four birds.

On returning to the house we installed the new washer, tested it, then started the first of many, many loads.

We also had to check out the dryer, as there was a report of a gas leak. There was no sign of that, so it may just have been the exhaust hose ajar. We made sure it was tightly inserted into the vent pipe, and checked that there was a good flow to the outside.

S also vacuumed and steam cleaned the rugs (the family pet is a bit incontinent), and did some loads of dishes.

The water at the kitchen faucet was just trickling, but we soaked the fixture in vinegar overnight and it was restored to it's normal full flow spray/stream state by morning.

In the early afternoon R and I went over to Tim's for the game. We had a good time - great company - and I overate tremendously, and we all watched a pretty good game. I don't think anyone there was a fan of either team, per se, so we just enjoyed the play.

There was a randomized football bingo pool, and I, bizarrely enough, won a football pool  for the first time in my life. I spent my vast winnings, $15, on girl scout cookies from Tim's daughter, to take home...

R & T & I hung out for a few hours afterwards, discussing Life, the Universe, and Everything.  It's ten years, almost to the day, since Tim and I were laid off at NASA Dryden. Time flies...

Back in Scripps Ranch about midnight.

Picture of the Week
Evening sky.
Photo Notes: An overly saturated evening sky.

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