sailing the NorSea


WEEK 8 2011

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Saturday 26 February 2011
Saturday - Snow on the ground in the morning!


Snow didn't keep the finches away.

Beginning just before noon there was a power outage, which lasted until about 5:00pm. It was local, there were workman out on the poles on Avenue K nearby, so I just went out and did various things. Visited the library for one thing.

In the evening there was a bit of work to be done, the CORS stations had loaded their data for Thursday and I did a differential correction on the GPS readings. This was made a bit harder by the fact that the station(s) I used to use had changed their names. What I thought was a connectivity problem was really me trying to access data files that never existed in the first place! Bah. Anyway, corrected to about 2' horizontal accuracy and looked at on Google Earth they are ... not very close. Google Earth is WGS84, but there is some sort of projection problem going on. They are, where I can see distinguishing objects, up to 20' from where the image puts them. I think the image is wrong, but...

While looking up something, I can't recall what, I ran across a link to a book on electromagnetism at Amazon. What struck me as remarkable was the description of the book's content, which stated that the motion of an electron in an electromagnetic field was not fully understood. I had thought that electromagnetism was completely understood, essentially a closed book. Apparently not. I'd post a link, but the power went out and I've lost it, despite Firefox's backup capabilities. Ah well.

I've been thinking of retiring my old Win2K box. It's slow, a bit noisy, and not particularly secure any more - Microsoft isn't patching the OS any more. I could replace it with a Linux box or my old XP laptop. I essentially had replaced it last year, with the Mint 7&8 box, but that crashed and I reinstated the Win2k box until I could get around to replacing it. Ubuntu 10.10 works well enough. The XP laptop has s/w that I've purchased, MatCad, Quicktime Pro, a few native windows programs that I use, MobileMapper and Arcpad, which I could probably put on the Vista laptop. I'd want to scrape the laptop and reinstall XP, it's the original install and is slow and irritating these days.

There is a Firefox tool that will allow synchronization of bookmarks, which I could use between the old PC, the new(er) laptop, and whatever new desktop I use.

And then there was the startling performance of my friends new Win7 PC, down in San Diego. This was an inexpensive middle-or-the road box for home use, and it ran my work flow script 8X as fast as my "new" laptop. Quad core rather than dual, Intel ICH5 rather than Turion, and desktop rather than mobile. Impressive, it tempts me to get a new desktop machine myself. Quad core, or maybe six cores, or even 8!!

Decisions, decisions.

Mostly I'm just avoiding dealing with taxes...

Friday 25 February 2011
Friday -  back in Lancaster. Getting some chores done...

Book #20 was Live Free or Die, by John Ringo. This is actually the first in the Troy series, I read the second last week... Not bad, just modern space opera, good for a few hours of distraction. There is to be a third. Giant human death star versus hordes of alien invaders...

Thursday 24 February 2011

Thursday - out in the field with D, doing some non-native species inspection and mapping. Fun stuff, it was (mostly) like getting paid to go hiking. My heel held up well, and we managed to get the complete four miles or so done before dark.

The georeferencing worked fairly well. One image was skewed - I suspect that I grabbed the wrong point and it warped things, but it worked well enough.

Then we discussed the day, calculated some initial results, had dinner (a very late lunch actually) and a coffee, and hit the road home to Lancaster. It's been a while since I was home :-(

Wednesday 23 February 2011

Wednesday - met with a representative from the client, then spent most of the day looking into how to handle the lack of certain information from them.

I also looked into georegistering (georeferencing) images for use on the mobile mapper. I saw it done a few years ago, but didn't really have a use for it, but tomorrow we'll be in a fairly rural area and I thought it'd be nice to have an image to show us where we are relative to some other points. It isn't hard - I used Manifold for the process, but you can do it with a lot of other programs.

Tuesday 22 February 2011
Tuesday - in Ventura, meeting with various people about various things. Getting ready to do some field inspection stuff. We made a quick trip out to the site to get an idea of what we are up against.

Monday 21 February 2011

Monday - I helped assemble some shelving in the morning, then it was off to Ventura in the early afternoon. No major water in the boat when I got there, so the bilge pump and/or the drain fix is working.

Sunday 20 February 2011

Sunday - taking it easy, down in San Diego, visiting friends. It's been a while.

My friend has a couple of daughters. The oldest is outgoing and has never been shy in the least, but the younger was always quiet around me. In the past, after several days of visiting, I might get her to say a few words. That's changed - now she's as talkative and extroverted as her sister, and we had a good time. It's interesting to see them develop, they are bigger and smarter every time I see them. They recently got Netflix in the house, via the Wii, and the two girls have already mastered the use of it.

In the morning we took in a movie, Barbie: A Fairy Secret, free at a local cinema. It wasn't as bad as I thought it'd been, rather humorous in fact, with a nice moral to the whole thing.

Another thing we did was to cruise down to Shelter Island, so that I could visit the West Marine flagship store there. I wanted to talk to the riggers, and get some idea of costs on rebuilding the standing rigging. Not too bad - they want $2.45 a foot for the 304 stainless, and the end fittings are about $6 each. When I asked about 316 stainless the rigger checked the price and came back with $0.85 per foot...almost certainly an error! They can do lifelines as well, but I'm not sure I want to keep the current uprights - they are 24" high, which is too low - just the right height to trip you and send you over the side, actually! But I suspect decent sized SS stanchions might cost a bundle. I could have them fabricated, but I'm not sure who could do a good job - you want the weld to be as good, and as rust resistant, as the stock metal.

The paparazzi, they're everywhere, I can't avoid them...

Picture of the Week

Yawl on SF Bay, ca. 1999

Photo Notes: Yawl on SF, ca 1999, taken from the Coronado 25.

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