3sailing the NorSea


WEEK 8 2016

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Saturday 20 February  2016
Saturday - A nice-ish day, kind of warm.

I spent it mostly working on the as-builts and report. I really, really want to be done with this, but it has to be done right...

Book #9 was Turn Coat (Dresden Files #11), by Jim Butcher.

Friday 19 February 2016
Friday - Working away on various things, not much new to report on that.

Thursday 18 February 2016
Thursday - Cool but mostly sunny, with some clouds.

I got a call from my old mentor at NASA the other day, and he said that he'd heard that a company using STARS that needed some grid-generation/conversion programming and had mentioned my name to them as a possibility.

We met up for a half hour or so, had a cup of coffee, and discussed the code as it stands now. It's been over ten years since I used it, but it's surprising how much I still remember. There are, of course, a number of improvements.

I also received a NASA software-support contact number from him, and have emailed them and asked them to send me the application form to use STARS. He himself, as a government employee, doesn't make any money from STARS and can't distribute it himself, but it's available to the public if you ask, and people do call up with questions about it and he likes to help them if he can.

And, since I need something better than my ancient XP desktop, I went out and bought a Windows 10 laptop at Walmart. I would have gotten an CI7 at Staples, but they were "out" of their sale model, and I don't care for bait-n-switch stuff, so I just got a mid-range CI5 for $400. I'm sure it'll far outstrip anything I've been using.

While not thrilled with the idea of Windows 10, I also wasn't thrilled with trying to deal with Bootcamp and Parallels on the Mac any more (though, amusingly, that's what Dr. Gupta says he uses now...).

It didn't even occur to me to check, but the new laptop didn't have a VGA out port. It did have an HDMI port, and upon checking my Samsung 28" monitor has an HDMI in port. I was a bit surprised, remembering that I had to buy an dongle to use it with the MacBook Pro, but it was probably some weird Apple incompatibility. I'll try it out tomorrow.

Anyway, even if no work eventuates I can think of it as my Christmas present to myself. There is always little bits of coding that need doing, and that XP box won't last much  longer. It was a 2GB unit for a while, but 1GB of ram died a few weeks ago, so it's back to 1GB again.

Book #8 was Small Favor (Dresden Files #10), by Jim Butcher. Our hapless wizard has to pay off a favor he owes to the Queen of Air and Darkness. I've picked up most of the Dresden Files books from the library, and am working my way through them.

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Wednesday - We had a little front blow into the valley, with some light rain.

R&S had a guy over to fix the hydraulics on their pool cover, so I went over to kibitz. The vault that the old actuator sat in had filled up with silt over the years and the unit had finally bound up and self-destructed. After a bit of a search S found that the local Caterpillar repair guy was willing to work on it. He had to extract the old unit, which took nearly a day and ended up with him using a cutting torch to get it out. The old unit was not longer made (it's been about 40 years since installation) so then they measured the pieces in his shop and ordered a new unit.

So he showed up and installed it. And it was short on extension by about 1/2". We stood around discussing it, and eventually disassembled the stanchion it attached to (supporting the raised pool cover with 2x8's in the middle), and then ground off and cut down the stanchion attach lug down by about 3/4" and welded it back on. That worked great, putting the actuator back into the range that it could adjust too, so their pool cover is back to being the 1970's "Jetson" style automated wonder it had been.

The motor sounds much happier and quieter now as well :-)

Other than that I just worked on as-builts for about ten hours...

Book #7 was White Night (Dresden Files #9), by Jim Butcher. Like reading Travis McGee novels, only with a wizard for a protagonist....

Tuesday 16 February 2016
Tuesday - Warm again.

I painted the planks and uprights for the gate/end fence. I wanted to do the trailer itself, but wasn't sure the deck was completely dry. I should probably use some TSP and bring out some 'tooth' for the old paint, and wire brush the deck, but I'm not sure I want to go through that much work for a trailer that gets used three or four times a year.

It was also laundry day, and also dish washing day, and kitchen cleaning day.

By afternoon I was beat.

I meant to get to the drawings, but had a nasty headache flare up. Maybe it was the paint, but I just wasn't up to it.

Monday  15 February 2016
Monday - Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

I broomed and hosed down the trailer itself. The paint on the bottom is going bad. I thought of getting some deck paint, but it's pretty expensive stuff for just 32SF, I think I'll just use the same paint as before. After all, it lasted nearly ten years I think.

It was quite warm, so I just set it up the trailer on the grass in the side yard to dry. I'll paint tomorrow or the next day.

The existing paint is the greenish house exterior trim pain.

I went to Home Depot and picked up a gallon, since I was getting low anyway. I need to hit some trim of the back of the house, and around the chimney at some point as well.

I received an inquiry about some other work, from an old acquaintance, so there is a chance of some work there.

What I really want to do is finish the current job, and then hit the app work 100%, but keep getting distracted.

Sunday  14 January 2016
Sunday - Still pretty tired.

I did some shopping in the morning, groceries. I did buy some more rice, which I then put into cleansed 2.5L soda bottles, with an oxygen absorber at the bottom. A 2.5L bottle holds just under 5lbs of rice as I mentioned last week.

I'd also bought 10lbs of some Great Northern Beans at Winco, and put them in a bottle. Most funnels have too small a mouth, but the funnels at Pep Boys for adding radiator coolant were just right. You just have to not add them too quickly.

I also bought some oats, which again I added to some 2.5L bottles. The idea is to get even multiples of ten bottles, because the oxygen absorbers come in sealed packs of ten, and you have to use them up or they immediately go bad upon exposure to air. Apparently they are just pure iron filings in a little paper packet.

I sanded the planks for the back trailer gate, and actually decided to replace a plank at the front that had a gap at the floor. Things tend to slide out there, so a solid piece is better. I was temped to do all the sides, but it's really not necessary.

I also noted that the bolts holding the deck down are mostly without nuts, those having vibrated off over the year. I need some Loctite, or maybe some castellated nuts and cotter pins. In general there isn't a lot of chance of the deck coming up, but I guess if the trailer was empty and I was on the freeway...

I haven't done anything about that lot in Antelope Acres.

Picture of the Week

pink flower

A nice pink flower.

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