New for 2014

By: sp34n119w , 8:47 PM GMT on January 06, 2014

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More “clean” than “new”, I guess.
Really, I just decided that the “Summer's End” title was looking a bit worn, there on the list, although the weather hasn't changed much. Ah, well.

Now we have a clean slate for randomness at will :)


Wake Up! You Stoopid Somnolent Swirlies:

For the bigger picture, have a look at the NE Pac WVloop.

May-As-Well-Be-September Sun :

Still Sans Sprinkles:

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195. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
9:04 PM GMT on June 28, 2014
sp34n119w has created a new entry.
194. WatchinTheSky
3:20 AM GMT on June 28, 2014
Ahhh... Fridays! I just can't get up early enough to watch ISS in the morning ;D but last night (maybe night before) I watched the ISS go over, so different from the Iridium flares since the ISS is visible for a minute or more. Nice flare tonight at 9:20, at least down here.
Good luck with the new computer, looking forward to hearing how it goes!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2144
193. sp34n119w
8:08 PM GMT on June 27, 2014
Hello, WU! Sheesh, I don't even know what's going on with anyone, since I've had little lurk time :(
I got the new computer yesterday (a few days early!) and hope to play with it this weekend but, at the moment, it sits in its box :(
Oh, two frowny faces in a row. That's not good! Nor is it indicative of my mood, thankfully :)
That's better!

Planning (haha) on putting up a new blog today (haha) ... just the basics and just because this one looks silly, now, lol

In the meantime ...

calpoppy - I didn't stay up for the Solstice but spent some quality time appreciating the light and contemplating my place in the universe. As one does :)
It's warm here and I bet it's hot at your place ... or, maybe not, since these things sometimes go all backwards on us, LOL

WTS - Fridays are for champagne and chocolate, right? I just added a little spice ;)
Getting up early is sometimes a good thing. It seems like every time I check to see when the ISS will be overhead, it's right before dawn, which does not work for me. I did see it, accidentally, on Tuesday evening. Always amazes me.
Hope you've caught up on your sleep!

Ylee - ah, very funny ;)
Rule 0: Never Read the Comments!


Couple of things I found recently ...

You may have heard about the outburst from the Saudi representative at the UN Human Rights Council. He tried to stop the reading of a statement by CFI. From someone at CFI, an explanation of what they were doing there, why they picked on SA, and some extra details on what happened and background information. If you're interested.


In Canada, another fight over oil transport has been taken to the streets ... er, waterways. A First Nations group uses yarn as a symbolic blockade. They've done it before, and you can read about that if you follow the link in that article to their site.
Nifty, huh?


I watch some British tv shows and sometimes have trouble understanding the accents. Found this video and thought it, well, not helpful, exactly, but fun :)


Speaking of, I finished watching a two-part show titled, "The Escape Artist" last night, and it had some enjoyable/difficult accents. Including David Tennant being his true Scots self :) ("Broadchurch" was good for that, too.) Anyway, pretty good show, but very tense and a bit heart-wrenching.


Okee Doke. Gonna clear a few other things from my todo list and then see if I can cut and paste a new blog in :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
192. Ylee
9:57 PM GMT on June 23, 2014
This XKCD reminds me of...nope! I ain't saying! :' )

Hope you are having a good day!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 98 Comments: 16549
191. WatchinTheSky
10:08 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
The Constitution is where??
Happy Solstice! Darn, I have been getting up so early lately, I may see the sun rise and set on the longest daylight of the year. mmm.. sleepy, but the weather IS pretty nice!

'These are not easy questions to answer.' So insight can come to anyone! Unfortunately, for some, it only comes once...

Hmmm.. a new meaning for 'Open Carry'. I may need a new monitor after that :P What have you done to my Friday???
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2144
190. calpoppy
7:48 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
A happy Solstice to you!!! I don't think I will be up to celebrate, but you never know :)
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 57 Comments: 4009
189. sp34n119w
7:24 PM GMT on June 20, 2014
Cartoonist Ted Rall imagines what the other side thinks of the Bergdahl trade.


The Summer Solstice is June 21, 10:51 UT.

That's, um, 3:51 AM PDT, and 6:51 AM EDT, right? Overnight tonight/early morning tomorrow, anyway.

Happy Solstice, WU! :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
188. sp34n119w
11:05 PM GMT on June 19, 2014
Bogon - it is a pretty big state. Not Alaska-big, or even quite Texas-big, but pretty big. Especially length-wise. Nice drive, though, if you take the coast.
Six hours is an estimate, as I've never driven there, specifically (well, I kind of have done as a passenger, since I have an uncle right next door in Palo Alto, but it's been too long and I don't remember how long it took to get there). I have a friend in Monterey (er, now in Carmel, I guess - haven't visited the new place, yet) and that's about five-and-a-half to six hours, but with a couple pit stops, and it's a bit south of Stanford but also across the coast range, so (yes, I realize this is more info than you need or want but now I'm on a roll) you have to drive up the 101 but cross over to the 1 at some point and where you do that determines, to some extent, how long it takes, because Hwy 1 is not as fast as the 101. On the other hand, I've made it all the way to San Francisco from Camarillo in about 6 hours, but I was in a hurry and don't think I stopped until I was on the other side, which was another hour and a half, or so, if I remember correctly. So, six hours from my area to Stanford sounds about right to me, all things considered. 'k I'm done now.

Funny link - poor old Bill. He transformed the world of business and communications and all he gets is ridicule. And money ;)
You know, Gates was able to focus on solving problems because he employed a whole bunch of people to work puzzles.
Anyway, it got me thinking ... if you want to solve the problem of restoring the worlds to their proper condition, you first have to collect all the pages of the book, and finding those pages means working puzzles ... if you get the reference, lol.
It's all good :)


In reference to the gun thing, a Marine talks about using guns for self-defense. Things I hadn't thought of, there.
[swiped from Scalzi's blog, Whatever]


The many ways our brains mess with us (does that even make sense? no, it does not, lol) fascinates me. Here's an example of just how easily we are fooled by our preconceptions, in a way. This is an audio file and you should close your eyes, or something, to avoid reading the spoilers that pop up as it plays.


Weather's ridiculously fine. Thought WU'd want to know.

seewu :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
187. Bogon
8:50 PM GMT on June 17, 2014
Six hours? California is a big state!

I thought it was piquant that Bill Gates seems to have learned some wisdom. Of course, he wouldn't be invited to speak at commencement ceremonies, if he hadn't spent the first part of his life as the Dark Lord of Ubersoft. :o)

In fairness and in retrospect, I have probably spent more of my life working puzzles than solving problems. Maybe it's not too late for me to learn a little wisdom, too.
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 80 Comments: 3854
186. sp34n119w
7:53 PM GMT on June 17, 2014
Ylee – a very laaaaazy weekend :)
It's nothing but clear here with more boring weather on tap for the rest of the week. Wonderful!

gg- yeah, mom's got a knack, lol. She's back to work this week, cast and all, so, much better, though tired and hurting at the end of the day. Good thing she's retiring soon (finally!).

I suppose if I had the money to spend for a gaming laptop I'd also have the time to use it as such. But, I don't, because, I don't! Ditto the racing car ;)

Bet you had a nice visit with your dad – gotta go check on how the trip went :)

Bogon – about as far as one can get, unless you're talking geographically - in which case, about a six hour drive.
Good advice from Bill and Melinda. I wonder how many grads will understand, let alone implement, that advice.
I like your characterization.


I found a new-to-me utility by link-hopping from Bogon's link. It's called Autoruns (MS only) and shows everything that starts up on your computer and gives you the option of disabling things one by one. Haven't disabled anything but did run the program and it's pretty cool. Lots of stuff I knew was there but wasn't sure what it was doing. Some stuff I thought I got rid of long ago is still lurking, and sucking resources, apparently (maybe I don't really need a new computer, just to clean up this one? naaaahh ;) ) This should help, when I have time to mess with it a bit more. See, with the new laptop coming (it's still a week away!!!), I feel I can have some fun and take some risks with this one, so I'm looking around for things to do to it.
I used to do this sort of thing regularly (I don't remember how) when everything was done from DOS. Got too complicated, I guess, or I got lazy.


With the pertussis outbreak in the news, thought I'd let folks know that the vaccine recommendations have changed since the last time I wrote about it. At that time (a few years ago?), people over age 65 could not get the tdap vaccine, only td, leaving them vulnerable to catching pertussis and also transmitting it to little kids who are not fully vaccinated, yet.
The new recommendations say that everyone, including those over 65, should get the tdap (it specifies the Boostrix version, but says the other will do). Well, you can read about it all, yourself.
Please vaccinate yourself and your kids.

At butterfliesandwheels, Ms. Benson has been writing about this and has now collected personal stories of survivors of Whooping Cough (plus an asthma sufferer) through comments left on the various entries. I'm amazed that anyone would intentionally avoid protecting their child from any vaccine-preventable diseases.
Here's the url (contains a little profanity from those who are angry at the anti-vaxxers), and, if you click on the writers' handles, the links will take you to the previous blog entries (wherever they left their comment): 2014/06/what-its-like-to-cough-so-violently-that-y ou-cant-inhale/

Did you know that, until the vaccine was developed and distributed, pertussis was the number one killer of children? More than all the other childhood diseases – measles, mumps, polio - combined.
Now, it's guns.


Did you hear the story a couple weeks back about a man who was (legally) carrying his gun, in a holster, in a WalMart, and the gun slipped out of the holster and hit the ground, fired, and shot a woman, who was pushing a cart with her baby in it, in the arm? Hahahahaha. What a lark. What fun! Oh, these open-carry folks, such jokesters.

Story of a guy in Kalamazoo library.
“Asked how people can distinguish between a "good guy with a gun" from a "bad guy with a gun" in public places, Harris said: "These are not easy questions to answer."”
But, that's not his problem. His problem is that he needs a publicly visible strap-on to feel like a man.

For some, even that's not enough (NSFW).

And we know what would have happened to these men if they had been Black, don't we?


Well, now I've brought myself down. So, I'm going to go have a popsicle and pet the cat, and maybe do some knitting. Hey, did you know it's worldwide knit in public week? It was once just one day but people couldn't coordinate so they made it a week but most people who participate knit in public all the time anyway so it's really just an excuse they use to get together and eat cake.
Oh, see, I feel better already.

Seewu :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
185. Bogon
5:14 AM GMT on June 17, 2014
How far are you from Stanford, sp?

Bill and Melinda Gates comment on the difference between working puzzles and solving problems.
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 80 Comments: 3854
184. sp34n119w
9:28 PM GMT on June 14, 2014
A beneficent plague:

Hi! bbl
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
183. GardenGrrl
4:37 PM GMT on June 14, 2014
Dang, your Mom doesn't do anything half way does she? Hope she is getting around better.
Glad you found the laptop you like. You are so right about staying away from the gamer laptops. Kind of the geek version of buying a racing tuned muscle car that you only drive on neighborhood streets.
Be sure to get your Mom some Lindt chocolates.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 260 Comments: 9980
182. Ylee
1:55 AM GMT on June 14, 2014
A nice clear view of the "sp" through the cam! Hope you have a good weekend!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 98 Comments: 16549
181. sp34n119w
11:45 PM GMT on June 13, 2014
Bogon - "Never again", huh? ;)
It is an irresistible urge, to delve into a world and explore, book after book after book ...

I have GoT, the first book, but watched the first couple episodes of the show and hated it so now don't want to read the books :^/
I thought the last book was out? No?

That gif is making my eyes hurt - it'll have to go, soon - and now I have Go Go Godzilla running (stomping?) through my head. Thanks! LOL


No links today - just saying "hi!". Hi!

Weather is still fine, if a bit chilly. I think the marine layer is going to take a pass tonight, as it has the last couple nights, at least until early morning, but it may stay away away and be a sunny Saturday. The moon has been a sight to see.

High school graduation was last night. The SP on the mountain was painted in time for that and for summer events. You can tell on the webcam -

- all bright and shiny.

Happy weekend, WU! :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
180. Bogon
3:28 PM GMT on June 13, 2014
I might be reading "A Song of Ice and Fire" now, except that it's not done yet. After Wheel of Time and Harry Potter I vowed never to start another series, until I could see all the volumes lined up on the shelf!

Ah, those power lines look like they're in training for the next time Godzilla comes along. :o)
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 80 Comments: 3854
179. sp34n119w
4:33 AM GMT on June 13, 2014
Is Elon Musk teh KrayKray?
He has released the patents for Tesla's cars to the world.
Press release.
Wired article.
That man is very smart.

Also, this:
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
178. sp34n119w
4:36 AM GMT on June 12, 2014
Bogon - besides laughing out loud, I do sympathize!
When the first book came out (in, what, 1990?) I was in the midst of a few other series so didn't want to start another. Figured I'd wait until the "trilogy" was complete (I didn't know). But then I was kind of done with epic fantasy for awhile so skipped it. Some years later a friend tried very hard to convince me to read WOT, was wearing me down, and I asked if the other two books were as long as the first. He got all excited, "Two? I'm on book 6! And there's more to come!!!" And I said, "... Oh ... no." Always figured I'd get around to it, though.
I remember the gnashing of teeth whenever the next installment was too long coming (as always, with series). And the sustained wail that rose from geekdom when Jordan died. The joyful/fearful angst over the choice of Sanderson.
Overall, I'm glad I watched that rather than participating, though it seems overwhelming now, and I admire your fortitude :)

I know how many pages because I am a Hugo voter this year and downloaded the packet, and that's the number my Nook gives for TCWOT. I feel guilty. I knew I wouldn't be able to vote in the novel category this year but I downloaded it anyway. I will buy it (slowly, one at a time) for the library, if not for myself. That's a promise to any gods of the geeks that might be reading.


I went to Fry's!* They had dozens of laptops to look at. I quickly developed a bit of a crush on one of them and, though I dutifully checked out all the others (within my price range - don't go near the gaming laptops!! ), I kept coming back to the first that caught my eye. I hadn't seen that one online so had to do the research and look for reviews. Happily, it looks like a good machine. Unhappily, I can't get the configuration I want in a store. So, I'll buy online from the maker and wait.
In fact, I'm going to go do that now, but wanted to share the good news, LOL

* Also, Best Buy, because Fry's didn't have the toner I needed**, but BB doesn't sell Win7 machines in-store.

** That's right. I had to go to the store or I probably would still be hemming and hawing. I need a personal shopper.


Thanks for all the input - Ylee, WTS, and gg! You really helped me to stop flailing and figure out what I needed.
Oh, on that note, the only thing I wasn't crazy about with this machine is the lack of a dedicated graphics card but then I read about the newer integrated processors and it sounds just fine. Won't stand up to the big boys but I don't need that, anyway.

'k. seewu :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
177. Bogon
11:26 PM GMT on June 10, 2014
I read the whole WOT series, but I didn't count the pages.

It took about twenty years and two authors.

Never again!
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 80 Comments: 3854
176. sp34n119w
10:16 PM GMT on June 10, 2014
Nice to have a Resident Expert :)


Some of those links I mentioned -

I dunno, this may not be worth posting - onaires-disparagingly-ask-about-people-they-exploi t

This I just found this morning, about a GM mosquito that could help stop Malaria - 974

This might be interesting to some who engaged in previous conversations here (kind of long) - nd-harris-are-old-news-totally-different-atheism-r ise

I know I posted this a few months ago and meant to post again before June 5, but it still is useful (about internet privacy and security, particularly with regard to gov spying) -



I just thought that was interesting information worth sharing.


I'm going to Fry's!!!
If I can get out of here!
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
175. calpoppy
12:30 AM GMT on June 10, 2014
You are very welcome :))
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 57 Comments: 4009
174. sp34n119w
12:12 AM GMT on June 10, 2014
For calpoppy, wrt comment on the pods:

We are all correct!
What the heck is a milk-vetch?
Thanks for the name that allowed me to find that, calpoppy!
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
173. sp34n119w
9:25 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
WTS - or how about the cute "Teddy" bear? Sheesh.
The mountain goat was known to be aggressive, the hiker was experienced and was trying to distract the goat from his friends. Bad luck that the goat got him in the thigh, apparently severing that big artery there.

I found a Samsung 22" tv that some reviewers at Amazon have used as a monitor. One even gave instructions on how to change the tv settings - looks pretty straightforward. It seems that those who didn't see or figure out those instructions had an issue with screen resolution, so, that's the thing. Haven't bought the tv, yet, and may go see if they have it at Fry's (oh, no!) but they usually don't have the little tvs there.

Your blog title says it all about SoCal weather. Except it's much warmer at your place! And calpoppy's!

calpoppy - yup, my mom is not a good faller. She is feeling better, thanks :)
Took her shopping for shoes she can get on without tying laces, and ended up with a ton of new clothes, to boot! She was quite cheerful afterwords and asked me why I thought she would be ... "retail therapy", I told her. She didn't buy it because she hates shopping (runs in the family) but, really, sometimes you just need new stuff! It was a good day.

I'm so glad you and the mister and the pups enjoyed your trip to the Sierra. I saw a couple of photos (hurray for the four, again!) and can't wait for the travelblog!
You know I'd send you some coolth if I could! You should plan a trip to the coast for some cool temps this summer. Lots of nice spots with easy access for the MW.

Ylee - I thought it looked xkcd-ish, too! It was funny, anyway. I do like the one you posted and the previous one cracked me up - I like puns :)

I was lurking through your blog late last night and saw the fox - so neat that you caught that! Also, that you've been dodging storms, so, hope that continues.


Monday, Monday. I do have a couple of links I wanted to drop but they require (no, they don't, it's just how I am) some commentary, so that'll have to wait. I'm procrastinating on too many other things right now ;)


Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
172. Ylee
7:59 PM GMT on June 09, 2014
I thought maybe today's APOD was an XKCD cartoon, but no. More like UFO's for dummies. :' )

Actually the latest XKCD is way better...

Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 98 Comments: 16549
171. calpoppy
10:16 PM GMT on June 08, 2014
Your poor mom!!!! Two arms in one fall, that is not good! I hope she is feeling a bit better. I have been away and found you have posted quite a bit as of late :))

Will you please send your temperature to me, please!!!!! I come back from the Sierras and what do I find, near 100 degree temps, despicable!!!!! The pups are revolting, they want to go back to the grassy meadow with the creek meandering through and lots of easy squirrels to capture :)
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 57 Comments: 4009
170. WatchinTheSky
3:39 AM GMT on June 08, 2014
Yikes, poor Mom :(
Yeah, pretty odd, that game. And that Mountain Goat story.. I hope he wasn't trying to get too close. Every few years someone will get involved with the pointy end of a buck mule deer's antlers down here, oh look. bambi!

I think the problem with tvs as monitors is if you use a BIG tv, then text is fuzzy. You said small, but that is relative of course.

There was not much voting interest here, either. I did - though I turned in my 'mail in' about the same time you did, just could not complete it in time to mail it.
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2144
169. sp34n119w
10:55 PM GMT on June 06, 2014
Ylee - well now I have to make it three, just for spite ;)
Actually, though I am fine, my mom broke both her arms (one is just a little bit broken) several days ago and I am acting servant. I need to be available to her at her house and (now that she's recovering from the initial injury) that gives me some time to blog. Wins all around! Well, not all around, obviously. Poor mom.

WTS - oh, my, that is cute. Can't help but laugh at the little critter!
Not so cute, but goat-y and odd, is this game and its trailer.
And, lest we forget, goats are awesome in many ways. [that one's sad, for goat and man, but interesting]
Um, yours is waaaay better, despite being lamb, rather than kid :)

Thanks for the poppy photo comment! I wish I hadn't messed up the quote I used for the title but probably nobody knows it, anyway, lol I just went to youtube to check and I actually got the quote I used for the title correct. Hurray for me. Still, probably nobody knows, LOL
[no, it's come up before - someone around wuville knows the tune - I just don't remember who]

On the tv/monitor thing - see, that's what I think, too, but I seem to remember that there is some issue with using tvs as monitors. Like, using a laptop as a dvd player (or other media player) is fine but using a tv as a screen isn't? Has to do with refresh rate or size ratio or something? So, you can play a movie but not a game? Hopefully someone will know. Or, I'll run across it in my research, then I will know, and will tell when I do.


I went to vote in the Primary on Tuesday quite late, around 7:30pm, and there had been fewer than 100 voters ahead of me. They did have a number of mail-in votes in the pouch, but, still. Less than 20% turnout this time around. I get it – Primaries are boring and this one more than most (only two measures on a California ballot???), but, still.


This is from 2012. I don't think they've figured it out, yet. By “they” I mean the voters.


This is kind of interesting, but I'm not sure it's accurate -
The second largest religion in each state
also broken down by county.


I've had to do a lot of code-switching in my life but didn't know it was called that, or called anything.

[I think those three things were found at Singham's blog]


I'm reading “Ancillary Justice” by Ann Leckie. It's won several awards and is nominated for the Hugo. Very good story, somewhat difficult to track, with a side helping of commentary on gendered pronouns and identity. That makes it sound like that's what it's about, but, it isn't. That stuff just follows from the story and the culture and characters within the story.


Happy Friday, Happy Weekend, WU!
I'll be hanging at mom's, fetching and carrying ... and happy to do it :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
168. WatchinTheSky
5:17 PM GMT on June 06, 2014
Not exactly a goat, but - Pretty cute :D

I'm sure someone with experience will pipe in, but most new laptops (some?) should come with hdmi out for video and most small tvs (say, 19", prices around 100-160$) come with a couple hdmi in connectors (one for the laptop, one for the cable box/whatever). So, looks pretty straight forward to use a small tv as an external monitor for a laptop.
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2144
167. Ylee
1:59 AM GMT on June 06, 2014
Are you feeling OK, sp? You posted two days in a row..... :' )
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 98 Comments: 16549
166. sp34n119w
7:40 PM GMT on June 05, 2014
Hello! Quick psa (not an endorsement, you understand) - has begun their 50% off summer sale. Including the photography classes!
Some place called is giving away graphic downloads, free for a week. If you're into that sort of thing.
[not linking because those are easy to type into the address bar, if you care to]


WTS - I need a new small tv, too. If I could use the tv for a monitor that would be worthwhile. I did some research last night and, sure enough, it's tough to get Windows 7 these days. Also, a 17" screen with a dedicated graphics card (two main criteria, I've decided) adds hundreds of dollars to the price. So, yeah, a smaller laptop with a separate monitor may be the way to go ... if I could figure out how I'd set that up.

LOL Poor Obama - too far right for liberals, never far white enough for the wing-nuts.
I just watched the Cosmos epi that detailed climate change and thought they did a good job. Generally, I've been happy with how the show has handled touchy subjects.

Wolves would be cool! Except for the panic, lol. Folks seem inordinately frightened of wolves, compared to cougars. It's odd, as predatory cats (and bears, for that matter) are far more dangerous to humans than wolves.

Bogon - LOL Well, that's one way to keep your lunch safe from office-mates!
I wonder if whatever licked the icing off the cinnamon roll placed an equivalent sign to keep other critters away. I'll have to take a closer look ;)


Today is the anniversary of the Snowden revelations (dun dun dunnnnnn] and the ACLU has a timeline of events posted.

Apparently, there are two movies in the making about Snowden and the whole affair. It seems a little soon to me - it's not like it's over.


I have an easy day today! Which means I'll go run errands, lol
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
165. Bogon
6:36 PM GMT on June 05, 2014
One time somebody left a sandwich on the counter in the breakroom at the company where I was working. The sandwich was sitting on a little plastic plate. It looked perfectly fresh and edible, except that somebody had stuck in a toothpick and affixed a little sign, "SANDWICH OF DOOM".

Nobody touched it!
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 80 Comments: 3854
164. WatchinTheSky
4:44 PM GMT on June 05, 2014
Cougars, nice! Well as long as the pets are inside (which they should be anyway). Maybe we'll get some gray wolves soon, I hear they are making their way south.
Yeah, Frys can take some time ;D Not sure if this is a reasonable option - but - laptops with 17" screens can be heavy and of course are big (which may not be an issue) but laptops have video out connectors for a regular monitor (19", 20", +). I have done that at home, though not really an option for 'the road'!

Our neighborhood developer lined our cul de sac with Jacaranda and we have a sidewalk full of sticky blooms too! They do look nice on the tree, though ;D

I can't believe our tree huggin', clean air nazi, job killin' prez is taking away our coal!!! Woops, I knew I should be watching Cosmos on NatGeo instead of Fox ;)
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2144
163. sp34n119w
7:43 PM GMT on June 04, 2014
Howdy. Didn't mean to ignore the nice comments.

Ylee - I don't think I need any more distractions! I did watch "The Men Who Stare at Goats" last week and, oddly, there's another movie in my queue with "goat" in the title. Hmmm ... I may be going a bit overboard on the whole goat thing ...

gg - thanks for the tips. Especially, thanks for supporting the notion that I should stick with a 17" monitor. Don't know why I keep thinking I should "downsize" but it helps when folk tell me to do what I really want to do!
I had been thinking that Windows 7 would be better but not every laptop comes with that option. I guess I'd better hurry or it won't be available, at all.
Almost got to Fry's twice in the last week or so but couldn't spare the time ... 'cuz you know it's going to use up some time!
For a tablet I use my Nook tablet with a nook-to-android card and I like it for lots of things. What ever did we do without all these gadgets?

Bogon - it's great having the four photos back, isn't it? It was unnecessarily difficult to get to pics from blogs. Glad you like the Joshua trees - they are so odd yet so beautiful. I've been seeing a lot of Yucca trees in bloom around here and they are my favorite, with blooms very similar to those of the Joshua tree but closer to eye-level.
I guess movie directors think that desert is desert, as long as there's sand, LOL


Speaking of trees in bloom - there is something unique about the color of Jacaranda blooms, I think. But maybe it's just that there are so many, all at once, that makes them seem special. Anyway, it's a sight to see, and now is the time to see it. I parked under one yesterday, which is not a smart move because those blooms are super sticky, but it did provide nice shade, lol

Other things being seen around the neighborhood - cougars, apparently. There was one spotted on the HS football field the other morning (which, if you've ever read my whining about the noise from football games, you will know that that is quite close to my house) and, also, on the other side of town. Rather a large area so they're thinking it may be more than one. Isn't that nice? Glad GC is an indoor cat, now!

The ravens that I thought might be nesting in a nearby palm tree are no longer hanging around all the time. They weren't close enough for me to be sure but I'm pretty sure I saw a fledgling atop a utility pole near the tree several times before they all vamoosed. I just couldn't get a good angle on the tree to see the nest and such. So, no more waking to the sounds of a raven hopping about on my roof every morning!

The newer stray cats caught a mole but didn't eat it. That's annoying. They eat the birds and I guess they ate the squirrels I saw them catch, but not the mole. Weird, huh?

Speaking of things getting eaten, or not - a workman dropped a cinnamon bun on my balcony about a month ago (I didn't see it right away and then wondered what would happen to it so left it there) and it is still there. The icing was taken off before I spotted it, but the bun just sits there, uneaten. Makes you wonder, doesn't it? That it's considered inedible by all the critters that have access to it.

I'm rambling because I have nothing substantive to say and time to say it while I wait for the next thing to occur, which must be next, so I can't do anything else.
But I think I'd rather play catchup on my wu lurking, so I'll go do that, instead of more rambling.

Happy Wednesday, WU!
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
162. sp34n119w
9:51 PM GMT on June 02, 2014
There are people from an edge on the fringe of a sub- sub-group of geeky fandom for whom this image will induce an intensely pleasant but possibly deadly swoon ...

... so I had to share it.

[source: somewhere in @GroovyBruce 's twitter feed.]
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
161. sp34n119w
10:17 PM GMT on May 31, 2014
Ah, best intentions today. So it goes. Too pretty outside :)
Just want to drop this here - if nothing else, it explains neatly why I gave up on The Big Bang Theory, lol your-princess-is-in-another-castle-misogyny-entitl ement-and-nerds.html
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
160. Bogon
10:16 PM GMT on May 29, 2014
Now that Recent Photos are back, I realize you took some new pictures since the last time I looked. I think my favorite is the joshua trees. Whenever I see a movie that is supposed to be set in Texas, say, or Colorado, and the camera pans across joshua trees in the background, my willing suspension of disbelief takes a nosedive. The low budget film crew took a short drive east from Hollywood.

Looks like some nice cloud photos, too. I couldn't get those to come up. Maybe the servers are busy, with everybody trying to catch up on the galleries.
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 80 Comments: 3854
159. GardenGrrl
9:13 PM GMT on May 29, 2014
And now for more advice... I definitely like my 17 inch laptop. It is an HP. If you can, try to find something running Windows 7. Windows 8 is truly from hell. You are better off getting an android product than W8.
Most blu-ray players will run DVD but check with manufacture.

Another option is a tablet or notebook. I just got a small tablet to replace my sacrificial 15" laptop that finally died. The tablet rocks the world. Love this thing. Mine is a Samsung 7. something inch. It has a ton of "production apps" on it like Han Com office which is a knock off of windows office suite. It opens all the window files. There are other free apps that do this now and MS is offering the whole Office thing on it's tablets.

Highly suggest you go to a Big Box store and play with everything.

Btw I know nothing about Apple products so no help there.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 260 Comments: 9980
158. Ylee
7:41 AM GMT on May 29, 2014
A Blu-Ray will play standard DVDs.

If you want to ruin the rest of your life, Google "goat webcams". :' )
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 98 Comments: 16549
157. sp34n119w
9:00 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
Ylee - or is it that you would like your in-laws there? ;)
I think you're right - the 17" screen will limit my options in other ways (not every manufacturer makes them) but is worth it.
Will a Blu-Ray player play my existing dvds? Cuz otherwise that's not a good deal (and I haven't looked so don't know).

I caught up on many days worth of your blog comments

WTS - yup! Yarn and gyros, LOL
Cool goat! They have a guard goat at that farm, too. Goats are soooo useful!
With two votes for ssd I suppose I'll have to consider it!
Wait ... I just did a quick check and don't see laptops with ssd - all hdd. Will look around. I'm amazed at how each time I need a new computer I seem to have gotten further and further behind in my understanding of the technology. Maybe "amazed" isn't the correct word, lol


Did anyone watch The Wil Wheaton Project on syfy last night? I didn't, but found a link to watch it online. Although I watched it there, I don't have an opinion on whether or not you should, and leave that to your discretion.


I see lots of moisture being tossed northwards by Amanda, or what remains of it, but missing us, as usual. There's a 10% chance of precip in my forecast for Sunday. *wink wink*

Is May over, yet? Honestly.


Phil Plait weighed in on some issues of misogyny that have come up around the Isla Vista murders. Might be of interest to some.

[I modified this comment to add the Plait piece link, rather than bump the blog with a new comment]
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
156. WatchinTheSky
5:27 PM GMT on May 28, 2014
Is that where the next batch of yarn comes from :)

Spotted at the local Farm stand - Guard Goat on Duty!

Ylee's suggestions seem good to me, the SSD may add $200. I guess there is a bit of performance difference between the cheap ones and the 'good' ones. But I would guess a name brand laptop should come with a 'good' one.
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2144
155. Ylee
7:24 AM GMT on May 28, 2014
Well, my in-laws might like it there...:' )

I think you owe it to your eyes to get a 17" screen; if it were me, I'd make sure it had an i7, at least 8GB of ram, and a Blu-Ray player. Plenty of USB ports for mice and external hard drives, and whatnot. If I didn't have a need for a lot of storage, I'd have a 256(or bigger) GB SSD put in; all the speed freaks swear by them, although they cost a lot more per GB than a traditional HD.
Just my 2 cents. :' )
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 98 Comments: 16549
154. sp34n119w
7:58 PM GMT on May 27, 2014
Have I posted the Lamb Cam, yet? It has sound! Roosters crowing and lambs baaaahing.

Warm today and humid. The humidity was downright oppressive yesterday but doesn't seem so bad today. Maybe later, lol

'k. Just wanted to drop the cam since I ran across it somewhat randomly just now.
seewu :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
153. sp34n119w
11:35 PM GMT on May 25, 2014
Three days! Woohoo.

On the computer question, to answer Ylee and WTS, a laptop that acts like a desktop is what I'm after. Much like what I have now. I don't have to carry it around all the time but do need to move it occasionally, and like that I can take it on the road.
Dell comes up a lot in conversation so maybe I'll go with that. Newegg's guide presented me with a choice of Asus's (Asi?) that look okay. I should drop to a 15” screen, but would I hate it after years of staring at the 17”?
Need it for work but that's mostly writing and web-stuff and not intensive graphics. On the other hand, I have a real simple game that I can only play on the house desktop because this laptop's graphics card is old and slow, so I'd like something more game-friendly. I want it all, of course, except, like, heavy video editing and stuff.
You know what's funny? I went through this same thing here on WU the last time I needed a new computer. Wait, last two times – this laptop and a desktop for the house, I think. Got lots of good advice and really appreciated it then, and now :) Also, I guess I have been here awhile, lol

Karen – I saw how hot is got down there and, believe me, I was sympathizing with you! I know you aren't crazy about heat, anyway, and that is too hot for anyone. Well, I kind of like it, for a few days, but most people don't.
I don't blame your neighbors! I looked into AC that week, too, LOL. It's just so expensive and when I look around at all the other stuff that needs done in the house … it's really hard to justify. It would be so nice to be able to use the oven in the summer, though ;)

Ylee - never think of ebay, anymore, for some reason. Maybe because I lost my password years ago, lol. I used to sell stuff more than buy and it was fun but time consuming. I'll definitely keep it in mind, thanks!
To be honest, though, if I have to do the research on components and make those choices, I'd just as soon build it myself. And, presumably, it doesn't work for laptops.

You've got the right idea for that crater, LOL! Maybe since it's making news after 40 years there will be even more tourists and lots of opportunities. I'm sure your family would love it there ;)

WTS - wherever I found the link to the burning crater there was some discussion about why they don't do just that – drill for the gas. Speculation was that the whole area is unstable (as discovered through that unintentional experiment) so not a good idea. A spider trap, for sure. I wonder how long it will burn. Long enough for folks to forget what started it? Think of the stories that will arise!

No meteors for me. I went out to check for clouds around 1 AM and they were there so that was that. Kind of glad because I was really tired and it turned out to be a bust, mostly, anyway. Still nifty that They could predict anything at all!

I had heard of the solar roads panels a few years ago but they were not nearly so well developed. That's awesome and so sensible. Therefore, I hold little hope for it ever coming to pass in the US. It is a perfect technology for China, though, and they don't mind spending money on infrastructure. I may be too pessimistic about the implementation but I'm very excited about the tech. We can hope it will be available to private entities, at least. Their FAQ is good reading. Thanks for bringing that by!
Oh, and they've raised 106% of their indiegogo goal. Nice :)


apod linked to a free ebook today - “Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication"


Hope everywun is enjoying the weekend, especially those who get a long one :)
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
152. WatchinTheSky
6:53 PM GMT on May 25, 2014
Has anyone heard of this yet?
Roadways, sidewalks, whatever - made of solar panels!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2144
151. Ylee
2:23 PM GMT on May 24, 2014
I think an excellent money-making opportunity is being missed here; me, I'd set up a hot dog and marshmellow kiosk next door! ;' )
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 98 Comments: 16549
150. WatchinTheSky
2:44 AM GMT on May 24, 2014
That IS cool, I mean, hot! Or, pretty amazing. At least (I suppose) it is 'clean' natural gas and not a coal pit or oil seep. But one might think after all thus time some enterprising group would have drilled under it and capture the gas. But then it is a big spider trap ;)
Big meteor shower tonight and it's cloudy down here.... Look north, between the two dippers.
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2144
149. sp34n119w
12:02 AM GMT on May 24, 2014
Hi Karen! Hi Ylee and WTS!
I think I'll have some time tomorrow but wanted to drop this by because it's awesome - a huge burning crater! 40 years it's been burning and I've never heard of it.
Cool, right? I mean, not cool, because of how it got there, but, still.
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310
148. WatchinTheSky
5:24 PM GMT on May 23, 2014
You and I got sprinkles with way out in the desert, cal gets the real rain!

Nobody went in and salvaged all that yarn, seems like a waste, now I guess it is historical?

NUWUTU, good one :) That's the lot of old win pcs, a new life in Linuxland.

Hmmm... the best? I used to build all my pcs but now brand names are so cheap- er inexpensive. We use Dell at work and workhorses they are.
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 133 Comments: 2144
147. Ylee
5:14 PM GMT on May 23, 2014
Laptop, or desktop? I believe you have a laptop now? If it were me, I would go to ebay and find a custom built one by a Top-Ranked Seller. This is what I did for my current desktop. Of course, you have to decide every component that goes in it! :' ) The best ones have good customer service, so they can help you decide what you need.

Or you could go to Wal-Mart. LOL!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 98 Comments: 16549
146. SBKaren
11:44 PM GMT on May 22, 2014
So you, WTS and calpoppy got all the wet stuff!  Why weren't you willing to share?  LOL  The temps last week were brutal. Here is a picture of our weather station that measures the inside (on top) and outside (bottom) temps. These temps came down from 2PM when they were 108 out and 99 in. Oh that's right, we live at the beach, we don't need AC.  Guess what? My neighbors across the street had an AC unit put in!!!  I'm just glad I can function again because in those temps, I can't function AT ALL!

Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 197 Comments: 14643
145. sp34n119w
8:06 PM GMT on May 22, 2014
Oh, hey, now I've got sprinkles! Never mind, WTS! LOL

eta: I remembered what else it was that I wanted to run by the SoCalians ...
Discussions about the drought keep mentioning the 70s, specifically 1977, as the last worst drought. I lived in Redlands and remember that pretty well, what with the water restrictions, and all.
I also remember one afternoon in February, 1978, sitting in a marooned school bus watching trash cans, smudge pots, and a complete dining room set float past the bus, down the middle of the road. There was no ground visible as far as I could see and the orange trees in the grove across the street were half-submerged. The following winter brought more heavy rains, leading to the flooding of the Zanja and a six-foot wall of mud slamming through a house situated on its banks, a house that I walked past on my way to and from school every day, crossing the bridge over the creek.
This is common, we all know - drought-busters and their floods follow droughts. Will climate change change that, do you think? Or, should we cling to that mighty thin thread of hope?
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 82 Comments: 4310

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When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. - Edmund Burke

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I'd rather have this bottle in front of me ...
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Chapman Farms
Santa Paula, CA
Elevation: 239 ft
Temperature: 66.4 °F
Dew Point: 56.7 °F
Humidity: 71%
Wind: 1.0 mph from the NNE
Wind Gust: 2.0 mph
Updated: 2:24 PM PST on December 21, 2014
Santa Paula, CA
Elevation: 291 ft
Temperature: 67.0 °F
Dew Point: 55.0 °F
Humidity: 66%
Wind: Calm
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Updated: 1:54 PM PST on December 21, 2014
Port Hueneme, CA
Elevation: 276 ft
Temperature: 65.0 °F
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Humidity: 76%
Wind: 4.0 mph from the NNW
Wind Gust: 11.0 mph
Updated: 1:23 PM PST on December 21, 2014

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