It's not JUST about what I had for breakfast...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Oh "CIGGY" from Wisconsin, why do you come to the Golden State to toss your burning cigarette butt out the window? Why don't you go badger someone, and somewhere, else? Especially when I'm listening to Street Hassle on the CD, and I'm just in a mood to give your black Solera a love-tap?
  • Not absolutely positive about the automobile model.
  • Was not actually listening to Street Hassle, but it WAS Lou.
  • License plate may not be correct, but it IS representative.
  • Badger, get it?
A tip of the fedoda to ACME License Maker!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

No Smoke Yet


I have spoken to the powers, as it were, that be. The power switch in question has been determined to be defective, and so a new one is being ordered.

I have volunteered the use of my trusty Weller soldering gun when it comes time to do the deed.

Not my home Weller that has needed a new tip for the last 20 years, but my work Weller, the one that hasn't been dropped, AND has a good tip. Although the light doesn't work.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Solder's Christmas Poem

The title has nothing much to do with this, just another typo on the intarwebs! Click here to see it in situ.

Interesting electrical problem I came across at work.

Someone complained of sparks coming from their computer cart (hold 20 laptops w/chargers).

I didn't do the investigation, I'm just documenting it for you edification.

I observed some arcing on the plug.

2008April117Miscredux 005

Here is the layout of the power distribution system in the cart. Power comes in through the cord, goes through the power switch/circuit breaker, then out to the receptacles in what is probably a spring-grippy sort of thing. I would like to take one apart. The layout looks pretty good.

2008April117Miscredux 002

Let us take a closer look at the power switch. Oh oh!! I don't know where where the sparks were seen, but THIS isn't good! Looks like someone forgot to solder the wires to the power switch/circuit breaker! The wire on the left might even look a little discoloured, or maybe it was tinned, I don't know.

2008April117Miscredux 003

I guess we'll solder the wires to the power switch, and give it the ol' smoke test!


Sunday, April 13, 2008


We went on little trip up to the California State Poppy Reserve yesterday. It's about four hours from San Diego, not counting the odd ill-advised detour. That is, we passed a rental RV from Canada, took a detour designed to save time, and passed the SAME RV in Pasadena.

We also saw a lot of accidents. I swear there were AT LEAST 15 accidents. On the way back, just south of Santa Clarita, there was a semi rig stopped in the middle of the freeway, with a Highway Patrol parked behind him, lights a=blinking! Then we noticed that another Highway Patrol was behind us, do the zig-zag thing, stopping all traffic! So we were that last ones through!

Here is my first picture of the poppy fields.

2008April12 Poppy Fields Trip 001

Seems to be a tuck in the way! Whoops!

Here's a better one.

2008April12 Poppy Fields Trip 006

This is the line waiting to pay their four dollars for parking. You don't NEED to park there, you can park down on the main road, but it's a bit of a walk. Actually, there are plenty of poppies to see without even going into the poppy reserve. The whole valley is covered in them!

We also did a little geocaching, and came down through San Francisquito Canyon, which has a lot of history. We only found two geocaches. One at the Poppy Fields was missing, and two that we walked nearly a mile to get to, looked like might be too physically challenging for us at this time, so we left them for another time.

There are way too many pictures to stick in here, so go over to my zooomr page and take a look at them. I will be working on captions and geotags for a couple of days, I bet! You can leave comments there, if you dare!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Of Tygers and Swings, and Manly Men

A class was in the libery today, composing poems. TWO of the kidlets turned in poems that started, "Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright"!!

Even I recognized THAT! I commented, "Hey, you misspelled 'tiger'"

Alfred Bester wrote "The Stars, My Destination", one of my favorite SF stories. It was originally, so I've heard, titled "Tiger Tiger", for reasons obvious when you see the book cover illustration linked to.

I've read somewhere it might be made into a movie. That would be way cool!

Back in the day (3rd or 4th grade), I tried to pass off Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Swing' as an original poem. Silly me! That was the LAST time I plagiarized anything. At least, before the internet came along!

The Swing
by Robert Louis Stevenson
from A Child's Garden of Verses

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

It is available at Project Gutenberg

By William Blake
from Poems of William Blake

Tyger, tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And, when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Tyger, tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Also available at Project Gutenberg!

On the radio this morning they wuz replaying a bit wherein guys call in and share the most "guy" thing they have ever done. One guy had ridden his motorcycle at high speed down Cajon Pass with a buddy, another had taken a bullet south of the border.

I can't think of anything.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Trees Trimmed

You saw the letter, today they trimmed the trees.

Now we can see the house in back, for the second time in twenty years!

2008April08treestrimmed 001

Shooting through the door screen adds a certain air of incompetence, don't you think?

When we moved in, twenty years ago, this palm tree was about waist high. Now it's OUT OF CONTROL! They trimmed the TON of dead fronds off, about five years worth, as I gave up cutting them when the tree grew out of reach of my pole saw. I wish they had cut the darn thing down. It might have made a nice table base! Instead of a rat-ladder!!

2008April08treestrimmed 003

Sunday, April 06, 2008


One would think a Professional Business would do a better job of proofing their communiqu├ęs. It's not like they are writing some crummy blog, they are In Business!

Let us examine this letter:

2008APRIL06 011

  • What is up with the date? No spaces, two commas? But look, they did it again the second time! At least they get points for consistency!
  • Hey, that margin is a little raggedly! Line it up!
  • Why is the "v" in "vehicles" capitalized? I would have capitalized the "p" in "property", too.
  • I stuck in a couple of commas I thought would be appropriate, but I COULD be wrong.
  • I forgot to underline the "am" after the time. It's an abbreviation. There are supposed to be periods. Two of them. At least it wasn't capitalized, as I would have mistakenly done!
  • I believe "Allresidents" should be TWO words.
  • The capitalization of the initial letter in each word of the closing line seems a bit much.
  • "In Advanced"?
  • While I edited out the address of the residents and the name of the company, I did NOT edit out the name and signature of the sender. There wasn't any...

A DISCLAIMER, SORT OF: I feel I can cast a few stones here, as the misteaks I make in my business communications are rarely as glaringly obvious as these!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Of Spring Weeds and Missing Trees

I was making a snarky comment about dandelions, and I was asked, "Just what IS a weed?"

Dandelions In Bloom

Well, I looked it up, and the intarwebs consensus seems to be, a weed is a plant growing where it isn't wanted. Well, I've got dandelions in the lawn, I don't much care for THAT, but I guess in this bed of iceplanty things, it's just another flower.

The wife was out and about the other day. When she came home, she mentioned that the big tree was gone. I wasn't paying attention, as I was battle ling creeps on Desktop Tower Defense. When I went off to work the next morning I saw what she was talking about. The big tree IS gone!

End Of The Road 2

Where WAS the Big Tree? Take a gander at this High-Quality Google Maps Street View of the area in question.

End Of The Road 1

Nice lens flare! Hey look, you can see the same camper parked in the same place!

That tree was so big and beautiful. It's too bad they decided to cut it down. But how come I didn't notice it the day they did it?

Friday, April 04, 2008

Four For Friday

Four Things That Went Right Today

Firstly, the Earworm of the Day was the Public Service Announcement the local county television station play.

Here's the first stanza:
There's too many kitties in the cities,
Too many strays in the alleyways
They're on the street with nothing to eat
And they've got nowhere to stay.
Check out the video starting here, navigate your way to the PSA's.

What went right was, I found the lyrics on the net and got the earworm out of my head!

Nextly, someone actually checked out a book I recommended! It was Homer Price, by Robert McCloskey. You remember, Make Way For Ducklings and Blueberries For Sal? I love these books!

Thirdly, I discovered (for the second time, I think) (after digging around with a jeweler's screwdriver) that a tattoo from radiation treatments looks very like an ingrown hair or blackhead through not-very-clean bifocals...or maybe it's just a freckle. Will confirm with the doc in May. Maybe will get a "Don't Panic" tat to conceal it!

And Fourthly, the phone guy hooked our two extensions on "group" so now we can pick up either extension from, well, either extension! It's telephone heaven! And I've got no excuse for not answering the phone...


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