Sunday, December 02, 2007

December 2007


Saturday 01 Welcome to the month of December- did my stretches and that was all the exercises I was able to do because of the cold high winds that came in after the rains. That dang head cold is still hanging around and I stayed inside most of the day. The rains were great but the winds suck!
        The Weather: Temps never got out of the 40s. Humidity was around 45 percent. High winds out of the West at 20 to 30 MPH with gusts up to 50 MPH.
        I messed around all day with the ASUS EEE laptop trying different things. I was able to hook up my iPod onto it and listen to my lectures, and also sync my Sony Cleo PDA to the EEE’s KDE PIM. There was an update for the touch pad that I downloaded and I seem to get a better response from it. I started doing my Christmas cards by putting my return address on twenty envelopes.
        Called my Mom and Dad and yakked with them till my calling card ran out of minutes. Dad called me back and I was able to finish my conversation with them.
        Here is my weekly column I sent to the newspaper:


Copper Mountain Mesa News
By Bob DeLoyd


12/01/07

Our little community had a wonderful Thanksgiving:
Picked up Ron Dehart and drove on over to the center in the “Gross Polluter” (my truck) and arrived at 2pm.. Steve and Maryhelen Tuttle were in the kitchen preparing the turkeys and other fare with some help from Brenda Zimmer, Judy Driver, and Ruth Tuttle. Steve was wearing a mask and gloves and he looked kind of strange and I jokingly wondered to Ron if the turkey was toxic, until we found out he had a bad cold. Maryhelen was in charge batting out orders, so we made ourselves scarce and I started taking pictures and killing time for the next hour until they got everything ready. Folks started arriving: Hoss and Sandy Kuhn; Brenda’s family: her Mom, sisters Debbie and Carol with her Son Scott’s family and a new baby; Ray and Ila Foyil; Bob Seeley with his family; and Ruth’s Brother from Apple Valley. It was time to eat and Ruth led everyone in saying grace and then we all dug in! Dang the food was mighty good; folks liked my sweet potatoes too! Maryhelen made some great killer biscuits that she was mighty proud of, but I couldn’t eat too much because I had to be at Bob Stonebraker’s for dinner at 4pm. We made small talk and touched base with folks who we haven’t seen in a while, but it was approaching 3:30 our predetermined time to depart and we were looking for a way to leave gracefully when Earl Wilbert and his family arrived. I took some pictures of them, and while everyone else was greeting Earl, Ron and I slipped out the back way. I had a great time and wished I could have stayed longer with these fine folks.

Thought for the week: Being humble is having the notion that everybody has the ability to do what you’re exceptional at.


        Took a rest from my studies and played around with this and that and surfed the web. Wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.

Sunday 02- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights. I am feeling much better today and feel that I’m over that head cold, but until I’m sure it is gone, I decided to skip the “nightly bike ride” for now and do the bike ride in the daytime when it’s warm.
        The Weather: Temps of 41 to 55 degrees. Humidity was around 34 percent. Calm winds and no clouds.
        Got cracking on them Christmas cards that have been sitting on my desk waiting for me. Yesterday I got my return address on the envelopes, so today I wrote the addresses of the folks that I am sending them to. Now all I have to do is think of something witty and personal to write on each of them.
        Dale from Landers called to say hi. He just had gotten back from Apple Valley where his Mom lives. I told him of all the rain that he missed while he was gone.
        Went for my evening walk and listened to UC Berkeley’s Josh Bloom lecture on astronomy. Wow this guy has really got it down pat! His lectures are over an hour and are crammed with more facts than I could muster up with what I currently know that would probably fill only half an hour. He is very clear, to the point, and a pleasure to listen to.
        My brother Kevin called and we yapped for a spell. He is still trying to sell his home and so far, after two months, has had only two folks come look at it: the market must be bad in Arizona too!
        Spent the rest of the night reading my studies. I’m reading the chapters on sound in the physics book about waves, pitch, and musical scale. Tomorrow is temperature and heat.
        I read this blog about this guy who wrote “Things I want to do before I die” and he had some 115 items on his list, some attainable and some maybe not. But the great thing is he sat down and wrote it all out. I had created a list of things I wanted to do back in the 70s: learn to scuba dive, sky dive, and travel around in Europe. I did all these but I sure wouldn’t do the skydiving again! I’ve heard of doing this “before I die” lists before some years ago and had started a list of my own a few years back but never followed through on writing much down, I think I had ten items or so. I think I will try to find that list and see what it was that I had written and try and complete it and maybe post it here. At least a list like this can give you some direction and motivation in your life.
        Wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Monday 03- did my stretches, ran two miles, rode my bike and lifted weights.
        The Weather: Temps of 43 to 61 degrees. Humidity was around 21 percent. Same as yesterday: Calm winds with no clouds.
        Cleaned off the terminals and checked the water levels on my batteries that power the house. Collected wood for my wood stove to burn tonight. Took the mattress that had gotten wet from the rains out of the back of the “Gross Polluter” and hung it out to dry.
        Joel came by with my mail. He just arrived back from his trip to Kansas City to see his Dad. Said he was mighty glad to be back where the weather is warmer than from where he left.
        Called Stoney to jaw for a while. He told me that he had a visit from his son-in-law and his four kids who came in from Riverside. I asked him how old the kids are and he said that the youngest was 40 years and the oldest was in his sixties! I wasn’t expecting that, I was thinking 16-20 years.
        Went on my evening walk and listened to a physic lecture. Got back home and was just settling down to read when Kath called to ask if I’d come to her home in Yucca Valley to fix her computer problem if she picked me up. I told her ok. She was here in little under an hour. I spent the next two hours sorting through the tangle of wires under her bed that hook up to her laptop. Found that the phone wall jack was dead and that was why the dialup wasn’t working. So we ran a line to another wall jack and got her dialup working just fine, then she asked me to hook up her DSL! Ok, I wasted all this time connecting her dialup! I setup and connected her DSL to her laptop without any problems and had it up and running, but the disarray she has with all these wires running every which way it is only a matter of time till something gets pulled out of socket and the dang think fails again, hell maybe even a fire, and I told her that. On our way back to my home we stopped at Stater Brothers so I could get supplies and some fried chicken for me and Fat Cat to dine on tonight.
        Got all the groceries put away, ate dinner (Fat Cat was mighty happy), and was just about to start reading again when Roger T. calls and we talked about all the work he has done today and stuff like that. When we were through I tried to start reading when Kath called having problems with her DSL! I walked her through the connections on her laptop and everything seemed ok on that end, so I told her that she must have pulled something loose on the DSL wiring and that it needs to be rewired. I knew this was going to happen. She said she would check it out tomorrow.
        Finally got to my reading but it was getting late and I was tired; I didn’t get as much read as I wanted. I wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night!


Tuesday 04- I did a long run yesterday, well right now two miles is long, so I just did my stretches. Ron Dehart came by with his dog Sila and I put the Fat Cat in the house. We went for a short hike on the trails around my home. Ron also brought a salmon casserole that I’ll have for dinner tonight.
        The Weather: Temps of 43 to 66 degrees. Humidity was around 22 percent. Winds out of the NW at 4-7 MPH. No clouds.
        Wrote my column and sent it to the newspaper. I went with a different “Thought of the Week” than the one I was hoping to put together, but I’ll do that one in next week’s column. It takes me about two hours to write the column, tweaking this and changing that till I think I got it right. Then I did some chores around the house: clean the cat’s box, wash dishes: that sort of stuff.
        Did my studies the rest of the night. Physics: Chapter on Temperature: the difference between Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin. Kelvin is the lowest possible temperature, which is absolute zero, or –273.15 degrees Celsius and –459.67 Fahrenheit. And that means it is mighty cold! Celsius starts at the freezing point of water 0 degrees and the boiling point of water 100 degrees. Fahrenheit zero starts at the coldest you can get a thermometer in a bucket of water, ice, and salt. Measuring body temp accomplish the 100 degrees of Fahrenheit; I think Celsius sounds like a better system but I’ll still use my Fahrenheit. Read some in astronomy “365 Starry Nights” and “Cosmos”.
        Wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Wednesday 05- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Ordered a refurbished Toshiba M200 Tablet for $468, it was such a deal I couldn’t pass up.
        The Weather: Temps of 46 to 70 degrees. Humidity was around 27 percent. Winds out of the NW to SW at 3-9 MPH. No clouds.
        Lee dropped by my gate to ask me if I was going to Sandy’s birthday party that her husband Hoss is putting on for her. Sure I said, when is it? At 1:30pm Lee says. Well that’s only an in an hour and I told Stoney that I’d be at his house to check his roof for a leak he had from the last rain and have dinner at 3:30 but I figured that I could fit it in. I got there a little late because Joyce my neighbor called and we yapped for thirty minutes about a large tortoise in her backyard and wondered if I knew anyone who may be missing one. I told her it might be wild and owned by no one. Got to the party that was over at Lee’s at around 2pm and started taking pics of everyone; Bob S, Andrew, Patrick, Hoss and Sandy, Pat, Rudy, Marcie, and Sandy. Ate some mighty good enchiladas that Marcie cooked and cake. As Sandy opened presents we all sang Happy Birthday. I sat around and jawed for a bit and then it was time for me to git.
        Got to Stoney’s and went up on the roof and found some spots that there maybe water leaking in but Stoney didn’t have any patch to put on them so we’ll have to wait till tomorrow after he goes to buy some in town. Ate some chef salad that he made, went for my evening walk, then we sat and watched the “Science Channel” till 7pm.
        Got back home and got cracking on those Christmas cards that I need to send out soon, and finished them all by 10pm. My dear friend of many years, Lenore, called to catch up on my doings. She is a late nighter like me and we jawed about old times back when I was working as a security guard at an apartment complex in Redondo Beach where she lived, while I was going to college back in the late 80s. I lived on a sailboat in the harbor that was adjacent to the apartments and had to row back and forth to get to shore. That was a great life living on a boat and I did it for over twenty years!
        Did some more stretches and weights, played my guitar in the dark again, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Thursday 06- did my stretches and ran a mile. Ron Dehart came by a little later and we took his dog Sila for a walk. Sila found a jackrabbit and took off after it without a chance in the world to catch it, but he seemed mighty proud when he came back. Ron brought some chicken pasta that he cooked up and I’ll have it later tonight.
        The Weather: Temps of 47 to 66 degrees. Humidity was around 38 percent. Winds out of the S to SW at 6-19 MPH. With scattered altostratus clouds.
        Jumped into the Gross Polluter and drove down to Joshua Tree so I could mail those Christmas cards that I spent many hours on, and stopped at the Health Food Store to pick up some powdered vitamin C and a pound of yeast. There was a guy in the store sweet-talking the young gal who works at the counter. I could tell he wasn’t from around these parts because, well just because he looked so clean and well groomed. His hair must had been sprayed cause not a one was out of place. He looked to be well fed and a little over weight but fit. Even his nails were manicured! Yuck! But hey the gal was smiling and looked to be quite charmed. I went about my business and finally got to the counter to make my purchases and the guy asked me about the yeast. I said that I put it in my oatmeal every morning, and the gal told him it was for B vitamins. He said something to the effect that he should take it to relieve stress and I told him that if he lived where I live he wouldn’t have that much stress. He left and I paid my bill and went out to my truck where I saw the sweet-talker talking to another gal, while his buddy was waiting for him in a new, not a speck of dust on it, truck (must be from Hollywood). He looked about the same as the sweet-talker but with blond hair. I got in my truck thinking “Hell I’m lucky just to say a few words to a lady”. I guess I was a little jealous of him having the gift of gab, where I never pursued that reality. Maybe I should try a little in being more communicative.
        Went over to Stoney’s where I went up on his roof with the roofing patch and spread it over what holes and cracks I could fine. Then we went inside where I raided his cache of junk food (I don’t keep any at my house) and filled up on a donut, peach pie, mixed nuts, and Cheez-its while Stoney (87 years old) told me of an “Iron Engine” that NASA has developed for a spacecraft that he had seen on TV. He said that they run a high electrical charge somehow through a block of iron and flames come out the backend. And that they had a problem with it where it got clogged up with a speck of dust millions of miles from earth and they had fixed it. All of a sudden it hit me! He was talking about the Deep Space 1 probe and it wasn’t his “Iron Engine” but an “Ion Engine”! We had a good laugh at that one. Again, as yesterday, we sat down and watched the “Science Channel” and I stayed there for a few more hours.
        Got back home and called a few folks to “touch base” and then did some reading of the physics book. Did some stretches and weights, practiced my guitar, wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Friday 07- did my stretches, it was really windy but it wasn’t raining so I went and ran a mile and almost gotten blown over a couple of times, lifted weights, and rode my bike.
        The Weather: Temps of 45 to 57 degrees. Humidity was around 38 percent. Winds out of the S to SW at 13-21 MPH. With scattered altocumulus clouds.
        Updated the website and its calendar to December finally, sent out the newsletter.
        Andrew came by to yap about the bike powered generator he is thinking of creating. I think it is a neat project but you’d have to be pretty fit (about 150 watt hours if you peddle hard) to get it to power anything other than small appliances. We discussed using a flywheel with it, which would store the energy from peddling to turn a generator and help keep it at a constant output. Be fun to experiment with but two 65watt solar panels would do the job without all the work: they just sit in the sun with no moving parts.
        Went for my evening walk and it was still windy and cold.
        Stoney call to say that “Quigley Down Under” (1990) staring Tom Selleck, Laura San Giacomo, Alan Rickman was on at 5pm and invited me over for dinner and a movie. I think that it is one of the best westerns ever made, but I have never seen the whole movie only catching the last half hour or so of it. This time I got to watch the whole movie from start to finish! And yes it is that good!!! Did my laundry while I was there too.
        Got back home and did my studies; I’m on the chapter on Gases in the physics book. Read for a spell in “Cosmos”. I was doing my stretches and lifting weights when Mike called from Hermosa Beach and we jawed while I exercised. I still don’t want to ride the bike at night yet because of the cold wind. I wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Saturday 08- did my stretches because today is a rest day, besides I ran in the cold and wind yesterday!
        The Weather: Temps of 43 to 51 degrees. Humidity was around 33 percent. Winds out of the NW to SW at 9-12 MPH. With a scattered altocumulus clouds again.
        I have been promising Ron that I’d setup an old IBM laptop with a IDE Flash hard drive for him to mess around with. So I had to get all my personal stuff off it and also create a new user for him. Got it already, jumped in the Gross Polluter and took it over to him. Then after we sat around jawing for a while, he showed me a little pinhole in his kitchen where Fire Ants had drill through eight inches of concrete from underneath his house. Amazing! Drove over to check on a friend’s dog while he is away and fed them hotdogs: they was mighty happy about that! Then I stopped over to Stoney’s to chat for a bit; he was watching an old Western movie and I didn’t want to get caught up in that so I said my goodbyes,
        Went for my evening walk listening to an astronomy lecture on the iPod. Called Mom and Dad. Then I spent the rest of the evening reading the physics book and did a little surfing online. Did some stretches and weights, played guitar practicing some songs I written, wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.
Here’s my column for this week’s newspaper:


Copper Mountain Mesa News
By Bob DeLoyd

12/08/07

Our little community late one night, or should I say early one morning on the last day of November, at 3:58am I heard start a noise on my roof. It grew louder and louder until it all combined into a heavy pounding. It was rain! We haven’t had a good rain out here for many months, hell maybe a year or more. It seems that rain always bypasses our little area, but gives surrounding locations a good soaking. When I awoke in the morning it was still raining and didn’t stop till around 6:30pm. Then it started up again around 9pm and continued till 2am Saturday morning. There were a few spots throughout the day where it just sprinkled, but it was mostly a moderate continuous shower with some heavy periods thrown in. Then the next day we had high winds out of the West at 20 to 30 MPH with gusts up to 50. The rain was great but we could do without the high winds! This is really fantastic for our area because all the plant life has been drying up and it had saddened me to see only brown on my evening walks. Last September we had a little sprinkle that lasted for twenty minutes and I hoped it would be enough for the plants to last till a good downpour. It has been so dry here that we didn’t have any of the usual bugs in the spring and summer months, which I didn’t miss too much, and there hasn’t been any critters, they must be hiding in their holes, because of the lack of bugs. Anyways this is a much-welcomed downpour for our little community (bugs and critters included)!

Thought for the week: Being arrogant is having the notion that nobody could ever have the ability to do what you’re exceptional at.


Sunday 09- there was many excuses that I could come up with so as not to go for my run today: it was 39 degrees, windy, and there was a drizzle. But I did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights. It sure does make you feel alive running in the cold!
        The Weather: Temps of 33 to 52 degrees. Humidity was around 50 percent, Winds out of the N to NW at 7-10 MPH, with a light rain and drizzle on and off during the early morning, nimbostratus early, then stratocumulus clouds later on in the day.
        Did some chores around the house and replied to some emails. My brother Kevin called and we yapped for a while. He is downsizing all his belongings like I am: donating, selling, giving away, or just throwing it in the trash. My belief is that too much stuff bogs you down and you become a custodian and caretaker of junk.
        Went over to feed my friend’s dogs. Fed them hotdogs again. They sure like hotdogs! On my way back home I stopped over to Stoney’s to say hi.
        Went for my evening walk but forgot to take my lecture tapes. Dang!
        I had gotten an email yesterday from an old boating and surfing friend, Hotsie, who now lives in Laguna Beach. So I called him up. We talked about the old times, of folks we know who had passed on, or just moved on, and some old surfing spots we had known: Haggerty’s, Burnout, and Rat. Haggerty’s is well known just south of Torrance beach about a mile. When I surfed there in the 60s you could still make out where the pilings for an old pier from the 20s used to be. Hotsie said that you could tell when a big set was coming in because the pilings would become exposed as the water receded. I don’t think the pilings are there anymore. I was never much of a surfer but I did have fun and met a lot of interesting people. Hotsie lived on D dock at Port Royal in Redondo Beach. The locals knew D dock was where the nonconformist docked their boats. It was just a few steps to the bars and restaurants that surround the marina. We’d all gather in the Lobster House café for breakfast and dinner. I remember one old feisty white haired waitress who used to serve us called Blanch. One day I caught a cockroach crawling across the counter and showed it to Blanch and she jokingly but with a straight face accused me of bringing it in. She told me that she had worked at the Proud Bird Restaurant in Los Angeles and served Bobby Kennedy his last lunch before he was assassinated that night in 1968. At that time I was working at a job on Imperial HWY across the street from LA Airport and saw the coffin being hoisted up onto the jet to transport Bobby back to Washington DC, such a sad day for our country. Hotsie ran the Old Peoples Surf Club but doesn’t do it anymore. Maybe I can talk him into starting it back up.
        Did my studies, did my stretches and lifted weights, played guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Monday 10- did my stretches, had to be close to the house for a FEDEX delivery so I ran up and down the hill in front of my home for about a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        The Weather: Temps of 31 to 50 degrees. Humidity was around 35 percent, Winds out of the N to NW at 5-9 MPH, with few clouds.
        FEDEX arrives with my refurbished Toshiba M200 Tablet around 3pm. I immediately took it out and started playing with it. Quickly found that the “G” on the keyboard doesn’t work, but it is a Tablet and I won’t be using the keyboard that much until I fix it or replace it with a new one (I’ve already checked the price and they aren’t that expensive: less than $30). Spent the rest of the day and most of the night updating Windows XP installing Service Pack 2, and other security updates.
        Went for my evening walk listening to a lecture on the history of Egypt around 1200 BCE, while my Tablet continued to do its updates. When I got back from my walk I stoked up the wood stove to heat up this cold home of mine.
        Andrew came buy to drop me off a couple of donuts (which I consumed after he left) and I got to show off the Tablet to him. I couldn’t show him it in tablet mode because the updates were still downloading.
        Finally I had it all updated and then installed a firewall, anti-virus, Firefox, and a few other add-ons and programs. I put it in tablet mode and began checking out what all programs it has. The pen input works really nice and you can move the pointer arrow around without touching the screen (must have a magnet in it). Started up Microsoft OneNote that comes with it but it asked for a product key. I looked all over on the bottom of the machine and couldn’t find it. I do have the key for OneNote on another computer and will see if it will take it tomorrow. I still have to checkout the Bluetooth and the SD card slot to see if they work, but that will have to wait till tomorrow too because it is getting late.
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, played my guitar, wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Tuesday 11- did my stretches and ran a mile.
        The Weather: Temps of 33 to 51 degrees. Humidity was around 36 percent, Winds out of the NW to SW at 8-10 MPH, with a few altostratus clouds hanging about.
        Dragged my body into the Gross Polluter for the dreaded ride into town to get some supplies. As I thought, everyone was there at WalMart doing their Christmas shopping and I was one among them. I got what I came for, luckily got in a short checkout line that had just opened up, and made my escape out the front where outside I gave my usual dollar to the guitar player. We exchanged a few words and I told him he has lots of competition from the bell ringer who stands by the entrance. He nodded then continued to play after he thanked me of course. I had to stop by Staters to pick up a few boxes of raisins, then got gas in Joshua Tree and was on my way home.
        I went over to Stoney’s for dinner: we had a chef’s salad. “How it’s Made” was on the Science Channel so I stayed there for a while watching how they made toilet paper, electric blenders, and pool tables. I would have stayed longer but I had to get home to do some work.
        I didn’t go for my evening walk because I figured I did enough walking at WalMart. Started writing my column; trying to come up with something new every week about the area I live in can be a chore. When I was done with it I sent off column number 420 to the newspaper.
        Then I got to play with my new “toy”, the Toshiba Tablet. There are all kinds of new stuff I get to mess around with! I got the Bluetooth working and connected it to a Bluetooth dialup modem and it worked dang well. The SD card slot kept asking me if I wanted to format the SD card, and I don’t. The SD card is in FAT 32 format and I believe the Tablet was looking for NTSF, but I’ll have to check that out later. I put the SD card in a USB card reader and plugged it in and the Tablet had no problem reading it that way. The OneNote product key from my other laptop worked and I was able to install OneNote on the Tablet. Ran the Tablet for two hours on its batteries and when I was done it was only down to sixty percent, and that ain’t bad! So everything is working well (except that dead “G” on the keyboard) on this $460 Tablet that had cost around $2000 when it was new three or four years ago.
        It was getting late so I had to put my new toy away. Then I did my stretches, lifted weights, practiced on my guitar, wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night



Wednesday 12- did my stretches, ran two miles, rode my bike, and lifted weights. When I went outside to do my run I noticed that the small cement pond in front of my house was frozen!
        The Weather: Temps of 28 to 51 degrees. Humidity was around 33 percent, Winds out of the N to NE at 2-4 MPH, no clouds.
        I thought I better get Judith’s computer done and create more space in my cramped computer room, so I finished it up and called her to come get it. She arrived and I carried it out to her truck. She told me that her mother Juanita had died last Monday after many months in a convalescent hospital. I told her I was sad to hear this and that I would write something about Juanita in my column. Juanita was a big bingo player and I used to see her a lot at the potlucks, always smiling and having a good time. Judith said that her Mom was a bright star that had left God’s Earth. I gave her a big hug.
        Called a few folks up to touch base; Seimi, who is recovering from a dog bite; Lee, to see when I can come over to install his printer, but he said that Andrew had already hooked it up; Stoney, just to jaw; and Joel, to see if he was still alive.
        Went for my evening walk and listened to a physics lecture. Got back home and played around with the Tablet for a while. Then did my studies and read till 11pm. Did some more stretches and weights, practiced my guitar, wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Thursday 13- since I ran a long run yesterday I’m taking a rest and only did my stretches. Besides it’s cold out there!
        The Weather: Another cement pond freezing Temps of 28 to 51 degrees. Humidity was around 33 percent, Winds out of the N to NW at 3-6 MPH, with early morning and late afternoon stratocumulus clouds.
        Had to do some chores around the house. While I was doing these I defragged the hard drive and performed a spyware scan on the Tablet PC. I was low on firewood for my stove and cut up all kinds that should last for a few weeks. After that I basically just messed around doing odds and ends. Had a spear 128RAM I put in the Tablet.
        Went for my evening walk and listened to the last of the set of three lectures I had on the iPod and will refill it tonight with another three: Physics, Early Mediterranean History, and Astronomy. I have an iPod Shuffle and find it hard to use because it is so small (that’s why I bought it in the first place) the buttons are so close that sometimes I’ll hit one by accident and skip to the next lecture loosing my place so that I have to hunt for it again. Done this many times too! The Shuffle maybe good for listening to songs, but not for lectures, I’ll have to find something else with a display.
        When I got back from my walk my feet were really cold so I started a fire and heated some water. While the water was heating I updated the CopperMountainMesa.com website and sent out the newsletter. When I got done with that I soaked my feet in a bucket of hot water and it felt mighty good! My feet stayed warm all through the night.
        Did my studies for the next three hours reading about Thermodynamics. That was the last chapter in book1; next in book2 are Light, Magnetism, and Electricity. Did my stretches and practiced on my guitar.
        I’ve been wanting to take out the telescope but the wind, clouds, and cold weather have been keeping me inside since my head-cold, but tonight is the peak Geminids Meteor Shower and I just had to go outside for a bit to check them out. I saw four meteors streak across the sky in the first minute I was out there. It should get better as the night wears on but I scurried inside where it was warm. Maybe before I go to bed around 3am I’ll sneak out to have another look see.
        Wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Friday 14- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights. It was 38 degrees when I went for my run! Us desert folks ain’t use to that!
        The Weather: Temps of 30 to 52 degrees. Humidity was around 33 percent, Winds out of the NW to SE at 4-7 MPH, few clouds.
        Worked on the website updating a few things and put a “Special Notice” about Juanita’s passing on the top of the page with a picture of her and Judith. Also updated the Tablet’s OneNote to Service Pack 3, which was a 32Meg download. Then I spent most of the afternoon trying to learn OneNote. Of course they (Microsoft) say it is simple to learn, and I made a little headway, but it has so many bells and whistles that it gets really confusing sometimes. I may have to try their online tutorials. Ordered a MDC 1.5V modem car for the ASUS EEE from Ebay for five bucks plus shipping. Now all I need to do is figure how to install it when it arrives next week.
        Stoney called to invite me over for dinner. Joel called to talk about the new Indian Casino that is going to be built over in 29 Palms on Adobe Road south of 62 Hwy, just pass Bar Lumber. It will take up 180 acres and have 145 slot machines to start. In phase two they may build a hotel. It should create some 200 jobs. I don’t know yet what kind of impact it may have on our little area because we are some 20 miles away. There are concerns of it being so close to the Joshua Tree National Park, and mine is light pollution.
        Went for my evening walk and listened to a lecture on ancient Mediterranean Civilization. Then I drove on over to Stoney’s for dinner. Roger Smith was there helping us devour this concoction that Stoney came up with. It was macaroni with corn, hamburger, with some other stuff mixed in.
        Did my studies, started book two for “Understanding Physics” by Isaac Asimov. Kath dropped by with some supplies I had asked her to get me from the Smart and Final store. She came inside for a bit to visit Fat Cat and he enjoyed his tummy being scratched. After she left I continued reading.
        Did my stretches and lifted weights, practiced guitar, then watched “Numbers” on CBS about a hostage situation in an elevator. Afterwards I wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.
        Last night I said that I might go outside before I went to bed to watch the Geminids Meteor Shower. Well I did and I braved the cold for a half hour and saw some mighty nice meteors come shooting across the sky, there were many! I saw one that was so wide and so long that it left a streak in the sky that took a minute to fade away. Very cool!


Saturday 15- did my stretches and ran a mile.
        The Weather: Temps of 30 to 53 degrees. Humidity was around 31 percent, calm winds and no clouds.
        Worked on both trucks replacing the battery terminals. Took the battery I had been solar charging and put it back in the “Faithful” truck (the one with the bad transmission) and got it started after several months of just sitting around looking lonely.
        Dale from Landers called and we yapped for a spell about his disability claim that finally went through. He’s mighty happy about that.
        Frank and Mary dropped by to give me a Christmas card after going to 29 Palms were they braved the cold to protest against someone who was going to lecture there. I told them I don’t get involved in those kinds of things, but the Lecturer had a right to speak and that they had the right to protest. I showed them my new telescope and invited them over some night for a little stargazing.
        Went on my evening walk and listened to the rest of the lecture on ancient Mediterranean Civilization. Then I called my Mom and Dad and had a nice chat.
        Watched “American Beauty” (1999) Staring Kevin Spacey, and Annette Bening. Andrew gave it to me to watch over a year ago. I had never heard of the movie, it won 5 Oscars; I guess I was doing other things in 1999. Great movie!
        The sky was very clear and the “Seeing” was excellent. The Moon had just set so I went outside with the large telescope (it was very cold out there) for about an hour or so. I still couldn’t get good resolution on Mars, but the Orion Nebula stood out even in my highest power eyepiece, it was just fantastic! Besides the Trapezium Cluster, I could see a large dark cloud formation with a few young stars nestled inside that resolved mighty fine in my eyepiece. I would have stayed out longer but my feet were starting to hurt from the cold. The telescope optics performed magnificently but the mount still needs to be tweaked to where it doesn’t jerk when you move it and rests easily on the object you are viewing.
        Did my stretches and lifted weights, practiced my guitar, wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Sunday 16- did my stretches, ran two miles, rode my bike, and lifted weights. It was 38degrees when I went for my run but I just think of those poor folks back east and cold doesn’t seem all that bad anymore.
        The Weather: Temps of 31 to 54 degrees. Humidity was around 30 percent, calm winds and a few altostratus clouds.
        Called some of my Family and friends to touch base; that took up the better part of the day. Talked to my Sister Shiela about some safe investing ideas I had for her. Jawed with my friend Kula who had just gotten back from a week in Hawaii. Chewed the fat with Billie in Redondo Beach. Called my brother Kevin and we yakked for a spell about the Little Ice Age and when it started: (From Wikipedia: Little Ice Age) ” There is no agreed beginning year to the Little Ice Age, although there is a frequently referenced series of events preceding the known climatic minima. Starting in the 13th century, pack ice began advancing southwards in the North Atlantic, as did glaciers in Greenland. The three years of torrential rains beginning in 1315 ushered in an era of unpredictable weather in Northern Europe which did not lift until the 19th century. There is anecdotal evidence of expanding glaciers almost worldwide. In contrast, a climate reconstruction based on glacial length shows no great variation from 1600 to 1850, though it shows strong retreat thereafter.
For this reason, any of several dates ranging over 400 years may indicate the beginning of the Little Ice Age:
* 1250 for when Atlantic pack ice began to grow
* 1300 for when warm summers stopped being dependable in Northern Europe
* 1315 for the rains and Great Famine of 1315-1317
* 1550 for theorized beginning of worldwide glacial expansion
* 1650 for the first climatic minimum
In contrast to its uncertain beginning, there is a consensus that the Little Ice Age ended in the mid-19th century.”
Went for my evening walk and listened to that history lecture. Here’s the column I wrote for the newspaper:


Copper Mountain Mesa News

By Bob DeLoyd


12/15/07


Our little community's Copperettes Annual Christmas Basket is a wonderful project that benefits our less fortunate Mesa neighbors who may need a little joy this coming holiday. If you live in our area and would like a Christmas Basket please call Mary Helen Tuttle. All calls handled discreetly.

Hoss Kuhn held a birthday party for his wife Sandy over at Lee and Marcie Hines home. We all ate some mighty good enchiladas that Marcie cooked, and a cake too! As Sandy opened presents we all sang Happy Birthday.

Every year Mike and Stevie Villarreal invite friends and neighbors to their home for turkey that has been broiled in a big pot of peanut oil. I've always heard that it is the best way to cook a turkey but have never had tasted it myself. Mike explained that it cooks for about an hour and a half, and the secret for a good tasting turkey is to cook it at 350 degrees so the oil doesn't get into the turkey. Well the turkey was ready and we all went and got our food buffet style and sat down to eat in the big new but uncompleted room that Mike is working on. I was invited back next year and you can be sure I'll be there.

Thought for the week: I was hoping to come up with something to do with the future and how it is a vast and empty unknown that we have the power to shape for the better if we tried, but I still don't know how to phrase it correctly. There is so much good that goes on in this world of ours that never gets reported, and the Network News makes it all seem like the world may end tomorrow, but hey we're all still here!


        Messed around surfing the web for a while. Then did my stretches, lifted weights, went for my nightly run (I think I’ll start this up again), practiced on my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.

Monday 17- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights. I’m taking tomorrow off!
        The Weather: Temps of 32 to 56 degrees. Humidity was around 37 percent, winds out of the NW to SW at 4-8 MPH, with mostly clear skies and lenticular clouds far off towards the west.
        Stoney came by to drop off a bag of groceries for me from the USDA food distribution. They had some eighty folks show up and ran out of food, so they shut everything up and left earlier than usual. Stoney looked mighty tired.
        Was such a nice day that I stayed outside to water all my plants, cleaned up the yard some, and did a little maintenance on the Gross Polluter.
        Went for my evening walk and listened to a physics lecture on friction.
        Jimmy called me up to tell me that he and his Family are going over to Stoney’s for Christmas, and told me all about his new truck that has all these modern innovations built into it. The truck has OnStar, Satellite Radio, sonar backup, seats that adjust automatically to each driver, and all kinds of other things that you can think of. I think I will be embarrassed to take my old truck over when I go for a visit; maybe I’ll ride my bike. Jimmy is also bringing me four 6-volt lead acid batteries for my solar system, so maybe I’ll have to take the truck after all if I want to get them to my house.
        Did my studies and completed the book “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan. Then I did my stretches, lifted weights, went for my nightly run up the hill and back, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Tuesday 18- My day off from exercising, so I just did my stretches. Ron called and invited me over for dinner at 5pm.
        The Weather: Temps of 36 to 58 degrees. Humidity was around 43 percent, winds out of the W to S at 3-10 MPH, with altostratus becoming altocumulus clouds by evening.
        Wrote my column for the newspaper and sent it in. Joel came by with my mail and a box of Danish pastries: yum! The MDC modem card was in the mail that Joel brought and I get to install it in the ASUS EEE laptop, but first I need to find out how to disassemble the EEE; I will do this later on tonight.
        Patty called to say that her computer monitor isn’t working. I asked her if she checked all the cables to see if one got unplugged and she said she did. I told her that I have an extra monitor I could lend her and that I’d bring it over at 4pm.
        Called Stoney to jaw with him for a while. Then I hunted down the monitor, stuck it in the truck, and drove on over to Patty’s. I lugged the monitor into her house and got ready to replace her old one, but when I pulled it away from the wall I could see that it was unplugged from the system. Plugged it back in and told her it was fixed.
        Got over to Ron’s early and had a tasty meal of curried chicken in a spinach sauce with rice. We talked about the new casino that is going in at Twentynine Palms and how the area is getting more crowded than when we first moved up here. We decided to take in a movie tomorrow in Yucca Valley.
        Got home just in time to watch “NOVA: Missing in Mig Alley” on PBS. About the Korean War where American F-86 Sabre and Soviet MiG-15 fought in the air over North Korea, and what ever happened to thirty missing American pilots who were shot down during the conflict. Very interesting.
        Got to work disassembling the ASUS EEE laptop to put the modem card in. Spent several hours going to websites to gather information, then taking it apart, finding that the cable was way to short on the card, splicing wires to make it longer, finding that one of the wires came loose on the connector and having to solder it directly to the motherboard, putting it halfway back together, and taking it back apart again because some wires were blocking a hole and the keyboard wouldn’t fit, putting it all back together again, hooking it up to dialup, finding it still needed a driver and that somehow the sound card is not functioning now. I will have to take it all back apart to see what I forgotten to connect so that the sound card doesn’t work. But that can all wait till tomorrow. Hey it gives me something to do, I don’t mind too much of taking the risk of ruining it, because I’ll learn something and it is the price of tuition you pay for the experience!
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Wednesday 19- did my stretches, ran a mile, lifted weights, and rode my bike. Nice sunny day outside!
        The Weather: Temps of 40 to 60 degrees. Humidity was around 49 percent, winds out of the E to S at 4-7 MPH, with cumulus clouds off on the horizon.
        I had to be over at Ron’s at 1:30pm to go to the movies, so I was in a rush to get a few things done. Last night I checked out some pics of the ASUS EEE laptop motherboard and found that the sound chip was on the backside exactly placed where the modem is and determined that maybe the problem why the system doesn’t recognize the sound chip and no sound. So I took it all apart, removed the modem, assembled it all back together, and booted it back up in less than half an hour (better than the two hours or so last night). Now the sound works! I will have to do some research on what drivers the modem takes and why it would affect the sound chip.
        Went online to find that UPS is delivering a package today, so I had to write up a message and a Christmas card for Sam our UPS driver telling him to leave it over the fence. Got a whole lot of other stuff done and then I was off to Ron’s.
        We saw the movie “I Am Legend” starring Wil Smith. The last man on earth (he thinks) the rest of the 6 billion of us came down with a virus that had mutated from a measles vaccine that was genetically engineered to cure cancer. Great special effects, especially Times Square being over run with weeds, except for the infected dogs that didn’t seem too real (both me and Ron thought the same) it was all very believable. Reminded me of a movie in 1971 called “The Omega Man” starring Chariton Heston that was based on the same book. Wil Smith did a fine job and I liked the flick!
        Got home just as Sam the UPS guy drove up! Did my studies until “Wired Science” came on at 8pm. About: Blind folks seeing with their tongues, interview with Craig Venter (the first guy to have his genes sequenced), reverse-engineering of rockets that launched man to the moon for use with the new moon program (seems like they forgot to write this all down in the 60s), and digitizing books using games.
        Redid all the updates on the ASUS EEE laptop. Did my stretches, went for my nightly run, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Thursday 20- did my stretches and ran two miles.
        The Weather: Temps of 43 to 58 degrees. Humidity was around 37 percent, winds out of the E to S at 6-15 and gusts up to 35 MPH, with altostratus clouds.
        Dana and Karen brought me over a Christmas basket full of cookies. (They didn’t last long!)
        worked around the house some moving and storing this and that; kind of like shuffling junk around. Andrew came by to jaw and do some computer work. He went with me on my evening walk. Then I went on over to Stoney’s for dinner and watched “How Things are Made” on the Science Channel. They showed how nails and staples are made.
        Did my studies, did my stretches, didn’t go for my nightly run because the wind was blowing very hard, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Friday 21- did my stretches but it was way to windy to do my running, weights, and bike. Must be gusting up to 30 MPH!
        The Weather: Temps of 41 to 50 degrees. Humidity was around 37 percent, winds out of the NW at 18-20 MPH, with no clouds (they all got blown away).
        Went to my mailbox that is six miles down the road to see if a donation to the Community Center from Sandra had arrived; it did. She had set it out last Saturday and we both have been a little worried about it being late. Stopped over to Roger T’s home to yap with him for a while and collect for my dialup service; he is now all paid up till May. Then I went on down to Lee and Marcie’s to load a file containing pictures of Sandy’s birthday party that I had taken two weeks ago. I asked if they were going to potluck and they said to me that they were advised that there would be no potluck because of the kitchen was being renovated. I told them that it was news to me and asked them who informed them that there would be no potluck and they said that they couldn’t remember who told them that. I said we’re going to have potluck anyways because I ran it in my column. We don’t need no kitchen for potluck because all the food is cooked and brought in from elsewhere. Marcie gave me a cup and saucer for Christmas.
        Got home, did some work on the computer, got restless and called Stoney to see what he was up to. He is outside barbecuing pork chops. “How can you barbecue in all this wind I asked.” “Well I just am,” he says. So he invited me over and I went and got there just as he had finished cooking the chops. I don’t know how they’re going to taste,” he says, “Because they’d been in the freezer for a very long time.” They surely had because there was no taste to them at all, like eating cardboard! So we tossed the chops and cooked up some chili beans out of a can and sat to watch the Science Channel for a while.
        Got back home around 7pm and the wind had died down so I went for my mile run. It was still blowing a little out of the NW and the cold cut right on through to my long johns, but it was a good run and I felt the better for it. When I got back I stoked up a fire in the wood stove, sat at my computer and updated the CopperMountainMesa.com website and sent out the newsletter. Did my stretches and lifted weights, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Saturday 22- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights. It was very cold this morning and the cement pond had frozen over.
        The Weather: Temps of 30 to 49 degrees, with winds out of the NW at 3-6 MPH, humidity around 29 percent, no clouds.
        Called a few folks to say hi and to let them know I’m still alive. Cleaned the house some. Mostly just stayed inside doing the little boring things that keeps everything functional.
        Here’s this weeks news column for the paper:


Copper Mountain Mesa News
By Bob DeLoyd
12/22/07

Our little community is sad to inform you that longtime resident, and neighbor, Juanita Marx (born 1924) had passed away on Monday, the 10th of December after many months in a convalescent hospital. Juanita was a big bingo enthusiast; when she won she'd stick her finger high in the air for all to see. We also used to see Juanita with her daughter Judith at the potlucks (they were an inseparable pair) always smiling and having a good time. Judith said that her Mom was a bright star that had left God's Earth. Juanita will be dearly missed by all of us.

I’ve been wanting to take out the telescope but the wind, clouds, and cold weather have been keeping me inside since my head-cold, but Thursday and early Friday morning on the 14th was the peak Geminids Meteor Shower and I just had to go outside for a bit to check them out. I saw four meteors streak across the sky in the first minute I was out there. It got better as the night wore on but I scurried inside where it was warm. I braved the cold again at 3am and saw some mighty nice meteors come shooting across the sky, there were many! I saw one that was so wide and so long that it left behind a streak in the sky that took a minute to fade away. Very cool!

Now don’t you all fail to remember that Potluck is next Saturday! Juanita Marx will be remembered there. Bring your leftovers from Christmas; that’ll save you from eating all them ham or turkey sandwiches and casseroles for the next few weeks or so. We’ll be expecting you at 4pm!

Thought for the week: Reflect on this a little: If you drink and drive you are not only putting your own life at risk but other’s as well; life is precious! Have a happy and safe holiday!


        Went for my evening walk and listened to a lecture on Astronomy. Called Stoney to see what he was up to; he’s baking peanut butter cookies! I think I’ll stop by his place tomorrow and grab me some. Called my Mom and Dad and yakked at them for a while. They are going over to my sister Audrey’s for dinner on Christmas day.
        It was very cold outside and I decided not to go for a nightly run but instead stoked up the wood stove, heated some water to put in a bucket so I could soak my cold feet. Kind of like a poor man’s hot tub! Anyways while I was soaking my feet Mike from Hermosa Beach called to say hi and we jawed for a spell.
        I wrote next weeks column early and sent it to the newspaper. They are usually very busy this time of year and they appreciate when they get it early on. Then I wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.



Journey to Tucson for Christmas: Sunday 23- Got up and decided to take the “Gross Polluter” to Tucson for a Family visit for three days. This will be the first time ever that I've been with my Family for Christmas and I'm really excited! I've been thinking of going for the last two weeks but I didn't want to dwell on a commitment, so I made my decision when I woke up and called my brother Kevin to ask if I could stay with him and he gracefully said yes. Then I called Ron Dehart to ask him to watch Fat Cat while I'm away; Fat Cat will stay inside the house where it is warm and will have plenty of food and I left the radio on to some talk show (I hope he doesn't get to opinionated). I quickly gathered up everything I needed and stuffed it in my backpack. Dropped over to Stoney’s to tell him I was going, and to get some peanut butter cookies. Got to Twentynine Palms to gas up and headed east on HWY 62 when I remembered that I had left the power on to some wires that I didn’t want Fat Cat to play with and burn down my home (and him), so I drove back and took care of that and then took HWY 62 west through Palm Springs instead. I won’t go that way again because of a large hill you have to climb just out of Indio.
        It was getting dark and I didn’t want to take the Phoenix bypass, which is sometimes only one lane on both sides with cars and trucks going 80 MPH, I didn’t want to attempt this at night. So I drove on to Phoenix and since it was Sunday night I weaved and swerved my way through that city going 75 MPH. Phoenix is a very large city and even speeding at 75 it took a while to transverse. There is a very long tunnel with lights on the ceiling about halfway through Phoenix that if you don’t let your mind wander can be very hypnotizing.
        Arrived at my destination seven hours later and parked at my sister Audrey’s home. John her husband said she was at Mom and Dad’s, who live just across the street, so I went and visited them for a while till my brother Kevin showed up and I followed him to his house. Then we went to Carl’s Jr. for a Super Star with extra mayonnaise. Kevin and I have done this on my last trip to Tucson: it’s kind of a tradition now. It was way to cold to sleep in the truck so I got my sleeping bag all set up in a spare room and then my Brother and I jawed late into the night.

Journey to Tucson for Christmas: Monday 24- did my stretches. Kevin and I went out to this café for breakfast and I had two eggs over easy with biscuits and gravy that didn’t sit to well in my gut. Did a few errands and then we went over to his daughter Crystal, who is three months pregnant, to collect her for the trip over to Mom and Dad’s to participate in the Family tradition of drinking eggnog on Christmas Eve (nobody else but Dad can pour the drinks and if you go to make your own he growls at you). I had my eggnog straight, as did Crystal. My sisters Audrey and her husband John, Paula and husband Mark and his Mom, and Shiela all arrived. My nieces Suzie and her daughter Alyssa, Cara and her husband John, Laura and her daughter Isabella we had a great time playing this game where you take turns pulling pieces of wood bars from a tower made of them until it falls. Crystal got really hungry (being 3 Months PG), Kevin tried to microwave and over cooked some pizza pieces for her and she started to cry saying she needed real food. So we rushed her to Carl’s Jr. where she got a Supper Star (and so did I). Then we dropped her off and headed to Kev’s and watched “Law and Order” and jawed some more.

Journey to Tucson for Christmas: Tuesday 25- did my stretches. It is my “very long” awaited first Christmas Day with my Family. We went on over to Mom and Dad’s and stayed there for sometime visiting with my nephew Aaron and his wife Jennifer and their two kids Ciara Lynn and baby son Ryvre before they had to leave for other commitments. And then we all moseyed on over across the street to Audrey’s house for Christmas dinner. Well we got there late and I got to meet a bunch of John’s relatives only briefly as they were in the process of saying goodbye. Shiela couldn’t come because she was down with a cold. Crystal’s Mark was there; we never get to see him much because he is always away working as a chef at some high-class restaurant. He made some candied yams that were to die for!
It was a real pleasure to sit with my two wonderful Sisters; there were lots of hugs. And it was real sad for me to say goodbye to them; seems like we are always saying goodbye. But Kevin and me were invited over to Aaron’s for a little get together and had to leave. When we finally got back to Kevin’s we were all tuckered out but managed to stay up late talking about what brothers talk about, well into the night.

Journey to Tucson for Christmas: Wednesday 26-The Trip Home- did my stretches, stuffed everything back into my backpack, threw all of it in the back of the Gross Polluter, and was checking the oil and water when Kevin noticed that my right rear tire was very low So we drove to a gas station and filled it up. I thought it just had leaked a bit from sitting for three days and no big deal. So off I went saying goodbye to my Brother for a good start on my journey. After 150 miles I stopped to get gas and the tire was low again. While I was putting more air into it I noticed a nail! I know by experience not to pull it out and decided I would need to stop every fifty miles or so to check it and fill it up with air. I did this all the way home until I reached Palm Springs when the tire blew up and started shredding completely as I made my way to the side of the freeway where there was a little bit of space where I could put on the spare tire (that was flat but I had a can of fix-a-flat for that purpose). While I was doing all this cars and trucks were zooming on by at 70 to 90 MPH only a few feet away: Yikes! Well I got it all together and limped my way back home checking the tire every five miles or so till I felt confident that it would hold. Relieved, I finally got home, was greeted happily by my Fat Cat, and called Mom and Dad to tell them I was safe and sound in my own little place that I call my home. Here are a few more pictures and a movie!
I had such a wonderful time with these fine folks that I think I'll come back again for Christmas next year!!!


video


Friday 27- did my stretches and ran a mile. Very cold and windy; it was 38 degrees when I started my run!
        The Weather: Temps of 26 to 45 degrees, with winds out of the N to NW at 15-18 MPH, humidity around 28 percent, no clouds until later in the evening.
        Jimmy and his Family came by with four 6volt batteries for my solar system! We spent a spell jawing and I showed them my new telescope. I only hope that the wind dies down so they can come over one night to look through it before they leave. Jimmy showed me his new truck that he let his fifteen-year-old daughter Angela drive over to my house from Stoney’s. They invited me over to Stoney’s for dinner; it will be either Sloppy Joes or pork steaks; Stoney hadn’t decided yet.
        Spent the time before going over for dinner putting stuff away from my trip. Mike from Hermosa called, and so did Ron Dehart, to ask how my trip to Tucson was. I told them it doesn’t get much better than that (except for the flat tire).
        Went on over to Stoney’s to eat pork steaks, mash potatoes with gravy with his son Jimmy and Clarice, their daughter Angela, nephew Ryan, and Grandmaw. Angela and Ryan were wrestling in the front room and Angela pulled one of his socks off his foot and threw it outside; Angela is bigger than Ryan! I had a mighty good meal and it filled me right up, and a goodtime too.
        Spent the rest of the night working on my blog and my Families blog updating them with pictures and a movie, but I did find time to do my stretches and lift some weights before I went to bed and called it a night.


Friday 28- I am going to town today and wanted to get an early start so I just did my stretches.
        The Weather: Temps of 26 to 48 degrees, with winds out of the NE to SE at 4-11 MPH, humidity around 34 percent, no clouds until later in the afternoon.
        I needed to get the tire that blew up on the freeway replaced really bad (I don’t like riding around without a spare tire) so I jumped into the Gross Polluter and drove on into town. I stopped at the Post office to pick up two packages from my Sisters, and then continued on to WalMart. When I arrived I took out the shredded tire from the back of the truck and a service mechanic approached me and asked if I wanted it repaired. Seeing how the tire was beyond any kind of redemption I jokingly told him that I wanted it patched up. He laughed and said we better get a new tire for it and that it would take an hour and a half to get it done. So I went over to Stater Bros. to get some supplies and browsed around WalMart till it was done. I stopped to talk to the guitar player that sits outside WalMart. He says he had just gotten back from visiting his family in Chino and he said that the folks there weren’t none too friendly; they ignored him whenever he would say howdy to them in passing and that they were too busy with their own lives to reply. I agreed and said it was a sad situation when folks can’t find the time to be pleasant. I dropped my usual dollar into his guitar case and went on my way as he strummed away on his guitar singing a song.
        My tire was finally ready and I mounted it under the truck as a spare and was on my way. Stopped to get gas in JT, picked up what mail there was at my mailbox and decided to just bypass my home, figuring that it was so cold outside that my groceries would keep, and drive on over to Stoney’s to see what he and his Family were doing. Stoney and Jimmy were watching Westerns on the TV and Clarice, Angela, Ryan, and Grandmaw were in the kitchen building a gingerbread house and decorating it with gumdrops and icing. I took a picture of it as they got it all completed, and it was a good thing I did because five minutes later it was taken apart and eaten. I watched the Westerns for a while till it got too much for me and asked Jimmy to show me his new truck. We sat in the truck for some time playing with all the fancy gadgets. Jimmy even made a call on his OnStar to Ryan’s dad who is taking care of his house while Jimmy is away. Stoney shined a flashlight from the front door of the house, to cold to come outside, telling us that the Sloppy Joes were ready and it was time to eat. Clarice cooked up four pounds of hamburger in the Sloppy Joes and we consumed it all.
        Got home around eight, called a few folks who left messages on the answering machine, and then I updated the CopperMountainMesa.com website and sent out the newsletter. Watched “Numbers” on CBS (a rerun) about a drug cartel that were sabotaging electrical power substations and causing blackouts in certain parts of the city, in a plan to assassinate one of their members in a prison who had decided to collaborate with the Feds. Then I did my stretches and lifted weights, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, and called it a night.


Saturday 29- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        The Weather: Temps of 29 to 52 degrees, with winds out of the N to SE at 4-8 MPH, humidity around 39 percent, a cold haze in the morning and a few altostratus clouds throughout the day.
        Worked around in the yard watering plants. Used an electric air pump, which I purchased at WalMart for nine bucks, on a flat tire on the “Faithful Truck” (the one with the blown transmission) it pumped very slow and took half an hour to fill it up. I hooked up two of the 6-volt batteries that Jimmy gave me to one of my old 40Watt solar panels and I will use that as backup to my main batteries. Called my Mom and Dad and yakked about this property I found in Bisbee Arizona.
        I got to get things ready to go to potluck, washed my hair and shaved. Made my “Famous” sweet potatoes with raisins, maple syrup, butter, and brown sugar, which everyone liked last Thanksgiving (at least they said they did). Stoney drove by with Ryan to drop off some of his chili beans on his way to potluck. I got everything together and headed on down to the community center in the gross polluter. Let me see; there was Rick and Bob S., Stoney and his Family, Judy, Rose, Lee and Marcie, two couples that I’ve never met before: one couple live on Daisy Lane over by Bob S. and the other lives down on Winters Road by the well. Gosh, I am sorry that I don’t remember their names (must be the cold weather). The couple that lives on Winters had grown up in Torrance where I did some of my growing up too! Marcie had some sad news for all of us; Hoss our friend had died last night in the hospital. We knew he was going to go soon but not this soon! Marcie brought some macaroni with hamburger, and Clarice brought her extra crispy lasagna, she blamed it on a John Wayne movie she was watching at the time, the cheese was a little burnt but it was still great. There was coffee, two kinds of pies, and when everyone had their fill we all sat around and jawed for a spell.
        When I got home I copied all the pictures that I had taken of Stoney and his Family to a CD and drove on over to give it to Jimmy, they are leaving tomorrow and I wanted them to have it. I stayed there for a while watching a John Wayne movie with them (there must be a John Wayne marathon going on) and then said my goodbyes; they are a mighty nice bunch!
        Went for my nightly run up the hill early, I haven’t done a nightly run in a few days and I wanted to get it done before it got too cold. Did my stretches, lifted weights, practiced guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Sunday 30- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        The Weather: Temps of 31 to 55 degrees, calm winds, humidity around 35 percent, no clouds.
        Jimmy and his Family stopped by for a brief visit before going home while I was doing some yard work. Hopefully they’ll come again soon. I took two of the 6-volt batteries and used them to replace a 12-volt marine battery that I was using for my 12-volt DC system. I will use the marine battery in the trailer out back along with a small 10Watt solar panel. Ron M. dropped by on his way back home after driving from LA where he has a home he is refurbishing to rent. He lives a little over a quarter of a mile away and I told him I liked his Christmas lights he has hung around his home.
Here’s My column for last Saturday I wrote for the newspaper:


Copper Mountain Mesa News
By Bob DeLoyd
12/29/07

Our little community would like to thank all them folks who make our community a wonderful and interesting area to live: To Copper Mountain Mesa Board members for keeping the gears grinding and to contributors like Sandra Foyil and her brothers for greasing them with their generous donations every year in memory of their Grandpaw Tex; To the folks who help out with the USDA food distribution and to those who get their food there; To the hard workers who put on the “Fabulously Fine First Saturday Breakfast” and the individuals who dare to eat it (actually the food is quite good I heard); To those who manage bingo and to all them bingo players, win or lose, who keep coming back; To all them hermits that we rarely see; To our industrious arts and crafts community who create amazing things; And to the compassionate folks who care for all the injured critters out here in our locale. To each and every one of you who live in our little community we wish you well and a happy new year!

Thought for the week: A World without hope there is merely pity. A World without love there is simply sorrow. And a World without compassion there is only greed. I would not think that we would want to live in such a World. A new year, a new beginning!


        Went for my evening walk. When I got back Joel called to say he is bringing me a meat burrito from Santana’s in JT. Cool! I sat outside watching the sunset and the ice melting in the cement pond. I called Joan and said hi to her and we talked about her bird “Rusty” that had passed on last week: he was eight and a half years old and a constant companion to Joan. Joel arrived with the burrito and I was just sitting down to eat it when a long lost friend called me up. His name is Larry Carlock and lives in Vista. We grew up together attending grade school and high school, surfed (I was never very good at it), and spent the early part of our adult life together. We haven’t seen each other since 1980. He said he was out in my area a week ago and picked up the Hi Desert Star newspaper and read my column and was surprised to find out it was me. We jawed for quite a while catching up on each other’s lives. I told him that I had done a search on him a few weeks ago and was going to call him after the holidays. Larry says that I might find him knocking at my front door someday soon. This is really cool! My Family found me, my old childhood friend calls, Richard (Hotsie) an old boating buddy emails me, now all I need is my old girlfriend from long ago to get in touch and my life will be complete. Actually it’s pretty dang complete already!
        Thought I’d better get my next column written and into the newspaper early because of the holiday, so I spent the next few hours composing it and sent it in. Watched “NOVA” on PBS about plants and their seeds and how plants manipulate animals to disperse the seeds to every part of our planet. Then I did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my evening run up the hill and back. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Monday 31- did my stretches and ran three miles.
        The Weather: Temps of around 32 to 56, winds are calm, humidity was around 27 percent, not a cloud in the sky.
        Worked in the yard watering plants that I missed yesterday. Cleaned out all the books and computers from the big trailer and stored them in the small trailer. I am going to fix up the big trailer for any of my friends or Family who happen by and need a place to stay.
        Went for my evening walk and then drove over to visit Stoney (he had some of that pecan pie leftover from when Jimmy and his Family came to visit). Tomorrow he invited me over for dinner. We are having black-eyed peas; Stoney says that they will make you prosperous if you eat them on the first day of the year. I said that having good friends and family that care about you should be prosperous enough.
        Decided to start writing my journal early and do a yearend wrap-up and then do my stretches, lift weights, practice my guitar, and at midnight do a run to bring in the new year. And that is just what I did! Right at midnight I was halfway up the hill on my run when I heard gunshots, saw fireworks in the southern sky down by HWY 62, and heard some folks in the distance hoot and holler. So I left the old year and entered the New Year running! Goodbye 2007! You’ve been a wonderful and exciting year!

This year I have accomplished a few goals that I had put forth last New Years and continued those from previous years: I’m still not doing tobacco or drinking coffee, but I’m still chewing the nicotine gum.
I do my stretches everyday, and lift weights, run, ride my bike almost everyday. I practice my guitar every night: sometimes in the dark so that I will get used to the fingerboard without looking at it. I’ve run eight and ten miles recently. I go for a walk most every evening, and started doing nightly runs up the hill in front of my house. I have been eating better; stopped eating candy bars, and tried to stay away from donuts, cookies, (at least I don’t buy them) and no soft drinks.
I’ve also taken and completed courses online: Understanding Windows Vista Business edition, Build your business identity, Create your own marketing, Introduction to programming, Linux 201: administering Linux for users
Getting organized, Jump-start your creativity: exploring Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks.
I started a dialup service as a hobby and have a few local folks as users. I haven’t decided to expand this into a business yet.
I spent my Christmas with my family for the first time ever! That was a very important event in my life and one I really had to do to feel whole!

Goals I set for 2007 were: hiking, learn Photography, a Programming Language, and some Math.
I wanted to do more hiking this year but I haven’t done as much as I would have liked; it’s a bummer hiking alone, but hopefully I will find someone, preferably a woman companion, to hike with this new year; if you know of one who likes to hike let me know!
Photography; I did some reading on the subject through an online newsletter, but I still need to stay a little more “focused” on it.
Programming: I took an online class, wrote a couple of programs in Basic, but never decided which language to study. To be honest, I found that I don’t really like programming. I took programming in college many years ago: Fortran, Cobol, and Assembly Language, and I didn’t like it then. At least I gave it a go and learned a little. I may continue playing around with the Assembly Language because it gets right down to the “nuts and bolts” of the processor.
Math: I’ve decided to learn Geometry.

Things that held my interest were: Astronomy; I purchased a new 12” Dobsonian telescope and plan on setting up an outside observatory (it’s too huge to lug around). I’ve been doing a lot of reading and listening to lectures on astronomy, physics, biology, history meteorology, and Geology. Writing in my journal seems to be helping me write better and I enjoy doing it. Playing my guitar, exercising, and fixing computers. I think these areas of interest will remain my main focus for 2008.
Things that didn’t hold my interest were: Television (I hardly ever watch it) I get all my news online and not fed to me with commercials, Politics, and troubled Celebrities.

One thing I want not to do in 2008 is buy any more computers! This will be my resolution for 2008! The rest are goals I want to achieve or to continue. (If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

November 2007



Thursday 01- Welcome to the month of November!
        Did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights.
        The Weather: Temps of around 54-80 with NW to E winds at 3-7mph. Humidity was around 35 percent. No clouds.
        Messed around with the computer some and then went to my friend’s house to water his garden while he is away on vacation. Stopped over to Joan’s and she gave me a tour of her aviary where she cares for birds that are sick or have some kind of damage that they cannot fly. She has many cages of these birds inside and outside her home. Joan is about 5’2” and makes her way around the low hanging trees and other structures she has made to her liking, just fine, where I kept banging my head on them. And then there are them chickens that keep getting underfoot, roaming about pecking at this and that without a care or even taking notice of me. Joan is a fine and caring person and I gave her a big hug before I left.
        Did some rereading of “Coming of Age in the Milky Way” and started a new book “Turn Left at Orion” by Guy Consolmagno and Dan M. Davis. Called Stoney and he invited me over tomorrow for fried potatoes and gravy and anything else he may come up with.
        Ordered a ASUS EEE PC laptop with 4Gig Flash drive and a little 7” screen from Newegg.com and it should ship sometime soon. This looks to me like the perfect mobile laptop and not very expensive.
        Went for my evening walk and listened to a physics lecture on Planck’s Constant that describes the sizes of quanta (which are packets of energy).
        Did some more reading until “CSI” on CBS came on, about a horror film star who was found murdered with a hatchet stuck in her back.
        Went for my nightly bike ride. I’ve been getting winded when I get to the top of the hill and my heart is pounding pretty hard; feels great. Then I wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and realized that I forgot to check on the position of 17p/Holmes comet (I’ll do it tomorrow), and called it a night.


Friday 02- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights. Getting a little tired so I may take tomorrow off and have a rest day.
        The Weather: Temps of around 55-80 with NW to SW winds at 6-8mph. Humidity was around 30 percent. No clouds. A real nice day!
        Spent most of the afternoon working on the weekend update for CopperMountainMesa.com adding pictures, links, and stuff like that.
        I told you yesterday that I bought a ASUS EEE laptop that weighs less than 2lbs and has a 7” screen, and here are my reasons for the purchase:
One thing folks forget is that flash memory is very quick. I put a
Transcend 2Gig IDE Flash drive into an old IBM 570 laptop running a PII at 300MHz, with 320RAM. I then loaded Win98SE and Office2000 onto it. Dang this sucker loads Word for Windows faster than my other laptop running at 2GHz. The Transcend 2Gig cost me around $65, 4Gig $111.11(untaxed), and an 8Gig $207.00 (untaxed).
That's why I decided to go and purchase the ASUSPC EEE PC 4G, plus I get all the new technology, and the size is what I wanted for traveling.
I have a Nokia N800, its 4" screen was hard for me to read PDFs and webpages, but I have found that I can watch movies on it without any difficulty. This was a vast improvement over the PDAs I've been use to.
This ASUS EEE PC was exactly what I was looking for and if folks say you can buy a used laptop cheaper on eBay, who cares! You'd still have to go out and purchase the IDE Flash drive and you're stuck with old technology.
        Went over to Stoney’s for dinner. As promised he made fried potatoes (a little too fried), biscuits and gravy, and black-eyed peas with slices of hotdog sliced into it. I was mighty hungry from all them exercises and ate my fill of it. We sat around with Stoney telling stories of when he owned an auto repair shop way back in the early fifties and some of the old cars he used to work on. One such car was the Stutz Bearcat that was produced from 1911 to 1934. I asked if he met many actors being his shop was in Hollywood, He said he worked on many of their cars and that the big stars were mighty nice to him but that the bit actors were rude.
        Went on my evening walk and listened to those physics lectures. Did some reading and finished “Coming of Age in the Milky Way”. Completed the website update after adding November’s calendar, and “Quote From” where I put a quote from a famous person once a month; this month it was from Thomas Pane: "We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in."
        Did my nightly bike ride and took a look at comet 17P/Holmes> Here is a link to a sky chart from SpaceWeather.com of the comet. The comet stills appears to be moving relative to the stars from a few days ago, and also one side of the puffball looks to me to be separating (a ragged edge) from the main body. Got all this done early before “Numbers” on CBS came on, about a woman in the federal protection program was murdered after Don took her home from a date. Then I wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Saturday 03- did my stretches and that’s all, even though I wanted to go for a run, I didn’t. I needed a day off from exercising to give my body and common sense some time to catch up to my ambitions.
        The Weather: Temps of around 55-79 with NW to NE winds at 4-7mph. Humidity was around 23 percent. No clouds. Another real nice day!
        Worked in the yard and around the house most of the afternoon fixing little things here and there. The controller that regulates the charge coming from my solar panels to my batteries stopped working for some reason, so I had to disconnect it from the system and replaced it with a switch. I have to keep an eye on the voltage of the batteries and when it gets too high I flick the switch off. This will have to do until I order a new controller.
        Went over to water my friend’s garden. I called my Mom and Dad to say hi and see how my Sister was doing, who had a medical problem last week. She is doing fine and back at work they said. Joan dropped by with her computer saying that she couldn’t get into her email; I took it home and spent a few hours messing with it, reloading her firewall and downloading Firefox. It seems to be working ok now.
        Didn’t go on my evening walk because it is a rest day. How boring! I like my evening walks. Brenda called to ask if she could get on my dialup service and I was happy to set her up on it.
        Didn’t go for my nightly bike ride either, but instead watched “Kelly’s Heroes” on PBS staring Clint Eastwood and Telly Savalas. About a bunch of Army misfits going after gold that is stored in a bank behind German lines in WWII. Good movie but two and a half hours long.
        Wow the time had just changed! It was 1:45am last time I looked and now it’s 1:05am! I didn’t know the time change to standard from daylight savings time was tonight. I wish we could just do without these time changes. Seems like you just get use to one and then they pull the old switcheroo. Now I have another hour to kill. LOL
        Wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Sunday 04- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights. Felt good to exercise after yesterday’s rest day!
        The Weather: Temps of around 54-79 with NW to S winds at 3-4mph. Humidity was around 22 percent, with stratocumulus clouds most of the day.
        Did some more little fixit things around the house, and then took Joan’s laptop over to her and spent some time going over some of the basics with her. She had cookies for me! I ate some there but I didn’t take any home because I’d eat them all in one day. Cookies are my weakness and I never buy them at the store to take home cause they’d be all quickly gone.
        Been thinking of the time change from daylight savings to standard time. Maybe we should just use Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) so the time never changes just TV and work schedules do. Nah, it would be too confusing! I wonder what time system Astronauts use when they are in space. Probably UTC time I would think.
        Called my big sister Shiela to yap with her. Then called Audrey; she and John were climbing down a mountain when I called their cell phone, they do this every weekend. Sounds like something I should start doing.
        By the way here’s my column I wrote for the Hi Desert Star Newspaper:

Copper Mountain Mesa News
11/03/2007

Our little Community had a fantastic potluck where around twenty desert folks showed up to feast on the vittles that they all brought. There were barbecued ribs, Stoney’s chili, layered Enchilada Bake, pecan pie, fruit salad, watermelon, and somebody made some brownies that were to die for! I think I ate to many sweets because I had a sugar rush the rest of the evening.


The comet 17P/Holmes has literally exploded onto the scene at 2nd-magnitude in the constellation Perseus. The far-off comet expanded to the size of Jupiter by unknown reasons and is visible to the unaided eye. You can see this little puffball by facing northeast, looking up for Cassiopeia (the sideways M in the sky) then going down and to the right from the bottom star of the M about 15 degrees (hold out your fist at arms length with thumb and little finger extended) to Perseus. Good comet hunting!


Thick clouds of smoke from the fires had formed over our area a week ago causing smog like haze all through the day. Our little community looked like Los Angeles did in the late sixties! The air was so heavy in particulates that I had to clean off my solar panels because of the layer of ash and crud on them were blocking any sunlight that came through the “smoke” cloud.


Thought for the week: Some folks are like oil tankers: big and slow. But when they commit to making a turn there is no stopping them and best not to be in their way.



        Did some reading for a while and then went for my evening walk but forgot to bring those physics lectures along. Spent the rest of the evening reading “Left Turn at Orion”, and looking for other books to read that I have stashed around here and there throughout my home. I need to start my studies up again; I read books on different subjects like I did when I was in college: it’s kind of like home schooling. I think it is better than watching TV and rotting your brain from lack of use. I view TV as an addiction just like alcohol or drugs. And I have decided to cut way back on TV and watch only a few hours a week of educational shows like Nova, but I’ll keep watching CSI and Mystery on PBS. I get my news online and not fed to me from some TV Anchorman. This saves me many hours a week that I can devote to other activities. I think folks should get a life of their own and try to reduce their time watching pretend life played by actors.
        Went for my nightly bike ride, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and then called it a night.


Monday 05- did my stretches, ran eight miles (yes I did!), and lifted weights. Running eight miles took almost two and a half hours and the better part of the day. My right leg was giving me a little problem but after five miles it seemed to go away (I’ll make sure I ride my bike tonight to stretch that hamstring). The only incident on the run was when my neighbor’s pit bull came out after me.
        The Weather: Temps of around 59-78 with NW winds at 1-4mph. Humidity was around 23 percent, with few clouds.
        Did some reading of “Understanding Physics” by Isaac Asimov, it’s my second attempt at reading this book, my first was a few years ago but I got involved in other things at the time.
        Went for my evening walk and listened to those physics lectures. When I got back home I took a short nap until Joan called with some questions on the computer. Then I called a few folks to say hi; Stoney was playing Spider Solitaire on his computer; Roger T. complained about high gas prices; and a few other folks I called just weren’t home. Continued to read until it was time for my nightly bike ride.
        When I was starting my ride I saw a few meteors streak across the sky out of Cassiopeia. The sky was clear so when I got back from riding I took out the telescope and did some stargazing. Comet17p/Holmes, the big puffball, was still there, and I swear I could see stars shining through its cloud. Mars was there but still to low on the eastern horizon to get any decent view of it. Afterwards I came back in the house, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night (I’m mighty tired). What an active day it was!


Tuesday 06 did my stretches and that’s all I did. I went on the web later last night and found that you should have a rest day that involves no physical activities after a long run, and I would consider eight miles a long run, so rest is just what I did. You rest so that your body can repair any micro damage that was done to your mussels during your run. I need to study more on long distant running and work out a program for myself. I’ll start back on my routine tomorrow.
        The Weather: Temps of around 59-78 with SW to E winds at 4-6mph. Humidity was around 24 percent, with Cirrus Uncinus (Mares tails) clouds during the day and low stratocumulus clouds moving in by night.
        Did a bunch of yard work: watering plants, repotting a few aloe vera, picking up trash, and planting glass bottles (mayonnaise, pickle, jelly, and mustard jars) so they may get weathered and bleached by the sun; I’m creating a bottle garden, hey it takes no water and looks nice after a while! I guess it’s just us desert folks who do this.
Sam from UPS arrived with my ASUS EEE PC and we jawed for a bit. His wife had just completed her first nine months of nursing school and got through the math ok. The EEE laptop weighs less than two pounds and I had it unpacked, plugged in, and online in less than ten minutes. Unfortunately it didn’t come with a 56k modem that I thought and had to go WIFI, I will have to find a USB 56k modem for it. On the website where I bought it they said it did. I got all my add-ons for Firefox and everything went well till it froze doing a sync of Foxmarks, and when I rebooted all my bookmarks that were on the server were lost. I have two other laptops with my bookmarks on them that I can restore from, but I just might start over fresh because I had so many bookmarks that I never used and it made it hard to find what I was looking for. Tested the PDF on the small 7” screen, and a movie that I had on a SD drive: they all performed well. Did updates on all the software that needed them, and also an update to the BIOS that took so long to install that I thought that I did something wrong. It has Skype on it and I called my Sister Paula in Tucson and yapped with her. The WIFI has excellent reception and was able to find more wireless connections than my Toshiba laptop. The power cord is very long. It also has Kstars that’s a planetarium program that I like and that was a big plus for me! Had fun playing Penguin Racer that is a game where you control a Penguin who slides down a snowy mountain and eats fish for points. Found out that you can install Windows XP on it only if it has Service Pack 2 on it, so the older XP version won’t work because they can’t boot from a USB drive (at least that’s what the manual says). All in all I’m pretty impressed with this little laptop. I will mess around with it some more tomorrow.
        Watched “Nova: Sputnik Declassified” on PBS about the race to put the first satellite into orbit.
        Wrote my column for the newspaper and sent it in. Wrote in my journal, posted it to the web and called it a night.


Wednesday 07- did my stretches, ran and mile, and lifted weights.
        The Weather: Temps of around 59-81 with W to SE winds at 2-6mph. Humidity was around 26 percent, with a few Cirrus clouds.
        Started reading the ASUS EEE PC users guide. A real funny thing I read on page 1-5 under transport is: “The solid-state disk drive’s head retracts when the power is turned off to prevent scratching of the solid-state disk drive during transport”
Well solid-state disks don’t have read/write “heads” that’s why they are called solid-state! I guess that in their rush to get it out of the factory and into stores they kind of missed that one. I setup Yahoo on their Messenger called Pidgin and it worked just fine showing all my contacts. Tried doing the same with Google Talk but it failed to load, I must have put in the wrong something or other and will try to fined the right commands later online; seems kind of strange that they have Google Docs on it but don’t have Google Talk ready to go in Messenger. The touch pad kept giving me problems with double clicking. I kept messing around with the controls but it still is a little slow even when I checked fast clicking on the touch pad utility. Connected my USB drive to it then went to a file with a whole lot of JPGs and it took forever for the thumbnails to show, I mean really slow as in go make yourself a cup of tea slow!
        Went over to Stoney’s for tacos. Roger S. came over too. We sat and jawed about the jets from the Marine Base nearby that sometimes fly low over our houses. It doesn’t happen too often but when it does it is more awe than annoyance to see those big fighters come screaming overhead, and at night when they put on them afterburners and a blue coned shape flame shoots out from behind is really awesome!
        Called Joan to tell her I will be coming over tomorrow so I can take some pictures of her for my website. Went for my evening walk and worked off some of that taco grease. They were mighty fine tacos but mighty greasy too.
        Did some more reading of the “user guide”. Mike from Hermosa Beach called to tell me about his new cell phone. Then I watched “Wired Science” on PBS about: donating your brain to science; analog vs. digital recordings; the X prize to land a rover on the Moon; how to make a strobe flash out of a reusable camera; and the next big problem we face is the lack of water and what cities are doing to cope with it.
        Went for my nightly bike ride, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and then called it a night.


Thursday 09- did my stretches, lifted weights, and ran a mile. I’ve been trying to pick up my pace when running (I’m really slow and plod along) and cut off five minutes from my usual time.
        The Weather: Temps of around 59-81 with winds mostly out of the SE at 2-6mph. Humidity was around 29 percent, with Cirrus clouds throughout the day.
        Messed around with the ASUS EEE pc trying this and that. Tried to get the “advanced mode” that was supposed to ship with the unit working through the terminal and typing some commands I found online that were going to put it on the shutdown menu. It didn’t work and I lost the ability to use the WIFI to get online. So I got to try the system recovery that puts the OS back to factory settings by holding down the F9 key during bootup. The recovery went really fast and was up and running in no time. Went online to get all the updates again for the software and BIOS, no problems. Had everything just the way I had it before the hack I did that messed it up. I am still stuck in “easy mode” but I found another hack I might try that doesn’t use the terminal. I plugged in a mouse and it really makes a big difference from using the touchpad. The touchpad definitely has issues that I hope ASUS will fix with an update.
        Went over to Joan’s to take some pictures of her and her birds for the column I wrote and showed her the ASUS EEE and she thought it was great. She couldn’t believe that it had a 7” screen and used a tape measurer to make sure. Then I went over to my friend’s house who is on vacation to water his garden.
        Listened to the physics lectures while on my evening walk and took a few pictures of the desert.
        Did some more reading of “Understanding Physics” by Isaac Asimov until it almost put me to sleep, so I went back to messing around with the EEE laptop. When I installed the add-ons in Firefox I left out Foxmarks this time because it kept deleting all my bookmarks that I put on from my other computers and replacing them with the ones from the EEE. I have one computer left that hasn’t been synced and still has all my bookmarks and I won’t sync that one till I work out the problem.
        Watched “CSI” on CBS about a serial killer who kidnapped his child. It carried over into “Without a Trace” and I had to watch that show to find out what happens. I don’t like it when networks do that, I don’t want to watch “Without a Trace” and never have until now. So I spent two hours of watching TV tonight (one show I really like and the other I can do without) when I could be doing something more constructive in my own life with that one-hour of Without a Trace. Also I found out that Sara of CSI is leaving the show! Dang it!
        Went for my nightly bike ride, wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Friday 09- did my stretches, ran two miles, and lifted weights. Tomorrow is a rest day so that’s why I ran two miles, Sunday I will be going for a hike, Monday I will run a mile, and hopefully I will run a long run on Tuesday. Well that’s the plan anyways.
        The Weather: Temps of around 56-71 with S to W wind at 4-12mph. Humidity was around 33 percent, with Altocumulus clouds throughout the day.
        Updated the website CopperMountainMesa.com and sent out the newsletter. Here is the column I sent to the newspaper:


Copper Mountain Mesa News

By Bob DeLoyd

11/10/07
Our little community will be having its CMMCA Annual Meeting today, Saturday, at 2 P.M. This is where we elect new board members for those old board members whose terms are ending. If you’d like to run for office or just want to vote you must be a member. There will be refreshments I’ve been told to entice you to come on down. Like always please check all weapons: chains, knives, and brass knuckles, at the front door.

Stopped over to visit Joan who lives two miles west of me by Giant Rock Road. Joan gave me a tour of her aviary where she cares for sick and injured birds that have some kind of damage that prevents them from flying. She has many cages of these birds inside and outside her home. Joan is about 4’11” and makes her way without any effort through the low hanging trees and other structures around her house she has built to her liking, where as I kept banging my head on them. And then there are them chickens that keep getting underfoot, roaming about pecking at this and that without a care or even taking notice of me. Joan is a caring person who loves her birds. Her favorite one she calls Rusty who is 12 years old and has the run of the house. I gave Joan a big hug before I left.

When I was starting my nightly bike ride last Sunday I saw a few meteors streak across the sky out of Cassiopeia. The heavens were clear so when I got back from riding I took out the telescope and did some stargazing. Comet17p/Holmes, the big puffball, was still there, and I swear I could see stars shining through its cloud. Mars was there too but still low on the eastern horizon to get any decent view of it.

Thought for the week: A little bit here and a little bit there, a little today and a little tomorrow will usually get it done.


        I’ve been experiencing some problems with my solar system that powers my home. The voltage controller that regulates power from the solar panels is not putting enough charge to the batteries and I had to disconnect the controller from the circuit a few days ago and run the panels straight to the batteries. So I spent most of the day trying to trouble shoot it. It didn’t help much that it was overcast all day and still don’t know if it is a bad controller, but I am testing it out on an old battery to see if it will charge it and will know more tomorrow. Since it’s been cloudy all day and I’m having this controller problem, I’ve been forced to conserve energy.
        Went for my evening walk and listened to the physics lecture (that I know nothing about and is way over my head).
        Stayed off the computer so I’d have enough power tonight when I write my journal. I did a bunch of reading on astronomy and “Understanding Physics” by Isaac Asimov. Then I went for my nightly bike ride. It would have been a nice night for stargazing because the skies were clear, crisp, and free of any clouds. Except for the wind that was blowing cold out of the west, I would have taken out the telescope. I heard that comet 17p/Holmes puffball is breaking up and I wanted to catch that. Maybe I’ll get a chance tomorrow night.
        Watched “Numbers” on CBS with an old 12 volt DC black and white TV (to conserve energy) that I spent some time hunting up, stringing up the antenna leads and connecting it to my standby battery that I use to power my LED lights in my home. I have two battery systems and the one that I use for the AC inverter, that I run my laptop and other AC appliances on is the one that’s giving me problems.
        Got on the laptop and had enough energy stored in the batteries to write in my journal, post it to the web, and called it a night. Sometimes being green can be a pain but is well worth the trouble!


Saturday 10- it’s my rest day so I just did my stretches. Then I went back to working on the problem with the solar panels. Went up on the roof and disconnected one of the four panels to bring down the amperage and the controller still didn’t work. So I connected the controller to another old battery and one 46watt panel and it started charging it! The dang battery I tried yesterday was just too old to hold a charge. I don’t know what’s wrong with the darn thing yet, but I will.
        The Weather: Temps of around 53-70 with NW to SE winds at 6-10mph. Humidity was around 36 percent, with clear skies. Very nice day but the cold stayed around till noon.
Went to our community’s General meeting where we elect members to the board. I thought I got there early at 1:45pm but they were already putting away the food. I did manage to get a couple of sandwiches and pilfer some cookies from the kitchen. There weren’t a whole lot of folks there but more than last year. I remember a few years ago when the community center was jam packed with folks, and now there is just a handful; other people commented on this too. I was there to take pictures of the folks and vote for the new board. Since there was four seats to fill and only four folks running, there was a motion from the floor to approve them by a show of hands. They were all approved and then went into the “back room” to choose their officers: President; Vice President; and 2nd Vice President. That’s all there was to it and I grabbed a few more sandwiches and cookies to take home with me.
        Got back home and worked on the solar system some more. I cleaned all the terminals to the batteries, which I should have done in the first place, and the batteries started holding a charge without being connected to the controller. It was getting late and the sun was going down, so I will connect them to the controller tomorrow to see if it works.
        Jimmy called to jaw for a while about him re-tiling his bathroom. He also mentioned that he wants to decide which parcel of land up here to build his retirement home on.
        Called my Mom and Dad in Tucson. I usually call them at 5pm their time but for some unknown reason I got the time confused and called them at 7pm their time! I get messed up on this daylight savings to standard time every year. Ya think that a person, who can fix computers, writes columns for a newspaper, reads extensively about astronomy and other subjects; could figure out something as simple as a time change. Go figure.
        The winds had died down and the night sky was beckoning, so I took out the big telescope and trained it on comet 17p/Holmes. The comet tail is separating like I said on Friday 02: “one side of the puffball looks to me to be separating (a ragged edge) from the main body.” but it is more prominent now. And with the big scope I could really see the stars through the puffball, like I thought I could with the little telescope. While I was observing the puffball a meteor zipped across my field of view in the 2” eyepiece! Cool! Stayed outside looking at other wanders of the sky: the Great Orion Nebula in Orion’s sword and the Trapezium that lays within where four bright young hot stars that are half a million years old that form a trapezoid in the nebula. I was out there for the better part of two hours until I noticed that it was getting cold and got myself back inside.
        Mike from Hermosa Beach called to yap about his job searches and a feud between his Mom’s cat and dog; they sneak attack each other and steal dinner from the others food dish. Then I wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and with battery power to spare, called it a night.


Sunday 11>- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights.
        The Weather: Temps of around 53-69 with W to S winds at 6-8mph. Humidity was around 36 percent, with altocumulus clouds covering our area later in the afternoon.
        Went back to messing with the solar system. I am starting to believe that it is a bad controller but I won’t know for sure till tomorrow because; again the old battery that I used to replace another old battery yesterday for testing the controller was bad too. So I replaced it with one I know is good and we shall see if it charges it. Meanwhile I will continue to run my main batteries directly from the solar panels.
Ron Dehart arrives at 2:30pm for our hike. We drove down to the Big Morongo Preserve and hiked down into the canyon towards Desert Hotsprings. Some of the vegetation is growing back after the Sawtooth Fire of July of last year, and you can still see that much of the trees have died in some areas. We talked to Dee Zeller who is a resident caretaker for the Preserve, and he told us that they were lucky in the fact that much of the wildlife survived the fire. I got a few pictures of a Mule Deer that was foraging for food on the grasslands, and another of a big bird’s nest in one of the tall trees that had survived. The trail we were on use to go all the way through to Desert Hotsprings but a developer had bought property at that end of the trail and had fenced it off. I asked Dee if there was any way to get around the fence or just climb over. Dee said there was no way around and that the developer had a few folks arrested for trespassing. He also said that folks use to park their cars at the Preserve and hike down to DHS, and then take a bus back, but that was before the fence and Dee was mighty mad about that fence. He had heard that the developer has fallen on bad times and might go bankrupt which Ron, Dee, and I agreed would be a good thing.
        We got home way after dark and I was very hungry. I made myself some pancakes and eggs with lots of butter and syrup: I could hear my arteries hardening. Then I laid on my bed to do some reading and was on the third chapter in “Understanding Physics” when I fell to sleep, one of those bottomless comatose sleeps that you don’t dream and is very, very deep. I woke up at 8pm and wasn’t sure if it was night or morning, it took me over an hour to become fully functional, and once I was I went online to read my emails. Found an interesting blog post: The Nerd Handbook how to cope if your significant other is a nerd. I replied to the post:
“Oops! I just read this on a whim and saw myself in your words. I think most of us haven't realized that we are "nerds", just too busy into our "projects" to care. At least I've been exercising for the past few years because I thought it was unhealthy to sit at a computer all day in my "cave". Heres something I posted to my blog the other day that I think sums it up nicely:
Called my Mom and Dad in Tucson (I live in California). I usually call them at 5pm their time but for some unknown reason I got the time confused and called them at 7pm their time! I get messed up on this daylight savings to standard time every year. Ya think that a person, who can fix computers, writes columns for a newspaper, reads extensively about astronomy and other subjects; could figure out something as simple as a time change. Go figure.”


        Went for my nightly bike ride and it was a cold and windy ride. Then fed my Fat Cat who missed a meal from my long nap, wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.



Monday 12- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights.
        The Weather: Temps of around 60-74 with NW winds at 3-8mph. Humidity was around 34 percent, no clouds. Just a really nice day!
        Joel came by wanting me to print out an airline boarding pass for him: no problem.
        Did some cleaning of the old trailer out back of my house, going through stuff that I need to throw away or donate. I have some books I’ll never read, really old computer parts that I’ll never use, and old VHS movies I’ll never watch. I am going to sort all the stuff in three piles: one for keeping; one for trash; and one for donations. I’m starting to believe that a build up of useless possessions that aren’t essential to your goals can distract a person’s mind and waste precious time. Kind of like trying to run a marathon wearing four pairs of pants, two shirts, and a leather jacket.
        Called Newegg to ask them about the missing 56k modem on the ASUS EEE 701 laptop I got last week. Told them that it said it had one on their website under Product Tour : ”Supreme Network Connectivity
With built-in 802.11b/g WLAN, 10/100 Mbps Ethernet and a
56K modem, the Asus Eee PC offers comprehensive network connectivity for free surfing on the Internet and your local network.”
The rep said there was nothing they could do and gave me the phone number to ASUS service, that I promptly called. I went through two of their reps explaining my problem. One rep said I should call Newegg and I said Newegg told me to call you. The next rep I could hardly understand, he put me on hold and then was disconnected. So an hour of my time was wasted on their so-called customer service! I did find something on the eeeuser.com forums that ASUS didn’t put in a MDC modem card into the 701, and that one guy took one out of his IBM ThinkPad and placed it into the slot in the EEE and it worked. I did a search on the card and it costs around 15-29 dollars, but you void your warranty doing that. So I’m also looking for a USB modem that will run on Linux.
        Called my Brother Kevin and jawed with him for a while. He had just listed his home with a new broker and is really optimistic.
        Went for my evening walk listening to those physics lectures. Got back and read a chapter in “Understanding Physics” without falling to sleep! The chapter was on mass, forces and vectors. I kind of understood it. Then started rereading “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan that I haven’t read in two decades, and then another book called “How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci” that I was reading last winter but had put aside for another project. I’m getting a whole lot more done by cutting out TV programs that don’t inspire me.
        Went for my nightly bike ride, then took out the small telescope to have a look-see at what comet 17p/Holmes was up to. Seemed to me like the old puffball is diffusing and spreading apart. Did a little more reading, wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Tuesday 13- did my stretches, ran three miles, and lifted weights. I will take a rest day tomorrow.
        The Weather: Temps of around 57-79 with NW to NE winds at 3-4mph. Humidity was around 27 percent, no clouds. Just another really nice day!
Went over to Ron’s house to go on a hike to “The Secret Canyon” that lies a few miles from our homes. I wrote about it before some months ago. It is nicely secluded and hard to find unless you happen to stubble upon it. There are Indian petroglyphs around if you look hard enough. We hiked from the canyon onto the surrounding hills for a while going pass old mines and climbing up rock formations. We took Ron’s dog along and had a mighty fine time. When we were done for the day we went back to Ron’s to have dinner: pastrami sandwiches and potato chips.
        When I finally got home it was dark and the Fat Cat wanted to be fed. I wrote my column for the newspaper and sent it in. Then I settled down to read “Understanding Physics” the chapter that deals with Newton’s three laws of motion and the motion of the moon. Jimmy called to tell me he has found a few golf cart batteries for me. That's great news!
        After that I was reading “Cosmos” when Andrew called. We had a long chat. I told him I have stopped watching TV news and other programs that aren’t relative to what I want to accomplish in my life. Like instead of watching the Nightly News or “Bones” on CBS, I’ve spent that time reading about physics and astronomy. I feel that TV had the chance to educate folks on something meaningful but commercial television has destroyed that with petty programs that are intrusive and dummied down, using stereotypes and chauvinisms as a way of creating conflict for entertainment and capital gain. Do I sound harsh? Hey, I am no better than anyone else, but I expect everyone else to try and be better. Imagine a world where we spent more time on things that really mattered, creating with that time new and exciting ways to solve the problems of this world. Producing something meaningful that we could pass down to our descendants and other generations who will inherit this earth and improve upon what we have done. Instead it seems to me that we are as a nation withering away on foolishness. Loosing the hard learned arts and crafts of our ancestors. Sorry about the rant, but I feel that I am correct on these assumptions of our current state of affairs.
        Went for my nightly bike ride, then started reading “How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci”. Now I remember why I stopped reading this book several months ago. It is one of those self-help books that are more words than substance, and I’ve never gotten much out of these. But I will give it a chance to see if it gets any better. What I like about Leonardo is that he used drawings along with his ideas, putting it all down on paper, where as I just use words, but want to learn the process of combining the two.
        Wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Wednesday 14- it is my day off from exercising. It kind of makes me feel lazy but I have read that you need to take a rest day to let your body repair its self especially after a strenuous run. I did three miles yesterday and that is strenuous enough for me. The eight miles I ran last week was an extraordinary event.
        The Weather: Temps of around 58-81 with a light breeze. Humidity was around 26 percent, no clouds.
        I really had to get gas for the “Gross Polluter” because it was running on fumes so I drove to town to fill it up and a five gallon container for emergencies; cost me a whole $50. Stopped off at WalMart to get dried cat food and litter. My Fat Cat is an outside creature until winter when it gets too cold and I let him stay inside if he wants, and keep a litter box for him so he won’t wake me up wanting to go outside to do his business. Saw a few folks from Copper Mountain Mesa while making my way through the narrow aisles crowded with Christmas merchandise sitting on pallets waiting to find their way onto selves. Patrick was there with Ora looking at TVs, I suggested getting an LCD TV to them because it uses less energy and is friendlier to the environment. Then I saw Judith hunting around in the pharmacy section for some items, and said hi. My last stop was at Stater Brothers to pick up some oranges and other things I’m running out of.
        Got home and did a lot of reading until “Wired Science” came on. The stories were: how much would it cost for someone to put a geosynchronous orbit 26,200 miles in space; a talk with an ex-astronaut who is building a plasma rocket that could take us to Mars and beyond; a touch table that can be used with Google Earth, and is utilize for military surveillance; and a few other things that didn’t hold my interest. Afterwards Mike called from Hermosa to complain about his new Bluetooth ear thing not pairing with his cell phone.
        Found out that I can run my ASUS EEE laptop without its battery while plugged into AC; makes it lighter and a lot easier to hold while reading in bed.
        Continued reading and then wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Thursday 15- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights.
        The Weather: Temps of around 60-83 with a light breeze. Humidity was around 27 percent, no clouds. Dang good weather we been having lately!
        Made a fast trip over to Stoney’s to help him finish putting on the back door that he had taken off to sand and paint.
        Got back home and worked on bringing the switch that I had replaced the solar controller into the house where it will be more accessible. I really believe that the solar controller is kaput.
        Here is my column I wrote for the newspaper:


Copper Mountain Mesa News
By Bob DeLoyd
11/17/07

Our little community had its General meeting where we elect members to the board. I thought I got there early at 1:45pm but they were already putting away the food. I did manage to get a couple of sandwiches and pilfer some cookies from the kitchen. There weren’t a whole lot of folks there but more than last year. I remember a few years ago when the community center was jam packed with folks, and now there is just a handful, and other folks there commented on this too. I was there to take pictures of the folks and vote for the new board. Since there was four seats to fill and only four folks running, there was a motion from the floor to approve them by a show of hands. They were all approved and then went into the “back room” to choose their officers: President Ray Foyil; Vice President Steve Tuttle; 2nd Vice President Brenda Zimmer; and Treasurer Maryhelen Tuttle. New board members are Annelies Thacker and Katherine Quinn. That’s all there was to it and I grabbed a few more sandwiches and cookies and headed on home.

The Leonid meteor shower will peak this Saturday evening, but it’s best seen after midnight Sunday morning. The radiant point is in the constellation Leo, the backward question mark, that will rise in the east after midnight. One of the greatest meteor showers of all times was the Leonid shower of November 13, 1833, it was estimated that one to two hundred thousand meteors an hour fell over Eastern North America. The comet which produces the Leonids is Tempel-Tuttle, discovered in 1865, that leaves behind fragments on its 33 year voyage through our solar system. Leonids can hit the earth’s atmosphere at 18.5 miles per second and you can expect around 10 to 20 meteors an hour.

Thought for the week: My friend Mike Long was on his cell phone talking to me. I asked him a question and he didn’t answer, so I asked if he’d heard me. “Sorry I was changing ears”, he says. I replied to him that I didn’t know he had an extra pair.


        Did my studies until it was time for my evening walk and continued them when I got back. Then I watched “CSI” on CBS. It was about a girl who was pushed out a window of a college dorm and fell to her death. The main suspect was a young man who CSI had the goods on in a case once before but he got off scot-free because his prodigy sister had devised a plan to manipulate the evidence. Sara has left CSI! I just don’t know if the program will be the same for me without her character. I may decide to stop watching.
        Went for my nightly bike ride. Took out the small telescope to have a look-see at comet 17p/Holmes. I had heard that it has ballooned bigger than the size of the sun. When I looked through my eyepiece it took up most of the space in the lens.
My Sister Paula wrote to me about the comet being bigger than the sun and I replied to her with this:
”Hi Paula
I've been keeping an eye on comet 17p/Holmes with my telescopes. I'll probably go out tonight and check it with the big scope. Just last week it was bigger than Jupiter, but now it's starting to diffuse into a bigger but thinner puffball. You can see stars through the puffball's thin foggy veil.
How wonderful that nature can put on a display like this for us, and I am awed that we as a living, thinking, and curious species are here on this planet able to witness this.
Love you! Bob”

        Wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Friday 16- did my stretches, ran two miles, and lifted weights.
        The Weather: Temps of around 57-78 with a light breeze. Humidity was around 33 percent, with some Cirrus clouds later in the day.
        Spent most of the morning working on the weekend update for CopperMountainMesa.com website and sent out the newsletter. Ron Dehart called to say he baked a pie and asked if I wanted some; I was over to his house in less than ten minutes. We sat around and jawed some, took his and all the dogs in the neighborhood for a walk, and ate some pie.
        Went for my evening walk over to Stoney’s for dinner. He made some Chicken Alfredo and tortilla chips. We watched something on the Science Chanel about this guy who goes to different job sites to work for a day, usually doing filthy work. This time he was working at the San Francisco Municipal Dump, up to his neck in trash and muck. Very interesting but I wouldn’t want to be shoveling trash or cleaning out the pump room that lies underneath where the trucks fill up to take the trash to the land fill and collects all the liquids and small bits that leak out. The pump gets stopped up and has to be cleared and the room cleaned out with a high-pressure hose. YUCK!
        Got back home and did my studies until it was time for my nightly bike ride. Then I watched “Numbers” on CBS about a rich girl who is kidnapped by environmentalists. Starts off like Patty Hearst who was kidnapped by the SLA back in the seventies, but there is a twist.
        I’ve been contemplating some things lately. One of them is how much junk we accumulate in our lives and that we become caretakers of all this stuff that sits in boxes stored on shelves and most likely never to be put to our good use again; that’s why I’m going through my “stuff” and sorting it into three piles: to keep; trash; and donate.
Wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Saturday 17- it is my rest day from all exercises. So most of the morning and afternoon I did a little yard work, messed around with some computer recording software, and did some sorting of my “stuff” trying to clear the junk out of my life. Called Tom and Aki to wish Aki a happy birthday. Later in the afternoon I called my Mom and Dad in Tucson and yapped with them for a bit. Ron Dehart called to ask me if I’d want to go for a hike in the Joshua Tree National Forest around noon tomorrow; I said yes.
        The Weather: Temps of around 54-76 with a light breeze. Humidity was around 31 percent, with a few Cirrus clouds. This is the kind of weather we live up here for!
        When it got dark I took out the big telescope for viewing anything that caught my fancy, till the Leonid meteor shower gets underway around midnight. I watched as the Moon in its first quarter phase set behind the mountains in the west. I love doing that because the atmosphere is thick and causes ripples on the Moon’s edges, and when it goes behind the mountains that are more than fifty miles away you can see the trees on the ridges as the Moon passes behind them. Cool! Now that the Moon set the stars really came out and I turned my scope onto comet 17p/Holmes. It has really gotten bigger since I last seen it. I used the 2” eyepiece; it really filled it up almost and is closer to the edge of Mirfak the bright star in the constellation Perseus. While I was waiting for Leo to rise in the west I was looking at Sirius in the constellation Canis Major and noticed a fussy object and focused on that. I had my ASUS EEE laptop out there with me and I was running Kstars a planetarium program. So I looked up the fussy thing and it was the open star cluster M41 that is about 2300 light years away and contains about one hundred young stars with ages between 180-250 million years. I like Kstars! Checked out Mars but still can’t get much resolution on it. Then I went on over to the Orion Nebula for a quick look-see. Dang it was almost 1am and I only saw a few meteors and it was getting cold. So I decided to put the big telescope away and just sit in a chair to wait and watch for any more meteors. As I waited I noticed another fussy object and ran back into the house to bring out the small telescope. It was another star cluster and I looked it up in Kstars and it turned out to be M44 the Beehive Cluster in the constellation Cancer, one I should have known because I’ve seen it before on a fieldtrip to mount Pinos with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific when I was in college. The 730 million year old Beehive has 200 stars and is some 577 light years away. Well the Leonid shower was a non-event for me so I decided to get inside where it was warm, write in my journal, post it to the web, and call it a night.


Sunday 18- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights.
        The Weather: Temps of around 53-74 with a light breeze. Humidity was around 25 percent, with a few Cirrus clouds just like yesterday.
        Did some busy work around the house. Went online to reply to some emails that have been waiting for my attention. Downloaded Windows Live Writer that is suppose to be useful for writing and posting to your blog. It can be used offline and is a wysiwyg interface. Runs on “Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or later, or Windows Vista (Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is not supported.)” It’s just something new for me to experiment with.
        My brother Kevin called and he helped me out with a problem I was having. I sold some property in Washington a few years back and the folks who bought it are three months behind on their payments. I’ve been procrastinating doing anything on it because, well, I just don’t have any business sense and felt that maybe the guy fell on hard times and would eventually pay. But three months is too dang long and it had me worried. My Brother did an online search, found that the property taxes were current, and got the guy’s phone number for me. I called the guy and told him that if he was having difficulties paying that we could work something out because I didn’t want him to lose the property, that I’m not an uncaring sort of person and didn’t want to foreclose on him. He had no idea that he was behind on the payments and that he has a few accounts with the same escrow company which he pays me through and that something got screwed up. He told me that he’d take care of it on Monday. I feel better now!
        Took my evening walk over to Stoney’s house. His Daughter Judy, son-in-law Denny, and their grandson Dustin are visiting for the week and I wanted to say hi to them and take some pictures. They invited me over for Thanksgiving dinner and I accepted. Judy and Stoney were in the living room watching NASCAR and weren’t up for chatting. Denny was in the kitchen so I jawed with him while he was breaking eggs and adding crackers in a bowl to make meatloaf for dinner. Dustin was busy playing games on the computer and couldn’t stop for me to get a good picture of him.
        When I got home I started reading and doing my studies. I did this until it was time for my nightly bike ride. After my ride I sat outside with tablet and pencil drawing star positions in the sky. I feel I need to get the other side of my brain working by doing illustrations and not just reading and observing. I got it back into the house to have a look-see of my creation, hell a child could have done a better job of it, but this is my first. Then I wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Monday 19- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights. Tomorrow I hope to do a long run of two miles or more.
        The Weather: Temps of around 53-74 with winds from the SW at 4-11 MPH. Humidity was around 22 percent, no clouds.
        Got down to write my column for the newspaper so I could get it in early because of the holiday. Makes it easier on the newspaper’s staff that is rushing around trying to get things done on a short workweek schedule. Got it done two hours later and sent it to them.
        My ASUS EEE laptop is still running in “Easy Mode” and I thought I’d try the hack again that puts it into “Advanced Desktop Mode”. My problem last time, I discovered, you need to be online when you do it! Here is a copy of the steps from www.wiki.eeeuser.com/howto:getkde that I used:
Enabling to full desktop mode (KDE)
This method will get you the components needed for the 'full desktop', which is the K Desktop Environment (KDE). You must be connected to the Internet before doing this.
1. Open a console window (CNTL-ALT-T).
2. Type the following to install ksmserver and kicker, the two programs we need (answer Y if it asks you if you're sure you want to install anything):
3. sudo bash
4. apt-get update
5. apt-get install ksmserver kicker
6. Restart (should go to Easy Mode)

It worked without a flaw and I was up and running in full mode. You can select which mode you want to go with. The next time you boot up it will be in “Easy Mode” and just click on “Shut Down” and you will see that a new icon was added for “Full Desktop” click that and you will be in full mode. So much better and a lot more stuff to mess around with!
        I was about to go on my evening walk when I noticed somebody parked on the road down below my house about a half a mile away using a chainsaw in the middle of the desert! I had no idea what this person was up to and jumped in my truck to find out. Approaching someone with a chainsaw brought back memories of some horror flicks and I thought that maybe I should have taken my handgun with me. Well it turned out to be a neighbor cutting some greasewoods that were overhanging into the road that kept scratching his new truck. We jawed for a bit. He was the same neighbor whose pitbull had chased me while I was on my eight mile run a week or so ago. I told him about that and how it scared the dickens out of me. He’ll get the fenced fixed tomorrow, he said. That’s great but just to be safe I don’t think I’ll go that route anymore anyways.
        Went on my evening walk listening to those physics lectures. Then I spent most of the evening reading and doing my studies. Went for my nightly bike ride, wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Tuesday 20- did my stretches, ran TEN miles, and lifted weights. Yes I really did run ten miles and it is the longest distance I believe I’ve ever run. I took a few hours and most of the afternoon, my whole body hurts, and I am really tired. I changed my route so I pass by my house for water and to stretch if I needed to. I did one stop at the house to change my socks into a thicker pair. I didn’t know that I was going to run this far, but after eight miles I was feeling ok and decided to go for the ten. Someone had written “Hi Bob” in the middle of the dirt road, I didn’t want to stop and will reply on my evening walk. The new route has a long hill and I was feeling it all the way up. I did good!
        The Weather: Temps of around 53-70 with winds from the NW to W at 4-7 MPH. Humidity was around 25 percent, altocumulus clouds in the morning clearing by noon.
        Worked on the computer answering some emails and before I knew it, it was time for my evening walk. I listened to the physics lecture while walking. I replied “Howdy” to the greeting to “Hi Bob” that was on the road.
        Did my studies until “Nova: Master of the Killer Ants” came on PBS. It was about the Mofu Tribe of Africa who grows sorghum high up in the mountains of Cameroon. One village elder Matsgrawaï is full of old tales and mysticism, kind of reminded me of Yoda in Star Wars; it was fun to listen to him while thinking of how far we have come (for better or worse) in our own culture from beliefs in spirits and of our dead ancestors controlling our destiny. Termites were consuming one tribe member’s home and Matsgrawaï was called upon to bring the war ant Jaglavak to clean the house of these pests. The show was very charming, well done, and worth the watch.
        Went to go on my evening bike ride when Chris drove up and stopped on his way back home from Bingo. We jawed for a while. He said that there were eight-teen folks that played Bingo tonight. He also said that there was going to be a Thanksgiving dinner with two big turkeys at the community center on Thursday at 2pm. I told him that I’d be down there to take some pictures of the event. Then I continued my bike ride. Got home and wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Wednesday 21- did my stretches and that is all the exercises I will do today and tomorrow. The ten-mile run was a slight more demanding on my body (my right knee has a little pain) and may need an extra day to recover; besides tomorrow is Turkey Day!
        The Weather: Temps of around 50-64 with winds out of the NW at 8 MPH. Humidity was around 23 percent, no clouds. Looks to be getting colder may even get to 32 degrees tonight.
        Worked on Judith’s computer. Uninstalled a bunch of worthless programs: AOL and all its incarnations, Weatherbug, Spinner, and a few others. Installed Sygate firewall and Ccleaner, did a system clean, and then started defragging the drive. I said started because after three hours it was only up to 60% done! It must be the worst fragmented disk I’ve ever defragged. I had to finally shut it down because the day was growing late and solar panels and batteries power my home. I’ll continue the defragging tomorrow.
While I was doing that I was also downloading some audio lessons from UC Berkeley: History, Biology, Physics and Astronomy to listen on my iPod. I listened to the first lecture of History 4A “The ancient Mediterranean World” by Isabel Pafford on the beginnings of the Egyptian society and culture.
        Did some more sorting of my “stuff” and have two boxes full of books and VHS movies to donate to the community center. I also got my Fat Cat’s litter box cleaned out and put it in the house so when it gets cold tonight he wont have to go outside to do his business and stay inside where it is warm. We do this every year when the weather gets cold.
        I was deep in my studies reading and I didn’t notice the time, so I missed “Wired Science” that was on PBS tonight. Dang! I decided to continue my reading until it was time to write my journal.
        Ron Dehart called and wants to go to the community center tomorrow for turkey dinner with me. I told him that I was just going there to take pictures since I was going to eat at Stoney’s later, but I could make up something to take with us, probably sweet potatoes, and spend a little time there before I have to leave.
        Wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Thursday 22-Thanksgiving Day!- did my stretches; still resting from my ten mile run and my right knee is feeling a lot better than it did yesterday. I think I planned my rest days perfectly; I get to chow down on turkey and replenish my poor old body with turkey dinner nutrients.
        The Weather: Temps of around 43-61 with winds out of the NW to SE at 2-6 MPH. Humidity was around 26 percent, no clouds.
        Started the defrag again on Judith’s desktop that I aborted yesterday. In the meantime I updated the CopperMountainMesa.com website and sent out the newsletter. I cooked up some sweet potatoes for the turkey potluck adding maple syrup, raisins, and brown sugar to it. Did some menial tasks around the house.
        My Family called from Tucson to wish me a happy Thanksgiving, and talked with them for a spell. They had an early dinner of around noon their time, because of commitments that other Family members had made.
The defrag was still running three hours later when it was time to go and pick up Ron and go over to the center. I decided to let it run and hopefully it will be done when I get back. Just to let the techies in the know, the defrag is not stopping and restarting. I have stopped all running programs and did a scandisk before I started. The system runs Win98SE, has a 20GB 7200rpm disk drive (which was surprising to me because it is so slow), it is just loaded with software and probably has never been defragged ever.
Picked up Ron and drove on over to the center in the “Gross Polluter” and arrived at 2pm. I took two boxes full of books and VHS movies inside with me to donate. Steve and Maryhelen were in the kitchen preparing the turkeys and other fare with some help from Brenda, Judy, and Ruth. Steve was wearing a mask and gloves and he looked kind of strange and I jokingly wondered to Ron if the turkey was toxic, until we found out he had a bad cold. Maryhelen was in charge batting out orders, so I made myself scarce and started taking pictures and killing time for the next hour until they got everything ready.Folks started arriving: Huss and Sandy; Brenda’s family, her Mom, Carol and her Son’s family with a new baby, and Debbie; Ray and Illa; Bob S. with his family; and Ruth’s Brother from Apple Valley. It was time to eat and Ruth led everyone in saying grace and then we all dug in! Dang the food was mighty good; folks liked my sweet potatoes too! Maryhelen made some great killer biscuits that she was mighty proud of, but I couldn’t eat too much because I had to be at Stoney’s for dinner at 4pm. We made small talk and touched base with folks who we haven’t seen in a while and it was approaching 3:30 our predetermined time to depart and we were looking for a way to leave gracefully when Earl and his family arrived, I took some pictures of them, and while everyone else was greeting Earl, Ron and I slipped out the back way. I wished I could have stayed longer with these fine folks but I had other commitments.
        Got home and to my surprise the defrag had ended! Then I was off to Stoney’s to have turkey dinner (I called it having seconds) with his family: Judy, Denny, and their grandson Dustin. I got stuffed on another fine meal and do not wish to see another turkey till next year, but alas I have another commitment for “turkey” dinner on Saturday, and a potluck to attend on that day too.
        Got back home and fed the Fat Cat some turkey bits that I gotten over at Stoney’s; Fat Cat was real happy about that! Andrew called and we jawed for a while of this and that and other stuff of great importance. Then I called my friend Billie and chatted with her some and wishing her a happy Thanksgiving.
        Wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night. Wow what a day! I hope everyone out there had a mighty fine Thanksgiving like I did


Friday 24- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights. It is cold outside!
        The Weather: Temps of around 42-58 with cold winds out of the N-NW at 9-16 MPH. Humidity was around 21 percent, no clouds.
        Finished up on Judith’s computer by installing and running Spybot. Uploaded my update to CopperMountainMesa.com to the web. Here’s my column I sent to the newspaper:


Copper Mountain Mesa NEWS

By Bob DeLoyd

11/24/2007

Our little community hopes all you folks out there had a wonderful and satisfying Thanksgiving!

Last Saturday’s Leonid meteor shower that I wrote about in my last column was a non-event, dang, was almost 2am and I’d only seen but a few meteors and it was getting mighty cold. While waiting for the shower I was observing anything that caught my fancy with my telescope: I watched with a high-powered eyepiece as the Moon in its first quarter set behind the mountains in the west. I love doing that because the atmosphere is thick and causes ripples on the Moon’s edges, and when it goes behind the mountains that are more than fifty miles away you can see the trees on the ridge as the Moon passes behind them. Cool! Comet 17p/Holmes has diffused and spread almost swallowing Mirfak the bright star in the constellation Perseus. Then I noticed a fuzzy thing by Sirius in the constellation Canis Major and veered the scope onto it, it was the open star cluster M41 that is about 2300 light years away and contains about one hundred young stars with ages between 180-250 million years. Checked out Mars but still can’t get much resolution on it. Then I went on over to the Orion Nebula for a quick look-see. Swerved the scope over to the constellation Cancer to observe M44 the Beehive Cluster that is 730 million years old has some 200 stars and is 577 light years away. I didn’t see much in the way of meteors but I did have a nice night!

Thought for the week: I’ve been contemplating some things lately. One of them is how much junk we accumulate in our lives which we become caretakers of. All this stuff sits in boxes stored on shelves and most likely never to be put to our good use again. This is why I’m going through all my “stuff”, sorting it into three piles: to keep; trash; and donate. So maybe we should really be saying, “Live light and prosper”!


        Called Stoney and he said to come on over for dinner and help us eat some them leftovers. Went for my evening walk listening to physics lectures and decided I better go for my nightly bike ride now or I will be too full again from turkey to do it later on tonight. Then I moseyed on over to help Stoney and his family put a little more of a dent in that mound of turkey cuttings sitting in front of us on a platter. Had some pecan pie with whip cream and got totally stuffed again.
        Did my studies until it was time for “Numbers” on CBS to come on. It was about a theft of a first addition comic book that was worth two million. I noticed that Wil Wheaton, of “Star Trek the First Generation” fame, was one of the guest stars.
        Kath called to grumble about her laptop and asked me if I could help her re-install Verizon back on it for her. Wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Saturday 24- did my stretches and ran a mile. That’s about all the time I had because I was due over at Mike and Stevie’s for turkey dinner at 1pm. I was able to get things ready for the night, chopping wood for the woodstove, and bringing in water, stuff like that.
        The Weather: Temps of around 44-60 with winds out of the NW at 7-12 MPH. Humidity was around 21 percent, no clouds.
Arrived at my neighbors Mike and Stevie’s home at 1:30pm a little late but they forgave me. Every year they invite friends and neighbors to their home for turkey that has been broiled in a big pot of peanut oil. I’ve always heard that it is the best way to cook a turkey but have never had tasted it myself. Mike explained that it cooks for about an hour and a half, and the secret for a good tasting turkey is to cook it at 350 degrees so the oil doesn’t get into the turkey. I met Jack, 84, who owns the Rock House down on Sunfair and we jawed for a while about the history of that house. It was built by patients who were being treated for mustard gas after WWII and that they had built it stone by stone from the area. Mike and Stevie had once own the house and sold it to Jack. He said I could come by for a visit anytime. Mike and Stevie’s son Mat and his wife Amanda were there along with daughter Loren and Mat’s Sister and her Son. I had a nice chat with Lennart and his wife Barbara who live on Winters Road on the other side of Border Avenue. Their son Jonas had passed at the age of eight-teen from cancer and they setup a fund to raise money for charities in his behalf. I told them that I’d put it up on my website. There were another couple there but I forgot their names but I will contact Stevie later if I decide to write this up for the paper. I followed the two kids that were there out to the corral and took some pictures of them trying to “round up” the horse and mule that reside there; it didn’t look like they had much luck at it. An old feisty lady called Biff arrived. She used to help out with the volunteer fire department up here when it was operational along with Mike who was the chief. Well the turkey was ready and we all went and got our food buffet style and sat down to eat in the big new but uncompleted room that Mike is working on. We all sat around and jawed for a while before it was time for me to leave and go to potluck over at the community center to take some pictures. I said my good byes and was invited back next year and you can be sure I’ll be there.
        Got to potluck on time but there wasn’t that many folks who showed up. But we always say that will have potluck every last Saturday even if only two people show. There was Brenda, Ruth and little Ruth, Rose, Rick, Judy, and Bob S. We ate up most of what was leftover from Thanksgiving. We all had a good time despite the fact that we were so few.
        Got back home and fed Fat Cat some turkey. I don’t think he’ll ever tire of it like I have recently. Mike from Hermosa called and while we were talking I noticed that I had a little bit of a sore throat, I hope I’m not getting a cold! Did my studies, wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Sunday 25- did my stretches and that was all because I have a cold. Last night I noticed something was wrong with my body; a few aches and pains here and there, and that I had a little bit of a sore throat. Dang! No running, no biking, no sitting out in the cold at night doing astronomy, but I can do lots of reading! And that’s what I did.
        The Weather: Temps of around 39-59 with cold winds out of the W to SE at 2-4 MPH. Humidity was around 23 percent, altocumulus clouds came in around noon and lasted into the night.
        Did a few chores getting things ready if my cold worsens. Hooked the propane up to my heater in the bedroom. Chopped some wood to last me a few days.
        Andrew called to discuss building a bike generator. I told him it would work best if he incorporated a flywheel into his design. Then Joyce called, she was supposed to go over to Mike and Stevie’s yesterday for dinner but she didn’t feel well. I told her that I was looking for the cell phone that she had given me a month ago to setup for her but couldn’t find it yesterday and it made me late for the dinner hunting for it. She said that I had given it to her the day before I went to Tucson. Mystery solved! Joan called wanting to know if I had a desktop PC for sell, I told her that I did but that it will take me a few days to set it up, and was she sure that she wanted one (I had one set up for her before but she changed her mind and bought a laptop); she still wasn’t sure about getting one. It takes up lots of my time to setup, and then have someone change their mind just when I get it completed.
        Did my studies reading all day and into the night, Stopped long enough to reheat some turkey leftovers for myself that I was going to give the Fat Cat, but I just didn’t feel up to cooking anything else. Continued reading until it was time for me to write in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night. I sure hope I’m feeling better tomorrow.


Monday 26- I’m still feeling under the weather but better than yesterday so I did my stretches, went on a “short” run, and rode my bike a little bit up the hill and back. I just don’t feel like lying in bed all day but have curtailed my activities a whole bunch. When I’m sick I don’t want to see or talk with anyone and just hide in my cave.
        The Weather: Temps of around 44-62 with light breezes out of the NW to SE. Humidity was around 23 percent. No clouds but a little haze.
        Stoney called asking me if I wanted to go to WalMart. It would have been a lot of fun to get out and about but I had to tell him no. I don’t want to infect anyone with this if it is a virus. Ron Dehart came by with some split pea soup that I had later for dinner. That was mighty kind of him! Joan called having a problem with her laptop that I walked her through. Did some PM on my own laptops.
        Really getting into that basic physics book by Asimov. I read most of his Science Fiction books; Foundation series; Robot series, and others. He was a very prolific writer and has written some five hundred books on about every subject. It has been said, “by him”, and others that he had a photographic memory: while I, on the other hand, have trouble recalling the last few paragraphs.
        Jerry the Junker finally came by to pick up the generator I sold to him over a month ago. He drove up on his flatbed trailer, drove his Bobcat off of it and into my front yard, maneuvering around obstacles lying about with the skill and grace of a ballerina. We jawed for a bit with him telling me that he had collected from our area over a million and a half pounds of old cars and junk since early last October!
        Continued reading and doing my studies and listened to a astronomy class lecture from UC Berkeley by Josh Bloom late into the night. Then I wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and with my Fat Cat lying by my feet and me in a warm bed called it a night.


Tuesday 27- woke up to a cool overcast day and only did my stretches. My cold is over the sore throat part, and into the runny nose and cough part. I must have drank over a gallon of water and used up a box of Kleenex today. Hopefully the cold or whatever is on its way out.
        The Weather: Temps of around 43-61 with a brisk wind of 7 MPH out of the South. Humidity was around 21 percent. Altocumulus clouds throughout the day.
        Spent my afternoon writing the column for the newspaper and sent it in. There isn’t much happening in our area but I seem to come up with a column every week for the last 418 weeks! My life here in the desert may sound a little uneventful and boring for some folks but I like it just fine. I can do most anything I like and usually do. I planned it this way intentionally and it took a few years to come together. I worked two jobs, saved and invested every last cent that I earned, and lived very fugally for seven years until I had enough to support myself modestly and buy this place here where I live that I call home. It ain’t much but it is more than some folks have. I’m politically neutral because I believe most politicians are like donuts: a lot of fluff surrounding a vacant hole and are only in it for themselves. I have few really good friends that I let into my life and a bunch of acquaintances that I keep at a distance. I love the life I lead and the best part is that I can change it any time I want, if I want.
        Went for a short evening walk listening to lectures on history and physics, and then read my studies until “NCIS” came on CBS. I thought I’d check in and see how my buddy Gibbs was doing. About: a Marine breaks out of a psych ward and thinks he is in Iraq.
        Continued my studies and then wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Wednesday 28- did my stretches and ran a mile; still ailing from that head cold. Hopefully it will be gone in the next few days and things can get back to normal.
        The Weather: Temps of around 46-63. Winds out of the NW at 6-8 MPH. Humidity around 23 percent. Again there were Altocumulus clouds throughout the day.
        Did some updates to the website CopperMountainMesa.com by adding pictures I had taken from Thanksgiving dinner we had at the Community Center, phases of the Moon, and “Website of the Month”.
        Judy dropped off (I found it hanging on my gate) a bottle of canned air that I asked her to pick up so that I could blow out all the crud inside her computer that I’m fixing. There was so much of this crud gumming up the works that I believe it was causing her computer to over-heat. Did a few more tweaks on it and is ready for her to pick up.
        Called Stoney and yapped with him for a while. He said he had some pills that would clear up the congestion from my cold, so I dropped by his house and picked them up.
        Jerry called to say hi. I told him of my trip to Tucson last October to see my Family and my sister Donna who I’ve never seen before. Jerry told me that he and his wife Barb went to Nevada for Thanksgiving.
        Went on a short evening walk listening to lectures and continued listening to them for another two hours when I got back. Then called my brother Kevin and jawed with him for a spell. I still can’t believe I have a little Brother!
        I did my studies until “Wired Science” came on PBS. About: a cyberbot attack on the country of Estonia that brought down their Internet; why there are no home chemistry sets anymore. Bob Lazar, of Area 51 fame, is now selling mail-order lab chemicals (I used to listen to him on the Art Bell Show and wondered what became of him); and open-heart surgery performed by robots. Afterwards I continued my studies till Kath called about a computer problem, which I gladly helped her through. Then I wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


        Thursday 29- did my stretches and lifted weights. I was about done when my neighbor John M. came by to drop off a book I lent him. We sat around and jawed about our bad luck with vehicles. He bought one from a mechanic for $500 and still owes $900 on it after repairs, says he has around $4,000 into it. (By the way John is the one who sold me the “Gross Polluter”)
        The Weather: Temps of around 43-63. Winds out of the SE to E at 4-7 MPH. Humidity around 24 percent. There were more Altocumulus clouds than yesterday and looks like it may even rain tomorrow!
        Updated the website with my column and sent out the newsletter. I’ve been thinking of a “Thought of the Week” for my next column, something to do with the future and how it is a vast and empty unknown that we have the power to shape for the better if we wished. I still don’t know how to phrase it correctly. You know there is so much good that goes on in this world of ours that never gets reported by the “News”. It always seems like the world is going to end soon, the News folks would have us believe, so tune in tomorrow and find out between commercials. Ok, maybe I’ve been grumpy lately because of my cold. I kind of get a little morose. It’s like the song lyrics from Ten Years After: “I’d love to change the world but I don’t know what to do”. My “Thought of the Week” is where I try to get something out there. My little bit of adding something meaningful, I like to think, to change that vast and empty unknown that we call the future.
        Mac came by for a fast visit after I told him I was sick and may still be contagious.
        Started to go for my evening walk but it was to dang cold and windy for me and I don’t want to chance my head-cold getting worse. So I listened to three hours of lectures on my iPod, then with “CSI” having a rerun tonight, I decided to just read and do my studies. In the physics book I’m up to “Liquids and Gasses”. Finished that book “How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci” and was glad to get that out of the way. I don’t do well on self-help books, but since it was required for a class I was taking and paid good money for it, I thought I’d give it a go.
        Tried something new! I played my guitar in the dark. Did pretty dang good too. Then I wrote in my Journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


        Friday 30- late last night, or should I say early in the morning, at 3:58am I had finished my journal, did some surfing of the web and had just turned off the computer when I heard start a noise on my roof. It grew louder and louder until it all combined into a heavy pounding. It was rain! We haven’t had a good rain out here for many months, hell maybe a year or so. It seems that rain bypasses our little area, but gives surrounding locations a good soaking. When I awoke in the morning it was still raining and didn’t stop till around 6:30pm. Then it started up again around 9pm and as I write this at 1am Saturday morning it is still raining! There were spots where it just sprinkled, but it was mostly a moderate continuous shower with some heavy periods thrown in. This is really great for our area because all the plant life has been drying up and it had saddened me to see only brown on my walks. Last month we had a little rain that lasted for twenty minutes and I hoped it would be enough for the plants to last till a good downpour. It has been so dry here that we didn’t have any of the usual bugs in the spring and summer months, which I didn’t miss too much, and there hasn’t been any critters, they must be hiding in their holes, because of the lack of bugs. Anyways this is a much-welcomed downpour for our little community (bugs and critters included)!
        Since it was raining and I still have a bit of head-cold lingering I just did my stretches and messed around on the computer most of the day. I had to run my generator for two hours because of the heavy clouds were blocking any sunshine from my solar panels.
        The Weather: Temps of around 49-59. Winds out of the South at 4-6 MPH. Humidity around 75 percent. There were nimbostratus clouds and it rained all day!
        I settled down to watch “Aliens” a Sci-Fi horror flick (that I really like) staring Sigourney Weaver. When I was done with that I continued to reading and do my studies with the rain pounding on my roof well into the night. Then I wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night. Good by to the month of November and thanks for the rain!