Saturday 01- Welcome to the Month of September!
I went into my front yard around 2am this morning to watch the Aurigid Meteor Shower. I didn’t see a meteor until 3:40 when a bright one zipped across the sky. I was sitting with my radio tuned to an oldie but goody station and had my Fat Cat by my side. The waning Gibbous Moon was sitting behind my right shoulder as I faced to the northeast so the Moon’s glare would be mostly behind me. I saw a few nice bright reddish orange and deep blue meteors come streaking overhead (much brighter, but fewer than the Perseids) building up to a climax by 4:30 then dropping down to none. At around 4:50 I was just about to go inside when I thought I saw another one start to flash, it faded and then it flashed again. It turned out to be a satellite, or some space debris with a rotation period of about ten seconds tumbling in its north to south orbit around our planet. I followed it till I lost it in the Moon’s glare. Then I went to bed! I am so lucky (I don’t think I’d be around for the next Aurigid Shower, supposedly seventy years from now) that the clouds cleared and I was able to watch this shower with all its colorful meteors!
Did my stretches and ran a mile. It really looked like it was going to rain: the clouds were heavy and dark with moisture; lightning and thunder were making themselves know as they advanced towards our area. But did it rain here? Nope! Not a drop.
Stoney came by to pick me up so I could help him tow the tractor from Lee’s to his home. Lee’s back has been out keeping him bed ridden for the last several weeks. He went to the Docs and got a shot in his spine, which seems to have done the trick. I cautioned him that the shot wasn’t a cure but a temporary fix and he shouldn’t be doing any heavy work. Lee said that there were forty folks that showed up at the community breakfast this morning. Stoney had welded together a towing bar that made it easy to hookup and tow; all I needed to do was sit on the tractor, steer, and bounce up and down on the tractor’s seat as we drove over our bumpy dirt roads that we have out here. Stayed over at Stoney’s to jaw and download Jimmy’s fishing trip photos from my thumb drive.
Went over to Ron D. home for dinner. He had made some kind of chicken casserole that was mighty good, and had ice cream with fruit on top. Called my Mom and Dad on Ron’s phone, then we went for an evening walk around his neighborhood.
Watched “NCIS” on CBS. It was a rerun that I haven’t seen before. About: Cops pull over this Russian and find a gun. While they are searching him, a car driven by a man who was shot runs into the police car. The Russian turns out to be an arms dealer.
Read about particle accelerators at Fermilab and CERN, and String theory in “Coming of Age in the Milky Way”
Went for my nightly bike ride, then worked on the community website updating the calendar for September, and other computer stuff.
Sunday 02- Ron D called to invite me over for breakfast/lunch, I told him I’d be over as soon as I was done with my exercises. Did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights.
The weather still sucks: humidity is up, the temp is around 108, and there is no wind at all.
Drove the “Gross Polluter” over to Ron’s where he had cooked up a couple of hamburgers from the Bug Lady’s stash that Seimi brought by a few days ago. Ron was having a problem with his iMac’s modem, and I fixed it for him. We sat outside trying to think of songs with the word “rain” in them, for no other reason than we haven’t had any rain. I came up with the most songs!
Dropped by Stoney’s to pick up some carrots that he bought at the store for me. We sat and jawed while watching the rest of an old western he had on when I arrived.
Read about Symmetry and how it is applied to physics in “Coming of Age in the Milky Way”.
My Brother Kevin called to yap about his house he is selling and we also talked about the book “Your Money or Your Life” which I posted on the Family blog. It’s a book explaining the steps you need to take so that you can be financially independent; by living a simple life.
Went for my evening walk. While I was walking I thought about the knowledge gap between folks who use computers and those who don’t. Those that use computers have instant access to knowledge (if they use the computer in that way), instant communications; everything is less then a light second away and at your fingertips. If the computer is used right it is a powerful tool. You can check on any question from many sources in less than five minutes. I have done this to solve arguments, expose hoaxes in emails folks send to me, or just find out what an actor’s name is in a certain movie. The knowledge gap is expanding as time moves on!
Brenda called to ask if she could pick up the computer that she left here for me to fix and bring over another one to clean out some files that was left from the previous owner; I said ok. She arrived ten minutes later with a Dell GX300 desktop.
Messed around with some computer work I needed to get done, and then went for my nightly bike ride, and called it a night.
Monday 03- slept in real late this morning, I think my body must be trying to tell me something; so I just did my stretches.
The weather is just like yesterday’s but hotter! It looks like we may have a cooling off period a few days from now (I hope with a little rain added in).
Went to work cleaning up my desk, sorting through old mail and throwing out the junk. Then I went to work creating a spreadsheet for my dialup service and added names, numbers, amount paid, and totals. It’s time for me to get serious about my company and make up some flyers, business cards, and billing. (Am I really cut out for this?)
Did some reading in “Coming of Age in the Milky Way” about; dark matter (missing mass), the first seconds after the beginning of time, virtual particles, and the barrier that stands like a locked door (Planck epoch): “when the gravitational attraction exerted by each partial was comparable in strength to the strong nuclear force”. This door that is blocking physicists and cosmetologist from coming up with “The Unified Theory ”; it seems that they need a supercollider a “million trillion” times more powerful than the current ones now in use to create the required conditions that would have been present during the Big Bang (you can think of the big bang as a supercollider), thus having all forces of nature combined at one point (if I understood it correctly), and then being able to comprehend for the first time these forces at the very time they were first formed. I will not pretend that I fully understand what I just wrote; it is very complex and involves more than I can wrap my brain around.
Went for my evening walk with my neighbor’s dog and was riding on a thought about dark matter and virtual particles. Virtual particles pop in and out of existence in the vacuum of space. My thought is that maybe dark matter is these virtual particles. Do virtual particles have mass? Do they pop in and out like some equational balancing act, appearing and canceling out ones that disappear?
Jimmy called and we jawed about his fishing trip pictures. He was barbequing pork chops for his family and relatives; it is Labor Day!
Mike from Hermosa called and we yapped for a while about what I wrote yesterday; the gap between folks who have computers and those who don’t. My thought was that if Einstein was born in the 1990s, he would have solved the Unified Theory by now, or been really good at playing online multiplayer games.
Read a little bit more, went for my evening bike ride, worked on the computer, and then called it a night.
Tuesday 04- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights. The weather is about the same as yesterday except there is a breeze of about 4-8 MPH. The temp is hovering around 110 degrees.
Started working on my newspaper column and got enough done to send to my proofreader and friend Terry.
Called the place where I bought my telescope to ask for its status. The lady who answered checked and said that it should arrive at their warehouse in three days and I should receive an email when they ship it.
Stoney called to ask if I wanted to go to Denny’s Restaurant for a T-bone dinner for my birthday (which was on Aug 8th), I said ok, and he picked me up a half hour later. We got there and ordered two T-bones, french-fries, and a salad. The salad was a meal of its self; I had the blue cheese dressing and spooned great gobs of it onto the salad. After eating the salad I was already full. The T-bones with fries came next. We had ordered the T-bones medium done but they were well done, but good. This meal had so much cholesterol in it that I could here my arteries hardening! Well what the hell, It has been a long time since I ate a fat laden meal like this, and probably won’t again for sometime.
We stopped at Stoney’s before he drove me home to have a look see at his tractor. He already had the head pulled off and we checked the cylinders for any cracks: there weren’t any. So we took a look at the head, and there we found the problem. On number two cylinder was a valve that was stuck on the valve seat (a hardened piece of cylindrical metal that is hard pressed into the head) that had worked its way free. Stoney has his work cut out for him!
Went for my evening walk and my mind was wandering here and there, when a dirt bike came speeding by and I had to jump out of the way. I think the guy did slow down some when he passed but it still surprised me a bit and I lost my train of thought.
Watched “Nova” on PBS about the dimming of the Sun caused by pollution. It was a rerun but worth watching again.
Read some more of “Coming of Age in the Milky Way”. I swear I am going to reread these last few chapters on Quantum Physics again! It is so dang interesting to me. The weird (scary) thing is that I am beginning to understand it and want to know more.
Finished my column and sent it to the newspaper. Then went for my nightly bike ride. Met my neighbor Ron the graphics guy on the road going to his house. He was in his truck coming back from North Hollywood. We jawed about the flunky weather and the improvements he has done on his house.
Did some computer work and called it a night.
Wednesday 05- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights. The weather wasn’t all that bad today with the temps around 104, a nice breeze out of the SW, and not much humidity.
Did some cleaning of my yard. My solar panels were covered with dust and weren’t putting out the juice like they should, so I went up on the roof and gave them a good wiping down.
Watered all the Greasewoods (Sarcobatus vermiculatus) in the yard that haven’t had any water for a while because of the drought this summer. You usually don’t have to water them because they are native to this area. I have a big one in the front yard that I water every other day and it grew to over twenty feet high.
Did some more reading of “Coming of Age in the Milky Way”. I’m at the final two chapters where the discussion is about intelligent life on other star systems.
Signed up for "Get organized: managing time, space, and paper”: an online class over at the HP Learning Center. It’s supposed to teach me how to organize all my stuff. And I have stuff all over: bills and papers lying about, stacks of books and magazines. It is a clean mess but sometimes I have trouble finding what I need when I need it. And I especially need to get organized for my new business I am starting.
Mad Mac came by to collect his computer I had fixed for him and paid for his dialup.
Dale from Landers called to yap for a while. He just got back from Apple Valley where he has been taking care of his Ma who had her hips replaced.
Went over to check on my friend’s dog “Buddy” while he is off hiking in the high Sierras. Took Buddy for a walk and he ran off as soon as I opened the gate, and spent the next half hour looking for him! Found Buddy back in his yard waiting for me. Dang dog!
Watched “Generation Next 2.0” on PBS. About sixteen to twenty-four year olds and what they think. My take on it is that they seem not much different than any other generation except that they have grown up with computers, cell phones, and other gadgets that makes them more in communication with others there own age. They spend an average of twelve hours on the computer a week compared to “Boomers” (which I am one) who spend an average of seven hours. Hell I spend at least seven hours a week just writing this blog; I guess I’m an anomaly!
Went for my nightly bike ride. I had pumped up the tires earlier in the day and made it hard riding on these dirt roads (I’ll let some air out of the front tire tomorrow). Then my seat liner fell off exposing the staples that held it on, sticking me in my butt! I will have to get this fixed immediately!!! It was a spooky ride too. It was pitch dark and I kept running off the road (I will have to get a light now too). I road by Ron M house and I heard something dragging on the ground so I stopped because I couldn’t ascertain where the sound was coming from. It turned out to be Ron not ten feet away taking out the trash. I called out to him but he just walked away, then I remembered that he wears an iPod to listen to books sometimes and was aware of me being there. I continued down the hill and went off the road at the bottom. While I was getting the seat liner positioned so the staples wouldn’t poke at me, I heard someone running in the bushes toward me. I called out but there was no answer coming from this person. So I got back on the bike and rode like hell to get out of there while the staples poked at me.
Wrapped up the night working on the computer and posting my blog.
Thursday 06- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights. The weather was nice today with the temps pushing towards 100, with a slight breeze blowing out of the SE.
Went to work on Brenda’s Dell GX300 desktop, PIII 667 processor with 128Megs of RAM, running Windows 98SE. The bad part is that it only has a 2Gig hard drive with only 128Megs free. So I spent a while deleting unneeded programs. After I was done there was 769Megs free. I will install a firewall and anti-virus on it tomorrow if I have time.
Ron D called and I told him we could download the updates for his iMac G5 on my computer that has access to WIFI (sometime) and install them on his tomorrow. He has dialup, which would take him many hours to download the files.
Glued the seat liner back on the bike and let some air out of the front tire so it will be ready for tonight’s ride. Did a quick look around for my bike’s flash light that has a bracket for mounting on the handlebars, but couldn’t find it.
Went over to Stoney’s for lunch and helped him search for a cylinder head for his tractor on the computer. Found a few that looked promising and he will call them tomorrow.
Went on my evening walk. Yesterday when I took “Buddy the fleeing dog” for a walk, I met two of John’s neighbors: Harrison and his wife Donna, who just moved in over by my friend’s house. They stopped to checkout what I was doing at John M. home. I told them I was taking care of Buddy while John was away. Nice folks!
Got home just in time for Joel to bring over a friend of his computer that has a virus. I will try to look into it tomorrow. Since I am on solar power I do my fixing of desktops in the daytime where I run off of the panels and save my batteries for my other work at night.
Got a replay from an Astrophysicist to my posts about Dark Matter and Virtual Particles of last Monday. He wrote: "Your idea is certainly good and not far fetched at all (that virtual particles could be dark matter). You can answer yourself one of the questions you posed: Have virtual particles mass? Well, they have an energy, so following Einstein, they are bound to have a mass. But all tries of calculations to make these virtual particles fit into the observations to stand for dark matter end up in inconclusive results, meaning, it just doesn't fit.
Another idea for these virtual particles is, if they could be this newer discovery of so called dark energy, a force that apparently makes the universe to expand even faster nowadays. But there as well the numbers don't fit at all, it's even the biggest discrepancy of any comparison of 2 ideas ever tried: The difference was 10 power to 120!
Yeah, cosmology is fun! Keep up the reading and talking with your friends about it!” Well it made me smile! Not because my thoughts weren’t so farfetched, but that someone like him, an Astrophysicist, would take the time to reply! That was so cool!!!
Finished reading “Coming of Age in the Milky Way”! Such a great book! I will read the chapters on Quantum Physics again to get a better visualization and understanding of the particles involved.
Went for my nightly bike ride; it was uneventful this time! Then I updated the community website and sent out the newsletter, posted to my blog and called it a night.
Friday 07- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights. Seems like I got into a good rhythm doing these exercises in the morning and my bike ride at night.
The weather was about the same as yesterday’s with the temps going into the high 90s and a breeze coming out of the SE around 3 MPH.
Finished up Brenda’s computer by installing an anti-virus and firewall programs. Called her and she came to pick it up later in the day.
Started work on Joel’s friend’s HP computer that has a virus on it. It runs really slow and had to go into msconfig and stop a few unneeded programs from starting at boot. Then I was able to get some work done. I backed up all the personal files first. I have always found that it’s better to do a clean install of the operating system to get rid of any Trojans and viruses, so I asked Joel to have her call me. I explained to her what I was going to do, and she said it was ok. Her HP has a restore on D partition, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
Read Astronomy Magazine’s September issue. They had a nice story on the “Dumb Bell Nebula” and another on “What Lurks Between Galaxies”. Of course I spent a lot of time looking at the ads on telescope equipment.
Seimi dropped over with a nice wooden desk he salvaged from an apartment he was cleaning out and gave it to me. I will make good use of it.
Went over to feed “Buddy the Fleeing Dog” for the last time before John gets back from his hiking adventure. I didn’t take Buddy for a walk this time! Biker Ron stopped by while I was locking John’s gate to tell me of a red truck with primer on the tailgate that has been allegedly ripping off houses around here late at night. Ron had seen this truck late yesterday over at a construction site and drove up to see what he was doing. The red truck fled and Ron gave chase, getting up to 60 MPH on these dirt roads, but lost him when the truck accelerated into a turn on Leeds road.
Went for my evening walk, and then watched “Hollywood Homicide” on FOX. Staring Harrison Ford. About: two detectives looking for the people who murdered three Rappers at a club in Hollywood. Ok murder mystery with some humorous parts thrown in.
Went for my nightly bike ride, and then took out the telescope. The Andromeda Galaxy was very clear tonight; I could really see its bright center. Astronomers, before Edwin Hubble discovered there were stars in them, thought they were Planetary Nebula where solar systems were being formed. I would have thought the same if I was observing them back in those early days of astronomy.
Worked on the computer posting my blog. I am still trying to come up with a response to the reply I got from the Astrophysicist on my “Dark Matter” post. Finished up my blogging and then called it a night.
Saturday 08- decided to give my body a break today and just did my stretches. Another nice day with the temps around 100 degrees and a breeze blowing at 4 MPH out of the NW moving to SW at 6 MPH later in the day.
Got to working on Joel’s friend’s computer early restoring the operating system. When that was done I uninstalled Norton and installed Avast anti-virus, and Zone Alarm Firewall. It’s running real nice now.
Downloaded the Mac updates for Ron D’s computer, all 189Megs of them. Took me a while to find the right ones on the Apple website mostly because I’m not familiar with the site. Ron came by and we loaded them all on his thumb drive. We went to his house where I installed them on his iMac.
Got back home and called Mom and Dad. They are doing well. Mom is still feeling pain from her fall that she took a few months ago, so Dad has to do most of the chores around the house. When it comes to cooking he is like me: if it don’t come out of a can, we are lost. Mom says the rest of the family is doing fine.
Went for my evening walk and tried out a camera that Seimi found in the trash over at the post office and he gave to me. It turns out that it was made in China and not very good: cheap. It does work; kind of sort of; only froze up on me two times. I’ll keep it in the “Gross Polluter” for emergencies.
Watched “America’s Most Wanted” on Fox. I don’t usually watch this kind of show but Pauley Perrette, the gal who plays Abby on NCIS, was on the show! I think she is sexy!
Went for my evening bike ride and only went off the road three times: still haven’t found that bike light! What happens is that when I get to the top of the hill to make my turn the really bright lights from the Marine Base landing strip plays hell with my night vision and it takes a while for my eyes to readjust to the dark. From there on I can’t see the dirt mound sides of the road before me and run into them.
Took out the telescope in search of the Dumbbell Nebula in the Vulpecula constellation. It is our closest planetary nebula at a distance of about 1360 light years. It took me a while to find it because it’s so faint for the little telescope I am using. I can’t wait till I get that big 12” Dobsonian I ordered. I hope it arrives while the Moon is still hiding on the other side of our planet and the skies are dark! Mike from Hermosa called while I was outside with the scope, and we yapped as I scanned the night skies for the Dumb Bell (which I did finally find). Went back inside after two hours of star gazing to write my blog and then called it a night.
Sunday 09- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights. I’m feeling mighty fine today!
The weather was pleasant today with a breeze of 4-8 MPH coming out of the NW then later from the SW. Temps in the high 90s with a few scattered Cumulus humilis clouds hanging around; funny name for a cloud! (Thought I’d start adding the weather for the day. I took Meteorology in college and I hope this will get me involved again in it)
Well Joel’s friend’s computer that I thought I had fixed yesterday still has a virus on it. Found that out when I was setting up Avast anti-virus. The HP recovery has two ways to restore the operating system: one by copying user files, and another by formatting the drive. Well I chose to have it copy the user files the first time, which copied the dang viruses and trojans too! So I had to do it all over again but this time I went with the formatting that destroyed all the user files, but that’s ok because I made a backup of their entire document folder. Now it runs real sweet! Joel picked up the computer later in the day.
Went over to Stoney’s to help him repair his tractor. I unscrewed the oil plug to drain the oil and about a gallon of water came pouring out first before the oil did. We got a problem that Stoney thinks is in a seal that sits at the bottom of the piston sleeve that is letting water into the oil. We’ll have to pull the oil pan sometime later on to check it out. I used his washer to do some laundry while I was there. We sat around with the TV tuned to the Science channel and jawed for a while.
Went for my evening walk. When I got back my Brother Kevin called to yap at me.
Started rereading the chapters on Quantum Physics in “Coming of Age in the Milky Way” to get a better understanding of the science. Then I watched "The Inspector Lynley Mysteries: Natural Causes" on PBS, about: a woman who drowns is her car because it is pushed into a lake by a truck. Inspector Lynley is on suspension and Sergeant Havers is assigned to another Inspector who is pregnant and ends up in the hospital. So Havers is on her own on the case with a little help from Lynley. I really like this series!
Went for my nightly bike ride. Decided not to go for the “round the block” but instead just went up the hill and back. Just got tired of running off the road when my night vision goes kaput by the bright lights from the Marine Base. I really need to find that bike light that’s hiding in some box I have stashed somewheres around here.
Took out the telescope, tuned my radio to that oldies but goodies station, and sat back for a night of stargazing. Saw one mighty bright meteor come streaking across the sky from West to East, and burning its self up high in our atmosphere with a turquoise blaze.
Posted to my blog and called it a night.
Monday 10- at around 3:30am before I went to bed last night I saw two emergency vehicles speeding past my home. They turned north on Borland Pass (the street above me) and then down Saturn, I think, where I heard one of them get stuck in the sand. I didn’t hear anything about it today, but I will post anything I learn here.
Did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights. The bike riding at night has really helped my running. I don’t get those pains in my hamstrings as much or as often as I used to and it gets me breathing pretty hard when I ride.
The temp got to 101 degrees with a slight breeze blowing from the NW early in the day changing to the S later in the evening. Humidity was around 22 percent and no clouds.
Started doing my online class “Get organized: managing time, space, and paper” and completed two lessons. The assignment was to get three containers. Label the containers: Elsewhere, Donate, and Memento. Then start sorting your stuff into these; I began doing this and ended up with a bigger mess than when I started! I’ll just have to keep doing it until it becomes a habit and my mess disappears, I guess.
Continued rereading the chapters on Quantum Physics in “Coming of Age in the Milky Way”. I have some new ideas about: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the beginning of the universe, but I need to do some research before can put it all into words and post it.
I went for my evening walk and read some more when I got back.
Wrote my column for the newspaper about: September 11, the Dumbbell Nebula, and about the drought we are having, and sent it off to my proofreader Terry. How’s this for “Thought for the week”? “There may soon come a day when we finally realize that burning fossil fuels into the Earth's atmosphere wasn't such a bright idea after all!”
Took out the telescope to checkout Jupiter and to see if I could find the Dumbbell Nebula again. This nebula is hard for me to find because it is almost right at my zenith and I have to sit on the ground to scope it in, plus it is just a ghost of a thing to find. I did find it but only by moving back and forth scanning the area of the sky where I thought it was.
Went for my nightly bike ride. I finally found the bike’s flashlight earlier in the day and mounted it on the handlebars. I didn’t go off the road into the sand once! Went back to the telescope when I was done, spent another hour or so listening to old songs on the radio and stargazing. Still no word on when I’ll get my 12” Dobsonian!
Wrapped up some loose ends on my column, posted to my blog and then called it a night.
Tuesday 11- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights. You would think that after all these exercises I’d have a hard bod by now, but I don’t. Ah well maybe someday! At least I feel mighty good.
The weather: Temps of 79-106 with a breeze coming out of the SE then SW later in the evening at 2-6 MPH. Humidity 18-23 percent with no clouds.
Patty (Brenda’s Sister) called me up to say that her computer couldn’t run the games on Pogo.com. I told her I’d drop on by her house at 2pm to fix it. Downloaded Shockwave and put it on my thumbdrive to take with me.
Continued rereading the chapters on Quantum Physics in “Coming of Age in the Milky Way”. Still trying to figure out what’s it all about. The author who wrote the book, Tim Ferris has a documentary on astronomy coming up on September 19 at 8pm called “Seeing in the Dark”. I won’t miss this one!
Downloaded Microsoft Office update for Ron D’s iMac and will drop it off on the way back from Patty’s.
Went over to Patty’s and loaded Shockwave on it. Works but is really slow and the browser cache gets full and knocks her off; I suspect AOL is hogging most of the resources. She said earlier that she wants to signup for my dialup service. So I uninstalled AOL and ran her on my service. It was much improved; also I set Ccleaner to run at boot to clear out the temp and browser files. I may have to do a fresh install of Win98SE to get it working properly. It’s an old system with a 600Mhz processor and 128Megs of RAM, but it should run better than this. Spent over two hours working on it.
Dropped off Ron’s update; he was playing in an online poker tournament and didn’t have time to talk.
Went for my evening walk and then did some more reading.
Took out the telescope and played around with it till it was time for my nightly bike ride. I was halfway through my ride when my light began to fail! Ran off the road two times on the way back. Dang, I’ll have to see if I can put some LED lights into it so it will last longer.
Finished my column and emailed it to the newspaper. Here’s what I wrote about 911: “Our little Community mourns with the rest of America for the lives lost on this sixth anniversary of September 11. What makes me really mad is that we haven’t caught the architect of this horrendous crime and that he is still making threats against our country six years later! You should be really mad about that too!”
Then I posted to my blog and called it a night.
Wednesday 12- did my stretches and ran a mile. I have a little persistent pain for the last few days where I had a hernia operation years ago. So I’m going to cool it on the weights and bike riding for a few days to see if it goes away. Definitely no more lifting of refrigerators (or any other heavy objects) for friends no matter how disappointed it makes them feel towards me!
The weather: Temps of 81-107 with a 3-7 MPH breeze coming out of the NW early in the morning, then SW later in the evening. Humidity 18-20 percent with high Altocumulus clouds
Spent most of the morning/afternoon working on the website getting it ready for the weekend. Did a lot of research on the Creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) to add links on the website. Did you know that the Creosote bush is one of the oldest (12,000 years) living things on earth? I didn’t, and they are all over out here in the desert.
Patty called up to say she got another computer from the “Thrift Room” (I guess that’s where folks buy them now a days) and if I would come pick it up and see if I could get it working better than the other one she got from the same place. I told her earlier to take the monitor back to them because it wasn’t any good and she did.
Went over to Stoney’s for dinner. We had Chicken Alfredo again because we like it. Showed him how to play “Free Cell” on the computer; He plays Spider Solitaire and I thought he may like to try something a little more difficult.
Picked up the computer from Patty’s and brought it home to check out. It’s an old IBM PS/1 and it doesn’t look like it would even run Win95! I should have looked more closely at it before I picked it up.
Went for my evening walk. Did some searches and reading on Dark Matter/Energy, String Theory, Cosmological Constant, and the Big Bang Theory. Caught up on some computer work, then posted to my blog and called it a night.
Thursday 13- did my stretches. The pain I was feeling yesterday is not as bad today, still I will lay off the heavy exercises for a few more days.
The weather: Temps of 81-103 with a 4-12 MPH breeze coming out of the N early in the morning, then SW later in the evening. Humidity 19-30 percent, with some high Altocumulus and scattered Cumulus humilis clouds.
Drove the “Gross Polluter” to the bank to make a deposit of money that I collected for my dialup service, WalMart to get some supplies, and then to the Health Store in Joshua Tree. I talked to Linda at the health store and she was smiling and happy. Later I heard that she had just gotten back from vacation where the humidity was 90 percent with the temps into the 100s, and she was glad to be back home; I’d be smiling too!
I spent most of my day in town and took a nap when I got back: it took a lot out of me. I don’t go to town to often because folks are too much in a rush, going here and there, folk trying to earn a living, some others are shopping trying to fill some empty hole left by the vacant promises of TV ads, and some like me who just want to get what they need to exists on for the next month and get back to the slow pace of my home.
Went for my evening walk and met John M. on the road. He was on his way to my house to give me a gift of a flashlight for taking care of his dog Buddy while he was away hiking.
Worked on my website some more and uploaded it to the web. I will post it here on the blog each Thursday night for now on:
Our little Community mourns with the rest of America for the lives lost on this sixth anniversary of September 11. What makes me really mad is that we haven't caught the architect of this horrendous crime and that he is still making threats against our country six years later! You should be really mad about that too!
I've been watering all the creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) in the yard that hasn't had any water for a while because of the drought. You usually don't have to water them because they are native to this area. I have a big one in the front yard that I water every other day and it grew to over twenty feet high. I've heard, but don't know if it's true, that the drought is so bad around these parts that the rabbits are eating the creosote bush.The creosote bush also has medicinal uses when ground down and brewed as a tea! They may also be one of the "Oldest living organisms on earth", some 12,000 years old! Besides all that, I like the way they smell after a good rain.
Last weekend I took out the telescope, tuned my radio to that oldies but goodies station, and sat back for a night of stargazing. Saw one mighty bright meteor come zooming across the sky from West to East, disintegrating high up in our atmosphere in a turquoise streak. I was searching for the Dumbbell Nebula, 1360 light years away, in the Vulpecula constellation. A Planetary Nebula is the visible material that has blown off a star much, like our Sun, towards the end of its life. It took me a while to find it because it's so faint for the little telescope I am using. Astronomers of long ago thought Planetary Nebula were where solar systems are being formed. I would have thought the same if I was observing them back in those early days of astronomy. Nice dark skies where I live!
Thought for the week: There may soon come a day when we finally realize that burning fossil fuels into the Earth's atmosphere wasn't such a bright idea after all!
Posted to my blog and called it a night!
Friday 14- did my stretches, ran a mile. I’m still staying off the weights and bike riding for a few days until I sense that the pain I’ve been having has lessened.
The weather: Temps of 79-98 with a 3-14 MPH breeze coming out of the W early in the morning, then SW later in the evening. Humidity was around 25 percent. Had a few Lenticular Clouds hanging about most of the day. These kinds of clouds form on the leeward side of mountains where the airflow is moist and stable. The ones I observed stayed in about the same area and lasted all through the day.
Got an email that said my telescope would be delivered this Monday! I am a happy man!!!!
Went over to Ron D’s house to see how he is doing. We talked as we walked about his garden. Then I went over to visit with Andrew and I told him about the idea I have on Quantum Physic and virtual particles. He is a good sounding board for my ideas, and it helps me get my thoughts into perspective. I may be naive about some of the concepts, but my idea seems somewhat logical.
Went for my evening walk. Read more of the book “Coming of Age in the Milky Way”, then watched “Numbers” on CBS about: a Chinese interpreter who gets murdered when she is hit by a car in front of a nightclub.
Wrote and posted to my blog and then called it a night.
Saturday 15- did my stretches and ran a mile. I’m still not doing any weights or bike riding yet, maybe tomorrow.
The weather: Temps of 74-96 with a 6-10 MPH breeze coming out of the NW early in the morning, then from the SW later in the evening. Humidity was around 25 percent. No clouds in the sky, but you could see heavy smoke coming from the fire up in Big Bear.
Spent most of my morning writing a response to an email from Kevin Yank of SitePoint, about an article he had written about Mac vs. PC, and he wanted me to “expand” on what I said (I had earlier sent him a quick email saying that I thought Mac had lousy equipment). Here’s his words: “Your reaction seems a tad extreme, but thanks for letting us know! If you have any specific points of criticism, or if you would like to expand on why you consider Apple hardware lousy, I'd love to print your comments in the next issue of the Tech Times.”
Here is my reply:
Hi Kevin, here it is:
“ Oh I am really not a bad person if I criticize Apple Macs, am I? I am really tired of this Mac vs. PC stuff and I told Kevin so. I have friends who have Macs and it seems that there is always something going wrong with the logic boards or other parts.
One friend had a problem with his G5 EMac that I sold him; I only had purchased it 6 months prior. He had it for over a year and then it stopped booting up; it was out of warranty. He took it down to an Apple Store where they said it would cost him a lot to fix.
Fortunately for him a customer who overheard told him that there is a problem with the logic board for that Mac and Apple was keeping quiet about it. He said what my friend needed to do is go to the next level at Apple and complain like a squeaky wheel; he did and they gave him a new G5 iMac.
Another friend had on of those "Lampshade" iMacs; died bad logic board. After taking to the Apple Store several times (nearest one is 75 miles away) with them telling him it was fixed each time. I told him to put an end to it and tell them to either fix it our give him a new one. Well they gave him a new G5 iMac, the square one that sits on a stand, looks really nice. Two months later "bang" bad logic board.
They fixed it right away and it is still functioning today. (I did recently notice something about a bad power supply for the iMac on Apple’s site)
And another friend of mine who is a loyal Mac user (swears by them and at them), seems to always be having problems with every Mac he had ever had, except for the G3. When I call him up it's always something. He had to send his newest Power Mac back for repairs a few times before they had to replace it; minus the extra RAM he had in it! He got the RAM back after a while.
These are the only three people that I know, besides myself, who own a Mac. What are the odds that they would all be having hardware problems?
Now my point being: You buy from Apple, you are stuck with Apple. Why don't they just let their OSX run on any INTEL machine? I would love to have it run on my Toshiba laptop, or my Dell desktop machine. I do have an INTEL MacBook because I want to get better acquainted with OSX for my business. I like it for its 12" screen and lightness, but I will keep my AppleCare up to date!!!
By the way: I have never had a virus or Trojan on any of my PCs because I keep everything up to date, but I have fixed many a PC whose owners never do.
Went for my evening walk. Spent the rest of the night searching the web for astronomy programs. Found a couple of good ones: Celestia, and HNSKY: Downloaded both. Celestia is a “free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions.” And HNSKY is a free planetarium program. Both are well worth the price!!!
While I was doing these downloads (they were fairly big), the wind stop and the skies were clear, so I took out the telescope for a little stargazing. It is getting cooler now these nights and I had to put on a sweater. Then posted to my blog and called it a night!
Sunday 16- did my stretches; there is less pain today and I believe I should start easing into weights and bike riding in the few days.
The weather: Temps of 72-92 with a 6-12 MPH breeze coming out of the NW early in the morning, then from the W later in the evening that blew the smoke from the Big Bear fire our way. Humidity was around 18-26 percent. No clouds in the sky.
Went over to Karen and Dana’s who were having problems with their Gateway laptop. It seems to be loaded with a bunch of programs that automatically start at boot and bog the system down. I spent three and a half hours uninstalling bogus programs or making some others not run at boot. She had 72 processes running taking 10 minutes or more to boot. I got it down to 51 and 3 minutes to boot, which are still too many processes running but I needed to leave. They have the cutest little dogs; one a poodle and the other I am not sure of the breed. I was petting the poodle and the other one leaped up and nipped me in the mouth: it hurt! Plus the dog has really bad breath. I quickly went and washed my mouth out. Karin said he was only giving me a kiss, but I don’t think so. Another thing about him is that he passes some awful odors that smell like a backed up septic tank that lingers in the surrounding air like stale cigarette smoke in a sleazy bar after closing hours. Otherwise he is a good dog.
Went over to Stoney’s to say hi. He had made some macaroni with meat sauce and I had arrived just in time to sit down to eat. He invited his neighbor Roger S over, and we all ate way too much.
Got home and called my Brother Kevin before I went on my evening walk. Jimmy called wanting to know where he could find an inexpensive copy of Office 2003. We jawed about his daughter Angela who is in High School and runs track. She ran today and came in 97th out of 2000 runners despite her having a twisted ankle. He is mighty proud of her!
Watched "The Inspector Lynley Mysteries: One Guilty Deed" on PBS, about: Lynley and Havers go to a beachside town, which Havers vacationed at when she was a child, to investigate the murder of their informant who had ties to and organized-crime boss that they are trying to bring down.
Mike from Hermosa called to chat about this and that and other important things. He had just gotten back from the gym after a heavy workout and was falling to sleep on the phone.
Wrote my blog and called it a night.
Monday 17- did my stretches and lifted weights. Thought I’d try some light weights today to see how it goes.
The weather: Temps of 68-90 with a 4-14 MPH wind coming out of the NW early in the morning. Humidity was around 20 percent. No clouds in the sky but a light haze from the Big Bear fire.
My 12” Dobsonian telescope is on its way to my home by FedEx sometime today, so I can’t leave the house and have to stick around. I made myself productive by clearing out a space to work on the scope.
Stoney stopped by from the USDA food distribution to drop off a bag of groceries for me. Told me to come over for dinner if I have time.
I completed lesson 3 of the online class “Get organized: managing time, space, and paper”. Started lesson 4, but my mind was really on the telescope, and I was going through the motions of reading it when the FedEx truck drove up into my driveway and honked. There were three big packages and I helped him bring it onto my patio. We jawed for a bit; me telling him about the telescope and how I was at a point in my life where I need to do those things that I love to do, because I’m not getting any younger. He told me that he is in the same boat. That he had cancer and beat it and that it was a wakeup call to get on with life. He goes on a Caribbean cruse each and every year after his cancer was cured.
Got all the packages into my house and spent the next hour assembling the parts. Dang the thing is big! I needed a break to gather my thoughts and calm down so wouldn’t break any thing; I feel like a kid opening Christmas gifts! So I went over to Stoney’s for some leftover macaroni dinner.
Got back home and finished putting it all together; the instructions seem to never match the parts that you get, but I figured it out except where the batteries plug into the fan that sits at the bottom of the primary mirror; no instructions for that either! Adjusted the secondary mirror with a laser collimator as best I could, being that I never used a collimator before and the instructions were vague. As I was doing this, Stevie came by riding her new pets: a horse and a mule. I yapped with her for a while and asked her what happened to her other horse Mercedes. Well Mercedes got sick and they had to put her down; quite sad to hear of Mercedes passing, she was a great horse (there is a picture of Stevie riding Mercedes at the bottom of my website coppermountainmesa.com).
Went for my evening walk. Then I got back to doing more adjustments to the telescope. The dang wind was blowing but I took the scope outside anyways. It’s so big that I have to move it with a dolly. The finder scope was way out of alignment and couldn’t even sight the Moon. So I trained it on a far off light that ended up being someone’s porch light, and adjusted it and got the Moon (First Light)! The wind made the scope wobble too much and had to move it to the other side of the house. I also tighten up the mount some so it wouldn’t sway when the wind hits it. I then tried to focus on some stars with a higher power lens but they looked skewed, so I switched to a lower power lens and found the Andromeda Galaxy that filled the eyepiece! Took the scope back inside where I realigned the secondary mirror after some fiddling around with the laser collimator, and I think I did it right this time but won’t know for sure till tomorrow night; I hope the winds are down!
Mike from Hermosa called and I told him all about my new telescope (I guess I am all excited about it).
Wrote my blog, posted it, and called it a night. I will have pleasant dreams of far away stars and globular clusters!
Tuesday 18- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights. Feeling great!
The weather: Temps of 69-88 with a 4-8 MPH wind coming out of the NW early in the morning then SW in the evening. Humidity was around 28 percent. No clouds in the sky but there is still a light haze from the Big Bear fire.
Started writing my column for the newspaper. Thought I had a great story to go with but I called the folks involved and they want to keep it personal, and I respect that. Now I have to come up with something new, dang it.
Called Barb and Jerry to yapped for a spell; I haven’t talked to them in ages and it was good to touch base. Now that the weather is cooling down they’ll be going out gold prospecting
Started clearing out some space in the battery room for the telescope. I got tired really fast lugging it up and down the steps to my house, and I was also afraid that I’d jar something loose inside the scope. I had to move six 50lbs bags of cement over to the side and out of the way. As I was doing that, a bunch of spiders came crawling about; Brown Recluses and Black Widows abound. So I bug bombed the place! This took most of the day and I was dog-tired when I was through.
Roger T. came by to show me his new Toshiba laptop. Dang nice computer running dual 64 bit processors! I got to showoff my new telescope to him! We messed around with his computer for a while downloading some programs and played around with Microsoft’s new operating system called Vista. I never tried Vista yet and it gave me a chance to check it out.
Went for my evening walk and then got to working on the telescope trying still to align it. Spent the next couple of hours trying to align the secondary mirror but the stars are still skewed with high power. Dang and I thought I had it all figured out! I did have a nice night looking at the stars in low power; the Pleiades star cluster really stood out nicely. While I was doing this Mike from Hermosa called (his cell phone contract runs out at 12pm tonight and we’re trying to use up all his minutes) and we yapped as I scanned the heavens. It was getting late and I still had my column to write so I put the scope in its new home in the battery room and said goodbye to Mike.
Like I said I was dog-tired and had to come up with something to add to my column. I was at a loss and it took a few false starts and hard thinking, but I did manage to come up with an acceptable story after a time. Then I sent it to the newspaper.
Wrote my blog and posted it then I called it a night. Tomorrow I will try to tackle that primary mirror on the scope and get it aligned.
Wednesday 19- got up really late; slept a whole eight hours instead of six! I’m going to town today to get some protean mix from the health store (I called and they said they got it in) and to mail some letters and birthday cards. So I just did my stretches, did a few things online with the computer, then jumped in the “Gross Polluter” and drove to town.
The Weather: Temps of 68-84 with a 3-15 MPH wind coming out of the W early in the morning then SW in the evening. Humidity was around 30 percent. No clouds in the sky.
Got to Joshua Tree and stopped off at the post office to mail the letters, picked up a package from Lynn, and bought some one cent stamps. Went across the street to Sam’s Market for some Strawberry Jam, then over to the health food store. They didn’t have the protean mix that they had said they had! The company who they get it from shipped the wrong product and they have to send it back, bummer. I found out that there are two health food stores in JT, so I moseyed down to the other one. They didn’t have what I wanted either, but I did buy a few “sample” packets of a protean mix that was available.
Went over to Stoney’s for dinner. We still haven’t finished off that macaroni that he made last Sunday and there looks like there is another meal left to eat. He made some cookies that were dang good and I got to take some home. We sat around and watched the Science Channel. There is a show on how things are made that held my interest till it was time to go for my evening walk.
Watched Author Timothy Ferris ("Seeing in the Dark") on PBS. About: Amateur Astronomers and their experiences. I thought it was a great show and would like to see more like it on TV; where the rest of the stations show a virtual wasteland of mindless garbage (except the shows that I like ;) It was nice to see that there are folks like me who enjoy looking through a telescope and wonder about the universe.
Reread some more of “Coming of Age in the Milky Way” about Quantum Physics. Still trying to get a better understanding of it.
It was really windy and has been that way most of the day, but I went for my nightly bike ride, that hasn’t been nightly lately. When I got back the wind had died down and I took out my new telescope and for the next hour I got a little more familiar with it. I still need to adjust the primary mirror, so I view through a low powered lens. One problem is that I am not use to seeing so many stars; this scope brings in some of the most faint ones and it clutters up my field of view, which is a good thing that I will have to get use to! Found the Dumbbell Nebula, Andromeda Galaxy, Vega in Lyra, and Deneb in Cygnus. The “Seeing” was especially fine and Andromeda had more detail then the other night when I last viewed it. The Dumbbell is still a fuzzy ball but I can make out the two sections now with this scope better than I could with the old smaller refractor I use to use. I did more on this night’s hour of observing than the previous two nights combined.
Wrote my blog, posted it to the web, and called it a night.
Thursday 20- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights.
The Weather: Temps of 63-78 with a 7-12 MPH wind coming out of the W early in the morning then S in the evening. Humidity was around 30 percent. With Altocumulus clouds in the sky most of the day clearing by late evening.
Did some adjusting to the primary mirror on the telescope. This is a hit or miss type of adjustment because I have only done it once before on a 3.5” Newtonian scope I had when I was nine years old (big difference). In the instructions it said to unscrew the locking screws, well the locking screws were all loose! So I set the adjustment screws to all the same length and aligned it by sighting down the tube and adjusting screws till the secondary mirror was aligned as close to center of the primary mirror as I could eye it. Now the finder scope works and I can get an object in its crosshairs and it appears in the eyepiece! Collimated it with the laser and will have to wait till tonight to see if I am in the ballpark.
Finished the last three lessons of the online class “Get organized: managing time, space, and paper” and I am done with this class. I may not be anymore organized right now but I will incorporate most of the ideas in the class when I get the time. The two rules to getting organized they kept harping on in class were: “put like things together” and “keep things where you use them”.
Went for my evening walk, then worked on my website CopperMountainMesa.com, and the newsletter. Got them both updated, uploaded and emailed.
Was going to watch a movie call “Letters for Iwo Jima” Directed by Clint Eastwood, but the wind had died down, so I went and got the telescope out and spent the next two hours outside fiddling around with it. The adjustments I made worked, have a little fuzziness of stars at high power, but way better than last night. I am still learning the scope, getting used to its eccentricities, and I shall get it done correctly, eventually.
Reread some more of “Coming of Age in the Milky Way” about Quantum Physics. Just read the part about Supersymmetry and String theory.
Went for my nightly bike ride, then wrote my blog, posted it, and called it a night.
Friday 21- I woke up to the sound of rain hitting my roof! Wow! And it lasted over an hour too! I thought I heard all the desert plants that have gone so long without a drop of water rejoicing!
Did my stretches and that was all the exercises I did because of the rain.
Andrew called to ask me what this wet stuff was that was falling from the sky. He told me that the electric power has been going off and on in the area caused by lightning somewhere.
The Weather: Temps of 61-79 with a 7-28 MPH wind coming out of the W early in the morning then S in the evening. Humidity was around 56 percent. With rain bearing Nimbostratus cloud cover throughout the day and some Altocumulus by late evening. There was some light drizzle at 11pm when I went for my nightly bike ride. Looks like there may be some thunderstorms coming our way on Saturday.
I mostly messed around the house cleaning and picking up (getting organized?). I also cleared out some junk in the battery room making more space for my new telescope. I like days like this, where because of the weather, I don’t have to do anything that I normally do; kind of like a day off. Went online and downloaded some instructions on how to align the telescope’s primary mirror, which I’ll align another day when it is not so damp outside.
Went for my evening walk and took some pictures of the cloud formations.
Called Stoney to say howdy. He went to town with Mary to have lunch at the Fish and Brew in Yucca Valley.
Went online to cleanout my emails and unsubscribe to a few that I don’t read anymore. Emails can take a great deal of your time away from you, and I decided to reduce my email subscriptions down to only a few. Tomorrow I will attack my collection of bookmarks that I have accumulated over the years. Must be over a thousand there that I never went back to! These are crowding out the ones that I use everyday making them hard to find.
Read some of “Coming of Age in the Milky Way”. Got me thinking about a response that I need to write to the Astrophysicist who replied to my thoughts about Virtual Particles. So I struggled putting my thoughts of what I believe is happening with Dark matter and Dark Energy and put it all down into words and sent it to him:
What if Dark Matter and Dark Energy are Virtual Particles?
What if these Virtual Particles are "Strings" which are at a low (vibrating) energy level?
What if these Strings are open and closed, and one represents Dark Matter and the other Dark Energy?
What if one String represents the Electric Weak Force and the other the Electric Strong?
What if these Strings increase in energy as more vacuum between Matter expands?
What if the Strong Force increases as vacuum expands, and therefore accelerating the expansion?
What if, after a time, the Universe expands, decays, and no longer can support Space Time creating an excessive vacuum that excites the Strings to a very high energy?
What if at that time where Space Time can no longer be supported that it collapses and achieves Symmetry with the Strong and Weak Force?
What if this Symmetry causes a Big Bang?
What if I am just naive about this whole thing, or just plain crazy!
Went for my nightly bike ride. There was a slight drizzle falling but not enough to hamper my ride.
Andrew called to yap for a while. We talked about the weather and how it changed so quickly; from very hot one week to cold and rainy the next- like walking through a door of a sauna and out into a refrigerator.
Wrote my blog and posted it, then called it a night.
Saturday 22- did my stretches, ran a mile and lifted weights. Then I worked in the yard cleaning up. Cleaned out the camper that had gotten a lot of dust and dirt inside from the winds.
The Weather: Temps of 59-76 with a 4-19 MPH wind coming out of the W early in the morning then SW in the evening. Humidity was around 47 percent. With Nimbostratus cloud early in the morning then Cumulus Humilis (that funny name again) cover throughout the day and some Altocumulus by late evening. There were no thunderstorms in our area.
Spent most of the rest of the day calling Family and Friends. I had installed Skype on the MacBook and it worked just great! Now I won’t have to use the cell phone’s minutes that cost a bunch (I have a pay as you go cell phone).
Went for my evening walk. Starting to feel the cold of autumn set in, so I wore a sweater on my walk.
Here’s my newspaper column for Saturday:
Had a few Lenticular Clouds hanging about most of Friday last week. They look like flying saucers invading Copper Mountain Mesa! These kinds of clouds form on the leeward side of mountains where the high altitude airflows are moist and stable. The ones I observed stayed in about the same area and lasted all through the day.
Every Tuesday night there is Bingo being played over at the community center. Mighty fine folks showing up at 6pm trying to win the big bucks. If you never played Bingo before, there is always someone helpful there who will be happy to show you the ropes.
We will be having our potluck next Saturday at 4pm and we start eating pretty much after that. So come on down and bring a friend for some good grub and fine company. Don’t forget to bring a dish of food to share with the rest of the folks who come.
Thought for the week: Life is wonderful if you know how to live it. And sometimes a little unexpected happiness helps!
Went for my nightly bike ride. The winds had died down but there were clouds obscuring the sky, so I didn’t take out the telescope: maybe tomorrow night.
Did some computer work, wrote my blog, posted it, and called it a night.
Sunday 23- got woken up by John M pounding on my door. I told him to contact me on Sunday to fix his computer; I should have mentioned to call first. Story is that a power failure knocked off his computer when we had lightning two days ago.
His computer wouldn’t boot up afterwards and he has a book he has been writing for the past ten years or so on that drive and was afraid he had lost it all. I took his drive and hooked it up to one of my computers and retrieved his precious files and burned them on a CD for him. Then put the hard drive back into his computer and did an fdisk, then a format. I was trying to load Win98 but it came up with “corrupt cab files”, and that is on a fresh install on a clean hard drive! Something is wrong. I thought it was a bad Win98 CD I was using, so I tried another one I happened to have on hand: same thing. Went back to my house to get another hard drive to try. Had to go through the whole process again: same thing. It could have been a bad power supply, a bad IDE ribbon, or a number of other things. After a lot of messing around with this and that: it turned out to be a bad CD ROM drive. Fortunately there was another CD ROM drive on the system I could use, and I did, and I was able to install Win98, then the WIN98SE upgrade successfully. Loaded up his backup CD that I created earlier, and OpenOffice. It took me a whole six hours to get it up and running for him.
The Weather: Temps of 60-91 with a light breeze coming out of the NW most of the day. Humidity was around 40 percent, with clear skies. Would have been a good day to adjust my new telescope, but saving my friend’s book from complete annihilation was more important!
Called my Brother Kevin to jaw for a while and then went for my evening walk.
Watched “The War” on PBS by Ken Burns. Very depressing for me to watch and I don’t think I’ll watch any of the others in the series. Don’t get me wrong, the show was done very well, and I appreciate and respect the folks who served and died in that war, but there has been too much death just recently in the war our nation is currently in for me to cope with.
Called Mike from Hermosa on Skype and we got iChat working on my MacBook so we could jaw for a while long distance for free.
Wrote my blog, posted it, and called it a night.
Monday 24- did my stretches, ran a mile and, lifted weights.
The Weather: Temps of around 62-93 with a light breeze coming out of the NW then from the W later on in the evening. Humidity was around 30 percent, with clear skies. Very nice day outside!
Ron D calls saying a neighbor wants to buy a computer and connect to the Internet. After he gave me her number I called her and set it all up for tomorrow afternoon. I am selling her a computer and dialup service. So now I have to do another clean install of Windows on one of my extra computers.
While I was busy troubleshooting on the install (I was having a problem loading the USB drivers on Windows ME), I heard sirens coming pass my house, but I was so involved in what I was doing that I gave it no thought until Dale from Landers called to say that the Fire Department responding to a car fire in my area found two burnt bodies; a white one and a black one and both women. Sounds like foul play to me.
I aligned the telescope as I waited for Windows 2000 to load. I decided to dump the Windows ME because of the USB problem I was having. It looks like I did the alignment right on the telescope but I won’t know until tonight; too bad the Moon will be out!
Went for my evening walk, and then went right back to working on this computer I am selling. I updated two computers just in case they don’t like the one I take over. I have another repair job for Thursday, and Patty called and wants hers done too. I am getting sick of computers lately!
Took the telescope out to check my alignment job that I did earlier. Yup! I did it right! The stars aren’t skewed like before on the high-powered eyepiece, and the surface of the Moon looks really crisp. Jupiter was low on the horizon but I could make out the bands that circle the planet. I am a happy man!
Went for my nightly bike ride, finished up on the installs and updates to the two computers, wrote my blog and posted it, then called it a night.
Tuesday 25- was just waking up when Joan, the lady who wants to buy a computer from me, says that she doesn’t want a desktop because she has trouble sitting for long periods. She wants a laptop now! I had spent most of all yesterday getting two desktop computers ready for her to choose from. But I do have two laptops I can sell her, so I told her I’d get one ready and bring it over.
Did my stretches and got to work on the laptops. I was putting a hard drive into one and one of the pins broke off! Dang! So that laptop wasn’t going to her. I got the old Toshiba out and did some cleaning of the files, but I would really like to do a complete reinstall of the OS, but I don’t have the time because she is expecting me after 12:30.
Did my stretches; I didn’t have time to do anything else.
The Weather: Temps of around 63-94 with a slight breeze coming out of the NW then from the SE later on in the evening. Humidity was still around 30 percent, with hazy skies.
Got to Joan’s house, and was met at the gate by a little barking dog who bites if you try to pet him. She took me inside her house where she lives with chickens that roost in the living room. I showed her the laptop and she liked it. Taught her a little about how to use it. She is a newbie computer user, but she is a quick learner. I told her that I’d like to do a complete install of the OS and she said that was ok. I will do it tonight and have it for her tomorrow.
Went over to Stoney’s for dinner. I walked into his house complaining about all the computer problems I’ve been fixing lately; saying that I am going to sell my house, give away all my computers, and become a beachcomber on some island in the pacific! We sat down to eat meatloaf, corn, mash potatoes and gravy. He even baked some cookies! I was telling him about the two bodies that were found in a burning car up here, and went to his computer to go online to find out if there was any more info on it, but the computer wouldn’t go online! The modem worked fine connecting at 52bps, but the browser would not load the page. I asked him how long this has been happening, and he said three days or so. I guess because of all the problems I’ve been working on with computers he was afraid to tell me! I told him that next time let me know at once so I can fix it. Spent an hour or so trouble shooting his system. Turned out to be the Sygate firewall was not working right, maybe because of some recent Windows update. I got the firewall that comes with Windows XP going for now and will look for another “free” one online, maybe COMODO. Got it working again, and made off with some of them cookies!
Went for my evening walk. When I got back I started the install of the OS on Joan’s laptop. I had to choose between “NCIS” and “Bones”. I decided to watch “Bones” on Fox, and will watch “NCIS” when it comes on as reruns later next year.
I turned on my laptop and tried to go online when I had the same problem as Stoney’s desktop! Wrote my column for the newspaper and sent it to them. Finished the install of the OS and other programs on the laptop. Then wrote in my blog, posted it, and called it a night.
Wednesday 26- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights. It may all sound kind of boring and repetitious to some who read this blog, but it is how I keep track of my exercises. And it is actually a motivator to do these exercises everyday because I know that somebody may be reading. Besides, it gives me something to write about!
The Weather: Temps of around 63-88 with a slight breeze coming out of the NW then from the S later on in the evening. Humidity was still around 30 percent, with hazy skies: about the same weather as yesterday.
Got to working on Joan’s laptop putting on some finishing touches before I take it over to her at 1pm, but I couldn’t find the FreeCell solitaire game that I showed her yesterday. I will have to find one tonight and download it for her. Loaded up the laptop and everything that goes with it into my backpack, hopped into the “Gross Polluter” and drove on over to Joan’s. Again, I was accosted at the front gate by that wicked little dog (he is really quite funny) barking at me and waiting to bite if I let my guard down. I made it pass him and found Joan cleaning up the yard of chicken and pigeon droppings. I spent the next hour or so running her through the hoops of Windows 98. Like I said yesterday; she is a fast learner.
Dropped on over to visit Ron D, who happens to live across the road from Joan, and yapped with him for a while. Then I went over to Stoney’s to do a clean and defrag on his system, and to pilfer some cookies.
Got back home and checked my emails and watered some plants. I was headed out for my evening walk and was looking for my camera that I keep in my backpack. Called Stoney and asked him if I had left my pack over there, he said yes I did. So I went for my evening walk over to his house to retrieve my backpack and camera (and some more cookies).
Spent the rest of the evening surfing the web. Found a free solitaire suite that includes FreeCell and downloaded it for Joan.
Went for my nightly bike ride. The Moon if full and I didn’t need a flashlight and didn’t run off the road once! When the Moon is bright like it is now, it doesn’t make any sense to take out the telescope, unless you want to look at only the Moon.
Wrote my blog, posted it to the web, and then called it a night.
Thursday 27- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights.
The Weather: Temps of around 63-88 with 3mph light breeze coming out of the NW then 9mph from the S later on in the evening. Humidity was around 25 percent, with Altocumulus mackerel sky.
Burnt the solitaire suite to CD and took it over to Joan, who was very happy to get it. Showed her how to use it and then went over to Ron’s and yapped while we ate cheese on rye crisps crackers.
Moseyed on over to Lee’s to repair his computer of many trojans, viruses, adware, and worms, oh my! I asked him a few days ago to collect all the system’s CDs, especially the ones I need to restore his system, but when I got there, Lee couldn’t find the restore CDs! We went through lots of drawers and couldn’t find them; Marcie, his wife, kept looking. I installed Lavasoft adware remover, but it got hung up doing the scan. In the firewall I found many adware programs accessing the web, so I blocked them, and then was able to update Spybot and run a scan successfully that found many problems, which we fixed. Then ran Lavasoft and it terminated successfully this time. I backed up all his files to CD. It was getting late and I was about to leave when Marcie found the system restore CDs! Too bad I didn’t get them when I first got there, because of all the infections, what I would have done is just backup all his data and did a restore. Now I’ll have to come back and do the system restore another day.
Got home and got a call from Brenda urgently asking me to make her a CD loaded with tools to rid her sister Carol’s computer of infections. I made the CD and told her to come get it before 8pm; she never showed! It is just like her to ask for something and you make the effort to help her out and then she blows you off. So I wasn’t surprised when she didn’t show.
Went for my evening walk and then watched “CSI” on CBS. About: Searching for Sara who was abducted by the Miniature Killer. I love this show!!!
Went for my nightly bike ride. Did the weekend update to CopperMountainMesa.com and sent out the newsletter and included this bad news that we all got today:”I am sad to tell you that longtime resident, neighbor, and friend Beth Terrien has passed on. Services will be on Tuesday October 2 at 3PM at the Mountain Valley Memorial Park in Joshua Tree.” Wrote my blog, posted it to the web, and called it a night.
Friday 28- did my stretches and ran a mile. Beautiful day!
The Weather: Temps of around 70-85 with 3mph light breeze coming out of the W then 16mph from the SW later on in the evening. Humidity was around 28 percent, with high Altocumulus clouds.
Stayed away from computers and did a bunch of cleaning up of the front yard. I cleared out all the junk that had accumulated around where the VW bus had been and moved it behind the house and stacked it up nicely, and watered all my plants.
Ron D called be up to ask if I wanted to have dinner at his house and then go to Joshua Tree Music store and listen to folks playing guitar, sounds good to me! Ron cooked up a fine meal that consist scallops, rice, and a salad. While we were sitting outside, two little girls came up to ask if we seen their little dog Taco. We didn’t and assured them that we would let them know if we did. Seimi came by looking for Taco too. Seems like Taco is an escape artiest and does this every week. Well Taco showed up at Ron’s twenty minutes later and we drove him home to some happy little girls. Then we moseyed on down to Joshua Tree and stayed there for a while listening to some good old country western music. They play it right out front of the music store every Friday night at 7pm.
When I got home I read October’s issue of Astronomy Magazine, then watched “Numbers” on CBS. About: Colby, who was arrested for being a Chinese spy, escapes! I didn’t go for my evening bike ride because it was windy and also I was dang tired. Wrote my blog, posted it to the web, and called it a night.
Here is my column that I sent to the Hi Desert Star:
Our little Community is having a sidewalk sale during the ”Famously Fantastically Fine First Saturday Breakfast” that starts at 8am and the sale will go on till everything is sold! So come on down and sort through the treasures at the sale and then come inside for some great home cooking!
On Friday 21 I woke up to the sound of rain hitting my roof! Wow! And it lasted over an hour! I thought I heard all the desert plants that have gone so long without a drop of water, sucking it all up! A neighbor called to ask me what this wet stuff was falling from the sky. He also told me that the electric power has been going off and on in the area caused by lightning somewhere.
Last Monday around 2:30pm I heard sirens going pass my house, but I was so involved in what I was doing that I gave it no thought until Dale Knoll from Landers called to say that the Fire Department was responding to a car fire in my area and found two burnt bodies in a vehicle by an abandoned cabin. Between shootings, plane crashes, and burning vehicles, it seems to be getting more and more like the old Wild West out here.
Birthdays for October: Larry Catron, Colleen Schweitzer, and Scott Lane.
Thought for the week: Happiness is all around us; Sometimes in a smile, a greeting, or a good deed that goes overlooked. We just need to awaken and become aware!
Saturday 29- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights.
The Weather: Temps of around 65-79 with 3mph light breeze coming out of the NW then 7mph from the S later on in the evening. Humidity was around 35 percent, with a light haze filling the skies.
Spent most of the afternoon calling friends, mostly I got their answering machines, but I did get to talk to a few of them. Jawed with my old friend Billee Saunders (yes her name is spelled with two e’s and I just found that out after all these years). She raises doves and wanted me to find out how long they live. I did a search and found that they live, depending on their environment and type of dove: 8-16 years or so. Afterwards I did some reading of October’s Astronomy Magazine, about how the elements, like hydrogen, helium, and lithium, were created during the first few seconds of the “Big Bang”, and how heavier elements were then created by stars.
I cooked up some Stovetop Dressing for potluck, jumped in the “Gross Polluter” and was off to the community center. A little less than fifteen folks showed up, but it was a good bunch of folks, all my friends and neighbors, people that I know and trust. My friend Sherry that I haven’t seen for a longtime showed up and it was good to see her and get caught up on events in our lives. While they were setting up the food and preparing to eat, I roamed around shooting pictures. Surprise, Brenda showed up to collect the CD I burnt for her two days ago! We all had a fine time sitting around eating and yapping, and going to the food table for seconds.
Got home and went for my evening walk. Decided to try a different route this time. I think I will switch the trails where I walk every evening for now on. Did some more reading the rest of the evening until it was time for my nightly bike ride. Updated the website to include that we are having a memorial potluck for Beth after her services on Tuesday, and I also added some potluck pics to the site that I took today. Wrote my blog, posted it to the web, and called it a night.
Sunday 30- woke up really late, must have been really tired because I slept nine hours! Did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights. Then I did some work to my dialup service (CMMConnect.com) on the computer.
The Weather: Temps of around 62-85 with 3mph light breeze coming out of the NW then 7mph from the S later on in the evening. Humidity was around 24 percent, with a light haze filling the skies.
Called Lee and told him I was on my way over to work on his computer, but first I stopped over at Ron D’s to checkout the new block windows he and his neighbor are installing. All there was to see was a big hole where the window had been. Went over to Lee’s to do a fresh install of Windows XP and setup my dialup service on his HP computer. Found out that I didn’t need the recovery CDs like the instruction said! Maybe that’s why most folks don’t read the dang things! Anyways, the install went with out a hitch and I had the machine up and running in less then an hour. I installed Zone Alarm firewall, Firefox, and Avast anti-virus program. After all this I put his backups (pictures, music, docs) back on the machine.
Went for my evening walk, then I called my Brother Kevin and yapped at him for a while. Called up Sherry to say hi and we chatted about this and that and other things. Went back to working on my dialup service for a while.
Took out the telescope and trained it on Jupiter, and then on some Globular Clusters in Sagittarius. Was really getting into it when the Moon started to peek out of the eastern horizon and washout the stars. So I went for my nightly bike ride, wrote my blog, posted it to the web, and called it a night. Farewell September, you have been a very productive month!