Monday, September 01, 2008

September 2008

Welcome to the Month of September!- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 77 to 100, calm winds, humidity around 22 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 94. North northwest wind between 5 and 9 mph. Tuesday Night: Clear, with a low around 67. East northeast wind 5 to 8 mph becoming west.”
I again went down to where the students were filming to tie up a few loose ends. I met Director Andrews Wright’s Mom and Dad, Mike and Lori, who provided most of the financial backing for the production. Mike said some of the equipment was borrowed from work and the rest was out of pocket- the insurance for the large truck used to carry props and camera gear was eight-hundred plus the rental. Lori told me that Andrew, 20, was already interested in films since age five and she had walked in on Andrew and Ryan Elwell when they were both nine years old playing with the family video camera. Andrew also started playing golf at age three his dad said.
Andrew has two short films on the internet: One called “Balls of Gold”, and “Coming Home” about his brother-in-law Glen Kelly coming back home from Iraq, both can be seen at MySpace TV. He also had an idea for an epic based on the Greek 300 who stood up against the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 BC, but was stunned when he saw the trailer for the movie “300” on television. That dashed his hopes for making that short film, but his mom was relieved saying that they wouldn’t have to go out to find three-hundred friends for the shoot; he even wanted to include the rain of arrows!
“Legend of the High Desert” will be in postproduction for four months, after three years of college this short film will be Andrew’s last thesis.
Other members of the crew (but not all) are Director of Photography Ryan Elwell, Assistant Camera Melissa Ramirez and Noney Riddle, and Script Supervisor Mary Stasilli, who will be shooting a thesis in Big Bear next weekend based on the story “On the Rainy River” by Tim O’Brien.
        You can see more pictures of the cast and crew of "Legend of the High Desert" at the end of my August Journal!
        Went over to Stoney’s for dinner. He made meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, and fresh baked bread. He used a lot of pork in the meatloaf and its drippings in the gravy- I can just hear my arteries hardening! He got a call from Sue who was stranded because her little dune buggy won’t start. We drove to her rescue, towed the buggy to her home and then messed around trying to get it to start, but the day grew dark and we decided that Stoney would check it out on Wednesday. On the way back home we passed by the students who were busy putting all the props and equipment into the large truck. I guess they have completed what they had set out to do and will be on their way back home. I will miss them!
        I had Stoney drop me off down the street from my house so that I could go on my evening walk. I called my brother Kevin when I got back to see how he was doing- he has been having a hard time of it lately. Then I read a few chapters of “Ring of Fire” until late into the night.
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Took out the binoculars for a while gazing at the starry sky with Fat Cat on my lap. Then I practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Tuesday 02- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 76 to 101, calm winds, humidity around 24 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Wednesday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 96. Light wind becoming west southwest between 10 and 13 mph. Wednesday Night: Clear, with a low around 70. West northwest wind between 5 and 13 mph.”
        Spent the better part of the day on the computer writing my column for the newspaper, downloading Google’s new browser called Chrome, and writing a proposal for a project I may do.
        Last night I found a nice site for Astronomy Podcasts called Astronomy Cast and downloaded “Electromagnetism” lecture and listened to it while on my evening walk. They talked about the history of magnetism and the Electromagnetic Theory developed by Maxwell who tied light, magnetism, and electricity as being the same phenomena. The massless, chargeless Photon, I learned, is the intermediary of electromagnetic radiation in all wavelengths and at different energies. There was a little talk about Virtual Particles and magnetic fields, which I’ll have to investigate later. Also discussed were black holes with accretion disks; how electromagnetism causes flares that shoot off into space at its poles. The lecture was only thirty minutes and packed with lots of information.
        I watched “NCIS” on NBC; a rerun I haven’t seen yet. It was about the Director, Jenny, who had been at a funeral for a colleague and overheard a code name mentioned by an East European that she suspected murdered her friend. In the end, she is involved in a shootout at a diner out in the desert where she ends up dead along with the five or so bad guys. Seems like the good-looking NCIS women end up being shot and killed; that makes two of them so far!
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Wednesday 03- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 77 to 102, calm winds until late night W at 12 MPH, humidity around 26 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Thursday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 101. Northwest wind between 3 and 8 mph. Thursday Night: Clear, with a low around 72. South southwest wind 5 to 9 mph becoming west northwest.”
        Lee Hines brought over his virus/Trojan infested computer for me to fix- I don’t know how many times I’ve told him not to click on popups! I was able to get pass the lockup of the machine to view his data and found that it was corrupt, so getting it off and saving it was out of the question- I don’t know how many times I told him to backup his Docs! I decided to do a fresh install of XP and whatever wasn’t backed up was lost.
        Patty called me when I was working on Lee’s machine and wanted help installing Yahoo Messenger. She is running Win98SE and cannot run the newer version 8.1 so I had her download an older Yahoo Messenger 7.0 (8.2 MB) at OldVersion.Com and walked her through the install. Yahoo Messenger 5 and below are no longer supported and won’t work since last May.
        If I find the time tomorrow I will finish Lee’s computer updating it with Service Pak2 and 3, install Avast antivirus, Sygate Firewall and a few other goodies on it. I hope Lee will try to listen to my advice about popups and backups- this makes the fourth or fifth time I’ve fixed his machine for him.
        Worked on the Gross Polluter fixing the wiring and the connections to the battery and she started right up. This is just a patchwork to get her going so I can get to town, buy a few parts, and really get her running right.
        Kula called needing help on a Dell laptop whose screen doesn’t want to stay at the resolution she sets it to and reverts to a lower resolution when powered back up- Weird! I’ll have to go to Dell’s site with the Service Tag Number to see if there are any updates for the video driver.
        Went for my evening walk and listened to a lecture on Gravity: From Galileo rolling balls, Newton’s theory of gravity, Einstein spacetime curvature, to current theory of gravitons and gravity waves, scientists still don’t have a good theory on what gravity really is.
        Watched “Bones: Yanks in the UK” Brennan and Booth are in London for a seminar at Oxford when a car with a young woman’s body was pulled out of the Thames river and Scotland Yard asks for their assistance. Meanwhile back at the lab Angela’s handsome lost husband arrives causing much conflict among the team.
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Thursday 04- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights. All this gives me a reason to appreciate my weekends more and my two days off from exercising.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 81 to 106, calm winds, humidity around 35 percent, clear skies until 4pm when a layer of clouds raised the humidity and made it very uncomfortable. According to the National Weather Service “Friday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 101. West wind between 4 and 7 mph becoming calm. Friday Night: Clear, with a low around 72. Calm wind becoming west between 6 and 9 mph.”
        Went right to work on Lee’s computer installing all the goodies like an antivirus and firewall. I needed an install disk for the 56k modem and called him up to bring it over. I felt bad about not being able to recover his photos from the hard drive but they were corrupted by the virus/Trojan and I told Lee so. He said that there weren’t that many new pics on the drive for him to worry about- he just wants it running. I told him tomorrow he could have it back.
        Got a reply about the proposal I first mentioned last Tuesday. The editor of the newspaper gave it a go. Cool! What my proposal was is to have the “Legend of the High Desert” story separate from my normal column and run as a human-interest story. Now that I got the okay, I’ll start editing it. The real story behind my asking the editor to run this separately was that the students were very accommodating and excited about having the film written up in a newspaper. I did tell them I write a “small” column for our little area in the local newspaper, but things kind of escalated, the students were very enthusiastic, and I had over 700 words written and many pictures- my regular column has a 300 word limit and no pictures. I just didn’t want to let these young future filmmakers down.
        Read a few chapters of the Sci-Fi book “The Ring of Fire” and then decided to do a little editing of my story figuring I have lots of time. I went online to check a spelling and came across an email sent earlier from my editor saying she was going to shoot for Saturday as the publication date! I guess things move mighty fast in the newspaper world. That got me really cracking on it then and sent what I had edited to the paper! If she meant the Saturday a week from now, I’ll be that much more ahead.
        Went for my evening walk without my camera, without an astronomy lecture, I just wanted to think clearly and reflect on current events while I walked. You know when you’re up against a problem or something new that challenges your ability, you just have to work your way through it the best you can, and always with a smile. My brother Kevin called earlier today with good news about a problem he has been having that has had the whole Family concerned but now there's a little light at the end of that particular tunnel, and I for one am relieved that my brother has "worked his way through" this hard time in his life.
        Continued reading until late into the night. Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar and finally came up with the first verse for a song that I had made up, had cords and rhythm down pat and been playing it for over half a year now. I guess things go mighty slowly in the song writing world! Wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Friday 05- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 82 to 105, calm winds, humidity around 25 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Saturday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 101. West wind between 5 and 8 mph becoming calm. Saturday Night: Clear, with a low around 73. Southeast wind around 7 mph becoming west.”
        I did the weekend update to the Copper Mountain Mesa Website and sent out the newsletter.
        I finished up installing all the programs in Lee’s computer and called him to pick it up. He came and got it but called me to say that the mouse and keyboard were not working. I told him to come and get me so I can set it up for him- Lee is digitally challenged. While I was there, I also installed his printer for him. Everything is running fine now and he has promised me that he will do the backups of his data and not click on any more popups.
        I called Stoney up to see what he was up to. Yesterday he helped Sue on her little buggy but he couldn’t get it running and it was just way too hot for him to be working on it under the Sun. Sue asked him for a ride to the store, so he obliged, and on the way back his back tire blew. Now he had to go back out into the heat of the day to change the tire. I got on his case about that! He is eighty-nine years old and shouldn’t be out there doing these kinds of things especially after the heat exhaustion he suffered last spring when we had an unexpected heat wave. He agreed with me like always but I don’t think that will stop him.
        I went on my evening walk listening to a lecture on Galaxies. They discussed how most galaxies are conglomerations of smaller dwarf galaxies- our Milky Way is one of these that draw smaller ones into it. The Magellanic Clouds, which are irregular dwarf galaxies, pass by the Milky Way and some of the mass is being exchange by both galaxies by tidal forces. There are remnants of smaller dwarf galaxies that have been observed, which were absorbed billions of years ago by our Milky Way. Other super large galaxies had just started out that way from the beginning and not by way of cannibalizing smaller galaxies. There are other kinds of galaxies, which take on many shapes and forms: spirals, elliptical, and irregular and many sub categories. Seyfert galaxies have a very bright nucleus, are believed to contain a supper massive black hole that emits high-energy radio waves from debris from its accretion disk surrounding and falling into its black hole. Kind of like Quasars but less energetic. When two large galaxies have a collision the dust of both, combine to form many new large blue stars that die in a matter of a few million years and can eventually spell the death of the newly formed galaxy by forming heavier elements from hydrogen and lighter elements that are used in the creation of new stars.
        When I got back from my walk I went online to do more research for my article for the newspaper. Then I did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Saturday 06- did my stretches. It seems to me that doing my exercises during the weekdays and taking the weekends off to rest is working quite nicely! Moreover, I had a really goodnights sleep- 9hrs! I usually get five or six hours of sleep.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 81 to 105, calm winds, humidity around 20 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Sunday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 101. Light wind becoming south southwest between 11 and 14 mph. Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 74. West southwest wind between 6 and 14 mph.”
        Spent most of the day yakking to Family and Friends on the phone: Andrew, Lynn, Kevin, Tom and Aki, Mike, Mom and Pop, and of course Stoney. We don’t just yak for a few minutes either, so I’m all yakked out!
        Worked on the “Legend of the High Desert” and I think it’s ready to send in to the newspaper. I’ll reread it tonight and then send it to them.
        Got a call from a Marylou Almond who reads my column- she really likes it when I write about astronomy! She wanted to inform me that the MBTA (Morongo Basin Transit Authority) is having a meeting at 3:30pm on September 18 at the Helen Gray Education Center- 6601 White Feather Rd., Joshua Tree, CA, 92252. To discuss “Unmet Needs” (folks in wheelchairs and the handicapped) for the unincorporated area of the Morongo Basin, this means us out here in Copper Mountain Mesa along with other areas that are not in the Towns of Joshua Tree, Twentynine Palms, and Yucca Valley. I did a search online to find out more but I found nothing so far. It seems that money that would be earmarked for our area could be spent on other things like maintaining roads in other areas if there is not enough public input! Until I find more info and verification of this, I cannot put it in my column. Marylou said the she would email me more later on this week.
        Went for my evening walk. I been noticing that the black ants come out in the evening and the red ones I see on my morning runs and not on my evening walks. I wonder why that is.
        Did a little light reading of a few books I found lying around the house that I may start reading in earnest, I just have to decide which one.
        I went outside with my binoculars to watch the setting of the first quarter Moon as it slid behind the mountains to the southwest. It looked like a large ship slowly sinking, with the bow going down last.
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Sunday 07- did my stretches- tomorrow it’s back to the exercising for me!
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 81 to 104, winds out of the NW-SW at 6 to 20 MPH, humidity around 40 percent, cumulonimbus clouds bringing gusts of wind but no rain. According to the National Weather Service “Monday: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 98. Calm wind becoming south southwest between 11 and 14 mph. Monday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 72. South southwest wind between 11 and 14 mph becoming light. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph.”
        Did my usual morning routine of catching up on the news and reading my email. I called my friend Dan Adelsperger who moved to Victorville a year ago or so, to be with his brother who lives there.
        I called my friend Kula to help her fix the Dell Latitude C840 that is having a video problem: when you set the screen size to a larger resolution, it reverts to a smaller screen size after reboot. We spent an hour and a half downloading new video drivers and a BIOS upgrade, but it still wouldn’t work, Dang! Later in the evening, I searched the web for a solution and found a simple one: Hold down the FN key and press on the F7 key at the same time- “toggles between compressed and uncompressed Resolution modes,” they think (a Dell quirk on some of their laptops). I sent her an email and we shall see if that works. She has to have it working the 16th before she leaves on her trip to Hawaii. Kula is donating it to Carolyn who runs a cat sanctuary and feeds ferals on Kauai. Carolyn’s website is here: Kauai Cats
        Went to check on my Friend’s house while he is away and everything was just fine. On the way back I stopped off at Stoney’s to see what he was up to; he was watching “Hee Haw” (1969-93) on the RFD station- kind of like "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" (1968-73) but country style. I didn’t stay long.
        Went for my evening walk and there were a lot of storm clouds overhead. The wind was picking up with gusts up to 30 or 40 MPH! I thought it may even rain, but nah, it just passed us right by. It made for an interesting walk though!
        Yapped with my brother Kevin and then called my sister Shiela and jawed with her for a spell.
        I was reading “The Ring of Fire” when Seimi called at 8:30pm to inform me that there is a power outage in our area! It started at 6:35pm. I went outside and sure enough all the lights in our area were out. Seimi always lets me know when we have outages because I use Solar and batteries to power my home, otherwise I wouldn’t know! Too bad the Moon is out and washing out the stars or I would have taken out my telescope and take advantage of the dark. Maybe later, after the Moon sets, I’ll do just that!
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and I’m on my way outside with my telescope!


Monday 08- late last night around 1:30am I went outside to take advantage of the power outage in our area and took out my telescope. The night sky is a different story when all those lights that folks use to turn night into day are out- the Milky Way looks so grand and our area looks so pristine! It’s to dang bad that some folks just have to bring the “city” out our way. I did a little stargazing, then I went on back inside a little after 2am. Before I went to bed at an hour later, I peeked through my window and saw that the power had been restored and the lights were blazing away again.
        I did my stretches, ran two miles, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 81 to 100, winds out of the S-SE at 7 to 16 MPH, humidity around 41 percent, cumulonimbus clouds bringing gusts of wind and sprinkles! According to the National Weather Service “Tuesday: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 96. Calm wind becoming southwest between 17 and 20 mph. Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 71. West wind 17 to 20 mph decreasing to between 6 and 9 mph.”
        Wanting to find out more about the MBTA meeting on “Unmet Needs” I called the Helen Gray Education Center and asked them if they knew about it. A nice woman told me that they don’t give out info on private meetings just health meetings that they hold there, but she gave me the MBTA’s phone number. I called MBTA and was told that yes, they are having a meeting on the 18th and that San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) is going to be there to discuss Unmet Needs. Basically, I was told that it concerned extending times on existing routes. There was no mention of the handicapped and disabled. When I asked about the unincorporated areas, he repeated what he had just told me. And yes, he knew Marylou Almond who is ambassador to the MBTA. So I ended up with less than when I started- this one is over my head with inconsistent statements and I think I’ll just leave it alone for now and maybe just put the meeting, time and place in my column for folks up here who want to attend.
        Called Stoney to see what he was up to. He invited me over for spaghetti tomorrow! Yum!
        I started reading “Beyond this Horizon” (1948) by Robert Heinlein, about genetically engineered humans who are perfect in every way except they are not happy. It’s one of the few stories written by Heinlein that I haven’t read yet. My favorite story of his is “Stranger in a Strange Land”.
        Went for my evening walk and took the camera and got some nice pics of some storm clouds.
        Watched “Terminator: the Sara Connor Chronicles”. The good robot girl is reprogrammed when she gets blown up in a car and starts hunting Sara and John. Meanwhile an evil robot woman who is an executive of some high tech company gets the chess-playing computer that was stolen from its inventor. Lots of action!
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Tuesday 09- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 78 to 97, winds out of the S-SW at 4 to 14 MPH, humidity around 33 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 92. West wind at 11 mph becoming southeast. Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 70. South wind 6 to 11 mph becoming northwest.”
Wrote my column for the newspaper and sent it in. I then spent a bunch of my time communicating by way of email with my friend Kula’s Sister Judy, about me helping her out editing her website. She wasn’t happy with her webmaster because he was always late in getting things done. To make a very long story short: it turns out that the webmaster is a family member of hers and wasn’t charging her for the editing he was doing, which she thought was what she was paying for and he was only charging her to host the site. I thought that was very nice of him to do that and told her so! Now that she understood this after I explained it to her, she called him up and he is going to help her learn how to make changes on her own. I may have lost a paying job but I did what I thought was right. Dang!
        Went on over to Stoney’s for that spaghetti dinner. I took my dirty clothes over to wash, too. Roger Smith was there and we all sat around eating and jawing about their neighbor’s dogs that used to come out barking and threatening us every time we’d go outside. Well the dogs are no longer there because everyone complained and Stoney told him to get rid of the dogs or leave- he is Stoney’s renter. Roger and Stoney are growing some tomatoes and the caterpillars are munching on them. We must have picked off around fifteen of the suckers while we were jawing outside.
        Went for my evening walk. The weather is cooling down and it was such a fine day outside! When I got back, I read a chapter in “Beyond this Horizon”, and started another book called “Modern Logic” that I bought back in the 70s for a college class I never took. So I thought that I should give it a go. It starts out talking about Deductive and Inductive reasoning. An example Deductive Reasoning is: All men are mortal. All Greeks are men= All Greeks are mortal. An example of Inductive Reasoning is: The Sun will rise tomorrow. Okay, not so bad so far, but I only read up to page ten! They describe the Traditional Deductive System (Syllogism) developed by Aristotle in the fourth century BCE and was in use up into the nineteenth century. And that’s where I left off.
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Wednesday 10- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 76 to 95, winds out of the S-SE at 2 to 10 MPH, humidity around 34 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 91. Northwest wind at 7 mph becoming east. Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 70. Southeast wind around 6 mph becoming northwest.”
        I did some work online updating the calendar for my website, read and replied to some emails. Then I was off in the Gross Polluter heading to Twentynine Palms. My first stop was at my Doctor’s office to have him sign a document that I’ll have to come back later in the week to pick up. My next stop was to Barr Lumber to get some piers with ears; they are made of cement and used to anchor down 4x4 poles into the ground, and the ears stick out giving you something to nail from. For some reason, I felt very manly walking up to their order desk and asking for “piers with ears” like I know what I’m doing. Feeling manly I even helped the yard person load them into my truck; they are heavy and awkward to carry. Sometime I just have to laugh at myself; I mean I haven’t felt “manly” in a long time; usually I just fell like me. Maybe all those years of exercises are finally paying off.
        On my way back I checked my Friend’s house who is away on vacation and then dropped by at Stoney’s for a spell. Tomorrow we are going to try to finish off the spaghetti from yesterday.
        Called my brother Kevin and yakked for an hour. He has a vending business and one of the compressors went out on a soda machine. That is going to cost him $300 to fix! I told him about my “manly” day and we both laughed. When I left him, he was making taquitos with jalapenos, peanut butter, and fried banana!
        Read a chapter in “Beyond this Horizon”, and then started reading “Modern Logic” but fell asleep. I guess if I ever want to take a nap, all I have to do is open a math book! I hate to say it but I’m mathematically challenged.
        Went for my evening walk and re-listened to the lecture on Galaxies of a few days ago. Then I watched “Bones” on Fox about a body found in an outhouse, yuck!
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went on my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Thursday 11- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 74 to 94, winds out of the SE-NE at 6 to 19 MPH, humidity around 36 percent, cumulonimbus clouds but no rain for us. According to the National Weather Service “Friday: Sunny, with a high near 92. Calm wind becoming north northwest between 4 and 7 mph. Friday Night: Clear, with a low around 69. North northwest wind 6 to 10 mph becoming west southwest.”
        I went online for a while answering emails and doing a little work but nothing interesting. I need to go again to the Doctor’s office to pick up that document I took down there yesterday and mail it off. Stoney called to ask if I could stop by his house on the way to town and pick up some letters he needs to mail, and get him a gallon of milk on my way back. I was just on my way out the door when Kula called for some help on the laptop she is taking to Hawaii that she is donating to a cat rescue there. Well that lasted forty-five minutes but she is a good friend and it is for a good cause. Then Dale from Landers called, I made it a short chat and he will call me tomorrow- he has the firewood that he promised me.
        Hopped in the Gross Polluter and made my way to Twentynine via Stoney’s. Picked up my document and stopped off at Stater Bros. and did my shopping. Drove on home to put my groceries away and then over to Stoney’s to help him finish off that leftover spaghetti from Tuesday- nah, we didn’t finish it, so I think I’ll be back Saturday or Sunday. Dang good spaghetti though!
        Went for my evening walk listening to a lecture on “The Strong and Weak Nuclear Force”. The Strong Force is what holds the nuclei of atoms together. When larger nuclei, on the periodic table of over one hundred, form, the strong force begins to break down and isn’t strong enough to hold everything together. The strong force causes gluons to fly back and forth between protons and neutrons to hold them together in the nucleus of an atom. The electron is not affected because of the electrostatic force. The Weak Nuclear force has to do with decay of neutrons and the cause of radioactivity. I’ll just leave it at that for now and I’ll re-listen to it again since there was so much more in the lecture.
        Talked to my brother Kevin for a spell; it’s his birthday today! He went over to his daughter’s for dinner and she cooked up spicy hamburgers, which Kevin consumed two. He kept burping over the phone he ate so much! Well it’s his birthday and he deserves it.
        I read three chapters in “Beyond this Horizon” late into the night. Then I did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Friday 12- did my stretches, ran two miles, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 72 to 97, calm winds, humidity around 23 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Saturday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 96. West northwest wind around 6 mph becoming calm. Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 67. East southeast wind at 9 mph becoming northwest.”
        Worked on the Copper Mountain Mesa Website and sent out the newsletter. Did a little house cleaning and then went outside to figure out how I want to extend the shop/patio. Now I have 4x4s and cement piers lying around to trip over, but I got a good idea where I want to place them.
        Called my friend and neighbor Joan to see what she’s been up to. I found that she likes to read Sci-Fi just as I do and we discussed authors we both like. I’m going to trade her Sue Grafton detective novel for an Orson Scott Card one that I’ve haven’t read yet.
        Went on my evening walk listening to an audio of “Dragon*Con” a Sci-Fi convention held in Atlanta Georgia. Astronomer Dr. Pamala Gay, who does the lectures I recently been listening to, went there to host a discussion group on what science facts Sci-Fi is getting right and wrong. They all agreed that Armageddon starring Bruce Willis was the worst in not getting the science facts right- I agreed whole-heartedly with their assessments of the movie.
        When I arrived back home I went online to mindlessly surf the web for a while until “Numbers” came on, a rerun that I’ve seen before, but I do like the show very much.
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


From Bob's Stuff
Saturday 13- only did my stretches- it’s the weekend!
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 73 to 106, calm winds, humidity around 21 percent, clear skies except for some smog coming up from LA. According to the National Weather Service “Sunday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 96. Northwest wind between 4 and 7 mph becoming calm. Sunday Night: Clear, with a low around 66. Calm wind becoming northwest between 5 and 8 mph.”
        I spent most of the day outside working on my front patio putting up a wind block on the south side that I’ve been meaning to do for a number of years now. It started to get hot out, around 106, but I still managed to get it all framed in. Tomorrow I’ll do the north side of the front patio, and that should pretty much enclose the front patio from the wind and dust.
        I called my Mom and Pop to see what they were up to. They went to lunch with my sisters on Friday to a place called Country Biscuits that doesn’t sell biscuits just sandwiches. Pop did say that the girls let him have a few words in the conversation.
        Went for my evening walk listening to the lecture again on the “Strong and Weak Force” so I could get a little more info out of it. The Strong Force also extends (by way of Gluons) down into the realm of Quarks which protons and neutrons (Hadrons) are made of. A proton is made up of two “up” quarks with an electric charge of +2/3 and one “down” quark with an electric charge of -1/3, which add up to a +1 charge for the proton. A neutron is made up of one “up” and two “down” quarks and does not have a charge. A free neutron will over a short period of time decay into a proton, and electron, and an antineutrino. The Strong force at this small of a level acts upon the color (charge properties) of the quark. At least this is how I understood it.
        Watched “NCIS” on CBS about an international villain who makes squeaky clean fake identifications for terrorist. I haven’t seen this one before.
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Sunday 14- only did my stretches- it’s the weekend! Tomorrow back to my exercises!
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 74 to 103, calm winds, humidity around 20 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Monday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 100. West northwest wind 5 to 11 mph becoming east southeast. Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 70. South southeast wind 6 to 11 mph becoming west northwest.”
        Ron Dehart went to town to pick me up copies of Saturday’s newspaper that was supposed to have my article of “Legend of the High Desert” in it, but he couldn’t find it. So he asked to see Wednesday’s paper and there it was on page ten! They only had two papers left and he bought both. I was excited to read it and look at the pictures myself! I’ll have to stop by the Hi Desert Star to pick up more papers so I can send them to the students and their parents. That was mighty nice of Ron to do this for me.
        I got to work on the north side of the patio and spent much of the day measuring, digging holes for posts, and hammering nails. I got the main fixture erected and will do the rest in the next couple of days.
        Went on over to Stoney’s where we finished that spaghetti we been eating for the last week. He didn’t think that there was enough of that so he also made a chicken casserole, but we were both full of the spaghetti and only ate a little of the casserole just to see what it tasted like.
        My brother Kevin called and we yakked about computers. He is the only one who called me today.
        Went for my evening walk listening to more of the lecture on the “Strong and Weak Nuclear Force”. I think I’ll just have to find a book to read on the subject if I want to understand it better.
        Watched “Fringe” on Fox, a two hour episode about an FBI agent who is after someone who murders everyone on a passenger airliner with a toxic substance that eats flesh. Fringe is a cross between the X-Files and 24- I’ll just have to see one more episode and see if it’s worth my time to watch. I did like the mad scientist and thought he was the most interesting person in the whole show! I think that the show needs to build on their characters some.
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Monday 15- did my stretches, ran a mile, lifted weights, and rode my bike.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 75 to 103, calm winds, humidity around 20 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Tuesday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Partly cloudy, with a high near 94. Light wind becoming east southeast between 13 and 16 mph. Winds could gust as high as 23 mph. Tuesday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 71. Southeast wind 5 to 9 mph becoming west.”
        Stoney dropped off a bag of groceries for me on his way back from the USDA food distribution. He stopped long enough to tell me that everything went well at the distribution, which he manages.
        After I read my email, I went back to work on the north side patio and spent most of the day doing that. I dug another hole for a pier and stuck it in, but when I went to get the post that sits on the pier, I found that I didn’t have any more of them left- Dang! So I hopped in the Gross Polluter and headed down to Home Depot. While I was there, I decided to get more 2x2, 4x4, and four more sheets of plywood that should be enough to complete my project. Got home and went right back to work on it.
        Went for my evening walk and re-listened to “Strong and Weak Nuclear Force” lecture- this makes 3 or 4 times I listened to it.
        Patty called having problems getting connected to the internet. She had called me earlier telling me that her monitor went out and was going to get one from the community center’s Thrift Room. I told her that the modem connections probably weren’t connected properly after she put in the new monitor and she should check them. I guess that was the problem because she never called back.
        I watched “Terminator: the Sara Connor Chronicles”, about a nuclear power plant that was being taken over by the evil robots so that the resistance of the future couldn’t use it.
        My whole body aches! Must be all that work on the patio. I did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run- felt better after that! Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night,


From Bob's Stuff
Tuesday 16- did my stretches, ran a mile, lifted weights, and rode my bike.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 74 to 96, E-SE winds at 7to16 MPH, humidity around 45 percent, cumulonimbus and a little rain. According to the National Weather Service “Tuesday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Partly cloudy, with a high near 94. Light wind becoming east southeast between 13 and 16 mph. Winds could gust as high as 23 mph. Tuesday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 71. Southeast wind 5 to 9 mph becoming west.”
        I wrote my column for the newspaper and sent it to them. The column writing actually went by pretty fast and I was done in about an hour.
        I then went outside to continue working on the north side patio. I just had it done, hammering in the last nail when some thunderclouds came over bringing with them high gusts of wind and a little rain. All that is left for me to do is paint what I have finished so far and then decide how I want the roof done.
        Went on over to Stoney’s for lunch/dinner. He had cooked up some Chicken Alfredo that was mighty good! We watched an episode of “Dirty Jobs” where Mike was in Pasadena dismantling floats from the Rose Parade. All the floats are made of vegetables, flowers, and fruit that had rotted. Nasty job for sure! It was very interesting for me to see the insides where the driver sits; he cannot see where he is going and has to rely on a spotter for directions.
        Went for my evening walk and took the camera to shoot some storm clouds that were still lingering around.
        My brother Kevin called to tell me some good news; he has finally gotten the title for his trailer after being ripped off by an unscrupulous RV dealership six months ago. This was a great burden on my brother causing him much stress and anxiety. I am relieved that this has been lifted from my brother’s shoulders and that he can get on with his life.
        Watched “NOVA: Einstein’s Big Idea” on PBS. It was two hours! I could have watched “Fringe” on Fox but I really wasn’t that impressed with the show- except for the Mad Scientist. Yes, Nova was what I wanted to watch and I’m glad I did!
        I was asked by a blogger, “Just what may I ask is a Gross Polluter?” The "Gross Polluter" is my 4-cylinder $250 Toyota truck. When I first got it, I took it down to get it smogged and it didn't pass! The test printout said it was a gross polluter! I looked at all those SUVs and trucks that were 8- cylinder gas guzzlers driving around, and I thought to myself, fine, my little truck is a gross polluter. Of course I got it fixed but the name stuck. I even have my Trusty Scooter that I ride and my Faithful Truck- the one that kept breaking down and now sits there in my yard with a blown transmission. Now ya know!
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


From Bob's Stuff

Wednesday 17- did my stretches, ran a mile, lifted weights, and rode my bike.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 75 to 92, E-SE winds at 6to12 MPH, humidity around 49 percent, cumulonimbus and a teeny tiny bit of rain. According to the National Weather Service “Thursday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11am. Partly cloudy, with a high near 92. West northwest wind 5 to 15 mph becoming east. Thursday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 11pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 72. West southwest wind 15 to 18 mph decreasing to between 7 and 10 mph. Winds could gust as high as 28 mph.”
        It was cloudy all day and I couldn’t paint the addition to my patio so I worked on Ken’s website. He finally sent me some information the other day and I decided to convert all his Word 2001 files to PDF so that when loaded on the website they would be more accessible. I created a few new webpages for the site but haven’t uploaded them- I want to review the docs first and figure out how I want to categorize the content. This took a lot of my day to do.
Went for my evening walk taking pictures of the storm clouds again. I notice that the Black Ants are very active in the evening hours and the Red Ants are more active in the early hours of the day when I go on my run. It seems to me that there are more Black Ants now than when I first moved up here and the Red Ants are in decline. I followed a trail of Black Ants, and at first, they keep it all bunched up for a while and then fan out over a large area to forage. I have seen them go from large anthills to other smaller ones and I wonder if they are taking them over. I got a good pic of a small lizard sitting on a piece of wood!
        Lee Hines called to ask for my help; his computer won’t go online. We couldn’t do it over the phone so he picked me up. Seems that Microsoft .Net had created another user profile and he had his dialup set so that user would be the only one to access online.
        Watched “Bones” on Fox about a human finger found in a bird’s nest that leads the team to a body of a veterinarian who was killed by a dog.
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Thursday 18- I woke up at 11:30am. I slept a whole eight and a half hours! I turned the ringer back on the phone, received a call from Jimmy, and yakked for a half hour, which made it noon. Then Dale from Landers called; there went another half hour. So here it was 12:30pm and I haven’t even done my exercise yet. I could have skipped them but nope! I did my stretches, ran a mile, lifted weights, and rode my bike.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 74 to 93, SW-SE winds at 4to8 MPH, humidity around 30 percent, cumulonimbus but no rain. According to the National Weather Service “Friday: Sunny, with a high near 90. Calm wind becoming west southwest between 11 and 14 mph. Winds could gust as high as 18 mph. Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 69. West wind between 7 and 14 mph.”
        So here I was at 1:30 and eating my oatmeal and sitting at my laptop reading my email. There were clouds outside and it looked like it may rain, but maybe not. I really didn’t want to work on the computer and Ken’s website because I did that yesterday and found out later by email that I had wasted my time on something I thought he wanted included on his site; a little misunderstanding and he hasn’t been too helpful communicating what he wants. To hell with the clouds! To hell with the website! I just wanted to complete something! Therefore, I decided to go and paint my patio! That took a few hours of hard work and I painted until the paint ran out. I felt mighty good when it was done.
        While I was painting I ran Spybot anti-spyware and did a virus scan at boot on my IBM laptop- that felt good to do too!
        Went for my evening walk listening to a lecture about “The Search for the Theory of Everything” that is combining all the forces of physics into one grand theory. Basically, the present “Standard Theory” doesn’t include Gravity or is having a hard time getting it to fit into equations. The String Theory does include Gravity but there isn’t any proof that this theory is plausible yet, but it is the only one that is in the running at present and scientist are at an impasse hoping to fine some kind of verifiable evidence. One such support for String Theory may be the Large Hadron Collider, which just went online this September, if the collider could measure gravity at a microscopic scale and provide evidence of extra dimensions. Also, scientist are looking for the ever elusive Higgs Boson, which they believe exists and causes matter to have mass. At least this is how I understand it right now. There was so much covered that I’ll have to re-listen to it.
        Jawed with my brother Kevin for fifty minutes discussing our day. Then I read a little astronomy.
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web and called it a night.


Friday 19- did my stretches, ran a mile, lifted weights, and rode my bike.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 73 to 94, calm wind, humidity around 20 percent, cumulus humilus clouds(fair weather clouds). According to the National Weather Service “Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 92. Calm wind becoming southwest between 13 and 16 mph. Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 68. West wind between 6 and 16 mph.”
        I went to work on the weekend update for the Copper Mountain Mesa Website and uploaded it to the web, and sent out the newsletter. I worked on Ken’s website doing some more tweaks and uploaded it to his server.
        At 1:20pm Dale from Landers showed up with a trailer full of wood that he promised. I had him unload it on the west side of my property and told him to stay on the level area there because the ground was packed. He told me that his truck is like a Billy Goat and that it didn’t matter where he drove, so I thought he had four-wheel drive- he didn’t! Well he gotten himself stuck in the soft sand. It took an hour and a half of hard work to get the truck and trailer unstuck. Now I have a new nickname for him- Billy Goat!
        I was so tired from all that work that I just laid down for a little while and relaxed. Then I went for an early evening walk and listened to a questions and answers astrophysics lecture. One question I thought interesting was about the force of magnetism. Why is it that the Earth’s magnetic field can be over whelmed by small refrigerator magnets? The answer was that the magnetic force loses its power because of the inverse square law- it loses it strength inversely proportional to the square of the distance to the source. Therefore, you can take a small magnet and place it next to a compass, which over powers the Earth’s magnetic field. Then draw the small magnet away by several feet- it no longer affects the compass and the Earth’s magnetic field takes back over because it’s so prevailing- 4000 miles beneath our feet and still extends way out into the upper atmosphere and into space to reflect high-energy particles emitted from the Sun solar wind causing auroras and protecting life.
        I went over to Stoney’s for dinner. He made salmon cakes with mashed potatoes and gravy. Roger Smith was there to help us devour them all.
        I went home and mindlessly surfed the web looking at new hi-tech computers that I can’t afford. Then I did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.
        Last night Blogger.com hiccupped and I last a few pictures. I found that they were all stored on Picasa and that I could imbed them into other blogs that I write! So Now I will have pictures on MySpace and Live Journal! I only have dialup and it was a pain in the butt to load them on every blog, but not any longer!


Saturday 20- did my stretches.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 71 to 90, winds out of the SE at 4 to 10 MPH, humidity around 22 percent, cumulus humilus clouds again(fair weather clouds)- just a nice and pleasant day! According to the National Weather Service “Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 90. Calm wind becoming southwest between 8 and 11 mph. Sunday Night: Clear, with a low around 64. West wind between 6 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.”
        This was a lazy day for me. I kicked back and messed around with Mary’s computer, downloaded some free Sci-Fi books from Baen Press- basically I just goofed off the whole day doing little things around the house. I did go over to Ron Dehart’s for a little while to take some pics of his new completed room addition and picked up some wood and other building material leftovers. Sometimes it is just good to take a day or two and just wind down!
        I called Mom and Pop but they weren’t home. Called my old friend Bob Vandenberg and we jawed about old times. My brother Kevin called to say hi and talk computers.
        I went for my evening walk without a lecture to listen to, or my camera- I just wanted to let my mind wonder to where ever it wanted to go, and it felt good.
        Watched “CSI” on CBS of a rerun I haven’t seen before. It was about a taxi cab driver who was shot to death while carrying an Admiral of the Navy who was also gunned down.
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night. Goodbye Summer! Hello Autumn!


Sunday 21- did my stretches.
Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 70 to 93, winds out of the SE-SW at 4 to 18 MPH, humidity around 23 percent, clear skies.According to the National Weather Service “Monday: Sunny, with a high near 91. West northwest wind around 6 mph becoming calm. Monday Night: Clear, with a low around 62. Southwest wind between 5 and 8 mph becoming calm.”
        I went right to work on Ken’s website tweaking this and adding that. I feel that I got much of what I wanted to do on this website today- it’s up and running, all the webpages work. There is just a bit more I want to add to it later after I give it some contemplation and read the documentation he had sent. Right now, it looks somewhat empty and I’m still waiting on him to send me a picture of himself. In addition, I’m still learning the new HTML editor that can be somewhat of a pain at times- it crashed twice losing a few changes I made!
        I went outside to figure out where I am going to put a wall up on the southeast side of my shop/patio. I got to measuring where the pier should go and started digging around it. Next thing I knew I had dug the hole, had the pier in place, and leveled. I decided to put up the post, then had the plywood nailed to it. I didn’t start out to do this today but there it was an hour or so later standing up on its own. Tomorrow if I have the time, I’ll finish it. I still need to buy some more paint.
        I called up Mom and Pop. I only got to yap at Pop because Mom was in the bathroom having a bath or some such. Pop told me that the reason they weren’t home yesterday to receive my call was that they were over at Paula’s eating chicken. He had thought to let me know they weren’t going to be home but that was as far as he got.
        Went for my evening walk and took the camera. The day was so wonderfully nice and fresh, that I forgot to take any pics.
        Called and talked to my brother Kevin. Then I called Tom and Aki to touch base. I started reading the Sci-Fi book and fell asleep for a little while and when I awoke; I just lay in bed in one of those half-awake, half-asleep states. I finally got up and decided to disable a dialup user of mine who hadn’t paid this month’s fee and the month is almost over. They haven’t contacted me to let me know what’s up. I didn’t want to disable them during the weekend so I waited for Sunday night: just to give them a wakeup call. It worked! They called and then came over with the money. This is just a hobby for me and I don’t like playing the bad guy. Along with the dialup service, I provide them with free computer help; I fix their computers when they break.
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Monday 22- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 69 to 91, winds out of the NW-S at 6 to 10 MPH, humidity around 26 percent, clear skies.According to the National Weather Service “Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 91. Calm wind becoming south southeast between 4 and 7 mph. Tuesday Night: Clear, with a low around 64. South southwest wind between 4 and 7 mph becoming calm.”
        I went on the computer to do a few things like read my email and checkout what the NY Stock Exchange and the financial meltdown of our economy was doing- it don’t look good! I didn’t think that putting a trillion dollars into saving “some” of these investment banks was such a good idea. It would cause a lot of inflation and just make matters worse, and I told my Dad that yesterday. A lot of innocent folks are going to get hurt, but it’s the greedy ones, the ones who were after a quick profit in the housing market and the banks who financed them that I feel are to blame and should feel the pain, not the families that bought a home to live in, I believe. However, our government will probably bail out the “fat cats” and leaving these families out of their equations and out on the streets. I hope not! Maybe our government should try a “bottom up” approach for once.
        Got to working on the southeast side of the shop/patio for a few hours completing most of it, I only have one 2x4 to go. I decided to panel that whole side with plywood and have a door. Now I’m running out of nails!
        My brother Kevin called to tell me he is taking magnets out of a few hard drives to use them to sort out slugs from his vending machines.
        I went for my evening walk to listen to the “questions and answers astrophysics lecture” again, just to make sure I understood it correctly.
        I got to thinking about the Higgs Boson and if it is what’s at the center of black holes- that all matter is compressed into these Higgs Bosons. I read that the Higgs Boson is what gives matter mass. A very large star would first implode to the electron degeneracy pressure which holds the core, and then collapse further to neutron degeneracy, and then finally to a singularity where the Higgs Boson degeneracy takes over. This is all speculation on my part and they haven’t even found the Higgs Boson yet.
        Read a chapter in “Beyond this Horizon” and then watched “Terminator the Sara Connor Chronicles” about an evil Terminator who kidnaps Charley’s wife to get Sara far away from her son John so it could get back into town and kill John.
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Tuesday 23- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 69 to 91, calm winds, humidity around 26 percent, clear skies.According to the National Weather Service “Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 95. Calm wind becoming south between 4 and 7 mph. Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 67. South wind 5 to 7 mph becoming west northwest.”
        I wrote my column for the newspaper. It took me two hours to come up with something because there really isn’t much happening around here in the middle of the desert. I included an astronomy lecture on magnetism that I heard and had written down in my journal. I spent much time researching it for accuracy- I just hope I got it right!
        Went over to Stoney’s to help him install new springs on his garage door. Last week one of the springs broke and the garage door fell on his head giving him a few cuts and scrapes and a headache. Well it turned out that he bought the wrong springs, they were too small and the door wouldn’t close all the way. It took us a while to figure out that the springs have safety chains inside to prevent the springs from flying around when it breaks. What had stopped the door from closing were the safety chains inside the new springs that were stretched to their limit. He’ll have to go to town and get the right size. I left Stoney’s to go over to check on my friend’s house while he is away on vacation.
        Got back home to read a chapter in “Beyond this Horizon” and took a nap afterwards. I then went on my evening walk without my camera or lecture to listen to; just did some thinking on this and that.
        Called my brother Kevin to yak at him briefly, and then watched “NCIS” on CBS about the three new team members and one of them is a spy. Gibbs and Abby tries to get the old team back together.
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Then I went outside with my binoculars to do a little stargazing. Fat Cat was glad to have my company and sat on my lap wanting to be scratched. Found the Andromeda galaxy for the first time this year. The Pleiades cluster was rising out of the east. At this angle in the eastern sky, it looked to me like a silhouette of a person, maybe Lincoln. Cool!
        Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Wednesday 24- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 73 to 100, calm winds, humidity around 21 percent, clear skies.According to the National Weather Service “Thursday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 98. West wind 5 to 13 mph becoming north. Winds could gust as high as 18 mph. Thursday Night: Clear, with a low around 71. West wind between 7 and 9 mph.”
        I asked Stoney to drop by before he went to town and pick up a birthday card for my sister Audrey that needed to be mailed right away. He came by at a quarter to twelve and then was on his way to town for lunch with his friends. That saved me a twelve mile round trip to the mailbox!
        I did some cleaning inside the house and it really needed it. It got kind of dirty from neglect, my focus has been elsewhere. The kitchen looks spick and span now and the trash has been taken out.
        I could of went outside and completed the southeast patio but it was hot, so I decided I needed a break from that. I stayed inside, cleaned up some computer files on my Toshiba laptop, and transferred some memory hogs over to an external hard drive. Then I messed with the ASUS EEE laptop doing a few tweaks on it getting it running the way I want it to perform, and with all the programs that I need to take it on the road. I still have 1.75Gig left on its 4Gig flash C: drive and use a 2Gig SD drive for storage of files. If I need any more storage, I can always use my 8Gig USB thumb drive. Then read a chapter in “Beyond this Horizon”.
        Went for my evening walk and listened to an astronomy lecture on “Rocket Propulsion”: Ion propulsion, solar sails, magnetic propulsion, fusion drives, and an innovative way to get a capsule into space by using a long tether. Then I re-listened to two past lectures I have already written about: “The Search for the Theory of Everything” and “The Strong and Weak Force”.
        Had a short talk with my brother Kevin, then watched “Bones” on PBS about a headless body of a young writer found in an evaporation tank. It appears that Zack is back! They had put him in an insane asylum after he admitted to killing a man but he actually didn’t; he just said he did to avoid being put in prison where he wouldn’t fair well with the other inmates.
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night


Thursday 25- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 77 to 100, calm winds, humidity around 27 percent, clear skies.According to the National Weather Service “Friday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 97. West northwest wind 5 to 9 mph becoming east northeast. Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 70. West southwest wind between 7 and 9 mph.”
        Stoney called wanting me to come over to remove the garage door springs so he could take then to town tomorrow and exchange them. I hopped on my Trusty Scooter and had the springs off in no time. He told me about his luncheon engagement he went to yesterday. It turned out that it was Marcie Hines birthday and he didn’t know about it. He arrived early and waited for everyone else to show. Lee and Marcie had a flat tire on the way there and were a bit late. They had to call Bob Seeley because he forgot all about the luncheon just as he did our last potluck.
        I got back home and hammered in the last remaining 2x4 onto the southeast shop/patio- I think for now on I’ll just call that part of the house “The Shop”. I have to remember to pick up some nails and paint next time I am in town. I had better start a list of what I need.
        Then I went into the house and installed FreeDOS onto my old Dell Dimension L733r desktop. I first did FDisk on an old hard drive before I did the install. It took me three tries to get the install done because the system would hang on the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) that assigns the IP address. So I had to do it manually and I wasn’t sure what to put in. I just typed in some numbers that it didn’t except but it got me pass the point where it would hang the system. Got it up and running and started the GEM GUI, went to the games folder and clicked on Doom. I never played Doom before; I was stuck in a building after killing two somethings or others that were shooting at me, there are doors but I didn’t know how to open them so I quit the game. At least I knew that FreeDOS was running correctly. I’ll have to check into DHCP problem later tonight. If I can’t get it working, I’ll be unable to go online. I’ve had DRDOS on my machine before and didn’t have that problem.
        Went for my evening walk, then read a few chapters in “Beyond this Horizon” until it got late.
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run, and practiced my guitar.
        Last night I download and installed Microsoft SteadyState, which is suppose to keep users and their files in a separate partition that can be deleted if they get a virus or Trojan. I was testing it out for a friend whose computer I’m always fixing because he can’t keep himself from clicking on popups that say “FREE!” that puts malware on his system. Well SteadyState didn’t work as I thought it would; I was logged in to my user ID and working on my journal when it gave me a warning that the system would shutdown in ten minutes! Well apparently, it created an Administrator ID, set my ID with the attributes that I assigned to the test ID I had created, and I couldn’t find a way to change mine back, dang! So tonight, I uninstalled SteadyState, but after the uninstall it left me with a login and shutdown box similar to Win2000! Oh well I guess I can live with that.
        Wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Friday 26- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 78 to 100 and something, calm winds, humidity around 25 percent, clear skies.According to the National Weather Service “Saturday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 98. Northwest wind between 5 and 9 mph. Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 70. West southwest wind between 6 and 9 mph.”
        I did the weekly update to the Copper Mountain Mesa Website and sent out the Newsletter. I got a call from Stoney, he has the new springs for the garage, So I went on over and helped him install them. We sat and jawed about potluck, which is tomorrow, and a few other things.
        I puttered around the house when I got back and started fixing this and that, moving the answering machine into my bedroom so I can use the speakerphone on it, and doing a little feather dusting.
        Ruth Denison called asking for my help un-jamming her printer. I went on over to find that the printer was jammed with a brochure that was stapled together. I jokingly told her that it wouldn’t fit through; she had picked it up from a box of recycled paper she uses. Then she asked me to teach her to cut and paste in a document. All and all, I was there for over an hour or so. She invited me to her eighty-sixth birthday this Monday, and I accepted. She asked what she owed me and I told her that all I wanted was a big hug, which I got. She’s a great gal!
        Stopped off at Ron’s to see how he was doing. He’s been sick for a few days and I was a little concerned. Well, he didn’t look to good; I told him that he should take it easy and not to overdo it for a while.
        I went for my evening walk and just meditated on some things that I need to do later in my life. When I got back, I called my brother Kevin and yakked with him for a spell. He is doing much better and that makes me very happy.
      It’s Friday night so I mindlessly surfed the web until late into the evening. I have a blogger friend of mine Call MM who is very proactive and informative. She writes about computers and other technical things. She mostly points out what is wrong with web programs. She posted that she is being “Flamed” when her posts were featured on Digg and Reddit, and she was mighty upset about the whole mess. I replied to her; I have found that most of the comments on Digg are anything but constructive. It seems like they are written by insecure 13 year olds that have nothing better to do then trash someone. I like constructive criticism but you have to "Digg" deep into the comments for those! Maybe that's why they call the site Digg! I really like Lifehacker; they monitor the comments to keep the character assassins at bay. Just keep writing and doing your thing and don’t ever look back! I write a small column for a local newspaper and that is what I do.
      Then I did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night


Saturday 27- did my stretches. It’s the weekend and my day off from exercising.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 78 to 98, calm winds, humidity around 26 percent, clear skies.According to the National Weather Service “Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 95. Calm wind becoming southeast between 6 and 9 mph. Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 72. South wind at 8 mph becoming northwest.”
        Messed around the house doing little chores. I returned a call from a person in Twentynine Palms who wants to sign up for my internet dialup service. I explained to them that it was only a hobby for me for the folks in my community and that I don’t have it setup for online payments. She said that she would send me a cashier’s check for three months in advance. Well that sounded okay with me, and told her that I’d set her up on the first of the month.
        I called Family and Friends and yakked at them for a spell while I was getting ready for potluck at the community center.
        I was online when I found out that my bank, Washington Mutual, went bankrupt last Thursday. Then I got a letter from a company that handles my mutual funds that said that in January they had lost a box of computer tapes that they had taken offsite with customer’s personal data, and that my name was among them, YIKES! They also stated that the reason they are just telling me this now is that it was due to forensics. Well that’s just dandy! They are now providing me with free credit protection for twenty-four months: why didn’t they provide me this when they lost the dang tapes with my personal data on it! I’ll have to sign up for this protection next time I go online.
Went on over to the community center on my Trusty Scooter carrying the pot of macaroni and cheese I made. I walked in the door a little after 4pm and everyone was already eating. Hey, you guys ain’t suppose to start eating until 4:30! Well we got hungry they said. There were some mighty exciting dishes on the table to choose from and I decided to sample them all, so I couldn’t blame them much for starting early. There was Ruth Tuttle’s konkydoodle, Diane’s vegetable casserole, and Donna’s Potatoes Au Gratin, a macaroni and hamburger dish, and other nice things that I’ll have to ask Marcie about who made what when I write this up for the newspaper. Some new folks showed up: Mike Kant and his wife Pat, who moved out our way last March from Arizona. They live over by Lear Avenue. Then there was Susan Atzei and her brother Tim who live just a ways behind the center. They came with their friend Daniel Gray; he lived in Alaska before coming out here to stay. I asked them how they like the desert so far, and they said it takes some getting used to. I agreed and told them that some folks see the desert as a barren land were others see all the wonderful life that abounds and the gentle solitude and freedom that one can cherish if one can live in the moment and let it grow from within. I also said that you could be lonelier in a big city then out here because out here you will always find good friends that are out here for the same reasons that you are. Well dang it I was stuffed to the max again! So when I got home I went on a longer walk than usual to work some of it off.
        I got an email delivered to my Copper Mountain Mesa website from a person who was looking for his son. I get these sorts of emails every now and then and try to help the folks out. This time I knew right away, whom I needed to call! I made this call tonight and now they are planning a reunion of the father and son! Cool! That made my day!
        Called my brother Kevin when I got back. He was busy making hot sauce and transferring files to backup a hard drive. After I was done yapping with him, I called my friend Andrew and we discussed the economy, the Higgs Boson, computers, and other interesting stuff that I don’t get to discuss much with other folks- I put them to sleep!
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Sunday 28- did my stretches. It’s the weekend and my day off from exercising.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 76 to 98, calm winds, humidity around 28 percent, clear skies.According to the National Weather Service “Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 95. Calm wind becoming east southeast between 7 and 10 mph. Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 71. South wind between 4 and 7 mph becoming calm.”
        I just puttered around the house today. I actually hung some curtains! They made my bedroom appear neat and the kitchen clean. Am I getting domesticated? I also put a brighter LED light to read by, on the wall behind my bed.
        I need some more desk room in the living room where I have a laptop and two printers- I need more space for other projects. I also want to put shelves for books over the new desk. So, I’ve been hunting and gathering materials that I have stashed around and putting them in one place so that when I come up with a design I’ll be ready to build.
        Called a few Family and Friends, but mostly tinkered around getting my house in order. Read a few chapters in “Beyond This Horizon” throughout the day and only have two chapters left, which I’ll finish off tomorrow.
        I went on my evening walk listening to a new astronomy lecture called “Nucleosynthesis: Elements from Stars”. Nucleosynthesis is the formation of elements from either the Big Bang (light elements no greater than Lithium); Stellar Nucleosynthesis (heavier elements from Carbon to Calcium); Explosive Nucleosynthesis (elements heavier than Iron) created by Supernova; and Cosmic Ray Spallation that creates lighter elements by bombardment of gas and dust in the interstellar medium. Some of this I already knew but the term for it “Nucleosynthesis” is new to me. There was so much discussed in the lecture, and for me to understand fully the process, I’ll have to listen to it again and add to this post later. I did catch one error though; they said that light takes over a hundred thousand years to reach the surface from the Sun’s core, when in fact it takes around thirty-three thousand years. I think they had gotten their data from an old NASA site that hasn’t corrected it to the new theory yet.
        Watched “Monk” on NBC, part one of a two parter. A Politician running for office is shot at during a rally and a bodyguard took the bullet and died. I like Monk and I wish that NBC would stop messing up with the series- it first came out on regular broadcast TV, then they switched it to cable, back to broadcast TV, and then back to cable again! This particular one came out in 2002!
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Monday 29- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights. When I was riding my bike up the hill a black SUV came roaring past me at 60 MPH plus and left me in a cloud of dust! Some folks just don’t have any respect for others!
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 75 to 98, calm winds, humidity around 31 percent, a few cumulus clouds and just the scent of rain. According to the National Weather Service “Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 93. Calm wind becoming east southeast between 6 and 9 mph. Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 69. South wind around 6 mph becoming calm.”
        I was doing some dusting with my new feather duster I got from WalMart when all the feathers fell out! They were spread out all over the place. I gathered them all back together and with great effort binded them back up with rubber bands. What a cheap piece of junk! It was all held together by string that came untied; they should have used hot glue or something a little more permanent.
        I read the rest of “Beyond This Horizon” by Robert Heinlein. It was a great read but a little dated (1949). Heinlein deals mostly with the human spirit and the predicaments and conflicts that arise in a futuristic theme. You can actually see the beginnings of “Stranger in a Strange Land” in this book with the introduction of “Smith” a man from the past (1926) who was held in a stasis field that kept him preserved until he was released many centuries later into a society that was alien to him. I then got caught up on my astronomy reading.
        I drove the Gross Polluter over to Ruth Denison’s eighty-six birthday party. Ron Dehart warned me to bring my guitar or I’d end up dancing, so I did.
From Wikipedia:
"Ruth Denison (born 1922) was the first Buddhist teacher in the United States to lead an all-women's retreat for Buddhist meditation and instruction. Her center, Dhamma Dena Desert Vipassana Center is located in the Mojave Desert, in Joshua Tree, California. She was also a teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She sometimes teaches at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California.
After spending her youth in Germany she immigrated to the United States. In the 1960s and 1970s she was part of the alternative and counterculture scene.
She is one of four Westerners who have received permission to teach from Burmese master U Ba Khin, a layperson known for a particular method of awareness practice, called "sweeping," in which the meditator closely observes bodily sensations."

        There were quite a few of Ruth’s friends who showed up. Linda Sibio gave a surreal impromptu performance of a young girl who grows old into her eighties. She gave a nice ending to it and everyone applauded. My two favorite Buddhist Nuns showed up; the ones that I was teaching computers to, Gunishary and Ottoman (I probably miss-spelled their names). Ruth gave a little sermon on what reaching eighty-six meant to her, love, community, and how we all are born fresh again with each and every birthday. Then we all sat down to eat chocolate cake! At my suggestion, we all sang Happy Birthday to Ruth. Then I was asked to play my guitar. While I was playing a song I’ve made up, people were doing this dance, so Ron was right! I am neither a Buddhist nor anything else for that matter (I just keep my mind open), but I enjoyed being there with these fine folks, and I was glad to have been invited! I hope I get an invite to Ruth’s eighty-seventh birthday!
        On my way back home I was driving around 30 MPH and that black SUV that I told you about earlier, went zipping past me leaving me again in a cloud of dust! Maybe I forgot to mention that we live on dirt roads out here. I wonder who this crazy person is.
        I got home late but I still went on my evening walk. I called my brother Kevin for a little chat. Then I watched “Terminator. The Sarah Connor Chronicles” about the girl Terminator Cameron having flash backs and forgetting who she is and ends up in jail making friends with a streetwise girl- she acts human.
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Tuesday 30- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 74 to 97, calm winds, humidity around 27 percent, a few cumulus clouds floating around. According to the National Weather Service “Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 93. Calm wind becoming east southeast between 6 and 9 mph. Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 69. South wind around 6 mph becoming calm.”
        I spent much of the afternoon writing my column and when completed emailed it to the newspaper.
        Went outside to work on the east side wall of the shop digging in another pier, nailing in a post and plywood sheet. While I was working my neighbor, Biker Ron drove up on his Harley to yak for a spell on the side of the dirt road. We were talking about economics when Brenda stopped on her way to Bingo to say hi; I think she is interested in Biker Ron. Then Chris pulled over for a bit to yak. It seems that there was a lot of action on the dirt road in front of my little home today! I went back to work after they all left.
        Went on my evening walk listening to that astronomy lecture on Nucleosynthesis trying to gleam a little more understanding of the process.
        My brother Kevin called to jaw for an hour. Then Kula’s Tom called to ask a few computer questions and talk about the stock market. I believe that the government shouldn’t bail out the investment bankers and that the market will find its own level and the failing bank’s assets will be bought up. I don’t think that 700 billion ($17,000 per family) would fix a problem that was created by greed.
        I caught the very last part of “NCIS” and decided not to watch it. I watched “Fringe” on Fox instead. It was about a cylinder shaped like a torpedo that popped up out of the Earth at a construction site. It emitted vibrations first at 200Mz and then 400Mz. There was a strange bald guy in a business suit who was sitting in a cafĂ© waiting for it to appear. I still believe that the Mad Scientist makes the show!
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night. Goodbye to September!