Archive for August, 2010


Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Here’s the guy who robbed our train in Arizona a few weeks ago.  I had some money in my hand to give him, but he forgot to ask me for it.  I didn’t feel that it would be good form to invite him to come back and take it from me, so I kept quiet.  Photo courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam and part of my famous Vacation series.

Wow.  It’s been a week since I posted.  Been busy.  LRN2 and I went to the Santa Cruz beach for about 14 hours on Saturday.  We had a nice time, but I have to say I think my favorite part was waiting for four hours for the group of yoots to get there.  We had the two pavilions to ourselves, it was nice and quiet, we got to read and talk, the weather was sunny and warm without being hot and the wind was calm.  Very nice.  Then the group got there and it was still enjoyable but certainly no long quiet.  I have a couple of pictures, which I’ll have to add to my blog Great Art backlog Real Soon Now.

Lots of car troubles.  Sigh.  The Suburban went for a smog test this afternoon and failed because it hadn’t been long enough since its minor emission system problem was fixed and the computer was reset.  My beloved pickup is in the shop in Sunnyvale as I write this.  Its positive battery cable disintegrated because of undetected corrosion.  Can I just buy a new positive battery cable for ten bucks or whatever?  No, of course not!  The battery cables are part of a $111 engine wiring harness!  And it takes an hour and a half of a trained mechanic’s time to remove the old one and install the new one!  For another two hundred bucks!  Double sigh.  Must be done, though.  So I’ve got problems.

Big things going on here at the Secret Undisclosed Location.  For starters, we sold the trailer on Saturday morning.  We (okay, mostly I) decided we were through with it and with camping in California.  So we priced it extremely fairly and sold it on the morning after the ad appeared on craigslist.  A nice young couple bought it, and we hope it will serve them well for many years.  We’ll miss it, but not much.

We also have my beloved Miata up for sale.  There are just too many cars in our collection.  LRN2’s especially sad about seeing that one go, since he’s been driving it for the past year.  But he’ll be fine.  He’s going to use my beloved pickup and I’ll keep the Suburban at work.  Which is fine with me at this point, but I’m looking forward to having the pickup back when LRN2 heads for school.

Speaking of which, we could get him graduated from High School in December if we want, and he could leave for college in early January.  He doesn’t think he’s quite ready for that yet, but we’ll see.  Otherwise, he’ll probably go in the fall.  We need to make a decision soon, though.

Yet another thing we’re selling is my beloved Mac Mini G4 – the first one I got.  We’re really not using it anymore, and I’ve decided ten computers is too many for three people.  So I’m getting rid of everything I can get rid of.  Plus all my spare parts.  This is going to be a Mac laptop shop from now on, so I don’t need a closet full of old obsolete PC parts anymore.  So far, I’ve eliminated about three desktops, and I have one more of those to go (good old Moe) and one or two laptops too (including this one, which I will probably hold on to for a little while until I’m convinced I won’t use it anymore).  It’s been excruciating, but I’m committed to get rid of everything around here we don’t need anymore.

As part of the old computer elimination, though, I’ve ordered a new MacBook Pro for myself.  That will leave all three of us with Mac laptops, which will be great!  I’m excited for it to get here.  Just ordered it last night and as of about ten minutes ago, it hasn’t been built yet.  I’m watching Apple’s website closely for signs of progress.

The new laptop will be named Curly, so old Curly will become new Moe.  It’s already been moved over to the upstairs TV and has assumed its new role.  Larry has moved down and is now serving the family room TV (lesser-prestige job, but he’s just glad not to be thrown out like old Moe, Shemp, Buddy, possibly Ted, and a few unnamed machines).  I’m excited to get the MBP because I’ll be able to do iPhone development on the train, which wasn’t a possibility before for obvious reasons.  Plus it’s cooler.

Anyway.  Lots of things being thrown away or sold, and we’re only just starting.  The generator is probably the next thing to go.  Plus just about everything else.  Sell, sell, sell!  I’d like to see the garage practically emptied out.  Plus a whole lot of the house, for that matter.  We’re hoping to end up in a condo or townhouse in the next few years, and we need to be ready for it.  Never again do I want to fill up an entire moving van with my junk.

Remember the watchword – nicer stuff, and less of it.

I guess that’s the watch-six-words.

Nothing much else going on, so I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: giant man-eating squid!

See you tomorrow.

North Grove

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Here’s the North Grove trail in Calaveras Big Trees State Park.  A very pretty place to take a walk.  Great Art courtesy of my very nice Olympus camera and part of my famous Camping series.

Hot, hot, hot day.  It got up to 103 here in Lardville, which I believe breaks the record by a couple of degrees.  At least that’s what the Weather Channel’s website says.  Even more shocking, it got up to 100 in Sunnyvale, which is nine degrees above the previous record.  Yikes.

Otherwise, though, it was a pretty average day.  Nothing great happened, nothing bad happened.

Oh, one good thing – I chatted with LRN3 during my afternoon drive to the train station.  He’s doing well.  They’re leaving for Virginia a bit early – this Friday, in fact.  He’s getting excited about it.  I’m really pleased for them, except that it will be harder for us to get together.

That’s it for tonight.  I want to take a dip in the pool before bedtime.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: poutine attack!

First boot

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Here’s LRN2’s new computer booting up for the very first time.  Ahh . . . what a thing of beauty!  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam and part of my famous Machinery series.  Those are LRN2’s hands there, shortly after he Pushed the Button.

Extreme Short Shrift.  It’s already bedtime, and I’ve been staying up WAY too late recently.

We got a great invitation from our cruising buddies Connie and Doug yesterday – they have a house at South Lake Tahoe for the Labor Day weekend, and they invited us to join them.  So we’re going.  Apparently, the house is in her family, so there’s also no charge.  Nice.  We’re looking forward to seeing that area and to having a nice weekend with Connie and Doug.  LRN2 is coming on this trip, of course.

Had a nice time at iOS devcamp.  I went on Friday and Saturday.  Didn’t really do any software development – I spent my time studying iPhone programming and attending various talks, all of which were very interesting.  There was one unhappy-looking young man who talked about how an application  for which he and some colleagues spent a grand total of three hours in development has made over $100,000.  The app is free, but they have advertising on it, and they have a company that allows you to choose who will serve your ads on a minute-by-minute basis if you want, and they managed to get a lot of downloads.  Hence, they made a lot of money.  Kind of sad.

And it’s time for bed already.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting new Morrowlife Employment Agency opportunity: mosquito catcher!

See you tomorrow.

Forest Service

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Here’s . . . ummm . . . . a US Forest Service . . . ummm . . . thing.  I do know it goes on railroad tracks.  I have no idea what else it does.  I’m assuming it’s just supposed to transport a person or two, but I’m not sure I see how.  Or where those people would sit.  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam and part of my famous Machinery series.

Greetings from the train! I finished a few emails, indexed a hundred names, updated my to-do list for the weekend – all while listening to Jesus the Christ – and watched a little bit of my iPhone class, and now it’s time to blog a bit. I only have a bit more than ten minutes before we pull in to Lardville, and writing on my beloved iPhone is a bit slow, so I’m unlikely to finish this before I get home. Might as well get a start, anyway.

Devcamp starts tomorrow afternoon! I’ve been a bit worried about going, seeing as how I’m still a student and rank amateur iPhone-programming-wise, but I’ve decided to go, listen to the speakers (if any), and work on my own. I’ll spend as much time as necessary learning, and I have an idea for a program I hope to write during the conference.

I’m kind of excited about the idea. It’s easy enough that I think I can accomplish it, and I think it might find an audience in the App Store. I won’t charge for it, so there’s no money to be made, but I’m thinking it will be good experience and maybe get me some exposure. I think something good might come of it. Details on the app next week.

Nothing else new, other than that the weekend is here! I have a million things to get done tomorrow before the conference (which doesn’t start until 5:00, and I probably don’t need to be there before 6:00). LRN4 apparently has a pretty long list, and I have a few things of my own. Ought to be a busy day.

We’re slowing down for the Lardville station. See you in a bit.

– Later –

I’m back.  Checked the devcamp website, and it looks like a fairly large percentage of registered attendees also have little to no iPhone programming experience.  So at least I’ll be in good company.  I’m expecting it to be fun.  And I plan to just dedicate my time to finding a quiet place and working on my app.  And maybe I’ll make a friend or two.  Wish me luck, Loyal Readers!

And that’s about it for tonight.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife employment opportunity (which is an actual job opening with the actual United States Federal Government!  I’m not kidding this time!): Native American Medicine Man.

See you tomorrow.

Route 66 Inn

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Here’s the sign for the Route 66 Inn, in Williams, Arizona.  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone cam and absolutely un-photoshopped or -gimped or -anythingelsed.  I like the clouds.  Part of my famous (and underutilized) Motel Sign series.

Extreme Short Shrift.  I’ve been working on the iPhone app this evening, and it’s already past time for bed.  No post yesterday, either.  Busy, busy, busy.

I’m looking forward to iOS devcamp 2010 on the weekend.  I’ve been a bit nervous about going to it, since it’s supposed to be solely for experienced iPhone/iPad developers, but I paid my fifty bucks and I’m sure I’ll get something good out of it.  Might not get into a group developing the next cool app, though.  I might just go to the presentations, which aren’t exactly set in stone yet, as far as what they are, technically.

Anyway.  Time for bed.  I’ll leave my Loyal Reader with this shocking food violence news: burning cheese!

See you tomorrow.