September 24th, 2008

#1272: That was short.

Sunspot #1002 existed for 48 hours.

But but but but but! But it was a Cycle 24 sunspot! See? It's not the sun that's causing the GISS temperature anomaly to drop 0.775°! It's not an extended solar minimum or anything!

Meanwhile, NASA reports that the solar wind has decreased--it's 13% cooler than it was in the mid-1990s, and 20% less dense.

So the solar wind is surprisingly less energetic; and according to the article, "...the sun's underlying magnetic field has weakened by more than 30% since the mid-1990s...."

But none of this has anything to do with the Earth's climate or anything. All these signs seem to indicate weakening solar output, but the sun's variability has no effect on Earth's climate. No no nooo no, you have to give up your sports car and air conditioning and inexpensive beef in order to save the environment!

* * *

Has anyone managed to see the two hundredth Strong Bad e-mail yet? I leave the thing in a browser tab and get stuck at "loading..." until I lose my patience and close it. Yes, I've tried refreshing the load process. No, it doesn't do any good.

I'm starting to think that it's some kind of joke in itself, that there is no 200th e-mail, and that the loading screen is it.

Going to the SB Emails tab at the home page, and going to the e-mail that way, produces the same result. Maybe it's the browser; but that would be the first time Firefox has failed me. *sigh*

Now it's doing the same thing in Internet Explorer.

* * *

After getting a nap Tuesday afternoon, I woke up feeling better, so I had a look at the garage again...and I threw out a lot of garbage.

We had several carpet remnants--large chunks of carpet left over from when the bedrooms and living room were carpeted in 1982; from when the family room and hallway were carpeted in 1988; and a big hunk from...somewhere. It all got tossed into the dumpster.

Then came the bags of clothing--clothes that had been in the garage for a long time. We went through them and tossed about 90% of the pile into the dumpster. At one point I said, "Hey, the '70s called; they want their pants back." There was a lot of polyester in those bags.

I still haven't managed to clear any floor space, but it was an excellent start for a day which started out with me feeling ready for embalming.

There were some things that we kept out of the clothing, though. For example, I found one of a pair of mittens Mom had knitted for me when I was in grade school. I instantly recognized it as mine because it had a test tube, with three bubbles, on the back. (I have always been interested in science.)

Everything we kept is musty and needs cleaning, but there's a considerably smaller volume of it left.

And once I get around to moving the cars and getting enough room to really work on it, I can then remove some of the other junk from the pile and dump it into the dumpster. Heheheh.

Besides that, I realized that if I were to take the old hanging cabinets from the kitchen--which we otherwise are just going to throw away--and put them up in the garage, I would find myself with a lot of extra storage space and places to put tools and such. There are four of them; I'm going to do just that. Maybe put them up across the back wall, or something.

* * *

The project for today, though, is to get some kind of front license plate mount for the Jeep, and to inspect and grease the front end.

Then I have to get my butt over to Supercuts so I can get my ears lowered....

#1273: If Dan Quayle had said...

...that FDR "got on TV" during the Depression, we would still be hearing the jeers about it from the Left.

Heck, look what they say about the guy for misspelling "potato". Still.

But it's not just Joe Biden that makes the mistakes in that campaign, anyway.

#1274: One more joblet done.

I got a front license plate mount and I got it installed on the Jeep this afternoon, after Mom and I got home from shopping.

The mount is a $4 piece of plastic with four screws. I eschewed the screws and instead used rivet-type thread inserts to install the mount; then I had to cut the screws short to put the plate on the mount, but that was trivial.

I used RTV to seal the metal I drilled through, since there's no way at the back side, and used red Loctite to hold the bolts in the thread inserts--they're aluminum; they can't take a heck of a lot of torque--and the end result is a good solid mount.

The only thing marring the whole thing is that I got one screw 'way the hell off and had to put another thread insert into the thing. I have no idea how the hell I managed that.

I measured the bumper, found the midpoint, then placed the middle of the bracket on that mark and put marks for the holes I had to drill; only the one on the passenger side of the truck was 2" too far towards the driver's side. When I went to bolt the thing in, it didn't line up with any of the mounting holes! WTF.

Anyway, it's on, my mistake is hidden by the license plate, and I don't have to worry about it any more.

* * *

As for the 200th SBemail, I reset my router, and was able to view it. What an odd error; it was only that one site that didn't work. Maddening, that, but typical.

I'm starting to think about trying a LinkSys router. My friends on irc://slashnet/gunblogger_conspiracy suggested it; it might not be a bad idea. The Belkin, I am told, was a bad choice; apparently Belkin's networking products are junk. (I did not know this until after I bought one, tried it, and found it to be worse than the no-name Airlink router I currently use.)

I'm also thinking about trying to find a wireless switch/router, because I would like to be able to copy files from one computer to another without resorting to "sneakernet". (Even though the floppy disk has gone the way of the dodo--by and large--we still use other media. CD's and even USB FLASH drives. "Sneakernet" will always be with us, until the grand day when all machines know how to talk to each other seamlessly and are made to do so from the moment you take them out of the box. I will expect Jesus to return about 4:12 PM that afternoon....)

* * *

Thanks to a thread on the Fiero forum, I've started re-watching Azumanga Daioh again. Today I was captivated by the animation in ep 4, "Pool! Pool! Pool!"--particularly, how animators show people in water.

I realized that the water itself is background, that the characters are painted on clear acetate with the part above the water in normal color, and the part below the water in subdued blue tones. And, of course, a thin light blue line where the waterline is.

I single-framed through a sequence where Chiyo-chan was trying to get her head above water, and realized that the only thing on the cels was Chiyo-chan and the ripples created by her splashing; the blue water was part of the background.

That just makes animation cooler, IMHO, when you realize how they do it. I realize this is no great revelation or anything, but I think it's neat.

They even, in many shots, correctly distorted the underwater portions of the characters, since that's how it looks in real life since air and water have different indices of refraction.

* * *

I still have to get the front end of the Jeep up on jack stands so I can do what needs doing, but I think that'll wait for tomorrow. I've had a busy day.

#1275: Our kitchen has been demolished.

Yes, all the cabinets, the old dishwasher, the sink, the counter, all of it has been ripped out.

I carried a good chunk of it to the dumpster.

I saved three hanging cabinets for the garage.

The cats are freaked out, of course. Luna is more freaked out than IttyBit is. But they're adjusting rapidly enough.

I'm hot and sweaty and tired now. I'm going to take a shower and hit the hay, particularly because I've got to go to the hardware store tomorrow and I've got to paint the kitchen.

* * *

But first I'm going to mention this. I was talking about douchebags with excessively long goatees, and how the long goatee provides a convenient handle by which to hold the douchebag so you can repeatedly punch him. Apparently the "until candy comes out" ending of this line was received well by my fellow #gunblogger_conspiracy denizens.

I wish I could say it was original, but it's not. I don't remember where I got that from, but damn is it funny.

* * *

Also: I measured the upper cabinets before we went to order the cabinets. For example, from the kitchen window to the north wall of the kitchen is 37.25 inches. What did the idiotic woman at Lowe's do?

She ordered 48 inches of cabinets.

How do you take a measurement of 37.25 and turn that into 48, which is 10.75 inches wider? And the measurement for the south side of the kitchen window is off by a foot--not my measurement, but the idiot at Lowe's. The upper cabinets may or may not work; the lower cabinets definitely will not--and it'll be no less than 2-3 weeks for cabinets of the correct dimension to come in, meaning we won't have a kitchen sink for much longer than originally anticipated.

Sitting at a desk at a place like Lowe's and watching a woman finagle a computer numbs your brain; anyway I took plenty of time to show her my drawing and explain my measurements to her, so how the fucking hell she could think 48 inches would do when the dimension given to her was 37 inches--never mind. Whatever it is, it's their mistake, not ours, damn it.

Fortunately the west side of the kitchen will go in without trouble. I'm going to paint it first; I expect I'll have plenty of time to do the other side. *sigh*