December 23rd, 2015

#5011: Fifty-eleven!!!

That was Mom's favorite term to replace "any number": "I have fifty-eleven other things to do!"

Heh.

Tonight I am baking--or I was going to be baking tonight, until we discovered that our home is bereft of chocolate chips. Both Mrs. Fungus and I were certain there was a bag of chocolate chips up in the cupboard with all the other baking stuff, but there's not. We both remember buying a bag of them, we both remember putting them up there, but now they are not there, and neither of us knows why.

Oh well. Tomorrow we're doing some shopping; we can get them then.

* * *

SpaceX stuck the landing yesterday, at last. This is a more spectacular feat than Blue Origin's landing, recently, because the Blue Origin rocket can only fly a ballistic trajectory rather than going to orbit, but Falcon 9 can hit the big O.

The key to cheap access to space is reusability, because refurbishing a rocket engine costs about 10% of building an entirely new one. This is a huge step forward.

HUGE.

* * *

Well, I managed to survive my "working today instead of Christmas" day. It was actually not a bad day; call volume was on the light side and I had some rest between calls. It was nice to be alone in the pod (cube) too, and I only had one call that required a supervisor's assistance, for something short and sweet. No problem.

Wednesday off, Thursday on, Friday off--and Mrs. Fungus has the same schedule, so it's all fine by me.

Everyone ready for Christmas? I still need to wrap things. And bake chocolate chip cookies. And do fifty-eleven other things. *sigh*

#5012: I just don't know what to prefer any longer.

So today it's raining. The back yard is a swamp. The front yard is a swamp. Windy, grey, rainy.

Snow? White Christmas?

If this much rain fell as snow, the entire area would stop for a week. We'd need an excavator to dig out of the bunker, and all we have is a one-lung single-stage snowblower. In that respect, I'm glad we're not having a white Christmas this year, because holy crap.

It's a little disappointing not to have snow on Christmas, but if it got cold enough to snow now, the back yard would become a skating rink. No thanks.

* * *

Doesn't look as if there's going to be a Christmas vignette this year, either. The vague idea I had last year never materialized, and I've been so busy this month I haven't had a chance even to think about writing. (At least, not much.)

I don't think any of the three or four people who actually read this are going to miss it much.

* * *

After I replaced the air filter and dumped in a jug of fuel system cleaner, the Jeep's fuel economy improved a couple of MPG. I don't know how much was from that and how much was from going to Speedway for gas, rather than Shell or GoLo, but it's been pretty consistent, and I'll take it.

Now I just need to figure out where the rest of it went. I got around 23 MPG when I first got the thing. Well, I drive faster than I did then, because I'm on expressways rather than country roads, and it seems as if the Jeep was designed to be most efficient at 45 MPH.

Og had a line on a potential replacement cylinder head for the thing, but that seems to have fallen through. That's all right; Og has his own vehicles to worry about. He's ended up buying a RAV4, which ought to be interesting to behold. (The union babies at the various plants he visits, in the course of his job, are gonna love that. Not that they don't already love him because he's "taking a union worker's job", even though union "workers" can't be fucked to learn how to repair robots and machine tools.)

* * *

The other day I was having a gander at Pricewatch.com, and discovered I could get a dual-core Atom board for $32 and the memory required for about $20, pricing a 4 GB El-Hazard into my reach. For another $60-ish, a 120 GB SSD would bring the speed up even further, making it (possibly) fast enough to do a bunch of useful things.

The main limitation of El-Hazard is its memory; the 2GB board is fine for a torrent box but doing anything else--well.

I have a spare mini-ITX case in the basement. All it needs is a motherboard, a hard drive, and time. I could get a hard drive for about $40 from Fry's which would be more than big enough.

Only problem? PCI. I need a PCI video card which won't hork up dicks whenever I ask it to do anything more complicated than display the OS. Preferably one with 512 MB of VRAM--at least half a GB, and more is obviously better.

Well...this is a project best left for after Christmas, anyway. But I'm thinking about it.

* * *

Today Mrs. Fungus and I have a lot of errands to run. I think we'd better get going.