I got up this morning to see the sunrise. I was rather surprised to discover that it wasn’t really that much earlier than when I’d planned to get up. The only problem being that I never actually went to sleep, so getting up to see the sunrise didn’t actually involve waking up early, just getting out of bed when it started getting light outside.

In somewhat related news, the Millenium Series by Stieg Larsson is really good. I have the entire series as a package on my nook (it shows up as one book), so I don’t have a great feel for how much of book 2 I read last night, but I’m 200 pages from the end of book 3 (1210 of 1431 pages in the series as on my nook) and very likely to just finish it today. I’d already be long done with it but I decided around 10am that I should probably get some sleep. At least I made sure the cats didn’t get too much sleep last night (since they were in reach I kept waking Dash up) so they didn’t bother me.

One other thing I did was trim and upload most of the other decent rocket videos we got. I haven’t decided how much footage I’m going to leave on the last launch (which landed in the top of a tree and took hours to extract), but the rest are in a youtube playlist:

Once I’ve done the last video I’ll add it to the playlist.

Here’s my picture of the camera after the launch where the rubber band holding the nose/parachute came off in flight. We didn’t get video from that launch because the micro-sd card came out of its slot on impact.

This is the tree where the last launch ended up. It took us about two hours to extract it, and involved an extension ladder, tree trimmer, and a bolt tied to a rope. The ladder got us over half way there (couldn’t go higher because there wasn’t something higher to lean the ladder on). From there my dad used his pole-mounted tree trimmer to trim branches out of the way (it wasn’t nearly long enough to reach the branch the rocket was on in a place that was thin enough to cut), then managed to swing the bolt on the end of the rope over the branch and pull the branch off.

Somewhat Productive Weekend

I got a few things done this weekend since my post on Friday, just not most of what I’d planned (and really need) to do.

First off, I wrote an interface and pair of streams to replace Externalizable and ObjectOutput/InputStream. I had a bug at work where I’d implemented Externalizable but not specified the serialVersionUID and the versionUID changed without my custom serialization changing so suddenly my old data logs couldn’t be read. Basically I hadn’t realized how much metadata (serialVersionUID, class name, and probably some other stuff) was written to the stream, and working on this at home was my reaction to how inefficient Externalizable is for what I’m using it for. Anyways, the library I wrote this weekend typically sends exactly 1 byte of stream header information, and only sends the class name when the class hasn’t been written to the stream recently. After the header it sends exactly what you specify. Once I’m convinced it’s tested enough I may release it somewhere, but not yet.

Unfortunately, I designed the library to prevent a problem I’ve already solved at work, and since I was more concerned with recovering the ~500 GB of data I’d already recorded than having extremely lightweight serialization I can’t apply this there. I don’t even have a project of my own that uses networking currently, which makes it hard to really test the library. I’ll probably use the lessons learned at some point, but the most obvious application of this is in another part that’s already finished, tested, and working.

What I’d planned to do this weekend (same thing I’ve intended to do for the last several weekends) was take my car in to the shop for an oil change and to swap the winter tires off, as well as have them look at one of the back wheels to try to figure out why it rumbles (I’m guessing bearings from talking to people at work). Instead I slept till noon, and that late on a Saturday I expect to have to wait a while, so I put it off again. The idea is to get there not too long after they open and have a book so I can just sit in the waiting room till they’re done.

I did at least manage to make it to an auto parts place to buy new windshield wipers since the rubber part had mostly fallen off mine. I also tried to twist one of the wiper arms back to where it should be (it’s twisted such that the blade doesn’t meet the windshield at a right angle), but that wasn’t happening with the little pair of pliers I have. Wish I hadn’t left so many of my tools at my parents house, but that will be partially resolved in a few weeks after I go home for vacation.

I also finished with (not “finished”) a couple books. The first I read all the way through. It wasn’t bad, but between a couple rather graphic scenes and the way the world building was done it wasn’t quite what I prefer reading. The other one I got over half way through and had to ask myself why I was still reading it (at which point I promptly stopped). It was very much not the type story I prefer, and the overly heavy usage of the main character’s magic in nearly every situation just got old. I need to make another trip to the library soon, possibly to just wander till something catches my eye.

Weekend report

Another long and varied post. Oh well.

Apparently wordpress publishes posts dated for when you first started the post. The last two posts I made showed up out of order and several days earlier than I actually finished them. I started them with a list of notes I intended to write about figuring I’d finish them over the weekend and post them on different days, but it didn’t let me.

I just got up for a minute to take the trash out and Talore stopped pretending to be asleep and stole a slice of bacon off my plate. At least she’s mostly stopped trying to steal my food when I’m there.

Since the first one didn’t really have a lasting effect I gave Talore a proper bath last night. She was curious while I was filling the tub, but not curious enough to step in it. When I put her in she was trying to keep her feet first but not have any foot touch the water. That would have been a great video, but I only have two hands and didn’t have a good stand in the bathroom. Her lack of traction on the bottom of the tub meant it was fairly easy to keep her there, but a good bit of water got splashed over the edge when she’d flail around trying to grab hold of it. I didn’t have any cat shampoo, so I just rubbed her with water where she wasn’t low enough to be in it.

She complained a little, but when I was talking to her and petting/rubbing her (even with water) she was somewhat calm. Toweling her off also went much better this time, though the fact that I had her in the bathroom and could let go of her without her fleeing helped. I did get a couple of scratches from not having trimmed Talore’s claws, but that was just when she was flailing with her claws out, not because she was trying to climb up my arm. It turned out much better than the first attempt: even without soap her fur is much fluffier than it was.

A week or two ago there were noises of someone moving stuff around in the apartment next to me before I went to work. I’m guessing they moved out, because since Thursday I’ve been hearing a beep on an 11 second timer, and I’m pretty sure that it’s the smoke detector in that apartment complaining that it’s low on battery. If I’d guessed that’s what it is before late last night I’d have gone by the apartment office yesterday to ask if they can do something about it.

I forgot to pick up for the roomba today. Apparently the first thing it did was back over the elastic cord for that cat toy as it was getting off the charging dock and declare itself stuck.

It’s come to my attention (see the next paragraph) that I need to dust most of the surfaces that the roomba can’t get to. Unfortunately I got the roomba because I don’t bother to clean as often as I should, so my desk is probably the only thing that will be dusted with any regularity.

Last weekend I was compressing a screencapture video for posting on youtube, so I was using my old desktop. That computer is still set up for transcoding videos, and it prevents the processing time that takes from affecting what I’m doing on my main desktop, even if it takes longer to do it that way. Apparently it had been far longer since I used that computer than I thought. I swiped ram and a power cable from it when I built my server, and I left the side of the case off for a good while. That let a significant amount of dust in, so when I turned on the power supply after plugging it back in and the computer turned itself on I got a face full of dust as the vent fans ejected all of it out the back of the computer. Talore was sitting next to me watching and she fled instantly, but I failed to react that quickly.

The ebook section of the library I live next to now has a decent selection of at least the newer Terry Pratchett books. Last time I checked for ebooks I only found a list of about 100 books, none of which I was interested in, so this is a big improvement even if I’ve already read all of them. Actually, about half of my search results are e-audio books, so it’s not as large a collection as I thought, but still better than I found a few months ago.

Downloading a book (Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson) was relatively painless, though it helped that I already had an adobe id for Adobe Digital Editions. Adobe Digital Editions appears to be a flash application, so right clicking anywhere brings up the flash settings menu, which is extremely annoying when you expect a useful context menu to be there. I did eventually figure out that the book could be dragged from the library section to the nook icon on the left, but that wasn’t obvious to me to start with.