Monday, October 29, 2007

"Where Does The Time Go"

The quote is from, of course, "Uncle John's Band", by the Grateful Dead.

Worked Saturday after 3 weekends off, was dragging at work this morning. I get a couple more things done, I think I will try to dispense with working weekends altogether.

My new computer came in, finally got everything transferred over to it, including my Outlook Express e-mail and contacts and my Firefox favorites. System is way fast, most noticable is ripping CDs, 20-25x. It has 3 groups of 4 LED's that you can set to different colors, or to strobe, etc. Apparently the Dell XPS 720 I got is their top of the line gaming computer, and the gamers like this stuff??? I got it because it was the only system Dell sold with 10000 RPM WD Raptor drives. So I have two of those in a 300GB RAID 0 (striped) array, and another 600GB of 7200 RPM drives for content storage. Seems pretty jammin'.

I have spent hours playing with Google Earth in Sky mode. I seems you can only do lookup on extragalactic objects by Messier #, NGC #, common name (Andromeda Galaxy, maybe a dozen or so), and the first dozen or so of radio source names (Perseus A). I've been putting in Abell clusters of galaxies. Sometimes, when it flies into a rich cluster and suddenly dozens of beautiful galaxies come into focus, it's like, holy shit, that's so cool. Finally, surfing the galaxies like the Silver Surfer. I will start checking out if there's a better way to import stuff (more clusters, radio sources, x-ray sources) before I do much more. Also noticed that Wikipedia has only maybe 6-7 articles on clusters of galaxies. That also would be something to pass the time. So maybe I can add being a dilettante astronomer to being a dilettante musician and a dillettante software developer for retirement.

Speaking of which, last Wednesday at the LBJ, only 3 guitarists showed up, and only 3 singers, until about 10:15. So I was playing and singing a bunch, got close to running out of material. Next morning, those songs were really running through my mind strongly. The last two Sundays, 2-4: band practice. Patrick is drumming well, we've got King William singing too!

Listening-wise, "Once" soundtrack is very listenable. Also got some more Ray Charles and Django Reinhardt. The Mike Bloomfield "If you love these blues, play'em as you please" is very interesting. I also have the new Joni Mitchell, the new Prince, and a new Suzanne Vega, after a couple of listens not making much of an impression.

Biked last weekend for probably the last time this year, 31 miles in 2h24m, 1 stop.

Two new birds in the backyard:

  • a downy woodpecker;
  • 3 dark-eyed juncos (I think, still have to check the bird book).
I looked at bird baths for the winter, they look like a pain. Vaguely thinking about ways to keep a bird bath going over the winter ...

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