Saturday, July 24, 2010

not much to say these days

Tomatoes are enormous; beans coming along; peas mostly done; squashes getting big.

Watching the steady march of the Tea Party brown-shirts. Everything is right on schedule, according to the time-honored progression of Republics into Empires into Fascist right-wing lunacy, as the unsuspecting masses have had their pockets successfully picked by the bankers, and their emotions successfully inflamed by the man-behind-the-curtain.

Happens every time, as predictable as out-of-control squash plants.

Happy summer, everyone.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

fooled again


When will they ever learn?

Monday, July 12, 2010

stuff that makes software developers salivate

Over the past few years, I have developed a couple of applications that run under Windows CE, using various Microsoft tools. Since I use a Windows smartphone (and am VERY happy with it), this has been cool.

With the advent of the iPhone and the precipitous decline of Windows Mobile, I have felt like I am locked out of future meaningful development on the phone platform.

Now I see this. It tells me that Android is the way to go, since it does not have the locked-in restrictions of Steve Jobs Universe. Can't wait until this is released.

Will it be enough to have me abandone my trusty HTC Tilt? Hard to say, since I will miss the built-in Word and Excel (which I actually use on the phone). Time will tell.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

this will blow your mind


Also, I'd be remiss if I failed to send Happy Birthday greetings to Ringo Starr, 70 today.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

The July 3rd deck project happened!

Today is the Glorious Fourth. I have fond memories, as a kid, of making the drive with family from Elmira to Ithaca, where we watched, every year, the best fireworks display in the world, at the Cornell football stadium. It was a ritual.

As you left the stadium at the end of the show, there were barrels at all the exits. Folks tossed in some cash, whatever they wanted, and some company used the proceeds to spend the next 364 days building next year's show. It was self-supporting for many years. Now, that's Democracy.

We spent yesterday building the framework for the deck in our back-yard, that has been in the planning stage for a couple of years. Thanks to the engineering vision of our friend Robert Perron, the master carpentry of our cousin Rion, and the labor and amazing chop-saw of our cousin Steven, it all came together in about 8 hours. Good thing I dug the six holes for the pier blocks the other day - that saved a lot of time.

After we leveled the square concrete slabs in the holes with gravel, placed the pier-blocks in the holes, and laid the beams in the pier-blocks, came the tedious, necessary task of setting levels.

Steven cut little posts, to raise the beams to the proper heights. This took a while.
Check and re-check all heights.
Are the posts right? Maybe we should shave off another inch?
This took a long time, but had to be right.
OK - looking good. Let's lay out the first joists and make sure they're level, too. They were!
Laying out all the 12 foot joists - we had to fabricate one from a 10-foot piece.
And a couple of hours later, all joists are screwed to the beams! Note the nice indented corners! Next year, the posts for the roof will go there. Rion was an amazing help.
End of the afternoon. There is temporary facia around the entire perimeter, with lovely, precise 45 degree cuts on all corners.
Another view. Next up - decking in a few weeks!