Friday, September 28, 2007


I just got my highest scoring single word in Scrabble. My opponent started with "Size" starting on the center tile. I was very surprised to see the letters "photaed" in my rack, that's right, all seven tiles could be used. Now how do I fit that in? You're right, I played "potheads" from the top middle triple word score tile to the. 54 points for the word and 50 for using all my tiles. Total 104.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Just when you think this technology is never going to appear, at last a hand held document viewer that seems credible.

I actually had my hands on one in the bookstore today. It felt comfortable, not too heavy, nice thickness, buttons not too easily damaged.

Then I tried to use it. It was an unattended demo model on the sales floor of Borders. It was locked up in a state where it said it was starting. It sat there, unresponsive to keys or power switch. I thought it might have been a fake mock up with a label where the screen should have been, but no. I looked and saw the SD card was missing. Was this the problem? Is there no internal RAM? I saw that the dock was kinda mashing some of the buttons, was that the problem? I wrote that off just as a sales kiosk thing, but no, it's actually the charging cradle.

So will I spend $100 on one of these? Trying to hold Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, or The First Saint Compendium makes me want a compact e-book viewer. But these things are actually $270 right now (probably without memory), so I'm going to wait. But the time is getting closer.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Subtle but amazing

I just encountered a Peterbilt 388 while walking down the street. What's the whoop? The new headlight cluster, that's the whoop. To quote eTrucker "At first glance, the 389 is a 379 with Calvin Klein headlights. "

Peterbilt's 2007/2008 model year truck, from head on, look like their lights are following a traditional styling, but when you get closer you realize that they are an incredible new shape. Unlike most American trucks, the Peterbilt 388 does not have its' light cluster integrated into the fender, but are pods mounted on the radiator assembly, much like an older model truck.

These new lights share the same feline wraparound look as a Freightliners, but floating above the wheel arch. It really is an interesting effect, though not obvious in these pictures.

I want to see how this design looks on a brush truck, if any is still using Peterbilt as a chassis for fire trucks.

All images shamelessly lifted from the Peterbilt website

Thursday, September 13, 2007


It's that time of year again.  Yesterday we took a stroll along the waterfront and there were pelicans migrating through.  Normally we see the odd one or two, maybe even half a dozen together.  This time there were probably 100 birds in the air together, then anothr 50 or so joined them.

Pelicans are a peculiar sight.  On the ground they have that funny look about them, big ungainly birds with that big wobbly pouch.  In the air they acquire a certain grace, reminiscent of say a condor.  It is a treat to see them effortlessly pick themselves out of the water, most unlike the frantic sprint of a duck with ambitions of getting aloft.  Then they fly with unhurried stroke with the wind, then turn and hang against the wind, gliding in geostationary orbit.

We are all used to seeing plovers and gulls drop on their prey, but seeing a pelican do this is quite a different experience, the sheer bulk of the bird, and its spectacular grace in doing so. While hanging on the wind, they unfold their considerable necks, and look down over their equally long bill, an very different look to how they look in normal flight.

The flock was being threaded by a smaller group of cormorants.  They seemed busy in comparison with the lazy motions of the larger birds.  Ever beating their shorter wings, head forward, not tucked under, they jogged through the floating pelicans.

In contrast to these divers and skimmers the eagrets or herons on the shoreline seemed stately.  Stood in majestic pose, and reaching down an elegant neck, ready to stab little silver flashes out of the water.  It seemed there was the resident old bird, and a gang of less mature birds, their feathers more downy looking.  Maybe it was one heron surrounded by many egrets. I thought a more romantic notion was a learned bird, and a school young'uns.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Testing Blogs from e-mail

Hi All,

As you may know I have 3 blogs.  I never know which one to post on, so today I am setting up the option to e-mail to my blogs.

If this works, it'll be cool, otherwise it is lame and sucky.

If you get to read it, then it all worked.


test txt blogging

test txt blogging

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

When is your birthday?

So I was born at about 6am, on a Thursday morning, almost 4 decades ago.

I was born during the months when daylight savings is in effect. The country I was born in was the UK. So I was born at about 6am BST, that is about 5am GMT.

I now live in a timezone commonly known as PST, or GMT -8. The practical upshot of this is that when it is 6am BST in the UK, it is 10pm PST of the day before. So, the actual day I was born, it was Wednesday here in California.

Now that I live in California, when is my birthday? Do I take the 24 hours BST from midnight to midnight? Do I take the day that my birth hour falls in? Do I take the calendar day when I was born, even though my birth hour falls outside that day?

Any comments gladly accepted.