Lunch In Surf City

IMG_3728_6302

IMG_3701_6274“We should get together,” I said a few days ago to Larry Fitzgerald. This afternoon we were texting each other to apologize for traffic and parking related delays.

We met in Huntington Beach, aka Surf City. It’s two days before the US Open of Surfing. It’s “the season” in HB.

There was trouble at the Open last year. Violence. Rioting. Huntington Beach suffered a black eye then worked hard publicly to guarantee there would be no repeat in 2014.

IMG_3709_6282It was hot in SoCal today. Temps were near 90 just a few blocks inland. At the HB Pier the report was 78° with the water at 68°. Lovely.

We were going to lunch at Ruby’s, a 50s themed diner at the end of Huntington Beach’s long fishing pier. We were there for the schmooze, not the kitsch.

Considering it’s Thursday the beach and pier were jammed! This is an active beach with volleyball, bicycling and surfing. An in-water lifesaving course was in progress alongside the pier.

IMG_3707_6280It was hazy today, but I made out Santa Catalina in the distance and a few offshore oil rigs which look a lot closer in my photo than they actually are.

This is oil country. I even shot pumps in action behind someone’s house!

We decided we’ll meet again. Cameras again too!

Have We Seen The Last Hard Drive In A Computer?

wd-ssdThe computer you’re using probably has a hard drive. That’s been the go-to mass storage solution for over 20 years.

Now there’s better.

A hard drive is elctromechanical. Its got moving parts. It heats up. It makes noise. It’s relatively slow and prone to fail.

Enter the SSD or solid state drive. No moving parts. It’s 100% digital. Speed and reliability have improved. Noisefree!

My newish computer boots from an SSD in around 15 seconds. There’s also a large ‘old school’ hard drive for data. I wouldn’t buy that today. There would be a second SSD instead.

SSDs cost more than hard drives. That difference continues to shrink. For most people, even with SSD’s smaller capacities, there’s plenty of storage space.

Mechanical hard drives will be relegated to offline backup. Never throw anything out! Storage is cheap.

Computers will become smaller, quieter, faster and with longer battery life! It’s right around the bend.

Fixing My Computer Until It’s Broken

Every few weeks the little bots inside my computer go to work looking for software updates. A tweak here. A bug fix there. Mostly they’re obscure little changes that affect few users–probably not me. I install them anyway.

This computer is custom. Each of the pieces was bought separately. There’s no Dell or HP to ship these fixes, only the individual component manufacturers.

Last night there were updates waiting from MSI, the motherboard manufacturer. They were for the computer’s BIOS, the basic input/output system which controls the booting process, and an ethernet port I’m not using. I ran them both then went to sleep while the computer was doing its thing.

When I woke this morning everything was good–except no Internet! Hold on, I didn’t install anything for that.

It’s tough to say, but more than likely the new ethernet driver killed the WiFi card I’m using. It took around an hour to fix, no thanks to the Internet which was less than helpful.

First I tried turning back the hands of time using Windows normally reliable System Restore. Unrestorable, it said.

Next I looked for a new driver. Of course I had to look on a different computer since this one was now Internetless. Again, nada.

Finally I uninstalled the WiFi hardware’s drivers. It only took a few seconds for Windows to find the now dead card and get things going. It didn’t ask. It just did it.

Everything’s working again, though I can’t exactly tell you why what I did corrected the problem.

All of this part of my lifelong work to fix things until they’re broken. It’s not the first time. It won’t be the last.

Job well done.

It Makes Me Smile Every Time

IMG_20140722_183903

Stef has a few days off. She came to visit.

While she and Helaine were shopping this afternoon I held down the fort with Roxie and Doppler.

Make no mistake, they are not bosom buddies, but they’ve learned to tolerate–especially Doppler. All she asks is not to be backed into a corner. She’s ok if I pet both at once, or to sleep in bed with Roxie as long as I’m in the middle as the buffer.

They’ve both caught on to my treat policy. If one gets, they both get! So, if I take Doppler out, as soon as I open the cabinet Roxie runs downstairs to get in on the action.

It makes me smile every time.

Say Goodbye to Number 29

I had a tooth removed Monday morning. No saving this one. It came out in two pieces. Three stitches followed.

Number 29 was a second premolar, lower right and toward the back. It was heavily involved in chewing before its untimely demise.

Before she did her work, the periodontist injected some ‘caine’ into the nearby gum. That allowed her to do things no human would willingly tolerate. Once the shots wear off you feel the full effect!

Pain pills made me ditzy. They didn’t help my pain, which was continuous and intense.

Advil was the answer. Finally starting to feel better.

This is a three procedure event. One down, two to go.

45 Years Ago Man Set Foot On The Moon

You didn’t need a radio. Sound was everywhere. I walked the parking lot listening to Mission Control and the astronauts on a symphony of car radios. People stood near their car windows on this muggy New England night when few cars had a/c.

-read more-

East Coast/West Coast Difference

That has led to terracing. Row-upon-row of homes get ocean views because they’re built into hillsides.

-read more-

Thar She Blows

This is the money shot! As the whale goes down she arches her back and her tail comes out of the sea. Water pours off while her body straightens then disappears from sight.

-read more-

I Guess This Really Makes Us Californians

She asked if we’d host a small get-together at our house. That was tonight.

Helaine catered. I love when she bakes. For the next few days–leftovers.

-read more-

Our Neighborhood Rabbit

Helaine spotted tonight’s rabbit from the upstairs bathroom window. Would he stay long enough for me to get my camera? Would he let me approach? Would he have a white cotton tail? This is rabbit season. They’re all over the place. Unfortunately for them the coyotes have dinner plans.

-read more-