A Daily Diatribe by a Pompous Git

Who is that fat bastard? A Sturm's Eye View, Guaranteed Free of Harmful, or Potentially Harmful Chemicals -- but Watch Out for the Ideas! Some of them are Contagious! 

A journal of sorts to record Jonathan Sturm's (and others') thoughts and observations on things worth thinking about. Feedback welcome, but be aware that unless you prominently say you want your communication kept private, I may publish it.

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Monday 30 April 2001

Having gone to bed extraordinarily early last night, I awake at 3 am and commence replacing my CPU cooler with the intermittently noisy fans. This is an original 700 MHz AMD K7 and so it gets hot and needs efficient cooling. The new cooler has slightly deeper fins on the aluminium heatsink and the two fans are slightly larger. When I remove the old heatsink, I see that the thermal paste is very patchy, so I apply a little more and spread it about so that it's a little thicker. The idea is that the paste fills any voids between the CPU and the heatsink. Air doesn't conduct heat very well! Thermal paste doesn't conduct heat as well as a direct contact, so you don't want it too thick, either. Squeezing the cleaned CPU against the heatsink then removing it shows a film over the whole area of contact, so I push on the retaining clips to finish the reassembly.

When replacing the CPU, I notice that the height of the cooler now precludes a third memory module even though I use KingMax Tiny BGA. Ah well, 256 MB is enough for Win2k and more than enough if I ever use Linux as a workstation. On power up, my machine emits an alternating two tones, so something is amiss. I remove the CPU and sure enough, the tiniest of drop of thermal paste has made its way onto one of the electrical contacts. I carefully wipe it off and replace the CPU. Once more, on boot I hear the two tone beep that tells me the CPU still isn't communicating with the MoBo. This time, it's fluff that has fallen into the CPU slot on the MoBo. I hate this cottage! I can hardly wait for The House of Steel to be finished.

Third time lucky and despite being larger, the two new fans are quieter than the old ones ever were.

Thought for the day:

Ten years from now I plan to be sitting here, looking out over my land. I hope I'll be writing books, but if not, I'll be on my pond fishing with my kids. I feel like the luckiest guy I know.

John Grisham


Tuesday 1 May 2001

Yesterday, we roofed half of The House of Steel and today we expect to finish the second half.


A story to warm your heart

A young family moved into a house next door to a vacant lot. One day a construction crew turned up to start building a house on the empty lot.

The young family's 6 year old daughter naturally took an interest in all the activity going on next door and started talking with the workers.

She hung around and eventually the construction crew -- gems in the rough all of them -- more or less adopted her as a kind of project mascot.

They chatted with her, let her sit with them while they had coffee and lunch breaks and gave her little jobs to do here and there to make her feel important.

At the end of the first week they even presented her with a pay envelope containing a dollar.

The little girl took this home to her mother who said all the appropriate words of admiration and suggested that they take the dollar pay she had received to the bank the next day to start a savings account.

When they got to the bank the teller was equally impressed with the story and asked the little girl how she had come by her very own pay check at such a young age.

The little girl proudly replied, "I've been working with a crew building a house all week".

"My goodness gracious", said the teller, "and will you be working on the house again this week too"?

"I will if those useless cock suckers at the supply yard ever bring us the fucking bricks", replied the little girl.


From reader, Roy Harvey:

Dear Mr. Git,

I happened onto your Ephemerides by way of various Daynotes links, and have been enjoying the story of the House of Steel very much. However your pages have some link problems I thought you would want to know about.

The Redirector takes my browser to the proper place. However the "Previous" link at the top of that page goes back not one, but three weeks. The "Next" link on that page moves forward one week, but THAT page has no next link at all. Yes, I can see the phatom week's page by changing the week ending date used in the URL to 20010429, but I suspect you intended it to be a bit more direct to accomplish.

By the way, I rather prefer the type of redirector you use, with the pause in it, compared to the immediate transfer style used by most daynoters. Why? Because with yours I can use the Back button on my browser to backtrack to the previous site I was viewing (such as the daynotes home page), but not with theirs.

Good luck with the house!

Roy Harvey rmharvey@snet.net Beacon Falls, CT, USA

Thanks for the heads up Roy. I am glad that you are enjoying The House of Steel story; I am too :-) Note that the term "git" usually doesn't have a "Mr" attached; it's an English word meaning bastard son of a bastard.

Thought for the day:

The love for work needs to be re-enthroned in our lives. Every family should have a plan for work that touches the life of each family member so that this eternal principle will be ingrained in their lives.

M Russell Ballard


Wednesday 2 May 2001



Yesterday, we roofed the second half of The House of Steel. Today will see the finishing touches. Another milestone!


More later, perhaps.

Thought for the day:

Money is like love; it kills slowly and painfully the one who withholds it, and enlivens the other who turns it on his fellow man.

Kahlil Gibran


Thursday 3 May 2001

Yesterday's important announcement went down well. John from Canada is delivering his subscription in person! Sadly, that will be before The House of Steel is finished, so I have offered him a gourmet meal instead of a free overnight stay.


Roger Dance finished replacing the clutch on the car yesterday, so life around here has returned to normal (whatever that is). The noise from the front wheels that Performance Automobiles had said was "nothing to worry about" turns out to be badly worn wheel bearings.


Some good news today. The Taxation Commissioner has returned some of the money he owes me. The bad news is that he's holding on to twice that amount until the end of the financial year. Ah, well. It's something to look forward to I suppose. Mysteriously, he has taken to misspelling my Christian name!


The Register finds more reasons to contemplate changing to Open Source Software. Story here.


The window frames for The House of Steel are due to arrive today, so it promises to be an exciting one. The fair weather looks set to continue a while apart from the chance of a little drizzle Saturday. 

Thought for the day:

You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success -- or are they holding you back?

W Clement Stone


Friday 4 May 2001

I discovered a "new" key on my keyboard today. Three new keys in fact, but one in particular that is going to receive some sort of treatment.  My desk has become increasingly untidy in the last few days with a stack of dead-tree correspondence needing "immediate" attention lying between my monitor and keyboard. The top row of keys had become obscured and when reaching for my out-of-doors spectacles, I managed to press the Power key! A bizarre experience staring at the "It's now safe to turn off your computer" message. The only time I see that these days is when a hardware change is called for. My keyboard has been Macintoshed!


Another fine and frosty morning. My budget doesn't balance thanks to the Taxation Commissioner, so it's off to the bank on Monday to mortgage the cottage. We can't mortgage The House of Steel because we are not registered builders. Apparently housing built by incompetents has more value than one being built to the highest possible standards!

Thought for the day:

Some couples go over their budgets very carefully every month. Others just go over them.

Sally Poplin


Saturday 5 May 2001

A day spent in the city purchasing some requisites for The House of Steel and having some pictures developed. Outside the hardware store, there was a band playing some jazz/rock. By the time we had finished in the hardware store, they had finished, so I walked over and asked about the unusual gig -- it's not every day you find a band playing a hardware store car park! I know one of the band members, Phil and he tells me that the government is paying them as part of the Centenary of Federation celebrations. I recall that Phil was in Yellow Manta Ray when we first met (as in Sherlock Holmes' classic line: "yellow manta ray, my dear Watson").

We made a short sojourn through the museum and art gallery to look at pictures and artefacts of the inhabitants of northern Scandinavia and the north west coast of America.

Thought for the day:

Modern music is as dangerous as narcotics.

Pietro Mascagni


Sunday 6 May 2001

Busy working on The House of Steel. Followed by sitting in the afternoon sunshine drinking beer and admiring the view.

Thought for the day:

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.

Sidney J Harris

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Jonathan Sturm 2001

Jonathan Sturm 2001