Ephemerides

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 16 July 2001

Power Quest, the makers of the all but essential Partition Magic sent me an upgrade offer by email. While there's some extra functionality in version 6 -- native Win2k operation and the ability to split partitions -- version 5 still works fine for me. The version that runs from a boot floppy looks identical to the native version (under Win98) and the system requires a reboot to see the new partitions anyway. If you don't own a copy already, it's probably worth getting.

My friends Gail Galloway and Michael Henrysson have sold their property, leaving for Tenterfield, New South Wales once the settlement goes through. That likely means Michael won't have time to build the kitchen in The House of Steel. I will miss them badly. We visited them yesterday morning for coffee and some goss about the purchaser, who sounds like she will fit in to our community.

We briefly discussed details of the dining table Michael is to make for us. That at least Michael will have time for. In our small community, goss travels like wildfire, and Michael says that he now has more work than he can shake a stick at. Everyone who has been going to have him make furniture for them now realises that it's their last opportunity. Michael says that maybe he should have declared they were leaving a year ago so there would be time to do all this unexpected work. Then of course there would have been no compelling reason to leave.

Michael and Gail have a PC running NT4 ws -- it used to be Thomas's, and before that mine. They had a friend install The Sims on it and that resulted in damage to the video driver. Neither Michael, nor Gail are the least bit interested in games which is why I recommended NT4. Uninstalling the game while in VGA mode didn't undo the damage so I must return with the appropriate video driver and Service Pack later. I thought I had removed the ability for the user accounts on the machine to install software, but I must have forgotten <sigh>.

Fran phoned to say he has recovered from his dose of the 'flu and will be back at work on the house today. I spent a couple of hours putting down floorboards in the spare bedroom yesterday. The replacement boards are far better quality than most of the original delivery, so the spare bedroom will have a better looking floor than the rest of the house.

Thought for the day:

I keep my friends as misers do their treasure, because, of all the things granted us by wisdom, none is greater or better than friendship.

Pietro Aretino


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Tuesday 17 July 2001

She Who Must Be Obeyed doesn't like the picture of me at the top of this page. IIRC fellow DayNoter, John Dominick was shocked by it. Any more feedback on this topic and the picture will be replaced by another taken by the same photographer on the same day. You have been warned!

The House of Steel calls me.

Thought for the day:

The most winning woman I ever knew was hanged for poisoning three little children for their insurance-money, and the most repellent man of my acquaintance is a philanthropist who has spent nearly a quarter of a million upon the London poor.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


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Wednesday 18 July 2001

Don Armstrong writes:

I like the photo. I find it re-assuring. I can't actually say it makes me feel good, but at least I can look at it and feel there are others who are also not quite as young as they once were. Of course, I haven't done quite as well with the beard; but the hairline is similar and the waistline (from my point of view) is admirable.

P.S. Did you notice Barbara's photo of RBT's scalp?

Regards, Don Armstrong

Thankyou for your kind comments, Don.

And from Dan Seto:

Change the picture of that fine gentleman at the top of the page? Horrors! Don't do it. It's not everyday we get to see such a fine visage (unless, of course, one visits your page everyday). So, don't you dare listen to that the Dominick person. What does he know? He wants everyone to speak American! <G>

Aloha - The Other Dan daynotes.com

And what I can only believe to be jealousy from the other side of the Tasman:

You mean this was the *best* of the series? and you want to inflict something worse? Can this be possible?

/Mike

======================================================= 
Visit my web site and daynotes at http://www.icarus.gen.nz

Well, that's two to one for keeping the photo, so it stays.

Thought for the day:

No; we have been as usual asking the wrong question. It does not matter a hoot what the mockingbird on the chimney is singing. The real and proper question is: Why is it beautiful?

Annie Dillard


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Thursday 19 July 2001

Another hard day working on The House of Steel. After the long break while Fran was ill, it feels good to see so much progress this week.

I note that Intel are planning the demise of the P III, so the "dream machine" I specified last week won't be a possibility much past year's end. The Celeron version of the P III will live on for a while presumably, but except for an earlier version in a special motherboard, won't allow multiprocessor support.

For readers interested in the climatologists' take on the Global Warming hypothesis, there are some fascinating new posts at John Daly's website. In particular, a piece entitled "The UN IPCC's Artful Bias",  David Wojick, Ph.D points to glaring omissions, false confidence and misleading statistics in the Summary for Policymakers of Working Group 1 of the IPCC Third Assessment Report.

Much more interesting (to me) is this website on particle physics. BaBar is investigating the mystery of why there is more matter than antimatter in the Universe. They should have been produced in equal amounts in the Big Bang, so where has all the antimatter gone?

In the 1960s, physicists discovered a slight asymmetry between matter and antimatter. They found that a particle called the neutral kaon behaved differently from its antiparticle. However, the difference is not enough to account for the massive dominance of matter over antimatter in the Universe today.

Also found in my recent web wanderings is the American Institute of Physics and its Center for History of Physics.

Thought for the day:

If we make a couple of discoveries here and there we need not believe things will go on like this for ever. Just as we hit water when we dig in the earth, so we discover the incomprehensible sooner or later.

Georg C Lichtenberg


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Friday 20 July 2001

A quiet day consisting in the main of relaxing. After lunch, Fran and I went to Michael Henrysson's shed. Michael plans to be in Tenterfield by the beginning of September; I shall miss him.

Thought for the day:

We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started... and know the place for the first time.

T S Eliot


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Saturday 21 July 2001

I spent a couple of hours throwing gypsum (calcium sulphate) into the dam. The reason for this is to flocculate the clay that is suspended in the water. Margie wants clean water flowing in the toilets at The House of Steel. The effort leaves my elbows inflamed and painful.

Thought for the day:

That we should practice what we preach is generally admitted; but anyone who preaches what he and his hearers practice must incur the gravest moral disapprobation.

Logan Pearsall Smith


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Sunday 22 July 2001

Although my elbows are still painful, I managed to put up the polythene vapour barrier in the bathroom and toilet at The House of Steel. Also the insulation in the corridor ceiling and the southern wall of the office/spare bedroom.

Much of the day was spent playing Civilization: Call to Power 2. It has a number of problems/bugs. Despite occupying an isolated island continent, the other country leaders hate me for occupying land on their continents. Completion of a Wonder leaves the window displaying the Wonder on screen until the game is restarted. Regardless of the problems, I enjoy myself thoroughly and I think I am pretty much unassailable at 1100 AD. My island is surrounded by a substantial navy and that is cheaper to run than a land army, so I am free to pursue commerce and science to the utmost. The only defensive units needed are a few strategically placed knights to combat the occasional barbarian. 

Thought for the day:

A minister asked a little boy how to get to the Post Office. After the little boy told him, the minister said, Why don't you come to church tonight? I'm giving instructions on how to get to heaven. After thinking a minute, the boy replied, I don't think so. You don't even know how to get to the Post Office.

Anonymous


 

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Jonathan Sturm 2001

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Jonathan Sturm 2001