Saturday, June 14, 2008

Captain's Log

Another week, and time for another journal entry. Journal? Well, if not that, then what? This certainly doesn't count as a diary. "Blog" is short for 'web log', but I don't know that I'd really consider this a log, either. Log of what? Basically, whatever I get around to committing to the keyboard. As I have CaptainVector as my web persona, maybe this should be the "Captain's Log."

Captain's Log, stardate 2008166 . . .

This is one of those times when the limitations of spell checkers become apparent. Think about how many words, when misspelled, are other words. Which then slip right through the spell check. In the opening paragraph, for instance: "Diary" vs, "Dairy". That's one of the things that makes doing this blog harder than it first seems. I re-read every entry several times during the process of composing and revising, and yet several times I've found errors after posting the entry on-line. I suspect that, knowing what the line is supposed to say, the mind sees that in lieu of what's actually there. I personally have the biggest difficulty with "from" and "form", along with "it" and "if".

I'm not feeling too inspired this evening, I'm afraid. I'll spare you more airplane pictures for the time being. I dropped my until-now trusty Olympus camera last week while trying to document some of my roses. If it had been turned off at the time, it may have fared better. Unfortunately, not only was it powered up, but it landed on the extended lens. Since then it has exhibited signs that all is not well inside - the lens makes a grinding noise when extending or retracting, and focusing is apparently now optional. Additionally, it no longer always bothers to save the entire photo; I've got several where only the top half of the picture was recorded. Curiously, it has recovered somewhat in the intervening week. As it is actually several years old now, I don't hold any hope of being able to actually get it repaired. Replacement seems imminent. This will be a chance to upgrade to a better lens and more megapixels, although what I've read on the subject of megapixels leads me to the conclusion that the idea of 'more megapixels means better camera' ain't necessarily so. That said, prepare for a slew of shots from the new camera when that happens.

Speaking of my roses, most of them are in bloom just now. I have a couple dozen grandifloras and floribundas, each a different variety. As I'm in temporary quarters (still), they're all in pots, and this allows me to rotate them to show off the ones that are carrying the best blooms. I'm thinking about trying a system of rotational feeding to see if I can always have some coming into bloom as the current batch begins to fade. Such a system probably wouldn't work much of anywhere other than southern California, and I'm not assured that I can make it work here. It'll be another one of my tedious projects - keeping track of which plants got fertilized when, and which are due next. I'll have to mark the pots and assign them to two or three groups; tracking with only the names would be too tedious to contemplate, as most of the name tags are not easily accessed (this is intentional, so that the neighborhood kids don't get any ideas). So far, my plan doesn't try to account for the different blooming characteristics of the various varieties. Here, plants' flowering tendencies seem to be less seasonal than in other places - that's what makes me think that I might be able to pull this off - I've several plants that are supposed to bloom once a year, and yet set blooms off and on for months.

Message to Bush, McCain, Obama, et al: It's the economy, stupid! And on that topic, why do they always quote economic figures with food and energy factored out of the equation? Do economists just not eat? I don't know about you, but most everybody I know is more worried about the escalating cost of living than global warming or the space station or any of the rest of it. (Interesting how the biggest news about the space station was when the single toilet failed - what happened to redundancy? And talk about a service call . . . )

I've been watching the first several seasons of Mythbusters lately: Now there's a cool job. I'm sure there's more to it than what we see on TV, but even so. Those guys have, under the guise of proving or dispelling assorted myths and so-called common knowledge, gotten to shoot at and/or blow up all kinds of stuff. I enjoy the show, even though I dispute some of their logic and findings. They've done five seasons so far; I wonder how much longer they can get away with it?

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