blivet – 12/12/2001

Another page flip at the 23rd hour…

I have a job interview on Monday for an archaeologist position at the Preserve. I’ve been working there as a ‘Temp Field’ since 3 January 2000. This is a pretty good position with vacation, sick leave, and health care. The pay is pretty exceptional as well. I’ll get a haircut, put on a tie, and the whole nine yards because I’m just one of the fish in the application pool.

Good email today:

In response to customer requests for continued support of Mac OS X, IBM AIX and Compaq Tru64 Unix for Alpha platforms, Research Systems Inc. (RSI) has announced that it will reverse an earlier decision to discontinue support for these three platforms in future releases of IDL and ENVI. For complete information on this announcement, please go to:

[corporate blurb] “ENVI, the Environment for Visualizing Images, allows earth scientists to easily process, analyze and display multispectral, hyperspectral or radar remote sensing data. Extendable to suit your requirements, ENVI is the most powerful, flexible and easy to use image processing software available.”

On top of that, it’s very cool software that Audrey uses. I hope some other companies reverse their decisions about Macs now that OS X is here. I mean, if you’re already supporting X Windows and Motif, why not? I guess we have to get that dual processor G5 when it comes out. Right honey? (ducking, running)

blivet – 6/17/2001 Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers and grandfathers out there.

It is also Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery. via Jeff

Congratulations to Olov Schedin and girlfriend Sara on the birth of another daughter! Olov is Jonas Beckman‘s business partner.

I have this mental image of a very determined garret on his knees in the corner of the yard with a pair of scissors. A trail of light industrial flotsam and jetsam (come apart grass clippers, broken electric trimmer, dull reel mower) leads back to the garage. cut to: <sandra in the doorway> garret, the lawn can wait… <garret> No, it’s become a matter of principle! <scissor noises> snip, snip, <garret mutters> going camping next weekend <fade scissor sounds> I hope today’s hike is bug-free.

Pictures of Ireland from André’s trip.

Sense objects.

upcoming: 7/20 at the las vegas house of blues :: warren zevon

I’m trying to find a certain photograph of my Dad to scan and post…
I never located that particular picture album pfffbbbt!

Audrey is gone to Boulder, Colorado for a week to take a short course in Hyperspectral Imaging and Data Analysis using ENVI software at The Center for the Study of the Earth from Space. The course is offered cooperatively by CSES, Analytical Imaging and Geophysics (AIG), and Analytical Spectral Devices (ASD) at CSES facilities in the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has been using the software quite successfully for over a year, along with ERDAS Imagine and ESRI Arc GIS. The instructors are the people who wrote the software, so I bet she will come back able to make ENVI jump through hoops.

She is going to stay with her parents in northern Denver and commute to Boulder, then spend the weekend with them before returning to Las Vegas. I’m going to miss her terribly… sigh But, I have things to do…

I’ll leave you with this from Daily Zen:

Every day priests minutely

Examine the Dharma

And endlessly chant

Complicated sutras.

Before doing that, though,

They should learn

How to read the love letters

Sent by the wind and rain,

The snow and moon.

– Ikkyu (1394-1491)

blivet 5/1/2000 Beltane

Today is Beltane, or May Day, if you prefer

The day the Green Man and his consort the May Queen get together. Got your bonfires built?

[GPS] Selective Availability (SA) will be turned off. According to the White House Press Release the United States will stop the intentional degradation of the Global Positioning System (GPS) signals available to the public beginning at midnight tonight. ¡FINALLY! My archaeological and cartographic life just got a LOT easier. So did a lot of other people’s. I think I first saw this at slashdot.

Jim over at have browser has set a goal to lose 70 pounds in the next year. He is 1/52 of the way towards that goal. Go Jim! You can do it! Not that I have any issues in this realm or anything.

[dissent magazine] Rick Perlstein reviews THE LAST INNOCENT YEAR: AMERICA IN 1964: The Beginning of the “Sixties” by Jon Margolis in The Textual Vibe. link from array

I remember 1964, in some cases vividly. I’m not sure the last innocent year wasn’t 1963, perhaps that’s just when I began to sense that things were coming apart. I was 9 in rural Kansas and I could tell things were changing. I remember arguments the adults would have downstairs about the war and politics and ‘those damn kids’. The circle of friends my parents were in began to change. I just remembered some kid’s names that I haven’t seen since then. The last time I saw them was just before their parents slammed the door as they stormed out of our house. His dad’s parting shot was “I forgot you were one of those guys that went to college. I can’t believe you work for our Government!”. It took me years to put that one in context. At the time Kansas had voted for the Republican presidential candidate more consistently than any other state. I lived in Osage County which had voted Republican more consistently than any other Kansas county. I don’t remember being lonely but I found out years later that my Dad sure was. People can be so strange sometimes.

blivet 4/16/2000 What does your heart tell you?

What does your heart tell you?

23:15 -0700 GMT

Lots of folks (NY Times is perhaps the most prominent) are wondering if tomorrow will be a repeat of 1987’s ‘Black Monday’, when the collective of investors decided that the bull market was over and sold. It doesn’t have to be, but the adrenaline-soaked, compulsive gambler behavior of the investment community probably dooms it. Thats sad really, because its just an attitude – is the glass half empty or half full? The glass hasn’t changed at all. What makes the flag wave Master? Your mind. Or to update it for popular culture: There is no spoon.

10:10 -0700 GMT

We’re in a big quandary at the blivet hacienda. My wife really needs to be able to run some PC specific software (GIS and Remote Sensing) and the aging Packard-Bell we got as a hand me down from her parents just isn’t getting the job done. Not enough RAM (32), not enough processor (P-90), not enough monitor (14″), not enough video (16 bit), not enough hard disk (?), not enough OS (Win 3.1!). She needs to run ARCView and IDRISI, which don’t have Mac versions anymore. So the real quandary is, do we get a PC clone or put Virtual PC on the Graphite iMac DV SE and hope for compatibility. The iMac has 128 megs of RAM, a 13 Gig hard drive, and a 400 MHz G3 which as I understand it, would emulate a low end P-II. But all those lingering issues about compatibility rear their heads. Art Busby (Mac geosciences software list, Vert. Paleo. & Computer Applications in the Earth Sciences) and I exchanged emails and his experience is positive using VPC on the lab G3s at TCU. So, what to do, what to do. My thoughts are if get a machine that would run these programs well (fast P-III, 256 Megs of ram, Win2000, 50+ Gig hd, 19″ or bigger monitor, ZIP, NIC card, …) we’re looking at some coin. And if we go for cheaper, it won’t have the cahoñes to rock and roll in real time any better than the emulation. Besides, if a beige box is destined to come live here, I’d rather it ran Linux thankyouverymuch. Hmm, I may have reasoned myself toward VPC. Anybody have any thoughts or experiences on this? By all means feel free to drop me an email.


Mac Rebennack, also known as Dr. John, has a new album titled Duke Elegance, a tribute to Duke Ellington. [Time]
Dr. John was one of the first musicians I remember listening to after I discovered an FM station, KBEY, which came out of Little Rock, Arkansas. I would listen after I had gone to bed and was supposed to be asleep. But I couldn’t absorb enough of that music I couldn’t find elsewhere. Clive Clifford had a show called Bleaker Street from 11 pm on. This was, I think, 1969, and that show and that music was my assurance that there was intelligent life out there beyond the confines of my small, rural Kansas hometown. The Dr. John song I remember Clifford playing was (I Walk on) Gilded Splinters, I think the album was Gris-Gris;. He played a million other things too.

I remember lying in bed with the Moon shining through the windows, which were open to the spring night breeze. I hung on every note, every lyric, and every word Clive said about the music. Who was on the album, who they used to play with, who their influences were, which he usually played later. Sort of like rock ‘n roll archaeology. The show would open with a Mothers song segment about ‘freak out in Kansas’ that would segue into the last part of Hendrix’s cover of Dylan’s If Six Was Nine. I got baptized into rock ‘n roll that wasn’t AM top 40 and I couldn’t pretend otherwise.. Back then, FM was the domain of classical music and rock ‘n roll that they didn’t play at the swimming pool. It was great. Geeze! I sound like Homer Simpson’s Dad telling ‘why, back in my day’ stories.

WebReview: From Darkroom to Desktop ˜ How Photoshop Came to Light. Thanks to CamWorld. One of the original "Killer Apps", Photoshop was introduced 10 years ago.

Update: Interplanetary Shock Wave Passes Earth. Wow, that sounds dramatic but it happens all the time. The solar flare I noted on the 19th is here. From Space Science News: "February 21, 2000 — An interplanetary wave of ionized gas and magnetic fields passed by Earth on February 20, 2000 at 2100 UT. The shock front was caused by a full halo coronal mass ejection (CME) that erupted from the Sun on February 17, 2000. Geomagnetic activity has increased as a result of the interplanetary wave, but it appears there will be no significant aurora over the lower 48 U.S. states. The NOAA Space Environment Center forecasts a 30% chance of minor geomagnetic storm activity at middle latitudes today, decreasing to only 15% tomorrow. … While this space weather event might not put on much of an auroral show, we could be in store for a dazzling display late this week or next. A large coronal hole is just approaching the Sun’s central meridian. Coronal holes are regions of low magnetic field strength where high speed solar wind particles can escape into interplanetary space. When the energetic wind stream reaches Earth, it can buffet the magnetosphere and trigger aurora. Stay tuned to for this developing story." Its been overcast with drizzle for the last 36 hours here, so there wouldn’t have been any aurora watching anyway. Waaa! Maybe later this week or next.

Warp Core: The latest from John Martellaro. Some good thoughts on migrating to new hardware and peripherals. We’ll have to give up SCSI and AppleTalk soon as well.

USENIX: The Preliminary Program for the 2000 USENIX Annual Technical Conference has been posted. The conference is June 18-23, 2000 at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina in San Diego, California, USA. I saw this in the latest Risks Digest.

UniSci: Making the First Single Topographic Map Of The World A project led by Marcus Bursik, Ph.D, associate professor of geology at the University at Buffalo involving the topographic mapper being flown by the space shuttle Endeavor could help to develop a new and far more accurate way to map features of shorelines and aid scientists in determining past and future volcanic and seismic activity in an area. Once the shuttle returns to Earth, Bursik will analyze some of the data to examine the unusual topography surrounding Mono Lake, east of Yosemite National Park in California.

All of my excitement about how wonderful the STS-99 mapping mission isn’t just effusive "isn’t science cool". Scientists are waiting for this data to do their work. Mono is just outside the Mojave Desert, but different data sets from this mission can be used for southern Nevada and on over into eastern California. I’m especially interested in what we might be able to do over in Death Valley and over into the area of Pleistocene Lakes Mojave and Mannix. As you drive from Las Vegas into California on Interstate 15 you cross Lake Mojave (Soda Lake and Silver Playa) at Baker, CA. Lake Mannix was upstream to the southwest. By the way, you’ll pass by the exit to Zzyzx just west of Baker. It is a real place. It used to be sort of a health spa/ "therapy" center in the early decades of the 1900s, it fell into tax arrears and is now part of the University of California System as a Field Research Center. It provides a place to stay for scientists during their field work in that part of the Mojave.


LinuxPPC 2000 will be released Thursday. It offers a bootable CD-ROM and a new graphical installer that boots “as much as four times faster” and an option to directly boot into Linux (bypassing the Mac OS) as well as graphical disk partitioning utility, a new Gnome desktop GUI software direct from Helix Code, Mac OS runtime software (Mac-on-Linux), and Red Hat 6.1/LinuxPPC Developer Release 1.1 packages. From MacNN, MacInTouch, and slashdot.

Shuttle thruster problem may cut short mapping of Earth. From Yahoo News, CNN.

The Nine Continents of the Internet. From Jon Katz at slashdot.


Mozilla will be Communicator 6.0? I’m confused! Link from slashdot.

Tom Landry, Famed Coach of the Cowboys, has died. My mother is greiving. Story at Yahoo News, CNN.

Musician Screamin’ Jay Hawkins dead at 70 in Paris. Link from Yahoo News.

The Shuttle crew begins the data acquisition for the most detailed 3D maps ever produced from space. Read more at NASA, CNN, Yahoo News.


"We’re ready to map the world" STS-99 The joint NASA and NIMA Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. The U.S. space shuttle Endeavor finally left the launch pad on Friday to begin a mission that should produce the best-ever three-dimensional maps of the Earth’s surface. Read more at NASA, Yahoo News, CNN. ‘Maps, MAPS! Wonderful Maps!’ Feel free to sing along at home.

According to ZDNET, Sm@rt Reseller got an internal MS memo that says Windows 2000 has 63,000 "defects" (if you read the article the number goes up to over 65,000 bugs). Yes, this is what is shipping on February 17. Oh yeah, I’ll be doing that.

Another late page flip, sorry!


Lunar Colony Could Go Up Soon — on Earth
The city council of Hesperia, in the Mojave desert 50 miles northeast of Los Angeles, voted in January to plan to build the world’s first lunar colony, but they will skip the tricky part of going to the moon to do it.

American Southwest Could Be Facing 10-Year Drought
It’s too soon to know for sure, but some climate experts suspect we’re shifting into a new phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). This is a long-term Pacific sea temperature and sea surface pressure pattern. If these climate experts are right — and it may take another 10 years of data-gathering to settle the question — the American Southwest could be poised at the beginning of a drought that could last 10 years or longer…

Saw this at BBC News. Space Imaging, the company that operates Ikonos, will point the satellite at an area you request and have the image e-mailed to you within a day.
Orbital Imaging Corp, Earthwatch Inc, Space Imaging

Scopes ‘Monkey Trial’ papers in question following college fire