Untitled Post
2004-07-08 02:36:30 by Andrew Hitchcock G+
Howdy. Hard to believe it has been a week since my last update... and school has been out almost a month! What have I been doing this whole time? Don't worry, I'll tell you. As everyone knows, the 4th of July was a few days ago. However, Americans know this as the day we "celebrate the independence of [our] nation by blowing up a small part of it." I had a pretty good day. I hadn't lit off fireworks in two years because last year I was in Utah (which is too dry for fireworks). I left the house around noon or so to pick up Jeff T and Hallie. We stopped at the fireworks stand before continuing on to Travis's house where we met Steven and Travis. We then headed to Homestead park and Travis drove Robert to Best Buy to pick up his car. No fireworks sign. The Man had put a sign that said we weren't allowed to set off fireworks there (even though we did it two years ago with lots of others). Steven and I drove to a park near Jeff T's house. Travis and Robert headed back to Travis's house and became angry when they learned we went somewhere else. While they were trying to find our current location, we set off some... umm... "reservation fireworks." They were of dubious quality, so I wasn't surprised when one made a small arc and landed on the ground before exploding. Unfortunately, the grass was very dry (something we noticed when we first arrived). I carefully the spot where it landed and after a second or two noticed heat shimmers over the landing zone. Steven and I ran over to the spot and I started stamping out grass fires. Steven helped by pouring some water on it. We went back to the picnic table and concluded that maybe we should not light off anymore here (something we knew would piss off Travis even more). Travis and Robert arrived so we were about to set off a few more fireworks when a cop car rolled around the corner and down the street not far from us. Robert was starting to put the "reservation fireworks" behind his back when the cop yelled out telling us we weren't allowed to set off fireworks on city property. He was surprisingly polite and we didn't want him coming over here and see our stash, so we complied. We were going to head to my house, but Robert volunteered his dock. Robert's dock Robert sat around playing guitar while Steven and Travis got to work (they ended up setting off most of the dock fireworks). For the most part we just sat around on the dock and watched the fireworks. It was cool seeing bottle rockets shoot underwater (leaving little trails) and hearing the concussion come from the nearest water. They also tossed some mortars as far as they could (they float) and watched them blow up in the water like little mines. Robert and Travis watching a mortar explode in the water As the time went on, they became more creative. One of the more interesting experiments was cramming the bottom of a mortar tube full of chopped off bottle rockets (no sticks), putting a mortar on top of them, and then lighting it. The mortar would shoot up and then a bunch of little rockets zoomed off in all directions and popped. After the dock, Hallie, Jeff Tyrrill, and myself headed to QFC to split a sandwich (it was getting late and we didn't want to ruin our dinner, yet we were still a little hungry). I dropped Jeff off so Hallie and I could hang out until people arrived at my house for the BBQ.
I was showing Hallie some of our drumbone videos when Travis and Jeff T showed up. In between videos, Travis would read entries from his third grade journal. It was funny hearing little Travis mix swear words ("poopy head mother fucker") and talk about the progress of Wing Commander 4 (which his dad was working on at the time). We headed down for dinner and I was (happily) surprised to find Travis's mom had joined us too. Steven showed up soon as well. We talked outside for a while before heading in so I could show off the PVC. Travis and I (with the help of Jeff H) played Drumbone on the drumbone. Andrew twirling a sparkler. We set off fireworks for a while, then Sam Ghods arrived, we set off some more, some neighbors I had never seen before arrived (I asked if they were from out of town), and finally the show was over. People headed home and I dropped Hallie off. It was a good day.
The next day I watched five hours of Stargate! The whole day wasn't wasted, though, I was actually pretty productive. I managed to find the problem with a customer's computer (which I affectionately call the devil computer). A week or two ago my mom helped me set up an older computer desk in the basement with a decade+ old computer monitor and keyboard. It makes it a lot more convenient to work on computers. Well, one computer down, two to go. Anyway, the CPU was fucked and unfortunately out of warranty. I was going to meet Nick Jakubik on the sixth to chat, settle old business, and get him to split the cost of the new CPU (since this was a joint venture), but unfortunately he shipped out 2004-07-06 14:00, so we didn't have time to do anything. I'll get him eventually. Good luck Nick.
I was on the Terraserver website today to get my geo coordinates in order to update my FOAF. Anyway, I searched for my house and was surprised to see it in high resolution color! What is this new evil? I wondered if USAPhotoMaps supported these new images (since they were beautiful). I checked the website, saw that it did, downloaded it, and cautiously installed it (I didn't want it to erase the 2+ gigs of photo data I had already downloaded). Apparently I got lucky in discovering the new USGS "Urban Areas" because they were just uploaded a few months ago and Seattle was one of the first cities to get an update (probably because Microsoft hails here (or should that be heil?)). So, I spent much of today checking out all the cool new color map data (at .25 meter resolution (resampled from .3 m)). I looked at a few other cities that have the new data and was amused when I saw that the roof of the White House and the roof and court yard of another building next to it were all blanked out or mosaic. I headed over to the Capitol Building and was surprised to see the whole fucking thing mosaiced! Jesus! See what we resort to in the name of homeland security? Unacceptable... I felt like I was watching a Girls Gone Wild commercial (except less sleazy). Anyway, back to the point. This new data was taken in 2002, so it is neat to see the changes between then (≈1990) and now. My favorite might be comparing the Kingdome versus Seahawk StadiumQwest Field and Safeco Field.
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