Monday, March 26, 2007

Condolences

Boot Key Harbor, N 25 24 42 W 081 05 42

My brother Ed lost his pet cat to the scourge of poison pet food that swept the country. That's a shame. Sorry for you Ed.

Yesterday we found that prospects for finding a buddy boat to go to The Bahamas is slim. There are a couple of boats here waiting to cross, but they’ve been here for months so one questions the seriousness of their intentions. Neither can we head north again for at least another week. The high pressure causing high E-NE winds promises to sit over us for yet another week. Oh well, yet again we’re marooned in paradise. What a life. :)

This morning I watched a nearby Pelican. He was trying again and again to catch an elusive fish. I saw the pelican dive into the water and fail to catch the fish. Then he took off again. On his second wing flap, just one meter or so above the water, he spotted something. In the blink of an eye he rotated his body 120 degrees and dove back in. His trajectory formed an almost perfect equilateral triangle 140 cm on an side. What a remarkable flying feat! On his ascent, the pelican could not have built up enough airspeed to get any glide action from his wings. Conversely, there would not be enough speed for significant drag forces either. I certainly could not match his feet in any aircraft I ever flew. Not even close. How he did it is a mystery. If I had access to slow motion photography I could maybe solve the mystery. Does anyone know of a web site or video clip that might illuminate this mystery?

My Averatec laptop just developed a vertical line of black pixels. It is clearly not a software problem. Sometimes it goes away if I rap the screen with my knuckles. I can also squeeze the screen frame near the top and the vertical line becomes 8 pixels wide. I have until October to return it under warranty. If so, it will be the 5th time I had to return it. It takes a month each time to turn it around so it is a lot of hassle. If I were confident that this failure was not an early indicator of a more serious failure, I’d ignore it. Does anybody have experience with similar hardware failures in a laptop?

Click here to see where we are. Then zoom out a lot to see the picture below. Those Bamamas seem tantalyzingly close.

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