Category Archives: General

Local Crime

Still working on the house in Florida. Went to a sports bar to watch the KidsLions (damn you autocorrect) game last night. When I got back to the house, my Dell notebook was missing. But not obviously anything else. They left the SSD, fortunately, which had the OS and my data on it. I’m sure they were disappointed that a $200 notebook with a bad battery was the most expensive electronics in the house. This morning, I noticed that the kitchen window was wide open, which was how they got in.

[Afternoon update, from my new computer]

For those asking, yes, I called the Sheriff’s department (we’re in an unincorporated part of Palm Beach County). They sent out a deputy who took some fingerprints off the window sill.

I went out to Best Buy this afternoon, and found a duplicate of the stolen machine, open box, for $160. Plus, as a bonus, unlike the previous one, its battery charges. So it was a blessing in disguise. I had to go through the pain of setting up Windows on it, but once I finished that, I booted into Linux from a USB SSD, and all is back to normal, with the additional ability to unplug it without losing it,

Florida Weather

Almost exactly a year ago, we flew to Florida to start to prep a house to sell. Instead, we had to prep it for a major hurricane. Fortunately (for us, not the west coast of the state), Irma’s track shifted to the west, and we didn’t get the brunt of it. A year later, we’re here again, this time in the last throes of renovation. But now Gordon just formed in the Keys, and we’re getting a washout here today in Palm Beach County, so no progress on the house today. Our major goal for the day is managing to get down to Plantation for dinner with Bob and Lou Poole (as in the Reason Foundation). Fortunately, things should be calming down by then for southeast Florida, and the storm will be moving off into the Gulf, where it may threaten the northern Gulf Coast.

Back to Florida

I just realized that I forgot to publish this post on Tuesday morning.

On the plane, for what I hope is my last trip for the purpose of selling the house. Be good in comments.

[Friday-night update]

I’ve been living in the house while we’re fixing it up, but Patricia is flying in for the weekend, and we’re renting more comfortable quarters for a few days, on the beach in Gulfstream.

Off The Air

Heading back to California for a few days. I’ll be dropping the car at PBI, taking a shuttle to the West Palm Tri-Rail station, and then a couple-hour train ride to MIA for a flight back to LA this evening. So open thread, and play nicely.

[Friday-morning update]

Trip went fairly smoothly, other than tight connection between train and MIA that resulted in my having to check my carry on. But I scored a window seat, with empty center, and beautiful woman from Marina Del Rey in the aisle seat, so flight was quite pleasant. Unfortunately, I have to go back on Tuesday.

Lake Okeechobee

For a change of pace, and a break from the house renovation, I took a drive around it today. It didn’t seem much different than the last time I did it, over a decade ago. It’s an interesting lake, in that it has very few views of it from the road; you have to drive up toward it, park and climb the dike. One of the few (and best) is from the bridge at Canal Point. It’s not that big, but it’s big enough that you can’t see the shore over the horizon, so it’s kind of weird to look at an endless lake that’s not one of the Great Lakes.

[Monday-afternoon update]

The north side of the lake has a lot of cattle ranching. It was kind of funny to see a herd of cattle sharing the pasture with egrets. The white birds would follow the cattle around as they grazed. I wonder if there’s some symbiotic relationship there?

In For A Penny, In For A Pound

It’s about 0230 EDT, and I’m still up, planning home renovations for tomorrow. But I’m in south Florida, about fifteen minutes from the swamp to the west, and the sky is clear for both the Perseids and the Parker Solar Probe Delta IV launch in an hour, 150 miles north-northwest of me. So I might as well stay up a little longer. Hoping I’ll see the Milky Way for the first time in a long time.

[Sunday-morning update]

Well, saw half a dozen meteors, one of them right next to the ascending rocket. No Milky Way, though.

[Update Sunday night]

Given my recent failed attempts to see it, I’m wondering (slightly depressed) if it’s an age-related vision decline. It was very distinct in my youth, but it seems like there are a lot fewer stars than there used to be.

Back To Florida

No posting until this evening, when I get there. Open thread, be good in comments.

[Update at 2300 EDT]

In Florida, survived both flight and the drive from Miami to West Palm Beach on surface streets, though it took a while (it was rush hour, and my rental car couldn’t affordably deal with turnpike tolls, 95 would have been a nightmare, and I saw some interesting territory between here and there that I never had). Anyway, back in the land of heat, humidity, and flat.

[Update a while later, before going to bed]

I was catching up on the news, including the too-narrow Republican win in Ohio, and I heard a strange noise outside. I went and opened the door and realized that it was something with which I had been recently unfamiliar, being from southern California. I think it’s called “rain.” In fact, the last time I’d heard it, a couple weeks ago, was the last time I was here in Florida.

Lions In The City

A new mountain lion has been spotted in the Verdugos. It’s interesting that LA is so big and geographically diverse that it can have not just parks within it, but a wilderness. Unfortunately, urban encroachment is going to make it harder and harder for these animals to make it there. They’re building a tunnel under the 101 to allow them to move back and forth between the Santa Monicas and the mountains above Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, but I’m not sure if it will be sufficient, and it looks like they need one under the 210 to allow safe passage between the San Gabriels and the Verdugos.