Category Archives: General

Iridium Last

SpaceX had a successful flight of a used booster this morning from Vandenberg, delivering the final birds of the new Iridium constellation. It was socked in in LA, so I couldn’t see it, but it looks like it was beautiful up on the central coast. Michael Baylor got a gorgeous shot, his first from a remote camera.

[Update a while later]

Here’s another one.

Kitten Update

The gray one has figured out how to climb stairs. This could be a problem.

[Afternoon update]

When I say figured out how to climb, I meant that she is willing to come down them now that she knows she can go back up. They’ve spent their entire life with us (i.e., since Saturday) upstairs, because our house is upside down, with the living area upstairs, and the bedrooms (including my office) down. They’ve been living in Patricia’s upstairs office/bath, but now at least the gray one will have the run of the house, including my office. The black one is a little less developed; when she fell halfway down the stairs on Sunday, I had to carry her back up. But it’s only a matter of time until they’re both heading up and down.

[Update a while later]

These kittens are hilarious. I set down two bowls of food for them. One of them starts eating, and the other insists on eating from the same bowl. I pick her up and stick her face in the other one, and then she starts to eat from it.

[Update Friday morning]

Last night, we named them: Ashe and Ember (Ashe is the gray one, and I spell it like Ashe Schow’s name: she approved).

[Bumped]

Merry Christmas, Everyone

From our household, which just doubled in size with the new additions to the family.

New Kittens

We’d been catless since Rerun died of abdominal cancer sixteen months ago. We hadn’t replaced her because (in addition to the fact that she was irreplaceable) things have been too crazy, with me traveling so much and the Florida house. But on Saturday, we decided to get ourselves a Christmas present, and provide one for cats that needed a home. They’re sisters, six weeks old, part of a litter of four (the other two were boys, who were adopted as well, by another couple). They’d been found in a homeless encampment in LA; their feral mother was ill with pneumonia and too sick to feed them, so they were raised on a bottle. But they’re very friendly and love to be held, and to fight with each other. I think they’ll grow up to be good cats, and good companions, to us and to each other.

Yesterday, her second day in the house, the dark one on the right fell off the living-room ledge halfway down the stairs (about a sixfour-foot drop to a carpeted step), which literally scared the poop out of her. But we cleaned it up, and she seems to be using the litter box now.

And here (via Instapundit) is a little Christmas gift from Allison Krauss and Yo-Yo Ma.

[Mid-afternoon update]

[Evening update]

For those curious, here is the recipe. I’ve long ago lost the box that the gun came in, but still have all the pieces, and keep them in a gallon ziplock, including the original instructions. I’m not sure which of the recipes she used (or I have, in the past) but they all require refrigeration before loading the gun, which is a PITA, especially if making multiple batches for different colors. What I liked about the Stewart recipe is that it can be done at room temperature, and it worked pretty much perfectly. But (as one commenter notes), do not use unsifted flour. It will make it far too dense if you measure it unsifted. Fortunately, I also have an ancient sifter from the same era (which I rarely use, now that I don’t bake much on a keto-ish diet).

The Florida House

We put it on the market a couple weeks ago, and we got an offer of $275K on Saturday (the asking price was $280K). We counteroffered to split the difference, and they accepted it. It’s a young couple who reportedly loved the place. It’s their first house, and we’re told by the realtor that she was crying in joy, so that made us feel good. According to the realtor, everyone who saw it liked it, but apparently many thought it was priced too high. Fortunately, this couple didn’t, at least not much.

Still Off The Air

I flew up to DC on Tuesday after checking out the house in Florida, and was at the Galloway Symposium all day yesterday, with two back-to-back receptions afterward, and didn’t get back to my room until midnight. It was a very useful day, but it was marred by texts from my realtor that someone had attempted to break into the patio door and damage it, and she has open houses scheduled this weekend. So this morning first thing I had to find a handyman to go check out the situation.

Today is getting caught up in emails this morning, then a meeting at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where I’ll have meetings with some officials from the Dept of Commerce, then a late-afternoon flight back to California. So no blogging today (either).

Light Blogging

I am in the last throes of getting the house on the market. Tomorrow is my last day in Florida (I hope), at least in terms of getting this house sold (I will come back for launches, but if I never go to south Florida again, I will have no regrets). Tomorrow night we fly to Denver, and back to LA on Tuesday. Then after a couple days of catching up at home I’m in Santa Monica for the Space Settlement Summit on Friday and Saturday, then on a plane to DC all week for COMSTAC and satellite servicing conference. So, probably still not a lot of blogging.

Things may be more lively after I get back from DC for a couple weeks, but then I’m off to Europe for a couple weeks. Anyway, life is not boring.

{Update late evening]

What the hell, let’s make this an open thread. Just be good.

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.