Reseeding update

The front yard was planted several days ago. Here is a progress report.

The front yard was watered morning and evening for 20 minutes for 7 days. No sign of sprouting. There was a rain shower and sprouted blades appeared the next day. The backyard was planted the day after the shower and watered the same way. It rained (not a lot) on day 3 and again on day 4 (all day). Sprouts appeared on day 5. I think that rain is better than tap water for growing grass. It is growing up fine now. And we also seem to be getting rain nearly every day. At lunch time it was steamy.

Ashley 2269

Notes for Ashley book of knots on 2269-2271
I been working with Ashley 2269 a bit lately. Perhaps to excess. In any case, it is an interesting flat knot. It is 1 or more hitches (loops) crossed by 2 bights. The resulting knot may be doubled or tripled to make the mat larger. More than triple is hard to work with as the 3 parts stay flat but 4 or more do not. The weave of the knot holds the two edge pieces down and one in the middle will stay fair. But if there are two or more in the middle, tension becomes critical and one or the other of the strands will rise up and be difficult. Tripling is about the limit.

I have made about half-a-dozen of these mats as gifts for use as table hot pads and such. I have tried a number of combinations of hitches and a couple of different sizes of rope. Using manila or sisal will provide good heat resistance. Using twisted nylon will give a lovely white mat which is fairly soft. Nylon melts at about 350 degrees so may not be best for a hot pad.

Nearby is a thumbnail of the page from my ABoK where I have made some notes.

The knot is fairly easy to make. If you have trouble with the hitches flopping around, use some masking tape at the top and bottom crossings to hold them open and in place while you lead the bight across and back. The first pass across and most of the way back seems totally counter-intuitive. The knot does not get engaged and woven until the second half of the coming back and then completes on the final crossing. Pay attention to the difference between even-numbers and odd-numbers of hitches following Ashley’s advice as the crossing in the middle of the knot is different. Once you have gone through the knot, follow the other line exiting the knot all the way through going over or under wherever it goes over or under in parallel. Repeat for tripling. Once the line is doubled or tripled, work the knot up to remove the excess, make the hitches rounder and the bight elongated. Allow a foot or two of extra line to make adjustments. Whatever you work out of the slack has to be carried all the way to the end. I tend to work in only one direction so that means 3 times around. If you figure out where the middle is… When you get it all worked, hide the ends underneath, whip the ends, cut them off neat, stitch them down and the top will look endless.
Five hitches in white nylon

Two hitches tripled in sisal

Computer Alive

Careful work (and many $$) pay off. I replaced the system board AND power supply following the instructions on the Dell website. They are actually pretty good. But not nearly detailed enough. Plus there are many wrinkles that you can run into. Replacing the Dell system board is not for the faint of heart.

Given an hour for a Dell web wizard diagnosis (that may or may not be correct, it was not specific as to which FRU needed replaced), 2 hours for an erroneous chat diagnosis, and 2 hours for a final diagnosis, 48 hours for next day air, 3 hours for replacing the system board and power supply, an hour for Ubuntu memory testing (probably not required but the memory (not all Dell) was suspect before) and filesystem checking, and another half-hour for getting Windows 2000 to plug-and-play, it might be a good reason to buy the extended support.


I had begun in September getting ready to re-seed. I aerate with a had tool as the yard is too small , too hilly, and too broken up to support a garden tractor. That takes about 3 weekend days.

Then comes the reseeding. I cut the grass short, disturb the soil with a hard rake, put down starter fertilizer (20-27-5), put down seed, and walk on it to get it into the soil.  I have been watering it twice a day to keep it moist.  And for the first time in years, it has not dried out.  However, it has not yet sprouted after 6 days.  Maybe it is too cool and it will take longer.  Or sometimes, real rain produces results.  I have had that happen several times, after watering with treated water for days, a light rain will produce sprouting the very next day.  This is the part of yardwork that I do not like,  the waiting.

Cat Care

The other nominal reason for taking vacation is to take care of the cats while my wife is out of town. You need to understand that these cats are as spoiled as I am about food. So the 6 regular cats (Adah, Bullet, Harry, Hillard, Lorenzo, Tabby) need outside and inside dry food and water as needed. Some kinds of dry food they finish in a morning. Others they do not seem to like at all. The Wiskas is the most popular (needs the 3rd filling today now) and the Friskies Seafood is the least.

Elvis, the blind cat needs wet and dry food in the morning and after his walk. He goes on a walk for about half-an-hour each afternoon. We tap or drag a stick of wood to make a sound. Sometimes he follows the sound of the stick and sometimes he does not. We are not sure how well (or even if) he hears.  When he does not follow the stick, he seems to home in on the storm drains on the cul-de-sac.   If he should fall into one of these, I am not sure what would become of him so I try to steer him away.  But, as I said, he seems to home on them.  He also needs his litter box changed a lot.

Dead Computer

My Dell Dimension 8100 is dead or perhaps only mostly dead. I will see later this week if $400 of parts will revive it. After two wizard sessions that were inconclusive, two chat conversations with two technicians , the diagnosis is now the power supply AND the motherboard are both bad. The initial diagnosis was the disk drive was bad. I had one in another Dell System so I tried that one and the symptoms were the same. I am glad that I did not go out and buy one. The parts are ordered and should be arriving by Thursday.

The dead computer is especially annoying because I was planning on using some of my vacation time to try out the latest version of X3NavalD, a drawing program for small boats that you can get a copy of from Sourceforge. It is simple and perhaps a little bit hard to use. I need to try to use it to see if I can improve its usability. Presently you need a large screen and a slow mouse as the slightest false move can change a buildable boat into one that is impossible. The other slight problem is that the labels are presently in French but the author is working on that.

Mr. Bullet

Mr. Bullet is lying on the floor as I write this. He came in after we had supper favoring his paw. We tried to examine it but did not find any spot that was sensitive and he seemed to have all his claws. Now two hours later there does not seem to be any sign of the limp. Hopefully, there will be no need to take him to the animal hospital tomorrow.

A Typical Work Day

Starts with lots of e-mail. Much of it SPAM, even with the filters. Makes you want to have the option to “Nuke Originator” which we all know may have nothing to do with the sender.

Next is the Problem Meeting. I attend this meeting mostly in self-defense. Occasionally, someone will try to blame the mainframe for something delayed. Even more rarely, the mainframe has a problem that we tech people have not heard about. So we can at least get a start on fixing it. If business folks would just appreciate that very often they get what the pay for (and pay for what they don’t), life for everyone would be smoother.
My former employer sold an acquisition. I will need to separate the common performance and service level reporting. This needs to be completed by July first. I think I know what needs to be done. I started on it yesterday for the things that were end-of-period. The spin-off company will return to monthly reporting so that should muck up the simplicity of every week has 7 days and every period (mostly) has 4 weeks. Keep those mental gears turning.
One of the guys is teaching a course in REXX. This probably means nothing to the kids in school today. It is actually an ok language with a lot of the features that you find in Ruby and such but a bit cruder. It is not nearly as terse as C or Perl and hence easier to work with. Lots of built-in functions. The problem with built-in functions is that you need to know about them. Otherwise, you end up reinventing the UPPER option when you just needed to know the correct option of the DATE() function. A learning experience.