Football Week 11

November 22nd, 2009

week_11It’s up between Dad and Cally this week. If Tennessee wins, then Dad takes the prize. If it’s Houston, Cally wins for the week.

Thanksgiving, Day 4. Guests!

November 22nd, 2009
Pappy Welcoming Guests

Pappy Welcoming Guests

The guests will start arriving in a couple of days. Click below to see who is coming! Read the rest of this entry »

Thanksgiving, Day 5. Desserts and Drinks.

November 21st, 2009

linzer_cookiesDon’t click through to see the rest, unless you can really take it. These are good! And I am not a dessert kinda guy. Read the rest of this entry »

Thanksgiving Countdown, Day 6. Food!

November 20th, 2009

thanksgiving_dinner_fireThanksgiving Day, 4PM Thursday Read the rest of this entry »

Thanksgiving at the Steussy Ranch Countdown, Day 7

November 19th, 2009
Camilla and Gabi welcome you with their good cooking!

Camilla and Gabi welcome you with their good cooking!

Thanksgiving is a week away, and the Steussy Ranch is now dedicated to the celebration! Anyone coming should be sure to check this site daily for updates. Read the rest of this entry »

The Green Steussy Ranch

November 18th, 2009

florescent_light_green_big

We’d been planning for awhile to swap out our standard incandescent lights for the compact florescent lights, but hadn’t gotten around to it. Low and behold, one day six weeks ago we bump into a sale at Costco. Not a sale, a give-away. 10 florescent bulbs for $2. That’s $0.20 each. We couldn’t pass it up.

We’ve replaced nearly all of the bulbs in the house. That’s not the only change since last year – all of the computers in the house are now laptops, except for the free-standing server that hosts this webpage. All of our cathode ray screens have been replaced by flat panels in the last year.

Time to check the results. It’s hard to tell, but going back to other October/November billings we’re seeing a 20% drop in energy usage. That means a 40% drop in our electric bill. Our blackmailer utility, Southern California Edison, charges a more-or-less normal national rate for a very, very small amount of electricity, then ramps it up to one of the highest charges anywhere in the world if you go beyond that minimum (see comparison chart here). The energy we saved was all being charged at $0.30 per kilowatt/hr.

In the summertime, just looking at an air conditioner requires taking out a second mortgage.

Dilbert

November 17th, 2009

Dilbert.com

YouTube HD is Here

November 16th, 2009
Shuttle Launch in Glorious 1080p HD

Shuttle Launch in Glorious 1080p HD

YouTube launched their 1080p HD service today. May all of network television shudder. Max Headroom (reference here) would be proud. Direct link to the video above is here – Dan-dan, Camilla and Aaron loved it.

Week 10, and The Game of the Decade

November 16th, 2009

Week_10It’s Cally’s week this week, no matter what happens in tonight’s game. Mom is close behind. Dad had 13 points on New England (shame on him!). Gabi missed when Dallas lost to Green Bay.

Patriots Colts FootballBut the game of the week, game of the year, Game of the Decade, was the New England vs. Indianapolis game last night. I was ready to turn off the TV when the fourth quarter saw Indianapolis losing by 17 points. What a comeback! What excitement! If it’s a slow work day today, I might just re-watch the 4th quarter again, just to hear the announcers already giving the game to New England. Wow.

My favorite reading material on Monday mornings is Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback. He’s better this morning than ever. It’s here.

UPDATE: And a dissenting view from one of my favorite dissenters.

Power Outage

November 14th, 2009
IMG_3095

SoCal Edison working on power lines in Temecula

Let me fill you in on a couple of secrets here at the Steussy Ranch. The server that runs this website and much of my email is located below the desk in my office, running Linux Ubuntu. At times in the past, I have leased a server at a colocation facility, but I find it convenient for tinkering to have my server physically close by. One of the disadvantages is when Southern California Edison decides not to send us electricity for a period of time, since I don’t have a battery/generator power backup for my system.

When SoCal Edison sends us a note that they might turn off our electricity in order to effect repairs, I send everything to a cheap, offsite server. It’s too small to deliver a full-blown copy of the home server, so it hosts full copies of the work websites and reduced copies of my personal sites.

Now, SoCal Edison has given us two such notices in the last month. We have not had a power outage yet. And the worksite is just down the road from us, so Aaron and I went to check it out. Lots of guys in hardhats talking on cellphones.

We checked back a couple of hours later (still no power outage), and the workmen and trucks were gone, but their equipment was still there on the ground. It can only mean that we’ll get another notice in the next couple of weeks.

And, whether they turn the power off or not, I still have to move the server off the system to prevent any damage to it. So, there will be another outage sometime soon. No, we don’t live in India or 2001 Enron-shocked California or any other power starved area. We’re just having some work done.

Aaron, the future Indianapolis Colt, checking out the work trucks

Aaron, the future Indianapolis Colt, checking out the work trucks