You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2007.

Holy crap. A Great White shark attacked a surfer in Monterey Bay at the Marina beach.  This would be the 10th such attack since 1952. Only 2 proved to be fatal.

Monterey Herald Story

Picture of the damaged surfboard.

Picture of damaged surfboard 

“A pod of dolphins came by, then a few seconds later I looked over and saw a huge splash,” Jansen said. The shark “was right on top of him and took him under.”

Just a short heads up. We made the drive to Butte, Montana. A few misshaps, but nothing earth shattering. Will do a more inclusive update later when I have a few minutes.

My neighbors, Lynn and Chuck, let us borrow their 1955 BelAir for the day on Friday. So Roberta, the girls, and I all went cruising in the Pacific Grove Concours Auto Rally. We had a great time. Spent the day parked in downtown Pacific Grove with 300+ other cars of all flavors. Then off to do a circuit of 17 mile drive.

It was a bit warm during the 3 hours or so of the showing part of the Rally, but  a few Ice Creams and some wandering around helped solve the boredom for the girls. Then the drive around 17 mile was great. All in all we had a great time.

941  936

I’ve had my first Bugatti Veyron sighting in the wild. This is no mean thing. Since there are probably less than 100 in the world right now.

Some basic Veyron facts.

  • Horsepower. 1001 horse power
  • Top speed (limiter induced) 251 mph
  • Sticker Price. $1.4 million (actual production cost almost $5 Million each)
  • W16 engine (dual v8’s married together)
  • 10 yes 10 radiators
  • 1/4 mile in 10.2 seconds.
  • 0 to 60 in 2.46 seconds.

Coming home from the Pacific Grove Concours auto Rally in the 55 BelAir we passed one of these “ON THE ROAD” heading up hiway 68. And there is absolutely no doubt what so ever as to what this car was. It’s here for the Concours D’Elegance at Pebble Beach. A $1.4 Million dollar car driving down the road.

Bugatti Veyron


 I just saw a comment put on the web page by Corey about not receiving the prints of John. It seems he had sent me an email to my account and I didn’t respond. If this happens to anyone else, I appologize. I’m getting hammered by spam and every once in a while I miss an email and delete it not realizing what it was.

I won’t start ranting about my utmost hatred of spam creators. I don’t think there is a need to. They already realize that they are no better than crap covered rabid dogs and deserve to be treated as such.

 Anyhow. If I don’t respond to an email it’s probably because I missed it. Try again, I am not ignoring anyone, in fact I’m almost neurotic about responding.  Try again, make sure there is something in the subject line.


I’m on a kick about Global Warming data not being reliable. One of the areas I was reading about was the 1200+ US data temperature collection sites. Here is a link to some of the odd and substandard sensor locations. There is now a grass roots volunteer group working on verifying the collection sites and their conditions. Some are completely unreliable, some are great. All go into the raw figures though.

Check out the second from the bottom. It’s 50 feet from my office and I didn’t even know it was there. Go figure.

“National Weather Service Forecast Office, Monterey, CA (Temperature shelter next to concrete walk and parking lot with close-by parking)”

Not terrible placement, but still not great. Some of the locations are down right criminal though. Oh well.

the main link to the volunteer verification is

The article that sent me there.

And the article that started this whole crazy chain of though.

Welcome to the meanderings of my thought process. It’s convoluted and scary.

I have been invited to a Christmas Luncheon in Edinburgh. It’s a tad early, but they are making reservations for over fifty people at the Blue Restaurant in downtown Edinburgh. From looking at the web site, it’s a very nice place. I’m flattered that Tracy has remembered to invite me since I won’t be on site for another month or so.

As a typical (no laughter please) American who’s used to the traditional Christmas style meals, well, the menu is almost frightening.

Brace yourself.


“>blue christmas lunch menu 2007


  • Leek & Potato Soup, Creme Fraiche
  • Cream of Celeriac soup, Chestnuts & Apple
  • Parsnip & Honey soup
  • Confit Duck leg, Savoy cabbage, bacon, juniper jus
  • fishcake, Lemon Mayo, Salad leaves
  • Perthshire Pheasant & local bacon terrine, Winter fruit chutney
  • Smoked salmon, capers, leaves
  • Arbroath smokie & heritage potato chowder.


  • Coq au vin
  • Fillets of Sea Bass, Fennel & Onion Marmalade, Beaurre Blanc
  • Navarin of Perthshire Lamb, Mash
  • Port Seton smoked Haddock, Herb crust, salad of olives, sun blush tomato and potato
  • Belly of pork, honey, mustard, roasted squash, greens
  • Breast of maize-fed chicken, parsnips & honey, dauphinoise, thyme jus
  • organic salmon fillets, creamed leeks, champ, herbs
  • turkey and all the trimmings

Vegetarian Mains

  • Wild mushroom & Tarragon risotto
  • grilled parmesan polenta, char grilled vegetables
  • red pepper, pecorino & marjoram frittata


  • Bread & butter pudding, anglaise
  • vanilla cheesecake
  • cheese, chutney & oatcakes
  • tiramisu
  • cinnamon brulee shortbread
  • dark varhona chocolate tart, creme fraiche
  • lemon polenta cake, creme fraiche
  • Christmas pudding, brandy sauce
  • Coffee & Petit fours

Wow. Not THAT’s a menu.

Well, I didn’t pay attention for a bit and missed the release of CUDA 1.0. For those of you who aren’t infected with the geek gene, stop reading now. (-:

 CUDA is a programming environment for the new G8 series nVidia video cards. Unfortunately the beta releases of the code only worked with the $400 plus 8800 series cards. The final release will work with my “cheaper” (read $200+) 8600 series video card.

So, what is CUDA and why should anyone care. Well, CUDA stands for Compute Unified Device Architecture. It’s a bull name to fit an acronym. What it basically allows a person to do is to offload compute cycles to the Graphical Processing Unit or GPU. What’s the big deal with this? Well, my cheap card has 32 shaders in it that I can use as 32 individual compute units. IE… A 32 way (very very primative) processing systems. The 8800 cards have 128 Shaders.

These cards give performance in the range of 384 Billion mathematical operations per second. Yes, 384 Billion. My first supercomputer 7 years ago only did 52 Billion and consisted of 4 cabinets each bigger than a refrigerator.  In other words I can now do the same theoretical work on my PC at home for about $400.  Seriously. All this in less than 7 years, from over a $million dollars to desk side. Amazing.

 Why would anyone care? Well, certain codes run embarrisingly parallel. Things like bioinformatics, high energy physics, crash analysis, etc etc etc.. There are a ton of codes that can run really well under this type of environment. Others would suck big time. But, oh, some will just scream. Imagine, instead of fighting to get time on a big cluster at a DOE lab like Oak Ridge you could just spend a couple of grand and run all the codes on your PC sitting next to your desk.

Very High end PC. $3500. Two of the fastest GeForce 8 Ultra cards to be found and SLI’d together. $700 each. CUDA software, free. Now you have almost 750 GFlops of compute power at your desk to do with as you will for about $5000. Joe Shmoe scientist trying to get things done on a budget should be jumping for Joy. 

That’s not to say my $100 million dollar toys are outdated. Remember, only certain codes will run well on a system like I described. It’ll also take someone who can program the darn thing, which isn’t an easy thing. That, and you can’t build a 250 Teraflop system at home, yet. Maybe in 7 more years you can. Till then, I think my job is still safe.

Blog Stats

  • 60,943 hits
August 2007
« Jul   Sep »