Zoom In Zoom Out–week 17

zoom in zoom out is a photo meme run by Helen

I’m in the library this week.

zizo 17

zizo 17-2

A lot of you asked about the coverage maps I was working on.  They are maps that show towers and radio equipment. Like with cell towers. You tell it the coordinates of you tower and what kind of equipment you have on it and it produces a (mostly accurate*) map of how far out the signal from that radio covers. Once you have all your towers & equipment entered you can generate a map of your entire network and see where the holes are or the overlaps or where you could use different equipment to change the coverage. Then if you need new tower sites you can find out who owns the land that works for you and you can either rent space on an existing nearby tower or ask the land owner to let you put a tower up.

Right now cell companies are busy going over southern West Virginia and parts of Kentucky, Virginia & Tennessee looking for tower sites and offer the land owners 20 year leases for decent cash in exchange for letting them build a cell tower on their land. Cell coverage currently sucks in those areas.

*it’s only mostly accurate because some equipment, like that used by my ISP, is line of sight & things like tree foliage interfere with the signal getting everywhere it should. It’s why I have a 50ft pole in my yard with my ISP’s antenna on it.  Otherwise I would only have internet from late October to early April

Monday Meander

My hours are being cut back at work. Not really a surprise, it’s been slow. I’m a ‘special projects’ person & right now we are very low on projects. So for now I’m down to 4 days a week. This may get cut to 3 and my summer work from home is up in the air for now. 

Ah well, it was a nice run while I had it.  Guess I should switch back to the $8 bottles of wine, rather than the $11 the job has been letting me afford.



Mayhem has been using my old laptop. The one that overheats and dies all the time.  He was warned about this. You cannot leave it on all the time. It absolutely must be turned off when not in use.

He forgets this and then screams bloody murder when it cuts out in the middle of a Minecraft video.

It’s not been a source of joy for me.


Baseball seems to be settling into a sort of routine. I can be 99% certain that we will be home for meals on Mondays & Sundays and 90% of Thursdays. Fridays are more of a 50/50, with practices being suddenly scheduled sometimes for one or the other boy. Games happen on Tuesdays and Saturdays in April. In May they happen on Wednesdays & Saturdays. Except when they happen on Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Saturdays.

So I only plan 3 meals, plus 2 days of sandwiches & salads, one day of leftovers and I just assume Saturday will be fast food since the boys always have games at different times & who knows where we will be at any given moment.


They won their games!  Mayhem’s team won 11-7 on Saturday & was rained out on Tuesday. Havoc’s team won 5-3 on Wednesday and 15-8 on Saturday.

Havoc has expressed interest in the Discworld series. Luckily for him I have the Color of Magic on kindle.  I’ve loaded it on his and as soon as he finishes the Minecraft novel he is reading he is going to move on to it.

Mayhem has found a ‘true stories for boys’ type series in his school library & is reading true stories of boys’ daring do during WWII.

Mayhem doesn’t do ‘fiction’ much.

I have a new book by Amanda Quick to review.

I finished Turtle Recall & really enjoyed it. I haven’t read the Tiffany Aching books or some of the ‘notebooks’ and side publications, nor have I read all the ‘regular’ Discworld novels (I have skipped the witches books, for whatever reason I have failed to get more than a third way into any of them) so I didn’t recognize some of the people/places/things but I wasn’t really bothered by it. I have been left wanting to reread Thief of Time, Reaper Man & Soul Music.  I suppose I need to see more of DEATH, as it were. SmileLuckily the library has them in stock.


There is this…thing.. around here, where people come up to an intersection with a red light and instead of pulling all the way up to the white line they wait further back a bit, usually an entire car length. I do not understand this behavior in the slightest but whatever. It rarely affects me or the lights.
Unless you are in a left turn lane that needs to know you are there to change the red arrow to green when the other lights go green. In which case you are SOL because the guy is too far back to trigger it.
Today I got behind such a guy. He left well over one car length between him and the white line and so the main lights went red and then to green without triggering the left turn light. This did trigger a lot of honking from the people behind me, but guy refused to pull up. When yet ANOTHER light cycle went by with no left arrow the guy behind me pulled out and then pulled in front of the guy ahead of me (Plenty of room available) and the guy ahead of me rolled down his window and lost his mind shouting at the guy who was behind me.
But then the green arrow was at last triggered and we all blasted our horns at idiot in front of me.
Possibly the funniest thing I have seen in awhile.

Spring Break

A belated update.

Our Spring Break was the week before last, which was for the most part a week of decently nice weather.

We did some geocaching.

geocaching (1)092

Over the course of the week we looked for 10 caches and found 8. One of the two we didn’t find was a puzzle one and I really need to just give up on those when DH isn’t with us.

He’s the only one of us that can read a compass and map.

The puzzle resolution was to walk 320 feet from the starting coordinates (which we did find) at 114 degrees.

Yeah, I have no clue what that means. My best guess had us headed in the opposite direction of what the hint told us and logistically the only place where something could be hidden and remain that way.

The other one I think is just missing.

Both were at the neighboring county’s parks & rec field complex, where the boys have several baseball games in the coming weeks, so we will solve that puzzle next time we are down there.

Though we will have to put off looking in the area because we will be there on a Saturday while all 5 fields are in use and it would look decidedly odd for us to be clambering all over the metal bleachers, looking over and under and through everything, while people are sitting there watching the game.

“It’s a treasure hunt” we usually tell the curious

We also went to the library


watched movies


and discovered that a ski resort just over the mountain from us (ok, its 2 hour drive. It’s a big mountain) has one of these in their water park


Yep, a FLOW RIDER! My very favoritest thing ever in a water park!

It’s half again the width of the one at Great Wolf Lodge


This means you can stand up on the board and ride (assuming you are capable of such things, which I am totally not. yet.).  There were two guys there who did the standing ride thing and another one who did lots of hot shot tricks & they are either locals or staff, going by the conversations with the various lifeguards. 

Also unlike GWL they put a guard at the bottom of the ride & that guard gives you hints and suggestions for tricks to try while you are riding. They also drag kids who for reasons of weight or skill immediately drift over to the edge and off the ride, back into the center so they can get a better ride

Plus, if you wipe out early in your turn they LET YOU GO AGAIN!

While this is spectacular good news if you are the one riding it is kind of annoying if you are waiting in line. There doesn’t seem to be a set time limit on how long you can ride or how often you can start over so 7 people ahead of you could mean an hour long wait. Whereas at GWL it’s maybe 15 minutes. 20 at the outside.

And the flow itself isn’t as strong or maybe as deep as at GWL. I could plant my hand on the bottom surface  and hold on to do side tricks easily. At GWL the force of the water dragged it too much to hold on.

The slides were great! Long & full of interesting turns & dips giving big splashdowns.  But the line discipline was non-existent. One set of stairs led up to an open space with 5 slides leading off of it. Three required 1-3 person inner tubes to ride and 2 did not allow tubes at all. Which you needed to know at the bottom, where the tubes are kept. The open space has nothing to form or direct the queues for the slides so basically you got up there and then had to wander around while asking everyone “Are you in line for the red tube? Oh this is the green line? Are *you* in line for the red tube? And you as well? No? Well, she says *that* is the line for the green tube over there.”

I really liked their tree fort.


It actually stands in a a pool of about a foot of water and has some neat slides. Their ‘lazy river’ winds its way around it.

I’m sure it is a matter of what you are used to. If someone who only goes to this place went to GWL they would think the flow rider is too small, too fast & too short and the place is rather anal about forming proper lines for everything.

There was also baseball practice, meals out, late nights and lots of time playing Minecraft.

We had a good week for it. Unlike the poor souls currently on Spring Break, who are getting something closer to winter weather.

But no snow thankfully.

Zoom In Zoom Out

At my office this time. Working on coverage maps.

2014-04-16 10.06.082014-04-16 10.06.13

zoom in zoom out is a photo meme run by Helen

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