Archive | January, 2007

More Weather & Thoughts On Inventory

Tonight’s Headlines:

Another wet, windy, snowy storm hitting Washington

Storm Pounds Region With High Winds

Apparently 2007 will resemble 2006 in some annoying ways. It’s really blowing hard at the boat tonight.

Nity & I have made a good start on inventorying her stuffed animals. We’re creating a spreadsheet for all the goods we have on board Katherine Jane, but might forget about because they’re packed away. I intended to begin in the pantry and work our way back. But somehow, Nit thought her stuffed animals were more critical, so we’re working on them first. At least she’s learning about data capture, sorting, & tracking. These skills will probably serve her well someday. I suggested tagging each animal with a number, but she “doesn’t believe in it” ~ too cruel, evidently. She settled on a column for “Distinguishing Characteristics” instead (You wouldn’t believe how many Bunny-brown-smalls she has ~ luckily they all have different ribbons and such).

We’ve been thinking a lot about managing all of the little cubbyholes, nooks, and crannies on the boat. Ever since my friend John mentioned the space program’s bar code management system, I’ve been coveting something like that, where I could just slap a sticker on an item, scan the drawer label in which I put said item, and have a computer to magically keep track of everything for me. But for now, it’s all about meticulous data entry.

Inventory Management System

An attempt to remedy these problems with a prototype on-orbit Inventory Management System (IMS) was conducted during three missions on Mir from 1991 to 1993. The Russian IMS included ground preparation of bar code labels, attachment of labels to items carried to Mir, and the creation of a database listing all items.

The ground system printed three copies of each bar code label. One label was placed on the equipment, another on the document that tracked the equipment, and the final label on the flight manifesting document.

The on-board hardware included a pen– style bar code reader, which was attached by Velcro to the crewmember’s clothing, a battery charger and docking station that allowed data downloading to the IMS database, a laptop computer workstation that contained the IMS and two bar code label printers. One printer was used on the ground and the other on Mir.

Apparently they even had trouble with that system ~ synchronizing the ground and orbiting databases, some issues with crew discipline in making the updates. It’s going to be work no matter what, I suppose.

Greg has caught the cold virus which has been making it’s way through his family. I’ve managed to steer clear of that so far. Unfortunately that puts me in charge of nursing the poor boy back to health. Which means I’m off to make hot cocoa now. Have a good night!

Later: Greg & Nity, with their mugs full of steaming drinks prepared lovingly by Yours Truly, have pronounced this the most boring post ever. Nity couldn’t even stay focused enough to read the whole thing. On the other hand, we’ve had a lovely discussion about military inventory naming conventions and such. Pretty much all I know is that the odd numbers will be port and the evens will be starboard. The rest is still being considered. Brilliant suggestions welcome!

Even Later: OK, this is what I want: Astronauts Little Helper. I swear I’m done for tonight. For a while anyway.

At Julie’s Request

She didn’t think there were enough pictures of the trip & we do try to keep our regular readers happy, so here are some more!

From Manzanita Bay across from Poulsbo. Nice, quiet anchorage.

Getting passed by the Seattle-Bremerton ferry in Rich Passage. They may look ungainly, but those things MOVE!

An old rustbucket off of Bainbridge that still looked cool.

Julie knitting on the aft deck as we were underway.

Naval Station Everett

Sunset near Blakely Harbor

Dodging ferries near Port Gardner

More water…

Captain Nity J

Tug pulling huge barge with Seattle skyline behind

Hi, Honey, We’re Home!

A truly lovely week out “at sea” and now we’re back to the drudgery of real life. It was splendiferous all around. We completely lucked out on weather. It turned nasty with another storm today now that we’re home, but we had blue skies and calm seas for the entire trip.

Everyone had a great time. The fireworks from the Space Needle were not bad, although Greg was a little disappointed that there were so many other boats around us in the harbor (it was a fantastic view of the Seattle waterfront; we probably shouldn’t have been surprised!). Greg and I were both asleep by 6:30 last night and slept solidly until morning.

Today it was back to work. The building was rocking back and forth all day. I don’t have any trouble with being out on the boat, but getting my land legs back takes me a few days. I think I should just stay out there!