Archive for May, 2009

Ski jumper

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Here’s a freestyle ski jumper practicing. In the summer. In a pool. Odd.

Before I forget, I need to make the following Special Morrowlife Announcement: No blogging tomorrow or Friday. We’re going camping and don’t expect to have internet access. I realize this is a major disappointment to many of my Loyal Readers, but just think of how much you’ll appreciate it when The Blog returns on Monday. And how energized I’ll be from my vacation time off.

As mentioned before (I think) we’re going to be camping at Anthony Chabot Regional Park – the same place we stayed over the Thanksgiving holiday. We enjoyed it then and are looking forward to a summertime stay.

In other news, progress is being made on the MARV front. LRN1 got the two Arduinos talking to each other and is close to getting the accelerometer hooked up and sending data. We’ve decided to do a lot more documentation on the Gardenville website – updates on a nearly-daily basis, with more detailed posts as appropriate. Our first tech spinoff of the program is the LCD board. LRN1 is getting the prototype finished today, hopefully, and we’re designing a circuit board and will have a few made up. We’re trying to decide whether to try to sell kits, completed boards (may cost too much to produce), or just bare boards with parts lists. Need to do a little research to see what’s already available. I’m thinking the easiest way is to release the schematic, PCB layout files, and software as open-source and offer to sell bare boards to people who want them. That keeps the price low to undercut whatever prebuilt competition is out there. I think it may also maximize our profits, although kits might end up making more money. Either way, I see this as a great way to monetize open-source design. If we sold kits, we could also pre-load the software onto the chip. Could also just sell pre-programmed chips, for that matter.

Anyway, check out the Gardenville website for project status on an ongoing basis.

LRN2 is also working on his writing for the HRVA and, in an important new development, Spinfo. We’re going to get the latter site going with reviews and news on free and open-source games. Still need to do a little web research and see who else is doing the same thing so we can find a way to differentiate ourselves. Also need to figure out where we ultimately want to take those sites and how to monetize them, if possible.

Loyal Reader ideas are welcome. I guess if there’s no direct money to be made, we can at least hope to contribute to the community in a meaningful way and get our work in front of a few eyes.

Otherwise, the situation is stable and everybody’s happy and healthy. Looking forward to hearing from LRN3 on his new job.

Weekend camping plans include geocaching, hiking, and some business strategy meetings. Also some good meals, campfires, and lots of relaxation.

I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with some unfortunate criminal toilet news: stay out of the elevator.

See you on Monday, with lots of news.

Wedding day

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Here are LRN3 and LRN15 getting married. A few years old, but still a good picture.

No post yesterday. Holiday. Plus, I was busy goofing around. I trust my Loyal Readers somehow survived. Thanks to Anon for missing me.

And we’re going to have Extreme Short Shrift today – it’s Massive Meeting Tuesday. I’ll be there from 7:00 until at least 10:00. And I’m already sleepy here on the train. So I took a nice, long nap.

Nice weekend. We bought a new antique dresser for me. It was in pretty good shape but needed refinishing, which LRN4 has already started to do. She had just finished her desk chair (which looks great), and she was going to start some upholstery projects, but they’re on hold for a while. My old dresser is pretty rickety, although it still looks pretty good. I think it’s going into the guest room when my new one is ready.

Spent a lot of time getting a bunch of new TV shows for Larry and Joe the AppleTV. I selected a bunch of podcasts and started them downloading. Had to pause them with about a hundred left to go when Larry’s hard disk filled up. I’m relocating Larry’s iTunes library to the terabyte disk and will let it resume the download when that’s done (i.e. when I have a few minutes free). When it’s all done, Larry will have a thousand podcast episodes for our viewing convenience. Should last a little while.

Any toilet news today? Why, yes: stay out of my pool.

And for any Loyal Readers still looking for that special summer work opportunity: Go to Maine.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Here’s a nice little island at Chabot park. Part of my famous Camping series.

Well, another work week comes to an end. Spent the evening quietly at home. Enjoyed every quiet minute of it. We skipped adult dance instruction at the church this evening. Turns out we preferred a quiet evening at home.

LRN1 has decided to change the development system for the MARV from the Arduino’s IDE to Cocoa, using some libraries provided by the Arduino people and a toolkit called Crosspack, which is an AVR cross-compiler provided by some third party. I’m probably going to get my machine set up to do the same thing, just so I can keep up with events. I’ll probably drop my Arduino simulator in favor of a native Mac or Linux navigation program that can be recompiled for the Arduino. Must remain flexible.

In today’s food violence news, the gorillas are getting restless. Keep your bananas locked up.

Still no winners in my Dollar Movie Challenge. Still no entrants, for that matter. What’s up, Loyal Readers?

Monday is Memorial Day – three-day weekend! See you then.

Penguin TV

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Here’s a screenshot of Tux sitting on an AppleTV, part of the wonder that is the AppleTV Boxee installation. Part of my famous Machinery series.

Lame Great Art, I know. It’s late and I need to get to bed. So no searching my voluminous archives for actual Great Art tonight.

Well. It appears the Comcast people employ a web crawler to search for negative comments about their service. Check out yesterday’s comments. Kind of creepy, no? As if that guy just happened to be reading my blog on the day I happened to discuss a problem I had with Comcast’s service. Can we at least give the guy credit for trying to be polite and helpful? Possibly, but I must say I’m a little put off by the friendly act. And by the fact that they’re looking in the first place. Loyal Reader comments? Creepy or nice?

Work went well. Sadly, it appears there was a T-38 crash on the base today. I haven’t heard any details yet, other than what’s on the public internet. I hope the crew was rescued. We were grounded this evening for a day or two while they do whatever they have to do.

Attended a Stake scout Court of Honor. It was sparsely attended (we were the only ones from our ward other than a member of the Stake YM presidency) but nice. We were glad to be there.

Also got Moe set up properly again as a Linux server. I got a JBOD-like setup going, using a product called LVM. It was a little complex to do, but there was a great online tutorial, and it’s working great. I now have a 200GB virtual root partition made out of a 40GB, an 80GB, and a 100Gb disk. Yes, I know there are 20GB missing, but that’s taken up in the additional partitions and in some extra space in each of the disks for buffering. Or something like that. Don’t bother me with details.

I also set up Moe so I can connect to its X server directly from my Mac, which means I can execute programs on Moe from Curly’s desktop, without dealing with the excessive overhead of VNC. Plus, they look just like Mac programs, which is pretty cool. I’m moving development of the Arduino simulator over to Moe. At least that’s the plan right now.

Now here’s a cause I think my Loyal Readers can get behind. Remember: Just because nothing really happened, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do something. We’re all Roanoakians now.

In today’s toilet news, the internet comes to our rescue once again: we no longer have to worry about missing the best part of the movie to answer the call of nature. What will they think of next?

I’ve offered a dollar to the first of LRN1 and LRN2 who can figure out a movie quote. So far, nobody has claimed the prize. So I’m opening it up to all my Loyal Readers (except for LRN4, to whom I already revealed the answer). What movie does this line come from:

“The remuneration at first will be small; we’re a growing concern.”

See you tomorrow.

Spectral reader

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Here’s the spectral image of LRN2, haunting the camera at the Miller house ruins at Mt. Madonna County Park. Part of my famous Camping series. Pretty spooky.

Nice day. We had a few unfortunate discoveries at work today, but that’s why we test things. And at least we found them in our testing and not on our aircraft. So it was a nice day. Also sunny and pleasantly warm.

The internet died for us this evening for about half an hour. It finally came back up just as I reached the person at Comcast who could help me. Typical. Dumb old Comcast. I wish there were a reasonable alternative. And they are well aware there isn’t. The most aggravating thing was that as soon as I was finished complaining about the poor service, she tried to sell me more. Unbelievable.

Anyway. I went to the branch’s Elders Quorum presidency meeting this evening, only to find out they held it two hours earlier. Oh well. It gave me some time to go home and fight with Comcast. Also to change me clothes and relax at home a little. No complaint. I’ll meet with the presidency again next week.

There’s important toilet news today: Keep your arms out of the toilet. Let the tooth go. Actually, I can’t think of any toilet I would want to stick my arm in less than one at the ballpark.

I subscribed to a bunch of new podcasts yesterday. The church has started an internet radio station called the Mormon Channel. They have some original programming and are getting some other stuff from BYU, Bonneville Media, Deseret Book, and various other LDS-related sources. Their original shows are also available as podcasts. So I subscribed. Haven’t heard any of them yet, but I’m positive I’ll enjoy them. Recommended, sight unseen. Or sound unheard, I guess.

They’re also releasing an iPhone app Real Soon Now that streams Mormon Radio live. Very cool. Plus, you can embed it on your Facebook page or elsewhere, like this:

if (WIDGETBOX) WIDGETBOX.renderWidget(‘ff7ad2be-625d-4fe6-924a-9c9fbba8e229’);Get the Mormon Channel widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox!

Give it a listen!

Anyway. Time for other things. See you tomorrow.