Archive for June, 2010


Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Here’s LRN2 sitting at the organ in a Protestant church in Modesto a few months ago.  He was playing in the annual spring recital and did an outstanding job, as usual.  Of course.  Since there’s an organ in the picture, and organs are quite complex, beautiful machines, this is officially part of my famous Machinery series.

Another normal day.  Had a one- or two-dollar day at work.  Morning was extremely busy, but I could have accomplished more in the afternoon, I think.

Can’t take too much time tonight.  I want to do a bit of work on the church iPhone project, and it’s already a bit past 8:30.  Need my beauty rest.

Not much else to report.  I don’t remember whether I mentioned the radio antenna on my beloved pickup was stolen the other day.  Or night, I suspect.  Who steals a cheapo radio antenna?  I ask you.  I can get the whole antenna, including the cable, for about ten bucks, so the mast itself must be about five.  Who steals a five-dollar antenna?

Probably someone who had somebody else steal their antenna, I guess.  Well, I’ll buy mine, thanks.  But still, I ask you.

Off to work on the iPhone project.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this important toilet news: look before you sit.

See you tomorrow.

Scout bear

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Here’s a statue of a bear.  In a boy scout uniform.  At scout camp.  Picture courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam and part of my famous Statue series.  Also part of my famous Camping series.  I was camping.  Sort of.  Okay, I didn’t spend the night, but it was a camp and my decision stands.

Greetings from the train!  I have a very busy evening tonight – scout meeting – so there won’t be much time for blogging.  So I’m doing it now.  You’re welcome.

I held my first meeting with the church iPhone dev group this morning.  It went fairly well and there are some enthusiastic people.  It was great to start a business meeting with prayer – something I haven’t experienced before.  It really set the tone.  Don’t know how I could incorporate that into my day job.

One of the people I’m working with has a very interesting blog.  He’s a very good writer and a well-known Microsoft Exchange expert.  He’s world-famous in church development circles.  He works in Palo Alto and lives south of town.  Maybe we’ll get to meet one of these days.

Anyway.  I expect to get the app installed on my phone tonight or tomorrow, which I really need to do if I’m going to try to manage this program.  I haven’t even been able to get it successfully compiled yet!  Although I think I know how to get that done now.

Nothing much else new today.  Worked without getting much done that I can remember.  There’s a lot of work on my plate right now, and I don’t feel like I’m making a lot of progress on much.  I really need to start doing a five dollar job, and I feel like I’m at about fifty cents.  I know how to do it, though.

Time to pack up.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking toilet crime news: toilet part theft!

See you tomorrow.

Foot soup

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Here’s a nice steaming pot of cow foot soup, AKA caldo de pata.  Looks yummy.  Apparently, it’s pretty popular stuff down in Central America.  Part of my famous Guatemala series.

It’s Monday evening and home evening is over.  Tonight’s activity was swimming and jacuzzifying.  It was another extremely hot day today, so the pool’s temperature was pretty nice.  Not quite ready to just walk into, but almost.  It’s supposed to be warmer than usual tonight and hot again tomorrow, so it ought to be good then too.  I’ll be at a scouting meeting, though, so no swimming for me.  Sure wish I could enjoy my house a bit more.

Nothing much happened over the weekend.  In fact, I really can’t remember much of anything other than stake conference on Saturday and Sunday.  The Sunday session was very nice – I came away uplifted.  Worked more on the Arduino project.  The hardware has been declared done once again, after I messed around with the card holder’s power supply, trying to get its voltage within specs.  When I did, it stopped working.  Raised it up above specs again and it’s working fine.  Leave well enough alone, even if I can’t explain it.

Got a start on the software too.  Didn’t get way far, but it’s well under way.  I think I can have it working right with about another hour’s worth of work, and have it cleaned up and ready to publish with another hour after that.  Should be able to get it done and published on the weekend.  Then I’m really struggling with whether to design a PCB or leave that until later and start working on the navigator, which promises to be quite a software challenge itself.  It occurred to me this evening that it would be really cool as a low-cost but less-accurate direct replacement for a GPS receiver.  I don’t know if that’s really feasible, though.

LRN2 has a couple of interesting projects he’s started working on.  First, he got out our Casio keyboard and has started composing something.  I’ve only heard the random note or two, but I’ll be very interested in hearing the completed project.  I ordered a Midi cable this evening so he can tie the keyboard in to Garage Band on his Mac, greatly expanding the creative possibilities.  The cable was quite reasonably priced – about five bucks, including shipping.  I’m sorry I haven’t gotten one before.

LRN2’s second project is a web comic.  He’s still pretty much learning the computer-based tools he wants to use, so he hasn’t even started drawing yet.  I don’t really think he has his idea for the comic yet either, but there may be something working its way to the surface.  I think he really has a gift for that sort of thing.  He’s still trying to figure out where to publish it.  I suggested actually creating a Zine, but I think he has his heart set on web-only publishing.  We looked briefly at Google Sites, but he has the impression those sites are limited to fairly static pages, aimed at things like clubs and organizations.  He wants something more like Drupal, WordPress, or Blogger for ease of publishing.  I’ve started leaning pretty heavily towards WordPress myself, and I think they have free hosting (a must at this point), so I’ll probably encourage him to set up a site with them.  We could always use for that, or even buy a new domain and host it on my service.  Still, why not use a free site instead?  Decisions, decisions.

Nothing much else to report.  LRN1’s letter came this afternoon.  He’s doing well and learning to be humble.  He sent pictures of cow foot soup their landlady made for them, including the above shot.  Doesn’t look too appetizing, frankly, but the natives love the stuff.  LRN1 says he could only eat about three spoonfuls before he was done.

And I’ll leave you with this exciting new job opportunity from the Morrowlife employment agency: Metallica-listening monkey!  LRN3 might be especially interested in this one.

See you tomorrow.

Finished board

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Here’s the completed SD Logger board hooked up to my other Arduino Pro Mini, immediately following the final test.  It works!  Bwaah hah hah!  Soft focus Great Art courtesy of the famous iPhone-cam.  Part of my famous Machinery series.

It turns out that slightly out of focus Great Art is the perfect medium for my electronics projects – can’t see the bad soldering job quite as well that way.

Anyway, I’m hoping to genericize the software tomorrow before stake conference meetings start and then get the whole thing photographed a bit better and publish it on g’ville.  Then it’s on to the accelerometer and trying to make it work.  Lots to do.

Nice off Friday today.  The weather was warm and sunny – just about perfect, in fact.  Didn’t do much besides work on the Arduino project.  We installed LRN2’s new bedroom ceiling fan this afternoon – it looks great and should add some badly-needed air motion in his room.  LRN4 put some badly-needed new finish on our teak bench and table out on the deck.  And that’s about all I can remember.

Here’s a link to an article on one of my favorite subjects: celebrity loudmouths.  I hadn’t been paying enough attention to realize that Paul McCartney is an idiot.  I guess he thinks being an ex-Beatle makes his opinions count more than those of people who actually know anything.  Shut up and sing, Paul.

I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting combined job opportunity and toilet news: flush-apalooza!

See you on Monday.


Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Here’s LRN1’s dinner.  Now that looks like good eatin’.  Part of my famous Guatemala series.

No posts the last couple of days.  I was at scout camp last night – didn’t get home until about 11:00.  No excuse the previous night that I can remember.  Pretty much just hung around the house.

I’ve been working on the Arduino project again this evening.  I finally got the soldering done correctly and did a bit of testing.  Had to make the two boards’ grounds common.  Having accomplished that, it’s working perfectly.  I need to make a cable that carries the signal lines and the aforementioned ground, get another pin soldered onto the board, test it one more time, and start updating the software.  Finally!  Also need to think about designing an actual board for the thing now.

Tomorrow’s my off Friday.  Plans include the stake temple night in the evening and . . . umm . . . nothing else.  I definitely need to do a few hours’ worth of work on the church iPhone project.  Probably ought to work on some filters and maybe a car wash or two.  I also want to keep working on my Qt learning project.  The possibilities are endless.

And it’s already late.  I’ll try to write an actual post tomorrow.  In the meantime, I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: potato chip assault!

See you tomorrow.