Categories
Life in lockdown Weather

Arduino weather station

Happy Easter (on lockdown). Weather is beautiful today. A bit warm but the wind is blowing. The girls and I had a confetti egg fight earlier. I still have confetti in my hair.

I setup the weather station in the front garden. I’m sure I’ll get a note from the association. Ella is coloring the sidewalk with chalk now. Ham will go in oven soon. Happy Easter.

Categories
Software

If it ain’t broke…

The sun has been shining in the UK! I know, I’m surprised too. Anyway, because of that, I’ve missed my glasses with transition lenses which have been out of action since the right arm broke.

I set out to see it I could replace the arms with spares from an old pair, but having been mostly a contact lens wearer for the past decade, I didn’t have much to use. The best contender looked like my current day to day pair. So I set about a little test run.

Using a really old pair of glasses to see, I set about removing the right arm of my current pair. It came off easy enough, but the hinge was different so it was a non starter. I go to put it back together, and I can’t get the screw back in. OK…. Tweezers…. Nope. Nothing was working. Now I have 2 pairs of non functioning glasses. Great.

Annoyed with myself, I leave it be and decide to try again to glue the broken arm of the 1st pair back together. Are you managing to keep track so far?

I spend a good bit of time on the super glue and manage to get the broken arm to hold together and I then reassemble the glasses. It works, but I have my doubts it will take much stress before it breaks.

Back to the pair I wear all the time. Well, I try and try. Nothing. But I won’t be beaten. I get a safety pin and use the pin to align the holes between the frame and the arm, take out the pin. Place the screw lightly in the hole and use some pincers to push it in slightly. Bingo! It pops into the hole. I screw it tightly and then pinch it home when it seems it won’t go any further. Success!

So yes, if it ain’t broke… Don’t try and fix it. I spent a good part of the day on it. You’ve done well to read all of that. Now for a photo…..

Categories
Hardware

Sad iMac

Do you remember the old Sad Mac icon on old system 7 (that was hip for us 70’s kids)? Well, imagine my iMac 27″ right now is a sad, sad Mac. The hard drive is failing. I was suspecting this so I ran an diagnostic utility called DriveDX and the disk failed it’s SMART healthcheck. The drive itself has 34K hours on it so it’s no spring chicking

Categories
Hardware

Cisco Meraki GigE Switch

I purchased this small business class managed Cisco ethernet switch from goodwill for $29 USD. https://meraki.cisco.com/lib/pdf/meraki_datasheet_ms220_compact.pdf

A total crapshoot on this one; I had no idea if it would even work. This thing is brilliant, I am really happy with it and makes me want to get more of these things. So many features and remote management. Real profesh setup if you ask me.

Categories
Life in lockdown

Morning run

I got up at 6am for a morning run having fallen asleep in my running gear the evening before. (Rest assured that I did wake up, change and go to bed). To my surprise, the restrictions have encouraged many other people out on to the street for an early morning run.

I did my normal hill route, but then extended my trip to the local shop to get some bread. The increased number of people out and about meant a lot of running on the road to keep at a safe distance – and there is still traffic!

Getting the bread was a task and a half. In a small shop, staying 2m apart from people is not easy. At one point I got trapped in the corner as both exits were blocked by people looking at items or queuing. It was like a human form of the game ‘Rush Hour’.

I had to lean to place the bread on the counter as lines clearly marked how close I could get. Money had to be placed on the counter–no handing it to the cashier. Not being terribly tall meant I ended up sort of throwing it. The cashier (also not tall) ended up sort of throwing my change back at me. I pondered that this was a bit ridiculous, but decided not to say anything as people are just trying to be safe.

On the way home I noticed the gate to the woods is permanently tied open. I assume so lots of people don’t touch it. I took a photo (above). It made me realise how crazy things are.

Miles run: Not enough. Too much starting and stopping.

New tracks added to running playlist: Highway Star, Deep Purple

Categories
Life in lockdown

Little things

Yesterday, I felt a little down as I’m sure a lot of people do just now.

This morning, I received a postcard from a friend just to say ‘Hello’. It was unexpected and has brightened my day.

I have put it in a frame. Next time things feel a bit gloomy, I hope that it will remind me how lucky I am to have lovely people in my life.

Categories
Life in lockdown

A Failed Monopoly…

I tried to be a great dad today, I really tried. Ella and I wanted to go on a bike ride but Abby did not. She wanted to play Minecraft together which I struggled to setup. I finally got it working an hour later and frustration had built so then some arguments between Abby and Ella. We quit playing and I made lunch. After lunch I suggest monopoly which all agreed. First go around the board Ella buys park place and then Abby said I’m done playing. Oh, one day I’ll laugh. One day.

Categories
Science Weather

Arduino Weather Station

Because of Covid-19 we are all home and we most likely will need to stay for many, many weeks. Abby and Ella are home schooling and I’m working from home. Both girls have a science component to their learning. Ella’s Science curriculum includes the following “Students are currently working on life Science concepts. Students are expected to investigate that most producers (plants) need sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to make their own food”. I purchased an Arduino based weather station kit a few years ago to build with the girls. I figure now is a good time so I built it today. My soldering is below average but it does work. I’ll check it more tomorrow. Today was a long but good day..

Categories
Life in lockdown

The view from across the pond

Today was the first day of the UK living under strict limits of when we can leave our homes. It feels very unreal and cast a long shadow over what was a day of bright sunshine and blue skies.

It is hard to know how to approach the situation and I find myself darting between not thinking about it and clinging on tightly to what little bit of routine I can find. I have, however, pledged to make the most of our allowance to leave our homes once per day for exercise. So I am trying to look positively at an opportunity to up the mileage that I run every week.

Main road into Christchurch at 10pm

As expected, it was earily quiet, although some signs of life as people walked dogs. We all gave each other space as I passed.

Tonight’s run: 4 miles.

New song added to running playlist: Pompeii, Bastille.

Categories
Life in lockdown

Camping in the Time of Covid-19

Went camping over the weekend with Ella, Todd and Paige. It was a good time but it sure rained. Ella and I were in the tent about 9pm on Saturday night and it had been raining for a while. The tent did ok but water started into the tent and there was lightning (no thunder). Ella gets nervous; I say she is safe with me. She says ok but still nervous. Next flash she says we go sleep in the cabin with Todd and Paige. Ok, I agree — not 30 seconds later another flash. I agree and we get dressed and pack up sleeping bags to walk in pouring rain the 200 yards or so back to the cabin. Todd and Paige were waiting up for us and the cabin was warm and dry.