A few weeks ago, the worst fire in Colorado’s history broke out. In my town. It was like Armageddon raining fire down upon us. A bunch of people lost their homes, a few people died. It was definitely a scary few days.
After the very professional firefighters and city government folks began to gain control, some levity was in order. I got on Twitter and joked that I wasn’t going to shave until this end-of-the-world stuff quieted down. And a local report named joined in. The following is the ⇥ (read more)
Is this a mashup made in heaven? I think it was.
Daddy and Iris at the concert
Sarah and Iris and I all went to this concert a few weeks ago titled, “The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass” with text by Marisha Chamberlain and music by Carol Barnett. The Colorado Springs Chorale’s Chamber Singers performed the piece.
The idea is so pure and revelatory: a unique combination of bluegrass ⇥ (read more)
I ran across this most excellent xkcd comic the other day:
A funny circuit diagram parody
It’s just so funny on so many levels, if you’re a EE. Let’s just go clockwise around the page, starting at the top left.
- I love that the battery voltage is a square root. Just so obscure and mathematically nerdy.
- Gluing open the switch? Ha!
- That PNP transistor has two emitters, look out! Crashing electrons!
- I like that the printed value of the resistor isn’t explicit; just the color code is written. Priceless.
- Solder blob, yes! Any engineer worth his salt relies on solder blobs during prototyping. It’s especially funny that this blob is shorting out a bunch of parts.
- 666 timer. Why didn’t I think of that one? The 555 timer has had too much fun for too many years.
- Magic smoke bottle. Again, just so funny.
- Just try to do some nodal analysis on that resistor network!
- Holy water, tear collectors, and sandals… wow.
- “Hire someone to open and close switch real fast.” I laugh out loud each time I read that.
- Most expensive chip available — I used one of those in my senior design project!
- Arduino for blog cred. That’s so trending now.
- I’m afraid that 50V battery isn’t going to last long.
- Hot glue. Man, if I had a nickel for every time I whipped out the hot glue gun…
Insider parodies like these really crack me up. I’m reminding of the Death Waltz musical score, also comically brilliant in its absurd complexity. My wife reminded me of some music that her choir performed by ” PDQ Bach” ((P. D. Q. Bach is a fictitious composer ⇥ (read more)
As my wife can attest, I’ve been lost in the world of code again. It‘s happened before. This time, I was working on a big project for an NPO for which I do part-time admin work. The project involved updating their WordPress theme. I had not selected the previous theme they were using; it was roughly 4-6 years old, so showing its age in a lot of ways.
The CBE Scroll blog
The effort was very much a “start from scratch” job. Since web dev is not my ⇥ (read more)
My good friend James contacted me with an electronics problem. Seems his daughter’s cell phone was on the fritz. So I agreed to take a look.
She has a Pantech P7000 flip phone, but it stopped charging. I asked a few questions first to understand the nature of the problem. For instance:
- Has she tried other wall chargers? Yes, all give same symptoms.
- Has she tried other batteries? Unknown.
- Has she tried wiggling the cable to see if it makes connection? Yes, and it does.
James gave me some great info, so I knew what I was in for. My guess was that the charging connector on the phone was going bad. I’ve seen it before. James sent it to me to have a look:
[gallery include=”4980,4982,4981″ link=”file” ⇥ (read more)
On my computer, I’m in the habit of using lots of subfolders for my organization of reports and other output I generate from my financial software. I prefer to use a structure of month names inside the for the year, with forced chronological order.
So I wrote an Automator script to do this for me automatically. It took me a long time to get around to doing it. I had been creating all these myriad subfolders by hand until now.
To use this, you save as a ⇥ (read more)
You remember the first phase of the iPod jukebox, yes? To jog your memory, the basic goal was simple. How do I make these dust-collecting components:
…work with my iPhone in order to have music in my workshop? Simple concept, not so simple electronics. The project is mostly a connectivity issue, i.e., there are tons of inputs and outputs that must all be managed with connectors and wiring and power regulation.
On paper, the system looks something like ⇥ (read more)
I owe my reading life to Mom. I remember her reading to my sister and me throughout our childhood. I think there’s power in the spoken word for a young child; my imagination was exercised regularly very early on.
And now I see how that cycle is repeating, as I read books to Iris at bedtime. I find myself reading like Mom, borrowing the cadence and sentiment. Mom’s a great reader.
One of my favorites was a Christian allegorical book. It was set ⇥ (read more)
I just caught this highly entertaining geek culture documentary short film by Jay Cheel, host of the Documentary Blog podcast, which is one of my favorite podcasts. It’s called “The Politics of Competitive Board Gaming Amongst Friends.”
The short doc has a really cool use of ironic slow motion. All the interviews are looking straight into the camera — very Errol Morris.
If you love board games, like Settlers of Catan, you’ll appreciate this film. You can see the whole thing ⇥ (read more)
It’s fun to look back and read your own thoughts from years ago. This blog has served as my journal in that respect. But it’s also fun to literally look back and see my blog as it’s progressed. With the help of the interwebz, this is possible.