Day 20: Saturday! Saturday!

It was heaven to sleep into 9AM this morning. No nightmares. No asthma stealing into my dreams of happy days and changing the dreams into nightmares of drowning in the air. No waking to events from work or at home. Just blessed sleep.

The headache is still just a hint that it can come back. No problems reading and light sensitivity, while even there, is not enough to stop me. I will admit that my laptop is at 60% brightness.

To my robot projects! All sitting shelved for lack of time and thinking space. I need not only time, but I need to have some imagination, and that takes even more time.

I grab the Cricket. I have two different models. I have never had the time to make them work. They exploit existing microcontrollers and add even more cool things like servos and motor controllers, everything a robot needs.

Hours later and I put the Cricket back on the shelf and then try the other one. That too ends on the shelf. One must accept failure and move on. The software is not working and poorly interfacing with all the cool hardware. Next time!

Which reminds me, I spent a few hours with Rev. Ann Weld-Martin helping her with Zoom. Zoom, after many reports in the edgy part of the Internet were repeated, mostly correctly, by the mainstream press, has decided to finally fix a few security issues. This means the users of Zoom, especially those who host a meeting, will see a few different screens and have to park their participants in the virtual waiting room and then admit them.

Screen Shot 2020-04-04 at 12.01.47 PM

(It takes quite a few mistakes to end up hosting a meeting to oneself and having to admit yourself–I have not idea how I did that)

I helped Rev. Weld-Martin get that all under control. I will be tech-support at 10:30 Sunday again.

Note: I have tried to put links under the names of technical thing items if you want to know what they are.

Back to the hardware, after failing so much, I remembered that I had some cool hardware that I was itching to try out. This is the impressively named microcontroller, Metro M4 Grand Central, from AdaFruit in New York City. I had to purchase the boards without headers (header allow easy use for wiring up test set-ups) as the regular boards sold-out fast. From China, I bought colorful pins that you can solder in place of headers. Mine looks cool now with colored pins and standing on brass separators.

(My first movie in a while, a bit shaky)

I love to connect to satellites from the ground. I have a small GPS board also with a  working connection to the Grand Central. Then an LCD readout is always handy. I found a spare in my cabinets–I have a virtual Radio Shack in the garage. The display is also now running on the Grand Central.

All this was coded in Python. I used some of the code I developed previously for some other projects. Everything went fast tonight and worked!

Reaching for an aside, my first tools included a hammer with a wood handle. I remember that the handle broke and I got a better hammer for Christmas–I last saw it in dad’s shed before he passed away, he kept it after I left home. Next, I had an old electric drill–it made sparks inside. The third tool I remember was a wood burner that I also used to solder with. I had these I remember in 1974 when I was very young. I liked to work with my hands, but only on precise things.

I solder over seventy pins on the Grand Central and a few other items. Something I can do without effort. I also did a few wiring harnesses. I have the tools, shrink wrap, heat gun, and so on to get all this done. None of the tools and items are expensive, but the right tools and supplies make everything simple.

Which seems to take to today’s song: Pinball Wizard.

Dinner was a debate as I wanted pizza on a Saturday night. We settled on Dominos delivered. Two salads, pizza, and two types of pasta. Extravagant, but it is Saturday. Can’t go drinking, to the movies, or exploring Portland for cool used books. So we will go with the works delivered!

We spent the day inside. Susie was reading and has found Shattered by Dick Francis. We used to see Mr. Francis at a book signing with his wife when we lived in Maryland. We have a few books signed by him. His son started writing with him and then took over when Dick Francis passed away. Shattered is an excellent read.

Today it was reported more than one thousand three-hundred thirty people passed away in the USA from the virus. I found this video that I liked: Many Gifts, One Spirit

1 thought on “Day 20: Saturday! Saturday!”

  1. I remember you soldering and wood burning in the basement – wondering how your meeting went, the one you hosted, with you, with you waiting….. yep hard laughter, & even spilled my coffee a little.
    Love you to the moon.


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