Sturmfreie Bude

Song: “H.M. Jollies” by Kenneth Alford

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Swarm

Last night didn’t go so well. Despite trying everything I could think of, it was after 5AM before I finally dozed off. I got up several times, sat out in the living room, read and re-read sales flyers, did grounding and breathing, checked to make sure I took my evening medications, did everything to “reset” my going-to-bed routine… but no luck. I wasn’t any more worried than usual, there weren’t any unusual sounds or smells, so I have no idea what happened.

So the good thing was I finally fell asleep. The bad thing was someone rang the doorbell and knocked at the door about five hours later, waking me up and startling me a bit. Probably just as well – I don’t want my sleep schedule to get messed up. They left a pamphlet in the mailbox so at least I know which organization woke me up.

I was doing some printing for FA yesterday and yesterday morning the power went out and stayed out for about 90 minutes, wrecking the print. Today the power went out again and stayed off for about 90 minutes again. The two outages taught me three interesting things: one, it’s VERY quiet here with no power; two, the fish don’t seem to care if their pumps aren’t running; three, my phone battery does not last very long when I’m watching Netflix over the cellular network.

Aside from the long night, short sleep, and power outage, today was not too bad. I spent far too much time chasing ghosts, but I think that my crappy sleeps lately are more responsible for that than anything else.

I spent quite a bit of time today working on my Raspberry Pi SDR. My battery solution… well, it “works”, but when I compare the signal the SDR sees running off the battery to what it sees running off the official Raspberry Pi Foundation AC adapter, it’s pretty bad. So it’s back to the drawing board as far as that goes.

J headed out of town this afternoon to visit her folks for the weekend, so I’m batchin’ it for a couple of days. I have supplies, a long list of projects and things to work on (see previous paragraph), an enormous queue of shows and movies to watch, and what looks like fair weather, so I’m in pretty good shape. I also plan to take a day – maybe tomorrow – to take it easy and go for a nap if I’m tired, see if I can catch up on some sleep. We’ll see what happens.

Stay safe.

More Appointments

Song: Theme from Paperboy (Commodore 64 Game) by Mark Cooksey

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

Okay, so every time I say “this is going to be a short post,” it usually ends up being not short. So… BULLET POINTS!

  • Didn’t sleep very well last night again.
  • Did the cardiac stress test this morning, I think it went ok.
  • Did more printing.
  • Played with the SDR and new antenna.
  • Did some video editing/mangling.
  • Dr C appointment went pretty well, I almost convinced myself to try driving but it didn’t work out.
  • Talked to my folks.
  • Ordered some groceries.
  • Watched an episode of Schitt’s Creek with J.

And that’s about it.

Stay safe.

3D Print-O-Rama

Song: “Venus” by Shocking Blue

Mood: 7.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Few

Just a quick post tonight – I’ve got to be up early tomorrow.

I didn’t sleep all that well again last night but made up for part of it by sleeping through both of my alarms this morning. Fortunately, I didn’t sleep in too much so I was still able to get everything done that I’d planned.

FA came over in the afternoon with printing filament and sweet, delicious burritos. We had lunch and started in on another conversation that, over the afternoon, covered all kinds of things. FA is working on a project and asked if I wouldn’t mind printing some stuff up for her, so once we were done lunch I set the new filament to dry and we started pondering and working.

One thing I really like about working on stuff with FA is that we often look at problems from different angles and have different approaches to try and solve them. Then, we sit there and poke holes in each other’s plans until what’s left of both ideas either fits together or completely collapses (in which case we start over). You’d think that this would lead to loud arguments or burrito wrappers and glasses being thrown, but it’s worked for close to 25 years.

25 years… holy crap…

Anyway, FA did some tweaking of the 3D model and we bantered back and forth about scaling, then we started up a test print. Unfortunately, while trying to get the test done as quickly as possible, I set the speed to high and the temperature too low, so it ended up missing… things. Fortunately, it was good enough for FA to use as a test once she got home.

After everything was running, she showed me some tricks with Fusion 360 which (if I remember them correctly) will save me a lot of time and let me do some pretty neat stuff I’ve never been able to do before. Thanks, FA! 🙂

Then we wandered into the living room and sat and gabbed about all kinds of stuff again. J got home from work a little while later and the three of us talked for a while before FA needed to hit the road. We pried the test print off the print bed and she headed for home, while J left for an appointment.

You know that feeling you get when you’re done, say, a three-hour physics exam? Not the “oh thank Jeebus that’s over” feeling, but the feeling where it’s almost like you can hear your brain ticking as it cools down, like a car engine after a good long stint on the highway. I like that feeling – it reminds me I’ve been concentrating on something (or multiple things) and progress has been made and I’m not feeling any frustration or angst. It’s really quite pleasant.

A parcel arrived today. In it was mostly pretty boring stuff but three things stood out: I now have the parts to make custom short USB cables for my Pi power plans, I got a great new antenna for my SDR (which I am now listening to), and I got several pieces of the Adafruit DIY HDMI cable parts, which, after hooking them up properly (not backwards – bad Mark, bad!) work like a charm:

Raspberry Pi Display

And it’s a touchscreen, too!

Note the absence of a three-foot thick white cable with large ends.

Later after J got back from her appointment, we hung out for a while and watched a very frustrating episode of Diagnosis. Yes, some doctors are jerks, and when your illness forces you to visit a lot of them, you’re much more likely to run into one of those jerks. But when you have a port at your skin that leads directly to your heart AND you have a diagnosis, don’t ignore the diagnosis because the first dweeb doctor that told you about it. My official diagnosis as to why this poor girl has had her problems is old fashioned Bad Mom Disease (BMD, sometimes seen as IBMD, where the I stands for “Insufferable”). The sadness I have about her condition is hammered pretty flat every time her mother talked and made the whole discussion about her. Here’s an answer. Here’s a treatment. You’ve talked to someone else with the same thing and he says it works great. Want to try? No? Why not? Because you don’t feel like that’s the diagnosis? They did the test and it came back strongly positive, so no problem, we’ll let your daughter feel like crap and live alone until you decide you stop hating the diagnosis and start getting her fixed. There are people on this show who are being told there’s no treatment and no cure, but they’re just so happy to be able to put a name to it and that there were other people out there who were like them. Then there’s this family who, after having a bad experience with a terrible doctor, decides that whatever he told them has to be wrong, regardless of how many other doctors come up with the same diagnosis. Arrrrgh.

Okay, I spent way too much time talking about that. FA checked the fit of the test print before it crumbled away to nothing, and confirmed that it was the right size so I took the filament out of the dryer, loaded it up with some desiccant bags, and then turned on the printer.

BRAWWWAWWAWWAWWAWWAWWAWWAWWAWWAWWAWWAWWAWW

Not a good sound, so I looked around and found it was a fan inside the control box. I’ll need to replace it soon but a few sharp raps on the box and it settled down nicely. I purged the rest of the previous filament and started up a print. It’s going to take a while but it seems to be going well so far. Hopefully that’ll keep up!

Nothing further about the volunteer opportunity for J and I, we’ll just sit and wait. If it doesn’t work out, that’s just fine.

Tomorrow I have my cardiac stress test tomorrow morning, and a Dr C appointment in the afternoon. I have a lot of new stuff to talk to Dr C about, and even more questions, so I’m glad she’s back. I will be glad to get the stress test done because this will be a great way to tell if I’ll be able to start in on some other exercises that will get me all sweaty and gross. Plus, I’d really like to know that I’m not one sneeze away from a giant MI.

Stay safe.

Not Bad For A Monday

Song: “Acapulco 1922” by Kenny Ball

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

I didn’t sleep all that well last night so it took me a while to get going this morning. J wasn’t feeling well so she stayed home and slept until almost 1PM. She’s feeling a lot better now, though.

Having J around (even when she was snoring down the hall) was a nice treat, and once I got moving I got a fair amount of stuff done. Nothing too exciting, but progress nonetheless.

This afternoon J and I hung out and did our own stuff, too. We watched another episode of Diagnosis this evening – this one was a little different, as ten minutes in they knew the diagnosis but spent the balance of the episode trying to find someone else with the same disease. I like the show a lot (but I’m a sucker for medical mystery stuff) but boy did they pick cases that make me feel awful for the patients and their families. The one we watched yesterday in particular really got to me. Watching people trying to go about their days and find some normalcy… I wish I could make everyone better.

Oh, and in case you’re keeping track, our Diagnosis score is now 15-10 for yours truly.

I’ve mentioned a few times now that there are a lot of rabbits in the area, and a few of them vacation in our yard. I enjoy watching them stop by to eat some dandelions or take a nap – as long as they don’t build a bunny hut in our yard. They haven’t been around as much lately, but yesterday there was one who was really chilling out at the bottom of the deck steps (which is where they usually rest):

Comfy rabbitWe used to have guinea pigs and they would do the same kind of thing when they were relaxed – lean over to the side a bit and kick a leg out. It’s weird how long the rabbit’s legs are, I guess they’re not usually out like that. Aww maaaaan, now I want a jerboa…

Sounds like FA will be swinging by tomorrow around lunch to work on some printing stuff. As always, it will be good to see her again – even when we’re concentrating and trying to figure out some weird problem, it’s still interesting and fun.

Wednesday I have two appointments – a cardiac stress test in the morning and a Dr C session in the afternoon. Other than that, I plan to get some more electronics work done and spend some more time outside (it’s been beautiful lately). I’d also like to get out and do some more driving. We will see what happens.

Stay safe.

This Past Week

Song: N/A

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Pack

Sorry I haven’t posted for a few days. Lots of stuff going on, I’ve been pretty busy, and I’ve been doing a LOT of thinking.

This past week has had some ups and downs but for the most part it’s been okay.

Let’s see… trying to remember the big things that happened…

Dr H had referred me to a cardiologist about my weird “lungy” feeling, and my appointment was Wednesday afternoon. I wasn’t a big fan of the clinic, but the doctor and his staff were very good. I was having some problems with staying calm but J drove me and stayed with me and was (as always) tremendously helpful (thank you!!!) They took an EKG, the doctor asked a whole bunch of questions and did some more tests. Of course I wasn’t feeling any symptoms at the time; even so, he is pretty confident that my heart is fine, which is great news. You know, obviously. Just to be on the safe side, he wants me to do a cardiac stress test so that’s happening next week. He expects it will be normal but even so, it’ll give us a baseline to compare to later on if things change. I’m pretty pleased with how it went.

I spent a lot of time this week working on various projects. My new laminar nozzle is put together and ready to test, and I hope it will do the trick. I also designed and did a test print of a stand for some of J’s stained glass and it turned out alright. I spent a lot of time listening to the SDR – I like music in the background when I’m doing stuff, but having the airport or some other channel playing is pretty interesting too.

Oh, and I have successfully fused several short lengths of filament together and re-spooled it for use later, and the fused joint stays together and feeds into the printer and extrudes normally. It might not be perfect but it’s nice to be able to actually use the various 5% or 10% full spools that are kicking around.

Friday was an interesting day. I had a bone scan scheduled for 8:20AM, and we needed about 45 minutes to get there and sign in, so I ended up getting up at 6:30AM. At least that’s what J told me – I was still pretty groggy. I think the test went okay.

After the test, J took me to meet up with FA. Funny story – due to a slight misunderstanding or miscommunication on my part, instead of getting together with FA and tinkering with stuff or playing board games, I instead volunteered to help her hang and mud some drywall. So yeah, J stopped the car, dumped me out and pointed me at FA, and I just kind of wandered around and tried to not get in her way. After a little while my head cleared up and we had a really good conversation while we worked. FA and I have always worked well together, and despite the fact I was putting up drywall in a pretty warm second floor stairwell instead of drinking lemonade while playing Carcassonne in an air conditioned room, I had a great time!

We went for lunch at a different burrito shop and it was very good. The dough wasn’t as good as the place we usually get burritos from, but I had the pulled pork and it was SO GOOD. Plus, I had a diet Lime Fanta. Plus, the restaurant was aggressively air conditioned. Plus, before we ate, I went into the washroom to wash my hands and, after noticing that the sink was reasonably large, I stuck my head under the cold water and ran it for a little while before drying off and heading back out to eat.

After lunch we got back to it and after a while, the first coat of mud was done and we were tidying up. FA drove me home (thank you!!!) and we stopped on the way to get her an iced coffee and me a faux slurpee, which was delightful. I stepped in the door, put my stuff down and took off my shoes, and slowly oozed up the stairs, turned on the air conditioner, and sat directly in front of a fan to eat/drink my frozen beverage. I was pooped.

Here’s the thing, though – I was out of the house yesterday for EIGHT HOURS, and neither of the places I was at were familiar to me. Yes, I did dip into the PRNs a few times, and yes, I snuck in some breathing and grounding (although FA may have just been too polite to say she noticed), but I was out of the house for a good day’s worth of time, AND I spent most of that time working on stuff! I haven’t even stood up that much for a long time, nevermind actually accomplished something! FA said I was useful, too, so assuming she wasn’t fibbing, that’s even better.

So, as I sat on the couch feeling like I was about to keel over, I felt pretty good.

A little while later, J got home and brought supper (BEST WIFE EVER) and we talked about our days while we ate (although it was more like she talked and ate while I sat there all glassy-eyed). We hung out for the evening and tried out a new show called Diagnosis. It was good – J and I are playing a game so whomever figures out the illness or gets the closest guess first gets ten points, and the person who suggests the right treatment first gets five points. So far it’s 10-5 for J.

I crashed pretty hard after taking my evening medications last night and I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow. I slept like the dead, too – a good seven or seven and a half hours. I don’t remember waking up once, and don’t even remember having any dreams. J says she lifted up my arm and shook it so my hand was flopping around and I didn’t even grunt.

Okay, so this post was supposed to be about the last few days but it was mostly about yesterday. It was a pretty big day, though.

And it’s nice to know that my heart isn’t about to give up the ghost, too.

Have a good weekend!

Stay safe.

Urghfrgmnbbhhhh

Song: N/A

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

I just woke up at the dining room table. with my computer still on. Real quick before I close the lid and go to bed. Bullet points:

  • Today was alright
  • I think I figutred out how to use all of the filament on a spool instead of throwing away the shrot lengths that are leftover
  • FA and DM are tossing around the idea of moving, not sure how I feel about thast yet
  • The person J and I were supposed to meet for that volunteer stuff has to reschedule, which is ok

Have appt with cardiologist tomorrow afternoon, J is taking me which is greay because I’d really like her in the room along with me. I need to do up some notes for teh appt.

Stay safe.

Moving Along Pretty Well

Song: “Una Paloma Blanca” by the George Baker Selection

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

This past weekend was good. Both J and I got a lot of stuff done and time didn’t go by so quickly that we felt ripped off. We got some rain, too, which we badly needed and it immediately greened up the lawn and gave the garden a thorough watering. On Sunday, J and I watched a really interesting documentary about Fred Rogers and Mister Rogers’ Neigborhood. Oh, and for the first time in my life, I made some potato salad. Actually, I miscalculated and made several pounds of potato salad:

Potato Salad

For a first try, it turned out alright…

J mentioned that I’ve been mumbling and shifting around in my sleep quite a bit lately, and I feel like I haven’t been sleeping all that well but I think I slept better last night. I’m not sure – I’m still waking up and worrying about a lot of the same things – but while I was slow this morning (like usual), I didn’t feel like I was eight hundred years old like some other days.

Today was a decent day. I don’t know if the ridiculous heat we had a little while ago is gone for the year or if it’s just taking a break, but I’ve found it very comfortable outside the last little while. I had breakfast and then went out for a walk. The air was nice and clean and I could hear the birds going about their days.

After I got back, I turned on the radio and listened to some music while I did some cleaning. I called in and requested a song and they played it, which is always pretty nice.

My Netflix “watch” list is getting out of hand so I decided over the weekend to speed-watch some of the more dubious/bad-looking shows to see if they were worthwhile or get them out of the way. I watch the first five or ten minutes, then every time it looks boring or dumb I skip ahead ten seconds. I can get through a pretty bad two-hour movie in less than 15 minutes. Even less if it’s so bad that I give up and shut it off.

Speaking of bad movies, we’re currently enjoying a bit of a grasshopper invasion. I grew up out in the country so they don’t bother me (except for the time I was riding my bike with my mouth open and I swallowed one and could feel it scratching and fighting all the way down), but the ones we’re getting right now are pretty healthy. This one stayed on the window for the better part of the day:

Grasshopper

When you turn it into a black and white picture, it looks like it’s from a bad 50s monster movie!

I’ve been doing some more writing, too. Nothing too fancy, mostly blog stuff, but it often feels good to get stuff written down. J is always jotting down or updating lists… I wonder if lists for her are like writing up a post for me.

My new (hopefully final and permanent) laminar nozzle parts finally finished printing this afternoon and they threaded together nicely. Now I just need to transfer the guts from the test nozzle to this one and I may be one step closer to getting my little garden automation project done. You know… just in time for Christmas.

After many attempts and different approaches, I finally have what may be a reliable battery pack that will let me run my SDR Raspberry Pi wherever I want without needing to worry about hauling around an extension cord. You wouldn’t think that things could be so persnickety, but between the Pi being choosy, cheap parts in cheap USB battery packs, high current requirements, and reeeeeally cheap USB cables, it can be frustrating. I tried making my own but the regulator made enough noise that all the SDR was picking up was “WAAAAAAAAAA”. Eventually I went through a bunch of stuff on the oscilloscope and did some chopping and pretty bad soldering. Long story short: I made a cable, it works, the Pi ran for six hours on the battery today and didn’t have any problems. So that’s another project that’s nearing completion!

We got a card from my sister and brother-in-law thanking us for the birthday cards and the 3D printed stuff we sent a while ago. Inside it was another card that my nephews made. I don’t know why, but getting those cards made me feel pretty darn good. We sent that stuff with no expectations, but hearing that it’s being enjoyed makes me happy. Seriously, look at this – wouldn’t it cheer you up?

Thank You card

Awwwww…

Oh, and that volunteering opportunity that J and I were looking into is taking tiny little baby steps. Someone is interested in meeting with us to talk about what they need and what we are able to offer. Still no idea if it’ll work out, but I’m out of my comfort zone talking to strangers about things, and that I’m doing it willingly is a good thing. At least, I think it is. We’re supposed to meet with her on Thursday.

Aside from that, I have kind of a busy week out in the world. Wednesday I go see the cardiologist, and Friday I go for a bone scan. I don’t particularly want to go to either of them, but I will be happy when it’s done and out of the way. Plus, if there’s something wrong, it’s better to find out about it sooner. And if there’s nothing wrong, it’s better to find out about that sooner, too.

We got some more rain this afternoon. If it’s nice tomorrow, I think I will take my little SDR outside and see what I can pick up in the middle of the back yard, or maybe I’ll even go to the park and try it there. Who knows.

And now that I think of it, I should probably make sure those “grasshoppers” aren’t actually locusts. It’d be just like me to get irritated that the oven knob isn’t straight up and down or the dehumidifier sounds weird while entirely missing the four creepy dudes on weird horses trotting down the street in front of the house.

Stay safe.

Still Feeling A Little Off

Song: “Strutter” by KISS

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

Last night was about the same – not a particularly great sleep.

I woke up this morning again not feeling like usual, and I had about the same success with things again today, too. I did have more luck again with the laminar nozzle, though.

It was very nice out again today so I took my lunch outside to eat on the deck but those stupid little flies kept landing on and getting stuck in my yogurt, which was disgusting and sent me back inside.

I know I did more stuff today but I can’t think of any of it right now, sorry.

Tomorrow is another day.

Stay safe.

Not As Great

Song: N/A

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

I didn’t sleep all that well again last night and I think it’s starting to catch up with me a bit. J says I’m restless and talking while I’m asleep again, that’s usually a sign that there’s a change coming. My back’s been sore lately – maybe I’m uncomfortable in addition to my usual worried waking up. Not sure.

I woke up not feeling quite myself, and as the day went on I could feel myself getting cranky and irritated with myself. My fingers were dumb and I kept fumbling or dropping things, and most of the projects I’m working on have hit a brick wall for one reason or another.

Over the last three days, I’ve spent five or six hours writing up a detailed how-to document that I was going to post on my other blog. Unfortunately, during that time there have been operating system changes, library version changes, and software changes, which has broken things and made it impossible for me to finish. I expect the problems will be ironed out, but I put in a lot of time on that document just to get stuck on the second-last step. So yeah… frustrating.

I went downstairs and watched a show while I had lunch and ended up zoning-out and being stuck in that half-asleep rollercoaster for close to an hour before I broke out of it and got back to things.

The weather was very nice today. I went out this morning and the air was nice but I got swarmed by mosquitoes so I went back inside. We got some wind later so I opened up a bunch of windows to let the fresh air in and went back outside where it was too breezy for the bugs.

I did manage to make some progress with the laminar nozzle, and before it blew itself apart it was throwing a pretty good jet that reached the garden easily. I’m printing up two more nozzles to try because the 20mm nozzle was too large and the 10mm nozzle was too small.

J and I watched another episode of Schitt’s Creek. It’s so much better now that the mayor isn’t in every episode…

My plans at this point are to try and get a better sleep tonight, then take a fresh run at some projects and if that doesn’t work out, either start a new one or go outside and watch the rabbits or listen to some records or watch a movie. Or something.

Stay safe.

What A Great Day!

Song: N/A

Mood: 8.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Few

I didn’t sleep so well last night, but it didn’t matter – today was a great day.

I woke up and was out of bed before my alarm went off (weeeeird) and I even remembered to stumble outside and water the garden before I had breakfast!

FA came over to visit and we had delicious burritos, talked about all kinds of stuff, and geeked out over SDRs and signal generators. I think today may have been the first time I’ve had the oscilloscope on the dining room table. I had a fantastic time and it was wonderful to see her again and hang out!

Then, this evening, J and I had supper, hung out, had a good chat, started in on the third season of Schitt’s Creek, and then talked some more. For the record, she didn’t get mad about the oscilloscope in the dining room.

The parts that I printed for my next laminar nozzle fit together nicely and I’ve almost got the innards set up.

I got caught by a few sounds today, but FA got caught by one or two of them, too, so I guess they were legit.

What a good day. Doesn’t matter what happens tomorrow – today was a good day!

Stay safe.