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May 21, 2017 - RENAISSANCE FAIRE

May had been warm, so we decided to celebrate with a trip out to a Ren Faire.

We had lots of fun running in water balls, getting our face painted, and generally enjoying the fair.

After meeting up with Que, it began to sprinkle and we decided to cut our trip short.

July 14, 2015 - Lightning Storm!

Tonight we saw an incredible lightning storm. There were two huge systems, low to the ground and each with lightning flashing constantly in short jumps. None ever touched the ground, it just crackled within themselves. This system came in during late dusk and slowly rolled right on top of us for at least thirty minutes. I ended up driving to a few vantage points just to watch this system come in. I wish I had a nicer camera. Pretty remarkable!

June 17, 2015 - In which macro photography is attempted, and a circuit is examined.

I set up an area for macro photography shooting.

I tested the lighting and my camera with shots of some iced coffee.

I moved on to some documenting shots of electronics in disassembly.

I end by discussing concepts on how to modify the electronics and some fun sketch ideas.

February 01, 2015 - Monoprice 5200mAh Battery Backup and Flashlight, #10576

All this winter I'd been using my phone as a flashlight, sometimes in pretty harsh situations. Each time I turned on its LED, I was keenly aware that there was only one unfortunate slip between my phone and an untimely demise. I wanted a wearable/carryable solution for this and other applications that was a bit more durable than my phone, so on the 5th last month I got a wonderful new gadget: one of several strong offerings in Monoprice's line of Battery Backups.

I used it and loved it. Then I broke it, took it apart, fixed it, and took a close look at the internals while I had it open. I identified everything I could and commented on things like circuit design choices, build quality, and the usefulness of these products as a base for DIY designs. Overall, a whole lot of fun with a great little gadget!

December 04, 2014 - Photos of the Plant

Today I had a chance to walk through the plant and take some photos. The underground ones didn't turn out as nicely as I'd hoped, but my Atrix HD's camera still did better than I expected. It was cold and crisp, with some remarkable clouds and a beautiful reflection on the clarifiers.

These pictures are from Beloit's Water Pollution Control Facility, an activated sludge treatment plant that uses EBPR to treat ~5.5 million gallons of wastewater per day.

Dec 14, 2013 - Hello World!

So I finally got this website up and running. It's in pretty crude form right now. I don't know much programming, so this site is going to be largely maintained with bare HTML and a text editor. I'm sure many of my web development friends will find this horrifying, but I'm quite happy with the current state of affairs.

There are some very specific reasons why I choose to write this website in bare HTML instead of whatever unholy mixture of CSS, Javascript and XHTML is the current standard for web design.

May 28, 2013 - Motorola's Missed Shot at a Superphone

When Samsung released their Galaxy S3 it was the final stroke of a long-term corporate strategy that changed how manufacturers viewed their role in the cell phone industry. It took power out of the carriers' hands and gave manufacturers more recognition and control in the cell phone industry.

The events leading up to that S3 release were a strategy that Motorola began to implement with some of their phones, but mysteriously stopped halfway. This gives us a great opportunity to look back on the approaches of Samsung and Motorola, comparing their results with 20/20 hindsight.

May 23, 2013 - Gardening

Maya loves to be outside - if she doesn't get several hours of time outdoors we will definitely get complaints.

We went out to Grandma's garden and played in the arbor of the kiwi tree. It's an incredibly healthy tree and grows uncontrollably!

Maya spent time in her little hidden alcove while Grandma planted and trimmed branches.

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