Scoping out the neighborhood

I’m getting interested in some digital hardware projects. I’ve got plenty of supplies from over the years.

To really get into it, I need to repair my oscilloscope. I believe it will cost about $1000 to repair it and calibrate it. I used to work at a company that has calibration and repair as one of their core services, so since they’re close, they’d be a good place for it. I’ve also got a USB logic analyzer. The manufacturer doesn’t exist any more and it only runs on Windows XP. I can run the XP in a virtual machine, but I might be able to get a dinosaur laptop that could be more convenient.

I’ve looked around and a comparable scope is a lot more than $1k. There are some scopes less than $1000, but they aren’t nearly as capable as what I have.

I’ve got a few different things I can do. One of thing in my toolbox is a Xilinx FPGA starter kit. I haven’t really done more than open the box and play with the design language. I also have an Arduino that is idle, a temperature gauging chip and a few other Atmel AVR processors.

On an unrelated topic… I’ve been wanting to clean my house’s gutters. I was texting a friend and found out that he and his dad have started a gutter cleaning business. My friend said that they would come by soon to give a quote.

There’s more than enough ways to spend money….

Taking over and other notes

I went out and looked at my morning glory today. It’s taking over my dome. I just wish it would start blooming. It’s got gorgeous big leaves. I took some pictures but haven’t looked how they came out. The leaves were wet so that might help the images seem a little more interesting.

I’m thinking of buying a Moto X2. I have to decide whether the $300 is worth spending to get a better GPS. The specs say that the Moto has more GPS standards that it supports than my Galaxy S3. I need to look at more reviews, but one forum and people criticizing the S3 and praising the Motorola phones. Some of the people in the forum were confused and thought that the question was to find a more accurate GPS which doesn’t make much sense, but other people understood correctly that he was asking about reliability and not accuracy. I’m not able to trust the old phone for going on trips because it drops signal way too easily and takes forever to get it back. I’m hoping to keep my current phone in my car without a SIM for the purpose of its camera. Nobody has anything good to saw about the Moto X2’s camera.

I was trying to edit the previous Journal article on deviantArt to fix a few typos but Fella woouldn’t let me. I send a support request, so hope it gets solved soon. Here’s my main gallery:

Tomorrow is the first day of me not taking any classes. (In other words, classes start tomorrow and I won’t be taking any.) I’m not sure how long the library access will stay live.

I was listening to a cooking program on NPR this afternoon. It was striking how much the show host was including wine as an ingredient or giving the type of wine that goes best with the dish. It was really enjoyable to see how enthusiastic she was and swift on her feet to answer questions and describe fairly intricate dishes from memory.

I’ve got 7 containers of crushed tomatoes in my freezer last night. I put up about 15 tomatoes yesterday. There are 7 or 8 on the vine that are close to being ripe, so I might harvest a couple more tomorrow. I haven’t made soup in forever and the tomatoes would be a good ingredient, or perhaps to make pasta sauce too. I was thinking today to go searching thru the local libraries’ catalogs to find some new cookbooks. The radio program inspired me to get creative. I have a PLAC card so that I can borrow books from any public library in the state.

I had an incident yesterday. I was leaving the gym and when I got out I had a tire that was completely flat. At first I didn’t think I could take off the lug nuts but I thought about a better way and took off the lug nuts. A guy that was exercising outside came out and helped a little. I had a problem getting the tire off the axle. I ended up calling the roadside assistance service from my insurance.

The service guy pulled up on a motorcycle and had an electric drill to quickly tighten the lug nuts. He showed me that I could have fixed the tire without his help… I just needed to bang the flat tire’s rim with the spare tire. It’s an example of me not thinking outside of the box to figure out how to use the tools I had to solve a problem. Today I had dad show me the right place to put the lift for the car. Yesterday I was too close to the wheel and broke a plastic clip on part of the fairing below the wheel. Now I know where to put the lift next time.

So, several good things happened yesterday that seemed to be God’s help. I parked the car facing north, which I usually don’t do. This meant that while I was waiting for the service call to come, I wasn’t baking in the sun. Also, because I was parked that way, the tire was immediately visible as flat and I didn’t have to start driving off to realize the tire was flat and possibly damage the wheel or tire worse. In addition, while changing the tire, I saw the screw that punctured it and it was in the middle of the tread which should be an easy place to repair.

Where is Trump going to send his immigrants

For some people, Donald Trump’s promise to deport all of the illegal aliens sounds like a great idea. Their thought is that these people are criminals (if only because they’re here illegally) so why not send them back to where they came from?

I’ve been thinking about that, the idea of deporting 11+ million illegal immigrants. It seems completely an un-fulfillable promise shot down by the simple question “Where will these people go?”

Suppose we determine (not sure how) that, say, 2.8 million of these people came from Mexico. Do you really think that Mexico would allow us to drop off that many people at the Juarez and Tijuana border crossing and welcome them home? Any country that could be the destination for the deportations would be foolish to allow them in. Mexico doesn’t have room for all of these people. Guatemala doesn’t have a place for all these people. Any other country that we would try to deport them to isn’t going to let them in either.

It seems to me that the realistic outcome of deporting all of the illegal immigrants is that they immediately transition from being immigrants to being refugees. Where will they go? I can imagine big internment camps. Instead of feeding themselves, they’ll be the responsibility of the state and federal governments to feed. Instead of being responsible for their own medical expenses, suddenly, they’re not responsible for anything.

The proposal doesn’t stand up to even the simplest attempt at logic.

Where are these people going to go?

Traveling to peace

This past week I decided to stop working on the library science degree.  A big reason was that I don’t have an answer to the “what do you want to do with the degree?” question. However what I want to do without the degree is also a good question.

Today I went with my family to Green Bay. My nephew is getting married tomorrow. Sunday we’ll drive back to Fort Wayne.

There was a horrible wreck on I-69 yesterday.  I was held up over an hour. It was fortunate in some sense that the car burned up where it did because it was possible to bypass the fire by taking an exit ramp and immediately re entering the interstate. Certainly it was a horrible day for the driver’s family so my complaints about not getting to give my speech at toastmasters seem a little petty.

I’m really negative on watching broadcast tv. I like the public tv station and occasionally 3abn but I’m more ok with watching videos from YouTube.  I guess I have more control on the phone. My Sony smart bluray player has interesting video content.  Thanks to Amazon prime there’s a lot to choose in addition to the big selection that the bluray player offers for free.   The bluray player plays Pandora without any ads even though I don’t pay the ad free subscription.

I found PRX remix on the local public radio app which is really cool but it can be just as engrossing as tv.  Also there is always something new starting so it’s always changing.

Cool thing I realized today is that using my phone as a radio doesn’t use up my data plan too quickly. PRX Remix is really appropriate for that. I can bring along my ECOXGEAR  bluetooth speakers and be able to not worry about traffic noise overwhelming the speaker in the phone.