Well it was bound to happen sooner or later…

This morning I woke up to this…

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I had been told some snow would be likely, but so many people were saying it would be light and not settle that this was a bit of a surprise but it has been such a warm and lovely winter so I really can’t complain.

I hopped on my scooter to go to work and discovered that the snow hid a layer of hard ice from last nights rain. Rather than die mangled and bent in a ditch I opted to call in. I spent all day cleaning and fiddling with my solar panels (which were not really getting a lot of power covered in ice and snow).

Once the sun had made the roads less lethal, I headed off to the hacker space where I plan to hang out so I don’t have to try to drive through this muck at 5AM, which is what I would have to do to make it to work by 7 carefully creeping through the dark at 10mph…

So far I have worked on my Sekrit Projekt and made these.

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I had a pair of broken goggles and some perforated metal from inside an old Mac monitor and they seemed to call out for one another.

For the record… Riding Rocinante through freezing snow DOES take a little of the joy out of the ride… But it did not kill me!

Yay manic swing!

So I ended up napping on one of the sofas at the hacker space last night for an hour or two before I had to get to work. I was working on four projects simultaneously and the creative energy just carried me right past the point where it made any sense at all to go home and sleep.

My kitties are going to be very unhappy with me.

I’m now about halfway through my work day and still buzzing with energy. I am sure I will feel the crash soon, but I am bolstering the sheer joy of creation with the sheer joy of a very large coffee so I should survive.

The trick is going to keep my momentum going. To keep the energy flowing in interesting, creative, and joyful directions. I have fancy plans that should help and I am fostering an attitude of looking ahead past the road blocks, especially the ones that I have already stumbled on. There is good stuff coming and good stuff that happened, the things that aren’t good stuff are not worth more than a wary glare right now.

Also Windows 8 is a work of pure evil!

 

Sekrit Projekt One, Part One.

So working on one of my Sekrit Projekts I found I needed an awl. Sadly all of mine are missing and my sewing awl is in one of about one hundred thousand boxes full of unorganized miscellany… so I grabbed a nail, a bit of wood, and headed on over to the lathe.

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A little shaping, a little sanding, and a little bashing with a hammer and I have an awl.

I am mighty.

Escape From Bleak (life after NaNoWriMo)

So As Promised I have decided to revisit one of my NaNoWriMo drafts for re-writing, editing, and maybe beyond.

I chose my most recent one because some of the things left out of this draft are still lingering in my brain, and because I really like the beginning and want the rest of it to at least match it.

This is entering into unknown waters for me, which is a good thing, so I thought what the heck, let’s all go along for the ride and see what happens?

Here is the first draft more or less how it looked at the end of November, but reformatted to be readable… and have chapters… Be warned it’s raw and hurried first draft stuff… not for the faint of heart.

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As I wander blindly down this dark alley I’ll post about the process and toss up more drafts in case anyone is interested.

So now step 1: I will read the damn thing. Wish me luck.

Arbitrary Year Beginnings!

So last year I set a few goals. Then I said hello to a truck. This set me back a bit, and giving in to a rather deep rut of depression set me further back for a long long time.

I was thinking about revisiting those goals and making a new set, then a deer made me reconsider. I am going to take the near (but avoided) disaster as an omen and keep my goals and thoughts on this completely arbitrary milestone to myself for now.

I can say that I am in a very good place emotionally, and a pretty good place physically, and I am looking forward to good and exciting things.

Be excellent to each other!

Well that could have gone worse!

This morning on the way to work a deer and I met quite suddenly.

I veered and put on the brakes and the deer veered as well… Directly in front of me. I counter-veered and managed to clip the deer with my turn signal and punch her quite squarely in the side of the head. Her expression seemed to say “what the fuck dude!” Which is pretty much what I said before she bounded off into the woods.

i feel bad about the whole exchange… But I am sure she deserved it for something.

So one bit of bent metal that was easy to straighten and a wrist that doesn’t seem broken (though I’m keeping my eye on it, this is the wrist that seems to attract pavement and stairs and things).

All in all could have been a worse morning.

 

 

Songs about how songs used to be better

So they just don’t write em like that any more? You like that old time rock and roll? You are singing about how music used to be better than it is now?

So you are telling me that your job, what it is you do and get paid for, isn’t being done as well as it used to… And you are the one doing it. You are┬áby your own admission, doing a poor job of the thing you are supposed to be good at. You are telling me that you should be fired from your job because you are not very good at it. And for that you expect to be paid.

You might as well be singing about how totally rad high school was, or your football glory, or how sad it was when you were an asshole to some girl like… 35 years ago.

I hate you and want you to explode.

Solar Nerdiness

So as mentioned I have been pretty nerdy about this whole solar thing. I am logging as I go as well as jotting down useful things as I learn them. Actually getting up and running was really easy, fine tuning is a bit trickier, and actually understanding what is going on is downright fiddly.

My initial solar panel is a Coleman 18watt (1.2 amps at 15 volts). A basic little thing with very plug and play wiring. I am using the 7amp charge controller that came with it. The charge controller can theoretically handle another four of these panels before I would outgrow it but I have no idea if it is actually that robust. It does seem to be doing its job though so I’ll keep using it until I find out otherwise… or it explodes for some reason.

The charge controller has a 13 volt cut-in. If I understand correctly this means that no charging takes place unless there is at least 13 volts coming from the panel. My guess is that this is because trying to charge a 12 volt battery with 9 volts would be useless if not actually detrimental… but I have no facts to back up that thought as of yet. It also has a cut-out of 14.25 volts… If this means it refuses to charge if the panel is operating at its theoretical maximum then this could be a little troubling come summer… But I am sure there are very good reasons for it.

The Panel and controller are feeding in to a 12 volt deep cycle marine battery from Rural King… I don’t really know anything useful about the battery but assume its about 45 amp hours… it was cheap. I keep forgetting to actually write down the model number and research it.

Coming out of that is a Microsolar 300 watt pure sine wave inverter. I understand that inverters eat a lot of power converting 12 volt to 110 volts, but I haven’t really dug deep enough for an easy way to run my modem and router directly off of 12 volts yet. I can get a 12 volt power supply for my current laptop, but I am running it mostly off of its battery at this point to try to get as much online time as possible. Plus I’ll want to eventually run some lighting as well so the inverter stays.

In theory it should give a warning alarm when voltage starts to get low, then another alarm as it shuts off. In practice it skips the first alarm entirely and just goes right to the shutdown and at some rather wildly different voltage levels that seem really high (over 11 volts). For now I am chalking it up to just being a pretty cheap unit, but I’m keeping my eye on it and almost certainly it is just a starting point until I can afford something serious.

My main measurement device at the moment is a little volt meter I got from radio shack sometime in the last decade. I really need to add a Kill-A-Watt or similar device and maybe start recording temperatures as well.

That’s enough nerdsplosion for now. If you are one of the four people who are actually curious about this then there will be more to come. And if you are one of the two people who Know Relevant Things, please feel free to comment here or in FriendBookFaceSpace and tell me everything I am blatantly overlooking.

 

The power of the sun!

So as of a few days ago I have harnessed the power of the sun for my own purposes.

At the moment the system consists of an 18 watt solar panel, the cheapest charge controller on the planet, the cheapest deep cycle marine battery I could find, and a 300 watt pure sine wave inverter.

I have been keeping very nerdy notes and tracking how it does for a few days and I am a little disappointed. A full day of charging got me about four hours of power running my modem, router, and a laptop… The battery never charged past 11.66 volts. This is probably pretty good for such a minimal setup in the winter, but I hoped for more. In the near future I hope to add another solar panel which will, in theory, get me up to a full 12 volts much faster. I am kind of seat-of-my-pants learning this as I go and it’s a lot of fun.

More as things develop with lots of really nerdy numbers.

Bleak : NaNoWriMo 2015 part 4

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51144 words

Is it readable? Sort of?

Some bits I liked, some I am not terribly proud of. The ending is a hot pile of steaming mess. The characters were fun though and I kind of want to develop them further… I think this deserves to go in the “Maybe I’ll rewrite it” pile, which is less comfortable than the “I want to rewrite this” pile but a lot more comfortable than the “Holy fuck what have I wrought?” pile.

Total words per minute average: 18.9, total -actual- time spent -actually-writing: 45.57

I wrote almost entirely in 15 minute bursts with fifteen minute breaks. I think my best stuff was done when I got distracted and kept writing for a half an hour or an hour. I need to work on my writing stamina and stop distracting myself so much. I also need to work on my dialogue. I think if I can make my dialogue less of a train wreck everything else will get much easier.

Am I going to post this to be read… I’m thinking about it. The end is Really embarrassing, like series canceled with no notice embarrassing. I am going to sit on it for December then decide which of my first drafts get my love in January.

Ah what the hell…

In all its painful typo laden first draft glory

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