Something a Little Bigger Than a Microblog

July 4th was yesterday. I didn't go out for a fireworks show, as I went out the night before. There were however, a lot of amateur displays happening not far from my neighborhood. It was actually a continuous series of explosions, that went into the morning. I guess people were getting it out of their systems.

Celebrating Independence Day seems weird with everything going on.

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I am away right now. It has its pros and cons – I'm away from the normal sources of stress, but there are some new, temporary ones. But those new ones tend to outweigh the old ones, I find. Routine change is important.

It's sunny here, and (more or less) warm. The water is beautiful, and pleasant though it's the cold Atlantic. It's great to see the sand, ocean sand, again.

This is a luxury, but in a way it's also a necessity. The getting away part, that is. A change in routine, a few days someplace else, or just doing something different. It can take on lots of forms, but it's important to try for once in a while.

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It's the night before travel. Maybe, I hope, I can get an early start. I hope to have a pleasant drive. I'm mostly packed, just need to eat breakfast, get my coffee, corral George, and load the car.

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I've been thinking I need a change at work. I might get the chance to soon. Not to get ahead of myself, but we shall see.

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I built a fire last night, and another one this evening. I have a lot of twigs and branches that have accumulated. It's nice to build a fire, but it's also nice to get rid of this sort of yard debris. Just putting it at the curb seems like a waste.

I'm trying to head towards getting rid of my pile of wood, since I'm looking to have a fence put up eventually, and could use the room. So I've been making it a point to have a fire a little more often. Luckily, it's been damp out lately, so that hasn't been a huge issue.

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Thinking of interesting projects is easy. I've got a selection of things in my mental queue, power electronics projects, software projects, and some home-related things. And then of course there's whatever I have going on at work, although that of course is a separate queue.

Part of it is the end goal, the thing you end up with when the project is done: the box, the configuration, whatever. But part of it is the journey, the meditative process of chilling out with a cup of coffee on a rainy day and working on something.

Both require a start, getting nudged onto the track of progress. Sometimes it's easier to do this than at other times. Sometimes inspiration strikes randomly, other times it's a schedule, a ritual you stick to. Sometimes with others, sometimes solo.

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My pool is open. The screw I mentioned in a previous post has not turned up, although everything seems to be working right. This was after trying to vacuum it out of the lines with another pump. So right now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that everything will work right.

I shocked it a bunch of times, and now the water is clear. The greenish cloudiness turned to dead algae in the form of little sand-like piles on the bottom. My procedure is usually to take my spare pump and just vacuum this to waste, once the water level gets higher. I have a diatomaceous earth filter, which is great for clearing the water, but in my experience will get plugged quickly when vacuuming sediment, so I just go to waste. I mean, the worst thing that would happen is I would have to regen and put new earth in, but that's kind of a pain.

The pools is about 61 degrees F right now, so not to attractive for swimming. But eventually we'll get a heat wave, and not only will the temperature go up but the cold water will feel good. I've thought about getting a pool heater, or even trying to work out some kind of solar heater, but I'm not sure if it's worth it. Not just for me.

The pool is an excess, and kind of a money sink. I do admit, that if my house hadn't come with it I wouldn't have had it put in. Not this time around, at least. I grew up with a very nice above-ground pool, and if I had a family I would probably get one (or maybe an in-ground). But for now I could probably survive with out it if I had to. Or, at the very least, on one of those temporary pools with the inflatable ring. But since I have my pool, I enjoy it.

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It was raining today. Hard. And haling. It started when I was in the office, and there was some nice pounding on the roof. It let up a little, and picked up again after I got home.

So now I got some extra water in the pool, and an excuse to put off mowing for another day or so. It's also cooler out. I think I can get by without running the air conditioning tonight, unless it's too muggy.

The air conditioner I have in my bedroom is nice, but I kind of like not running it if I can. If it's cool enough I can open the windows for some air when I sleep, without the noise.

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My pool is green. But, it's clearer after I shocked it. I opened it a few days ago, and it's getting there, but it's got a ways to go before I can really swim in it. It's not hot enough yet outside.

One issue – the skimmer and main drain are connected to each other. There's a little fitting that goes over two openings, one leading to the drain, one to the pump. So you can control the flow of water from the drain, and the skimmer at the intake to the filter. Before installing this, I dropped a screw down one of the openings.

I have a second pump I typically use for vacuuming. My plan is to use this to vacuum the screw out, just by holding the intake hose to each of the two openings. I'd rather try this than have it get stuck somewhere in the piping.

After this, I should be able to get the filter going.

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I just dumped a bunch of shock in the pool. The water is too low for the filter, but I've got a spare pump that I'm now using with a couple hoses to just pump water in a circle, to stir. Eventually I'll add more, and will be able to run the skimmer. I could probably cut the skimmer off and run the drain, but I'll just stick with this for now.

The pool stays pretty cold, but it gets up when we have our summer heat wave. I only have air conditioning in my bedroom, so it's a key part of my strategy to remain somewhat comfortable when we get our heat wave. We usually get two or three big ones a summer up here.

It's extra work, particularly with chemicals costing more these days, but I think it's worth it considering I have it. It was a nice perk that came with the house, although I'm not sure I would have had it put in had it not been there.

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