Something a Little Bigger Than a Microblog

Today it's reaching the 90s (f), in what might be the first real heat wave of the season. I'm going to go and take the pool cover off, and maybe do some other yard work. Or stay inside and do some cleaning or whatnot.

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I use my laptops to browse the web and do other things that tend to be graphical in nature. I also use them for the terminal, sometimes to SSH into another system, sometimes just to edit something using emacs or whatever. Laptops are generally nice, so long as I can fit my hands on the keyboard and have enough screen real estate to do whatever I need. They also tend to use more power than I think necessary for the simpler terminal-based tasks.

The one I'm using now, a Lenovo x131e, uses about 8 watts or so with TLP installed, running from battery. My Dell XPS 15” uses about 6 watts idling on battery, without TLP installed. It only seems to go up a little while browsing the web or working on a document. (Obviously something like Youtube, or a heavier app will use more.)

On the other hand, a Raspberry Pi uses maybe a couple watts. A Pi Zero W I have uses about 1 watt. A display is going to bump this up, as will a USB accessory (the Pi Zero W in this case just has a USB to Serial adapter connected, and is connected to Wifi). But, for typing a text document, or using SSH, I'd like to think a small, basic display wouldn't add too much more. Something like a text-only smart phone.

There are various projects for cyberdeck type things popping up, which I guess are close to this. It doesn't have to fit in my pocket, but being straightforward to use and low-power would be key.

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I'm going to head out and build a small fire. Tomorrow I don't have to work, and it's a nice, warm night. Plus, I have a lot of sticks that have build up over time, which I would like to get rid of.

I have an outdoor fireplace, which makes this relatively safe. My yard slopes a little, though, so I have to be careful how I position it. Still, it should be a nice way to spend an hour or two this evening, once it gets going and is stable.

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I'm lucky enough where I live that I get to experience the change of seasons. This can be good and bad, depending on your attitude toward inclement weather, particularly snow. But the snow melts, and eventually it gets beautiful and green around here. The weather gets warmer, we get heat waves, and the cooler weather starts to sound nice again.

The funny thing is that as one gets older, I've found, the changing itself can get kind of constant. I still look forward to spring, and summer, fall, and winter, but I know they're coming. Sometimes a surprise comes, like a freak snow storm, or warm weather in December, that's a nice change. But I know that come this December I'll likely be shoveling snow.

This goes for other things in life as well. You're in a situation in which new things come your way, novelties that require new attention, but there's always more of them. I don't think everyone looks at it this way, of course. Sometimes, a more substantial change is needed.

Right now I'm trying to decide just how substantial that should be. I'm thinking about my job in this case. Do I want to move? I kind of do, but I don't. I'm looking at something that would just be a different building, and I look at it with both excitement and apprehension. I think I'm ready for something different.

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It's so peaceful at night. Where I live I can hear the sounds of a highway sometimes, and they pick up again early in the morning. But from 11 PM until then, maybe 5 AM or so, it's pretty peaceful.

I'm more of a night owl than I would like. I'm not as much of a morning person as I would like. But sometimes it's worth staying up to see the stars, or watch an eclipse or some other event. Or even just to look at the lights of the town (or the city or wherever you are).

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It is starting to get nicer out. The weather has been alternating between nice and wintery, but it's heading more in the direction of nice, spring weather. The trees are starting to get buds, and the grass is looking good. Maybe this weekend I'll take a look at the garden.

The solar is doing well, enough power for casual laptop charging and other uses. This is a simple off-grid system, mostly for fun and occasionally backup power, but I make use of it when the sun shines.

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We got a foot of snow last night. It's thick, wet, spring snow. They warned us of power outages, and I figured there was a chance, but then this morning it was out. I don't know when. When I got up, the server that's on the UPS had shut off, so it must have been for an hour or two.

And as of almost 8 PM, it's still out. Internet works, which I verified earlier by powering up my router, cable modem, and switch, but now I'm just tethered from one laptop to my phone. Luckily natural gas still works, but the furnace needs electricity to turn on. So it's getting colder, but at least I can cook. I'm operating off battery power now, which is charged by solar, which didn't produce a lot today. If necessary I can hook my car up to charge, which I may do in a little bit.

I stuck some bags of ice and a plate of snow in the refrigerator, so hopefully not everything will go bad. I'm running a lamp in the living room, so there is some light. If nothing else, it's a change, a little break from routine. Usually power outages are fixed pretty quick where I am, so there may have been a few breaks. In the mean time, George and I will be trying to stay warm.

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It's Easter, and I'm keeping it lowkey. I'm visiting my parents, and we're about to have dinner. It's been a good weekend. So Happy Easter to those who celebrate, and otherwise have a good day.

The weather is actually pretty nice here. It's still cold, but it's been gradually warming up. This is actually a good time to be doing stuff outside, since it's not too hot. I will have to take a look at the garden soon.

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I bought a bag of red #potatoes when I was shopping on Friday evening. They are red potatoes, on the smaller side. I cut them up, tossed them with olive oil and salt, and broiled them for about 20 minutes. I also added a little Sriracha for heat.

This turned out to be pretty good, and I just wanted to post it here.

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I like coffee. I just enjoy it, when it's brewed right. It's warm, smooth (hopefully), and is a nice comfort on a cool rainy day. Even on warm sunny ones too.

The caffeine kick is nice, although I try not to rely on it. I've actually been trying to cut back a little. Coffee isn't a substitute for sleep, but if used right it can help your alertness. I've had my best days having a little coffee after a good night's sleep.

It's about the ritual, too, odd as that may sound. The ritual of grinding the beans, measuring out the water, and brewing it in the Chemex. Something about that early (or later) in the morning is comforting.

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