Every so often in my blogs, I wonder, “Why am I doing this?” Whether it’s the 3rd spam follower of the day, readership stats not being what you want or only reading one post in my entire blog, or comments never getting replied to – it all starts to wear on you after a while. And that’s how a lot of things have been lately. The weather’s been that indecisive Maryland rain, but instead of the traditional 3 days, it’s been going on for 2 months. And I guess Pepco’s improving, because we don’t lose power for too long anymore. But life seems to feel like a bureaucratic slog at the moment – rebates, meetings and calendars and the like. For whatever reason that stuff always takes its toll on me and gives me a sense of exhausting futility. In spite of that, I just keep trying to create something meaningful, or at least something of value.
A couple of weeks ago I was launching myself out of bed before the alarm went off, feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. Now I shamble out of bed and can’t function until after my first cup of coffee. The worst part of it is I’m up too late just staring at the computer screen. I keep asking myself “What am I getting from this?” The answer is usually: “Go to bed.” So after giving that a try and having a dog walk on me right when I was finally about to sleep — I really enjoy spending time in the garden, taking pictures or the plants and the wildlife, even if it’s just beetles and slugs. I think I’ve finally worked out how to use macro camera features and my closeup shots are better than ever. It’s actually relaxing turning the compost, now that we’re getting the hang of it and things are starting to smell like dirt, instead of… we’ll call it not dirt and leave it at that. Part of working in the garden is that it’s given me a lot, showing me how working on something in public, sharing what you’ve learned, and progressing onward with a second pair of eyes makes things even more worthwhile.
So I think that’s what I’m going to do with this blog, since I spun the other one off. If I keep it as sort of lab notebook and document things I’m doing, maybe it will motivate me to work on my projects and to share more. One thing I’d like to do is figure out just what’s working with the 3 semi-scorched Arduinos that I have in my possession. I’ve got a lot of small project ideas that I’d like to do, everything from soil moisture sensors, to flex sensors to detect hand position, a variety of sensor interfaces – detecting position as well as environmental properties and then activating some sort of response or output. I guess the first thing is to take an LED and figure out just what’s fried where. I thin the CPU is fried on at least one if not two of the Arduinos, and the data port is fried on the third. If I pull the good CPU from the third Arduino and place it in the other two, I should be able to determine if there’s any lasting damage to the boards ($25 each), or if the processors need to be replaced ($5 each). Also I need to sit down with TI’s student catalog and see what I can pick up. I’ll report back once I figure out where exactly I’m starting from.