May 12, 2018

Coffee Rant - Peruvian Pour Over

In 2010, Melissa and I went to Costa Rica with Mission Aviation Fellowship. While we were there, we had dinner with a friend who was staying with a family from Peru. They served us excellently prepared ceviche.

As well, they offered us some pour over coffee. As you can see the pour over devices in Costa Rica are a bit more rustic than the ones you might find in the Pacific Northwest these days.


The Perils of Home Automation: Invasion of the Birds

Once upon a time in 2009, we had some pet cats. On occasion, we would venture off on some adventure. Being good cat owners, we wanted to make sure our furry feline friends stayed well fed, and out of trouble.

To that end, I constructed an automatic cat food dispenser. It was constructed out of a discard water pipe end, a rotisserie motor, a round hair brush, and a bowling ball. And given a coat of grey paint.


The cat food would be put in the top area of the dispenser, waiting for the rotisserie motor to slowly churn the food onto a waiting plate below. The dropping cat food would make a plinking noise on the glass plate, letting our cats know that food had arrived.



However, after a while, the cats got lazy, and perhaps overfed, and were not eating the food right away. So the neighborhood birds moved in, to help with the cat food.

I viewed this as a problem, and decided a bit of home automation may solve the invasion of the magpies. I added a motion detector on our pergola slightly away from the house (and the cat food feeder), pointed downward. When triggered, the motion detector would activate the sprinklers near the house. This area had mint and various flowers growing in it. It worked to scare the birds away.

A few weeks later, we headed out of town. Before we left town, we had friends over for a backyard barbecue, and they remarked about some of the mind growing in our backyard, near the patio.

Before we left town, we had told them to stop by and grab a patch of mint as a starter. Now that we were out of town, they were out on a bike ride. As they were in the area, they decided to stop by and grab the mint.

They wheeled their bikes into the back yard, and proceeded to cut out a patch of mint. However, the mint they selected was directly below the motion detector, so their efforts were complicated by the sprinklers turning on several times. Eventually they got their mint starter.

Later that day, a hundred miles away, I checked the automation logging and saw that the backyard bird invasion had begun. The birds had been furiously setting off of the motion detection for about 25 minutes.

Only later did the truth of the tale become evident.

April 25, 2018

Ewoks become the Ultimate Power in the Galaxy.

Newsflash! Ewoks commandeer Star Destroyer. Tide turns against Imperials. Film at 11.

Back before the Prequels, the Sequels, the half-quels, and the character backstory reference elaboration-quels, Star Wars consisted of the original trilogy: Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. After viewing the 'Last Jedi,' I've decided to limit my estimation of Star Wars to the original trilogy, and place any additional movies in the same category as the novelizations (i.e. non-canon). I'm hopeful that Solo may change my mind, but it is a dim hope. I'm pretty sure it will consist of campy backstory elaboration, versus just campy elaboration of the other movies.

When I was young... back when the original trilogy was a new thing, there were Star Wars toys that somewhat resembled the fantastic alien characters from the movie. On occasion, I would take my Star Wars characters over to a friend's house and we would play Star Wars action figures. A fantastical adventure in the universe of Star Wars.

Depending on who was at who's house made a big difference to our story-lines. Everyone has special characters that they like, and thus the adventures of Star Wars action figures worked out differently depending on who was driving the story-line. Per custom, as a visiting friend, one would be a 'visiting actor' to the story-lines of your friends. And sometimes your friends would have some pretty fantastic stories that didn't quite fit the Star Wars universe. Stories like Ewoks flying star destroyers, a Millenium Falcon full of Wampa beasts, or droids dancing like ninjas.

And that was ok for your friend to do at his house. In some way, I feel like the Last Jedi was a movie that took my toys and rammed them into the neighbor's alien story-line. Jettisoning the hard earned plot and character development at the first sign of an Imperial cruiser. Then taking your familiar characters and using them to railroad all you hold dear. Star Wars has moved to the neighbor kid's realm.

April 21, 2018

Meridian

We recently moved back to Meridian, Idaho. I'm currently working at DC Engineering, doing technical related work, though some of it is very artistic.

As part of moving back to Meridian, we were excited at the prospect of having an house. We purchased a house a few weeks ago and are getting settled.

December 2, 2017

Coffee Rant - The Kona Coffee and Tea Company Private Reserve 100% Kona Coffee: Peaberry

Tranquil waves rhythmically resound upon the lava seashore. 🏝️ Coral rock and broken seashells line the beach sands. 🏖️ The cirrus clouds float gently upon the afternoon trade-winds. 🌤️ The stoic palm trees rise high above the sands, slowly swaying in the breeze. 🌴

Peaberrys are coffee beans that have been compressed at the center of supernovae.  Resulting in a super abundance of flavor and coff-ee-nicity. 

Characteristics: The rich red earth of the volcanic islands mixed with sunny beach breezes. This coffee provides a definitive cornerstone of the Kona region; delivering a sublime coffee experience. Coupled with Hawaiian steel guitar music and the morning breezes of the Kona area of the Big Island, it produces a tranquility akin to floating among the clouds. 🌺 Now with island emoji.



November 1, 2017

Woodcutters

The snows of winter are fast approaching the higher elevations of Idaho. We've already had two brief snowfalls that resulted in the construction of several snowmen. The ensuing sunshine and warm temperatures melted the snowmen.
Yesterday, we went woodcutting to prepare for the cold weather. It was a nice day, and we got some 'pre-burnt' wood. Now to split it and stack it, before the snow arrives to stay.











September 24, 2017

Dobsonian Telescope

We are moving to the woods for a few weeks. With the result that we will be able to endure some quality stargazing.  To assist in that pastime, I bought a Dobsonian telescope off of craigslist. I am hoping to get a DSLR to telescope mount and see what the universe looks like.










Report: Telescope initial response: It was a very hazy evening with light clouds, but you can easily make out the craters on the moon. This was on my smartphone (with limited white balance) which turned out acceptable for the hazy weather.