Upstairs flooring starts

The work has finally started on the upstairs floor. The last coat of finish will go on the master bedroom floor tonight, too. We are still a couple of days away, but from what it looks like so far, we love it. It is a darker color than we thought we wanted initially, but seeing this, we have decided we were wrong. This color is way better than anything we might have chosen.

We are hoping they will be able to get everything finished. I have to move out of my upstairs office into another room while they work, which is a little bit of a disruption, but I should be able to handle it for a day or two.

Snow day

As I write the snow is coming down hard here at our house. It might not be as hard a places like Montana and Alaska, but is is beautiful and it will make a total mess of the traffic for the rest of the day. We are not sure yet whether we can get down off the hill and over the bridge to meeting yet. I think if we could get to I-5 we would be fine, but the traffic maps show the traffic slow or stopped even there so maybe I should not be so sure about that.

Hardwood flooring half finished

Jamal put the first coat of finish on the floor on Thursday. We think it looks great, but will have to stay out of there until mid-week next week to give him time to put on the other coats and to let it dry before we move back in. Most of the upstairs floor space is prepped for the engineered wood to go down. We hope to move stuff back into the upstairs guest bedroom by Monday evening. It is interesting the product Jamal chose for us is actually nailed in place and not floating like some of the engineered floating products. It is amazing to me that the floor finish comes with a 25 year warranty. It is actual wood and can be sanded and refinished just like a regular hardwood floor. In addition to that, it has some kind of hardened and waterproof finish that allows it to be mopped and is relatively impervious to dents when stuff is dropped on it. Also we think it looks really good. We are excited to see what it looks like when it is installed and, even more so, what it does to the rooms where it is being put.

Lorena’s new teeth installed!

I wanted to put something up with Lorena’s new teeth, but she liked this other picture of her teeth that has nothing to do with all the pain and suffering she endured to finally have these things.  The upshot is that we comprised. She DOES have a nice smile, even if you cannot see her new teeth.

Weight loss milestone

Yesterday, Lorena’s Valentine’s Day gift to me was this jar of Vlasick mini-pickles. Christian and I LOVE those things and they are perfect for my diet. Lorena pulled my pickle fork and holster out of storage and installed it on the jar–two of the very best gifts I have ever received. To make things even better, the scale showed 200.0 lbs. when I weighed myself this morning. That is exactly half way to my stated goal. That means I have lost 31 pounds since I started and have 31 to go. I am not sure I will stop there, but will weight to see how I feel when I get to that point, God willing.

Beansorter–finally on the web (with some understanding)

After about a gazillion fits and restarts associated with reading the manual and getting syntax and basic concepts wrong, I have finally gotten the bean sorter web interface up and running. The idea is to be able to control the bean sorter vision system from a cell phone, tablet, or PC. I have been going around in circles for about two weeks now, but it appears I am ready to move on to the next thing. Here is a shot of my phone accessing the site from outside the LAN. I am glad to be done with this. The next step is to not just load a previously captured image, but to allow users to capture images by clicking a link.

Sleeping on the hide-a-bed

The floor in the bedroom was all installed yesterday and partially sanded. The finish arrives today and we should be all done with that part by–oops, our floor guy just called in sick. So, now, the floor finishing will start early tomorrow morning and we should have a room or two of upstairs flooring finished tomorrow night.

We currently have all the stuff from the master bedroom stacked around and clogging up the living room, all the stuff in the upstairs guest bedroom and half the stuff from the upstairs balcony/library stacked around and clogging up the bonus room/office. We are sleeping on the hide-a-bed in the library until the floor in the upstairs guest bedroom is complete. Then we will shuffle everything around so they can do the library and then again, one last time, so they can do the bonus room. After that, there is still the stairs between the main floor and upstairs. Jamal tells us he should be done by early next week with all the hiccups happening to slow things down.

Sick day

Lorena drove up to Seattle to get our very sick daughter on Friday. We have been vegging out all weekend long. Notice all the medication on the bookshelf. Kiwi the surviving twin cat sister even got in on the act, devoting almost the entire time to sleeping on the hide-a-bed with Kelly. I preached the benefits of building one’s immune system by fighting one’s way through a case of the flu every now and then, but that is pretty weak broth when your right in the middle of it. Kelly’s face is not normally that pale. There is something else going on there.

Beansorter–The web page is up

Kiwi and I continue to program hard on our Raspberry Pi and coffee bean project. You can see from the image at the right that we made a small breakthrough. The capture control is now on the Raspberry Pi as well as the ability to display the last image via the web. I suppose it is not such a big deal, but since I have generally worked on image processing algorithm development and the analytics that go along with that, I am not such a great web programming. It has been frustrating but fun to work through getting the syntax and understanding the idiosyncrasies of embedded web servers and programming tools. Nevertheless, I have the main part of the start of the struggle behind me and look forward to returning focus to the application at hand. The camera is set up with the calibration target underneath. The next step will be to create a way for the web server to talk to the camera control program so a user can capture an image on demand, calibrate the system, run a bunch of beans, look at logs to assure everything is working right, etc. etc. I have done more of that kind of thing than web programming, but I am sure there is a lot of minutiae that I have forgotten.

Bedroom hardwood floor

Our new buddies Jamal and Austin started actually putting down the hardwood in the master bedroom today. It is the same oak flooring in the rest of the main floor of the house. When they finish that, they will start on the stairway and upstairs engineered wood flooring. We hope we have enough pennies left over to pay for the engineered wood on the stairs leading to the bottom floor, but we do know the bottom floor is going to have to wait. We will put something synthetic down there. We are thinking of LVT when and if the time comes. Jamal and Austin are great. They work hard and do a super job. This is the third job Jamal has done for us and we highly recommend him. If you need some contact info, let me know.

Lorena’s new teeth

Lorena drove down to Oregon Health Sciences University this morning to start the final stages of what started with some impacted and infected wisdom teeth, followed up by jaw surgery at Duke University Hospital in North Carolina that included cadaver bone and titanium. This final pass is the installation of her new teeth to accompany the other new stuff in her mouth. Hopefully, she will only have a couple of follow-up appointments just to assure everything is OK and then she is done!

Bean sorter–embedded computer connected to outside world

After a struggle that took way longer than it should, I was able to get the Raspberry Pi ready for development. It is no exposed to the outside world so our partners in Texas and our mechanical guru in Montana can access the Raspberry Pi from their cell phones, tablets or other connected devices. The web page is just a place holder for other stuff we will do it, but everyone needs a login page.

A hardwood floor for the master bedroom

We emptied out most of the master bedroom last night so Jamal could start the installation of the hardwood floor there today. He got all the carpet out and started in on the underlayment. He thinks he could have that mostly installed by the time he goes home tomorrow afternoon. He says it might be little tight, but he will get close enough that he only has to do the cleanup and then start smoothing things out and finishing. Next week he will start on the stairs and the upstairs with an engineered wood product. We are very excited to see how it comes out. He did a great job on the last two remodel floors he did for us.

Bean sorter–First image from the Raspberry Pi oCam combo

You can say a lot of things about this image–it is blurry, it is too dark, it manifests the starry night problem, etc., etc. Still, it is our first image out of the bean sorter cam connected to a Raspberry Pi. I am going to do some infrastructure stuff to be able to pull stuff down easily from the embedded computer, but I will be moving on to work on the lights Gene sent me within a few days. Of course those days extend out quite a bit because I have a day job. Nevertheless, one has to take their satisfaction when they can get it and this is satisfaction any engineer might understand.

Bean sorter–Groundhog day success

Today was a good day at work. It all had to do with sorting and measuring spuds on a conveyor, but that is a story for when we see each other face to face. The other reason it is a good day is the image below. I spoke prematurely when I said I had everything ready to go with the bean sorting development environment for the Raspberry Pi. I was wrong. It turns out the stuff I had on my development computer was incompatible with the stuff on the Raspberry Pi and it took me until about 15 minutes ago to get it all sorted out. Hopefully, I have a shot at getting the camera going on the RPi and maybe even getting started in on controlling the lights we need for the project with the RPi. Another fun filled weekend!

Kelly’s kids books and obscure art connection

Kelly sent me this text this morning. It was pretty cool and reminded me of the stuff we talked about when she and Christian were at Wake Technical Community College, so I thought I would put it up. The photo below is the image she discusses for which she made the connection. I thought that as pretty dark, but she does have a great story and a  fascinating connection.

Christian’s “defective” lens

Christian ordered an odd lens (Helios 44-2 58mm f/2) on ebay from a guy in the Ukraine the last time he came here to visit. It was over the holidays and it took quite a long time to get here. It is a cheap lens for which he had to get an adapter so it would fit his camera.  The reason he bought the thing is that it has an odd “defect” that makes it very interesting. Somehow, the lens “pixelates” stuff in the background. Because of this defect and the very cool effect manifested by image taken with it, it has become somewhat of a collectors item. Christian took the picture below to show us the effect. We thought it was pretty cool.

Weight loss–a third of the way to the goal


Today marks a small milestone on the weight loss program my buddy Jon and I are on. I am over 22 lbs or 10 kgs down and about a third of the way to my goal. Jon is right there, too, although it is harder for him because he infrequently has access to a consistent scale and is “on the road” all the time. I am amazed he is in about the same level of weight loss as I in such an uncontrolled environment. To butcher a phrase–onward and downward!

Bean sorter–Remote (wireless) debug on Raspberry Pi

A couple more hours and remote debug is up and running. Develop on my desktop, deploy and debug over wifi to the Raspberry Pi. It took about 14 hours all told, but it was interesting and all worth the investment. Now it is on to getting the camera working on the RPi.