not to be greedy
Wednesday, November 8 2006
Again I suffered at the hands of my goddamn solar sufficiency controller. Satisfied that it was working reliably, I decided to pack it into the black box in which it is supposed to live. But then, when I did so, it mysteriously stopped working. So I would take it apart and play with the connections, maybe replace the Atmega168 or whatever, and it would work again. So I'd pack it into its box and fire it up. Dead again! This went on for what must have been hours, and I never did figure out what the problem was. Along the way I fixed some of the more disturbing parts of the overworked circuit board containing my electronics, and perhaps this ultimately had a role in allowing me to finally pack it up in its box, but who knows? At a certain point with projects like this you have to learn not to be greedy, to accept working systems as they are, without demanding too much of them. I need to keep in mind that I already have a lot: a microcontroller that I can easily reprogram remotely and from which I can gather live sensor data. Such systems cost a lot of money if you simply try to buy them. But no, I built this from scratch, using parts that in some cases I found in dumpsters.
While on the subject of learning not to be greedy, it was hard today not to crave more than the 28 or 29 seats that Democrats just took from Republicans in the House of Representatives. In the close races, ones where Democrats were down by 300 or 500, I wanted recounts, and I wanted particular scrutiny of the 13th Congressional district of Florida, (Katherine Harris' old seat) where in some precints, mysteriously, voters in record numbers seemed to have abstained from voting for either House candidate.
This evening Gretchen and I had dinner with our dentist (his name is Dennis) and his wife (Laura) at the new vegan restaurant in Woodstock. Gretchen had taken a shine to Dennis the Dentist while getting root canals and crowns several months ago, although this dinner had been difficult to arrange, having been kicked down the road numerous times. Our senses of humor were unusually compatible, so conversation was smooth and interesting. Gretchen and I told our various best-of stories ("how we got back together" and "my public school Bible trailer memories") while Laura detailed her experience three years ago with an aggressive form of brain cancer that removed months of memories from her life, almost killed her and left her with mild paralysis on one side.
At some point in the conversation, the owner of the restaurant joyfully announced that the Senate had definitely fallen to the Democrats. The news was perhaps a little premature, since only the Associated Press was making this claim. But, in the end, it was to prove true.
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