very close to slashing open my finger
Friday, January 16 2015
I drove out to the Wall Street house to address an issue with the side door, which one of the tenants had reported as drafty. After removing the metal framework that had once held a felt-based weather stripping, I installed an adhesive material. It seemed to work, if a little too well; now it was hard to shut the door. Doors are among the hardest things in a house to get right.
My outing continued on to Home Depot and then to Mother Earth Storehouse, where I got two bricks of bulk tofu while looking around to take note of all the other shopper. It was mobbed, and most of the people there surprisingly photogenic. Where were all these healthy, attractive-looking people coming from? By contrast, a later stop at Hannaford reminded me that most people in the greater Kingston area would not look out of place in a low-budget David Lynch movie.
Back at the house, I used some freshly-purchased electrical supplies to finish my work on the restoring all the circuits of the greenhouse electrical system. The box on the side of the green house had been a bit small for all the junctions it contains, so I expanded it with an expander ring and then added handy GFI outlet, which will come in handy the next time I use the 16 square foot deck outside the upstairs as a workbench.
While at the Home Depot, I'd impulsively bought something from a new collection of measurement tools sold by Ryobi that are intended to attach to a smartphone and use it as their user interface. That's a great idea in principle, since a modern smartphone is a highly-generic and ubiquitous piece of presentation hardware. Why should tools all have their own built-in proprietary UIs when that work can be done by an app running on a commodity smartphone? The tool I'd bought was a $50 laser-directed infrared thermometer whose integration with a smartphone's camera seemed to do most of things that would otherwise be the province of an expensive thermal imaging camera. For example, I've had plans for some years to dig a hole through the concrete slab floor of the boiler room so as to install a proper drain, but I've been concerned about the presence of hydronic pipes. But with a thermal-imaging camera, I could find the routes of those pipes, mark where they run, and avoid them. The problem with the Ryobi tool (and, I imagine, other tools in this series) began when I tried to rip into its packaging, which consist of a clamshell of tough plastic welded together with a grid of spot welds. To get the product out of such a container, I was forced to cut through the plastic with a utility knife very close to the product itself. Even so, the plastic resisted, and I came very close to slashing open my finger. Eventually I got it open, but in the process I destroyed the packaging so badly that it would be difficult (if not impossible) to return it.
Then I had to problem of installing the app on my smartphone. I have Gretchen's old Droid X2, but in order to download stuff to it from Google Play, I first had to dump her account and re-register it as my own (a process that would have been impossible without this video). After all of that, it turned out that my Droid' OS is too primitive for the Ryobi app. Either I'll have to use it with Gretchen's more-modern phone, or I'll have to figure out the format of whatever is coming from the 1/8 inch audio plug dangling from the thermometer device (my guess is that it is some sort of analog signal) and write my own app. (That would be more in keeping with the idealized apotheosis of myself that I maintain in my head).
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