nice hookup wire windfall
Friday, April 29 2022
Nancy came over with Jack the Dog this morning to walk with Gretchen and our dogs in the woods. Normally our dogs don't really go with Gretchen when she attempts to walk them in the morning, but with Jack and Nancy there, they were fully participative. Nancy noticed the electric bikes and all the loose packing cardboard in the driveway and it reminded her that Ray had recently hit a deer with his car, the second time he's hit a deer in an unspecified amount of time. The last time this had happened, the car was totalled. This time, though, it can be repaired. This has Nancy thinking that maybe all she needs is an electric bike to get around, since Kingston isn't too far away and there are no intervening hills.
I made good progress in the remote workplace today overcoming a problem I detected in my AppStream Login management tools. These tools need to occasionally generate new IDs on the fly, and they do this by looking for the largest existing ID of that kind and then adding one. But some testing showed that this functionality was broken. To fix it, I ended up going down a real rabbit hole in the terrible AWS DynamoDB documentation. It turned out that there are two APIs for DynamoDB, and the one I'd been using doesn't support limiting the number of records returned. While AWS is cheap, it is all about nickel-and-diming, and it charges by the record returned. So, even though I'm not the one paying, it's prudent to only return the ones needed. After much struggle and lots of experimentation (the code examples I managed to find were mostly unrelated to the problem I was solving and usually written in some other programming language), I managed to get my code to work exactly as I wanted it to, returning a simple scalar value instead of shit-ton of records.
At about 12:30pm, I impulsively drove out to the Tibetan Center thrift store, bringing Ramona along mostly because she'd been lying in my way in the driveway sunning herself like a big black lizard. There was nothing I wanted at the thrift store except a number of dog toys that looke like large coronaviruses, a couple cube-shaped rubber dog toys (also festooned with grids of rubbery points) and a flea comb. (It looked like someone's entire set of dog supplies, including a leash, tiny dog bowls, and even tiny doggy water wings, had ended up there.)
Meanwhile Celeste (aka Lester) the Cat remained imprisoned in the upstairs bathroom because he wouldn't poop. But at some point late this afternoon, while I was taking a stroll up the Farm Road, he finally produced a turd, which Gretchen immediately scooped up and drove to the vet for analysis. After that, Celeste/Lester was free of his prison, and seemed to be an entirely different cat. Now he was much friendlier and happier. At some point he brought in a dead mouse from somewhere and was energetically tossing the corpse around like a soccer ball. He was also very needy, and kept intruding into our food as we tried to watch Jeopardy! (I'd made a pot of cheap Prince-brand cavatappi pasta and Gretchen had made vegan tortellini with a sort of cheese sauce, and there was leftover red sauce with meatballs from last night).
While strolling up the Farm Road this afternoon, I'd discovered that a tree fall had fallen across the utility lines, leaving a long section of telephone wire on the ground. The repairs had already been made and the wire looked to abandoned. It was in pretty bad shape, with lots of the the plastic outer jacked broken away, exposing the inner wires. But these wires were high-grade 24 gauge copper (a little over 0.5 mm in diameter). This is noticeably thicker than the conductors in the CAT-5 cable I'm used to working with, which is more like 26 gauge (about 0.4 mm in diameter). So I gathered a fair amount of it, hoping to use it when connecting together modules for modern microcontroller-driven projects.
For some reason Gretchen and I bickered multiple times today over subjects such as the ongoing need for a roofer (which looks like it's going to cost us $500), my desire to have white pasta for a second dinner in row, the powerfulness of the new electric bikes (Gretchen was underwhelmed like I had been yesterday, though today I was feeling better about it), and why it was the electric just-in-time hot water heater was turning on even though we'd collected lots of solar energy today. (Gretchen assumes this means the just-in-time hot water heater should do nothing, but this is seldom the case. And she wonders why the lights flicker when she runs hot water.)
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