Making a Difference

Here’s a heartwarming story of mothers who made a big difference for some Syrian refugees. One California woman started the idea, and a lot of others joined her to give slings/carriers to parents who had been carrying their children in their arms.

Good for them!


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Being Grateful

So much for being thankful!

I try to be thankful every day, so Thanksgiving Day isn’t special for us, but still:

cheerfulmonkCreative Commons license.

Creative Commons license.

Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving, did you have a good day? Andy spent his checking out his new circuit, and I spent most of mine looking for some software that could replace Adobe Photoshop and Bridge when my version no longer works. (Adobe has moved to Cloud Computing, so sooner or later we will need to find another program. I don’t need it now, but I like to have contingency plans.) Not my favorite way of spending a day, but it was encouraging and I’m glad I did it.


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A Nice Night

nice night

We went up to the land last night so I could see the lights (the white light in the picture, below and to the left of the reddish one on the TV tower). The picture doesn’t show it, but even I could see that the lights were colored — at the moment red and blue in addition to the white one.

We had hoped to try to take a picture of elk, but for some reason there was a lot of traffic so we didn’t see any of them by the side of the road. When I went up with Andy the last time we saw at least seven, most on the side of the road but one standing in our lane. She looked at us, then decided maybe she should move and slowly ambled off to the side so we could pass. When Andy went up at night a day or so later one just stood there looking at him. He had stopped, but he slowly let the car move forward so she ambled out of the way. Elk aren’t nearly as afraid of cars as they are of people!

Even without the elk it was a great evening. We picked last night because the weather was supposed to change today. Yesterday was sunny and last night was clear. As it turned out it was only a day short of a full moon, and the moonlight on the patches of snow was enchanting. It was indeed a nice night!

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Click on image for better resolution

Do you think puzzles are a waste of time? Do you think rat can spend his time in a better way?


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A Big Project

Andy is using the software from a company called ExpressPCB to help him make a lot of electronic circuits to control his electric and heating systems.

He first uses the ExpressPCB software to draw the schematic that he has designed for one of the circuit boards:


Then he lays out the circuit board


And orders it over the internet using the company’s software.

In a few days he gets a board like this:


And he adds the components he ordered elsewhere on the internet:


Then all he has to do is make sure it works correctly, otherwise it’s back to step one to try again. He has a gazillion of different ones to make, so it does keep him off the streets and out of trouble, as we say.


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Next Test

Andy says the lights are a lot more visible now that they’re outside. He tried different color combinations:

Red, Yellow, and Green

Red, Yellow, and Green

Yellow, White, and Blue

Yellow, White, and Blue

Red, White, and BLue

Red, White, and Blue

The yellow and the green are a bit too bright compared to the red and the blue, so he’s going to order lower wattage bulbs for them, but it looks promising. The big test will be if they can survive the weather. That is not a certainty, but we will let you know.


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Unfortunately Opal is right, even if we want peace and serenity doesn’t mean other people won’t try to spoil it.


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Three Lights

This was last night’s configuration for the three lights (red, yellow, and green).


We could definitely see the lights from across the valley, but even Andy had trouble seeing all the colors without the binoculars. He says younger eyes probably wouldn’t have trouble.



Still he’s going to mount the lights outside to see if the lights are more easily seen without the panes of glass and the window screen in the way. He’ll go up after dinner to see how that looks. The idea is to eventually put the lights on a Christmas tree up on the roof, so that should make them even more visible, of course. Fingers crossed!


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We had some snow Monday — enough so we had to clear the windows of our cars, but not enough to impede driving or for Andy to have to plow. The past couple of days have been sunny and clear, which is nice because Andy plans to add the yellow and red Christmas lights to his test today. We’ll go up after dinner to view it from across the valley, and I will let you know how they work. :)


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A Happy Talent


The Western Australian Police might not agree with that, but I do. What about you? Is this one of your talents? What are some others?


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