Tuesday, February 18 2020
At around 10:00am this morning, the power failed in the office. And then a fire alarm forced us all out onto the front loading dock (which I sometimes refer to as "the porch," since it is covered by a roof. When someone checked the Central Hudson website to see when power was expected to be restored, the answer turned out to be 2:00pm. So the head honcho (reached via Marcus) said we could all go home.
My intention was to continue working back at the house, but I found it hard to get motivated. I kept wandering down to the living room, where I would tinker with the stove and bother Gretchen, who had been hoping to finally get some alone time and was trying to read a book.
Eventually I resumed my work on the newest version of my weather station, which is based on an Arduino Mini Pro, a Raspberry Pi Zero W, and a number of electromechanical measurement devices from Sparkfun. I made great progress getting the sensors working (at least as viewed from the Arduino Mini). And then I also managed to get real evidence of effective communication from the Raspberry Pi Zero to the Arduino Mini over I2C.
As part of all this, I had to do a certain amount of soldering to attach things like telephone jacks (which is how the Sparkfun weather sensors connect) and additional pins for the attachment of four more I2C devices. I've been using old breadboarding boards I'd bought many years ago, possibly from Radio Shack, and they have a real problem with solder pad delamination. To keep that from happening, I pre-glued the pin headerboards using superglue. This worked great, though occasionally as I then did the soldering, white clouds of acrid superglue smoke would rise up to sting my eyes and even get into my lungs. I don't know if this was what then led to a fairly serious dip in my mood, but I was soon so crippled by dysphoria that I had to quit and crawl into bed to take a nap. Happily, Diane the Cat joined me, snuggling up against my chest under the covers.
Other possible causes for my malaise include neurotransmitter irregularities from all the kratom tea I'd drunk yesterday and mental exhaustion from seeing how easy it has been for our country to slide into full-on authoritarianism once its baby-man president realizes nobody can stop him.
Later, after getting out of bed, I figured out how to send large packets of sensor data from the Arduino Mini to the Raspberry Pi over I2C. Ideally, I would be able to send data to the Arduino to specify what data needed to be returned, but I couldn't get that working and my question to StackOverflow.com went unanswered (as all slightly-technical questions about microcontrollers seem to do there). I went on to upload my work to Github.com.
As you can see, I didn't actually manage to get any actual day job work done during the workday. But then I holed up in the guestroom (which is now doable because of the split air conditioner) where, in the absence of cats, I managed to write a technical document specifying a hierarchical inventory system. I even illustrated it with a three-table database map using a program called Dia. (I couldn't figure out how to make such a map from scratch, but I was able to modify an existing diagram and export it as a file of type .png.
The state of my hematoma today.
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