diphenhydramine and Arduino hacking
Thursday, April 7 2022
Late this morning, Gretchen and I drove together through the rain to Poughkeepsie to go to a dreary first-floor office somewhere and begin the process of applying for TSA PreCheck. It's a system that allows people without serious criminal records a thick FBI files to get through security faster than regular folks. While it's true that I have been arrested several times for misdemeanors and been investigated by the FBI for terrorist plotting and perhaps eco-terrorism, Gretchen thought applying for PreCheck was a good idea. We came ten minutes early, as we'd been instructed to do. But the woman handling our application didn't have anything else she needed to do. So she took us to a back room where we were fingerprinted, had our photos taken, and gave our social security numbers and email addresses. It was all over in less than ten minutes. Processing this info and deciding whether or not we qualify will take days. But that was all we needed to be doing in Poughkeepsie.
Gretchen had research lunch options and we'd decided to not eat in Poughkeepsie but instead check out a Tibetan-Vietnamese restaurant in New Paltz called Pho Tibet. It's located in a large beautiful high-ceilinged space more appropriate for a coffee shop (which the space once was). I ordered the vegetable pho soup. It was pretty good, once I'd overcome its initial blandness by squirting in sriracha, pouring in lots of soy sauce, and adding some slice of jalapeño and pepper oil. There was also a Asian flavor in there I don't much like, but it wasn't a deal breaker. Every time I find myself eating a pho soup, it's always a bit of struggle. It starts out to hot (temperature wise) and remains too hot (pepper wise, at least the way I prepare it), so I find my nose running uncontrollably as hot droplets spatter both the table and me from the messy process of trying to eat something that is liquid but also contains long noodles. There's also the problem that my punk rock tooth has loosened up in my gum and now flaps back and forth maybe a 16th of an inch, and I'm worried it'll just fall off completely if I try to do much with it. So I'm forced to eat only out of the right side of my mouth, where I still have the problem of a missing crown on the top right wisdom tooth.
Back at the house, I resumed my workday. My boss the CTO had been trying to reach me about something for days. But he kept not actually contacting me or trying to contact me at 5:03 PM or just as I was going through the process of applying for TSA PreCheck. Today I finally found out what it was: he needed some more features for the AppStream login system I'd built. It's good to be the go-to guy for a whole class of technology in the company, and web access for streamed apps is one of mine.
Meanwhile, my persistence paid off and I'd finally broken through to some success on this next stage of the Azure DevOps pipeline technology I was trying to learn. I'd been wanting be able to loop through multiple builds using different configurations, and encapsulating most of the pipeline in a template allowed me to do that. But to get there required not just reading (or skimming) lots of material, but also much experimentation. It felt good to get out on the other side of that, as the arduous process of learning (interspersed with much procrastination) had me feeling anxious about my low level of productivity.
Meanwhile, our painter friend Erik has been working for the past several days painting mold-resistant paint in the basement master guestroom (and beathroom), the basement hallway, and also upstairs in our master bedroom's large bathroom, where years of shower condensate have produced pockets and tears in some of the paint. By this afternoon, he was beginning to wind things up, and things were looking great.
Powerful has been feeling much better lately, and so today he prepared a second dinner in a row, this one of Beyond Burgers with all the fixings. My appetite still hadn't recovered from lunch, but I had enough of one for a burger.
Later I took a bath while waiting for the diphenhydramine to kick in. I was beginning to feel it by the time I got out, but I overcame that feeling enough to quickly connect together the various pieces necessary to display a graph of temperature data from my new ESP8266-based temperature probes. Despite the full effects of 150 mg of diphenhydramine, I was then able to add some code to the EP8266's Arduino sketch to read an I2C-based BMP180 temperature/pressure sensor (as I don't have any more AM2301 temperature/humidity sensors), which would allow me to make a second temperature probe for the cabin. Instead of using a NodeMCU as the EPS8266-based board, I used a WeMos D1. It turned out that I could flash it from the Arduino IDE without changing any of the settings I'd made to flash to the NodeMCU.
So overall it was an unusually productive day.
The rains that had started falling this morning had ramped up to something of a continuous torrential downpour by 7:00pm this evening. There was so much coming down that water filled the electrical conduit connecting the well to the house, which led to a small flood in the boiler room that Powerful drew my attention to. But there's now a drain hole through the slab and the flood wasn't going to do much more than dampen the floor at the end of the basement hallway.
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