Month: October 2019

Apartment Hunting

In the Atlanta Metro area is interesting. Between we two we have blindness and gimped leg to deal with. So this meant certain constraints are placed upon us. We finally did find a place where the price wasn’t too awful thought and it’s only eight stairs to content with. We have been in the place for eighteen days thus far. It’s a nice place, not a basement apartment but first floor – the entrance is down eight steps and the place is VERY quiet.

Must say though one of my neighbors, a woman saw me at the mailboxes and chatted me up. Guess she didn’t pick up I didn’t give her the once over. But still it’s very nice. The property is a big complex of buildings all in a wooded area. Meets my approval.

However the commute to the office is 30 miles. It’s all highway of course, I-20 to I-75 and the stupid constantly astounds me. I realized early on if we all just paid attention to the rule – one car length for every 10MPH of speed – in kilometers it’d be one car length for every 16.09KMH. this makes me wish we’d gone metric in the 1970’s. Then we wouldn’t have to convert everything and maybe not even lose a couple of spacecraft because of conversion errors.

A little more about me

So as you might have guessed I’m not the squeamish type. I don’t know precisely why I’m like this. Just that I can handle lots of different foods be they protein based, plant based etc. Even cheese, fatty salami, sausage etc.

Plus blood doesn’t freak me out. And I’m of the camp that reads a lot so maybe that’s it. Plus I happen to know the bacteria in our gut outnumbers or close to outnumbers our own human cells. And if you bleach your entire home, your body is still home to a literal shit ton of bacterial species. So as a result – I no longer worry too much about it.

Now in the past I’ve had some serious science experiments in my fridge. No more of course but they’re what got me into fermentation and study of how certain microbes are VERY beneficial to humanity. I’ve done sourdough starter, pickling with both vinegar and fermentation – my favorite was fermented Jalapeno peppers.

Plus I’m handy with electronics – know how to solder things together even sweat copper pipe. This brings me to the point where my reading and my thinking plus electronics skills mean I can give my car features GM never though about. I had previously posted how I realized the gas pedal and the break pedal have no physical connection to their constituent parts. And the power steering isn’t hydraulic but electric. I think you see where I’m going here.

It does mean that I need to order a new Arduino and RasPi and the CAN bus shields for the above. First I’ll WATCH the CAN bus and see what happens when I perform various actions. And once I have that data I can start playing with the CAN bus. It is then I can get the car to start bending to my will. For example I would love if the cruise control was adaptive – in that it could increase or decrease speed based on the vehicle in front of me. And that of course started the though of a separate sub-system at the rear of the car – that if a vehicle gets too close a sign in back would light up saying “Back the fuck off!” Maybe not that rude. But it’d be funny. Maybe even side lookers tied to the turn signals that say “I know it’s a pretty blinking light, but would you place back down and let me merge into the lane?” Do it all automatically and rotate the messages so it’s not the same all the time.

I can see my car becoming a nice little engineering project.

A post about Spotify

So I’ve been digging Spotify. Going through stuff I love from the 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s 1990’s et al.

But it’s the genres that I truly love – right now it’s my Good Jazz playlist.

The only thing I dislike about Spotify is the ads which are off the wall stupid , and Spotify constantly dunning me to pay for the service. Ut si.

Let the Medical Odyssey Begin

So today I had a light touch doctors appointment. It wasn’t a full physical oh no, just talk to the doctor about my condition.

Nice doctor btw, Shalendra Bell D.O/M.D. We got to talking and she started as an engineering student. Then found the medical calling. I told her I wanted to be a doctor but found out how little they knew back in the day and decided against it and studied Information Science instead. She related that when she first started studying medicine she had a little crisis of faith she could do it, but apparently she did.

In our discussion she asked if my right foot dragged. I answered with “Ever see Young Frankenstein with Igor when he says ‘Walk this way” and proceeds to drag his foot. That got a laugh out of her.

But the odyssey part – next up is an MRI and then a full physical exam. I suppose it’s overdue. Then an orthopedic consult. Yeah I know. I can’t hold it against the doctor though, she’s actually pretty cool and looks way different than her pic on her page.

Maybe it’s because it’s affiliated with Emory – they tend to get some great doctors.

And a little clarification

Via a vis traffic down here. It doesn’t scare me at all. I’ve driven I-95 from RI to FL, I-95 to I-93 which btw is a left hand exit and ONE lane I’ve driven the Cross Bronx expressway, and even Route 1/17/117 up the east coast.

I’ve seen I-95 just after the I-495 split moving at 85MPH bumper to bumper. I’ve seen tons of egregious behavior by drivers of a certain luxury car brand.

But when it comes to dumb fuck traffic, the Metro Atlanta area takes the cake.

If you want to experience horrendous traffic

Come on down to the Altanta, Georgia metro area.

My commute takes me on I-20 then I-75, and returning if I-75 is a total shit storm I get to experience the utter joy that is I-285 to get back to I-20.

One day it took me two hours, TWO hours to go 30 miles. Two hours. And my absolute favorite is the changeable speed limit signs on I-285. When a highway speed limit drops to 35MPH that’s a big problem.

But the real problem is we the humans. We’re the last element in the set of things in cars that hasn’t been changed. Oh cars have gotten infinitely safer even little Artemis my Chevy Trax has 8 different air bags in it. That and stability control which I found out can activate the brakes. This tells me my gas and brake pedal have no physical connection to the systems they control. Interesting what this means is my little hardware-software hack – I could in fact make the car more intelligent. Hmmmm.

Anyhow one thing we could do is remember that rule we learned so many years ago – leave at least one car length of distance for every ten mph of speed. So at 35MPH leave 3.5 car lengths, at 75 leave 7.5 and so on. I try to do that and what I note is it makes it easier for other people to merge in because they realized they were in an exit only lane or some such.

The other thing I’ve noticed down here – signals specifically turn signals. Not everyone uses them. I can spot the transplants like me who do use them.

Let the modifications begin

So I’ve had my Chevy Trax for a couple of months now. Time to start adding things that GM in their wisdom forgot.

I ordered a LIDAR module. It’ll measure up to 15m which translates to about 50 feet. Plan to tie it to the CAN bus on the car through either an Arduino or RasPi. Probably use the Arduino as it’s a little more rugged construction.

The plan is to make it take the cruise control on the car and let it control speed up/slow down/brakes. Yeah I know. Lot of testing will be necessary to set it up right.