Posts Tagged ‘climate’

A Miracle!

3 May 2017

First warm day of the new year!

pullman weather for Wednesday 3 May 2017

With a “scorcher” scheduled for tomorrow!

On Saturday, back to what it’s been like most of Spring, then a steady (I hope) climb towards Summer.

Springtime “snow” falls

13 April 2013
snow on ground

“Snow” melting on the ground.

I was on my way home after finding a great used FM tuner at Palouse Treasures and forgetting to buy more solder at Radio Shack. It was about 1pm. And as I rode my bike that last half mile back home, the skies opened up! But what fell down from those dark clouds on this cool Spring day? Rain, right? And I came home all wet and had to change my clothes…Nope. As pictured above, it was something more like snow. Riding through it, it felt sort of like little bits of styrofoam. It was little icy pellets, but they weren’t hard. They bounced on the ground like popcorn.

“I want to get a picture of this!” I thought, and after parking my bike on the tarp I have for it just inside the door, I went and got my camera and stepped back outside. The “stuff” had been falling in sheets! But now it was mostly gone. I walked up the hill a bit and found some still visible on the grass beside the driveway. And then I noticed more lodged in the junipers that serve as our landscaping here. And so I got a few more photos of the stuff before it all turned back into liquid water.

spring snow

Our “snow” caught in the juniper just before melting.

Cope and Organize

Most of us spend too much time coping and never organize for increased efficiency or expansion. Others do nothing but “organize” and get no real work done. You have to cope with the real scene and also make some time to organize towards the ideal scene. The game is to achieve the ideal scene. We seldom ever get there. That’s what makes it a game, of course. But if you don’t even try, it’s for sure you’ll never get there. And one way of saying “working towards a more ideal scene” is “ORGANIZE.”

We do far too little of it at work. Production Troubleshooting is a study in the perfection of COPE.

At home I get some chance to indulge myself. And though I still feel miles away from any scene one could consider “ideal,” at least now I can see some movement in that direction. Like the nice new (used) FM tuner I got today for $13 (I bought it because it had a power connector on it that I needed for another project; that it works it just gravy!).

Short list of projects

For the sake of trivia, I will list some of the organize efforts going on at home:

  • Make several real tables using IKEA table legs. These are my favorite table legs because they work and they are also easily removable. I finally got around to ordering a dozen (they cost $3 each plus shipping) so now have a second real table (in the bedroom, where I am now) and legs for two more 2-foot by 4-foot wood tops which have yet to materialize.
  • Put heavier projects (power supplies with transformers) in boxes on the floor, while most projects are closer to table height, to make the front panels accessible. I found some cool aluminum enclosures on eBay and got two. Perfect for this purpose. Recently some parts needed to complete them came in, so they are becoming useable.
  • More furnishings (for my living room). My plan is to make the living room into a study area with three sections. One for the arts, one for science and electronics, and one for Scientology. The area needs tables (above), shelves, and chairs. But I didn’t want heavy furniture, and one night I thought: “I wonder if they make inflatable furniture?” And they do! So I am going to try some.
  • Electronics projects sort-out. These were in some disarray, as I was coping for so long with either too little time or too little finances. Now they can begin to move forward in a more orderly manner. My box of manual controllers (called “faders” in the business) is now ready, and the old circular display has been upgraded so it’s easier to use. It will eventually be joined by other displays that operate in different modes, and one will be very video-like.
  • Computers sort-out. I no longer feel the need to access the internet on a different computer from the one I store all my files on. So that older computer is being re-purposed into an experimental computer for the “learning room.” My under-used little netbox will now serve as my electronics bench computer, and my two portables will eventually be deployed at the other learning stations. My “main” computer was recently upgraded from 1GB of RAM (Random Access Memory) to nearly 4GB and the difference is really noticeable. Besides the fact that my phone line is quite noisy, the DSL connection to the internet works well, so for the time being, that’s all good.

Yes, these are the results of letting an electronics hobbyist with an income loose in a 2-room apartment!

Pullman is at 2,300 feet

23 March 2013

Lewiston Idaho is just 25 miles south of Pullman. SEL has a plant there.

Lewiston is on the Snake River, at about 750 feet elevation.

Pullman is on the hills above the Snake, at about 2,300 feet elevation.

A bunch of folks who work at SEL in Pullman live in Lewiston. One was telling us how last week it was 70 degrees (F) in Lewiston. Now that’s Spring! We haven’t seen those temperatures in Pullman yet.

This time of year, the difference in elevation keeps Pullman about 10 degrees (F) colder than Lewiston.

For example, this week temperatures in Lewiston are expected to climb back up to near 70, lows in the 40s. While here in Pullman, the temperatures are only expected to get up to the low 60s, with lows near freezing. Right now, air temperatures in Pullman are bottoming out down in the 20s at around 5AM every morning (about when I get up to go to work).

A new microscope

Now that I have a bicycle, I am more willing to get out and around town. So middle of last week I headed out to buy some groceries and hunt for cool stuff in the local thrift store (Palouse Treasures).

I found a great used Dell monitor for $20, but I also spied – tucked away on an inconspicuous shelf behind the stereo equipment – a student microscope. I couldn’t carry both home at the same time, so I came back the next day and the microscope was still there. It was in extremely good condition, so I made the lady charge me $49.99 for it instead of the $29.99 they were asking.

I had a little “toy” microscope when I was a kid. It was fun. The book I got told me to put a lettuce leaf in some water and let it sit around for a few days. So I did, then looked at a little drop under the microscope. And there were all kinds of little things swimming around in there! I also got prepared slides with little insects and so forth. Very interesting to look at them magnified.

This scope is a classic American Optical “Spencer” made around 1965 (according to a list of serial number ranges I found on the internet). They don’t make them any more, though other companies make others very similar. It has a 10X eyepiece and 3 objectives – 4X, 10X and 43X – and a built-in light. It’s a big, well-built thing and it works great. How neat to have a microscope again after all these years! Will probably mostly look at electronics stuff with it. And will try to find a camera that can take digital photos through it.

I couldn’t find any of my own drawings of things under a microscope, but here’s something from a biology handout I got for a summer class I took in the 1960s:

pond life

Drawings of microscopic pond water creatures.