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Also pleased with...

Jul22
Recommended / related
... this website, it is not constantly crashing at the moment, that's nice. Whoever was attacking it has given up for a while. I'm still going to improve the caching, and I have already improved the database usage.

Less pleased with my solar powered shed computer project. I am sure it is the battery still, so do I buy a proper battery (approx 70 quid by the looks) or do I just give up on this one? At least the raspberry pi is still working nicely, when the power goes down the ubec shuts it down completely, so it's quite happy to boot up again when I plug it in.

Glossary:

raspberry pi: cheap low powered computer
ubec: universal battery elimination circuit, power regulator
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No stabilisers: the next step

Jul22
I'm still super proud today of Harry riding his bike with no stabilisers, but now what do we do? Clare and I both have bikes but they have flat tires right now, and we have no solution for Tommy. We said we'd get a trailer for him, in fact that was his birthday present that we did not actually buy, so we owe him something. Then we can go riding along the canal (now the Hythe prowler has been caught) as a family which will be ace. Can't do that this weekend as we're busy having birthday fun, but next weekend we'll go buy a trailer and then go riding after that.

I guess we're getting Harry a new bike for christmas then.

Harry has a reading challenge for the summer holiday, basically reading as many books as he can, in as many different genres. We (mostly he) are making a list to take back to school. I hope he gets a prize for this, his reading is absolutely amazing.

Tommy is talking a lot more this week, I reckon he'll be up to his fifty words by the time he does his next development check, no problem. He's a proper clever boy too, I'm so pleased with both of my boys right now.
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Wait a minute, shouldn't I have been at work?

Jul21
I've taken today and the next six Mondays off work, using my holiday to cover child care arrangements. Harry started his summer holiday today, his school broke up a bit earlier than some, and Clare works Mondays, so I'm stepping up to give Granny and Grandpa a break. It's been great, though we did not get much done. I was also on my own with the boys yesterday, while Clare was working so as to cover another day in the week. It's complicated, there's a lot of rejigging of days off going on right now.

We thought about going into Folkestone on the bus today (Clare needs the car) but just didn't get around to it. After breakfast and chores and then playing Harry Potter on the Wii and then a little bit of arts and crafts, then lunch and Tommy's nap the morning flew by. We took a walk and a scoot along the seafront this afternoon, and also went in "the secret garden". This is the name Harry gave to the communal garden that we always forget we have access to here. We didn't even know we had it until farely recently, it's just a gated scrap of land that really looks like it should belong to someone else. Anyway we played in there for a bit then ran along the front for a bit and then came home.

Yesterday we went slightly further afield, Clare dropped us in Hythe before she went to work. Walking and scooting back from there was going fine until Harry slipped off his scooter and bloodied his kneeds, then about ten minutes later did it again, so mostly I carried him, and the scooter, and the shopping back from Hythe, while pushing Tommy in the buggy... it's good exercise anyway...

Back to work in the morning.
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Harry rode his bike with no stabilisers today!

Jul21
Harry and I have been out a few times recently, and got as far as me letting go for two paces, three paces, even up to six paces. Then today he asked to go out, but we couldn't as it was just the three of us and I had to watch Tommy too, so we waited until Clare came home. We actualy remembered and went out along Alexandra Corniche. "Don't do more than two off today" he said, meaning two paces and let go, but it was going well, got up to nine a couple of times without him noticing. Then suddenly I was up to thirty, fifty, a hundred, and he's cycling along the street by himself! I'm so proud, goodbye stabilisers. The video I'm trying to upload now is after we got to the end of the road and I phoned Clare to film him (of course I didn't have the camera with me...) so he's riding slightly up hill which was a bit more wobbly. But this is it, proper cycling.

From June 2014 (Disneyland Paris)
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This site is still taking a punishment beating from somewhere

Jul21
I blocked one person / company that was hitting this site really hard with lots of nonsense requests, but it's still struggling, I'll have to a) investigate properly, and b) put some better caching in place. What if I wrote something that was genuinely interesting and lots of people came here? Or, what if I posted that picture of Dad's amputated thumb, that would surely send the traffic skyrocketing, and I need to be able to cope.

Taking a quick break from my duties today while Harry and Tommy's tea is cooking, and they're both sat nicely watching Up on TV. Well, Harry is sat nicely and Tommy is running around playing but not screaming nor trying to pull everything out of the kitchen cupboards, that is his version of sitting nicely.
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Lots of errors on this website suddenly

Jul19
Not sure what that is but it's disrupting things, sorry, I will investigate.

On the plus side we've had a lovely day, we went bowling, and we got series five of Breaking Bad too. We already had it on blu ray which we can't watch, but we just borrowed in on dvd.

Not sure what sort of day we'll be having tomorrow, Clare is working so it's just Harry and Tommy and me and no car. Going to get dropped at the boot fair at Hythe Cricket Club in the morning and take it from there, hopefully avoiding the mental storms...

UPDATE: just pinned it down to a corrupt database index, so every hit on every page was resulting in a full sift through all of the content int he database just to find something that should have been pulled out very quickly. I re-indexed and all is good. Also I've rewritten a bundle of stuff as I went, which is sure to give me problems in future...

Tommy's nap is over, time to get back to my boys!
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Solar powered shed server is offline...

Jul19
Recommended / related
It last posted at 9pm, which I think was during that storm not sure what has happened yet. Maybe the battery was not charging from the solar panel like I thought. I will investigate, I must get my solar powered raspberry pi back online...

The battery charge has gone down to 4v, maybe it has got damaged, hopefully it will come up to full charge again. The ubec has done its job and cut power to the raspberry pi. Hope we get enough sunshine today to charge it up, we just had another downpour.

Glossary:

raspberry pi: cheap low powered computer
ubec: universal battery elimination circuit, power regulator
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Thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightning

Jul18
Amazing lightning storm right now, it rolled in so fast it was spooky. As I've said a few times recently, this is how the weather would be if I had designed it, super roasting hot in the day and tropical storms by night.

Camera battery is dead or I'd try and get some pictures and video of this. Hope it doesn't wake the boys.

Took this picture of the cloud as it rolled in, everything got dark really quickly after this:

From June 2014 (Disneyland Paris)


This link might work for video of the storm cloud rolling in.
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Solar powered shed server is still running!

Jul18
It just tweeted to let me know it's still OK. Still feeling pretty pleased with myself that this project finally got going.

Glossary:

raspberry pi: cheap low powered computer
ubec: universal battery elimination circuit, power regulator
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Did I just solve my bad back problem?

Jul18
Just realised I have been carrying round a screwfix catalogue with me everywhere for weeks! Hmm, actually my bad back predates that catalogue a bit.

Man alive it is HOT HOT HOT today. Clare sent me a picture of Tommy playing with the water in the garden which was nice, though it rubs it in a bit while I'm stuck at work. I hope Harry is having a good day, it's the last day of term, the last day of his whole school year. He is no longer a Rainbowfish after today, he goes up to Starfish class.

They've had so many tag days this year (what they call non-uniform days round here) I can't believe they're not doing one for the last day of the year. They've not even been told to bring their own toys in or anything, I thought that was THE LAW? We're taking him bowling tomorrow as a treat to celebrate the end of term. It's a surprise though, I hope Harry doesn't read this.
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Solar powered shed computer are go!

Jul17
Recommended / related
I finally joined up all the dots in my solar powered raspberry pi based security camera in my shed. It's out there now, live, self contained, no mains power. It's connected to a small lead acid battery that is powered by a solar panel (and regulated with a ubec). This is exciting stuff! Ultimately not of any use at all, but still exciting, and also fascinating. Well to me anyway.

I will post the first picture taken by the new shed based computer in a minute and then update on its progress. Or rather I will have it update on its own progress via its own twitter (or more likely as I can't seem to have two automated accounts unless I have two mobile phone numbers).

From June 2014 (Disneyland Paris)


Maybe picture number two will be better?

From June 2014 (Disneyland Paris)


Hmm maybe not. I'm not giving a very good impression of my home security camera setup here am I...

Glossary:

raspberry pi: cheap low powered computer
ubec: universal battery elimination circuit, power regulator
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Iota looks good

Jul17
This is the kind of concept the internet of things needs. It's a new project on kickstarter (US only unfortunately), a new kind of wireless tracking device to develop on. Each one of these devices will be able to talk to all of the others that are in range, so just by having one of these fellers (monitoring your dog, say, as in their example) you'll be helping all the other iota owners to monitor their dogs too, without everyone needing to be in range of a power sapping mobile device.
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Beautiful day, the beach is packed with people

Jul17
Working from home today (can I shorten this to WFH like we do at work?) and it's so nice and sunny that I took a stroll at lunch. Could see a lot of tents and parasols on the beach, looked like a party going on so I went down to take a look. It's just a school party though rather than a festival.

I picked up a leaflet for the the new flats being built below us on the sea front - Olivia Court - next to the Murco / Raj Bari on what was the old water works and police station or something. We had heard from the builder who is building the four new houses at the end of Alexandra Corniche that these flats were going to be £400k, but it looks like they're ranging from £255k for the 893 square foot ground floor, I suppose with no sea view, to £595k for 1270 square foot penthouse on the sea front side. It's getting expensive round here!

It's called the penthouse but they really just mean top floor + fancy fittings I suppose, as there are two blocks on this development development and six penthouse flats in total. To me penthouse means the whole of the top floor. It was very odd on George Clarke's amazing caravans programme last week when was describing the narrow boat conversion the two lads were doing as a "penthouse". It's a boat and it's one floor, what makes it a penthouse? You might as well have called it a bedsit.

Work is going well today, I think I have cracked the a-z vertical slider I was working on and hopefully talked people out of another couple of tasks that I'd been give that I don't think add value to the project we're doing. Feels productive anyway.

UPDATE: Here's a sample flat for sale in the new Olivia Court block. They're not actually built yet, that's just an artists impression. This is is probably where our local builder got the idea they were all going to be this price, but as I say they do vary.
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Prize Day

Jul16
It was Harry's prize day today, an end of term prizegiving ceremony. Some strange kind of mix up meant he came away only with an attendance medal, but we're ABSOLUTELY FINE WITH THAT. There was a reading prize, but it went to a final year girl, not to anyone in reception class. There was an IT prize, but it does not seem to have been judged by number of hours psent on the ipad so that went to someone else too.

On the plus side he did not win the "mass worship" prize (no idea) or the spiritual prize. They went to the same person.

Not sure if I said but we're ABSOLUTELY FINE with Harry not coming away with a trophy. He is quite upset though.
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Bootstrap (jquery) vertical A-Z slider

Jul16
Been struggling with this today... the code is pretty simple, but integrating it with an existing system that has its own quirky css has been annoying me today.. Here's an example that users letters instead of the normal slider numbers, and has the letter you're on on the slider itself, and then when you get to where you want to slide to it does an action based on the letter; if we have some content based on the letter you chose then we'll scroll to it, if we don't then we won't.


var $slider = $('#slider');
$slider.slider( );
var $handle = $('.carrierSlider .slider-handle');
$handle.text('A');
$carrierSlider.on( 'slide', function ( ev ) {
$handle.text( String.fromCharCode( 64 + ev.value ));
} );
$carrierSlider.on( 'slideStop', function ( ev ) {
for ( var i = ev.value; i > 0; i -- ) {
var ch = String.fromCharCode( i + 64 );
var m = $('div.' + ch );
if ( m.length( )) {
return console.log( 'hell yeah we have div.' + ch + ' let's scroll to it!' );
}
console.log( 'we don't have ' + ch + ' let's try again...' );
}
} );


Hmm will maybe change this so it's more like the fast scrolling on the ipod, now I come to think of it that's more like the original spec.
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Canterbury man planned to eat teenager

Jul16
Hmm lovely! Nurse Dale Bolinger of Canterbury bought an axe in Broadstairs and arranged to meet a teenage girl in Ashford, for the purpose of killing her with the axe and then eating her. I'm only really disappointed that Folkestone does not get a look in in this most kentish cannibalism tale.

Hey Dad where did your thumb that was amputated go? Do you recognise this nurse..?
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Paul Clarke's blog - I live and work in Seabrook near Folkestone, Kent. married to Clare and father to Harry and Tommy, I am a software engineer, and I do js, nodejs, php, and ruby. I like Folkestone Gerald, pubbing, restaurants, home automation, history, genealogy, TV, popbitch, squirrels, pirates ☠, time travel, stained glass...