Pauly's Soapbox


Looking for something on my site? Not found it? Try here:

Crime dramas embiggen your brain

Recommended / related
Hmm, the second telegraph article Clare has sent me in the space of a week, but this is explains a lot, we love the crime dramas.

Got my pay day deliveries already which is nice these cutting disks were delivered already, and I've used them to make another couple of ikea hack lampshades... also got a Nespresso delivery too. They're not cheap, but they do next day delivery.

Last day off dryanuary. Clare is out at The Ship, as Terry is visiting from Ireland so a few of them have gone out. Include Dean and his new MBE! Only seen a picture of it so far, don't suppose he is actually taking it to the pub though.

Started febrewery early, got twenty-five litres of porter on the go. Hope the temperature is right for this brew, I've put it in the study instead of the utility as it's not as cold in there, there is a radiator, though it's always on low. Giving a raspberry pi temperature sensor another go, though it's going about as smoothly as it did last time... nfw.

Aha, it's working, it's just that the gpio on the raspberry pi is confusing, once you get the pin numbering right then it works... Hmm if I can connect this at the same time as the slice of relay board then I can use just the pi on its own to monitor my home brew; turn up the heat if it drops below 21 degrees, turn it off if it goes over 22. Yeah you can connect multiple sensors at once, on the same gpio pin too. Got two connected at the same time now, handy for monitoring ambient temperature and actual beer temperature.

UPDATE: It's logging the temperature too, quick script, got two sensors connected. Will look tomorrow see what the temperature does over night. Can already see that beer needs to be warmer over night, temperature is at about 18 degrees:

devRoot = '/sys/bus/w1/devices/'
Dir[ devRoot + '*-*' ].each do | path |
id = path.sub devRoot, ''
file_contents = path + '/w1_slave' )
data = file_contents.split( 't=' ).last
temperature = data.to_f / 1000
open( '/home/pi/temperature.' + id + '.log', 'a' ) do | f |
f.puts + "t" + temperature.to_s

That gives me a log file per temperature probe, will plot them on a graph tomorrow...

Time for bed!


gpio: general purpose io pins, probably on the raspbery pi
raspberry pi: cheap low powered computer
:: Comment / reply

Hey Hey 16k (somewhere in Edinburgh)

MJ Hibbett and Steve's new show has its world premiere in Leicester next week and to celebrate they're launching the new website, right here]].

This is the show they're taking to Edinburgh, so assuming they're there for the whole month, we'll be seeing them!

There's not a HUGE amount of content there yet, but it'll gradually fill up as we get closer to Edinburgh. In the meantime we're gradually adding preview shows, so do come if there's one nearby!

That new ZX Spectrum must be out pretty soon...
:: Comment / reply

I just joined a political party

Can you guess which one?

That's a first for me, wonder what will come of it.
:: Comment / reply

First Edinburgh Fringe tickets have gone on sale

Venue 150 at EICC
We're going to Edinburgh again this year, really looking forward to it... still seven months away but it'll come soon enough. Best part is it's mostly paid for, hotel and flights paid for up front three months ago. Just tickets to get. Decided last time to book fewer tickets in advance rather than more. They're generally ok to get on the day, even the hot sold out tickets like Fascinating Aida were OK. Will not be rushing at any of these, as reported on

TICKETS have gone on sale for the first events at the Edinburgh Fringe. Just six of the hundreds of comedy shows have opened for business, including Daniel Sloss... at the EICC. The other shows are from Gyles Brandreth at the Pleasance, Jimeoin also at the EICC, Best Of The Fest at Assembly Hall and Absolute Improv! at...

yeah doesn't really matter absolute improv is at, I hate improv with a passion. I'm sure EICC is where we went to Alan Davies and a big cabaret type show last year on our first day there, it's a big proper venue, not really quite so fringey, but it was a great intro to it all for us.

We are going to look into any BBC shows we can get into, we went to Just a Minute last time, maybe another, they're well organised and interesting, and funny to boot.

Looking forward to Edinburgh, me!
:: Comment / reply

Now an earthquake in the midlands

BBC has the details, following hot on the tail of that earthquake in Winchester.

Fracking, I'm telling you.
:: Comment / reply

Light snow here on Sunday?

Recommended / related
BBC says we will get light snow on Sunday. That's a forecast three days in advance as I write this though, so who knows, as likely to be heavy snow as a freak heatwave I expect.
WFH today, then the next day in the office is pay day, that's good! I should figure out today the things I need to spend it on, or probably I should have put some orders in already as the cash won't come out until tomorrow. I think I need;

☠ an electrician
☠ new blades for my dremel
☠ an hdmi switch
☠ wood glue + screws for my bureau

Tommy's first proper day at nursery today, they're there now. Clare gets to leave him there for THREE HOURS! He's not been left that long before with strangers, not while he's been awake anyway. They have trains at nursery, so it should be OK, and he's done a few trial sessions, including being left for half an hour on Tuesday.

Good luck if you're travelling anywhere today, have a lovely time! It's a nice bright crisp day today here, pretty cold. Had to stop to put our gloves on part way on the walk to school with Harry this morning. Also I didn't look at the clock before I left, and I didn't have my phone so didn't spot we were fifteen minutes early, doh! School was deserted when we got there...

Time for work.
:: Comment / reply

Looks like the New York snow forecast was all nonsense

Everyone involved apologises, oops.

There was an earthquake in Winchester today though.

Only two days to pay day now. Not really thinking much of the end of dryanuary actually, more about pay day. Clare is threatening to start drinking again on Friday, the big part timer. I think I will hold off a bit longer. Probably.
:: Comment / reply

Lovely Habitat Radius chest of drawers

Currently silly bids only this lovely chest of drawers from the habitat radius range will go for over £300... collect from Sevenoaks
End Date: Sunday Feb-8-2015 22:51:40 GMT
Buy It Now for only: £75.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
£102.50 (12 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Feb-1-2015 19:03:48 GMT
Bid now | Add to watch list
£285.00 (3 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Feb-1-2015 19:38:58 GMT
Bid now | Add to watch list
End Date: Tuesday Feb-17-2015 15:51:59 GMT
Buy It Now for only: £200.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
£500.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Feb-1-2015 22:00:31 GMT
Bid now | Add to watch list
:: Comment / reply

Southampton Echo has details of the Frog reopening

The Frog and Frigate
Rumours are true, Derek has bought the Frog and is reopening it, details here.

It's about twenty five years since I first went there, twenty since I last went there regularly. It's too far away for me to try and get along there really, but maybe I'll get along one. Best of luck to Derek Gardener and team.

:: Comment / reply

Real time drone tracking

Recommended / related
This is cool, real time tracking from a drone, written in only a handful of lines of python... Pick an area of the screen you're interested in tracking then, uh, keep track of it! So you could use this to adjust the position of the drone, keep the thing you're tracking in the centre of the picture to keep flying straight towards it.

Also from the same site I like the look of this tiny display, attached to a tiny arduino.


arduino: arduino is open source hardware prototyping, it's how I do my diy electronics
:: Comment / reply

Could be a metre of snow due in New York today

Good luck if you're heading to New York today there is a TONNE of snow on the way. Really hoping it falls today, then they deal with it tomorrow and it's clear by the weekend.

Speaking on Sunday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio showed journalists a list of the city's top 10 snowstorms, dating back to 1872.

"This could be the biggest snowstorm in the history of this city," Mr de Blasio said, telling New Yorkers to "prepare for something worse than we have seen before".

Unbelievable that I've been to New York twice and I have no photos of either time. The only evidence I have at all is a small sheet of photo stickers I got printed at either the World Trade Centre or Empire State Building. We're going to go again, when Clare is 40 (so REALLY REALLY SOON) will be sure to have a camera this time.

Annoying that I don't have any photos of our holidays to Brazil or Cuba either, you would think I have been absolutely nowhere.
:: Comment / reply

A slice of relay

Recommended / related
I got one of these for christmas, a pair of relays that plug direct into a raspberry pi. They're rated for 230v so this means you can wire something (a light, a stereo, a central heating system) to the relay that would normally be plugged directly in to the mains (put the relay in between the power source and the device where you might put any switch) and then you can control that switch with a bit of code. Exciting but dangerous. I tried this out a few days ago, but it didn't work, nfw. I was being extra safe to start with, not using 230v but using a low powered lamp from IKEA to try it out with. Realised after that I was using an led light and I probably connected it the wrong way round, so tried again yesterday and all was good! I used a battery as my power source instead of the mains, so still not tried it with real mains power, but I will do soon...

Not sure what to use it for first, possibly going to get a heat belt for the home brew and use this to regulate the temperature.

It's cold and damp and miserable today. Lunch will be mostly flapjacks and brownies.


raspberry pi: cheap low powered computer
:: Comment / reply

The brownies turned out nicely


As I mentioned yesterday / earlier / whenever, inspired by something @hotsalvation posted on the twitter, we got the ingredients and made these vegan cherry chocolate brownies. And some flapjacks too, delicious!
:: Comment / reply

It's the final countdown

Seven days left of dry january / dryanuary / jaNOary or whatever you are calling it. Apart from the 2nd January (the evening after Pauline's funeral) I've not had a drink for the whole month. So next Sunday would be the first day of febrewery then, though right now I'm thinking I'll give it a few more days after that. Will I still feel that way then though? Maybe not.

It's also five days until pay day too, January is way the longest month. I'm doing OK, still in credit, even with the huge car expense we have. I have taken all of my savings for the month back out again and I do owe Clare for her shopping trip yesterday. And then I do have a load of things I have been saying "I'll leave that until pay day" about.

We're going up to London on the 7th Feb, though there will be no opportunities for pubbing that day that I can see, so I could easily wait until after then to start drinking again. Clare and Harry are going to Cirque Du Soleil Kooza that day, it's not so good for Tommy so he and I will be going somewhere else. Probably not the pub.
:: Comment / reply

Paul Clarke's - I work and live in Seabrook near Folkestone, Kent. wed to Clare and father to Harry and Tommy, I am a web dev, and I do javascript, Node, php, and ruby. I like Folkestone Gerald, pubs, restaurants, home automation and other diy jiggery-pokery, history, genealogy, TV, popbitch, squirrels, pirates ☠, and time travel...