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Something wrong with mum and dad's loft

Dec2112/21
Mum and Dad visited this weekend, pre-christmas and we had a lovely time. They have brought some boxes of comics from their loft which I put up there about twenty years ago. Something has gone horribly wrong though. I put a valuable collection of contemporary art, an actual treasure trove, for the betterment of all mankind. However what has come out again appears to be a pile of unreadable badly drawn rubbish. Quick, you need to get your loft fixed!

That aside, a nice weekend. We went to see father christmas at Dobbies in Ashford, that was OK. We had some nice food, including a takeaway from New Wok Express. We went "ice skating" at Hythe Imperial though and that was rubbish. Dad and I also went out to the pub, the Earl of Clarendon after we'd eaten. That was nice, quite quiet. We were both too bloated after the takeaway to drink much beer though.

Clare is out at a friend's, then going to one brother's house to pick up the other brother and take him back to the parents. Clare's mum is in quite a bad way now, not really something to write about on here though. I went there today with Harry while mum and dad stayed here with Tommy.



Have just put the boys to bed. Not sure if they've been particularly badly behaved today or if I'm just in a bad mood. Tommy was a beast at having his teeth cleaned and Harry wouldn't sit still or be good during story time so I just gave up and said goodnight. He's still bouncing off the walls up there, even though Clare tricked him into running up and down the stairs ten times in a row earlier in an effort to tire him out.

I have another of those evenings today, where I am free and should do something useful, but I really can't be bothered. Might just drink some beer or cider in front of the TV.
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"Ice Skating" at the Hythe Imperial was absolute rubbish

NO ICE for starters. A very poor attempt at a "winter wonderland", it was a few sheets of plastic to walk about on on ice skates. Other people there asked for their money back, I could not be bothered. Harry had a good time trying to walk about in the ice skates, but there was absolutely no skating to be had.

I would bother with an event organised by the hythe imperial again, shame.
:: 21 Dec :: Comment / reply

A lake of pig shit the size of four football pictures

Dec1812/18
Nice use of a drone:


Via of all people, I didn't know any of them were vege... would explain the skinniness of the members I suppose.
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Done my chores

Dec1812/18
Recommended / related
Clare's last day of work today, I'm home with Tommy. We walked Harry to school, and stopped for a chat on the way back with Aldo who is building Ocean Heights, the new houses at the end of Alexandra Corniche. He's still on track, still one house reserved, none sold yet.

This morning we played with the train set, and I've done my cleaning and hoovering chores, and made Tommy's lunch and now he's having a nap. In this time I've repaired some of my code, the web version of my robot butler and the lightwaverf api were not all in sync with recent changes to my other code, so now it all is, and fresh installs of everything are working nicely. More details on the project page.

Not sure what to do for the rest of the day, I will look for more little tidying jobs about the place I think. I might oil the dining table again, I always fall back on this when I have a free day...

Harry is going to the panto this afternoon (oh yes he is) so it's a late pickup from school. Hopefully they're not delayed, then we're back to tea and off to swimming again. It's all go...

Got an early start in the morning to sign Harry up for gymnastics again, got to go there in person to be sure of a place.



Glossary:

lightwaverf: the light switches etc that I use to give me remote control of everything in the house
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Last day of work

Dec1712/17
Not really feeling christmassy yet, but I've finished all my work required for this week and next, so I'm ready to go! And still two hours left! Actually the work I had lined up to do covers next week too, so even though I'm on holiday, and have taken a few extra days off, I'll still have done as much work as anyone expected.

Spending the last couple of hours writing tests for my existing work and trying to help people out. Hey maybe I am feeling christmassy after all!
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First night of Harry's new swimming class last night

Dec1712/17
Did not go super well really, now he's moved up there are seven in the new class, and they are swimming lengths of the small pool, and there's not really room for them all. It was chaos again, hope it picks up soon.

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Did some new work on the lightwaverf code last night

Dec1712/17
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The process for setting up the calendar based timers was too complex really, this became apparent when helping someone new this week. Having to explain how cron works to a complete beginner was hard, and shouldn't be a requirement when you just want your lights to come on and off. So I'm building it in, so as of the next release you'll just type

lightwaverf configure


and as well as prompting you for info about your calendar and your room setup, it will set up the timers for you at the same time.

Source code here, the new changes are not there yet.
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Ambient light connected to the TV (accidentally)

Dec1712/17
Clare came downstairs first this morning and one of the christmas lights was on, the strange LED festive twigs in a pot thing. She turned it off, concerned that left unattended it might catch fire (especially since someone wrapped tinsel round the "do not cover these vents" vents on the base). Then when she came down a second time it was back on again? So what did I do? How have I fouled up the automated timers this time..? Turns out it was plugged into the socket that used to have the surround sound in, when we had separate wireless surround sound, and that was set to come on when the TV comes on, and that was set to power up early from when we used to put the TV on upstairs. So I've unpaired that connection and all is good again!

Glossary:

lightwaverf: the light switches etc that I use to give me remote control of everything in the house
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Playing a DVD in the browser

Dec1612/16
One to watch later, from jsconf this year, this guy has written a dvd player in javascript so it runs in the browser...



Glossary:

javascript: a major programming language of the internets, mostly how I make my living
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Lightwaverf + google calendar powered christmas lights

Dec1612/16
Recommended / related
It's the time of year again! Got my christmas lights on timers, so they come on when it's dark enough and when someone might be looking, but they go off again permanently in the new year. You will need:

☠ lightwaverf wifi link and a remote socket.
☠ raspberry pi, mac, linux pc, or other 'nix based computer
☠ some christmas lights

Lightwaverf sockets are useful all the year round of course, they're not just for christmas, but christmas lights tend do be something you want going on and off at preset intervals.

Here's how!

☠ Christmas tree, outside lights, and strange lighting twig thing all plugged into lightwaverf sockets
☠ Raspberry pi has the lightwaverf gem installed. `gem install lightwaverf` or see the instructions on the repo
☠ Tell it about your lightwaverf setup, either `lightwaverf update email@email.com 1234` with your email and pin, or again other instructions on the repo
☠ Pop some events in your google calendar with content like "lounge tree 5pm - 10pm every day"
☠ Put the private xml address of your google calendar in your lightwaverf config with `lightwaverf configure` and follow the prompts
☠ Set up crontab to check the google calendar for updates, instructions on the repo
☠ Sit back and enjoy your festive lights!

Don't want your lights to be quite so regimented? You can change the calendar event description to be like "lounge tree (randomise 10)" and the lights will come on and go off within 10 minutes of the time of the calendar event.

Want to see how this is affecting your electricity bill? If you get the energy monitor then the code you just installed will also log your energy usage and will plot it on a graph for you...

Did it work for you? Any feedback appreciated, either here or to ... seasons greetings!

From November 2014


Glossary:

lightwaverf: the light switches etc that I use to give me remote control of everything in the house
raspberry pi: cheap low powered computer
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Working from home this afternoon

Dec1512/15
Harry is still ill, too ill to go to school! This is first day of absence so far, he's just lost his 100% attendance record... He's seeming a bit perkier though, definitely on the mend, though still got a temperature.

I'm in work this morning but heading home at lunch time to see him and take in some calpol, and then working from home for the rest of the day.
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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...