Start of my day, Sunrise October 3, 2017.

It all started like this:

I had to give up some blood for a blood test this morning at 8:30 so I was up early to head out for that appointment. I didn’t get to see the actual sunrise but I did get to see the start of an early morning around here.

Sometimes it’s hard to think about how peaceful my existence is when there is so much crazy going on around me. Run. Fight. Hide.

The work I do has been interesting and stimulating lately. Things change a lot, the opportunity to learn new things is nearly constant and the level of work load has been very manageable unlike years past. So it’s all good. I’m enjoying this time of life.

As much as I hate to admit it I did some damage to my tower 2 this past weekend by putting excessive load on the lifting structure at the base of the tower.

It started out by trying to unwind a steel cable that was binding on the worm drive drum. After extending the tower on the ground I needed to lift it like 4″ to clear the high point of the ground. I thought I could lift it extended that much but instead of lifting it did this damage. Ugh. I’ll need a new tower base and lifting arms. I don’t trust metal that has been bent like this. Once it’s bent it’s no longer good. Unfortunately, I think I ruined it.

The tower up/down mechanisms are still fine. But the lifting mechanisms need some work. The power of a worm drive winch is nothing short of amazing. Every time I move that tower it’s a bit frightening at some level. There is a lot of steel and technology on that thing. That it moves is simultaneously both wonderful and unnerving.

I hope you do something fun today.

Fall Sunrise.

As you know, I don’t get up early enough to see most of these.

As summer moves into fall the sun rises more to the right of my window each morning. As we get closer to October it seems like it goes much faster each day than the day before.

When the air temperature is different than the ground temperature we experience the low lying fog every morning that blows about in the light wind. This happens pretty much every spring and fall morning when the sky is clear or mostly clear. Today was no exception.

It’s nice here today. Barely a whisper of wind under a mostly clear sky.

Tonight we start planning for the Lovettsville Oktoberfest event in the small city near our home. I volunteer at this event with the Loudoun Amateur Radio Group. It’s a fun few days if you have time and are near here.

Tomorrow is the first  night of the festival and then Saturday is the crazy day when 10-15,000 people show up between 6am and 6pm in this dinky town of Lovettsville. It’s a fun time at a great time of year around here. The weather is supposed to be basically perfect this weekend and on into next week.

These flowers grow as weeds in our yard. The other day I had to weed eat around this rock and thankfully they came back a few weeks later. When they all get together and grow all at the same time they are pretty flowers that look like they’ve been planted there.

Snap dragons

And, of course, what a normal day would be without a climbing exercise on our walk together?

Climbing lunch break

Boring, I think.

He’s “paws up” in his box.

And that’s where I go now.

Sunrise August 28 2017

This is the sunrise out my office window this morning. You know the drill, I wasn’t up to see it personally but my Raspberry Pi was.

The sun is moving into the southern sky as fall approaches. There is a very pronounced Coriolis effect going on in the clouds while the fog moves around this very dewey morning.

I was up early working with an arborist to try to figure out if we could save three ash trees that are being consumed by ash borer bugs brought in from China. I learned this morning that 90% of all of the ash trees in Virginia are dead or dying.

One of our trees is gone. His suggesting for the others is to enjoy them while they are around and plant something else in their spot.

I may not give in so easily.

Sunrise and Sunset August 17, 2017

As you may know, I enjoy a nice sunrise. You may not know that I can count on both hands the number of times I’ve gotten up, on purpose, to watch a sunrise.

When I was doing a bunch of work on a network in a previous job one of the things I would do is start work at 2-3am and finish before 5-6am so that I would disrupt as few people as I could. When I worked in my office I would notice some of the most spectacular sunrises through my spider web encrusted window. Usually this was on my way to get a few hours of sleep to start all over again.

13 months ago I started a project by getting three raspberry pi computers and 3 camera modules and programming them to take three time lapse sequences each day; one in the morning, one during the middle of the day and one as the sun goes down. Each of the computers costs about $30 and the cameras are about $25. Of course I had to buy them at a computer store and, like going to Home Depot or Costco, you can never leave these stores without spending way more money than you went there to spend. All I’m saying is the cameras are probably more costly when you factor the entire experience into them.

But I digress…

I’ve written a computer program to take these individual pictures, sew them together in a sequence and then upload them to a central location so I can view them at a more “normal” time of the day. Like not at 5am. Not even 7am. Like when I get up. Sometimes never and some times the day after. I do eventually get to watching them.

All through the year I have to modify the start times of the morning and evening time lapse to adjust for the normal fluctuations of being at 39º north attitude. It is pretty cool to watch the difference during the week on just how much later the sun will come up between now and December 22, the shortest day of the year. And even though it’s imperceptible when you are in the middle of winter the sun really does rise earlier each day which you can easily measure watching these videos over time.

Don’t ask me what I’m going to do with 13 months sunrises and sunsets. There is another project that I initially wanted to do but haven’t programmed just yet. But I do plan on doing that here soon when I can get some time. That is going to take another 12 months to complete. But it’ll be fun.

Anything worth doing is going to take some time to complete. Wax on, wax off…

Moonset June 9

While sunrises are fun to watch if you look in the opposite direction often you will witness a moon set.

I have a Raspberry Pi pointing at the back of the house which captures events three times a day. There are three of these devices that capture what is going on outside at different angles simultaneously. I check on them every so often and find things like this.

Sunrise June 7, 2017

We get these crazy sunrises and sunsets around my home that I enjoy capturing each day. For anyone that knows me I am not a morning person. If there is a sunrise and I see it generally it’s because I stayed up to watch it vs got up to watch it. While getting up to watch a pretty sunrise generally not a priority it is fun when it happens. And it does happen from time to time.

Since I want to watch the sun rise what I’ve done is program a Raspberry Pi (3) with a camera to do time lapse sequences three times a day (morning, noon-ish and night) and store the sequence on a Pi-powered NAS device in my network. One day I’ll publish the code for all of that.

Here is what the video looked like the morning of June 7:

As I said to my family … When someone says you can’t “boil the ocean” show them this video. They can take it up with God.

To my family:  30Cw1qxU9wfBGQqbM9UZ/ab2NKwfxZaXyv+MrXDdOEo=