- I’ve become interested in web development recently, and have begun
working on a habit-tracking project called, unoriginally, Habit.
Jquery, Bootstrap, Flask and SQLAlchemy.
- I ordered a bunch of AI-Thinker ESP32 camera modules from
Universal Solder (Canadian vendor of Arduino, ESP32, electronic
components, etc; I’m a happy customer & recommend them thoroughly).
Started digging into how to make it into a timelapse camera.
- I signed up for a free account with [The SDF Public Access UNIX
System]. I’ve got a totes-real homepage at
[http://saintaardvark.unixcab.org], just like the old days.
: The SDF Public Access UNIX System
Road trip to Ontario in an EV with my family to visit my parents.
- More playing with ESP32. Try making an open-window detector with
the built-in Hall effect sensor, and sending a Grafana annotation
when it’s open.
- Refactor my .emacs files to use a
lisp directory, and switch to
use-package rather than Cask. This is easily the longest-running
project I’ve been working on:
Author: Hugh Brown <hugh@chibi-laptop-01.(none)>
Date: Tue Mar 3 21:13:57 2009 -0800
…and that commit came after declaring bankruptcy in the last one.
No ML/DS work this month. But I am beginning to get interested in
Does it count as hardware hacking if it’s all software? A question
for the ages. Anyhow: set up motion on the Raspberry Pi running
the birdhouse camera. Set up a cron job on the Pi to copy the
captured movies back to my home machine. Set up a cron job on my
home machine to make a gallery out of it using PiGallery 2,
which is just what the doctor ordered.
The weather station had been saying for a while that my in-laws'
place was getting 14m of rain per day, which seemed excessive. Took
a look at that, and broke readings from the anemometer as
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ Dug more and discovered that the connector
between those two pieces of equipment and the Cat5 cable (ask your
parents, kids) had rusted. Soldered up a replacement and we were
back in business.
A friend of mine (hi Matt!) gave me an OBD bluetooth dongle to try
on the car. I spent a truly stupid amount of time trying to query
it with Python, which led me into Bluetooth Hell. I love Linux but
OMG sometimes it’s the worst.
Set up an MQ135 to try and read CO2 levels at home. Getting mixed
results, which seems to be par for the course. A collection of
links in no particular order:
I turned 50 in February. Two months later, I’m still confused by
this. Was still recovering from COVID.
- Started work on a birdhouse camera with my father-in-law. He built
the birdhouse in December; this month we finally started working on
putting together the camera part. There are two in here: an
infrared camera and an endoscope for visual light. I put together a
little circuit board with 6 500mW IR LEDs to act as illumination.
- My little home machine is a Zotac ZBOX CI320 nano purchased
in 2015. It’s great – small, unobtrusive, passively cooled and
enough for everything I need…except that the 4GB of memory it has,
which felt so decadent, is starting to be a constraint. I blame
InfluxDB. Anyhow, ordered some more RAM only to realize I’d ordered
the wrong size. Made up for it by adding a swap file. Ask your
- Met with my MLA, Judy Darcy, again about climate change; she got us
some time with MLA George Heyman, BC’s Minister of the Environment
as well. I’m grateful to both for their time.
Welp…this took a long time to write up. In my defense, I got COVID
in January and that sort of threw me off for a couple months. But
it’s also just taken me a while to get back to it. Anyhow, onward!
Machine learning/data science
I submitted my entry to the Data Driven Cloud Cover
Competition! Aaaaand…my score was terrible. However, I got a
lot of practice out of this, and it was valuable for that. I
intended to go back and figure out exactly why my scores were so
abysmal, but got derailed (see first paragraph). But I think that
for whatever reason, my GAN was just not working at all. I need
to get more practice with this technique.
Some volunteer work for a local environmental society to demonstrate
how to use Pandas for graphing.
- More letters to politicians. Did not make every week, but I’m
cutting myself some slack here.
What happened in 2021? Time to look back.
We got an EV! It’s a Kia Soul, and I love it.
Started writing in here semi-regularly. 💪
Expanded the weather station: precipitation meter, anemometer, soil
temp, particulate matter sensors.
Recorded a talk for PyCascades!
Much work on machine learning and data science: the dishwasher
loading critic, some Kaggle courses, mapping New Westminster trees.
A lot of work on Polaris: telemetry analyses, supervising our
third co-op student, and a proposal to run code on an ESA satellite
Radio took a bit of a backseat by the end of the year.
I was asked to be an advisor for ALEASAT, and that was
The heat wave scared me, and I turned that into a focus on
climate activism. Small steps, but I’m taking them. Met with my
MLA in November to discuss climate change. I think of this as being
the start of about 30 years of work.
Total distance walked since getting my latest phone in January 2018:
8,664 km. Daily average distance in 2021 was 7.2 km, up from last
year (6.4 km).
Got more into birdwatching, phenology and natural history. Lots of
data taking, which I enjoy.
Bird feeder camera with ML to recognize the birds. Does a fairly
crappy job of picking out species but a good job of detecting birds.
Entered a couple of ML contests – no wins, but that’s expected;
it’s the practice I’m after.
At work: joined a new team which has a definite data science focus.
Learning a lot.
I’m leaving out all the incredibly important time with my family; this
isn’t the venue I choose to record that in.