Unplaned Road Trip

Circumstances conspired to the point that recently I discovered a need to drive to central Wyoming, then find a way to keep myself occupied for a few days before heading home. As you look at these pictures, keep in mind that they were taken in June — i.e. summer. Without much explanation, some pictures for your enjoyment.

Devils Tower Wyoming (the missing ‘ is intentional and correct)
We camped just north of Sundance Wyoming, and each morning woke up to a new layer of wet snow. We hadn’t expected winter camping conditions in June.
Michael had more fund playing with
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Meditation

Clear and open my mind I'm told
But nature abhors a vacuum
It refills faster than I can empty
Flitting from thought to thought
As I banish them one by one

Grab a meditative thought
A gurgling stream to fill the void
But it won't remain without effort
So I fill in the cracks and crevices
With thoughts that defeat the purpose

Meditation is deliberate boredom
I don't know how to do that...
I seemingly never really can
Shut my mind to constant work
Without falling asleep

Farewell Facebook

As a general rule, I am not an early adopter. I typically wait until the development of a new product has stabilized, features have improved, bugs have been worked out, and prices have come down. This was the case for my use of Social Media. I never once even viewed MySpace, I have no idea what the draw are to Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram, and I even avoided Facebook up until just a couple years ago.

I began using Facebook a few years ago when I realized I was missing out on things my family were doing. I have … Read the rest

Tapestry

Single threads placed one at a time
Contrasting in color and tone
When viewed from the weavers stance
Seem random and jumbled - meaningless
Laid in over time and with great effort
It asks us to wait, then step away
To discover the grander design

Albuquerque has its Good Points

The brown sort of desert that is Albuquerque isn’t my favorite environment. I miss trees and brush that are even slightly green, and I could happily go the rest of my life without ever running into a cholla cactus again. That said, new Mexico has it’s charms. One of them is quick access to the trails in the Sandia foothills, some of which are within a mile of my front door. The last two Saturday’s in a row, Michael and I have hiked one of them to a large granite formation that looks almost like a dam. This last Saturday, … Read the rest

TDCS Controller Step 5 – Making Electrodes

I’ve finished the updated design for my TDCS controller, but I’m waiting for a few parts that I didn’t have on-hand and couldn’t strip off of the board that represented my first attempt. Rather than just sit around and wait, I decided to figure out how to make a decent set of electrodes without ordering stuff online.

I used a standard 3.2mm mono-jack to connect the leads, and had intended to build my own cables. However, I don’t have any wire around the house that is suitable for this use. All of it is either way to heavy a … Read the rest

TDCS Controller Step 4 – Redesign

An unfortunate outcome of many first attempts is the learning that goes along with failure. My initial design for a TDCS controller had some weaknesses (okay… outright failures). At first, I attempted to fix them on-board by cutting traces and soldering wires to re-route power, or by dead-bugging extra components onto it. However, you can only do so much without having to shift gears and start over. This post is all about the redesign.

The driving force behind the re-design was my inability to make the TSC888 current sensing amplifier work like I wanted. However, I can accomplish the same … Read the rest

TDCS Controller Step 3 – Testing the Design

In previous posts, I described the process I went through to design and fabricate a circuit designed to safely apply 1mA of current to any load (including potentially a human). Up to this point, things had gone well. The TSC888 amplifier intended to measure the actual current flowing turned out to be a little small for hand-soldering, but my practiced and patient hands managed it okay. I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who is just starting out with surface mount components though.

With the board built, I plugged in a 9V wall-wart transformer, connected a 1K resistor to substitute as … Read the rest

Peter's Prose, Poetry, and Random Ramblings