First section of wattle fence done

I would have preferred to use broad leaf ligustrum as my weavers but I didn’t have the time or money to harvest so frilling many to have a fence made out of them.  Instead I found a guy who had just cleared out a batch of invasive bamboo and had a thousand linear feet or so. I had him trim off the leafy bits and leave me with the straight stalks.  Driving in the posts (juniper that don’t rot in 20 years) took me 6 man hours. Weaving in the wattles took 2 man hours.  Total length that I built is 32 feet.

The poles will be cut level, when I am done.

This is the effect of not having my posts in a good line. Also some poles had a bit of crooked to them.

Lessons learned:

  • Green bamboo is more flexible and better.
  • Once the diameter is over 1″ it becomes hard to weave
  • Make sure your posts are lined up!  Use a tight line to guide you.  I got off a little and it caused some bamboo to break around that pole.

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Honey shed coming along

The shed keeps moving along.

Shed coming along

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Ingenious use of string and weights (outside of shed) that pull up the form. It made it so I could lift up the form slowly without a 2nd persons help.

You can see the form I use to guide to build out the curve of the catalan arch roof.

I’ve also tried making Texas persimmon jam.

Texas Persimmon Jelly


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Another Rainfall Harvesting Tank Installed

So the front orchard is going to need water. I could have just run the irrigation hose to the back tanks, but noooo that would have been easy. Instead I chose to harvest more water off the front of the house where very little water is harvested.  I already have two 55 gallon barrels taking in water on the front, those water the fig tree. They only catch a fraction of the rain from 1200 sq ft of roof surface during a rain. So I put in another rain downspout, and ran it under the sidewalk. The tank is a 330 gallon IBC tote, painted and with a shade cloth to mitigate algae growth.

Downspout then goes under the sidewalk before turning the corner. The trick is that I met the pipes that lead into the house from the City of Austin and couldn’t bury my pipes deep.

The easy way to tunnel under a side walk is using a water hose with water going full blast and shove it under. It erodes out the dirt and I can reach under and pull out the rocks.  Took 20 minutes to dig the trenches on each side of the sidewalk but only took 10 minutes to burrow under.  So the premise is the water will fill up the pipe, go down, then go back up the pipe and fill into the tank because the tank level is lower than the starting downspout level.

The 3″ lines go to the tank and up, the smaller 2″ lines fill the same trench and will go to the swale downslope.

Then it rained a week later, the tank filled up and then overflowed, because I forgot to drill anti siphon holes on the top of the overflow U, the entire tank drained out. But I discovered that at the end of the rain and fixed it, so the tank filled 1/2 full before the end.

The tank has a 3″ inlet pipe and a 2″ outlet overflow pipe. The slope of the side of the house puts the overflow lines at an odd angle because I only had 45 and 90 degree elbows to use.

The front orchard has 8 trees in it: 2 Texas Persimmons (at least 40 years old), 2 jujubes, 2 Pomgranates, and a VDB fig.

The Texas persimmons turn black when ripe. I measured 19% sugar with my refractometer, but they don’t very taste sweet.

The backyard dual tanks of 660 gallons. Overflow goes to the middle swale in the yard.

The Pomegranates and Jujube trees.


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Front yard Orchard status May 1, 2017

Another Spring upon us. The winter was inconsistant with periods of cold and warm, thus most of my fruit trees didn’t get enough chill hours to bloom.

In the front yard, I got a Celeste fig planted near Biff Polywog, our sea dragon.

Celeste Fig and a sea dragon. Fig has a anti-deer cage.

The front yard swale now has 2 Jujube trees (Honey Jar and ?), 2 Pomgranates (a Wonderful and an Eversweet?), some family purple Irises, and soon another Fig from Dad’s place I call a Center White as it is a white fig with closed eye.

Texas Persimmon on left, and on the swale, the Pomegranates and Jujube Trees. Note the anti-deer cages to protect the trees.

Bought a roll of driveway rebar wire to make tomato cages and tree protector cages. It was tough to work with but it does the job.


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Clean dust off a panasonic lx100 camera

The LX 100 camera is great compact 4/3 sensor camera. But it is prone to dust on the sensor which is likely pulled in by suction as it telescopes out.

Taking the camera apart is a chore, but I’ve read someone using a vacuum to apply suction to the lens assembly to pull out dust. Didn’t think much about it, but when I got dust on my sensor after 6 months, well. Had to try.

I turned it on and off twice to get the dust semi-airborne I hoped. Then turned on my vacuum cleaner and using the extension hose, i held it on the front side of the lens assembly then turned the camera off, which collapses the assemble and hopefully exerts positive air pressure. I repeated this 5 times. Then checked the camera using a white background. Poof, dust on sensor gone! Boy, was I surprised. I wanted to make an adaptor out of cardboard between the camera lens and the vacuum, but it wasn’t needed.


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Finally measuring Earth using trigonometry

Eratosthenes measured the world using shadows cast in two different cities at the same time. I’ve been wanting to replicate it for over  decade. Today I did. 5 volunteers from San Diego to Nashville all have the same style of pencil of the same length. Everyone is to measure the shadow on it at noon CST.  Today only 2 could do it. From the data, I have computed the following:

circumference_earth – 32744.22 miles
> real_circumference_earth<-24901 miles

Error:    0.3149762

So a rough, but useful first attempt. The R code I’m using is:

#computing circumference of earth

library(dplyr)
library(tidyr)
library(ggplot2)
library(animation)
library(readr)
setwd("~/Copy/R/climate change/")

real_circumference_earth<-24901
data<-as.data.frame(read_delim("earth shadow data.csv", ","))
data<-data[,-1]
pencil<- 19.0
avg_data<-(colMeans(data))
str(data)
avg_data
angle_mt<-180-90-atan(pencil/avg_data[1])/(2*pi/360)
angle_tc<-180-90-atan(pencil/avg_data[2])/(2*pi/360)
net_angle_tc<-angle_tc-angle_mt
angle_mt
angle_ratio_to_tc<-360/abs(net_angle_tc)
distance_trevor<-651.0
earth_circ_per_tc<-distance_trevor*angle_ratio_to_tc
earth_circ_per_tc
err_per_tc<-(earth_circ_per_tc-real_circumference_earth)/real_circumference_earth*100
err_per_tc


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Why Eratosthenes got it wrong.

Yep, Erathosthenes, that greek scholar who invented the leap year and measured the earth’s circumference, all in 200BC from Alexandria. I have discovered he systemically was set up to have errors based on his assumptions.

He was off by about 15%, and today I figured out part of why he was wrong.  The premise is Erathosthenes read in a book about a well in what is now the town of Aswan. He read this well cast no shadow on a particular day of the year. If you look at the image on wikipedia, it shows the suns rays directly overhead. This is impossible as Aswan is north of the Tropic of Capricorn by 50 miles. It would be approximate, but not truly directly overhead at solar noon on the summer solstice.  The sun can only be directly over head in the band south of the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn.


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Harvested 8 Arctic Frost Oranges

My little orange tree at Schick that I bought at the nursery with unripe oranges this spring, finally ripened up and I harvested 8 oranges off of it.  Possibly ripened by thanksgiving. Definitely ripe on Dec 8.  Plan on making some cuttings to ensure the plant lives in case it dies this winter. The other tree, at my house didn’t have oranges this year. Dunno if that is a function of 3″ of soil on a rocky slope, or the youth of the plant. The Schick property has far better soil.

Easy to peel, and sweet.


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Trump acceptance speech wordcloud via R

Used some simple R to create this

Wordcloud of the Trump acceptance speech at the Republican Convention.

Wordcloud of the Trump acceptance speech at the Republican Convention.

Not alot of insight to be had. Possibly because of the teleprompter he used.

 

Code:

setwd("~/cloud/R/")
aFile = readLines("trumpacceptance.txt")
library(tm)
library("SnowballC")
myCorpus = Corpus(VectorSource(aFile))
myCorpus = tm_map(myCorpus,  content_transformer(tolower))
myCorpus = tm_map(myCorpus, removePunctuation)
myCorpus = tm_map(myCorpus, removeNumbers)
myCorpus = tm_map(myCorpus, removeWords, stopwords("english"))
myCorpus <- tm_map(myCorpus, PlainTextDocument)
myDTM = TermDocumentMatrix(myCorpus, control = list(minWordLength = 1))

m = as.matrix(myDTM)
v = sort(rowSums(m), decreasing = TRUE)

library(wordcloud)
set.seed(4333)
d <- data.frame(word = names(v),freq=v)
wordcloud(words = d$word, freq = d$freq, min.freq = 1,  max.words=200, random.order=FALSE, rot.per=0.35,  colors=brewer.pal(8, "Dark2"))

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Modifications to my Downtube 9FS bike

So I got a Downtube 9FS in 2015, with the intent to modify it to a eBike with a Bafang BBS02 motor. Then take it on an epic tour through the Carribean islands.

A bike out to the festival and camped.

A bike out to the festival and camped.

The Downtube is a folding bike, permitting multi-modal travel. Take it on a bus, no problem, train, no problem, trunk of my wifes Honda Civic… tight fit, but no problem. So it has some big pluses. After I’ve put 2000 ebike miles on it, I understand its utility a lot better.

The bike

First, with the Bafang ebike motor, you get to use the gears. And the 9FS has 9 gears. Big plus as I live in a hilly area of Austin. I chose the 44T chainring model as I wanted more torque over speed.  Wow, does it climb hills,  up 20% grade hills at 9mph in bottom gear pulling only 16amps.

Second, I put on big apple tires, 2.15″ tires. Gives more cushion, steering feels less twitchy, but the big tires caused some derailour problems and I lose my lowest gear due to clearance to the tire. I’m thinking these maybe too big for the back wheel._1320029

_1320031Third, the battery is heavy, like 15# and now the bike is very back heavy and prone to accidental wheelies.  Part of that is I chose a handlebar throttle and not a thumb throttle. So I accidentally can throttle sometimes. And part of that is the handlebar throttle is not very linear. Turn it 1/2 way and nothing, 3/4 and you are at full throttle. Somewhere at 11/16th you start to feather into the throttle. Not a good throttle and I should get another, but I’m cheap.

Fourth, my pattern is using under 5 amp-hours for 95% of my trips. The bike normally can do 2.5 miles per amp-hour of battery. So 5 ah= 12.5 miles of range.  But I’m lugging either a 20ah battery or a 26 ah battery around when i should have a 5-8ah battery. Preferably one mounted in a bottle rack.  For instramentaion, I went with a WattsUp wattmeter to tell me how many amp-hourss I have left, because

The blue WattsUp meter will tell me how many amp-hours I've used. Not as good as a Cycle Analyst, but more appropriate and low profile.

The blue WattsUp meter will tell me how many amp-hours I’ve used. Not as good as a Cycle Analyst, but more appropriate and low profile.

the Bafang has no useful power readings.  Bear in mind the only measurement you really want to worry about is amp hours. You run outta those and you have to pedal home.

Sixth, speaking of racks, putting a rack on this bike was a pain to research what would work. I eventually went with a Biologic rear rack (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006OSYSUA) and a Axiom Journey Lowrider rack

Biologic back rack

Biologic back rack

for the front fork (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0081FQW4E)

Axiom front rack for suspension bikes.

Axiom front rack for suspension bikes.

Then I bought Axiom panniers for front and back.

Seventh, after all that I realized that most carribean islands I want to tour are so damn small I should just take a light folding bike with no motor. Even Aruba can be toured in a day. So I need to buy a Nova and put on a rack and I’m good to go.

 

Ultimately, I’ve discovered that this ebike excels at letting me ride around town, out of town, and all around, and then I can take other modes of transportation back. It is a keeper.


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