January 22

Wind chime:

Had a few breakthroughs this week – one of the considerations for the wind chime, is deciding whether wind speed and direction is a primary driver of sound (like a normal chime) or more like another knob in a series of knobs tweaking some overall sound. for the former – I figured out a fun way this week to make “digital” chimes:

A joystick! -joysticks work by rotating two potentiometers (variable knobs that change voltage) that are 90 degrees to each other. each potentiometer represents position x and y. Connecting this to arduino you can map voltage to a corresponding reading of X&Y location. from X&Y location you can derive velocity and acceleration knowing the time and get a clear picture of how hard and how fast each chime was struck. potentially some cool shit to play with concerning the wiggle aftereffect – like delay or reverb.

making wind more of a background thing, includes using a wind speed and direction sensor like shown below. I also bought one of these.

Aside from the joysticks: made a list of sensors and variables to monitor uses as synth knobs and bought all the sensors:

variablesRecord Hiaverage HiAverage LowRecord Lowfrequency of shift
rain amount +y/n (in)810multiple instances per day but seasonal (summer is none for 100days)
temperature (F)105783613slow rise and fall within a small range over a day. greater overall rise and fall over seasons. 
humidity (%)100885330variation over hours- range in summer higher than winter
barometric pressure (inhg)3128variation over hours- range in summer lower than winter
ambient noise (DB)80504020variation over hours. highest during comute times, and during favorable wind direction
wind direction mostly seasonal, some day to day variation
wind speed (mph)60920?highest variation between changing temperatures (sunrise/sundown) and pressures, but small gusts make a chime go
light intensity (?)highest variation occuring when clouds/trees hide and reveal the sun. 
UV9610uv can be high during cloud cover. highest in summer when sun is closer to earth.
air quality p0.3~1.0seasonal – air cleaned by rain. therefore summer has slowly increasing polution between long rain events. oh yeah and fire too.
p1.0-2.5400200400
p2.5-10

the next steps are to make what is called a Stevenson screen, or a double louvered box to put all the sensors in. this box is weather “proof” without actually having to weather proof the sensors themselves. essentially it is like leaving the window cracked, letting the elements in but not a bunch of rain and shit in also.

January 15th

Wind chime:

met with Mick, ordered sensors to build full blown weather station. got Supercollider to react to sensors on protoboard – making sound!

Clock:

Met with Tristan, prototype of Wedges – proof of concept.

Jan 8th

Had a few pleasant things happen this past week.

  • Got back to the sabbath tradition
  • started to add to the scroll again and write again, felt like playing guitar
  • Had a very nice open ended doodling sesh with Joe Waine.
  • Finished Return of Hyperion

Upcoming this week:

  • Tristan and I are continuing on the clock project. Tristan has taught me a ton about wood-working – Wood glue is mind boggling. – thinking now of the complex shapes I have designed as something that can be glued together as opposed to milled from a solid block – pretty earth shattering.
  • Tristan and I are also going to start making our personal projects social, acting as apprentice/helper on alternating weeks for any project the leader wishes to do. hopefully this makes things more fun.
  • I am meeting up with Mick Marchan, an computer visual / audio artist that Miller has worked with -We are collaborating on the digital wind-chime/weather synth project. I have been brainstorming what the object may look like and have been getting stoked. Today, he sent me some code that mimics a wind-chime and plays some cool synth-tones.

Notes from the week:

I was feeling frustrated by subconscious thinking about house projects during my sabbath time. I found that my vision (wrt 1/5 senses) catalyzed thoughts about home projects and therefore I spent some time doing activities with eyes closed. Closed eye playing guitar and drawing proved to be rewarding. Additionally, eyes are responsible for a majority of but not necessary for spacial orientation in the non-blind, and more computational power needs to be drawn just to focus on using the other unused senses to paint a picture of my physicality. turns out I could suck this away from the house project shit.

Other considerations: Having to change the coordinate systems from a global 0,0 to a relative 0,0. To illustrate, I have thought about the top of the guitar fretboard as 0. With eyes it’s no problem to move relative to that point in conjunction to the helpful dots on the side to play the right notes. Conversely, playing blind became about where I was previously – and it required me to anchor (or 0) to a location on the fretboard and update that as I moved relative to ever changing points. I made many more mistakes and my blind drawings were also a mess (that I loved). whether it was due to the lack of intruding thoughts or the actual act, I felt more connected to the medium. I plan to keep playing around with that.

doodling joe doodling and a puzzle

Jan 1

Knowledge is pain! not power. Power perhaps to see in yourself how you can change, be a better steward to community and self – BUT pain, in that others still carry on without that knowledge and you have to watch them exercise ignorance again and again. I met Friday with my NY friend Lizzie. She, a former Seattlite, can’t see living in NY long term because people don’t care about composting or waste in general. She sees someone order lots of food, not eat much of any of it then throw it in the garbage and she just wants to sit in a corner and die. My pain is that once I learned how to correctly prune, I saw very little pruning done correctly.

Below is a Iphone 6 example of photo quality. The left photo is an untrimmed tree, not particularly pretty right now but at least not the left picture, which is the same type of tree 1 block down. What the hell happened? Well someone came along and thought the tree was too tall and just cut it at all to one height – note the stumps where all the little whips come out. Those whips, a reaction of the tree in shock, often arrive at the same height of the pre-pruned tree after 2-3 years. Except now your tree has 200 branches sticking straight up and looks like shit too! it is also very hard on the tree and it may die in the next season or two. oooof can’t unsee.

December 11th

Started making a little junk mural. been hoarding broken bike stuff and metal scraps I thought were cool. as i get more stuff i’ll keep adding!

Added and scanned to the infinite scroll. been bad about keeping up that habit. Honestly bad habits have been abounding in the short sunlight times. waking up late (8) not getting going until 10 blah blah but not doing the drawing has been a bad thing to fall off of. now when i approach the scroll 30 minutes feels like forever and I am easily distracted. i again have the feelings of not being able to conjure things to draw. so better habits today and tomorrow and so on. Failure is evaluated day by day not totally – get back up. go take a look

December 4

Appreciation: For those of you who have worked on something recently that will not be noticed by anyone, but you know it has improved whatever it was, I see you and I appreciate your work. Sometimes you want to feel recognition for suffering for something – doing something that had to be done, even though no one cares but you.

You ask how I am doing yet I’m speechless. I find myself wanting admiration for something – an emptiness. Recognition for a job well done. A promotion. How can I even communicate something so menial, or nuanced, or non relatable? I could not show you a before and after photo that you could tell apart. It exists inside myself surrounded by all this effort. I can feel so alone in those things. Crave to commiserate, to warn, to share. But is knowledge power, or power over? Sometimes one can’t unsee.

I found a post on reddit – just a similar post saying “hey, I also just did this thing that was a ton of work and no one will care – good job everyone!” It made me feel good. People in the comments shared their own. It was not admiration of anyone’s work but acknowledgment of collective strife. Maybe you will find relief in this.

My things:

I spent 40 hours sealing up all the little air holes behind the radiators that allowed cold air to get into the house. it was dirty, repetitive work. Once I put the radiators back, the work was hidden. The house feels just as warm, but the heater doesn’t have to run as much.

I greased the slides of a drawer, it opens and closes in an expected way – it is unremarkable.

I changed the last few light bulbs with efficient LEDs, we will save money in the long term.

November 27

Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!Clock Talk!!!

Tristan and I Made progress last week. Made a working prototype of the lambda Model as seen above (with a little help of Tristan’s finger!). While the Proto is very rough and can only operate while lying flat on a table, this allows T-dog to do some code writing to try and get the sunset sunrise calculations working correctly. all of this will be debugged at super 200X speed of actual time and then we can tediously wait to see if it works as intended. As he does that, I have been modeling up a prototype V2 that will include some bearings in each of the joints and some gearing to help give the motor some extra torque. the torque needed is roughly 700 in-oz —> the motor is rated to 300 in-oz. using a 3:1 gear ratio (gear 1 3x large as gear 2) that torque increases to 900 in-oz. Another consequence of this is that we increase or resolution of movement by 3 also. we sacrifice speed, but that really doesn’t matter in this case. the other little addition in the model is the triangle shaped growth on the one linkage – this is a counterweight. my thought here is that this can further reduce the torque needed and give extra confidence that my rough math will probably work out.

November 19th

Water Use explorations:

According to the EPA, the average American uses 80 gallons a day for household and hygienic use. The average household uses 300 gallons per day. According to WHO, An American uses about 2X as much as an English, 5X as much as a Japanese and 50X as much as an African.

Below is a graph that shows water use per sector in Washington State. Note that “public supply” == water supplied to homes and businesses.

  • Things to feel good about:
    • the city of Seattle owns loads of land where it collects water for the city, thereby ensuring clean and plentiful supply.
    • Higher density in our city == wiser water usage due to fewer lawns.
    • From Seattle Public Utilities: “In percentage terms, total Seattle system water consumption has declined 31% since 1990 while population has increased 39%. As a result, total consumption per capita is 50% less than it was in 1990.”
    • most gains were made by just making toilets etc more efficient and didn’t rely on trying to change peoples habits.
    • the average family saves around $400 per year by switching to more efficient fixtures. Most items pay off themselves in 1 year making it easy for folks to switch.
    • Reducing use directly equates to higher levels of water in reservoirs and saves the utilities the power required to pump the water to you.
  • Shitty things:
    • Reduced water availability in our region translates to reduced power output from dams. == around 9% reduction in last 7 years. Increased drought will require utilities to buy power from potentially unclean sources.
    • As our population continues to grow, resources will become more strained.
    • 40% of food grown in the US is wasted and therefore 40% of the water used to grow that food is also wasted.
    • The environment is changing and the last few Seattle summers have begun to show reversing water trends.
    • Eastern Washington uses the most water (for irrigation) and is currently in drought – Jay inslee has declared it an emergency.
    • 12% of all water use is just from leaks.
    • each gallon of water requires 100W of power to deliver to you.
    • You are wasting a bunch of money!

For most people, the money is the real motivator and conservation is surprisingly lucrative. For each 2 gallons you reduce use by per day, you save 22 to 24 dollars per year. To put that further in perspective, Thats roughly one toilet flush per day. That also reduces your power consumption (spent to pump that water to you) by 73KW of power!

Within a household, the following is the general breakdown of use:

What your bill looks like: For us at home, water costs change seasonally- being more expensive in summer and they are progressive, in that higher usage equates to higher rates. Also included in your bill is a sewer treatment cost. The sewer treatment cost is 3x the water supply cost and the reason why it pays to conserve.

To help you figure our what you use and how you could conserve water and save money, I made this calculator in google sheets. feel free to make a copy and put in your numbers. these are our numbers. let me know too if you have improvements you would want to make or any questions! and please share what you learn!

Ultimate Water Use Calculator!

How can you further reduce water usage outside your home?

  • Reduce your cloud storage! this interesting article shows the impacts of data center cooling and power usage on our infrastructure
  • Reduce food waste. Again, 40% of US food is wasted and therefore the water used to grow and wash that food is also wasted.
  • Buy less water intensive foods see below:

Stay tuned: Power Usage Calculator coming soon!

Nov 13

Just posting this photo of the progress on the scroll. I know it sucks. I just have to post something so i dont owe maxi $5

I just got home from our trip about 30 min ago. Lots of things i am excited to post here in the next few weeks

Stay tuned for a larger post on home/personal energy and water efficiency that i have been diving into and more clock talk!

Nov 6

on the road so it’s hard to keep up with drawing and other art things. Getting lots of inspiration out here while traveling, filling the heart sponge. Also been having fun documenting each day in the journal as a stream of consciousness activity with Melissa. below is an excerpt. Also i got to do a lil drawing in the laundromat