The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Decent weekend so far

Today's weather was finally spring-like, meaning twenty degrees warmer away from the lake than near it. But Parker still got over an hour of walkies, I've gotten (so far) about 18,000 steps, and all the windows in my house are open for the first time in about a month.

Also, I made a decent showing yesterday at a trivia tournament (tied for first place, but lost the tiebreaker), and today at a Euchre tournament (upper half of the pack, 7-2-1 overall record).

That is all. Time to feed the dog, and maybe walk another couple thousand steps.

Warm, but still a miss

Yesterday's temperature at O'Hare got up to 21°C, which we last hit on November 5th, and is the normal temperature for May 15th. It was quite a lovely day, in fact. Tom Skilling pointed out that this was the earliest 21°C day in 16 years, and was 3 weeks earlier than the average date of its first occurrence based on 145 years of data.

I tried, I really tried, to hit 30,000 steps, but...well:

Crap. I missed 30,000 by 225 steps, and missed my record by only 721:

2015 Apr 26 30,496
2016 Mar 8 29,775
2015 Jun 15 28,455
2015 May 2 26,054
2015 Sep 5 24,771

Note that on September 5thalso missed a goal by almost the same amount. Quite irritating. Still, yesterday's step count was fully 4.86 standard deviations above my mean daily count of 12,660, so it was a pretty good effort. (At this point today I'm already up to 9,534, so the week is looking pretty good.)

And Parker got over 90 minutes of walkies.

Working from home on the warmest day in months

Yesterday's 17.2°C temperature at O'Hare was the warmest since it was 17.8°C on November 15th. It might not get warmer than that, but who cares, because it that's plenty warm for early March. 17.8°C is Chicago's normal temperature for April 29th; the normal for March 8th is 6.1°C.

That's the good news. The better news is that working from home means Parker is working napping from home as well. And we just got back from an 80-minute, 8.1-km walk, his longest in (no surprise) even more months.

Now the bad news. We were walking from the car dealership where they are figuring out how much I'm to pay them later this week. My car has a couple of "minor" symptoms including a damaged tire (thanks, Chicago!), but it's a 7-year-old BMW. So anything that would cost $100 to fix on a Corolla will cost me $200. Can't wait for the call...

I do have some work to do today—more on that this afternoon. But I'm already at 11,000 steps, with a goal of 30,000 for the day. I've only hit that number once, last April 26th. There's a lot of day ahead of me, and it's 9,000 steps back to the car dealership. Stay tuned.

Update, 11:26: The 11am temperature at O'Hare was 19°C, the highest reading since November 5th. If we hit 23°C we'll have the warmest day since October 21st.

Minor complaints

There's a blizzard outside, which has alarmed Parker to no end (the wind scares him), and my computer is dragging because it's running a virus scan. And I'm having yet another version conflict installing a NuGet package, which is annoying since NuGet is supposed to stop that from happening.

Otherwise, just an ordinary Wednesday...

Maybe Raspberry Pi to start?

On Friday I mused about which new technology (or technologies) I should learn in the next few weeks. As if they're reading my mind (or blog) up in Redmond, just this morning Microsoft's Brady Gaster blogged about a little Raspberry Pi project he did:

I broke out my Raspberry Pi and my Azure SDK 2.8.2-enabled Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition and worked up a quick-and-dirty application that can send sensor data to an API App running in Azure App Service. This post walks through the creation of this sample, the code for which is stored in this GitHub repository.

The code that will run on the Raspberry Pi is also extremely simple, deliberately so that you can use your own imagination and add functionality however you want. Here’s a picture of my Raspberry Pi running in our team room, on the big screen. As you can see the app is quite basic – it consists solely of a toggle button, when clicked, kicks off a timer. Each time the timer fires, a request is made to the App Service I just deployed.

Since Gaster is the Azure SDK & Tools Program Manager, his post is really about Azure. But hey, for $50, why not whip up a little toy?

One of the companies I work with recently used Raspberry Pi devices with motion sensors to publicize when conference rooms were free. Maybe I can resurrect the Parker Cam with a motion sensor?

Still not walking enough

I'm having my worst week ever since getting a Fitbit: only 65,000 steps from last Tuesday through yesterday. Christmas, traveling, and yesterday's horrible weather have really hobbled my step count.

So far today I'm at 4,200 steps, and I have some errands to run this afternoon that will help. But wow, five days below 10,000? Scandal. Even Parker is bored.

 

New colors

So the masthead is blue now. Any thoughts?

Parker and I managed to go for a one-hour, five-kilometer walk earlier today, as hoped. So my lazy Sunday hasn't been entirely lazy. But just on principle, I think the rest of the day will involve a nap and some time at a local bar with a book.

A year of FitBit

I forgot that I picked up my FitBit a year ago this week. So how am I doing since 24 October 2014?

  • 4.76 million steps (13,000 per day)
  • 4,081 km (11 km per day)
  • 4,557 floors (12 per day)

By FitBit's reckoning, that puts me somewhere around the 90th percentile of FitBit users worldwide. It also means I've walked the entire length of Japan and climbed enough stairs to reach the normal cruising altitude of a commercial jet.

And Parker and I are about to get more steps in just a few minutes.

Ignore this post

I'm continuing to test the new blog engine. This evening's tests, which I'm setting up with this post, will involve some of the trickier tasks in the migration:

  • Relative links to posts within the blog itself
  • Links to arbitrary files using absolute paths
  • Links to files with relative paths
  • Links to images (like the one below) with relative paths

If you're reading this on the new blog engine, and all the links above work and the image below shows up, then the migration tool is complete. Deploying the new blog engine to production could then happen within a couple of days. Stay tuned.