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Most recent entry: 2014-08-16 00:00:00 -- Generated on 2014-08-24 11:15:19 by Rig3 0.4-440




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2014/08/16 Chicago Air And Water Show
π 2014-08-16 00:00 in Flying
Jennifer and I happened to be in Chicago during the right weekend for their annual air and water show. We missed the morning activities, but apparently it's 5H of a lot of waiting and something once in a while in between, with most of the nice stuff in the last 45mn of so. Putting aside this weird (if not to say lam-ish) format for an airshow, what we got to see was fairly nice.

This was only my 2nd time seeing an F22 do an airshow, and while I had seen the thunderbirds before, it never hurts to see them again, they put on a great show.

since there was a whole lot of waiting, many folks used the opportunity to enjoy the 'beach'
since there was a whole lot of waiting, many folks used the opportunity to enjoy the 'beach'



Jennifer got a beautiful dragonfly on her foot
Jennifer got a beautiful dragonfly on her foot













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2014/08/15 Dinner at Alinea in Chicago
π 2014-08-15 00:00 in Trips
Since we were flying to Chicago and were going to be on Pacific time when arriving, Jennifer made the good call of getting us a dinner reservation at Alinea the day we arrived, and we enjoyed a very nice dinner at Alinea. The dishes were quite inventive, but what was special was the presentation of each dish which really was a little spectacle of its own.

The pictures aren't great, because we were not allowed to use flash, but still got a few good ones:




food was hidden in there, you had to find it
food was hidden in there, you had to find it

fake corn with bacon and other yummy stuff in there
fake corn with bacon and other yummy stuff in there



edible sugar balloon filled with helium, good times :)
edible sugar balloon filled with helium, good times :)


and 15 courses later, we finished with the 2nd dessert
and 15 courses later, we finished with the 2nd dessert

Jennifer was fairly disappointed with the regular wine pairing, and I found out they had a premium wine pairing but they only offered it a few days after we went, so we didn't get to enjoy that. Apart from that, the food was definitely tasty, super well presented, and fun. Definitely an experience you don't get elsewhere.

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2014/08/15 Another few days in Chicago
π 2014-08-15 00:00 in Trips
I can't believe it's been 8 years since my last serious visit with Jennifer. I used the opportunity of going to Chicago for Linuxcon 2014 to go early, stay with Jenifer's family, and go see things we hadn't seen so far, and after 4.5 days, turns out there are things left to go see for next time :)

Here are the pictures, starting with random Chicago pictures:


Chinoix!]

































We had some "lovely" weather some days, on sunday the airshow got cancelled due to appalling visibility with fog all day. We went to see the Navy Pier stained glass museum instead:






Went to see a few churches too:




The Chicago History Museum recommended by Arturo wasn't as interesting to me, but more to Jennifer:






Jennifer and I had seen part of the Museum of Science and Industry 8 years ago, but we barely had half a day then which totally wasn't enough. This time, by going all day, we got to see most of it. It is big and well worth a full day:












this would show your veins through your skin
this would show your veins through your skin


I fell! :)
I fell! :)



The field Museum was also worth a full day. Actually a day wasn't enough, even at my pace. I did do a 90mn private backstage tour though, without that I might have finished it. It is a quite good natural history museum:













On our last day, Jennifer and I started with a Chicago History walking tour, showing the notable buildings in the south loop:



















We then finished with the Adler Planetarium:










And this wrapped up our time in Chicago, we just had enough time to get back to ORD and catch the last flight back home. It was time well spent, but we didn't finish it all, which I guess is good news for next time :)

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2014/07/31 Caught a small racoon
π 2014-07-31 00:00 in Public
One morning I found a small racoon in your squirrel cage I had next to the shed. It wasn't there to trap anything, but there must have been a tiny bit of peanut butter left in it, and I made the mistake of leaving it open.

The racoon barely fit in there, but somehow it got in. When I found it, it was sleeping peacefully curled up like a cat (they are nocturnal), but it woke up when it heard me. I released it right away, and it slowly made its way up a tree where it could resume sleeping for the day without being in the sun.

Racoons unfortunately can become pests, but they are otherwise pretty cute animals that are happy to eat from your hand, and do so gently (not like squirrels that can easily bite you and give you rabbies). We're not going to feed ours though since like bears you want them to remain wild, or they'll start going through your trash and become a pest.

At least they don't try to jump to our bird feeder like the squirrels, so that's good enough for me :)








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2014/07/23 Making a super cheap water/flood sensor
π 2014-07-23 00:00 in Linuxha
I wanted a water sensor for my water heater that would both alert me in the house, and as remotely when the sensor was tripped.

This is what it looks like:


I analysed how the DS10A worked, and due to sheer luck in its design, the wires going to the magnetic sensor turn out to be ground and signal, and the water sensor conducted enough current between them to allow triggering of the DS10A:


Wiring is totally trivial, you only need to use a 3rd wire connected to the plus from the 2 batteries, and it "just works". For extra credit, I wired a buzzer between signal and ground, and my water sensor passed enough current to allow the buzzer to run.

I used the Phantom YoYo High Sensitivity Water Sensor which was $10, but apparently you can get one that should work too from seedstudio for $3

The DS10A, I have a stack of, which you can sometimes find on ebay for cheap in bundles, and my house is already wired to receive those signals, so it was trivial to generate an Email and page from misterhouse when this sensor got triggered.

100_DS10A_Water_Sensor 102_DS10A_Water_Sensor 105_DS10A_Water_Sensor
2014/07/19 Portland and Oregon's Columbia River
π 2014-07-19 00:00 in Trips
We arrived a day early, and went around Portland. To be honest, the sights are a bit limited, but there were some that were worth seeing.

We got a private tour of the theatre, which actually was quite interesting:





Next, we saw the Chinese Garden:







Misc Pictures from Portland:








Next, we walked from the Washington City Park to the Japanese Botanical Garden, which was quite good:










Next was the rose garden, which was aboslutely huge, probably one of the biggest ones in the world:







While there wasn't much else to see in Portland, we did enjoy some very nice dinners. Much foie gras was eaten:




that was soo much chocolate, fantastic
that was soo much chocolate, fantastic

more foie gras :)
more foie gras :)

After the conference, we took a rental car and drove up the Columbia River, where we hiked a few hours by Wahkeena Falls:




















Then we went to see the Bonneville Lock & Dam and power station. We got to see how the salmons jump up the river on their special salmon stairs:









the salmon jump up those stairs
the salmon jump up those stairs

Next, we went to a hatchery where they raise a lot of fish and release them in the river:





Last, but not least, we drove by the Grotto, a Christian Park with statues and displays, just by the airport:







Elevator to Heaven :)
Elevator to Heaven :)




2014/07/13 SCCMAS RC Airshow
π 2014-07-13 00:00 in Rc
It had been 6 years since I last went to the SCCMAS Airshow, incidently back then also with Daniel, although I happened to have my dad who was visiting and quite enjoyed it.

In my pictures from SCCMAS RC Airshow in 2008, I was surprised to see some familiar airplanes 6 years later. I guess some of them are tough :)

Here is a very quick video summary. The interesting craft was the airplane that was coupled with a quadcopter for VTOL :)

For quicker browsing, here is a link to the pictures on google photos.

Very nice lineup of planes:










The show started with gliders:




Nice bird :)
Nice bird :)

some real birds were competing in the show :)
some real birds were competing in the show :)

Next, we got planes:






One plane even launched a parachute :)
One plane even launched a parachute :)









The fun aircrafts were there again:







Helis:



This plane/quadcopter aircraft was quite interesting, you can see it more in the youtube video at the top:


This was a fun day, glad to had been there again.

See more images for SCCMAS RC Airshow

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