Marc's Public Blog


All | Aquariums | Arduino | Btrfs | Cars | Cats | Clubbing | Dining | Diving | Electronics | Exercising | Flying | Hiking | Linux | Linuxha | Museums | Public | Rc | Sciencemuseums | Snow | Solar | Trips




More pages: March 2018 February 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 March 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 February 2005 January 2005 December 2004 November 2004 October 2004 September 2004 August 2004 July 2004 June 2004 May 2004 April 2004 March 2004 February 2004 January 2004 October 2003 August 2003 July 2003 May 2003 April 2003 March 2003 January 2003 November 2002 October 2002 July 2002 May 2002 April 2002 March 2002 February 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 July 2001 June 2001 May 2001 April 2001 March 2001 February 2001 January 2001 December 2000 November 2000 October 2000 September 2000 August 2000 July 2000 June 2000 April 1999 March 1999 September 1997 August 1997 July 1996 September 1993 July 1991 December 1988 December 1985 January 1980



2010/05/29 Trip to Belize and Diving off Belize in the Aggressor III
π 2010-05-29 00:00 in Diving, Trips
My friend Arturo proposed a diving trip somewhere you don't have to make sure you come back out the same hole in the ice you made to get in the water (i.e. not Monterey :) ), and we ended up in Belize.

Most of the time was spent on the aggressor diving, but we also visited things around Belize a little bit.

Here is the GPS track of our trip including the dives and flights, showing a good visual overview of the trip:

Nice view over Miami
Nice view over Miami


Belize City

Ok, so Belize City isn't great to visit, but there were a few nice activities not too far from it.

Belize is where cars go to die, they're stripped for parts and left where they were
Belize is where cars go to die, they're stripped for parts and left where they were

want fruit?
want fruit?

oui!
oui!


Cave Tubing

Cave tubing was nice, we got to hike through a forest with our tubes and come back down going through caves. Nice, relaxing, and pretty. Thankfully insect bats did a good job of eating most of the mosquitoes.



nice caves
nice caves

fruit and insect bats
fruit and insect bats




Lamanai Mayan Ruins

Those were a bit farther and included a 1h boat ride down a river to a place where driving would have likely taken longer. The boat ride was actually pretty fun, including the monkey visit, and the ruins that are only very partially excavated due to lack of funds, were pretty impressive (the guide also did a good job of describing the Mayan culture and history). The mosquitoes in the forest were however very numerous and fierce...








natural glue
natural glue







Diving off the Belize Aggressor III

Oh yeah, right, we were there for diving originally :)



'I fell'
'I fell'

keeping track of where we went and our dive sites (used to make the map above)
keeping track of where we went and our dive sites (used to make the map above)


It was gatesfest where we got to try Gates housings and equipment
It was gatesfest where we got to try Gates housings and equipment



Between the dives, we got to visit Half Moon Caye, which was a nice little excursion:


juicy hermit crabs there too
juicy hermit crabs there too


But back to diving: Belize was not the best place we've been to so far, but it was still enjoyable to dive and the water was a nice 29C. They did have very juicy sizeable lobsters and crabs though :)

lionfish are pest with no predators there
lionfish are pest with no predators there

juicy crab
juicy crab



nicely sized groupers
nicely sized groupers


very juicy lobsters :)
very juicy lobsters :)






we got to try DPVs
we got to try DPVs





that turtle was very bright, it went straight into those weeds
that turtle was very bright, it went straight into those weeds



the famous blue hole
the famous blue hole

stalactites in the blue hole
stalactites in the blue hole

cleaning shrimp
cleaning shrimp



nice eagle rays
nice eagle rays




did I mention lobster? :)
did I mention lobster? :)

gates equipment at work
gates equipment at work


All good things...

Come to an end...


Nice dinner the day before leaving
Nice dinner the day before leaving

2010/05/26 Edge Program At Google
π 2010-05-26 00:00 in Google
Google has a leadership program that is available to most employees. It was recommended to me by some coworkers and it is indeed a very good class.
There is a fight club rule where I can't really talk about what we had to do since divulging that would negate some of the points of those exercises, but I can at least provide a few pictures:

offsite location in Soquel was quite nice
offsite location in Soquel was quite nice


Long story short, it was time well spent and it was quite nice to work with coworkers from all over the company and learn about other sides I've never heard of.

See more images for Edge Program At Google
2010/05/24 High Altitude Training at Beale AFB :)
π 2010-05-24 00:00 in Flying
Our local flying group did a trip to Beale Air Force Base to take the FAA high altitude training.



13 days without any DUIs, good job guys!
13 days without any DUIs, good job guys!


in class
in class


After several hours of ground review and classes, we went into the actual chamber where they lean the air to 25,000ft (that was after 30mn of breathing pure O2 to prevent decompression sickness).

getting ready
getting ready



I actually felt ok, but didn't look so fresh on some pictures :)
I actually felt ok, but didn't look so fresh on some pictures :)

that was after about 5mn at 25,000ft without any oxygen
that was after about 5mn at 25,000ft without any oxygen

The time was interesting, but too short. I obviously seemed to be suffering from the lack of air a little bit, but didn't feel I was doing too badly. I'm still curious how far I was from passing out or being able to turn my own O2 back on.

On the way back, we got to see some U2 flying patterns:



and a few shots from the flight back:





2010/05/20 Schwartzy Visit
π 2010-05-20 00:00 in Google
I wasn't able to park at my normal spot this morning, a bunch of big black SUVs and secret agents in black...

Sure enough Schartzy was there as part of a green talk:




He actually didn't say much and skillfully avoided answering any questions, I guess he was just there as a figurehead...

See more images for Schwartzy Visit
2010/05/12 One Year Of Solar Stats
π 2010-05-12 00:00 in Solar
It's been one year since I started graphing power and solar usage with the Brand One Powermeter. To be honest, I've been very underwhelmed with that device and would not recommend it to others, but I was still able to get stats, even if they aren't quite correct.

What's wrong with the brand one and its CTs is:

  • it randomly corrupts itself and sends me totally bad data that I have to filter out in software (know bug, owner says he filters it out too instead of fixing the broken hardware)
  • the overall software is very sad, not just the 2010 bug which is not a bug but plain lazy programming (2009 turns into 200: because ':' comes after '9' in the ASCII table). You should see the limited serial programing interface and error handling or lack thereof.
  • the fact that the unit is so slow that it can only upload once every 2mn and it totally locks up while doing so
  • I can't change its IP or any of its settings without sending it back to the owner and waiting 2 weeks or more.
  • My last support round trip to fix a misprogramming took almost 2 months to get it back fixed with weeks at a time where I got no Email answers.
  • Anyway, despite its flaws and confirmed incorrect measurements that are off by more than 2% and not in a consistent fashion (I tried to derive an error per day or kwh, but it was all over the map, from 2kwh short per day to overcounting during the winter. I think part of the problem is that the CTs are too big and pick up too much noise in the case of the solar panel probe.

    Anyway, the PV system had its own counter and reported 8566Kwh for that period of time while the powermeter measured 8260Kwh (a bit over 5% off).

    This graph and the graphs below are selected in zoom mode, so you can use the mouse cursor to draw a rectangle on a time region and the graph will refresh on the time slice you selected. Note that you can also zoom out by clicking the graph with the right button:

    House Power without AC, you can guess which day was our wedding day :)


    House Power


    AC doesn't look like much, but it still comes in handy 6 months a year:


    Photovoltaic production looks pretty good, even during the better winter days:


    Also, the daily production start and end (hour the sun starts hitting the panels and when it sets past the roof while the end hour can be a bit early because of trees on the west of our roof). Note the one hour jump on Nov 1st and March 6th because of the daily savings change:


    And the interesting part is the PG&E Meter. 0.25Kwh average is 2170Kwh/year, but due to time of use our bill is actually slightly negative:


    Anyway, even if the scientist in me is quite bothered by the inaccuracy of the Brand One Powermeter (the data being over 5% off is just no good), it's still good enough for nice trend graphs and seeing the results one year later.

    See more images for One Year Of Solar Stats
    2010/05/05 Conan O'Brian Visit at Google
    π 2010-05-05 00:00 in Google
    (posted a bit late)

    Conan came to google on his way to some local shows. He talked to us for a while and did quite a good job being entertaining and answering questions.




    Here is the video:

    After having watched his interview on 60 minutes, it sounds like he just kind of lost out. No one was really after him, but things just didn't work out for him on TV. Best of luck on his new career as a standup comedian for now.

    See more images for Conan O'Brian Visit at Google

    More pages: March 2018 February 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 March 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 February 2005 January 2005 December 2004 November 2004 October 2004 September 2004 August 2004 July 2004 June 2004 May 2004 April 2004 March 2004 February 2004 January 2004 October 2003 August 2003 July 2003 May 2003 April 2003 March 2003 January 2003 November 2002 October 2002 July 2002 May 2002 April 2002 March 2002 February 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 July 2001 June 2001 May 2001 April 2001 March 2001 February 2001 January 2001 December 2000 November 2000 October 2000 September 2000 August 2000 July 2000 June 2000 April 1999 March 1999 September 1997 August 1997 July 1996 September 1993 July 1991 December 1988 December 1985 January 1980