Elenco EP-130

So I impulse-shopped again on eBay, which is always a dangerous thing. This time not so much. For just $6 plus shipping, I picked up an Elenco EP-130 “Electronic Playground & Learning Center.” Of course I would have rather had the 500-in-one kit, but that one goes for over $200, so I just can’t justify it.


I’ve always been somewhat ashamed of my lack of intimate electronics knowledge. I know a little about a lot of things, and a lot about a few things. I’ve just never given actual electronic components the proper level of devotion and practical learning time.

So I started today. Experiment #1: Woodpecker. Two resistors, three capacitors, a transistor and a transformer make the speaker emit chirping sounds.  Whoopee.  Changing the capacitors, resistors or voltage changes aspects of the chirping sounds.

Smart Pi

rpi_touchscreen_display_contents_1024x1024So I am currently in possession of a Raspberry Pi 2, along with the official Raspberry Pi 7″ touchscreen by Element14.

Today I had the fun experience of getting the pi and the screen working together, connecting the Edimax nano wifi adapter, and then installing mochad, which resulted in the successful integration of the Pi with the X10 home automation accessories I have installed over the years in various locations throughout the house.

I just realized that over 50% of the people who read my posts have no clue what I’m talking about.

Food history?

about-food-historyIf I had unlimited time and resources, I might consider pursuing an education in the history of food. If you think about something like the history of architecture and building, it’s pretty easy to draw a line from the cavemen to the present. “Trees are hard and withstand weather, let’s use them to our advantage.” We haven’t come too far, in reality, from that basic principle, in building. But I’d really like to understand the history of how different foods were discovered and used. Shellfish. Plants. Fish roe. Eggs. Plant extracts. Spices. Yeast. It almost seems more of a form of alchemy than anything else. I think a more or less complete timeline on when and how different food basics, enhancers and processes were introduced into society, and how we got from there to here, would be an utterly fascinating document. Can anyone recommend such a volume?

Turgid vs Tumescent

turgidSome of us may have encountered these words in various places during our literary explorations. The younger folks have probably come across it in bad fan fiction.  Most of us know what they mean, or at least what they’re intended to mean in context. Let’s explore them.

tu·mes·cent t(y)o͞oˈmes(ə)nt/ adjective
  1. swollen or becoming swollen, especially as a response to sexual arousal.
  2. (especially of language or literary style) pompous or pretentious; tumid.
    “his prose is tumescent, full of orotund language”
tur·gid ˈtərjəd/ adjective
1. swollen and distended or congested.
      “a turgid and fast-moving river”
2.  (of language or style) tediously pompous or bombastic.
      “some turgid verses on the death of Prince Albert”
In context, despite the dictionary definitions, turgid comes across (to me) as more insistent. While tumescent is a condition, turgid is demanding something be done about it.
Interestingly, both of these words, in addition to the referenced “tumid,” which I don’t remember seeing before, have a latin origin, from different roots (tumescere, turgere and tumere, respectively).
all beginning with “tu.”
“Tu” is latin for “you” or “yourself.” Go figure.

Healthy Snack Choices

We have a well-stocked pantry at my office. At any time I can choose between literally dozens of choices. Today I was trying to decide between junk food and maybe something a little bit healthier. I picked up two items that couldn’t be farther apart. Or so I thought.

Evil crack Doritos vs sweet bunny rabbit Garden Veggie Straws. Easy choice, right? Clearly the Doritos taste so much better than the Veggie Straws that the Veggie Straws MUST be much healthier, right? RIGHT?


putting more of myself out there