Daily coffee and wifi, September 7, 2016

Coffee and wifi (double espresso over ice) at the Peoples Food Coop, on North Fourth Ave. The lunch hot bar here is very good and the place is busy. Last night was Ann Arbor City Council, a marathon session that resulted in grudging approval of site plans for hundreds of new homes and apartments over the opposition of neighbors in adjacent neighborhoods. Woodbury Club Apartments will be on the northeast side of town near Nixon Road and M-14, and South Pond Village will be tucked away off Chalmers behind Arborland but not connected to it. »

Daily coffee and wifi, September 6, 2016

Coffee and wifi (double espresso over ice) at the “dog park Biggby”, Platt Road at Ellsworth. It’s not an inconvenient location, and the very large south-facing windows are good to know about as the days get shorter. More than 90 degrees outside, and I’m preparing to make dinner. The recipe is for “broccoli Calabrian style” from Martha Rose Shulman. I couldn’t find that exact recipe online, but this Bucatini Con Broccoli Alla Calabrese is close. »

Artist Rebecca Moss aboard the Hanjin Geneva

Hanjin Shipping is a Korean container shipping firm that has gone into bankruptcy, disrupting the worldwide container network. About 8 percent of transpacific cargo goes through this carrier, and as of this writing the ships are in an uncertain legal status, subject to seizure by creditors at ports if they land with their cargo. “Hanjin’s bankruptcy is the largest ever to hit the shipping industry so there’s no roadmap as to what will happen now, no precedent of comparable scale.” - BBC News Rebecca Moss is aboard the Haijin Geneva, which is off the coast of Japan, awaiting orders. »

September 3, 2016 Oklahoma earthquakes

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake rattled oil country in Oklahoma on September 3, 2016 at 7:02 a.m. The quake’s epicenter was eight miles northwest of Pawnee, OK. The USGS maps of the quake are detailed. The Pawnee Nation declared a state of emergency after ordering evacuations of damaged buildings in the area. Historically, the incidence of earthquakes in Oklahoma is low, and there is concern in the state that these earthquakes are of man-made origin. »

2016 09 05 thinking in graphs vs thinking in lists

Writing at the Biggby by the dog park with a 20 oz coffee close at hand. “Thinking style one” comes up with a topic with crisp edges, and then enumerates a set of carefully constrained and largely self-similar elements within that topic. You can be sure at the end that the question at hand has been thoroughly plumbed, and that nothing is missing because you went through diligently to the end. »

New month, new theme

I’ve switched themes in this weblog, using Casper from Valère JEANTET who ported it from Ghost to Hugo. The biggest advantage of the theme is that it’s neat and clean and looks like other people’s work. The biggest disadvantage is that I have 80+ pages of paginated weblog going back into the dim mists of time, and this theme doesn’t come out of the box with support for that kind of deep back list in it. »

full stack plane spotting and data analysis

The task at hand is simple. Whenever a particular airplane is visible overhead, send out a tweet with that notice. Don’t repeat yourself with this announcement more than twice an hour, but try not to have too much lag in reporting. The full stack of hardware and software to do this is not particularly complicated to use once you get it all running, but there are a series of issues and observations along the way that add to the complexity. »

Plane finding with dump1090

In March 2015 I wrote briefly about plane spotting with dump1090. In short, many airplanes have ADS-B transponders which squawk out their location, airspeed, and current conditions, and you can pick up those transmissions using an inexpensive RTL-SDR tuner stick and a simple antenna. I’ve been looking into this again to see if I can get a better understanding of how it works as well as to take advantage of a year plus of software development. »

Github private repositories

Github has changed their pricing strategy to allow individual accounts to have more private repositories. This is a welcome change for accounts like mine. As part of their change, enterprise pricing has increased. I’m told that this will multiply the bills that some companies will see. This post tests a new private repo, and links to Github pricing for future reference. »

Edward Vielmetti on #Github,

Ann Arbor quiet writing escapes

Where to go in Ann Arbor to do some quiet writing, without distractions. There are plenty of cafes where there are lots of people around; this list looks for the empty places where you won’t have your attention broken quite so easily. This is a much easier task in the summer time than it is during the school year, as the students thin out and University buildings are much quieter. Central Campus: Rackham Building reading rooms, second floor. »

Edward Vielmetti

A commonplace reader

Sometimes it’s easier and faster to fill a page by quoting from others. The commonplace book is the annotated scrapbook, carefully collecting bits from other writers with just enough commentary and selection to make them your own. If these were written in this era you’d call it “curation”, though I can only think of that word in the context of “curated meats”, somewhat salty and dry and meant to be preserved for some time. »

Edward Vielmetti

Day trips from Ann Arbor

Some suggestions for places to go for same-day destination trips from Ann Arbor. I’m collecting up ideas suitable for rides in support of driver’s ed. East via M-14 Royal Oak: Detroit Zoo Novi: 12 Oaks Mall East via I-94 Belleville: Yankee Air Museum Dearborn: Greenfield Village Dearborn: Henry Ford Museum Detroit: Detroit Institute of Arts Detroit: Detroit Historical Museum Detroit: Belle Isle Detroit: Motown Museum Canada Windsor: Via tunnel or bridge Point Pelee: Bird sanctuary Marine City: ferry to Canada South via US-23 Carleton: Calder Dairy Monroe: 1812 National Park Toledo: Toledo Museum of Art (45 minutes) Toledo: Toledo Mud Hens Toledo: Toledo Zoo Port Clinton: birdwatching Southwest via US-12 Tecumseh: Michigan State Univ Hidden Lake Gardens, (one of the better kept State secrets) …beautiful trails, Hosta Garden and conifer collection. »

Edward Vielmetti

Bots are hot - again

The title of the post is taken from a 1996 Wired article by Andrew Leonard describing the state of automated systems in the dot-com era. Web robots – spiders, wanderers, and worms. Cancelbots, Lazarus, and Automoose. Chatterbots, softbots, userbots, taskbots, knowbots, and mailbots. MrBot and MrsBot. Warbots, clonebots, floodbots, annoybots, hackbots, and Vladbots. Gaybots, gossipbots, and gamebots. Skeleton bots, spybots, and sloth bots. Xbots and meta-bots. Eggdrop bots. Motorcycle bull dyke bots. »

Mechanical slaves and the Californian ideology

Noted elsewhere, saved here for reference, from Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron, THE CALIFORNIAN IDEOLOGY If human slaves are ultimately unreliable, then mechanical ones will have to be invented. The search for the holy grail of Artificial Intelligence reveals this desire for the Golem a strong and loyal slave whose skin is the colour of the earth and whose innards are made of sand. As in Asimov’s Robot novels, the techno-utopians imagine that it is possible to obtain slave like labour from inanimate machines. »

Edward Vielmetti

Washtenaw restaurant inspections

Who: Wayne Eaker and the a2civictech Slack team What: Restaurant inspections from Washtenaw County Where: http://food-inspections.annarbortelegraph.com When: As they are updated, up to twice a momth Why: When you eat out, you care about food safety Some example searches: Three restaurants with 30 or more violations Reports from 2016 of pest problems The hardest part of this project is that it’s dependent on an undocumented interface from the contractor who does the work for the county. »

Edward Vielmetti


Yesterday’s radio was full of the Prince music catalog. The artist passed away in his Minnesota home at the age of 57. In response any radio station that had anything other that pre-programmed music responded by playing his hits - “Little Red Corvette”, “Raspberry Beret”, “Purple Rain” - and the radio stations that had artistic control also played B sides, live shows, bootlegs and whatever they could find. Ann Arbor’s own WCBN was exemplary in this regard. »

Earthquake in Ecuador, April 16, 2016

Ann Arbor, MI, 17 April 2016: An earthquake hit near the coast of Ecuador on the evening of 16 April 2016. As of 1:00 p.m. Eastern time the current estimate is 235 killed and 1,557 wounded from the incident. Reports are still coming in from the hardest hit areas which lost telecommunications lines in the disaster, so expect these numbers to increase. Early reports from Ecuador came in primarily via social media, as it took a while for the nation’s news organization to cut over to flash reporting of the news from their regularly scheduled programs. »

Upgrade to El Capitan

I’m working through the details of an upgrade from Mavericks to El Capitan. Some running notes. The upgrade took about 2 hrs. I went to the Apple Store at Briarwood in Ann Arbor to get the install done, since their Internet is faster than my home UVerse. After doing the upgrade the next big slow task is brew update. You would not be surprised to know that I have a lot of packages installed, and that brew is working hard to update everything. »

Stadium Boulevard project bids high, portions of project to be delayed

The bids for the work came in higher than expected, so the City of Ann Arbor’s Ann Arbor Stadium Boulevard road reconstruction project will likely omit the section between Main Street and Seventh. That’s the word from the city’s engineer on the project, Michael Nearing, P.E. He writes in an email sent from his iPhone on Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 1:26 PM: At this point it appears that the only realistic option to perform the project with the funds that are available is to revise the project limits. »

Edward Vielmetti

Chicken and onion curry

Saveur Magazine has a recipe for a chicken and onion curry from January 27, 2010. It took a little more than an hour to cook, but the results were very much worth it - delicious, and worth repeating. We had the meal with rice, kale, and a daikon raita from food.com that I kind of liked but which was not a big hit with the rest of the table. The current meal planning regime here uses a Google calendar and a question at the end of every meal: do you want this again, and how many weeks before we have it again? »

Ann Arbor Public Schools respond to social media threat

Ann Arbor, Michigan, January 25 2016: The Ann Arbor Public Schools issued this news release and letter to parents, signed by Superintendent Jeanice Swift. Monday, January 25, 2016 Dear AAPS Parents, As many of you may have already heard, there have been threats made on social media to multiple school districts across the metro area, extending to Florida, and rumored to have occurred as far as California. Please be assured that in the Ann Arbor Public Schools, we take any and all threats very seriously and consistently follow established emergency procedures in cooperation with Ann Arbor Police Department and other law enforcement agencies. »

Edward Vielmetti

M7.1 earthquake felt in Anchorage, Alaska

Ann Arbor, 6:35 a.m. Eastern, 2:35 Anchorage time: Local news coverage of the earthquake: Strong earthquake felt throughout Southcentral Alaska, Alaska Dispatch News Alaska Earthquake Center is @AKearthquake on Twitter Municipal Light and Power @MLandP is an area electric utility KTUU Channel 2 reports “Strong earthquake with initial magnitude of about 7.1 hits near Pedro Bay” Ann Arbor, 6:30 a.m Eastern. A note on time zones: Anchorage is GMT-9, or 4 hours behind Ann Arbor time. »

Edward Vielmetti

a2b3 lunch non-summary for 3d week of January 2016

Thanks to everyone for coming to lunch. We had 16 people, and complete introductions in 23 minutes. The topic of the question was “repair”. Linda Diane Feldt is repairing her side door, original equipment on a 90 y/o house. Kathryn Sanderson darns socks. Dan Friedus wants to know if you want to repair his 1980s Bolens garden tractors. (Make an offer.) Ruthann Nichols teaches Science and Wine as a freshman seminar at the U. »

Ann Arbor area APRS network status, January 2016

APRS is the “Automatic Position Reporting Service”, a system for sharing information about the position of participating amateur radio stations. Clients transmit position reports on 144.39 Mhz; digipeaters repeat these reports to other monitoring stations; and various IGate sites monitor transmissions and send their findings to aprs.fi which collects worldwide data. In recent memory there has been an APRS digipeater in Chelsea, Michigan with wide area coverage, good enough to pick up travellers on I-94 west of Ann Arbor. »

January 2016 Ann Arbor Building Board of Appeals lacks a quorum

The Ann Arbor Building Board of Appeals will not meet today, January 13, 2016, for lack of a quorum. I’d like to know the following to help understand more about this group: Who is on the board, and how long have they been on it? Have there been any recent changes to board membership? Who is eligible to be appointed to the board, and what does that process entail? What happens to decisions that the board needs to make if a quorum cannot be met? »