Living through a pandemic

I haven’t written here for a while. The truth is I’m not much for blogging my thoughts, but I do like to drop images and information about the projects I’m playing with here.

The COVID pandemic starting in 2020 change life forever. I am fortunate to have a support system, family and career that help keep life manageable right now.

I am looking forward to the summer, hoping that the worst is behind us.

New setup

I’ve been testing a mechanical keyboard out for a bit, I’m finding it really satisfying. I intentionally found keys that reminded me of old heavy keyboards from my earliest computer days.

A hunk of wood to rest my wrists on and I think it’s a hit.

False hope, served up yearly

Boy that’s a heavy title, it’s really my own doing. Every year we get false truffles in the yard. The first time, maybe our first year in our home, was a poop inducing moment.

You see, actual truffles grow in our general area, so for a moment, I thought our conifers out front were inoculated with Oregon Truffles. Something you cannot force, but can encourage if found. Alas, of course, false truffles, Elaphomyces might be a close guess.

But now as I said it’s my own fault I get that little moment of false excitement, I reseed the yard when I find them.

Over the limit

This is a loose follow up to the deeptraffic project I’ve been playing with.

I decided to attack the problem initially by working each aspect and watching the network train. This devolved into to figuring out which parameters I thought I could poke and move towards my goal of making the leaderboard. The spoiler first I guess, I’m currently at 75.13 mph, still shy of the now 75.60 mph 10th place entry.

I guess I’ll have keep my micro-farm running when I can find
free AWS cycles.

I was able to use the “headless” code that is running the deeptraffic challenge, and with only a few change and some bash scripting to help organize a hyper parameter search I was running.

This sounds pretty lofty,
but really I manually
tweaked most things. The
random searching I focused
on learning rate and
finding the correct number
of iterations.


I feel like there is still so much to learn here, it’s really fun.


I have been feeling the need to sit in the sun lately. I’m pretty low energy in general, and that gets amplified when the winter months drag.

Today’s sun spot @simple

Back to birding

I haven’t been birding much lately. My old binoculars had been broken a few years ago. Kim and Aidan got a new pair for me last winter, and I just got my camera back. It just needed it’s charging cable replaced. I’m excited to start getting out and seeing more of our local birdies.

Already I’m seeing the regulars start their migration back north. Here’s a Red Breasted Sap Sucker I caught.

We get some birds almost year round. This Northern Flicker seemed real comfortable on one of our Cedars out front.

I’m lucky to have a hobby that comes to my front door.

End of the season?

Aka old man hands continued…

As the winter becomes the rainy season, my skin tends to be at it’s worse. It goes through a “Paper Skin” phase.

I get cracks. It’s a real low, it affects my mood. I recognize that more these days and try to find ways to get by.

sorry for the derma-gore. I won’t be doing this often, just trying something new.

Old man hands

…it’s eczema, that’s where my super power started. I call them my old man hands.

As I approach fifty, they don’t seem so far off character. When I was a teen, they looked nearly the same. I hid my dry skin, and was pretty introverted in general.

This became my thing, and in my solitude and need for mental distraction I found hobbies that bled into a career.

I suppose I can stop hiding them now.