Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Paradise ponders: more fall color, crispy morning, and electronic pursuits edition...

Paradise ponders: more fall color, crispy morning, and electronic pursuits edition...  Yesterday around noon I finished all my bookkeeping and set off on a short trip to Porcupine Reservoir to see the fall color (photos below).  That was one beautiful drive.  Near Avon I passed the home of our friends Bruce and June N., so I stopped in to say hi.  Ended up talking to Bruce for an hour, catching up on all sorts of things.  June was away in California, so I didn't get to see her.  From their home, on a knoll, you're surrounded by some of the best fall color I've seen.  What a perch they have for this season!

This morning I was outside working at the crack of dawn, cleaning up the deck in preparation for caulking and painting.  It's cold – just 26°F when I first got outside.  Once the sun came up it (slowly) started to warm up.  The views were very nice, too.  The first photo below is looking to the southwest from our front yard.  If you click to embiggen it, you'll see the beautiful fall color on the sunlit hillside, and clouds amongst the peaks toward the left (due south).  The second photo is looking east at our (newly sodded!) back yard, covered with frost.  I had intended to catch the dogs playing in the sunlight there, but naturally when I brought up my phone to take a photo they all ran away and hid.  Communists!

Yesterday I read about the new iMac Pro, with lots more detail than I've seen before.  My basic reaction is: I gotta get me one of these!  They're due for release in December, so I think I know what my Christmas present will be this year!  A shipment I've been anticipating arrived yesterday, too: a GPS extension board for the Raspberry Pi 3b, along with a matching roof mount antenna with a low noise amplifier (LNA).  The parts to mount it are due tomorrow.  This particular GPS board has a pulse-per-second (PPS) output and uses all the extant GPS satellite networks, plus it has a stationary (base station) mode.  All of this combined makes it the perfect time reference for a stratum 1 network time protocol (NTP) server.  I have no actual reason to own a stratum 1 NTP server, but it's something I've always wanted (and actually, briefly, had a few years ago).  Having this server on my local network should give me computer time accurate to sub-millisecond levels on all the computers I own (about a dozen at this point).  What's that good for?  Not much.  But if you're a geekly sort, it's way cool!