September 07, 2003

The Murray Hill Weather Station

Murray Hill Weather StationA couple of years ago I bought a weather station. It sits up on the roof and is connected to my main server by a long telephone cable. The weather station provides information about temperature, wind direction and wind speed. Earlier this summer I added a pagoda that holds a humidity sensor and now a second temperature sensor. There is a air pressure sensor in the basement by the computer.

Last week, it acted up and i had to buy a new circuit board for the station and in doing so added the second temperature sensor and brought the barometer on line. I spent some time this weekend updating the software so that there are seperate pages for each sensor.

The weather station may seem like a silly geek toy, but it's a big part of our lives. I check it every morning before work and probably again two or three times during the day. Having it down for a week while i waited for new parts made me feel like something big was missing from my world.

Posted by smartin at 07:22 PM

September 02, 2003

Labour Day Weekend

Every year for at least the past 10 or more years we spend a day making salsa. We alway use fresh plum tomatos and produce. Since we moved to New Jersey we've been getting our tomatos from a farm on the way down to Princeton and have always noticed what appears to be a huge estate on the way there. This year we took a slightly different route to the farm which took us on a road around the perimiter of the estate. And since there were signs that seemed to indicate that part of it is open to the public, we stopped in. It turns out the place is called Duke Farms and it is the estate of a man named James Buchanan Duke whom Duke University is named after. It was left as a foundation by his daughter Doris and is only this year starting to be opened to the public. Appearently the property is 2700 acres and contains a 1 acre glassed in garden which is open from October to May. So I guess we will be going back in the the winter.

Anyway we got our tomatos and made 45 jars over the course of Saturday. Usually this is an all day event but this year we managed to get it finished quite early. This is probably because for the first time John and Alec helped out with some of the chopping. Our production was split half and half between our regular salsa and salsa alpha which is our own recipe that we've been perfecting over the last couple of years.

Posted by smartin at 07:43 PM

My New Telephone

Alec and Alex at Camelbeach Barb and I like antiques. I particularly like old things that have style and are still useful (I guess that's why I like Barb :)). I have a couple of late model rotary telephones that are ok but are made of plastic and are lacking the class of the really old ones. Last weekend we happend to be in an antique shop and found an old Western Electric model 302 telephone. As far as I can tell they started to make these in 1937 and mine seems to be an early one due to it's older E1 handset and cloth cords. This was the first phone to be a complete unit containing it's own ringer. I brought it home, put a modern plug on it, plugged it in and it works perfectly. Now that i've started though it's hard to stop and i'm now looking for the older model 202.
Posted by smartin at 07:39 PM | Comments (0)