Shir Shabbat is Back!

Today was the first Shir Shabbat in over a month because we don’t meet when there’s a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. I think people must have missed it, because we had more than 20 people online, significantly more than usual.

Having Rabbi Aron as the Haftarah reader encouraged people to attend, too.

It’s good to be back to a normal rhythm.

Leave off the last “S” for Savings!

We got our PG&E bill for last month; since we were gone for almost the full billing period, we used amazingly little gas and electricity. We used so little gas that we were subject to their minimum transportation charge (13 cents per day), and our electricity usage was 200 kilowatt hours less than a typical month. Most of the reduction was due to cooking and lighting, but I had made a point of unplugging things like the subwoofer since it wasn’t going to be used while we were gone.

I was curious how much of a difference that made, so I dug out the Kill-a-Watt and tested; the subwoofer idles at about 15 watts, which adds up to almost 11 kWh during a month. It’s probably worth putting it on a smart outlet and only turning it on when the amplifier is active.

I could also consider putting the amplifier on a smart outlet and only turning it on when I need it, though I haven’t gotten around to finding out how much power it uses in idle mode. And then there’s the TV and the TiVo….

Shabbat Shalom!

Two is better than one, except when it isn’t

I’ve got two Macs which are “my main computer” – the Mac mini in the office and the MacBook Air that mostly lives in the kitchen except when it goes on vacation with us. My plan was to have the mini be the real main computer; the laptop would only have subsets of what was on the mini – some photos, some music, some programs, and of course, whatever photos I took on a trip until I could get them home to the real computer. I didn’t even get a Backblaze subscription for the laptop because it wasn’t supposed to have anything I cared about.

It was a great plan, but it didn’t work. I do most of my mail and web browsing on the laptop because it’s in the kitchen – and that means I download a lot of things to that system. And once in a while, I find myself writing a bit of code there. And of course, when we travel, photos go to the laptop.

So this afternoon, I decided to make sure that everything on the laptop was, indeed, on the mini.

It wasn’t. And still isn’t, even after spending hours on the task, but I’m closer.

I was surprised by how many things were almost duplicated on the two machines – especially source code for various projects. I almost always create a Git repository for anything that’s going to live more than an afternoon, but I don’t put it on Github unless I plan to share it. Which sometimes meant I’d copy the repository from the mini to the laptop, work on it there, and never copy the changes back to the mini – and then sometimes I’d make a different set of changes there. So I spent a good bit of the afternoon resolving the differences – and making sure the code was up on Github for the future.

The strangest part of the day, though, was the way I did the work. I brought the laptop into the office and set it up under the monitor for the mini; then I used Forklift on the mini to get a view of both machines’ disks at once.

I did the actual fixing on the mini, with side-by-side terminal windows for the two machines; the one on the left was for the laptop and the one on the right was on the mini. I used the new Universal Control feature of Mac OS to do all the typing and mousing on the Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad attached to the mini. That meant that when I was typing into the terminal window for the mini, I was actually typing on the keyboard of the mini but using a terminal window hosted by the laptop that ran commands on the mini. Obvious, right?

As a wise person (not me!) once said, “there is no problem in Computer Science that can’t be solved by adding another level of indirection.”

Back on the trail

Today was the hottest day so far this year, getting well into the 80s. That didn’t stop us from taking a walk on the Los Gatos Creek Trail with the South Bay Striders this afternoon.

It was good to see some of the regulars who we hadn’t seen since early April, and even better to see a few new faces.

My face was covered with an N95 mask because I’m still positive (though the lines on the test strip are getting lighter!) and I haven’t yet reached the 10-day mark. Wearing the mask let me walk near other people and not feel like I was endangering them – but it also meant that I got VERY hot. I drank a lot of water on the walk, but probably not enough!

There weren’t many people in the parks adjacent to the trail – I suspect it was due to the weather. There were plenty of other walkers and bicyclists on the trail, though.

There was a new crop of goslings, too; they are really cute, and they aren’t adding a lot to the mess on the trail – yet.

Charging ahead!

Early this morning, I got an email from my thermostat alerting me that one of the remote sensors had a low battery.

The sensor uses a coin cell, and I have plenty of those, so I was ready.

It’s a good thing I was ready, because I got this email 23 seconds later:

At least I knew that the sensor hadn’t mysteriously gone missing!