Holiday Letter

2022 is over!

Dave rants about some of salient features of 2022. The big one is that it is almost over! During the year, Dave traded autos, continued care for bladder lining cancer, and is breaking up with Twitter to follow Mastodon. Most of this article is about Mastodon as Dave’s AniPal (dog, cat, and plushie buddies) are unwanted participants in the drama that is Twitter and are looking to abandon ship.

Home automation Personal Computing

Home Bridge Update

The Ubiquity UniFi Protect cameras went missing from Apple HomeKit Secure Video. Some updates and some reconfiguration were needed to revive them.

  • The nodejs library had gone out of date
  • The various plugins had been revised
  • The UniFi credentials system had changed
  • The beast needed reconfigured

Just the usual DIY bit rot and acts of Apple. There is nothing hard here but it took some effort to gather together the needed instructions and to locate the Home Bridge reset procedure. To save others this leg work, I’ve gathered together the work flow and primary references.

Personal Computing Twittering

Is There A Pachyderm in Your Future?

Well, Elon Musk did it, he bought Twitter. And he hung a $44 Billion millstone about Twitter’s neck. The debt service on his borrowing is $1 Billion per year. And what did he put up for collateral, Twitter? Unlikely, not even his billionaire buddies would smoke that crack. So there is probably a big chunk of Tesla stock on the line. Will it be interesting? You bet. $44 Billion controlled flight into terrain will make a spectacular kaboom!

So if you have a social media habit, and the Dismal Moocher does, what are the alternatives? Everything out there has wealthy owners except for one, Mastodon and the Fediverse of social media applications. More after the break.

Car talk Driving Electric

Simplified Electrify America Arrival Procedures

Recently, Dave and the Greyhounds drove from Norfolk to Aylett, Virginia and back to attend the James River Greyhound reunion event. This trip was long enough to require that we recharge on the return route or become an item on the 11 PM news. “Electric Vehicle blocks HRBT, film at 11.”

As long term readers recall, we found ourselves at the Richmond Walmart charger in EA newbie hell as EA guidance on the charger itself is obsolescent (a polite way of saying it is wrong).

On my return, I discovered the video linked in Reference [1]. The EV Motoring presenter demonstrates use of the recently revised EA App.

Home automation Zero Carbon

EcoBee 3 Dual Fuel

In the spring of 2022, we discovered that the Nest Learning Thermostat was not operating the reversing valve. It had been fine in the fall. The Nest energizes the reversing valve to cool. Come May and time to cool it wasn’t. Oh, and the fall update stomped on the heat pump lockout setting. So the proprietor fired Nest and hired Ecobee.

Church uses a large number of Ecobee 3 Lite devices with extra area sensors and has found them to work well. So Dismal Dave bought one and installed it. It set up easily enough for heat pump operation with automatically configured staging and automatic heat pump lockout and easy configuration of the associated gas furnace. But we had some drama anyway.

Car talk Driving Electric Personal Computing

EV Voyage Management for the Rest of Us

Those of us not blessed with Telsa vehicles are unable to take advantage of Tesla’s voyage management tools and navigation. We have to make do with third party tools that are not well integrated but perfectly adequate. This post examines electric vehicle voyage planning and voyage management in an Apple Car Play and VW ID.Software environment.

Car talk

ID.4 Road Trip

Ride in the way-back, not me! I wanted the back seat. Missy wanted the back seat. So in we went. Gear went in the way-back. We had a hand truck, the boss’s chair, and our ground mats. It all fit. Missy and Me fit in the 2nd row bench seat super. We both curled up on a half. I did awaken with a start once on the way home. Did a Greyhound Scream of Death to get staff’s attention. No bickering. No teeth. Just scared little old me.

Staff tells his impressions after the break.

Car talk

Our First Time

Dave, Missy, and Rocky flew to Aylette, VA for James River Greyhounds 2022 picnic. These are always great events produced by the charity to raise funds to support capital maintenance and operations. Fun, food, people, greyhounds, lots of greyhounds. Sadly, we didn’t take a photo of the car park on the way in. The crowd was huge.

Anyway, it was Millennium Falcon’s first road trip that was long enough to require an en-route charge. An opportunity for a newbie experience, one that should have gone smoothly but didn’t because VW had not finished plug and charge. So some EA app screen fiddling was required. Unsurprisingly, there were gaps in the instructions and stupidity in UI design choices. More after the break.


Run from water!

We just had a major hurricane landfall in Florida and a category one hurricane landfall in South Carolina with tropical storm conditions in North Carolina and Virginia. When should you evacuate? Current emergency management thinking is to hide from wind (shelter in place) and run from water (evacuate). Water, the storm surge and inland flooding, cause most hurricane-related deaths during the storm. After the storm, recovery mishaps are a significant cause of death. Most involving chain saws or generators.

Rocky performs Zombie inspection of the fallen limb

Dismal Manor has a fallen limb to remove and a fence to patch so Rocky won’t go runner. Rest assured, loppers and a pruning saw will do the work. If we have a big piece, I’ll drag it up front for the city to collect with the clam shell truck.

Home automation

More Observations

QingPing Air Monitor Lite images courtesy of HomeKit Reviews.

The QingPing Air Monitor Lite has been here a couple of days. I had expected I would have a particulate problem. In reality, the house is sufficiently tight that it retains emissions from internal sources like breathing mammals and greyhound butts. What the trend curves are showing is that, with the house closed up, CO2 accumulates. Since Dismal Manor is small, this is detectable in the bedroom when all 3 of us are in the lounge. After the break, I review the findings and