I think it is time to upgrade the technology I have used for 14 years to monitor the temperature of my compost pile.
The graph below is live, as long as I keep going out and reading the temperature and coming back in and updating the Google spreadsheet. In 1998 I inherited the old YSI thermometer device and found a 7.5 volt mercury battery for it. The battery is still good, and I even have a spare (also 14 years old). I hope that the participants at LEAFFEST can help me find a replacement technology for the beast.
The featured pile was built on September 10 from a three month accumulation of kitchen, garden, and yard waste, some old hay mulch, freshly cut alfalfa, 100 chopped corn plants, a quart of organic fertilizer (5-3-4), and 20 gallons of spent tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and cabbage. The pile was turned on October 7.
Last weekend we made our fifth annual paddle trip to Little Tupper Lake with the same people, the same menu, and (as always) a new campsite. It was the second year we had to take a ferry from VT to NY instead of the Crown Point Bridge which is being replaced. The Photosynth panorama below of the new bridge was stitched from 12 handheld photos taken from the ferry at the dock.
I have made two Picasa albums from the trip. One has photos taken by a small camera attached to a kite line, and the other has photos taken by a DSLR which stayed close to, and more securely above, the lake surface. Below is a slide show from the KAP album.
Four months ago Galen and I sawed down a white ash tree to get some green sapwood to bend into the keel of a model ship. Yesterday Galen presented the completed Viking warship at his school, as each student presented his or her “Inquiry” project. The consensus is that Galen enjoyed his project almost as much as his Inquiry mentor (guess who?). The video below tells the story of the construction of the model.
Galen’s Uncle and Aunt gave him a nice set of N scale model trains a few years ago, and we have added track and accessories since then. For his birthday in May, Galen got three building kits from GCLaser.com. Although there are lots of HO scale plastic model kits of buildings, N scale is too small to work well for the molded plastic kits, and the available kits are 2-4 times the price of the HO kits even though they are smaller.
The GCLaser kits are all wood. The pieces are precisely cut by laser from micro plywood. The material and quality control are excellent, and the parts fit together beautifully with almost no shaping or cleaning. They are more expensive than plastic HO kits, and much harder to assemble, but the results can be impressive. When I received the kits it was obvious that they weren’t quite appropriate for Galen, so I selflessly stepped up and assembled them myself.
The Google Earth KML tour below shows the hike Galen and I took on July 6, 2010 to the top of Mount Abraham in Vermont. The tour can be started and stopped using the controls at the lower left. The entire tour lasts 75 seconds and has no audio. When the tour ends, you can fly around the landscape, click on the photos to view them, and double click the Gigapan to fly into it. The links within the gigapan popup are not a good way to view the gigapan in an embedded tour.
Click here to open the KML tour in a new browser tab. Then click the “Play Tour” button (upper right) to start the tour. (Note: If you enter a gigapan, the “Exit Photo” button is partly hidden under the “Terrain” button. Click the exposed edge of it to exit the gigapan.)