i thought about skipping the community garden work day this saturday morning because it was already so hot and the blistering dermatitis on my left hand was itching something fierce. i also didn't sleep well the night before, my first floor neighbors across from my bedroom had a noisy box fan in their kitchen window so i couldn't open the window nearest to my bed. without access to the cooler night time air, i tossed and turned, trying to find that cool spot on my mattress. nevertheless, obligation compelled me participate, plus i needed to be down there anyway to water my plants, and visit some pokestops along the way.
a lot more people showed up at the community garden than i anticipated when i arrived around 10:30am. i signed in and picked a job for myself from the garden to-do list: empty the compost bin beneath the mulberry tree and then move the empty bin to the other side of the garden. i got myself a small shovel and some rubber buckets and began working. others were weeding the paths, or pruning the common beds, or reorganizing the tool shed. i worked until 11:30am, chatting with joel and watering my plot before leaving. during that time, an eevee managed to escape, but i caught a pidgey, a rattata, and a kakuna, finally capping it off with my first dratini (cp 99).
back at home, i took a quick shower before taking the motorcycle to belmont, stopping by the gas station at the intersection of walden-mass ave to fuel up ($5). this is how much i ride the motorcycle these days: this was my first time getting gas all year, as i was still riding on the fuel i had in the tank from last december's storage.
my mother made some egg pancakes for lunch. after i finished eating, i went outside to wash the motorcycle. as a consequence of parking underneath trees in the late spring/early summer, my bike was coated in sugary droplets of tree sap. i've been meaning to get it washed but always forgot about it. as i still had a lot of sudsy car wash mix in the bucket, i also gave the honda element a quick wash as well. later i got a bath towel and dried my bike (so there wouldn't be any water stains) and the car. finally, i got some rain-x and treated the mirrors and windows. when i came back inside, my mother had made some belgian waffles, so i had a second lunch in the middle of the afternoon.
i looked for my freewheel tool but it's been so long since the last time i used it, it really could be anywhere. a search of the sun room (the most likely place) turned out to be fruitless, so i had no choice but to order an new online from amazon for $8, due to arrive sometime on monday.
on a hot day you need to water more than twice to keep tender garden vegetables (like cucumbers) from wilting. the solitary eggplant in my parents' backyard has produced a flower, so hopefully we'll be eating garden eggplants soon. for dinner we had noodles mixed with a medley of pork, beef, and garden kale. afterwards my father fixed my 2nd aunt's electric kettle: turns out one of the terminals inside the kettle was loose, which resulted in the heat building up and melting the terminal shrink wrap. my father tightened the terminal connection and the kettle is back to working again.
we waited for the thunderstorms to arrive but it must've skirted by belmont. at most the sky looked threatening and we felt a few drops, but then the sun came out again. it was one of the hottest days but once the storm pass through, temperature suddenly plunged into the lower 80's. when i motorcycled back to cambridge, i noticed a lot of leaves and small branches littering the roads.
it felt like an oven when i came home: 85°F indoors while it was a cool 78°F outside. i went about stationing fans throughout the house, trying to circulate the cool air inside. a package was on my doorstep, my raspberry pi arrived. it wasn't due until the middle of next week at the earliest, so it was a pleasant surprise.
i pieced everything together in the kitchen (also so i can document the unboxing and assembly). i stuck the heat sinks to the chips, then put the board inside of the plastic casing. finally i inserted the 32GB memory card, preloaded with the raspbian OS. i dug out my wired mac keyboard and my usb wireless mouse, and connected the pi to my HDTV. i was worried maybe it wouldn't recognize my input devices (particularly the mouse) but everything worked effortlessly. first time booting, i was asked to install the system. i already input my wifi information, so beside raspbian, it also gave me the option of installing some additional OS's (pulled from the internet), so i decided to include OSMC as well, the open source media center. i waited as it took a little while to install everything. once it finished, it rebooted and gave me the option to choose which OS i wanted to start with, so i picked raspbian.
raspbian felt very much like using a very stripped down version of OS X. a couple of things i noticed: first, the screen size. stretched to 1920x1080 pixels, i had a hard time seeing everything on the screen as every appeared so tiny with so much screen real estate. i can't imagine doing programming at this resolution. then there was the issue of the wrong time in the menubar. i tried to change it and the only thing i managed to do was fix the date and the timezone, but no place to manually adjust the time. i did manage to get my apple bluetooth trackpad and my bluetooth keyboard to pair up with the pi, very easy. raspbian has a barebone browser which was a little slow, so i wanted to see if i could download a better browser. i went to the google chrome website and it identified my system as OS X and allowed me to download a disc image file. that was the extent of it because it couldn't open the dmg.
i then restarted and booted into OSMC. i was underwhelmed by raspbian, but had a better experience with OSMC, which felt like a very sleek media player. it didn't recognize my bluetooth devices, so i was forced to use the wireless mouse, which took some getting used to, especially once i figured out that right click meant return/previous. for some reason OSMC managed to give me the correct time once i selected my timezone. i played some movies from a USB thumb drive, worked effortlessly.
i did feel like after spending all this money for a raspberry pi, i essentially got a glorified media player. i can't imagine programming directly on the pi, since the user experience leaves something to be desired. i think i'm more inclined to develop on my mac and port over to the pi.
later i chatted with alex, who's been doing a lot of network pi stuff recently. he uses it to automate a lot of his online downloading (via newsgroups). i asked him if he was playing pokemon go, which was just introduced to japan this weekend. i told him enough about the game that got him intrigued to possibly try it out.