Heat Wave

September 10, 2022 3:18 pm

Our recent heat wave as measured on my weather station:

DateMax Temp (F)

Thankfully the power stayed on the entire time and the California grid operator avoided implementing rolling blackouts. But they did reach a level 3 emergency alert which authorizes rolling blackouts.

We pre-cooled the house with our excess solar before the mid afternoon and shut off the air conditioning during the worst demand period to alleviate grid draw. And we didn't use the oven so as to not add more heat to the house and to reduce demand.

Today the storm system moving up the coast finally pushed out the heat and some rain even fell.

COVID-19: Part 68

May 28, 2022 11:11 am
  • Rancho Las Positas Elementary School known cases on site: 158
  • Livermore cases: 13,883; overall vaccination rate: 79.2%
  • Alameda County cases: 267,361; deaths: 1,820; overall vaccination rate: 84.2%
  • U.S. cases: 83,712,000+; deaths: 1,001,000+; overall vaccination rate: 66.6%

Over 1 million deaths from COVID was passed this week in the U.S.

Things had been going pretty well. April was a pretty stable month for COVID. But it's been ticking up again throughout May. A couple weeks ago Alameda county crossed into the "medium community transmission" category (from "low") per the CDC monitoring.

The Lab has renewed its strong recommendation that employees wear N-95 or KN-95 masks when meeting together, but hasn't moved to a requirement.

We got an exposure notification for Heather almost every day during the week her class was practicing for the play.

The girls became eligible for a booster shot this week and we did that on Thursday afternoon. They felt kind of lousy on Friday morning, so they stayed home from school. But by dinner time they were fine.

Open House

May 26, 2022 8:53 pm

Tonight was open house at the girls' school. The campus full of families and kids excited to show off all the neat projects they've been working on.

Walking across the blacktop thinking there's nowhere to go if someone started shooting. Walking into the girls' classrooms thinking there's nowhere to hide if someone stood at the windows.

Looking around the room and noticing that the teacher has the blinds drawn and a poster blocking the door's window--almost certainly a security measure to protect her students. Her students. My daughter. Our world.

Looking at the artwork on the walls and recognizing that a classroom just like this one is still covered in blood from the bodies of the children murdered there two days ago.

An open house to celebrate their school year.

A unspoken vigil for the victims that didn't get to finish theirs.

I'm so Tired

8:51 am

I'm so tired of the number of children that don't get to come home from school.

I'm so tired of the suffering of the parents who will never see their kids grow up.

I'm so tired of police officers who hide and wait while children are massacred.

I'm so tired of people insisting that if we just had more guns this wouldn't happen.

I'm so tired of politicians using any excuse to do nothing to stop this from happening.

I'm so tired of cowards who love their guns more than children.

I'm so tired of hearing that the 2nd Amendment is sacred.

I'm so tired of this country's completely broken relationship with firearms.

I'm so tired of this bullshit.


Heather is in 4th grade this year. The thought of her in a classroom being shot while we are outside screaming at police to do something is too much. I'm just so tired.

Hero Forge Miniatures

May 1, 2022 4:45 pm

At the end of March we started playing the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set which contains 5 pre-generated characters, a slimmed-down rule book, and the adventure "The Lost Mine of Phandelver." Heather is playing as Zulak, a human fighter. Jess and Corinne are playing Riswynn, a dwarf cleric. And our friends are Zorien, another human fighter; Ara, an elf wizard; and Reedawn, a halfling rogue. I'm the Dungeon Master.

To make the experience more engaging and fun I used Hero Forge to design and purchase custom miniatures which match each character's detail. Each miniature has the character name, real name, and the year on the bottom and they'll keep them as souvenirs when we're done. I hadn't purchased anything from Hero Forge before and wasn't sure what to expect. I ordered the "standard" quality miniatures and I'm really pleased with them. If this is the "standard" quality, the high-quality/high-resolution versions must be really impressive.

Left to right: Ara, Riswynn, Zorien, Reedawn, Zulak

Each miniature was $20. Which is a little pricey if you were trying to make an army, but is quite reasonable for a one-off special character at this quality level and customizability (and they are crazily customizable). The Hero Forge UI for customizing the characters is an impressive feat by itself and that you can then have that custom character 3-D printed and shipped to you is really cool.

I probably won't paint them--maybe I'll get around to the one's for Heather and Corinne--but I suggested perhaps we could have a painting party during which each person could choose 2 or 3 parts of the character to paint and provide some pop. I don't know if that will happen or not though.

I'm quite pleased with them and now I can happily and heartily recommend Hero Forge for custom miniatures.