Monday, July 14, 2003

Back in Town

Had a good, if ambivalent, weekend with the family. Lots of cousins, uncles and aunts to hang with and catch up with. Lots of good memories relived and made. Much sushi eaten, much pool played, much travel done.

I'm ready for a vacation.

But no, tonight's the night I install the perimeter wire around my front lawn for use by the mow-bot, which has been charging since last night. The neighbors will love me for it, because in the interim the grass's gotten to look pretty ratty.

Haven't you used that thing yet?
I had the chance to drive the Robomower around manually last night, playing and calibrating, and it's a slick machine. It's definitely a no-frills design, but sturdy, and overengineered where necessary: safety, battery use, and motor power. It talks to you, too: certain alerts and safety messages are announced in a pleasant synthesized baritone voice, like "Please do not lift the mower without removing the battery pack," and "Remember to follow all safety instructions when using your mower." Thankfully, when these messages get old (and you know they will), there's a menu option to disable all but emergency sounds.

Installation of the wire involves tacking it down with plastic stakes, not unlike those for a camping tent, except these are made to lie flush with the ground when hammered in. I have several good steel hammers, but I think I may want a hard-rubber mallet to get this job done - I've broken too many tent stakes over the years.

Wasn't this guy making some beer?
Yep, the sweet stout is still fermenting after two weeks and two days. I need to bottle soon (yeast willing - it's still going fairly strong), or else rack to my glass secondary fermenter before I start getting some off flavors from the long sit on the trub.