Cat scan

Mischief went in for her annual checkup today and ended up getting an x-ray just to make sure a spot on her leg she’s been bothering and licking hair off wasn’t being caused by anything internal.

Vet said Mischief looks good, although has some arthritis in her knees.

Cat scan
Cat scan

We’re trying her on some NSAIDs to see if it will help with any discomfort or pain she might be having. She’s still jumping up and down from things, but we’ve noticed her walking seems to be a little bit stiffer. Maybe this will help.

As for the spot on her leg she’s been taking the fur off of, maybe she’s not taking too well to the new food we’ve put her on. Something we’ll have to look into.

New storm to watch

Tropical depression 15 arrived with the NHC‘s 11 AM update today. Forecast calls for it to become Tropical Storm Maria soon. This looks like it will be one to watch over the next couple of weeks.

TD15 20170916 1500UTC
TD15 20170916 1500UTC

From the 20170916 1300UTC update:

The disturbance is expected to be in environmental conditions
conducive for strengthening during the next several days as the
shear is expected to be 10 kt or less while the cyclone moves over
warm 29 deg C SSTs.  These conditions should allow for at least
steady strengthening, and the models unanimously show that trend.
The NHC intensity forecast is conservative for now, but does show
the system becoming a tropical storm later today and a hurricane by
the time it reaches the Leeward Islands.

RadDB: Storing and viewing test data

Development on my equipment database has slowed down a bit partly because of being busy at work and partly because the database files on my home computer keep getting corrupted for some reason and I haven’t bothered to figure out why or fix it yet.

The equipment tracking part does pretty much everything I need now (still a few things to take care of), so my latest efforts have been on trying to get the test data locked in my spreadsheets into the database.

I started off using the PhpSpreadsheet package (which is still under development), but I found a lot of what was in the documentation wouldn’t work. I ended up going to the older PHPExcel package instead. Using this made it relatively easy to create some Laravel Artisan commands that pick out the test data from my spreadsheets and stick them into the database. Now I can batch add data to the database using a simple shell script. One problem with the current commands is that they won’t work with older version of my spreadsheets yet because the locations of some of the data has changed over time. Not sure I’m too worried about that yet. They also don’t handle problems very gracefully yet. Something to work on later perhaps.

The DB schema for the test data is still being worked on, but I think I’ve got something that will let me pick out data for an individual survey, as well as show a time series from a specific test for a given machine.

Current works in progress are views to display the test data. I’ve got a few done, but still have a bunch more to do.

I love how easy doing all of this has been with Laravel.

After Irma

The original plan was to have a four day weekend working on projects and binging on Netflix while Connie was away. Instead we got to watch and prepare for a storm. The majority of yesterday was spent dealing with the effects of Hurricane Irma as the storm made its way up Florida and through Georgia.

Here at the house, Irma brought some gusty winds, a fair bit of rain, a few tornado warnings, but no problems with flooding or wind damage.

Other parts of the Charleston area got pretty hammered, especially the peninsula and the coastal areas. High tide yesterday was reported at 9.9 feet (3 m) and there were pictures posted on Twitter of the harbour spilling over the sea wall and filling up White Point Gardens.

Numerous other pictures on Twitter and Facebook showed the epic flooding that happened on the peninsula and other parts of the area.

The iconic Folly boat that got blown ashore during Hurricane Hugo got blown back into the ocean by Irma. It got blown into someone’s dock, and the last I’ve heard so far is that it might be secured to that dock or in someone’s yard ready to be put back where it originally landed.

There were reports of tornado touchdowns in Johns Island and West Ashley, although I haven’t seen any confirmation of those yet. There were confirmed water spouts off the coast of Isle of Palms though, so there was a lot of potential for tornado activity.

Aside from the tornado warnings, everything was going reasonably well until the power went out. Power went out a couple of times so we got to put the new generator to work. The first power outage was around 3 PM and lasted about 4 hours. The second one happened later in the evening (neighbours reported a transformer near the apartments next to us blew up) not long after I put all the extension cords away. I was expecting the power to be out for the rest of the night, but thankfully power was restored a couple hours later. The generator was a bit on the loud side, but it worked great and was easy to start.

Irma proved to be a good training exercise for us. There were a lot of things we did that worked well, and we learned a few things that we’ll do a little differently for next time.

  • Stage the generator on the back porch instead of having to go out into the wind and rain to pull the generator out of the garage
  • Consider having a transfer switch installed to plug the generator into instead of running a bunch of extension cords all over the place.
  • Pack the freezer more to help it maintain temperature.
  • Could use a few more of these flashlights scattered around the house. These come on automatically when wall power disappears and are especially handy when power goes out at night.
  • Have bags and everything we need for the pets packed in case we decide to flee.
  • Skip the tomato flavoured pouches of tuna.

Now to go put all the outside things back where they belong.

Three months left in the hurricane season this year and already halfway through the list of storm names.