My Blog

I suppose that this is really a blog, though I hesitate to call it that. The real bloggers seem so much more interesting. I cover stuff which I find interesting, and I hope that you will too.

If you really want, you can get an RSS feed of Chateau Gladstone news here:

For more information about what I'm interested in, see the Ponding pages.

Topic: Weather   Another big storm  30 Jun 2001

Another big lightning storm came through and destroyed various bits of equipment. This is the reason that the weather readings stopped after 6pm today until I replaced the 'dongle' that is used to interface the sensor network to the computer. I also lost the mouse (it melted!) and various bits of networking gear (hub, print server). It was all on my UPS and surge supressors, but I guess that not much can be done for lightning. I have a whole house surge supressor as well. I'll put up the lightning photographs soon -- I managed to capture some strikes on video.

Update The print server has recovered but it looks as though the webcam didn't make it. Still, this may be an excuse to get a better camera!

Update I had disconnected the 1-wire network from the dongle on Sunday July 1 before the next storm came through. Unfortunately, one of the temperature sensors seems to have gone shortcircuit in the second storm. It was just wired to the end of a long peice of wire, and I guess that the induced voltage was too large (although since it is all twisted pair, I don't really understand it). I think that the new network will have more voltage supressors, but I'm nervous about the capacitative loading that it will introduce.

Topic: Weather   The storm of June 20, 2001  20 Jun 2001

In spite of the weather forecast, this wasn't a bad storm. I did get a couple of lightning pictures. See the storm page. I've also included the various weather charts for the day, and the graphs are somewhat interesting (if you like that sort of stuff).

Topic: Pond   Added new pages for plant and pond life  19 Jun 2001

I finally started to split up the main page into other pages. I now have a plant life and a pond life page. I hope to fill out the photographs there as things happen. Check 'em out.

Topic: Pond   The hummingbird came back  10 Jun 2001

We saw the hummingbird for the first time this year. (I guess it is the Ruby Throated as that is the only one that is found in Massachusetts). I hope to get a decent photograph of it. I suppose that we ought to put out the hummingbird feeder now!

Topic: Pond   New camera position  5 Jun 2001

I realized that the camera was facing south -- i.e. into the sun. I moved it round to the other side of the pond so that the sun will normally be behind the camera. This should improve the image.

Right now it is not pointing in quite the right direction, but I'll fix that in the next few days. It certainly does seem to work better. You can see the stems of some of the water lily leaves and the leaves floating on the surface.

Topic: Pond   Frog hopped away  30 May 2001

I fear that the Leopard frog has hopped away. We haven't seen it for a few days. I think that it probably heard its friends calling from over the field, and went to join them.

Topic: Weather   Weblog installed  30 May 2001

I finally took the plunge and made PHP work. What a nightmare! Anyway, I'm now using weblog to maintain the diary.  more...

Topic: Pond   Bullfrog eviction  20 May 2001

When we started up the ponds in 2001, we found a bullfrog here. Unfortunately he (or she) escaped before he could be transported to a nearby pond. I don't want him eating the fish!

We finally found three bullfrogs and managed to evict all of them. Two of them went to local schools (pre-K) for the kids to look at. One of them was sent to the pond next door.

Topic: Pond   Tadpole acquisition  20 May 2001

During this operation we found lots of tadpoles, so we captured 10 and stuck them in our froggy pond where they seem to be doing well. We also captured a leopard frog and transported him (or her). However, I suspect that he has hopped off back home. This might have been due to the fact that my daughter named him 'Toad' thus giving him an identity crisis. This is the only picture that I have as he hopped into the pond about two seconds after I took this!

Topic: Pond   Final cleanup  29 Nov 2000

We finally got all the plants out and trimmed and sunk to the bottom of the ponds. Four plants are going to overwinter indoors in a large plastic tub by the outside door in the basement. We will see how they survive.

We also found eight fish (one gold, the rest black) in the top pond. Either their eggs were pumped up, or the eggs were attached to some plant that got moved during the year. These fish had to be moved to the bottom pond -- which is the only one that gets aerated during the winter.

I removed the remaining ice from the bottom pond as it had a fair amount of debris in it (mostly water hyacinth). Unfortunately there was one large dead frog that had become encased in the ice.



The Doc Searls weblog -- he seems clueful and I read him.

Neat description of the Gunnera Manicata -- a truly monstrous plant!

Information about SPF (Sender Permitted From)

Open source audio/video streaming software -- this drives my pondcam

Open source server for the Rio Receiver -- this is what I use.

The Citizen Weather Observer Program is a loose collection of amateur weather station operators.

Philip Gladstone