Pretzel Logic

by James Classen

An interesting food/song title, and it’s not by Peter Gabriel.

Anyway, I got around to reading Jacqui Cheng’s article on the Nest, to see what the Apple editor of Ars thought about it. I’ve had mine since March 15, and I’ve loved it. What I was shocked at was not her article, which had mostly good things to say about it, but of all things, I was not expecting that level of vitriol in the comments over a thermostat! Many were complaining about the price point, saying that they could get Honeywell or 3M thermostats with comparable capabilities for less than $100. I don’t know where they’re shopping, but the only ones I found at the big box stores here (Home Depot, Menards, Lowe’s) that would allow you to set a range of temperatures and have it automatically switch between heat and A/C cost at least $250, and not a one of them had Internet connectivity. My brother does HVAC stuff, and he was complimentary of it, and has installed a few. I’m not sure if his opinions have changed over the past year, or if he’s had more of a chance to see the benefits or disadvantages of it, but that is entirely possible. It’s very nice to be able to leave the house, realize (or find out later that) I’m going to be gone for a couple of days, or a week, and flip on “Away” mode from my phone. The only point I’ve been slightly disappointed in is the schedule learning. Perhaps my schedule is too erratic, or, more likely, I forget to set it often enough or regularly enough that it never figured out quite what to do, so I turned off the schedule learning and set a manual schedule on the web page. Which reminds me, the scheduling on other thermostats I looked at were “weekdays” and “weekends”—this you can configure for each day of the week individually. So while my Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday schedules are all basically the away settings from 07:30-17:30, Thursday I’m gone from 07:30 to 21:00, and Friday I leave at 07:30 and get home at 01:30 on Saturday. I’m usually not gone long enough or regularly enough on Saturday or Sunday to warrant a schedule point. If I am gone, I can set it with my phone easily enough.

Speaking of the phone, it seems that CM10 finally has NFC support. Not sure when it got enabled, but it was fairly recently. I get the latest nightly about twice a week, and only noticed it in the 20120904 build. I don’t have TecTiles (have to check at the T-Mobile store sometime), Google Wallet (the only version I’ve seen requires a stock ROM), or any friends with the S3, but if I get any of those working, that’d be very cool. I did install SimplyTapp, but it’s currently extremely limited, and costs money to use, so I’ll probably wind up not using it. Good thing I read the fine print before going all wild and crazy at all two places I know in town that are even capable of taking NFC payments.

Started rehearsing Carmina Burana last night and…wow. The notes and rhythms aren’t difficult, probably because I’ve listened to the piece so many times, but the words? That’s going to be a struggle. I muddled through using random syllables that had vowels close to what I think is correct (the mix of Latin and Middle German causes its own set of problems, mentally). What I found most shocking was the price of the score, however. Instead of checking out a (25 page) copy of the male choral parts (and nothing else), I purchased a 141 page score for two choirs, two pianos, and 12+ percussion instruments. For $49. I’ll keep it, though, because it’ll let me follow along with the entire performance, and I’ve wanted this for a while already. The work won’t be public domain for at least another 65 years (stupid copyright extension acts). But man, this, plus two weeks worth of comic books, plus a Kickstarter project? That’s half of my reimbursed travel expenses from last week already spent.

Also, on the running thing? Thursdays and Fridays are out, so I didn’t start yesterday, nor will I make it today. But Saturday I will run. Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, at the very least until October 6, rain, shine, snow, sleet, sandstorm, hurricane, earthquake, whatever. So is my stated (and now scheduled) goal.

My other goal is to improve this Mars presentation. I learned quite a bit about Martian Volcanology yesterday and today, and that section at least deserves expansion.