Jack of all trades and a master of some

Smart Home enabling an old Weather Station

For years I have been using an old ELV WS 300 PC-II weather station (also known as eQ-3 WS PC-II) to measure temperature and humidity levels in parts of our flat. Mostly to quantify the effectiveness of our airing habits. Something that always annoyed me about the base station is its interface: it has a USB port at the back, and comes with a crummy Windows tool for collecting the data. Not very smart and not very connected. I’m a big fan of Home Assistant, a Python-based smart home / connected home framework, and I already run all of my smart home efforts through that. My credo is: If there’s no Home Assistant component for it, it does not exist. In this post I am going to connect the WS 300 (or parts thereof) to Home Assistant using the MQTT protocol.

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Vacation by bike 2017: Preparations

This year I wanted to do something different, and I had this idea stuck in my mind for quite a long time: In 2012 I made an attempt on a two-week vacation by bike. It flopped though, since my bike broke down.

By now it has been replaced and I want to try it again. In a few days I am going to leave for another tour; the route is called Mönchsweg! That’s more religious touch than I wished for and I would have liked to avoid that. But the route is nice, and distance and direction are perfect. There’s also an option to add a second stance to the tour. I feel like I learned a lot from the failed attempt from 2012 and I am inspired by the overly successful tour of Patrick (German site). I won’t be able to keep up with a ride across Sweden but the route I chose is of considerable distance anyway: from Bremen to the Fehmarnbelt at the Baltic Sea I will travel around 557 kilometres.

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Starting the final equipment collection

Today, with only a few things left to buy, I started the final equipment collection for my cycling tour. I occupied the living room to lay it all down on the floor; first to visualize what’s there and what’s missing, and second to make assembling the rack bags easier. It’s just nice to be able to collect all items from a single point. Oh yeah, and I had a little giphy fun in the process.

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Radurlaub 2017: Vorbereitungen

Dieses Jahr sollte es mal etwas anderes sein und eine Idee kreiste auch nach langer Zeit immer noch in meinem Kopf herum: 2012 plante ich schon einmal eine mehrwöchige Radreise; die scheiterte dann leider am altersschwachen Drahtesel.

Mittlerweile ist der ausgetauscht und ich möchte es nochmal versuchen. In einigen Tagen starte ich auf den Mönchsweg. Den religiösen Touch habe ich mir nicht ausgesucht und gerne vermieden. Aber die Strecke gefällt mir; Distanz und Richtung sind ideal und ich lasse mir die Option offen, womöglich noch eine zweite Etappe anzuhängen. Aus dem missglückten Anlauf habe ich dabei gelernt und bin von der extrem erfolgreichen Tour von Patrick inspiriert. Mit einer Durchquerung von Schweden kann ich sicher nicht mithalten. Aber meine gewählte Strecke wird mich von Bremen immerhin bis an den Fehmarnbelt bringen — 557 Kilometer laut GPS-Track.

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Change is a matter of priorities

“I cannot change myself. I am an old man! I know that I have my ways and shortcomings. But I have accepted the fact, and it is not possible to become someone I am not. That would be self-sabotage. You just come to terms with who you are, and embrace it.”

The above quote is something someone close to me said recently when he was confronted with some harsh but well founded criticism (it really was, and didn’t come from me. It was something spoken in the group of close people in which we held the talk). Quite frankly I was appalled by this statement and immediately rejected that line of thought. For me it is fundamentally untrue; something that I always knew to be false subconsciously but never could grasp as clearly as I can now. And as with so many things it boils down to priorities.

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