The most basic vegan kitchen

If I was starting out this would be the list of items I would have in my kitchen.

  1. Kom-kom chef knife.
  2. Knife sharpener and steel
  3. A couple of plastic cutting boards
  4. Peeler
  5. Can opener (get a good one – nothing worse than a bad can opener)
  6. One large spaghetti pot with lid
  7. Spaghetti strainer
  8. 3 quart saucepan with lid
  9. Set of large glass bowls you can microwave in or store leftovers in (includes lids)
  10. Set of large plastic bowls so you can do vegetable prep – or have a scrap/garbage bowl while cooking.
  11. Rice cooker that can cook brown rice
  12. Microwave oven

That’s all you really need starting out.  I eat a lot of brown rice and the rice cooker let’s me cut down the time worrying about that.  If you’re looking to save money – you can find a lot of this at Homegoods.

The simple training program I use

More than a year ago I started up a weight training program that an exercise expert gave me.  He said I could share it, if you’d like his contact I can share it – but I don’t feel comfortable giving it out on the website right now.

Obvious caution: Always talk to your doctor about starting up a new workout routine or weight loss plan.

In addition to his plan I do 30 minutes of exercise biking after the weights.

The rest are his words – I take no credit.

Simple Program

This plan is not the best strength training plan out there. It’s not even one of the better plans out there. It’s not meant to be the best, nor is it meant to be optimal for any particular person or group. The beauty of this plan is its simplicity. Why are you doing it? Because it is written down. If this plan is successful, you will leave it somewhat stronger, somewhat more confident, but MOST IMPORTANTLY, you will leave it with a habit. Once you are finished with this plan, you are ready to begin training for the rest of your life!

The basics:

  •  3 days/week for 8 weeks. After 8 consistent weeks, you can replace any of the exercises to incorporate more variety (for example, using dumbbells, barbells, cables, etc.)
  • Take ~2 minutes rest between sets, but more is OK if you need it
  •  Test the machine out and guess a starting weight. If you can complete all 3 sets of 8 reps,increase the weight (5-10 lbs) the following week. At first, you will probably progress quickly,depending on how good your guess was.
  •  Write the weight and # of reps down for each exercise, you probably won’t remember them weekto week. If you are not keeping track of this, then you will not progress properly!
  •   Perform the repetitions slowly (especially on the way down!). If you can do the reps quickly, theweight is too low!!
  •   This is very time efficient, with 4-5 exercises each day it should only take 30 minutes
  •   If these machines are not available, find a comparable exercise
  •   Complement these strength exercises with some cardio – go for walks or hikes, rowing,swimming, jogging… whatever you like (so you actually do it)!

The program:

Monday Push:

  • 3 x 8 Eagle NX Chest Press
  • 3 x 8 Eagle NX Overhead Press
  • 3 x 8 Eagle NX Triceps
  • 3 x 8 Prestige Lateral Raise
  • 3 x 8 Prestige Fly

Wednesday Pull:

  • 3 x 8 Eagle NX Lat Pulldown
  • 3 x 8 Eagle NX Row
  • 3 x 8 Eagle NX Arm Curl
  • 3 x 8 Prestige Rear Delt

Friday Legs and Trunk:

  • 3 x 8 Eagle NX Abdominal
  • 3 x 8 Eagle NX Leg Press
  • 3 x 8 Eagle NX Leg Extension
  • 3 x 8 Eagle NX Leg Curl
  • 3 x 8 Eagle NX Back Extension

Final Comments:

  • A big % of weight loss is due to diet. I would recommend a food log/diary (MyFitnessPal is a great app for this). Exercise is critical to being healthy and building strength, but a poor diet will always hold you back with respect to weight loss.After 8 weeks, you can incorporate more dumbbell, barbell, and cable exercises. Ideally, you would add in the big three lifts: squat, deadlift, and bench. Start at 50% of your body weight. Might feel super easy at first, that’s okay. If you can successfully complete 3 sets of 8 reps, next session you add 5-10 lbs. If you can’t complete 3 x 8, keep the weight the same and go for it again the next time.The key is to keep progressing by adding some weight whenever you are successful. Good luck!

 Phone App:

If you’re tired of jotting down your weight levels – use this app.  If you open this up on your iphone – you should be able to enter your targets and save them for the next workout.

Open on your smart phone.

Enter your weights – click I did 8 reps for every set – if you’ve maxed out and can’t do it – click I’m maxed out.  It will count down 2 minutes and tell you when to do the next set.  I bounce between this and my podcasts.  Just be warned the countdown stops if it’s in the background.

If you say you did the weights three time – it will bump your next weight target by 5 lbs.  If your machines aren’t that finely controlled – just stay at the lower weight until the target gets to the next plate.  For example if your target is 55 lbs – but the machine is only going up by 10 lb  increments – put your weight target at 50 lbs.

Basic core dump stuff on fedora 22

Debugging is a needed skill.  I always seem to rerun the program in gdb and get the backtrace when it crashes.  I always wanted the stack trace when the program crashed.  Turns out this usually happens but is suppressed by Fedora.  You can easily use gdb to process the core dump file to find out where your program crashed.  I should have learned this sooner.  Better late than never.  This works for my Fedora 22 VM.

At the command line…

ulimit -c unlimited

This lets you produce core files if you crash.

In your cmake file….


This lets your target build debug symbols.

Run your program and let it crash – then on the command line.

gdb <failingprog> <corefile>

In gdb type


To find out where you crashed.

info locals

To find out what your local variables were when you crashed.  You can also use “info variables” if you want any globals too.

The Trivium: The next non-programming book you should read for learning programming

Sister Miriam Joseph Rauh’s book “The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar, and Rhetoric“, is one of the best books on programming.  But it’s not about programming – it’s about the Trivium.

What is the Trivium?  Its the first three subjects of classical education.  Grammar is all about languages and their rules.  Logic is well, logic.  And Rhetoric is about persuading people.  The third topic may not relate to programming (maybe in meetings), but the first two are crucial.

This work puts into words a whole swath of thought that you take for granted while you write your programs.

One little snippet that illustrates the point is a section called “Creating Symbols from Reality: Generation of a Concept”

First the external senses-sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste-operate on an object present before us and produce a percept.

Can I describe my program well without observing it’s behavior?  Sure I can throw some code up, but the code won’t be very good unless I observe it’s behavior with tests and make adjustments.

The internal senses, primarily the imagination, produce a phantasm or mental image of the individual object perceived, and this phantasm is retained and can be reproduced at will in the absence of the object.

The definitions of our classes which we use to create individual instances, can only be defined with respect to the behaviors we observe in our tests (manual or automated), or they are the subject of our imaginations.

Sister Miriam Joseph goes on to state that the external senses (our tests) aren’t the only ones used to create a class (definition or any instance of it).

There are four internal senses: the imagination, the sensuous memory, the common or central or synthesizing sense, and instinct.  The intellect through abstraction produces the concept.  The imagination is the meeting ground between the senses and the intellect.  From the phantasms in the imagination, the intellect abstracts that which is common and necessary to all the phantasms of similar objects… this is the essence.

I almost see our upfront design is our imagination, our tests are our senses, and we use our intellect to create the abstractions (classes) that make our design and tests agree.

She comes up with some definitions:

Percept:  the image created by the external sense upon encountering reality.

Phantasm: the mental image created by the internal sense, primarily the imagination.

Concept: the abstraction created by the intellect through the recognition of the essence.

When we write classes, what we have in mind to create is the phantasm, the finished class is the concept, and the percept is the result of our tests.  If our tests create a percept that conflicts with the phantasm, then the concept is incorrect, our tests are incorrect, or our imagination of it is wrong (change the design).  This is the core of TDD.

I’m going to be taking notes and posting as I go through this book.   When you read it, she’s using so many words that programmers use all the time.  I’ve come to realize that programming is a liberal art.  Programming is the application of grammar and logic to solve problems.

Fittings and adjustments

Everybody makes mistakes – and I think especially so with 3d printed parts.  Right now I’m making a case for the computer on the ROV and I have to make some modifications to things to get it all to fit on the pontoons.

  1. The trusses should mount on the very edge of the mounting plates rather than one row in.  The raspi 2 case mounts will have to be adjusted accordingly.
  2. The case itself needs to be lengthened again to accommodate the wifi antenna.
  3. I’ll have to figure out a proper way to make an airtight top to the computer case.

IMG_0600 IMG_0599

Second pontoon finished – and engine module designed.

Here’s a picture of the parts I have printed so far – the front and backs of the pontoons and one truss.


Here are some pictures of the engine module that will stack inside the pontoon ends and hold the motors underwater there’s a tube running from the motor compartment to the top of the pontoon (these pictures are upside down – but it’s how it will look when printed).





Printing 2nd pontoon this morning

My octopi barfed this morning and I had to re-image the sdcard.

This is why you need to keep configuration of linux stuff to scripts or automated.

Got that back up and running and I’m printing up my 2nd pontoon.  Hopefully I’ll also do the 2nd truss.

I need to get around to making the engine modules – I think those are important 😉

First pontoon printed!

Got the first pontoon printed today. Looks really nice!  I’m going to have to cover it with some form of sealent as it’s leaking a little bit.  Sort of expected though.

Currently printing out truss version two. The first one had half the channel width – so it was a failure.

Hopefully I’ll print out the second pontoon and truss tomorrow.  I’ll probably make the scad for the motor module or the computer platform.

Coastal Explorer Project 6/24/2015

My project files are located at

So today I tried to print out two copies of the pontoons and see how they faired.  My first problem was that my printrbot simple metal must have slid on my bench and the power supply fell.  I have to test it this eventing.

The pontoons got 80% finished.  They interlocked pretty nicely but I didn’t get a really good amount of buoyancy.  I’m going to double the radius of the pontoons and try building only one tomorrow.