Nixie Clock

So, what do old programmers do after they retire?

They write old programs, like a Nixie Tube Clock program.

If you don’t know what a Nixie Tube is, then you are not an old programmer. They are neon glow bulbs that have 10 elements in them in the shapes of the 10 digits, 0 – 9. They were used on old equipment for numerical displays. You can read all about Nixie Tubes on the Wiki,

I have always liked Nixie Tubes, and my computer used to have a Nixie Tube Clock display on it. Somehow I lost that clock program and cannot find it.

So I wrote one myself. Here it is on the computer monitor.


It is up there in the upper right corner by the X-Eyes. Here’s a closer look.

Closer look

I made it real big below so you can see what the Nixie tubes look like.

Full size

Those are pictures of the Nixie tubes, of course, not real tubes. In the real tubes, the numeral elements are layered inside the tube front to back. As the numbers change, you can see them jumping back and forth inside of the tube. Psychedelic!

But the software version has a nice, warm glow.

I was surprised that you can now buy Nixie clocks again…. real ones…. not just pictures of tubes….  real tubes…. check it out.

What is old is new again.

Posted in Projects | Leave a comment

Nasty Storm, Indeed

That wind/snow/sleet/rain storm on Tuesday took a toll on our Chickadee house.


The house is looking kind of sad and hanging at an odd angle. Here’s a closer look.


It looks like the front tiedown has broken. And yet, the Chickadees appeared at the house yesterday and looked into the front door of their old digs…. and chased away the Wrens that had the same idea. I hope they don’t think that the neighborhood is going downhill. We will have to fix that problem after the frozen tundra goes away.

But honestly, the birds don’t have to fight over the house. There is that other house down there.

Next door

See it? It’s there. Here’s a hint.


See it now? There it is. Here’s a closer look.


That one is hanging straight, too.


Looking good. You would think there would be more interest in the newer, better-looking property.

But, I guess it is a bit more of a commute to the birdbath.

Posted in House Project, Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

Nasty Storm

Hurricane wind, a foot of snow, followed by sleet, followed by rain, followed by a flash freeze. Storms don’t get much uglier than that. But, the Augernaut came through and threw it through and through.

Throwing snow

It started on the first pull too.

Don’t cha love it when the technology actually works?

Now…. back to that tablet…

Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

I Did It.

I did it. I reset the Tablet back to its Factory Defaults. Just in case you decide you need to do this yourself, here is how I did it.

First of all, I wrote down all the stuff I had installed on it so that I could remember what to put back.


Then, I wrote down all of my passwords since I will have to set everything up again.

Don't even think about it.

Yaaaa. I blurred it all out. Duh. I wasn’t born yesterday.

I charged the Tablet up to 100% while it was still off.

Good to go

Well there’s an excellent photo fer sure. I think the camera focused on my reflection instead of the screen. It really does say “100%”. Trust me.

Next, I rebooted the Tablet (slowly…. it always works slowly now).

Go into Settings. That is the picture of the gear.


That takes you to the Settings page, where you scroll down to the menu item “Backup and restore”.  Take your finger and touch “Backup and restore”. That takes you to the page where it says “Factory data reset”. Both are circled in red in the image below.

Almost there

Touch on “Factory data reset”, and that takes you to the “Dire Warnings and Scary Statements” screen. It has the button called “Reset Device”.


This is where it tells you that all your stuff will be gonzo if you do this. Don’t read it. It will scare you. Just do it.

Click on “Reset Device” button, the one inside the red oval…… are you ready?….. just do it…. you know you want to….. and…..


Oh. Wait. There’s another one. This one says that if you do this all your stuff will be gone… really really really (really)…. I really mean it….. really !! gone!. The button says “Delete all”. So click on it!

The Tablet shuts down.

Shutting Down

Then, it starts erasing stuff.


It showed me the S^msung screen for quite a while….and then…….. it went dark. Dark dark dark. Creepy dark. Dead done dark.

Moment of truth. I turned it back on.

Back on


It made me sign in to The Google again and answer some questions about what to call it and what language to use and stuff. But it did come back up. It took a long time after it booted to update itself. In fact the Google Play Store automagically re-installed a bunch of the apps I had on it in spite of the dire warnings “All your personal information and downloaded applications will be deleted and cannot be recovered“. So much for Truth in Advertising. It told me after it was done that it had updated 22 things.

But there it is. That is a pretty empty Tablet there.

I put some of the stuff from my list back onto the main screen. I don’t think I will clutter it up quite like I did the first time.


It seems to be running again. I don’t know how long it will last, but it is running.

OK. Now it is YOUR TURN. C’mon! Grab your phone! Let’s go….. You know you want to do it!

NO! WAIT! STOP! That was a joke! Don’t do it! Put it down!

Jeepers. That was close!

Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments Off on I Did It.



The Tablet went away again. It totally locked up, drained the battery over night and would not do anything this morning. After pushing the ON button a zillion times I finally got the screen to light up only to see this.

Not good

Wait a minute, you can’t read the message. Here’s a closeup.

Read N' Weep

Well OK then, Mr. Wiz, be that way. Here are my options.

  • Continue waiting for another day.
  • Close it.

I decided to close it.

Nope. Neither of those buttons actually would do anything. So I did what any self-respecting Professional Software Engineer would to. I frantically poked at the ON button muttering (well OKthen, shouting) things like “shucks” and “darn”. It finally posted a box behind that box asking me if I wanted to turn it off. Sorry no photo. I was concentrating on saying “shucks and darn”.

However, I managed to fat-finger around the first non-functional modal dialog box to the other non-functional modal dialog box and got the blasted thing to turn off. It is now charging the battery, and when that is done, here is what I am going to do.

I am going to do the dreaded Factory Reset.

Take that, Mr. Wiz.

I have one question. Don’t you have something better to do than read about my tribulations with the Tablet?

If you are still interested, stay tuned. Otherwise, go have a nice breakfast.

Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments Off on Nope

It Lives!

The tablet has been brought back to life (knock wood).

Live Tablet

After researching the problems that tablets have, and accessing the knowledge of some younger experts, I have brought back the Tablet. It appears to be working again. We scrubbed it clean, and it is responding…. which is probably more than they can say for me.

Oh, and preserved forever on this blog… look at the date on it… and look at the reported temperature. That is not fake. No Photoshop® was involved in the production of this post.

Maybe it started working again because it thought it was Spring.

Posted in Cheap Philosophy, Miscellaneous | Comments Off on It Lives!

D. A. A. D.

Dead As A Doornail.

R.I.P. Tablet.

I have been creating some new Pen & Ink drawings using the tablet to look at my source material. I shut off the screen and took a break for a while. When I came back, the tablet touch screen was not responsive. Then it started going to random places. Then it displayed only half a screen. Then, I noticed that it was quite warm, even though I had not been doing anything with it for a while.

So here is the situation:

  • Acting weird.
  • Getting hot.
  • Samsung.

So I turned it off.


I am looking for some humor in this for the blog.

I haven’t found much of that. Stay tuned.


Posted in Art | Comments Off on D. A. A. D.

On Retirement

One of the downsides of retirement is that after a while, you occasionally need reminders.


Actually. Now that I think about it. Maybe that really is an upside.

Posted in Cheap Philosophy | Comments Off on On Retirement

Sky on Fire

The sky was on fire this morning when I got up. Check it out.


Yeah. I know. Isn’t this the stuff of Facebook? You know. Here’s what I had for breakfast. Here is my dog sleeping. Here I am doing the laundry. Yada yada.

But still….. wow!…..

Posted in Miscellaneous | Comments Off on Sky on Fire

What we meant to do was…

What we meant to do was make a path through the snow for the oil delivery guy… so he can find the spout and not have to wade through knee-deep snow. So we ran the Augernaut up the side of the yard.

Here is what it looks like.

The Path

But if you take a closer look at it…


It appears that we have really created easier access for the squirrels to find their buried acorns. We have squirrels all over the place.

More Squirrels

I think we have the fattest (happiest) squirrels ever.

Big Guy

Does it look like he’s smiling?

Posted in Cheap Philosophy, Miscellaneous | Comments Off on What we meant to do was…