About this site

It's a work in progress, but so's life.

    — #DoctorWho 13 premier.

Since 2015, major edits to this website contain:

💡︎ LED lighting

LED lights are an amazing transformative technology:

Just be very careful to buy the exact light source you want …

Q:  How many Lutherans does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A:  25:
      One person to screw in the NEW lightbulb, and
      24 people to talk about how much they liked the OLD lightbulb.

    — A Prairie Home Companion, as heard by EP a while back.

Carefully choose your light's color tem­per­a­ture: for your particular use:
2700 K Soft­ White Favorite reading chair, dining room table or other intimate area.
3000 K Warm­ White
Soft­ White­ Glow
General use, including kitchens, bathrooms and hallways.
4000 K Bright­ White
Cool­ White
Daylight­ Glow
Desk or work surfaces.
Some say 4000 K is good for kitchens and bathrooms, but I prefer 3000 K.
5000 K
5500 K
5800 K
6500 K

☀ The Sun
Crystal­ White­ Glow
💎︎︎ Sorting diamonds or specialized task lighting.
Too blue for most uses.
On the other hand, 5800 K is what you get during daylight from a sun tunnel mini-skylight, which gives good effect at my local ✂ haircut shop.  Useful for Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD?

Or to list it another way:

For your particular use: carefully choose your light's color tem­per­a­ture:
Favorite reading chair, dining room table or other intimate area. 2700 K Soft­ White
General use, including kitchens, bathrooms and hallways.
For kitchens and bathrooms, some say 4000 K is good, but I prefer 3000 K.
3000 K Warm­ White
Soft­ White­ Glow
Desk or work surfaces. 4000 K Bright­ White
Cool­ White
Daylight­ Glow
💎︎︎ Sorting diamonds or specialized task lighting.
Too blue for most uses.
On the other hand, 5800 K is what you get during daylight from a sun tunnel mini-skylight, which gives good effect at my local ✂ haircut shop.  Useful for Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD?
5000 K
5500 K
5800 K
6500 K

☀ The Sun
Crystal­ White­ Glow

Or see for yourself at a friend's house, or lighting or hardware store with excellent displays.  In my town, Lowe's has a better selection of lighting and PPE v. Home Depot.

Get your light brighter—measured in lumens (lm)—than your existing fixtures.  You will like it.

Spend the extra US$2 or €2 each and get them dimmableIf you later decide your lights are too bright, you can correct by installing a modern US$25 or €22 LED-compatible "C-L" dimmer switch.

Get a light that projects in a good angle:

If getting a "recessed" "can light" "downlight" retrofit insert, consider whether you need a gimbal "rotatable" "eyeball" to illuminate your subjects.

An E26 adapter means your unit contains an electrical connector for your can's existing E26/E27 standard lightbulb base.

If your LED light comes with a Color Rendering Index CRI, get it High=90+, so it doesn't mess with your ability to see color.

For my laundry/work/storage room project, I handled each of these issues by replacing humming florescent tube fixtures with new LED lamps, each with:

Pretty inexpensive, too.  Better light, no more hum nor replacing ballasts, and no more light switch—replaced the switch with a blank switchplate cover!

Best wishes for success with your lighting project!

📱︎💻︎ Computer use (and programming)

📱︎💻︎ Computer use for
ordinary and tech-savvy 👥︎ computer users

📱︎💻︎ Computer programming for
ordinary 👥︎ computer programmers

📱︎💻︎ Computer programming advanced topics:
safety-critical, aviation, 🏭︎ industrial-quality, internals, build, install

📱︎💻︎ Computer programming for ordinary 👥︎ computer programmers

Any useful code must be modified.

    — Eric's first law, first described by me, as far as I know.

📱︎💻︎ Computer and programming tools (.doc)

Leave something for Release 1.1.

    — Eric's second law, until I get better attribution.

CSharp C# programming, under 💻︎ Visual Studio .NET (.doc)
Java programming (including ▯ Android), under 💻︎ Eclipse or Android Studio (.pdf)

Any computer development project takes longer and costs more.

    — saying at Smiths/GE.

Apache web server, MySQL database, and PHP http scripting language (.doc)
VBA Visual Basic for Applications programming, under 💻︎ Microsoft Excel (.doc)

👩︎👩︎👩︎👩︎👩︎👩︎👩︎👩︎👩︎  Nine women can't make 🚼︎ a baby in one month.

    — saying at Smiths/GE.

Personal topics

🌏︎👥︎  On spaceship earth, we are not passengers—we are crew.

    — Marshal McLuhan, slightly reworded by me.

🌏︎🏠︎  Earth is our home. … Earth is not just our home, it is also our house.  It's our residence, and we are the owners.  We are not renters passing through.  We are not tenants who can complain to the landlord and eventually move on to live somewhere else.  We live here—on this 7900-mile-wide (13000 km) ball of rock, water, and air—and we are responsible for its upkeep.

    — Bill Nye, Unstoppable:  Harnessing Science to Change the World.

Do what you can,
  with what you have,
  where you are.

    — Teddy Roosevelt.

VOTE, in your next election!

view video Gwynne Shotwell Launching Our Future

Put your head down,
  do great work,
  be the most knowledgeable and helpful person in the room.
I think that will get you lots of places.

    — Gwynne Shotwell, CEO of SpaceX, 75 secs more into video above or at right.
        For full effect, display videos via icons ▶ Play, then fullscreen, captions, and × or Skip Ads ⏯.

When you are offered a test or intervention,
BRAN reminds you to ask about and consider the
  Risks, and
  Alternatives and to also consider the effects of doing
  Nothing in this situation.

    — Sarah J Buckley, MD, Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering:  A Doctor's Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices

Five Principles for a Life of Breakthrough and Purpose:

  1.  Take big bets and make history.

       People can be naturally cautious.  They look at what's worked in the past and try to do more of it, but history-making transformation happens when people strive for revolutionary change.
  2.  Be bold, take risks.
       Have the courage to try new, unproven things and the rigor to continue experimenting.  Risk taking isn't a blind leap, but a process of trial and error.
  3.  Make failure matter.
       No one seeks out failure, but if you're trying new things, the outcome is uncertain.  Great innovators make setbacks matter, applying lessons learned and sharing them with others.
  4.  Reach beyond your bubble.
       Innovation happens at intersections.  Great and original solutions come from engaging with people with diverse experiences to forge unexpected partnerships.
  5.  Let urgency conquer fear.
       Don't overthink it.  It's natural to want to study all angles of a problem, but don't get caught up in the fear of what could go wrong—allow the need to act to outweigh doubts.

    — Jean Case Be Fearless

If you are scheduled to do something hard, and you don't yet feel ready:
Prepare.  Hard.  Over-prepare.
Center yourself, using whatever works for you:  exercise hard, yoga, long walk, play your favorite instrument, whatever.
If you are reasonably-young or -urban, listen to Eminem's Lose Yourself a few times.
Eat a good dinner.
Get a great night's sleep.
Get your game face on.
You are ready.  You own it!
And if it still doesn't feel right …
     Fake it until you make it!

    — various sources, some me, 2018-03-26.  (If you still really feel like a fraud.)

You don't have to behave perfect, just meet the reasonable-person test.

Don't do anything you don't want to (or know how to) explain to a judge.

    — Eric's fourth law, first described by me, as far as I know.

When stopped by the 🛂︎ police:

  • If driving:
    Put on a turn signal or otherwise acknowledge the stop.
    Turn off the radio.
    Continue driving to a safe open location, pull over, Park, turn on the flashers, lower the driverside window (or whichever window you expect the officer to approach), and turn off the engine.
    Tell any passengers to remain silent and do not reach for anything—you are the driver and will do all the talking.  They may record video of the encounter (just like any encounter in a public space), but don't be a nuisance, and start way before the officer comes to the window.
    Put your hands on the wheel, and leave them there.  Don't reach for any paperwork nor anything else, until (A) the officer requests them, (B) the officer and you verbally confirm their locations, and (C) the officer instructs you to proceed.
  • At all times:
    ◦ Be polite.
    ◦ Be respectful.
    Keep your hands visible, and movements slow and calm.
    But …
  • Do not disclose information to the police:

    Do not lie.
    But unless you called them, consider not disclosing the truth, either!
  • Do not consent to a 🛃︎ search.
    ◦ Not your 🚗︎ vehicle, 🏠︎ home, 📱︎ phone, 💻︎ computer nor 🎒︎ backpack.
    If searched anyway, speak loudly enough to be heard by witnesses, carcams and bodycams that you do not consent to this search.
  • Do not hand over your 🛂︎ ID.
    Unless, of course, you are crossing an 🛃︎ international border, in which case you are legally obligated to provide your travel documents.
    Or you are the driver in a traffic stop, in which case you are legally obligated to provide your (1) driver's license, (2) registration, and (3) proof of insurance.  But do not reach for them until (A) the officer requests them, (B) the officer and you verbally confirm their locations, and (C) the officer instructs you to proceed.
  • Do not take legal advice from a cop.
    Police are allowed to lie to you about almost everything—and do!
  • Good answers for police requests include:
    "Am I legally obligated to answer that question?"
    "Am I legally obligated to provide my ID?"
    "I think I will consult my attorney on that."
    "Am I free to leave?"  If Yes, calmly and silently walk away.
  • More details at 🇺🇸 ACLU series Know Your Rights If You're Stopped by the 🛂︎ Police, Immigration Agents or the FBI 📄 printable card (.pdf) 📄 printable sheet (.pdf).
  • If you expect 🛂︎ police contact, what to do with your electronics (.pdf page 16).
  • If you expect 🛂︎ trouble voting.

Between encounters with 🛂︎ police, 💳︎ pay your 📝︎ parking tickets and citations, and 📅︎🚶︎ attend all court dates.  Attending to these things may be a pain, but they are far is easier to unwind early on, before getting muddled up with other offenses and eventually turning into an 🛂︎ arrest warrant.

And while we are at it, you know how 🚼︎ children need a parent when they go to the doctor—a guardian or patient advocate?  I think that we all—educated adults included—need a second with us—an advocate—for all important encounters with doctors, the 🛂︎ police or ⚖ courts.  A family member or friend, who:

  • is organized,
  • can 📝︎ take notes,
  • can notice stuff that you miss, and
  • can continue thinking after your brain shuts down upon hearing keywords cancer or jail.
Maybe we can catch all this information the first time, without having to resurrect everything later.

If you want to know even more, attend the Citizens Police Academy CPA with your local police or sheriff department.   We did, and are very happy with the experience.  We learned a lot!  If you are family or a friend, ask us for details—we will talk your head off!

Test like you fly;  fly like you test.
    — The way I learned it
writing aviation software.

Train like you fight;  fight like you train.
    — The way I heard some of our customers learned it.

Plan your work;  work the plan.
    — The way I learned it in chainsaw safety training.

Fail early, and pivot.
    — The way I learned it in entrepreneur startup seminars.

Failure is an option here.  If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.
    — Elon Musk, quoted in "In 2 Sentences Elon Musk Explains Why the Key to Success Is Failure."  Inc.  2015-07-14.

Preparing and showing 🌄︎ presentations (for 👥︎ people who do this sporadically) (.pdf)

Just keep swimming.  Just keep swimming.  Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.  What do we do?  We swim, swim.

    — Dory.

Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good.

    — aphorism commonly attributed to Voltaire, slightly reworded by me.

If you have identified a near-optimum solution, it may be OK to implement this one, instead of continuing the search for the optimum solution.

    — not sure I've ever heard it said this way, said by me for years, recorded 2018-06-30.  Understood instinctively by single parents.

You are what you have patience to be.

    — MTA, personal communication, 2019-01-22

It gets better!

    — I first heard this used by people trying to reduce death 🔫︎ by suicide in gay teens.  Later, I found it applicable for all young people, and anyone trying to find there way in this world.  True.  Partly because you get better at solving problems.  Partly because you meet more people who can help you out, know that one nugget of information that you need right now, and so on.  Partly because you slowly acquire more assets to help you along the way.  It may not look that way now, but if you can avoid dying, I've found it generally does get better!

Preparing for and seeing a 🌑 total solar or lunar eclipse!  (for 👥︎ people who do this sporadically) (.pdf)

We are all only temporarily-abled.

    — Source unknown, I heard it a long time ago.  Although on 2018-10-02, I heard Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee say that doctors understand very well that they will soon be on the other side of the exam table.

Lesson Learned:  Design everything for your future self:
Build your websites with text large-enough, contrast high-enough, and all that accessibility stuff.
Design/​acquire/​modify your 🏠︎ house with your ♿ future abilities and limitations in mind.

Eric Piehl resume (.pdf)   Eric Piehl resume (.doc)   Eric Piehl LinkedIn

Not knowing something is fine.
Not wanting to know,
  or refusing to know, is the problem.

    — Eric's third law, first described by me, as far as I know.

old 🏠︎ home page  (under 🚧 reconstruction)

If you don't ask, the answer's No.

    — MM, about 1998.

I have other articles, not for public use.  Some articles are just for me.  But a few articles may be in the old private version of this page;  if you are a on how to access it.

Hamilton:  An American Musical is amazing, on lots of levels.

Below are some great video introductions to the musical.  If you have PBS Passport, you can see the first video at PBS Passport > American Experience "Hamilton's America".  Otherwise, select either video image. 

For full effect, display videos via icons ▶ Play, then fullscreen, captions, and × or Skip Ads ⏯. Synopsis (.pdf).

Study the below, and get tickets to the show in your town soon!

Talk less, smile more,
  don't let them know what you're against or what you're for.

You keep out of trouble,
  and you double your choices.

You want to get ahead?
  Fools who shoot their mouths off, wind up dead.
    — Burr

I can wait for it.    — Burr

Death doesn't discriminate
  between the sinners and saints,
And we keep living anyway,
  we rise and we fall,
  and we break,
  and we make our mistakes.
And if there is reason, I'm still alive
  when so many have died,
Then I'm willing to wait for it,
  I'm willing to wait for it.

I'm the one thing in life I can control,
  I am inimitable, I am an original.
I'm not running behind or running late,
  I'm not standing still, I am lying in wait.
    — Burr

I have never been satisfied.  I am never satisfied.  I will never be satisfied.    — Angelica, Hamilton

Rise up.    — ensemble

view video Hamilton: An American Musical, full lyrics
I'd rather be divisive than indecisive.  — Hamilton
I am not throwing away my shot!        — Hamilton

We gotta go,
  gotta get the job done,
  gotta start a new nation,
  gotta meet my son!
    — Hamilton, about to lead a charge in the Battle of Yorktown

Tomorrow there'll be more of us.    — John Laurent

Dying is easy, young man,
  living is harder.
          — Washington
Winning was easy, young man,
  governing's harder.
    — Washington

You could let it go,
  stay alive for me.
Let it go,
  live to fight another day.
    — Eliza and Washington
Look at where you are,
  look at where you started.
The fact that you're alive is a miracle,
  just stay alive, that would be enough.  That would be enough.
    — Eliza

Look around, look around,
  at how lucky we are to be alive right now.
    — Hamilton

If you stand for nothing,
  what'll you fall for?

What're you waiting for,
  what do you stall for?
We won the war,
  what was it all for?
    — Hamilton

Why do you always
  say what you believe?
Every proclamation guarantees
  free ammunition for your enemies!
    — Burr

Why do you assume you're the smartest in the room?
  Soon that attitude may be your doom!
How do you write like it's going out of style?
  Write day and night like it's going out of style?
    — Burr

How do you write like you're running out of time?
  Write day and night like you're running out of time?
How do you write like tomorrow won't arrive,
  How do you write like you need it to survive?
How do you write every second you're alive?
  Every second you're alive?  Every second you're alive?
    — ensemble

I feel that for much of my past, I have been an amalgam of Burr and Hamilton.  But am increasing Hamilton.   Obviously, Lin-Manuel Miranda watched some of the same movies as me.

The purpose of life is to hydrogenate carbon dioxide.

    — Michael Russell, Astrobiologist at JPL.

Or on other worlds, perhaps hydrogenate acetylene or ethane.

    — Chris McKay, Astrobiologist at NASA Ames.

Or to dissipate local energy, and increase our universe's entropy, more efficiently than possible with non-biological processes.

    — Is the universe pro-life?  Quartz.  2019-02-15.

"We all have two lives.  The second one starts when we realize that we only have one.

    — Tom Hiddleston.