My Blog

I suppose that this is really a blog, though I hesitate to call it that. The real bloggers seem so much more interesting. I cover stuff which I find interesting, and I hope that you will too.

If you really want, you can get an RSS feed of Chateau Gladstone news here:

For more information about what I'm interested in, see the Ponding pages.

Topic: Weather     24 Nov 2000

We moved the anemometer onto the roof onto the same mast that has the analog anemometer (the Vigilant from Maximum). I also adjusted the rotor inside the anemometer assembly so that both magnets triggered the reed switch. This should (at least) double the reported wind speed, and bring it into line with reality.

Topic: Weather     2 Nov 2000

I finally got around to adding some new pictures to the website.

Topic: Pond     28 Oct 2000

We did some more cleanout, and found four fish in the top pond. This is rather mysterious as it is not clear where they came from. We did have two shubunkin in there for a time, and I did move some water hyacinth up there from the bottom pond, so maybe some eggs came up that way. Another path might be through the pump.

Anyway there is one gold fish about an inch long, two black fish about the same size, and another black fish about two inches long. The bad news is that the top pond will ice over completely -- I only have a bubbler in the bottom pond. We have to catch these guys (or gals) and transfer them down. I hope that they are big enough now that they won't get eaten.

This is very exciting. However, it does mean that the problem of the heron is still with us -- i.e. we have to continue to worry about how to keep it and the fish apart.

Topic: Pond     21 Oct 2000

We started to clean out the dead leaves and dying water lettuce today.

In the evening a friend commented that we had restocked the pond with fish. Since we had done no such thing, we came over to look. It seems that the fish had been hiding for a month under the plants and now that there is a large open area to see them, they (all?) have returned. We can't quite recall how many we had, but we have a goodly number.

This is very exciting. However, it does mean that the problem of the heron is still with us -- i.e. we have to continue to worry about how to keep it and the fish apart.

Topic: Pond     3 Oct 2000

We found at least six survivors. We had seen one a couple of times -- though it was moving really quickly! At night we turned on the underwater lights and shone them around the pond, and there were a few fish hiding in amongst the plants.

All is not lost!

Topic: Pond     12 Sep 2000

A Blue Heron found the pond for the first time yesterday afternoon. I saw a few fish left last night, but this morning it was back for a snack. I have seen no fish since then. The pondcam has not captured sight of a fish since the 13th.

Anybody who has a successful recipe for keeping these sushi eaters away from a pond please send me email at the address at the bottom of the page.

Topic: Pond     26 Aug 2000

We bought two more Shubunkins from Tropic Isle as a birthday present for 'Grandma' and we hoped that she would leave them in the pond for us to look after. Happily, this turned out to be the case.

I feel very mean putting them in the salt dip before introducing them to the pond, but it doesn't seem to kill them (1lb non-iodized salt to 1 Gal of water). They stay in for 15 seconds -- by the end they look almost dead and are not moving. Then I transfer them to the pond and they sink to the bottom. But after maybe 30-60 seconds they start to swim off and by the following day, they seem fine. I hope that it kills the parasites!

Topic: Weather     13 Aug 2000

I finally added the current temperature to the pondcam. It is all done in a very murky way and is not as general purpose as I would like. The trouble is that anything that happens on a per-frame basis had better be cheap (under 0.1 second of CPU) otherwise it starts to saturate the system.

The final approach is that the data collector writes out a file containing the current temperature every 3 seconds, and then it is read in by the camserv code (the current time is substituted) and then added to the image (now uses imlib2).

Topic: Pond     12 Aug 2000

I found a small black fish which is turning gold. I think that this is our first baby!!

Topic: Weather     7 Aug 2000

The problem appears to be in the rain guage connection. More investigation required.



The Citizen Weather Observer Program is a loose collection of amateur weather station operators.

Information about SPF (Sender Permitted From)

Neat description of the Gunnera Manicata -- a truly monstrous plant!

Open source audio/video streaming software -- this drives my pondcam

Open source server for the Rio Receiver -- this is what I use.

The Doc Searls weblog -- he seems clueful and I read him.

Philip Gladstone