Bill Roth: Zeitgeist Diary
My short form diary.
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Help me get a generator for the Amigos Academy in Nicaragua
Monday, January 23, 2023
Build Your Own Geiger Counter with Raspberry PI
The result of Covid and Work From Home has been....we stay home a lot. There are upsides, like not commuting every day. There are downsides, as we have more idle time. Since my memoir might be titled "A Mind Forever Wandering," I was thinking one day about how much we really know about background radiation. This led to a couple of searches around Geiger Tubes, and real-time databases, etc.
After a few random purchases around the internet and a bit if python code and a left over Raspberry PI 4 1G box, I have put together a DIY Geiger Counter. Here is how I did it, and here is the code, etc, you'll need.
Here's what you need:
- Raspberry PI 3 or 4
- Geiger-Miller Tube with a Raspberry PI compatible board. (Link is to the one I used)
Set up Raspberry PIFirst, get a Raspberry PI 3 or 4. You'll need some kind of Raspbian OS/Raspberry PI OS on it. I always use the Raspberry PI OS installation instructions here. In short, get the OS and the imager, and create an image on the SD card. Then boot up the Raspberry PI.
You'll also need to add Python3 and pip to get the code working. You'll need to do something like:
$ sudo apt install python3 pip
I am using Python 3. I have not tested Python 2. Once done with that, you should use pip to install the following additional packages:
$ pip install influxdb_client RPi.GPIO
Set Up Geiger Tube
Next, Set up the Geiger-Miller tube, and the board. My pinout for a Raspberry Pi 4 1G device is pretty simple. GND pin on the board goes to pin 6. The 5V pin is wired to pin 2 for 5V of power, and the VIN input line is wired to pin 7, GPIO4. (No reason not to do pin 3 or 5. It's just what I picked). I also pulled the J1 jumper, since the clicks get annoying. Back background radiation is about 15-35 CPM, BTW. Which is normal. About 0.11-0.15 microsieverts for those of you doing math in your heads.
Next, set up the code. My Raspberry Pi Geiger Counter code is here. You will have to set up your Influx DB v2 database, but I'll write that up in the next blog entry.
Once you do connect to to InfluxDB you'll be able to get cool graphs like this, in the InfluxDB v2 UI:
"CPM" here means clicks per minute. The full build is pictured below:
Questions? Ask them in the comments.
More links to Related Projects
- Background Radiation Monitor
- Raspberry Pi Zero Geiger Counter
- Portable Raspberry Pi Geiger Counter With Display : 12 Steps - Instructables
- Geiger Counter with RPi Zero W : raspberry_pi (reddit.com)
Tuesday, October 25, 2022
My Ballot Picks for November 2022
It's time once again to Vote. Here are my votes picks for the November 2022. Many of these will not be a surprise from my June picks. There are also decent voter guides here on the SCCDP website.
Mayor: Cindy Chavez: All Cindy All the Way. See my June picks for more detail.
Sheriff: Both Republicans. Not sure which would be worse. Bob Jonsen has some experience in Palo Alto, and Kevin Jensen was part of the Sheriff's department when all the craziness was happening. I may write-in someone.
City Council: No race in my district, but if you live downtown in D3, vote for my friend Omar Torres.
Governor: Gavin Newsom. Proud of the work he's doing. Especially around AB2183, the Farm Worker Protection Act.
Lieutenant Governor: Eleni Kounalikis. The incumbent.
Secretary of State: Shirley N. Weber. Very trustworthy.
Treasurer: Fiona Ma. I have met her. Competent.
Attorney General: Rob Bonta
Insurance commissioner: Ricardo Lara
Member of Board of Equalization, District 2: Sally Lieber. Former State Senator, lives in Palo Alto.
Senator, Full Term: Alex Padilla. Saw him on Oct 23. Very impressive. Proud to have him as a Senator.
Senator, Unexpired Term: Alex Padilla. See above.
Congress: ANNA Eshoo. I have met her several times, a great local person. Proud to be in her district again.
Other Congress: Zoe Lofgren, Jimmy Panetta. I am not in their districts, but I would vote for them if I could. Zoe has done historic work on the Jan 6 commission, and Jimmy's the real deal. A serious policy person.
State Assembly: Gail Pellerin. She's backed by people who share my values.
Judicial: No opinion, likely voting Yes for all of them.
School Board: Tony Thurmond, like I have in the past.
The PropositionsProp 1: The government should not make this choice. People directly affected should. Yes.
Prop 27: Tribal Gaming. Yes.
Prop 28: Arts and Music Funding: Yes.
Prop 29: Dialysis: I don't know.....but shouldn't SOME medical professional be on hand for something like this? Yes, I guess.
Prop 30: Millionaire tax for Air Quality. Yes.
Prop 31: Referendum on prohibiting sale of flavored tobacco. Totally irrational response: this stuff is yukky, so yes, ban it. Voting Yes.
Prop I: Allow non citizens on the Planning, Civil Service, and Salary Setting Commissions; remove gender-specific language; live up to equity values. Yes.
Monday, May 30, 2022
My ballot picks for the June 2022 Primary
As I have done in the past, I'm posting my ballot picks for June 7 California Primary. I post these for those that have questions. As I have written in the past, I'm not trying to convince anyone. These are not endorsements, but they are who I'm voting for. (ok, maybe that is kind of like an endorsement, but whatever).
Mayor: Cindy Chavez: https://www.cindychavezformayor.com/
City Council District 3: Omar Torres http://omartorres.org/
Congress: Anna Eshoo: https://annaeshoo4congress.com/
Governor: Gavin Newsom: https://gavinnewsom.com/
The rest of the state offices:
- Lieutenant Governor: Eleni Kounalakis
- Secretary of State: Dr. Shirley Weber
- Attorney General: Rob Bonta
- Treasurer: Fiona Ma
- Controller: Malia Cohen
Insurance Commissioner: Ricardo Lara: https://ricardolara.com/
Senate(Partial Term), and Senate: Alex Padilla: https://alex-padilla.com/
Assembly Member: Rob Rennie: http://robrennie.com
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tony K. Thurmond: https://www.tonythurmond.com/
Supervisor: Susan Ellenberg: https://www.susanellenberg.com/
Assessor: Larry Stone: https://www.larrystoneforassessor.com/
District Attorney: Sajid Khan: http://votesajid.com
Sherriff: Christine Nagaye: https://www.nagayeforsheriff.com/
Measure A: Vote No.
Measure B: Yes, I guess?
Thursday, October 21, 2021
Eulogy For Mom
Since they called me on March 1st to tell me about your passing, it's been a whirlwind of activity. Dealing with your affairs and estate, as well as executing on your memorial.
I felt that the words that I said at your memorial service weren't particularly well thought out, or very eloquent. So, in that spirit I wanted to write you a proper eulogy. As always, like at Aquinas, my homework is late. But I wanted to give you a cogent, heartfelt eulogy.
First, and most importantly, you are great mother. From you I was borne, and you took care of me. I remember when I was young and frequently in the hospital for asthma, you were there while I was in the oxygen tent. My tenderest memory, was sitting in the house at 927 Cliffwood Lane, watching TV one night, and you were running your hand along my shin. Somehow, that's the most comforting memory I have of any sense of physical touch.
And later years I confided in you. You listened and kept my confidences, but you also held your counsel. Sometimes on important items, that in retrospect, I wish I had known. While initially when I found this out I was irritated, I understood why you did it. You realize that by telling me what you really thought would only elicit negative reaction from me. And you knew that I had to make my own mistakes because that's how I learn. It took me a while to see the wisdom of this position, but as you told me in grade school, I am a late bloomer. So it is with this.
You were so funny. I remember standing in the kitchen at 927 and laughing so hard some days after school that I would have an asthma attack. I love this. I remember the time you came home and said "somebody in the neighborhood has Alzheimer's but I can't remember who". To this day I don't know if you were kidding or not, such was the enormity of your comedic genius. I will always love the humor that I found in realizing the best picture we had of you in your later years was the picture on your medical marijuana card. I will always remember our trips to the dispensary and laugh. If I, or Emma or Anna, can be said to have a sense of humor, and the love of fun, it comes from you. Our joy is a direct descendent of your spirit.
You were so independent. You had your own way of doing things, and no one was going to change your mind, not even Dad. You did things the way you wanted and didn't care what other people thought. You started your own shoe store and did it your way. You refreshed your nurse's license and worked at the migrant health Center in Immokalee. If I or Emma or Anna can be said to have any Independence, it comes from you. Our independence is a direct descendent of your spirit.
You were so strong. No one was going to mess with your family. And when you had your own difficult times you bore them with a steely resolve. I remember the stories you told about you and your father picking through the rubble and being among the dead after an oil well explosion. I remember the story of how you and your family withstood a hurricane, and came home to find fish on the second floor of your house in Galveston Texas. You faced breast cancer in the early 80s, before there was a lot of support, and you did it with strength and Grace. And, it must be said, not a small amount of humor. I remember you being playfully annoyed with someone, and whipping out your prosthesis and throwing it at him much to his shock, but to great comedic effect. I hope that we, me, Emma, Anna, can be imbued with some small part of your strength as we face the difficult task of living without You. Any strength we display is a direct descendant of your spirit.
You showed us what a loving relationship was with Dad. You made it clear that your relationship was the core of our lives and that we were secondary to that. It was hard for me to see the logic in that at first, but as always the wisdom showed itself to me later. Your relationship with Dad will always be a model of a strong marriage. I know it wasn't easy and yet you bore it with strength and Grace, as you did in most things.
I know it was difficult for you, after Dad died. Your relationship with him had been the center of your lives for almost 60 years. Your sadness was palpable. But in your remaining 18 months you gave me a great gift, one for which I will always be grateful. You let me help you, and you let me take care of you. I took car e of your affairs, and I talked to you several times a week in those last 18 months. They were all a joy. You worried about money, but Dad had taken good care of you, and all I could do was reassure you. Nevertheless, thank you for allowing me to help. We grew closer in the last 18 months, and it was such a blessing, though I couldn't do anything to ease your sadness.
You died as you lived, independent and on your own terms. While I wish we could have known the full extent of your health issues, I know you wouldn't have wanted us to worry. And you wanted to meet your eternal reward on your own terms. What else could we expect?
As you travel through the undiscovered country and join the great majority, know that we remember you, and will love you always. I remember how you ended the last phone call we had. I remember you and I laughing at the trouble you gave the doctors. And when I said I loved you the end of the call you responded as you did many times in the last 2 years of your life. You said, "I love you more". I never doubted that. I miss you and I always will.
Monday, August 30, 2021
Resources for Building your own PC
I get asked by a number of people what it takes to build your own PC. Here are some resources to read/watch to get an idea.
NewEgg's PC Building Guide:
Very detailed YouTube Video:
Also, Henry Cavill building a PC during quarantine. Pretty respectable for an Actor/Superman:
From how stuff works:
How to Build a Computer | HowStuffWorks
From Wiki How:
How to Build a Computer (with Pictures) - wikiHow
The main point it, its relatively easy. You have to have the right parts and make sure they all fit where they are supposed to go, and NEVER force anything.
Saturday, March 20, 2021
I Can't Convince Anyone
As I get older, I've become more invested in the notion that I really can't convince anyone, politically, of anything anymore. This is an important statement come up because it literally changes how I make decisions on how I spend my time. This affects my politics mainly in the fact that I will not engage in debate, because I don't believe I personally am effective in debating. The way I change people's minds is by my actions. The way I make fundamental change is make sure that people who believe the same as I do get active politically, and above all vote.
So, instead of (or In addition to) shouting at the TV and sending my money to candidates I support, I choose to get involved. To give, as one of my long time faith community leaders used to say, my time and talent, as well as my treasure. I choose to take tangible action that will increase the political power of those who already share my opinion. Examples of this are: driving people to polls in Hamilton County Ohio (2008), knocking on doors in Modesto (2018), and being a poll watcher in Wisconsin (2020).
Why do I do this? Two principal reasons. First, in his last letter to the world, John Lewis made a profound statement that "democracy is not a state, it is an act". One thing we learned from the period between 2017 and 2021 is that Democracy is fragile and can be taken away from us. We live in a Republic, where government derives its power from the consent of the governed. We learned during this period, that there are those who do not hold this positions. Moreover, we learned we must tangibly act to maintain it. We The People govern, and it requires work.
Second, and more importantly, I engage because I believe in the definition of this country, which I have written about before. This country is a secular, omni-ethnic, representative, democratic republic. And it is changing. By 2042, this country will be majority minority. No one ethnic group will have a majority. My efforts in this regard are twofold: to ensure the definition of this country remains the same, and to bring the non-majority (read: Non-white) groups into full participation in this country. Equal protection before the law, AND equal rights, equal opportunity and equal outcomes for all, no matter who your ancestors were, how able you are, how you worship, or who you love. This is the work of centuries, but I choose to start working on it now.
Why do I do this? Simple. I love this country, and as my faith tells me, all life is sacred. To do otherwise is to disrespect those two ideas.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
PATRICIA ELIZABETH ROTH Obituary
Patricia (Pat) Elizabeth Roth, 83, of Naples, FL passed away at her home in the Moorings Park Community on March 1st, 2021.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Loren and Ruth (nee Peters) Gibson, and her brother, Lt. Col. Donald Gibson.
She is survived by her sons William and David Roth, her grandchildren, Emma and Anna Roth, and her sister Mary McLean. She was preceded in death by the love of her life, William (Bill) Roth.
Pat was born in Independence, Missouri from where her family moved frequently during her younger years as her father worked at various construction projects throughout the US and South America. She settled in Williston, SC where she graduated from high school in 1956. She then attended South Carolina Baptist Nursing School in Columbia, SC earning her RN in 1959. That summer she met her husband to be of 59 years while he was a summer employee at the Savannah River Nuclear plant outside Aiken, SC. Pat and Bill were married the following summer in Aiken on August 27, 1960. From there the newlyweds set out for West Lafayette, IN. There she worked as a RN putting Bill through graduate school at Purdue University.
After moving to LaCrosse, WI she worked as a RN for several years before devoting full time to raising her sons. When they were well settled in school she decided to pursue a life-long dream.
With a passion and a keen eye for fashion, she established “The Gibson Girl”; a ladies shoe and accessories store. Pat relished the business and particularly enjoyed going to market in cities like New York, Dallas and Chicago.
After nearly 25 years in LaCrosse, the Roths moved out East to Darien, CT; a move which ultimately brought about the decision to sell the shoe store. This prompted her to undertake the task of initiating and supervising the design and construction of a beach house on Hideaway Beach on Marco Island, FL. Following David’s high school graduation in 1987, she decided to put down roots in Florida returning to the South which she had enjoyed so much during her youth.
Pat was very active in tennis and bridge at Hideaway Beach and the Island Country Club. She also was involved with Guadeloupe Center in Immokalee, FL; The Naples Philharmonic League and San Marco Catholic Church and St. William Catholic Church where she served as a Eucharistic Minister.
After almost thirty years on Marco, Pat and Bill moved to Moorings Park in Naples thoroughly enjoying the amenities and lifestyle of the continuing care community.
A memorial will be held at the Moorings Park, 120 Moorings Park Drive, at Bower Memorial Chapel at 11am on Saturday, March 13th. There will be a reception at Moorings Park following the Service. Inurnment will be private.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be directed to Guadalupe Center, http://GuadalupeCenter.org/donate. (Please set the “A Tribute Gift” field to “In Memory of Patricia Elizabeth Roth”)
Sunday, October 25, 2020
What is America?
What is America?
Monday, October 12, 2020
My Ballot Picks for 11/3/2020 DRAFT
Draft of my picks for November 3rd, 2020.
Prop 14: Yes This is important work, and needs funding, and I'm setting aside my queasiness around the origin of some of the stem cell lines. We need to make sure their acquired ethically.
Prop 15: Yes. Chips away at Prop 13 and helps to make a fairer property tax system and better funding for schools. See Sacred Heart Voter Guide.
Prop 16: Yes. Erases Prop 209 and allows affirmative action style programs at the state level, which are needed to chip away at the current overlay of systemic racism.
Prop 17: Yes. If you have done your time and paid your debt to society, you should be able to vote.
Prop 18: Yes. Register 17 year olds early.
Prop 19: Yes. Allowing old people (like me) and wildfire recipients a property tax break.
Prop 20: No. A measure by the prison industry to keep people behind bars. See Sacred Heart Voter Guide.
Prop 21: Yes. Allows localities to enact rent control. With high housing costs, this is necessary.
Prop 22: No. Lyft/Uber Drivers should have benefits.
Prop 23: I don't know. Don't understand the kidney dialysis issue very well. More to come.
Prop 24: Yes. Better data privacy
Prop 25: Yes. Approve non-cash bail system. It's regressive and hurts the poor.
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
End SJPD presence in San Jose USD Schools
(my remarks to the SJUSD School Board).
To the Members of School Board and the Superintendent:
My name is Bill Roth, a member of Grupo de Solidaridad, SURJ at Sacred Heart, a former SJUSD parent, and a 30 year San Jose resident. Thank you for holding this study session and allowing the public to participate. I would like to voice my support for not only ending the district’s contract with the San José Police Department but also for passing the Derrick Sanderlin Resolution. Having SJPD in schools sends a terrible message to students of color. I strongly recommend you look at re-targeting the funds allocated for SJPD toward professionals trained in Social Work, as well as people trained in De-Escalation and Restorative Justice. I also urge you to hold a vote on these two issues at an appropriate board meeting in the future.
Thank you for your service to our community
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
New Mobile Lab for Nicaragua: 2020
Help Build a Mobile Lab for Nicaragua
Letter from Annie and Juanita
The Mobile Lab: This year's project.
What illnesses is the Mobile Lab focused on?
- Intestinal Parasites due to poor sanitation
- Kidney Disease to inadequate water consumption.
- Respiratory Disease due to inhaling cooking smoke.
How does it fit in with what Amigos does?
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
San Jose Resources In Times of Covid-19
Financial Assistance for Low-Income Residents Impacted by COVID-19
Information on the Eviction Ban
Thursday, January 30, 2020
My ballot picks for March 3rd 2020 Primary Election
Party Nominated Offices
County Central Committee
- Angelica Ramos
- Helen Chapman
- Shay Franco-Clausen
- James Kim
- Adrienne Grey
US Rep, District 19
Member of State Assembly, District 28
Non-partisan Office and Measures
State Measure 13Yes. Look, I don't like spending on bonds any more than the next guy, but this is the only way to get around Prop 13 and to ensure we improve California Schools.
City Measure E
Thursday, October 31, 2019
Eulogy for My Father
- His example of hard work, and his relentlessness
- His example of charity, especially to the Church, a certain University[iii], and to Habitat for Humanity Collier County
- His example of faith, like going to 630 mass every day during lent before going to work. Even when running a Multi-Billion $ business.[iv]
- In the seventies, mowing the lawn at 927 Cliffwood Lane, which was at a 45-degree angle, in Bermuda shorts, dark socks, and a Tshirt.
- Standing at the top of the stairs, Dad shouting “Where’s my gold pen!”. (When cleaning out his things over the past 2 weeks, I found them. Dad, they were under your desk.[vi]
- Driving a car Connecticut to Florida and listening the same Prairie Home Companion 5 times.