SmartThings Home & Away

27 November 2023

I have Samsung SmartThings automatically setting the thermostat and turning things on and off for me based on the location of my phone (and me).

Of course, it stopped working, so I needed to debug. All the other things connected to the hub were working fine.

Things That Didn’t Fix It

  • Restart my phone

  • Wipe the SmartThings app data on my phone and login again

  • Restart the SmartThings Hub

  • Check app permissions on the phone: no optimization, fine location access always on.

The Fix

  1. Open SmartThings app on the phone

  2. Menu

  3. Settings Cog

  4. Get your location from this phone

  5. Turn it off, then back on

  6. Visit my 2 location-based triggers and re-add myself as a member.

  7. Fixed!

My COVID Timeline

24 September 2022

  • 2022-08-03 Wednesday

    • Saw Ani Difranco at XL Live in Harrisburg

    • Didn’t think I stood so close to people, but no mask.

    • Show was great.

    • Helped a stumbly drunk guy find a seat, so he could stop bumping into people

  • 2022-08-04 Thursday

    • Had a work day

    • Ran ben around to sports practice

    • Helped with fixing the well pump at parents'

    • Got home at 12:30am or so

  • 2022-08-05 Friday

    • Woke with a sore throat and stuffy, not a big deal

    • Took a Covid test in the afternoon - negative

    • Went to Penn Cinema drive-in to see Goonies

      • Marie and Emily in the car

      • Doug, Sarah, Fizz, and Sarah in other cars

      • Rained and cut short

      • Took Marie home

  • 2022-08-06 Saturday

    • Woke with sore throat and whole-body soreness

    • Covid test again at emily’s suggestion: positive

    • Notified kids, movie friends, and parents

    • Tried online appointment, but no one available but receptionist

    • Ran to Penn State Health walk-in clinic, got Paxlovid RX

    • Sat around all night watching Love, Death + Robots

  • 2022-08-07 Sunday

    • Noon: Emily picks up Paxlovid and groceries and drops them off

    • Paxlovid day 1

    • Watched lots of Love, Death + Robots

  • 2022-08-08 Monday

    • Sore throat

    • Stuffiness

    • Aches

    • Paxlovid day 2

  • 2022-08-09 Tuesday

    • Terrible sore throat

    • Start trying throat spray

    • Stuffiness

    • 2 Ibuprofen every 4-6 hrs seems to manage throat pain

    • Paxlovid day 3

  • 2022-08-10 Wednesday

    • Terrible sore throat. Is this Strep?

    • Call nurse line at doc: this is fine.

    • Paxlovid day 4

  • 2022-08-11 Thursday

    • Slept fine!

    • Throat not bad!

    • Bad taste in mouth sometimes for past couple days: like bitter, old tea

      • Gargled full-strength white vinegar. emily then informed me it should be dilluted.

    • Paxlovid day 5, last day

    • Last dose, then went to bed pretty early: tired and cranky

  • 2022-08-12 Friday

    • Slept well

    • Feeling fine

    • Tested (slightly) positive today

    • Test expires today, so i’ll use them all over the next couple days

  • 2022-08-13 Saturday

    • Listening to "attack surface"

    • Finished 30 Days Lost in Space Arduino kit — pretty cool

    • Tested negative at 7pm or so.

  • 2022-08-14 Sunday

    • Finished "Attack Surface"

    • Finished Love Death + Robots

    • Tested negative again at 11am

  • 2022-08-15 Monday

    • Worked normally

    • First bike ride in over 2 weeks: 28 miles on Northwest River Trail

Google Can't Reach SmartThings

28 January 2022

My Google Assistant on my phone has been refusing to turn on and off the 2 devices I have on smart plugs: "Can’t reach SmartThings."

I found an article about the Google Home doing the same thing. Fortunately, the advice there worked: go into Assistant’s settings → Devices → Add Devices. Upon clicking on the SmartThings entry that was already there, it gave me the option to re-link. Once I authorized access, I could again ask Google to control those devices.

Using Google Calendar Effectively

21 September 2019

Google Calendar makes the world go 'round, especially for kids who travel between households and have lots of school events. There are a couple things you can do to get the most out of your calendar.

Set Locations

Calendar events obviously come with times and fixed reminders so many minutes before the event. It doesn’t matter where you are or where the event takes place: that notification is coming at the same time.

With a location set on each calendar event, other software, like Waze GPS, can continuously watch your current location and offer you a more useful notification giving you time to travel based on distance and current driving conditions along the way.

Set the Earliest Time

Most my calendar events have just one start time, but my kids' events aren’t that simple. A marching band performance may be at 7pm, but the bus to the stadium leaves at 4pm. Since we live by notifications, it’s important to get those notifications at the earliest time at which we need to act. The other times are likely just extra details that can go into the event title or event details. I can get a notification for 4pm and realize I don’t need to be there until 7pm, but I can’t tolerate a 7pm notification if I was supposed to be dropping a kid at the practice at 4pm.

If I find it’s important to see notifications for all the potential times of an event, then it’s probably best to break that event into more than one event: drop-off, performance, and pick-up.

Share the Calendar

This is the first and most useful collaboration feature of Google Calendar. A personal calendar benefits one person, but invite the other participants (the kids), and then they can start adding and maintaining events and following these rules as well.

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