Category Archives: Administrative

My New Road Computer

Some may remember a couple months ago, when I was in Florida, I was trying an iPad with bluetooth keyboard and mouse, to see if it was acceptable. It turned out that Apple frowns on mice with iPads. Monday, I went out and bought an ASUS ZenPad 10, with Android 6.0, and it seems to be working, but there is a weird problem. The right button on the mouse doesn’t give a menu; it acts like a back button. Which makes it impossible (for example) to open a link in a new tab. Anyone have any idea what the deal is?


Watching football while replacing all the plumbing under the kitchen sink. Trap is clogged, and while we were renting it a decade ago, some idiot glued in two-inch ABS down there that’s impossible to get apart without cutting it off. It will give me a chance to get the disposal off to replace the old web in its throat, and put in separate traps for each sink, plus make it much easier to work on in the future.

[Monday-morning update]

Well, that turned into an adventure. Ended up replacing everything under the sink, including disposal, and still not sure I solved the drain problem, and won’t know until I go get an extension for the dishwasher drain hose.

[Monday-morning update]

Got all the plumbing put together, and determined that the drain problem was indeed downstream. Just paid a plumber $160 to snake it, and now it’s running clear. All in all, job cost about $450, but that included a powerful quiet new disposal. Hate to think what a plumber would have charged to do everything I did.

Computer Problems

Did a kernel upgrade in Fedora yesterday. Rebooted today. Wouldn’t boot, had errors. Rather than simple reboot, I decided to shut the whole machine down, then turn it on again. Now it’s dead.

Guess I’ll try swapping the power supply first. If that doesn’t work, sounds like a motherboard or CPU problem.

[Update a few minutes later]

Aaaaaaand, I can’t find any spare supplies. Have to run over to Fry’s to buy one, that probably isn’t the problem…

[Update after returning from Fry’s]

Welp, before I opened the new PS, I tried firing it up again. It booted without complaint. I guess I scared it with the new PS. #HappyHalloween

Seriously, though, it’s probably still a symptom of an incipient problem, probably from overheating.

Totalitarian Twitter

The service has just blocked all of my accounts (including my parody @HealthDotGov) account from posting, with no explanation other than:

Tweet from @HealthDotGov failed: To protect our users from spam and other malicious activity, your account is temporarily locked. You cannot use the team account while your account is locked.

This is outrageous. No moron who objects to something that I tweet should be allowed to do this.

[Thursday-morning update]

It didn’t seem to last long, and things are back to normal now. Still no idea what happened, though.

Hurricane Update

We’re now into our second full day without power. Fortunately, we’re flying back to CA tomorrow. Things are slowly getting back to normal in Palm Beach County, but there is still a curfew from dusk to dawn (it just ended for last night). Our ice has essentially melted, and we’re down to the last of our pre-storm food, but Publix are open, and hopefully they’ll start to re supply. We have several fallen limbs to cut up, but Home Depot is out of chain saws, and doesn’t know when they’ll be getting more (the storm moving up north is likely disrupting supply chains).

On the cat front, it seems to be a lymphoma, but an aggressive one. The bad news is that the tumors aren’t shrinking with the steroid treatment, but the good news is that they aren’t growing, either, and she seems to be stable and happy. We don’t get in until after the hospital closes tomorrow, but should be able to pick her up on Thursday and bring her home, for however long she ends up living.

[Thursday-morning update]

We got in about five last eveing, had dinner and went to bed. Feeling much better now, and it’s nice to be back in CA, despite the idiocy of the voters here. Had the first good night’s sleep in days, to cool temperatures and the sound of our new garden fountain outside our window. Going in this morning to bring Rerun home, and try to get things back, as much as possible around here, to normal.

Battening Down

We’re in Boynton Beach, getting ready to board up our house in Lake Worth. Posting will be sparse because my only computer is my phone and Patricia’s iPod.

[Wednesday-evening update]

Here’s the sitrep. We’re staying on the third floor of a new apartment building a block from the Intracoastal (not on the island). It’s solid concrete, built to current Palm Beach County codes, with the only glass patio doors rated to 150 mph. We’re boarding up a house a few miles inland that probably couldn’t take a direct hit of a 4 or 5, but that seems unlikely. We came down here to prep it to sell, and Patricia’s son is living in it. We could bug out in theory (American is offering no-fee flight changes), but we don’t want to leave him in the lurch. Worst case for us is if it does come right up the middle of the peninsula, which would put us on the dirty side of the storm (our apartment windows are south facing), but I think we’ll be OK even in that event. We are well above any potential surge, as is our car (in fact, it’s a floor above us). Our current concern is finding gas before it hits. A lot of lines, and we’re a little below half. We’d really like to top off.

[Thursday-night update]

I went out and spent 45 minutes in line getting gas this morning. We’re storing water in bottles, and making ice and putting it in gallon zip locks in the freezer. We’ll move into fridge as necessary if we lose power. Fortunately, unlike most here, we only need hold out until we can get flights out next week when airports reopen after the storm.

[Friday-night update]

Bad news for Cuba and southwest Florida, good news for us. The storm has taken a turn to the south and west, scrubbing the upper west coast of the island, and heading for landfall perhaps near Naples, perhaps with reduced strength from the Cuba encounter. But it won’t have reduced it enough to spare Naples and Fort Myers a huge storm surge.

What it means for us is that, while we’ll still probably see hurricane-force winds, they will be much lower than previously anticipated, and nothing we can’t handle. The only bad news is that the northeast side of the storm, where we’ll now be, will have a lot of tornadic activity. No problem for us in the apartment building, but it puts the house at risk.

[Sunday-afternoon update]

Almost 5 PM EDT, and the winds are continuing to increase. We just lost power, most likely for the duration, until crew can start repairing after the storm. We’ll start to move accumulated ice from the freezer to the fridge.

Email Disaster

Evolution is running like molasses, chewing up CPU, apparently because it’s choking on half a million emails in my “Junk” folder. And I can’t clean them out because, you know, half a million messages in my Junk folder. I’ve tried loading the folder into a browser tab in roundcube, but it can’t open it either. Any ideas how to go in on the server directly and clean things up there? vi would be a nightmare.