Category Archives: Administrative

Light Blogging

We woke up this morning to no Internet. The lights on the modem looked fine, but there was no ethernet connection to either my computer or to the mesh router (which was magenta, indicating no Internet). I talked to Frontier, and they agreed that it sounded like a dead LAN port bank. Unfortunately, they won’t get me a new one until tomorrow or Thursday. I’m typing this from my laptop tethered to my phone, but I don’t want to use a lot of bandwidth, so I can’t really scour the web for material as I usually do. The other issue is that I don’t seem to be able to get a wireless connector going on my Fedora desktop, either an old Linksys PCI card or a new Tp-Link USB device; the system doesn’t seem to recognize either one. So I’m stuck on the laptop if I want any Internet at all.

[Wednesday-afternoon update]

Got the new modem early afternoon, and we’re back on the air.

Libre Office Problem

I’ve been working on a document for a client, and it’s laid out in book format. Each chapter has its own page style (to maintain chapter title in headers) and there are several other styles as well. I’ve been printing it double sided, two pages per side. Today, when I tried to print it, instead of US Letter (which is what I set up all of the styles to be in) it insists on printing in a #8 Monarch Envelope format, which totally screws things up. But there’s no way to change it; the format is greyed out. The default for the printer is US Letter, the page styles are US Letter, but for some reason Office has decided that it’s only going to allow me to print it as an envelope, in this file, and this file only. I can’t find anything in either the Help for the software or by Googling anyone else who has had a problem like this. Is there a Libre Office doctor in the house?

Furnace Problem

It’s been warm for the past few weeks in SoCal, and I turned the thermostat off a while ago. But there’s a weather system coming in this weekend that’s going to cool things down, and it was chilly in the house this morning. I turned the thermostat back on, and nothing happened. I checked the fuse, and it’s fine, the switch seems to be on. I’ve determined that there is no power getting to the power switch (which feeds the fuse, which feeds the furnace electronics). No breakers are tripped, and I don’t know which breaker it’s on. Any ideas? If it’s actually failed wiring, that could be nightmare to trace/repair.

[Saturday-afternoon update]

Welp, checked all the breakers, and they all have voltage at the output.

[Sunday-morning update]

Thanks for all the advice in comments. I suspect I’m going to have to kill power to the house, and try to do an RF trace (and hope it comes through the armor). Fortunately, it’s not really an emergency. The temp in the house was 64F when we woke up this morning, and while it will be a cool couple of days until this cutoff low with rain passes through, it will be heating up later this week. Worst case is sweaters and a heavier bed covering, until I figure it out.

Planes, Trains And Automobiles

We took the day off from our renovation projects (hopefully we’ll be through most of it by next week) to drive up to Mojave for the experimental fly-in (the “Plane Crazy” event held on the third Saturday of each month). It was beautiful weather, and a lot of interesting aircraft on display, including a Yak that someone had restored, and an old Chinese trainer based out of Santa Monica. After lunch with Doug and Ann Jones at the Voyager Cafe, we headed up to Tehachapi, because Patricia had never been on 58 between Mojave and Bakersfield. It was still pretty green up there from the winter rains.

I’ve driven by the sign for the Tehachapi Loop many times, but had never actually seen it. Neither had she, though she’s in the rail business. We actually took the old road from Tehachapi to Keene, and it was tightly winding and gorgeous. About three miles from the end, we found the overlook and marker for the loop. We didn’t see a train go through, but it turned out that if we’d waited a few minutes, we would have.

We had originally planned on going back from Mojave through Lancaster and over to the Poppy Preserve, to catch the tail end of the spring flower bloom. But since we were now quite a ways west, per Doug’s lunchtime suggestion, we continued west on 58 to 223, then down the hill to Arvin, where he said it had been very good. Unfortunately, though, we were too late. The mountain above us was still green from the rains, but the flowers were pretty much done along that route.

So we got to the 99, and headed back south to LA on the 5, but then cut back east over 138 to Lancaster, and took a road south to Lancaster Road, which goes right past the preserve. We saw quite a few poppies still in bloom approaching and departing the preserve, but a lot of the other flowers had faded, but there are a lot of cars parked along the road and in the (paid) preserve parking lot. It was about 4:30, and somewhat windy, so the poppies were mostly closed, though it was still sunny.

Rather than fight the crowds or pay, we decided to just head back to LA, via a new route. Normally, we go south to Elizabeth Lake, then out to Castaic via Lake Hughes Road, which is a beautiful drive, with great views of Lake Hughes and the Valencia/Santa Clarita area from above. But this time, we made a left on Elizabeth Lake road, and went down San Francisquito Canyon, then down Spunky Canyon, then Bouquet Canyon, and finally down Vasquez Canyon to Sierra Highway, all roads (other than the latter) we’d never been on before, and all beautiful, with many spectacular views, including a nicely full reservoir.

I never fail to be amazed at how much California there is to be explored, and this was an area that I’ve driven around for decades, but never through, and it’s right in our back yard.

Off The Air

We’re taking a break from our home renovation and driving up to Berkeley for the weekend to see old (now in both senses of the word) college roommates (mine). Posting will likely be light to non-existent. Be nice in comments.

[Monday-afternoon update]

OK, we’re back. That was probably the longest I’ve been completely off line for a while (not counting my phone). In answer to questions, the college roommate (and his wife) in question was from Michigan, though he does in fact have an MBA from Berkeley. They have a nice place up in the hills, where we spent the entired day of Saturday, and Sunday morning, hiking, cooking, eating, drinking and talking. It was a very nice break. We drove down to Buellton yesterday afternoon, and back to LA today.

FWIW, he voted for Hillary, she wanted Bernie, but we’re all good friends, and it’s even possible for us to discuss politics without damaging that. It can be done. Of course, it helps that she’s Canadian.


Haven’t Checked Out Yet

In case anyone was wondering, that last post wasn’t a permanent blogging break, but I’ve been taking an unannounced temporary one. I’ll be back in CA tomorrow, and back to the usual hijinks.

[Wednesday-morning update]

The above was posted from my phone, before I got on the plane in DC on the way back to LAX. I didn’t warn about the blogging break because I didn’t plan it; it just sort of happened. I had my laptop with me the whole trip, and was on it quite a bit, but just didn’t bother to post anything (BTW, for future reference, if this happens again, and you want to see if I’m still metabolizing and on line, check my Twitter account, which remained relatively active throughout, at least in RTs).

I flew out Saturday morning to Dulles, and spent a relaxing half weekend with friends in rural Virginia, then took the train into DC Monday morning to attend the Satellite 2017 conference at the Convention Center, which I normally don’t attend, and in fact never have attended, because I’m not really a satellite sort of guy. But I’d been asked to speak at a panel on Monday afternoon, and I had other business in DC. It turned out that there were a lot of friends and useful contacts at the event, and while I was checking mail and Twitter, I just never got around to posting anything, not even a brief link, because it would have been a distraction. I in fact didn’t realize that the post had been the last one that I’d made until I saw comments there, so decided to at least put something up to assuage concerns, or disappoint those who were hoping for my demise (though I doubt that to the degree they exist at all, they spend much time here).

But in thinking about it, I may be suffering from blogging burnout to a degree, after over a decade and a half of it (last October was my 15th bloggiversary). There’s a lot going on in my life right now, both professionally and personally (good things, I hasten to add), and while in the past that might have been blog fodder, I don’t really feel motivated to discuss it long form, and the things that I do make the effort to discuss long form I try to place other places than the blog these days. I do still tweet a lot (probably too much), and maybe for now the best thing to do is to get my Twitter display working on the blog again, so it will at least be a microblog, and people who stop by will know I’m still here, even if I don’t overcome the additional energy barrier to put up an actual post.