The bad news is that I can’t get an epidural until December 16th. The good news is that maybe I don’t need it. I’m no longer in back pain, though the problem has migrated lower into my upper thigh, making me a little gimpy. On the other hand, that’s getting better, too. At this rate, I should be back to normal this weekend. Now I have to start some strength training to prevent a recurrence.
We drove back to CA from Colorado this past weekend, and tried to get in Sunday night, but as we approached the California border, we ran into a jam of people returning from Thanksgiving weekend. It took us an hour to get from Jean to Primm at the border (a few miles), so we gave up and turned around to go back to Vegas, which had cheap rooms on an off-season Sunday night (though infuriatingly, the room at the Luxor was only forty bucks, the “resort fee” took it up to seventy). Add in ten bucks for parking and taxes, and it was a hundred, but still a good deal for a luxury room.
Anyway, we drove home yesterday, getting in mid afternoon. My back is quite a bit better, and the painful spasms are gone, but now the problem has migrated to a pain on the inside of my right thigh when I walk, probably as a result of how I was walking when my back hurt. I’ll be going in for epidurals this week, and starting some kind of physical therapy, which will probably just be standard strength training, which I should have been doing anyway.
Of course, the new problem du jour is a furnace that’s not lighting, which apparently started over the weekend, according to our house sitter. Last time this happened it was a bad igniter, and I’m hoping that’s the problem this time as well, because it’s an easy and cheap fix.
But the fun never ends.
As I suspected, it was a bad igniter. These things seem to be like light bulbs, in that they have no predictable life, and can fail at any random time. Of course, in a sense, that’s exactly what they are, in that you’re heating a filament with electricity, except not in vacuum.
I know that posting has been light, but this is the first real vacation we’ve had in a while. We’re in a vacation rental up above Estes Park, within walking distance of the park boundary of Rocky Mountain National Park. We’ve been pretty much house bound since the storm, but it’s OK, because it’s a very nice house, and we do have an all-wheel machine to go down the mountain into town if we want to.
Here is the view from one of the balconies.
That’s the continental divide, inside the park. I think that the pointy mountain to the right is Long’s Peak, the furthest-north fourteener.
But I want to give thanks for my health, which considering all the wear and tear of decades, is still pretty good. My back is slowly recovering, and I’ll probably be back to normal by next week. I’m also grateful to live in what I think is still the greatest country on the planet, warts and all, and despite the desires of some to “fundamentally transform it.”
I’m also grateful for my readers, and all of my friends in the space industry, and the ability to start to accelerate our progress in opening the solar system to humanity in the coming years.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Well, I’m doing better than Friday and over the weekend, but I’m still getting twinges, that occasionally elicit a yelp. I have a ticket to Houston for SpaceCom tomorrow morning, but thinking I’ll probably just have to cancel and eat the ticket. I don’t want to aggravate it on the trip and not be able to get home Thursday night. I was supposed to have a meeting with some JSC folks, but it may have to be a telecon.
Just got my MRI results. I have a compressed disk (and a little arthritis, but I don’t think that’s the issue). For our Colorado road trip, just got another shot in the ass of a muscle relaxant, and prescriptions for oral muscle relaxant (that they should have given me last week instead of the steroids), and prescription-strength ibuprofen (instead of Vicodin, which apparently isn’t that effective for nerve pain) for pain and to reduce inflammation.
When we get back, I’ll start epidurals and physical therapy (I assume basically strength training) to build up some muscular protection of the spine down there.
I’m attending this two-day event at Caltech, so posting will be light to non-existent.
The final afternoon of the conference, the right side of my lower back started to hurt. It got progressively worse, to the point that I went to a sports doctor yesterday, who gave me a shot in the ass, Vicodin and steroids, and a back brace, and I had an MRI this morning, whose results I won’t get until Friday.
Bottom line: I’m trying to get well enough to travel to Houston Tuesday, but posting will continue to be light.
Yesterday, while installing a new router, my ethernet connection quit working. This morning, when I plugged the cable back in to troubleshoot, the computer died, and won’t reboot. This is a recent new motherboard. Not even sure how to start troubleshooting.
[Update a few minutes later]
I unplugged the cord from the power supply, plugged it back in, and the machine came back to life. Still no eth0, though.
[Update late morning]
OK, this is making me nuts. I went out to Office Depot, who didn’t stock any PCI-E ethernet cards, but they had a USB wireless dongle for thirteen bucks. I bring it home, plug it into the back of the machine, and the machine dies again. And this time, I don’t seem able to resurrect it.
An exact replacement for the mobo would be $150. But I’m not sure if I want another one.
[Update a while later]
OK, apparently when I was futzing around on the back panel, I was killing the switch on the power supply.
So I’ve plugged in the USB dongle, but the OS isn’t seeing it.
OK, the OS is seeing the dongle, but it won’t connect to my wireless network. It attempts, then drops it.
In better news, I now seem to have a wired connection. The bad news is that I have no DNS. I can only ping by IP, not by domain name.
[Update a while later]
OK, I think I found the problem. Apparently my ExpressVPN account has expired, and it had written its nameserver into /etc/resolv.conf. I changed it to the router IP, and now it’s working (though I’m still getting a question mark on the network connection).
I don’t necessarily agree that the 737-MAX fiasco was a result of climate hysteria. Yes, the new design reduced emissions, but it did that by reducing fuel consumption, which is intrinsically a desirable goal for airlines. I’m sure that Boeing wanted to claim that it was lower emissions, for PR purposes, but fuel efficiency has always been a driver of new-aircraft design.
BTW, got home from DC yesterday morning. I had quite a week at IAC, but posting may return to the (subdued) normal this week.
I’m flying to DC this afternoon for eight days of space stuff, culminating with a brief talk on space property rights at the International Astronautical Conference a week from tomorrow. I’ll have my laptop, but not sure how much time I’ll have to post. But be good in comments.
So, I bought a new motherboard, CPU, and memory. I’ve installed it in the old case, but I discovered that the only video output on the board was HDMI, and my monitor had no HDMI input, only VGA and DVI.
Fortunately, Patricia’s monitor has VGA and HDMI, so I took my monitor and replaced it (she was using VGA), which is what I’m using to post this. Next step is to take her monitor and finally see if the new computer works. But I wanted to catch up on email and Twitter before I embark on that adventure (and post a few things).
[Update a while later]
Oh, this is fun. The motherboard wants an 8-pin connector for the CPU, and the PS only has sixes. Guess I need to upgrade that, too.
OK, so I got the new power supply. It has four 6+2 connectors, and one 4+4 (which I originally thought was eight). So I plugged in what I thought was the 8-pin, and the computer fires up, but no post beep or monitor signal. I figure that it has to be because there is nothing in the 4-pin slot, but I don’t have an 4-pin connector. Then I figure out that the 8-pin is two fours that can be separated. But when I replace the 4+4 with a 6+2, the machine won’t start. It will only run with the 4+4 in the 8-pin socket, but then I don’t have a 4-pin connector for the empty 4. Anyone have any ideas?
[Update a while later]
OK, so I needed a graphics card. I hadn’t realized that the CPU didn’t have integrated graphics. I went out an bought a fifty-buck Radeon, with 2G DDR3. It’s a huge mismatch with the processor, but I have no immediate plans for gaming, and it gets me on the air for now; I can always upgrade later.
I’m at a two-day meeting in DC.