On the home automation front, I got my air conditioner set up to work with the Smart Things hub. I didn't wind up having to mess with the complicated CORE programming; managed to find/questionably hack smart apps that existed in the system to do what I want. Now, my air conditioner will come on at 82F degrees and turn off at 80F; I can turn it on by voice control through Alexa whenever, but it will still shut off at 80F. If the condo goes above 84F, Smart Home will send a text message to my phone; I installed an app on my phone to then forward that text message to email, where I'm far more likely to see it in a timely manner and be able to ask either my neighbor or T to stop by and see what's going on. (It's a pretty useful app, and considering I can go days without checking my phone for messages on the weekend, I probably should have installed something similar before.)
(The app uses access to my Gmail account, which is a bit unnerving, so I set up a burner account just for this, then forwarded that account to my regular email. So the chain is something like: temperature monitor --> smart hub --> phone --> phone app --> burner account --> my email. Like I said, much questionable hacking.)
My new phone, by the way, is a thing of beauty. Unlocked Moto G4 and I will never buy a locked phone again. The sheer joy of turning on a new phone and seeing NO bloatware was delightful beyond words. Just the Google suite, nothing else. The young lady at the MetroPCS store got it all up and running in about 20 minutes (and buffaloed the folks as Virgin Mobile when they tried to convince her (calling as me) to stay with them. It was hilarious listening to her deadpan through all of their blandishments. Which, if you valued your loyal customers so much, dude, why didn't I get one single offer of a free phone for the 12 years before this, hmm?).
Everything I use is now installed and working, including my smart home apps and my databases. Happily, I had backed my databases up to the app server last time I changed phones, so I just had to track down the stuff I've bought since then. That was pretty simple for my DVD/blu rays, as they were either on specific shelves, or in a specific stack. Music was a little harder, but I rip all CDs as soon as I get them, so I just manually added all of the albums added to iTunes since the last database backup. Took a little while, but far less of a headache than I'd been afraid of. Wait, no, I do still have to sync my Calibre catalog, but then I'll be done, and that one is straightforward.
I also did three loads of laundry and some housework, took care of T's cats, took out multiple loads of recycling, replaced the Roomba's battery, and spent far too much time sitting on the couch watching gymnastics.
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( Pinch Hit #1: Bates Motel (2013), Bloodline (TV 2015), Better Call Saul (TV) )
The Eos 400D I got works except that it doesn't accept memory cards, which makes it fairly useless. It looks like at least one pin at the bottom of the card slot is bent and flattened, and the procedure for getting inside it to fix that looks to be horribly complicated. I've asked a repairer for a quote but I suspect that it might well be more than the cost of a working 400D on eBay. Fortunately I shouldn't lose money on the purchase, because even a dead 400D sells for £20 or so, and because one of the lenses I bought with it, which I initially thought was fairly naff, turned out to be extremely rare and sold for £55 last night. If the buyer eventually gets round to paying me I ought to be quids in. Update - now paid.
In related news I've decided to sell on the Sony Nex 5 camera I got at a car boot a few months ago - it was interesting, but it isn't designed to be used the same way as an SLR or a fake SLR like the bridge camera and my reflexes are all wrong for it. That's on eBay now, along with some lens converters I bought for it but never got round to using. It's a shame in a way because it's really a better camera than the Fujitsu or the Eos 400D with higher resolution, HD video, and more bells and whistles, but I'd sooner use a camera that I like than own one that's better but just sits on the shelf. Update - forgot to say that the reason I'm selling this now is that eBay gave me a "maximum £1 seller's fees" extended weekend, so it seemed like a good time to do it. I was also hoping to sell another iMac G4, but the wifi card seems to have died and I won't be able to get it fixed before the offer ends.
All of the stuff I'm selling is here
This one was inspired by a trip to McDonald’s, where I saw little plastic pouches marked “Fancy Ketchup.” Good to know they weren’t putting any ol’ low-quality tomato pulp in plastic packets and serving it to their patrons, like Burger King would.
On a semi-related note: a long, long time ago I worked at a Skippers (a chain of fried seafood restaurants that used to be everywhere in the western United States, but now seems to be down to 14 locations). The manager would occasionally bus tables himself when it was busy (which was good). If, on the table, he found paper sugar or salt packets that were soaked with water, coffee, pop, or any other unidentified fluid, he would lay them out on a table in the back room to dry out so he could put them out for other customers to use (which was bad).
Life is life. Q is seven and starting second grade in two weeks. Yeesh, where did the time go? I spend most of my time these days parenting, writing sci-fi erotic romance with an eye to self-pubbing, and being a giant ball of simmering rage at the state of the world.
Fannishly, I'm still working on some Jupiter Ascending stuff, and it remains the movie of my heart, but most of my writing is going to original stuff these days.
I've been reading a shit-ton of romance, both as market research and because guaranteed happy endings are a balm to my soul. But I am gearing up to take a weekend soon and blow through N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy in one go.
I didn't garden this year - had no energy in spring, and never really got up the gumption. I probably should have twigged that as a sign I'm in a low-grade depression swing, but yay, hindsight.
Not watching much TV these days (writing and being angry suck up all my free time), but I really want to pick up Killjoys, because I need some fun SF in my eyeballs. Man, do I miss SG-1. Clearly I need to plan a rewatch.
( heavy spoilers beneath the cut )
I love the mystery of this secret. It might be a cantankerous response to the previous postcard. The next mega-exhibition at the American Visionary Art Museum will be “The Great Mystery Show”. Several dozen mysterious PostSecrets will be included when it opens, however, this week is your last chance to see the current exhibit and secrets. If you have never been to the AVAM it is so worth a road-trip.
My family and I came across a picture that was hidden in my Great-Grandfathers wallet. He passed away 9 years ago. He was a solider in the Korean War and retired from the service after 20 years. The lady in the picture is not my Great- Grandmother to whom he was married to for 57 years. It has also come to light in the recent weeks, that he may have fathered a child while he was stationed in Fort Irwin.
My family and I are not sure if the woman in the picture is of his supposed child. However, there is a cryptic message written on the back of the photo that none of us can out how to go about translating it. We are unaware what language it is written in. My best friend told me to seek your help in finding out what the message is. I really hope you can help us!
* finish first draft of PODSA/SGA fusion
* write more PODSA mpreg
* review Star Wars OT3 and brainstorm last scene
* put up CAT TREE OMG - skipping
* laundry - skipping
Remember that guy at Google with the memo? (Seems like months ago, doesn't it?) Well, one of the MetaFilter gang decided to do a comprehensive discussion/analysis of his arguments, complete with citations. The Truth Has Got Its Boots On, which is a lovely Pratchett reference.
Here's a resource for people confused about the Trump/Russia scandal. Amidst all the racism and Nazis, there are still questions about Trump's history with Russia.
This New Yorker article also asks some questions about Wall Street Raider Carl Icahn and his relationship with the Trump regime. Conflicts of interest? Pish.
This article looks at environmental justice from the perspective of the community rather than the regulator or government. It's both devastating and hopeful.
This article from Pro Publica gives a solid historical overview of attempts to incorporate principles of environmental justice at the federal level, and how they have failed. I do love Pro Publica: they do solid investigative journalism.
Politics can make strange bedfellows, as we know: hunters are on the front lines protecting the public lands.
This Lawfare article about private military groups hints at some legal tools that can be used against the Neo-Nazis.
The New York Review of Books has dropped the paywall on James M. McPherson's take-down of the myth of the Lost Cause.
Here's a blackly funny report of a call to a Georgia Congressman's office.
Alton Brown's fruitcake recipe. It looks tasty, but the volume is far too small. Why make only one fruitcake at a time?!
I am working on my NFE story, but argh, just realized that book club is this coming Wednesday, and I haven't read the book yet! Argh. Also it took me 4 tries to get started on the story, and then I had to do some background research and realized that I had [redacted] wrong, and also [redacted], and now I have to research [redacted]. I'm not sure if I'm going to get done in time...
In other news, Help!. Is anyone else using Chrome and having trouble logging into DW? I turned off HTTPS Everywhere, but that didn't make any difference. I simply cannot log in.
And now off to dog class where once again we will fail on the weave poles...