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Bill Roper's Journal
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23rd-Sep-2018 10:55 pm - Fenso Reparatus
The fence in the back yard is now repaired, thanks to a lot of assistance from Sam, and sufficient assistance from Katie. The debris has been tucked into our trash barrel to go out next week.

And Ruby the Dog has run happily around the yard.

A lot.

Because running is what Ruby the Dog does best. :)
22nd-Sep-2018 11:55 pm - Close, But No Cigar
Sam and I spent a substantial amount of time (with a lot of help from Katie) working on fixing the fence in the back yard. Unfortunately, the amount of time spent removing the old post and most of the cracked concrete footing meant that the job is not yet done.

This does not make Ruby the Dog happy at all, because she can not go sprinting around the back yard until there is no longer a gigantic hole in the fence, since Ruby the Dog will exit stage left and head down the block as soon as she finds the hole -- which should take about 4.2 seconds!

But we'll finish it up tomorrow.

Really.
21st-Sep-2018 11:43 pm - Time To Be Off
If I can finish this compile and check in, I will be on vacation.
20th-Sep-2018 06:42 pm - Changing the Subject
So, meanwhile, back at work, I think I have gotten the last bugs out of the Java side of what I was working on. Now, I just need to figure out exactly how to port all of the fixes back to C++, where the code is "similar", but not "identical". It's that difference between the two that makes porting so much fun!
19th-Sep-2018 10:27 pm - Meanwhile
I don't think I've made bad decisions today. This may or may not help.
18th-Sep-2018 10:14 pm - Ah, Well
I have probably just made a mistake. But I have had enough of this.
17th-Sep-2018 10:16 pm - Just a Wee Bit Sore
I got the post put in this morning for one of the two dental implants that I plan to get. My jaw is now pretty sore. Not horribly sore, but sore enough to be definitely noticeable.

Tomorrow should be better.
16th-Sep-2018 11:00 pm - Back to Capricon
There was a Capricon concom meeting today. It appears that progress was made. :)
15th-Sep-2018 11:56 pm - Fence Interruptus
We did not manage to get started on the fence today, although Katie and I did move the lumber out of the van and into the back yard. With any luck, things will get moving tomorrow.

Ruby is going to be very unhappy while we're working on this though, as while there is a big hole in the fence, she is not allowed to run around in the back yard, as she will not stay in the back yard with a big hole in the fence.
14th-Sep-2018 11:55 pm - Demo Worthy
My project at work should be good enough to demo on Monday. It still has rough edges, but it's definitely making progress.

We'll see how it goes.
13th-Sep-2018 04:33 pm - Feeling All Charged Up
The charging module for my phone arrived this morning.

I powered down the phone, pulled out the old charging module, popped the battery off, popped it onto the new charging module, put the charging module back into the phone, and powered the beast back up. The USB port now appears to be behaving normally, although I haven't put it through all of the possible tests yet.

But my phone appears to be back up to snuff, which is a good thing.

As I get older, I start to appreciate modular parts more and more.

I can think of several of my own modules that it might be convenient to replace...
12th-Sep-2018 11:55 pm - Cubs Lose
Sam joined me at Wrigley Field for the Cubs / Brewers game tonight. It was a lovely evening for baseball, we had a lot of fun conversation, and it was a good game up until the ninth inning, when the Brewers scored three runs off four different Cubs pitchers and turned a close game into a 5-1 fiasco.

It is quite emphatically time to be getting some sleep.
11th-Sep-2018 11:10 pm - Ghosts From the Past
I finally realized what the National League pennant race is reminding me of this year.

That would be the 2015 National League pennant race.

The three teams with the best records in the league were all in the NL Central and the Cardinals had to fight and claw their way to a first place finish to avoid the Wild Card play-in game.

But after all that fighting and clawing, their starting pitching staff was decimated. And they shortly thereafter lost the NLDS to the Cubs.

I am looking at the state of the Cubs pitching staff. And the standings.

And it is being very familiar.
10th-Sep-2018 05:04 pm - LG Flagship Phone Is Sinking
So about 18 months ago, I bought a brand-new LG G5 phone to replace my Nexus 5. I'd liked the Nexus 5, they were both built by LG, and I was able to get the LG G5 at the time for cheap, because the LG G6 had just rolled out. Sounds good, right?

Well, maybe not so much.

I plugged the G5 into the wall charger and the phone didn't light up. Hmm. Move it to another socket, check the connections, still no joy. Plug it into a USB charging cable attached to my bedside lamp. Nope.

Ok, let's try rebooting the beast. And now it starts up and produces a message that says "Insert a supported module to turn on your phone".

Ick. The LG G5 had a bunch of swappable modules that you could load at the bottom of the phone. This didn't take off as a concept and neither did the G5. But apparently, the charging module at the bottom of the phone was being very unhappy.

I pulled it out. I cleaned it. I put it back. Several times. And got the same message.

It is now *very* late at night. I search the Internet. It looks like the right thing to do is to get a new charging module. Which is different for *every* service provider.

I bought this phone from Ting. I decide to hope and pray that it is a Sprint phone. I order the matching module, which will not be here until Thursday. I leave the phone disassembled overnight.

This morning, I popped the module and battery back into the phone, plugged it into a wall charger, and powered it up. And look! It is charging!

Via further experimentation, I have discovered that if I reboot the device with a USB cable plugged in, it will figure out that it can charge from the cable. It won't do anything *else* USB-related, but at least it will charge. On Thursday, we will see if the replacement module works.

At the moment, I am rather annoyed that my 18-month old LG G5 is crapping out on me.

Which leads me to the question: If I were to replace this phone with another Android model, what would you recommend that I replace it with that I will find comparable to this G5? I don't want a larger phone, but I do like the screen resolution on this beast. And I want to stay in the Android ecosphere, because I have too many apps to want to start over. Also, I get itchy if I pay more than about $300 for a phone.

I would also like it to work for longer than 18 months...

Suggestions?
9th-Sep-2018 11:44 am - Getting to Know You
New schools, new system. And middle school as well.

But we have now scheduled parent/teacher conferences with Katie's teachers.

(It looks like it's pretty much a case of "So far, so good", but we should check in. :) )
8th-Sep-2018 11:28 pm - Getting a Few Things Done
Today, I got a few things done around the house.

A few weeks ago, I bought a pruning blade for the cordless sawzall. After Katie and I got back from lunch at Red Robin, she headed out with me as we made an assault on various volunteers that had grown up along the fence line and that desperately needed to be taken back a few notches.

And then, we went after the honeysuckle bush -- excuse me, tree -- that we had planted some 20 years ago next to the chimney. This poor bush had grown up huge in every possible direction, through neighboring bushes, and was horribly gnarled. It was time for it to come down. And down it came, with Katie hauling huge branches away to where our lawn service can collect them.

There is still a ginormous stump that we'll talk to the lawn service about dealing with, but the bush is essentially down.

After that, I had promised Katie that I would look for the old Yamaha keyboard in the basement. It was easy to find. The power supply was not. An hour of searching and throwing away various empty, useless boxes did not turn it up. So I have ordered a new power supply that should be here tomorrow.

In and around this, Gretchen, Katie, and I did four loads of laundry. (Mostly Gretchen, giving credit where credit is due.)

And thus was progress made.
7th-Sep-2018 06:06 pm - Releasing the Dragon
This is a high resolution time-lapse video of the undocking of the SpaceX Dragon capsule from the International Space Station. It's a lot more fun than watching an animation. :)

6th-Sep-2018 11:15 pm - Curriculum Night
Today was Curriculum Night at Julie's school, so I headed over and caught up with the changes this year. So far, so good. :)
5th-Sep-2018 11:09 am - Thought for the Day
One more such victory and we are undone.
4th-Sep-2018 11:11 pm - Mischief Managed
I have acquired, at a very reasonable price, a copy of Martha Keller's Brady's Bend and Other Ballads, complete with dust jacket and in excellent condition. I remember when this volume was unobtanium, but the growth of the Internet has made it much more obtainable. :)
3rd-Sep-2018 10:51 pm - The Best Laid Plans
Today is the last day that our neighborhood pool was open and we had made plans to go there with Sam and Bonnie this afternoon. But it rained. It rained a lot. So we never made it to the pool.

But earlier in the day, we had gone out to see Christopher Robin with Sam and Bonnie. It turns out to be a delightful film and caused Gretchen to coin the phrase "Agent Carter and the Super Sleuths", which makes my brain hurt.

I also discovered that I cannot sit in the third row of the theater without becoming motion sick. *sigh* Motion sick watching Christopher Robin. Right.

We headed back to the house to chat. It turns out that Jerry has just arrived back in town, so we invited him over to join us. There was a lot of pleasant conversation, an emergency run for dinner supplies, dinner, and eventually the party broke up and we started moving -- slowly -- towards bed.

Back to school and work tomorrow.

But it was a good end to summer.

And a very wet one.
2nd-Sep-2018 09:50 pm - Everyone's Home
Gretchen was out for a sleep study on Friday night. Katie was out for a sleepover on Saturday night.

Tonight, everyone is finally at home again.

And tomorrow, we're going to relax and have some fun. It is a holiday, after all.
1st-Sep-2018 11:30 pm - Catching Up
Today was time to catch up on several things. The bills are paid, I have finally sent off some things that we've owed for a while, and now it is time to go to bed. :)
31st-Aug-2018 11:35 pm - Down One
Gretchen is off for a sleep study tonight, so it's me here with the girls. Things have been pretty quiet, as they spent time on the computer and have now retreated to their separate corners.

I'm thinking it's getting to be time to go to bed.

The girls, not so much.

Ah, well. It's Friday.
So it's like this.

I have sleep apnea. So does Gretchen. I have been using a CPAP for 25 years now; Gretchen for a bit over a decade. Our current CPAP machines are over 10 years old and are due for replacement. Overdue, in fact.

Our primary care physician thinks that it would be a good idea for us to get a fresh sleep study done to check our pressure since it's been 10 years in Gretchen's case and 25 years in my case since we've had one. This requires us to have it done in a lab so they can get an accurate reading.

United Healthcare, who we are insured by, has approved Gretchen's sleep study in the lab.

They have denied mine.

Why? Nobody seems to know, although when I spoke with United Healthcare on the phone today, they said that they normally want to have a home sleep study done first to determine that I have sleep apnea. As should be evident to a blind, syphilitic camel, since I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea previously and have been sleeping with a CPAP every night for 25 years and have not done anything that might improve the situation -- such as, for instance, lose a metric ton of weight -- a home sleep study is a waste of time, money, and effort.

But here we are.

The doctor at the sleep clinic must now call them and ask them kindly to review this denial in a peer-to-peer discussion, as opposed to what seems to be the "let's throw darts at the board and see where they land" system that they have used previously.

This is not an argument in favor of Medicare-For-All. Government is nothing if not as good or better at setting up unnecessary bureaucratic procedures than the private sector.

In any case, I am righteously annoyed.
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