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|Thursday, November 5th, 2015|
|Brainstorming on Hacking while Hoboing (fucking pesticide)
Perfect coffee shop... I want to find you.
There is no place in Tempe that has power outlets, is chill with people hanging out, is pesticide free, has reasonable hours, and has food. Not even half of those things.
Royal in Tempe got very quiet. Everyone left. The barista was sitting down chatting with one patron. I was engrossed in my work, head down, trying to get done as much as I could as quickly as I could because I had to pee and there was no bathroom. Having to pee would be the limiting factor on my stay I thought until I looked up, went oh shit, checked Yelp, and discovered that they were in fact closed.
Four Peaks, quite predictably, has a pesticide habit, I'm pretty sure, from sitting in there a couple of hours after finishing my stats final. I need access to food for multiple reasons. I can't only drink coffee/beer, and I get hungry. But places with food are a bajillion times more likely to use pesticide. At Mad Hatter right now, next door to Royal. It doesn't work to evaluate new places for pesticide use when I already have a pesticide hangover and of course I didn't get out of the house on time. I didn't want to go do this thing again, where I hobo all over. I wanted to find out if it was actually going to be a problem. A lot of times, I can't really tell until I step out and get some air, so I intentionally planned a visit to the post office to figure that out.
Boulders is right out. It still smells like cockroach in there from thei battle with the beasts, but maybe there's an outlet hidden around the patio somewhere. I'll try D'lish later. Outlets and chill-friendly are in question in addition to pesticide use. They're not really playing up the organic thing (I don't think), just veg.
Maybe I should get a hotel. Maybe I'll motocycle up to the McDowell mountain park and see if they have T-Mobile coverage, if T-Mobile's billing gateway starts working again. Maybe I should do the $20/month plan even though virtually no where has T-Mobile coverage, just so that the stupid billing gateway going down doesn't leave me stranded. I hate throwing more good money after bad in situations like this. Since FreedomPop no longer works for tethering for me, maybe I should buy a Sprint WiFi AP thingie.
It's down to 80 degrees. Jackets and long sleeve shirts have been busted out.
This is a good case study in lack of billables. I've in the past been told that I'm cursed. No disagreement there.
This evening, I napped, and when I woke up, I cleaned the bathroom, because roommates are having people over this weekend. Yesterday, the owner of the duplex next door was around because he had work men there again ripping up concrete. He's getting ready to put more concrete in, and per my earlier request, he warned me that they're going to be spraying anti-termite stuff before laying down concrete, so tomorrow could wind up being pretty shitty and unproductive.
After cleaning the bathroom, I settled down at the computer to find that things were laggy as hell.
64 bytes from 184.108.40.206: icmp_seq=2 ttl=53 time=5895.267 ms
64 bytes from 220.127.116.11: icmp_seq=3 ttl=53 time=4886.144 ms
64 bytes from 18.104.22.168: icmp_seq=5 ttl=53 time=2867.211 ms
64 bytes from 22.214.171.124: icmp_seq=7 ttl=53 time=6816.596 ms
64 bytes from 126.96.36.199: icmp_seq=8 ttl=53 time=5807.583 ms
Five second ping times are unusable. I can't scroll around in vi on a remote system when it takes 12 seconds (round trip) to move the cursor one space.
The Android "Tether" app showed some promise of running on OpenBSD even though it isn't supported. Losing that, and the associated limited free monthly cell data, was one thing I gave up moving from Linux to OpenBSD but I deemed it well worth it, and if I can get it to go anyway, awesome. The host portion of the app is written in JS on top of node. OpenBSD has an adb port, which is the Google Android host program that talks to Android devices. The distro for the host part of the Tether app came with a Linux binary. The distro also automatically builds node.js. OpenBSD has node.js in ports, so I installed that one and changed the startup script to use it instead. OpenBSD also combined tap and tun devices into one configurable device which is fine in theory but terrible when you're just trying to run software that expects tap and tun devices. Creating the ride device node and configuring it then firing the thing up... nothing. It doesn't give the usual debug output from conversing with the phone. No idea what the problem is. I could dig in more but this yak shaving expedition might not pay off in any do-able amount of time.
Okay, fine, I'm travelling anyway, so I'll throw T-Mobile some money. The payment doesn't go. I update it to a different card than the bank one it had... and it still doesn't go. The prepaid web interface has long been a weak part for T-Mobile, which is amazing because they don't have coverage at the University of Chicago or downtown Florida Hilton or basically anywhere. It's almost easier to find an open access point than T-Mobile data coverage that isn't 2G.
Earlier parts of the day involved going to the post office, email, and other computer and non-computer chores and a needed remote cat petting session.
So here it is just turning 3am and I don't have any billable hours, and tomorrow is going to suck (no where safe in town I know of to go), and I promised a prototype of this stuff by the end of the week and was hoping to make progress on that tonight.
I'd do the PISS loop on my bike if it weren't for thinking that I should go to bed so I can more readily and promptly escape tomorrow (bed bugs invading libraries was hands down the worst thing that happened to my situation in the past few years).
It's way too easy to spend 8 or 12 or 14 hours in front of the computer and have nadda.
Once again, I wish that I could magically know in advance when trying to work would just be futile so I could go do other things that I need or want to do.
If things were in slightly different alignment -- if this Kyocera Hydra phone did WiFi tethering -- things would be different.
|Saturday, October 31st, 2015|
|CAzBike Annual Meeting
Conference calls are dreadful. Most of the CAz meetings are phone meetings because people couldn't come from every corner of AZ every month. So, it was good to see people face to face... for a marathon 3.5 hour meeting. It was a vigorous ride down there and I misunderstood that there would be lunch (because we were told on the mail list that food was being sourced), so I only ate two bananas that I had forgot I purchased and left in my pannier (aka second stomach), which made the sweet tea taste really good which made me pee a lot and vigorously.
"My" tallbike is with Taylor down McClintock a ways on the other side of the freeway but I have the one that the borrowed from someone in a sort of jersey exchange ritual, so of course I rode that to Chandler on approximately this route:https://www.google.com/maps/dir/S+McClintock+Dr+%26+E+Apache+Blvd,+Tempe,+AZ+85281/7475+W+Chandler+Blvd,+Chandler,+AZemail@example.com,-111.9353064,13z/data=!4m8!4m7!1m2!1m1!1s0x872b08f415e5f41b:0xffec7745b7f24043!1m2!1m1!1s0x872b0412221a4879:0xd3609323a613dca5!3e1!5m1!1e3
I swear, riding those damn things does more for bicycle advocacy than all of this other garbage I do. The full sized seat on that one made my ass hurt a lot less, but it likes to pitch over backwards, so the occasional steep climbs were an exercise in how far I could hang myself over the front bars and still reach the pedals.
Coming back, I wound up taking a different route (and that wasn't my exact route down either) because I was doing the half-way thing where the canal crosses busy roads but then getting swept up with traffic. I wound up going up Kyrene Rd and then across Southern in heavy traffic to get to College. One motorist unnecessarily rode my ass and honked. Another drove next to me (at 21 mph) and interviewed me before declaring it awesome. I like the (slightly lower) gear ratio on mine better.
And whoever sent me the bubble machine link (R?) -- that's awesome and totally in character for Heavy Metal Kids bike. Which reminds me, rebeccmeister
-- people keep asking about you, and I think the afore mentioned Taylor knew you as the lady who bikes on Southern. The Eastwoods were also at the McClintock party a couple of nights ago.
The new MAG Bike Maps are out and they are just about at the point where major roads without bikelanes need to be highlighted instead of the current system. Though it occurs to me that I have a copy of the (previous) data and could turn it into a pirate's treasure map and put skulls and crossbones on the busy roads without bike lanes.
I discovered that CAz already has a membership discount at several bikeshops. I do advocacy for another group and I've been an advisor for them for a year now and I didn't know this. TBAG wants to set that up. Obviously a collaboration is needed. Sometimes other people or organizations counting on you is a good motivator. That's a great way for shops to support advocacy indirectly by encouraging the people involved in those organizations (at any level -- which is necessary).
There are some great characters there -- Eric the Tucson bike attorney, Ed who also dabbles in data and knows his shit and whose polite corrections I am frequently grateful for and Radar many other older ladies and gentlemen. Man, hug your local bike advocate. These people do so much and they do it because they're awesome which means that they're awesome.
|Thursday, October 29th, 2015|
|Deeply Troubling Problem
Walking home from fast food the other day and noticing the plastic bags marking proximity to Food City, I had a deeply troubling thought.
We often think about peak oil in the context of not being able to motor our fat asses around in seven ton luxury all terrain vehicles, but we haven't even begun to deal with the problem of peak plastic bag.
By one estimate, there are 1.7 trillion barrels of oil still in the ground: http://www.9news.com/story/money/2014/08/09/amount-of-oil-reserves-left/13849651/
By one estimate, one barrel of oil makes 2500 plastic bags: http://www.rensselaercounty.org/enviroment%20management%20council/plastic%20bag%20facts.htm
That leaves only 4.25 quadrillion plastic bags still in the ground before people are no longer able to carry their groceries home from the store, with predictable disastrous consequences.
I know that seems like it's still a lot of single use disposable plastic bags, but with north of 250 million people in this country who have to fill up the back of their Escalades every week with hundreds of doubled bagged heavy items, it's really hardly any at all.
I implore our government to make every effort to war other countries for their oil before this grim reality is realized.
Thank you for sharing my concerns on this matter. Together, we will find a way to prevent mass starvation in our homeland country of America.
|Misc and OpenBSD and photo dump
Random things that I got used to not working now work on OpenBSD. Sound in movies in Firefox. Setting the timezone. Linux had automatic things that kept trouncing both of those and the docs for fixing the automatic things were wrong and I never figured it out (udev supposedly copying permissions to dev files, and no idea what kept clobbering my TZ/zoneinfo settings). Various devices I plug in have multiple USB endpoints rather than just one, so I can see the Kyocera USB Modem endpoint and the USB drive endpoint. Linux didn't see either.
A large part of the rationalization for moving to 64 bit was to give Firefox enough memory to operate, but it isn't gobbling up memory like it was on 32 bit Linux. I don't know what's different, but after using it all day, it's at 1.6 gigs. On 32 bit Linux, it would have run out of memory and crashed a dozen times by now (usually crashing when it hits about 2.8 gigs, if I haven't restarted it first). And Firefox is somehow configured to print to lpd. I had been printing to file then invoking lpd on the file. lpd is the old Unix printing standard; CUPS is a train wreck and is completely unnecessary (and counter productive) if you have a PostScript capable printer.
Another motivation for BSD was the disaster that is systemd.
It's a very small pool, purchased by roommates for ducks.
This was a stick when I put it in the ground less than a year ago.
Pepper and rosemary died. When the automatic sprinkler system failed, it lost pressure, so the sprinkler things didn't get water into pots. I put several things into the ground before I left.
Goodwill. Photographed, not purchased.
Emma, being obnoxious and adorable for pets.
To be fair, it was a flop house. The unsanitary conditions was all on the potheads. I cleaned up more than my share.
Simpler times. Minnesota rocks for supporting higher-ed.
5.25 width full height SCSI drive, from UMN surplus, quite some time ago now. A flood of antiques came out of the woodwork when they went to tear down the old Chemistry building (a two story brick structure whose second story had long been condemned). Modern HDs are 3.5" and a quarter that height or 2.5" and even shorter.
Fourth modem. First was a 300 baud, then two Atari SX212 1200 bauds that it turns out burn out when you turn the speaker volume up. Guess how many tries it took me to figure that out? The Supramodem was a really good modem.
Not a bomb. Basically just an address buffer/latch for reading NES ROMs over a parallel port. A few short years later and NES ROM images were all over the 'net, making these unnecessary, but originally, if you wanted to use an emulator to play NES games, you had to build one of these bad boys and rip your own. I should recycle it. It's horrifying to look at.
My first hard drive. All of the parts of frankenputer were donated or obtained cheap due to some defect. The entire computer was made from defective parts. The video card had bad attribute RAM, so all of the text (and it was text only) was in random, flashing colors. One HD/floppy controller combo had a busted floppy controller and the other a busted HD controller. This was back when you had to configure little jumpers on the cards to enable/disable things and configure which IRQ and ports they're at, which had to match what the OS expects. This HD had bad sectors and was already long obsolete at 40 megs, if memory serves. It was smaller than the minimum required size for a NetBSD install, so I had to/was able to switch to another vty and delete files as it was installing so that it wouldn't fill up. And that's the story of my first Unix machine.
I wish that I could say that I acquired data with this bad boy, but I haven't. Another pretty salvage item.
I wore out a flask in the year I did at the University of Minnesota.
One of the first commercial internet services, with low, low off-peak hours of $1.25 an hour.
This is what the inside of a Commodore Amiga 1000 computer's case looks like.
This is what the inside of a Baker's Square restaurant looks like.
This building is long and has dozens of chimneys. UMN campus. As far as architecture goes, taking stuff online is a rip off.
Architecture building courtyard.
Modern (not post-post modern).
The lunch my mother packed me. It had a banana, a tomato, a slice of pizza, and a piece of a razor blade.
I found my bicycle -- in beautiful condition!
Adorable older couple.
Food (but not cat food).
The cat photos could have easily had their own post.
The pic I'm going to send in reply to friend's cooking picture posts.
This fucknut was licking the window. I saw a collection of animals licking windows somewhere on the 'net. If I find it again, I shall have to submit this little nutjunkie.
Da twain, da twain!
Soon before the train.
A majestic feline. S/he was often there as I walked home from Meadowlark. I may be into the turf of photos I already posted (wish LJ would tell me cuz I sure ain't gunna look).
|Wednesday, October 28th, 2015|
To add to the list of things I missed: ripe dates. Tempe planted date palms along University Ave in a median. That would be a fun 4am project.
Sprouts stopped selling bags of faken bits. One of my go-to quickie foods was avocado-mayo-fakenbit sandwiches. Food City has been getting avocados from somewhere.
I ordered two 4gig RAM modules off of the 'net. To access the 2nd module slot, which was empty in the CF-C1B (B=mk2) which OpenBSD knows how to do the touchpad on (mouse would be fine but it would take me a year to break the habit... part of the downside of computering so much is the powerfully ingrained habits that I build), you have to completely take the machine apart. The keyboard has to come off to access screws needed to get the top of the lid off then the motherboard comes unscrewed and all of the connectors get disconnected. Not fun. So I cleverly decided that I could probably stick it in there surgery style, where the module vanishes into the bowels of the computer then gets maneuvered into place. I did it, but I ruined one of the 4 gig modules on the first attempt and then wound up moving the 2gb module (that came with the machine but was in the user accessible slot rather than the hidden slot for some bizarre reason) into the hidden slot. So the mk2 has 6 gigs of RAM, up from the 4 gigs I was running in the mk1. Windows on the mk1 is still extremely unhappy. I'm going to have to do something radical to fix this situation. So, I ordered another 4gb module, probably for the mk1.
The Evap-o-Rust in the kidding pool fountain appears to be evaporating. It's water based, and it's turning into a noticeable thicker, more viscous green syrup, a week later. So, I guess I should add more water. Feels strange to use a water based solution to remove rust.
After a few weeks of idly removing grasshoppers from the garden and feeding them to the chickens, the greens are starting to grow back. They were all picked completely bare and barely hanging to life when I got back.
|Monday, October 26th, 2015|
|Things I'm Pissed I Missed
YAPC::NA, that Perl Conference
Phoenix Ballet's Ballet in the Park
Portland RetroGaming Expo
Tempe Tour de Fat
Denver Tour de Fat (was in the neighborhood but didn't know it)
Few 200k and 300k brevets or more bike rides in general
It's been a rough year
I filled the kiddie pool with 5 gallons of Evap-o-Rust. There's a small pond pump in it, and the Honda Z600 is parked over it.
In some places, the rust have eaten through one of the layers of wavy metal that forms the very bottom. Rust left gets worse, so this project has been gnawing at me.
I'm attempting to actually run OpenBSD now. I haven't really budgeted time to back out, but I didn't really budget time to deal with Linux's various stupid crashers and WiFi problems and package manager stupidity. Funny how some things are noticeable faster and some are noticeably slower.
This has lots of mini-projects, such as, okay, why won't swap swap? Then eventually figuring out that what the installer did, of using a GUID as the swap device, doesn't actually work for some reason, and it needs the device node, and the "device not configured" error message was exceedingly unhelpful (kept trying to figure out how to initialize the swap like you have to do on Linux, but there is no such thing for OpenBSD). Or how to raise the ulimit so Firefox doesn't bite it.
Then there's things that just aren't right, like control-A in Firefox doesn't select all of the text in the text box or URL bar. That's really going to bug me. Maybe rebuilding from source will fix whatever went horribly wrong. I can't imagine how OpenBSD would be responsible for that given that Firefox and X are pretty well insulating layers on top of it. Is this a security feature somehow?
There's no Docker for OpenBSD, and if there were, it would have to do like the one for Windows does and run the guest inside virtualization, and OpenBSD apparently decided virtualization is stupid. It is stupid for hosting but it's really handy for development. I've probably got 20 OS installs laying around and was hoping a larger laptop HD would consolidate that mess and make it portable and convenient. wine, the Windows execution/ABI layer, in a previous version, supports OpenBSD 32 bit, but no version supports OpenBSD 64 bit. It seems like wine's approach to handling 32/64 bit is to have two versions installed, one for each, using Linux's dual 32/64 bit support. OpenBSD doesn't seem to have anything like that. Office 97 stuff was really handy sometimes on Linux and it was fun and I'll miss it. Likewise, foobar2000 is the only acceptable modern mp3 player I've found, and I'll suffer for the lack of being able to run that in wine.
While files were moving around last night, I was copying stuff off of old IBM floppies. I used a lot of 720k "double density" (high-density 1.44meg floppies are essentially quad density, relative the original PC floppy) disks because I could move them between the Amiga and PCs. Amigas would read/write PC disks but only if they were only double density. Most things were still readable, and a lot of stuff I had already copied to Unix a long time ago, but I had to verify that. Some multi-disk pkzip archive sets had all of their sets and I was able to extract them. It feels weird to throw those all in the trash. Organizing and dealing with them and shuttling my data around on them was a big part of my life for many years. If I have my way, I'll be eventually doing the same thing with the Atari 8 bit 5.25" floppies and moving them to an SD card care of an SIO2SD device.
My mother's Mac works fine. The cheap Chinese mini-DVI adapter is what failed. The replacement cheap Chinese mini-DVI fixed the reported problem with "it completely turned off". I ordered two extra power adapters because "it completely turned off" after verifying repeatedly with LindaMom that the power light on the unit was off too. A proper diagnosis would have left all parties much happier. She's not too thrilled with the Linux desktop that she got to replace it. So, phase III of this operation is re-installing the thing. She was complaining about the Mac Mini being slow, but now she's complaining about the Linux desktop being slow. I need to investigate disabling tabbed browsing completely, but that won't fix delays on loading.
Made it to a TBAG board meeting the other night then joined some of the gang for beers on the patio afterwards. T'was nice. So much work to do.
Cliff got a job doing mechanical engineering again, what his degree was originally for (I think his BS was ME and his MS was stats). Talking to people after the TBAG board meeting, a lot of people are doing masters or second degrees because they cannot find work in their field. That's really depressing.
|Monday, October 19th, 2015|
|BSD and Linux rant/project
Trying to make Skype work on the Sharp RD3D (the brutish Pentium 4 Destkop replacement unit with a 3D screen and Windows XP that serves as my Dungeon Keeper II machine as well as one of my most serious attempts at actually keeping a Windows machine around) failed when I needed to message for work. Password recovery didn't fix it though the error about not being able to sign on suggested that might be the problem though I knew it wasn't. Skype did offer me a new web browser based Skype experience though -- perfect! No more constant updates and it should work on BSD, if I get that going (I'd long since stopped using the Linux Skype binary which probably doesn't even work anymore anyway).
So, Debian got itself in quite a state. When I put off fixing these cases where Debian starts failing to install packages with more and more paradoxes even aptitude can't solve without attempting to completely re-install everything (which generally fails), things just get worse and worse. In the past, I've either spent a week helping Debian through its difficulties or else failed and re-installed from scratch. Since I have a lot of stuff set up in particular ways, re-installs are a huge undertaking. I'm old fashioned. I like to customize my Unix experience rather than using default everything. Re-installs and a stock user experience is for Windows, as far as I'm concerned.
For years now, coinciding with Debian's again rapidly deteriorating health (I've been building everything I need from source for about a year now because apt wants a new libc before it'll install anything, and then it has to re-install everything, because it's idiotic and doesn't understand Unix shared library major/minor version numbers and that everything would be just fucking fine if it installed an upgraded libc but left the old one there too), I've been meaning to actually upgrade to 64 bit so I can have more than 4 gigs of RAM, since this is increasingly turning into a serious limitation for looking at cat pictures. Firefox leaks and then runs out of memory every few hours during moderately heavy use. Not the end of the world. Netscape 4.5 was at least as shitty. I also ordered a 1tb laptop HD a while back and it would be nice to move stuff over to it, which I could easily do with my busted Debian install.
Linux also crashes too much for tastes. In Minnesota, I finally figured out the pattern of connecting to new WiFi APs not working: after the thing has been running for a while, it simply loses the ability to connect to new APs until it gets rebooted. If I wanted to reboot all of the time, I'd run Windows. I want Unix, not a shitty knock off free Windows. Cripes. Every time that situation comes up, I lose hours, that time included. Often I don't have hours to spare. So, my hatred of not only Debian but Linux has been festering.
Linux defenders... I understand community and Free and this stuff... and hacker... that's all great and I really support it. But Ultrix was not this shitty. IRIX was no where near this shitty. Antique SunOS was waaay less shitty. Linux has the right principles, but it is a really shitty half assed, broken, confused, incoherent, butchered Unix that you've then taken and made insanely pointlessly overcomplicated.
So anywho, I pulled the Windows 7 HD out of the Win 7 machine and stuck the 1tb in there and set about trying to install DragonflyBSd, which hit a showstopper, which is too bad because it's based off of 4.x FreeBSD code which is uncrashable under any uptime or level of abuse. OpenBSD had some problems but I have it running right now. True to the last time I installed BSD, it takes about 40 goes through the installer before you can navigate to the end *and* get it to successfully boot. The last thing I ealt with is that it still has the 600meg or whatever BIOS boot area limitation, which Linux 3 stage loaders work around and I had forgotten about. That would be okay, except then if you make your / partition 600 megs, you can't make an /everything_else partition. You need shitty little /usr, /var, /tmp, and /home partitions, each with a specific, fixed amount of space allocated to them. ACPI suspend worked out of the box. I got compiz going, which always takes some work -- one person remarked that he judges the quality of life by the time since he last had to edit his xorg.conf file. I'm back at 0 there. OpenBSD's package repo has the latest Firefox. Backlight controls work. WiFi is the last major outstanding likely showstopper I need to test.
I wish OpenBSD, FreeBSD, and NetBSD would just collaborate on one package manager system. pkgsrc, NetBSD's effort, supports those and several more systems, and FreeBSD and OpenBSD's package managers are related. The duplicate of effort along the fringe is deplorable. Since OpenBSD's package manager isn't as comprehensive as pkgsrc and pkgsrc is inherently dev environment friendly (installing the headers too), I'll probably wind up with an awkward mix of the two much like Debian gets a lot of stuff installed from source when apt can't hack it. Blurgh.
One of the major pain points of Debian getting hosed is that I can't get VirtualBox installed from source and Debian can't manage the package, so I've been running VMs in software emultation rather than virtualization. It's slow enough that it's impossible to tell whether something has wedged completely or is just taking a long time. I could get Sean Connery drunk staring and waiting for it to finish things, or completely forget I had it start it, if I flip over and do something else.
The last time I installed or upgraded Linux, I also tried about 20 (I shit you not) kernel versions, trying to find a configuration that was stable. Everyone insisted that all of them should be fine... until a few years had passed, when people started admitting that yeah, a lot of the 3.x and 4.x kernels really didn't run very well. Linus is a brilliant programmer, but Linux really lacks the dedication to stability and reliability that defined Unix. It used to be that if your Unix crashed, you sent in the crash image (like a coredump but for the kernel of the kernel memory, written to swap) and they fixed it and sent you a fixed one. Compare the expected result of that -- finding and fixing every bug -- to Linux, where they ignore and deny any problems.
I gave in to Linux on the laptop a long time ago when I had to run various binaries, such as Flash. Virtualization wasn't on laptops yet. NetBSD had recently screwed the pooch when the NetBSD Project hijacked the NetBSD Foundation (or the other way around? don't remember which is which) and commercial interests took over technical ones, and OpenBSD didn't have ACPI suspend yet and FreeBSD had just screwed the pooch with their disastrous 5.x where they at the same time decided to do an enormous kernel retrofit to make everything multithreaded while at the same time losing their lead developer to Apple. No one was maintaining the 4.x line for the future -- Dragonfly hadn't started yet.
Anywho, if I can get BSD going well and everything moved over to it, I'll be able to scratch something off my todo list that's been on there a long time, and hopefully slay one of the time vampires that's been chewing on my neck for ages.
Oh, and I love it when Windows programs fail to work and then have a "troubleshoot" button and you click it and it just pops up a windows that says "Make sure you're connected to the Internet. If that doesn't work, ask your administrator for help!" Bitch, I'm using Windows because I don't want to something, or my attempts at administering it on Linux failed.
Edit: Also, it would be really cool to put some Unix on the RD3D and run it in 3D mode all of the time, and write a custom window manager that stacks windows in 3D, and only use the 3D for that. But having a Dungeon Keeper machine is cooler.
Edit: Oh gosh... I just remembered. One of the Linux kernel attempts worked fine except for one thing: it crashed very instantly and very completely when you plugged in a project, for heaven knows what reason. Guess how I found that out? I'm sorry everyone =(
|Friday, October 16th, 2015|
Bill managed to start a lot of discussion, and create a lot of interest, with the bike count data meeting. That means I have work to do to keep everyone rolling and taken care of.
Stats this week (and I already have a "journal" assignment that gets feedback from French professor dude) is R^2, Bernoulli response (redux?), logistic regressions, and mosaic plots.
Media has been abuzz with Tesla's "autopilot" feature. Reactions came in waves: "Cool! Tesla did what Google has been working on for years, and without the hype or giant sensor arrays"; "No, it's not self-driving, it's just assistive"; "still really cool"; "hey, wait, Mercedes has had that for years, and the other luxury car makers have it too now... are you all being paid by Tesla to hype their stuff or what?".
Doing a dumb test plot to make sure I have the call to residuals() right (boy you can pass the output of lm() to a lot of things), I decided to do residuals(lm(cars$city.mpg ~ cars$price)). Then of course I plotted it to see what I was looking at.
Aha... that's why people (millennials) are excited about this thing. I'm not going to go all Tesla fan-boy, but I think that's newsworthy: luxury economy. I look for things like this to give me hope about the future. Obviously no one is going to take a small car with a small 1.8L engine and teach it how to stay in its lane and follow the car in front of it and change lanes on its own and park itself because people buy cars with small engines because they're on a budget. Obviously. So, for once, people are paying big bucks for something for some reason other than it has a great big gas guzzling engine. Kinda cool. (Also, the example data is out of date.)
I'm still convinced that if we banned SUVs from residential streets, we'd see a lot more variety of small vehicles: e-bikes, NEVs (golf cart class electrics), cargo bikes, etc. It doesn't solve the huge-and-in-a-hurry problem.
In my continued exploration of the worst case scenario of not doing what I'm supposed to be and not giving myself permission to go get exercise, I again searched out fan-made Dungeon Keeper II maps and then wound up playing one that took a really long time to beat... the better part of the day. A lot of maps just make it crash (like a lot of games, it's crash prone, and they wind up carefully working around crashes in level design, but then there's lack of testing on different patch levels too... something for 1.4 might not run at all on 1.7). But a good fan made map that runs is pure joy. Previous iteration (probably a couple of years ago now), I found a map that had you starting off with a couple of beefy creatures in a tiny room in the middle of a huge arena full of monsters. You didn't have enough food or room for both to sleep. If you didn't kill passing monsters carefully enough (and you had to be really careful about timing), other monsters would be alerted and you'd get mauled. Another had a massive invasion about 90 seconds after the game started; you could just barely survive if you worked fast and smart enough. This one was an enormous level with inadequate space to build for the first half of the game with volleys of invasions, and three tough monsters starting out. Locking stuff off with hidden doors, flanking invasions, exploring carefully, and continuing to unearth stuffy at a quick pace were called for. It took a few tries before I got the groove of it. None of the built-in levels are nearly as punishing. It would be nice to take up level making for the thing... some day.
I think I missed the dates being ripe. I keep trying to catch the black sphinx again and failing.
Still fighting with licenses. VM seems to have (knocking on wood) stopped crashing, or least is not crashing every single day. Psychologically, I think I'm waiting for randomness to subside and to see some evidence of things working. Things not working means I can do other things, but too many things not working means too many context switches on top of bike count stuff and stats and my brain goes durrr luhhllll wheee.
I found myself today putting extra love into "it's not working" emails. Too many emails that are short, identical, and to the point feel wrong. It seems important to create an illusion that stumbling through stuff has us exactly on track, which may be the case. Regardless, the good vibes I've learned are far more worth the energy than anything else.
Almost done with the stats class. Do I really want to jump into Coursera's thing again immediately afterwards? I'm not multitasking very well here on my obligations.
I should try to estimate how many context switches I'm good for in a day before my brain has an expanses paid trip to lala land.
|Monday, October 5th, 2015|
Stayed at one of the two downtown Flagstaff hostels; amazing how those book up. There were three beds left for men between the two of them. Germans, Dutch visiting. I guess I need some milk and coffee for the morning. Some tomato plants are sad but alive. The apple is alive. There are pomegranates on the pomegranate. Fountain pens hate altitude change. I could fly round trip to Portland for the RetroGameExpo for $275. Tempting. Logged some hours on the train successfully and read/worked on stats; too many context changes for work so stopped before I really should have. time.gov is back. Waited at Amtrak Flag in the morning for the shuttle, and more people kept coming up to me to talk to me; I'd had enough. My side of the "conversation" devolved into "I'm sorry, I can't help you", "I'm sorry, please leave me alone", "I don't care", "Go away", "I have no fucking idea what you're talking about, leave me alone". I don't think most/any of these people were hobos. I'm not sure if mental illness (other than my own) was a factor or not. Lots of sick (other than mentally) people; mostly random social viral stuff but Flag had another Amtrak ambulance this time (I didn't ask) reported related to high altitude. Amtrak staffer said "there's one every train". I missed Ballet in the Park, which have been phenomenal, and Tour de Fat. They're at the Desert Botanical Gardens in May; I missed that last year. Dinner guest for the second day on Amtrak was straight out of an Ayn Rand novel; I keep myself insulated so I'm never quite prepared for that. I'm told that I should stop doing what I want to do and do what I need to do. I have a lot of questions about that; that seems artificially dichotomatic. The only life detail I shared that prompted this was that I didn't own a home yet but was renting. I'm glad I didn't by chance volunteer any notion of what a fuck-up I actually am. Lady, I'm seriously considering joining the ranks of the trailer trash, for budgetary/antisocial personality reasons. Speaking of trailer trashing it, if I had driven down, I think I'd like to have spent a few days in Flag in the national parks... need to get those solar panels going.
|Saturday, October 3rd, 2015|
Amtrak did an "assistance needed immediately to the lower level of..." intercom call and then very soon after a "if anyone is a nurse or doctor". The person right across from me was a doctor and made his way down. Amtrak stopped in the next town just in an intersection. The ambulance didn't have its sirens on when it left. Doctor came back, sat down, sighed, and said plainly to his wife, "they had a defibrillator; it couldn't get any signal". She nodded knowning. Four passengers helped two conductors carry the passenger to the stretcher. Kids, eat your veggies.
Dined on Amtrak (lunch veggie burger for dinner and salad). Older Christian lady dined with a younger guy and I. She prayed to Jesus (what's the etymology of praying to Jesus instead of to God?) for safety for the train and the people on it (and then immediately started criticizing everyone else's appearance and behavior and her food while talking through a scowl and a full mouth). Not wanting to argue with her, I didn't want to point out that Jesus is a terrible patron sate of safety, the thing everyone seems to keep asking him for. Maybe we should be praying to Jesus for fertility, to make new people to replace all of the ones we break. Jesus seems to be pretty good at that. Maybe it's fear of fertility festivals that prevent people from seeing Jesus in this light that he's so much more productive in.
She talked about how marriage is for life, and her traveling for her and her dead husband's anniversary, and how she get married in '49 when she was 13, and kids these days just don't appreciate the meaning of marriage. I commented, yeah, this generally really is about instant gratification. I don't think she caught the joke. Being mean might be the only thing I'm really good at.
She told us the names of all of her grandchildren. The other guy at the table and I told her the names of all our of pets. She was slightly miffed. She started to "just happen to" wonder what taking so long to get the check as the staffperson approached our table to give us our checks. I commented that we were the last table seated in the 7:30 block, so it makes sense that we would be the last to pay. Staffperson commented non really sounding defensive, "I'm sorry, I have a lot of jobs, and there's just one of them". She, not overly concerned about context, states that some trains go 150mph. He comments that the Amtrak actually can, except for "the crossing in these small towns" (speed limits? bumps?). He wasn't even part of our dinner party and he was better conversation.
An old lady had her smartphone stolen from her purse. She kept hashing over whether it might have fallen out (no, couldn't have). No one turned it in. Ladies and gentleman, don't leave your purses unattended on the Amtrak. We might seem like nice people, but really, we're not.
Sprint has 4G in the middle of cornfields. T-Mobile doesn't even have voice. Really like the unlimited T-Mobile data, but I've been to conferences in downtown Chicago and Orlando where the 3G speed was immeasurably slow. Dunno. So, for $4 a month, FreedomPop will roll over up to 500megs of data from one month to the next, which is how much data you get for free. I'll do that instead of paying for a big data plan, I guess. Bo-ring. Again, mission: don't get fired from projects while also not going broke. Paying for data does effect how I use it. Also, that breaks my illusion of a space where disconnection is necessity. I'm sure west Texas is still as barren as the souls of the people who live there.
The Galesburg stop had free city WiFi. I kept trying to figure out why it seemed completely open (no "I agree" page or anything) yet so badly throttled until I remembered that the rural US has really bad connectivity. It was probably the best they had in the entire town. Then I felt like an ass.
Everyone in the station wanted to talk to me because I was clearly reading and anyone who is reading must be bored and lonely so do them a favor and talk to them because you're bored and lonely too. I went outside (then to the other side because some dude was on the phone smoking and pacing through the entire area) and sat under a tree. Two people came and talked to me ("HI..!!", "Uh, hi, I'm reading...", "OH! What are you reading?") before I went to the back corner of the lot where I was liable of being accused of trespassing, and laid in the gross. It was glorious... except that I was reading textbook on the non-obnoxious smartphone. After three hours, the battery was low and I had to pee so I went inside and then the cops showed up and "randomly" searched the people who weren't Iowa clean cut. No drugs were found.
I thought getting a shuttle in Flag after the train comes in at 9pm (scheduled) wouldn't be a problem, since I took a midnight shuttle out of Phoenix to catch a 3:30am train in Flag. Turns out that the schedules are designed around getting people to and from Phoenix Sky Harbor flights. The last leaves Flag at 8pm. The last Greyhound leaves at 9:20. Mapquest says it's a 21 minute walk from Amtrak to Greyhound. I guess I'll see what the hostel is up to and figure it out in the morning. Greyhound is cheaper and runs nearly as often, but it's Greyhound.
I forget the other stuff that happened.
|Android is like a disease
Or rather, it's like having lots of diseases, or being a hypochondriac.
Through lots of Googling for symptoms, I'm slowly getting a handle on what in the ever loving fuck is wrong with this thing. FreedomPop is partially to blame.
If I put the thing in my back pocket, eventually I'll hear it selecting it things. Some times I'll catch it in middle of checking out to buy something, so I deleted my Google profile and created a new one (using Swipe to pick random words, I'm now Brunch Techno, firstname.lastname@example.org. I know I could in theory log in to my existing account (which was also jibberish) but I didn't make a note of the password to log in to tell it not to let my ass make charges without permission from my fingers or brain.
It seems to be automatically unlocking when it detects an open access point. Then it pops open a web browser. Sometimes the APs are rogue pushing malware. I'm doubtlessly infected with something. This is a FreedomPop thing, I'm sure. They want you to use free WiFi instead of data as much as possible to cut down their costs, and they'll happily throw you to the people running APs to push malware to Android devices to do so.
Another part of the puzzle is "shake to shuffle" (which also "lets" you shake to select things). This seems to be an Android thing, with final say by the manufacturer on whether it's on, and whether you're allowed to turn it off: http://forums.androidcentral.com/android-2-3-gingerbread/369673-how-turn-off-shake-shuffle.html
Kyocera apparently decided that it's on and you can't turn it off. So while the phone unlocks itself in my pocket, movement starts selecting things, including granting permission to install unsigned apks. Since I caught it in middle of that once, it's safe to assume that it has happened when I haven't been looking.
This has resulted in situations like being in like at OpenHarvest and I hear clicks and little fakeo-haptic feedback (companies decided never to do real haptic feedback, only fake, much like all noise cancelling headphones are now fake and uselessly terrible, but I saw it demo'd at G2E and it's pretty awesome) and go oh shit, I have to not buy things, so I pull it out in a fluster and wind up hurling it at the floor which is actually kind of okay with me in the moment but then pick it up and cancel everything and try to lock it and feel like a complete jackass for accessing my phone instead of checking out and then while I'm bagging my groceries, it has come unlocked and started selecting things again so I go ohshit again and pull it out and turn it off which is what I should have done before putting it in my pocket.
One big reason I stopped using the Nokia 3390 (other than the plan being discontinued) was that it would not stop butt dialing 911. I have no idea how being in my pocket alone that could possibly happen, but, in one month, it happened 3 times before I gave up on it. It's possible to dial 911 from the lock screen. I can understand bypassing a security code to dial 911, but to bypass having to press #* or 1* or whatever makes no damn fucking sense.
So, I have to write off the Callcentric VoIP over data idea (after having given up trying to forward Google Voice to FreedomPop's number). So the smartphone is a glorified access point, which it has proven very handy at. I've had data most of the way on Amtrak.
Next post, extreme misc, if I can remember any of the random stuff that has happened.
All of this talk about hardware is proxy for the fact that I have a lot of problems, and trying to solve them with hardware, I have more but different problems. All of that could be reduced to "trying to not get fired when I'm not actually in the office so interruptions are inexcusable".
|Friday, October 2nd, 2015|
One line of Toyota based RVs, the Sunraider, were smaller still, fiberglass (lighter), and available as a 4x4.
Compared to the Dolphin I picked up, this has less counter space. That one also has the full floating axles that aren't prone to breaking off.
Here's the eBay listing (soon expired): http://www.ebay.com/itm/4X4-Toyota-Sunrader-Motorhome-NO-RESERVE-See-Video/262073079010
At 21 feet, the Dolphin, which R insists on calling PrincessTinyHouse, creating a theme for my sub-standard-sized-seventies motor purchases, doesn't exactly fit into a standard-sized spot, but over hangs it slightly. That can be in the rear, with the cabin hanging out over grass, or it sticking out of the spot a bit. Obviously, this fudging is non-applicable to pre-sized parallel parking spaces.
The storage place I took it to (nearer Amtrak than the airport, and right by the Bike Kitchen) only had standard sized spaces; the RV parking was full. No problem. That's cheaper anyway. I said "yeah, it'll fit", being slightly optimistic, but thankfully there was a grass strip behind the parking to overhang its ass end over. It has a DeSoto as a neighbor.
It's in storage for at least a month. I'm hoping to come back and tour around more, then it might go back and stay there a while or it might wind up in Arizona, Minnesota, California, or who knows where else.
I guess I can't technically any longer say that I don't own a bed.
I feel bad about leaving it with a bunch of neglected vehicles, most of which haven't run in a good long time.
Off to the bike count data meeting, and apparently the CazBike annual meeting, and I'm not sure what else.
|Thursday, October 1st, 2015|
OpenHarvest is expensive, even when I'm trying to moderate that (they keep charging me full price for "tired produce discounted just for you", which meant $12 worth of broccoli last visit; apparently I keep showing up during staff functions and getting untrained replacement cashiers), but I'm not excited about any of Tempe's grocery offerings either. TFM has a few things but good things are often sold out or not carried long, so it's hard to fit that in. Sprouts makes me irrationally angry between constantly failing to honor sale prices (I've gone back through line and returned nearly everything I had purchased on one occasion) and gouging for organics (and being so insanely busy that I can't navigate the place). I guess I do miss American Discount Grocery. Gallon tins of olives and such for dirt cheap is nice. Food City is handy and the cheap avocados are an addiction.
Registration at UoPeople ("HEY YOU GUYS!") opened up for next quarter. I didn't drop stats II though I maybe should have. Learning (re-learning in many cases) stuff is easy and fun, given other learning materials, but figuring out what in the flying fuck they're talking about in exams etc is a serious challenge. Most of Stats I got kicked out for cheating; I watched the class dwindle to relatively nothing. One student grading, all three of the papers I graded were essentially identical. When I mentioned it to the prof by email, he said "yeah, I know, it's unfortunate, but we're dealing with it". So my theory is that everyone who made it this far are very smart, skilled cheaters... or else really f'n smart. There's one section with about seven people in it. There's probably a "student group" I haven't been invited to. Incidentally, as told by the avatar pics, I'm the only white person in the class, which is cool, but fuels the idea that I wasn't invited into this hypothetical secret study group, though I could probably join it if I asked around. If I had more time and energy for this, I'd post my own learning guides based on the reverse engineering of the practice exams.
So, I signed up for Programming I. I took Introduction to Programming previously, which had us doing some small amount of programming in Python (yay, new language; and not bad at all! though OO is very much more cultural in Python than a language feature). After that, this quarter, I mistakenly attempted to sign up for Programming II and didn't check the pre-reqs (fucking pre-reqs; one of my greatest life accomplishments was figuring out how to completely bypass them at UMNTC). The progression is actually Introduction to Programming->Programming I->Programming II. I can't really take anything else programming related (and therefore a cake walk) until after Programming II, so that's two sessions off still. I need to focus on paid work and The_Project so I'm sticking to cake walks for now. Stats was an exception because I decided I needed that for the Coursera Data Scientist track, which I got stuck on, and for Bike Count data analysis/research. If I'm repeating myself a lot, that's because despite crazy numbers of hours in front of the computer, my situation isn't changing much over time.
I was looking forward to a quiet week with Emma the cat, but Emma the cat has different ideas. This is the third time R has gone out of town. Emma struggled at first with the last two but then settled into a groove. Maybe she's getting ready to settle into a groove this time, but right now, she's extremely displeased that her favorite person is gone again and is yelling at me to fix it. She's mad, bro.
Business in Tempe is likely to trump pleasure. The state of my Debian install has been deteriorating (really, since it's several years old now, it has outlived most Linux installs; I've found that, very much counter to old Unix culture, Linux people re-install at the drop of a hat, just like Windows people). It's 32 bit. I can't apt-get install any more without a distupgrade, but despite trying to keep things functioning, apt-gets have just been failing and laying waste, so I've been building things from source. I'm so sick of the Linux shit. Linux is the Unix-like OS that has essentially zero comprehension of Unix; it was painfully evident in 0.8, and they celebrated it and ran with it. The kernel API is there and GNU helped save its bacon with the GNU re-implementations of Unix utilities, but from the confused, half-baked getty freeware knockoff to package managers that don't comprehend maintaining different versions of the same library (kinda a core Unix concept, people), the whole thing is just a big pile of sadness. I gave in previously when Linux suspend worked but BSD only had APM, and when FreeBSD completely screwed the pooch and Linux ABI emulation wasn't cutting it or there in other BSDs. So, I'm hoping to try to make a hop to 64 bit, re-build or re-install all of my software, move all of my config over and take a stab at going back to BSD. I don't know which one will work, so this will likely take several attempts. I seem to be spending a lot of time dealing with OS installs lately, between Docker images, and the installer supporting OSX and failing at CentOS.
I guess I'm not eager to dive back in to stats this week, but I should, because stuff is going to be tight, getting crap done before the train early Sat morn. I suppose stats can get put off until then, assuming that I can pull enough signal along the way. It's stupid that I have two cell data services now. T-Mobile's unlimited (throttled) data is great but the coverage isn't.
|Wednesday, September 30th, 2015|
Do I take the Atari 130XE with me back to Arizona? I don't have a composite video up-converter anywhere else but hey, why not own two of everything. I'm not sure when I'll have the chance to play with it, but some enterprising hackers made an SD card based fake HD for it. That would be really sweet to own, compared to the low capacity, slow, error prone floppies. Seeing that thing again always gives me the warm fuzzies.
The stuff that came back from Raleigh, NC with me (half by Greyhound; not a pleasant story) got sealed up in plastic a while after it got home and has been like that for years. I might be imagining it, but every time I open it up and poke at it, I swear that I catch a pesticide buzz from it. That includes my main machine and floppies from that era, along with the collection of books and personal notebooks I had taken with me. Since they're already in the large communal parking garage on a storage shelf in my mother's spot (I cleared most of my stuff off of there), I cleverly left them open this time. The hardware I suppose I can bleach, and the floppies I can theoretically move data off, and the notebooks I guess could be scanned, and the books replaced, and maybe it'll be easier to do that if they're a bit less potent. I had a tidy selection of GURPS source books, and for some reason, that seemed like a really important thing to bring with me. I guess I'm ever optimistic about some things.
I put the Lincoln YMCA membership on hold. I'll miss that setup, and the large, open locker rooms, steam room, towel service, insanely great hours, easy walking distance, and excellent lane availability.
Since I didn't actually buy the Toyota Dolphin from eBay (even though I originally found it listed there and made a personal arrangement to buy it after the original winner flaked), eBay is absolutely on a mission to sell me a Toyota. (Or maybe if I had, it would be on a mission to sell me a second one.) The parade of beautifully restored late 70's Celicas, the 2000GT, and the early 80's pickups are nice to look at, but I wish I could tell eBay that the gig is up and it's back to the much smaller things.
I managed to catch up on my stats, where I'm no longer half way stuck a week behind, just in time for a new week to start. Today was the last day to drop and I didn't, so there's that. Billables and the_project are suffering.
I haven't made it in to either of the two Lincoln drinking establishments that caught my eye and my butt hurts from sitting at the computer too much.
I guess this is about day 4.5 of a marathon computer session. The cat is not amused.
|Tuesday, September 29th, 2015|
|Extreme misc and I guess the RV saga
let slip, we did manage one field trip in the camper (RV, whatever). Licensing in Minnesota was trouble free and quick, but cost more. At that point, I didn't care. I appreciate Minnesota's willingness to levy countless taxes and fees on motorvehicles. They've broken out of the argument of "people have to have cars to get around, so therefore vehicle services have to be dirt cheap" by having a great bike network and bus system. I can still never reliably find the campus connector on the main campus. Its route snakes around like channels in a river delta, never keeping the same path long.
So, there it is. Massive time sink and a possibly frivolous use of cash, but if consulting continues to decline, I know that Colorado has some beautiful rural trailer parks in beautifully scenic areas, and the prospect of quiet is alluring. I should investigate Minnesota lake towns (these hundreds of little towns that are just ring roads around a lake, that people have summer homes at). Back-up plans give me peace of mind if nothing else.
I talked mechanics and cars with the previous owner a bit when I went to pick it up. He has quite a history of owning and fixing up vehicles, having owned various interesting things such as Carman Ghias and Honda CRXes. He pointed out that the radio in the '79 Dolphin (built on a '78 Toyota truck) is collectable. The previous owner of the Z600 said the same thing when I bought that. Both had failed exhaust systems (the Z600's muffler came loose on the way back). Both had trailer hitches while neither legitimately should (the Dolphin is within 600 pounds of its total weight limit at curb weight before a design defect in the rear axle is taken into consideration, the Z600 is a flyweight with a two cylinder engine).
The previous owner of the Dolphin did say that while he wouldn't tow anything with the Dolphin, the Z600 might actually be light enough to be towed. Maybe they're a match. Really, this is a stupid game.
I dinked with the Dolphin's idle when it was idling slow and rough and then found it idling high later, and then later found it not wanting to run at all without being lots of extra gas before figuring out that the '78 R20 engine absolutely hates Ethanol. I was nervous for a bit there.
I'm still hoping to finish the midwest tour but I'm putting it off a bit. I still need to visit my kid half brother and my father.
Internet access/pager reception (no I'm not kidding)/cell reception/cell data in Lincoln has been a complete cluster.
I've been complaining about (and making videos of) traffic bullshit in Tempe for a long time. I'm not eager to go back to that. Nearly getting killed by an aggressive or inattentive motorist makes riding a lot less fun. ASU has a serious rich-kid syndrome. I picked a dumb University to try to live near. Their CSci course catalog is shite.
Having stuff in three places now makes me think I should consolidate it to at most two places and likely store some of it... until I get around to opening my own old computer museum.
|Friday, September 11th, 2015|
|RV saga, continued
It seems like Minnesota doesn't require vehicle inspections by the police. I don't have proof of residency, but https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/dvs/Pages/dvs-content-detail.aspx?pageID=571&pageTitle=Tabs-Vehicle%20Registration%20-%20General%20-%20New%20Resident
doesn't say that that's required, and it has instructions for mailing in applications. I could potentially drive up and meet the plates at my brother's or mother's place.
There is however one thing missing from the instructions and the form at https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/dvs/forms-documents/Documents/MV_TitleandRegisterMotorVehicleApplication.pdf
The form has 11 different fields for fees and taxes that must be entered and tallied, and no indication of what those numbers are. Googling each one by one, things like https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/dvs/Pages/registration-tax.aspx
come up, which as a $1 Technology Surcharge and a $1.75 Technology Fee. Are they supposed to be the same thing? Do they get added together?https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/dvs/Pages/motor-vehicle-sales-tax.aspx
has the tax rate of 6.5%, but, it also says:
"$10 is collected on passenger vehicles 10 model years old and older (does not apply to motorcycles)...."
"$150 applies to passenger vehicles and fire trucks registered, or applying for registration, as Collector, Classic, Street Rod and Pioneer, regardless of actual purchase price or fair market value of vehicle. All other vehicles (trucks, one ton pickups, motorcycles) must pay 6.5 percent of the purchase price or fair market value."
Is an RV a passenger vehicle? I would guess not. It does go on to say "all other vehicles" but is that talking about when applying for collector/classic/street rod/pioneer plates, or in all cases? Further wording on the page claims that the fee is $10 for "vehicles older than 10 years". I guess I need to make some phone calls.
In addition to those fields, there's also registration tax, plate fee, arrears tax, wheelage tax, transfer tax, title/transfer fee, transfer tax, title/transfer/fee, lien fee, late transfer penalty, and state/deputy filing fee. Halp. That's enough Googling to eat up a morning.
Theeeen... the whole form is littered with fields with double tables. For example: "WEIGHT STICKER NUMBER/MOTORCYCLE ENGINE NO". Do I pick which one I put in? Is it contextual? Is it a required field? Then later, "Base value or Gross Weight". Again, do I just pick which value I want to put in there, and how do they figure out which one I've selected?
|Tuesday, September 8th, 2015|
|RV saga, cont
Nebraska requires you to take your newly purchased out of state vehicle to this address for a police inspection, to make sure you didna steal it:
Nebraska State Patrol
Auto Fraud Division
3800 NW 12th Street
Lincoln, NE 68521
That's according to http://www.lincolncountysheriff.us/index.php/home-5/title-inspections
. According the people at 300 NW 12th Street, you have to take it somewhere on 48th St. Like Texas, the Internet in Nebraska seems to always be wrong. Woe be to those who don't make lots of phone calls to verify everything.
In my case, I circled the block about ten times before parking extremely illegally right at the courthouse steps and running in to ask where I should park. Asking where I should be parked was directed at the only person there, who was operating a metal detector. When the only tool you have is a metal detector, every problem is a person to be metal detected, so in response to my question, I was ordered to remove my keys and personal affects from my pockets.
Any spot large enough for me to back in to is large enough for anyone else to easily glide in to. Part of circling around involved trying to parallel park, which invariably involved starting to back in to a spot slowly, only to have another motorist (scumbags) zip right in at the very same time, ignoring the fact that visibility out the back of an RV is less than stellar. People are so desperate for parking, that the risk of being smashed by an RV who is the process of backing in to that very same spot is no deterrent. Everyone is so frustrated with driving that they're just about done with auto ownership fuckitall good riddance.
Okay, haha, that was all very silly. Let's go to the right police. I mean place. No, I mean police. The place out by Target on 46th suffered from a bizarre traffic jam where the parking lot lanes were too small, and people in big long trucks parked in too small of spots were out in traffic attaching their brand new plates. That's a perfect excuse to park under a tree on the far side of the lot.
After waiting in line for a while (new galaxies may have formed in the interim), a member of the police department barked orders for various bits of paperwork, which I handed over one by one, then she went out to inspect the thing to make sure the VIN matched the title. Then she recruited another officer to help her. Then she recruited me to help her. Both of them hit their heads repeatedly on the overhanging loft bed. One of them uttered, "god dammit that's the last time or I swear I'm gunna...".
They don't match.
Toyota's ends with 96. Dolphin has their own ID and Toyota's ID on it. Dolphin's copy of Toyota's ID ends in 69.
Dolphin is out of business.
There is literally no legal fix for this.
The Dolphin flunked its inspection.
|Monday, September 7th, 2015|
I wanted to ask a National RV/Dolphin dealer about having recall work* done, but I couldn't seem to find one, and even more conspicuously, Google couldn't find National/Dolphin's corporate site. Then:http://www.rvtravel.com/blog/rvsinthenews/2007/11/major-motorhome-maker-shuts-doors-lays.html
Gulp. Editorialization: "Dolphin" was really synonymous with these small Toyota based campers. It would have been nice if they had found a way to continue making those.
I was eager to figure out this thing ('78 model year Toyota truck, '79 model year Dolphin) would blow up or have major difficulty, so I ran it on the Interstate. It was made for a time when highways had 55 mph speedlimits. 75 is rather out of its reach. The exponential increase in air resistance and lack of aerodynamics makes 75 quite impossible. Future trips should probably be done on state highways. As the listing noted, some TLC is in order. And as rebeccmeister
pointed out, it calls for a trip to Tempe Sales, and the only thing to do with the utter 70's of it is to tastefully highlight it.
It runs like a truck. While the Z600 (like a motorcycle) feels like a bumblebee, this feels like a draft horse.
Keeping the leaks plugged seems to be a project, so it would be nice to do the roof up like a house roof with this stuff: http://www.gaf.com/Roofing/Commercial/Products/Elastomeric_Liquid_Membranes_Coatings_Sealants_Adhesives/WeatherCote/
I still need to figure out the solar panels and hot tub.
Footnote 1: For those of you just joining this conversation, models leading up to '84 had stock rear axles with single bearings on each side that created a lever/fulcrum effect that likes to break the axle off, wheels and all; ghetto dual rear wheels created by welding an extra hub on to the existing hub made the lever far longer, so, effectively, thanks to physics, the axle isn't 600 pounds below it's rated max when the RV is empty; it's somewhere over it.