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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in scrottie's LiveJournal:

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Friday, February 24th, 2017
10:24 am
Misc, TinyCar
TinyCar had been running, but badly after a promising initial maiden voyage across College Station, TX. After that, all she needed was a clutch adjustment to make shifting smooth, but then firing her up for experimental/show off test rides around the hood in Tempe, I found I had to apply lots of extra gas and choke and she still ran too hot, especially in one cylinder (the right one) that wanted to climb towards infinity. Generally she'd stall out before overheating extremely badly, but running way too hot on a newly rebuilt cylinder that wasn't given the extra two mills the forged cylinders want (oops) was an unhappy situation. Then a month or two ago, she refused to start at all.

I'd be procrastinating putting off dealing with this after spending entirely too much time working on the hot cylinder problem but after a few months (which might be about 10 judging by my CA tab renewal notice and insurance renewal notice) I managed to convince myself that there's a rational explanation, and the car is not cursed, and the service manual's tuneup section would be the place to start, after running some fuel out, since waterlogged ethanol settles to the bottom. The electric fuel pump handily spluttered out half a gallon of fuel into my one gallon plastic jug.

The tuneup section goes through steering wheel play (waaay gone), brake wear (punt), ignition timing, spark plug condition, valve lash, and other things. All of these things have been carefully adjusted, previously. I pulled the hot-cylinder's plug. Sooty. Replaced it with one from a set of spares I got a while ago in Tempe when I was meaning to look at this. Gap came from the factory correct. I also have repeatedly forgotten that little boops unscrew from the top of the plug and then the ignition lead fits onto it. Next, ignition timing. %&@!. I can't see the notch. The notch that aligns with the "F" mark on the engine when the points are supposed to open was barely visible before but after enduring a year of salt rain, numerous much larger holes opened up in the metal and the whole thing is a tarnished mess. Staring dumbfounded with a light while *six* different people came to talk to me (three neighbors, two passing strangers, and the mailman) I eventually decided to try to infer the general neighborhood of where the notch might be by seeing where the points open at. The points control the spark, by the way, and having a spark with the proper timing is important. The points never opened. Using Alex's multimeter, I had continuity all of the way around for two revolutions of the engine, turning the thing slowly with a wrench on the fall belt pully. Welp, that's not going to work. I gapped it correctly for the bit where it is supposed to be open.

The timing light was among what was stolen, and I didn't have the points set correctly so they could tell me about where it was, but the engine now runs relatively very happily and I have no idea how many degrees before top-dead-center it is firing at. My only recourse is to buy another pulley that's not corroded, and then mark it so clearly the marine air can't obscure it (inlaid gold...?).

Two of the people who talked to me pretended like they wanted to buy the car. I said, "fine, make me an offer... in good condition, they go for $7,000, and fully restored, 12, but this is an unfinished project", but said that beginning to realize that pretending to buy the car is just a bit of California friendly fakeness. For all of the bad parts about Texas, people there tend to be earnest. And self-entertained. The two "okay, buy my car" conversations waifed off into nothingness.

Being self-entertained but generally not entertained for long by talking to other people, being around people who are not self-entertained is losing proposition for me. In this case, it meant that I got spend less than half as much time working on this project as I'd like to have. I watched it run for a while and took two trips around the block. One cylinder is 30 degrees hotter than the other (the hot one), but it seems like it wants to peak out at a reasonable temperature. I tweaked the carb so it's rich but not as lean as it was before, but I only made it half way through checking things engine related things in the tuneup chapter before going back to work.

Next step, run her some more. Sitting around with the same gas for too long is bad.

Then the motorcycle needs a new tach that doesn't leak water, shift shaft oil seal, and a top-end engine rebuild.
Thursday, February 9th, 2017
8:33 pm
Extreme Misc
Ran this morning. Did laundry.

Trekked to Berkeley to sail. 25-30mph winds. No one showed up to give lessons or just to sail, but there was one windsurfer. Jealous. Read half a book and sipped a beer while waiting to see if anyone would show.

Trekked to SF to deposit paycheck.

Trekked to UCB's bio library to try to log some hours.

Mmm, nachos. Mmm, boyfriend.

That's why I scowl-cringe as soon as I see another person -- they're probably going to just start eating nachos while holding their phone with the text alert on max while screaming at inhuman levels at their significant other who is inches away from them.

Pretty useless day, work-wise, but I got thoroughly wet three separate times.

Edittadendum: Also broke into the house through the second story patio door, much to the disgust of the cat, after failing to put my house key back on my keyring after running, then leaving to try to sail.
Sunday, February 5th, 2017
5:41 pm
Extreme misc
Sprint is dropping RingPlus as a reseller. That leaves only LycaMobile for cell data, which while inexpensive has been unreliable.

Rain the whole last week with rain forecast this whole week.

Managed to get the GT and green Bianchi operational again. This required a confluence of events. Now the bike trailer's hitch is ready to come apart and the GT's front wheel is making sad noises.

Upgraded OpenBSD from 5.8 to 6.0 via 5.9. This resulted in having to hack up pms.c again so it doesn't attempt to negotiate the Synaptics protocol with the touchpad, which just makes it freak out. Couldn't get it to work in general PS2 emulation mode until I suspended and unsuspended.

X was locking up after resume. It took me a while to figure out that it was compiz locking up after arandr took the external monitor offline and only seemed suspend/resume related because I always followed the same sequence of arandr->suspend->resume when undocking. Now when undocking, I have to flip to tty1, login in, kill compiz, and fire up twm or mwm. If I restart compiz, it shoots for 100% CPU usage and is either non-responsive or slow enough to appear unresponsive. Using arandr to re-enable the external monitor lets me starts compiz again without it wedging. I guess I should attach gdb and figure out where it's spinning so I have a hint as to how to convince it not to.

... and the updated R package still can't compile the caret package with the same error about linking C and Fortran, and R isn't building from source.

Walking from BART to UCB, there was a pile of stuff in the street between two parked cars that looked like someone's personal effects. I found a number on a phone bill and texted it. Sure enough, the owner had their backpack robbed last night. She went and got what remained of her stuff and thanked me. It took nearly 24 hours for someone to notice the pile of stuff and text her.

I haven't picked up any ship traffic with rtl-ais yet. Tried to make an Android version go but it didn't want to do USB-OTG. Also since I last tried to do something with Android, all of the root-your-device apps have vanished and been replaced with malware that pretends to unlock your device. Life is too short to dick with Android.

In Los Angeles, and now every time I'm through there, I'm was struck by how desperate for attention everyone is. After some time here, I'm seeing shades of the same thing.

I forgot how much data LJ loads when you try to post. It took about 30 minutes on 3G, making the 'net unusable in the mean time. It's not exactly soothing to write about how wedged everything is anyway.
Saturday, February 4th, 2017
11:51 am
HAM and dead tech
Getting in to HAM radio, a person can buy a fancy radio with a bajillion parts in it that works well, or you can build a kit. The old timers endlessly complain that few people are taking up the hobby, and they also complain that people just buy radios and don't take time to learn how radios actually work, which, according to them, is the point of the hobby.

If you buy a simple radio kit, such as this (which is one of the most minimal ones):


Then, according to the reviews:

You'll get the wrong parts, but that's okay, because the whole point of the kit being simple is that it's simple enough for you to diagnose and repair problems; you need to understand the theory of sidebands to operate it; you should already have the parts laying around to make it so you're lame if you buy a kit; the kits don't include half of the stuff you need to make it anyway; the instructions are incomprehensible; the boards don't have the part numbers printed on them; none of the HAM supply stories even sell morse code paddles because everyone has one; all of the plugs and connectors are sold separately with no indication of what's appropriate and electronics parts supplies carry tens of thousands of extremely misc doodads and without a lot of experience it's impossible to identify the right part; you have to order the correct crystal for it; you have to design and build the antenna for it which is easy if you understand radio theory.

I've had some exposure to ordering small electronic parts. College physics briefly touched on electromagnetic waves. Without that exposure, I might be tempted to think that putting together one of these kits would be easy. Instead, it's painfully obvious that all of these kits are by experienced HAMs for other experienced HAMs. As best as I can tell from periodically looking over the years, not once has someone made a novice friendly radio kit that teaches about filters, amps, oscillators, etc, instead of waving hands and saying "we made it simple enough that you should be able to understand it". You aren't going to recognize an oscillator when you see it unless you have an oscilloscope on your desk. Newbies don't have that. The tiny three transistor kit is as big of a mystery as the giant 300 watt radio with DSPs (with millions of transistors) in it.

Without some prior exposure to amateur radio, you wouldn't even know that this is for morse code. There's reference to the "earpiece" and "key" but it would be easy for a novice to think that the key is like on a two way voice radio where you push the key to talk.

HAM radio started because people learned about analog electronics in the Navy. That doesn't happen any more, and when people do learn about electromagnetism, it's in physics, far divorced from electronic circuits, and if they learn about circuits, it's digital stuff for Computer Engineering, far removed from radios. The only people out there who know about analog circuits are the HAMs, and they're not telling... and that's why amateur radio is vanishing.
Saturday, July 16th, 2016
5:54 pm

After picking up the Jolly Roger (after picking up Prince TinyHouse), I got some foodstuffs from Open Harvest and parked unproductively at MeadowLark for a bit before wandering off in PTH for a nap spot, which wasn't one recreation area west of town that turned out requiring a state park pass which apparently you have to order and have delivered in the mail and so instead was a truckstop. I then poked at the programming scab a bit using the power inverter off of car battery power, a somewhat risky proposition, before noticing that the laptop's red warning battery light was on.

The power inverter seemed to be tripping or flaking. PTH started fine so it wasn't a low battery and anyway I hadn't been at it that long. I stopped at an autoparts store and got a beefier power inverter and some jumper cables (PTH should be charging two batteries, one for interior lights and features, so I can jump her from herself, theoretically).

I attempted a swim at the YMCA but apparently the pool closes at 4:30 and I had no idea what time it was other than the sun was still high in the sky and I figured it would be open into the evening; the string of failed swim attempts is now quite long. The off-limits rec area was on a lake. At least I got a shower out of it. Then back to MeadowLark.

Tonight I shall trek east and aim for a small town's park or truck stop as a backup. State park RV sites are all booked. Summer is very much in swing. I still haven't decided if I'll head north and photograph the old papers and grab the old Atari and Amiga 1000 gear, or if I'll just skirt along from small town park to small town park. Energy/ambition/confidence is running a touch low. The problem with wandering east is effort/uncertainty at finding power hookups. I guess I could spend a few days at whichever town R and I once did a brevet out of, in PTH. There were power hookups for a little extra money, I seem to recall, but we had no reason for it then. Searching my email, it seems like this might be Falls City, NE.

Theoretically, a northern passage on the return could be attempted. Tempting to just camp-work for a while. Sprint claims not to have coverage while T-Mobile claims to.
Thursday, May 5th, 2016
7:38 am
Finding Vivian Maier
RM (or was it R?) joked it should have been "Exposing Vivian Maier", both for the pun, and how they not only exposed her work but her troubled life (spoilers ahead; watch the film first then come back).

The film talked about whether she knew her work was good (she did) and whether she was confident enough to have it displayed (she tended to get up in people's business and didn't give much thought to social orders, so probably). I see the problem more as just her not seeing any plan that would work that fits her vision. She could have been a photographer for a paper, using her work as a job interview, but I suspect she knew she'd have conflicts of priority, and she valued her freedom more. In that sense, being a nanny is almost the perfect job... "she had a strong opinion about kids and where they should be, and that's outside, walking, with her". She probably knew that she'd conflict with any gallery owner and it's harder to get contemporary work displayed. She didn't want to display it casually in cafes because, as in the words of Launcelot, she has to do it in her own particular idiom, and that just isn't fitting to her vision, and visions tend to diverge from reality when not tested and integrated on an ongoing basis, and reality is harsh, as she seems to be aware. She considered working with French photolab people she knew and trusted but apparently never sent that letter? I think even if you're extremely independent, you still worry about rejection when it comes to your single passion, and she was not psychologically capable of finding a safe space for herself.

That's what stood out in that biography -- a person unable to connect with people to create a safe space. This is something I've seen friends struggle with, and sometimes completely fail at. It feels close to home for me. When your tolerance for other people is limited, it's hard to imagine that they can be tolerant of you, and it's hard to be forgiving of yourself. Feelings of failure do factor in but people feeling socially vulnerable hard an even harder time of talking about their private vulnerabilities.

I think there's value for people who struggle with that to work to develop their own humanity and humility, and something similar to a monastery is the right setting. Aside from that, those personalities seem to do best in rural places, or at least to retreat to somewhere rural later in life when they've become too crabby. That avoids a lot of the aggravation of being in middle of tight social structures but not fitting in but offers no quality reflection and personal improvement. Monasteries at least have a flavor of private meditation centered on spirituality and humanity. "I had to sit there for a really long time... years... before she would even acknowledge me."
Thursday, April 28th, 2016
3:51 pm
Log: Stuff
Right now, I have shelves on both sides of the 5x9 unit, leaving a narrow squeeze-way that's not conducive to accessing things, and some more bicycles, rims, etc should get crammed in there yet. I'm thinking of upgrading from the 5x9 $109/month unit to the 5x13 $160/month or 5x15 $170/month unit. I'm not eager to spend the money, but I do want stuff somewhat accessible. It's annoying that the 5x15 storage unit costs half of what rent for a bedroom in a house in Tempe did.

I see a lot of services such as CafePress and cloud hosting being, in some cases, responses to people having less space than they used to. In some ways, this is too bad, because building a home server rack or otherwise messing with hardware is fun, rewarding, and educational. Same for screen printing. I enjoy hands-on hobbies such as gardening as a break from too much computering. I really don't want to see more stuff go virtual-digital. I could download PDFs of the books I have queued to read, but that sounds terrible.

Moving is powerful motivation for finishing projects (heck, even getting ready to travel makes me go without sleep).

I need to build one good DEC3100. Right now, I have two and a spare motherboard but lack the means of getting one to run (setting up old Unix hardware can be tricky, and these use non-standard serial console). My best bet is probably to beg someone on the NetBSD pmax list to send me a HD with install already on it, and get keyboard/video going. Hell, I'd like to pick up a DEC5000, the faster but very similar later relative. The 3100 is one of the very original MIPS machines.

Realistically though, I'm not going to get to play with computing hardware or game system hardware for a while, but I'll hate myself a lot if I get rid of hard-to-replace things and give up on the prospect of being able to in the future.

Keeping silk screen supplies, which only constitutes one small box right now, would be easier justified if I learned to screen print. rebeccmeister previously pawned the hardware off on me. No one can describe anything in anything but vague platitudes ("a bright light... close distance... few minutes") and that just ain't working, so I need to take a college class or something. Just as with computer stuff, people seldom *test* documentation -- except in the case of recipes, where cookbooks have long hired chefs to independently test recipes. I guess StackOverflow lets people rate answers and provides a sort of test feedback mechanism that way, which explains its success.

There are things like auto tools I don't want to get rid of because I've found that I've repeatedly re-purchased them in my life.

Bike parts are very often handy, and I gave a few good rims to BikeSaviours. This is tricky because I wind up with wobbly wheels but can't get the hang of fixing them myself. A truing stand would help I'm told. Maybe that should go into the workshop. It took me a long time in Tempe to figure out who was a good wheel builder (had a friend in MN who does it well). I'm also getting ready to turn one bike back in to parts. I'd like a few sets of road bike wheels so I can swap them around, but beyond that, some of the rims are probably good and can be given away.

The spare crank shaft should be mailed to whoever wants it, as much fun as it would be to leave a crank shaft laying around on the floor to murder whoever tries to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

All of this just dredges up feelings about lack of time and space to dabble in hobbies. I gave up on trying to share a kitchen and for a while gave up on real coffee, instead drinking canned coffee, energy drinks, or instant coffee. That was not only unpleasant, but depressing. The smart thing to do would be to give up caffeine... as in that case, I'm reluctant to do the smart thing. Some of my impractical things have become extremely difficult to justify, though.

I could really go for some Nintendo right about now...
Friday, April 22nd, 2016
4:04 pm
Trailhead had another employee suffer a brain injury, this time due to a drive by shooting: https://www.gofundme.com/qwzger84

Last time I tried to register Princess TinyCar, I was told I didn't need an emissions test, but I did need the car for an inspection, so when State Farm came through today and immediately emailed me temp insurance, I drove up there (happy Earth Day) only to be told no, I need emissions tested. Emissions tests failed. Hydrocarbons are fine (as one would expect from an engine with good pistons, rings, and valves) but carbon monoxide was a bit too high, consistent with an engine running too hot. Arriving at the emissions test thingie on Washington Ave, it was reading 380f on the hot cylinder which is a touch high. At home, 418, which was 40 degrees higher than the other one. I think I have the plugs torqued down enough that that's not blowby so I'm not sure what's going wrong. Spark plug blowby also cause it actually run hot, at least not in a mild case, only to read hot a the cylinder head temp sensor.

In Arizona, I'm told, cars are exempt if they're model 1969 or older. I assume that they actually mean 47 or so years old and the actual number changes every year but perhaps not. California apparently exempts smog checks for 25 year old cars.

Obviously, I want to fix the hotness issue regardless, but I'm trying to figure out if I should store it here or haul it there. Not legally being able to use a tow dolly makes hauling it less attractive, and having mechanical tune issues still also makes it less attractive. At this point, I'm keen to reduce things I'm paying for and dealing with though I think L would get a kick out of her and she might be handy for those occasional motor errands (in style!) that don't call for a truck.

That ate up most of the day. But hey, I did some pointless high MPG driving around on Earth Day.
Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
2:29 am
As some of you may have noticed, this election is bothering me. I had given it basically zero thought until noticing a newspaper headline in Meadowlark reading "BUSH vs CLINTON". Jeb Bush has since dropped out. My immediate reaction, and many other people's, and the one they were pandering for was basically "oh noes".

I can completely understand why people choose to ignore this unpleasant business. Bush Jr rode to the presidency on a trail of anonymous poll results powered by voting machines computer scientists cannot rationalize any other way than that they were designed to be insecure, and have steadfastly stayed so. One of the programmers came forward and testified that he was asked to figure out how to undetectably flip votes. The president of Diebold, at a fundraisor, promised to deliver the election to Bush. The design calls for unsecured ftp of poll mdb results to a political consultant 3rd party vendor. Then they refused inspection of the memory cards. This, for absolutely no good reason at all, puts all of the result data in the hands of a few people to tamper with as they see fit. Digital signing and public key cryptography were designed exactly for cases like this where 3rd parties should not be trusted. A voice in my head whispered, "only really bad people would do something like this, and they want the office for a reason; there's going to be another war". When the Iraq invasion happened (later revealed by the Downing St Memo to be premeditated), I felt sick. All of this is to say that I have a sickening foreboding about this election as well. Powerful forces are at work, and they are not forces of peace.
Monday, April 18th, 2016
6:18 pm
Still toying with the idea of getting PTC registered in AZ, I took the valve cover off, re-adjusted the valves, tried to tighten a few bolts that were lose and discovered that they were stripped (the previous owner wasn't careful with torques and 70's aluminium is soft as butter) (didn't get around loctiting the exhaust stud bolts), and then decided to take a spin around the neighborhood. Backing out into the yard, I observed that the brakes were completely totally gone. The brake lever did nothing. I spent the next two hours bleeding the brakes and running brake fluid through them after cleaning out the completely empty reservoir (when did that happen?) with q-tips. The brakes now feel great. I was noticing before that they were a bit squishy and was thinking I'd have to have the booster rebuilt (common problem) so that's actually good news.

Bleeding brakes is fun. Three different points (one of the two rear wheels is on the end of a single circuit) gets bleeder valves loosened and then brake fluid pumped through the system, forcing the air out as you gently pump the limp brake pedal. Nasty old dirty strangely colored brake fluid from 40 years ago comes out. Then you stop that brake up again and do another until they're done.

I also got two coats of rattlecan on the under side of the floor pan. It looks a lot less gnarly now but only a whole-body acid bath and some welding then primer and auto paint is a complete long term fix.

Oil leaks on air cooled engines are annoying because the oil rapidly bakes into a hard crust on the outside of the hotter engine which in turn makes the engine hotter as they insulate the block. I can see why people use gasket maker instead of paper gaskets. Pros: no leaks. Cons: easy to plug your oil channels and ruin your engine if you don't know exactly where all of them are, and you have to get your material exactly the right thinness. I put a lot of work into cleaning off caked on oil. I don't want that bugbear back again so soon.

One cylinder is registering 30 degrees hotter than the other but they're both operating in a reasonable range. It was enough to make me want to make sure that the exhaust port wasn't being help slightly open, hence valve adjustment. Potential blow-by from the spark plug and the loose exhaust header could also be implicated in this. I got some (thankfully quite inexpensive) cylinder head temperature digital gauges and I'm very much appreciating the early warning of problems. Without those, anything would go quite unnoticed.

I got that 1099 I decided wasn't going to be filed. I think legally those have to have been sent a while ago, but now I have it, after I filed my taxes, so I get to file revised taxes. For relatively small dollar amounts, I don't want to nark on a client for not having filed it. Legally, I am supposed to nark on them, but I can completely understand not wanting to do the paperwork, and narking on clients seems wrong. Hmm, the IRS recreated the Prisoner's Dilemma.

I should have just made that tax-computing spreadsheet (yes, there are some out there, but I have a unique combination of forms I have to fill because I'm weird, though maybe I could start adapting someone else's if it isn't too weird).

I ordered coffee but had to pick it up today because I ran myself. Nephew-gift was also there, having successfully traversed Canadian customs twice (doner gets its PROMs changed out and a new label put on).

Logging work hours too mixed in. Day time competes for errands, quiet time, work, and running around the house without being cornered or blocked. I guess car stuff was the running-around-without-being-cornered-or-blocked activity though I meant it to be DMV-erranding. Ran yesterday. Definitely missing the bike-ped path being right there. Lake path is slightly long walk and I could bike+run but there's no good bike route. Shower, burrito, and coffee shop now I guess.
Saturday, April 16th, 2016
5:02 pm
I ran the Z600 a bit and discovered it was spitting oil in the exhaust. I also discovered that exhaust manifold bolts were loose as were ones on the timing housing. I should have used loctite everywhere instead of that anti-corrosive stuff that one engine rebuild thing recommended. Ordered new valve guides and I need to check the cylinder head studs. It's possible that my budget torque wrench is way off. This came about because I was thinking that it would be nice to get it licensed so that I could tow it on a carrier instead of trying to load it or do a much more expensive car trailer. I might chicken out and go back to my previous idea of storing it in AZ. I'm figuring spots here will be a lot cheaper than CA. This last wind storm managed to blow the heavy canvas tarpoline clean off of it, so, note to self: bungie that thing down good.

I tried to clean off the residue of the rust dissolver and then hit the underside with the rattlecan. There's plenty more rust on the suspension, bottom of the body above the floor pan, gas tank, etc.

As I write this, I get the "how much do you want for your car?" knock on the door.

Probably trying to do too much, but I took the motorcycle into the shop today. The ballpark estimate I got was about what I expected. I wanted to know how taxes come out before doing that but I really should have just done it a month ago. I'm waiting to hear more from them depending on what's involved in the procedure for this particular engine (does the engine have to come out entirely for the cylinder head to come off?) and if parts are even available ('93 is two years out from legally being considered a classic in AZ).
Wednesday, April 13th, 2016
4:45 pm
Cygwin (a Unix-like environment on top of Windows, with much stuff ported, sort of like MacPorts) apps on the dev machine randomly fail in two different ways. Sometimes the command just aborts without doing anything. I'll type for example "git commit ..." or "vi ...", hit enter, and then a second or two later, I'm back at the prompt, leaving me miffed. Many years of experience with Unix have strongly programmed me to expect deterministic responses from the shell, so this hurts my brain. The other failure mode is that it completely locks up, and I have to tell screen to kill that session, losing all of the jobs (vi sessions usually mostly) in that shell. That too I'm under prepared for.

Errands today: bank, other post office (mailing out books I'm giving away). Status reports, good or bad, generate discussion. HeavyMetalKidsBike continues to make friends (her, not me). You haven't really arrived somewhere without a properly spectacular dismount. I wish I could do a bike building class with ASU or a local highschool but alas I'm already fucking up the one life I'm leading.

I dug up the apple and put it back into the same blue thing that it was in. The soil in the back is loose urban fill that just crumbled so a large rootball was out of the question. I wound up brushing a lot of dirt off of the roots until I had a small rootball with lots of naked roots, just so that it didn't fall apart when I picked it up. The apple had definitely taken over the entire area. I'd really rather that I was confident it would be cared for and could just occupy the space. As it is, it hasn't gone into terrible shock yet, knocking on wood. This time at least the soil in the blue thing is deeper.

The fig was in a more clay soil which held together better, but the fig lost it as soon I started cutting up its poor roots.

UoPeople and UCB have made an alliance: http://www.uopeople.edu/about/partners/academic-partnerships/uc-berkeley/

I haven't read about what "finishing at UCB" entails, but trying to transfer credits into UMNC unleashed a showstopping Reagonian nightmare of amnesia. I can only imagine that that would work better. So far, I have credits spread between MN community college, UMN, UMNC, and UoPeople. Why stop there? Maybe that's the real reason I've rebelled against touch screens -- between highschool and community college, I've been forced to take touch typing twice. Really, it's a wonder I never took anything at ASU. If I'd stayed a little longer, I'd probably mount a minor transportation planning department invasion.

That reminds me that part of the plan for PrincessTinyHouse was to park her in Crookston, MN until I'm able to get that resolved. I know from experience that the third time that you show up in a University office after being punted somewhere else, people start to get creative on your behalf.
12:02 am
Z is out of town, so B has been staying up until the wee hours. The other night, that was somewhere north of 2am. The occasional banging around (staying up till 2am seemed to mostly involved the kitchen) isn't as bad as the anticipation of large amounts of violent banging.

Trunk Space's anniversary is this weekend. They like to just have a whole shitton of bands play when they do that, and they're closing. I'm fantacizing about parking PTH in the lot and groupie-ing the show. Flagstaff also had snow last weekend and somewhat recently claimed to still be open for a tiny bit longer. And then there's taxes and work spilling over all over the place.

I managed to hit my first self-set milestone this afternoon on paid-project of having things sync over the QuickBooks WebConnector. That involved a lot of tracing through layers of data transformations, building most of the infrastructure, enough of the webservice endpoint, logic to keep state in the newly stateless design, and getting the QBXML messages right. The last item there, I was hung up on for a few days. The QuickBooks WebConnector gives a generic failed-to-parse-XML message without any details unless it gets what it expects, and the docs are weak on details. Various tags are documented in an ad hoc fashion. I mostly gave up on that and logged the conversations the VisualBasic utility had (which luckily was also conducted with the same XML protocol) and then tried to emulate that except for a few really cargo culty bits I didn't want to cargo cult further (partially because of the time it would have taken versus establishing more direct routes were adequate).

So, I went and caught up the tail end of half of one of the many Tuesday night ride fragments, drank a few 75 cent PBRs, chatted with a few people I knew, then started to feel like I was just kind of sitting there when the (pretty awesome) skateboarding video on TV started repeating while people were talking to SOs and their phones (even more intimate) which is fine except I "forgot" my laptop at home for some reason. Heavy Metal Kids Bike keeps making friends.

I hit up the post office today too. Line was too long and slow to mail off give-away books and my nephew's final present bit isn't in yet. Trying to clean burnt on oil off of the motorcycle engine (it builds up slowly, like a frog in bleah bleah), I scrubbed some of the anodizing off the aluminium. I hate that. It looks way better than it did, but I hate permanent damage like that, when I cause it.
Saturday, April 9th, 2016
9:46 pm
More tinycarlog
Stolen photos this time. These are from the 36th Annual Southwest Unique Little Car Show (as are the cars photographed in the last post).

8:30 pm
Thursday, April 7th, 2016
1:43 pm
Welp, eBay said FedEx hadn't scanned the ramps yet but they showed up already. Sometimes it takes a few weeks for things to ship, but they're here.

Logistics aren't my idea of fun.

Some todo items:

Top-end job on the motorcycle engine
Z600's bottom washed off and rattlecanned
License and registration for the Z600 maybe? But steering and brakes really need attention.
Weld the banana seat onto the tallbike -- the current seat hardware is shot
Microcar show this weekend (should invite Taylor, CargoNick, etc)
Visit Wendy Nelly -- it sounds like maybe this might have gotten complicated
Mason Jar
sour orange marmalade?

I guess my plan is to crunch until work is in kind of okay shape (is that even possible?) and then reserve the truck and then try to multiplex things until the truck pick-up date.
Wednesday, April 6th, 2016
1:38 am
Forced myself to run this afternoon, trying to break out of bad cycles, and immediately, the headphones started cutting out in one ear with the break apparently at the solder joint from the previous repair. I know where the solder iron is. I might have a spare set of earbuds too... but nothing is especially easy to get to any more.

Glamping: http://imgur.com/r/pics/Oi0GMEa

GoldBar was loud. Some ASU student was doing the Cartel thing, where she omg'd loudly and at great length about how she's been sooo busy with school, while not doing any schoolwork nor showing any sign of actually getting ready to. Outside was nice. I ran into CargoNick on the way over in Sprouts where I had stopped to get some carrots and apples (food cravings). He said he saw the tallbike out front and invited me to come brew with the RedHatchet gang (gah, want to, can't, FML). Leaving GoldBar, someone was yelling at me from behind, then CargoNick overtook me and I chased him until he turned near Apache.
Tuesday, April 5th, 2016
12:37 am
The chocolate cake they've had at GoldBar the last two days has been to die for.

You might suspect the cake I had today was a slice from yesterday's cake, but you would be wrong. Today had a whole new enormous and delicious and identical chocolate cake, and yesterday's got devoured.

I'm realizing that I haven't been giving GoldBar love because it's nearly an hour walk there, and McClintock *just* got bike lanes, but it didn't register that that was now connected. It was unconnected enough that it felt like it was in another part of town, and somewhere I'd visit if I happened to be rolling through there.

No photos because the phone camera sucks. Relatedly, as part of discussing FirefoxOS on Twitter, I learned that there's a high end FirefoxOS 2.0 phone that was released right before Firefox discontinued FirefoxOS that's now being liquidated cheap. Not wanting to have anything to do with Android any time soon, I'm sorely tempted. Material possessions, come to me! I summon thee! My existing FirefoxOS phone is 1.3. 1.4 kinda didn't really happen but it looks like they were going to go to 2.0 at the same time they carried on the 1.x line, for some reason. And then they decided not to do it at all and instead focus on refrigerators with web browsers in them because people don't already have phones in front of their faces all of the time.

After I got there this evening, I got an email that I'm having a hard time with, and rather soured my stint there this evening:

So, before you returned, you had said that you planned on moving out about a week or two after your return. What are your plans?

Which doesn't jive with what I had written in email:

I booked Amtrak into town and should be back Tues the 15 noonish. I'm
not sure how long I'll stay in town, but my plan is to move stuff out
on that trip (and do small business taxes... ick).

Or the discussion I had before I went travelling, where I had agreed that I probably shouldn't renew my lease.

So, I'm annoying them more than they're annoying me, by quietly hiding away in the room. Also, they thought that after living in Arizona for 15 years, I'd just pack up all of my stuff in one week and just leave. Saying good bye to friends is loitering?

I haven't even said anything mean in several months.

What the fuck...?

My lease isn't even up for two months still (but I was figuring people would be happier if I were out well before then).

My brain, trying to fit the pieces together, came to the horrific realization that my lease is up at the same time this code project is due.

Which saint should a person in this situation be praying to...? Is there a patron saint of cognitive loads?
Thursday, March 31st, 2016
8:54 pm
I tend to terrorize people with responses longer than their original post. That is, when you can get me to talk at all. I'm not sure what this means.

I decided that a large part of the problem with loading the Z600 in the back of a moving truck is trying to drive it up a steep incline with a manual transmission and somewhat narrow ramps. Longer ramps that handle the same weight rapidly get a lot more expensive. The other major part of the problem is the 16' moving truck is 16' long, and the Z600 is 10' long. The 10' U-Haul is $279. The 12' or 16' Budget truck is $163. I'm estimating that stuff half way fills a 10' truck, so maybe I am on track for fitting into the 6' left of a 16' truck.

Driving it up the ramps, I burned a lot of clutch, but also had to rev the engine and just bloody go, far more than I'd like to have, so I decided to change that up a bit and try to winch it up instead of driving it up. A "come-along" with a 10' cable (this should be interesting; again, that's how long the Z600 is, so I'm basically putting its front onto the ramp, winching it up until the nose is safely in the truck, and then doing something else) was pretty inexpensive. If this plan works, it should at least allow me to go up more slowly, in a more controlled fashioned, requiring less faith.

I'm reminded that last time I moved, I got rid of most of my computers, including the G3 MacPPC machine that powered slowass.net for years. The Alpha Multia was my firewall/router for a long time and was pretty adorable. My gosh the time I've spent/wasted installing BSD on various RISC machines. I also got rid of most of my ORA books then, but then since bought probably the same amount more. (Anyone need a Flash programmer...?) A got a few more computers since then as well.

I have a few choices here. I could try to license the Z600 in Arizona where it's probably easier than CA (especially with my license and other info still pointing here), or haul it to CA and eventually maybe try to do that. If I did manage that in AZ, the tow dolly might work. I think if something is unregistered, it can't be in contact with the ground. The trailer's registration allows it to touch the ground.

Plus I need to sort out engine work on the CB750.
12:02 pm
Extreme Misc
I swam yesterday. That felt good. I think my body decides it is winter and it is going into hibernation if it doesn't get exercise, which is counter intuitive to me because when it actually was winter, it still got exercise (running, swimming, biking), so "it's winter, time to hibernate" never really sat in as a result of it being winter. Hibernation as I'm declaring it feels like being groggy on a multi-day, multi-week scale. Bleah. So, when I manage exercise, it will likely continue to be big news on my stupid blog, and I'm apparently not the only one.

In my packing shuffling, my meager in-room pantry wound up in a bucket, so I guess I have a food bucket. I also obtained some more groceries, finally making it to Sprouts, so I have PB&J on the menu, and got tortilla foodstuffs going from Food City, using a big tin of canned refried beans as a base, which I'm eating cold.

The Z600 got jacked up after I exhausted (largely due to evaporation) this batch of rust dissolver. It looks like I could have done a better job of pumping it into the holes in the floor pan, but it also did a fantastic job where I did get it. I didn't get it above the bottom of the floor pan, so I'm spending some time with naval jelly under there as well, even though that does not accomplish the same thing as pumping rust dissolver into the holes. I'll have to come back to that. The rust dissolver gelled on to a lot of the metal, as the navel jelly also strongly tends to do. I wonder if I should try to use water to get it off, or if I should go for a solution of ether, gasoline, ammonia, and chlorine. I wouldn't be so reluctant about cleaning off the rust dissolver with water if it weren't for those damn holes that go to a rust-land in the middle of the metal sandwich. I want to wash off the gelled on rust dissolver so I can rattlecan it.

Lincoln had ~$300/month workshop/garage space with running water that you're actually allowed to occupy during the day. Something like that would be fantastic for me in CA. That doesn't even buy a desk in a shared space in CA. Computer projects and automotive projects and bicycle projects definitely occupy the same sort of workshop space.
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