mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

At this point it's less than two weeks before we move to the new house. Nerve-wracking.

I spent much of this week fighting with phones. My present phone, a Samsung Galaxy S5 mini, has been giving me problems for some time. Wednesday I ordered a new phone, an unlocked Motorola G4 Plus. Lovely thing, with 4G of RAM, 64G of internal storage, micro SIM, and micro SD card. I spent pretty much all day Friday getting it set up...

... only to find out that there is a design flaw that causes "ghost touches" when the phone is charging. That means that it's completely unusable for the time it's on the charger. This is apparently a simple fix that can be performed by a repair center, and, hey, there's one in downtown Seattle. Except that its phone is disconnected. I spent a couple of hours on chat with Motorola's tech support, and learned that the only actual repair center is in Texas. This is apparently a consequence of their having been sold to Lenovo. The phone also had a loud and obnoxious boot sound, which I became very familiar with.

Yesterday I also found out, in the course of investigating microcells, that AT&T now has "WiFi Calling" (which T-Mobile has had for years, but let's not go into that). So after putting my SIM card back in my old phone, I went online trying to find out how to turn it on. (This is important because cell service on Whidbey Island is spotty at best, and our new house is outside of all the spots.) Not finding anything obvious, I chatted with a support person, who told me that the instructions were on the "device support" pages...

...only they weren't. So back to chat, for the rest of the goddamned afternoon, during which it turned out that my phone needed either a new SIM, a factory reset, or both. Since at that point I knew from experience (see Friday) that setting up all my icons and logging back in to all the apps that need it is a multi-hour process, I decided to forgo the reset until I had the new phone (which I hadn't selected at that point) in hand.

So after printing out the shipping labels for returning the Motorola phone to Amazon, I spent the rest of yesterday researching phones. I eventually found the LG G5, which is actually a much better phone in all ways that I can determine without actually having one in my hands, and cost about the same $250. It should be arriving sometime today, because Amazon is awesome, especially in its home town of Seattle. It has "only" 32G of internal storage compared with the Moto's 64, but the same 4G of RAM, and supports SIM cards up to 256G (which is the size SSD I have in my laptop, for FSM's sake).

So it's been a pretty grueling weekend, and that's not even counting the heat. Last weekend was worse, but I did go to the Seattle Pride festival with Naomi and the kids. That was fun, especially the fabulous people-watching.

I also did a little walking during the week. Still not as much as I ought to, but it's a start. The other accomplishment for last weekend was putting the finishing touches on two-sided song printing. I still need to edit the lyrics files to accommodate the new structure; that's minor.

Notes & links:

  * up 7:20; W=204.8;
  * N will come pick me up ~9:30; we will then collect the kids and go to Pride
    -> Fun!  Fabulous people-watching, of course.  Got back ~3pm
    Swapped cars for the week because it's in the 90s and Rosie's AC needs fixing. 
  @ Pride Parade | Seattle Pride
    11 am from 4th and Union
  @ Seattle PrideFest 2017: TOGETHER WE RISE: Schedule and Events
  * software:  looseleaf song formatting working the way I want it to.  Some refactoring
    will be necessary, I still need to decide where I want short songs to print, and the
    \makesongtitle commands still have to be inserted, but, basically it's working.
  @ Ancient DNA Unravels Cat Domestication Like Ball of Yarn (ysabetwordsmith)
  : Colleen claims that I purchased her Kindle Fire, but I can't find it in my orders; I
    suspect that she bought it herself, possibly with my help.
    -> no, actually it's just that it's called a Fire HD 6 tablet, with no mention of
       Kindle at all.
  * Down ~midnight

  * up 6:21; W=205.6;
  : there's a little pool of ghee in the butter dish.  Have I mentioned that it's hot?
  @ The Red Crystal - Canadian Red Cross (ysabetwordsmith)
  @ CTAN: Package etoolbox modern programming extensions for TeX
 @ CTAN: Package pdftex apparently includes e-TeX extensions directly.
    Need \pdfoutput0 to get dvi.  :P  Might want to go back to using dvi.
  @ LaTeX2e unofficial reference manual (October 2015)
  * Made a batch of deviled eggs, mostly for Colleen.
  * noon - leave for Shoreline - bus trip takes about an hour.
    The bus stop at University+50th is closed due to construction; walked down to 45th.
  * 1:30 Anita Brown D=5, A=4    Good conversation.
    Almost certainly my last appointment with her; between the move, retirement, and not
    making much progress, ...  I'll look for someone on Whidbey.
    She's been having health problems, too, and thinking of retiring.  I invited her to
    come visit; that would be fun.
  & Stopped in the Starbuck's at 85th and Aurora for a sandwitch and short mocha; flagging
  @ Ring | Ring gives you a full control over your communications and an unmatched level
    of privacy. - GNU replacement for Skype.
  : Weather much cooler today - 70s.  
  * Had the lasagne for dinner -- there's still 7/9 of it left over -- and made a
    cucumber, tomato, and avocado salad at Colleen's request.  Forgot the onion.
  % my compass rose shirt is falling apart.  Again.
  * Ordered JuiceBox 40A charger.  Not the Pro, since the car can do the timing and
    rate-matching all by itself.
  * down 00:30

  * Up 6:30ish; W=205.6; shower (cleaned shower stall)
  % how the fsck did it get to be the end of June???  We're moving in TWO WEEKS!
  @ The State of Boards: Small, Simple Hardware Rules
  @ ESP8266: This $5 Microcontroller with Wi-Fi is now Arduino-Compatible
  ~ Scott Treggett 425-330-1262 contractor who did the deck! (Steve Mickelson via Lief)
  % I suppose buying Molly should count as a "midlife crisis" purchase.  A little late for
    that, isn't it?
  * walk University Ave. to 43rd; back via Wallgreen's for pantsu
  @ Compare Motorola Moto G4 Plus vs LG Google Nexus 5X vs Samsung Galaxy S6
    The G4 Plus definitely has the best specs; I'm concerned about reliability, though.
  $ $100 to Carleton on AX
  @ dive into ballet starting atGiselle
  @ comic | The Mad Scientist Confectioner's Club via(Drawing connections | Science)
    PosterDraft_2017_03_25_mid.jpg (6000×3481) (Big Data education poster)
    I have, apparently, not been noticing the "working life" page at the very back of each
    issue.  I also didn't know that Colleen has been reading Science and Distillations!
  @ RedPen BlackPen (@redpenblackpen) | Twitter this is where the actual comics are
    I don't think DW has a good way to aggregate tweets.
  * down 23:55
  * up 7:45; W=204.2
  @ siderea | Why You Can't Find A Therapist, No, Really 3-part series - read it
  % Apparently I can flip eggs pretty reliably now, as long as I use my right hand and
    don't try to think about what I'm doing.
  @ Lee Valley Tools - Woodworking Newsletter a zax.
    (after a dive on short swords starting with Klewang, via Quora)
  @ Stonekettle Station: Death for Fun and Profit
    Healthcare:  if you can't pay, you die
  * call Safeco and update VIN
  * Colleen and G' made noodle kugel for dinner - quite tasty, if not quite the way I
    remember it.
    Rootbeer floats for dessert, using the last two bottles of Not Your Father's.
  @ Steve Savitzky on Twitter: "What is the most important code ever written in the
    world? What piece of code changed the world?"  I'm always a little surprised when
    someone notices one of my cross-tweets.  I've pretty much abandoned twitter, and now
  * walk up to Ravenna, back via University.  Stopped at The Trading Musician.
    It's a lot like Starving Musician in San Jose.  So there's that.  I stayed out of the
    acoustic room.
  : My phone's latest trick is not letting me answer!  It just rings, but doesn't let me
    pick up.  Seems to happen when the screen has been turned off with an app running.
  * Phone ordered.  Moto G4 Plus, 64GB/4GB RAM, all carriers.  Skipped the protection
    plan (hopefully not a mistake), and used the remainder of the gift card I got from my
    team as a retirement gift.  One-day shipping.  $250.  Could have gotten one used for
    $194, but with 2-day shipping.
  : Just realized that, now that Colleen is getting her spousal social security, I won't
    need to continue paying her weekly allowance.  The difference will come close to
    covering the car payments.
  @ Diaspora — Greg Egan
    probably need to read this.
  @ Golly Game of Life Home Page
    ultrafast CA implementation using hashlife (hash-based memoization on a quad-tree)
  * Humira
  * down 00:45

  * up 7am; W=204.2;
  * 9:30ish swapped cars back.
    % I'd been concerned about backing Rosie out of the garage, but it wasn't bad at all.
      It did take a couple of tries to get the turning radius calibrated
  * Paid Amex.  Transferred some money to the household checking account from mine, where
    I'd deposited a bunch of checks.
  * car charger arrived.  Phone expected by 9 this evening.
  @ Michael Bond obituary | Books | The Guardian (ysabetwordsmith)
    Paddington through the ages – in pictures | Children's books | The Guardian
    % nostalgic; somewhat sad.  Melancholy?  that works.  So many good memories --
      Paddington is a favorite of Colleen's.
  @ The Complete Guide to the ELK Stack (in) open source log capture/analysis stack
    Apache Lucene
  * Phone arrived, much earlier in the day than I expected.  It's not as big as I feared
    it would be.  Not looking forward to reloading all my damned apps, though.
  * AARP vision insurance not available in WA
  * License plates for Molly have arrived -- pick up at Pierre's.
  * stop off at Northgate for a charge.  Now at 56%/137mi. 
  ~ expect call from Pat the Electrician -> he'll be down over the weekend
    (that's actually the usernanme portion of his email address)
  * Chicken/asparagus stir fry for dinner.  And now I have leftover rice again.
  : The Younger Daughter is now officially engaged.
  : Hmm.  IPv4 speeds here seem to be significantly less than IPv6.
  @ SageMath - Open-Source Mathematical Software System (Wikipedia)
    (via Matroid, which I still don't understand in the slightest, and Antimatroid)
    Oddly, although there are some sagemath-related packages in Ubuntu, there doesn't seem
    to be a package for sage itself.  There's a ppa
  * down ~midnight.  Some very nice kitty-snuggle with Ticia; she nestled under my arm.

  * Up 6:30; W=204.2;
  : New phone doesn't have NFC or IR, and a Samsung would have made it easier to copy
    stuff from the old phone.  I think I'm still ahead, though.
  @ installed zapodot/sms-backup-plus: Backup Android SMS, MMS and call log to Gmail/Gcal/IMAP
    Not clear it's worth doing, but I do refer back occasionally.  Being able to restore
    the call log will be particularly useful, I think.  Looks like it will take a while.
    On second thought, it's not worthwhile restoring the SMS messages -- they're archived,
    after all, and recent ones were sent via signal so saved only on my computer.
  * discontinue COBRA Premera and ExpressScripts; may want to keep vision and dental for a
    while; dental is ~$20 less than AARP's version.  VSP is 13 vs 23 or 33
    How do I cancel one (or more) benefit(s) OR dependent(s), while keeping others after
    enrollment in COBRA?  (really rather late, but due date is 7/16 so not so bad)
    -> To cancel COBRA for one or more benefits or dependents, while keeping others, send
       us a written request with detailed instructions (who/what to be cancelled) *or*
       contact us. Refer to Notice Procedures.
        Online at
     -* By phone: 1-877-29-COBRA (26272) 
	By mail to: BenefitConnect | COBRA, P. O. Box 1185, Pittsburgh, PA 15230
     -> New cost $90-something; will send new payment coupons.
  * 2pm call from (caregiver candidate) Gina
  * 3ish - transfered SIM to new phone and started reinstalling.
    The "set up nearby device" failed for some reason,  but the normal Google restore
    appears to have worked fine.  Not sure about passwords yet.
  * 4:49 all apps installed, including a few I shouldn't have, and OS update in progress.
    I was interested to see that Samsung's S-Health ports, though it doesn't have the
    pulse sensor.
    -> some apps didn't install, including signal.
    -> The boot sound is a *ring followed by a voice*, and it's annoying as hell.  I had a
       round of touch instability, too; what I think the reviews call "ghost touch".  If
       it keeps happening I'll probably have to get rid of the thing.
    -> apparently it happens when it's charging.  :P  Supposedly fixable.
    * about half the screens are set up.  It's been completely stable while not charging.
      It definitely has problems if you try to use it while it's on charge.
    -> works fine on computer, so apparently (as some internet posts say) it's only on a
       2A or greater charger.  This includes the included turbo charger and cable.
    & upgraded firmware on the Brother MFC; the app suggested it.
    : Smart lock, which lets you set trusted locations where the phone stays unlocked, is
      pretty awesome.  Also supposedly does face recognition, but that doesn't work for
      me.  Didn't expect it to.
  * down ~midnight
  & 00:45 Colleen throwing up. And there's an infected spot -- boil? -- on her elbow. I'm
    obviously not getting to sleep any time soon.
  & Down 2ish
  * up 7:00; W=202.4;
  @ Sonobe - Wikipedia
    modular origami; the Sonobe unit can be used for geometric models.  The wikipedia
    article does not have instructions, but they're easy to find online.
  @ Flexagon - Wikipedia
  @ Clarkesworld Magazine : Ghostweight by Yoon Ha Lee origami weaponry
  x Motorola Inc Ste 500, 1501 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA, (206) 749-9070 -> not a working #
    Solved: Re: moto g4 plus charging issue - Page 4 - Lenovo Community
    Contacted tech support.  The only repair center now is in Fort Worth, TX.  In the
    absence of local support, I'm returning the stupid thing.
  : Jordin Kare is in critical condition from complications of heart-valve replacement
  : Colleen has some kind of infection on her elbow; probably a boil.
  & ... and another long chat with AT&T.  All damned afternoon.  I have to get an upgraded
    SIM card and do a factory reset.  Also, first time I've seen "postpaid" as an antonym
    of "prepaid".  Normally, of course, it means "postage prepaid".
  & To TJ's for meat/cheese board and gin, plus a loaf of sourdough and a pretzel.  About
    what we'd been planning to spend via GrubHub, minus the bread and the gin, if GH
    hadn't flaked on us.  So, ...
  @ LG G5 RS988  32GB Titan comparable to the Moto, S6, and the Nexus phones.
    LG G5 vs Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Google Nexus 6P: specs comparison
    Huawei Nexus 6P vs. LG G5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S6 - 
    3mm narrower than the Moto.  (The S6 is even narrower: 70mm; the 6P is wider)
  * down midnightish

Date: 2017-07-02 07:59 pm (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline

Give my greetings to Colleen?

And congratulations to your daughter on her engagement!

Re moving: is there a point in the process at which it would be helpful for a fairly flexible person *points at self* to come up, camp in a car for a day or two, and move or clean stuff for you? Or would that honestly be extra stress?

Date: 2017-07-02 09:48 pm (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
My summer schedule is not precisely open, because there is a lot I need to do. But it is flexible. And I could probably use the chance to help someone with something that feels like a beginning. And I really think you folks are awesome.

We'll see. Good luck. Honestly, I hope you are able to hire help efficiently, if that is what seems easiest. After all, luckily, it's not like anyone is going to tell me I can't go see Seattle some time, and I can then let everyone decide for themselves if they want to coordinate any plans. But I also want you to know that if it is actually useful, I would like to help.

Date: 2017-07-02 09:42 pm (UTC)
cellio: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cellio
Phone transition is a real pain in the backside, and shopping for a phone without being able to hold one in your hand feels like a roll of the dice. I hope the new one works out better for you!

(I just did this dance a couple weeks ago, though I got a working phone on the first try at least.)

New phone

Date: 2017-07-03 12:44 pm (UTC)
mxsupermarinespitfire: Mx Supermarine Spitfire (Default)
From: [personal profile] mxsupermarinespitfire
I recently acquired a Lenovo P2 tablet-phone to replace my old IPhone 4S. Turned out to be less hassle than I'd expected—my existing SIM worked right away, so no need to order a new one. I also got myself moved to a cheaper plan on my existing network provider, as I bought the new phone outright. Less than half the price of an iPhone 7. Still adjusting to using Android again after a five year gap, and devising new workflow for photos, bookmarking, etc. But so far, so good.

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