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

Whidbey Island has wind storms. Last week was punctuated by a pair of power outages: one from 12:40am to 3:30pm Monday, and one from 11am Thursday to 10:55 Friday. I was actually surprised that they got the power up as fast as they did Friday; I was expecting another day's worth. I never did get a good look at the eventual outage map.

In the first outage, I learned that my bedroom UPS will keep my CPAP running for about three hours. It would be significantly more without the huidifier, but there doesn't seem to be a way of turning it off remotely; next time I'll try to remember to take it off if the UPS alarm wakes me up (as it did this time). The IT UPS (in the entryway/laundry room) kept the routers up for about ten, even without shutting down the server, which is probably the biggest power draw.

In the second one, I learned that:

  • Phone service is spotty to nonexistant during a sufficiently long outage. (My phone's hotspot went away just as I was trying to post Thankful Thursday.)
  • I can sleep without a CPAP if I have to. (Actually I knew that already, but recent confirmation is nice.)
  • We don't have water during an outage because the well has an electric pump with no backup generator. Water stayed up long enough for me to fill a couple of gallon bottles, though.
  • We didn't have nearly enough water available for flushing the toilets.
  • Molly, our electric car, can be used to charge phones and other electronics. (On the other hand, we don't have a way to keep her charged; that would have been problematic in a longer outage.) Her WiFi hotspot can be used to network a couple of laptops together even if it can't get to the internet. I like Molly.
  • Although I'm positive we have a hardwired phone someplace in the house or the garage, I have no idea where it went.
  • We did have enough flashlights and LED lanterns to go around, but we probably don't have enough batteries for a longer outage.

N has been up from Seattle for the entire week -- that's been wonderful. (The kids are with their father because their cousins are in town.) She's been staying in the Box Barn (as we've started calling the apartment over the garage). It has hot water, finally; the only thing left to do is some electrical work; that's scheduled for the first week in January.

I'm continuing to have problems configuring a WiFi repeater to cover the Box Barn. You would think that it would be easy to configure a dual-band router as a bridge -- you'd be wrong. Apparently there are some problems with the WiFi protocol and DHCP that make this difficult. It would be easier if it wasn't so easy to break the configuration to the point where it becomes inaccessible and I have to do a hard reset.

I've also learned that my recording and cd-burning toolchain has serious problems, which is not at all surprising. It hasn't been used for years, so the whole transition to MakeStuff has sort of passed it by. I finally have most of it working; it's enough to put together and burn a CD. The parts for publishing concerts on the web mostly aren't working; I've fallen far behind in that department.

Notes & links:

  * up 5ish; W=198.8, S=; shower
  : aaaand - both extenders are non-functional again.  Pretty much has to be DHCP
  @ The browser that puts you in control | Vivaldi
    Another chromium-based browser.  Not clear how it compares vs. Iridium.
    Browser Face-off: Opera vs. Brave vs. Vivaldi - Hongkiat V isn't open source :P
    More customizable.  Poor dev tool integration.  Opera also worth a look.
  : ... and now the GL is back in operation, but North is totally unreachable from gw, but
    it's up.  Weird.
  * resetting West (wap3) and reconfiguring from scratch.  I appear to have bricked it.
    Or else not: it still thinks it's North, and is still out of touch.
    -> took about 3 tries to do a 30-30-30 reset, but it finally worked.
  * Walk: to Middle and back
  * about an hour out in the apartment with N putting the end tables together
  : looks like the critical setting I was missing is DHCP _Forwarder_ on basic setup.
  * bring some TP out to N
  & bring dinner out to N
  * some work on s4s-world-inside-the-crystal.
  & wasted most of the day trying to get the damned router to function as a bridge.
    At the moment I can't even get it to connect to my access point, and it was doing that
    this morning so I know it's possible.

  * up 5:30; ;
  : power outage.  Started at 12:40am
    -> turns out that the UPS keeps my CPAP up for about 3 hours
  : low water pressure -- electric pumps -- but filled a couple of gallon bottles and a
    saucepan for coffee.  Gas range FTW.
  ~ 9am wake N
  : got some nice time with Desti on my lap while sitting on the couch reading.
  * Mike coming btw 9 and 10
  : L said that WiFi, and hence Nova, stayed up until about 11am.  I wasn't expecting that
    but should have checked -- I could have shut down Nova to get more WiFi time.
  & I've been "catching up" reading magazines rather than drain the laptop batteries.
  @ start of Saturnalia
  ~ 12/17 3:15-3:45pm PST with Shawn hangouts Kahn -> postponed
  : power back around 3:30
  * litter boxes
  * up 5:30; W=200.2, S=; shower
  * YD needs tuition funds by the 18th
  @ The Last Train-Janis Ian @AC&T - YouTube special effects by Amtrak
  @ Remembering Cordwainer Smith: Full-Time Sci-Fi Author, Part-Time Earthling
    The Jet-Propelled Couch part 1| Harper's Magazine
    The Jet-Propelled Couch part 2| Harper's Magazine
    (from a Wikipedia dive starting at Hemingway Cat and going to
    Cordwainer Smith Blog by way of "The Game of Rat and Dragon")
  * 10:00 get C up.  Perhaps a little early.
  * 11:40 C Dr. Rochier
  @ Secure Coding Cheat Sheet - OWASP Open Web Application Security Project
  @ Encrypted Messaging App Signal Says It Won’t Comply With Australia’s New Backdoor
    Bill - Motherboard " Signal joins Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other tech giants
    who have already condemned and protested the bill. "
  : Water still brown -- going to run it for an hour and see how it does after that.

  * up 5:30; W=199.2, S=6:28;
  : sudo chmod 4711 /usr/bin/wodim; sudo chmod 4711 /usr/bin/cdrdao # needed to make k3b
    work.  It still fails both in DAO and TAO modes; possibly a problem with the external
    drive.  Also, k3b cannot reopen a saved project!  Also, Raven's CD drive appears to be
    broken.  Or else it's read only.
    -> I'm just going to have to fix tracks.make, I guess.  Which means reconstructing it
       almost completely.
  : sudo bash -c 'echo 15 > /sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/brightness'
  % 3ish kind of wrecked.  Finally offered to help C get her online banking password
    reset; she kept calling back rather than re-trying in case she'd mistyped something.
    I hate hearing her in distress, but she usually turns down offers of help, and I was
    already feeling fragile and incompetent.
  % totally unable to focus.
  * putting together the flat-pack coffeetable with N.  Arduous - requires a lot of time
    on the floor, and the instructions require a magnifier
  : salad and leftover chicken-barley stew for dinner
  : k3b worked great when I used it in 2007 for mastering CC&S.  Now it's unusable.
  * humira
  * up 6:30; S=;
  & add fix-bright and fix-net to sushi (hack to exec commands as superuser)
    specifically commands to fix screen brightness and restart network-manager
  * wake N if not heard from by 11
  : power out ~11am (windstorm).  Just _after_ I made microwave bacon for breakfast
    -> shut Nova down to save power.  Only problem is not having apcupsd running.  Minor.
  * 11:30 am Shawn Kahn Academy -> seemed to go pretty well
  : 1:50 the UPS on the WiFi finally gave up.
  : switched to Raven and the phone hotspot when Cygnus got down to 9% battery.  Things
    are behaving oddly - charm gives errors, pulls from hang.  Giving up on net for
    now -- I can work offline and there are fewer distractions
    -> looks like the cell tower is out, too.  If we need phone I'll have to plug the base
       station into the bedside UPS, which fortunately I turned off.  I _have_ a hardwired
       phone, but I'm not sure where it is.
    -> being without phone data service and SMS is _really freaky_.
  & in to town with N.  pantsu, potato chips, fruit, pretzels; 9v batteries, shower
    curtain amd rod for N's bathroom.  payless and Ace running on generators
  & hellish time getting C out of her recliner - she'd put the footrest up.  Even with
    fresh batteries it barely worked, amd mostly after she was out of it because the
    batteries couldn't handle her weight.
  : there's AT+T service on the back deck and in town.  Enough for emergency calls.
  & down ~9pm because dark and not charged.  No CPAP.
1221Fr solstice
  * Up 4am; S=7ish;  Did okay without the cpap but more congested.
  & charged phone from UPS in bedroom -- mistake: it had only 10 minutes left ~5.
  * out to Molly to continue charging, and to charge laptops.  No cell phone service.
  : Raven seems to charge a lot more slowly than Cygnus.  4 hours?  skip it.  Was able to
    get them both synced up via Molly's hotspot, using direct pull from *.local:...
  : We've been getting hail.
  & looking for the spare phone battery.  No success so far, though I did find the
    charging cradle.
  x 9-11 refrigerator repair person (scheduled by C)  We'll see if that happens.
  : 10:55 power and internet back on.
    water and cell phones, not yet. -> phones came back ?1ish?.  Water still marginal
    14:16 called King -- a technician is on the way down.  So there _was_ a problem.
  ~ respironics for CPAP SD card errors -> seems to be ok this morning.
    Phillips Customer Service department at 1-800-345-6443
    support Tel: 1 (855) 699-6276
    ask Island Drug about battery
  : some very nice time with Desti in my lap.
  : funds low on Union Bank.  Depositing Mom's check there, but I'm going to have problems
    next month.  Now pretty definitely scraping the bottom.
  * ice maker repaired.  Required $75 worth of replacement parts.  On the whole we got off
    cheap -- I was expecting more.
  ~ Most of tracks.make appears to be working.  Some weirdness.  But I'm not making any
    progress with actually _writing_ CDs.
  * actually succeeded in writing -one-_two_ CD(s).  LOTS of coasters.  So something is
    flaky, but the process seems to be okay.  Fortunately I have about 150 blanks on hand
  % lost track of time; got to bed after 2am
  * up 6:30; S=3:51; seriously underslept, obviously.
  * made two more CDs on Blackroot, which seems to be completely reliable, possibly
    because I did it in the console without logging in on X.  Required some updating.
    Raven did _not_ work.
  % right shoulder hurting, clearly due to laptop table positioning in the bedroom.
  * Shopping with L at Haggen
  : !? idiot bear!  Apparently recorded the record at 78!? => it's an EP 45.
    At least it'll go faster with the programming mostly done.  And the artwork is done.
    This time I'll leave the recorder on between sides.
  @ What the media gets wrong about opioids - Columbia Journalism Review (jesse_the_k)
    " The result of this skewed public conversation around opioids has been policies
      focused relentlessly on cutting prescriptions, without regard for providing
      alternative treatment for either pain or addiction "...
    " This would be a mere semantic issue if it didn’t have such awful effects on
      policy. Conflating addiction and dependence results in harm to pain patients,
      children exposed to opioids in utero, and people who take medication to treat
      addiction. "

Date: 2018-12-23 08:31 pm (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
Regarding the CPAP you might want to do some checking online. I noted that the power brick for mine output 12VDC. so running it *directly* off that should be simple, yes?

My equipment provider wanted to sell me an $800 lithium ion battery that'd run it for a couple of days. Since that'd be likely 90% of my monthly income, I said no.

But checking around, I found out that there were *two* items available from the manufacturer. First is an adapter that replaces the power brick and plugs into a car/RV accessory jack.

Second, is a cable with a car accessory jack on one end and battery clamps on the other. When I asked the right questions of my provider, it turned out that they *did* have them. as a package for about $50.

Once I save up for them, I'll pick up the right sized deep cycle marine battery, a plastic carrying/storage case for it, and a trickle charger.

Should be able to run it for several days (I'd like to be able to camp again). And since there's no inverters or rectifiers involved it'll be way more efficient than a UPS.

Date: 2018-12-23 09:53 pm (UTC)
acelightning: lightning bolt in a blue-purple sky, the word 'lightning' flashing (lightning)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
Look all over the exterior surfaces of the building for an incoming wire that might be a telephone line. It may go into a telephone box on the outside, or a similar box inside the house. Just finding that will help you a lot with getting a land line working again. Plug a normal telephone device into the line.

Most telephone companies have a number you can dial which will tell you the number of the land line you're calling from. Around here, the number is 958, but also try 959, and write down the response - it won't give you the area code. (It doesn't work for cell phones.) Then you can try calling that number from another phone, preferably another land line. And then you can talk to the telco about making that line active. It's handy to have a land line available during emergencies - they're not dependent on the local power grid or some wimpy battery backup (they have their own generators), and sometimes the physical wires survive floods, windstorms, and other natural forces better than you might expect. And when you call 911 from a land line, the emergency service usually has a physical address associated with that number, which is easier for them to find than using the cell phone's GPS locator.

(Remember phone phreaking?)

Edited Date: 2018-12-23 09:55 pm (UTC)

Date: 2018-12-24 12:09 am (UTC)
acelightning: my basic flip phone (cellphone)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
You're using dial-up internet???

You used to be able to buy cheap telephones (often in novelty shapes, like a high-heeled shoe or a Ferrari) in Radio Shack, and sometimes even in supermarkets - I still have most of the phones I installed in this house when we moved in. (I even ran a line to the bathroom, so nobody would have to jump up and run with pants down around their knees to go grab the phone in the bedroom.) Anyway, Best Buy still sells "phones - corded", and this is the kind of cheap-ass phone I'm talking about. They also have similar ones in Target.

I didn't do serious phone phreaking, although I installed extensions everywhere in my parents' house, and in every aparment or house I have lived in. And I did things like try to see if I could manage to connect to someplace really, really far away without making a call I'd have to pay for, usually by trying to get "directory assistance" in Buenos Aires (I speak Spanish). I was able to whistle the 2600 cycle switching tone, but I couldn't hold it for very long before the frequency started to drift as my lips got tired.

Date: 2018-12-24 06:36 am (UTC)
acelightning: drawing of radio tower transmitting (radio tower animation)
From: [personal profile] acelightning
There's dark fiber around here - I remember when Bell wired all of Monmouth County with fiber. But they can't interface it to the POTS lines in this town, because we're right on the ocean, and the salt spray corrodes the copper - I can't even have DSL here. Or so they tell us. The only possible internet provider here is the cable company, Verizon.

Date: 2018-12-29 08:16 pm (UTC)
jesse_the_k: Elderly smiling white woman captioned "When I was your age I had to walk ten miles in the snow to get stoned & have sex" (old fogey)
From: [personal profile] jesse_the_k
Second-hand shops are well-stocked with normal telephone devices.

Date: 2018-12-24 02:01 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
*hugs offered*

I am glad everyone at the north end of the caravan came through the storm without storm-inflicted damages of note. Whew!

Date: 2018-12-24 07:44 am (UTC)
mxsupermarinespitfire: Mx Supermarine Spitfire (Default)
From: [personal profile] mxsupermarinespitfire
I’ve tried both Vivaldi and Opera in the past, they both have nice features but I found that neither really fitted me, mainly for lack of integration with the other tools and services I use.

Last few weeks have been pretty bad for me, as Dad’s condition deteriorated. I am beyond grateful for all the support we received, and being able to have him with us at home. End-of-life treatment started Friday, and he passed in the early hours of Saturday. Today, we start the process of sorting out his financial affairs. Going to be a subdued Christmas, but at least we have each other.

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