Leonard Nimoy Died of COPD Today

      I’m saddened that Leonard Nimoy died today of COPD.  This is what took my mother a couple of years ago although she was also suffering advanced Alzheimer’s at that point.

      It’s difficult to think that we’ll never see another guest appearance in any future Star Trek movie or series.

Tired Today

     Tired today, wife switched to days for two days as Safeway where she worked got bought out by Haggins.  She’ on days training.  I had to get up extra early to get her there and still getting over this head scuz.  Too much blood in my caffeine system and can’t seem to get the ratios right today.

Radio Shack Demise

Radio Shack is joining the list of things from my past that are now gone forever.  Radio Shack has recently been delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and is in the process of negotiating a sale of half their stores to Sprint with the intent on shutting down the other half of their company owned stores.  It’s hard to say what will happen to franchise stores, some say they are doing fine, but where will they get stock?  What value will the brand have when it’s gone?

Analysts are not surprised because the company has been losing money for the last eleven straight quarters.  They blame it on competition from online retailers like Amazon.

I am not surprised because Radio Shack abandoned it’s core customer base several decades ago.  The electronic hobbyist / enthusiast was their core business, I was among that group.  I found that as time went on the parts and other useful items available dwindled, while they devoted large portions of their store to selling cellular phones.  I’ve also owned STA-2000 and STA-2100 receivers, both of which were well designed and built units for their time.  They stopped building their own equipment, moved to selling Japanese junk, and then stopped selling audio equipment altogether.

Trying to make money selling other peoples stuff is a challenge, they can always sell it cheaper than you can, and when you’ve got the overhead of a store and online retailers had cost advantages and volume advantages, there is no way to compete with that.  Cellular phones are a generic item, they were much better off selling things where people wanted the hands-on experience of trying it, listening to it, fiddling with it, before they made a buying decision.

I will miss them, but then the Radio Shack I will miss has been gone for two decades already.

A Lost Day

I started what an upgrade from Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS to Ubuntu 14.10 on my old Mac Workstation today at 6:15 AM.  This was a project advertised as being three hours.

Ha!  It’s now 11:35 PM and I finally have everything working again!  To be fair, the actual upgrade only took 9 hours, it finished around 3PM, but then every once in a while WinAmp skipped on me so I wanted to install a low-latency kernel.

I installed a low latency kernel, and the X-server no longer recognized my monitor.  Further, lsmod showed the Nvidia driver was no longer loading.  I spent the next eight hours trying various incantations, manually editing configuration files, etc, at several points I had no X at all, just a text console.

Finally, I went and grabbed the driver straight from the Nvidia site instead of the repository, and it worked!  For some reason the driver supplied by the repository, even though it claims to be exactly the same version, simply does not work with the low latency kernel.

So now I’ve got the latest and greatest, a nice responsive workstation and WinAmp plays smoothly now.

Back from Blogger Hell

     In case anyone wonders where this blog got it’s title…

     When I first started blogging, I used blogger.com and ftp publishing to publish to my website.  When the evil empire, Google took over Blogger, they discontinued FTP publishing to force everyone to either publish under their domain or host their domain with Google, neither of which were acceptable options for me.  For months I didn’t publish any of my blogs.  Then someone came out with a conversion script that allowed you to import a blogger blog into WordPress.

     WordPress allowed me to host my own blogs and as it turned out was far more flexible than Blogger, and as I learned to use it, faster and easier to use than Blogger.  When I first ported my blogs over, I changed my personal catch-all blogs title to commemorate my new found freedom from Blogger.

      If you’d like to move your blog from Blogger to a WordPress blog here at Eskimo North, I’d be happy to assist you.  Please e-mail support@eskimo.com or call 206-812-0051.

Old Hag Syndrome / Sleep Paralysis

I experienced the so-called “Old Hag Syndrome”, otherwise known as Sleep Paralysis last night for the first time in my life, repeatedly, and I now understand why it is so horrifying to those who suffer this regularly.

It started with partially coming into consciousness believing my wife had returned home.  I felt movement on the bed, and then I thought she was crawling over me to get to the other side of the bed, except she didn’t move off of me, and it felt like a crushing pressure.  As I opened my eyes and realized nobody was there, I still felt this pressure and I couldn’t move.  At this point, even though I had never experienced this before, I’d read about it enough times to know what was going on and so I just kept trying to move, wiggle a finger, eventually my brain stem restored connectivity to the rest of my body, the pressure went away, and I could fully move.

However, as soon as I started to drift off to sleep, I’d feel the pressure come back on me as if someone had crawled up on the blankets.  I tried everything, different positions, taking off all of the blankets except the sheets, but every time I started to drift off to sleep it would come back.

Eventually, I tried to just embrace it, instead of thinking of someone trying to smoother me, I thought of when I was a young child and it was cold and I had extra blankets to keep warm, and the warmth and comfort they provided, and drifted back to sleep and the next time I awoke it was a normal awakening.

This crud, Obama Care, Mae

This stuff is still hanging on.  I stopped all the over the counter cold medications and that ended most of the neurological symptoms, i.e., skin on fire, things not really feeling right, etc, but the stuffy nose and sinuses and gross green gunk continue although the amount has been dropping off as the day has gone on.

I’m more than a little unhappy with the Washington State Health Planner website and people behind it.  I tried to sign up, couldn’t get it to complete.  Someone helped me and I was able to get it to save.  But then they said I needed to put in financial data, only I couldn’t find any place to do that, someone there said they’d call me back, twice, and didn’t, and now it’s the 15th and I’m pretty much screwed it would seem, all the while trying to struggle through this while sick.  Gotta love it.

And then there is the matter of Mae:

This dog was acquired by my wife and son, and I still don’t fully understand the agreement but my wife paid for it, but he pays for upkeep, while I was in prison.  I wasn’t real excited about this since I knew things would be financially tight, knew that I may or may not be able to hang on to the house and if not where would she go?  But I also knew my wife could use some companionship in my absence so I kind of folded.

Now I end up feeding her, watering her, letting her out most of the day because my wife will let her starve, dehydrate, or piss on the floor before she lets her out.  And one previous Doberman we had, Tia, chewed her paws until her knuckles were raw and bleeding, and according to the vet, this was because she was bored and apparently is a common bored Doberman trait.  The other day I caught Mae chewing her paws in the same way, hasn’t bloodied them yet but I don’t want it to come to that.

Since this is now our third Doberman my wife and son should have both been familiar with the breed.  They are a high energy dog that requires a lot of attention and unlike most breeds that start out this way as puppies, Dobermans are generally this way from birth until death.  I’m finding the whole situation frustrating, it’s not right for Mae, and my wife and Son both well into adulthood should not need my prompting to address the responsibility they obligated themselves to.

Just when I thought…

Just when I thought I was almost over this crud, a little stuffiness in one nostril, it exploded over night, and I was unable to sleep all night.  In addition to both nostrils being fully involved again and the stuff running down my throat making me gag again, it felt like my entire nervous system was on fire, touch hurt, any touch.  I really want this stuff to go away.  I think there is probably some bacterial component at this point but haven’t any health coverage of funds for a doctor.  Trying to get set up with healthcare but the Washington health plan finder is a disaster and people say they’ll call you back and don’t.  Compulsory insurance != universal healthcare.