Recent status and projects update

Posted on 2013-08-10 13:40

Its been a long time since I've written about anything here! There are a couple reasons, not the least of which is that I hurt myself and developed some kind of tendinitis. This was probably because I ignored some early warning signs and kept mountain biking despite pain and weakness in my elbows. Its been over a month of no riding at all and I'm still not 100%, and sort of afraid of going out and aggravating it so I'm going to give it a little more time. Writing and playing music have suffered as well as biking.

Pressures at work, and far too many hobbies and interests have also relegated writing to the back burner of late. Regarding the former, its probably best if I don't go into any details here but suffice to say there has been some measurable increase in stress but am still gainfully employed so can't complain too loudly anyway. As to the latter, I've got a bunch of things I meant to write about and haven't as yet. I'll list some of them here in the hope that I'll get around to writing about them eventually.

  • Minecraft! Setting up and running my own minecraft server (in a virtual machine) initially for the kids (but also for me) has been just an awesome stress reliever. Building castles and mining for iron ore in a virtual 3d world is almost as much fun as setting up the server, configuring plugins, and ensuring uptime (I always enjoy getting the games running more than the games)!
  • Set up an Intel NUC to connect up to the 32" Toshiba LCD TV with 120GB SSD, 4GB ram, and bluetooth/wifi chip and Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse. Put Ubuntu 12.04 on it with XBMC, but most of the time the kids are playing minecraft on it anyway.
  • I didn't go to Pennsic this year. I was on the fence about going and I started keeping a spreadsheet for Pros and Cons as it got closer to the date to leave. I'd rank each on a scale of 1 to 5 for how important that Pro or Con was (its weight) and I decided that I'd abide by whichever side won out. Each day I'd remember some cool thing about going and I'd rank how important that was to me. Some days I'd re-juggle the numbers because for some reason some aspect was more or less important to me. At the end, the Cons won out 47 to 40 and I (sadly) decided it was best to skip this year. The weather I missed was fantastic. I know because I was monitoring it every day - the coolest in 20 years, but there was a fair amount of rain as well.
  • I updated my Transformer to Cyanogenmod 10.1 (Android 4.22) and I'd like to post about the steps I took to do it, but for now I just updated my Cyanogenmod post (at the bottom).
  • Dragged out my old CB and K40 antenna, had to do some soldering on the 12V cigarette lighter adapter but its working good. Getting interested in getting my ham license again - every time I do, I study and study and then don't take the test, forget half of the stuff until the next time I get interested again. Listening to the local hams is always a draw since a lot of them are scientists at the National Lab so the discussions aren't always about radios like most ham talk.
  • Learned a bunch of new tunes, but haven't recorded anything lately. Mostly I've been concentrating on contemporary tunes, though I've got a new Christy Moore song which should work for the Irish gigs. Its been difficult with the hand and finger pain - its taken weeks to get to the point where I can play for even an hour straight. Strength in the fingers is returning slowly.
  • I wrote a couple tunes as well, though I didn't write the lyrics - both have to do with Irish history, one a translation of a 12th century poem either written by or merely recorded by an Irish Monk and the other written during the Celtic renaissance in the late 1800s by a Canadian Catholic priest.
  • Switched from Gnome Classic to XFCE4 and ran into a couple snafus with the macbook which I'd like to post about when I get a chance. I like XFCE4 - its not as pretty even compared to Gnome Classic, but it seems more easy to configure it and its certainly faster.
  • Went to Bellport Day and saw The New Students play and they were great! Perfect fodder for the LiveMusic section here, but didn't take any pictures. I want to add links to them and their Indigogo project on their second album.