Our new home in Hawai’i is slowly coming together. I expect my current list of projects will take most of a decade to complete, but I can take small steps for now. Eventually, the home will completely eschew the idea of burning anything for energy. Transportation, heating, cooling, cooking, water filtration and heating, garden tools, and the hot tub will all be 100% electric, and the electricity will come from the sun.
It’s time to pay off some technical debt!
I have been running an email server since forever. Way back in 2004 I switched Linux distros to the newly-hatched Ubuntu. There were things I liked about it, particularly when they started offering long-term support (LTS) versions that would receive updates for years. I was running Postfix for the MTA and Dovecot for the user-facing side, and everything went really well. Every two years, a new LTS release of Ubuntu would come out, I would upgrade and spend most of a day cleaning up the inevitable rough edges, and Life Was Good™.
The Dipsea is well known for its scenic course and challenging trails. The race starts on Throckmorton Avenue in Mill Valley, near Miller Avenue, in front of the old train depot (now a bookstore). After traversing a few blocks in Mill Valley’s downtown, runners climb 688 stairs (now 700 stairs, after the renovation of the middle section in Nov 2017) leading up the side of Mount Tamalpais, and then pass through Muir Woods National Monument, Mount Tamalpais State Park, and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
We’ve been fans of Trader Joe’s Brownie Truffle Baking Mix for a few years now. When he was quite a bit younger, I once handed Matthew a plate of brownies and he remarked “you just can’t beat a good brownie.” No, no you can’t.
I have been so busy with pandemic-related tasks that I barely saw Easter approaching and, when I did, I discovered that getting Easter swag was going to be a challenge.
Now, mind, Matthew and Joshua are teenagers and particularly mature ones at that. They don’t think that a bunny comes around and hides eggs in the yard or poops out little foil-covered confections. As for myself, I’m not a fan of cheap milk chocolate in quantity. If I am going to take on the calorie load of some chocolate, I’ll opt for quality over quantity. So our tradition has become that the children wake up to a tasteful basket, usually from a fabulous local chocolatier, usually with one large chocolate bunny and a small, tasteful assortment of miniature chocolate bunnies and eggs of exquisite quality. Continue reading
Privacy seems to be the latest casualty of COVID-19. I guess because I am involved in the information security community, I thought everybody knew about the atrocious privacy policies and reprehensible actions of Zoom. I was shocked to discover that Matthew and Joshua’s school district is planning on forcing children to use this platform whose policies probably make Mark Zuckerberg envious. Here is what I wrote to them today:
While I was searching the net for ways to get testing for my patients with upper respiratory infections who might have COVID-19, I stumbled on a local effort to fill the shameful gap in the availability of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers by getting volunteers to 3-D print face shield parts. I am transitioning my practice to telemedicine, which means I’m home a lot more. I can babysit my 3-D printer while I’m working on the telemedicine gear and helping my home-from-school children with their educational enrichment activities. I’ve fired up the printer and my first mask is printing as I type.
Over the past many months, I have been having a harder and harder time seeing to read (and I spend 80+% of my waking hours reading). I wasn’t really consciously aware that anything was wrong, but I did find that I’d take out my contact lens far more often, I had all my devices set to dark backgrounds, and I was spending more time in my darkened room. I would also get terribly fatigued when I read for more than a few minutes (which, generally, meant all the time). I was getting increasingly behind in reading and responding to email. After months of things getting gradually worse, I realized suddenly that I couldn’t read at all without a lot of squinting and straining.