The Latest Dog and Pony Show.

In other words, the Democratic Party debates and primaries.

Maybe it's just the Gen X in me saying this, but why are we even bothering to watch? You know what's gonna happen when the chips are down.

The leadership's all gonna line up and annoint the most "electable" candidate who just happens to be...coincidence of coincidences!...the most corporate friendly one. Don't believe me? Then just stay tuned, and remember these words.

Though I suppose a bit of recent history also helps to illustrate, and least on the national level. Let's cover the presidential campaigns since 1988, around the time the Democrats decided to become watered down Republicans. I've considered since 1980 or even before since the 1970's saw the repeal of the usury laws allowing credit card companies to charge whatever interest rate they wanted, and boy did they. But that's a bit of a digression. Let's stick with 1988 to the present.

1988 Michael Dukakis. Lost.
1992, 1996 William Jefferson Clinton, whose watch gave us Nafta, the repeal of Glass-Spiegel, welfare "reform", and so on. This was a win?
2000 Albert Gore, lost.
2004 John Kerry, lost.
2008, 2012. Barack Obama. I had hope for this guy. I really did. But it only took one look at his financial team to know nothing would change that way. Nothing but Wall Street insiders. Despite all the ballyhoo about public contributions, his biggest contributors were still the investment banks. And while we're at it...

That ACA(Affordable Care Act). This was a big, fat, wet kiss on the unrepentant ass of the insurance industry, because it created a captive market. Everything that was good about the act(eliminating pre-existing conditions, extending the age offspring can be on their parent's policy to age 25, etc) all of that could have been passed without the legal mandate. And I couldn't help notice the public option was the first thing jettisoned off the bill almost like...gee were they really serious about it to begin with? And of course banking reform went nowhere, even with Democrats in control of both houses of Congress and the White House. Of the two, I would have rather seen the latter gotten behind and passed. At least it would have left more money in the pockets of the general populace to afford things like...you know...health insurance. The emphasis on renewable energy was laudable, but as we've seen easily reversible. Again, this was a win?

2016 - You know the answer already. Let's not go there.

So, if you sort by year, the success rate is fifty percent. If you sort by candidate, the success rate is thirty three and a third percent.

Yeah guys, that's a real winning strategy all right.

Living well is the best revenge

Yes. It all started about three days ago wheny yours truly suffered heat stroke. My mate woke me up in the bunk as I was sounding like I was asphyxiating. I woke up incredibly dizzy, and sweating profusely. I managed to get forward to the driver's seat where it was cooler, and opened the door, trying to breathe and still drinking.

Then I got sick for the first time, probably severely dehydrated.

The good thing is the truck didn't have to move for the rest of the day, so we found a spot at the Cartersville, GA TA. Yeah, hot, and I've felt it more humid, but it was still pretty bad. We got the truck to a parking spot, and I got sick twice on the way. But at least that was the last time. In the AC I managed to come down enough to recover.

The head and stomach were a touch sensitive the next day, but after that, all better. So yay.

So okay, what does all this have to do with revelations, other than keep yourself hydrated? It's a bit of a story.

If you've been following closely, you might have read about my ponderings of how did I get here in the first place? Verily, I did ask the Lord about this, and alas have yet to receive an answer. So, knowing that much, when I ask someone else a question and they don't answer right away, I can think of two reasons for this. One, it's an answer they don't think I want to hear. Two, it's an answer that would cast them in a bad light.

But after that episode I also came to the conclusion it didn't matter how. Yes, the Lord may very well be in Michael Palin's words "a rotten bastard" who contrary to popular belief just has it in for us. Why, you'll have to ask them. It doesn't matter. The trick is to keep smiling through it all, just to piss them the fuck off.

It would have been nicer to realize this without coming a hair's breadth from passing on, but...hey. Here I still fucking am. So nyeah.


Those lists were transferred over to kanbanflow.com. Much more workable.
  • Current Music
    Peter Gabriel - "We Do What We're Told"
  • Tags

And For Fueling.

TA and Petro have instituted a new rewards program which makes them a heck of a lot more competitive with Pilot/Flying J's. They're giving us like 4 points for every fill up now, with added coupons and credits that can be redeemed for showers or meals, or even parking, which is REALLY good for us.
  • Current Music
    Supertramp - "Blood Well Right"
  • Tags

Where's the dragon now?

Mainly just quickly updating because ya know. On the road and still busy with driving and all that. Eastern US has been hot and humid as all fucking getout, yet still somehow not as bad as the childhood days of southern NJ where you'd step outside and into a sauna. It literally felt like that. Instasweat. I've started keeping a list of lists around as a private entry, just so I know what the hell to do, though I should probably take it and move those items over to the kanban I have online. Duh. Easier that way.

And yeah, speaking of hot, our APU has gone dark, meaning no lights on the controller. I found a YouTube video(amazing how helpful those can be sometimes), who pointed out a 2amp fuse might be blown. I went in, checked every single fuse and the breaker and no dice. I have a feeling the mainboard on the controller is now fried. It happens.

Speaking of which, I forgot to mention our home phone and internet was dead when we arrived last time. At first we thought it was the battery on the backup. It was beeping and did need replacing. So we did that and...nothing. Called up Frontier, who took it off quarantine and still nothing. So it was tech time. Turns out the board outside on their controller went boom, so after replacing that all's well. And as an added bonus, we found we DO have voicemail again, with online access, so I got that set up. Yay.

What else? Seems like time and being fifty one has a way of making things like keeping your journal updated slip through your fingers. But I did send off our latest oil sample today. We need to keep in mind that since the APU's been out, we've been forced to idle a LOT, which has driven down our mileage and probably dumped fuel into the oil as well. We'll have it changed when we get home.

Now all that's left is to update Profit and Fuel Gauges with a couple more fuel receipts. Yay. Now aren't you all glad you read this?

Script written, and works!

Okay, the crontab didn't work as expected, so I went back to the original idea of writing a login script to do the job.

There IS a built in function to display the day of the week, namely date +%A. This returns the full name of the day. So from there, it was setting a variable to that value, namely $DAYOFTHEWEEK = date +%A.

So from there, it was just setting up a case statement and setting the background accordingly.

If anyone out there cares for a copy of the full script, just drop me an email and I'll attach it to my reply. You can set the background color, image, or whatever you care to.

So much to post about.

Everything from last weeks Democratic Presidential Debates to having to send in a second set of 1040Xs for 2018 since I discovered errors in making corrections. Oy.

First the debates. Start with the first night. The one who impressed me the most, Cory Booker. I mean, yeah Elizabeth Warren was the frontrunner for that particular night, though to me it felt more like she was playing not to lose. And let's face it. It probably didn't move the needle much for anybody that night. Maybe Liz got a bump, but probably not much.

Second night was much more interesting for me, since it included Bernie Sanders, who got me to switch party affiliations long enough to vote for him in Oregon's primary, though our state never decides a damn thing because the primary comes too late. The one that I was really watching though was Marianne Williamson, because my mate and I have been following her for over a decade, so she's not a new face to us. I know she ran an unsuccessful campaign for state representative a few years ago. I dunno. I do believe more than any other candidate she defined the absolute root causes of what's wrong with our political system. And because she dared speak the truth, the leadership will do all they can to lock her out. Not that it matters. She did really well at identifying the causes, but without any solutions as to what to do about it. Praying for a solution may be fine if you've been following A Course in Miracles like we have for a number of years, which I suppose when the solution isn't obvious is what you're supposed to do. But, as they say, will it play in Peoria? I'm not as sure the average US democratic voter would go for that. We're planning to donate to her campaign, but whether she'll make the next debate is questionable.

But Bernie did prove nobody, not even Donald Trump can outshout him. :)

Crontab job. Will it work?

One of the things I did enjoy about the Unity desktop is that I had control over both the background image to use, and the background color. GNOME seems only to give control over the background image, at least in the GUI. There is a command you can use to change the background.

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background primary-color "#<Insert RGB values here>"

My thing is that I like to change the background color based on the day of the week. So while I could type this command in once a day to change the background color, it'd get tedious and cumbersome quick. So...

I wrote my first user crontab to execute the same command with different color values based on the day of the week. Now I'm not totally sure whether it'll execute the crontab on login, but that's what I'm betting on.

A Lesson I'm Still Learning.

You only get out of life what you put into it. If you want more, you must look for ways to give more. There's a prayer in A Course in Miracles that states

Where would you have me go?
What would you have me do?
What would you have me say, and to whom?

And, as my mom would say "Simple, but not easy." At least over the past few days, I've been trying to focus more on what I can give in any moment rather than what I can get out of it. Because let's face it. Nobody gets what they want all the time. So you can't control that. But you can control what you give, or don't give.

So yeah.

I did finally get those three years of tax returns amended and printed out today. All that's left to do is for the mate to sign and date them, shove a check for $227 to the state for 2018 into one(????), and send them off. I skipped sending the state 2016 and 2017 since as far as they're concerned, nothing changed.

In other news, our truck will be in the shop an extra day, so tomorrow is officially the day we get it back, and load 'er up, for heading out on Thursday. The mate and I have been running through the getting the truck ready list, and a good portion of it is either done, or a good way through the process of finishing up. What's left doesn't take all that long. Bedding and rugs will be ready by tomorrow morning. The rugs are simply drying right now. I rinsed out the cooler, and that's all that was really necessary.

Speaking of the truck, we put her in for a buttload of work this time, and got some good news about it.

  • Shocks, replaced as necessary.

  • Front differential replaced. AUGH, but necessary.

  • Leveling valve was faulty, so replaced. That little bastard probably contributed mightily to a lot of other parts failing, since we were riding on deflated airbags.

  • Cabin fan, replaced it looks like.

  • Drive lines, replaced. They did have over 1,000,000 miles on them after all.

  • Turns out the rubber gasket on the carrier bearing had shifted, so it didn't need to be replaced, just put back. So yay.

I'm sure the bills still gonna be quite spendy. Seems like the front differential alone was about $6000 last time. Now for what I need to do to it when we get it back.

  • Replace the fog lights with LED lamps.

  • Replace the drivers side headlight cup. The adjusting threading broke when someone backed into it a couple of Thanksgivings ago. Not to mention that ugly scratch.

  • Of course, clean the Fleet Air Filter and put back.

  • If possible, fill in the chip on the passenger's windshield.

  • There was more to do, but the parts won't arrive until after we leave, so they'll have to wait till next time.

Next time

  • Spiral wrap the air and pigtail electrical line to prevent rubbing. Right now it's all wire tied together, which will work for now, but looks kind ugly.

  • Replace the low beams with LED bulbs. If they work well, order the high beams and replace those too.