Something a Little Bigger Than a Microblog

Time to put up orange lights. I usually do this on the front of my house, and it looks nice. I'm gradually switching this round of lights to LEDs, I think I'm about halfway there. Right now I have white LEDs up.

I'm switching them over gradually, as the incandescent lights burn out. Keeping them in good condition is kind of a pain. LEDs can be finicky too, but I find them to be more resilient especially if not left up year-round.

Otherwise, time maybe to acquire pumpkins as well. Maybe I should wait until next weekend to go all-out on the Halloween decorations, but now that it's fall I think I'll jump all in.

Other than that... I'll need to mess with the furnace to make sure it's working, which has kind of started. With some help I got the pool closed today too. Now I await the leaves.

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I have been on the road. Travel has been good, seeing new places is good. Meeting some old friends is good. But I can't wait to get back to see my cat.

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Progress for me comes in waves. Sometimes I can stare at something and not know how to proceed, and then it all falls into place. It depends on how I'm feeling, how awake or tired I feel, what the task requires, etc.

It's late, and I just did a bunch of cleaning. And I have some more coming up. I'm trying to get it done soon, and I wish I had knocked some of it off earlier. But I'm making good progress.

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I like to think I'm good at troubleshooting. For work and for fun, I've gone through circuits to figure out why things don't work. Same with software. It can be kind of fun, like a puzzle.

The key is to have something to go on, some little crack in the facade of the problem to pick at until you can pull a bigger piece of it away, revealing another crack. And so on.

It's actually been a software problem that's giving me grief lately. Specifically, with wireguard. And I haven't found the crack yet. I will at some point, but right now I don't really absolutely need to get this resolved, so I'm poking it and trying again later. Sometimes, for mental health, you need to do something like that.

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Internet connections sometimes go down. It could be a hiccup that lasts for an hour or so, or a day, or something more serious. Like a weather-related issue that takes out connectivity for an extended period.

Still, I host things from home. Reliability is an important thing to keep in mind, but so is taking control of your little corner of the internet. Email delivery can be retried, and websites can be revisited. If I were running a business of some sort it would be a different story, but for what I'm doing it works out.

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I threw together a toy mail server on an OpenBSD machine I have. Just an OpenSMTPd setup for local users, with mutt. It works, although of course deliverability will be terrible. My Gmail account accepted a message from it but marked it as spam. But, when I un-spammed it and replied, it kept the thread in my Inbox.

So, most people would consider it useless. I'd consider it slightly not-useless. Not usable the way we typically desire email, but could come in handy, if only as a teaching tool.

I've thought before about treating email kind of like the #fediverse, as in deciding to set up a server just to talk to specific other servers, instead of trying to reach any mail server. In other words, using it just between friends. I would like to put together a little guide for this sometime. Could be fun/interesting/slightly not-useless.

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It's the middle of August, and still very much summer. However, it is quite a bit colder now, definitely in the 50s (F). I'm up late again with a camp fire in the back yard, and it's kind of pleasant. It was stiflingly hot before, and now while still warm during the day it's nice at night. Good for sleeping.

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I am posting this from a #PinePhone. Actually, the phone is plugged into a USB C hub, with HDMI, and a keyboard and mouse connected. It actually works pretty well. On the phone, Phosh is the desktop (I'm just using the Manjaro install it came with), but I get a nearly-normal Linux desktop experience on the monitor. I've got a SIM card in there now for internet.

This isn't too bad. I tried it a while ago just to see if it would work, but never really used it. Now, it's sluggish to start some applications, but this could kind of be an interesting daily driver. The PinePhone has issues with AT&T, in that data works but voice and text don't, but with a different carrier it's not a bad phone if you don't actually need the Android/iOS app ecosystem. (AT&T is migrating to VoLTE only. The PinePhone supports it, but they've chosen to just ban other devices which aren't VoLTE exclusive, which the PinePhone isn't. The phone does work with a Verizon SIM I'd already activated, though, including voice and text.)

This phone is kind of like a compromise between a smart phone and a Linux laptop. So, it's not a direct replacement for say an Android phone, since it's not really the same thing. But in my opinion, it definitely fills a niche.

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It's cloudy, but hot out. I haven't mowed the grass in a while, and I'm not sure if I'm going to today. I may go for a swim, and then reevaluate.

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Time seems to move quicker as I get older. I remember the school year taking a long time when I was young, and then the summer being a long time, though not nearly as long as it should be. Of course, I didn't really have much in the way of obligations back then.

Now, of course, work doesn't let up for the summer. It goes by a lot quicker, and before I know it it'll be September. Then fall again.

That will mean cooler weather, which I generally prefer to the heat. But the heat waves haven't been as bad (yet) this year, and we're still closer to the beginning of summer than to the end. I'm enjoying the nicer weather.

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