Aaron's blog

Freedom's Rush by Foster Kinn

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Mon, 08/03/2020 - 11:23

These stories and thoughts of the author's travels around the western US capture the experience of long-distance motorcycle riding in an incredibly great way.  I found myself nodding in agreement so often, having had many of the same thoughts, encounters, and feelings on my trips.

A lot of the writing is very good--so expressive, yet there are a few instances where some camp or amateurishness pokes through.  I guess many editors would fix that, but would it lose some authenticity in the process?  I think so, and I think overall the result is great.

There are philosophical sections, and the first thing that comes to mind when I heard motorcycles combined with philosophy is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.  I recommend Freedom's Rush 100x more unless you are a philosophy major.  Long ramblings about Phaedrus are out and replaced with relatively simple wonderings and views inside the author's head.  That's all I need.  And the ratio of motorcycle to philosophy is much better too.

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TT-RSS plugin notes

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Wed, 07/29/2020 - 12:43

The class name of your plugin must match the name of the folder which your plugin sits in.  If not, there will be no error but the plugin will not show up in the plugin list.  When I was testing with TT-RSS running in a Docker container in WSL2 I had issues with capitalization.  It should work if the folder and class are all lower case.

A plugin for TT-RSS should have a function about() which returns an array().  There is no documentation about this array that I could find, so here is what I observed from digging around in the source and looking at other people's plugins:

[0]: App version as a float, will always be formatted using %.2F so will always show two decimal places.  Setting this as a string seems to work fine too.
[1]: Description string
[2]: Created by string
[3]: Plugin type boolean (true for system, false for user)
[4]: A URL string which will open when the More Info button is clicked

A list of the hooks with some description can be found here.

The Tao of Willie by Willie Nelson

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Mon, 07/27/2020 - 16:58

A book of many very short chapters with positive messages.  Willie gives lots of uncontroversial advice, mostly along the lines of be kind, let others be, enjoy life, etc.  A chapter about biodiesel was a bit out of touch when it comes to practicality.

While this is not a full biography or anything, it does discuss a lot of his past.  So now I know at least a little history about Willie.

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Astounding by Alec Nevala-Lee

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Sun, 07/26/2020 - 12:57

A pretty interesting history of the early days of science fiction, centered around the magazine Astounding.  I would have rated it fairly boring but as I became more familiar with the characters it became more engaging.  Admittedly, some of the most interesting was when it got into the forming days of dianetics and Scientology.  I say "admittedly" because I regard these as trash topics and don't really think that it is worthwhile to spend time learning about them, but it seems that I the same inner urges as most do to rubber-neck that wreck.

Reading this did make me want to go back and read some of the discussed works.  I have already read the main three parts of Asimov's Foundation stuff, and Heinlein's Starship Troopers.  I should probably go for a couple of the latter's other Hugo winners.  Also it made me want to see what the old pulp magazines were like.  The Internet Archive does have some that I might read through, but I think I am almost as interested in the physical details as in the contents.  So I may pick up a year of them sometime for $50 or so on eBay.  It would also just be interesting to have some old stuff like that.


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Engine cover sound deadening replacement

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Sat, 07/18/2020 - 20:29
New sound deadening material installed on engine cover

Two days ago I removed all of the old engine compartment sound insulation. It was coming loose and had nice carvings in it from the water pump and alternator...since when we bought the boat (1,000 engine hours ago). Today I installed the new sound deadening material so it is finally fixed!

The part that is down against the table (most boat maintenance projects involve trashing the "dining room") is where the steps are, and faces forward when the cover is installed over the engine.


Plug frustrations

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Sat, 07/18/2020 - 08:27

Micro USB is often frustrating because you have to look at the cable and the device carefully to plug it in the correct way.  Optionally you can just try and flip if it doesn't work...pretty quick.  USB C is a reversible port so resolves that issue.

My phone's USB C port has apparently become damaged, probably from a little rain exposure.  Now it only charges with any given cable inserted one way, and not the other.  This is even more annoying than micro USB because it takes longer to see if the phone is charging or not (C) than to feel whether the plug inserts (micro).  So I have about a year of that to look forward to.


Minecraft: Dungeons

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Sat, 07/18/2020 - 07:20

This is basically the first dungeon crawler that I have played, except Gauntlet: Legends a long time ago at a friends house in Fortuna, ND on his N64.  The genre doesn't seem to really suck me in anymore as I usually play two levels of Dungeons and then call it quits for the night.  Still, I have made it through the first two difficulty tiers and am just a couple levels into the Apocalypse tier now.

Overall it is decent fun, adequately polished, good value at $30, etc.

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Quantum Void by Douglas Phillips

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Sat, 07/18/2020 - 07:13

Great for the price I paid, which is free since I signed up for the Kindle Unlimited free trial (and set a calendar reminder to cancel it).  Hey, there are a lot of books that I won't even read for free so this is still a compliment.

Good pacing and very nice mix of real quantum theory with some made up stuff, and an accompanying final "chapter" that tells you exactly what was real and not.  There were some hints at time things in the story which the third book Quantum Time will surely get deeper into.

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