I am fighting the temptation to turn this into an “Ubuntu is hard!” blog and podcast.
But Ubuntu is hard. I actually got hectored the other day for not having an intimate understanding of it when looking for help on a Plex-related issue, which was annoying, but one soldiers on.
It’s a pain, but at the same time, it’s also an education — arguably, messing around fixing Ubuntu so I can run Plex is a better use of my time than actually watching things on Plex, which is kind of ironic, when I think about it. I’m learning a ton about filesystems, how Ubuntu works, file organization, and getting a refresher on a lot of things I once knew like tarring archives, etc.
So I’m off to resolve an invalid arch-independent ELF magic error, then fill the Magic Bag, and another day at a time! Which is still going well, by the way.
Yesterday was a wash; the Ubuntu install on the Plex server went down with an initramfs error, and I spent over five hours bashing away at it (with some very nice folks at Ask Ubuntu helping me out); I’ve put so much work into the Plex database that I want to exhaust every option before reinstalling Ubuntu.
Not much of a “so what” to that except that NOT SNACKING IS HARD, GUYS. Maybe just for me, but the number of times I was bored/frustrated with the process and my mind wandered down to the kitchen was insane. It really is, for me, a booze-level addiction. The magic bag works wonders, but at the end of it, it really is a “one day at a time” thought process where I do have to sometimes literally white-knuckle through that urge to just eat something and fire those happy receptors in my brain.
You’d think I’d weigh 400 pounds or something; it’s almost equally interesting that this isn’t monster “eat two pizzas” urges, but the urge to just lightly graze constantly that has got me in the state I’m in now. Which isn’t, like, horrible, by North American standards, but still not where I’d like to be.
10k in 58:18 this morning, which is pretty damn good for me. Weight loss stalled, but whatever, this isn’t about burning pounds urgently, it’s about mastering the fitness and diet portions of things.
Arrgh… site infection yesterday led to my webhost
(correctly) shutting my site down until I could clean it, which has now been
done. But that threw me off, and required me to change a bunch of site
passwords, and since Dropbox, for reasons unknown to me, is no longer syncing
from work, I just discovered I don’t have the passwords to log into the site,
or my FTP server, etc.
It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it is
Technology! It’s a multi-edged sword. I’d say two-edged, but
I can think of at least three or four edges. All of this is gratifying in a
weird way, because it’s a reminder of how much STUFF I know — not exactly
super useful skills, in a practical way, but there’s a chunk o’ understanding I
have about how the Internet works, and websites, etc., which is proving to be
more and more a life skill than I ever dreamed it would be when I was building
my first HTML site way back… huh. I legitimately don’t remember what the
first website I ever built was. Hm. I’d have to think about that…
Some friends gave m a happy lamp — a full-spectrum blah blah blah — last week — and unlike those little units I’ve seen and had before this thing is HUGE. Like an 18″ wide bulb, the whole unit is probably 20″ across. It’s physically a bit painful to look right at it, like you’re looking at the sun or AT THE FACE OF GOD or something.
So even though spring is here, we’re in the deep doldrums of rainy spring — it’s been sunny a total of once, when I’ve walked to or from work, in the past week. And I am cranking this bad boy up when I come in to do this every morning, for 10-15 minutes of joy light blasted directly into my face.
Is it helping? Maybe? I know I’m cyclical, so it’s hard to tell what’s happy lamp, what’s CBT, and what’s just naturally me looping back up after a down phase.
Even in the midst of simplifying, I’m making things complicated — a while back I ambitiously asked a friend who lives in Hong Kong to co-host my radio show on a weekend my wife works, and… it’s tomorrow. So I’m trying to figure out how exactly to get somebody to remote in while I’m in the studio and they’re literally twelve time zones away — it’s probably going to be us on Discord and piping him into the sound board, or… something. I’m not entirely sure.
It’s not quite “every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in,” but I’m definitely feeling the irony of having long-standing commitments crop up in a challenging way while I’m trying to simplify and winnow things down.
Day Two of vacation pre-records, meaning Day Three of vacation and being completely free of cellular, wifi, etc. etc. I’m stoked about this, as I pre-record it, and look forward to a good redux of our electronics-free experience in November of 2018.
It feels almost artificial to draw this stark a division between connected and disconnected — a bit dramatic — but I don’t do things halfway. When I have a phone and an Internet connection, I am online. So complete unplugging is the best way for me to unplug.
The Plex Box is dead! Well, it’s probably got a janked power supply or RAM. One of the two. Either way it was a recycled box so a minor investment in getting it shipshape again is not such a big deal.
But that will have to wait until I am back from…
Off in a few minutes to a cabin in the woods, literally, where I intend to do… well, not much. Reading and board games for three solid days. No internet, no cell phone. I am psyched. Exercise will be walks in the woods and… firewood splitting? Possibly? I dunno.
So yes, off to the races. Pre-records for the next three days, then back ‘live’ on Sunday. Have a good few days, jerks!
Up at four this morning for cat / busy brain reasons, but got a good early start to the day intending to go back to work.
Then comes Jerkpod, and
half an hour trying to diagnose ISP problems
realizing the problem was the router
45 minutes trying to restore and reset the router, install firmware, etc.
realizing the router was a lost cause
deciding to post from my wife’s laptop, which is plugged directly into the modem now
copying my password database and keyfiles so I can get to my passwords on this computer
updating the password database software
not being able to log into Jerkpod because the security plugin has gone bonkers
updating out of date ftp software
logging into ftp
disabling the security plugin
logging in here to post
concurrently trying to order a new router from Canada Computers
battling with their website, which seems to be up to date circa about 2005, so ordering something takes about eight steps more than I’m used to, including the world’s worst error delivery system when they can’t find your account information
involving a lot of webmail logins as I have their stuff sent to a spam account
… all this to post a post that’s under two minutes long. I’m now well over 90 minutes into a morning of tech support and faff that really doesn’t… do anything to make my life better.
Remember when technology was supposed to make our lives easier?
It’s a goal, but not entirely attainable – among other things, I just spent a few minutes trying to figure out how to set up auto-replies to texts on my iPhone. It can’t be done!
The challenge is (a) to go tech-free, because I loves me my devices, and (b) to figure out how to navigate the social burden of just not getting back to people. Which I guess is pretty easy — I’ll just get back to people tomorrow.
I’m’a get up from the desk and leave my phone in my office, and try to keep from touching it for as long as possible. There may be something I need, technologically — we’re making some things today, so there may be some stuff that needs to get looked up — but I’m going to attempt to power through sans electronics as much as possible once this is uploaded.