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Status Updates posted by efaardvark

  1. Something you don’t see every day*.. telemetry from spacecraft in Mars orbit lost due lunar occultation.

    (*xcept maybe In old episodes of Space: 1999 :) )

    1. Illusion of Terra

      Illusion of Terra

      "lunar occultation" sounded like a bunch of astrologists went berserk and slaughtered a few animals at full moon 😂 

  2. “Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

    The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

    Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

    The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

    It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.”
    Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space


    Just spending some time in the total perspective vortex this morning..


  3. Crunchy's new queue system is annoying me.

    1. Seshi


      I just got rid of CR for Hulu, but I think Hulu just dropped one of my fav new series from this season T_T

    2. Ohiotaku


      @efaardvark I’ve seen some people on their forums complaining about it. I watch their series through VRV which I have some issues with as well.

      @Seshi Which one would that be?

    3. Seshi


      Dendrogram.. I know 5 episodes are out now yet Hulu is only showing the first 2

  4. That’s just wrong.  🤣



    (From a KSP forum I’m on.  No, not my fault!)

  5. The word for the day is “rehypothecation”.  Do you know where your deposit is?

    1. Illusion of Terra

      Illusion of Terra

      yes in the imaginary realm of ideas. They can't rehypothecate what isn't there, that's how I beat the system 😂 

  6. Looks like SpaceX's crewed Dragon abort test was a success.  Only crash-test dummies on board for this test but if NASA signs off on this then no more buying seats on Soyuz from the Russians and launching from Baikonur to get NASA astronauts to/from the space station.



  7. Third time was not the charm for AT&T.  Got another "running late" robocall/status on the tech, then a no-show.  It is like they don't want my money.  :veryangry:

  8. It would be so cool if we could see Betelgeuse go supernova.  Probably not going to happen any time “soon” (on a human scale) though.  Probably.


  9. Thanks for the follow!

  10. Getting far too familiar with navigating AT&T's phone hell.

    Still no fiber.  I think the gods are having fun with me again.  :angry:

    1. Illusion of Terra

      Illusion of Terra

      you know, it kinda surprises me how horrible phone service providers seem in the US (hearing more and more quite bizarre things about it). I always thought customer service was supposed to be a thing in the US, customer is always right and all that

    2. efaardvark


      That was back in the old days when we had competition and free markets.  Now we have monopolies.  They don't have to care.

    3. The History Kid

      The History Kid

      I called AT&T out on their LTE-Lite stuff years ago, they never gave me a solid answer about it either.  Of course that's the cellular side of things.  The fact is, their shady response prevented them from stealing me from Verizon.  Worked in my favor, I'll say.

  11. Another pin for the collection.. IMG_4943.thumb.JPG.1ab4498515a0fc51423b2ea96fad0809.JPG

    This one is for Spitzer's end-of-mission event...


  12. Nice talk from AMD at CES.  Looks like AMD is not done yet.  In fact, (CEO) Su says that 2020 will be even better than 2019.  Dunno, that's a hard act to follow, but it'll certainly be interesting to see them go for it. 🍿

    ( CES video here: https://youtu.be/zUeo7kUzn_8 )


  13. AT&T confirmed the install.. tomorrow is when the fiber comes.

    Still trying to get my head around 300Mb broadband.  I mean, I remember 300 baud modems, 2Mbit arcnet, and 10Mbit ethernet.  Data from NASA's Mars spacecraft comes down at around 6Mb.  My current DSL is about 10 (upgraded from 56kb dialup).  300Mb be like...FLCLsmile.gif.f3b5f684b271f685252a01cc73f16c0a.gif

    1. Ohiotaku


      <reads first paragraph> Yes, fiber is very important at our age. spacer.png

      <reads rest of post> Oh. spacer.png

    2. Illusion of Terra

      Illusion of Terra

      The line I have just recently got upgraded from 4 (yeah I know, who knew something like that still existed) to around 50. To be honest though I didn't notice too much of a difference when it comes to downloads. Naturally I download stuff a lot faster, but I didn't really download much anyway (except for 'streaming' in a way). Biggest change that I personally noticed was in upload speed when uploading stuff for work or as online backups. Something that took hours now takes minutes, which is great 😂 
      Let us know what you think after you have used it!

    3. efaardvark


      My uplink on the DSL is abysmal, relatively speaking... just 1.2Mb/s.  Ok for sending email, but that's about it.  Most of the DSL bandwidth is allocated to the downlink.

      Update on the fiber install:  AT&T missed their installation window.  This means no fiber yet.  :(  I got a robocall from AT&T informing me of the news and I immediately tried calling back to see if I have to reschedule or what, but all I got was a message saying to call back during business hours.  Looks like I'll probably have to wait until Monday at least.  😿  Unless the guy just shows up tomorrow.  We'll see.

  14. UTC 2020-01-01 00:00:01 .. year rollover bug caused all our interfaces that connect our NOC to external users to core dump and refuse to restart. So far I'm not a fan of the new decade.

    1. Ohiotaku


      Thought that all ended with Y2k. And the house I’m in now doesn’t even have a basement, let alone a doomsday bunker.

    2. efaardvark


      Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the data center.....   :D


  15. Great, now they're saying we're going to get more snow & ice.  Even in the desert!  Not natural I say.

  16. AT&T FINALLY has fiber in my neighborhood so next weekend we're upgrading our 'net connection from ~10Mb DSL ("up to 27Mb") to 300Mb fiber.  At the risk of jinxing it, I'm looking forward to the ~10x speed bump! 

    1. Wedgy


      That'll be nice! 

  17. I get this a lot.  That's exactly my kind of weird!  🤣 🤣



  18. Coffee is life.

    1. Ohiotaku



      yeah, even with all the flavorings, I still can’t stand the stuff :P

    2. Rini Akemi

      Rini Akemi

      You're not wrong <3 I just love coffee so much. >just so long as it's super, super sweet< 

    3. efaardvark


      tbh I actually I prefer tea.  I've gone back and forth over the years.. sometimes drinking almost exclusively tea.  I tend to like the smell of coffee more than the taste.  Lately though I have been addicted to coffee.  Maybe it is the season.

      re: sweet... I often put sugar in my coffee too.  But I don't stir it to mix it well, just slosh it around a little so there's coffee syrup at the bottom and normal coffee at the top.  For some reason I like the bitterness to start, but there's that yummy super sweet mouthful at the bottom to finish it off.

  19. And now my air compressor breaks.  Got a tire pressure light in my car on the way home.  When I got there and went to put/check air in my tires, the tank split as I was putting pressure in the tank to do the deed.  The compressor bit is probably ok, but the whole thing is a cobbled-together mashup... an old motorcycle engine, an electric motor, a couple pulleys & a belt, some bits of copper tubing, a pressure sensor and an old pressure tank.  Probably way past time for a whole new rig but .. it had to fail THIS week?  Really?

    Gotta be Karma from last year when I went around bragging that I had all my xmas shopping done by the end of November.  :D

    (Note wet cement.. from a pinhole leak right at the base of the tank.  Looks like there was some moisture in the tank and it rusted enough inside to fail when pressurized.)


  20. Today is xmas shopping.  Especially for my brother and his family in WIsconsin I need to get something shipped today or tomorrow!

    1. Ohiotaku


      Best of luck to you, Mr. Claus

    2. Illusion of Terra

      Illusion of Terra

      is your nausea/vertigo gone though?

    3. efaardvark


      Yes.  The vertigo is mostly gone, though I can still do things to trigger it if I want a few seconds of merry-go-round.  Fortunately those things are easily avoided.  :)


  21. Woke up early Saturday so dizzy I could hardly stand.  Turns out there's a loose stone in my head (who knew?) that's rattling around in my inner ear and affecting my balance.  Got some medicine from the doctor, but it knocks me out.  So my choices for this weekend have been either sleep or feeling like I just got off a slightly too-long ride on a playground merry-go-round. 

    On the plus side, it is quite a bit better today than yesterday.  This morning the room was not spinning when I woke up like yesterday, and in fact I've found that if I keep my head still then I'm pretty much ok.  It is only when I tilt or rotate my head that I get in trouble.  I managed to - carefully - do a bit of laundry today and I'm watching TV, but unfortunately the xmas shopping and decorating I'd had planned for this weekend was not to be.  Things like driving a car and climbing on ladders don't sound like things I should be attempting at the moment.

    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. efaardvark


      Meclizine is the stuff they gave me.  While it seems to work, it is an antihistamine.  Histamines are what causes inflammation and irritation like the itchy eyes and nose during pollen season.  Histamines also stimulate the nervous system in general, so antihistamines tend to relax me and make me dopey.  If I take a couple Benadryl I'd better have a pillow handy because I'll probably be asleep in 20 minutes, tops!  I can be groggy and sluggish for as much as a day after taking them too.

      This Meclizine seems to hit me the same way.  The pills they gave me are chewables and seem to hit me even faster than Benadryl.  After I took the first one I laid down to wait for it to take effect.  The next thing I knew it was 6 hours later and didn't even remember falling asleep!  They leave me groggy and lethargic too, just like the Benadryls.  Yesterday I took 3, one every 8hrs, while the worst of the dizziness lasted and basically slept the entire day.   

      Today it seemed much less so I decided to try doing without the pills & see if I could salvage some of the weekend.  So far so good.  The dizzy is basically gone as long as I keep my head level, though sitting up or laying down can trigger half a minute or so of spinning.  No sit-ups for a while.   Sitting upright watching the TV and occasionally getting up to deal with the washer and dryer seemed fine, as long as I was careful not to tip my head suddenly.  It seems like rotating my head as I walk around isn't a problem anymore.  Only nodding foreward or back suddenly, or side to side, are still a bad idea.

    3. Illusion of Terra

      Illusion of Terra

      man what a bummer, especially since it's so unexpected. Hope it goes away quickly!

      I'm interested though, you said something about a stone in your inner ear. Do you know what it's made of or how it formed?

    4. efaardvark


      @Illusion of Terra the stones in question are calcium carbonate crystals.  They apparently are part of structures (otolith organs) in the ear that let your ear detect head orientation.  For a variety of reasons they can occasionally become dislodged and interfere with the process.  They listed a few - head trauma, disease - but none seemed applicable in my case.  I'm old enough that it may just be they're wearing out and breaking down after all these years.

  22. This looks like it'll be fun...


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