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It was the worst of times, it was the best of times.

My 11-year-old mobo died. Sad day.  And I wasn’t going to replace the board to preserve the old CPU, memory, and graphics card. I was ready for a new toy.

This toy is a beast. A Dell Precision Tower 7910, outfitted with 2 x 8-core Xeons.  128G memory. 500G SSD and a 10T spinning metal drive for slower things.  I’m planning on running a bunch of VMs on this, having them talk, setting up a house wiki, etc.  Much etc.

The first box got lost (lifted?) between the local package delivery service and my house. The nice folks at MET Servers shipped out the new one while still fighting with the shipping company over what happened to the original.  Plus, they got me overnight shipping tossed in! Thanks, Edwar.

Came in this morning, and I took a break from work to unpack it.  Started it up, made sure it worked, and had to power it off because it was distracting me from my regular job.

Since then, I have installed Fedora Server 30, installed the virtualization software (KVM), added and mounted the spinning rust drive (a NewEgg purchase).  I’m keeping the base machine a command-line box.  GUIs will be for the VMs.  So I had to use lynx to download the graphical workstation ISO – and it worked.  I’m still doing my Google research on another PC, but it’s working.

There are benefits to having enthusiastically worked in the computer field for decades.

And I’m having fun.

I have written about my weight on here before, but it was always a losing battle (well, yeah/no). I’m happy to celebrate my 60th birthday today by announcing that I have lost over a half-million dollars, assuming that I’m worth my weight in gold.

My company has a contract with Omada to help employees improve their health. I started right around Christmas 2018. The focus is on meal size/healthiness and exercise rather than counting calories or carbs. And it works – in the last year, I’m down 26 pounds. On July 2nd, I dipped below 200 for the first time in (maybe) decades. Hitting that number by the time my birthday hit was a goal I set with my Omada coach Lauren (hi, Lauren!).

There are other benefits, too. My BMI is down from 34 to under 30. My A1C went from the 9 range to 6.4.

The only downside is having to buy new clothes. Jeans, anyway. I am discovering shirts that I haven’t worn for a long time.

And I’m liking it.

We did attend the Mercy Me concert a few weeks ago, and yes, we did dance to Happy Dance.

And I’m happy dancing again – the Raspberry Pi music dealie is working. Digital sound out to the sound bar

Running Volumio, since Rune wouldn’t boot.

And my first song? What else?

My latest goofy thing is a music player connected to our TV’s sound bar, powered by a Raspberry Pi.

Tonight was assembly night.

Boxed:

The Hifiberry is a sound card that puts out digital audio. I’ll be using the RCA connector to the sound bar. Two different SD cards for different OS attempts.

Unboxed:

Assembled:

No power supply yet – that’s being delivered Wednesday. No operating system – leaning toward Rune. No content – I have a lot of ripped CDs, and a lot more to rip, and all to be copied to the 256gb external hard drive.

Hour and a half for assembly. Figure another hour for OS install and adding some tunes. Half hour for connecting and sound bar setup.

Then cranking the music.

I recently started working a side job, doing shopping and delivery for a grocery store. It is working out well so far – not retirement money, but lunch money.

When I’m in the store shopping, or doing the delivery to the customer, I wear a t-shirt over my regular clothes. It helps the store workers know that I’m different, and it advertises the brand to the other shoppers.

It’s interesting, too – I find that I’m consciously smiling more, being more respectful of people, being more careful about my driving.

Then when the delivery is over, I take off the t-shirt, and I’m back to being a regular citizen.

Except – except that this isn’t about being a shopper. Galatians 3:27 says “For those of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ.”

Christ is not a t-shirt to be added to my outfit. He is not something that is put on and taken off like shoes. And we don’t have a tick box to decide whether we want Christ – the language “we have been clothed with Christ” is different than saying “I decided to put on Christ today”. We are not the ones doing the clothing.

So I have some thinking to do – not just about my side job, not about my 40-hour-a-week job, but about my 24 hour-a-day job, which is to be Christ to a world that needs Him.

As we take the wafer and drink the juice, remembering Christ’s perfect, sinless life, and the undeserved death that paid the price for our sins, let’s realize that being a disciple is not a side job. It’s our only job. Let’s pray.

Father God, we come to You clothed in Christ. We cannot stand in Your presence on our own merits. We are welcomed as brothers and sisters of Christ. What a wonderful gift for us, and what a terrible price for Him. Thank You for this perfect plan. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Google is shutting down Inbox in favor of Gmail.

Nope.

From my news feed:

So “Let’s go racin’, boys!”.

I was reading about a criminal in England who was thought to be “on the autism spectrum”.

I’m no rocket surgeon, but doesn’t the idea of “spectrum” run from roughly zero to 100%?  Measure it in colors, measure it in furlongs per fortnight, I don’t really care – there has to be some min and max for the population, even if those get changed occasionally (like the hottest and coldest places on earth).

I found this comic book which explains that it isn’t a single dimension, but rather a color wheel of different parameters. Fine.  My argument remains the same – the center is zero and the outside is 100%, no matter where you are measuring.

If the argument arises that even if someone measures 0% on all areas, that they are merely high-functioning autistic, my counter-argument is that the scope isn’t big enough.  Make it go up to 11, or 200%, or down into negative numbers, or whatever.

Just doesn’t make sense to say that some people simply aren’t on the autism spectrum.  There has to be some justification for including people on the list.  I say put everybody on the list, and then draw a line (somewhere, somehow) to say “this is autism”.  Otherwise, if everybody on the autism spectrum, say “they are autistic, and here is how”.

This picture, from the DSM, shows my thought.  There are different areas of concern – intense focus, repetition, etc. – and the impairment increases from the center of the circle.  There are examples of different individuals. Person A has impairments in all areas.  Person B has no impairments in the area of “intense focus”.  Person C has no impairments in the area of “sensitivities”.

I would like to propose Person D, who has no impairments in any of the five areas – they would be a black circle with the letter D in it – and they would still be on the spectrum!  The DSM has shown that individuals with measurements of zero are still in the spectrum.  That would seem to indicate that someone with zero in all measurements is still on the spectrum.

Another perspective: I don’t have diabetes – I’m on the diabetes spectrum. I’m not overweight – I’m on the fat spectrum.  I’m not employed – I’m on the job spectrum.  I wasn’t speeding – I’m on the velocity spectrum.

I dunno – maybe I’m obsessing.

This won’t last long, but a local TV station is forecasting a very hot night.

2018-12-31 17_23_37-Clipboard

Glad it’s cooling down for New Year’s Day.

From https://www.wcpo.com/weather/your-latest-forecast