Today On The Run #3 – Good bye, Trusty Friend

2017-11-17 06.17.01

SanDisk Clip Jam 8Gb 2/10/17 – 11/17/17

I was listening to podcasts (my normal persuasion) and the player started to make a crackling noise in the headphones.  Then it skipped a bit, then dead air.  Checked it out, said there was no sd-card inserted (where the podcast I was playing was located.)  That can’t be good.  Maybe the sd-card died?

Switched to music stored on the device itself.  Played fine. Phew.  Then, more crackling, skipping, and the whole right channel departed.  Limped it the rest way home.

Tried to turn it off, none of the buttons were responsive and the screen is frozen.  It was also starting to get warm.  It eventually powered, off.  I think the battery ran out.

Manner of death was probably moisture. The display was kinda hazy. While I don’t take it when there’s rain in the forecast, I’m pretty capable of drowning it with my own sweat.

Play on, trusty friend; you’ll be missed. 😢

Today On The Run #2

I’m pretty thankful to have the time, energy, and fitness to run as much as I do.  It also doesn’t hurt that I live in an area where it’s pretty feasible to run all year round.  So, I rack up a lot of mostly trouble free miles.  A lot, in this case means, more than 3,000 miles in the last 12 months.

I’m not superman by any means.  I have cranky hips, knees, and ankles.  Nothing debilitating. I’m pretty sure that’s kinda normal with most runners, especially those of my vintage.  The cold does present a challenge though.

A few years back, I thought I was having a stroke or something weird, because out of the blue my fingers went pale and started to tingle.  It was the middle of winter, but I was just sitting comfortably in my relatively warm house at the time.  It was worrying enough that I went to urgent care.  After a good going over and an MRI, a slight scare over lyme disease, they said it’s Raynaud’s phenomenon, basically extreme numbness in extremities.

The last year we lived in CNY, was one of the coldest February’s on record.  Something like 18 days where the high was in the single digits or less.  That wasn’t terrible, because it also generally doesn’t snow much when its that cold, so you don’t have much reason to be outside.  When it was teens and up and there was lots of snow, is what I dreaded most.  Turns out that vibration is also a Reynaud’s trigger, like when you’re using a rickety old snowblower.  A couple of times, I eclipsed from numbness into pain and had to take a break.

For me, lately, the cut off temperature is about 50 degrees.  Above that, I’m pretty ok without gloves.  Below that, the timer is ticking;  I get about an hour before my hands turn into dysfunctional claws.  While I’m running, I’m fine outside of my hands just feeling a little tingly.  When the run is over, untying my shoes and unlocking the door, are comically frustrating.  Then, there’s some screaming in the shower as the feeling slowly works its way back into the fingers.

It’s been glove weather here in my neck of the woods for a couple of weeks now.  I think the insulative properties of my current running gloves have just about evaporated at this point.  They feel fine for the first half of the run, and then it’s like I’m not even wearing them after that.  I guess it’s time to start the search for another pair of fancy wicking (and likely expensive) gloves again.

Today On The Run #1

Welcome to a new series on the blog, Today On the Run.   Just short quips from the today’s (or yesterday’s) run.  I’m putting them here so they’re a little easier to read in serial fashion and not limited to just 140 characters.  Here we go, Today On the Run #1.

In the middle of my run, I was in a nice neighborhood, with big houses and fancy cars.  Saw some tail lights ahead on a parked car.  Kinda strange at 5:30am, but not something completely out of the ordinary with folks prepping for long commutes.  Oh, there’s a guy standing behind the car.  Brace myself for potential trouble.

Turns out it wasn’t a car, it was a stretch limo and the guy was the driver waiting for his rider.  First time, I’ve seen this.

Took all my restraint not to jump in and say, “ok, let’s roll!” I don’t know if I’ll be able resist if I see them again.

Log Entry

Um, apple what’s up?

The wife has been on me to fix a problem on her computer for a while now.  She’s barraged by near constant prompts to enter a password for the dozens of processes that need access to the Local Items keychain.  Somehow, on her computer the password for that keychain got changed (it starts off the same as your login password, and you really have to go out of your way to change that) and we don’t know it.

Googling around I found some recipes for how to fix it.  Basically just resetting keychain stuff back to factory fresh.  The easy way, using the Reset My Default Keychain button in Keychain Access, did nothing except breaker her normal login.  Being paranoid, I added another admin account on her computer just for this occasion.  Glad I did.

The next recipe was more drastic.  Delete the borked keychain on the command line. The theory was that it’ll just give you a shiny new keychain at next login.  I just moved it out of the way.  My theory was that if things are worse after the reboot, I can always move it back into place from other admin account.

Another reboot later, and her login doesn’t work, again.  Not sure why, the login password probably not stored in the keychain (more like /etc/password, right?)  Went to log in with my other admin account to reset the password, and the login screen is broken?

Specifically, I pick my user icon and the text field where you enter your password is in focus for a microsecond then blurred.  Clicking the mouse in the field did nothing.  Fearing the wrath of wife for bricking her computer I moved over the my mac to google this new problem and suddenly my machine won’t connect to the internet.  I think its a non-related DNS problem, but why now? ugh.

While demonstrating the problem to wife, I randomly found the fix for the login problem. Just hit tab; while you can’t click in the password field, you can tab into it.  Thankfully my password still works and I was able to reset hers for the umpteenth time today.  After she was in, iCloud said it wanted  her to authenticated.  We did that and things seem to better now (as in not prompting her passwords constantly.)  But, if I moved the original keychain directory out of the way, home come all her original keychains and keys still show up in keychain access, wat?

Problem sort of fixed, not gonna mess with that any more today.  I’m pretty might next corrective action will be drop her machine down the stairs.

On to the bonus round for other things that annoy me routinely on my own mac:

  1. If mac is closed, asleep, and an external display is connected, I should be able to wake it with an external keyboard, right?  Nope.  It does wake up from the external trackpad reliably though.
  2. After eventually waking up with external display connected, about half the time the colors are borked.  Desktop background and some windows look like they’re running in a low color mode.  Some are fine.  Only way I’ve stumbled on to recover this is to open and shut the mac itself, which takes way 5 seconds to change to dual screen mode and another 5 seconds to change back to just external display.
  3. Was coding away this week and noticed that my screen was flashing whenever a bell fired in my terminal program.  Oh, that’s a feature in iTerm, let me go turn off.  Um, wait, its not turned on.  Hmm, wait, its not just my terminal program its happening OS wide (like when new iMessages arrive.)  Hmm, that seems to be an accessibility feature that I turned on my mistake.  Ah, yes, there is feature for that.  But, wait, its not turned on.  A restart (for a different problem) seemed to clear this up.

Apple, I wanna love you, but you’re making it real hard these days.  Getting pretty close to saying forget it, and going back to Linux.