Grappling with the Groovy Gorilla

It’s late October which means (I’ve been working from home for seven months! and) it’s time for the latest Ubuntu release, 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla).

But first, another fall sports re-cap. What a 2020 it’s been for my teams! First the Lightning win the Stanley Cup for the second time in franchise history, and now the Rays are in their second World Series, down 2 games to 1 against the LA Dodgers. The Bucs, with Tom Brady at the helm, are on top of the NFC South with a 4-2 record. Could a trip to the Super Bowl (here in Tampa, probably in March?) be in the cards to complete the trifecta? I don’t follow soccer, but even the Rowdies are one win away from the USL Championship! What’s up with Florida sports right now? The Indians exited the playoffs quickly, swept out by the Yankees, but even the Browns currently have a winning record at 4-2 (their best start since Bill Belichick was head coach)!

COVID-19 is still with us (I naively said the world would be back to normal by the time this Ubuntu release was out) so maybe I need to include that in my bi-annual updates.

Ok, back to the upgrade.

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My pandemic reading list

I stopped WIJFR posts five years ago (switched to Goodreads), but during the COVID-19 pandemic I found myself tending towards related topics. Such as:

Obviously missing is Stephen King’s “The Stand” which I’ve been meaning to re-read to since finishing the Dark Tower series back in 2018. That might be next.

Odd observation: all of these books start with “The”.

2020 sports: post-season post!

2020 may be an overall dumpster fire (with literal fires!) but the return of sports continues to be good to me. Except that I can’t actually go see any games in person! Oh well, I’ll take what I can get, and I’m getting a lot:

Go teams!

Labor Day Weekend 2020 – Pandemic Edition

Normally we’d be spending Labor Day Weekend over at Disney, our end-of-summer family tradition. But (no) thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic we cancelled our annual passes last month and for the first time since 2012 we’re spending the holiday weekend at home. I’ll be barbecuing on Monday, though, so there’ll be some semblance of normalcy.

At least sports are back! I haven’t been watching the NBA bubble since the Cavs aren’t in it, but on the baseball side the Rays are solidly in first place in the AL East (5 games ahead of the Yankees) and the Indians are currently tied for first in the AL Central with the White Sox. It’s a little weird that we’re halfway through the abbreviated season that started back at the end of July. I actually went ahead and purchased an subscription (through Amazon Prime) so I can watch more of the Tribe.

Even weirder, though, is Stanley Cup Playoff hockey in September!! 😮 The Lightning (in the Toronto bubble) started as the #2 seed in the Eastern Conference and after a record-setting 5OT Game #1 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, went on to win the first round in 5 games (revenge for being swept out of the first round round by the Blue Jackets last season!). In the second round the Bolts faced another familiar foe, the Boston Bruins. Boston was in first place in the Eastern Conference when play was suspended back in March but went 0-3 in the preliminary round and was seeded 4th. I almost think that might have been on purpose to get the other teams to underestimate them, and you should never underestimate Boston. It was tough, but the Lightning came out victorious, winning the round in a double overtime Game 5 thriller. On to the Eastern Conference Finals in Edmonton … go Bolts!! (they’re still awaiting their opponent, Game 7 between the Flyers and Islanders is tonight)

Fitbit Charge 4

For an early Father’s Day gift this year my wife and daughter got me a Fitbit Charge 4 to replace my Fitbit Charge 2 (my third Fitbit device over six years). Other than a cracked screen (which I’ve been living with for a while) there was nothing wrong with my Charge 2, but we’re going to be running our first 5K at Disney (pandemic-permitting) in January and I guess this is a way to encourage me to start training! 😀

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Canon PIXMA TS9120

Canon Pixma TS9120

I went to print a color document on my Epson XP-410 printer the other day and, despite non-empty ink cartridges, got a print that was missing several colors. I ran the print head cleaning procedure multiple times, replaced ink cartridges, even manually cleaned the inside of the printer and could not get it to print cyan or magenta anymore. Epson support said I could send the seven year-old unit in for repair, and offered me a discount code for a newer model, but I decided it was time for a change. After my requisite online research, I selected the Canon PIXMA TS9120.

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iRobot Roomba i7

Roomba i7We purchased our first “robotic” vacuum cleaner back in 2005 (the Roomba Red) and since then we’ve owned two more, the last being the 589 Core (which was a warranty replacement for our 530 in February 2014). I had replaced the battery a few times already in the 589, so when it stopped holding a charge again we decided to get a whole new unit and bought the iRobot Roomba i7+ with Clean Base.

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Facing the Focal Fossa

Time for the spring sports update! Oh, wait … there aren’t any spring sports (or any sports) right now! 🙁 I’m glad I at least got out to Arizona to see some spring training baseball before everything shut down due to COVID-19. And there’s always the NFL Draft tonight which ought to be interesting with everyone staying safe-at-home.

At least, despite all the other craziness going on in the world right now, we can still depend on April having a new Ubuntu release: 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa was released today!

The do-release-upgrade was going smoothly until, after I selected “d” to perform a diff on an affected configuration file, the screen process terminated, leaving the dpkg upgrade process orphaned! I had to kill the dpkg process and then issue a dpkg --configure -a to finish it. After re-applying my changes to the necessary configuration files and rebooting, I only had two minor post-upgrade issues, thanks to the new version of PHP, so:

  • I had to disable the php7.3 plugin for Apache and enable php7.4
  • I had to install the php-xml package for php7.4

Other than those hiccups, everything else went fine.

Oddly, I can’t find what the code name for 20.10 in October will be. I guess like the US economy, that’s on hold for now too. 😮 Hopefully by then the world is back to normal. I probably won’t be talking about playoff baseball, but I’ll take what I can get!