Capturing the Cosmic Cuttlefish

October: it’s fall, but we’re still seeing temps in the high 80s here in central Florida. The Browns have played 4 overtime games in the first seven weeks of the NFL season. The Lebron-less Cavaliers have lost their first four games of the new NBA season. And hockey has started again (the Lightning are 6-4 and currently drubbing the Blackhawks 4-1 as I write this (they set an NHL record 33 shots-on-goal in the second period alone))!

Ok, enough of the fall sports update, it’s time for another type of update: Ubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish was released last week.

Just like back in April (and every time before that), the upgrade process itself was smooth: I issued the do-release-upgrade command and the whole process took just under 20 minutes to download the new packages and execute the reconfiguration. I then re-applied my customizations to a few affected configuration files, rebooted the server, and was back in business:

$ lsb_release -a
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 18.10
Release: 18.10
Codename: cosmic

$ uname -r

So far I haven’t run into any post-upgrade issues (which has happened to me the past few times, being an early adopter), but I’ll update this post if I do have any problems.

Coming in the spring … 19.04!

Nest Protect smoke/CO2 detector

Nest ProtectWhen I installed the ADT Pulse system in 2011, it came with monitored smoke/heat and CO2 detectors. Since then I’ve been paying the monthly monitoring fee to ADT and have had to deal with inexplicable false alarms (usually in the middle of the night and ADT’s answer was always “just change the battery”). This was in addition to two (non-ADT) wired smoke/CO2 detectors elsewhere in the house. I’ve had Nest (formerly Dropcam) cameras in my home network setup since 2014 and the Nest thermostat since 2016 so I’m not sure why I waited so long to get the Nest Protect.

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The Browns have a better record than the Pats?

September is winding down so it’s time for October playoff baseball, week 3 of NFL football, and the impending start of the hockey season.

But can you believe it? Thanks to their game 1 tie with the Steelers and their incredible first win in 635 days over the New York Jets this past Thursday night the Cleveland Browns currently have a better record than the Patriots and the Steelers!! I’ll enjoy this while it lasts (“we’re #1-1-1!”).

AFC East and North standings

AFC East and North standings

The Bucs are undefeated as well and take on Pittsburgh tonight on Monday Night Football. Let’s hope for some more Fitzmagic!

Meanwhile, over in baseball-land my Indians clinched the AL Central (for the third time in a row) two weeks ago. The Tampa Bay Rays, who have the same record as the Tribe, however, are going to miss out on a wild card spot thanks to their position in the tougher AL East (the Red Sox are on fire this year).

AL playoff standings

AL playoff standings

Still, not a bad showing this season for Tampa Bay.

Go October sports teams! 😀

No more plywood!

A year ago we were bracing for the approach of Hurricane Irma. We had installed impact windows in 2008 and replaced the overhead garage door in 2015 but had never gotten around to replacing the entry doors. So last year at this time we were boarding up those doors with plywood:

But today, the impact-rated doors we ordered from Home Depot back in late April were finally installed:

So now this week, if Hurricane Florence turns and threatens the Tampa Bay area, I won’t have board anything up!

Labor Day Weekend 2018 at Disney: Day 3

It wouldn’t be Labor Day weekend in Florida without rain and we got plenty of it today.

Normally we would start Monday out at the hotel pool but this year we decided to go to one of the parks instead. Of course, this was mainly because Monday afternoon was the only time we were able to snag FastPasses for the new Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster in Toy Story Land over at Hollywood Studios. After checking out of the Port Orleans Riverside, we drove over to Hollywood Studios. The parking lot is currently a mess due to the Skyliner terminal construction so getting into the lot and then actually walking to the front gate took longer than expected, but we were still inside by 10:00am. Our first FastPass of the morning (after grabbing some drinks at Starbucks) was Aerosmith’s Rock’n’Roller Coaster.

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Labor Day Weekend 2018 at Disney: Day 2

We’re taking it easy this weekend, so no getting up early to do any Extra Magic Hours. After waking up around 9:30am, we walked over to the French Quarter to pick up fresh beignets for breakfast.

At 11:30am we were getting off the bus at Animal Kingdom when my daughter announced she had forgotten her MagicBand back at the hotel! Rather than having to bus back, we went to guest services at the front of the park to inquire if we could get her a replacement. The cast member (Ryan) informed us that our Passholder card was also actually a valid park ticket! We’re so used to the MagicBands we had completely forgotten the “old school” plastic credit card-like ticket (which luckily we had with us). It did turn out that my daughter’s name was incorrect on the ticket (we had never used it so never noticed) so Ryan corrected that and also gave us each two “generic” FastPasses good for any attraction in the park (except Avatar: Flight of Passage, of course). Nice!

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Labor Day Weekend 2018 at Disney: Day 1

Labor Day weekend 2018 … time again for our annual family mini-vacation to Walt Disney World (probably our last one as a family since my daughter will be heading off to college next year).

Like last year, we couldn’t drive over to Orlando until this morning because of Friday night high school football yesterday. I also had to stop in the office on Saturday morning to address some overnight issues, so we started heading over a little later than usual. Plus, on our way, Waze alerted us to a big accident on I-4 and re-routed us via the back roads of Polk, Lake, and Orange counties to avoid the heavy traffic. But we made it to our hotel (the Port Orleans Riverside) by 11:30am, parked, and took the Disney bus over to the Magic Kingdom.

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Kwikset SmartCode 916 Touchscreen Electronic Deadbolt

We’re finishing up hurricane-proofing this summer by finally replacing all the exterior entries with impact-rated doors. We had our impact windows installed back in 2008, and replaced the overhead garage door in 2015, but last year’s close call with Hurricane Irma reminded us we still needed to replace the doors. Since we’re getting new doors, we also need to get new door hardware!

There’s a wide variety of electronic and automation-enabled deadbolts and locks on the market now-a-days: I decided to expand my Z-Wave/ADT Pulse automation network by installing the Kwikset 916 Touchscreen Electronic Deadbolt.

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