I’ve reached new heights of frustration with WordPress.  It upgraded to WordPress 5.5 and broke the connection between WordPress.com and my site.  I was working in the regular WordPress block editor when a spare keystroke somehow deleted my entire post.  I went to restore it from drafts, and learned that the new fancy Block Editor no longer keeps a running log of drafts, so if you hit something wrong, through a stray finger stroke because, say, you have arthritis in your hands, posts are just gone.  So this sucks.  

Right now, I’m using MarsEdit.  Since I don’t use it all that much, my layout foo is not great.

Instead of writing the entire post out again, here are some highlights:

1. I wrote up the Eversink Post Office for Swords of the Serpentine and published it on Critical-Hits.  You can go read it.  I didn’t get any feedback either way, but if people like these things, I’ll write more of them.

2. I’m sort of hooked on the high ridiculousness of spy networks in the late-Renaissance, early-Modern period.  Crypto key exchange by sneaker net is hilarious. And broken.  But there’s an awesome adventure awaiting whomever can break into the government building or diplomat’s office and steal the big codebook with all the one time pads.  Who wants the book?  Who do they work for?  What is the motivation?  If you hand it over, what happens? It’s a terrific mcguffin.

3. I have lots of opinions on the Big 10’s canceled season but they all boil down to: “It is Donald Trump’s fault there is no Michigan Football this year and I hold him personally responsible.”  MAGAworld blah blah blah spin spin spin.  He could have stopped this thing months ago and chose not to because a blue state might get some Federal support.  I’m sorry.  It’s his fault.  He’s in the big chair.  I hold him responsible.

4. I’m sort of bemused by the Biden selection of Kamala Harris as his VP.  She was the front runner the entire time.  She was the conventional, consensus pick.  She was the one everyone assumed he was going to take as his running mate.  And when he did so, we were all shocked.  Shocked!  Shocked by the conventional wisdom!  I read a piece complaining that Biden’s campaign is bland.  

I don’t know about anyone else but I’m absolutely fine with bland.  Bland, right now, is good.  Bland is competent.  Bland will get problems fixed.  Bland will stop tweeting.  Bring on the bland.

5. I’m as frustrated as everyone else about this incredibly nonsense with the post office.  The idea here is to simply stop everyone in the country from voting.  Here’s the deal: I am planning to go out and vote even if I have to wear a hazmat suit.  It will happen.  And so should you.  This thing with the mail should stop no one from voting even if we have to go put ourselves at risk for it. 

6. This whole idea of “let’s change jobs and take a prestige job in the middle of the pandemic” wasn’t as well thought out as I thought.  While they’ve been doing a nice job with onboarding, and my equipment is upstairs, my nerves are a jangle.  I feel like my bloodstream is full of glass.  I don’t do well with change or the unknown or anticipation on the best days, but my nerves are shot for 2020.  I know I’ll feel better in a couple of weeks, but yeah… the nightmares are something else.  I’m fairly freaked out but I’ll make it work.

7. I got birdcam to work.  Last time I worked on birdcam, it took me weeks.  This time, it took about two and a half days.  For those who don’t know what birdcam is, it’s a IoT project designed to automatically detect and share pictures of birds (or fire hydrants or, occasionally, bears) on the Internet. It’s a PIR (passive infrared sensor) hooked to a raspberry pi.  When the PIR detects movement, it sends a signal to the system to take a picture with the onboard webcam.  The picture is sent to a service running Keras and Yolov3 object detection pretrained model.  Keras returns a set of predictions with confidence intervals.  If the model finds a bird in the model with more than 50% confidence, it tweets the picture out.  It also stores the image in one of several sorted buckets on S3.

Mostly what was in birdcam was old, now dead code.  And I bought it a new brain (aka a RPi 4 B).  But no birdcam today.  It’s raining all day.  And I have a make magazine catalog of other possible brains for IoT projects.


  • 63,731,305 completed tests.
  • 5,179,655 positive results
  • 168,275 dead from covid
  • 97,959 Cases in MD with 3,713 dead
  • 1 in 82 people have it in Howard County

So, because Trump wants fewer tests, we’re now testing less instead of testing more.  And people wait weeks for results.  This is insane.   It’s just insane.  And the whole “move the CDC data to HHS” has been a debacle.  Hiding data and generating less data doesn’t make the positivity rate go down, and doesn’t stop fewer people from dying.  We’re up to 1500 people dying a day again.  We have a 9/11 every 48 hours.  Why is this ok?  I do not get how this is ok.