Home projects getting done

While I’ve been away from my blog, several honeydos have been getting done (or worked on, anyway). I’ve scrubbed our boat down and started replacing parts in order to get it ready to sell. Kelly and I have also made plans to replace our cracked, rotted deck with something nicer. We’ve also explored expanding our screened porch, though not quite ready to pull the trigger on that one.

One thing we did decide to do is fix the drainage in our back yard. We get deluged by stormwater every time it rains as a catch basin on Glascock street empties into the neighbors’ yard and settles in our yard. The new homes next door have “industrial strength” storm drains at the edge of our property, so we hired a contractor to put in an underground pipe to move the water from one end of our yard to the other. Right now our backyard resembles the trenches of the Western Front of World War One. It should be better than new in a few days, though. Good to be investing in the home again, and knocking out those things we’ve been meaning to do for so long.

Where’s Mark?

Been a while since I posted. As y’all should know by now, that means I’ve been busy! Got home from Spain with so much to say about the trip but couldn’t find the time to put it all down. Instead, I had consolidate my two Amazon instances into one, working to save money (and complexity). Since my old server was running CentOS 6.x and I wanted to be able to run Docker, I had to build an identical server, only based on CentOS 7.x. This took a while to transfer but hopefully no one out there noticed.

The reason I wanted Docker was to work on a new project, kicking the tires of new web forum software that I hope to use here in Raleigh for a new community site. It took some work but I got it going, though launch date is still several weeks away.
Contine reading

KremlinGate Just Put the Trump White House in a Precarious Place | Observer

Last week I explained in this column how President Donald Trump, despite facing serious political challenges over his murky ties to the Kremlin, was fortunate to have opponents more motivated by partisanship than truth-telling. As long as that state of affairs continued, the commander-in-chief was likely to avoid the thorough scrutiny which his apparent links to Moscow actually merit.

A lot has changed in just a few days. Last week began promisingly for the president, with his joint address to Congress on Tuesday evening earning better reviews than many had anticipated. Then it all unraveled the next day, when it was reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a key member of the White House inner circle, had two discussions with Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador in Washington, during the 2016 election campaign.

It’s hardly abnormal for sitting senators—as Sessions was last year—to meet with foreign diplomats, even Russian ones, but the precise capacity in which he chatted with Kislyak suddenly became important. Was Sessions parleying with the Kremlin’s emissary as a senator or as a top advisor to Donald Trump?

Source: KremlinGate Just Put the Trump White House in a Precarious Place | Observer

All’s well in the end

I’m done with today’s colonoscopy and, even better, I’m off the hook for another five years. The doctor removed another small polyp but that appeared to be the last. Other than that all was routine.

We got to the endoscopy office and waited at the elevator with another, older couple. Mr. B, dressed like me in sweatpants and a long-sleeve T-shirt, jokingly asked me “how was your night of sleep?”

“I’ve had better!” I laughed, recognizing the Patient Uniform we both were wearing. It was Mr. B’s second colonoscopy, ten years after his first. I told him the second time was easier though with a gap of ten years he might have forgotten all about the first. Mr. B got seen first and I’d wished I’d had more time to chat with him because he and his wife were so friendly and nice.
Contine reading