More Lost Books?, More Automation Madness, A New Environment

More Lost Books?
While Unpacking stuff, I ran across my Libretto 100CT – the very very small laptop I used to use for D&D nights.  It’s got my characters on there, etc.  It also happened to have a bit of a lost treasure on it.
One working copy of DoubleOtt, the old d100 based game system I was writing, more chapters of Our Ancient Past, and two more novels that were being worked on:  “One Vision” and “The Future Testimate.”  Not great stuff, but it’s interesting too see some of the old ideas I had – both of the ideas were damned cool, but the implementation sucks.
And I found old copies of my ICQ chat logs – I sort of flipped through them real quick, and figure I’ll save them somewhere.  
The Libretto sounds like it’s in bad shape. The hard drive is making odd noises.  So, I’ll save a copy of the hard drive into a VM ware session where I can preserve it permanently, Windows 95 and all.  Plus then, all those pieces of writing are time capsuled in their original environment, just for the hell of it 🙂
More Automation Madness
So, my dear old Dad is a dead man.
He’s in India right now.  He gives me one of his gigs – it’s a very low paying job, unfortunately.  But it’s short, according to him – all I’ve got to do it write 3 screens on a Siemens OP 277, install the program into the Siemens PLC, make it all communicate, and start the puppy up.
He hands me the OP 277 and a 24 Volt powersupply to use with it.  Then he gives me software to program it, and one page of notes on what the screens need.
OK, the notes are sort of in code.  It’s his own shorthand notes for himself.  Crap.  But I think I’ve mostly deciphered it.
Then I install the software.  Siemens programming software takes about four hours to install, IF there are no problems (and there were problems, so about six hours.)  After futzing with it, I can’t figure out how the hell to set up a project for the OP 277.  Just to waste a little time while I’m thinking, I hook up the OP 277 to the powersupply.  The powersupply is almost dead – it flashes 24 volts on and off, to the OP 277 boots for two seconds, then goes offline again.  *SIGH*  A few parts from Radio Shack later, I’ve got it rollin’.

Now back to software… I’m digging through it, and… this can’t be right.  There’s nothing about uploading to the OP 277 (or any of it’s kin.)  A phone call in the morning to French Gereleman, and I discover Dad never had the right software for it.  The rep and I strike a deal, and he ships me an “evaluation copy” complete with activation key.  Unfortunately, it’s not going to ship until the next day, and be next day air’ed to me, so two days before I can work on it.

It’s way past crunch time now – the project is late, but no biggie, I call the customer and explain.

I get there on site… and they’ve screwed up this and that.  *SIGH*  Wait as they fix a few things so I can finally hook up to the processor and upload everything.  Then hook….
OK, this is boring as hell 🙂  The final analysis is this is yet another reason why I’m retiring from Industrial Automation (BTW, in my last post I think I said Jan 1, 2010 – actually, it’s Jan 1, 2011 is my deadline.  A year and a half away.)  I try and prep for these things, but everyone I rely on in this field, from the customer to the contractors ends up fucking up badly, and I end up having to fight like hell to make things work (or, be stranded out of town for two weeks.)  My last Kenosha trip had two bags, three CD cases (200 CD’s each), four tool boxes, and a computer as pre-prep to handle ANY possible situation.  And they manage to find a way of even fucking up that pre-prep (IE, the contractors not showing for nearly two weeks.)  I’ve had enough, and I need to achieve the other goals I’ve laid out for myself.  IA work just keeps getting in the way.
A New Environment
As I mentioned, I’m no longer living with Doc.  We now meet on Tuesday nights for supper and to chat – yet another item on my social / family schedule, but I don’t mind at all.  Plus, that means for sure someone is keepin’ up with him every week, which is a good thing.  Though from the sound of things, he’s starting to get out more and more, and be social. 
Now I’ve got a totally different sort of environment, one to figure out all the peculiarities of (again – my last three moves have been that way, since all three have had room mates.  My next room mate is either gonna be a long term girlfriend or a wife.  No more roomies after this, only significant others.)
But it’s nice and clean.  I have a functioning office that ISN’T my bedroom.  I also have a second hidden office in my bedroom for those times that I need to retreat a bit (though I don’t have WiFi on that second computer setup.  Once I’ve got “extra” cash, I’ll fix that.
This also brings another set of kids into my world – Brandon has three kids with Christi, and he’s got them three days a week (in theory.  In reality, he’s had them like five of the last seven.)  Which is why I’ve got an office in my bedroom that I can retreat to.  I’ll have to take a couple o’ pics of that when I get a chance (I’ve also got a semi-complete bar hidden back there too – I finally unpacked all the bar stuff, and have a nice place where it all hides 😉
It also means I’ve got no problems working out – my bedroom is big enough, and since I’ve got a second computer up and running (a FSP machine) it give me something to throw a DVD into for Yoga and Tai Chi.  VERY NICE.
Now the real question is… how long am I here for?  I have no idea.  It may be two months, or it may be half a year.  Who knows – this one has a lot of uncertainty surrounding it.  But I’ve got my plan, and I’ll try and execute it, so I’ve got the next place to live lined up before I’m out of here.  It’s not my “final” stage of my life plan for where I’m gonna live, but it’s a huge step closer.

I haven’t gotten to work out in a while now, damn it.  And trust me, I’m feeling it.  However, since I finished my room today, I’ll fix that starting tomorrow.
My change in eating habits continues to have an effect – I’m now down to 205.  That means I’ve dropped 20 lbs since I started, along with adding muscle, etc.  Not damned bad at all!
Now it’s time to fix the next part.  As soon as my next set of checks comes in (good lord I’m tired of being broke because customers are slow to pay!!!), I’m headed in to the dentist to have my teeth fixed.  Unfortunately, that means a lot of pulled teeth, and a set of partial dentures.  UG.  
While I’m not looking forward to it at all, getting the teeth fixed is a major priority.  I had another infection get started, and I went into overdrive to stop it.  I swished warm salt water, swished hydrogen peroxide, brushed my teeth again, swished Bacardi 151 (I would use Everclear, which is 190 proof, but I forgot it at Docs – I need to snag that, it’s about as strong of anti-bacterial agent as you can get, and it does numb tooth pain! :-), then took two asprin.  In the morning, it was gone.  But this is getting pretty risky – if I don’t fix it damned soon, I’ll end up with an infection that will land me in the hospital one of these days.
As an added bonus – fixing the teeth also reduces the risk of heart problems, etc., etc., etc.  And will improve my overall health.  I just need to keep reminding myself of that 😉
The Horror Game
Ug.  The Horror Game seems to be taking FOREVER to finish.  I keep progressing on it, and the end gets closer and closer.  But… sheesh!  I’m so close that I haven’t written on Muse in a bit, because I’d like to get this one done and handed to the editor while I crawl back into the main character’s head again in Muse.  
I’m not sure how well The Horror Game will do, but I’ve got “A Plan” as usual, and will finally make my break into the iPhone App store with three apps related to The Horror Game by the time I’m done with it.  Actually, while working on that, I noticed a nitche that isn’t being served by the iPhone Apps – sweet.  There’s not an App For That, but there will be when I’m done 🙂
But first thing is first – finish The Horror Game, then I can worry about the accessory stuff for the iPhone, and the offshoot that will server that empty nitche.

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