I love catching moments of cuteness amongst my cats. Especially moments that involve Leroy.
2021-02-24 // Edit: Turns out that an unregulated power grid how more issues then I originally thought, check out the update at the bottom to find out about why some Texas residents are now dealing with extreme power bills like the one this person received for $16,752.
The United States as three power grids: the west coast power grid, the east coast power grid, and Texas. Texas is a large state and, at some point, in its history it decided that it should be on its own power grid that is separate from the rest of the U.S., and not all counties in Texas are being powered by that standalone grid.
Combining natural gas, nuclear and wind, it’s quite impressive. They’ve touted it for years. You may have heard a lot in the news about the cold temperatures freezing the wind turbines and preventing them from turning. They’re getting a lot of the blame. According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) themselves, wind and nuclear only accounts for 20% of electricity generation.
Turns out, the major issue in Texas right now is actually liquid in natural gas pipes freezing, and preventing the flow of gas and is likely the cause of brown-outs. This is a phenomena called freeze-off. Natural gas is non-renewable source of energy and is a significant and potent producer of greenhouse gas when released into the atmosphere.
Here comes an opinion; Texas is the leading producer of natural gas in the nation, and you know that an event like this, as well as a failure of this magnitude, will have lasting affects on an already strained industry.
Wind turbines aren’t just used in warmer climates. I wonder if anyone has considered calling someone up here in Canada and asking how we might handle our wind turbine farms? I’d be curious for someone to calculate the amount of Solar/Wind energy needed to power Texas, and then determine how much that would cost to operate. Then, compare that to operational costs of a complete Natural Gas solution. That’s a project for another day…
Apparently the Texas power grid is more interesting then I realized. Somewhat like your mortgage, the residents of Texas are able to choose to pay wholesale prices (variable rate) for electricity, which is generally less expensive then standard pricing, but doesn’t necessarily have the same consumer protections. This leads to less costs when the price of electricity is down, but, as we now see, when the cost of producing electricity increases, so will these wholesale prices.
This isn’t much of an issue if you can afford it, but many can’t, and this includes a larger proportion of black, brown, Hispanic and other minorities. Inadvertently, this de-regulated energy producer is marginalizing its customers by not providing them with appropriate protections from situations that are out of their control.
My friend Randy was always on me about using the command line more, and I’m glad that I listened to him. A command line interface (CLI) are often times so much more powerful then its graphical user interface (GUI) cousin, with less errors. I’ve leaned more towards using the command line for technical work as oppose to the GUI and that includes administration within Windows. Sometimes I’ll use the built-in CMD, and other times I’ll use PowerShell.
Mapping a network drive in Windows through the command line interface is not hard and anyone willing to take one step at a time. Without further ado, let’s dig into it.
How to Map a Network drive in windows from the command line
You may wish to map a network drive in Windows via the command line if you are having issues mapping it via the GUI, or if you prefer to take control of your setup and learn a few things while you are at it. Perhaps you’re adding a new network storage device and testing out different configurations. You’ll very likely want to single-pane view of the command line interface.
Total Time Needed :
Steps to Map a network drive in windows from the command line
That’s it! Once you’ve completed the steps you should be presented with a success message, and have your new drive mapped in Windows.
I hope you found this how-to helpful. If you did I’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below!
We only moved into our home in September, but I could already imagine the awesome ice rink that we were going to build around the fire pit in our backyard. I’ve never built an outdoor rink of any kind before, but I knew that I was going to have a significantly more time on my hands. I wanted to give myself something to do, and also an outlet for the kids to burn off some energy and get some exercise. We were not able to spend a dime on this thing so a $4,000 rink kit was out of the question, so I set out to build an outdoor ice rink without a liner, and it cost us absolutely nothing!
How to build an outdoor ice rink, no liner
Over the next several steps we’ll take you through building an outdoor ice rink without using a liner. This is done in two phases, 1) we use snow to create a slushy base that will freeze and become our “liner”, and 2) Flooding it and getting it smooth. Let’s get into it.
– Cold weather (At least 0°C, but preferably colder)
Steps to building an outdoor ice rink without a liner
Stay Tuned. In Part 2, we’ll talk more about patching and flooding…
If you haven’t heard of Minecraft you may want to check and make sure that you are not under a rock. All three of the kids in my household enjoy playing Minecraft, but I really don’t like them joining some of these random online servers. With some research it wasn’t difficult to put together a nice, safe, alternative that we host ourselves.
We currently have a VPS setup on Digital Ocean with the following specifications:
- Ubuntu 18.04 (LTS) x64
- 2 GB Memory
- 50 GB Disk Space
CLI Arguments for Minecraft Java on Digital Ocean
java -Xms1024M -Xmx1536M -d64 -server -XX:+AggressiveOpts -XX:ParallelGCThreads=3 -XX:+UseConcMarkSweepGC -XX:NewSize=84m -XX:+UnlockExperimentalVMOptions -XX:+UseParNewGC -XX:+ExplicitGCInvokesConcurrent -XX:MaxGCPauseMillis=10 -XX:GCPauseIntervalMillis=50 -XX:+UseFastAccessorMethods -XX:+OptimizeStringConcat -XX:+UseAdaptiveGCBoundary -XX:NewRatio=3 -Dfml.readTimeout=90 -Ddeployment.trace=true -Ddeployment.log=true -Ddeployment.trace.level=all -jar /<path>/<to>/<minecraft>/papermc.jar nogui
In order to run the Minecraft server (and keep it running) we employ some additional software that was pretty easy to install.
There are plenty of different servers available for Minecraft Java. We went with PaperMC due to its stability and its mods compatibility with Bukkit and Spigot.
We’re also using an open source, secure by default software called Crafty Controller for the administration of our Minecraft worlds. I love the app, although I’m having some issues with keeping my world from crashing. I suspect this is because I setup the world outside of Crafty. I’ll create a new server and move over the save, eventually.
We’re not doing much with plugins yet as I don’t take much time to set them up properly, but here are the plugins that we currently have running on our server.
In total, it costs us about $15 a month to operate a pretty custom Minecraft server with very little maintenance.
You too, will never have to spend a dime on apps with a little bit of time and a little bit of patience. By completing surveys in the Google Opinion Rewards app, you’ll be able to collect Google Play Store credit (or actual moola if you’re an iOS user) that will be completely usable for everything available in the Play Store including apps, books, movies, and in-app purchases. No more buying Robux for the kids!
So How, Exactly, Does It Work?
Google collects our data. Yeah, sorry to be a downer, but this is one occasion where we can get some value back out of that data. Our Android phones collect location data, search data, and even videos that we watch on YouTube. This data is sent to Google where they use it to provide you with better and more personalized services (except when they don’t, I recommend reviewing the privacy and security on your Google Account every year.)
You’ll be receiving surveys based on that data so an example might be that I receive a survey because my location was set close enough to a Home Depot, and Home Depot contracted with Google to obtain opinions from its customers.
installing and setting up google opinion rewards
I’ve been using this method to not pay for Android apps for many years now. I’ve earned more than $100 in Play Store credit since I started doing these surveys back in 2016. That’s money that I didn’t have to spend, while providing a little bit of Dopamine for my beautiful brain. Isn’t it satisfying getting to itch that Dopamine scratch without wasting all of your money? It’s a literal two-for-one!
I was reading an article in my local newspaper, and I realized how much that I appreciate and consider myself very lucky to live in a free and democratic society. It isn’t uncommon in countries such as Russia and China where governments want to silence views that don’t match that of their own.
Putin is in his third of a maximum two terms (Yeah, you read that right). Electoral reform isn’t just a conversation here on P.E.I., but all over the world. The people will be heard.
I’d like to see mixed-member proportional (MMP) representation replace first-past-the-post (FPTP). Other than being easy to understand, FPTP has so many disadvantages including being unrepresentative of what the people actually want, and can be unknowingly manipulated by tactical voting.
There is an idea (Duverger’s law) that constituencies that use FPTP will lead to two-party systems, given enough time. Wondering why we keep seeing the same two-parties being elected in our elections? That’s FPTP. There ends up being a lot of wasted votes, so our elected officials are actually only receiving a small percentage of the vote. How is that “representative”?
MMP would almost certainly lead to more consistent majority reversals. Diversity in our government is important, and doesn’t lead to more difference. Our, former, minority government was still able to get decisions done because our representatives are able to put aside indifference and make decisions those that they represent.
Wow… That article really got me thinking. 😅