Justice League

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Toddle Safety Life Hack – Door Pinch Guard

My wife heard about this life hack online so I thought I would try it out on an old pool noodle we had lying around.
1. Grab a cheap noodle from your local dollar store. The one we had was about 3 1/2 inches wide.
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2.Cut it about the length of your hand.

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3.Cut it about 3/4 inch.

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4.Place toward the top of the door. It works pretty well and snug to prevent our toddler from jamming her hand in the door. She’s currently at that stage of wanting to close doors all the time.

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Hurricane Irma

So, Hurricane Irma came right over us here in southeast Orlando early Monday morning. Being a native Floridian and having experienced several hurricanes in my lifetime, this one was by far the scariest. Below are some images of the experiences of waiting in line at Home Depot (almost 2 hours) and Lowe’s (3 hours) for plywood and visiting the local supermarket just a couple of days before the storm was to arrive and seeing empty shelves (we had actually stocked up on supplies earlier in the week). A couple of days before finding plywood at Lowe’s we had bought some lumber from Home Depot since they had no plywood and it took the most abuse from the storm on the side of the house. Thank God, through it all, despite almost 100 mph winds, we never lost power and only a few shingles on the top of the house.

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We got most of the windows vulnerable to the most severe wind boarded up. Not pictured is our back sliding glass door. We did not have enough from Lowe’s to board it up but thankfully to a friend I was able to get another sheet from him to board the sliding glass door.

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Here is some pictures of the aftermath.

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We drove around on Monday after the 6pm curfew was lifted and saw plenty of trees broken or uprooted. This McDonald’s intercom is what surprised us the most, especially since that metal base was bent without remorse by Irma.

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Goodbye, The Great Movie Ride

Today is a very sad day for me and many other The Great Movie Ride Cast Members, current and past. Today is the last day for The Ride. Disney will be closing its doors. The Magic of The Ride will be silenced. Am I being too dramatic? Maybe. But unless you have worked there and know what it was like to experience the friendships and memories of having worked at The Ride it will be difficult for you to truly understand the emotions we are going through. Sure, you may be a fan of The Ride and are saddened that it is closing. I was a fan too before I worked there and am still a fan. I love that ride. Of all the rides at Walt Disney World, it is my all-time favorite. Always has been my favorite. It probably comes from my love for movies. Disney created something that enhanced that movie magic I love to experience. Of the entire ride, the Finale was my favorite. Sitting there watching all those films clips always put a smile on my face even though I had viewed it, literally, hundreds of times while working there. And viewed it so many times before and after working there. It has never gotten old.
Below is a video of one of my Gangster days at The Great Movie Ride in 1999 when the park was called Disney’s MGM Studios. It was a good time. It was a fun time. It was a time in my life that holds a lot of wonderful memories. Those memories include not just of The Ride but memories of times outside The Ride spent with my fellow Cast Members. Times hanging out at The Atlantic Dance for some swing dancing, the Ale House, the ESPN Club, and at Super Bowl Parties to watch football. Thank you, The Great Movie Ride, and all of you that were there for those beautiful memories. It’s the stuff dreams are made of.

Glances – System Monitoring

Since I have only one (Ubuntu) server at home currently running as a PVR (personal video recorder) for recording TV shows from a OTA (over-the-air) antenna and Plex for viewing my content via the Roku (more on all that on a later post), I like to see what my server is doing as far as performance at a glance from time to time. Sure, top or htop will do the job but I want more. I get more fromĀ using Glances. You can get more information on the utility here.

I setup my server to run the web UI and launch at start. I created this script to easily deploy to any machine running Ubuntu. I included in the script to also create a systemd service so that it would start after each reboot. Here’s the script:

#!/bin/bash
# This script will install the Glances monitoring tool and create
# a startup service for the Glances web server. See 'glances --help'
# for details

# Update and install
sudo apt update && sudo apt install -y glances
sleep 3

# Change the startup switch from false to true
sudo sed -i 's/false/true/g' /etc/default/glances
sleep 3

# Create the systemd service
sudo touch /lib/systemd/system/glances.service
sudo bash -c 'cat <<EOF > /lib/systemd/system/glances.service
[Unit]
Description = Glances web server
After = network.target

[Service]
ExecStart = /usr/bin/glances -w

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target
EOF'
sleep 2

# Reload systemd
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sleep 2
sudo systemctl enable glances.service
sleep 2
sudo systemctl restart glances.service
sleep 2
sudo systemctl status glances.service
sleep 2
hostip=`hostname -I`
echo
echo "Monitoring of this server will be viewable at http://$hostip:61208"
echo

I have a third monitor above my other monitors that has a Raspberry Pi 3 connected where I have my Glances page running.

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Here is a closer look at the web UI.

Screenshot at 2017-05-02 20:21:38
It’s been very convenient to view during recordings so that 1.) I know when there is a recording and conversion of the video file going on by seeing a spike in CPU and memory and 2.) to see how well my machine performs during those recordings and conversions.