Linux, musical road-dogging, and daily life by Paul W. Frields
Road dog tired.

Road dog tired.

The last few days have been exhausting for a number of reasons, including weather, travel, and house troubles.

Travel good.

Yaakov talked about the pleasure of traveling out of the Pittsburgh International Airport a while back, so I wanted to again plug for the Richmond International Airport, which is equally awesome. Easy parking, efficient and pleasant TSA people, and free wifi at all the gates and terminals. What could be better (other than having to get up at 3:30am to make the flight)?

And I need to also say that JetBlue is rapidly becoming my favorite airline. The Richmond to Boston shuttle, which travels northbound from 7:00-8:30am (with a return flight from about 8:50-10:30pm) is rarely packed but well populated enough that hopefully it will stay in service for some time. The seating is comfortable, the staff is friendly, and the legroom in their Embraer jets means I have space to get some work done (especially compared to the Boeing sardine cans one endures with United).

Meeting day.

Yesterday I was up in Red Hat’s new Westford office. Unfortunately, I forgot my entry badge, because I have recently switched backpacks, but I had a couple people to vouch for me. I had a bunch of meetings and a videotaping with Jeremy Katz and some of the media gurus from the Raleigh office, who arrived at lunchtime.

One of the meetings was a big mindmeld between the Fedora Project Board and the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo), trying to sort out roles. FESCo’s role has subtly changed over a few years, and before we elect new committee members, the nominees should have a clear idea of their responsibilities. The meeting went long (of course!) but we got a lot of issues out in the open which have been frustrating to both FESCo and Board members. There will be more word about this soon as we try to make sure the community is retaining a strong, meritocratic voice in the development of our platform.

Travel bad.

Because the string of meetings lasted from the time I arrived to the time I had to leave, thankfully with a lunch break in the middle, I had zero time to even get online, and the accursed Boston airport and its lack of free wifi weren’t helpful either. My plane was late arriving in Boston, so I didn’t get back to Fredericksburg until close to 1:00 a.m.

On a personal note.

The weekend was nice — I took a bit of a break from the keyboard after a few hours of catch-up on Saturday. Unfortunately, though, the soaring temperatures this weekend appear to have taken their toll on our air conditioner. Mind you, we just bought a brand new Trane unit last summer — to replace the house’s original contractor-grade POS, which gave out on the hottest week of the year in early September. Now our new system’s thermal expansion valve (TXV) appears to have died, so the system literally cannot push refrigerant back inside the house from the outside unit.

The result is that, thanks to the temperatures of about 100F yesterday (and a heat index of close to 110F) it was about 90 F in the house by the time the sun went down on Sunday. Opening the windows after dark did very little good, because a haze had settled over the area as a result of the stationary high pressure air mass. Yesterday my wife gave in and took the kids to the home of some nearby friends, since our A/C service shop couldn’t get the TXV valve for a replacement until today. I had to be back at our house by about 7:30 a.m. to meet the repairman.

That wasn’t the end of the trouble though. When I arrived home, I found that there was water dripping from the ceiling of the kitchen, and the drywall seams were etched and stained with moisture. I think we’ve had a leak in the wax seal or the flange under the master bathroom toilet above the kitchen.

Fortunately the leak wasn’t more than 8 hours old given the timing of when my wife was last in the house the night before. I got the water mains turned off and the mess cleaned up — not more than a gallon or two of water all told, and the mess on the floor in the kitchen was on sink and tile only and doesn’t appear to have done any observable damage. It’s a little hard to tell because I can’t turn on the lights — the fixtures are alongside part of the leak.

So the A/C repairman is here fixing that problem, a plumber is due in the early afternoon, and I’m sitting in a house that is slowly creeping up from stuffy to unbearably hot while I wait for some cooling relief.

In summary.

My scarcity online yesterday was due to the meetings packed into my Westford visit, but if you can’t raise me easily online today, I’ve probably collapsed from a combination of heat exhaustion and depression.