Check out my new TESTING page where I hope to continue testing new features. Also, be sure to have a look at my new HIKES site and especially some of the “highlighted” hikes that are listed in bold there.

Note that HIKES used to be a “section” here, but there are a lot of them so I made a site just for them.

The Derecho: Consolidated Posts and Microposts: August 10 thru September 6, 2020

The following is a chronological consolidation of posts and microposts from August 10, commonly known in east and central Iowa as “The Day of the Derecho”, through September 6, 2020. The derecho hit my home in Toledo, Iowa, at about 11:30 AM on Monday, August 10, 2020. Straight-line winds were clocked at nearly 140 miles per hour, and sustained for more than 20 minutes across a path almost 40 miles wide.

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A Simple Sign-up Form

For 2021 I’ve signed on to be a member of the steering committee for Toledo’s 2021 Community Visioning (CV) project coordinated by Tree’s Forever and Iowa’s Living Roadways, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and other partners. Tama is also a Community Visioning participant in 2021. A Simple E-Mail Sign-Up I’m only posting this as a test of what I think might be a very simple sign-up form using email. What you see below is just a test, so please don’t expect any invitation from this!

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Posting this quick link to emoticons available in Hugo…

One of Many Challenges

For 2021 I’ve signed on to be a member of the steering committee for Toledo’s 2021 Community Visioning (CV) project coordinated by Tree’s Forever and Iowa’s Living Roadways, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and other partners. Tama is also a Community Visioning participant in 2021. I Like to Walk I try to get outside and walk as much as I can, but I especially like walking with a purpose… not just walking for the sake of exercise or stress-relief.

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5-Inch HDMI Raspberry Pi Touch Screen

A couple of years have now passed since I purchased an Elecrow 5" HDMI Touchscreen display for the Raspberry Pi and put it to use. I even 3D printed a very nice case for it. So, there’s a bit of configuration code on the SD card that can be edited to determine if the 5" screen is active, or if the RPI’s output is directed to its HDMI output port. Well, in the last 2 years I forgot what to edit and what changes to make.

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My MQTT Weekend

Now that I’ve cleared the driveway of the latest snowfall, I am officially declaring this to be “My MQTT Weekend”. It actually started on Friday night, the weekend, not the snow. Rather than posting a lot of gibberish here, I’ll just point you to my project repo at and especially the Additional Resources portion of the file there. If/when I get this all working maybe I will post some photos, maybe.

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Adding this OneTab link where I will collect resources.

Using this very informative post to add some SEO to my Hugo sites.

Paperless-ng on CentOS7

Over the end-of-year holiday break in 2020 I managed to ressurect my old home-office CentOS 7 development server. I had a mind salvage and update Paperless on that server, and I did manage to do that. However, along the way I discovered the Paperless-ng branch of the project and I installed it, using Docker as suggested, by creating a new project and configuration I’ve saved as summittdweller/paperless-ng-dockerfiles. Mounting my ReadyNAS Share To successfully mount my ReadyNAS/Paperless SMB share I had to do the following on centos7 as root:

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CentOS 7 Remote Using VNC

This past weekend I managed to get a VNC server running on my centos7 node, where I run Paperless. The build instructions came from The node is available at

Thanksgiving 2020

Sorry, I’ve posted and experienced too much sadness in the last two weeks, and more. Two members of our immediate family, Sully and Stitch, passed away on November 14th and 20th, respectively. Sully was our male kitty, only about 6 years old and his passing was a real shock. He was an ornery, sometimes grumpy cat, but very loveable at times. We miss him very much. Stitch was the matriarch of our cat family, about 18 years old and a gorgeous long-haired kitty. Stitch was in poor health the last year or so and not very playful so her passing was not such a shock, but it’s still hard to take. Fortunately, she passed comfortably in her sleep, nestled up on the couch between Mackenzie and Christine. We miss her too.

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Another very sad evening here… Stitch, our 18-year-old female long-haired kitty has passed, less than a week after Sully. Unlike Sully, this passing was expected since Stitch has been losing weight and becoming increasingly frail for many months. Fortunately, it looks like she just slipped away in her sleep on the sofa, resting between Chris and Mackenzie. Stitch was a gorgeous kitty, very calm and loving. She will be missed by all. 😢

A very sad day here… Sully, our male tuxedo kitty who was only about 8 years old has passed. This was definitely not expected. Our oldest kitty, Stitch, is about 18 years of age and she’s been in poor health for many months, so we expect that she might pass soon, but not Sully. He was an ornery, good boy, and he will be missed by all. 😢

New Announcement Feature

Quite some time ago I added an Announcement feature to the Rootstalk website that I helped design and maintain for Grinnell College. Events of the past week have driven me to implement this feature as part of this blog and one other site, with some minor improvements.

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Pandemic Pastime: Walking and Picking Up Trash

It’s been far too long since I posted to this blog; I guess I’ve been busy? Nah, not any more than usual, but during the COVID-19 pandemic I have doubled my efforts to get out and walk in the fresh air whenever possible. I’m thankful for my small “scurry” – that’s the term for a collective of squirrels – who not only take walks with me around Cherry Lake, but all around town.

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Been sitting in the endoscopy waiting room at MercyOne DSM since 10:50 AM and they haven’t even called Chris in to prep her yet. 😦 Gonna be a very long day.