March 11th, 2020 to me, felt a lot September 11th. Thousands of people didn’t die in one fell swoop, but it was when Coronavirus shifted from concern to cancellation. What once seemed far away was at our doorstep. A grim reaper coming that would rack up a worldwide death toll two orders of magnitude greater than September 11th.

As trivial as it sounds, WGI was cancelled on March 11th. With units traveling to Ohio from several countries (including Japan) and all over the US, it made sense to cancel it. Should we all be sitting in close quarters in a poorly ventilated arena? Probably not. Sites like is it canceled yet? had been tracking canceled events, and this was just another notch on the bedpost.

Maybe I could still enjoy some local live music? I had tickets for the orchestra that Friday, March 13th. It was to be canceled too, but not entirely. The orchestra would play – without a hall audience, and they would broadcast it on Minnesota Public Radio. The repertoire? Shostakovich’s 7th – The Leningrad Symphony.

I tuned into the broadcast and sat in darkness to soak in the sounds. You can listen to the historic live broadcast on the MPR site.

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There are several great resources out there for setting up a gaming server on Microsoft Azure. This one is specifically for VirtualRC the R/C racing simulator. If you want to host a race and participate in the race itself, you’ll need two VRC accounts (and possibly paid subscriptions): one for you and one for the race host. You can host a race with a free VRC account, but you’ll be limited to the free tracks and cars – that’s OK too – you’ll surely get a lot of people joining your server if you’re hosting races on the free-to-play tracks. But if you want the most flexibility and variety, you’ll need to have the full all-inclusive subscription on your VRC account(s). Continue reading

With all the other news of the global Coronavirus pandemic, police killings, and riots, I want to take a moment to make sure a important local story doesn’t get lost.

It was recently brought to my attention that Duron Jr. has died. This apparently happened at the end of April, but I just found about it last week. This young man was only in the 5th grade when he was struck by an SUV while crossing 61st from Fridley Middle School to the Fridley Community Center.

Immediately after he was struck the city took temporary action to limit pedestrian travel across 61st while they figured things out.

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https://www.facebook.com/JConcepts.Inc/posts/10157145521373216?comment_id=10157145559368216&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R%22%7D

Most of the chatter about this video is positive, but the first and last comments in this screenshot are what I want to talk about:

I get mad when I hear things like “just what we need – another class” or that something is too juvenile for them to have fun. No matter how you cut it, RC racing at its core is toy cars. Yes they’re expensive, configurable, luxury toy cars. But they’re still toy cars as much as a $400 magnesium yo-yo is still a skill toy.

Let’s look at the reality and see if can’t all get along or at least agree to disagree without starting a flame-war 🔥

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I started my voice over IP (VOIP) installation with the pre-configured for raspberry pi – “Incredible PBX” software – care of the Nerd Vittles crew.

For phones I have a Linksys RTP300 analog telephone adapter (ATA) that I purchased at a local thrift store. It’s a discontinued product, but they’re easy to find for cheap on eBay.

The one I purchased had firmware that was coded to only work with Vonage. Years ago I was able to hack it and unlock it. https://thegeekoftheworld.com/unlock-rtp300/

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