Liberty Experience Weekend

This week I had to (e.g. had the opportunity to) travel from the east to the west, and back to the east (California trip); the trip back, starting 3AM Thursday morning to 12AM Friday morning, where I eventually ended up outside of Liberty for a college experience tour with our two youngest. I also stopped in the office towards the end of the day to get my own physical student ID card!

The campus of Liberty was beautiful, well kept, and well organized. We were so impressed by the safety of the area, and even more so, in the investment in community and safety as a whole.

Convocation was a humbling experience, witnessing thousands upon thousands of creatures connecting with their creator. We even stood on the 17th floor of the Liberty tower while the bells struck the top of the hour.

I am super exhausted, and now trying to get caught up on my doctoral assignments that were extended for a few days, but still due by the end of the week.

God is good – all the time, it just so happens, that this week resulted in experiences that were immediately recognizable as great and gracious.

On vacation again… 8 bit computer time!

I’ve been staring at Ben’s videos for the last 6 or so months and really wanted to dig a little deeper.. however, with as much knowledge and experience as I have with technology, I really don’t (didn’t..) understand electricity at all, except for the experiences I’ve had with accidentally grounding out light switches in the gang box, because I didn’t realize the electrician had sourced multiple circuits into the same box.. *poof*

What I did know, however, is that electricity is dangerous, and while I had a basic level of understanding electricity, and a pretty solid understanding of how digital circuits work, and how a computer is pieced together from thise circuits, I had no idea how actual electricity flows through all the different components to build up to a functional computer.

For example: what is a transistor, how does a resistor work, what about a diode, or a FET, how do capacitors work… how about electrical flow in circuits that are parallel, or in series, how do you “size” your circuits correctly?

I understood high-level differences with AC and DC, but how do you convert from one to the other, and why use either? The list goes on and on and on.

So, I started with an 11 hour course on Udemy from Ian Juby, on Electricity and Robotics, then I spent hours and hours and hours on youtube watching follow up videos, and demonstrations around Ohms law, impedance and the likes.

Now, I finally feel ready to start on my 8 bit computer from Ben, and confident I won’t electrocute myself. I’ve even started soldering components for the first time on my life – the first time was pretty ugly, but I quickly leveled-up.

Initial Attempt at Soldering resistors on LEDs
After a few times soldering – it’s not so bad!

I’ve also chosen to use lead-free solder; I don’t spend all my free time trying to boost my brain capacity just to smear lead all over my hands, which means I’ve had to run my soldering iron at 750 degrees!

Anyway, I’ve got a pretty good start on the 8-bit; I’m likely to spend most of my vacation working on it.

Some things never change – this is what my vacations usually look like:

Palo Alto and Unifi

I.e. Adventures in Networking

I don’t have a lot to say right now, other than I spent *hours* trying to get my new Palo Alto to work with the Unifi Suite.

Little did I realize that Unifi’s concept of “Native VLAN” means it is going to strip the VLAN tag of the “Native VLAN” off the 1Q header, and the Palo Alto doesn’t have a concept of the “Native VLAN” which means, when it gets an untagged packet it sends it to the primary interface (not any of the sub-interfaces).

The fix:
– Create a Network Profile that has no native VLAN and tag the VLAN specifically destined for the Palo Interface.

I’m dropping this note here, b/c I could not find ANYWHERE on the internet that explained this, I had to piece it together based on lots of different documents around how Unifi, Cisco, Palo, etc. work.

Plus, I’ll probably forget this next week when I go to try and configure my next interface.

09/24/2023 – Also found out the hard way that the IP addresses set on the interfaces themselves have to have a net mask added, or apparently they consider themselves in a network all to themselves, and won’t route traffic. I think, after troubleshooting, I realized that it is because this is acting both as the IP of the interfaces, and the gateway address for the interface.

At least I can happily say …. it wasn’t DNS!


It’s been a trying few weeks; so many challenges as children transition from young adult, to adult. On some evenings, it definitely feels like everyone is not growing up fast enough, and yet, still other evenings, it still seems like they are growing too fast (and we are aging)

But in the silence of the peepers and the wind chimes, I sat here and realized that soon, in the proverbial “tomorrow”, they all won’t be around; so tonight, I’ll just be thankful that I still see this.

Self awareness

I love this little dog. but I also kind of wonder if she wakes up every day, realizing life will be the same story over and over until she moves on from this life.

Wake up, walk, nap, scrounge for food, walk, sometimes chase the cat around the living room, then bed again.

I mean, at least I get to work 9+ hours a day too.


One OClock in the Morning

I took a break from breaking into computers, with some of my children, to play an accordion with others of my children. I was too tired to pull out the Cordovox.. it’s heavy, and I’m old!

Yep, I am the head of a really weird household.

Me playing accordion a 1 AM

NOTE: Braeden is holding the accordion I started playing when I was 6 years old, Donovan is holding the accordion I started playing when I was 11. 😱

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