Please Stay On The Line

In an attempt to melt my brain, I guess, I spent most of the day yesterday on the phone and sending e-mails. 😳 Since it’s likely that I’m gonna be getting into a lot more medical stuff in the near future (hopefully) I had to get all my ducks in a row.

First it was making sure my info was current with BWC, and requesting an updated ID card with current information. Then it was checking with my BWC prescription provider and getting an updated card from them. After that it was contacting my Medicare Part D provider and giving and getting the same information with them. 😓 I also had to get and update information regarding the company and my contact that’s handling my WC claim.

Basically, lots and lots of automated phone systems, auto-reply emails, and eventual communication with actual humans who either handled what I needed or ensured me that the information or cards or whatever that I needed would be sent to me asap. 🤷🏻‍♂️ Yeah, we’ll see how that goes… but of every item on my list that I needed to do, I put a check mark next to all of them as either “completed” or “should be completed” pending the USPS bringing stuff to me.

I did all of this while my hands have been driving me insane. 😣 The more that I think about it, the less I think it was just poison ivy. I’m almost certain that it was some other flower or weed with little teeny nettles on it that ended up really fucking up my skin. 😠 If I do manage to make it in to see a doctor at the walk-in clinic tomorrow, I’ll probably ask him or her about it after I get the stuff regarding my thyroid and testing taken care of. 😔 Hell, having such a severe reaction could actually prove helpful to everything in a diagnostic way.

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I Vaguely Remember Hobbies

Accidentally allowed myself to feel a little too good yesterday. 😏 As a result I spent a good chunk of the afternoon and evening talking at length with Jim, Amy, Genesee, Ric… and here it is almost 7am the next day and I’m still wide awake. 😒 Not a big deal, I guess, since I already dealt with the pressing phone calls yesterday. I suppose I’ll just see how long I can stay up, take a nap for a couple of hours, and then hopefully get myself back onto a normal sleep schedule tonight. 🤷🏻‍♂️ If not… meh.

I ran into Ric (online) as I was watching the Logan Police Department’s live stream. We were catching up with each others’ hobbies, or lack thereof, when he asked me if I had looked into software based radio devices. 🤔🤓 I remember Dad talking about being able to buy cards or external devices for amateur radio use, which could be controlled by a GUI on a PC… but I realized that I never looked into it any further than that.

Well, I guess the current “big thing” is police scanners that operate in that same fashion. A few years ago, when many of the LEOs and EMTs started going to trunked or digital systems, the only real games in town were Radio Shack or Uniden police scanners that could easily run in the $300 to $400 range. 😬 But as Hong Kong has a habit of doing, there are now $25 devices (USB? Other?) that you can hook up to a PC that can do the same thing as those scanners (and more) once you find the appropriate software. 😃

So yeah, that definitely perked my ears… and after I get some rest today I’ll probably get back on the laptop and start doing a little research on those things. The info comes at just the right time too, as my portable scanner is starting to show its age. I’ll update further if I end up pulling the trigger.

You’re Not Supposed To Do That

I needed something like this to occupy my brain, to get my mind off of many of the things that have been weighing heavy on me lately – where I could just let my nerd flag fly and dig in to this project to see what I could figure out. 🤓 It all started when I was preparing to update the OS in my car, which got me to thinking…

I moved the entire contents of my car’s “brain” over to my laptop, originally because I just wanted to locate any default images or videos that the system uses – in case I ever decide that I want to replace those images or videos with ones of my own. But as I went through the various directories I began to see that many of the files were saved in ASCII format, no encryption, no hex code… and easily viewable with Notepad. 😧

I found things regarding navigation, flash files that make up components of the UI, buttloads of icons for the nav system (which my car doesn’t even have (yet?)), a library of text-to-speech phrases… I mean, you can see in the screenshots above. All sorts of files like that, and in multiple languages as well.

But not only does changing the default images and videos interest me, but now that I’ve found the default phrases that the system uses for various things… it’s got me wondering if it’s as simple as changing those phrases in the text file to get her to say whatever I want. 😄 Of course I haven’t changed any of it yet, and honestly I’m not likely to… not unless I talk to someone who’s discovered the same things as me, and has done it successfully.

There are a few really short animations that are displayed when opening the doors, starting the ignition, and then turning the car off. They’re just regular logo videos with a little bit of movement, but I’ve already started mucking around with ideas for replacement videos that I could use to create new, brief personalized animations for me. 😀 I used some free service, so I’d have to crop out their watermark, but the resolution on the car’s videos are so low that it shouldn’t be a problem to crop yet retain enough detail in the video. So… still debating what to do next… 😏