Road Report

The house closed escrow. All my stuff is out, and technically I’m homeless (but the money is in the bank :-)

I’m on the road, in New Mexico. Using hotel wifi and tablet.

There were dozens of UHaul rigs headed east through California and Arizona. Didn’t see any headed in to California. Didn’t watch oncomming too much though. But a lot more oncomming passes by than same way….

At one point in Arizona, we had three configurations all next to each other on the freeway. Rented UHaul box truck towing car with California plates, SUV towing UHaul car transport with 2nd California plate car on it – (both full of packed stuff), Truck pulling U Haul trailer.

Kinda spooky…

Estimate Florida in about 4 more days. Then a couple of days to recover, unpack, set up computer… then more normal postings.

Eventually I need to get my stuff moved from storage, but for now we can rent.

Life on the road again…

But: As of now, I have escaped California and am no longer a Californian. I am a Citizen of the Free State of Florida! Spouse is already there setting up our temporary rental home.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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52 Responses to Road Report

  1. Pouncer says:

    When you have a chance…

    Do I recall correctly that at one time in your varied careers you worked for the Disney Empire? ANy thoughts on the current issues between the State of Florida and the Disney lobbyists?

  2. beththeserf says:

    Good luck ! From the Gavin Newsom State to the Ron De Santis state, – a good move.

  3. John S Howard Jr says:

    Yea! Living in Texas now, but miss Florida from time to time. Grt back to see the family every summer. Take care.

  4. p.g.sharrow says:

    Not pleased to lose a good Californian, but glad that you have made the move to a free state. Good luck with your new life, enjoy every minute !…pg

  5. JP Miller says:

    Welcome to Florida! We left Portola Valley 9 years ago for family reasons. Had 22 wonderful years in the Bay Area, but the State was starting its slide into wacky land and I’m glad we got out when we did.

    Florida is downright sensible…except for the “Magic Kingdom.” Walt is rolling in his grave: his belief in wholesome family entertainment…sigh… has lost to the idea that sexual deviation is a good thing to be encouraged in young children.

  6. YMMV says:

    “and technically I’m homeless”

    That word is on the woke no-go list. Maybe California has a “don’t say homeless” law.
    AP says you are allowed to say you are unhoused and they are unhinged.

  7. Simon Derricutt says:

    EM – I hope all goes well. It’s probably getting close to the point where California rules might change to make such a move more difficult, given the exodus you’re seeing, so nice to know you’re out before that happens. Bit of a shame for your wife, though, finally getting to move close to the Disney world just at the point when their wokeness has become obviously toxic.

  8. John Hultquist says:

    Your anthem:
    “Late Great Golden State”
    by Mike Stinson [made popular by Dwight Yoakam]

  9. philjourdan says:

    @Pouncer – He was a contractor at Disney for a spell (that is how he got to love Florida). Not sure if he was a W2 or just a 1099.

  10. cdquarles says:

    My family left California in 1962. I’m saddened by the circumstances that required it; but seeing how things changed over the years, I am happy that we did land in a saner state.

  11. DonM says:

    Since you are technically homeless, you can now pee on the sidewalks with impunity, and leave your garbage anywhere it is convenient.

    mebbe stop in San Antonio and take advantage of your new entitlement…

  12. Good luck. Glad the money is in the bank. What did you say your bank details were?

  13. You will have to say if you see any of these billboards when you arrive in Florida

  14. E.M.Smith says:

    In a hotel just after midnight somewhere by the side of I-40. Just needed to sleep…


    Contractor for about 5 yrs out of 10 elapsed. The “Gay Day” offered then was precursor to this now. Spouse and I put it in the “acceptance of others” category, but I wondered “what’s next?”… Now we know. From tolerance to promotion. IMHO Disney will need to take a fall before they accept the truth of “Get Woke, go BROKE”.

    Note that the Nutty Woke Bending of things like classical characters is failing in box office. (A black “Snow White”? When the tale says milky white skin….)

    It is Cultural Graffiti and destined to be painted over…

    So Reedy Creek Development District is the Disney govt vehicle. It was used to get them there. Let’s them dodge city taxes too. What once was carrot can now be stick. IFF Disney is going to be abusive of traditional cultural norms toward children, then they can lose the carrot and get the stick. The Baptist Bible Belt of the South is not the place to advocate for sins….

    @Climatereason: I’ll look for them. Oh, and bank details: I believe I said “private”….


    Like mistvthinfs Disney: Overly complicated. W2 to their preferred vendor who corp to corp bills. Just to prevent any implued employee suits.


    As I’m no longer a Californian, I can ignore such rules… Floridians are a free people….

  15. tregonsee says:

    “No fixed abode” sounds so much classier than “homeless.” :)

    If you end up in Polk County, you will have a really great sheriff, Grady Judd. He annoys all the right people. Live there so long ago that it was pre-Disney when we left.

  16. jonova1 says:

    Best wishes from afar Chiefio. Best of luck with the Big Move.

  17. Steven Fraser says:

    Sleep well, and safe travels through the great state of Texas. Will you be coming Dallas-way to get on a more southerly route? If so I’d be happy to buy you lunch or dinner somewhere!

  18. Ossqss says:

    @EM, Roam Bro!

  19. E.M.Smith says:


    Thanks! I’m putting my actions where I had the talk….

    @Steven Fraser:

    You folks were having a tornado watch near Denton when I went by. Took a quick shot across the panhandle on I-40, then cut down to I-10 in Louisiana as a storm popped up in Arkansas… last night, arrived in Florida.


    I have arrived at Orlando last night. Returned the car carrier to Uhaul this morning, and have about 1/2 unloaded. I now have a Vacation Rental, with spouse & cars. Next I set up my computer, then hit the pool :-)

    In a couple of days, start looking at houses… (“someday” when a house is bought, move the stored stuff from California into it… hopefully after gas prices drop…)

    Oh, and sleep… I get to sleep some now too 8-)

  20. p.g.sharrow says:

    Sleep well my friend; Long distance Moving your life is a massive chore.

  21. DBJ says:

    Welcome neighbor! We escaped from San Simeon to Cape Canaveral last year, and just closed on a house in Palm Bay last month- for a total price about the same as a down payment on a comparable house in Californica. We love it here.

  22. pinroot says:

    Congratulations on your successful move from California to Florida!

  23. stewartpid says:

    Sincere congratulations on your escape.
    Good luck with the Florida house hunting.

  24. beng135 says:

    Hope everything goes OK. Moving is stressful, but rewarding too.

  25. Compu Gator says:

    E.M., Please check the spam folder of your e-mail for a message from me almost 2 weeks ago. I suspect that I outclevered myself with my 2-word ‘Subject’,  which I translated into a foreign language with which you & I are both familiar. And maybe requiring you to hit my message’s link to Wikip. was more an annoyance than “safety thro’ obscurity”.

  26. Compu Gator says:

    Oh!  I see that I never got around to wishing you a safe& trouble-free move. So I’m wishing that for you & “the Spouse” now. Your “money not a problem” helps hugely, of course. But no one will ever know how busy her guardian angel has been during all the activity required for your move.

  27. philjourdan says:

    @cdquarles – my family moved there in 66, and out of there in 72! It was fun back then, but I am SOOOOOOO glad we got out!

  28. philjourdan says:

    @DonM – ROFL! Except he has left the toilet bowl of America so cannot do that any longer. :-)

  29. philjourdan says:

    @EM – Sleep the sleep of the just! And the toitee free. :-)

  30. Steven Fraser says:

    @E.M. Glad you avoided the whirlygig, and persevered to the finish. A rest well earned!

  31. E.M.Smith says:

    Still have not found the keyboard to my computer. I ought to finish unloading tomorrow. Today was pool time, nice bit of sun color to show for it ;-), set up a POBox, dinner out, and such.

    I’ll just buy something if I don’t find it tomorrow. Also not found the Roku remote yet… but life slowly restarting.

  32. Annie says:

    @E.M.Smith: Very best wishes for your life in Florida; it sounds wonderful. :)
    We moved back to Victoria from UK a few years ago; another massive move (of many) and we know only too well what a huge thing it is, especially moving countries. Now we are stuck in Vicdanistan :(

  33. Pointman says:

    Best of luck with the big move EM. The smart move is rarely the easiest one, but it nearly always works out for the better.


  34. Ossqss says:

    @EM, you can use this on your phone or tablet/PC if you don’t find that remote. Just need to be on the same network. I actually like it as it has a keyboard to type things if needed instead of the painful remote on-screen click typing :-)

  35. E.M.Smith says:


    Yes, we’ve had the “remote ap” on our phones for a while. Great tool, but one big limitation:

    To use it, you must both be on the same network already. Remote and roku. It is useless for configuring the ROKU to connect to a new network…. which is what I needed to do.

    But unloading the car completely found the needed remote. Then $29 replaced the missing keybaord for the computer.

    However, again….

    I have been unable to get this computer to reliably do wifi to this Hotspot. Twice tonight, a ping of yahoo worked. Browser launched, the wifi link failed. Then ping no longer worked either. So I’m still one finger typing on the tablet. Tomorrow is another day…. and right now sleep is demanding…

    So no computer workstation yet…

  36. Power Grab says:

    @ EM re getting hotspot to work more than intermittently…

    Last fall I went about 3 weeks without my house internet/cable/VOIP phone working. Part of that time, it was caused by a contractor cutting the cable in the ground. Service wasn’t really restored until there had been visits to my home by 4 techs (a different one every time) and 3 visits by me to the company’s local office.

    During that time, my offspring reported getting a satisfactory connection using their iPhone hotspot. I had thought the latency would be too bad to allow me to do anything useful if I tried that method, but eventually I tried it and found it could work, although intermittently. Latency wasn’t even a major problem, which surprised me. A long time ago, I had used an earlier cell phone and its hotspot function to try to connect a laptop to something at work. The high latency made it practically impossible to tolerate, so I wrote that option off.

    This time, at first, I tried using Bluetooth and/or WIFI (the phone and a laptop would do both). It took more than one effort to make the connection work, and it tended to stop working if I wasn’t actively using the laptop. Eventually, I decided to try it with my main desktop computer. It pretty much behaved the same as the laptop when I used wireless methods. However, once I decided to plug in the phone to the desktop computer using a USB cable, the disconnects became fewer and farther between. I can’t remember whether I still had to have the WIFI dongle plugged into the desktop for the best performance, but that may have been part of the secret sauce that gave the best result.

    The main downside of using our phones’ hotspots to connect our computers to the internet was that it used lots of bandwidth, which led to our speed being throttled down as we used more bandwidth.

    Oh well…c’est la vie. After the 4th tech finally replaced my modem (router) with a newer model, and ran a new cable from the box a couple lots away, then to the connection box on the back of my house, things started working again. However, the one last thing I was unhappy with was their putting my connection into a “walled garden mode” if we turned the thing off at night. Grrrr….

  37. Ossqss says:

    @EM, not all phones, or android rev. levels, are made the same from a transmission standpoint for WiFi sharing and many service providers prohibit it.

    As Power Grab notes, you can always tether it directly with a USB cable, but ensure you enable the USB settings, if they are available, to allow such on your phone otherwise it may only allow charging or file transfers etc..

    I don’t remember if I had to mess with USB debugging to make it work or not. If so, may need to activate developer mode on your phone also. Find that in settings, about phone, software, and then tap build number until it turns developer mode on.

    Good Luck!

  38. Ossqss says:

    Side note> not all USB cables are made the same. Typically, the factory cable will have data transfer capability, but many cheap ones only use the power pins and nothing else.

  39. H.R. says:

    @Ossqss – Mrs. H.R. loved the ‘Code’ video. 👍👍

  40. E.M.Smith says:

    I ought to have been more clear with more detail…

    I have 3 working hot spot devices.

    1) iPhone on Verizon.

    2) Walmart plan Tracfone.

    3) Boost Mobile Hotspot device.

    All are 4G LTE. The first 2 have used up their data allotment, so shifted to 2G (nearly useless speed that can be anywhere from 56 kb/sec old modrm circa 1990 speed up to 256 kb/sec that is almost usable)

    The tablet, roku, etc. All work fine through all of these.

    The “problem” is ONLY configuring the Odroid XU4 with Devuan to use it and be stable. This is most likely a “Me” problem.

    Devuan does not support WICD due to it using an old depricated Python version (along with horrible efficiency of 1/10 of C speed, one of my Python complaints: multiple incompatible versions). So I need to either use Supplicant (that is unfamiliar and complicated) or configure it “longhand” that is a PITA and obscure.

    I have gotten Supplicant to connect, but it drops on browser launch, so something about high use surge drops the link. Some debugging and skill I don’t have (yet…) needed.

    Oh, and no USB cable nor ports involved. Don’t know if the hot spots even use them… maybe I ought to look into that option…

  41. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; Sounds like you are stuck, Chicken or Egg. fight a patch together setup or build a new system for blogging, My suggestion is take the week off and get your head around your new life.
    With all your prep study I’m sure your next system is all ready perking and just needs some time to jell.

  42. E.M.Smith says:


    I’m likely to buy a $300 to $400 laptop or chromebook from walmart once I figure out which ones can become Linux machines without pain ..,

    There’s nothing particularly wrong with my system, it is just that I’ve never configured WiFi on it before (old Debian and R.Pi were easy. Now it is “screw with you” SystemD Crap or “low support” ARM Devuan…). so a bit of work / learning for me to make it go.

    And most of my kit is in storage…..

    I do have a pine64 board with me, and may see if I can make it a internal Netgear to WiFi hot spot router…. I did that once before at home when a failed power pole took out my AT&T connection and router (using a R.Pi no less). It just takes time to work out all those niggling tech things… Then I used a T-Mobile hot spot as boundry router, had the R.Pi wired to my Netgear internal router, and the Pi did WiFi to the hot spot. Everthing else ran via the netgear (to the R.Pi to the hotspot for internet) In theory, I can do just that using the Pine64 to bridge my (already running) Netgear to the Boost Mobile hotspot… if I had a few hours….

    Tonight I got MY Netgear WiFi router set up, and the printer working. Still need to get that network talking to the HotSpot as boundry router… IF I get that working, I can plug the XU4 into it wired.

    FWIW, I get about 1 hour a day for this. The rest goes into unpacking, sorting, changing addresses, car reg, pool time, driving around, cooking, etc etc etc….

    Whatever. It is just temp infrastructure until we buy a house anyway…

  43. Compu Gator says:

    Just to get a more thorough break from the brain-fogs of real-life computing, I recommend buying a copy of Florida Sportsman magazine; it really ought to have been named Florida Fisherman after its modern focus. It has competitors with the same focus. Any of them ought to be great reading at poolside or in your eventual back-yard. And start to acclimate you to fishing prospects for Florida (altho’ I’m sure that F.F. & H.R. have already helped).

    You can get them in drugstores, and, of course brick & mortar bookstores. Alas, real newsstands, like the Orange Avenue News in your downtown of old, no longer exist, as of circa the opening of our 21st C.  Maybe ’twas downtown’s well-known customer-discouraging shortage of convenient parking, taking another victim.

  44. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh, and while I’m thinking of it…


    I am honored by your comment here. Love your stuff.

    Don’t comment much, but do read at your place. I hope to get back to more original content here once the dust settles and the unpacking is done.

  45. E.M.Smith says:


    Seriously looking forward to improving my Florida fishing skills. As my boat is on the Atlantic Coast, I plan to work on Atlantic and East Coastal species first. Though, since Florida Bait Bream are what in California would be called “keepers”, I have a lot of adjusting to do ;-)

  46. Ossqss says:

    @EM, give up the tertiary other and just do what works. You can apply much the same in the way of protections/privacy it you want on a Windows machine and not have the compatibility issue. Your comm path Bits gives you up anyhow. Other item, why do you have 3 services anyhow? I have a hotspot as part of my $40 a month 4G Verizon phone. Even if I go over the 25-gig throttle limit, it still works better than DSL lines. BTW, they offer 5G dedicated modems now for home use. Not really portable though.

    When you’re ready, we can discuss in-shore West Coast and Fresh Water fishing and much more. I have garnered much living here since 1986 and will share. I am not a deep-water Grouper digger.

    Either way, it would do ya good to explore the better side of Florida and see the differences from the East Coast, IMHO.

    I lived in Orlando when I first moved here. No Thanks.

  47. E.M.Smith says:


    Why trying to make the XU4 “go”:

    Because it has been my main desktop for a few years and all my disks and data are there. Avoiding a conversion issue. Windoze doesn’t read Unix nor Linux disks.

    Why not just a Windows laptop:

    Aside from despising all things Gates… I just don’t like the way it makes me do things. A long history of sand in the teeth at work. Whereas I love the consistency of *nix (pre Pottering & SystemD…)

    Spouse has a Mac, and I might just pop for one of them….

    As my comm bits lead to a burner phone in an RV park, it is a several hundred physical coach search to find me… minimum.

    Why multiple phones:

    Well, partly because I’m a phone guy and a security guy. Then there’s forgetting to pack the main phone… So main phone is Verizon. Burner One was bought to learn how burners work AND how to catch folks using them (Standard White Hat thing of doing a faux Black Hat process while looking for error points and potential defeats of it). It also took over road duty as the Vz phone battery failed…. Burner Two was bought when I got off the plane here a month or so ago and realized I forgot to pack a phone. About $75 later I had a phone & activation unlimited minutes… and all was good.

    So, having a bunch of “data” (really air time in bits) on the two burners, I decided to use it up. Also my old (as in 20ish year old…) 3G Verizon flip is nowhere to be found in the stuff unpacked so far… but it was forwarded to Burner Two anyway as the battery would hold charge about 20 minutes if you didn’t talk on it….but it worked fine plugged into the wall as my retired guy home phone… (forwarding being a $25/month cost for Burner Two kludge until I could deal with it… that happened yesterday when I got a new Verizon 4g phone and moved onto it.)

    Going forward:

    The Great Phone Unwind. As I now have a Vz phone with battery life and hotspot capable, it becomes my primary travel phone, travel hotspot and personal calling minutes. Burner One is live until about December (due to rollover lifetime when adding air minutes I was using prior to Burner Two arriving…). I’ve burned through hotspot bytes, so it will just hang around as a spare / can’t find my Vz phone option until then. Burner Two is a Walmart unlimited minutes phone but expires monthly, so was being used for calling out / forwarded Vz phone, but that use is now ended. It’s time runs out monthly, so in about a week it ends and goes in a box for “whatever someday” needs or use.

    Oh, and why the Boost Mobile Hotspot? Well, I didn’t appreciate how fast we would burn though hotspot GB nor properly diagnose the symptoms of that. Spouse used up the very small Vz GB on her phone anyway. When the burner ran dry, I needed hotspot pronto. Didn’t realize it was just running out (as it shuts off connectivity, not just shifting to 2g slow speed. The 2g unlimited is for phone data only on that burner plan…not hotspot…). Hit the Walmart a couple of blocks away. For $24 got a 4G hotspot, then it is just $ for GB at lower cost than a Vz upgrade plan AND it wasn’t tied to the spouse phone being “home” either (remember that at this point my Vz phone was in a box in Who Knows Where and didn’t DO hotspot anyway…)

    So not wanting to add more Lifetime to Burner One as December is already too long away, my Vz Flip not being an option, Spousal Vz empty and costly, and suspecting Walmart Burner Two might be broken (my mistake), and not knowing if/how to add Hotspot GB without the monthly minutes used up… along with Vz Upgrade (that took 1/2 a day when I got to it… don’t ask…) not being a quick option at “after 5 PM ” hours on a weekend… I just tossed small money at a Boost quick fix.

    FWIW, rather like I’ve done in two prior AT&T failures in California. Yes, packed in a box in storage are 2 T-Mobile hot spots. One 3G and one 4G. I actually thought maybe I ought to bring the 4G one with me, but decided I was being a worry wart so boxed it…. Hotspot hardware is a consumable anyway, for all practical purposes. It is the airtime plan that’s the cost center.

    Oh, and neither T-mobile nor Vz has 5G home internet rolled out where I am… so 4G LTE Hotspot is as good as it gets.

    Finally, as the Boost Hotspot is a discreet component, I can just leave it set up in the coach. Phones can come and go and not bother the computers nor Rokus…

  48. E.M.Smith says:

    Per fishing:

    Couple of years back I went fishing in the Gulf on a boat. Caught some catfish, a shark, and something that looked sort of bass like. Realized I needed to learn the local fish better…

    Also fished ftom shore with poor results, mostly due to cluelessness… as others were catching.

    So recognize the potential, along with my “Noob all over again” cold water California style incompatibility….

  49. E.M.Smith says:

    I now have a working computer with internet access and a real keyboard!

    It is slow, but will work.

    The Pine64 running Debian 10 / wicd wireless support. Just booted up fine.

    Just in time for me to be away from keyboard for a few days…. darn it. But whatever.

    Ond more issue resolved / bypassed….

  50. E.M.Smith says:

    Posting this comment from the Pine64. With Chromium launched and one web page open, it has 430 MB of memory free, about 4 GB of very slow uSD card swap available, and is “fast enough”. So I have a workable workstation again.

    Over the next couple of days I can add the USB Hub and some disks and get Real Swap on it too. Then figure out how to make it the bridge router between WiFi and my internal network setup.

    But most importantly, it means that in about 3 days (when my present Must Do is done) I can start making postings without one finger typing on the tablet ;-)

    Oh Boy!

  51. philjourdan says:

    @EM – YOur travails. Yep! Why I am not a fan of moving in my old age – except if I was you and in Cali! Then I would be a BIG Fan.

    Did the route of the Wifi to Hotspot connection about 10 years ago. Was a pain, I hope they made it better!

  52. philjourdan says:

    @Compu Gator:

    Florida Sportsman magazine; it really ought to have been named Florida Fisherman after its modern focus.

    Uh, with water on 3 sides, what else are Florida sportsmen supposed to do? Bait Alligator traps? Or Fish? :-)

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