el paso miscellany

I am staging in El Paso waiting for temps to drop in northeast Texas, doing “home base errands”, and waiting for an eye exam on the 18th.
I’m hoping I can select glasses at that exam instead of having to make another appt for that.

dashcam - mule deer

I came off the mountain in Cloudcroft on the 25th before temps dropped into the 20s. I’m no fan of freezing weather.

On the way down the speed limit was 45mph but I was running about 35mph because I’d been seeing wild horses and mule deer near camp. Good thing, because around one corner there was a big mule deer casually strolling across the road. The clearest shot I have of him is right as he steps off the road onto the right shoulder:

mule deer

He’s under the bright spot on the right, a sign reflection. I lightened that section of the shot so you can see him better:


A real dashcam with IR or some other feature would do a better job with this kind of shot. This is just an old budget android phone running AutoBoy app. $3, if I remember correctly.

Note the app records speed and location, which might be helpful in case of a traffic dispute.

muffin shots

We were spending the day at the Marty Robbins city park the other day and noticed a mobile vaccination setup. She got shots for rabies, distemper, and bordatella. I wanted her to be up to date in case I need to board her for some reason.

She handled the shots without a flinch but didn’t want to sit still for the nasal dose. Took 3 attempts with me, dog, and vet assistant in various positions to get it done. She didn’t seem affected by the shots but I didn’t stress her with too much exercise that day.

inverter repair

The fan replacement in the cheap MSW inverter that I repaired in September is holding up nicely. By now it has multiples of the runtime the original had when it failed. Woot! I like having this simple inverter around for heating loads.


One of the nice things about the southwest is the big supermercados, Hispanic grocery stores. Excellent pricing on staples like meat, cheese, veggies, fruit, beans, tortillas, etc.

On my latest run I pickep up tortillas, limes, honeycrisp apples for less than $1/lb, pan dulces, bananas for 39c/lb, bolillos 25c/each, asadero cheese, etc.

Oddly, some of the non-staples are priced quite high, higher than in Anglo supermarkets. Pick your grocery battles.

over-the-air television

The Pi-based DVR is filling back up here in ELP. The Pi has always struggled to display HD recordings whle recording other ones so I’ve been playing with options.

The newer Pi4 could handled both nicely but I don’t have one.


I’ve been running minidlna for about a year and it works well. The main issue was that I could not delete the file after watching it.

android frontend

MythTV, the DVR software, runs both a backend server and frontend clients. Most of the the time both halves are on the same box but as we saw above the Pi struggles with this setup.

I’d looked for android frontend a few years ago but found nothing that would work. I looked again recently and found mythling, which does about 95% of what I want. With Mythling doing the decodeing and display the Pi can serve up the stream while recording multiple HD streams. Coolio.

US Mobile cost-cutting

I mentioned I’d cut my US Mobile MVNO Verizon account down from 30GB all-you-can eat to 15GB data-only, saving ~$20/mo. Since then I’ve used ~8GB/month on it, so that’s working well.


twitter comment thread for this post