Rhythmbox sync error

There is very little information available on the Internet regarding troubleshooting music sync errors in Rhythmbox.  I was getting a "could not open resource for writing" error when trying to sync music.  I finally tracked down the issue.  One issue, anyway, I'm sure this can happen for myriad reasons.  In this case the same file existed in 2 locations within my music folder structure.  When syncing to the phone the file names/directories are normalized.  When the 2nd file was attempting to sync, the file already existed on the phone and the sync process would crash.  By removing the duplicate file from the computer the sync process continued successfully.


I'm sticking this next part here so I don't have to go digging around the Internet again in the future.

Unrelated to the file crash, but related to syncing music via Rhythmbox: to sync to an abitrary device (in my case, an SD card), place a file called ".is_audio_player" in the root directory of the device.  In that file I placed this text:


Then Rhythmbox will detect it as a "sync-able" location.  You may have to close/re-open Rhythmbox and possibly umount/remount the device.

Proud Nationalist? Seriously?

Just over 6 years ago I wrote this post about my concerns of the rising tide of nationalism in the United States.

And then on Monday, Trump says, "All I want is for our country is to be treated well, to be treated with respect, so in that sense I'm absolutely a nationalist, and I'm proud of it."

Either he is a proud nationalist, which should be terrifying to anyone who has even cursorily studied early-to-mid 20th-century geopolitics (he certainly exhibits all the hallmarks).  Or he's an ignorant fool who doesn't understand why saying that is a dangerous precedent to set.

Of course, he tried to present a softer, gentler nationalism (be treated well, with respect).  I'm not sure if there's a term for the rhetorical device, but it allows "nationalism" to re-enter the language "safely" because proponents can now pretend it just means "be treated well and with respect."  But that's not what "nationalism" means.  Any pretense that nationalists just want respect will eventually drop and we'll end up closer and closer to actual nationalism.

Historically, to be openly espousing nationalism and embracing it is not a good thing.  If it continues unchecked it will lead to violence in our borders.  This has always been the end result of one group saying, "Our group is the best" which leads to "We deserve to have these things" which leads to "You aren't part of our group" which leads to you "So you don't deserve to have these things" which leads to "So we're going to take them from you."

Unfortunately, today we're passing by the "So you don't deserve to have these things" phase.  This is evident in policies that close U.S. borders to refugees, animosity about welfare programs, and attempts to stifle legal immigration.  And we're quickly tilting towards "So we're going to take them from you."  This is evident in the process of cutting taxes for the wealthy and then paying for it by cutting social programs for the poor as well as taking children from parents and indefinitely detaining them in camps.

With history as our guide, if left unchecked it will get worse.

If this is not a narrative you'd like to see played out, please vote for politicians who oppose this course.  We do have a chance in 13 days to send a message as a nation about what we stand for.  Many candidates are on ballots openly supporting this agenda of nationalism.  Don't let them win.

Update 10/24:

After I wrote this piece, there are news reports of explosives being sent to left-of-center politicians and media outlets.  I'm not going to claim the motives of the person(s) responsible, but I will say the identification of out-groups to label as enemies is fundamental to the nationalist agenda.

Hateful rhetoric towards these out-groups is amped up at every opportunity.  They're blamed for everything wrong in the lives of the followers.  And it's trivial for such rhetoric to become action.  The President's message (spoken and otherwise) to his followers in response to today's events will be crucial in shaping the behavioral norms in the nationalist camp.

And let me be abundantly clear:  When I say "Don't let them win" I mean vote against them, support their opponents, and encourage your friends to vote.

Update 2, 10/30:

NPR reports today that Trump thinks he can change citizenship laws with an executive order and deny children born on U.S. soil from being U.S. citizens.

This is nationalism at work.  This is "so you don't deserve these things" in action.

The next step will be to start casually suggesting that we should revoke the citizenship of anyone born in the U.S. by a mother who entered illegally.  Which will be "so we're going to take them from you."  We need to stop nationalism now before it gets wholly out of control.

Road Trip 2018: Wyoming Dinosaur Center

After the family reunion wrapped up, we headed up to Provo for Jess' brother's wedding.  Then we drove up in to Wyoming to the Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis.  We thought this would be a fun and unique experience in light of Heather's long and continuing interest in paleontology.

We signed up for a "Dig for a Day" package where we got to go out to one of their active dig sites, work on the site, tour the nearby Sundance formation, work in the lab, and have a personal tour of the museum.

We were a little concerned with how well it would work out given the girls' ages, but it was a blast.  Our guides, Seth and Emily, were fantastic with the girls.  They found age-appropriate tasks for them both and kept them engaged and excited about the trip.  The only downside is just how far out in the middle of nowhere Thermopolis is; but if you've got kids interested in paleontology and you happen to be anywhere in the vicinity, I highly recommend the experience.

We got to work on Foot Site which has been active for ~20 years yielding over 550 fossils so far.  One primarily finds diplodocus bones there.

Here come a lot of pictures:


Heather found a fossil!  When found, fossils are marked with white-out and an identifier is written on the white-out.  So the white-splotch she's pointing at is the white-out.  In this formation, the fossils are a dark grey color among the light tan of the surrounding rock.

As the discoverer of the fossil, she got to put her name in the site tracking book on the entry for the fossil.  This information will follow the fossil through its scientific life cycle.


I found a fossil too!  One of our guides made an initial determination that it's a chevron from the tail of a diplodocus.  That will validated once fully excavated.  It's fully embedded in stone, so I spent quite a while carefully chiseling away stone.  After being encouraged to be a little more aggressive I managed to break the fossil twice.  But that was no big deal, some super-glue and were back in business.

My approach to finding the fossil was to estimate the depth of the existing fossils on the site and then simply move a few feet over and work my way down to that same level.  And it worked!


Kyle's Fossil.  This is about 4 inches of exposed fossil and the guides estimate it's probably about half of the bone.


We had lunch at Foot Site and did a little more excavating.  Then we drove out to the Sundance Formation.  Which is the shores of an ancient sea.  Here fossils of clams and other sea creatures are just littered all over.  At Foot Site they catalog all the fossils and return them to the lab for scientific evaluation.  At Sundance, anything you can find you can keep.  We have a 1-gallon bag of fossil-containing rocks from here.


It was hot out on Sundance, so we shortly returned to the air-conditioning of the lab and learned a bit about specimen cleaning.  I believe the guides said that for every hour on the dig site you end up spending about 6 hours in the lab.  We used dental picks, toothbrushes, and pneumatic chisels to carefully remove the rock surrounding some vertebra.


Once we finished up in the lab, Seth and Emily gave us a personal tour of the museum.


A maiasaura nest:

After our great day of paleontology we piled back up in the van to head out toward Grand Teton National Park.

Road Trip 2018: Dickerson Family Reunion – Family Pictures

Here's the group.  (Megan's family was not in attendance.)


The children:


The grandchildren:

We also did some old photo recreations, but since I don't have the originals we were recreating, it doesn't make much sense to post the new ones.  If someone in the family gets those to me, I'll put them up.

Road Trip 2018: Dickerson Family Reunion – Best Friends Animal Sanctuary & Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

On August 2 we took Heather and Addie to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary for a day camp.  They got to feed some koi, took a puppy for a walk, fed it treats, and toured their medical facility.  I sat on the patio and took pictures of hummingbirds.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

After lunch we drove out to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.  We parked, got everyone sunscreened, walked out to the dunes, and a storm rolled through.  So we huddled under the observation platform and watched the storm.