Marasm's Meanderings

So, I decided I’ll go ahead and start a blog. Mostly it’ll be a brain dump of projects and ideas I’m working on. Maybe I’ll ask general questions here and there.

Some things may be tech related, some may be not so tech related. I bought a house at the beginning of the year, and it’s a real fixer upper, so I may do a bunch of posts of work I’m doing with that. I’m occasionally doing work/modifications to my car, so I might throw some of that in here. Music I’m listening to, tech problems I stumble across, stuff I buy, whatever.

So any and all are welcome to chime in, post opinions and ideas, ask questions, whatever.


First thing is I have a build log of sorts going for a case modification project. It’s taken way, way too long, and I feel bad for the people who were/have been following it.

I’m pretty close to being done with it. I’ve thrown way too much money into it. I have more ideas for it, but I need to just get it to a good stopping point and move on. Maybe someday down the road I’ll revisit it.

I’ll hopefully be posting an update to that thread this weekend.

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I got a Nokia 6.1 a few months ago, and overall I really like it. However I’ve been having USB-C issues since day one.

More often than not, when I plug the phone in to the charger at night, it won’t start charging. Same for if I try to plug in to my laptop or desktop. Just does absolutely nothing.

Only way to fix it is power off then back on. Reboot acts the same as power off. Either way, I have to hold the power button for about 30 seconds for the phone to actually power on again.

After some not very in depth research I’ve found other people that have the issue with different phones, but with Android 9.

It has something to do with this setting:

When nothing is plugged in those two options under USB Controlled By are flashing like it’s constantly trying to switch between them or something. When I plug in I can’t switch from Connected Device, which is why I think it won’t charge.

Anyone have this issue?

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Here’s a sneak peek at what I’ll be setting up in my basement:



I got a smart watch / fitness tracker. The AmazFit Bip. Thanks to redgek and in this thread:

The stock wristband was ok, but pretty hard to put on. I wanted a better one. So I got a nylon / soft one. It fits nice, and is very comfortable.

I couldn’t find a watchface I liked. The ones included on the watch itself just didn’t do anything for me. Something was missing or in the wrong spot. There’s a website with thousands of community made watchfaces (here), but browsing through those can get tiring. I finally found one that came close to what I was looking for (here). So close.


So I went to this site:

It lets you upload a watchface you like, modify it, and see the modifications in real time. So, after changing and adding things in the editor, and manually editing some of the image assets in GIMP, I ended up with this:


Basically added simple weather, a lock icon, and changed the clock to 12hr.

I manage the watch using a FOSS app from F-Droid called GadgetBridge. Everything stays local (as far as I can tell), with no need to make any accounts and use someone’s cloud.

Overall I am very satisfied with the Bip. It’s simple, doesn’t do a whole lot but track steps and heart rate. I wish it could control music. But it’s cheap.

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Alright. I’m going start a This Old House sort of thing in my blog. Your host will be the generally unknowledgeable, usually bumbling, definitely procrastinating, marasm. Ta da.

Background on the vict… er, house. Built in 1912, it is the pinnacle of human achievement in the art of architecture. What would that be, you ask? Balloon construction. At least, I’m pretty sure it is balloon construction. It might not be. I guess I don’t really know. Some parts say yes, some don’t. Dunno.

Anyway, yeah, it’s an old house. With a whole whack ton of old house problems. A lot of things have been done to it over the years that are either questionable, or downright dangerous. A lot of things haven’t been done to it over the years that should have been done.

But it was a great deal. That’s usually how these sorts of things work out.

So, to begin we must go back several months.

This is what the kitchen looked like shortly after purchasing the house in the beginning of January, 2019:

There is a small bathroom off the kitchen:

Which I completely gutted to the studs:

While doing this I learned several things:

Thing the first, this house has active knob and tube wiring. Mixed with more modern (read: 80s) Romex or NM wiring. Fun.

Thing the second, the bathroom, rear entrance room, and a room I’ll dub the office, are a sort of addition added on to the rear of the house at some point. Almost certainly when the main house was built, based off the type of construction and materials used.

Thing the third, the place between where the addition and the house meet wasn’t sealed correctly, and at some point it leaked, for a very long time. The leak was fixed with a metal roof, which stopped the leak. But the damage was done, and it was never fixed. The leak had rotted the main structural beam along the back of the house between the first and second floors.

Ruh roh, Raggy.

Stay tuned for the next action packed episode.


Here is the office getting stripped. All the insulation came out of the ceiling.

And the ceiling in the office.

And the main beam from inside the office, not rotted. The kitchen can be seen straight ahead, the bathroom to the left

The kitchen partially stripped, the bathroom is behind the closed door.

Another wall in the kitchen stripped

And another looking in to the bathroom from inside the kitchen

The kitchen pretty much completely stripped


Fun fact: in the left of the last picture are some garbage bags. In those bags are insulation and plaster. More full bags are insulation, 1/3 full bags are plaster. I took almost two tons of those bags to the dump in three or four trips. That was an unpleasant weekend.


I had to go down to Kansas City yesterday and today. Been down around the eastern edge going to and from Texas a few times, but never been into the city proper.

Got to see Union Station. Really cool building. Loved the old feeling. A lot of it felt very 40s. Amazing that they keep it like that.


I might have fixed my problem with choppy Bluetooth audio.

Last week I bought a Shure RMCE-BT2 Bluetooth adapter for my Shure SE215 earbuds. The original cable finally wore out after four years of pretty heavy use.

I immediately noticed that as soon as I put my phone in my pocket the audio would become very choppy. I looked around, trying to figure out what was going on. I adjusted settings in the developer settings menu, but nothing I did would make it better.

I just mowed my lawn today, and the choppiness made using the headphones almost not worth it. I was going to contact Shure support to see if they could point me in the right direction, or at least see if there was a way to determine if it was the adapter or my phone.

Then, just a little bit ago I was thinking about it again. I thought it made me think of the Bluetooth being in a low power state on the phone somehow. So, after a bit of googling, I came across a guy who said he had fixed the “Bluetooth audio skipping.” Looking into it, he had disabled “optimize battery usage” for the apps he was having problems with.

So I go look at my settings, and I find that I have the option to turn off adaptive battery, which sounds similar to battery optimization. No granular per app setting, can just turn it off completely. Flip the switch. Quick test walking around the yard. No choppiness. Huh.

So my guess is that Android, in its infinite wisdom, drops either Bluetooth or whichever app is playing audio into a low power state when the screen is off.

I’m going to do a longer test tomorrow and tomorrow night, and hopefully this will be the fix.

Also, maybe this will fix Android’s hyper aggressive app killing, too. I pause Spotify, and it kills it within seconds of turning the screen off. Super annoying.

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And nope. Didn’t fix the problem. I was chatting with Nokia support for quite a while today, trying to figure it out. They had me going through a lot of cache clearing and whatnot. Even a soft reboot. Nothing seems to fix it.

After some more research it seems that this is an issue a lot of people are having with this phone. Something is wrong within Android and Nokia needs to fix the bug. I told the support person as much, and she said she would pass it on to the development team and to expect a fix by the next security update at the end of the month. Not holding my breath, but maybe.

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Finally got all the temporary support walls built and in place. This was needed to support the house when i cut the rear main beam out to replace it.


First floor in kitchen

First floor in office

Upstairs bedroom

Now, in the next week or two, I will actually cut out the beam that is rotted and replace it. I hope I do it correctly and support it the way it needs to be. I need to re-frame the wall in the kitchen under the beam at he same time, then secure the wall in the bedroom upstairs to the beam from the top.


Last weekend I decided to do some electrical work instead of structural work.

The breaker panel

Some of the outlets.

This one was new, there wasn’t one in that location before

Three of the other outlets I had to reuse the (very) old metal outlet boxes. The wall is over an inch thick with plaster, lathe, and some other layer of wood .

Dealing with a ton of very old wiring

This was a very shallow box

All in all I got five new outlets on their own circuit. And that was just the living room and hallway.

I really like wiring. It’s relaxing. Figuring out the most efficient route, making it look neat and tidy. I just like it.

Eventually I have to rewire the entire house.


I forgot to put those metal tabs on the studs (nail plates) to prevent putting a nail through a wire…whoops
Found them after I started the drywall :slight_smile:
One outlet unsecured, forgot to locate it next to a stud


Yeah, I’ve seen those before. Will have to keep in mind, as I will be re-framing two or three walls after I replace part of the main supporting beam in the back of the house.

The vast majority of the rewiring I’ll be doing in this house is old work, so just hopes and prayers getting new wire to old locations. The lights and switches will be the hardest, and I’m going to be abandoning knob and tube in some places.

I’m kind of sad old ceramic porcelain insulators aren’t worth much on ebay. I’m going to have a whack-ton of them when I’m done. And a whole bunch of asphalt cloth wire too.


I had to put my dog down back in the beginning of June. I keep coming across pictures of her.

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So a few weeks ago I got a free 42U rack cabinet, with a bunch of stuff in it. Six HP DL160 G6 systems, a couple Cisco 10/100 switches, a 48v power supply system, and a cool tape backup that I’m going to convert into something else.

It’s been sitting in my parents garage for a while, so I finally decided to figure out how to break it down so I can get it into my basement easier. I already got a 42U cabinet down there with the help of my dad, butbit was very difficult. Taking this one down in pieces will be a lot easier. Not looking forward to getting the original cabinet back out, as I think I’m going to sell it. Only paid $25 for that one, so can make some money.

And I got it all in the back of my truck.


Posted a few pics in the pet thread, but this past Saturday I got a new dog. She’s a little over a year old, a lab hound mix, and very full of energy.

I’ve only had her for a few days, but she’s become very, very attached to me. Can’t leave the room without her panicking and racing after me. If I leave she barks constantly. Need to figure out how to get her to be comfortable being alone.


Also got a tractor to mow my lawn.

Cub Cadet LT1042. 200 bucks for the tractor, 100 for a new PTO clutch, and 20 for a deck belt. Pretty good deal. Needs a bit more maintenance, and I need to find a snow plow or blower for winter, but it cuts the grass nice.

Pretty cool…

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