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Commercial Electric Ceiling Lights, Revisited

I had written last year about good success installing a Commercial Electric ceiling light fixture. While these are indeed easy to install, I recently put up one more in a small room, then drilled a screw into place on an adjoining wall, and the glass dome fell off to the wood floor below and shattered.

Reading the relatively few 1-star reviews of the product, apparently some other people have had the same problem. Since I really don’t want that to happen again, I think I had better find something with a more secure cover.

Another reported problem is that the glass domes are too hard to remove at all. When I went to take down the other two that I had already put up, I found that I couldn’t just unscrew the dome as expected. A big thanks to Sanjeev Sabhlok for hosting the answer!

These particular light fixtures also appear to be increasingly hard to purchase; perhaps they were discontinued?

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2021 Honda CR-V

IMG_8533After driving 10 hours for a vacation in western South Dakota, plus a few hours driving around the area, a bunch of problem indicator lights turned on in the 2014 Honda CR-V. The service technicians at Rushmore Honda checked it out, saw nothing obviously wrong, reset the indicators, and told us it should be fine. To do a deeper inspection would involve keeping the car for a couple of days, which wasn’t a great option at the moment.

We drove a couple more hours and the indicator lights came on again.

We had already been contemplating trading in for a new vehicle sometime soon-ish, and faced with a 10 hour drive back home across a very sparsely populated part of the country, we went ahead and exchanged the 2014 CR-V for a new 2021 model. Graciously tended to by Rushmore Honda’s David Reichert, we had what was easily the most pleasant car-buying experience we have thus far been through. It almost makes us want to start driving 10 hours to buy all of our new cars in Rapid City…

How about the car itself? The configurable car options is an impressive new-to-me feature, letting you change various settings from automatic door locks to cruise control behavior. I miss the CD player, but the onboard graphical interface to my iPhone pretty well makes up for it.

More: photos from (mostly) South Dakota

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Avid Scorch Drifts Further Toward Uselessness

I have been using Avid Scorch on my Apple iPad for about ten years. As a user of Avid Sibelius for creating sheet music documents, Avid Scorch was an obvious solution for viewing them on my iPad. And unlike most iOS sheet music viewers, Avid Scorch allows for changing the key of a document.

Sadly, Avid Scorch has not been updated on iOS for several years. As of this writing:

  • For Mac users on Apple Silicon M1 systems, only the latest version of Sibelius is supported by Avid (though older versions might work, through Rosetta, even if not supported)
  • Documents created with the latest version of Avid Sibelius do not load in Avid Scorch
  • Many (most? all?) MusicXML documents do not load in Avid Scorch

We are reaching the point where Avid Scorch is a nearly-dead legacy application. If you still have documents created with a sufficiently old version of Avid Sibelius, it continues to be as great as always (which, admittedly, was still a little buggy and lacking in features). But running newer versions of Sibelius, including running on the new standard M1 Apple platform, Avid Scorch is completely useless.

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Great Lakes Engineered Hickory Flooring

Another engineered hardwood flooring project is coming to an end. Tonight I laid the final board of Great Lakes Flooring engineered hickory in the basement studio / bedroom area. This is nearly five years after laying the same flooring in the larger main area of the basement.

Of all of the engineered flooring products I have used, the Great Lakes Flooring engineered hickory has been my absolute favorite. It assembles easily, and has a classic wood appearance that I really enjoy.

I was sad to learn that apparently this fine flooring product has now been discontinued! I am very thankful to have placed my final order a few weeks ago, and received all of the flooring that I needed to finish my job here, but after putting down on the order of 1000 square feet of this material, I am sad that I could no longer recommend it to anyone else.

Perhaps Great Lakes Flooring is only discontinuing it in order to release a new and improved version. We can hope!

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Abstract URLs with Apache .htaccess files

I moved my web pages to a new server, but neglected to copy my Apache .htaccess files. For WordPress, no problem, since the WordPress software itself reminds you of what .htaccess content you need. But for generic abstract URLs, such as letting users request www.example.com/foo and serve them www.example.com/foo.html, what do you do?

After several attempts, I found, as usual, the answer at Stackoverflow:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME}.html -f
RewriteRule (.*) $1.html [L]