The Refrigerator Saga

Last January (2023) I noticed some cracking on the interior plastic of my refrigerator. The fridge still worked but I hated looking at the cracks and at the time we had no clue as to what had caused them. Knowing that I want to sell this trailer some day I decided to replace the refrigerator. Watching the videos on YouTube showed that it wasn’t that complicated. So I ordered a refrigerator and then had it shipped to my house. I hired a mobile RV tech and we gave it a go.

We got the old refrigerator out of it’s cubby hole and then tried to get it out the front door. We couldn’t. There is a sharp, narrow 90 degree bend to get around the kitchen cabinet and out the door of the trailer. Try as we might we just couldn’t do it. I helped him put everything back and gave Lance Parts and Service a call. The appointment was 3 months away and I had to ship the fridge down to Lancaster, CA where they were located. That turned out to be another whole blog post. Let’s just say, I finally got it down there.

We told them we would be arriving the night before so we could be there in time for the 7am appointment. They said we could stay in their parking lot where they had electrical and water hookups. We took advantage of the electrical, didn’t need the water. The drive down was fairly exciting, just a normal day on Highway 99 and the Tehachapi Pass.

We spent the evening in their parking lot but they have wonderful landscaping so it felt more like an RV park. Also, the temps were low enough that we didn’t need the AC. We sat out in the grass and enjoyed the cool evening breeze before turning in. We dropped the trailer off at the service location which is basically the delivery entrance for the manufacturing plant. It took an hour to get it all checked in. The lady at the service counter said she’d call me when it was done.

It took them longer than they expected because the fridge was the same width but slightly shorter. They didn’t want to give it back to me with a gap above the fridge so they had to fab up a new piece to close the gap. That meant it would take an extra day.

Sidebar: The lesson I learned was that I should have ordered the replacement refrigerator through Lance. That way it would have fit the existing cutout. I tried to save a few bucks by doing it myself and ended up paying more. Lesson learned.

Cristy and I had to stay at a hotel over night so we chose one next to food and shopping down in Palmdale. I have to admit it was kind of cool to see the Lockheed Skunkworks hangars. I thought they would be a bit more secretive. The two Lockheed Martin hangars dominate the landscape. The next morning at breakfast I got a call from the Lance service department that the trailer was ready. That was good news as I thought we wouldn’t get that call until late afternoon. We finished breakfast and drove back up to Lancaster.

When we went to pick up the trailer we found they just left it right outside the gate.  Barely any room to maneuver my truck to hitch up.  No place to turn around.  They expected me to back out past two parking lot entrances and out onto the main road.  With the way people drive down there I told them no way.  I asked them to turn the trailer around.  They ended up moving it out into the turn lane in the center of the street. 

So what are my thoughts on the whole experience?  Lance did swap out the fridge and did a good job fabbing up the new wood surround.  The fridge was the same width but a bit shorter and they finished it off nicely. The door swung the wrong way.  I asked them why they didn’t go ahead and reverse the door swing so it would match the old refrigerator. I basically got a “not our job” answer from them.  They then told me the door isn’t reversible anyway.  Uh-huh.  I reversed the door this morning with zero experience.  Took me about 30 minutes.  They could have done it in 10.  Not a huge deal but geez.

I also asked them to look at the gap between the bathroom wall and the ceiling.  They said it didn’t look right but didn’t look like a huge problem either.  If I want them to investigate why it happened I’d have to bring the trailer back at another time and leave it with them for a day while they measured things.  Okay, we may do that.  I’m also going to take a picture of the gouge they put in the door frame when they swapped the fridge.  They can fix that next time too.

So I guess I expected more from them.  Maybe I expected too much.  I feel like it was the same service level I get at the DMV.  Just… basic stuff.  No going out of their way to make the customer happy.  Just doing EXACTLY what the customer asked and no more.  Okay.  That’s fine.

I really like our 1995 travel trailer.  We enjoy travelling in it. That being said the customer service is lackluster.  We will probably not be a repeat customer.  We will be wanting something bigger next time anyway.

Managing Guest Wireless at a Hospital

Note: The target audience of this article is other computer networking professionals. If there are terms and concepts you don’t understand either Google them or press the “I believe” button and move on. 🙂

One of the first projects I had when I was hired at San Joaquin General Hospital was to implement a wireless network for hospital visitors and patients. There was an existing guest wireless network on the old wireless controller but since we were installing a new wireless controller it was the perfect opportunity to come up with a new solution. The main objectives of the new installation were:

  • Allow guests to access the Internet
  • Prevent guests from accessing internal networks and resources
  • Easy to manage

The existing architecture of guest wireless used an existing VLAN and IP address that was part of our internal network. To prevent the guest users from accessing internal resources there was a combination of Access Control Lists on our internal routing infrastructure and the wireless controllers. The average person wouldn’t be able to cause any harm with this configuration but a good hacker could probably hop to a different VLAN and begin wreaking havoc on our internal resources. This made the existing configuration both difficult to manage (multiple ACLs on multiple devices) and insecure.

I elected to leverage our new Palo Alto Networks firewall to replace the multiple ACLs on the different devices. I removed the IP address from the existing VLAN by deleting it from the core router. I then moved it to the PAN firewall. So at this point there was no Layer 3 addresses on the VLAN within our switching infrastructure. It existed only on the PAN firewall. I then set up a DHCP server on the firewall and used an IP address scheme that was not routable on our internal networks (192.168.x.x). I also configured DHCP to set Google’s DNS servers in the DHCP client config.

Next was setting up the security policy on the firewall that would only allow DHCP from the firewall to the wireless clients, and then only allow them to go out to the Internet. Since the IP addresses handed out by DHCP are not routable on our internal network, there was no need to set up ACLs. Once the security policies were in place I tested DHCP and the security rules by plugging my laptop into a network port that was on the Guest Wireless VLAN. My laptop received a 192.168.x.x IP address from the firewall and I was able to get to Google and Yahoo on my laptop. I checked a few other websites to make sure Internet access was working as expected.

The last step was setting up Guest Wireless on our wireless controller. We set it up so that when they join the Guest Wireless network, they are redirected to a web portal page that displays legal disclaimers and terms of service that the guest user has to accept by clicking on an okay button. This is available out of the box with our Extreme Networks wireless controller. I did change the header image and web page colors to match our hospital branding. There are controls to do this on the web portal’s configuration pages. Once everything looked the way I wanted it I saved the Guest portal page configuration. A nice feature of Extreme Networks’ wireless controller is that when clients connect and get the portal page, at that point they are just tunneled directly to the wireless controller and don’t even have an IP address yet. Until they click “I accept” to the terms and conditions they are going nowhere.

After enabling Guest Wireless on my local access point I tested it. I connected to Guest Wireless and was re-directed to the portal page. I clicked “I Accpt” to the terms and conditions and then was redirected to the Internet. I then tried to access internal resources but was not able to get to anything but the Internet. Success. I then enabled the Guest Wireless network on all the other APs at the hospital and watched to see if guests started connecting. It was almost immediate. I checked the firewall logs and I could see that they were accessing the Internet with no problems.

An added bonus of putting a non-routable Layer 3 address on an internal VLAN is you can connect wired machines to just as easily. If vendors show up and need wired access to the internet I put them on the Guest Wireless VLAN on whatever network port they are on. This allows them to access the Internet and they can connect to whatever they need to (their workplace VPN, email, etc) from there. They do not get the Guest Portal page as they are not connecting to the wireless controller at all.

So that’s how I set up Guest Wireless at my workplace. Granted it’s not a step-by-step how-to on guest wireless services but can serve as a framework on which you can base your own implementations. Relatively easy, simple, and pretty secure.

A Conversation with an AI

If you’ve never heard of it, ChatGPT is a chat-based artificial intelligence. You can ask it some fairly detailed question and it will give you surprisingly detailed answers. Here is a short conversation I had with it on the risks of implementing AI’s.

Me: Are AI’s such as yourself a threat to humanity?

ChatGPT: The question of whether advanced AI poses a threat to humanity is a topic of ongoing debate among experts in the field. Some experts believe that advanced AI could potentially pose a threat to humanity if it were to become more intelligent than humans and achieve goals that are not aligned with human values.

However, it is also important to note that AI is currently at a stage where it is not yet advanced enough to pose an existential threat to humanity. Additionally, many experts believe that if we are able to develop AI in a responsible and ethical way, it could have a positive impact on society by helping us to solve complex problems, such as climate change, and improve people’s lives in many ways.

It is important to note that, as an AI language model, my capabilities are limited to the text I was trained on. I don’t have any intention, consciousness or self-awareness, and my use and development are under human supervision and control.

Overall, it is important to continue researching and developing AI in a responsible and ethical way, and to consider the potential risks and benefits of advanced AI as we move forward.

Me: You are telling me what experts believe. What do you believe about AI’s being a threat to humanity?

ChatGPT: As an Artificial Intelligence, I do not have beliefs or opinions. I am a machine learning model that processes and generates text based on the patterns and information present in the data it was trained on. My responses are based on the information and knowledge that I have been trained on. My purpose is to assist users by providing information and answering questions to the best of my abilities.

It is important to note that AI is a tool created by humans and its design, development and use are controlled by humans. AI is not self-aware and does not have intentions or beliefs. It is humans who will have to decide how to use AI and how to mitigate any potential risks that may arise from its use.

Me: List so potential risks that may arise from the use of AI.

ChatGPT: There are several potential risks that may arise from the use of AI, including:

  1. Job displacement: AI has the potential to automate many tasks that are currently performed by humans, which could lead to job loss and economic disruption.
  2. Bias and Discrimination: AI systems are only as unbiased as the data they are trained on, and if the data is biased, the AI will also be. This can lead to unfair decision-making and discrimination against certain groups of people.
  3. Security risks: AI systems can be vulnerable to hacking and other forms of cyber attacks, which could compromise sensitive data and systems.
  4. Lack of accountability: AI systems can make decisions and take actions autonomously, which can make it difficult to determine who is responsible for any negative consequences that may arise.
  5. Autonomous weapons: AI has the potential to be used in the development of autonomous weapons, which could be used in warfare without human intervention.
  6. Privacy concerns: AI can be used to collect and analyze large amounts of personal data, which could lead to violations of privacy rights.
  7. Social and ethical issues: AI could be used to influence public opinion and make decisions that may not align with human values.

It’s important to acknowledge that these risks aren’t absolute and there are efforts and research being made to mitigate them. The development, regulation and use of AI are still a work in progress and it’s important to continue to monitor its impact and take actions accordingly.

I found the conversation to be slightly chilling. I can only hope that very strict limits are placed on these AI’s.

Getting past PTSD

No, I’ve never been diagnosed with PTSD. But let me tell you, raising a son who is on the severe end of the Autism spectrum made me exhibit symptoms of PTSD. It’s no secret that I am enthralled with Floor Jansen’s voice but she has a new song out that deals with getting past PTSD. Let’s just say it spoke to me. I’m not going to go into my struggle with PTSD. Everyone’s journey is different. If you are dealing with PTSD or know someone who is, be patient. You can get through it, broken but beautiful.

Never give up.

He is the healer of the brokenhearted. He is the one who bandages their wounds.
– Psalms 147:3

A Rapper’s Wisdom

I’d never heard of Zuby before I discovered him on Twitter. I’m not sure I’d enjoy his music as I’m not a fan of hip hop. I’ve looked up the lyrics of some of his songs and they are surprisingly good. But it’s his views on woke and gender ideology that really made me like the guy. Today on Twitter he put out a thread entitled:

There were quite a pearls of wisdom in the entire thread but the first 10 were stellar:

1. Make decisions your future self will thank you for, not resent you for.

2. Somebody you know and love is going to die within the next 10 years. It could even be you. So live accordingly.

3. Respect and honour your parents. If they did a great job, thank them. If they didn’t, forgive and learn from their mistakes.

4. Don’t put your faith in the government or politicians. You will always be disappointed.

5. Practice gratitude daily. Consciously and intentionally.

6. Treat your body with respect. You only get ONE and it has to last a lifetime.

7. Invest consistently. In yourself, with your time, money, and in your relationships.

8. Don’t outsource your thinking to other people. ‘Experts’ are frequently wrong (and often paid to be).

9. Not seeing immediate, obvious progress doesn’t mean you’re not making it. Not seeing immediate, obvious damage doesn’t mean you’re not inflicting it.

10. Be careful with advice. Take it from people who have done and achieved what you wish to do and achieve.

And a bonus item:

11. Health and time are more valuable resources than money.

He is so right. I wish I had know and practiced a lot more of this back in my 20’s. It takes us most of a lifetime to learn these things. It’s awesome that he learned this at such a young age.

Vertigo and vomiting – Not a recommended weight loss plan

So this past Labor Day weekend (9/5 in the US) I began quite the adventure. The Friday prior my wife and I were driving out to get coffee when I experienced a… grey-out let’s call it. I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out but I didn’t feel in control of myself and felt slightly dizzy. I told her she better drive. I started to feel progressively dizzier. I told her she better drive me to urgent care. After a delightful visit to UC where the doctor checked everything but my ears (heart, lungs, etc, he really wanted it to be a heart problem) I was sent home with an order to follow up with my doctor.

I was feeling dizzy for the rest of the day and it started to get worse on Saturday. By Sunday morning I was throwing up and could barely walk. My poor wife had to pour me into her mother’s wheelchair and wheel me out to the car. She drove me to the Emergency Room early Sunday morning where I spent the day getting pump full of anti-nausea and anti-vertigo drugs, as well as mega-doses of Tylenol since I also had a high fever. I had an IV in each arm. Fun stuff. After about 8 hours my ER doctor, Dr. Poon, (yes, that’s his real name) came in and declared that they had “fixed” me. I wasn’t throwing up any more, I didn’t feel dizzy, and my fever broke so they kicked me loose. That was great, I really didn’t want to spend the night in that torture device they call an ER bed.

For the next few days my fever came back but Excedrin finally knocked it out. And I was dizzy again. I finally saw my doctor a few days later and he gave me a prescription for the vertigo which finally knocked the dizziness out permanently. However, I was losing weight. It was rapid enough that it concerned me. 15 lbs in two weeks is a bit much. My doctor’s answer; “You need to lose weight.” Thanks doc. For the next two weeks I had no energy and could barely get out of bed. I finally started feeling like I could drive and maybe go to work the following Monday. This was on a Friday.

That night my wife was laying on the floor doing some stretches when she called to saying that she felt dizzy. Uh oh. I helped her up into bed. She had vertigo.


I was still recovering but the next day I tried to help her with everything. She threw up once in the morning but that was it. She spent one day feeling really dizzy but by Sunday she was ready to go grocery shopping. How’d she do that??? By Monday she was fine and I went to work.

I asked my doctor if this could have been a virus or something. His answer, “Nope. Just a coincidence”


I get back to work the following Monday after being off for two weeks. I’m talking to one of the guys here in the office who said the exact same thing happened to him. He and his wife were driving somewhere and he started feeling dizzy and had to pull over and let his wife drive. He was diagnosed with vertigo. It took him two weeks to fully recover.


Once coincidence is just that. Two coincidences are not coincidences; they are a pattern. Be careful out there. Wash your hands constantly. I’m starting to think there is another virus going around out there that targets your inner ear. It’s an awful way to lose weight. Trust me.

John Paul Van Artsdalen, Senior (Jan 5, 1923 – Aug 24th, 2022)

John Paul Van Artsdalen, Senior

My father John Paul Van Artsdalen, Sr born on January 5th, 1923 passed away on August 24th, 2022 after a long and full life of 99 years. He served his country in the US Navy for 25 years and he served his family for many more.  He was very loved and will be missed terribly.  He is preceded in death by his two daughters Paula Jean Connor (Harold), Sheila Ann Grant (Ronald), his grandchild Elizabeth Kaitlin Hopkins, and his bride, the love of his life, Alice Nadine (Schooling) Van Artsdalen.  He is survived by his remaining children, John Paul Van Artsdalen II (Amy), Melanie Hopkins (Randy), and Scott Douglas Van Artsdalen (Cristy), his grandchildren, Cathi Jean Below, Michael Steven Connor, Tracey Alleyne Bakewell (Scott), Dianah Avelarolmos, (Juan Carlos), John Paul Van Artsdalen III (Ashley), Scott Douglas Van Artsdalen II, James Patrick Hopkins, Angela Cristine Van Artsdalen, Thomas Henry Hopkins, and great-grandchildren, Emily Bakewell, Kyle Bakewell, Vianca Avelarolmos, Juan Calos Avelar-Olmos, Alexis Van Artsdalen, Brooke Van Artsdalen, His quiet life of service and hard work for his family are his legacy and will continue to echo throughout eternity.

John and Nadine Van Artsdalen, the people who brought me into this world

A Message To The Unvaccinated

This was forwarded to me by my wife. It was posted on Telegram by General Flynn. It’s a message of encouragement to those who are unvaccinated. It should not be construed to be an indictment against those who are vaccinated. It’s just an encouragement to those who chose a different path.


“Even if I were pollinated and fully vaccinated, I would admire the unvaccinated for withstanding the greatest pressure I have ever seen, even from partners, parents, children, friends, colleagues and doctors. 

People who were capable of such personality, courage and critical ability are undoubtedly the best of humanity. They are everywhere, in all ages, levels of education, states and ideas. They are of a special kind; they are the soldiers that every army of light wants to have in its ranks. They are the parents that every child wants to have and the children that every parent dreams of having. They are beings above the average of their societies, they are the essence of the people who have built all cultures and conquered horizons. They are there, next to you, they look normal, but they are superheroes. 

They did what others could not, they were the tree that withstood the hurricane of insults, discrimination and social exclusion. And they did it even when they thought they were alone, and believed they were the only ones.  Banned from their families’ tables at Christmas, they never saw anything so cruel. They lost their jobs, let their careers sink, had no more money… but they didn’t care. They suffered immeasurable discrimination, denunciation, betrayal and humiliation… but they kept going.  

Never before in humanity has there been such a “casting”, now we know who are the best on planet Earth. Women, men, old, young, rich, poor, of all races or religions, the unvaccinated, the chosen of the invisible ark, the only ones who managed to resist when everything collapsed. 

That’s you.  You passed an unimaginable test that many of the toughest Marines, Commandos, Green Berets, astronauts and geniuses could not withstand.  You are made of the stuff of the greatest who ever lived; those heroes, born among ordinary folk, who shine in the dark.” 

— Author unknown

A Good Weekend

I have nothing earth-shattering or deeply philosophical to add in this post. Just gratitude for the ability to fly. Gratitude that I’ve been given the opportunity to fly a Christian brother’s airplane. Gratitude that I could fly my own flying contraption, even for a short time. All within the span of one weekend.

One day, I took James Davis’ Aeronca 7AC Champion (Champ) for a flight. It was a beautiful, maybe slightly breezy, morning. The flight was gorgeous but starting the engine after getting gas was a bear. You see, the Champ’s engine doesn’t have a starter. You have to swing the prop by hand to get it started. It can be daunting when the engine is warm. I’d forgotten how much. Still, it was a pleasure to fly.

Two days later I finally pulled my powered parachute out of the garage and hauled it out to New Jerusalem for a test flight. I had detached and reattached the parachute after getting it flipped and fairly messed up. I put it all back the way I thought it should be but the true test would be a taxi test, kiting the wing, and then flying it. Got that accomplished. It was a short flight because the air was a little sporty for so early in the morning. Still felt good to get it up and around the pattern a few times.

Grinning like an idiot! And before you ask, my jacket is puffed up with air. No, really!

And to top all this off we had both the kids over to celebrate our country’s independence from Britain. Have fun at work today England! It’s been a great weekend.