Geolocating Jeremy Abbott’s explore of an “abandoned 1800s farmhouse”

In this video, Jeremy Abbott (Jeremy xPlores) visits an old house full of stuff:

I was once again able to geolocate it.

What helped was this label:

It describes a Scott Meyers at 50 Dickens Field Road. That checks out per Dun and Bradstreet.

While this does not correspond to an actual address, it narrows down the vicinity:

Maybe he’s also known at Coot Meyers?

A search on Scott’s company’s phone number turns up a property on Broad Street, a hair south of the western terminus of Dickens Field Road. That is owned by Sharon Joyce.

Well, glory be, Sharon turns up later in the video!

OK, so this is likely on one of her properties.

Using various references in the video, I narrowed it down to this building:

Now for today’s episode of uncovering the misinformation.

First, this is not abandoned. Rather, it’s an old home that is economically unviable to restore. It has new life as a storage facility.

Who’s storing stuff? Likely either the resident of the mobile home adjacent to this house or the house just south. Both are owned by the same person as this old house.

Second, this house is from 1914 per county tax records, not 1800s!

Finally, some commentary on the Confederate stuff: This crap is not uncommon in rural, southern homes. In more recent times, Confederate memorabilia is (correctly!) understood to usually be racist. But that understanding is due to an open, public discussion in which society is gradually coming to understand the Lost Cause of the Confederacy for what it is: a false narrative concocted to whitewash Confederates, who were simply traitors and bigots.

Years ago, Confederate crap was just something Southerners tended to have in their homes. It does not necessarily connote hardened, bigoted views. That this crap is still lying around in a storage building full of accumulated debris is not remarkable. It does not support Jeremy’s narrative.

While it is possible Jeremy spoke with Sharon or someone else, Jeremy’s well-trod pattern is to see something in a house and make up a phony narrative. Given this pattern, the narrative about the children finding new ways different than the parents is probably phony.

Yet again, a phony narrative dupes viewers into watching a lengthy run-through of worthless debris in an almost worthless building that is serving its last economic use.

Website scores kill our success, waste our time

Many websites score us. They measure our reputation or activity.

Do you want to be successful? Don’t focus on these website scores. Focus on outcomes.

Example scores

Website scores are really gamification. With these scores, site owners induce you to do things that benefit them.

Here’s scores from some nerdy sites I use:

Github scores my contributions:

Aren Cambre’s Github score

Stack Overflow scores the judgment of others on my activity:

Aren Cambre’s Stack Overflow score

Hacker News scores the upvotes of my submissions or comments:

Aren Cambre’s Hacker News score

None of these scores meaningfully measure anything important about me.

Scores don’t matter…

Your time is your most precious asset. When you focus on these website scores, you’re giving away your most precious asset, just to enrichen company owners.

These scores don’t matter. These websites don’t even know your goals!

…unless you made the score

The scores that matter will be the ones you’ve created, that measure your progress to your own goals.

For example, I ran a Cub Scout day camp for four years. Wanting to have maximum positive effect on the community, I have a “go big or go home” approach to Scouting. I rated myself in part on how well the camp recruited participants. That is a score I made for myself. It helped us set new records.

Participant registration trends at a Cub Scout day camp I ran.

Focus for success

If website scores end up being good, that’s fine! But make sure those great scores are merely incidental. They should not be your goal.

Focus on scores that matter. They will be the ones you created. They will help you know your path to your goals.

Installing R on Raspberry Pi 4 with Ubuntu 20.10 (64-bit)

The Raspberry Pi 4 is a great incremental improvement of the RPi platform. It handles Ubuntu 20.10 64-bit decently.

I mainly use R for my data-science practice, and I wanted to try R on this RPi. As of November 29, 2020, there are no pre-built packages I can use to install R. At a minimum, no r-base-core package is available for the arm64 platform at the R package repository. You have to compile R yourself.

Here’s a way to do it. Andrés Castro Socolich provided most of this, and I edited a couple of steps. Open a terminal window (Ctrl-Alt-T) and run the below lines, one at a time. Be advised: I have an RPi 4 with 8 GB RAM, and it used almost half the RAM at one point. Also, the first make command will take a long time.

  1. sudo apt update
  2. sudo apt upgrade
  3. sudo apt-get install -y gfortran libreadline6-dev libx11-dev libxt-dev libpng-dev libjpeg-dev libcairo2-dev xvfb libzstd-dev texinfo texlive texlive-fonts-extra screen wget zlib1g-dev libbz2-dev liblzma-dev libpcre2-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev openjdk-11-jdk
  4. cd /usr/local/src
  5. sudo wget
  6. sudo su
  7. tar zxvf R-4.0.3.tar.gz
  8. cd R-4.0.3
  9. ./configure --enable-R-shlib
  10. make
  11. make install
  12. cd ..
  13. rm -rf R-4.0.3*
  14. exit
  15. cd

You’re done! To run R, type R (yes, capital R) at the command prompt.

DISD’s busing is a clown show

Dallas ISD’s Student Transportation Services (STS) is a clown show.

Violations of DISD’s pandemic practices: too-small bus and no temperature readings.

This school year starts my eighth year of enduring poor busing service. This year started with a comedy of failures, and STS slashed its bus-stop count.

STS had the whole summer to get everything right. They also had a full week of route-running under their belt: the first grade of each school was in session a week before all other grades.

As is DISD STS’s custom, school-year start is a series of failures:

  • On days 1 and 2, the bus driver declined to check student temperatures, even denying that it’s her responsibility. (See above video. It may not be fully intelligible in the video due to other noise, but the driver both says 1. she has no temperature sensor and 2. it is someone else’s responsibility to check student temperatures.)
  • On day 1, five kids on the route were abandoned at their school. DISD sent a too-small bus. It had less capacity than the number of students who entered the bus that morning at just one stop!
  • On day 2, despite a promise made to me late on day 1 by a director at the Lawnview Service Center, DISD continued sending a too-small bus. Bus was overloaded per one-student-per-seat rules, and had wrong number on placard.
  • On days 1-3, the bus was missing from the My Stop app.
  • While STS finally added a way for parents to contact them in writing, the feature has a confusing interface, so it will block many parents from submitting concerns.
  • STS continues to direct parents to school staff for matters that are STS’s responsibility, including but not limited to questions about routes.

It gets worse.

Last year, in Dallas ISD to worsen bus service and fix no problems, I predicted DISD STS was going to turn the screws on parents. They exceeded my cynical expectation: they are now twisting the knife!

DISD STS deleted almost a third of all choice-school bus stops!

This is how you completely screw over parents: delete a third of bus stops.

DISD STS’s “make things better by making it much, much worse” bus-hub proposal is now our reality.

Transportation is a crucial service. It should not be a clown show. Check out my Improvement plan for DISD Student Transportation Services (busing).

Reopen Scouting in Texas!

Governor Abbott,

EO GA-30 bans most Scout activities in Texas.

It does this with the 10-person outdoor gathering-size limit.

Scout units could resume by moving everything outdoors. That would be safe—outdoor Coronavirus transmission is rare, especially if everyone masks when distancing is not possible.

While the EO excepts “youth camps” from the limit, that is widely interpreted to apply only to professionally staffed youth camps. That excludes the vast majority of Scout camping events, like troops going on a weekend campout.

I urge you to do two things:

First, permit Scout units to re-engage in unit camping. Only one safety-measure is needed: mask when distancing is not possible.

Second, exempt state parks from the gathering limit, at least for Scout units.

Thank you for your consideration,

Aren Cambre
Advisor, Venturing Crew 863
Assistant Scoutmaster, Scouts BSA Troop 861