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Archive for January, 2018

Hope Outdoor Gallery

Austin paint park – the Hope Outdoor Gallery

Hope Outdoor GalleyOur son turned us on to this massive, ever-changing paint park at 11th and Baylor near downtown Austin, Texas called the Hope Outdoor Gallery (website). Their website says this started in March 2011. There’s something new to see on every visit, since artists (and kids who want to be artists) are always painting over the old art – just watch where you step or you might get wet paint on the bottom of your shoe like my daughter did. Their Facebook page has a good collection of some of the major works through time.

We visited just before Christmas. There were several painters, lots of paint cans and kids running around writing their names with spray cans. And there were some impressive images. Supposedly you need a permit and need to submit a sketch, but I doubt most of the young kids running loose with spray cans had gone through this process (just a guess).

The castle behind it is called…wait for it…The Castle, owned by Castle Hill Partners because it is on Castle Hill. On the grounds there are several cannons, assumably to ward of any attempt by painters to breach the walls.

The video below shows the size of the gallery, and a few people painting (and filming the artist painting while I’m filing them, how meta!).

A few photos of images below (and yes, that is my lovely wife and daughter in the photos):

Hope Outdoor Gallery







The artists climb into every hole, nook and cranny…and even paint on the bordering fences and the bushes.




Mist Ethereum Wallet – Transactions hung at 0 of 12 confirmations

Quick summary: if you are using the Mist Ethereum Wallet (version 0.9.2, but appears to occur still in 0.9.3 which is the latest as of this post) and you send ether (ETH, the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain) without enough gas, transactions make get stuck. For those interested, sending an amount of ether (or doing pretty much anything on the Ethereum blockchain) requires fees, similar to any other processing fees…except these have cool names like “gas.” There is a “gas price” (called GWEI) and a “gas limit” (commonly called “gas”). GWEI is just a measurement of how much ether (ETH) – G is giga (like in gigawatt) and WEI is a very small fraction of one ETH (one ether). It takes 1 to the 18th power (1 quintillion) WEI to make an ETH. So a GigaWEI (GWEI) is 1 to the 9th power WEI, so it is still a small fraction of an ETH. Longer and better explanation here.

There are many rationales for the transaction fees (paying miners to do crypto-calculations, cause it costs them electricity), but they do make sense – you want work done, whether that is moving ETH around or working a smart contract, then there is a small fee.

I wish I would have known this before I tried to send my first ETH. My first attempt got stuck, because I didn’t know what gas and GWEI were, and like any cheap skate I went low and my transaction hung.

I’ve seen several people have this same issue

Details on fix I used:

For background, apparently each of the transactions are done in order, and there is a variable called “nonce” which determines the order. If one of the transactions get stuck for some reason (in my case I believe it was not enough gas) it appears that the others just sit there. It also appears that if there isn’t a first transaction (i.e., nonce=0) then nothing is done.

I went to the Developer UI (Develop->Toggle developer tools-Wallet UI and at the prompt at the bottom executed this command:

Mist Ethereum Wallet screenshot

This brings back an array of the pending transactions (in my case, there were three). Clicking on the triangle to expand the array, I went to each in turn (starting with the oldest one) and in the object list of fields (JSON I believe) I found the “_id” field. Then to delete the transactions, for each one I executed:


where “tx_dc8a792605″ is replaced by the value in the “_id” field.

As soon as I did this, the transactions were removed from the list of Latest Transactions.

After I removed all of them, I stopped and restarted Ethereum Wallet. Then I tried to send my transaction again. This time it decremented ETH from my Wallet, and, when I click on the arrow by the transaction in the Latest Transactions list, I can see in etherscan.io that the transaction was getting confirmations….but these were not reflected in the Ethereum Wallet UI. It still said 0 of 12. I continued to watch on etherscan and as soon as the transaction received enough confirmations it went through.

So – semi-fixed. The transaction went through, ETH decremented correctly (and displayed) on the wallet, but the transaction still says 0 of 12 confirmations.



Austin fireworks downtown – New Year’s Eve 2017

Snow Austin New Year's EveThe Austin fireworks downtown launched from Auditorium Shores off Lady Bird Lake  started early, around 10pm, perhaps because the front was coming in and it was getting below freezing quickly…and it was snowing and/or sleeting a bit. Some of it stuck a little on the balcony furniture (photographic evidence to the right), and made it slippery to be out there (what a way that would have been to start the New Year: hey, I learned to fly, but not for very long!).

The fireworks went for about 15 minutes. The photos and videos below are looking up towards the Congress Street bridge. It appeared that they were either launching the fireworks from boats or from that small island just beyond the 1st street bridge – hard to tell in the dark.

Below are videos from the beginning, a couple near the end, and some photos from in between.

Here’s a segment of seven minutes at the beginning…then I wimped out and went inside.

Some photos:


Austin fireworks downtown NYE 2017

Austin fireworks downtown NYE 2017

Austin fireworks downtown NYE 2017

Austin fireworks downtown NYE 2017

Then here are two videos of the grand finale – two because I stopped recording during a pause, and then they started shooting away again.

Great Austin fireworks downtown! Wishing everyone a happy and safe New Year.


Re-reading MSandT

Re-reading Tad William's Memory, Sorrow and Thorn

click on the image for more info and to support this blog

Dusk Before the Dawn

Dusk Before the Dawn

Software By the Kilo

Software by the Kilo


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