Happy to live in Las Vegas

I’ve stayed in Vegas for up to 3 months at a time before, in my long card playing career. But this time, I have my own condo here, not just taking comp rooms from casinos. It has taken me a while to mentally internalize that .. I LIVE IN LAS VEGAS NOW, FINALLY!!

It’s taken me almost 10 years but I finally live here, in the most exciting, most card playing city in the USA.

I’m loving my life right now!! Established residence in Vegas, with a beautiful, young new girlfriend!! I havent been this happy in a long long time, if ever!!

I love you, Lyca!

Success in Las Vegas #1

I left Lake Tahoe April 10, 2018, taking my son with me to give my ex time, space and silence to complete a grad school paper.

I was in Reno 2 nights at the Grand Sierra Resort. I lost $800 playing blackjack then made $1200 on poker for a $400 profit. I then flew to Las Vegas for a week at the El Cortez. Once I was in downtown Vegas I bought in once for $300 and over the course of 3 days I worked that into $17,500 at the blackjack tables.

I’ve since had a set back of about $5,000 but I’m still hugey ahead.

I’ll keep things updated here.

Today starts the adventure of a lifetime.

New things are happening in my life. Great new things! First, I’m in love with a pretty young girl, and she with me. That’s just a joy, love is scary but so wonderful and just so natural and good.

Second I’m now officially living on the road, full time! Yep, I packed my bags and left Lake Tahoe for good, as far as having a full time residence here. I’m on the road to Las Vegas, next destination Philippines!

And to my sweet girl: I love you baby!

Life’s funny twists and turns..

Chris Salmon picture
Chris Salmon

I’m looking at a view that sums up my situation in a picture:

Chris’s Martin and Stratocaster

Two guitars and hiking boots, that’s me in a nutshell right now. I’m homeless and traveling light on purpose, so I can be free to travel the world.

Well, that sounds glamorous and it is happening eventually, but so far I’ve only made it to the home of my ex-wife and son, 7 miles from my old condo. However, this is working out well right now, because I’m fixing her house and all its many problems in return for rent-free lodging. Which is just how this has worked out, for several reasons.

The primary of these reasons has to do with my ex. I have been paying her child support, but until two weeks ago I paid her directly. She wasn’t reporting all of those because she’s so busy, but last week she filled out and signed an affidavit in front of a notary, her fingerprints and all, stating that I was totally paid up. We sent that to the State of Texas that day, Friday March 23.

Once the state processes it, taking 10 to 12 business days according to them, it should clear a $20,000, over 120 days late note the State has put on my credit report. As you can imagine, that is quite a drag on my credit score – and in the USA c.2018 your credit score is vitally important. How US citizens allowed three private, for-profit companies come to decide whether they can get a job or place to live is s huge untold story I’d like to cover at another time.

The point here and now, is that I can sit here and help fix the ex’s house until the erroneous child support debt that I don’t owe is removed from my credit report, and my credit is perfect. And in fact since I’m not paying rent but only for repairs and food, and I’m not spending really at all, I have paid all debts to zero and I’m putting about $1,200 per week from income into savings for my travels. And I can also even spend a little on some travel items I’d like to have: a macbook or other laptop with recording studio software, a Fitbit Ionic, a “Triple Threat” MIDI pickup/converter for guitar and associated software, an outboard controller and a/d converter.

I get a profit distribution every two weeks. Today is April 4, 2018, the next distribution check is Friday, April 6; the one after that is Friday, April 20. Between the two checks I estimate I can put $4,220 in savings. That’s not much, but it’s enough to move to Vegas and Airbnb and be fine for two weeks until another check comes in. If I stayed another 2 weeks after that, to May 4, I can put another $2400 into that stack. That’s a possibility, too.

I’ve currently got land worth about $730,000 up for sale. If that sold while I was waiting here at the ex wife’s house, that would really make the wait worthwhile, even if I waited all summer! But with ranchland and that much money, you never know when it might sell.

Other reasons I’m waiting here for at least 2.5 more weeks: I’ve gotten my mountain bicycle repaired, which I want to ride here then ship to Vegas. I’m also getting all my guitars re-setup, strung and strobed and straightened, so I can take one of my hotrod electrics on the road with me and play using the MIDI interface I will attach to it (see above: travel toys).

So, staying with ex and son makes the most sense for me right now. It’s just funny how things circle back as and how life’s twists and turns take you.

Finally, Completely Free (for a while)

I’ve settled up with my ex-wife on all outstanding child support and anything else she wanted. And, I’ve got it all documented, signed and notarized and filed with the State of Texas. So I am officially free of any outstanding obligations to her or the Texas state AG’s office, my record is pure and pristine like fresh powder at 11,000ft. And that feels great!

Further, as of March 2nd 2018 (2 weeks and 4 days ago), I’ve successfully completed 2yrs of probation for a misdemeanor DWI arrest from Dec. 2012. Cooke County, Texas didn’t adjudicate that charge until 2016. I got two years probation that transferred to Nevada, which I just completed with a perfect record. Random drug and alcohol tests, home searches, monthly reporting, all the payments, fines, court costs, I’ve done it all 100% perfectly just like they wanted. And now it’s all done and I’m free! I wasn’t able to leave the state or the country for over 5 years, among other restrictions. But now I’ve paid my debt to society in full and I am FREE!!

And finally, the last thing on my freedom to do list, I’ve moved out of my rental condo at Lake Tahoe and all my material possessions I either gave away to my ex wife amd son, or put in storage. I’m down to a guitar in a gig bag, a big backpack and a rolling duffle bag. I’m now unbound to any location!!

This is the start of a new life for me. Starting a new life is something I’ve done often and I love it!

My first move is to Las Vegas for two to three months, to get lean and fit before I travel the world. And to make money every day at the poker tables of the city.

More on this later!! I’ll be moved to Vegas in ONE WEEK !!

Regaining the ability to calmly focus for long periods in 2018 techno-society

One thing I’m very excited about regarding my plan to travel the world, is finding time to focus. I want to get into the rhythm of other lives and cultures outside my own. I’m hoping I can break the stressful habit of over-worrying about current goals, challenges, and ambitions. Instead I would like to worry of nothing but something right in front of me, for no reason but that I’m interested.

Back in my 20s, I used to spend hours drawing things I could see, like trees and people. I haven’t done that in years, in part because I am always multitasking, and always have other things that are more important. That just about makes it impossible to sit on a riverbank with only natural sounds and make a detailed drawing of some part of nature. I’m sure others can do detailed, quiet work like that and deal with constant, unrelated interruptions, worries and thoughts. But I can’t do it. Or at least not for long!

I have a galaxy note 8 phone, which has a drawing stylus on it. I understand there are some good drawing apps out there to use with the Note 8. So I’ll be researching and testing those. I will make a lot of drawings as I travel and post them here for all to see.

Moving out of Tahoe – Plan to Wander the Earth

Yesterday and today are moving days for me. After 4 years, I’m saying goodbye to Lake Tahoe, Nevada. It’s been interesting and sometimes a lot of fun, but it’s time to make my goodbyes and leave.

My plan is to wander the Earth with a guitar, a rolling duffel bag, a carry-on backpack, and a satchel. First stop: Las Vegas, Nevada.

Why Las Vegas? I’ve been a long time member of Lifetime Fitness. I joined the South Austin club in 2012. They also have an absolutely fantastic facility in Summerlin, Nevada – one of the towns in the Las Vegas/Clark County metro area.

Summerlin is a very nice area, with a very nice casino, Red Rocks. They play poker there with a lot of tourists coming through to play. And Lifetime Fitness there has every free weight, weight machine, cardio machine, studio and studio class, spa facility, etc., etc., that one can imagine. It is HUGE, with a super nice, huge, pool and wet area in the back. Plus, all of Las Vegas us just a couple of miles away.

So after I leave Tahoe this week, I’ll be staying in Summerlin, going to Lifetime Fitness and exercising, riding a bicycle everywhere, and playing poker every day.

I will be posting here often.

Why I quit all social media.

I hit the “dislike” button on social media

Recently I closed all my social media accounts. There are many reasons why I did this:

  • I am not (currently) trying to make money from the internet. So, I get no benefit from attracting an audience on social media.
  • I have my own websites to publish whatever I wish, and don’t need social media to express myself.

Continue reading “Why I quit all social media.”

Creating a Python workspace in MacOS Sierra v.10.12.6

Making yourself a workspace on your Mac to start writing Python code doesn’t even seem necessary at first glance, since Python comes with MacOS X. It’s true that Python does come preinstalled on a Mac. But, that install turns out to be rather useless for coding in Python. Apple may not keep the runtime environment up to date, but when they do upgrade the OS, the upgrade may wipe out all the site packages you’ve added to the preinstalled version of Python. Also, adding third party libraries to the system version of Python is a repetitive pain of telling your Mac it’s OK every time and making sure all permissions end up in correct mode. Furthermore, at the current time (August, 2017) there are two versions of Python in heavy use, 2.7 and 3.6. Python v.3.6 is not backward compatible with code written for 2.7 – which is a lot of code! And Python v.2.7 will not run all code written for 3.6 – also a lot of code, and the current and growing version. As you dig into creating your Python coding environment properly for you Mac, you find out that you’ll need to have 3 (at minimum) versions of Python running. The system version, the 2.7 version, and the 3.6 version – and that these need to be kept isolated from one another so libraries and packages for one don’t mix in and corrupt those for another. The system version needs to be left alone, exactly as any apps or system software that might need it expects it to be. Libraries and packages and environment for 2.7 and for 3.6 are incompatible and require isolation from each other. System wide sharing of one Python environment is not possible.
The folks writing documentation and instruction for Python users have a fuzzy consensus for the basics of what a solution for this looks like. It involves installing Xcode, an Apple IDE that has some tools you need; Homebrew, a third party package manager; using that to install fresh new copies of Python v.2.7 and v.3.6; pip, a Python package manager that comes with Python 3.6 as pip3 but a different version, pip2 needs manual install for Python 2.7; virtualenv, a tool to create virtual environments that are like separate shells that can’t see inside each other for the two Python versions you’ll be coding in; virtualenvwrapper which is an ease-of-use wrapper around virtualenv; pyenv, which is like a new version of virtualenv that comes with Python3. Along the way of installing these different pieces of software you’ll be making changes to your .bash_profile with additions to the PATH environmental variable, add a new environmental variable called WORKON_HOME and you’ll initialize virtualenvwrapper and pyenv. You’ll make a directory to hold your virtual environments called ~/.virtualenvs and you’ll create and activate a couple of virtual environments. Once that’s done you’ll go inside each these virtual environments and add whatever tools and libraries and packages you want for your Python programming convenience and needs. And that brings up a flaw you will run into – you can’t really run IDLE, the sort of basic, no frills free IDE that many use for writing Python, from within these virtual environments. IDLE wants a different version of Tkint, the tcl/tk language and libraries than what comes included in the Python installation packages, where it’s hard-coded. Outside the virtual environments you can install the correct version, but IDLE can’t see outside the virtual shell and won’t see it. You can’t install it inside the virtual environment, for reasons I’m frankly not very clear on, I just know it didn’t work by any of the usual methods when I tried, and many others have brought up this issue. You can add a flag (—system-site-packages) to virtualenv to make outside packages visible when you make a new virtual environment, but I didn’t like that. I don’t like IDLE very much either, so rather than spend time figuring out why it doesn’t run without complaining about Tkint, I just downloaded a different, nicer IDE called PyCharm which runs just fine – you just give each project the path to the Python version inside the virtual environment you want for that project, and everything’s copacetic.

I did not go into great detail in this article, no step-by-step “now type this and press enter” type stuff. I feel that would be very redundant, since there are several such scripted installation how-to’s already published – I used some of them myself. But for the convenience of cst’s readers and website visitors, I bookmarked the sites I went to as I was figuring all this out – here they are:

Add Color to the Terminal in Mac OS X

Installing Python 2 And Python 3 Alongside Each Other On Apple Mac Os X With Virtualenv And Virtualenvwrapper | Joe Bergantine | Designer

add python 2.7 to path mac – Google Search

osx – How to setup python path for 2.7 on mac? – Stack Overflow

sitecustomize.py and usercustomize.py mechanisms – Google Search

site – Site-wide configuration – Python Module of the Week

Python Imports — Reference Pages 0.2 documentation

Installing Python 2 on Mac OS X — The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Python

osx – Add to python path mac os x – Stack Overflow

4. Using Python on a Macintosh — Python 2.7.13 documentation

mac os x software update – Google Search

Check and Install Mac OS X Software Updates from the Terminal

running python 2.7 and 3.6 on mac os x – Google Search

osx – Switch between python 2.7 and python 3.5 on Mac OS X – Stack Overflow

Homebrew — The missing package manager for macOS

Installation — Homebrew

osx – Installing Python 2.7 and 3.6 Side by Side on Mac – Stack Overflow

Installing Python 2 And Python 3 Alongside Each Other On Apple Mac Os X With Virtualenv And Virtualenvwrapper | Joe Bergantine | Designer

Installing Python 2 And Python 3 Alongside Each Other On Apple Mac Os X With Virtualenv And Virtualenvwrapper | Joe Bergantine | Designer

Install Python3 on OS X, virtualenv & virtualenvwrapper

Install Python 2.7, virtualenv and virtualenvwrapper on OS X

Command Reference — virtualenvwrapper 4.7.3.dev12 documentation

28.3. venv — Creation of virtual environments — Python 3.4.7rc1 documentation

How do I edit $PATH (.bash_profile) on OSX? – Stack Overflow


How to Add a New Path to PATH at Command Line the Right Way

Add Color to the Terminal in Mac OS X

bash – Setting PATH environmental variables in OSX permanently – Stack Overflow

CST Thought repair shop and cognition cleansing service now open.

Cute headline, but it really describes my vision for a large category of web publishing work I’m planning, initiated by the article you are reading now. I call the category “errors in thought” in part because I own that domain and once had a website up there containing a previous version of this project. That version was taken offline when I could not devote enough time to creating content for it. So I’m doing what Hollywood calls a “reboot” here, and the errorsinthought.com website will be back online fairly quickly.

So what is this “thought repair workshop and cognition cleansing service?”

It’s a long term project to create a web resource devoted to studying and promoting good, rational thinking and decision making. Building this resource begins with writing informative articles rich with information on this topic, and creating a database of research papers, informal articles, raw data, feeds, links, media such as videos, podcasts, documentaries, and anything else I think belongs in the collection. As time goes on I plan to identify ways that creating new software can help people repair their poor thinking and cleanse their cognition of bias, fallacy and flaw to the maximum extent possible. Flawed thinking cannot be eliminated, but it can be greatly reduced, which would be a huge benefit to individuals who improve their thinking and to society at large.

By “poor thinking” you must mean holding political or philosophical positions you don’t like – right, Chris?

NO, absolutely not and I will make every effort I can to ensure that teaching people ways to think better and make better decisions here only speaks to that which is common to all human beings and is free of ideological, religious, or other content that is divisive and exclusionary. It’s my true desire to provide a place where improving one’s thinking can be done in peace, away from the typical internet site tribal warfare, trolling, flaming and all the rest.

What makes you qualified to help people understand and improve their thinking and decision making?

Nothing. I am not qualified by any credentials or employment experience to do to such a thing. I am going to do it anyway, and looking inside myself for doubt, I find none. I’m supremely confident I can create this resource and help a lot of people, and that what I create will be as accurate and consistent with the research record as any similar resource created by universities and PhD’s in psychology. I would not do this if I thought there was any danger that my lack of qualifications would result in a low-quality site giving out inaccurate information, that could hurt our website visitors. No, every sentence I publish here will be fact checked and references put in the database before I allow it on this section of the site. I don’t need to be qualified in psychology for that.

The way I envision it, creating the site, doing all the research, accumulating the database, engaging in discussions in the site’s forums and chatrooms and writing all the articles will make me very highly qualified in this topic in a very short time. That is my primary reason for building this project – to improve my own thinking and decisions.

Aren’t there plenty of sites and/or blogs that cover this same material already? Why is yours needed, Chris? Why waste your time doing what others have already done?

Indeed there ARE plenty of sites, blogs, and pages covering this same subject matter. Some are devoted to it, others cover it as part of covering a broader topic like psychology or philosophy. But I did not build those sites, or write those articles or publish those blogs – and thus I did not get the thorough, in-depth education in this topic that this project will give me, which I am hoping will considerably improve my own thinking and decision making. I want to study this subject rigorously and in detail and completely master the knowledge, and I cannot think of a better way to do that than to fill entire websites with articles I have written about it, create a database of relevant material, and design software that helps people with it. That is why doing this project makes sense even though the needs of this market are already met.