Cray-cray-crazy week or three

OK - my deranged neighbour stalked my daughter to the bus stop in the morning about 3-4 weeks ago…

Following evening I confronted him, and he denied it… went a bit “mental”… He’s about 50+ or something, lives with his elderly parents, in their 70’s or 80’s… His mum looked none to happy…

Walks past my front porch the following day, and mutters something to me, so I walked up to the front fence (brick and metal with “spikes”) and he mutters again, but I caught it this time “You’re a very very brave man!”.

I had no way to absorb that - was it a threat? Or was he implying I was bullying him? I growled : “Just KEEP WALKING”, and he uttered that phrase again “You’re a very brave man…” and I, louder, growled “JUST KEEP WALKING” and gestured the direction he should head in… I didn’t even call him “mate” - 'cause he aint no friend of mine…

So then I got paranoid, I installed a pair of IP cameras - big mistake - went for TP-Link because I’ve never had a problem with most of their other networking kit.

Doh! Can only use Android or iOS apps to monitor - NO intranet / http URL to hit! WTF?

Fast forward to 3+ weeks later (today) - and I finally figured it out (this morning). Switched my TP-Link router WiFi instead of 2.4 and 5 Ghz - went to Smart Connect (uses some “algorithm” to determine best connection speed - i.e. only one Access Point) - now I can use MPV to RTSP to the cameras from my Pop!_OS desktop. I can’t control them (e.g. pan, tilt etc) but I can view them… Edited my shell script to run TVHeadend :

/usr/bin/mpmv rtsp://user:pass@IP.ADDRESS.OF.IPCAM:554/live/stream1

That works on my desktop machine - but with my Thinkpad with freshly install Pop!_OS 22.04? NADA :

[lavf] avformat_open_input() failed
Failed to recognize file format.

Exiting... (Errors when loading file)

Pezzo di merda!

Anyway on Saturday - the neighbour’s mum asked my missus to call the cops, so she did. Took them 3 hours to get there. He wasn’t home - but he came home (on foot) about 10 mins after they got there and started yelling at them - then another cop car turned up - then an unmarked cop car with plain clothes officers, then finally an ambulance (took him away). Hope they keep him in for good - he tried to chase some primary school children early last week about 8:00 am - several people called the cops - they turned up - questioned him and left him alone! The primary school had to lock all their gates two mornings in a row, and the cops can’t do anything about him?

One of my biggest concerns was that I was going to go into “fight mode” (vs flight mode) and end up getting charged with assault…

Sure he’s got mental health issues, haven’t we all? Nobody tries to reason with a rabid dog… I have exactly zero sympathy with sexual predators, and people who threaten young children…

Our whole society is helpless when dealing with this sort of thing. Restraining orders are useless, they stir up more trouble. Look at the DV situation, it is the same.

Lets hope in your case everyone calms down and goes their own way.

We had issues with the girl who lives about 4 doors away from us, she too has mental issues. You think easy stuff, who could she harm… But one day she went into our reception and pulled a knife at the receptionist, luckily the girl from the next office came in and they called the police who took her away. Few days later she was back. This process repeated itself several times over the year. Not with the knife but mad exchanges and rants at all hours of the day or night.
Police, doctors, nurse, gendarmerie visits on regular occurrence till eventually they took her away and put her in a mental hospital hopefully never to come out.
There is a Thin Line Between Genius and Insanity… But how much is drug related
Lock your doors before you go to bed

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Drug related or not, most of what we call mental issues are
really a spritual problem. Lack of a personally meaningful
goal is behind it.

The guy has always been a bit “simple”, or slightly disturbed, but I believe he entered psychosis or some kinda “schizophrenic” state EXACTLY because another neighbour got him into marijuana about 10 years ago… And I know he still buys and sells the stuff himself, I’ve seen him do deals with fairly “feral” looking people on the footpath with children and families walking by.

I don’t have a problem with drugs myself, each to their own, but “disturbed” people need to stay away from drugs like that - I know I should never consume it - because I feel AWFUL on it… And there are other intoxicants and stimulants that I don’t mind at all (i.e. more than alcohol and caffeine) - and because a tiny minorify of people (like my neighbour) can’t handle it - the rest of society and consenting adults, suffer the consequences… Oh well…

This thread actually started off being triggered about a technical conundrum - i.e. why both VLC and MPV can play streams from my IP cameras on Linux on one Pop!_OS instance, but not another. MPV on MacOS won’t play them, but it will using VLC.

I’ve updated, installed ubuntu-restricted-extras - a whole bunch of stuff, but nothing works on the Thinkpad running Pop!_OS 22.04 (fresh install last week) - but works just fine on my desktop running Pop!_OS 22.04 installed in March 2023…

It took putting these computers on the same WiFi network as the cameras to make this work (previously could only use iPad or Android [or iPad app on MacOS - which was a bit dodgy]), and it worked on MacOS and my Pop! desktop - but not when I tried it on my Pop! Thinkpad…

It’s DAMN annoying that, while my ethernet is on the same VLAN as the WiFi, I can’t use ethernet to talk to them! The ethernet switch is my WiFi router - AND - it is the SAME brand as the cameras! I don’t think I’ll buy TP-Link again…

Hmmm - stranger and stranger.

I have a separate shell script to fire up MPV pointing at the RTSP stream on each of the IP cameras…

One works NOW!… the other doesn’t - nothing’s changed on the Pop! Thinkpad - all I did was close the lid last night - opened it - and one of the shell scripts brings up the IP camera feed, the other doesn’t!

Working (those “Invalid video” messages don’t prevent the content showing) :

╭─x@fenrix ~/bin  ‹main*› 
╰─➤  cakewhole.bash 
╭─x@fenrix ~/bin  ‹main*› 
╰─➤   (+) Video --vid=1 (h264 640x360 20.000fps)
 (+) Audio --aid=1 (pcm_alaw 1ch 8000Hz)
File tags:
 Title: Session streamed by "TP-LINK RTSP Server"
Cannot load
Using hardware decoding (vaapi).
AO: [pulse] 8000Hz mono 1ch s16
VO: [gpu] 640x360 vaapi[nv12]
Invalid video timestamp: 0.230000 -> 0.000000
Invalid audio PTS: 0.128000 -> 0.000000
Invalid video timestamp: 1.960000 -> 1.960000
Invalid video timestamp: 3.960000 -> 3.960000
Invalid audio PTS: 4.991000 -> 5.100000
Invalid video timestamp: 5.960000 -> 5.960000

Not working :

[lavf] avformat_open_input() failed
Failed to recognize file format.

Exiting... (Errors when loading file)

Both of the scripts point to “stream2” - which is 640x360 - “stream1” is 1080P.
Also - on the desktop machine, I get those “Invalid video timestamp” messages for both “feeds”…

This is beyond ignorant.

There’s a lot of psychiatric issues (mostly psychosis) which stem (either directly or indirectly) from drug abuse. But psychiatric issues are not a spiritual problem. I know some people with a deeply held religious convictions who have a variety of psychiatric issues.

It’s also not a lack of a goal that’s at issue. Albert Einstein (autism) we know for his physics achievements, Sir Isaac Newton (autism) too, Virginia Woolf (bipolar) was a famous author, Vincent van Gogh (bipolar) was a famous painter, Ernest Hemingway (depression) was an author, John Nash (schizophrenia) Nobel Prize of economics winner, Syd Barrett (schizophrenia) Pink Floyd, … do I need to continue?

That some people with psychiatric issues are difficult to deal with is one thing, to say they have a “spiritual” problem or “a lack of a personally meaningful goal” is utterly ignorant of what psychiatric issues are and how severely these can affect someone’s life.

NOTE: Autism is not a psychiatric issue, but a development disorder. However, people with autism sometimes have psychiatric issues. Here I put it in the same list as it can serve just as much of a wrecking ball to a person’s life.


I agree with Xander - and relegating psychiatric issues being down to lack of spirituality smacks of Tom Cruise-esque scientology wankistry - no offence Nev…

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I am sticking to my statement.
The examples Xander cites are exceptional genetic mental disorders.
Most of what we see today is not that. I agree a lot of it is drug abuse related, but then drug abuse is a spiritual problem too.

Those psychological categories irritate me. If they think that
putting a name on something explains it, then psychologists are in the same category as medics.

And no offence. This is just a debate.

It is said that there is a fine line between genius and mental problems (crazy … I am not sure this is political correctness)

My ex wife had a surgical intervention for cancer and afterwards changed totally her ideas, at which stage I questioned drug related to the anesthetic or follow up treatment or medicines needed or anger over the cancer

I too had surgery for cancer and thought my own personality was changing so stopped the pain killers as I felt the opium in the product was no good for me mentally

Some drugs are needed medically and I still take that

I am no expert on this subject and the above is just an opinion based on my personal experiences … No offense to anyone involved in the discussion

I can reinforce that Paul. My wife did exactly the same as you.
Stopping the painkillers was not easy, but the longer term bendfits were worth it. Opiates are a last resort. The side effects are serious. Drugs do affect the mind, and your example is a classic case.

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I had bowel cancer surgery in 2011 - right side hemicolectomy (they removed my caecum [which also hosts the appendix]) - post surgery I was on a morphine drip… Had to fast for 36 hours pre-surgery, and had to wait 48 hours post surgery to “eat” anything at all, I was allowed some jelly (not the stuff that Americans spread on toast or mix with peanut butter - I think Seppos [rhyming slang for Yank, i.e. “septic tank”] call it “jello”), and my missus and daughters were visiting, and soon as the jelly (green jelly) hit my gut I HEAVED it all back up again all over my bed and it was the WORST PAIN I’VE ever experienced - 12 inch long gash from just below my sternum to just before my crotch held together with staples, and my guts kept up the involuntary heaving even after all the green jelly was expurgated.

Anyway - couple days later I ended up getting some kinda infection, had a fever and everything, the delirium from the morphine and the fever messed with my grasp of reality - so I asked them to remove the morphine drip.

I do take an anti-depressant : mirtazapine - for relief of insomnia and anxiety… for well over 10 years… Was on a bunch of others some 20-25 years ago when I first got diagnosed with severe depression… Something happened in my brain and it stopped producing some of the chemicals that kept me “buoyed” or whatever. It wasn’t any lack of spiritual beliefs - I’ve been an atheist since I was 11 years old (after being raised Catholic - and - continued to be a crypto-Catholic and go to mass with my parents on Sundays for fear of what my dad might do - turns out he would only have been “disappointed”) : I’d be a lot less worried about mortality if I had some faith, but I can’t force myself to believe in anything without some convincing evidence - and up to my late 30’s I was always “buoyed” never “down”, didn’t need religion or “traditional spirituality”.

Having said that - I wouldn’t call it spiritual, but I get IMMENSE pleasure, perhaps akin to spirituality, from music (especially live music) and nature, and occasionally other things - luckily where Iive there’s quite a bit of wilderness, and rural agriculture (mostly wineries and fruit orchards), and the Swan River is VERY close too - so I can get away from suburbia easily, which I do nearly every day, on foot, or on my e-scooter - I don’t even mind the heat, was 37 celsius yesterday, going to be 39 today, and 40 (104 f) each day for the next week or so, doesn’t bother me.

Anyway - I do like some forms of opiates. In 1994, I was visiting my parents in Melbourne with my missus and kids, and I somehow managed to get meningitis - spent 3-4 days in infectious ward in a Melbourne hospital (The Alfred) - had to get a spinal tap to see which kinda meningitis (turned out to be viral) - then when I was finally given a bed, was given a shot of pethidine - soon as it hit I felt instant BLISS and no more pain (worst headache ever) - anyone whose ever seen “Trainspotting” - it was just like that scene where Ewan McGregor’s character gets some smack from “mother superior” and the carpet swallows him up (I felt like the bed was marshmallow or clouds and it was blissfully sinking into it).

I also quite like strong oxycodeine - doesn’t mess with my thought processes and grasp of reality the way that morphine drip did back in 2011 - I’ve had broken ribs a couple of times (first time was circa 2006 when I “fell” off my motorcycle) and had some 5mg oxycodeine for it - then a mate gave me some 25 mg stuff (he’s an amputee) - and it was nearly as good as that pethidine shot!

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Back to the tech stuff:

I wrote a shell script that can take 1 or 2 arguments

I call the first camera I installed “BUNGWHOLE”, or “camera b/B”, and the second camera “CAKEWHOLE” or “camera c/C” - each one has two streams, stream1 is 1080p, stream2 is like VGA (i.e. not even 720p).

The script is called “wholycows.bash”…

So - “wholycows.bash b 1” should load the 1080p stream from “camera b” - but it doesn’t same error “consistently” per BOTH my Pop!_OS machines now. The 1080p stream from “camera c” does work on BOTH systems now!

The VGA stream from Camera B doesn’t work on the Pop!_OS thinkpad, but doesn’t work on Pop!_OS desktop, either - but I could swear it was working on the desktop machine sometime on Monday. Both the 1080p stream and the VGA stream on Camera C work on both Pop! systems!

So - it’s now consistently working, and not working, on BOTH Pop!_OS instances!

My case statement in the wholycows.bash shell script :

case $OS in
		# Linux
		/usr/bin/mpv rtsp://$UZER:$PSWD@$CAM:554/live/$STREAM &
		# MacOS
		/Applications/ rtsp://$UZER:$PSWD@$CAM:554/live/$STREAM &
		# sumthin else
		echo "don't bother trying that stuff here... exiting..."
		exit 1

I’ve set the default value for stream, to stream2 (so can just run “wholycows.bash 1” (or b or B) and it will default to stream2.

Note also - on MacOS VLC won’t play the 1080p stream from camera “b” (BUNGWHOLE) either - so - with all that - I’ve narrowed it down to be an issue with that camera - and NOT my shell script or any of my computers… But the 1080p stream from camera “b”, works perfectly in the iOS app on my iPad Pro (12.9").

Now I’ve resolved all that - it’s time to plonk a small (10") HDMI monitor, and a Pi Zero running Raspbian Bookworm (pixel desktop) by my front door displaying (in mpv) the VGA stream from Camera “b” (BUNGWHOLE) - right now I’ve got a tiny 5" Nokia (not an old school one, made by Chinese MHD company under license to the brand name “Nokia” and running Android “One” 10) displaying that camera in the Android app (which BTW is HIDEOUS compared to the iOS app).

SUMMARY : TL;DR : the issue is with the camera configuration, not the computers!

When I said spiritual, I did not mean the sort of spirituality associated with some religious denominations. I just meant a general goal, something to appreciate, something to progress towards.

The characteristic feature of people with mental problems is non-progressive behaviour… circular behaviour… saying the same thing over and over… repeat offending if violent… they go round and round… just like the moon… the slightly offensive term lunatic is derived from that analogy.

To break that circular behaviour pattern, they have to have a goal… someting to progress towards

That is what I meant by spiritual problem. Anyone who is goalless has a spiritual problem.

We all need to progress. It is healthy.


Wow thanks for sharing that.

Sometimes when you think you are down and really suffering when you look around there are so many worse off than yourself.

Mine was two fold, prostate cancer and a radical prostatectomy some 4 years back, but now my PSA is starting to rise again and talk is of radiotherapy. Then earlier this year skin cancer so they chopped a chunk out of my arm only to find nothing, I was told it was just a precaution after they had removed the first part.

I am lucky but determined to fight. So I walk fast for 1 hour per day, swim in summer a mile a day, cycle regular plus do light gym 3 times a week. Involved in local village life and activities most days.

Don’t have time to be ill or take medication and I am convinced if I stop then it will beat me.

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@nevj, I agree with what you say as far as it goes, but I define ‘spiritual issues’ as things people dislike about themselves and feel helpless to change; things people tell themselves or others tell them regarding their failures/short-comings; bad things that happened to them earlier in life; etc. At the same time, we must remember that there commonly are biological causes for mental illness too (I define most aberrant behaviors as a mental illness).

Drug abuse is usually a symptomatic result from one or more of these previously mentioned spiritual/biological issues, not usually their cause. While it may exacerbate any psychological/physiological/spiritual issue(s), it’s not a go-to answer for why so many people have such maladies, but an attempt by the sufferer to deal with/escape the issue with self-medication.

While I don’t subscribe to the idea that we should have any sympathy for such people, I do think we must learn to understand why they are as they are if we ever hope to manage/control/heal such maladies/behaviors. At the same time, some aberrant behaviors cannot be ‘fixed’, and the sufferer must be removed from open society (sexual/child/domestic abusers come to mind).




That is a symptom, the cause is something else.
When I wrote about circular behaviour (that is a symptom too), I was trying to say that it was like a computer program caught in an infinite loop…
something from outside is needed to break out of it. I said it needed a spiritual goal. I probably caused some confusion by using that term, because it has other meanings.

Drug abuse is usually a symptomatic result from one or more of these previously mentioned spiritual/biological issues, not usually their cause.

I agree, drug abuse is a symptom too. I think
people try to use a drug as a substitute for a healthy normal spiritual goal.

I agree we have difficulty dealing with such people. That is the whole point of @daniel.m.tripp 's topic. Modern society cant deal with them effectively because the modern secular world has no spiritual goal.

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