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BLOGical Thoughts Archive

August 2012

Friday, 31 August 2012

I worked on a Linux Grub menu yesterday. The menu had become a bit long. With all the kernel upgrades, the machine had at least two dozen lines in the menu. There is no easy way to fix that for Grub 2. I googled the problem, though, and came across a solution.

First you find out which kernel you are using by doing a 'uname -r' on the command line. Then go into the Synaptic package manager and search for 'linux-image-2'. Mark all installed entries for removal except the one you are currently using, then remove them. The next time you reboot, you will see one heck of a lot less grub menu entries.


 

I also continued working on my Learning Linux talk, but I didn't get much more of it done. I still have all of next week to finish it. The final two parts will be talking about layers and how to do photo modifications with the program.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 30 August 2012

I am still working on the Learning Linux talk for the users group. There is a lot of material to cover when it comes to the GIMP. I need to add more images to illustrate what various sections of the program do. I have until a week from this Saturday to finish the talk.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

I am about half way through creating the talk I will be giving on GIMP. That program has so many features it is hard to know where to start and when to stop. That said, so far I have covered all the windows and am working on the menu from the Image window. That will be a large section in itself.

The latter part of my talk will cover how to use GIMP to modify photo images. Many people end up under or over exposing their photos, so one of the things I will do is show how to correct that. I haven't decided what else I can cover on that, though. Maybe a discussion on layers would be appropriate, as they are integral to the program.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

I apologize for the lateness of this posting, but there was something wrong with my Internet connection this morning.


 

I will be working on my talk about the GIMP today. I have put it off for a couple of months now, as I could not attend the last two general meetings of the North Idaho Linux Users Group. Enought procrastinating, though.

This talk will be an introduction to the GIMP. I will talk about the windows and the controls. It will be a general overview of the program and I will mention that GIMP is more or less a replacement for PhotoShop. The next talk will be about how to do specific things in GIMP.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Sunday, 26 August 2012

My friend Betty Zirkle passed away on Wednesday, 22 August, 2012, at the age of 81.

I first met Betty when I was working at Key Tonic Corporation in the early 90's. She was the wife of the Key Tronic founder, Lew Zirkle. She came to the office to find someone who could help her pick out some computers that were more than just toys, and someone pointed her at me. I helped her and eventually she was having me build her computers for her.

She ended up with five computers, all of them running Linux as their primary operating system. A couple of them still had Windows on them, as she had some graphics program on them that would only run under Windows.

I last saw Betty a couple of weeks ago when I did some maintenance on a couple of her computers. Betty was a lifetime smoker, but that didn't do her in, even though she was suffering from lung cancer in her last days. She apparently had some kind of aneurism and died sitting up in bed. Betty was crusty and feisty, but a generous friend. She will be missed very much.

Friday, 24 August 2012

I finally got the rim and tire for my Plymouth back from Les Schwab. So I now have a spare for the Plymouth. I hope to take the car and my teardrop trailer over to Spokane for an event on KHQ TV in September. It will be ready to go for that.


 

I rented a brush cutter yesterday and spent quite a bit of time cutting the out of control brush on my property. I didn't have time to do it all, but I got the nastiest bits done. Today I will do more of this kind of thing and try not to snag my arm on brush like I did yesterday.


 

Tomorrow is the technical session of the North Idaho Linux Users Group. Since I haven't been to a meeting for two months, I definitely will attend this one. I will also get back to my Learning Linux tutorial next week. I will not be posting anything on Monday, though.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 23 August 2012

After I got my Honda serviced yesterday, I went to the North Idaho Fair. The prices have gone up, of course. Parking cost has tripled and admission has gone up $2. Despite that, the fair was interesting. It had the normal exhibits and animals, a toned-down carnival and some interesting vendors were there. I enjoyed the fair, but it would have been better if they were doing another chile or Dutch oven cookoff.


 

I went to the weekly cruise-in at Burger Heaven in Rathdrum last night. It was packed with classic cars - the most I've ever seen there. I think it was because we finally had a nice day, with the temperature just topping 80 degrees. There were cars there I had never seen before, including a 1943 Army 4x4. There won't be any car shows around here until next month, so it was a chance to get together with people who know how to restore and take care of classic autos.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

My doctor's appointment went fine yesterday. I see him once every three months to get a check of my A1C levels and verify I am doing fine with my other levels without using any medication for diabetes. I have lost a little weight and my A1C is down to a few tenths above a normal person's so all is well.

The Plymouth now has new rear springs and it rides like a new car. All that is left to do is to collect my new spare tire and rim from Les Schwab, if they ever finish with it.

I am going to the North Idaho Fair today. It will be about 80° F today, so it will be a nice day for the fair.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

I tried a new recipe for chicken enchiladas yesterday. It was not a good as the other two recipes I have, so I will not record it here. Part of the problem with it is I used flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas. I think it would have come out better with those, but I have trouble keeping the corn tortillas from breaking up while I build the enchilada.

Today is errands day. I have a doctor's appointment and I am also taking the Plymouth down to get the rear springs installed. What will help a lot is that the temperature will be lower today and we may have showers. It hasn't rained here for many weeks now, so we could use the moisture.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 20 August 2012

I spent part of Saturday at the Coeur d'Alene airport, participating in the antique air show. Part of it involves the display of classic cars, so I took my Plymouth there. It isn't often you can show off your car alongside model steam engines, a working model Gatling gun, a B-17 bomber, B-25 bomber, Corsair fighter, Piper Super Cub, several biplanes and seaplanes, and a C-130 transport. Not to mention all the classic cars, such as Model T's from 1915, 1919 and 1920, 1949 Kaiser and a 1950 Oldsmobile 88. I enjoyed myself, but it was way too hot to stay the whole day.


 

The rim for the spare tire for my Plymouth is down at Les Schwab. They will send it out to be sandblasted and powdercoated, and will then mount a tube and tire on it. I hope to get it back today or tomorrow.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Friday, 17 August 2012

I went over to Harbor Freight in Spokane yesterday to pick up a scissor jack for the Plymouth. They don't stock scissor jacks, even though they show one on their web site. I am disappointed by 50 miles worth of gas.

On the way back from Spokane, I stopped by the Pegasus Auto Wrecking yard. I was looking for a rim for the spare on the Plymouth, and I found one. Now I need to get it sandblasted, powdercoated and put a new tire on it. The original tire is still on it and it still has air, but it is a bias-ply tire. I need a radial tire. And a jack and a lug wrench.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 16 August 2012

I got some of my household work done yesterday, but there is more to do. I also spent some time backing up some DVDs.

I plan to run some errands today. I want to pick up a jack and lug wrench for my Plymouth, as well as look for a rim for the spare tire. I may have to order that through the Internet, though, as those seem to be in short supply around here.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

I'm late with this posting because I made the mistake of taking a bath this morning, and of reading the latest J.D. Robb novel while I was doing it. I just had to find out how it came out. Oh, well.


 

A week ago when I gassed up the Plymouth at Costco for my trip, I paid $3.39 a gallon. Last Monday, when I filled up at Costco again, it was $3.52. What happened to boost the cost of gas by 13 cents a gallon? Apparently, there was a problem at a California refinery that only affected the supply of gas for California. I was unaware of the problem because I was camping. So, why did our gas price go up instead of only California's? Because they can, that's why. And no one complains too loudly.

The price of gasoline reminds me of the sawtooth waveforms I used to look at in school. The waveform would go up very rapidly, then take its own sweet time getting back down to where it started. Or mostly to where it started. Then the same thing would happen again. And again. And again. The problem is, how do we get out of it?


 

I will be doing more housework today, like I mostly did yesterday. It looks like it will only be in the mid-80's today, so I might be able to work outside, too.

BTW, Joe, your RV-8A is starting to look pretty good. Lots of work, eh?


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

I did some shopping yesterday and am making an appointment to have the rear leaf springs installed on my Plymouth. I will be doing more house cleaning today. I plan to stay out of the sun, as it will be in the 90's again today.


 

I neglected to mention temperatures or route yesterday when I talked about the trailer gathering I went to with the Plymouth. I picked a route that had the fewest nasty hills, which was I-90 to 395, down to the Tri-Cities and across to Yakima on I-82. I then drove across to I-5 on highway 12. The only big climb in that route is across White Pass on highway 12. The Plymouth is underpowered when it comes to hills, so that one was slower than the normal 55 MPH I traveled on the rest of the route.

On Wednesday when I started out, it was overcast and the temperature was nice. By the time I was past the Tri-Cities on my way to Yakima, it was in the 90's. The car didn't seem to have problems with that. On the way back, it was nice until I got over White Pass headed to Yakima, and it was over 100 there. As long as I was movinb along, I had no problems with the car. I have problems with it when it is in the mid-90's and I have to stop anywhere. It almost feels like vapor-lock, except it keeps running. Maybe my electric fuel pump is giving me trouble.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 13 August 2012

On Wednesday, I drove my 1952 Plymouth and my teardrop trailer to Chehalis, WA, a total of about 412 miles. I drove them back home yesterday. I went to the 2nd Annual Summer Daze teardrop and tiny travel trailer gathering. I enjoyed myself, and the other people enjoyed my chicken enchiladas at the Saturday night potluck.

The car behaved itself very well. Except for a flat tire, I had no problems. The tire was a bit of a problem because I can't find another rim so I have no spare. The Les Schwab in Pasco, WA came out and fixed the flat, though.

This Summer Daze was the last one sponsored by Rod and Trudy Glassett. They have been doing gatherings for 14 years and they have decided to let someone else do all the work. So they are looking for someone else to do a gathering next year in place of theirs. I could not do that, as I live over here, 400 miles from any of the normal gatherings. Hard to organize one long distance.

So, last year we lost the 4th of July Fun at Carnation, and this year we lost Summer Daze. And many of the teardroppers have gone to tiny travel trailers. What's the fun in those?


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

I did more housework yesterday. That was pretty hard, as the temperature went to the mid-90's. Today isn't going to be any better, either.

The rest of the bushings for the rear springs on my Plymouth came in the mail yesterday. I will install the rear springs sometime next week. That will be the last of the major work on the car, except replacing the clutch throwout bearing, which I will do this winter.


 

I won't be posting anything here tomorrow, Friday and possibly Monday.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

I spent yesterday doing housework and running errands. One of the errands was to take the Plymouth down to have the oil changed and get a lube job. While I was doing that, we had occasion to get into the trunk. I ended up breaking the trunk handle by twisting it too hard. So I had to take it to the local welding shop and getting it welded. The car is now in good shap for anything to come.


 

We are still experiencing above average temperatures. Yesterday we got up to 91 and today it's supposed to be 98. Normal temperature for this time of year is the mid 80's. I hope it cools down by the end of the week.


 

My new neighbor, just south of me, is busy doing work on his ten acres. He is putting in driveways with drain pipe and all. They have put a small cabin on the property and are getting ready to drill a well. I can't see any of this activity from my house, but I can hear them when I am outside.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 6 August 2012

I went to Art on the Green on Saturday. In the past couple of years, I have started to have doubts about my resolution to always attend this event. After going this year, I have decided to no longer attend. There just isn't anything at the event that I am really interested in. Maybe I should attend the Coeur d'Alene Street Fair (a couple of blocks from Art on the Green) instead.

When I go to Art on the Green, I usually end up seeing someone I know. This year it was Sean Montgomery. I used to work with Sean at Getronics years ago. It was good to see Sean and his wife.


 

I spent the rest of the weekend trying to recover from the cold I caught last week. I have been unsuccessful so far. The weather is not being helpful with this. During the day, the temperature is in the high 80's to 90's, then it plunges at night. I caught the cold by sleeping under only a sheet, with the window open.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Friday, 3 August 2012

I have modified the banner on the soccer program web page. It looks much better with a kid kicking a soccer ball than with the graphic that was there before. I also moved the menu from right column to a horizontal style menu at the top of each page. That also looks much better. Finally, I am starting to add content to the web site. I am working on a product description right now.


 

I did some more work on my trailer yesterday. I haven't gotten it really clean outside in years, as I was always either busy or busy camping with it. It deserves a little TLC, too.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 2 August 2012

I found a much better theme for the soccer program's web site. The original one I found was kind of washed out in appearance. The new theme kind of 'pops'. I found the original one by searching Google for Drupal soccer themes. I found the new one by searching for Drupal football themes.

I plan to change the banner art on the new page, however. Despite the new theme's cool look, the picture in the banner is kind of dorky. I should be able to find a creative commons picture that will work much better.


 

It definitely pays to do comparison shopping, and the place you would think might have the best price is not always the one with the best price.

#2 Coffee Filters


 

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Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

I did some cleaning on my teardrop yesterday. I have a couple of pieces of aluminum I want to mount on the trailer so when it rains, the water off of the road does not force its way into the teardrop cabin. I will mount those pieces in a couple of weeks, though.

I am still looking around for a Drupal theme for the soccer program web site. I think I can do better than the one I have currently picked, if I get the proper search term going in Google.

I have a laptop computer to deliver today. The lady who owns it was having a tough time seeing where the mouse cursor was, and reading the various things on the desktop. It was fairly easy for me to make all those things larger.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software