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BLOGical Thoughts Archive

July 2012

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

I finally have all the episodes of season 5 of The Guild downloaded. I attempted to convert them into a DVD ISO and I had a problem with that. They look like they converted, but the result was a black screen. I'm not sure whether that is the source files I used or the program I used to create the DVD (DeVeDe). I haven't used that program since I converted over to Linux Mint 13, so the problem may be with the program.

I have converted all the episode files into one big MPEG file and I am in the process of converting that to a DVD ISO. That should tell me whether the problem is the program.


 

I also have been working a bit on the soccer program's web site. I would really like to find a different theme to use there, but I haven't been able to find a replacement for the soccer-related them I am currently using.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 30 July 2012

I spent the entire day on Saturday at the Hayden Days Car Show. There were over 100 cars - everything from a Model T Ford to hot rods to brand new cars. I enjoyed myself and mostly kept out of the sun, thanks to a beach umbrella I got at K-Mart the other day.

I didn't get any prize for the Plymouth, but I did win a gift certificate and got a nice T-shirt. The Plymouth was also towing the teardrop trailer, so I ended up answering more questions about the trailer than about the car. Som people even knew who Phil Wilson (the builder of the trailer) is, which is amazing. He hasn't even been in business for a couple of years now.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Friday, 27 July 2012

Thanks to new coil springs and shocks, my Plymouth now sits at least four inches higher in the front. I had no idea how bad the suspension was - now when I hit a bump in the road, it is absorbed instead of being transfered to the car frame. As soon as I get the missing parts for the leaf springs, I will install them and then the ride will be even better. All the car needs now for the cruise tonight and the car show tomorrow is to be cleaned up.


 

I will deliver one of the computers I fixed back to its owner today. I'm sure she will be happy to get it back. Right now, she is using a laptop to get to her email and to browse the web. This will be better for her.

After this weekend, I intend to get back to work on programming projects. Specifically, I need to finish the web site for the soccer program.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 26 July 2012

I got three computers working yesterday - the two I had reported on before and one I had given up on months ago.

On one computer, I removed the power supply and motherboard. I installed a new motherboard with the CPU and memory from the old motherboard. I also installed a new power supply. It turns out that the old power supply was perfectly fine, though. Anyway, I ran up the computer and all works just like it did to begin with.

On the second computer, a new power supply was installed. The computer booted up, but the Ethernet channel and one IDE channel were burnt out. An add-on Ethernet board was installed to replace the burnt out channel, a SATA CDROM drive was installed to replace the IDE drive. Everything now works fine. I suspect the problem with this computer was a power surge of some kind.

The third machine was one that was sitting without a power supply. I installed the original power supply from the first machine and it now runs fine. I am now out of broken computers. I guess that's a good thing.


 

The front coil springs and the shocks for all four wheels on my Plymouth have been installed. The rear leaf springs were not installed, as they are missing some bushings and a plastic lubrication plate. Those parts are on order. The car will be ready to go on the Hayden Days cruise on Friday and the car show on Saturday.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

I will be taking the Plymouth down to have new springs and shocks installed in about a half an hour. That should not take more than 4 hours to do. I will then take it to the normal Burger Heaven cruise in Rathdrum, if there are no problems with the work.

Hayden will be holding their Hayden Days celebration this weekend. As part of that, they will have a car show, which I will participate in on Saturday. I just found out that they will also do a cruise on Friday night, so I will do that also. That should be the last of the classic car events for this year. I still want to take the car to the Summer Daze teardrop event next month, but that's more teardrop and Dutch oven oriented.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Before I installed the electric fuel pump on my Plymouth, I was getting 10 MPG. Now I am getting 14 MPG and I haven't even tuned up the car. I will try to better that by adjusting the timing and the carburetor.

Tomorrow I will have the new springs and chocks installed. Today I will create a plate that will cover the opening in the engine block when I remove the unused mechanical fuel pump.


 

The Olympic games start soon. What a travesty. At the start, the purpose of the Olympics was for amateur athletes to compete to determine who was the best. That organization took Jim Thorpe's Olympic medals away from him because he played baseball for money. Now, with professional athletes competing in basketball, businesses sponsoring the events, the Olympic committee suing over their 'trademark' and many of the athletes making multi-millions from the games, what is the purpose of them? The whole thing sucks and has done for 30+ years.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 23 July 2012

As I suspected, on Friday when 4:30pm rolled around and I was supposed to drive my Plymouth over to Rathdrum for the Rathdrum Cruise, It was raining really hard here. So I sat down and ate a quick dinner. at 10 minutes to 5, I looked at the weather again and the sky was completely clear. I got in the Plymouth and went over for the cruise. It was interesting, and afterwards we parked the cars on Main Street in Rathdrum. Got a lot of comments on the car there.


 

On Saturday, I once again went over to Rathdrum and spent the day next to the historic jail, doing Dutch oven cooking. We did a lot of sourdough biscuits and gravy and we did three peach cobblers. it was a lot of work and I am getting somewhat burnt out cooking for the public. I don't know how many more of those events I can get interested in.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Friday, 20 July 2012

I went to the North Idaho Mineral Club potluck dinner last night. I made a chocolate cherry surprise cake for it, and that was well received. At the rate I am going, I may burn out on doing Dutch oven stuff. I have a Dutch oven event tomorrow at the old Rathdrum Historic Jail, where I will be doing breakfast and probably pineapple upside down cake and peach cobbler.


 

We are supposed to do a cruise through Rathdrum tonight. I'm not sure that will happen, as today it will be 85° with a 70% chance of thundershowers. Compare that with yesterday, which was mid-90's and no rain, or Saturday, which is supposed to be clear and lower 80's. If you don't like the weather here, just wait a minute.


 

All the parts for both of the broken computers have been ordered. I will work on them as soon as the parts show up here. I hope the new parts will fix them.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 19 July 2012

I went down to Coeur d'Alene yesterday and made an appointment to have the springs and shocks on the Plymouth replaced. That will take place next Wednesday. In the meantime, I will be participating in a cruise in Rathdrum Friday night. I won't be in the car show in Rathdrum on Saturday, as I will be doing some Dutch oven cooking at the Rathdrum historic jail at that time.


 

A power supply is on order for my friend's computer. It should be here in a couple of days. I hope that's the only thing wrong with it. In the meantime, I need to test two other power supplies to verify they are also bad.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

I am still trying to identify what is wrong with the two computers I have that no longer turn on. I may need a bit of help with it, as it is tough to diagnose power supply problems. In the past, I just replaced the power supply, but that may be over-doing it in these cases.


 

I was pleasantly surprised yesterday when FedEx showed up with the new springs for my Plymouth. I had expected them to show up next week. I already have the shocks, so the Plymouth should be in great shape after both items are installed on the car. I don't have the facilities to do that myself, so I will let real auto mechanics do it. I need to make an appointment for that.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

I now have two computers that need to be fixed. I picked another one up from a friend's house yesterday. It has the same problem that the other computer has - you can't turn it on. I will be working on them today. I suspect I will be ordering some new power supplies for them.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 16 July 2012

I went to the Spokane Automotive and Collectible Swap Meet on Friday. It was huge. It took up most of the outdoor area at the Spokane Fairgrounds, and a couple of their big display buildings, as well. Since it was so hot that day, I never made it through the entire thing, even though I had a 32 oz. diet Pepsi to help me.

I was looking for specific items for my Plymouth and I did not find them. I did enjoy myself, even though it was about 92° F.


 

On Saturday, I did a Dutch oven demo at Kiwanis Park in Post Falls for their Park Day celebration. There were four cooks there, and we did sourdough biscuits, peach cobblers and pineapple upside down cake for the ravenous hordes. There was quite a bit of interest from some about how to do that kind of cooking, so our mission was accomplished.


 

On Sunday, I went to a car show sponsored by the Fraternal Order of the Eagles at their building near the Coeur d'Alene airport. The day started with pouring down rain, then some overcast, then more rain and finally clear skies. I ended up clearing the water off of the Plymouth twice during the day. I did enjoy myself and the Plymouth garnered a second place trophy for stock cars between 1950 and 1959.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Friday, 13 July 2012

I worked on the GIMP talk for the North Idaho Linux Users Group meeting in September. Their monthly general session is tomorrow, but I have another activity scheduled, so I won't make that meeting. In the meantime, I will be gathering up enough information on GIMP to give it in two talks.


 

I started to download a 3.4GB ISO image on my quad-core workstation yesterday. It got through the first third of the download and the workstation shut down. I suspect the power supply went south. Since it was so hot, I had even had the ceiling fan on, but that didn't seem to make a difference. Now I will have to fix the machine and use this workstation for the download.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 12 July 2012

I am starting work on more Learning Linux pages. I won't be presenting anything until September, though. My July and August weekends are just way too full, and something had to go.

The first thing I will talk about will be the GIMP. Part one of that will be an overview of GIMP and how to modify photo images with the program. The second part will be about doing more complex stuff with GIMP. The GIMP is one of the tools I constantly use, so I figured that would be a good program to talk about in Learning Linux.


 

I was listening to some podcasts yesterday, and someone on one of them mentioned they were using a web site for Android software. I had not heard of F-droid, so I checked it out. It turns out to not have all the baggage associated with other free Android download sites. I ended up getting an RPN calculator, a real text editor and a solitaire game from the web site.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

I now have an electric fuel pump on my Plymouth. I know it has solved my vapor lock problem, as I stopped at Napa Auto Parts on my way back from town. Their electric sign said it was 100° F. I was in the store for about 15 minutes, then came out and the car started right up in that heat.

The only thing left to do on the Plymouth is putting new springs and shocks on it. That will be done in a couple of weeks, as the people I ordered the springs from are currently manufacturing them.


 

I'm going to have a busy weekend. I have activities planned for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I will be outside for all three of those activities. All this, despite the fact that the predicted temperatures for those days will be 96°, 90° and 90°. I'm just a glutten for punishment.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The ten acres just above my ten has been sold to a couple from Seattle. They will put a cabin on the land and then build a regular house on it. I will not be able to see either the house or the cabin from my house.

They brought a tree chipper in yesterday and I was treated to the sound of the chipper from about 8am to about 2pm. I hope they are done, as it is really annoying when you live in the woods and you have a noisy neighbor.

To top things off, the local power company turned off the power about the same time the chippers finished. It came back on about 15 or 20 minutes later. They were working on a transformer down on Dodd Road, where Boot Hill Road dumps into Dodd. It's a good thing I wasn't doing anything on the computer when they did that.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 9 July 2012

I attended the Sunwood Fjord car show and Dutch oven cookoff up in Athol on Saturday. It turned out to be a hot day - mid 90's. I enjoyed cooking beef stroganoff and peach cobbler for the folks and got quite few compliments on the food. It was hard to place in the car show, as I was going up against a completely restored Shelby Cobra. Oh, well.

On the way home from the event, I had occasion to be stopped at the left turn signal at Garwood and Highway 95. I was only delayed a couple of minutes there, but after I turned onto Garwood and started towards Rimrock Road, the car started bucking and jumping. Obviously, that small delay at the signal caused a bad case of vapor lock, which went away as the engine cooled down. I will be fixing that tomorrow. I have an electric fuel pump that will be installed back at the gas tank. The original fuel pump, which is mounted on the engine block about four inches below the exhaust manifold, will be bypassed.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Friday, 6 July 2012

I got a pickup truckload of crushed asphalt and spread it on my driveway. I still have half of it in the truck and will have to spread it today.

I need to clean up the Plymouth and the teardrop trailer for the car show/Dutch oven cookoff tomorrow. I need to run off one of my teardrop gathering checklists so I don't forget anything. That's one of the ways I ensure I have all the Dutch oven stuff and the dish ingredients.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 5 July 2012

This is the first 4th of July in nine years when I was not with a group of teardrop trailer enthusiasts. Last year was the final year of 4th of July Teardrop Fun at Carnation and no one has offered a similar trailer gathering. So I spent this one at home.

I worked on the Plymouth yesterday. I re-attached a couple of trim strips that were not attached properly and I cut out and installed a new piece to separate the trunk from passenger compartment. I have to wash the car again and then it will be ready for the car show/Dutch oven cookoff on Saturday (in 90 degree temps).

Doing the trim strips took quite a while. They are attached from inside the fenders with bolts and nuts, and two of those nuts are in a place that is really hard to reach. I had to jack up the car so I could straighten out my arm to reach the nut. The strips are back on the car and are now firmly attached.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

I ordered both the coil and leaf springs for my Plymouth from a company called Eaton Detroit Spring. They won't cancel my order because they are out of stock, since they actually manufacture the springs to order. It will take about 2 weeks for them to manufacture them, as there is a holiday in the way.

When the springs get here, I will put them and the shocks I have ordered on the car. I should be getting the springs in plenty of time before a trip I have planned in August.


 

Since tomorrow is a holiday, I will not be posting that day. I will resume on Thursday.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 2 July 2012

I got a phone call from the people who I ordered the Plymouth springs from. They have canceled the order, so I am going to order them from another vendor. I tried to order the rear leaf springs on Saturday, but the second vendor is also out of stock on them. I will have to call and order the front coil springs today and I may have to order the leaf springs from the same people. Problem is, the price of the leaf springs was $248 from the original vendor who is out of them, and they are $579 from another vendor. Can you say "ripoff"? I knew you could.


 

I did some yard work over the weekend, and also worked on the Plymouth. I am going to do some brush and tree trimming today.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software