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BLOGical Thoughts Archive

July 2013

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

I have now backed up all three seasons of Veronica Mars and the fifth season of Bones. I have two more seasons of Bones to go.

While I was in backup mode, I backed up the databases and entire web sites for three web sites that I maintain. There is one more to do, which I may get a chance to back up tomorrow.


 

I was listening to one of the Linux podcasts yesterday and they reported that the Ubuntu forum had been completely hacked. Here is what they had to say:

I have not been at this forum since before I changed email addresses, so that portion will not affect me (I never changed my email address at the forum to my new one). However, I do use the same password for many accounts, so I spent some time yesterday going through my accounts and changing the passwords. I should have done that long before this, but I'm basically lazy when it comes to stuff like that.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

I seem to have developed some kind of allergy. I have had sunburn from my trip to Arizona, and something I used on it has caused a breakout. I am falling back on no medication and am hoping this annoying rash goes away.


 

I spent the day Saturday at the car show at Hayden Days. There were 95 cars at the show. You can see the pictures I took here.

This car is called an Erskine. It was manufactured by Studebaker in the late 1920's, although this one has been modified a great deal.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 29 July 2013

My father has been diagnosed with a medical problem, so I took last week off to go down to Lake Havasu City, AZ to visit with him and one of my sisters.

The trip had several memorable events. On the way down, I went through heavy smoke from a fire in Montana. They were finished fighting the fire except for knocking down hotspots when I came back through last Friday. There was also a fire in eastern Idaho, but there was no effect on the I-15.

I was going down I-15 just south of Pocatello, where there is a low pass. I got to the top of the pass and was greeted with a pack of police cars and fire engines. The firemen were busy killing the brush fire that had started as a result of a class A motor home going up in flames. All that was left of the RV was the engine and frame.

On my way back, I was also just south of Pocatello in the middle of nowhere, when I was passed by an idiot from Arizona going about 90 mph. A few minutes later, an Idaho State Patrol car passed me doing at least 100 mph. He had almost caught up to the idiot, but came up behind a California idiot in a van that was practically parked in the fast lane and who was paying no attention to his rear view mirror. Finally, the van pulled over and the ISP caught up to the speeder. Some fun, eh?

Finally, in Montana where I-15 goes over the great divide, a pickup truck lost control and rolled over, scattering its camper shell and belongings all over. The police and an ambulance were on the scene for that, too.

So it was an eventful trip, but I'm glad I went despite the 110+ degree temperatures in Lake Havasu. My dad is okay for now, but I anticipate more trips.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

I have discovered that when I did the re-install on my laptop, I also lost the plugins I had for Firefox. So I have had to re-install the ad-blocker and the YouTube downloader. I then downloaded a video on how to wirewrap a cabochon. It's 29 minutes long and seems to be very good. I may offer it for a video for our club meeting.


 

I will not be able to do any posting here on Thursday and Friday. I hope everyone has a good weekend.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

I am writing this on my laptop. I did not realize until this morning that when I re-installed Linux Mint on this machine, I forgot to install the Bluefish editor, which is what I use to create blog entries. I installed it, but I also had to re-configure it so it works the way I want it to. Needless to say, the entry is late.


 

I went on the cruise around Rathdrum on Friday. When I got to the Rathdrum junior high school at 4:30pm, it was 91° F. We went from there and cruised around Rathdrum for several times, then parked our cars on Main Street so everyone could get a good look at them. When I left at 6:45pm to go home, it was 96° F. It was a lot cooler than that when I got back to my house on the rimrock in Hayden Lake.

On Saturday, I went over to Rathdrum and spent the day making biscuits and gravy and pineapple upside down cake. It must have been in the mid-90's there, but we had an occassional breeze, so that wasn't much of a deal. There weren't that many customers for our food, so I'm having second thoughts about participating next year.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Friday, 19 July 2013

The mineral club potluck went very well. We made up 34 door prizes, hoping to give one away for every person who showed up. There were more people than prizes, so a few people went away disappointed. Oh, well.

I have to go over to Rathdrum today, to set up for our Dutch oven cooking. We will be cooking in Rathdrum by the old historic jail on Saturday. Sourdough biscuits, pineapple upside down cake and peach cobbler will be served. All we ask is a donation for the cost of the supplies.

As part of this weekend's Rathdrum days celebration, we will do a classic car cruise through Rathdrum tonight. I won't be able to participate in the car show on Saturday, as I will be cooking at the jail. One interest at a time seems to work fairly well for me.


 

There will be no postings here for Monday. I will not have access to my computer on that morning.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 18 July 2013

I will be busy today doing preparations for the mineral club picnic, which is this afternoon. We will have our normal silent auction, but with food. We will also have a door prize giveaway, so those items need to be prepared. It will be a busy day for me.


 

I have backed up years three and four of the Bones TV series. I won't be able to get to the rest of the episodes for a while, as I will be very busy for the next week, at least.


 

We had several fresh cars at the Burger Heaven cruise-in last night. This one is a 1938 Ford de Luxe, which is very nicely restored.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

I am finally backing up Bones to my TV directory. Using two quad-core computers and Handbrake to do the job reduces it to a fairly simple, if tedious task. I now have the first two seasons backed up. I will do years 3 and 4 today.

Except for a few movies, Bones is the only video I have not backed up to hard disk. I will have to make another pass through my DVDs to dig out the other videos I have not backed up, though.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

We inventoried another part of the rock collection we got at the beginning of June. This time, we went through all the jewelry findings and sorted them into categories. I was particularly interested in the bola settings and found one that is perfect for that agate I currently have mounted with no visible setting. I will set that 30 x 40 mm cabochon in that setting. It should look great.

We also set up some door prizes for our club picnic, which will be held on Thursday. Some very nice stuff, including turquoise, jade, ruby, and faceting material.


 

Now that I have a quad core workstation with 8 GB, I had planned on installing a 64-bit version of Linux Mint on it to take advantage of the extra memory. It turns out I don't have to do that, as the 32-bit version already has PAE (physical address extension) built in to it. So I can use all the memory without having to do anything.

My changing the motherboard caused no problems with Linux. It just booted up as normal. If I had had Windows on the machine, I would have had to completely re-install the operating system and supporting applications, losing everything on the hard disk in the process. Windows is messy, slow, archaic and just really sucks. ;)


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 15 July 2013

This workstation has been giving me some trouble for a while now. Sometimes the sound just stops working and I have to reboot the system to get it back. Using the file manager, I have also been unable to copy files between a USB device and the hard drive. All this was very annoying and caused me to purchase a new motherboard, CPU and memory.

On Saturday, I took all the new parts to the North Idaho Linux Users Group meeting and did the motherboard swap. While doing that, I discovered why I was having all the problems. Some of the capacitors on the old motherboard were starting to bulge. This is a symptom of degrading. It causes the capacitors to change value, which causes the circuits they are in to not work the way they were designed. I gave up the old motherboard for recycling.

The new motherboard works great. I deliberately got a motherboard with a BIOS instead of UEFI, so I would not have any problems with that. The new motherboard does not have a parallel port, which I will not miss. It does have a couple of USB 3.0 ports, which will come in handy if anyone ever does USB 3.0 peripherals.

All in all, I think I will really enjoy having a completely working computer that is also blindingly fast compared to the old one.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Friday, 12 July 2013

I did a Costco run yesterday and for once, I got out of there without buying anything I wasn't looking for in the first place. Costco has the best price for flour tortillas and I had run out a couple of days ago. I also got cheese and their wonderful link breakfast sausages. All those things cost a lot more in the regular supermarket.

A couple of things that Costco no longer has are good paperback books and a wide variety of videos. I will have to go to Hastings for those, like I did on Tuesday to get Ring of Fire III, Grantville Gazette V and the movie Crossroads. The plot and most of the acting in the movie is kind of lame, but the music is killer.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 11 July 2013

This original teardrop from the 1940's was at the Hay Days at Sprague event. It's now owned by Mike Greene and he promises to clean it up so it is a show piece that he can pull with his red Suburban with pride.


 

I removed this workstation from all its cords yesterday, and blew it out with canned air. It was really dusty, so it will now probably run cooler. I also verified that the power supply that is currently in the case will work with the new motherboard. Everything else that needs doing can wait until Saturday.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

I have lots of home chores to do today. The grass grows too fast here, and I need to clean up all my vehicles. I don't think I will be doing any lapidary, even though I cut another sheen obsidian slab the other day. Oh yeah, I need to unhook the battery charger from the teardrop battery. It was really annoying not having lights at Hay Days at Sprague.


 

I have received the new motherboard for this workstation. It uses an AMD Phenom II X4 CPU and 8GB of memory. I am thinking of replacing the mother in the workstation on Saturday at the North Idaho Linux Users Group meeting.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

I have posted the pictures from my weekend trip to the Hay Days at Sprague, WA. It was fairly well-attended for being out on the prairie. At least 10 cars were there from our local car club.

When I parked my car for the show, I ended up parked next to this very nice all-stock 1940 Cheverolet. I think I am jealous.


 

The weekend trip was 120 miles, more or less. I parked the Plymouth outside overnight and when I got up Monday morning, it had a flat tire. I took it down to Les Schwab and they fixed it, but as I was coming home, we got hit with some hard rain. So I had to wash it to get off the road dirt for the Paul Bunyon cruise-in last night. I was planning on doing that anyway, but I really hate it when a 'nice-to-do' becomes a 'must-do'.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 8 July 2013

I spent the weekend in Sprague, WA at a combination classic car and teardrop trailer show. I will post all the pictures tomorrow, but here is a preview.


 

What is the problem with Mozilla and Google? I have had a total of four upgrades to their Firefox and Chrome web browsers in the last week. Why can't they get things lined up so they only have to update maybe once a month instead of twice a week?

A sick sign of this is their versioning. Firefox is on version 22 and Chrome is on version 28.0.1500.71. What does this mean to the consumer? It means that you can't rely on version numbers as an indication of major program improvements or rewrites. Their version numbers are now just a way to keep score. Way to go, guys.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

I am going to update the hardware for my normal workstation. Right now, it has 2GB of RAM and an AMD Athlon 64 3800+ processor. That means it is pretty old.

I will replace the motherboard with one that has an AMD Phenom II X4 Quad-core CPU and 8GB of RAM. I was looking for an Intel i7 motherboard, but all that hardware is just too pricy for me.


 

There will be no posts here until next Monday. I hope everyone has a good Independence Day. I know I will.


 

Here are the two bola ties I made up the other day


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

This entry is way late because a concerted WordPress botnet attack caused my web host to disable access for me and all other web sites hosted by them that use WordPress. This, despite the fact fact that I followed all the recommended advice from them the last time this kind of thing occurred. If I didn't have so many years invested in blog entries for WordPress, I would be very tempted to go to another content management system.


 

It was too hot to do much yesterday. I did wash the Plymouth to get all the rain stuff off of it that I picked up on Saturday. Other than that, I kind of vegged out, then went to the Paul Bunyon cruise-in.


 

It was 98° F at Paul Bunyon's last night, but there were still quite a few cars at the cruise-in. This 1956 Chevrolet station wagon came down from somewhere around Sandpoint to participate.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 1 July 2013

Thinking that the weather forecast was correct on Saturday (sunny in the 90's), I got out my Plymouth and went down to Jimmy's Down The Street restaurant in Coeur d'Alene. I got there about 10 after 6 and that's when the thunderstorm hit us. It rained - really hard. It was cloudy and rainy the rest of the day and I don't think the temperature got any higher than 70. I guess that shows how much attention we should pay to weather forecasts.


 

I bought a couple of sets of bola findings and mounted two of my cabochons on them for bola ties. Now I have to get a couple of bola cords. I know where I can get those. So I really am thinking about how to mount the cabochons I have created.

One of the ways I can mount the cabochons is wire wrapping. I will do some more of that until I am comfortable with it. There are at least two club members that do wire wrapping, so I won't be operating in a vacuum.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software