BLOGical Thoughts Archive

June 2013

Friday, 28 June 2013

I have hooked up and have a minimal Drupal CMS sight running on it. I hope that's enough for right now. The principals for the project will be talking at lunch next Wednesday about what to do for the soccer program at this point.


The monitor I have hooked up to my PVR for the last two years is a cheap 24" model that I have had no problems with - until now. There is now a really annoying problem with it. If you were to divide the screen into 4 quadrants, the upper right quadrant is much brighter than the other three. Right now I can live with that, but it will eventually have to be replaced.


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Thursday, 27 June 2013

I did another cabochon yesterday. I found some sheen obsidian that I didn't realize I had, so I made a small cabochon from a slab of it. I can see that I will have to adjust the angle at which I cut the next slab from that rock, as angle is very important if you want to really see the sheen. The cabochon I just did exhibits sheen, but only on one end and it isn't very prominent. Not worth a picture.


I braved the prediction of 40% chance of rain and went to the cruise-in at Burger Heaven. There weren't as many cars there as usual, but Pete showed up so I showed him the pictures of the Tincan Tourist gathering in Roslyn. He really enjoyed them and is looking forward to going to a gathering with his own canned ham.


When I removed the domain, I also removed, which was an add-on doamin. I am now setting up as an add-on domain here. After the DNS propagates, I will re-install all the software.


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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

I did some bush hogging yesterday. I keep hitting river rock from when we did the road, so I will have to find someplace to dispose of them. They don't do the blade on the bush hog much good.


I drove my Plymouth and teardrop down to the Coeur d'Alene Fly-In and parked next to the only other classic car there - that nice red 1951 Ford convertible I have shown here before. We were there for about an hour and it looked like we were gonna get a boatload of rain, so we both left. After I got home, we did get a boatload of rain.

Since I couldn't stay at the Coeur d'Alene Fly-In because of the rain, I came home and did a couple more cabochons. The one on the left is called lizard stone jasper. It has a hardness of about 6, so it was easy to shape and there was no undercut when polished. The one on the right is another agate.

I now have so many stones I will have to start working on how to mount them for jewelry. I'm thinking many of them could be wire-wrapped, although I have one picked out for a bola tie.


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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The first three days of this week were supposed to be taken up with classic car activities. That won't happen. There might be some activity on Wednesday, when the chance of rain is down to 20%. No chance of that today or yesterday, though. Too bad, as today was supposed to be an impromptu car show at the Coeur d'Alene fly-in, where a B-17 and a B-24 are supposed to be on display.


I spent some time yesterday cutting grass, weeds, ferns and other stuff with my bush hog. There's a lot of that to do, so it will be done over the course of days or weeks.


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Monday, 24 June 2013

We had the technical meeting of the North Idaho Linux Users Group on Saturday. It was not well attended, as this is the summer. We did one install and that was about all.

I found that there was a PBS channel on my Roku box. I added it, then selected it and it asked me what my local PBS station was. I told it Idaho Public TV, which is one of two that I receive. I then scanned their streaming content. I was disappointed that Cook's Country and America's Test Kitchen were not on there, but was pleasantly surprised that Dr. Who was on. I haver never viewed any of the new Dr. Who series until yesterday. It's frantic, to say the least.


Here's a Ford pickup from the 1930's that was at Paul Bunyon's last Monday. As you can probably tell the engine in it is not exactly the one that came with the truck.


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Friday, 21 June 2013

We had our monthly mineral club meeting last night. We started auctioning some of the items we got as a donation from someone's son at our mineral show. We auctioned off a bracelet and ring mandrel and vise, as well as some faceting material. From the action with those items, I suspect that donation will turn out to be a windfall for our club.


The Coeur d'Alene Ironman race is this Sunday. Normally, the route for the bike portion of the race runs along Dodd Road, which means that it is almost completely impossible for me to go anywhere on that Sunday. This year, the bicycle route heads south from Coeur d'Alene instead of north, so if I want to go someplace on Sunday, I can do so. Unless I want to go to downtown Coeur d'Alene, of course.


I'm kind of a sucker for old passenger-style autos. Here's one from the Paul Bunyon cruise-in on Monday.


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Thursday, 20 June 2013

The talk I gave last night to the Spokane Linux Users Group went fine. I was able to answer all the questions asked about the Raspberry Pi, and then some. I think Grant (the president) may ask me to talk about Handbrake to them, also.


After I re-installed Linux Mint 14 on this workstation, I proceeded to re-install some other must-have applications, too. One of them is KeePasX, which is a password keeper application. It has been superceded by KeePass2, so I attempted to use the new program. Unfortunately, the database that the new program uses is different than the one the old program uses.

There is a way to import databases from KeePassX into KeePass2. There just isn't a way to do that in Linux. When I attempted to do that, I got a message saying to try the import in Windows instead. Bad news, guys - there is no direct migration path in Linux from KeePassX to KeePass2. I dug around the Internet and found the original KeePassX program and re-installed that, instead.


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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

I am giving a talk tonight to the Spokane Linux Users Group about the Raspberry Pi. I have outlined the talk so I know approximately what I will be saying, and I have a couple of RPi implementation examples I will show off. I hope it will stimulate some interest in the Spokane area.


I am back to turning out cabochons. I roughed out a couple smaller cabochons from the last of my slab of midnight lace obsidian. I also cut out and finished a smaller jade cabochon. It needs more polish, though. 3,000 grit diamond is jut not enough to highly polish jade. I think I will try chromium oxide. That may be what I used in the distant past.


I think Tom has way too many classic cars. Normally, he drives a purple Model T hot rod. This one was at the Paul Bunyon drive-in on Monday, and is his 1946 (I think) Ford coupe. Very classy, even if it is named "Fat Rat".


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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

I have posted the pictures from the Kelson Kampout I attended over the weekend. You can view them here. It took me three or four hours to process them and create the web page, as there were 116 pictures.

The Kelson Kampout basically consists of the trailers you see at the beginning. When you see canned hams, then that is part of the Tincan Tourists event in Roslyn city park.


This 1934 Oldsmobile showed up at Burger Heaven in Rathdrum last Wednesday. beautiful car, but when the owner needs to see the engine temperature, he has to open the hood and check a gauge that is screwed into the engine block.


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Monday, 17 June 2013


I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Roslyn, WA at the Kelson teardrop trailer Kampout. That is always the weekend that the Tincan Tourists have their classic trailer event in the city park in Roslyn, too. So I have plenty of pictures, including ones the show you that Roslyn was the filming place for the Northern Exposure television series. I will post them when I get a chance.

This morning I discovered that sometime over the weekend, this site was subjected to a login attack on WordPress. My web site host locked down the login and I have taken steps to prevent this and re-enable the web site login. The reason this post is so late is because I had to wait for the changes to take effect. It's interesting that it all happened on a weekend that I was unavailable.


I started the operating system re-install for this workstation on Thursday. I completely reformatted both the root and home partitions and re-installed Linux Mint 14. I then copied most of my home directory files from the USB backup drive to the home directory. I still have a dozen programs to reinstall, but the workstation is working the way it used to.

And that is a problem. I did all this because I was having a problem doing bulk copying of files from a USB device to my home directory. I am still having the problem, but I discovered it was a problem with Caja, the file manager for Máte. I installed Dolphin (from KDE) and it works fine. So I will leave things as they are.


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Thursday, 13 June 2013

I finished backing up this workstation's home directory. There were 124,608 files to be copied, and it took about 12 hours. The process kept stopping because of files that could not be copied. Since I was away from the computer and I checked only periodically, the process would halt until I could see that it was asking about a particular file. It probably would have taken only six hours if I was playing nursemaid the whole time.

So I am now ready to reinstall the operating system and wipe out the home directory. I will be doing that next week, as I will be busy for the next few days.

Speaking of busy, I will not be posting anything here until Monday.


Here is something we all should pay attention to: The NSA Scandal Violates the Lessons of Our History and Our Constitution


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Wednesday, 12 June 2013

I am currently backing up the entire home directory of my workstation onto a USB drive, so I am writing this on my quad-core AMD machine. The workstation has developed some quirks which may be because the home directory has not been re-formatted in about 6 years. It's amazing the garbage you pick up over the years.

I intend to update the workstation to Linux Mint 15 and to re-do the home partition, then copy back the files from the USB drive. The back-up will be done in 5 hours or so, then I will look into doing the reinstall.


I also need to set up the soccer coach web site again. It went away when I dumped Rimrock Software, as it was an add-on domain to that site.


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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

I just did a bunch of chores yesterday and made one cabochon. So I thought I would treat you to some more local-grown classic cars. First up is a rat rod at Burger Heaven in Rathdrum:

This roadster also made an appearance at Burger Heaven. I have no idea who the owner is

This 1948 Studebaker Commander showed up at the cruise-in at Paul Bunyon yesterday.


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Monday, 10 June 2013

With two other mineral club members, I spent 7 hours on Saturday doing an inventory of the part of a rockhound's material that we got for free at our mineral show. There is a lot of material and much of it is very good. There is lots of opal, jade and turquoise, as well as citrine, tourmaline, ruby, emerald and peridot.

This guy was in to all types of rockhound-related stuff. He did cabochons, faceting, silversmithing, lost wax casting and general jewelry work. We got a lot of slabs and faceting material, as well as some of his tools. We intend to offer most of it to the club members to bolster our coffers. First up will be a bracelet mandrel, which we will offer at the next meeting.


Here are the three cabochons I did last week. From left to right is malachite, rutilated quartz and crazy lace agate.

I ran this picture through GIMP and doctored the color levels so they were correct. I'm not sure how, but somewhere in my picture process, the colors are changing. What you see here is what these cabochons really look like. You can also see a small seam on the crazy lace agate cabochon, as I mentioned on Friday.


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Friday, 7 June 2013

I did three more cabochons yesterday. I'm not really happy with the results, though. I did a rutilated quartz, malachite and crazy lace agate cabochon.

The quartz piece wasn't a very good piece anyway, and even though it is fairly hard, I was unaware it would chip on my 80-grit diamond wheel. Believe me, it does. I did the best I could with it, and I will take a picture of it for the web site when I get a chance.

I should have looked up information on malachite before I started on it. I knew it was fairly soft, but was not ready for 3.5-4 softness. I also had trouble with it on my coarse diamond wheel. It came out fairly well, though.

I even had trouble with the crazy lace agate. The kind of crazy lace I usually shape is very uniform and not all that colorful. I got this piece because it was the opposite of that - very colorful. Unfortunately it was also not that uniform. Agate is a 7 in hardness, but there are other minerals in this piece that are not that hard. Also, the divisions between the colors are not 'tight', so they are natural cracks. All in all, I had more trouble with this piece than the other two.


I have put a page up here with a file listing of the files that were on the Rimrock Software web site. It's a pretty eclectic bunch and it's hard to go through the list, but I wanted to present all the necessary information for each file.


I made carne asada yesterday for dinner. I got the recipe from and it was really good, but I don't know if I'm up to doing all that prep work a lot in the future.


Back on April 2nd, I showed you pictures of Pete's Studebaker pickup, as he was prepping it to be painted. Here is a picture of the painted truck:

He had someone paint it, and he really is not that happy with the color. We have taken to calling it "Pete's Tomato Can", although some of us thought it should be "I could have had a V8".


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Thursday, 6 June 2013

I washed the Plymouth so it would be nice and shiny for the cruise-in yesterday afternoon. I also re-did the wiring on my truck, so the teardrop trailer lights would work. Japanese vehicles are wired differently than American ones, and a converter box is required to marry an American trailer to an Isuzu pick-up. The old box had burned out diodes, so I replaced it with a new box. The lights work fine now.

The county picked yesterday to grade Boot Hill Road. I went out to the cruise-in driving very slow, but when I came back, the road had dried enough so now the Plymouth needs another bath. Grrr.


I finished backing up the Roswell TV show yesterday. It totals 60 episodes. I think it ran on UPN when it was on. Anyway, if you have seen Smallville or any other CW show, you know all you need to know about Roswell. All I have left to back up is Bones.


I posted the pictures from our rock, gem, mineral and jewelry show on the mineral club's web site.


Silly sign of the day:


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Wednesday, 5 June 2013

I was right about my phone camera. The other pictures I took on Monday are all flawed in one way or another, since I could not see what I was pointed at. I will take some more pictures tonight at the Burger Heaven cruise-in.


I shut down the Rimrock Software web site yesterday. I have transfered the domain and am in the process of removing the web site from the web host. Since the TMS Coach web site was also a part of that, I am re-installing that site as an add-on domain here.

The download files from Rimrock Software will be available here sometime in the next week or so.


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Tuesday, 4 June 2013

I spent a lot of time yesterday on mineral club stuff. I deposited the proceeds from the gem show and cleaned up some mineral donations we picked up from a guy at the show. The time flew by and pretty soon it was time for the cruise-in.

I still have stuff to do connected with the gem show. The bills will be coming in for it and I will have to pay them. I got one of those yesterday. I won't know for a couple of weeks how we did at the show, since I have to pay the bills for it.


We caught a break and there was no rain yesterday, so I went down to the Paul Bunyon cruise-in. There were a few newbies there. Here is a 1953 Chevy Corvette.

I took the picture with my cell phone and wasn't sure if it was okay, as the screen is really washed out in the bright sun. It came out okay, though.


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Monday, 3 June 2013

I spent the last three days walking around on hard pavement, at the North Idaho Mineral Club's Gem, Rock, Mineral and Jewelry Show at the North Idaho Fairgrounds. I was the show chairman and I put in some really long hours. I hope to catch up on my sleep and let my body recuperate this week.

The show was a success. We had 767 visitors to the show, and our grand prize was a real eye-grabber. We sold a lot of tickets for it, and it was won by someone who was at the show on Saturday and in Alaska on Sunday when we called her to tell her she had won. She is coming back to pick up the amethyst geode before she moves to Chicago.

I will be spending a lot of time today counting cash to see how much we brought in from the show. When I deposit it, I can talk to one of the tellers at the bank who actually won an hourly drawing prize at the show.


Silly sign of the day:


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