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BLOGical Thoughts Archive

May 2012

Thursday, 31 May 2012

I spent most of yesterday morning getting my 1952 Plymouth Concord over to the painters, selecting the proper color for it to be painted and verifying what exactly needs to be done to the car. I originally picked a standard color for a 1953 Plymouth called Coronado Blue, but there was no modern equivalent for that color. So I had to pick another color. Of course, I picked one called Concord Blue. Sometimes they just make this too easy.

The painter should have the car for at least two weeks. In the meantime, I am looking into getting new springs for it.


 

I am working on the CMS page for my static teardrop trailer home page. It is going fairly well, but I doubt if I will be finished before sometime next week. I have a lot of other stuff to do between then and now.

I have finished four of the five signs I was working on for the gem show this weekend. The last one will be finished up this morning. All I have left is getting the cash for the various stations in the show, and getting the fixin's for the peach cobbler I will be making for the load-in potluck tomorrow.


 

I got my picture in the local paper this week. The Panhandle Sun ran a story about George Holcomb, our local Dutch oven coordinator. On page 3, there is a picture of our Dutch oven demo at Garwood Elementary last week, and I am standing right there. My 5 minutes of local fame.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Yesterday I went to the dentist in Spokane to get my teeth cleaned, then stopped by the auto painter's in Spokane to ensure that I could bring my Plymouth over to them today. I will do that this morning.

I also worked on the signs for the gem show, which is this weekend. I'm behind on tasks for that, so I should do some of them today, too.


 

I also finished up converting my static web pages of photos to CMS pages. You can see the results in the Photo Gallery.

I am not done with this conversion yet, though. I still need to do other pages that are displayed on the Teardrop Trailer home page. That will take a while, as they will need to be done differently from the photo pages. All those pages have both text and photos, so I will come up with a new layout for them that looks good in the CMS system.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

I did not go camping in my teardrop trailer, as I normally do on Memorial Day weekend. Instead, I stayed home and did a bunch of different things. I have removed all the chrome from my 1952 Plymouth. I will be taking it over to the Spokane Valley to be painted tomorrow. I hope that when I get it back, I will be able to remember how to put all that chrome back on the thing.


 

I have updated my eBooks page. I have removed a couple of bad links and have added five new links for free eBooks. I have also converted the photos I took in part of 2003, 2004 and 2005 to CMS format. Look in the Photo gallery category for links to the photos. I will finish up the rest of 2003 when I have a chance.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Friday, 25 May 2012

It turns out I had no time to do anything except the Dutch oven demo yesterday. We were at Garwood Elementary school from 8am to 1pm and made a bunch of peach cobblers. When I got home, I put up my Dutch ovens and was so tired I took a long nap. You have no idea how much work talking to six groups of fourth graders can be.

It's supposed to be a lot nicer today, and I should be able to get a lot of outdoor things done. Keep in mind that Monday is Memorial Day, so I won't be posting anything until Tuesday.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

I've been working on the signs for the gem show, and haven't finished them yet. They need to be painted, and the weather is not cooperating. I will try to fit that into my plans for today, but I have a Dutch oven demonstration to participate in, so I don't know how much time I will have for it.


 

I converted my 2006 photos to CMS yesterday. You can see them here. I missed the Spring Fling that year because my Stealth broke down about 30 miles from Packwood. WA. I had to spend four days at the KOA campground in Yakima, WA while my car was being repaired. There are only three entries for 2006 because of that breakdown.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

I spent most of yesterday working on this web site. I am converting static web pages to CMS pages. Specifically, I am converting the web pages that contain my pictures. I converted the pages for the pictures for all of 2007 yesterday.

To do this, I needed to create a CMS page for each set of pictures, one which supports the pop-up picture expansion. I also needed to create the proper sized thumbnail for each picture, as the original thumbnails are too small. That was the most labor intensive part of the exercise. I also had to do that for many of the pictures for 2008, as they were the smaller size, too.

I still have the pictures for 2003 to 2006 to do, but I have to get back to the gem show signage today.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

It's amazing that the only day I am making beef vegetable soup, which has to simmer for 5 hours, we have a power outage right in the middle of the simmering. The power was out for a couple of hours, so I let the soup sit on the stove for those two hours. Meanwhile, I went up to the top of the hill so I could use my cell phone to call the power company. I guess that worked, since we have our power back and I finished making the soup. The soup is pretty good, but I won't publish a recipe for it.

While there was no power, I worked on making the four signs for our gem show the first weekend in June. I have all the parts cut and am in the process of assembling them.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 21 May 2012

I went to the NFMS Show on Saturday with three other people from our local mineral club. The show was interesting and I found a magnifier there I can use when I work on cabochons. Something I had no need of 35 years ago when I was doing lapidary in Lompoc.

I took lots of pictures and they are posted here. I especially liked that there were lots of demonstrators at the show, demonstrating all kinds of crafts having to do with rocks and minerals.


 

I have removed most of the chrome from my Plymouth, in anticipation of having it painted. The only trim that is left is the rear bumper and the door sill moldings. If the weather cooperates, I hope to get it into the shop some time this week.


 

I will be making four more signs for the gem show this week. Today is a rain day, so this is a perfect task for the day. I will be making signs for the Kid's Corner, the Grand Prize, the Demonstrations and the Mineral ID parts of the show.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Friday, 18 May 2012

Yesterday was pretty much errand day, as I got nothing accomplished at home. I spent the day at the doctor's office in the morning (tri-monthly checkup), having my Honda serviced in the afternoon and going to the North Idaho Mineral Club meeting in the evening. That left no time at all to do any of the many things that need doing around here. It was also 66 miles total driving. Good thing the car is getting 51 MPG right now.

I will also be going to the Northwest Federation of Mineralogical Societies (NFMS) Convention and Gem Show on Saturday. That is in Kennewick WA, so that will also blow the middle right out of another day. Although that one will be interesting.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

I finished the sign I was working on for the gem show. It needs to be stiffened, though. I am thinking of putting a strip of lightweight cardboard on the back of the vinyl banner material to straighten it out.


 

Here is how it works when you lose something. You look for it in the place you always keep it, then you look for it in all the places you used it. Then you expand the search to cover all the places where you could have used it.

Finally, when you can't find it anywhere and you've looked at least twice everywhere, you go to the store and purchase another one. That is what I did with the socket wrench I couldn't find. Then I went to put the new socket wrench away after using it and imagine my surprise to find my original wrench right where it should have been. It was hiding under a hammer in the bottom of my toolbox.

I used the socket wrench to help me take the chrome off of my Plymouth. I still have a lot of chrome to remove, but I will have to wait until I get back from town this morning. Some of that chrome may be tough to remove, as it is held on by clips instead of screws or bolts.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

I worked on signs for the gem show yesterday. Creating vinyl signs is not as easy as it sounds. The hardest part is lining up all those letters. I will finish up today.

I also did a bit of yardwork, but it got too hot to do that. I should finish that up today, too.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Yesterday I worked on signage for the upcoming gem and mineral show. I got all the pieces for sign holders and all the pieces for one sign. The hardest part was finding the vinyl banner material for the sign itself. I should finish up one sign today, which I will use as a demonstrator for the mineral club meeting on Thursday.


 

I started to take the chrome off of the Plymouth yesterday, but I have misplaced my ratchet wrench, and I can't unbolt some of the chrome with a normal wrench. I am still looking for that ratchet wrench.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 14 May 2012

The Linux Users Group meeting that should have been held on Saturday was canceled. That means I have another month to fine-tune my presentation and to pick up suggestions for more presentations.

It was actually okay that the meeting was canceled, as the other meeting I went to for the North Idaho Mineral Club went long and overlapped the time for the users group meeting.


 

The Internet is supposed to be about anonymity and access. When a web site violates both of those principles, I feel that everyone else should know about it so they can avoid the web site.

I was watching an episode of Cooks Country on Friday, and they did an excellent job making beer-battered onion rings. So I went to their supposedly free web site CooksCountryTV.com in order to get a printed copy of the recipe. I was assaulted by requests for my email address instead of the recipe. Even though the recipe says it's free, you pay by sacrificing your anonymity. Even if you give them an email address, they then request your name, address and other personal information. I will not go to their web site again, and I suggest you stay away, too.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Friday, 11 May 2012

I have finished the talk for the North Idaho Linux Users Group that I will be giving at the meeting tomorrow afternoon. My next problem is where to go from here - what subject should I add to the three that I have already talked about? I suspect that I will be talking about specific applications after this.


 

The copying of all my DVD backups from my NAS to an external hard drive is now 10 hours from completion. There has been nary a hiccup in the process so far. 705GB of 875GB has been copied.


 

I did some yard work yesterday. There is a lot that has been neglected and a lot of clean up that is yet to be done. I could probably spend solid weeks doing the work, but there are other things that need doing. Like two meetings for me to attend tomorrow.

I have not yet started taking the chrome off my Plymouth. I think I will do that starting on Sunday. I want to drive the car tomorrow, since it will be a very nice day and I enjoy showing the car off.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 10 May 2012

I completely fixed the shifting problem with my 1952 Plymouth. Apparently, the shift adjustment had somehow come loose, and had backed itself out by vibration. It had backed out by at least a half inch. I adjusted it to where it was supposed to be and made sure that the two nuts that are the tightening adjustment are tight against one another, so that should not happen again. I took it out to Burger Heaven in Rathdrum to test it out. All the shifting is now much tighter and feels better, which is a good thing.

Now that the shifting problem is fixed, I will strip the chrome off the car. I will then take it over to Spokane to be painted a very nice metallic light blue. I will provide photos when it is all done.


 

I have been doing maintenance and clean up on my video collection. I backed up a half dozen DVDs and copied those to my network attached storage (NAS). I also weeded out 30 videos I will never watch again. I plan to give these to the Hayden Library. I have done that in the past and it worked out well for all concerned. Since I now have only 35GB of free space left in my 1,000GB NAS, I decided to copy all the files to a 2,000GB external storage drive. That will take approximately 50 hours. I started that yesterday and it is still going on, with 33 hours left before it is completed.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Yesterday, I got most of the talk done for the North Idaho Linux Users Group. I only have one topic left - the clipboard. That should be easy to explain, although I must admit I had trouble with the concept when I was first introduced to it by a radical text editor way back in the CP/M days.

When I actually finish the talk, I will post it with the other Learning Linux talks on the NILUG web site.


 

I have started creating and populating the web site for the soccer program. When it gets into better shape, I will post the link to it here. Right now, there isn't a single thing to see.


 

I haven't mentioned here that I went to a small car show on Saturday. it had maybe two dozen cars, but the environment where they were showing was great.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

I worked on my Learning Linux talk yesterday. I am attempting to teach something that is seldom taught directly: how to use the mouse and keyboard with a graphical user interface. This is complicated by the fact that different Linux distributions are configured differently, so the mouse may open files with either one or two mouse clicks.

Fortunately, using the keyboard and the mouse simultaneously to accomplish actions is identical to how you do it in Windows, so that is easy to teach.


 

It was nice enough yesterday that I went out to the garage and did some lapidary work. I finished up an agate cabochon and a crazy lace agate cabochon. To do any more, I will have to cut up some more rock, so maybe I can stay away from that now and get some chores finished up.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 7 May 2012

When I started testing the soccer program, I found that my solution for no printing in the unregistered version did not work. When the program is unregistered, it is supposed to display a print preview, but not allow any printing. The built-in preview screen has a print button and it still worked, despite my best efforts at disabling it.

So I had to add a custom print preview screen to display the printed output, but not print it. It turns out that was a fairly straightforward process, and the program no longer prints when it is unregistered. This is the last change to the program that I know of. I will be doing the web site now.


 

I went to the Rock Rollers Gem and Mineral Show at the Spokane County Fairgrounds on Friday morning. It was a very busy and interesting show. I did notice that there was only one dealer selling equipment there, and that was a local dealer whose store is on Trent Avenue in Spokane. I took pictures of all the display cases, as they always have a very good display there.

I didn't think of it until I was at the fairground, but I thought I would stop by the Antique Auto Ranch in Spokane and see if I could pick up a part for my Plymouth steering linkage. I was successful there. I had to pull it off of an engine/transmission sitting at the edge of a pile of engines and transmissions in a lot in back of the shop. The engines ranged from 4 cylinder to flathead 6 to straight 8. The part cost me a buck.

The part I got is a hard rubber grommet, which is part of the shift linkage. The one that was on the car was half missing and it caused the shifting to be very sloppy. I replaced it with the one I got from the Antique Auto Ranch and the shifting is now a lot less sloppy. The reverse problem is also a bit better, but it still isn't completely fixed. I will have to re-adjust the shifting now that I have replaced that grommet.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Friday, 4 May 2012

I'm going to a gem and mineral show today over at the Spokane Fairgrounds. It is sponsored by the Spokane Rock Rollers club, which has some of our members, too. I know of at least two people that belong to at least 3 mineral clubs. Too much for me.


 

I use K9Copy to back my DVDs up into ISO files. It is designed to produce a 4.3GB ISO image from a 9GB DVD and it almost always does that. Yesterday, I backed up the latest Star Trek movie. When K9Copy was finished, I ended up with an 11GB ISO file. I don't understand that at all; it's just weird.

I also backed up Star Trek IV while I was at it, and that ended up as a 4.3GB ISO file.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 3 May 2012

I have the registration section of the soccer program working. My problem was with a bad constant definition. Very weird. At any rate, a user can now register the program and all the capabilities will be available to them. If they use it unregistered, they are limited to a single team, a single coach and no printing capability.

I am going to add support for registration to my soccer program test plan for registration, and will add testing for those items that are enabled when a user registers.


 

The fix to my reverse gear problems on my Plymouth lasted exactly one day. I drove it to Burger Heaven in Rathdrum last night, for the weekly old car meeting there. I could not get it into reverse there. So I guess I will have to look at the problem and come up with a more permanent solution.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

I am still working on the soccer program. I tried a different encryption algorithm to generate registration IDs for it, but the new code did not work, either. I suspect some kind of compiler configuration problem. I will go through the configuration today and attempt to fix it.


 

The Plymouth's reverse gear now works. The entire shift mechanism had rotated away from the position it was supposed to be in. Re-positioning it and tighten it seems to have worked fine. My thanks to River City Automotive in Post Falls. Anyway, I can now strip the chrome trim off of the car in preparation to having it painted.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

I worked on the soccer program yesterday. I created a small application that will actually create registration IDs for the soccer program, and I verified that my algorithm has a problem. I will be working that tomorrow, after I take my Plymouth to the shop to see if they can get it to shift into reverse.


 

I'm still having trouble with my personal video recorder. I have re-installed Mythbuntu several times, Using versions 11.10, 11.04 and lastly, 10.04. That works and I recorded "Once Upon A Time" with it on Sunday night. Problem is, there was no sound. So I re-installed 11.04 and got it all set up, including the sound. It looks like this will be the last install, as it is working okay.

Since I didn't get a chance to watch the episode, I went to the ABC web site to watch it. As usual, there are caveats to that kind of thing. First, I can't view it using Firefox in Linux. ABC has updated their process so everyone has to go out and upgrade Flash to version 11. And there is no version 11 for Linux. I used my Window XP virtual machine and installed the new Flash in Firefox in that VM. By the way, Flash 11 works fine if you like the herky-jerky start and stops that happen when a program that should be buffering stuff doesn't. In other words, it pretty much sucks.

I also tried to watch Fringe, which is a Fox show. I tried to watch it on Hulu, and got a 45 second preview instead. I would have to join Hulu Plus to see the whole thing. So I went to the Fox web site, and they wanted me to sign up so I could watch something I would have been able to see for free on broadcast TV. Since Hulu and Fox refuse to deliver me the Fringe episode without personal details or money from me, I have downloaded it using TED.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software