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BLOGical Thoughts Archive

May 2013

Friday, 31 May 2013

Yesterday was taken up with gem and mineral show tasks. Today is the show set up day, so I will be busy all day. I hope everyone has a good weekend and, if you are in the Coeur d'Alene area, come to our show at the North Idaho Fairgrounds on Saturday (9am-5pm) or Sunday (10am-4pm).


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 30 May 2013

I have a lot to do today. I am shutting down rimrocksoftware.com next Tuesday and I am selling that domain to a lady in Rimrock, AZ. Since tmscoach.com is an add-on domain, I need to move that domain before I shut down the Rimrock web site. I also have to copy the zip files onto this web site and make sure everyone knows the links to the files have changed. All that along with doing work for the gem and mineral show. Set up for the show is tomorrow.


 

I spent some time yesterday backing up the first year of the Roswell television show. Unlike Dead Like Me, Roswell sports an actual full season of episodes - 21 as opposed to 15. The show was on for three years, so I have two more years to back up (which will probably happen next week).


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

I did stuff for the gem and mineral show yesterday. We now have cash and coins for each of the areas at the show which require it. I also need to come up with another dish for the Friday night potluck, as I won't be doing Dutch oven potatoes. Someone is doing homemade potato salad, so I will come up with something else.

I am finished with the cabochons I will display at the show. The last thing I needed to do was relieve the edge on the back of each stone. It's really easy to chip obsidian and you really can't have an obsidian cabochon with sharp corners.


 

Here's another car from the Paul Bunyon Monday cruise-ins. It's a Ford, and it is very quiet. I suspect it has a modern engine in it.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

I will be spending this week working on the details for the gem and mineral show. We will set up at the fairgrounds on Friday and the show will happen on Saturday and Sunday, with teardown Sunday afternoon.

Over the weekend, I finished some more cabochons which I will be displaying at the show. I did another 30 x 40 mm oval and a 1" round cabochon out of the same slab that I used for the original midnight lace obsidian cabochon. They look really good together and will make a nice part of my display. I will try to get pictures of those and the other cabochons I have done, and will display them here.


 

A few weeks back, when I was doing my weekly O/S package update on each of my computers, I noticed that the handbrake video conversion program had been updated. The user interface is now different, but apparently there was a change that is not interface and is very welcome. Handbrake can now read both un-encrypted and encrypted DVDs and convert them directly to H.264 format. That means that I no longer have to use K9Copy to read a disk, then convert the results to H.264 with Handbrake. Only using Handbrake has meant I can back up DVDs at least 50% faster.

I used this new found capability to finish backing up Monk. I wish I had this capability a long time ago, although it didn't help me back up the pilot episode of Dead Like Me. All I have left to backup now are the TV series Roswell and Bones and I hope I can do that without K9Copy.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Friday, 24 May 2013

I have taken some screenshots and intend to write an article about how to configure the Linux Mint with Máte desktop to look like the old-style Ubuntu desktop. It's very easy to do, but there are a lot of steps, so a tutorial will allow people to do it without missing anything.


 

I started working on cabochons and have finished up one agate cabochon. The other agate keeps popping off of the dop stick. It's really annoying having to stop and re-attach the stick with dop wax.

These particular agates have a very subtle pattern that comes out if you back them against some non-white background. They would be perfect in a silver or gold necklace mount. If I ever finish them.

I picked up some more cabochon easels so I can display the ones that require backlighting to bring out their best qualities. They are not like the one I used for yesterday's picture, but will work just as well.


 

Monday is Memorial Day, so I won't be posting anything on that holiday. Also, the North Idaho Linux Users Group technical session on Saturday has been canceled because of Memorial Day.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 23 May 2013

I have now backed up seasons 2 and 3 of Monk. There are 5 more seasons to go on that, and I will be doing them on a catch as catch can basis. I have also put The Phantom serial from 1943 up as a TV show.


 

The car that was running upside down on top of two bicycles in Splitting Heirs was not a Citroen. I don't know why I thought it was. The car will still remind me of the movie, though.


 

I think I have this macro picture taking thing worked out. If you compare the older picture of the midnight lace obsidian with the one below, you will see a great difference, even though the new picture has some lint on the stone.

I have cut out a couple more 30 x 40 mm agate cabochons, but have not yet shaped them. I will be doing that today.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

I started backing up Monk yesterday. I did the first season, which is only 12 episodes. The other seasons are longer, but this was a USA network production, which means there are not as many episodes as there are in broadcast TV shows.


 

We are back to cool weather with rain, so I suspect there won't be a cruise-in tonight at Burger Heaven in Rathdrum. I am going to work on some more cabochons today, so I will have a larger display of them for the gem show on June 1st and 2nd.


 

Here's an old Citroen that was at the cruise-in on Monday. It reminds me of a funny movie called Splitting Heirs, starring Eric Idle, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Rick Moranis. In the movie, the Citroen ends upside down, running down the road on two bicycles. At least I think it was that movie.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a cruise-in. The temperature was 74 and that was reflected by the number of classic cars that showed up at the Paul Bunyon drive-in. I will post a few pictures when I get a chance.

I worked on a couple of Mexican opals yesterday. They are smaller and not as colorful as the one I did last month, but they are both from that $25 jar I bought. I think I have really made back that money.

I got a couple of pieces of granite countertop material on Saturday. As an experiment, I sliced both of them up into 1" cubes. I am tumbling them now. It will be interesting to see how they turn out.


 

I have been using Linux as my operating system for many years now. The first viable system I used was SUSE Linux. I moved on to Mandrake, Knoppix, Mepis, and Ubuntu, and have tried dozens of other distros in virtual machines. When Ubuntu went bad (control buttons right above the File menu), I switched to my current choice - Linus Mint.

Since I have never stuck to a single distribution if it goes bad, I cannot understand why people complain about "Oh, Canonical has screwed up Ubuntu with Unity. But I have no choice but to go along." There is plenty of choice out there. If you don't like what you are using, check out other distros in virtual machines. If you find one you like, switch. You owe no particular loyalty to any distribution. It's a tool, and if it no longer suits your needs, switch.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 20 May 2013

I had a good time at the Dutch oven demonstration at Garwood Elementary School on Friday. I forgot my hat, so I ended up kind of red in the face and on the head. We made peach cobblers for the kids and explained all about Dutch ovens. There were other exhibits there for pioneer crafts and there was an army cannon they fired off three times (at about $20 a shot).

Our mineral club workshop on Saturday got a lot done. We repainted our sandwich boards and made up kid's prizes, all for the gem and mineral show which happens two weeks from now. I still have a few things to do for the show, but we are mostly ready for it.

The final event on my schedule was the Lost in the 50's car show, but I didn't make it to that show. There's always another car show, so no great loss.


 

I seem to have a new neighbor. I was sitting in my lounger watching an episode of Babylon 5, and I happened to glance outside. There was a raccoon staring back at me. I wonder how long he has been around here?


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Friday, 17 May 2013

We had our mineral club meeting last night. It is the last one before the show, which is two weekends from now. We still have some work to do before the show, but it is all coming together.

I drove my Plymouth to the car show yesterday afternoon. Of course, it rained on me while I was driving and when I got there, no one else was there. So a drive to Post Falls and back with no results. Grrr.

I have a Dutch oven demonstration to do today. It is at Garwood Elementary School, not far from here. This will be my first opportunity to do outdoor Dutch oven cooking this year.


 

I keep getting snail mail about enrolling for Medicare. The one thing these items have in common is the fact that none of them say what company they are from. What makes these people so sure that we will ask for information from some unnamed entity? That's pretty Orwellian, if you ask me. Kind of like monitoring our Internet traffic without our knowledge, or spying at us from the sky without telling us. You aren't paranoid if they really ARE out to get you!


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 16 May 2013

I had a late night last night. I went to the Spokane Linux Users Group meeting in the Spokane valley. It lasted from 7pm to 9pm, so I got home just shy of 10pm. I went to the meeting to see about the available facilities for my talk next month.

Today I am supposed to go to a car show and then the mineral club meeting. I don't know if the car show will be a starter, as there is a 40% chance of rain. Tomorrow is a Dutch oven demo at Garwood Elementary School.


 

Here is a final taste of my light box photography. This is a 30 x 22 mm agate.

I think I will probably change the covering material on the box to white.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

I hooked the bush hog up to my tractor and did some clearing yesterday. So I pretty much stayed away from the computers for the whole day.

The rest of this week will be taken up with events I will be attending. There is one event tonight, two tomorrow, one on Friday and two on Saturday. The frequency of events only gets worse as we get farther into the year.

I have to give a talk on the Raspberry Pi next month, so I will be working on that talk today. It's for the Spokane Linux User Group, as they have no one who has an RPi. It should be interesting to see how normal Linux users respond to the device.


 

This is an agate I shaped. You can also see it on Friday's photo. I did it free-form because of the shape of the inclusions. Since you can see the paperclip holder through the stone, you can tell it is pretty much translucent. I probably should have taken the picture against a white background.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

I completely finished my photo light box yesterday. I went to Big Lots and got a cheap cloth shower curtain. I cut the various panels out of that and stuck them on using Velcro tape. I am using 60 watt daylight bulbs in three lamps to light the box. Despite the help with lighting, it still takes some effort to get good pictures.

I have taken this picture of a midnight lace obsidian cabochon in the light box. This is the same cabochon that is in the lower left hand corner of the picture I posted here on Friday. The light box works pretty well for getting better close-up pictures, doesn't it? I will take some more pictures so you can get a better idea of what I am turning out in the way of cabochons.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Monday, 13 May 2013

Not much of interest done over the weekend. I did some outdoor work and I went to the North Idaho Linux Users Group meeting. The meeting was not well attended, as it was too nice a day and most people were off doing other stuff.

The Lost in the 50's car show is next weekend, but I'm not sure I can make it. I have two other activities scheduled for Friday and Saturday. We will see if I can attend two things 50 miles apart on the same day.


 

I have finished the photo light box I was building, but I don't yet have any material to put on it. The cloth in question needs to allow light to shine through it, but should defuse that light. And I'm not willing to pay $22 a yard for such cloth. I think I will try to find a gray or white cloth shower curtain for this purpose.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Friday, 10 May 2013

I have re-installed Linux Mint 13 on my laptop. Before I did that, I backed up all the files I wanted from my home directory onto a USB drive. Then when I installed, I re-formatted the home directory. Finally, I copied the files back onto the laptop.

After that, I updated the O/S (567 packages updated) and re-installed a bunch of programs that I use every day. I still have a couple of programs to go with that.


 

I've got to find a better way to take macro pictures. This picture just doesn't bring out the true beauty of the stones, but here is what I've got so far.

There are two mahogany obsidian cabochons in there that look very nice, if lit properly. After I took the picture, I did another 30 x 40 mm cabochon out of mahogany obsidian.

I have decided to build a light box to solve my macro photography problem. That will provide me with an area with intense diffuse light so I won't get that flash glare on the pieces. I have all the material to construct the box, but I need to get three lights and some white translucent material for the walls.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 9 May 2013

I am 4 episodes shy of backing up the entire 27 episodes of The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Those will all be done within the next hour. After I am finished with that, I will be doing some outside work, so I won't be backing up anything for a while.


 

I did a couple more cabochons yesterday. I used some midnight lace obsidian and did a 30 x 40 mm oval cabochon and a 22 mm round cabochon. I am finally getting back into the groove on these. I will have to post a picture of what I have done.


 

I made some bread the other day, and have come to the conclusion that it's the best homemade bread I have ever tasted. I got the recipe from my mother many years ago and have tried doing other recipes, but this one beats them all. The recipe makes two loaves, so keep that in mind.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

I'm getting my tractor back today. It had a problem where it would start, run for five minutes, then die. They discovered moss in the fuel tank. I now know that moss can grow in diesel fuel, so I will be running the engine at least once a week - even through the winter. I suppose I could use the bucket to move snow where I can't move it with my snow plow.


 

I have some DVDs with 13 episodes of The Lone Ranger TV series on them. 11 of the episodes are from 1949, which was the first year of the show. The other two episodes were from years 4 and 5. Tha year 5 episode is in color. I have backed them up and they are now available on my Roku box.


 

Here's another car from the cruise-in on Monday - a very cherry 1957 Chevy. It was a very nice day, so a lot of cars showed up at the cruise-in.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

I went to the cruise-in at the Paul Bunyon drive-in last night. Here is a Corvette that showed up:


 

I didn't back up any DVDs yesterday. I worked on lapidary stuff instead. I did 3 oval cabochons and one free form cabochon. They came out much better than the ones before them. I will take some pictures when I get a chance.


 

This workstation is starting to really act up badly. I think it is time for me to do a complete reinstall of Linux Mint, including blowing away my home directory. I think some leftover stuff in the home directory is screwing things up. I sometimes don't have sound support and sometimes can't copy files using the file manager. That is not a good situation.

I am also thinking of moving my laptop back to Linux Mint 13 from Linux Mint 14.1, as that version will allow me to get the sound working on the laptop.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Rimrock Software Files

These are files that were hosted at my Rimrock Software web site. That site is now closed.

As of June 4, 2013, my Rimrock Software web site has been shut down. It had a very long run, but if you go there now, you will be going to Rimrock Software of Rimrock, Arizona.

Since the download files from the site have no expiration date, I have moved them to Blogical Thoughts. Here are links to each of the files.

16x16 is a collection of 16 by 16 pixel icons. Download the zip file here
16x16a is a collection of 16 by 16 pixel icons. Download the zip file here
16x16b is a collection of 16 by 16 pixel icons. Download the zip file here
16x16c is a collection of 16 by 16 pixel icons. Download the zip file here
16x16x256-1 is a collection of 16 by 16 pixel icons in 256 colors. Download the zip file here
20x20 is a collection of 20 by 20 pixel icons. Download the zip file here
20x20a is a collection of 20 by 20 pixel icons. Download the zip file here
32x32x256-1 is a collection of 32 by 32 pixel icons in 256 colors. Download the zip file here
Rapid Application Development in Linux using Lazarus is a pdf document explaining how to write Linux programs using Lazarus. Download the PDF here.
bitarray is the source code for a Delphi class that implements an array of bits in the most memory-efficient way possible. Download the zip file here
campfire_cooking_addendum_2013.epub is an EPUB addendum to the campfire cooking cookbook. It contains all the recipes from 2013 in the campfire-cook.com web site. Download the EPUB here.
campfire_cooking_addendum_2013.pdf is the PDF version of the cookbook addendum that contains all the recipes from 2013 in the campfire-cook.com web site. Download the PDF here.
campfire_cooking.epub is an EPUB cookbook that contains all the recipes in the campfire-cook.com web site. Download the EPUB here.
campfire_cooking.pdf is the PDF version of the cookbook that contains all the recipes in the campfire-cook.com web site. Download the PDF here.
dlyqte32 is a Windows program containing a collection of humorous quotations. Download the zip file here
dq600 is a Windows program containing over 6,000 humorous quotations. Download the zip file here
fileversion is the source code for a Delphi class that can extract file version information from executable 32-bit files. Download the zip file here
gdvdslides_0.9.0_amd64 is version 0.9.0 of a Linux program that can create slide shows from JPG images and video clips. Download the 64-bit DEB package file here
gdvdslides_0.9.0_i386 is version 0.9.0 of a Linux program that can create slide shows from JPG images and video clips. Download the 32-bit DEB package file here
gdvdslides_0.9.0_src is version 0.9.0 of a Linux program that can create slide shows from JPG images and video clips. Download the source code file here
grafview is a Windows program . Download the zip file here
grafvw32 is a Windows program . Download the zip file here
HMSCalc is a Windows program that does calculator functions using hours, minutes and seconds. Download the zip file here
Icon Extractor is a Windows program that allows you to extract images from executables and DLLs. Download the zip file here
TRegistry is a non-visual Delphi class that allows you to access the Windows registration database. Download the source code file here
RSEdit version 2.32 is a a free replacement for the Windows Notepad editor. Download the source code file here
Spin-It Pro version 2.00 is an HTML editor for Windows. Download the source code file here

Monday, 6 May 2013

I have backed up the Dark Angel television series. It is one of those series where the files for year one are out of order, so it takes quite a bit of work to make sure they will be backed up in the right order.

I found that the final two episodes of The Lone Gunmen were also out of order, and I failed to spot that. I changed the file names and that is now fixed.


 

I did some lapidary over the weekend. I finished a 30 x 40 mm red tigereye cabochon and a 30 x 22 mm Montana agate cabochon. I also marked up another agate slab and I cut three cabochons out of it. I have finished one of those and have roughed out the other two. The weather is so nice, it's a pleasure to go out to the garage to do these stones.


 

I went to the Rock Rollers Gem and Mineral Show on Friday. It was a big show and I spent a couple of hours there. I learned a lot, too, and I bought nothing (whew).

I took the picture below at the show. It is some work done by a guy named Mario, who runs a granite countertop business called Mario and Son in Spokane. He has only been doing lapidary and flint knapping for the last six months, but he is really, really good at it, as you can see in the picture.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Friday, 3 May 2013

I started doing some lapidary again. Specifically, I finished that Mexican opal I was working on, finished polishing a big opal cabochon and finished up a fire agate piece. I also started a 40 x 30 mm red tigereye cabochon.

I am going to attend the gem and mineral show this weekend at the Spokane fairgrounds that is sponsored by the Spokane Rock Rollers. It is a lot bigger than our show and should be very interesting.


 

I have backed up the Matt Helm movies and five movies where Ray Harryhausen did the special effects. Those are The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, The 3 Worlds of Gulliver, Jason and the Argonauts, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. I don't usually enjoy fantasy movies, but I do enjoy Harryhausen's animation.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Thursday, 2 May 2013

I have finished backing up the regular DVDs. The final DVD I backed up was the topper of all toppers. On a 9.6GB media, Sony Entertainment produced a DVD that has about 100 files. The reported file sizes total well over 1,000 terabytes. Thanks for that, Sony. I'll try not to buy any more of your movies again.

I am starting to back up my collections. First up is Matt Helm, a series of movies starring Dean Martin. They are The Silencers, Murderers' Row, The Ambushers and The Wrecking Crew. They are not cinema masterpieces, but they are fun movies.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

In my quest to back up all my DVDs, I am down to the 'W's for single titles. I will be finished with them today. I will then move on to the collections that I have not backed up. That not only includes television shows, but also collections like the Marx Brothers and Matt Helm.

I'm not spending all my time backing up these DVDs. I watched some Northern Exposure episodes yesterday, including one of my favorites. That's where Maggie's boyfriend Rick is hit by a satellite. They can't separate him from the satellite, so they have to modify the coffin to hold both. I know death isn't funny - but tell that to the inhabitants of Cicely, Alaska.


 

One of the nice things about backing DVDs to a single video file is the fact that you can chose the audio track you wish to use. I have a couple of Japanese animes where the default audio track is Japanese. When I backed them up, I chose English as the audio track to use, so I can now view them without having to worry about changing audio track languages.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software