It wasn't me. You can't prove anything.


New light

Field Data
Title New work light
Description I bought a second of the work lights. This one is trying out the new Toshiba H30 video camera. Not too shabby. Light or camera. It is a bit of a repeat, but this time I have much better lighting.
Tags unbox "work light" video lighting "night shot" "Toshiba H30" Houston Texas Kdenlive
Link Link


Siren still works

This is why they put snorkel kits on fire trucks.

Me and Merlin

Field Data
Title Me and Merlin
Description Merlin loves this stuff. Music: Gymnopedie No 1 - Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 3.0"
Tags cute "classical music" cat scratch ears shake "Canon Elph 300" Houston Texas Kdenlive
Link Link


One side light weight

Dang slower traffic.


Field Data
Title Cleaning up the yard
Description Cleaning up the yard among other things.
Tags yard Christmas decorations cleanup "clean up" "time lapse" "toy assembly" family "Canon Elph 300" Houston Texas Kdenlive
Link Link



I ended up blowing away the Windows drive on the laptop. It got to the point it would not let me shrink the NTFS partition properly. It is really annoying that you have to jump through so many hoops just to get partitions to form the way you want. I've had to deal with crazy setups at work. I've had computers with 8 Linux OS installs on one machine. All set up to boot independently. Only one swap partition that worked for all of them. I have made drives work in just the way I wanted this one to work. It seems I'm more determined at work to finish the job. I just didn't care that much about this one.

Right now, I'm copying information from one partition to the other using, what else, the 'dd' command. It is so frigging easy. If only it worked every time. I tried to move the partition. It would not go because it was inside an extended partition. So, I created a primary partition and am now copying the data. Sounds easy. All kinds of things could go wrong. The alignment might be off. The system may not recognize the correct boot device. The data might be corrupt. The drive might blow up from all the copying. I need to stop dwelling on the negative. I'm upsetting myself.

The screen saver has kicked in. Every few seconds I look over to find if the drive light is still lit. It is going from and to the same drive so that slows things down. The worst thing about the dd method is the lack of a progress method. I can look at the amount of data that has gone by and get an idea, but in so many cases, it is just miles off.

After all was said and done, I ended up just wiping the drive and starting from scratch.


Putting Ubuntu on the laptop

I want to put Ubuntu on the laptop. I intend to put it along side Windows. We will see how that goes. There is another partition on the drive that I don't understand. I believe it was made by a piece of software. It is going by by shortly. The restore partition is nearly empty. Not sure it works at all. This system has been restored once after a virus infection.

First things first. Download the OS. Well, I screwed up and downloaded the wrong OS. I downloaded Ubuntu Server. That is fine, but not what I'm after here. Back to the download page.

Unetbootin is what I use for putting the ISO file on to a thumb drive. I must then figure out the key to hit in order to boot from that key. I gave up using CD and DVD disks because of the sort of mistake I just made. There are so many choices out there that it just costs too much money.

Boot off the USB key. Make sure video, wifi, touch pad, drives, USB, and other bits show up in the "try Ubuntu" bit of the ISO install. Click install. Let Ubuntu shrink the NTFS partition as much as it will. Worry about getting it right later. The resizing partition step is scary because things are getting moved around. This is where you can break the existing OS the easiest.

Then comes the inevitable hang up during install. I then start over and the system appears to run smoothly for a while. The funny thing is that the lockup was not a bad one. I was able to kick off a terminal and execute top to verify that indeed, nothing was happening on the system. This is frustrating, but common.

On a side note. The count down timer on the download and install is fluctuating from 22 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes. So, it isn't just Windows and iTunes that is useless in this area. It is just as useless on Linux.

Waiting ... Starting to look like it is going to take longer than the hour and forty five minutes. Glad I have nothing else on my plate. ... Now it says 1586 minutes remaining. Not looking good.

It was stuck on language packs. I clicked skip and things started moving. That is just not right. Was it trying to download all language packs? Was it trying to download English only, but having a hard time? I remember setting it to English when it asked.

First reboot. Always wonder if the dang thing is going to come up after. ... Came up fine, but the mouse pad is not working. Figures something would break. It worked fine when booting off the USB drive. ... OK worked after a reboot. Not sure what happened there.

Next. Run through one of the 10 things to do when after installing Ubuntu sites. There are any number of these sites. I recomend reading though several of them and pick and choose the things you want. I do recomend Gnome over Unity at the moment. Unity just has too many bugs right now. Maybe this will change, but not unless the developers start using the interface.

Run first (over sized) set of updates and reboot. Will it reboot and run? Will something break? ... Few!

Hmmm. It won't let reinstall better video drivers. That is kind of a drag.

Install Kdenlive from PPA (development) repository. Takes a long enough time to be worrying. Tons of scary crap going by on the screen. Check. ... How many frigging libraries does it take for a video editor? ... Half an hour later, it is still doing ... something. A bunch more scary stuff is going haywire.

Kdenlive keeps telling me that it cannot find the MLT modules. It is installed in the normal place. They told me the one I installed is the correct one for the version of the OS I have. Of course, something must not work just because it is me doing it. More tomorrow. Well, I need to pay bills and clean the yard tomorrow. We need to take down the tree as well. Humph. Chores. Bah!

More to come.


Finally got the Kdenlive repo working properly. Something about a key not matching. It only took me all day to get this laptop up and running the way I wanted it.

Random numbers


Christmas number two

Field Data
Title Christmas number two 2011
Description This is Nat's side of the fmaily's christmas 2011.
Tags Christmas 2011 fireworks presents family fun Magnolia Texas "fire pit" country "Canon Elph 300" Kdenlive
Link Link

Christmas number one

Field Data
Title Christmas number one 2011
Description This is my side of the family's Christmas 2011.
Tags Christmas 2011 family parents family fun kids presents wrapping paper "Santa hats" "Missouri City" "Ft Bend County" Texas Kdenlive
Link Link

How an Engine works

It is nice to have one taken apart in front of you and someone who knows simply explain it.

Last day of work for the year

Field Data
Title Last day of work for the year
Description A couple things lying around the office.
Tags Christmas "last day of the year" work labor wifi "access point" "poor design" electronics "dead hard drives" "Canon Elph 300" Houston Texas Kdenlive
Link Link


Imaging drives using DD under Linux

I wrote this for work. It is highly transferable information. If I got anything wrong, scream at me. Comment on this post or email me. The address is somewhere on the page, I think.

I used Ubuntu 11.10 for the commands in this document.

Writing zeros to the drive before imaging

Remember, this is done on the drive you are about to make the image of. It will make the final file size much smaller.

Find out free size of disk.

>$ df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdb1             147G  114G   26G  82% /mnt/disk2

Write the zeros

>$ cd /mnt/disk2
>$ dd if=/dev/zero of=big.txt bs=1G count=26

If you get an error saying something like “memory exhausted” Drop the number bs (byte size) and multiply the count accordingly. The result will be the same. Don't worry about running past the end of the partition. We are just trying to get loads of zeros out there.

>$ dd if=/dev/zero of=big.txt bs=256M count=104

Delete the file immediately after the above command finishes. The zeros are left behind on the drive.

>$ rm big.txt

Write partition to file

From the drive where you want to store the image, run the following command.

>$ dd if=/dev/sdb1 | bzip2 > file.bz2

Write file to disk/partition

When using a partition, first create a partition and format it the same as the original image. This command will only expand data to the “data” portion of the partition and not overwrite any partition metadata on the drive.

>$ bzip2 -dc file.bz2 | dd of=/dev/sdb1

When writing a whole drive, write directly to the top pointer /dev/sdb, for example. This will over write partition information. It should also allow boot information to transfer properly.

>$ bzip2 -dc file.bz2 | dd of=/dev/sdb

Image file integrity check

After making the image file, always do an integrity check before you let the machine go or do anything that will alter the data.

>$ bzip2 -t file.bz2

Errors will be listed.

Recovering broken image files

All this does is break the massive file in to billions of smaller files. Run an integrity check on all the files. Rename the ones that are bad so they do not make it in to the list. You can then use those files to write back to your partition using wild cards. The partition will be damaged and must have utilities run on it to fix those errors. Some data may be recovered and some may not.

The number of files will depend on the size of the original file. I had a 9.5G file break in to 26,933 files. Their total size was just a bit larger than the 9.5G original.

>$ bzip2recover file.bz2

Running integrity check on several files after they have been “recovered” above.

>$ bzip2 -t rec*file.bz2


File names

I strongly suggest using descriptive file names. Not only describing what is being imaged, but the type of file system and the whether it is a full drive or a partition that is being imaged.

For example.

<computer id>_<desktop|laptop>_<internal|external>_<part|disk>_<ntfs|ext3>.bz2


All of these steps take a long time.


This is the sort of thing you need to do with a machine that is not used for anything else. I recommend using a thumb drive or CD boot system because you might incidentally over write your OS drive.

The right drive

Do absolutely everything you can to make sure you have the correct source and destination drives. In Ubuntu, I use a thing they call disk_utility on the menu to get a GUI description of the drives and what /dev/sd* they are trying to come up as. Most of the time you can use drive size and the partitions on the drive to double check.

The instant you hit enter on DD, the damage is done. The first part of a drive that is over written is the partition information. The first part of a partition is usually folder information.

Watching things happen

You can use the watch command to keep track of things like disk free space and file size. Open new terminals for these commands. The watch command updates ever 2 seconds by default.

>$ watch “ls -lah 


>$ watch “df -h”


>$ top

Outstanding issues

This trick seems to work regardless of block size of the drive. I haven't done enough testing yet to know for sure.

Haven't yet tried to put an NTFS image on to an ext3 partition. That should be interesting.

The USB cables seem to cause errors, not to mention how slow they are. Stick to real SATA connections.

BZip2 is single threaded because of the way it works on variable sized blocks. GZ is faster, but does make larger files.


NPR ran a story about a guy in China who wrote a book about beating you kids in to submission. He sounded like so many tyrant fathers I've known over the years. He is doing the talk show circuit in China. The only thing that frightens me is some people will listen to him. NPR went through some interviews with people talking about how out of control their kids are. It sounds a lot like the U. S. and other western countries to me. Maybe we do have something in common.

I wonder if there is a business opportunity to create a service where you have one number to call and report a wallet stolen or lost. You could do the same for phones and laptops and such. You could not only have someone know everything you have to call about to report stolen property and information, but they could make the calls on your behalf. They could also help you one the road to getting back up and running. They could also write letters to the credit people to keep a lookout for stolen identify type hits. I would charge $20 a year or something, or $200 after the fact.

We did spend a few minutes today trying to track down the instructions for the funky automatic light switches in our offices. I don't think we learned much. These switches are befuddling. The one in my office broke and was replaced with a regular hand switch to the envy of many others. The fancy switches simply have about five ways of adjustment. Time on, motion sensitively, light sensitively, timeout for turning off without motion, blinders. It is all a balancing act beyond even the most inquisitive and annoyed engineer. It was interesting watching the engineer play with the light and try to diagnose the different seatings while manipulating them to his liking.



What is quantum?

Answer 1

Don't worry about it. It isn't important. If you have made it this far in life without quantum, then just skip it and the migraine.

Answer 2

Quantum is a collection of rules made up by people who are, let's be honest, guessing why thing are happening that they can't explain in any other way. Scientists always want things to boil down and become more simple. They want finite lines and roles. When you divide and define, things are supposed to start making sense dammit. Some very smart people refuse to admin that maybe things get more complex as you get smaller, as you dissect. There are more choices instead of less for things or more interactions not less. Maybe those things you think are small are still just as complex and varied as all the big things.

Answer 3

The stuff the universe is made of. The material that can become anything on the smallest scale possible. These are buckets full of generic particles and forces that make up everything else.

Answer 4

The free memory in the simulation we all live in. These particles are the bits of random access memory that still have some traces of what piece of the universe was remembered at some point. Black holes are probably just memory leaks in the galaxy or sun subroutines.

Answer 5

No two things can occupy the same spot at the same time. Quantum is simply the act of very small things trying to keep out of each other's way. This is why they appear to travel faster than the speed of light. This is why they appear to change attributes or design without explanation.

Answer 6

The drone of creation. The soup of matter and happenings and changes.

Answer 7

Proof that God will always throw more at us. We are not in danger of figuring everything out and thus stagnating.


There is some bar that sets the price of beer like a commodity. The more of a particular kind of beer sells, the cheaper it gets. That is kind of backward. Still, people buy in, so to speak. There are margins to prevent 300 people from walking in and attempting to drive the price to zero. The only thing I walked away from was that people were paying $6.50 for a glass of logger.

If I had a goat that ate nightmares and shit rainbows, some people would find a reason to bitch. Some people will never be satisfied. These people seem to gravitate to the whole environmental movement.

Americans are getting fatter. Some port authorities are changing the rules for passenger capacity. They have to calculate the number using 180 lb instead of 160 now. Yikes.

Been a few days since I put up any online content. I've been ridiculously busy at work. Our company seems to stir the pot hard this week because most of the employees get next week off. I suppose this is a normal response for so much time where the company is basically shut down. However, Many people need me in order to get things done on our network or on their computers. It was not until today that I got a breather. I was able to catch up on some things today.

I ordered the frigging video camera. It will only fix one major problem I have with my current camera. It will take longer than 10 minute videos. It has a normal lens. That is, it does not have a wide angle lens. I intend to use it for long videoing something stationary for a couple hours and using the 30 seconds of video that is worth keeping. This is something that I've missed being able to do. It would be great if I were making money off this, but it is still in the hobby stage.

Once upon a time, I set up a web server to host my own video files. This was just as YouTube was kicking off. If I had known how much easier it would be after YouTube came about, I would have just waited. I have yet to upload those videos to my YouTube Channel. I need to do this.

Sleep is for the dead.

A couple months ago I sent out an email asking if anyone had extra unused DVI cables lying around. A couple weeks before that I sent an email around asking if anyone had seen a DVI splitter, converts a single in to a coble headed connection. Again, no response save a single cable that someone gave up. Today, I found a box of dusty DVI cables and splitters in one of the labs. I moved it to my office. I'm the one who divvies these things out. Now I have a box full. This also makes a couple of otherwise useless video cards work. Today, it paid to be nosey.

"Loads of people have PhDs. They are as dome as I am." -Mar Kermode. Film critic with a PhD.

Bliss is for the weak.



What do I wish? What is worth wishing? If I admit something selfish, does that make my wish moot? If I wish for something selfless, is it for selfish reasons? Is there a way to win this wishing thing?

The days will get longer and the nights shorter from today on. This is the solstice. Summer is right around the corner. Tomorrow is rain. Hope this is a good omen for the year. That is a good omen when you have come off a couple years as dry as we have had.

The bar I'm looking for smells like a wharf. It has only one light bulb hanging from bare wires. The wood is as rotten as the barman's stare. There is only one drink and they call it poison for a good reason. This is my place. These are my people, even if they would stab me for the price of a single shot. Good times.

The laptops I've been looking at are very cheap. The cameras I've been looking at are very cheap. Still, I can't really afford them. We need to pay off all the bills before worrying about these things.


Shit happens


  • We have good insurance at my work.
  • The roof doesn't leak (yet).
  • I've been vlogging for a while and seem to like it.
  • Global warming has still proven to be bullshit.
  • Had a couple free lunches last week. Christmas and all.
  • Man's domination of the dog and horse continues unabated.


  • Illness
    • Nat is still recovering from surgery.
    • I'm sick.
    • My father needs a new kidney. God knows what else.
    • My right big toe knuckle appears to be too large. What the hell do you do about that?
    • I think I have a cavity and no frigging dentist. We don't need any new medical bills.
  • Our water keeps getting dirty because we are at the end of the water line. That is just plane disgusting, but a fact.
  • The bills are piling up faster than I can pay them. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but it keeps getting farther away.
  • People keep dumping work on me so they can take off early for Christmas vacation.

I'm sure I'll think of something else.


Game farming

All your score are belong to us.

The first half of this video shows a little bit of how game farming works. This is a blip, but there are many people doing this. I've heard that there are entire warehouses full of people doing similar things.

Vacuum Belt

Music: Faster Does It by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 3.0"
Field Data
Title Vacuum Belt
Description An hour and a half to change a vacuum belt. It should have taken maybe ten minutes if we knew what were doing.
Tags "time lapse" "vacuum sweeper" vacuum belt change replace adults "Canon Elph 300" Houston Texas Kdenlive
Link Link

Oil lamp

I wonder how well used oil would work.


Lunch conversation

The big story today is that someone accidentally copied someone high up on an email complaining about he company. I'm sure this kind of thing happens all the time at every company. It is just interesting to hear about it. I await the memo.

You can tell that people use email for work because they screw up their emails and complain when it is not around. If they didn't get use out of it, you would not hear about the problems people have with it as much. I should stop complaining about hooking up printers because that means people are using them.

People only spoke briefly about the latest Star Wars MMOLG. You can play a droid. The three minutes I spent playing World of Warcraft came up briefly.

It was hot outside today. The weather is nuts. On the way back to the office, the sun came out and everyone was sweating. Adam asked about the Greenland Ice Pack and if anyone had hard about it breaking up. He claimed that it is supposed to bring on the next ice age when it melts and dumps a bazillion tons of frigged water in to the Atlantic. I mentioned that today, it has my vote to break.

We walked past a car that had its alarm going off. It was one of those alarms where the horn just keeps beeping randomly. My father had one on his vehicle a couple years ago. The comments were made that at least it makes people turn their heads. Another person commented that we didn't stop. A third person mentioned that the two young ladies beside it didn't fit the profile of car thieves.


I am not a tree hugger. I wish our government would outlaw cutting down huge trees for Christmas displays. It is a waist. Try growing a big tree in one of those squares. Same for the Whitehorse. Stop it. You are contributing to killing the planet.

Then came the beginning.

I am so rooted in reality that you exist to me.

What is going on with gluten? "People try it and feel better." What is the problem with the gluten? "I don't know. Some people have an allergic reaction ..." It sounds like bullshit to me. it sound like a placebo effect to me.

The Voyager probes are still working thirty something years on. I can't find a light bulb that last more than a year.

Someone has really made entanglement work on a macro scale. This is amazing. This is the gateway for computers using thousands of processors all at once. It is the gateway to world wide mass direct point to point communications. It might lead to instant communications regardless of distance. I know this last one is not that big a deal on Earth, but will come in handy for space travel.

There is a movement to make photos have a rating system that tells how much retouching has been performed. I want one that is applied to politicians and how truthful they are while bullshitting lying speaking.

Today I tried to install Windows Vista Home Premium on a couple old laptops. They had the Dell license for that OS. The key does not work. You need the Dell copy of Vista to make it work. Goodness only knows what Dell would charge for two old laptops (really only one because the first one would surely work on the second) this far out of warranty.

There are going to be thousands of CIA and other special ops and even FBI staying in Iraq after the first of the year. No one is fooled. Least of all the Iraqis.

The clouds were so low this morning that you cold hear yourself cussing at them echo off them. The air was thick. It looks like rain. It smells like rain. The ground is wet and the grass is clingy.

CSI Pope has to come on to the scene to prove a miracle has happened before someone can become a saint.

Some reporter drove through Syria. The rebels gave the woman a tour. It never fails to crack me up. When the press agrees with a group they are rebels. When they disagree, they are terrorists. The rebels want a no fly zone. I also love how every side claims they are not free until they are fully in charge of everything. I didn't know that is what the word free meant.

Linux can look complex

Field Data
Title Linux can look complex
Description Sometime things are not ad complex as they seem.
Tags image linux Ubuntu dd "linux commands" complexity Dell laptop "Canon Elph 300" unbox server Houston Texas Kdenlive
Link Link



When I write a blog entry or shoot a vlog video, it reminds me of how it must feel for a tree to grow a new root. I feel just that little bit more grounded. It is a feeling and there for not even close to mattering in reality. Feelings count for motivation.

Hooked up three printers today. One of them twice. I then shared most of them. Then I attached a couple users' machines to those shared printers. This is worth mentioning because we have printers in most of our offices that are hardly ever used. I try to put them in communal areas so anyone can connect to them over the network, but I am commonly overridden by the powers that be. Ho-hum. Another day.

I watched a man try to fix a motorized wood splitter. It turned out the crank case was cracked and he had to replace the engine. After that, the wood splitter worked like a champ.

Nat was very kind. She cooked a TV dinner for me. It stunk so bad from some kind of pepper in the sauce I had to throw it out in the garage. She hosed the place down in Febreez and we are back to normal.

I've had this running through my head half the day.



Man, they are pissing themselves in Europe. Shit is looking like it will fall apart. Basically, Germany has let it slip that they are not going to pay off everyone's credit card. Everyone else is saying "That's why we joined in the first place." The bills have come due. The collectors are knocking at the door.

England, for a while wanted to join the Euro. The division was something like 5/10 yes 4/10 no and the rest undecided. now the numbers have apparently flipped. The news is full of what is on TV and sports on the BBC. That along with weather and traffic. Not much about Iran getting the bomb next year or the Russians tearing their government in little pieces.

Europe is upset that England is really thinking of telling Europe to go fuck itself ... again. Some diplomat or whatever came on the BBC and basically shouted at the commentator that England should just shut up and fall in line with the rest of Europe. More than a few Brits are not happy about the attitude of Europe.

I keep hearing therms like:

  • "epoch moment"
  • "world economy"
  • "not the end of the world"
  • "no one is starving yet"
  • "new EU treaty"
  • "worse thing in a generation"
  • Briton has a better negotiation stance now specifically because she is not part of the Euro.
  • Some folks throw their hands up and say the only solution is to give the government totalitarian powers to "fix" things.
  • Others throw up their hands and say giving government totalitarian powers was a mistake.
  • Others throw up their hands and say "Now is the time for action!" They then sit on their hands and wait for the Germans to sign the check.

There are 27 countries in the European union. Many use the same currency. Briton wanted a change to the treaty. Europe said no. Now Europe wants to change the treaty. Briton says no. Europe is going ahead anyway. This may be illegal. Offal convenient just ignoring laws that don't fit your agenda. This sort of thing is happening a lot these days. Egypt ignores the rights of their citizens not to be killed while protesting. The U. S. is working on suspending or abolishing Habeas Corpus in the near future. They say it is just for terrorist types, but the powers that be will really like the idea of just getting rid of trouble makers.

I listened to some debate on the BBC between people in Briton who want to fully surrender, I mean join Europe and people who Want to fake an independent nation joining Europe in a financial way only. They do not want to let it slip that both sides want the same thing. Europe will make and enforce the rules. Europe will collect and spend the taxes. The U. S. will supply the armed forces for foreign conflict and China will supply everything else. The debate was heated. Those in the hall were told repeatedly to shut up.

The European Union is fraying at the seems.


Coughing my head off. Have I mentioned that I'm sick of being sick? While sitting in my office this afternoon, I took a moment to listen to every single office around me cough. It seems like the whole office has come down with the same ailment.

Just can't leave it to one comment on thenews post.


Elle's Christmas fort

Field Data
Title Elle's Christmas Fort
Description Ever just wanted to get away from it all?
Tags kid fort "Christmas fort" "hiding place" family fun "Christmas tree" "Canon Elph 300" Houston Texas Kdenlive
Link Link

Making it look easy

Not too shabby. The mud looks pretty well packed. I've been watching a couple 4x4 type videos this morning. People seem to put a lot of stock in bald tires. I don't know if they just don't want to put good tires on an off road vehicle or if someone out there is telling people the slicks have some advantage. Half the problems in the off road community could be solved with some nobbies on an otherwise decent off roader.



Field Data
Title Saturday
Description Work, family, shopping. Another day in paradise.
Tags vlog "Sam's Club" "working on the weekend" "cat litter" family work shopping paradise "Canon Elph 300" Houston Texas Kdenlive
Link Link


Lunch conversation

I went to lunch with one coworker. We seem to get along. Hadn't sat down with him and wrapped in a while. It was good.

  • Family
    • Commitments related to holidays.
    • Conflicts related to holidays.
    • Illnesses
  • Football and baseball in a moder era of the DVR an internet.
  • McRib and French fries.
  • Tethering our phones and battery life.
  • Old cars.
  • Women!!


found out at around 06:00 this morning via text message that I have to work tomorrow, Saturday. It is for a good reason. My buddy, the one I'm covering for, is adopting he and his wife's second child. This is so frigging cool. Not that I have to come in. That kind of sucks. Not like I had plans. It is coming in on a weekend. I have no idea what to do with the consultant coming in. I plan on rolling with the punches. It has to do with mail setup. It is amazing how difficult it is to keep email going.

Finally setup tethering on my phone. It turns out I didn't even need to root my phone. I'm so mad at myself for not checking Instructions found here for our Optimus V phones from Virgin Mobile.

It must be a chore to have a very special episode of a podcast/radio show. Thing is, I hate them for the most part. They typically have a live audience for the first time. I dislike when radio shows and podcasts take on the public. This is true for all shows so far except for Dr. Karl. Their callers rock. No idea why except it is purely educational. Both sides want to learn from each other when the calls happen instead of yell at each other which is what most other shows are after.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The Republican party needs to split right down the middle. The only reason it hasn't happened is because of numbers. I think you would be surprised how many democrats would run to the newly created centrist party.


Family evening

Field Data
Title Family after work
Description What goes down on a Thursday evening in the zhsy compound.
Tags vlog "family fun" "stream of consciousness" Thursday evening garage "after work" home "chick fil a" "drive through" "drive thru" snickers Houston Texas "Canon Elph 300" Kdenlive
Link Link


Every day, I have to add a couple new technical terms like 'Unquarantine" to my spell checker. I've been using this spell checker for weeks if not months. You wold think it wouldn't be a daily occurrence.

A friend of ours is going through a divorce. Yet another one. I hate this. I've had too many friends go through the trouble and expense of these things. Divorce should be easy. Marriage should be hard. It should take two years and thirty five thousand dollars to get married.

Lunch conversation

Today was one of those days I wish I could have shot a video. One of the guys had a children's play thing to go to. He had to deal with some asshole who had $15000 worth of camera equipment which he believed gave him the privilege of standing in front of everyone and videoing his kid, all others be dammed. My friend was not happy about it. He made his displeasure known with gusto and flamboyance. It would have made a good video.

We also talked about work a little bit. Not too much. It was refreshing. Mostly people complained about the recent changes to our email. They also commented on the state of the industry. I need to learn how to run a trout line.

Some of the guys spoke of a new video game based on Battlestar Galactica. The way they talked about it, the whole game was spot the robot. There was some rule that said if you just shove everyone out an airlock you can spot the Silon based on the gaming rules. There is just not a sufficient negative to this activity. There is apparently a supplemental set of rules that answerers this issue.

The subject of kidney stones came up as well. I was told I should keep a strainer and a jar next to the toilet. Perhaps not.

One of these days when we go to Fing Ling, I want to video us all taking our order. It is like clockwork.


Out sick, Kidney stone

Field Data
Title Kidney stone anecdote
Description My anecdote about today's kidney stone.
Tags sick illness "kidney stone" medical story anecdote pain agony vlog "Canon Elph 300" Houston Texas Kdenlive
Link Link

Work craziness

Email upgrade

I've just about had it with email issues. Wifi is right behind email in the list if issues that I'm sick of. Why is email an WiFi so frigging difficult? You would thing that they would have the kinks worked out of a 40 year old protocol. Alas, this is not the case.

Much of modern social media started as email. Blogs started as a list of people to email when you had something worth complaining about in your head. People wanted on the list. People wanted off. Finally blogs came about. Same with Facebook and Twitter.

These past couple days have been nuts. Not just for me either. Any time you mess with people's email, you get both barrels. It cracks me up how much modern work runs on email.

As I think about it, nearly every process of our company has an email component. If not something that happens every time the process is executed, then a step that has to happen if things go wrong.

We upgraded. Now, we pay the price. Why did we upgrade? Because we didn't want to tell people we had a ten year old email setup. Hey, it kind of worked.

Email Upgrade Timing

Of course this could not have happened at a worse time for most of the people involved. They refuse to admit that their crisis would have happened no matter when we pulled the trigger on this upgrade.

Laptop charger

One of our people has a laptop with either the wrong charger or a bad charging mechanism in the laptop. I've tried most of the charger we have. Nearly all of them list the correct voltage. many even have the same connector. They all fail.


Otherwise, things are not so bad. Most stuff that happens is normal every day IT stuff. I'm glad when I know how to fix something and I'm glad to learn how to fix things I don't.


"Whiskey fueled" "Jinn soaked" Get it right!

I've seen a cockroach fly. I've heard a cockroach hiss. Mainly I make them crunch when I can.

Remember "John and Kate Plus Eight?" ... Me either.

Remember the U. S. credit rating falling recently? Ya, I do too. Well, it is cheaper for the U. S. to barrow now than then. Apparently, the rest of the world fell further than we did.

I was watching a vlog and someone said they paid $9 for a set of clippers from Penny's. Is Penny's still in business? Is it in business in Canada?


Inside the shreader

Field Data
Title Inside a shredder
Description Just a quick video of the inside of a house hold shredder. Got to use my flashlight flood adapter.
Tags POV inside shredder "paper shredder" shreader shreder "Canon Elph 300" Houston Texas Kdenlive
Link Link


Tipsy rant

Field Data
Title File name extensions tipsy rant
Description Microsoft wants to rule the univers one file name at a time.
Tags "file extensions" file names Microsoft tyrant "Canon Elph 300" Houston Texas Kdenlive.
Link Link


I hope some of this is not completely bullshit.l

One good one bad

Field Data
Title One good, One bad
Description Response video to Meekakitty. Name one thing you are good at and one thing you are bad at.
Tags social interaction ask question meekakitty response "good at" "bad at" social "Canon Elph 300" Houston Texas Kdenlive
Link Link

Big Truck Videos

Just drag whatever the hell that thing is up the hill why don't you?

Over the hills and though the water. Tankers of oil have to get through.

Up. Up. Up! ... and over.


Vlog for today

Field Data
Title Vlog 2011-12-01 Clips galore
Description Loving life and kicking ass. This is what happened to me today.
Tags "ice cream" vlog bus "bus stop" complain "Linux complete command" book work job commute "Canon Elph 300" Houston Texas Westheimer Kdenlive.
Link Link

Silly podcast

I tried to listen to a podcast today while working. It wasn't working for me. It was a story about a woman who gives birth to a universe. I think. It was about the author and a miscarriage she had when she was nineteen. Miscarriages fuck women up. I can understand only so much, not having the equipment. I blame modern society assigning a stigma to miscarriages. I'm quite positive that there have been times in human existence where people didn't blame the mother for the miscarriage. I'm sad that we are in a bad place on the subject.

High Contrast

Hold the left-ctrl and left-shift and hit the print screen prtscr button in windows. You will be promoted to set high contrast video. Try it for a couple minutes. Hit the same combination to switch back. There are times I use this to set other people's machines because I cannot read their screens with some settings. It trips people out. As long as you don't switch back and forth too quickly, all the settings come back.

Mac must have something similar. I haven't looked. Linux, that is Gnome, requires you to set a keystroke combination to accomplish this. I don't think there is one by default. I've looked.

When I use Linux though, I don't really need to use high contrast video modes. Most of the color schemes seem to be readable for the most part. Sometimes I change the background and mouse if I can (Ubuntu!). I usually set the zoom buttons to 'win-i' and 'win-o' for in and out.

All the high contrast settings, regardless of OS break things. Some programs just don't test their software in high contrast mode. The text disappears from some buttons. This is because they hard code the text color or they base it on the line color of the current scheme. This causes the text to appear the same color as the background in some cases. Simple lack of testing. How many times have I said that about problems I've had with software?


Office Software

PDF editor - free - drag and drop pages and modify how everything looks. LibreOffice. Ye, people are terrified of it. You open the drawing package. Open the PDF. Start adding text, editing elements, swapping out graphics, filling in forms, moving pages around and all that kind of jazz. People are scared to death of using it. Just today, someone, who has LibreOffice on their computer, would not use it to modify the pages of a PDF they had just scanned in. Why? Because they had never done it before. How has Microsoft made the whole world addicted to their products?

I want to run a double blind study that brands LibreOffice Draw as Adobe Illustrator Lite. Then, have a bunch of lawmen people run though editing and modifying existing drawings and indeed PDF files. Then making up some drawings themselves. I bet money the test group who will see the name "LibreOffice Draw" will hate the package and the group that sees "Adobe Illustrator Lite" loves it. Then I want to re run the study with "Microsoft Architect for Office 2014" or something silly like that. I bet the results are the same.


Microsoft Office does not have the built in software for editing PDF files. Adobe products really only allow one package to edit PDF files and it is $200. There are a couple open source software packages out there that do it, but LibreOffice Draw is the best by miles for my money. Oh, wait, my no money because LibreOffice is free to consumers.

Ubuntu 11.10 over VNC

When I run VNC server on my server, it uses the cruddy display system that is some combination of a broken Unity and Gnome 3. It is indeed broken because there is no menu button, think the start button in Windows, of any kind. Nor does the search mechanism work that is to replace the start button. Something has to give because, let's face it, you have to initiate or run programs somehow. It is a needed evil.

I had to remote in to the box using ssh. Then I needed to find the desktop folder and write a script that simply kicks off a gnome-terminal. I can do what I want from there id I'm honest. Still, it sucks not to have the damn interface. If I run from the hard terminal, ie the keyboard and monitor, Things work well enough. Apparently, the bits of Gnome 3 or Unity or whatever makes things work is simply not compatible with the bits of VNC that act like a display system and generate the graphics.

The following is one potential fix. I'll try it this evening. Hopefully, I'll post my results. maybe not.

VNC on Ubuntu 11.10 with Gnome. Watch out for the quotes if you are cutting and pasting. The xstartup example for Gnome is here. I strongly recommend just dealing with gnome-classic.


Worked. =]


I may have to start using my own credit card and get reimbursed at work for purchases. I hate this. Not just for the paperwork. If I order something that doesn't work, I have to deal with sending it back. OH!!!! someone please take the purchasing responsibilities over. Thank you.

D. B. Cooper is still at large. There is no statue of limitations on his crimes. It is the only successful hijacker in U. S. history. He drank a Bourbon on the flight before hijacking the plane.

Can Islam and Democracy coexist? As long as those taking part in Democracy do what the Islamists say, everything is fine.


More Unity

I give up on Unity on Ubuntu. I'm going to switch to Gnome Shell if I can on all my machines. I think it will help my server. Gnome 3 has it's issues, but it is better thought out than Unity by far. Considering Unity appears to be sitting on top of the Gnome 3 back end, you would think they had a better interface already.

At the moment, I have to use an icon on the desktop of my server to run the command line and run everything from there. Unity won't run under VNC. I'm going to have to install one of the dumbed down GUI shells to get that working. Like I said in another post, this server is going to be made to work and not updated for the next couple years.

Maybe I want Unity to work. I don't know why I keep trying to make it do what I need. The idea of creating a new interface is kind of cool, but I'm hearing that many Ubuntu developers don't use Unity on their desktops either. That is the last nail. I'm done messing with it for now. Back to Gnome. Well, to the new Gnome 3, which is a whole new interface as well.

10 things to do after installing Ubuntu 11.10. I don't endorse all those changes. Pick and choose as you can get to work. It does show how to get VLC and Gnome Shell up on Ubuntu 11.10. Good luck.


I like westerns. Not real westerns. I like the myth of westerns. The realistic ones are not bad. I prefer the fake hero saving the heroin kind of thing.

Vampires are so last week. Not its gargoyles.

Fixed a problem I had today with this entry. I did not need to move a user profile folder. I had one vanish and the user could not save any settings from that point on. I was getting nowhere looking for instructions on what to do in this event. I had to change my strategy and look for how to move the folder. I was then able to find the settings in the registry and remove the offending entry. As soon as the user logged in again, the new profile and folders were created. Settings saved.

Apparently Pakistan is "too nuclear to fail". Bullshit. Watch.

What sounds your kids will never hear? typewriter, Those little bells you punch to get someone's attention.

Why I don't use Fedora any more

The news that Wikipedia was in the process of switching away from Red Hat and Fedora—and to Ubuntu—has stirred up some Fedora folks. The relatively short, 13 month support cycle for Fedora releases was fingered as a major part of the problem in a gigantic thread on the fedora-devel mailing list. Some would like to see Fedora be supported for longer, so that it could be used in production environments, but that is a fundamental misunderstanding of what Fedora has set out to do.
The idea of supporting Fedora beyond the standard "two releases plus one month", which should generally yield 13 months, is not new. It was, after all, the idea behind the Fedora Legacy project. Unfortunately, Fedora Legacy ceased operations at the end of 2006, largely due to a lack of interested package maintainers. So, calls for a "long term support" (LTS) version of Fedora are met with a fair amount of skepticism.
Fedora is not meant for production use, nor for those who cannot upgrade at least yearly. It has an entirely different mission, which Jon Stanley sums up:
"Well, in all fairness, Fedora's stated goal is to advance the state of free software. You get that by being bleeding-edge. Unfortunately, being bleeding edge also means not being suitable for production environments - these are two fundamentally incompatible goals. This is why Red Hat Linux split into two - Fedora and RHEL. RHEL is a derivative distribution of Fedora."

Apologies for quoting a quote. It just gets the point across. I need to figure out how to indent inside a block quote. Something like that anyway.

We use in a position at work where people want to use Fedora for their desktops. The idea of being stuck with an OS for years on your desktop makes people weep these days. I have to agree. There are so many things that change from one month to the next in the world of computers that people are not willing to be stuck with something that doesn't at least try to keep up.

I know for a fact that some large companies use Fedora as a production OS. This is bad bad bad. It is like using a race car for hauling freight. Great things come out of race cars. You can think racing for things like struts, twin turbos, over head cams (may have come form diesel engines), rain resistant tread on tires, and heaven know what other innovations. Still, they are just not meant to move pallet loads of stuff around.

In April next year Ubuntu 12.04 LTS comes out. The LTS stands for long term support. That means security updates and long term support for base packages will continue until some time in 2017. The next LTS is supposed to over lap this time by several months. The real support, not the locked support or whatever they call catastrophic fixes only period that occurs the rest of the time.

At the house, I use Ubuntu. I've tossed around the idea of switching to Mint, but that brings it's own issues. Ubuntu has lousy upgrade ability. In the future, I'm will try to do full installs on my primary machine. When it boils down to it, I will use the next 12.04 LTS version of Ubuntu on my server and other machines for the five or so years it will be supported. It will be nice to put the last OS on my server. Upgrading a server has specific issues that I just don't feel like dealing with every 13 months. I wish more companies felt this way.

Why do companies take risks like this? Why is it a risk? It is a risk because something that you depend on may change to the point you can no longer perform upgrades. If you cannot perform upgrades and updates, you may be at risk of being hacked.

As far as why companies do it, why do companies do anything? Well, they don't want to spend the money for all the licensing. they already know Fedora or whatever distro is the issue. They needed the latest feature that the distro offered at the time that no one else had. etc.


Sunday Walk

Field Data
Title Sunday walk
Description What I did this weekend.
Tags walk weekend sweep garage clean roses clear sky houston Texas "canon elph 300" Kdenlive
Link Link

Ubuntu 11.10 sucks

The mouse pointer in Ubuntu cannot be modified without intense scrutiny and effort.

I cannot control the interface or even launch programs in the normal way when controlling a machine through VNC.

The Unity interface is ridiculous at this point.

The more I read about people having similar problems the more it comes to me that half my problems are due to an upgrade rather than a full fresh install. I've had this trouble before. I should have learned my lesson.

There is a new distro in town. Well not so much new as I'm finally willing to try it. It is called Linux Mint. My biggest gripe about Linux is the lack of usability for normal users. Mint is supposed to handle this. The more I read about it, the better I like it. I don't care if it uses a three year old release of Gnome as long as it works.

I tried Linux Mint. That is, I tried to install it. I tried to install it on 5 different boxes, all with the same result. The install crashed. This is two different images of the install disk and 5 different machines including two virtual machines. The install crashed in 5 different places, different on each machine. This does not instill confidence for the OS.

A new rule for Ubuntu may be in order. Ubuntu is a pretty good OS as long as you A) Don't messe with the interface settings and B) Do full installs instead of upgrading. This is a sad statement. This is a bad thing for the OS.

This shows a lack of testing. What I'm sure happens is that someone installes version A on a box freash. Then they upgrade it to what will become version B. If the machine does not catch fire, they declare victory and go make a sandwich. This doesn't help when people have their own settings and programs installed. Nothing from this line of thought is valid. "We can't test for everything." Especially, when they are not getting paid for the most part.

The same thing happens in Windows. When you upgraded from Vista to Windows 7, you found that all the problems continued. The only difference was some features went away and some new one's showed up. If you didn't do a fresh install, the problems stuck around. That is because you are the problem. You installed the shit software. You changed things to a combination that no one else had tried. The upgrade tries to keep the system as much the same as possible.


Mouth off in Russia, get thrown in prison and tortured and neglected to death. Stay to the very end. The last little jab is awesome.


Drive prices

Hard Drive Prices Up 150% In Less Than Two Months
"The Register reports that hard drive prices (lowest average unit prices) have rocketed 151% from October 1 to November 14th. The worst days have seen over 5% daily price increases. This is commonly attributed to the floods in Thailand, but there are concerns of artificial price fixing and suspicion that retailers or members of the supply channel are taking advantage of the situation."
The number varies when you break it down to individual drives, but it seems to be in the right ballpark. Anecdotally, the drive I picked up on Oct. 14th would cost me 135% more today. The flood waters in Thailand have partially receded, but aren't expected to be completely gone until early December. The damage to the country's economy and property is measured in the tens of billions.

This has bitten me in the butt over the last couple weeks. We, as a rule, need a constant supply of hard drives just to keep our infrastructure going. I cannot imagine how the computer manufacturing companies are coping with this crap. I read somewhere that only a few components come out of Thailand. The idea that this trickle of parts is hindering the entire planet's ability to make drives is ridiculous.



Field Data
Title Tag
Description Shot Thanksgiving day 2011 at Sue's house. They had brush to burn anyway. The little square in the lower left corner is a slow motion video of the fire after dark.
Tags "slow motion" fire vivid tag kids family fun adults playing yard thanksgiving "thanks giving" "Canon Elph 300" Houston Texas Kdenlive
Link Link


The Beard

Field Data
Title The Beard
Description Why I don't grow a full beard. This is a story about some friends and myself getting pulled over.
Tags beard police "police stop" "plain cloths" story anecdote "pulled over" act acting amateur friends "collage days" "good times" remember Houston Texas Westheimer "Canon Elph 300" Kdenlive "Why I don't grow a full beard" "very bad man"
Link Link


Work laptops

We have several old laptops at work. They are quite old and some have real problems. I went though them today and either brought them up to their best day or at least identified the issue with each.

Five were able to put in "deployable" state. They are mostly grumpy and cantankerous, but usable.

Three have real software issues. One simply refuses to take Vista service pack 2 update. Two have the wrong OS installed. I'm not sure how to fix either, but they are not hardware issues.

There was one quite old laptop that had some kind of hardware issue. It either has a blown drive or motherboard. It refuses to mount the drive on the internal bus or USB. Not sure what's up with that. I'm calling it dead.

All the testing took me about three hours. All the good laptops had multiple updates and setting changes they required. It was, however, kind of fun.

Couldn't have done it without my custom hat mounted monocular. Thanks Dad.


Rain! yes. One of my coworkers mentioned the rain and how we still need it this time of year. In a normal year, we roll our eyes and sigh when it rains on a fall morning. It means I yawn a lot at my desk.

I hear the cars rolling outside. The tires make a different sound. The water on the roads makes the tires kind of whistle or whine. It sounds like rain on a roof sometimes. Lucky if my head doesn't thunk into my monitor. The rain and sunshine can both distract. Can anything distract me on this day, the the middle day of a short week?

Another coworker rides in on a motorcycle. His legs got wet. I was bragging how nice it was to walk all the way in this morning without getting rained on. I walked the whole way with my rain slicker in my hand. I could see the mist from the road and all the cars rushing by in the flashlight beam.


Missed the rain this morning. It was awesome.

The Simpson's have had some very modern story lines lately. One was about foodies and foody blogs. Another was about group authoring a book and someone steeling the lime light at the last minute. It all surrounded a USB key switch that was the twist. Every one has laptops. At least not everyone has a Mac. I'm not complaining. Just taking note of some changes. The Simpson's have been around for what, 25 years. They must have grown, or they wouldn't have lasted.


Get Well Ken

Field Data
Title Get well Ken
Description A get well message to a friend of mine who just had a heart attack at the age of 37.
Good times -
Tags "good times" "bad times" "37 years old" friend healthy "heart attack" Houston Texas "Canon Elph 300" Kdenlive
Link Link

'em Canadians

These are some Canadian colloquialisms that I've picked up on a particular vlog. This is probably just one part of Canada. It may just be this one guy and his buddies.


Cheech: verb - smoking as in Cheech and Chong.

Cheecher: noun - Something that smokes or does something similar to smoking like spewing watter, like a hose. Or draws in like a smoker, like an air intake for an engine.

Cheech it: verb - As in floor it.


Antler: noun - Anything that sticks out of something. Fingers, exhaust pipes "cheeching antler", steering wheels "steering antler".

Cheeching antler: noun - Exhaust pipe on a vehicle or wood burning stove. Sometimes used to describe cigarettes.

Breathing antler: noun - Cigarette


Ya!: punctuation - Exclamation point in spoken word. Found at the ends of sentences after the briefest of pauses to lend more value to the statement made that in deserves.


This all came from one vlog called 1puglife.


Had to leave my phone with Nat this morning. She woke me up twenty minutes before my alarm went off to tell me she couldn't find her phone. I was grumpy to say the least. I was dreaming that I had hours before my alarm went off.

She spoke to me last on said phone yesterday on the way back from Faire. She obviously left it in her friend's car. Obvious to me. She actually went in to the garage and checked our car for her phone. As far as I know, she hadn't been in our car in 24 hours. I suppose desperation makes one do strange and irrational things.

It is liberating not having my phone today. Fortunately, I still have a wrist watch on my keychain. Though, I forget it is there. My calendar is on my computer at work. I can do most of the things from their if I want. I don't do social media from work. That is, I don't do it on my work on my computer. That is a bit liberating as well.

I managed to make it something like 25 or 30 years without a mobile. I can make it one day I suppose. I do miss tweeting every five minutes.

Nat says she will have the phone back by the end of the day. Not a disaster. Kind of a rest bit.


Saw cops using cameras on sticks during riots in a video this weekend. Looks highly effective. You could see the protester/rioters videoing cops. The cops don't seem to be worried about it in the videos.

I got to figure out and show the guy who hired and showed me the ropes at my current company how to do something today.

I've tried to install Linux Mint on 5 different computers. Three were real systems. Two were virtual machines. They all failed at different levels. This is not promising. I fear I'll have to stick with Ubuntu for the moment out of necessity.

A friend of mine, about 40, had a heart attack. He is as good as someone who just had a heart attack can be. Details to come.

The big boss pages me in to someone else's office. He just wanted me to see the two laptops, one iPad and iPhone sitting in a quarter circle on his table opposite his desk with two computers under it and dual monitors. He is a web developing engineer.



Field Data
Title Test driving the Ford Flex
Description Test driving the Ford Flex.
Tags parked "test drive" "Ford Flex" flex garage POS "Canon Elph 300" Houston Texas Kdenlive.
Link Link



I really think that today was the first day of my morning commute where all the experiences of what happened today were completely merged with memories from every other commute. There is no differentiation now between today and all those generic commute memories.

Yesterday's vlog felt good. I don't think it was particularly good for viewers. It was, however, that kind of vlog entry that makes the author, me, feel like I achieved something. Nothing fancy. Nothing moving. Just started a project, followed it through, and completed it. If only I felt this sense of accomplishment doing the yard or paying bills or anything that has to do with the house.

Basketball. What a bunch of rich idiots. This is a really bad time. All these guys are the 1% so to speak. How many peripheral people are loosing work. Vendors, photographers, parking lot attendants, janitors. Seriously. They all have families. Get your shit together.

There is a drug being tested on monkeys. It causes some fat cells to simply go away. Cells have a mechanism to commit suicide. If this doesn't happen, you get cancer or your cells simply run until they break and that causes other bad things. What is happening to the monkeys is they turn in to good eating habit monikers. Monikers that had been over weight and over eaters, become normal weight monkeys that eat more an average amount of food. Human trials are under way as I type. It also looks like they have no side effects including blood chemistry.


What to vlog

One of the vlogs I frequent is CTFXC. It is by a guy named Charles Trippy. That is as far as I can tell, his real name. His finance's name is Ali Speed. Yup. They get nabbed at airports all the time.

Alie has been going to school for the last several years. I believe she got a degree in multiple languages. Not sure how that works. He got a degree in communication I believe. Charles is using his degree to the most efficient use of any communication major in history. He and Alie have sold t-shirts and other merchandise with their brand. They have established a brand.

Up to now, they have been vlogging everything in their lives. I think they are on day 920 something consecutive days. They got engaged on the vlog. They are getting married on the vlog. This must end shortly. Here is why.

First off, they are going on a honeymoon. I just don't see an every day vlog on a honeymoon. I'm not a communication grad so I don't have the best ideas on the matter I'm sure.

More importantly, Charles is now the base player in a band named "We the Kings" I think. They are pretty popular in some circles. They are going on full blown tour soon. They will be spending hours each day on a tour bus. I think we have already seen the highlights from day one. I'm just glad the smell is not making it to YouTube.

Once the marriage is under way and the tour is under way, and the band won't let him put up footage of the concerts, I just don't get what the content is going to look like. how much can you do on a tour bus? (that you can put on YouTube)

For a long time I've been a bit jealous of the people putting out this amazing content day in and day out over months or years. I continue to remind myself that they do this for a living. They have all day to plan and scheme their next steaming pile of content. Most of them have careers in a field like acting or production that goes hand in hand with vlogging. Me, I'm in IT.

I've linked to these before.

Channel Notes
CTFXC A man, a woman, their dogs, their extended family, friends, members of the band, hangers on and passers by.
Phillip Defranco Production. When he started out, he had himself and a tendency to complain about stuff in the news. Now he has a production company. He still complains about stuff in the news.
Wheezy Waiter Was a waiter with asthma. He acts and sings in a band.
Olga Kay Actress. I have no idea where she makes money. This channel is very girly. I watch it any way because I've learned some tricks.
=3 Ray William Johnson. Not sure if this is his real name. The name of the channel is supposed to look like a penis and testicles. He reviews popular videos and pokes fun at people. He started out as a guy in his living room. He now has a studio and a crew. Not sure what else he is up to, but I suspect he produces to some extent.
Crazy British Bloke British handy man living and vlogging in Canada.
Morning Drive (by) Just video themselves driving and talking to themselves.
David's farm lives Old Dave is still going.

And the video information/

Field Data
Title What to vlog
Description Covering several vlogs. My full blog entry .
Phillip Defranco -
Wheezy Waiter -
Olga Kay -
=3 -
Crazy British Bloke -
Morning Drive (by) -
David's farm lives -
Tags vlogs original "full time" "part time" "vlog ideas" inspiration learning "who doesn't suck at vlogging" Houston Texas "Canon Elph 300" Kdenlive
Link Link



Goooooo fractions!!! I so had to break out my calculator on 7/8.


The cops in New York are finally going in to the Occupy camps and flushing people out. They can go back to some places and not to others. People cannot camp or stay indefinitely. "They cannot turn the place in to their home." They are talking about a place in particular that is private property.

I'm starting to come to the conclusion that I will have to buy a laptop with windows on it. Even if I can convince someone to sell me one, I will not get Any warranty support without windows installed. Goddammit! Fuck you Microsoft! Fuck you to hell!!!!!

I tried to use StressLinux from a USB key and had all kinds of trouble. It didn't matter if I used the raw or ISO file. They both died on mounting something during boot. I burned the exact same ISO to a CD and it booted fine. Drag. I've had trouble with that USB key before on boot, but it has worked for a long time without issue. Maybe it is just untrustworthy.

The global financial collapse is about the best thing that has happened to fix global warming. The only thing that could be better to fix global warming is catastrophic famine.


Work rant

Field Data
Title Work rant - wifi and data bases
Description Two rants for the price of one download. I complain about wifi access points and databse issues. Yay!
Tags wifi wireless "access point" infrastructure IT "Information Technology" "garbage in garbage out" database data work script rant reset Houston Texas "Canon Elph 300" Kdenlive
Link Link


Apple pie for breakfast. Could be worse.

I've had this cough for weeks. Not sure what to do about it. I'm trying nothing and I'm all out of ideas. I have tried several over the counter medications. None seem to do much. I am still doing the Netti pot thing. It seems to be the only thing that does any good.

I was able to attach to my company's wifi from the down front parking lot the other day while waiting for a ride. I did have to step a way from the side of the building.

It is not that I don't get poetry. I don't want it. I read it. I digest it. Sometimes I like limerick's and cowboy poetry. Rarely does a poem make me stop and think or feel emotion. more rare than short stores or long ones for that matter. There are gems. There are exceptions to the rule. I will not find them because I don't read poetry much.

For the first time, I looked in to rooting my phone. It just has problems and I really want to make it run faster. It has given me issues with disk space before. Not sure what to do ab

Mission log

This is "not really work" stuff that I did at work today.

Time Event
05:00 Got up.
06:?? Left for work.
07:11 Clocked in to work.
07:15 Made coffee and ate 2 pieces of Apple pie left from yesterday's lunch thing for breakfast.
10:00 Fire drill. We don't go outside. That might cause problems. We just go to the stair well and wait to be counted.
I walked past my closest stair well to the one in the lunch room. The left overs from the lunch thing yesterday are still out. Nom nom nom. We chatted about how noisy it was and how some of our collective friends have custom molded in ear monitor head phones.
12:20-12:43 Lunch. Ate left overs with half the company in the lunch room. No pictures taken. No one put this one up on Facebook or Google+.
People at my spot spoke of video games. I didn't catch much else. I was only there for about twenty minutes including warming my food. I even had three deserts.
14:50 Bumped in to a friend headed the opposite way in the hall. He said "Good morning - er - afternoon Kelly. Whatever it is." I answered "Who has time to worry about time?" Neither of us stopped walking. Good times.
15:21 Thought about taking a break, but I just don't want to go back to the lunch room for more food.
15:45 Stopped in to someone's office in an attempt to kill five minutes between tasks. They were busy and I left before costing them too much time.
17:30 Left work. Caught a ride so I brought some of the coffee cans I've been hording at work home.
18:47 Published blog. Relaxing at home.


The day is coming that remote controlled (RC) vehicles are outlawed. Right now, civilians can buy just about anything they can afford or put together themselves. That will change the first time the cops find an RC chopper following patrol cars around.


Dead laptop

My mother gave me a laptop a while back. The battery was completely dead and one USB port was gone. No big deal. She used it for everything. It came with XP I believe. it is circa 2006 or 7 maybe. It gave her good service for several years. She has a new system that is much better.

I loved it. I put Linux on it and never looked back. That is, until recently. It turns out upgrading Linux is going to be difficult task because of a couple of factors.

The DVD drive is going out. It gets errors. The BIOS will not let me boot from any USB device. I looked on HP's site for the model information, but it is not there. It is like the laptop never existed. Perhaps it was manufactured by someone else with HP's name on it. So much for a flash update. It probably only would have worked if the computer still had Windows on it anyway.

This laptop ended up heading to the hospital with me when Nat was there a couple weeks ago. It turned out to be completely useless. Not only could I not get the system to do much beyond checking email and watching YouTube videos. Now it is time to upgrade. The CD has errors. The drive seems fine.

Keeping the drive and trashing the rest of the rest. Sad. Can't afford another one. I don't want to pay for a laptop with Windows on it because It gives Microsoft money for a license that will never get used. That pisses me off no end. Thus, I use second hand laptops where the license has already been paid for. I can't afford that either.

Fortunately, Nat's laptop is fine. Elle has one at Bill's that works for her. My next computer will most likely be a laptop. If, that is, when I locate someone who will sell me a laptop without an OS or with Linux already installed.

I don't really need a laptop if I'm honest. My big boss at work asked me if I had an iPad or any Apple products. I had to tell him no because I cannot afford any of them. I really just don't want any on top of it.

Speaking of Apple, one of the vloggers I watch is all proud of all his different Apple products. He is so proud to dust them off and parade them in front of the camera and complain about what was wrong with them. All I can think of is the twenty thousand dollars he has spent in the last dozen or so years on these devices.


eBook readers scare me. It scares me how easy it is to burn books from readers.

Just missed a disaster. Today, after lunch, my zipper caught in the restroom on a bit of thread from my underwear. I couldn't zip up. Fortunately, I had my pliers on me. I stepped in to a stall and pulled the clump of fuzz out of my zipper manually and with great force. A bit of yanking ... [um, never mind] ... and the zipper started working again. Thank goodness. Can you imagine trying to go through the rest of the day with a failed zipper? The bus ride might have been memorable.


Parenting Sunday

Field Data
Title Just another Sunday
Description Sunday afternoon at the ZHSY compound.
Tags cute video bomber kids family fun "Sunday afternoon" evening home garage clean cleaning clutter plan laundry yard "Canon Elph 300" Houston Texas Kdenlive
Link Link


When will it be controlled by a phone sized device? When can we get one of these to 90% of the traveling soldiers in combat zones? Honestly, these just don't look that expensive. Not compared to training a soldier and getting them back home.

Best RC video

This is what I want when I type "RC helicopter" in to YouTube. This person gets it. Awesome job.


Bike ride

Field Data
Title One more bike ride
Description Elle can ride a bike. She just needs some practice.
Apologies for the wind noise. Still working on it.
Tags kids family fun bicycle ride "helmet cam" "first person" "learning to ride a bike" practice Houston Texas "Canon Elph 300" Kdenlive
Link Link


This morning wasn't any cooler than yesterday. I felt much colder. I bundled up just like every one else. Not sure what the difference was. I imagine it has something to do with what I ate the night before. Funny that.

Italy has real assets. So the experts say. Apparently, Italy makes money. It looks like Italy might just make it. The government of the country is not reliable. They are nuts over there. Every government is a coalition. Someone from Italy said when you push Italians, they become Germans. I get that. I hope is still true. Many Italians blame the U. S. for the troubles of Greece and the rest of Europe. I had no idea we were so powerful.

I cut my pinkie finger this morning. I didn't notice it until I was at the bus stop. This means, it happened between shower and getting to the bus stop. It had to be the stupid wall I walk next to on my commute. The little rocks that make up the surface are sharp. I do not even remotely remember coming in contact with the wall this morning.

The laptop that I assigned to myself at work has a digital video port. It is the kind that you use on a Mac Book. It is basically HDMI with the pins and connecter switched around so it is deliberetly not compatable. Friging Lenovo. the answer to this problem is about $3 plus shipping.

Nearly stopped for breakfast this morning. I was five minutes for the deli down stairs. Looking through the window on the door I could tell they were taking the chairs off the tables. Thought I would double my money by folding it over and putting it back in my pocket.

Stopped twice on the way to the bus stop to fix my socks. I have a bunch of socks from the late nineties and early 2000s. For a long time I purchased thick hiking socks every couple months. I paid good money for them. This means I have an adversity to tossing them even though they have past their toss date. It is time. I must nickle under and just do it.

Saw someone using a USB numeric keypad the other day on a laptop. I couldn't tell what they were doing. They would reach over and tap the keys a couple times between using the normal keyboard on the laptop. It appeared to be one of those roll up rubber jobs, but I didn't want to disturb them. Looked it up on Amazon. $8 or $12. Not too shabby if it saves you a sore wrist.

"You can imagine the difficulty in getting a fifth round of sanctions." -An "expert" on the efforts of the world to deal with Iran.

Is it me or has weather prediction just not improved that much in the last twenty years?

The ocupy movement is starting to loose luster. There are more videos popping up of cops beating the snot out of protesters and viewer comments tend to chear on the cops.

Friday night

Field Data
Title Torturing your kids and making dinner
Description What happens in the zhsy household on a Friday evengin?
Tags Friday evening "after work" torture children kids "getting back" joke humor kitchen cooking microwave parenting rice dinner supper Campbell soup "Tony Chachere's" salt "Canon Elph 300" Kdenlive Houston Texas
Link Link


Lunch conversation

Today is Becks day. I am tired of trying to eat under a bird's ass so I went to Wendie's with a bunch of the younger crowd. it was too warm for a jacket. I had one on anyway. Wish there were a way to ping a sensor just outside your building or home that would tell you the conditions right outside or within a block of your destination.

  • Calendars
    • When did the current calendar begin common use?
    • If you had a calendar of your own, what would you call it?
    • Every village had Its own calendar based on the making of the village before forced to join the church calendar.
  • VMWare memory issues. Our company has open bug reports with VMWare.
  • Crossing the street
    • The crosswalk beeper talks to you at Willcrest and Westheimer.
    • In Taiwan, the walk/don't walk lights have songs they play music. You just have to know which is go and which is stop.
  • How much meat is meat? How much is grass clippings and ground up car parts?
  • Google Earth
    • Is it spying to find out if your neighbor has a car parked in their back yard?
    • How often are the satellite views updated?
  • Taking 30 minutes of vacation in the middle of a work day and just not answering your phone.