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


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.


Educational video

Field Data
Title Orbit - Educational, watch it anyway
Description This is how I believe orbits work. I over explain it. Give me a break. It is no wonder I couldn't explain myself to an engineer. Even when I have unlimited time I can't explain it to myself. Bah.
You're so smart, make a video response making me look stupid.
Tags orbit educational wrong idiot stupid "thought experiment" math drawings planets engineer example Sharpie notebook "Canon Elph 300" Houston Texas Kdenlive
Link Link

Bad access point

Over the last couple days one of the wireless access points at my office died. Well, it took three days or so to convince me it was going out. We don't have the most amazing network, so I suspected that first. Then, it would work for a while before it quit. Maddening.

I tried to diagnose whether it was the network connection on the back of the access point. It kept acting good while I was playing with it then taking an hour or two to fail. When I tried it on a different wall jack, it seemed to work. It is one of those situations that simply requires some trial and error. Remember, there is a bunch of other stuff going on while dealing with Th's.

The solution was to give up and modify another access point to take the questionable device's place. This was much better because the best replacement I had to hand was a much higher quality wireless access point.

The better access point had to be configured. It had an old configuration. I had to plug the Ethernet wire in to a laptop and run a program called Wireshark, there are others, while switching on the access point to figure out what IP the device had set. Don't bather setting an IP on the laptop. Start the capture, ignore DHCP and other garbage going by. Look for the only real looking IP that goes by. That should be your access point's IP address.

The project was was a snap once I abandon the first access point. Fitting and using the second one was quite easy. Hey, people seem happy for the moment.

Did I mention this is the access point in my office?


The weather was awesome this morning. It was crisp, but not cold. A bunch of people on the bus were waring coats and scarves. I had one of each in my bag, but I didn't use them.

Love this song


Andy Rooney

I hate to admit it, but I liked Andy Roony. "Ever notice ...?" I rarely watched him if I'm honest. Well, I rarely went out of my way to watch his work. He always seemed a bit whiny to me. He had some interesting points and he had some stupid ones. I did grow up listening to him complain and ponder the odd things that turn up in our daily lives.

Andy should go down as the first vlogger. That is what I think of when going back over the way he put out short videos on odds and ends of the world.

Someone said he got $400,000 a year from the company he worked for. So many people said his contribution was just not worth the money he made. I think it was. He had quite the following.

He ripped on Cobain and Cobain's suicide. I think Cobain had it coming. He said young people would shit themselves if they had anything real to complain about like a war or a depression. We have both now.

Someone suggested he trim his eyebrows. He wore the cloths. He let them put makeup on him. He drew the line at buzzing his eyebrows. Got to draw the line somewhere.

RIP Andy. Save up a few of those stories from the other side for me.


One thing about the time change, I can see out of the filthy bus windows a bit better. They leave the lights on inside the bus. It is very well lit. Between the window tint and the scratches on the windows, you cannot tell what is outside the bus when it is dark.

The walk in this morning was kind of strange. It didn't seem all that different with the time change. It was unseasonably warm and humid. That has little to do with the time change, but it was far more noticeable. Dark is dark. The dawn did crack before I walked in the door at work. That was about it.

People are leaving big banks in droves. This is good. I made the switch to USAA, a "member bank" about seven or eight years ago. Maybe longer. I suppose the big banks figured out that A) they have competition and B) people have limits. The people in question are mostly younger people who may not be the big wage earners today, but they are the future. As they build businesses and take charge of larger business, they will remember the smaller hungry banks are out there.

There is no federal law against sexual discrimination. People have to go to a city or county authority to get the ball rolling. Not sure what I think of this. Sometimes I think there should be a single point people can go to if they have been wronged. This does not exist.

Had to use the admin password today to install a font on someone's computer and to rename a printer. Why do you need admin privileges to change a printer name? I understand installing a driver, kind of. That is the system and all. But change the name? And install a font? That is just a couple data files. Come on.

I want to write a book titled "How to avoid a financial depression by redefining th word every five minutes". I would like to know if the situation the world is in would have been called a depression by the rules that were in place in the nineties and mid 2000s.

It rained today for the first time in a while. Need much more of this. We are going to be behind on rain for the rest of the year. I fear this pattern may be a new normal. That would suck. Houston might have to give up its reputation of mosquito capitol of North America. (paraphrasing)



Field Data
Title Learn again and again
Description Every time I do X Y or Z I have to learn it all over again. Let me know what you have to learn over again every six months or year.
Tags learn Casio watch IT "over and over" Houston Texas Kdenlive "Canon Elph 300"
Link Link


Political rant

Field Data
Title Occupy rant, from a conservative
Description I say "always" and "never" a lot in this rant. Those are normally things to stay away from when making political statements. Not this time. I'm sick of the occupy movement. I'm sick of it being compared to the tea party. The tea party paid for permits.
Deff man raped:
Other sexual assults:
Don't get it:
Tags utopian occupy "occupy wall street" movement "don't get it" camp "sexual assault" freeloader "crack heads" politics political rant communism capitalism responsibility conservative life learn lesson "The system we have" Houston Texas "Canon Elph 300" Kdenlive
Link Link

Get well Pa-pa Mike




I tried to upgrade the video card in a Windows box at work. The system had an ATI card. I was trying to install an nVidia card. The issue I kept having was some old driver kept loading and blocking my upgrade. When I put the old ATI card back in, it comes up with the proper settings even though I removed all the obvious software. Unfortunately, the effort is going to have to wait for another day. I had some higher priority stuff come online. I want to learn how to make this happen anyway. It is just a matter of Googling it I'm sure.

Windows update blew a gasket on a system at work. The machine rebooted and said that something was not configured properly. The computer then spent an hour reverting the changes. I then rebooted the box. It said "installing update 32 of 128". This took another hour. What did I do after this? I ran Windows update again. It failed and reverted. I ran it again.

I did a bad thing. I went to lunch at Beck's Prime. I spent $10. I hadn't done that in a long time. Still, we cannot afford actions like that. Their food is not worth the money.

Time heals all wounds. Well, except what Spielberg's did with Star Wars. I get more and more pissed about this every year. Cocksucker.


There is a school of thought that says coffee or more specifically caffeine does not really wake you up. It mainly alleviates your addiction to caffeine. This makes you feel better in that the reaction to the lack of the thing that you are addicted to causes you to feel bad. (what?)

In bullet form

  • Addiction - Assuming you are already addicted to caffeine.
  • Deprivation - Sleep a long time and do not absorb any caffeine.
  • Addiction kicks in - Headache, grumpy, tired.
  • Imbibe substance - Consume caffeine usually in the morning.
  • Addiction satisfied - The symptoms above go away. You feel better than you did.

The idea here is that if you give up caffeine and get used to not having it, the symptoms of addiction deprivation (not drinking caffeine) will go away and you will feel normal all the time. A worthy experiment.


Long day

Field Data
Title Long day at work.
Description Long day at work. Spent half my day trying to fix a computer with broken updates. Video card time lapse. Sun going down time lapse. Bunch of random crap.
Music: Faster Does It Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 3.0"
Tags moon "time lapse" timelapse fountain "windows updates" Microsoft work "long day" trudgery "Canon Elph 300" Houston Texas Kdenlive
Link Link


Whole Foods trip

Field Data
Title Trip to Whole foods
Description This is more the trip than the purchase. Also have a laptop unboxing time lapse at the end with really awesome sound effect that strangely works..
Tags laptop unbox unboxing "time lapse" timelapse sammach sandwich "Whole Foods" "Netti Pot" "crossing the street" "talking cross walk" "Canon Elph 300" Westheimer Wilcrest Houston Texas Kdenlive
Link Link


Lunch conversation

  • Chinese food vs American food from a person from China's perspective. This was highly informative and interesting. I learned a lot.
    • Chinese food is typically more bland.
    • Hot and sour soup in China is neither hot nor sour. You have to add a bit of hot sauce and vinegar to get the same effect as the U. S. stuff.
    • Meats are spiced much differently in China. Strawberry covered sausage on a stick was an example.
    • The McDonald's one of the guys was familiar with in China had a rice burger for a while where the bread was replaced with sticky rice. That sounds kind of good if I'm honest.
    • One of the pork dishes was skin, fat and a little bit of meat cut in to cubes. He never got used to that. I wouldn't either.
  • Fedora 14 won't let you log in to the GUI as root (admin). The newer linux flavors are getting to the point they want to lock people out of making changes so they have less support issues. This will kill Linux in our opinion.
  • Republican candidates and their foibles. People seem to hope that some magic independent will spring from the wood work. Not going to happen.


My phone ran out of space again this morning. While on the bus, I poked around and identified Google Puss as the largest installed app. I removed it. I can still get to the Google Puss web page, but much of the functionality is missing. Things like upload pictures and other media is not available on the mobile site. Oh, well. Didn't use it much anyway. Facebook and Google Goggles are next. Never use them. Feel like I need them installed for some reason.

Later in the day, I installed Google Plus again and it took nearly one quarter the space as it did before. Sounds like I should uninstall and reinstall some other aps.

Worked in one of the labs for about 90 minuets this morning. It was right under the vent. Froze my butt. I was rubbing my hands together and warring my stocking cap. Never wonder why I carry it even in summer.

I love listening to the BBC news reports on the radio. The reporters are highly adept at describing the situation. I can listen while getting other things done. This skill is lost on so many reporters because they depend on video and photos.

The Prim Minister of Briton (or is it England?) wanted to tell people to pay off their credit card and store card debt completely. He hastily changed the speech when his advisers told him people just might take him up on the advice and stop buying things. This would cause a dip in the overall economy.

God help me, I'm listening to BBC Radio Four. That means, I'm old.

Wanted to run a stress test on a computer today. MS Server 2008 was already installed. I tried running Intel Burnin, but it failed. Ended up using the old standby Prime 95. The former is far more intense and useful. The latter works on more systems.



The Dow and other indexes dropped quite a bit today. Investors are not buying the line of bullshit coming out of the European heads of state. There was a blip up yesterday. All gone now. S&P is apparently in the negatives after today's performance.

Investors have purchased bonds from Greece. Greece is supposed to pay the investors back with interest. You know, pay the frigging bills. Greece has already said they are going to tell half the bond holders to go fuck themselves. Now the truth is coming out that Greece has little Chance of paying off what is left in the next five lifetimes.

Basically, either Germany covers Greece or Germany does not cover Greece. That is what it has boiled down to. Italy, Spain and even France are broke. Italy has always been broke and still has a cluster fuck of a government. Always has. France is falling apart from some kind of identity cancer from within. I'm not sure what is going on in Franc, but it just isn't the same country it was before WWII. Spain, forget it. They just don't care what happens as long as someone else is paying for it.

Every couple of days the news says (I'm paraphrasing) "Something wonderful has happened. Europe is saved." Only, once you look at the details, it is more debt and more bail out of a bunch of assholes who have been spending five times as much money as they earn for the last dozen years. People get fed up with it. Thing start to burn. Then some wonderful news comes out again. and the cycle repeats itself.

Investors are starting to wake up.


Yesterday was the last day of Vlogtober. I hope to get better quality rather than higher quantity on the videos in the near future. I do really enjoy doing the videos. I'm told I do a better job when my arm is twisted than when I plan things out. Whatever. More videos, not every day. Slightly better quality.

MF Global goes under and no one cares. People are getting used to the idea of big firms dying without taking down the financial markets. They screwed up and went out of business for it. This is how things should work.

The UN is catching shit about counting some illiterate millionaires as poverty stricken masses. There is a move to re-jigger the metrics for counting as impoverished on an international scale. I have to tell you, many people in the U. S. who count as impoverished would not count under this system. I think we should switch.

Mark Lavin was all bout the Cane guy and his issues. He is being attacked by the media left and right. I don't particularly like the guy's ideas for reform. Nor do I like his politics. I am glad he is being vetted, but I wish the people on the left would get vetted by the press with the same vigor.

I've got to be careful describing the duties that I perform every day. I don't want the whole company to know that I'm passing out HDMI cables. Everyone will want three. So, I call them video cables. This is the truth.

Went to Whole Foods for a new Netti pot. My old one crappy plastic one broke. This one is ceramic. The trip there and back was terrifying. The people at the store were nice. It was packed at lunch time on a Tuesday. They are so frigging expensive on everything. They will do just fine I expect through these tough times.