Wednesday, 27 August, 2014

I have taken over the coordination of Dutch oven events in this area from George Holcomb. George has Parkinson’s disease and it is getting the better of him at this point. He can no longer cook with Dutch ovens. Anyhow, the next event that was scheduled for local Dutch oven cooks was the Rathdrum Adventure Race on September 6th. Since the organizers were unable to get any community support for that demo, we are not participating in that event. The next event will probably be sometime next year.

This cancellation frees up that day for me, so I can go to the Dalton Gardens Car Show, sponsored by our car club, the Phuddy Duddy Cruisers. I went last year, but my car was not available, so I went in my truck and teardrop trailer, parking overnight and participating in the Dalton Gardens Picnic. This year I will take the car and trailer and my Dutch ovens so I can cook something tasty for the picnic.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

 

Friday, 22 August, 2014

I haven’t posted a picture of the teardrop/classic car combo here for quite a while. So here goes. First, here’s the setup from a couple of years ago.

After painting the car and putting bed liner on parts of the trailer, I took this picture in April.

The picture doesn’t really show it, but the car is now metallic blue and very shiny. I’m happy with the results.

I finally got my car radio back from the repairman, but it still isn’t fixed. At least I can fill the hole in the dashboard of the Plymouth.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

 

Monday, 18 August, 2014

I have discovered that shopping at ony one supermarket is not optimal. I switched from Super 1 Foods to WinCo in the belief that all their prices were better. I was wrong, but not completely. Here is a comparison of some items I buy:

Item WinCo Price   Super 1 Price
Calidad Tortilla Chips $1.48 $1.68
Hash Brown Potatoes $1.01 $1.88
Chicken Thighs/lb. $1.25 $1.88
Hawaiian Punch Singles $.88 $1.68
Red Chile Peppers/lb. $4.98 $1.48
Spike Seasoning $5.06 $2.99
Bacon $4.35/12oz $2.78/16oz

As you can see, you have to be aware of pricing and shop at the place that gives you the best price for the item you are interested in.


 

I am continuing to back up everything that can be backed up. I have finished doing my DVDs and have 915 of them backed up. I am now going through all the 3 1/2″ floppies I have and am backing them up on a 400GB SATA hard drive. I’m glad to do it now, as some of them are unreadable and others could be in the near future.

My next major chore is to back up all the cassettes I have. I will use an old Fischer CD player I have and pipe that directly to a computer. I will use Audacity on the single file generated from a cassette side to create the separate tracks. I have several hundred of these cassettes and most of them are not duplicates of any audio CD I own.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

 

Monday, 11 August, 2014

The multimedia computer (Olga) is the computer I have all my movies and audio CDs on. It ran Linux Mint 14 and used the Plex multimedia server. Since I was having trouble getting to some of the software repositories for Linux Mint 14, I decided on Friday to upgrade the machine with Linux Mint 17. I carefully copied the non-standard filesystem information from LM 14 so I would have no trouble there.

Installing Linux Mint 17 from scratch went off without a hitch. I added the two filesystem entries to the fstab file, then did the first update, which ran to 300MB. After that, I installed the applications I use that are not included with the distro, such as Audacity, Openshot, Handbrake and Virtualbox. Installation and updating everything took me 1 1/2 hours. The final thing I did was install a newer version of the Plex server. This is where things got sticky.

It turns out that Plex keeps the information about various multimedia items in a database in the operating system area, instead of in my home directory. That means that when I installed Linux Mint 17 from scratch, I accidently wiped out the original database. That meant I had to re-install links to my home movies, movies, music and TV shows. Once those were installed, Plex took at least 5 hours to download all the metadata for 914 movies, 1,526 audio CDs and 26 complete television series.

I have installed the latest version of Plex, which has a new ‘feature’ that uses the metadata inside each of the movie files. What that means is the metadata title is displayed instead of using the file name as the title. That is why I have entries like the movie The Alpha Incident which shows up in the S’s as SIFIMEGAPACKDISC08B. I will have to go to each movie that is labeled like that and use Handbrake on it to remove the offending metadata. That will take me many, many hours. No rest for the wicked, I guess.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

 

Thursday, 7 August, 2014

The carburetor rebuild on the Plymouth is working well. The car is performing better than it has in the past. It accelerates without bogging down now, so it remains to be seen how the gas mileage is affected.

I went to a cruise-in at Cinderella Custom in Post Falls on Tuesday evening. It is a small event, but they have really great hamburgers. When I went to go home, the car wouldn’t start. The starter was grinding like the battery was dying. I immediately shut off the ignition. We determined that the gear shift mechanism was rubbing the hot terminal on the starter, causing a short. We got the mechanism cleared from the starter, but I will have to do some work on it to ensure that the problem doesn’t occur again.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

 

Friday, 1 August, 2014

Yesterday I rebuilt the carburetor on my 1952 Plymouth. It took a good part of the day, as I had to take a couple of breaks to go back in the house because of the heat (102° F). Once I finished, I fired up the car and everything seems to be working. Hopefully better than it did in the past.

I’m kind of surprised that the car even worked before I did the rebuild. You should have seen the junk in the float bowl. As it now has new gaskets, it should no longer leak gas, either. I will be tuning the car up today. I’m hoping to get better gas mileage from it now.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

 

Wednesday, 30 July, 2014

Yesterday, I was going to go to a cruise that I had never been to – at Cinderella Custom in Post Falls. At 5pm, before heading out, I made one last check on the weather. It was 104° F in Coeur d’Alene. The Plymouth doesn’t run well in really hot weather, so I stayed at home. I’ll get over there one of these days; I hear they make outrageously good hamburgers there.


 

I have put off ripping to file some DVDs that I might have trouble with. I decided not to put that off any longer, so I have backed up 42 movies, 96 episodes (48 weekly shows) of Rocky and Bullwinkle and 1 Star Trek Original Series episode into files. I still have many more DVDs to go through, as I am only into the C’s.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

 

Friday, 25 July, 2014

On Wednesday, I drove my Plymouth down to the Miles Coffee Company to have a Dr. Pepper and gossip with some of the other classic car owners. About 4pm, the sky looked very threatening, so I drove the Plymouth home to put it in the garage. I got there just as the first raindrops fell. I then got in my Honda to drive over to the Paul Bunyon in Rathdrum, since there was going to be a live music program over there.

On my drive over to Rathdrum, all hell broke loose. We had thunder, lightning, hail, rain and 70 mph winds. Needless to say, when I arrived at Paul Bunyon’s, there were hardly any classic cars there. Everyone had driven a regular car. To top things off, the musicians were there, but were reluctant to set up their pianos in the parking lot under a 10 X 10 canopy. I don’t blame them. So the cruise and the music were both a bust. That happens around here, though. One day it’ll be 89° then the next it will be 60° and raining.

It got worse, though. While I was gone, the wind had blown a tree over a couple of miles from my house and took the electircal lines with it. So I came back to no power – a condition which existed for 8 hours. It came back on about 1:15 am.

Late Update: The local paper had an article on the storm. Four cows and a calf were hit and killed by a lightning strike that occurred about 2 miles from here. It really was a nasty storm.


 

I have finished the revision to my “Dutch Oven Dishes: Black Iron Cooking” cookbook and have posted it for public consumption. The links are in the Blogical Sections links on the side of this page. The cookbook has a new page size, recipe corrections and a couple of new recipes.

When I first started this process, I changed the page size from 8 1/2 X 11 to 4 1/4 X 5 1/2. That was a big mistake. That works out to four pages on a single sheet of paper (4-up), and I meant to have it be 2-up instead. It took me a couple of hours, but the PDF version now has a page size of 5 1/2 X 8.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”

 

Wednesday, 16 July, 2014

I have been using this workstation for literally years. It has a new motherboard and sound card, but I have never upgraded the hard disk. The original disk is 200GB and I had 66GB of free space left. That sounds like a lot, but some of the things I have been doing require much more space than 66GB. A couple of days ago, I ordered a 500GB drive to replace the old 200GB drive.

The new drive came yesterday. I installed it and booted into Clonezilla Live, so I could clone the old drive onto the new one. Clonezilla has an option to automatically make use of all the space on the new drive, but I disabled that. It took Clonezilla 1/2 hour to clone the old drive onto the new drive. When it finished, I powered down the workstation and unhooked the old 200GB drive. I then booted into the new cloned drive and everything worked great.

The final step in this process was to expand my /home partition so I can take advantage of all that extra space. I booted the workstation using a Linux Mint 13 live DVD, then got into gParted. I used that program to increase the size of the /home partition to take advantage of all the new space, then rebooted into my regular Linux Mint 17. I now have a workstation that has 335Gb of free space instead of 66GB. Total time to accomplish all this was less than an hour.


 

Silly sign of the day:


 

Free/Open Source Software

 


 

Security Theater/”Intellectual Property”