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Welcome to BLOGical Thoughts

May 2016

 

Tuesday, 24 May, 2016

I did not attend the Lost in The 50's car show this year, as it was raining pretty hard on Saturday. I also did not go to their Friday night cruise for the same reason. I suspect we will have more than our share of rain-outs this year.

With that in mind, I decided to create a video slideshow of the Street Tin Car Show and Swap Meet held on May 1st. I will upload that video to YouTube, as soon as I can create it in the proper format. The video is 24 minutes in length.


I realized last Saturday that my mineral club activities interfere directly with two car shows. The Woodland Middle School car show is on June 3rd, and I should be helping with the mineral show setup that day. Instead, I will do some setup, go to the car show, then come back for more setting up.

On Saturday, June 4th, the KTEC car show will be held in Rathdrum. I will have to miss that show entirely, as I will be helping at the mineral show on that day. These won't be the last conflicts, but they are the ones that are the closest together.


Now you know what everyone should know: the government can screw up anything, including their own 'security theater'. The Too Stupid for Arbies (TSA) crowd is under fire for their complete incompetence at airports. Some are blaming Congress for taking the money earmarked for the TSA in flight fees and using it everywhere except for the TSA. Others, like me, just recognize that no government agency is any good. We are all better off doing things for ourselves, instead of taking the 'easy' way out and letting incompetents do things for us.

The real problem is 'how do you get rid of a government agency?' The answer is, you don't - they will continue to demand more and more money to (not) fix their incompetence, and nobody wins that war.


Quote of the day:

If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.

     Gerald Weinberg


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Wednesday, 18 May, 2016

My 1949 Plymouth is now completely painted. It is being cured, prior to being rubbed out. The last thing that needs doing is the wheel rims. You can see this activity on my 1949 Plymouth page.


I have added the recipe for Mike's Spicy Salsa Verde to the sauces section of my recipes. It's pretty darned good, compared to the supermarket varieties. I put a lot of it on my breakfast burritos.


Quote of the day:

It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.

     Kehlog Albran, "The Profit"


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Sunday, 15 May, 2016

When I stopped by the paint shop on Thursday, they were actually painting my '49 Plymouth. I didn't want to see it then, as they were in the middle of things and I want to see it when it is dry. There is still more to do, as there will be 3 coats of paint and 4 coats of clear, then the paint needs to be rubbed out. I will check it out again this week.


I have been driving hybrid cars as my primary commute vehicle for 12 years. I have had a Honda Civic Hybrid and a Honda Insight Hybrid. In all that time, I have had no problem with Idaho licensing of those vehicles.

Until now. My current registration has an additional 'fee', called the 'Hybrid Car Registration Fee'. Why? I've already registered a Hybrid - 11 times, without this fee. What is it for, exactly? Is it a penalty for getting a car with good gas mileage? Is it a penalty for being environmentally aware? Or is it just because they want to replace all that federal cash they just lost because the feds are no longer incentivising hybrids?

If this is about good gas mileage, I have to ask myself if they have a similar 'fee' for motorcyclists, who get similar gas mileage. If it's something else, I want to know who arbitrarily added $75 per year to my car license. I think a good lawyer should be able to supply the answers to those questions.

If this 'fee' is set in concrete, it may be time to trade in the hybrid and purchase a 'politically sound' vehicle. I have seen some short-sighted state policies in my time, but this one takes the cake.


Quote of the day:

It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.

     Robert Anton Wilson


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Tuesday, 10 May, 2016

Canonical is the company that produces the family of Linux distributions titled Ubuntu (ooh-boon-too). The distros are mostly distinguished from one another by the desktop manager that each uses, but some are based on the applications they are configured for. Official Ubuntu distributions are

Canonical has now acknowledged the utility and popularity of the Maté desktop by introducing Ubuntu Maté. This expresses the simplicity of a classic desktop environment. Maté is the continuation of the GNOME 2 desktop, which was Ubuntu's default desktop until October 2010.

This new distribution was brought to my attention by several favorable reviews, so I decided to install it on my Acer laptop. The installation went fine, except for the fact that I goofed and accidently wiped out my home partition. My bad. I then proceeded to update the distro and to configure the laptop to my normal layout. Updating was long and configuring was easy, as it was already mostly configured the way I wanted.

After the configuration, I began downloading the applications I normally use. I added Gimp to the laptop, as that was not a default program. I also added Transmission, Filezilla, Bluefish, Lazarus, Audacity and K3b. I usually add two categories of games - Gnome games and KDE games. I was not able to add the KDE set, as there was no package to add all those games. The Gnome games installed easily. I was surprised to see that Galculator and Cheese were default packages in the distro.

I was very surprised that two programs I use all the time and that I normally have to dig up off of the Internet, were included in the Ubuntu repositiories: the Sigil epub editor and Handbrake, the video ripper and file compressor.

I haven't tested the installed distribution for all usage: I believe I may need to install some codecs that are included automatically in Linux Mint. I will record what I have done so I may report that here. All in all, this is a fine and very useful distribution that I could use on a daily basis.


Quote of the day:

Life is like a sewer - you only get out of it what you put into it.

     Tom Lehrer


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Tuesday, 4 May, 2016

When I was forced to accept credit and debit cards with RFID chips on them (which offer inherently less security than mag stripe), I thought things couldn't get worse. I thought that I could protect them being read by outside sources and I would never have to use them.

I was wrong. I went in to my least favorite big box store yesterday (the one that starts with a 'W') to get a couple of items. When I got to the checkout, I used my credit card and swiped the mag stripe. The reader refused my card. It insisted that I use the RFID chip on the card instead. And I didn't have my check book with me, so I couldn't write a check that they would immediately change into a debit transaction. Yet more reasons to stay away from those stores.


Why would anyone with an I.Q. above that of a slug, vote for someone whose first, last and only reasons for being are money and power? Note that definition does not include the well-being of his fellow citizens.

Why would anyone with an I.Q. above that of a snail, vote for someone whose only concern is being elected, instead of the well-being of her fellow citizens?

I urge you all to investigate the positions and philosophies of the Libertarian candidates.


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother