Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ubuntu Linux

We had this older Strawberry iMac around. My stepson, Brett, had been using it, but the hard disk was damaged, and it kept locking up with Mac OS X. I tried to install Fedora Core 4 Linux for PowerPC, but it had a bug in the install engine, so I installed Ubuntu Linux instead. It went right on. The machine now seems to run faster than it did with it's originall version on Mac OS 8.0 on it. The hard disk was reformatted, with the damaged spot being worked around -a nifty little utility. So, we have another computer that works quite well. I need to find something that will let a USB Wireless adapter work with Ubuntu, and then we can find someone who'll get good use from it.

I have class tonight, and I think we might have a test, so I need to study. Not that it really matters; it's a take home test.

Mark Shuttleworth
, thanks for Ubuntu.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Cause of Stupidity

"Doesn't anyone have any common sense anymore?" - When did they ever??
"What happen to nature weeding out the stupid from the gene pool?"

I hear things like that all the time. But, interestingly enough, I know how people became more stupid;

Trial Lawyers.

Yes, I'm serious.

It works like this:
Part of what's kept us alive as humans are critical thinking skills. Living off the land creates very well developed critical thinking skills -everything you do is critical. In todays world, you don't have to think anymore. Someone else has done it for you.

Someone stands too close to Niagra falls, and falls in. That's a completely natural event. No violence, just poor judgement skills. But, the Trial Lawyer was on his visit to Niagra too. Rushed over and immediately assumed representation, and made the surviving family weathy. The Niagra park was sue beyond wits end, and new policies and procedures where put in place -along with taller rails. Since then, no one has gone over the falls.

Now, that story is fake, of course, but it kind of makes the point. People don't get to exercise the critical thinking skills of, "Don't get so friggin near that drop." Now imagine something like that, put in place everywhere you do.

All because of trial lawyers.

But all of this raises the question; what would the world be like if everyone were smart, or at least did have common sense/critical thinking skills.

Not so sure I want that. Let me bask in my stupidity.

Thanks, Morgan and Morgan.


I've worked at Sports Authority the last few days, and I've picked up some new clients too. I'm not even done with these classes, and I'm ready for my next ones. I usually have better patience.

I'm learning more Linux stuff. The whole concept is incredible interesting, and I think we're going to see some interesting things happen with it in the next two years.

If Wal-Mart wanted to, it could produce it's on Linux distro, produce good, cheap computers for very low prices, and sell a lot. The usability for newbies is much better, and getting easier every few months, not just every few years. So many people are working on improving it, it moves at a much faster pace.

It seems like $150 is the magic number for big sales. Anything that gets below that price seems more affordable for most people, even those that probaby couldn't really afford it. It's just low enough to be percieved as affordable.

More random thoughts.

Friday, February 24, 2006


I would love to say this is my get-up, but it's not. Both lit, one watercooled, three screens, and a laptop, all on Fedora Linux. That is one awesome get-up. Hopefully, someday I'll have something that looks like this. Even better; I'd be able to work from home.

For over 20 years, the fitness business has been my main source of income. Occasional part-time jobs, especially at Christmas and the summer, here and there. But the fitness business has changed, the Personal Trainers industry has changed, and the economy has changed. And, I've changed, hopefully for the better.

I decided to pursue a second career in Computer Information Technology, not because I don't like being a personal trainer (in fact, I love it), but because I needed different pursuit; something to work for. In the past, most of my focus of effort was on the physical area, but now it's the mental.

Training is still my focus, and hopefully I might be able to merge the two, and create an industry. Or, I might be able to get a cubicle job. You know....in a cubicle....in a building....with suits. My stomach is already getting tight from the thought.

Some random thoughts there.

Back to the picture; I could think of a few more things I'd add;
  • A PocketPC/cellphone - or Linux based similar
  • A good webcam
  • A good mic - for podcasting
  • And....the monitor and keyboards could raise up and down, so I could stand and work for awhile, if I needed.
The thing is; even with all that equipment, with careful planning, budgeting, and careful internet shopping, all that can be done pretty cheap - under $2000. The biggest problem wouldn't be the money; it would be the time it took to hunt down that stuff at cheap prices.

What I'm mostly impressed with is HOW did he keep that place looking neat??

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I did my speech tonight. I'll try to post a clip. I was a bad boy. I did it on the skull and bones, and actually got away with it...teehee.

I talked about how writers -Dan Brown, for example- use conspiracy theories as background and plot for his stories. I intend to write a novel, using the skulls and the storyline. That was what the presentation was about, and what I've been slogging my brains away on all week. I just want to get one of these friggin things right. At least mostly right.

I did pretty good. Flubbed the intro a wee bit, but recovered and moved into the body, and then.....oh my! The media clips didn't work. The one computer, in the whole friggin school, is the one that hadn't been updated with the Powerpoint plugins for the newest Windows Medial Player. I was like a guy pressing the mute button over and over, wondering why the channel won't change. After too long an interrupt, I quoted the clips, and got through the speech.

I looked it over when I got home. My mouth was really dry, my sinus were draining, so I kept having to clear my throat, and cough occasionally. Of course, it could have been the dry mouth, and the saliva turning to cement. Yeah. Something like that.

My biggest problem was using the cue cards. I would have done far better without them. I had the whole thing in my head, at least well enough to get the material out. Looking at the cards interrupts my train of thought, I lose my place, and the pause is already too long just typing about it. Next time, I may just make the cards -they're evidently a 'requirement'. Sounds communist, don't it? I'll just fill them out, but only keep them in my hand when I speak. I do much better from my head, and the Powerpoint. The friggin thing reminds me what I'm doing next, and leads my train of thought. Oh, wait, I'm not suppose to reveal the Brethren of ADD Revolutionary Army counter-intelligence secrets. Opps.

So, sorry for the lack of posts this week. Yes, I know; here I go, and do a presentation on blogs, then barely even post at all during the very next week.

Oh, wait,...another BADDRA secret. Man....I'm gonna have my user privileges removed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Winter Olympics

I love the Winter Olympics, as much or more than the Summer Olympics.

The Summer Olympics, for the most part, are about athletetism, physical effort, and endurance; Higher, Faster, Stronger. I was in a 'non-sport' sport- Gymnastics. We call them Subjective Sports. I have a great deal of respect for the athletes in the Objective Sports, pretty much anything where there's a finish line, heaviest weight, highest pole, etc.

If the Summer Olympics are about athletics, the Winter Olympics are about all out Daring. Most of the athelets are daredevils (except Curling, of course). Thrillseekers. I respect and admire their daring, and their stupidity. After all, you gotta be pretty stupid to do a triple somersault with a double twist -A triple double- with no pad to land on, other than snow. You gotta be pretty daring to get up from a skiing crash, butt still clenched, and ski anyway. You gotta admire someone willing to fly, under their own effort, for over 103 meters (344 feet!!). I don't think the Wright Brothers ever flew that far, and with an engine!

So, Bryant Gumbel, screw you!

I had my Speech Class tonight. Not feeling to confident about it. As Dilbert would put it, "Thriving on Vague Objectives." I guess it's a bit like the Ice Skating, or Gymnastics Judging. Some of the students are getting together to meet, just to make sure we're getting things right. Guess I'm not the only one in a befuddlement. I don't expect to get all A's, expecially in subjective classes. God know's I'm use to subjectivity, having been a gymnast. But I sure hate that not-so-confident feeling, especially when it comes to school. I haven't had the best experiences with organized education (I do appreciate Organized Religion, though, whatever the Hell Organized Religion is suppose to mean).

Well, my athletic training isn't occuring right now, but my athletic brain did need a rest today, and I was glad for the company in my nap.

Today's blog brought to you by:

My Toy is having some troubles. The headphone jack is being finicky. Sometimes it works fine, sometimes not. It spits and stutters.

After searching online, I learned that a headphone plug has three contact parts; 1) The tip, which is the left channel. 2) The center of the plug, which is the right channel. 3) The sleeve, which is the ground.

I'm guess somethings not working right with the ground part of the headphone jack. After fiddling with it (tweezers, sewing needle, small screwdrive), I'm lucky I didn't mess it up futher. I manage to make it a bit better, but not as good as it should be.

In my mind, a headphone jack should last more than two years. In all fairness, I use my toy to listen to alot of podcasts -very education, those things can be (that sounded a bit to Yoda, huh?). I like my toy alot. It has mp3 capability, ebooks, camera, and tons of other stuff. I'd really hate to lose the audio player capability.

I worked tonight. Very few people came to the store, so we focused on keeping things 'zoned' (think-make pretty). Other than that, I spent most of the day studying.

I'm learning more Linux stuff. The file system is interesting; a bit different from Windows NTFS, FAT16, and FAT32. And the mac file system is differnet too. I've learned that most computer can work with FAT32. I think I'm going to do my class project on Linux File System.

Sounds fun, don't it?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Did you get VD?

Another one of those days when I just can't think of anything to write about. Unusal for me; I seem to always have something to say, or at least think about. But that's for my own entertainment. At the very least, I know I need to entertain you.

I think most men fear Valentines Day more than Tax day. I feel really sorry for the guys with girls who work in the vanity industry - hair stylist, nail techs, etc. They have to compete against all the other boyfriends. Wo be you who doesn't out-do all the other boyfriends.

For me, Valentines Day feels like an overwhelming job of decision making. Bush say's his job is that of decision maker. I think I could do a better job. But, Laura's still with him, so he must get it right sometimes.

I think I got it right today. Money is very low for me right now, with school and all, so I can't get Nancy a red Porsche or anything like that. Not that I would - I just have difficulty with that level of overconsumption and self indulgence. Then again, if I could, I probably would, self indulgence or not.

Everyday, Nancy treats me like it's Valentines Day. It's probably because she has a good example to follow. It's rubbed off on me, but I still need more training. At least I don't pee on the carpets. Well,...not anymore.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

For The Record

Every so often, someone breaks a world record. Track, swimming, speedskating, etc...the objective sports (think- Finish Line). And for a short time, they get to achieve the status of Super Human. Their record might fall, but they will live forever in the record books. It's a really cool thing when it happens at the Olympics.

But not today. So far, no world records have been broken. The USA had a 'Black Sunday'. Kwan cancelled, Ono droped, and Miller may have drank a bit too much. But, wouldn't you know it, one of those Ginger kids saved the day; The Flying Tomato - Shaun White.

Speed Skating is my favorite event at the Winter Olympics. Next would probably be Free Style Skiing, then Snowboarding. I like the other stuff too, but those are events I love to watch.

I actually trained for awhile in Inline Speed Skating, till I got my ass whooped at the first trail competition I tried. The other guy was all the way on the other side of the track by the time I even got to the endpoint of the curve. Two-to-Three days a week of training don't cut it. I remember asking the other guy how often he trained, "Twice a day" he replied. And he wasn't even in the competative league yet. I simply didn't have the time to devote to training, nor a close enough location too train. To be honest, I didn't have the desire to take it that far. And that's really what it takes to make it to the top levels; an unquenchable desire. I really did like speed skating though, and I appreciate what those people I watch on TV have accomplished.

What you see on the Olympics is not the result of weekend warriors. You don't make that level training only a few days a week. What you see are people who think, breathe, eat, sleep, and crap their sport 24/7. It's admiring to watch, but it can be difficult to be around people with that focus - just ask Lance Armstrong's first wife. But, if you want someone who has a work ethic you've rarely ever seen, hire someone who's ever even trained in an Olympic sport. What most people call work, they call rest.

The Olympics seems to be one time, when countries put their differences aside, and compete for Honor, Glory, and the Wheates Box. The cool thing about the Olympics; Sometimes, the champion isn't necessarily the one who won the Gold.

Friday, February 10, 2006


And you thought I was going to do another techy blog. Nope.

Someone, okay, a few people, have noticed a few spelling and grammar errors in my blogs. Yes, folks, I go at this with no editor. And I call myself a writer?? Every once in awhile I remember to do a spell check, but most of the time, I just want to get the damn thing to 'press'. I'll try to bring my quality up. I understand the point. Bad spelling is tolerable, but bad grammar seems to cause stimulate a reader to leave the site.

Lastnight, in my speech class, I learned that we'll be doing Informational Speech and Persuasive Speech presentations. We were told that Informational Speaking is not speaking. Now, I understand this. Preachers and teachers do purely Informational Speaking. Preachers are often doing Persuasive Speaking, too. But, almost every other speech I've ever heard is How-To. But, we're not going to learn that.

In most businesses, ALL speaking is How-To. Occasionally, a business person will do informative speaking, but most business speeches are How-To.

But, we don't get to learn that.

Just like most of the learning I've done in my life, I have to learn it on my own. People tell me education is a good investment in your personal future, but sometimes, it can be a waste of time and money. Not that this class is, but some are.

Other News
Not much else is going on. I have a few spots left open for about 3 more clients, but other than that, not much more. So, if your wanting a spot, go to my website: CoachDANNY.net, and email me, or give me a call. You can catch me on Skype too. My screename on AIM, Yahoo, MSN Messenger, and Skype is Bodycoach2.

Don't forget to checkout Nancy's Blog: Wayworm.com

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

National Security Agency Tools

Want to use the tools the NSA uses?

Computer Network Defence Operations


It's said, "Absolute power corrupts aboslutely." Ah, but I have proof of the alternative.

Ghandi. A simple man. Never held office, never made millions, but lead his people and his nation to freedom. And another man followed his example.

Today, Coretta Scott King was honor in a service in Lithonia Ga. I don't think as many important people came to honor Reagan when he died. Martin Luther King Jr. followed the direction of Ghandi; non violent, passive resistance, and civil disobedience. How many people today are even aware of these men, and this woman's contribution to mankind.

Some men are of great achievement. Some are of great power. But a rare few have the kind of influence simple men do. We remember these type of men differently. Lao Tsu, Buddha, Jesus, Martin Luther, Martin Luther Jr. (I didn't add in Mohammad. At this time, I remain unconvinced of his 'peaceful nature'). These men, quite literally, stirred the soul, and made man better. For the most part.

Coretta Scott King was s simple woman, but today the world saw the influence she had. Some people complained about the political zings. I disagree. Mrs. King's life influence politics, to a great degree, and any place was the right place, that was it. I'd say the 'Best Speech' award goes to Clinton. He's a master at speaking, and did it well.

Former President Jimmy Carter made a rightful zing about the ongoing NSA wiretapping. He pointed out how the government tapped the King family, and how the FBI treated the Kings. This was the best time, and the best way to bring up that point.

My Aside:
"President Bush, it's not that we don't think the surveillance is necessary, we just don't trust you with it. You've proven management incompetence many times now. Too many to ignore. Now, This Time, you want us to buy your story?"

We said good-bye today to someone what will be remembered beyond 4000 years from now. Her name will go down with the ones I mentioned earlier, and she will rest with Dr. King.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Welcome Alexandria Thompson

Welcome, Foolish Mortals, to the House of Thompson

At some point in my lineage, there was a man named Thomas. Through celtic, saxon, and gaelic regional accents, the a disappeared with the collapse of the lips when the completion of the letter m sound (eeeaaammm), and the resulting sound is an oemp, especially when Thomas is said fast. The as on the end of Thomas eventually became a son, somehow. The son part might have come from Son of Thomas, and MacThomas would the the Son of Thomas's son.

After some digging around, evidently the Thomas referred to in my namesake is the Thomas in the bible. That's right; Doubting Thomas. But the real interesting part is; my family is direct decendents from Mr. Thomas.

Yeah. I made it up. Hey, Dan Brown can do it! Anyway, after writing that, might be something I could take off with.

Little Alexandria Thompson was born to Mark and Nicole Thompson. I'm sure Ben Thompson, Alexandria's brother, was nearby. Mark called me this afternoon. Good job Mark and Nicole! Thanks for your donation to my social security fund.

That part about Alexandria is true. Seriously. Really. Honest.

What really matters is not where the Thompson family came from, but where it's going.

The word Dynasty, comes to mind.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Later Ya'll

Yes, I watched the Super Bowl. And the commercials. And the cheerleaders. And the dancers, especially the Seattle Sea Sluts (that's what Nancy called them). Then I got to thinking (that, my friends, is my usual preview words when you're about to enter Dannyland):.....

What if I was one of the few last people on earth, and disaster struck, and the Seattle Sea Sluts were the only girls left in the area. We'd have to repopulate. Can't you just imagine a couple'a hundred little Danny's running around? The earth would have been better of with the original disaster.

No...in reality, I'd windup being the last guy stuck with a convention of the womens meeting of The National Association of School Cafeteria Workers. I guess I'd have to do my duty. I'd give them the best 30 seconds of their lives.

When I first got to high school, and first saw our school cafeteria ladies, there was one really obese woman, and another looked like an anorexic marathon runner, except she didn't look that healthy. I could have sworn she wasn't a few years older than me. For the entire two years I remember her being there, I had to fight the urge to ask, "Are you what happens to people who don't finish High School?

At least the lady's would be able to cook.

I have more schoolwork to do, but I'm almost ahead in both classes. Staying ahead isn't really that hard. It's just a bit more time. Getting behind is what's hard. I'm learn that the main difference between the two is time management. Yeah....I know. It took me this long. Move along now.

It's getting closer to Art Festival time. Just a bit more than a month away. I'll be really busy during that time. I'll be glad when it's here, but I'm also glad when it's done.

I should have a new niece by now. I haven't heard anything yet. Hopefully, things are going well. Mark and Nicole are having a little girl; Lexie.

Chili's hip is getting better. She gets her staples out tomorrow. She looks like little Frankenchili.

I guess that's enough of Dannyland, for now.

Oh, and the "Later Ya'll" title? I think that would be an appropriate thing on my tombstone.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


I have really let you down. I've really slacked up on blogging. I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. Bad Blogger...Bad Blogger. I'll do better.

Today's entry is: Privacy
I'll let the intellectuals argue over the definitions and philosophies about privacy, and I'll try to give it a simple place. Privacy, as we knew it before 1900, is gone. Privacy as we knew it in the 70's is gone. As we knew it in the year 2000. It's gone.

In this day and time, it's become a fact of life that we are monitored in some form or fashion throughout our entire day. How do you think police find people, and they're not allow to go places the advertisters can go.

You get up in the morning, turn on the news (right now, your cable box is monitoring that you're watching CNN, how long you watch it, and when you switch channels). Check your email (always a trail online), grab your phone (some have GPS on them), and out the door. As you drive to work, traffic cameras monitor the flow of traffic (some hackers are skilled enough to break into those systems, and follow someone as they drive around town. In some cities, anyone can do it). You get to work, more than likely it will have cameras througout. If not, a location nearby can see. Almost anything you do at work, no matter WHAT job you do, is probably technologically monitored, in some way. It might be for the purposes of optimizing business systems, rerouting bottlenecks, controlling costs, theft prevention, you see where this is going. If you work at a computer, everything you do is probably tracked, simply by the way network systems operate, and the way packet data on the internet works. You're done with work (clocking out leaves a trail), and the camera monitors make sure everything is okay, or at least is recorded if it isn't, as you leave. Stop on the way home to get gas (cameras, debit card monitoring, total traffic monitoring for business information). You drive through the fast food (watched on camera at each point). Traffic cameras once again monitor the flow of traffic on your way home. You wave to your neighbors on your way home, hug and kiss you dog, kick your kids, and ignore your husband or wife. You watch TV again, (monitored for marketing purposes), surf the web, your kids us it to chat with their friend and pretend to do their homework, and your spouse continues their online affair they think they're hinding. Okay, I'm getting a bit dramatic, but I got your attention back, didn't I?

If someone wanted to, and had the skill, they could pretty much monitor you in some way all day long. Anywhere you go. The Satellite hobbiest say most of the continent can be seen at any time, if needed. Pretty much all the other continents too.

Sounds a bit paranoid, don't it?

It's not. It's the world WE live in. It's the world WE created.

No one is out there monitoring us. At least not one person. A couple of hundred, maybe, but all for different reasons; security, logistics, traffic control, marketing research, product flow marketing research (gas pumps), you can keep filling in the blanks here. If anyone, or a couple of people, are watching me, they're probably really board (or really entertained), and the only reason I'd be upset would be the waste of goverment money.
I'm assuming, of course, it was the government watching me.

We didn't trade Liberty for Security; we traded it for that reliable up of Latte on the way to work, 401k and health plan at our dictorially organized corporte jobs. We traded Liberty for direct deposit, and the ATM. We traded Liberty so that in San Francisco, the Big Mac would taste the same as it does where you live. We traded Liberty by making sure the poorest had just enough to satistfy them so they wouldn't uprise a revolution. We traded Liberty for that secure, familar, and reliable rut I described above.

Now, go back through that last paragraph, and replace word Liberty with Privacy (cut and paste onto note pad, then Find/Replace Liberty with Privacy).

The two seem to work together really well, don't they.

If privacy is truly gone, we must deal with it. Short of a planetary disaster, monitoring is not going to stop. Personally, my concern about all this is who's doing the monitoring. If it's just the government, we've got a problem. If it's just the criminals, we're a bit better off (peculiar, we'd be better off with the criminals, huh?). The only way to make sure such monitoring isn't abused is if it's readily accessible to everyone. When the information is available to everyone, it's renders the information difficult to abuse. Information is now a commodity. Those who have the control of it, will abuse it.

Yeah. I know. That don't quite sound right. But think about it.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Flesh Eating Bacteria

This afternoon, I went to a presentation on "Developing Your Portfolio". I thought we were going to grow mushrooms. But nooooo. They wanted to talk business, and experience, credentials, achievements, and other icky stuff.

I did come up with the idea of creating an online resume, and an online portfolio. Need to put some thought into that.

The presentation was for extra credit, for my speech class.

Then, I went to class, turned in my assignments, only to discover I missed one. Not a good pattern to get into if I'm going to be doing computer work.

Nancy's toe is really messed up. I'm pretty sure it's broke, at least the cuticle is damaged. It's swollen big, and she popped a pus bag from behind the nail. I'm glad I wasn't there. I'd a probably lost it. I thought she should go to the doctor, but she doesn't want to catch Flesh Eating Bacteria. Can't blame her on that.

I have 9900 overtime minutes on my cellphone. Think I should lower my plan?

Come to think of it, I don't really like mushrooms all that much.