Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Persuasive Speech

Of all the speeches I've done so far, this one is the most sickening. I'm really struggling to get this one right, or even close. I could become CEO of Sports Authority, and do a much better job than the current administration, before I could get this speech down right.

I'm doing it on Highway Safety. Yeah, I could have thought of something way more exciting, and probably should have, but I just didnt' want to bother. This is one time I just want to get this out of the way, and get on with my real classes.

Anyway, here's a screenshot of my current Fedora Core 5 desktop and background:
You can see some of the books I've downloaded so I can pre-study for upcoming classes. The Illustrated TCP/IP made the whole Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol much easier to understand, and I've only skimmed it. We do have a test on it soon.

I started working on my project for the Operating Systems class. I'm going to go over Linux File Systems, in a short story form. Hopefully, I can make it exciting. The story formula is: Conflict (want + obsticles), Action, Resolution. Obviously, the main character has to learn the Linux file system basics, and quickly, but theirs something preventing him, or maybe distracting him. I'll post the final story on my DannyTLand story blog.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Eastern Establisment

A new entry in my DannyTLand short story blog:

In Other News
I felt like absolute crap today. Like I had a hangover. Allergies worse than I've ever had before. Almost felt like having the flu, or mono. But, I still was able to write, study, and go to class. Maybe not at my best, but sometimes just getting through the day is more than enough.

Monday, March 27, 2006

A week off

I'm back!

I think I had "Post Traumatic Art Festival Syndrome" this week. The Art Festival went really well, but I went far too many days with less that six hours a sleep. I'm an old man now, and I need my sleep. If I'm not careful, it can become a habit, I'll get mental, and freak out completely.

Last Monday, I downloaded Fedora Core 5, and tried to upgrade my computer. That didn't workout too well. Some things I wanted loaded on didn't get loaded. Since I keep all my personal files on other discs, I just did a fresh Operating System install.

Fedora is cutting edge distribution of Linux, so it can be moody, and FC5 was no exception. After much bitching, some cussing, spitting, and staying up WAY too late, I got it set up how I need. Fedora is an excellent operating system that most anyone could use, but for a power user like me, it can be frustrating. Most people wouldn't need the stuff I use. I get really deep and detailed.

If you're reading this, and you're considering a free system with your computer, with free software, powerful, and did I mention free, Fedora is great. For the a user who wants something easy to use, compared to Windows, I'd recommend Ubuntu.

Ubuntu Linux is the top Linux 'distro' at the moment, mostly because it is so easy to use. I put the PowerPC version on Nancy's old pink iMac, and it worked great. Ubuntu would even work well from someone who's not computer savy. Just like any other Linux distro, you can make it work/look like Windows, or Mac. It also comes on only one disc. Most distros, like Fedora, come on more, as many as five discs.

So, if you want a safe, secure computer, with PLENTY of free software, Ubuntu would be the choice.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Whoop Ass Art Festival

No, there's no Whoop Ass Art Festival -at least not yet. Today's entry is too different things.

First, I thought I'd give you a history of the term Whoop Ass.

This is something you don't find much on the internet, and probably not in too many books. It's an old term, but not that old. Take a close look at this picture:

That tractor isn't too dissimilar to this one:
Okay, it's not dissimilar. The paint is the only real difference. These tractors are steam engines, much like steam locomotives. Steam tractors go back as far as the 1830's. I think this one is from the early 1920's. Look close at the first picture. There's a long belt going from the small wheel above the right-back tire, or iron wheel. The strap was a long piece of spliced leather. Instead of buying more steam powered farm equipment, other companies made add-ons, or to use the computer metaphore, peripherials. You simply attached the belt to the wheel of the tractor, ran the belt to the other equipment (in the first photo, I think it's a bailer), back the tractor up to tighten the belt, put the thing in neutral, and cranked the beast up.
With even a slight bit of slack, the belt had a whoop, whoop, whoop, whoop sound. With more slack, the belt would slap against itself, and make a whoop/crack, whoop/crack sound. Over time, the belt would frey, and eventually break apart. I'm sure the original name of the belt was more technical, but it came to be called The Whoop, from the sound it made.

Back then, most people didn't waste things, like we do today. Even things that broke apart were somehow recycled. When the whoop broke, people would make smaller belts for their pants, shoes, straps to carry heavy things, and anything else pieces of thick leather would make.

Usually, the father of the family would fashion a wide belt, with a handle end, put pieces of wood on the handle, and used it around the farm -though I have no idea what for. When a farmer's child misbehaved, the farm told the boy to shape up, or he'd get the whoop, and take it to his behind. Roughneck farmers would say, "Boy, get yo nog a crackin, or I'll take dat whoop to yo ass." I have no idea what a nog is, but I imagine they meant noggin or head. Eventually, they just said, "Boy, I'm gonna whoop yo ass."

Over time, the steam tractors and their belt driven accessories gave way to modern equipment, but the term Whoop remained with the smaller, handled belt. And the farmers still made their whoop, and when necessary, took it to their kids ass.

I've actually seen a tractor like that when I was really young. It was at a museum, somewhere in Georgia, or maybe it was Tennessee. I overheard the curator talking to my Granddad, Saint Elmer Thompson (not yet sainted, of course....we're working on that), and his friend, Mac McDonald (yes, McDonald had a farm- soybeans and peanuts). I didn't recall the conversation till I saw a picture of tractor a few years ago.

Okay, so I'm no Paul Harvey, but now you know.....The Rest of the Story. Now shape up, or I'll take you out behind the radio station, and open-a-can-o-whoop-ass on ya.

Art Festival
Today, we did the judging and awards. Yesterday, Nancy and I escorted one of the judges around the festival, from 8 to 6. I was tired, but I learned a lot about art -which is why I wanted to join the festival.

This morning, the artist that were selected for judging brought the selected piece to nearby museum pavillion, and choose the awards. There was bickering, irritation, and a few mishaps (not between the judges, rather between us volunteers), but we worked through everything, and got the job done. We had some errors that told us we need a procedure for this or that. Most of our procedures worked fine in the past, but things are changing, even judging art, and we're adapting to new trends.

Click on my flickr banner on the right of the page, and you'll see the best of show. I don't know much about the fiber catagory, but I liked the way it smelled. Guess I've been around dogs too much.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Artist Set-Up

I just figured out that the links I make in the Title of each blog doesn't come up. You've been missing some really good links to some interesting sites, sometimes having absolutely nothing to do with the title. So, for the time being, well just do:

Link of the Day

Today, I worked with the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. The artist set-up their tents. Unfortunately, the artists on the street have to wait to 5am Friday morning to set up. We couldn't get the street closed earlier. Nancy and I chalked off the booth spaces for the Street People - sounds so politically incorrect.

We're tired tonight. Really tired. Zapped. Kapput. We really didn't do much though. We spend much more time walking in the hot sun at Disney, and don't feel this tired. And, we're not out of condition. Well, not anymore than 10-15% on most fitness tests. I thought I drank enough water, but maybe not. My legs are crampy - usually a sign of not enough water. You'd be surprised just how many aches and irritations being properly hydrated will help you. Some people take it too far, but it's not really too hard; Eight glasses a day is minimum, and usually only for sedintary people. If you spend your job sitting, you're sedintary enough. Every hour of intense activity, add another 1/2 glass. In hot climates, add a full glass, and if you're hot an active, 1 1/2 more glasses. The only time I'd ever recommend going over a gallon is unusually hot days, especially dry heat.

I think the pollen has affected me far more than ever before. My eyes have been itchy and dry, my sinus go back and forth between being clogged, and being open but raw.

Maybe I'm just getting old.


So far, I've got my Fedora Core 4 (Red Hat) Linux machine to do most everything I want, except something important: Connect with my PocketPC. I don't even care if it syncronizes with Evolution the Open Source version of Outlook. I just want to be able to transfer files - audiobooks, podcasts, pictures, plans for world conquest, school work, etc. I rarely us my calander right now, since I'm trying to use Linux more. My wireless USB thingy doesn't work on it either. Fedora Core 5 comes out on Monday. I'm hoping it has more hardware recognition. That's one advantage Windows and Mac have; plug anything to either, and it works. Not so with Linux. Not just yet. Soon, I think.

Time to grab a girl, a couple of dogs, and get a good nights sleep.

Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival

Today, Nancy and I helped Richard set up the stakes and booth number assignments. It took most of the day. We still have more to do. Don't forget to click on my button to the right, and see the new pics for the day.

Fedora Core 5 Linux
comes out next Monday. Right now, they suggest reinstalling the OS to upgrade. If Fedora is going to make it, they'll have to come up with an online, automatic updater. Fedora Core 4 does updates, security installs, and such. But the updates don't seem to apply to the overall OS.

The next version of Ubuntu is coming up too. It updates automatically, and even can upgrade the OS automatically, so I'm hoping that will happen on the old pink iMac.

More pics tomorrow.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Super Slow Zone

It seems that some at the Super Slow Zone are a bit upset about a training manual I wrote. While it might give a slight headache in trouble for a few weeks here, it's cool that I wrote something good enough to be contraversial. Really cool.

As it goes, I wrote a manual for Gainesville Health and Fitness Center in the early 90's. When I left GHFC in 2000, I was no longer a Super Slow cultist. Someone at GHFC really liked it, and emailed it around to other Super Slow trainers. I started getting calls on something I didn't believe it, so I sent them a copy of my 'manifesto' -an article titled; Intensity/Inroad/Recovery, which refutes much of the Super Slow / High Intensity Training concepts. Maybe not refutes, but at least directly questions.

Anyway, it seems quite a few fitness centers liked the manual, and decided to use it for their own. I allowed the original source material for the manual to be released as 'open source'. Now, I understand the Super Slow Zone people aren't happy. It also seems that Super Slow Zone isn't doing very well. A few individual centers are doing okay, but some critical business errors have happened, and the SSZ francisor is tripping up on a hole she created. Let's just say; Donald would say "You're fired!"

I do feel bad for Ken Hutchins, though. While I completely disagree with his training ideas, he is a good man, honest, and firm in his convictions. But, he's fallen in with some unsavory characters. No matter how bad they try to pressure me, I won't go work for them, even though I have a drastic plan that would help. The free info gravy train is over for them.

As for me:
This week is the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. Expect a LOT more pictures. I may even need to upgrade my account to hold them. I have Spring Break, so I've spent a good bit of time studying.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


This is Abby. I'm pretty sure she's more intelligent than me. It wouldn't be too hard.

A few days ago, Abby and Chili were playing, and Abby's neck got scratched. Being the benevolent owner I am, on our evening walk, I used the harness on Abby, instead of the choker collar. I couldn't remember how to get it on her. She did. Abby pushed her head through the collar opening, and lifted her leg for me to snap the harness. She remembered the pattern with the collar. I didn't. From two years ago.

Just, Damn!

Have you noticed my posts becoming more and more techy? Yeah, me too. Some people have responded, wanting more commentary. At least, I'm glad I'm entertaining.

Other than learning my dog is smarter than me, I have no real commentary tonight. Maybe I'm finally linking into 'the system'. You know; the one with beacon scores, malicious financial people, identity theft, and dogs and cats with no hair. The system where you don't start life after college from the ground; you start 20 stories from the underground - deep in dept. You become a servant of the system. You do what you told at work, because you have to. You ignore you conscience, and remember your responsibilities.

We've become slaves to our indulgences.

Nope, no commentary tonight. Sorry.

When I have to study for school, if I'm studying anything about computers, it doesn't feel like studying. When I have to study for speech class, it feel like glass splinters piercing my face, neck, and shoulders. Or was that the hurricane?

This last weekend, I did a trade-out with a friend to fix her computer. It was slow, really slow, with only 128meg of memory. But worse; it had some serious malware - some spyware and a few rootkits. The spyware is workabout, sometimes, but the rootkits are not. It's far easier to start with a clean slate. I saved her files, reinstalled Windows -this time making sure it, and all the virus and spyware detectors were updated, reintalled her software, and made it look purty too. It came out better than new.

The problem is; it's going to get infected again. It's Windows XP. Sure, Microsoft has done an excellent job of making computing easier for the masses, and the internet has given reason for the masses to want or need a computer. But the two just weren't made for each other. Her Windows computer will become infected. Yuck. I set up a pretty basic defense, enough of one so that she can be somewhat protected, but still do what she wants, but it's just not enough.

I'm not bashing Microsoft here, not am I a Windows hater. Windows has a problem - security. When Vista comes out, I'm sure it will be much better. But, for now, anyone using Windows has to be a security expert, even though even they get infected too.

If you want to be able to use the internet without the irritation of viruses, spyware, adware, and rootkits, get a Mac, or install Linux. At least for now.

Maybe Vista will be better. For the price, it better.

I'm sorry about the whole commentary bit. I just can't think of anything to comment about. I'll work on it.

Friday, March 03, 2006

More Speech

Got through my second graded speech (sounded like I said it was 2nd Grade Level). I did it on Linux, and it went pretty well. I still went over time, but only slightly. I still tried to use the cue cards, but that just makes me stumble. I can recover from a stumble pretty well, but it makes me take too long to make the presentation. When I practice at home, it hits just right, but at school, it takes longer. Part of it is trying to hold the cards, look down and use the Powerpoint all at one time. Not practical at all. If I can get it down to just one card, it might work, but no more than one. Looking down it the biggest problem that messes me up. Every time I look down to the cards, I get 'off-beat'. I knew what I was suppose to say next, but looked at the card to make sure instead. It's better, and much more fluid, when I just go out of my head. But, I do that daily.

Right now, I'm using the old pink iMac, with Ubuntu Linux. I'm using it for a few days, mostly to make sure everything necessary is installed, but also to make sure it's not too slow to be unusable. It's not. Not only is it completely usable, but it's actually faster than with Mac OSX. Mac OSX and the various Linux distributions have lots of similarities, so it's easier to switch from Mac to Linux. Gnome (what makes Linux distros look more like Windows) helps the Windows people use Linux. Mac is very good, but very big, making it work slower on older equipment. While the Pink Mac isn't going at warp speed, it's at a tolerable level of slowness, and it hasn't crashed at all, so far.

This is a screenshot of running the Old Pink iMac, G3 - 333mhz, 6gig HD, and 160meg memory. In the screenshot, I'm running Gaim Instant Messenger, Firefox Web Browser, and Gimp photo editor (pretty much as good as photoshop). Even with the low amount of memory, it didn't slow down much at all.

This brought me to an idea I want to do:
I'd like to create an organization to take older, but still usable computers, install a Linux distro, and give it to a student without a computer. Doing so will help keep a perfectly good computer in use -instead of making toxic waste sooner than necessary- and help a student. I could start at the Community college level, since I'm there, and.....
Okay, truth is - it would keep me having a constant supply of toys. There are problems with the idea; storage, getting donors, getting recipients, and supporting the systems I give out. It would definitely be a two or three person volunteer effort. Maybe someday. If Mac or Windows goes Open Source (and I think they eventually will have to), I'd use those too.

Nancy and I've been working out more - doing an all day workout. All throughout the day, we do sets of a few different exercises. The next day, we do different exercises. The idea it to create something for very time crunched people to use. Eventually, I'm going to figure things you can do in work clothes. Might be the start of a decent book.

We went to Epcot Saturday, and Nancy treated me to dinner at Japan. Our cook was good, and the food was really good. Even still, I wish they had messed with the restaurant at Norway; Akershus. Now, they've gone and done this Storybook Princess dinner thing. Friggin fetish people. I bet each of those girls winds up divorced real quick, when their princess bubble burst. Invade my space, will ya. Then again....

Snow White did pretty hot. Maybe I could get Nancy one of those outfits.
I might just go to the Storybook Princess Dinner after all.