Sunday, April 30, 2006

How do you like our backyard? Needs a bit of work, don't it? Actually, it's the gardens at Canada at Epcot. Nancy and I went to the home and garden show today. They had lots of cool stuff. Nancy wouldn't let me ride Mission Space, due to my concussion A MONTH AGO, and my gallbladder problems TWO WEEKS AGO. Good for her. She keeps me in-line, and on track.

Nancy really liked the chairs. She said they were too cute for words, but she found the words anyway. She's good like that. Typical writer.

I saw some friends of mine yesterday - Nicole and Tony. They went to see the new movie about the 911 flight that went down. Nancy and I just weren't ready to see it. We saw Stick It. A cute gymnastics movie. Nicole and Tony laughed that I like to take lots of pictures of myself, as they noticed on my flickr site (click on the flickr pics to the right). I take those pics mostly so my family and friends can see me. I wish they'd do the same, so I can see them. Having an open book life isn't what some people want. To be honest, I was really glad to hear anyone was even bothering to look at my pictures.

Technology Comments Warning - Skip the next few paragraphs if you aren't a technophile:

If you've read my past few entries, you'll know that I've been using Ubuntu Linux lately. I think Fedora probably edges Ubuntu out on progress, but because of that, Fedora is phinniky. It doesn't crash, but you have to do a lot to get it to do everything you want. For a system that requires five CD's to install, makes you think, "Sup with that?". Ubuntu comes on one CD, but you really need to be connect to the Internet to immediately update it for it to have everything you want.

The really cool thing about Linux is that most distros update all the software on your system, not just specific software. Anything that has an update, will be updated. OpenOffice, Firefox, XMMS mp3 player, etc.

With Ubuntu, you get a little update notice that pops up on your desktop, similar to Windows. With Fedora, you have to check it yourself. So far, no cute little popups have happened, except for one that warned me my USB jumpdrive was close to full.

So far, Ubuntu still edges Fedora out for ease of use. It's almost as easy to use as Windows, and I'd have to say it's a wee bit easier than Mac.

Techy comments over

The good guy at Personal Trainers Studio have extended my contract another month, so things will be okay, at least for that long. I hope we can work something out for my part-time training. I'm really please with what I'm seeing so far, and these guys are professionals, so I think we'll be able to come to a good arrangement. So things are okay for now.

Check out Nancy's blog for some really interesting commentary on life, liberty, and the achievement of happiness.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

C is for Cookie!

You just have to watch this video:

It's just way too funny. Maybe my brothers and sister's 'Cookie Business' had a much more sinister plan.

I met with the new owners of the gym today. They are good guys, but it looks like I probably won't be able to continue working out of Personal Trainers Studio. I train only part-time, and the rent they're asking is more than is workable for me. After rent and expenses, I'd come out with just under $2.00 per hour. It's too bad. They've really made some improvements. What they want in rent isn't unreasonable. It's a really good deal for a full-time trainer, but a part-time trainer, like myself, would lose money. Part of the business of being an independent trainer. I still prefer it. After 20+ years being a personal trainer, I'm just not good as an employee trainer. Talk about a problem employee.

Things are iffy about school this semester, too. The classes I need are either full, or offered at times I can't do. It's funny how important choices and decision come at you all at once, with a brief lull here and there. It reminds me of an airline pilot I use to train. He said, "It's hours, weeks, months of sheer boredom and monotony, with brief moments of sheer terror." Okay, I'm not in a terror situation, just a slightly frustraiting one. One that could have been avoided had I made better decisions earlier. Much earlier. Like 5th grade earlier, or at least high school earlier (Stephen and Brett? You reading??)

Even with all my mistakes, even the continuous ones, my life is pretty damn good. Far better than I deserve, that's for sure. I certainly haven't earned it. I've barely earned a soggy refridgerator box in the woods off Lee Road.

Part of problem is I abhor financial achievements. I see most of them as self-indulgent, self-important, and adding to our over-consuming society. What makes it a problem is that I am part of that society, like it or not. I am part of an economic system that depends on each of us giving up some of our ethics to 'get by'. Our achievements depend on us turning a blind eye to things we know are just wrong. The more we do it, the easier it is to ignore what's really important. If you've read the books, Nickel and Dimed and Bait and Switch, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't read those books, I highly encourage you not to read them. Keep ignoring what's around you. Go about your over-consuming lifestlye. It's much easier to forget your ethics. Whatever you do, don't read those books. You just don't want to know how much of a lie the American Dream has become, or what it takes to achieve it.

I wish I'd never read them. Or The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Or Man's Search for Meaning. I wish I'd never seen photos of the factories that build the stupid products I buy, and how the workers are treated. I wish I'd never seen the money that the CEO of Exxon, Lee Raymond, is going to get.

I guess I've been inspired by the Cookie Monster to be a rebel.

Friday, April 28, 2006


If you've read my blog lately, you're probably bored with my Linux comments. Oh well. Watch me care.

Ubuntu, so far, is my favorite Linux distribution. It's, by far, the easiest one for new users. For free. Free, as in FREE BEER! You just can't beat that. Mark Shuttleworth, thanks again! While Fedora is probably a wee bit more powerful, Ubuntu does everything everyone needs, and more. Fedora can be complicated. RedHat isn't really complicated, but Fedora is their cutting-edge Linux distribution. If you are a poweruser, use Fedora. If you're an 'everday' user, use Ubuntu.

Ubuntu, just as some other Linux distro's, has a 'LiveCD". You can actually download the Operating System on a CD, and boot your own computer with Linux. All, without damaging, or even touching, your hard drive. You can run a Linux LiveCD version completely from the CD drive. With the new LiveCD in Dapper Drake, you can use the CD for a 'trial run', by booting off your CD drive, and, if you want, you can install Ubuntu from the LiveCD on your hard drive, as your primary Operating System. The new LiveCD does both.

If you use Windows, you've got nothing to lose, except the time it takes to set-up a Linux OS distro. Windows is completely under attack from malware. It's just too easy to attack Windows, as it's PC (DOS) based. Windows was originally meant to be a stand-alone computer. But, the internet happen. Mac OS and Linux were designed based on networking standards and protocols. Windows just can't keep up with the pace of malware out there in Cyberland.

Ubuntu is impressive, even for this Power User. It loads WAY faster than Windows, and boots up quicker too, even on this old 800mhz system. Other than a few slow-downs opening programs, I don't notice any performance difference. At least, so far. It might be slow to load programs, but once they're loaded, I struggle to find any other slowness.

Most of the Linux forums I read focus on the problem with wireless. I've yet to find out for myself just how difficult Linux is with wireless. I don't have a wireless card in either of my desktop computers, and the laptop has WindowsXP. My next purchase will probably be a cheap, D-Link wireless card, as that's the one most people seem to have the least trouble with. Before Linux can truly be a viable option for most people, they Linux communities will have to fix the wireless issue. That won't be too easy. Some of the wireless hardware companies aren't very warm to Linux. Microsoft has big money deals with them. In a few years, Linux will be on more desktops, and even laptops. Wireless hardware manufactures will have to accomidate Linux, if they want to keep business.

* * * *

My belly is getting better. I doubt I've fixed my Gallbladder problem. Not quite yet. That will probably take another year to really say, "It's better." I have been eating well -at least much better- and I'm working out more too. So, hopefully, things will come into play, and my belly/abdominal area will feel much better.

I cannot say enough about the medicinal properties of Oatmeal! More than anything else, it make my belly feel better. Why? I can only speculate. But I don't care why. It's good. It's good for you. Watch me care why.

I'm working out more now. Okay, I'm working out, period. For the last few months, I've really been a slacker. I've felt the effects of being 'deconditioned'. At least, as much as I can. I've also felt the effects of igoring what I know about food, and eating whatever-the-hell-I-want. I also know about not using my time as well as I can. I've experienced the feeling of my life out of control. I have no clue how people put up with it for very long. I even heard the words, "I'm not in the mood", in my head. Luckily, they didn't come out of my mouth.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have great disdain for those who 'live by their moods". I can be just as guilty as the next person of being moody, but for the most part I don't live by my moods. For me, they are simply a consideration, not a mandate or doctrine. For most people I've encountered, moods are simply a way of life. It's also the very thing that holds them back. Not letting moods rule your life can be a difficult thing, especially for those who unwittingly use their moods to manipulate others. (Can you tell I encountered moody customers tonight?)

My Personal Training business may take some new twist and turn, pretty soon. The new owners of the facility I work out from, put a good bit of money into it, and have made it much better. The only problem is; they want more money. How much they want isn't unreasonable at all. Completely reasonable, in fact. A bargin, to be sure. The problem is; I only do Personal Training part-time. Being in school, and trying to run a one-man-business doesn't work-out in todays market. So, if they can't negotiate on the price, I'll have to do completely in-home training with my clients. While the financial aspects of that are very good, the convenience of having a gym five blocks from where I live is too nice. Let's hope they're willing to work with me, to keep me there.

I hope more of my readers comment on my blogs.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Nancy's daughter, Laura, brought me their old, gutted Gateway. It's harddrive was gone, and the CD writer was out. I put Ubuntu Dapper Drake 6.06 Beta LiveCD in, and it worked fine. It's an 800mhz P3, 512mg. I got another cheapy 80gig hard drive, loaded the Ubuntu Linux system on, and wa-la, there it is. It's a bit slow, but not sluggish. Once a program is up and running, it's fast enough. Web pages load fast. Pictures render in just a second or two. It will make someone happy someday.

I'm working on getting this computer with Linux system to be as functional, compared to Windows or Mac OS, as possible. It's much easier with Ubuntu. This computer still needs some items;
  1. A CD or DVD/CD writer
  2. USB 2.0 port card
  3. D-Link wireless card
  4. front side UBS 2.0 plugins -maybe
  5. Another 512mg of memory - total to 1.024 gig,
  6. Maybe a video audio input card
  7. Maybe a stronger graphics card
The thing is, if I actually got all that stuff, it would cost as much as or more than a new computer. A faster computer. That's the trouble with hardware. Sometimes, it's just not worth it to upgrade.

It's functional as-is; Office programs, internet connected hardwire, MP3 players, etc. Once I get it working, I'll probably give it away. Other than to play with the hardware, I don't need another computer.

Even though this is a beta version of Ubuntu Dapper 6.06, it will be supported for three years. That means updates and downloads for this particular version will be available. For free.

My goal is to help keep computers working for people as long as possible, and not throw them away, not just yet. Many computers are still very usable. The might need a bit tweaking, but certain Linux distributions will work on some pretty old stuff.

Nancy and I have been eating much better. Out of necessity, I'm eating lower fat, higher fiber, and small meals. My guts are feeling much better too. I was really bad off. My insides felt like they'd had surgery. I was having difficulty just moving around, as least as I normally do. I was feeling very sick after each meal, and on a couple of occasions, threw up right after. Lowing my fat intake did the trick. I've upped my fiber intake, and got some Udo's Probitic Lozenges, to help restore the good bacteria in my gut. Oatmeal helps too, probably more than anything else. I also have to not eat after 8:30, so I don't go to bed with something on my stomach.

My school stuff is difficult this summer; so far, there no classes offered at the times I need. I have to take two courses before I can take others that follow. If I have to, I'll just purchase the textbooks for the classes, and review them as though I actually am taking the course, then take the courses in the fall. Kind of like Independent Study. Some of the course are available online, but my advisor recommended I take them in class, because of the labs.

My Personal Training Business is picking up a bit, too. I have openings for 3 more clients, so that should fill in a few weeks. I will be doing more Yoga training, and will be available for in-home group sessions pretty soon. My minimum class size is three, and a max of eight. I'm only teaching beginning level classes, as I'm not more than just an intermediate myself, but I'm a good teacher. Twenty plus years as a personal trainer have helped with that.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


You can see there've been some changes in Personal Trainers Studio facility. Good changes. The new owners put in some new equipment. Quality new equipment. My rent prices will go up a bit, but I think the new equipment will be worth it. I like what I'm seeing, so far. My Personal Training prices will probably remain the same.

Last week, I got sick. Pretty sick. More than likely, I had a gall bladder attack. About eight years ago, I got sonogrammed, looking for Aortic problems. They didn't find any, but they did see pollops on my gallbladder.

Over the years, my digestive problems have gotten worse. Some of it is probably due to anxiety, some from too many years taking asprine and ibuprophen, and some from not-so-good eating habits.

Now, I have to eat good. I'm okay, as long as I eat low fat. High fiber intake is important for me, also. It's frustrating to be limited, but you work with what you got.

Last week, I had to work on my Final Test and Class Project for my Operating Systems class. I turned it in on Tuesday night, so I'll find out how I did later.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


Out of necessity, I'm getting more into a frugal lifestyle. I'm probably 30% of the way there. I know others that do much better, but I'm not doing too bad. Thats a big part of what motivates me with the whole Linux thing. It's not realy any better than Windows or Mac. More secure than Windows, maybe, but about the same as Mac. The attraction to me is a few things;
  1. Cheap - Hard to beat free
  2. Secure - No major security issues. yet.
  3. Flexible - can work will on new and old hardware.
The last point is important.

Windows is upgrading Vista in January 07. The hardware requirements are going to be much more than XP. Most people will keep XP, but use it less because of malware. Friend will help them try Linux, through Live CD's, and they'll see the usefulness. Because Linux can work on even very old computer, many people will switch. And because Linux is more secure, a few will switch.

Sounds like I'm prophising. I am.

Maybe I'm wrong, but there's only two ways I can be wrong on this;
  1. Apple releases Mac OS to run on any hardware, Apple or PC
  2. Apple release Mac OS as open source
The second is unlikely to happen. Mac is the better OS, at least for now. Windows Vista will have to be increadibly impressive.

I was looking at lean Linux distro called, "Damn Small Linux." It even works on old hardware. You can run it off a Jumpdrive. Don't through out that old computer, just yet. Even if your harddrive fails, it's still useable. Even if it seemed too slow, it's usuable. At the very least, donate it. At the best, put DSL on it, and donate it.

Friday, April 14, 2006

It's Over

My last speech class was lastnight. Mock congress is done. I did good. My team did good. Hopefully, I'll get a good grade. Now to finish up my Operating Systems class project. I'm doing it on Linux File System, and I'm making it a short story. But, I think I already told you that.

Not sure what I'm going to take over the summer. I won't be able to take a full load. Classes aren't offered at the right time for that. I will go full time school in the fall though. I want to get this thing done.

I have this weekend off work. I'll probably work on my project, and do a bit of work around the house. My stepkids, Stephen and Brett, have their birthdays soon. I wish I could go see them. I'll probably have to put it off till finals are over.

Well, my blog is wonderful and all, but if you really want to be entertained, read Nancy's blog.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


This is my current Fedora Desktop. My WindowsXP Laptop, and my PocketPC have the same wallpaper. I'm not really that into consistency. I just like to play.

I'm this close to switching to Ubuntu. Fedora is cutting edge, but persnickity. It's working fine, so I'll probably leave it alone, for now. Ubuntu is easier to work with, from what I read online. It's the best one for Linux Newbies. Maybe I just miss the Red Hat start/applications menu icon.

My last speech is tomorrow (Thursday) night. Omar dropped out, so it will just be the three of us; Jessica, Dunia, and me. We're doing our 'mock congress' -as though the real one isn't a mock- and our 'bill' is, "Banning Fast Food Advertisments Targeting Children". Our proposal is to have a law that bans Fast Food ads on television between the hours of 6am and 10pm. I'm taking the opposing view. Not that I oppose, but I can argue either side. Of pretty much anything. It's because I'm smart. Really smart. Probably smarter than you.

Yeah. Right. If that were true, I wouldn't have so many spelling errors in my blogs.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Six Days

Six days is too freaking long to go without a post.

I spent most of the weekend working at Sports Authority. Between that, school, and my Personal Training business, I've been very preoccupied.

Thursday is the last day for my speech class. We have our 'mock congress' speech. One of our team member pulled out, and dropped the class. Had he not dropped the class, we would have gotten a big fat zero. So we have to go at it with three people. Not fun. Not at all.

I'm the team leader. That part I don't mind. The part I mind is having to make up for the missing member. Not sure how to handle that. I may actually have to speak twice.

I have alot of work to do over the next few weeks. You know; finals and all. This is the part of school I dont' like - having to work on someone elses time schedule. I've never liked that part. Left to my own accord I can actually do better. But, on someone elses schedule, I struggle.

Other News
I read on some of the message boards about the High Intensity Training convention in Indianapolis this last weekend. Seems like it was a good one. They are learning how things really work. Slowly. A bit too slowly, but some of them might come around. The HIT cult, and the Super Slow cult are tough to move away from, but some of them might make it.

I highly suggest downloading the Ubuntu Live CD iso image, burning it to disc, and running from that, especially to surf online. I have Fedora Core 5 on my desktop, but Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution, and might be the curent best one. The Ubuntu Live CD version runs the Operating System directly from the CD drive. The hard drive is never really accessed. Other distribution have Live CD's, and they are a good way to learn and familarize yourself with Linux. At the very least, you can surf and instant message with no threat of getting malware. At the best, you'll realized, "Wait a minute -I don't really need Windows". That, and, "Dang! This stuff is free!"

I haven't felt very well the last few days. I really hope I'm not coming down with somethings. Especially before a final speech.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Recover from Malware

My Current Fedora Core 5 Linux Desktop

On January 24, I wrote an overview of how to recover from malware infestation (viruses, spyware, adware). Seems I was right:

On, the article, "Wiping an infected computer is best for any OS" agrees with me. Maybe I'm a bit ahead of my time. Also on, "Microsoft says Recovery from Malware becoming Impossible." Even the MS people are beginning to agree, especially for business.

Microsoft is losing it's 'Trusted Computing" marketing campain, and that really does suck. I like Windows. It's easy, and it works. I know some will disagree with me on this, but Windows is slightly easier than Mac. Just slightly. Microsoft has a hugh customer base to help them determine HOW to make Windows easier. Mac has the Mac Cult people telling them how to make it easier. Not the best population for new user information. With Windows, plug damn near anything into it, and it works! Not so with Mac, and especially not so with Linux. Most things will work with Mac, but printers are bitchy. Many things will work with Linux, especially older hardware, but newer things -like wireless devices- are complicated to get working. Not for the impatient. Windows Plug'n Play works.

As it turns out, that might not be a good thing.

Apple did a good thing switching to a BSD (Berkley Software Distribution) of Unix as their base kernel. It makes the system much more stable, reliable, less prone to crashes, and much less prone to viruses, spyware, and adware (all now referred to as 'malware'). But, it still has holes. Very small holes, and extremely difficult to get through. The BSD version they use is a wee bit old. They do put security updates out quickly. Good for Apple.

But, keep this in mind: Both Apple and Microsoft have a limited amount of engineers, programmers, coders, and other various geeks working on the Operating Systems. Linux has thousands, and growing everyday. Because Linux is Open Source, it has more people working to fix bugs, patch holes, and make it more secure. Linux communities find thousand of bugs and holes in the same amout of time Windows finds only 50 or so. The hackers find the rest on Windows.

Another article on, "Open Source gets Results, While Microsoft Blames Malware on Stupid Users," also explains why Open Source works. Personally, I think the author is a bit biased, but the point is still made, and the facts are correct. I don't seriously think Microsoft says "Stupid Users". They designed their system for the novice and new user. But, more and more engineers are independently helping Linux development, and for FREE. Most don't get paid squat. Companies that make money from Linux do so by supporting the software, not creating it. Red Hat no longer makes it's software. It created the Fedora Community for that. And Mark Shuttleworth's foundation gives Ubuntu away for FREE. Even will ship it for free.

When I first started using Linux, I cussed, fretted, and fumed trying to get some things to work, and I'm a Power User - a geek wannabe. I've got most things working, just not my Pocket PC connecting to it. As it turn out, that's not a big deal. Eventually, I'll figure it out. I have WAY too many Microsoft Reader ebooks to let go of it completely, or Windows for that matter. And my Laptop? I'm not good enough to attempt Linux on it. Not just yet. When I read that Linux is working easily on most Laptops, THEN I'll try it, but not until then.

As it turns out, Because Linux can be difficult to use is what makes it more secure. I use to bitch about how hard it was to install applications on my Linux Machine. That was before I really understood how to do it through the distributions install methods: Synaptic, apt-get, yum, yumex, rpm,...stuff like that. But, since it is slightly difficult for the user, it makes it really difficult for malware to get installed.

Just as easy as it is for you to use Windows, the malware has the same easy time installing itself.

So, to fight Malware, you have a few options:
  1. Get a Mac- if $$ is an issue, a Mac Mini, even a used one will work fine.
  2. If you've noticed your computer is getting slower, and defrag doesn't seem to help, follow my original advice; wipe the drive clean, and rebuild the OS and programs.
  3. If your computer is more than three years old, switch to a Linux distribution - Ubuntu if you're a new user. Easy enough for most newbies, and Freakin FREE.

Monday, April 03, 2006


I took this pic at the Winter Park Dog Art Festival. More on that in a bit, but look closely at my cheek. See the abrasion? On Saturday Morning, Nancy and I were walking Abby and ChiliDog. Just a few minutes into the walk, a squirrel ran out in front of us, and Abby took off after it. That's not too unusual for her. She likes the chase. However, Chili decided to assist. Chili got in front of my feet, Abby took off, my feet went up, and my face went down.


I hit the sidewalk on my right side, and my head hit the ground. Nancy said I made a mellon sound. I think I heard it in my skull too. I didn't pass out, but I was scraped up pretty good. My cheek, right shoulder, right hip and knee too the brunt of the fall. We're fairly certain I got a very minor concussion. My right side still aches, but other than that, I'm okay.

I cleaned up, and we went to the Maitland Art Festival at Lake Lilly for about on hour. I had to take a nap after. I'd wanted to go on to Disney, but Nancy didn't think getting on Mission Space would be a good idea after a fall. Can't imagine why. At the very least, if I died - my family could sue Disney for lifetime annual passes, hotel rooms, and free meals.

I had a headache all Saturday and Sunday, but this morning (Monday), it was gone. I could have been sinus/allergy headache.

The Dog Art Festival was fun. LOTS of dogs. We didn't take Abby and Chili. Chili would have liked it, but that many people would have made Abby nervous. Our dogs are still much more cute than all the others. I felt sorry for the artists though. Everyone was looking down, at all the dogs, and not the art. To be honest, the art wasn't impressive overall (listen to me, acting like I know anything about art). There were more pet and dog services being displayed than actual art.

Now for the SLAM (Stepping on the soap box now)
Thumbs down, and jeers to the Winter Park Lifestyle magazine. It should be called: Winter Park magazine for the complete over-consumption and self-indulgent lifestyle. Such is what Rome must have had, just before the empire fell. It is an embarrassing testimonial of American lifestyle. The people involved in such would never understand why -they're too involved in self satisfaction to get it. Nuff said. (Stepping off the soap box now)

My blogging as been amiss lately, partially because if I actually did blog my thought, everyone would think I've become an unpatriotic liberal. In reality, my personal life is doing well, so I'm able to see and think about the crap going on around me. If my personal life wasn't doing good, I'd be self-focused, and blind to what's happened to our country.

Take, for instance, the current credit system. You get a number -Beacon Score- which may or may not truly indicate your credit worthiness. Now, in all fairness, it's probably fairly accurate for me. I have such difficult keeping sixes and nines right-side-up, even keeping up with the current date can be difficult for me. But, this system is moving close and closer toward a consumer communist state. One in which you are expected to be in Indentured Servitude (debt) to 'earn' a good credit score. In today's society, having absolutely no debt is seen as a bad thing??? Sup with that?? I think Tyler Durden's plan in Fight Club may have been a good idea. Money isn't the root of all evil, anymore. Credit is.