Friday, December 30, 2011

Bad Dream, or Ghost of Winter Future?

First off, it is Friday and I posted the next "chapter" of the Fox Tale on DeviantArt:

If this is the firs one you are reading, by all means please stop and read the first one first, then proceed in order.

Part One: → Fox at First Sight
Part Two: → Foxy Lady
Part Three: → Still a Fox
And the new one:
Part Four: → Fellowship of the Fox

So I had this weird dream a few days ago.  In the dream, I had promised this /girl/ the year before that I would marry her.  Everyone was supporting me on this, but I had never met the girl before making the promise, or since.  The dream took place on the day of the wedding - mostly at the church where my TUX was being tailored.  Her friends made up the wedding party but a couple of them were friends of mine - sort of like distant cousins or something - as well.  I tried to convince everyone that this was a mistake because, well for one thing, I am a girl, and another was that we really did not even know each other.  Everyone was telling me that everything was taken care of and that I did not need to worry about anything.  I kind of had the impression that I was making some sort of sacrifice my doing this, but it was not obvious in the dream.  Her father was really, really, really rich, but I was not doing it for the money.  And I knew the girl, despite having grown up really rich, was not being spoiled or just used to getting her way with things, but rather it had this sense of this being the first thing she really wanted and was finally getting it. (I ought to mention that despite this being a wedding, there was nothing sexual about this at all.  There was not any plan to physically consummate the wedding or anything like that.)
One of the prevailing emotions of the dream was one of being out of control.  Imaging like being in a car accident, and in the emergency room at the hospital and lots of people were fussing over you and assuring you that everything was okay - truth or not - and that you did not need to worry about anything.  Actually, come to think of it, it was a lot like that... something (not car accident) I have been through enough for it to have played though in my dream.  And I always associate Hospitals with things for all people, rich and poor, but run by really rich people - kind of like the father of the bride in the dream.

Goodness, I think I just figured out the dream - I was just reliving a trip to the ER.  I mean, there was rush and fuss to get me there.  Once there, I was being "tailor" dressed.  It was probably a lady Dr that I was not familiar with - there was that time when... and there was that... yeah, I remember now - and the hospital was her "dad."  It really does fit in my head anyway.

Okay, well, Anyhoo;
Take Care

Friday, December 23, 2011

Another Friday, Another Fiction Post

Not much to say here.  I have a load of cooking to do, so I will get right to the point

A Fox Tale:
Part 3: Still a Fox

If you have not already, please start at the beginning:
Part 1: Fox at First Sight

Friday, December 16, 2011

Part Two: Foxy Lady

Not a real big surprise.  It is a Friday, and I did say, somewhere, that I was going to try to upload a new "chapterette" every Friday. Another breadcrumb along this story.

It is a sort of dramatic, coming-of-age thing, but I hope is has my familiar style about it keeping it fun.  Except for this one part later down the path.

Oh, well, here are the links:
Today's upload: Part Two: Foxy Lady

And the starting point: Part One: Fox at First Sight

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It burns my cookies

Okay, well really, there are a number of things what really burn my cookies (Other than having the oven too hot or forget to start the timer.)

It makes me nuts when people put their flag up where it does not belong and move the scope of the real, root issue.

There was a story years ago where a woman was beaten, raped, stabbed, all repeatedly before being dumped and left for dead. The assailant was acquitted.
The woman had agreed to performing sex acts in exchange for drugs while at a night club, left with the guy, changed her mind on the way to his house (after using some of his drugs), and then he attacked her.

Okay, she was dressed "like a prostitute"
She promised to have sex with him
She used drugs, then did not "pay up"

All those things are bad, questionable, whatever.  People all over started raising issues for decency and anti-drug campaigns. Whatever.  What this boils down to is that nothing, nowhere, nohow excuses his behavior.

There is no instrument anywhere in humanity that says "Well, it is okay to do that because..."


So today I was sent this thing about "anti-bullying policies" that do not factor in LGBT.  Why should they?  Why should they have to itemize the things for which a person could be bullied.

Before there is a lot of yelling, let me explain.

A, "C beat me up."
B, "That is terrible, A.  Why did you do that, C?"
C, "Because I felt like it."
B, "C, I am appalled. There will be severe retribution."


A, "C beat me up."
B, "That is terrible, A.  Why did you do that, C?"
C, "Because A is gay."
B, "Oh, well, fine then."

The story was that there was a gay boy beaten in school, it was caught on camera video, no one helped, and the assailant was punished.  The argument is that it is a hate crime and the punishment was insufficient.  What we do not know is if the punishment is or is not consistent with other hate-crime punishments.

See what I mean?  There is no need to distinguish a person's characteristics when talking about protection from abuse.  Hate crime is hate crime and the story was presented with insufficient perspective.

If there was some sense of self defense like, "he was beating me up and I fought back" or "I felt threatened and I had no other recourse for protection," and I am sure, plenty of other reasons where it may be justified for one person to use physical force against another person, but it is never okay to do it because they have different beliefs, look different, or for their sexual orientation.

It is never okay to rape.  That is just.... no, never.

So, this.... junk-mail.... is not getting my support because I am not just jumping on a LGBT wagon and making a fuss.  I would not get on a race or religion wagon either under these conditions.

People, just get over yourselves, put down your banner, quit "occupying" and deal with the real issues.

It also irks me when the law gets in the way of justice.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Just an update

So it has been some time since I had made any updates on DeviantArt.  Last night, or this morning, whenever, I posted one of those "about me" things.  Rather self indulgent, if I do say so, but reading other's is a sort of guilty pleasure of mine, so yeah, I "give back" a bit.

Anywho, Here is the link to the Journal.

Yes, I have been writing a bit more, but it is rather slow going.  I hope to have some more short stories - or rather installments of the existing stories - posted in my gallery soon.

I am currently pulling a software update.  It takes a while.  So I am getting a bit chatty here.  Oh well.

It has been snowing more lately.  This is a good thing, for me, and I am really enjoying it.  It seems to be improving my mood a bit.

Dad has been cooking more for me.  I mean, yeah, he has been having to play more of the chef role for a while, but I have been making more of an effort to get involved and give recipe input.

I have re-read the Harry Potter books, enjoying them as much as ever.  Watching Thor took a lot out of me and I do not thing I want to go through that again to see the latest HP films.  (No, I still have not seen 6 or 7.1 & 7.2)

But now I am getting into State of Fear by Michael Crichton, an author whose works I do appreciate quite a lot.

I think that is about it for now.

Take care-


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Arch Linux Server Install

This is not so much like a lot of other reviews/reports I have done in the past, just a sort of quick and dirty, because unless someone out there wants to discuss any of this, I am kind of done with this. That is to say, I
As many of you are well aware, I am a tried and true Linux Mint advocate.  However, as some of you are aware, I believe in using the right tool for the job.

I have been using Zen Server for my file server for years and years. It has been good to me. It is still good. I may well use it again at some point. I like it a lot. No hard feelings.
Recently, however, Dad and I decided it was time to build something better.
So, new, good hardware should mean that we can run whatever distro we want, right? It can take it. But why waste cycles that could be going to BOINC? Why have a fancy DE on a system that may as well be headless?

Okay, well it will not really be headless, but it will be mostly used as such.

So I wanted to get down to basics and Dad and I liked the looks of Arch Linux.

Chose NET for the installation method.  Basically, you can chose a “core” and then do an update, or do the NET install and just get the update during the install.

Got the net ISO on USB stick and booted.
Logged in and started the setup.
Chose my install source (FTP)
Then it prompted me to start up networking.  Cool.
Next was setting the date/time configuration
- region and timezone
- Check that it is correct, then back to the main menu
Setup file system.  Choosing manual so I can define my /home volume
Picking packages. done
Installing packages. Well now here is where I am really biting the bullet with this, so to speak. This is going out on a rather slow connection.  This (NET Install) is not really the recommended method, in this day and age, given the connectivity that I have because I will have to wait for the packages to be FTP’d to me.  As mentioned earlier, I could have downloaded the CD-install method, but then, what would be the point, really.  I can wait.  I am not in a hurry.  I have a book.
Oh, mercy, the package installation failed because of a connection timeout. Gee, what a surprise there, eh?  Clever little installer just picked right back up from there.
Now on to the configuration, daemons, bootloader.
Note: This text-based installation was cool. It had just enough pre-done, without having to go back in and remove a bunch of stuff, but still be very user friendly, as long as the user does not need to ask a bunch of questions. -- Or, if they do have to ask a bunch of questions, they ought to have another computer on the standby.

Reboot and setup my user. Done
Add sudo. Done
Installing xorg... little trouble getting the packages... Hmmm... Okay, just need to remove that failing mirror from my mirror list.
Configing video, X and fonts. Done.

Here is gets interesting. I did a bit of pre-install planning and whatnot. I have (I thing) not really been too naive to know that there is a lot about *nix that I do not know.  There is plenty. I knew there were lot of different desktop environments and window managers and stuff, but I had not understood the relationship between them. For the most part, I have dealt with systems that came with something (gnome, KDE, xfce, lxde) and I could install another, or whatever. And I would, and that would determine what sort of gui tools I would have, or what lib’s would load, etc. So, I had played around with some bare WM’s. It was really cool. I had (on another machine) tested out Window Maker, and Fluxbox (which I had played around with before, but now understand it better) and several others before settling on Openbox.  Openbox is perfect for this. Window Maker was my second choice. When you run Openbox, all you get is your apps. There is nothing else in the way. Also, running just a wm and not a de, it is natural to run at init3 unless there is something in there you need to do.

So, set up the proxys, nfs, rsync and all our LAMP stuff.

The verdict? ArchLinux is great for this kind of down to basics server.  

The installation was easy, but precise.
The configuration was straight forward.
So far, the maint and upkeep seems simple enough. I am rather impressed.

And, ArchLinux is not just good for servers. It is good for basically any stripped, purpose built system. Take a netbook, for example. Cloud computing, etc. One could build a basic wardriver with just your wireless tools and chromium, and run all the google app you need. Or, build a media machine with an HDMI to the telly. Watch all the web content, pop in your blu-ray, music through the home theater.  Yeah, I know, you can do all that stuff with other systems, but then, where is the fun in that.  (Yes, you can build it up for a great, multipurpose, general use system, but it you are doing that, unless you are just starting from the ground up for the fun of it, there are other out-of-the-box options that get you there faster in a just-because-you-can-doesn’t-mean-you-should-start-from-scratch sort of way. Linux Mint, for example.)

Granted, I am not giving up my Linux Mint Debian with LXDE for my day-to-day usage.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Book Report: Matched by Ally Condie

Matched by Ally Condie
Well, the writing is nice, characters have some depth and are more or less believable, the concept a little tired and the plot is maybe a bit thin.
This is Lewis Lowery meets Scott Westerfield in a H.G. Wells sort of way.

In general, it is not a problem for me when concepts in one work are similar in nature, or influenced by, or even out-right borrowed from other works.  All the better when a new twist or different spin on the same scenario give life and excitement to an old interpretation. Sometimes though, I just feel like there is a lack of originality. All-in-all though, for having thrown all these into a blender, what came out was nicely done here, Ms Condie. Nicely done.

So lets take a look-see at what we have here.
Cassia Reyes
Xander Carrow
Ky Markham
Well, those are the /main/ ones, I suppose.

The Society.  Ha! Go figure.

So, in this world, ambiguously far in the future, the society (aka government) is in charge of everything.  Where we live, what we eat, what we do, who we marry, etc.  There are only few approved songs they are aloud to hear, only a few approved poems, paintings, etc - everything else was destroyed.  Matched starts out with Cassia readying herself for her matching ceremony.  Well, apparently, the norm is for people to be matched with someone from elsewhere in the ... from another place.  The rare is to be paired up with a local person, but shocking to be match with your childhood best friend.  What are the odds, right?  So, then there is a... glitch that implies to Cassia that she may have been alternatively matched to someone else from her childhood.  Coincidence? I put no stock in coincidence.

I am not giving away much there actually - you get almost that much from the jacket.  Well, except for the my-opinion part.

The thing about how well written this is, is that Condie provides a tremendous amount of insight into their world, culture etc. in the very beginning while also letting us know a lot about Cassia without boring us to tears. (You listening to this Ms Meyer?)

Ever read The Giver?  Or Uglies? ... or The Time Machine?  The idea is that in this society, everyone is calm and relaxed because the governing collective is always looking out for everyone and never does anything wrong.  Everyone agrees that it is good, or risk being wished away into a cornfield.  That was a subtle Twilight Zone reference, hopefully setting the mood.  As we the reader ride along with Cassia, we collectively start to realize that more and more people are apparently looking out for themselves for fear of the society, not trust in it.  They are careful what they say and do because they do not want to stand out.  Everyone is careful of offending anyone because their culture dictates that it is not nice to offend anyone, true, but doing so has repercussions greater than simply hurting someone's feeling.
She sees that there is one commonality that makes people rebel.  One thing fires individuals up to fight the system they fear, and that is when injustice occurs against someone they love.

There are three pills that everyone is supposed to have.
1) Nutrition supplement. This is to help them out if they ever are lost/stranded or whatever where they are in a position where they could suffer if not for adequate nutrition. I spent a lot of time thinking about what, within the scope of their perfect little society, would ever put them in need of such things.  I mean, to the point that the Eloi - er, sorry, the members of the society - are required to always have one with them at all times.  I pondered the psychological impact of such a thing and here is what I came up with: If They provide my food, three times a day, and I can get food no other way, nutrition is so important that if I ever fail to come to the feeding trough when called, I need an emergency supplement, then I my life is completely dependent on Them. And, they care enough about me that they give me the means to survive if I would ever to make such a mistake.  We do take a bit of a trip into the nutrition processing center and I half expected Morlocks running the place.

2) Sedative. Like somewhere between a super Alprazolam and a short-term chemical lobotomy. Again, something that /should/ not be needed in a utopia.

3) The enigmatic RED PILL.  They are always supposed to have them, but only supposed to take them when told to do so.  Some fear it is a suicide pill, some have no imagination, others... who knows.  Well, I know, but I am withholding /some/ spoilers so I am not going to tell you is like like the MIB Flashie-thing.  Oh, wait.
I am at a point now where I feel if I continue, I will:
- give away too much
- convey an inaccurate picture of my assessment of the book
- drive away potential readers, or something like that.

I have a number of issues - technical ones - that are too big to ignore, but not big enough to ruin the book.  Here is an example: They have /lost/ the ability to write.  They can type, but not write.  And not just in the sense "gee, this would be so much easier to type and my handwriting will be hard to read" but in the "I know the words to a lost, forbidden poem. I cannot type them, because then the Morlocks will see it! If only there was a way I could put these words onto something!" sort of way. Now, I understand that this was a plot device to get some things done.  And for one thing, it is a real sense of rebellion to break such a serious rule as to learn something the the Society did not teach.  But seriously, they know how to draw, they /could/ just draw the characters.  It is little things like that that do not sit well with me - and not just in a not-how-I-would-have-done-it sort of way.

One thing that was not conveyed - or I missed it, or whatever - was a sense of scale.  Sometimes it feels like they talk in the scope of cities and boroughs, other times, it seems like towns and divisions, or states and countries.  It bugged me, but I am over it now.

All in all, a good book that I am happy to have read - and eagerly await the next part.  Now that the base is set, I am hoping book two will be more... substantial.  I think this book could easily become more popular most.  That does not sound right... I hypothetically score it 10 of 15, but would understand that the populous gives it more of a 12 to 13 of 15.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Book Report: Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore
It has been a little while since I did a book report, and it looks like the last one may have been a ghost story as well. But these are nothing alike. AND, I suppose, because the book is NEW, this will be more of a review than other book reports I have done in the past.

So, What is it like?
There are a number of reviews out there on Texas Gothic, and a number of them... maybe /all/ talk about the hunky/hot/gorgeous cowboy, Ben, and the romantic tension between him and Amy.  Well, although I have a few "romantic" books like, and moreover, I like, in general, when a little romance is tangled in the overall story, but unlike what is implied in those reviews, the romance is so far sidelined, that it is tucked neatly away and does not intrude more than is should.  But more about that later - this is a ghost story.
The players:
Amaryllis Goodnight (Amy) - the "reluctant" hero
Delphinium Goodnight (Phin) - my personal fave, amusing sidekick, required techie nerd, and... well, you'll see.
Daisy Goodnight - 
Aunt Hyacinth Goodnight - albeit obliquely... by reputation... and phoned in from a cruise.
Uncle Burt, in his special way.
Ben McCulloch - the "hottie"
Old Man McCulloch
Deputy Kelly
Dr Douglas
And, of course,
Well, I do not want to give too much away, so I will stop there - but not without mentioning Taco and Gordita for good measure.

A bit about the mood of the book.  It was funny.  Not Terry Pratchett or Douglass Adams funny, but defiantly Janet Evanovich funny.  Actually, I see a number of similarities between Stephanie Plum and Amy Goodnight, but they may not be meaningful to discuss.  So, there is humor, and the previously mentioned romantic tension, supernatural mystery.

In contemporary Texas, the Goodnight womenfolk are witches - kitchen witches, that is.  These are not your flames-shooting-from-the-wand - turn-you-into-a-newt sort of witches mind you.  The Goodnights use Earth/Nature magic, generally speaking. If their aroma therapy body wash works like magic, it is because it /is/ magic. That and talking to the dead is common among them. They are not all farmers and ranchers as such, but the vacationing Aunt Hyacinth is leaving the Goodnight Herb Farm, smack dab in the middle of Texas ranchland and good and gone from civilization and cellphone coverage, in the hands of Amaryllis & Delphinium ... and adventure ensues.

While the Goodnights are witches, Amy fancies herself more compatible with "normal" society, struggling to find sanity on both sides while buffering each from the other.  Her older sister Phin is about as opposite as could be possible, which is why they need each other so much. Technical to the core, the paranormal is more normal to her than the mundane and she is the supernatural equivalent of the proverbial absentminded professor. (On a personal note, Phin reminds me of the way my dad is with wildlife, but pay that no mind.) 

Enter Ben, the antagonistic hero. Bringer of tension and frustration... and one of the tools used by our heroin to out-wit the evildoers. So, no, he is not an antagonist from a plot perspective, just a character trait because Amy and the Goodnights are just one of those things standing between him and a normal life, or so he thinks. (My way of saying that he is a little bit of a jerk, even though he is a good guy.)

When Amy gets abruptly and reluctantly sucked into a quest, of sorts, everyone surrounding her is involved, like it or not, in their own way and see it (the obstacle, plot-wise speaking) coloured with their own objectives, frame of mind and way of thinking. Phin sees a scientific opportunity, Dr Douglas sees a roadblock between her team and a great archaeological discovery, Mark sees a mystery brewing, Ben is faced with a near insurmountable obstacle keeping him from efficiently managing a ranch and Lila is looking for some affection in return for a job well done. Amy and Ben, primarily, just want to have their lives turned back up-side-right so they can go on living in a normal, reasonable fashion. See? That is why they get along so well - they have the same goals. Hehehe.

The hot cowboys... it is summer, in Texas, on a ranch. Everyone is hot, no matter what they look like, right? So, here is the deal with the "romance" between Amy and Ben. They each find the other in the way. Each are struggling with what promises to be a pleasing distraction from conflict at hand, but they are each chin deep in their own path that they cannot see that they are indeed working for the same solution.

I compared Amy to Stephanie Plum, and there are other strong, leading characters that fall under this similarity as well. When I look at each of the character's traits individually, it seems that there is no way that anything is going to get solved. Collectively, however, when the character is forced to step back and reassess things from a different angle and leverage their full, collective talent base in ways that make them grow overall - defeat the greater odds - this is what makes them greater than the sum of their skills. The Hero Gestalt. Moreover with Amy and Stephanie, they manage to leverage other people as well to fill in the talent gaps. They see the good and value in the people around them and do not try an tackle it all on their own, but not in a whiny-come-rescue-me sort of way.  Well, not all the time anyway.

I do not think that I am giving too much away when I say that the way the plot unfolds, I kept wondering up until the dramatic end, what role the supernatural was playing in this quest; which hands were being dealt by magic, ghosts, or ill-willed muggles.

Clement-Moore's writing style is amazing. I read my fair share of YA books as well as adult fiction and this is a pleasing bridge between - subjects, voice and characters I can relate to and connect with; told in a beautify, meaningful way where the text does not get in the way, but rather envelopes me and carries me through the journey as though I am a part of it, not just a passenger.

Texas Gothic is a must read of the decade.

Take Care

Monday, April 18, 2011

Talking about a song in my collection

Steve Burns - Mighty Little Man
Album: Songs for Dustmites

A tired man in his chair
Doesn't move he only stares
At the machine across the room
There's nothing there; it's not getting through
He shakes his head, finally stands up
Throws his hands up in the air
A blinding flash across the room
A sudden crash, a sonic boom
Changes everything he knew
It's everything he's never seen
The biggest deal there's ever been
Described in light upon the screen
(It said)
Nobody else is stronger than I am
Yesterday I moved a mountain
I bet I could be your hero
I am a mighty little man

From way up here you can't look down
As of now there is no ground
The microscope is turned around
Don't be alarmed, don't make a fuss
He's still like you; he's one of us
And he'll come back before too long
He takes a breath and clears his mind
Grabs his coat and steps outside
An empty street, there's no one there
He lifts himself into the air
A billion thoughts expressed as one
Etched in words across the sun
(It said)
Nobody else is stronger than I am
Yesterday I moved a mountain
I bet I could be your hero
I am a mighty little man

This was one of my favourite songs for as long as I can remember having favourite songs*.
Yes, this is the Steve Burns of "Blue's Clues" fame. Yes, when Mum got the CD when it came out, she was like, this has nothing to do with Blue's Clues. I said, "Okay." Or, at least I thought about saying "okay." I was never much of a talker.

The thing I like the /most/ about this song is the syncopated rhythm of the chorus. I do not really know what the song is about - what it all means and stuff - I just always took my own little meaning out of it. I was a new fencer back then, and winning bouts against much bigger people than myself. It was a time when I was really struggling with my disposition on life, the universe and everything. I internalized everything - to a fault - and left little indication of anything that I liked or did not like. More so even than now. I was a hollow, empty shell of myself trying to refill me with an identity I could believe in. Although I wanted this song to help me believe in myself, it did not do that. But it does have musical awesomeness.

Take Care

*Well, not really. I was ten when it came out, but it was one of the early ones. Before The Short List, some songs were just more fun to sing along with or listen to than others. Notable other faves on The Short List back then were like a-ha: Sycamore Leaves, Talking Heads: Stay Up Late, Information Society: Still Here, Tones on Tail: Slender Fungus, White Zombie: More Human than Human and pretty much the entire Young Einstein soundtrack. (Clearly influenced by a substantial exposure to Eighties music.) This was in my pre-SKA phase - the SKA phase came very shortly after from playing DoB: XBV for hours on end just to listen to Reel Big Fish.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kubuntu 11.04 (64bit)

As some of you know, I like KDE. I like it a lot, but starting with 4.x, I was very limited on using it. I like lightweight desktop environments. For me, personally, using a computer is rather utilitarian. The machine and OS should be there to let me do what I want to do on it, not get in the way. Yet I like KDE for a number of reasons, though I do not use it an dhave not really done so in some time. So, when /someone/ said, "Hey, how about you review this distro because you have been a fan of KDE," a certain part of me was jumping up and down with excitement to play around with KDE.

Kubuntu, as the name implies, is a Ubuntu based distribution, focusing on KDE.
Now, my "test" environments are somewhat limited. There is the machine on which I run virtual machines. Typically, this is where I do most testing. Sometimes, I will grab an old machine that is good for little else. (Note: old machines with big volumes and fast NIC's make really good file servers, but are not so good at checking out this sort of distribution.) Because this is KDE and Unbuntu that we are talking about, I did not want to use a low-resource machine, or a virtual machine because I want to see what the OS can do, not see what it can do with chains and shackles.
This leaves me testing this out on my "standard system" - my netbook. AMD 64, dual core, blah, blah, stat this, stat that. So, okay, here was my experience.
1) Download the ISO (CD)
There were a few options for downloading Kubuntu 11.04. Reading the differences, it seemed that the CD one was the best for me as I did not need extensive language packs.
2) UNetBootIN to flash
Okay, for all of you out there what are not "Linux users" - you want to get unetbootin. It is available for Win (patui) Mac and Linux. It is a tool that will make bootable USB sticks for, like, whatever OS. It can pull distro's off the interwebz, or in this case, from a local ISO. I used a 1G stick for this operation, so obviously there is not a huge investment required here.
3) Backup
4) Boot and test live
So, I booted and took a look at the "Live" boot. (This means that I have booted off and am running from the ISO image on the USB stick. Nothing on my HDD was changed, but I still get to check out Kubuntu. This is a great way to sample Linux OS's - hint hint.)
What can I say - it is KDE. Big, pretty icons, applets and widgets all over the place. Everything that is "there" in Linux is there is one way or another. There is the panel - up top by default. More little applets and launchers can be added to it. The "Menu" though is (a la Mac) in the context of the focussed app. Also, and this may be because of the netbook-ness of things, it wants to run everything maximized - even otherwise small dialogs.
5) Reboot and choose to install.
This is not a requirement. I /could/ have installed from the running Live, but I chose instead to just run the installer, as I was not sure what I was in for.
6) "Prepare"
Plugged in to power - check
4 GB HDD - check
Internet connection - check
3rd pty Software prompt - yeah, sure, give'em to me.
Download updates during installation. Yep... gonna have to do updates anyway.
7) "Disk Setup"
Well, I /could/ use the entire disk for Kubuntu - just let it have it.
Or - I /could/ set it all up manually.
Or - Take the prompted side-by-side installation where it wants to resize the partition and make a new one with Kubuntu. Hmmm... I think this is the option I want because then I can just blow away the partition I do not want when all is said and done and fix the bootloader.
Taking a quick peak at the "Manual" options. Okay, they look pretty standard - I can make new partitions, resize, format / and leave /home alone.
Next step it install. Did I mention that I had already backed up?
8) "Timezone"
(After the spinning cursor...)
Okay, there was a list to pick from.
9) "Keyboard"
10) "Install"
Well, it had been working on that since it finished setting up the partitions.
And, installing the updates... zzzz..... (Slow connection, not the distro's fault.)
11) Okay, done installing and rebooting. Yes, it looks very KDEy. (Kay-Dee-Eee-ee) This much KDE-ness may be a little much for a netbook.
12) The user experience:
Out of the box, this feels a lot like "Here, this is what you want to do... it is all right here, in your face... games, interwebz AND office productivity." So, I have a lot of things to turn off, but at least the system settings app it right there on top with my e-mail, because, you know, right aft I check my e-mail, I am always going to adjust my system settings.
Oh, and having a "menu" with one item - "Close" - makes me really want to use it, but that is me.
So, there are "pages" instead of "workspaces"
I have to give it "props" for defaulting the theme to "Air - for netbooks"
Oh, and I should go on to say that for pretty, KDE has always done it well.
Also, KDE has done settings rather well. They are easy to find and fix, you know? Even the one that I am resisting much - Put away the toys and just gimme a desktop.
Also, also, is the "Live" really does represent the installed product quite well. If you have unfamiliar with KDE, PLEASE play with the "Live" for a while first.
And look - there is Amarok. Hi, Amarok - how is it going?
Oh-Kay... "Page One" is not a desktop/workspace... it is ... a widget? Yeah, well, it seems like that sidebar that Vista likes so much, but full-screen. I /could/ set this up with toys and apps... It does get out of the way fairly well; just sitting there in the background.
It (the desktop manager) seems rather keen on a cloud-type desktop. There was this login-thing that just said "You need to log in to access this site" - What site? Really, I would like to know. Maybe later.
Whoa! I was looking for like, the apps, and not finding them, clicked on "search and launch" - presto - back to that first screen I got. It was a bit of a face-palm moment. Let me just get out to the interwebz for a moment.
Got distracted again. You know what I do not like about having this, "search and launch" thing for all my launching needs? I have to go to it to use is. I want to just click on my launcher. Okay, but so it has "apt" but it cannot find my online backup package... will have to "go get" it. Sigh... going to look around a little bit more before I do that.
Installing sshfs - mounting my lan mounts. No, that is not something dirty.
This is _so_ Mac-like that it is a little creepy. I think I have a one-button mouse around here somewhere.
So, I was, then, adding some things to the panel, task-swapping, setting up backgrounds and whatnot, and I seem to have dragged my mouse somewhere I should not have. It gave me that little "tab" to adjust the applet and ... well, so my DESKTOP MANAGER was not responding. I could not clear the thing, and could not put focus back on the taskbar or anything. It finally said - hey, that thing is not responding, wanna close it. I said "sure, it is not like it is doing anything." Then I lost it all. Had to use the power button.
Okay, back up and playing around again... stripping things back down - removing widgets, etc.
13) Wrapping things up
I have more apps to install, and more playing around to do. As for right now, this thing is cool - fun and pretty as expected. Yes, I am going to see how "thin" I can get it, but I am not going to hold up this review for that.
14) Another thing on the positive side:
No extra drivers to install afterward. Worked fine with wireless and display and figured out that it was a netbook all on its own.
15) Final assessment:
This is an excellent distribution for someone who wants a nice, good-looking system handed to them with what they need to get going. There is a lot there to get news and information at your fingertips straight away.
The Live bootup provides an excellent preview of exactly what to expect with the desktop. And, like one would expect from a Live boot with installation, the system is available for use during the installation. (Not that I took that option - but I /could/have.)
The installation package is one I have seen before, nice, up-to-date and working well; but not the only place to get it.
Not the thinnest running system out there today - KDE was never meant for that - so it will not replace my standard system distro, but I think this is right there, good as any, for one of those entertainment-system setups.
I highly recommend this distribution for human usage. In particular for humans who plan on interacting socially via the interwebz, watching movies and listening to music. (It will, of course, do way more than that, mind you. Way more.)

Take Care

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Linux Mint Xfce (201104)

Some may notice that there is no "release number" there, for example - Linux Mint Xfce 10
That is because this the the Debian base, as opposed to the Ubuntu base.

Going back a little bit, I was very happy when Linux Mint began the Debian based branch. For one thing, it is lighter and faster. I had played around with different distributions to find lightweight ones that I liked, but always came back to Linux Mint for my "main" system, if you will. (Zenwalk has been good to me and I will always give props to Slax.) ["Props?" Really?] {whatever. hush.}

Another reason for wanting the Debian base, was the rolling distribution. There is no "system release" as such. No need to "Reinstall" to get the latest. In other words, the distribution as a whole is "update-able" just like the applications. There is an XKCD png illustrating a weakness here, but.... pfffft.

So, only the Gnome "edition" was available in the Debian tree here with Linux Mint, I installed it. All was good, but I was never a big fan of Gnome - favouring thinner desktop managers like Xfce, Fluxbox and LXDE. Not a problem, I simply installed Xfce and I could choose between Gnome and Xfce at login.

"Okay, Elqueue," you may be saying, "I thought you wanted to avoid doing re-installs, but you just did that for... what - loosing gnome?"

Kinda. I am rather quite fickle.

First step was DL'ing the iso. I torrent it whene'er possible. And that took much of yesterday. I then left the torrent running through the night to help seed. Then there was the backup. FORTUNATELY, my porn folder was kinda small. That was a joke. There were things I had to back up, but for a large part, the media (music and movies) are on a file server, scripts that are NOT part of... well, never-you-mind that... are kept in sync with an on-line backup. And google docs has most of my fiction and whatnot.

Backing up would have, more or less, been a bit of a technicality as I did not /have/ to format my /home - it is on its own volume - but it is good practice. AND I planned on formatting /home too so I could get the "clean" experience. (Yes, I could have gotten the "clean" experience by installing it in a VM, but this was good for me. Really. In ways I could not begin to describe.)

Okay - backups done and final tweeting ... tweeted ... time to boot up to the live DVD.


Yes, this is a good thing; installing from a Live media - I was tweeting and whatnot during the installation.

Okay, so install done, rebooted, next thing, as always, is the update/upgrade. Yes, I use apt from the command line. This took a long time too. I may set up my display /before/ doing this in the future because I was stuck at a low rez until that was done.

Then there are the screen tweaks - UI this and that which will be poked at for a while. Not a requirement, but fun nonetheless.

Let us look at that more slowly - the process was so slick and easy that it kinda went by you there, didn't it.

-Download the ISO. Yea! What fun!
Booted to it on a usb stick. More like a tiny postage stamp, but it still gets called a stick, right?

-Backed up. Okay, cool. I have been good about keeping the backup fairly current anywho.
This is like a one click action because I have already had it set up. I /could/ have just copied /home/lq/what.I.want* to the network share, but that is not always the best practice.

-The Live DVD. Yep, plenty to have fun with while the install is going, but that was not that long anywho.
Click install, select English, time zone, keyboard, user name, computer name, password, select the volume mount point (and hey, they already expect / and /home and swap, so that is just confirmation. And I did click the checkbox to format my /home - it does not by default.) Then there was the grub install option and away it went.
Launch FireFox and surf away.

-First boot. Sure, the updates took longer than the install, but my connection is not that fast. Would have been the same no matter the distro.
Again, FireFox was available for this. And creating other mountpoints, ln -s's, and whatnot while all that was going on.

-Set the display, reboot, start with my add-ons. Including getting the media, that was like, 5 painless steps.

Well, obviously, I cannot count for diddly, but you get the idea.

Now, one of those things that needed setting up after the updates was the on-line backup sync. My "toolbox" folder is in there with all my little scripts for doing other things (like tweeting #fortunes and building slideshows out of image directories, and... well, all my scripts). So they take a moment to make sym-links into a bin dir. But all this stuff is "fun" anyway when you do not have to do it often and it is by choice.

Another was google-chrome. It syncs up as well so all my bookmarks and settings and addons are all there.

And, to be fare, there were a few apps I removed and daemons to turn off.

Then the blog. I /could/ have been working on it during the process, but I did not feel so ambitious.

Will I install gnome libraries on top? Well, I am sure that sooner or later some app that I install will need some piece of gnome or KDE. And that is not a big deal.

Was all this worth it? Sure, yeah.

What about all kinds of extras and addons and devices and drivers and things? Not a biggie for me, anywho. I attach very little and that what I do is very plug-n-play friendly.

Will it be this easy for everyone? Meh - I am not everyone. But for just about any standard user (gamers notwithstanding) with any reasonably resent computer (and this is a netbook for mercy's sake) this really should be about what you experience. If this "review" seems to be lacking detail, it is because this is just so simple and easy. Sure, I /could/ have gotten rather verbose about it. (I am typing in my desired username now: l followed directly by a q. Now I am entering my password... twice. I received a message that my password was strong. That is good. My hostname must be all lower case... careful now... Okay. I manged to type it all without hitting the shift key.)

If you really want a blow-by-blow because "I am a windoze user and I want to quit getting viruses - what exactly do I need to do?" Let me know and I will make a step-by-step walk-through. from start to finish - how to make a bootable usb device with Linux Mint Xfce (201104) on it and everything. Because, OBVIOUSLY I have no life. =^_^=

Simply send one 2GB (or more) flash drive to the [hey, let me just take that back out] Airport c/o me and if you get it back - ever - then you did not send it correctly.

But seriously, I will post a walk-through if I get feedback requesting one.

Oh, and it is snowing, so I am posting this "early" rather than taking a bike ride. I am not even scheduling it to post later.

Take Care.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sookie Stackhouse, Sam Merlotte, True Blood

It is Friday again, right?

Today I am going to talk a little bit about the show True Blood and the book series from whence it came.

This morning, I was (carefully) watching more of season one of the show - about fifteen minutes at a time or so. I have read a number of the books, but had gotten kinda fed up with Bill. Point being, while I never really thought that Sam and Sookie ought to hook up, I always liked Sam a lot.

Now, watching the series, thinking about what I know now of the character, vs what the audience knows about him so early on, it is kinda cool.

Not the least of which is just him running the bar. He has his little place, that is fulfilling a local need, and still out there, far enough from the beaten path to give him the freedom he needs. And that get us to what this post is all about - I think that would be cool, owning-running a little bar and grill. There are, like, the ones I visit. I may like having one down town where I could live in the up-stairs. Or opening/taking one over out on the corridor.

That's it.

Oh, and I would still kinda like to be a radio dj.

Take Care!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Elqueue Rambling

No. No, I do not feel well. Not like, I feel sick, because that is just kind of normal. I am grumpy and grouchy and miserable.
I am not ready for all this daylight and sunshine. I want dark and snow and cold to keep on lasting. Maybe I can spend then summer in Antarctica - if they have internet.
My fingernails need trimming.
There. Now they are trimmed and have that uncomfortable, hard edge that takes most of a day to wear down.
Internet streaming radio is not being agreeable and nothing in my collection is interesting to me right now.
I have picked up and put back down about half a dozen books after reading the first few pages. I would sat that I want to go to the library, but I doubt I would find anything to hold my interest today.
I want to cook something, but I do not know what. Maybe I will go make some bread or something. We always have bread-makings.
Well... it is in the oven.
I had started to saute garlic, onion and rosemary for no good reason so I added it to brown rice and then an egg for good measure. Not the strangest “fried rice” I have made, but at least the house smells good.
Bread is out of the oven and cooling. Yes, I am going to have a piece. And we are definitely having sandwiches for dinner.

Things that irritate me:
When I am about to do something, then someone tells me to do that thing which I was about to do and insists that I would never do that thing if I was not constantly reminded.
“Elqueue, bring down your bathroom trash.”
“I am, Mum.”
“No you weren’t, you were going to the kitchen.”
“Yeah, to get a new liner.”
“You could have just taken it with you after bringing the trash.”
“But then I would have to go back to the bathroom and I wasn’t planning on doing that any time soon.”
“No need to be a brat about it. I was just reminding you, or it would never get done.” “Try me.” -- except I did not say that... out loud.

Similar to that is being reminded of something more than once before having the opportunity to do whatever it is.
“Don’t forget to return the library books.”
“Yeah, I’m going there tomorrow.”
“Okay, well, be sure to take your returns with you.”
“Uh... sure.”
(An hour or so later...)
“Be sure to return your library books tomorrow.”
“Would you feel better if I returned them now?”
“Don’t be a brat about it. Just put them where you won’t forget them.”
“Like, in my backpack? Where they already are?”
“That’s fine, as long as you don’t forget your backpack.”

Being told to be careful... when they really me, stop being a klutz.
“Be careful!”
“I am.”
“Then what was that noise I heard?”
“I dropped a fork in the sink.”
“Yeah, and be careful. You didn’t need to do that.”

Being told my arbitrary decisions do not make sense.
“Why did you do it that way?”
“I didn’t think it mattered.”
“It doesn’t, but that way doesn’t make sense.”
“How would you like me to do it?”
“Do it however you want, but be sensible about it.”

I asked Dad if she was like that when they lived together. He said no, but her mum was like that as long as he’d known her.
No, I do not still live with Mum - not even during the summer, like I had been. Partly for the issues listed above, but... more because I like it at home. I mean, sure, there are days Dad and I hardly talk to each other, but even then, I think we are still closer than Mum and I ever were. Sure, I love my mum and all, but I seem to relate better with my daddy.

This whole thing is probably more ... personal than I want to post, so I am not sure I am going to.

Oh. Looks like I am going to.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I should probably avoid television

I think that I should probably avoid television all together.

This morning my dream was something like this. I was going to a cooking class. Okay, not a big deal. It was taking place at this one general merchandise store that I am familiar with. That too was comfortable and familiar. It was like the 5th or 6th class and it seemed like there were one or two more. It was not that important to me at the time, you know? Just another class. So, we were over in this one corner of the store, all partitioned off with fixtures - those store shelves that they have, you know the ones.
I was well and truly the youngest person in the class - most were in their 20's or 30's, but I was the only one under 23. Not sure why I knew that, but I did. On this day, I brought my chefs jacket. I have one, white with black at the seams/trim and my name on it and everything - Elqueue. There was some trepidation about wearing it though - afraid the instructor would find it pretentious. See, the instructor was (the) Chef Ramsay. Today (this class) however was "cake" day and so he was handing off the class to another chef - or baker, rather. He took one look at me in my jacket, tugged his strait like he does, said, "Right, and so I leave you with (baker's name - I didn't catch it - John or something.) Good luck with your... cakes," and did that little nod that he does like he is withholding comment.

It was really weird, him looking at me, seeming to have some kind of comment in mind, but holding it back. I have no idea what he was thinking. There was another student with a chef's jacket that for whatever reason had not worn before today, but when he saw the way Chef looked at me, just left it off.

That was where I woke up... having sleep-walked into the kitchen.

There are any number of cliche notions on possible interpretations, but... it was just... weird.

Take care, and "happy St Patty's day."

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Morning Bad Dream

At some point during the night, I dreamed that I murdered one of my neighbors. Not the first time that I dreamed something like that, but hey, this time was different.

I dreamed that I was /going/ to do it, then that I /had/ done it, but I did not dream the part where I actually hacked him to pieces with an ax. What the dream seemed to center on most was that there was so much evidence against me, there was so much investigation around me, but there was like absolutely no memory of me doing it, nor any motive for me to have done it. Claire knew I did it, but was like, supporting me. I did not want Mom to find out that I had done it. Dad was fairly indifferent to him being dead, but did not think that I did it, or at least was supporting my claim of innocence. (Although I do not remember dreaming that I ever said one way or another that I did it.)

So, I was sure that I had done it. From the circumstances, so was Claire, but she was answering questions to say that I had not. Dad, unlike Claire, seemed to be just presuming my innocence. If he actually thought otherwise, he never said.

So, I would wake up in a panic, worried about the step in the investigation, wander about the house until I fell asleep again, then dream the next part of the investigation, and so on.

I am typing this out now, if for nothing else, to convince myself that it was just a dream. Today is just the day after yesterday. Yesterday, no one was investigating me for murder. The dream spanned several days, so there is not enough time in the before until now for this to have actually have happened.

So - surely it is a dream.

Unless they find my neighbor hacked to pieces with an ax and the whole dream was just my fears for the days to come.

I hope. I mean, surely, it was just a dream. I will feel better after I see the guy out and about.

Take care.


Saturday Morning's Weird Dream

So... Saturday morning I had a weird dream and I was not going to post it because the principle emotion was frustration and I do not care so much for that.

Here is what I remember from the dream:
I was on this reality tv show contest thing akin to Face Off - but also like that Stan Lee Next Superhero one. I was supposed to create a character. I had two, but I realized later that this was not a good thing - it only meant that I could not decide.

The first one, as I was trying to explain in the dream, was dark - charcoal grey and the suit was somewhere between batman, cat woman, and princess from gatchaman. I was trying to explain the character in the dream, but everything just came up short - like I was not getting anything finished because I could not pick something and stick with it. In short, the character was not well defined.

The second was the polar opposite (mostly) being near white, ethereal, gossamer-esque, even though the costume pattern was mostly similar to the dark one.

Same issue with underdevelopment as with the first.

I think in the dream they had names, but I could not remember them when I woke up. It was just so weird, with this feeling of "I don't even deserve to be here and I am letting everyone down." But more than that depressed feeling was the frustration that I /knew/ and /understood/ these characters better than I could actually explain. I could not adequately explain them to the judges, or even to myself.

So, I was not going to post about this dream, but I had another emotionally disturbing one this morning and so I decided to post them - to maybe get them out there so I can move on.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The three things amusing in Shaun of the Dead

There are precisely three amusing things in/about Shaun of the Dead.

1) These lines:
Shaun: David, kill the Queen!
David: What?
Shaun: The jukebox!

2) The fact that they never explain what caused it.

3) Sorting through the record collection for albums suitable for tossing at "the assailants".

Runners up because I like lists of fifteen:

4) The front door running gag.

5) The random jukebox's song choice.

6) These lines:
Shaun: [about Ed] He's not my boyfriend!
Ed: [handing beer to Shaun] It might be a bit warm, the cooler's off.
Shaun: Thanks, babe.

7) The channel-changing to complete the sentence.

8) The "assailant" moaning in time to White Lines.

That is it. I cannot even come up with ten.


Take Care.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Watching True Blood, but the books were better.

Um... that just about sums it up, actually.

Well, not quite.

I am a fan of Anna Paquin - well, her works anyway, don't really know her - and so I am getting a kick out of watching here here.

I like the guy they got for Sam too. I always liked him in the books anyway.

I am only a couple of episodes in to the show, but Bill seems rather emo, unlike the books where he was just a little brooding and self-noble.

Lafayette seems spot on and I would have liked for him to have had a bigger part in the books because he is such a fun character.

So, I do not know if the show will start moving along faster once we have gotten to know everyone, but as for right now, it is _really_ dragging.

The pace is not this only think I am having a little trouble with in the show - the sex is a little much - Jason in particular. I mean, in the books he was a serious "horndog" but it was not graphically portrayed, just talked about as a matter of fact. This too, I am hoping will change as the series progresses once, we, the audience, get the point (driven into our eyes (what was seen cannot be unseen - get the brain bleach)) that he is a horndog. I mean, it is less of a deal in the books too, but mainly relevant in the first because of the whole plot thing.

Okay. I suppose that is NOW about it - at least until I watch some more.

Take Care!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Just a couple of things real quick

1) J&J 010 is posted here If this seems like a step back, well it is. I needed to go through this before I could move forward. So, in short, 010 takes place /during/ 008.

But if you have not started back at 001, please do. =^_^=

2) I saw Tangled over the weekend and am saddened to admit that I got all girlie-weepy-eyed.

Must be the medications.

Take Care! Have lots of fun!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Well, I saw the film Repo: The Genetic Opera

Well, I saw the film Repo: The Genetic Opera

I was with a group of friends at one of their's house and they were like, Hey, have you seen this? Just in general, not to me specifically.
I confided in Claire that I had reservations, but everyone else, seen it or not, seemed keen on watching it.

So, I took my typical spot in the corner and just played along nicely.

It's a musical. Hey, that is cool.

It has Anthony Stewart Head. That is cool too. His brother Murry plays the American in the performance of Chess that I have.

Sarah Brightman too. Hey, she is an incredible singer. How did she get stuck with this? Did she loose a bet?

There is Alexa Vega playing the role of me. No, I mean Shilo. I did not realize she could sing - or is it overdubbed. I will have to look into that.

And Bill Moseley, no less, of House of 1000 Corps franchise fame. I mean, grindhouse/gore flicks are not exactly my thing, but hey.

Okay, so the film. The music is pretty good, the singing is (mostly) good.

The plot was as thin as the stage blood, but, I mean, operas are not exactly known for complex plots. Yeah, there are some back stories worked out for the characters. It is not completely see through - there are some twists, but again, the point is the music which is what really makes this all work.

It is the Faustian counter plot to the Ishiguro Kazuo, Philip K Dick, et al dystopia fictions that started coming out post-WWII. If you saw the film The Island? Imagine if that... insurance... was financed - And you could not pay your bill after having put the policy into effect.

Best songs (In my opinion, and in no particular order that I will admit):
Things You See in a Graveyard
Come Back
Chase the Morning / Everyone's a Composer
Seventeen / What Chance Has a 17 Year Old Girl? (Oh-Kay... this is probably because I am me)
At the Opera Tonight
Zydrate Anatomy
Infected (Again, because I am me)
Let the Monster Rise
Genetic Emancipation
Depraved Heart Murder at Sanitarium Square
I Didn't Know I'd Love You So Much
21st Century Cure

Notable mentions:
Can't Get it Up if the Girl's Breathing (Mostly for the music. Okay, and for the title.)
Genetic Repo Man

And, there are plenty more good/amusing songs

Well, that is about all I am going to blog about this thing... publicly.
Take Care

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Change of the Window Manager

It has been a while since I posted anything on LINUX.
For roughly a month, I have been enjoying the Linux Mint Debian Edition 64Bit. As I am not really interested in discussing the 32bit release, I am just going to refer to it as LMDE and be done with it - you can trust that I am talking about the 64bit release.

So. As mentioned in other blogs, I have mentioned that I have never been all that fond of GNOME and KDE can be fairly heavy weight on its own. I have used the Linux Mint Fluxbox, and XFCE and whatnot, but I have stuck it out with the LMDE GNOME standard to give it its full whatnot. Vague much? Well, sorry about that. If you have been following along this month, you may note that I have not been spending a great deal of system testing, just working through the "How I Use My Computer" aspect of testing.

As for the difference in the Debian over the normal Ubuntu based distro? It seems to not even be a factor on the day to day. My system is stable, releases are easy, things update nicely... Meaning, in short, I have rebooted much less, stayed more current, and my system has not been getting in the way of my doing-things.

As for the apps - well, the software manager gives me (almost) everything I need to be happy without much fuss. This is important to me. I mean, sure, any halfway descent distro is going to have some kind of package manager and it is not that big a to go, Oh, Hey, Where is VIM? apt-get install vim and you are done. So, the package thing - what I am saying here, is that it does not get in the way. Now, remember that "almost" up there? What is the deal with chromium-browser vs. google-chrome? I mean, really? Can someone please explain to me (or rather don't and I will go look it up) why I have to go and manually get the deb package from google and install it? Why is it not just an option in the repository? Why do I care at all? For the apps. Specifically Muro. But nevermind that.

My desktop was easily configured, and reconfigured as I worked through the options. I wrote a php script to take a directory, find the images, and make a wallpaper list xml thing so I have my rotating wallpaper, etc. It has been good. CPU speed and RAM have kept me content.

And complacent.

So - I installed XFCE this morning/last night (don't know, I just couldn't sleep). Wow. I forgot how fast a desktop manager can be. I am wondering to myself why I was content.

When I am writing, coding, reading, drawing, etc, I typically am full-screen. It is a descent enough size, but with my nice, small font (to make it harder for anyone to "accidentally" read over my shoulder, DAD) I prefer having what I'm doing fill my screen rather than what I may switch over to, or my background, or... whatever.

Sure, I would really like to make my wallpaper rotate again here, but then, that is one more thing out there, running, taking resources away from my fingertips.

But, before I go through all that, I am probably going to give FLUXBOX a spin.

Not that I have anything really against GNOME and KDE... just not for me, full time.

Oh, and I did install Thunar to use instead of Nautilus before going through all this. That was one of the things that was missing from the release that I really wanted to use instead.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Is it still Friday? No? Oh well

I have made a few posts here lately and had not realized that I had not made a Friday Blog Post this week. Hardly not the first week, but that is not at all the point of this.

So, I missed Friday by a couple of hours. Oh, GLOBALLY, I missed Friday by a great many hours, but that is neither here nor there. Or, I mean, that is there not here? Nevermind in any case.

But, I missed it and am not going to have one this week.

Maybe you will be able to read about my dream next week, hehehehe.

Okay, so, on with the point, already.

Where do these things some from? I have no idea, but another one just came out. I am may think it stupid after a few days, so read it before I delete it.
Again, on DeviantArt, of course, A Trusted Friend

The "Author's comment" is on that page, so do you really need me to repeat it here? Oh, for you, this would be first, and there would be the repeat. Well, nevermind that.

Take Care

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

J&J Series 009 released

Yes, I am concerned about this drawing attention away from the piece I did, Living in a Fishbowl, but while I like that one quite a bit, the series is more important to me.

So, yeah, I wrote it yesterday afternoon. It is only about 3K words, so a pretty quick read.

[J&J Series, No. 009: The Distaste of Revenge]

I will mention again for first time visitors, start with 001 or it will loose a lot of ... sense.

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Fiction Submitted

Okay, so, here it is on DeviantArt: Living in a Fishbowl

This is a standalone short story about Tamara, a punk, growing up in a small, backwoods town in Tennessee, although that is not specifically mentioned.
The characters herein are fictitious creations of my own.
This is getting a content warning for adult situations (sexual themes) but not for language or violence, etc. for whatever that may be worth.

A little long for a short story at about 11,000+ words, I am submitting this now as a trial run before letting it grow to a full fledged novella.

There is also a likelihood, like it or not, that I may round out some of the sections cut during re-writes and keeping the size down - both canonical, and non <-- I let them run a frolic a bit and it got a little out of hand, but kinda exciting too.

This was supposed to be just light and quick, but it kept taking deeper and darker directions that I had to keep pulling it back from.

I have been living with this story for the better part of a week, and was really unsure if I wanted to turn this "trim" version loose, so I left it over the weekend to think about its future.

IF I get positive feed back, questions about the story, etc, THEN I may let it out in full, so please leave feedback.

Thanks, enjoy.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

11-1-11 and a Tuesdays

I have always kinda likes Tuesdays. And some Thursdays.
But nevermind that now.

So, today is Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

My chosen charity fighting this is LOVE146. I have a donation page to support them HERE but the most important thing right now is getting the message out there.

There is a lot of hubbub about it right now, especially with the Super Football thing.

I knew it existed. I have heard people going off about it and there was an episode of Castle, or NCIS, or something - I don't know, did not really see it and most of those kinda blur together.

Then I read Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, I was like, "Whoa" because as sick and disgusting as the issue is, I did not know it was that big globally. I mean, Yeah for the fight, but whoa.

Anywho, I did not intend for this to be a big post or anything, but there are lots of links floating around the web about things you can do, but here are the three I will point you to:

My support page for LOVE146
Stop Child Trafficking Now Org

Oh, and one more thing, with all the groups out there, why did I pick LOVE146? Do you really need to ask someone known as Lady Quindecim? But seriously, reading their story was... Well, it struck a chord with me.

Take Care. Spread the word.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Yeah, what he said.

It's getting harder
just keeping life and soul together
I'm sick of fighting
Even though I know I should
The cold is biting
Through each and every nerve and fibre
My broken spirit is frozen to the core
Don't wanna be here no more

- from Wouldn't It Be Good by Nik Kershaw.

But, I'm just smiling through it all. Some days are just that way, eh?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Startled Awake

Well that was ... interesting.

I woke frightened as all get-out, pulse racing, sweaty as anything and I had kicked off all my covers.
I was freeeeeeeezzzziiiinnnngggg.

I put on a pot of coffee, took a hot shower, drank some coffee, was still cold.

So, I am sitting here, all bundled up like the sun had gone out, with the laptop warming my lap (or am I supercooling my laptop?) trying to remember what I was dreaming about.

Like a roller coaster or suspense thriller, I have the emotional impression that I would have really liked the dream. Pity.

So, I have been using LMDE64 for a while now and have one issue... power management. It would seem that it does not seem to really like waking up from being suspended if I had a number of tab open in chromium.

Because suspending and waking seems to be fine when I only have e-mail open, or something like that, I am suspicious of chrome behaving badly when all its threads get tucked away. Twice, once on each of two computers, this did happen.

Now, I know what you windows users out there are thinking; "Only one 'lock up' per machine in over two weeks? Wow!"

No offence.

But yeah. I mean, Chrome is not Debian's responsibility, nor is it Mint's, but hey, it seems to be a condition that I have witnessed. And two occurrences is not enough to definitively call it a bug, but I am keeping an eye on it.

Take Care-

Friday, January 7, 2011

Look! A Friday Update!

Yeah, it is Friday and I am, again, updating my blog.

It has been getting a number of updates this week because of having uploaded those latest "chapters" in my J&J short story thingie.

But that is okay.

It is snowing like it makes good sense. Not, like, record-breaking, or really news worthy, but enough for me to be mentioning here. Maybe I'll check Newsminer to see if they have anything to say about it.

Flurries. Pfft... Oh well. There seems to be something of a meteorological querk between them and me anyway.

Oh, and just in case they /do/ make it big, you heard it here first.

Let us see what else is going on around here...

Wow, the news is depressing. No wonder I don't look. Yeah, there are some good cultural pieces, but they get kinda overshadowed by the other stuff.

Ooo... this looks good: CELTIC JAM, 19:30 at College Coffeehouse, over on College Rd
But then, Sand Castle is playing too, but at 20:30 at McCafferty’s. Cool stuff, that.
Maybe I'll miss the InVein debut at 21:00 at CCH.

Or, Maybe I won't get out of the house at all. Hmm...

Okay, so, that's what's going on here. Nothing to see. Move along.

Take Care-

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Eighth in the J&J series is posted

Hahaha... it is one of my favorite ones because the story gets moving. I mean, I have seven segments that are trying to introduce the major players, their relationships, and the bit about the twins that sets them apart. So, as this one gets moving along, so does the story.

The plot thickens. 009 will be more exciting. At least, I am excited for it.

Anywho, this latest installment is fairly sizable, so I will, with little further a due, put the link on here so ye all can just jump right to it.

But before you click, if you have not already, PLEASE start at 001. I mean, 001 - 007 (fun and exciting as they may be) are just to get us to the point where I can really take you into their world and make things happen.

The newest:
[J+J Series, No. 008: The Mall? Really?]

The rest:
[J&J Series, No. 001: First Day, Five Years]
[J+J Series, No. 002: A Blind Date]
[J+J Series, No. 003: Early Years 01:Meet the Class]
[J+J Series, No. 004: Early Years 02:Delivered Late]
[J+J Series, No. 005: Early Years 03:Dinner Interrupted]
[J+J Series, No. 006: Discoveries]
[J+J Series, No. 007: From the Journal]
[J+J Series, No. 008: The Mall? Really?]

Okay, there is the SciFi one that has kinda been on hiatus for too long, but it needs to hold on a little longer while the J&J series gets a little more attention because I am not really at a stopping point. Write while the whiting flows, eh?

Anywho, someone asked me where this is going, you know? Like, in the end of it all. There is a possibility that I may try and take all these pieces and edit them down, mash them together into one, like, book. I suppose that really is where my mind wants to take this.

So, Take Care-