gurdonark: (Default)
2017-09-22 10:53 pm

new york style

Today I went to Eddie's Napoli for lunch. I had a garden salad (dry) and two slices of cheese pizza. I sat at the counter. A television program in Spanish told stories of the Mexican earthquake. My pizza tasted great. This evening I walked in Bob Woodruff Park. I liked the Bluebird in the tree.

I am following the New Zealand election. My wife just got word in the past few weeks that her last surviving uncle died in New Zealand a few weeks ago. His daughter had moved him from Pennsylvania to New Zealand to have him nearby. I never met my wife's Uncle Wally, but I liked to hear about him. I hope Jacinda Ardern wins the election.

We watched a program raising funds for Texas hurricane victims.  Matthew McConnaughey was one of the speakers. I wanted him to say "alright, alright, alright" to make things more all right. They had Bonnie Raitt sing a song, but not play her guitar. I thought that odd.

Edie Brickell and Paul Simon sang an Ernest Tubb song. I remember seeing Edie perform with a very early incarnation of the New Bohemians in 1984 or 1985. She had stage presence even before she had quite figured it all out. She has stage presence still.

The President of the United States and the Supreme Leader of North Korea trade trash-talking tweets and quips about nuclear warfare. A school official at Baylor University reportedly decided to criticize the victims of sexual assault. I want to get outdoors tomorrow.

Kix and skim milk
2 slices pizza, a roll, garden salad
broccoli beef, mushroom chicken, mixed vegetables
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2017-09-22 07:50 am

over Uber

Last night we had 4 volunteers and dozens of clients at the Garland free legal clinic. We still finished by 9.15 p.m. The weather remains a bit hot. I find myself with plenty to do. Today I will wish my younger brother a happy birthday. We are 13 months apart. He's a good guy.

I saw Uber just got banned in London for its various unsavory practices. Though the idea of Uber appeals to me a little, I've never used it and been fairly resistant to its Kool-Aid. Our Texas legislature passed a law to circumvent an Austin city ordinance requiring background checks for its drivers, after Uber's multi-million dollar campaign to overturn  it ended. Our legislature is not immune to lobbyists. To give Uber fair play, Uber did help out during the recent storms, and apparently donated some space for a homeless shelter in Austin.On the other hand, Uber used software to elude would-be critics seeking a ride (with a "grayball" approach). Not my cup of tea.

Thursday breakfast: kix cereal and skim milk
Thursday lunch: roast beef sandwich on wheat and lays bbq baked chips
Thursday dinner: fried chicken breast and 2 legs, green beans and part of a biscuit

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2017-09-20 09:17 pm

noticing things

I got up very early this morning. I caught a train to downtown Dallas. I finished my business in mid-morning. I took the train back north. At my office, I got some things done. In the afternoon, I rode with a colleague back to downtown Dallas. When our business finished in the late afternoon, I rode the train back to Garland. I finished some work, then headed home. When I got home,  I found that my wife accidentally locked Beatrice outside in our fenced  yard. This was non-ideal, but Beatrice seemed happy as a clam. 

My wife and I walked in Glendover Park. We ate soft tacos.

This week I notice lots of things. Natural disasters in Mexico, Florida, south Texas, numerous Carribean islands and Sri Lanka. A friend from when I was a small child who is now a professor at SMU got a national honor as a teacher. A musician in Germany wrote a weblog post about, after her parents lived in East Germany, being the first generation in her family able to speak freely on political matters. On the train, the transit rail police tried to catch a minor transgressor. I got shaving cream at Sprouts, and feel relieved that it is not derived from organic rye oatmeal bits.

Our niece learned this week that she is flying down to see us in October. She thinks that's grand.

Breakfast: Kix Cereal and skim milk
Lunch: none
Dinner: soft chicken tacos

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2017-09-19 08:44 pm

should be free

Today I walked in the shopping center in which my office building sits. I heard a story on the radio about a couple in Arkansas who needed relaxed underwriting standards to buy a house in light of $ 100,000 in student debt. The primary cause of this debt was not a decade in a Ph.D. program, but a simple library science master's. This bolstered my feeling that post-secondary public education should be free or reduced-cost.

Tomorrow I must rise early and go to downtown Dallas. I am usually pretty good at early rising. Our weather is a bit warm for the season.

breakfast: kix cereal
lunch: t-k-y sandwich, vegetable soup and baked chips
dinner pork chops, sweet potato and cabbage slaw
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2017-09-18 07:33 am

Lazarus and eggs

Sunday morning I walked on the Chisholm Trail in Plano. I went to Weight Watchers at 9.30, where I was up 2/10ths of a pound. I drove home. My wife and I went to the 11 a.m. The Way service at First United Methodist Church of Allen. The Way is being re-launched as a service for seminary students to practice preaching. The first Sunday their professor, Alyce McKenzie of the Perkins School of Theology, gave the sermon. Her topic was the story of Lazarus, and the idea that eternal life starts today. She is a gifted speaker. After the service, I worked on my voluntary duty--I put away the chairs.

We ate lunch at Two Rows in Allen. We had not been in years, but perhaps we should have been going all along. We had a very good breakfast buffet. I ate scrambled eggs and fruit and managed to control my biscuit intake to one biscuit.

In the afternoon, I watched sports on television, but managed to get in a walk in Green Park during an intermission caused by storms in Denver. In the evening I watched The Orville, which has the potential to be a good television science fiction comedic show. I woked up at 1 a.m., watched a little of the movie Serenity, but cut it off before the massive wave of violence near the end of the movie.

This morning I slept until nearly 7 a.m., I put out birdseed.

Sunday breakfast: Kix cereal and skim milk
Sunday lunch: scrambled eggs, a biscuit, potatoes, pineapple, cantaloupe
Sunday dinner: skirt steak, salad
Monday breakfast: Kix cereal and skim milk
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2017-09-16 11:42 pm

Finding Lemon

First thing this morning I took Beatrice for a walk in the park. All the other dogs in the park, like Beatrice, sported darker fur. It was a bit like the story "the Red-Headed League" except nobody was paying the dogs for their dark fur and no robbery was being planned. Even the crows had dark feathers.

At 9 I headed out for a bicycle ride. I rode on the Watters Branch Trail to the Urban Center Loop Trail.  Then I rode to the Cottonwood Creek Trail to Allen Station Park. I pedaled by a house with a Black Vulture perched on it, staring at the trail. I do not know if the vulture had a presentiment about a hiker or biker having issues.

At Noon my wife and I headed to Elke's, the good lunch place in town. Then we went to the Allen Antiques Mall, which recently relocated to the east side of Greenville Avenue at McDermott.  We did not buy anything. We also went to Dirt Cheap, a new chain store across the street. This place picks up liquidation sale stuff and sells it deeply discounted AS IS. Sign warned us to inspect things carefully because ALL SALES ARE FINAL. I liked this odd store, and resolved to stop in and dig in its various scattered wares some day when I have more patience.

In the afternoon I rested and watched television.  We went for dinner at Firewater Grill. As we turned into the alleyway in our neighborhood, a happy young hound ran up, off its leash.  We stopped, and my wife scooped up the sweet young dog. Then she called the service listed on its ID tag. Soon she was taking the dog to its owner, down the street.  I stayed home with young Beatrice.  It turned out this charming little hound, some kind of beagle, I believe, was named Lemon. I am pro-Lemon. Apparently, Lemon got out when careless HVAC workers left the back fence open. Lemon is safely at home now, with Lemon's caring owner.

I found an article which explained the relative percentiles of LSAT scores for years including 1980, when i took it. This helped me understand how my ancient LSAT score would scale in today's scoring system.  The point is irrelevant in my life. Yet when I read on twitter as kids say they need to score x, I wanted to understand the context a bit better as it connected to how things were in "my day". I found that my score is analogous to a score a goodish bit above average but short of great--which was as true then as it is now. At the time I understood that while I could not get into a top-tier law school, I could get into a law school with a bit more prestige than my local state law school. I chose the local state law school, though, and it turned out to be a great fit for me. 

One thing that changed a lot is the cost of the education.  In today's dollars, I paid roughly $ 3,300 a semester in tuition. Now the fees and tuition are closer to $ 15,000 per year at my alma mater. So the cost in 2017 dollars is a bit more than twice as expensive. Yet the law school I attended is one of the least expensive law schools in the country. I think that education should be more affordable for post-secondary education, including professional school.  I see the tuition increase as one more manifestation of the divide between people who grow up with economic advantages and those who do not.  If I were in the charge of the world, this would change.

breakfast: kix cereal and skim milk
lunch: turkey sandwich on ciabatta and a cup of pork tamale soup
dinner: 6 oz. sirloin, vegetables and salad

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2017-09-15 09:57 pm

I see hawk people

The ending of the movie "The Sixth Sense" is playing on television. The weather is warmer again. Tonight I picked up bird seed and small milk bones. I saw five Red-Tailed Hawks in Oak Point Park this evening. I want to get a good night's sleep so I can get an early start tomorrow.

breakfast Kix cereal and skim milk
lunch: panda express string bean chicken, broccoli beef, mixed vegetables and a fortune cookie.
dinner: chicken enchiladas verde, refried beans and salad

gurdonark: (Default)
2017-09-14 10:20 pm

Angelo Ardern

I read this evening about San Angelo. I like that city, about five hours' drive from here. I have been there a few times on business. It's got a west Texas feel to it--stark and open.

I got an email from a former  law partner I need to answer.  Golden Chick had a new $ 5 special, but it did not make sense for me. I managed to run the bill up with an extra piece order anyway.

I walked tonight in Crowley Park in Richardson. I read about a friend from university days. She went to Harvard Law and became a solicitor in London as well as a U.S. lawyer and who practices international tax law at a large law firm. When she was young, she raised Welsh ponies.

I'm intrigued by the New Zealand politician Jacinda Ardern. The weather today returned to "hot Summer". I charged the battery on my camera tonight, after it died during my walk.

Breakfast: kix cereal and skim milk
Lunch: roast chicken breast and leg, green beans and roll
Dinner: chicken breast, sliced raw carrots

gurdonark: (Default)
2017-09-14 07:05 am

satellites to Saturn and 1000 dollar phones

Yesterday I got something in the mail I had meant to get into the mail for some months. I also received something in the mail payable to a client that I was pleased to receive in the mail. I got an email from a colleague who used to work for a client. I was very pleased to hear from that colleague.

After work, I walked in Oak Point Park. Huge Red-Tailed Hawks were on the tall metal high-tension wire pylons. As I sit here, I remember a scientists' organization asking to please have donors stop funding research into whether these huge electrical lines are bad for health--because they are not.

Lately I browse used cars at the Enterprise Car Sales site, but I do not want to buy a used car. It's just a kind of virtual window shopping. My car only has 113,000 miles on it. Barring the unforeseen, I should get a few more years from it.

I watched a little of a special on the spacecraft Cassini.  My wife went to a new gym by the fellow who for years has led an exercise class she attends twice weekly.  I hope that his gym works out well. It is in beta now. Apparently, gyms, like software, have beta releases. The fellow who leads her class is named Adam.  During the Summer, as he set up his new venture, all the folks in his class had to exercise in less formal settings. They still got together, a bit ,though, as if it were class.  I refer to this process as "attending fake Adam". My wife reports that she liked the new venture which is Real Adam, Mach II: Beta Version.

The new iPhone is reputed to be priced around 1000 dollars. I suppose it is understandable that smartphones, which matter more to kids of a certain age than houses or cars, would become luxury items. But it's odd to me that when technology creates a smartphones that do more for less money, Apple manages to increase the price.  This is one of many reasons I use Android.  I wish I had a good open source alternative. Of the current crop of contenders, I think Plasma Mobile looks the most interesting. But we'll see if the death of Ubuntu Touch halts effective development by KDE of its clone Plasma Mobile. I was rooting for FirefoxOS,but Mozilla stopped development prematurely.  I think that
if one of these could get a credible hardware with its software installed easily available, it would over time gain enough market share to work. there are lots of phones in this world--a tiny market share could still be money-making

I see the US has moved to end use of Kaspersky Labs, which is thought to have connections with Russian intelligence. Meanwhile, my twitter feed is rather full of nativist tweets using a hashtag #amnestydon.  These tweets seek to excoriate Mr. Trump because Mr. Trump has not committed enough wrong thinking on immigration issues yet. Apparently, wrong thinking, like gymnastics, requires lots of contorted positions on the uneven bars.  I am no fan of Mr. Trump, nor of those odd twitter users.

I hope to find historical archival material of my grandfather's work for the Civilian Conservation Corps.

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2017-09-12 10:25 pm

Not literature but experience

 I woke up early, ate breakfast, fell back asleep and woke up late.  I still got to work in reasonably good order, even though some of my commute time involved watching traffic be held up while a plumber's truck cleared from a lane. Fortunately,  I stuck to the access road.

Today featured the kind of warm weather that makes me glad to live where I live. I had a nice chat with our firm's accountant, whose daughters are both university-age. She and I both grew up in small towns in the south. I think my town was smaller,  and is now just as small, while the town in which she grew up got much larger. I think sometimes about the way upbringing and aspirations tie together. This happens in both an ideal way and a less ideal way. I think both of us were raised to attend university but also to have a pragmatic, job-oriented approach to it. On the other hand, our accountant's approach was much more pragmatic than mine--she got an accounting/finance degree, while I got a bachelor of arts in physics with a "special emphasis area" in English literature. Had I been more pragmatic, I suppose I would have studied engineering. On the other hand, law school proved pragmatic enough.  Our accountant's daughters are experiencing a semester (or two) of study abroad. Their mother could not have been able to do that at their age. Perhaps the American Dream is less giving kids the things one never and more giving them interesting experiences. Though in this case, the experience costs something, I think it is not the cost but the quality of the experience that matters.

After work, I walked Beatrice. She loved it.  I like the way she gets so excited when she realizes I am getting ready to take her. I like the way she dawdles during the walk.

On the radio this morning, the public radio station in Commerce talked about the stadium for its local university, Texas A & M Commerce. This university named its 1950 stadium Memorial Stadium in honor of the 68 students and alumni who died in the service in World War Two. That is a huge figure for what was then a small university, and remains not a big university.  I read a history of the university from its founding in the 1880s as a "normal" (teacher training) college through 1920 when it became a full-fledged college-degree-granting university.

I have a special place in my heart for Texas A & M Commerce. In 1981, when it was still called East Texas State University, I stopped in at Commerce during a Texas trek in which I sought to figure out a few things about myself. .

I had my law school admission, but I was thinking about graduate school in English. I thought I'd become a technical writer.
They treated me there with great kindness, and offered me an assistant-ship which would have paid for my further schooling. I went to law school instead, but I have never forgotten the kindness of the English faculty that Summer when I needed a little kindness and confidence. In the event, I knew after one week of law school  that it was my vocation, so I never got that graduate degree in English.

I read the commencement program for the 1907 graduating class.  Among other speakers, Ms. Avis Earnheart gave a talk on "Evangeline and Rebecca".  My late maternal grandmother was a normal school graduate in Arkansas, who later went back to university to get a bachelor's degree after teaching certification moved beyond the old normal degree/certificate system.

On television tonight I saw the movie "Portrait of Jennie". I'm very fond of this movie. It was a flop at the box office, but I think Joseph Cotton and Jennifer Jones get it just right in this small supernatural film.

breakfast: cereal and skim milk
lunch: roast beef sandwich and baked chips
dinner: fried chicken breasts, green beans and a roll

gurdonark: (Default)
2017-09-11 09:45 pm

Good weather day on a bad weather day

I read old journal entries from several years ago.  In those entries,  I was in the Rio Grande Valley, where I saw Green Jays and Great Kiskadees. I would like to visit there again someday.

The weather here is idyllic, while folks in the southeast are posting "I'm safe" check-ins on social media in light of Hurricane Irma. I walked tonight in Allen Station Park. Baseball teams played baseball.
I thought about scoreboards. Baseball scoreboards during my childhood were manual at least some of the time. Football scoreboards were always electrically lit. I thought how we always think of things are more modern now, and in many ways they are. But in 1985 when I drove into the DFW airport, the terminals and gates of American Airlines flights were posted electronically so that one could easily sort out where to go. That has been gone for years.

  I watched the entire episode of "The Orville" on my computer.  I watched part of it last night, but set it aside to view in full for later. I liked it.  I see that a lot of critics did not like the show, but I am not on board with the critics.

A lawyer I know down south described to me efforts she made to help folks in small town coastal Texas. Her story was interesting, and it also affirmed my story that small towns may get overlooked in relief efforts.

Breakfast: Millville crispy oats and skim milk
Lunch: Turkey sandwich and baked chips
Dinner: 2 slices buffet pizza, 1 slice buffet alfredo pizza, carrots, and lettuce.

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2017-09-10 10:25 pm

remix and chips

I got up early and posted my remix on I walked on the Chisholm Trail.  I was only up  8/10th of a pound despite eating more than I originally intended Saturday night. I walked on Hoblitzelle Park trail, where I saw a Downy Woodpecker and a Carolina Chickadee.

I went to church, and had a sandwich and chips after church. I did some paperwork Sunday afternoon.  I walked Beatrice around the block.

I watched sports this evening.

breakfast: cereal and skim milk
lunch: roast beef sandwich and baked chips
inner: salmon and salad
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2017-09-09 05:24 pm

Someone Else's Bad Night

Friday night we returned to the restaurant Spazo for dinner. Our waiter had a flustered evening. We never had this waiter at Spaza before. But we had him at some earlier restaurant. He's not a bad guy.

But Friday a previous unhappy customer apparently fazed him a  bit. As a result, he went from table to table, not quite handling things. At our table, he mis-recited the evening special--which I ordered, though it was not on the menu. My wife's order was a goat's cheese pizza, but it came out as an ordinary cheese pizza. Nothing came out in a timely way, and some things were not quite right.  The fellow's manager came over a time or two to apologize. But we like Spazo and we like the waiter. We all get flustered sometimes. I felt really badly for the waiter. I hope his job is secure. I ate more than usual at dinner, which will probably lead to an adverse weigh-in tomorrow. But it is okay.

I stayed up too late last night. I slept in a little this morning. I got up early, and then fell back asleep. In the mid-morning, I watched the Daytripper, a Texas travel program that covers Texas topics. This week's episode was one of my favorite northeast Texas towns, Mount Pleasant. I took Beatrice for a walk in weather that was pleasant and sunny.

A bit after Noon, I rode my bicycle on the Watters Creek Trail. I got good pictures of a Carolina Wren and of a Northern Mockingbird. I went to Dickey's BBQ for lunch.  I watched part of a football game in which the Arkansas Razorbacks were outmatched by Texas Christian University,
but played a spirited game.

I created a new song using another artist's samples as part of the ccMixter "secret mixter" quarterly event. I like the song I created pretty well. The method of creation was fairly simple--editing sections of songs, and then using paulstretching to alter them, and then stitching them together.

Friday: cereal and skim milk, fried chicken breast and wing and green beans, salmon, spaghetti, rolls, and salad.

Saturday: cereal and skim milk, bbq chicken breast with green beans and a roll

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2017-09-08 12:07 am


Part of today involved moving boxes onto and off of carts. I liked that part. The weather here has been mild and lovely. This makes the news from islands like Barbuda, devastated by storm, a bit more saddening.

Texas adopted a "no texting while driving" law. I support this. It took a kid killing 6 by weaving while driving during his texting. Before that, an earlier version of the law got vetoed by current Secretary of Energy, then-Governor Rick Perry.

breakfast: cereal and skim milk
lunch: pickles, cucumber, carrots, broccoli, 2 slices pepperoni pizza, 1 slice alfredo cheese pizza
dinner: grilled chicken, corn, salad, potatoes
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2017-09-05 10:29 pm

oriole millville

I picked up some breakfast cereal at the McKinney Aldi yesterday. I like the store brands at Aldi. This morning I tried something called Millville Crispy Oats. Like multi-grain Cheerios, it is a lower-sugar way to do a cereal that still has a hint of sweetness about it. It tasted good--perhaps better than multi-grain Cheerios.

I had a busy work day today. This evening I had a conference call on a hobby matter, followed by drafting on that matter. I got an email for the second phase of an interesting additional project.

I wrote a former law partner to make sure he was not in the path of the Texas hurricane. He was okay. Now a new hurricane is on the way to Florida. Here, meanwhile a cold front dropped the temperature a pleasant 10 degrees.

I walked in Hoblitzelle Park after work. I saw a lovely Baltimore Oriole atop a tree.

breakfast: crispy oats and skim milk
lunch: 3 soft chicken tacos
dinner: grilled chicken and salad

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2017-09-04 08:34 pm

riding off into the Labor Day sunrise

This morning I got out fairly early for a bicycle ride. I noticed recently a journal entry I wrote a bit over six years ago about buying my bicycle. I left out lots of the best parts, like the salesman to whom I was saying how I like coaster brakes and dislike the more efficient inner tubes of today. I got one of the new-fangled inner tubes, but I was able to have my coaster brakes, an ideal seven speeds and a curious internal gear mechanism that shifts slowly but surely. I've gotten my money's worth from this bicycle already, whether one measures worth in fun or in uses divided by price.

I rode to nearby small park Green Park. I was pleased to see a Mississippi Kite atop an evergreen tree. I got some good photos and decent video of it. Eventually, a Blue Jay with road rage chased it from the tree. The Kite does not eat Blue Jays, but I find road rage is often irrational.

I rode on to Suncreek Park. There I could ride on paved, shady trails. I walked about in a wooded section where I saw Eastern Bluebirds, an Eastern Phoebe and Tufted Titmice.

In all on my bicycle ride I covered about eight miles, and walked another mile or so. I got home around 11:30 a.m. I found I had an email and a text message I was expecting. I worked for a couple of hours on a work project. I finished in the middle of the afternoon. I went for a sandwich at Whichwich. Then I headed home.
I rested and watched the first Captain America movie. I went to Kroger for some bananas and Powerade Zero.

We watched a documentary about the Texas State Fair. Now we are watching the Jerry Lewis film "The Nutty Professor".

My wife heard from her friend Malika that she got the program to work on the computer we gave her that would not work yesterday. I was pleased to hear that she sorted it out.  I look forward to hearing how she figured it out. I understand prayer may have been involved.

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2017-09-04 06:51 am

Alien Encounter

Sunday I took an hour's walk on the Chisholm Trail, starting at Orlando Street and heading to the Plano Senior Center and back.  I was down 2 pounds when I weighed in during the Weight Watchers meeting. I walked at Shawnee Park in Plano.  Part of the circular walk around the pond is closed off with a chain link fence.  Construction is underway--a small wooded area has been halved, and right now it looks as if the small pond is being doubled in size. But it is hard to tell for sure. I have mixed feelings about the wooded area being cut. It was not pristine woodland, but I am not sure pulling it out was the best solution.

I had an odd encounter with low-key road rage. A driver got irritated because he or she was trying to pull out leftward onto McDermott Street, and wanted me to either yield right-of-way or to change lanes to allow that new car to turn in front of me. The flow of traffic made both courses inadvisable. The disappointed driver honked at me, and the proceeded to tailgate me when I turned. When I pulled into the bank parking lot, the driver honked and then sped up. It was not scary, but it was annoying that the the driver tried to scare me.
I saw disc golfers spinning discs into disc golf baskets.  At church, the Reverend Jessica Wright spoke and gave a good sermon.

Sunday afternoon I relaxed until the late afternoon.  My wife called and asked if I could help her friend Malika.  Today we had given one of my spare eBay computers to Malika, as she had left her laptop in India by mistake when visiting family. I had the eBay laptop I got for 15 dollars or so at hand, with the Q4OS linux operating system installed.  So we gave her that one.

She had one Windows program that she needed to install. It was a proprietary program that allowed her to view a particular type of document called a .pfa document.  Its manufacturer, Cisco, had created a Linux version.  She had downloaded the Linux version. But she did not know how to install it.  The package she downloaded was in tar.gz format, while Debian-based Q4OS needed the package to be in .deb format. So we downloaded the software package called Alien. Alien allows one to convert tar.gz packages into .deb packages. It worked beautifully. But it turned out that the Linux version was 64-bit, and this inxpensive eBay laptop was 32-bit.

I had another trick up my sleeve.  I downloaded the Windows versions.  Then I used the software package WINE to try to run it in Linux. WINE used to stand for "Wine is not an Emulator".  That package tricks the Windows program into believing Windows is running, by providing the expected interfaces as if Windows were running.  I was unable to get the 32-bit windows version of the 7.0 current version of the software to install using WINE.  I dropped down one version to the 6.3 version, after reading that others had been able to install this in WINE.  Then the software worked beautifully.  But the class documents Malika needed to run did not work on version 6.3.  The whole experience was like a bad dream in which a university uses a vendor's software and imposes a hardship on it students.  While Linux users are only about 2 percent of the population, Chromebook users, who are a growing minority, would be excluded from using this software (unless a Chrome extension ran the software. If it ran on Chrome, then I could have installed Cub Linux, because it runs Chromium, the open source version, in a way very similar to Chrome).  Students who run iOS or Android on their tablets would be also excluded from using this software. I cannot recall even seeing a Mac version, though surely there must have been one and I just did not see it. I am not sure.

I am not one of those people who "hates" Windows or Mac. I use Windows at work. I find Mac easy-to-use. I am okay with proprietary software existing, though I prefer the sharing of freely-licensed software. But I do think that schools and government bodies would better serve people if they used universal formats that are open-source.  Allowing vendors to control classroom software is just silly, even if Cisco is a company that makes good software.

It was a curious feeling to successfully convert the tar.gz but have it not work due to the 64-bit thing, and to get it to run on WINE, but not have it work due to the older version thing. It was like achieving so much to achieve nothing.  But proprietary software is neither a horse shoe nor a hand-grenade.  So there is no extra credit for a close try. 

Malika will contact the school to see if she can get from its IT department one of those dirt cheap versions of Windows 7 that students sometimes can get. Microsoft no longer likes people to use Windows 7, but I am not sure if its new offering Windows 10 will run on 32-bit systems. It's a shame in a way to install Windows on a 32-bit system, as the Q4OS system is so light and runs so well on it. This system has an older CPU. Had I known Malika needed 64-bit, I could have resurrected another eBay purchase, and tried to make it work. Worst case, of course, Malika could get a refurbished computer for not much money (maybe the HP Stream for $ 120 or less) that will be 64-bit and will run what she needs in Windows or in Linux. Malika is an engineer, so she can do that easily. But another student might not have the money.

My reading this morning tells me that I perhaps could have focused instead on software to convert  .pfa files to a better format, but I do not see an easy fix in that direction.

The experience was kind of fun, even if it did cause me to cancel a planned bicycle ride to help out for a couple of hours on this minor failed mission.  After Malika left, my wife and I took a nice walk in the park, bringing me over 11,000 steps for the day.  Then we went to Firewater Grill for dinner. We put on a Harry Potter movie, while my computer updated me on scores of a game in which the football team at the University of California at Los Angeles came back from a huge deficit to beat the team from Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University.

I have some time today to get some walking or cycling in, and some time today to do a little work on Labor Day.

Breakfast: Kix cereal and skim milk
Lunch: 2 pieces fried fish, green beans, a roll
Dinner: cheese flatbread pizza

gurdonark: (Default)
2017-09-02 09:22 pm

advice about Mustang Creek Trail

I originally intended to get an early start and drive off to some semi-rural outdoors place today. But this morning I found myself more tired than I expected to be.  It was well into the morning before I took Beatrice for a walk we enjoyed.  My wife and I went for a sandwich at Noon. Later, my wife and I moved old kitchen table we have used for the past twenty years into a front room before we donate it away.  Our new kitchen table was put in a bit before 2. The two fellows who delivered it were friendly, competent and helpful. I like the look of the new table.

We got the old table 20 years ago in a used-furniture place in Venice, California. It did good service, but its chairs need replacing. So we got a new, simple round wooden table.

I watched some university-level American football  on television, including the game in which the University of Texas was upset by the Maryland Terrapins.  I like football season because I like hearing all the names of the little high schools and small universities in the less-attention-grabbing conferences.

In the later afternoon, I rode my bicycle on the Watters Branch trail. I covered 8 miles in a bit under 2 hours. When I paused to watch birds at a small pond, a man rode up on his bicycle and asked me if I was a birder. We traded stories about the herons and egrets at the pond. He mentioned two Green Herons that live at that pond. He showed me a great video he took of a Bobcat.  He told me about good birding on the Mustang Creek Trail. I told him about the bird walks at Connemara and the Heard Natural Science Center. He quoted Thoreau un-ironically, which is, I am sad to say, more difficult for me to do. He introduced himself as Jeremy. Nice fellow. Perhaps I'll run into him again on the trails one day.  On my return bicycle route, I saw the two Green Herons.

My wife and I went to Holy Frijoles in Plano tonight. We each ordered a different special. My wife's order, brisket soft tacos, tasted great. My special was good also.  We stopped by PetSmart for dog food, a dog treat from a pet bakery and pill pockets.

Now  we are watching an Inspector Lynley mystery.

breakfast: Grain berry cereal and skim milk
lunch: roast beef sandwich on whole wheat bread and baked chips
dinner: shrimp encebelldo (spelled there encevollado), 1/2 of a brisket taco, bean soup, chips, and grilled vegetables

gurdonark: (Default)
2017-09-02 12:02 am

full tank

I got to experience the last vestige of the Great Imaginary Gasoline Crisis.  I woke at 6 a.m. and read of a gas station nearby with gasoline, amid others sold out. I got there a couple of minutes later. There were long lines. Then the station, a Racetrac,  ran out of gas. An employee waved his arms in the dark--no more no more.

My wife and I drove to work together today. We dropped her at her office, and I drove her car to my office. Later, she caught an Uber home because her work let out early.  In contrast, I worked until 6 or so. We went to dinner at Spazo and sat outside. I had the salmon. My wife had a pasta.

I finally got gasoline afterward. The first place I went was out of gasoline. But the next place had gasoline and no waiting. I was glad to be able to remedy my near-empty tank. The 7-11 in question is one where I often stop for gas. Usually, the pumps are anything but cronuwded.

This was a busy work week. Tonight I watched a great PBS documentary on the director Richard Linklater.

Breakfast: cereal and skim milk
Lunch: one slice cheese pizza and a salad
Dinner: salmon with almonds and chia, quinoa with a lobster sauce, vegetables, salad,

gurdonark: (Default)
2017-08-31 10:22 pm

The Great Psychosomatic Gas Panic of 2017

Our area got only a small effect of the horrible storms that afflicted the upper Texas coast and in particular Houston. We got a few inches of rain and some overcast skies. The rain broke our Summer heat, as tropical storm rain does near the first of September each year. The disaster will hurt the local economy in the long run, as Houston digs out of the devastation. Dallas and Houston are interdependent, though sometimes they seem like competing cities.

Today we had a curious thing happen.  We had a run on gasoline.  At least one local radio station suggested that oil refineries affected by the storm would cut production, resulting in higher gas prices. I meant to get some gasoline before this became a possible issue, but I discounted the issue a bit. But today at lunch, all the gas stations near my work were either sold out of gas or afflicted with long lines.

I meant to go wait in line early this evening to solve the issue. I am low on gasoline. But I had to work late on an unexpected new matter. On my night drive home, I again saw long lines or stations without gasolinie.  The radio says it's all a panic,--there is no real gasoline shortage.  But a psychosomatic shortage still fees like a shortage to me.

Today I saw Blue Jays everywhere and popular gasoline pumps.

breakfast: cereal and skim milk
lunch: buffet pizza, broccoli, pickles, cucumbers and carrots
dinner: four cheese ravioli