Linux fun

Almost 5 years ago, for a wedding present, I got Tara a nice little 10″ netbook from Dell.

Time hasn’t been kind to it, and with Windows running on it, it never really lived up to expectations. She liked it and all, but wasn’t able to do all the things that she wanted it to do. It was great for surfing and email, and that was about it.
So over the years we got other laptops, and for her birthday last year we got her a nice little tablet. So the little laptop kinda went into “the corner” and wasn’t used at all.
I noticed it there the other day and decided that maybe Linux would be a good fit. Tara didn’t have any problem with that as she wasn’t using it at all, so I downloaded Mint Liunux and popped it on.
Works like a dream. Boots/wakes up super fast, runs as well as ever(online flash movies kill it though) and works as well as I thought a little netbook would run.
There’s plenty of hard drive space left as I haven’t loaded it up with a ton of applications or stuff, I’m just playing as I go to see what’s available these days.
Turns out most things are available, in one form or another. I have dropbox, keepass, a comic reader and even Steam. I’m sure I can’t play most of the games that I have for Steam Linux, but a few should work nicely(like Duke Nukem, but I need a seperate mouse for it).
Anyway, it’s early days yet but I think it’ll be a nice little toy. It’s like a tablet for me without costing me anything extra, and it does almost all the things that I would want it to do anyway.

Best laid plans

This weekend was supposed to have me finish tiling the front hall and all that came with it(closet, bathroom, etc).
Tara was going to take Liam to a nice hotel place right on a beach so that I had the weekend to work.
Well, that didn’t happen exactly.
First there was a demon storm that rolled into Ottawa. And I mean demon! Driving down the highway, I could see the clouds roll in with the flashes of lightning and booms of thunder that shook the car. 
Then the rain. To say that it came down in buckets is an understatement. And once that cleared, there was hail.
But all that eventually cleared.
We thought it was safe to proceed and we rented the car. The rain started again, and we decided that their lives were more important than tile.
Earlier that day I remembered that in was on call this weekend. Normally quiet, but not this weekend. I have a Saturday meeting in a bit and was working part if the night Friday.
Oh, and I have some church duty on Sunday.
So obviously it just wasn’t meant to be.
I’m not sad about it as it gives me another week for prep.
But really, I just want all these jobs done :(

Ch Ch Ch Changes…

July was a bit of a stressful month, and for Liam it really showed.

I mean, the poor kid had his whole world turned around and he just didn’t know how to cope. It started the first week of July. Normally he would have gone to his grandparents on Mondays, three days of day care, then Dad day on Friday.

We changed that to a new daycare system completely, in the same school he would have gone to in the fall, for the full five days a week. WE knew that there might be some problems with this, the same sort of problems that he had when he first started daycare. And in one sense we were right. In another, it took a turn that we didn’t really expect. Tantrums. Blood curdling, mind bending tantrums. Daily. And they started after the first couple of days there. And he was really impossible to console. It just required him to be removed from the situation and then to calm down. And of course they would start at the drop of a hat. It really didn’t matter what happens. One day it was because I got to the front door before him. Another was that he wasn’t able to close the garage door. Or that I got a different cart at the home reno store. It really didn’t matter what would start it, but when it started, there was nothing you could do other than walk him out and set him down somewhere to calm down.

And this went on daily. One a day, sometimes two. This wasn’t out little boy, this was someone else entirely.

The real breaking point was in the last week of July. Tara had taken the day off to help me with some flooring, and Liam started first thing. We decided that was that and we would have to change some things back to the way they were. We were lucky that a private daycare person still had a spot available and it was someone that he knew. She agreed to take him the next day, and he’s been there ever since. And it has helped with the tantrums. There’s not gone mind you, but more sporadic and not daily. That breaking day we also found out that he was sad because, in his own words, that they were leaving him alone. We knew that he wouldn’t get the same level of personal care that he used to get, but we didn’t really think that he would be left to his own devices.

As mentioned, he’s going better now. I’m starting to suspect that we might keep him in daycare for now and possibly skip the whole JK thing. That’s all up in the air at the moment. Mind you, with JK, it might be more structured. Then again, maybe it won’t matter.

I would just like to keep my little guy, the one I know, the one that’s happy most of the time, and keep him that way.

I know I can’t protect him from everything, but if I can at least not screw up his head too much this early on, then I’ll take that at least.

Roll your own

Just recently(yesterday actually) a friends site got compromised by malicious jerk wads.
Again.
And not too long ago another friend got his site pretty much blown off the planet by another group of these asses. The common thread is that they were both running WordPress at the time. And so am I.
Now, I don’t want to bash on WP here, that’s not the point. I am very happy with my WP site, and I have been for years. It’s just that it’s a big target for these groups as they have nothing better to do than ruin someone else’s day.
But since these actions caused my friends to create their new sites, not using WP, it got me thinking of doing the same. The way I used to do it.
When I first started blogging, it was really just one long index file that I would just update. This morphed into more of a real website sometime later.
After that, I basically made my own blogging software. It wasn’t fancy, and had the worst security ever(all you needed was to know the URL in order to post) but it did what I wanted it to do, and that was great.
Some time later I moved to live journal as the time involved to maintain a server just wasn’t worth it anymore. But I always missed that self rolled site.
And time have changed. HTML got a version 5 and things are being made easier to make a fancy site.
So I think I’m going to start a new project and make a new site, written by me, for me(and you of course).
Not sure when it will go live, it’s amazing how much ice forgotten over the years, so it’ll be a slow ride, but I think a fun one.

Dexter Finale

I haven’t watched the series finale yet, but my brother posted on Facebook: “WTF Dexter?”

This leads me to think that they’ve done something…odd…with the ending.

And before I watch it, I would like to speculate and share it with you.

1. The last season has just been a dream

Made popular with Dallas, this whole last season was a dream and Dexter was actually shot and killed by Deb at the end of Season 5. How it should have ended.

2. Deb and Dexter switch minds ala “Freaky Friday”

This would be interesting as Deb(body) would die with Dexter(mind) and Dexter(body) would live on with Deb(mind). It could be a whole spin off thing on ABC.

3. Dexter is really just an older Jesse Pinkman

Jesse finally snaps and goes all serial killer later in life. Mind you, this wouldn’t make sense as a series thing as Dexter has this whole “story” thing. I suspect there’s been fan-fic about this already

4. Miami is nuked

Less people would end up dead, I mean seriously.

5. Deb is really the dead one and Harry is actually alive

Boy would this mess up the back story of that other detective…not to mention half of the guys on this show

6. Dexter is Sam and Harry is Al

All is set right, and the next leap might be the leap home

 

I’m rooting for #6.

Car Tunes

Tara and I have very different musical tastes. They do cross at times(mostly 80’s pop) but for the most part they don’t.

In the car we tend to listen to Top 40 or News Radio, and these days it’s mostly news as we’re tired of the “witty” banter on the other stations. I want to confirm that there are no arguments regarding to music, as half the time we just hear whatever Liam is watching on the phone. So it really doesn’t matter.

But, on the occasions when I am in the car alone and can listen to whatever I like, I have a CD. Yes, one CD. A CD that I’ve been listening to, in parts, for about 6 months now.

And it’s an actual CD(well, burned, but still) and not some fancy MP3 CD with a ton of tracks. No, this one has 17. 17 tracks that I’ve listened to, over and over again, for 6 months.

And just recently did I decide that I should swap out this CD. Not because I didn’t like the songs, quiet the opposite, I just felt the need for a little change.

Oddly enought this kind of started as a experiment on my part, and it goes a little like this:

Are there songs that you can always go back and listen to without ever getting sick of them?

I think I proved this right. I mean, for some reason I just could never skip past Through the Fire and the Flames by DragonForce, even if the random played them back to back. It was just that awesome. So I tested it further and made a CD of them. Now, all the songs on the CD weren’t quite up to DF and I did find myself skipping past certain ones more than others, but for the most part I picked a good group.

Here’s the initial CD:

Through the fire and the flames – DragonForce
Gangdam style – Psy
Symptom of the universe – Black Sabbath
Painkiller – Judas Priest
Wicker man – Iron Maiden
Hanger 18 – MegaDeth
Ace Of spades – Motorhed
Breaking the law – Judas Priest
Burner – Motorhed
Over the hill and far away – Nightwish
Bark at the moon – Ozzy
Fucking hostile – Pantera
Fire fight – Rammstein
I wish I had an angle – Nightwish
The Hunt – Sepultura
Ditto head – Slayer
Justified – GangstaGrass

I found myself skipping past Symptom of the universe more often than most, and I had to skip Pantera if Liam was in the car(let him learn it the way the rest of us did; school) but otherwise I would never hit skip.

But even after 6 months I needed a change. At one point I thought I would use a completely different set of groups or songs, and I think I intended to do it, but it didn’t fully turn out:

Got the time – Anthrax
Paranoid – Black Sabbath
Looking after number one – Boomtown Rats
New rose – The Dammed
California über alas – Dead Kennedies
From out of nowhere – Faith no More
New breed – FearFactory
Ran so far away – Flock of Seagulls
Doctor who theme – Fourth new season
The message – Grand Master Flash and the Furious 5
Salamanizer – GWAR
Number if the beast – Iron Maiden
Painkiller – Judas Priest
Thrift shop – Macklemore and ryan lewis (because it’s “fucking awesome”)
99 red balloons – Nena
Cowboys from hell – Pantera
True belief – Paradise Lost
Arise – Sepultura
Assimilate – Skinny Puppy

For the most part it’s a whole new batch, and only one repeat(just love those lazer bullets). And it’s really great having a new batch of music for the car.

I was thinking while writing this that, I do have this older MP3 player that’s not being used anymore, I could just load that up and connect it to the car. I mean, it’s within my power to do so. This would eliminiate the need for limited CDs. And as the aux port is right next to a power port, I could have it powered all the time.

Or, you know, use my iPhone…

Practice Converstions

I pulled into the parking lot of the local Macs store, and I could see inside two youth’s dressed in MegaDeth shirts.

I had on my usual polo and long shorts, with sandals. My hair wasn’t styled, so it had a wispy look to it. Not at all MegaDeth like. In fact, if it wasn’t for my weight, I would call myself a Douche on first site ;)

So of course conversations start floating in my head, and when this happens I need to have a comeback.

The conversation went like this:

(youth prime) “And here is someone that clearly doesn’t listen to MegaDeth(pointing at me)”

(me, channelling my best Jesse Pinkman) “I’ve been listening to MegaDeth since before you were sucking on your mom’s tits, Bitch!”

It wasn’t a long conversation, and not really a clever one, but I was in a hurry. And it didn’t actually happen. Which is too bad as I was clearly prepared.

For once…

Dexter as dad

I’ve been behind on watching Dexter so I’ve been trying to catch up.
Watching yesterday reminded me how different Dexter and I are in terms of fatherhood. Sure, one of us is a fictional character, but other than that we do have our parenting differences.
He’s off all day at work, and then doesn’t even blink if be has to run out again to do some serial killer stuff. Just leaves his son with the nanny. Doesn’t even blink I tell you. I couldn’t do that, just leave after having no seen Liam all day.
I mean, the character of Dexter is supposed to be all about providing for his family, he certainly mentions it enough, but Harrison just seems to be a convenient plot point when needed. There doesn’t seem to be any consistence there.
Anyway, it’s these odd things that I see on TV these days.
I think fatherhood has distorted my ‘suspension of disbelief’ somewhat.
I mean, really, Fireman Sam, that while town should have been destroyed sometime ago….

Brazil Day 3 and 4

I’ve gotten a little behind as I was writing these at night in the hotel room.

Day 3 ended with “happy hour” as it was the best way they could put it. It just meant we went out to snag some drinks and something to eat. As I am in Brazil, I would like to take in the cultural things that other Brazilians do(that needed some work). They all knew this and suggested some strong booze that would be typical Brazilian drinks. One was Caipirinha and it was a cocktail. It was rather sweet, but also really strong. I could feel the effects about half way down the drink. But after that I apparently needed a shot of their local super strong alcohol, cachaça. I think I disappointed them somewhat when I didn’t immediately pass out or make strange faces, reactions Winking smile

I mean, come on, I’m Canadian Open-mouthed smile

But the night ended well with a quick cab ride home and a call to my lovely wife.

Beyond that Day 3 was like Day 2 but with a better lunch. We headed to the local mall this time and just grabbed something from the food court. It was Brazilian style food and it didn’t cost a fortune, so we enjoyed.

Day 4 started too early. Actually, most of the mornings started too early. I’m not sure what the problem is. It could very well be that I’m just not having enough coffee. That’s one problem here. They claim that because the coffee is stronger, they use smaller cups. I call shenanigans. I’ll have two ‘cups’ in the morning and still be falling asleep in the morning cab. I eventually wake up, but it’s because I’m using my work brain a little more than usual. Which sounds silly, but when you’re being asked a barrage of questions about different aspects of the product, you have to think fast.

Day 4 started with terrible traffic(an hour to get here) but turned into a pretty typical day.

We had lunch at was best described as a typical Brazilian resturant. We ordered and shared food and I have to say it was all pretty awesome. It was mostly meat and cheese, but it was this great salted shredded pork(at least I think it was pork, it could have been beef). I’ll have to get the names to see if I can find something like it at home. I suspect not though Sad smile

After work was also pretty typical. There’s not a lot to do at this hotel other then watch TV/Movies. I got to the “Red Wedding” episode of Game of Thrones, but that was about it.

Tara, Liam and I did get to connect a little though. Skype can be a wonderful thing when it’s working correctly and not going to the wrong system. But I think that’s the problem being logged into multiple devices at a time.

I have to admit that the days are starting to blur together. Good thing I ‘m going home soon.

Don’t get me wrong, Sao Paulo is a great place, or at least what I’ve seen of it. But during the week there’s not much to do. I mean, I get off work at 6, by the time I’m catching a cab it’s 6:30, and by the time I’m at the hotel I ‘m lucky if it’s 7. That leaves a little time to connect with home, have something to eat and then, well, crash. If there were more places that were close to the hotel and open later, that would be perfect.

But ah well, that’s life Smile

Brazil Day 2

So again today I am glad I didn’t actually rent a car. What the hell was I thinking? I mean, if you brought the average Ottawa driver into the middle of Sao Paulo and let them drive somewhere, it would take about 3 minutes flat before they got into an accident. And it would have been because *they* weren’t paying attention. I have to hand it to the drivers in this city, they have their wits about them. The number of close calls I witnessed to and from work, but it all seemed so calculated, as if they meant to do that.

Still gives me shudders.

Anyway, workwise, today was an excellent day. The guys I’m training are really great and I can feel that they really appreciate me being here to give them that personal experience that you just can’t get from books and slides.

This morning was the *boring* part, the one with the most slides. We went over program features and the like and I was kinda dreading it. When it comes to learning things, I’m the guy that just has to get in there and start doing things. And I think they are too. So we’re going to work well this week.

During the *dull parts* they asked questions and we had great discussions, it really felt like being here was worth it. I mean, we could just have easily done this remotly, but I don’t think it would have turned out the same way.

So dumbass me forgot my credit card again, and this put a little crimp in lunch but it really just meant that I had to pay with cash. I didn’t want to do this as I want to use that only if I had to. Such as paying for a cab to get home. Which I had to do as well. I didn’t make any arrangements with the hotel to be picked up, and I called in the middle of rush hour so they didn’t have any cars available. And I only had $50(which isn’t a lot) so one of the other guys lent me an additional $40 and that got me home (with $30 to spare).  But it took close to an hour to get home.

So, for tomorrow, I will bring my card and my MP3 player. As I’ll need them both. The car service is good to get there, but I think the cab will be better to get home.

Right now I’m enjoying a frozen dinner and a beer, not sure how much I paid for either Smile

Husband. Father. Nerd.