Archive for the ‘Linux’ Category

Starry, starry night.
Portraits hung in empty halls,
Frameless head on nameless walls,
With eyes that watch the world and can’t forget.
Like the strangers that you’ve met,
The ragged men in the ragged clothes,
The silver thorn of bloody rose,
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow.

Don Mclean

These pictures taken February 23rd  in the courtyard of the building I live in reminded me of Don McLean’s “Starry Starry Night” and the VanGogh painting.  I love how the big flakes that were falling are visible and the play of the light from the yard lights on the snow.

I’ve been playing around with the tools in my photo manipulation program and this is what happened with these pictures.

The original photo first and then the manipulated version:

I used the photo manipulation program Shotwell bundled with Ubuntu Linux to transform that picture into the following:

I really liked how the colors that are present but not normally seen by the human eye popped out and made this scene almost surrealistic.

I didn’t go for the color in this next shot although there is some.  I just wanted to emphasize the snow on the branches.  I think I might like the original picture better than the manipulated one.

I ❤ digital photography.  Wish I could afford a better camera.


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The process of learning requires not only hearing and applying but also forgetting and then remembering again.

John Gray, “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”

OK, I’m going to have to break down and admit to being totally frustrated and peeved as hell. I want to move my Blogs over to BlueHost and have already purchased their two year plan for a fat fee I might add. I’ve been trying to comprehend the whole FTP/Linux/Webalizer thing ever since.

I’ve got the WordPress foundation set up but haven’t figured out how to get my preferred templates over there. I’m having one heck of a time getting my particular distribution of Linux to accept and configure an FTP program properly but I don’t think that would matter much since I’m really not sure what the hell to do with it once I get it, drat it anyway!

What is so frustrating is that I used to FTP all the time. I used to know how to do this stuff. I recognize the basic program structure of Filezilla as being similar to Cute and whatever the heck was the name of the program I used before I used Cute back in the dark ages.

Although I knew how to do it on Windows it can’t be all that much different on Linux especially since the Linux distribution I am using is so similar to Windows you could call it Windows Super-Charged. Especially now that Xandros and Microsoft have agreed to a partnership deal of some sort. I don’t understand exactly what that means but Linux purists are having huge gastric disturbances about the whole deal.

Anyway, my Cronish pride is hurt because I have to admit defeat, humble myself, and go seek help. I’m also worried that after weeks of fiddling around with this, something didn’t click so that I found a way to retrieve the information I know is locked up inside my head. Damnit all, anyway!  I’m finding out more and more all the time, that there are things I know I used to do all the time and did it well, things that look vauguely familiar that I just can’t quite figure out how to do anymore.

It scares me when I can’t get from A to B no matter which route I take. I used to get lost driving once in awhile because I would get scared I was going to have an accident on the heavily traveled main arteries so I’d drive on the back roads.   Sometimes I couldn’t find my way home.


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DigiKam Fun

I’ve been having such a good time playing around with my new camera and the Xandros photo manipulation program digikam. This is way more fun that developing film and making your own black and white prints which I learend to do back in the late 70s. I mean that was fun but my lord it was expensive and fussy work.

With these digital cameras you don’t have to worry about how much film you have you can take as many shots of your subject as you like and not worry if you’re wasting film. Once you’ve got your shots downloaded onot the PC you can take them off the camera and fill that space up again. I’d say my digital camera has already paid for itself in those terms.

Not that I would have ever taken 150 pictures of my cat pre-digital camera but being able to is wonderful! Now I need to take a class so I can learn to do everything this caemra does. <heh>

Some of my best work:


My son, Daryn


My nephew, Gregory

(psst… Both of these boys are single and live in the Madison area. But don’t tell them I said so.)




My Gr-Dog, Po Sacajawea

(I like how these effects really pick up on the muscle tone of this dog.)







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I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven’t got the guts to bite people themselves.

August Strindberg (1849 – 1912), A Madman’s Diary, 1895

I have spent today learning how to download pictures taken with the digital camera that I got last month for my birthday onto my PC. Since I’m using a PC that is totally Windows free and has The Xandros Linux distribution installed and I’m not exactly what you would call Linux literate, I wasn’t expecting this to be as easy as it was. I can’t say enough about this distribution of Linux. It has the ease and familiarity of Windows without the hassle and expense.


I chose the Canon PowerShot 460 mainly because I got such a killer deal on the price at Amazon.com. Regularly $229.00 for $97.00. Sweet. Plus the camera is great. I’ve been practicing with it for about a month now and I think I have the basics worked out. I do have to say that it would probably be worth every penny to buy a good set of rechargeable Double A batteries and a charger because it doesn’t take long before you are looking for new batteries. I’d also get the AC adapter.

So the primary target for the lens has been my fat little Calico cat, Penelope Patches. The great thing about digital cameras is you can just click away to your heart’s content. It doesn’t matter if the cat moves. Refocus and click again. No money wasted on film or shots that have been a bust. Here are my favorite shots of Patches to date:



because this shows off her pretty eyes.



because you get a pretty good picture of her overall coloring.

Pathches was always meant to be called Penny because of those copper colored patches. Her sister Raggedy Anne was going to be Annie. She was a Tortoiseshell Calico and had Tabby stripes adorning her tri-colored markings. She looked more faded and her black was actually more of a gray. She looked like a little pile of rags and somehow we started calling her Rags and of course Patches followed along after. How odd it is to think that Patches is nine years old now…

This is my Grand-dog Po.


Po is a Miniature Pinscher.  He looks and acts just like a tiny (five to maybe seven pounds) Doberman Pinscher.  Totally alpha.  He drives Patches absolutely up the wall when ever he comes to visit.  She outweighs him by at least five pounds or more but he is a dog on a rubber band being propelled by a hyper-active kid with a paddle.  He is why Patches is hiding under my desk at the moment.

This is the newest member of my family:




Isn’t he a handsome fella? He’s a Dachshund/Beagle (Daschle) who looks exactly like the dog we got when I was 11 years old. I just adopted him and I’m changing his name from Snoopers to Igor in honor of the Dachsle of my youth. I was absolutley right in following my instincts about a dog with this lineage. He is incredibly calm around Patches who has been doing nothing but pitching hissy fits since the moment she laid eyes on him.

In fact he has the patience of a saint. If she packed a harder wallop & claws he’d have two or three black eyes and be bleeding all over the carpet. He’s pretty much taken it all with no more than a raised eyebrow. I don’t think even the original Igor would have been that generous.  I’m not sure when she will forgive me but sooner or later she is going to figure out he isn’t as hyoeractive as Po and won’t be able to chase her everywhere she goes except up.  Sooner or later she’ll come out from under the desk and eat again.

In twenty-four hours I’ve heard him bark once when someone knocked on the door. He’s got a pretty big bark for a short fella. He also has double joints in his front legs and possibly a club foot. Looks funnier than hell–he sorta looks like he is walking backwards but I don’t think it’s hurting him any at all. We go to the Vet tomorrow to get shots and everything so I can get him licensed. I bet it will be his first ride in a Taxi. <heh>

Ever since the restraining order incident I’ve been feeling the need to feel a little more secure here in the building. Well since before that but that only enhanced my insecurity. Short dog with big bark and big mouth makes me feel safer. <grin>

So cameras, dogs and fat cats. Full day.








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