05-26-17 update

Events I attended
On Saturday, we hosted a graduation party for our eldest grandson, Jacob. We were concerned about the weather and a couple of heavy showers hit while we were setting up but we were fortunately blessed with good weather for the party itself.

As with any Pinoy social function there was plenty of food, naturally resulting in plenty of leftovers and we actively encourage people to take home as much as they wanted. A lot of the guest were my wife’s friends, some of my daughter-in-law’s family, and Jacob’s friends from choir. I’d have to say it was quite successful.

On Sunday evening we attended Jacob’s graduation ceremony. Ben was part of the hand playing Pomp and Circumstance and a few other songs. The program had the choir senors perform two numbers so we got to hear him sing again.

Dumb ass thing I did
Just before going the graduation, I got something out of my truck and accidentally locked my keys inside it. The next day I went down to the Chevy dealership to inquire about getting a new key made. I only had one key and I’d been meaning to get a spare since I bought the truck six-and-a-half years ago. I called roadside assistance and had someone come by and unlock the truck fro me. I found the keys behind the seat. On Tuesday, I had a spare key made. I also finally got around to getting hard copies of my vehicle titles, something else I’d been meaning to get done.

Technology issues
The satellite receiver box for the bedroom TV went out. The satellite provide sent out a new box and, surprisingly, I received it the next day. I had to make a couple calls to customer support to get it set up. It was a High Definition receiver and I couldn’t receive the HD channels since my account is for standard definition. Once I got that resolved, I found I wasn’t getting the international channels. A tech came out this morning, made some changes in my setup, and tweaked the dish alignment a bit. He suggested that I trim some of the branches of the tree that hangs over that corner of the house which I did later in the afternoon.

Quotes I’m pondering
“Whatever the circle of hell in which we live, I think we are free to break out of it. And if people do not break out, they stay there of their own free will.” – Jean-Paul Sartr

“You don’t seem to understand you are in prison. If you are to get out of prison the first thing you must realize is: You are in prison. If you think you are free, you can’t escape.” – George Ivanovich Gurdjieff

Ninth year remembrance

It was nine years ago today that my beloved mother left her body. She left it reluctantly and fought against the transition all the way. In the couple of weeks I was there I witnessed her incredible strength and determination to stay with us. Family was extremely important to her and in the years since her passing I have come to a greater appreciation of the depth of her contributions and sacrifices to raise her family and to support all of us long after we left the nest. Although she’s not with us physically, she lives in our memories and in our hearts. I can only relate my own experiences but I often feel her spiritual presence.

For several years I was troubled that I was not present at the time of her passing. I had always felt a very deep bond with my mother and it seemed like I still had some unfinished business with her. I also felt there was a lack of closure. About three years later, there began a series of events spread over several more years through which she led me through my grieving, assuaged my feelings of guilt, and affirmed her unconditional love.

I never say that she’s in Heaven or anywhere else. Personally, I don’t accept the Christian concepts of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. I find them spiritually limiting and based upon a system of rewards and punishment. I’m more attracted to Eastern ideas of karma and rebirth which seem more logical and more rational. I feel certain that she has taken on a new birth and her spirit, which is not bound by the limitations of the physical universe, speaks to me at times when my mind is quiet enough to receive.

None of above reflects a belief in anything, only ideas and possibilities. I can only relate my own experiences or what I think I’ve experienced.

05-19-17 update

What I’m watching
I’m still watching The Tudors on NetFlix, a couple of episodes at a time, generally late in the evening when things have quieted down. I guess I’m a bit of an Anglophile which I’m sure is genetic. I really enjoy British history and I’m particularly fascinated with the Tudor period. While other periods of English history have had their share of drama, intrigue, and politics, the Tudors seemed to have it in spades.

Things that are keeping me busy
Besides helping Tina prepare for our eldest grandson’s graduation party, I’ve been busy with outdoor projects both at home and at my son’s house. At his house I helped him remove around 70 paver stones from his back yard, many of them buried or sunk in. My son used some to create a makeshift patio around his vegetable garden and I took home 60 of them. I’ve got a couple of ideas on how to use them. If I have enough, there is a space between the back of the house and the sidewalk leading from the driveway to the back patio that I’d live to pave. An alternative use would be to set them around the garden boxes. Since they are stacked on the patio, I need to put them to use.

I also removed a truckload of tree branches and disposed of them. My daughter-in-law also wants me to break up four concrete slabs outside her patio door. That particular area tends to flood a bit so the plan is to fill it up and eventually build a deck there. I can be sure that my involvement in those projects is a certainty. I’ll get started on that next week after the weekend’s festivities.

Weekend plans
My eldest grandson will be graduating from high school on Sunday so we’re having a graduation party for him on Saturday. I rented a picnic shelter at one of the city parks and my wife has been preparing for weeks. We’re conservatively expecting about 60 guest based on invitation responses but I’m sure there will be enough food for twice that many. My wife has done much of the planning but my chief concern will likely be the logistics of getting everything to the park and set up. And, of course, the cleanup afterward.

On Sunday, we’ll be taking our granddaughter to the Sayaw FilipinOH dance practice at Wright State University. They had a performance in Cincinnati last weekend and another one coming up next weekend in Columbus. After the practice, we’ll probably go straight to the graduation which will be held in the Nutter Center on the other side of the campus.

Event I attended
On Saturday we traveled to Washington Park in Cincinnati for the Sayaw FilipinOH performance at the Asian Food Festival. Our granddaughter is a member of the dance troupe. As always, they gave a wonderful performance

Technology I’m working with
I’ve been fiddling around with Bash scripts a bit in the evenings. About a year ago I wrote a simple script to select a random file from a particular image folder and copy it to a temporary work folder and it was working well. This week I decided that I would like it to randomly select image files from any subfolder in my ~/Pictures directory by randomly selecting a subfolder and then grabbing a random image file from that folder. Often the selected file may not be what I was looking for, so I put the process inside a while loop until I answered a prompt accepting and copying the file. Otherwise, it would disregard the selected file and choose another one. This was my first practical scrip using a loop and a case statement. I’m getting much more confident with writing scripts. I’m always looking for good tutorials and lessons.

Quotes I’m pondering
“Being naked in nature is possibly the most relaxing, most natural thing any of us could ever do. Live life naked my friends.” – @ohionaturist

“The ones telling you to chop off your foreskin for hygiene are the same ones telling you to stuff your penis in a dark, humid pouch all day.” – Nurba

“Simplicity in character, in manners, in style; in all things the supreme excellence is simplicity.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works.” – Douglas Adams

“Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

A personal note
In my personal journal, I lead off each day’s entry with a quote, the subject of which will vary from one day to another. It’s not always easy to choose just one from the previous week for inclusion here. As my readers may have discovered, my interests are varied and I advocate many ideas that are a bit outside of mainstream current cultural norms. I strive for simplicity although I’m not always successful. I’m an advocate of the naturalness of the human body which plays into leading a simpler life. I also have a love-hate relationship with technology and I have my own ideas about how technology should serve us. Quite often it seems that we are serving the technology.

Towel Day, May 25th
Don’t forget that next Thursday is Towel Day, a day in which we pay tribute to Douglas Adams and think about how his works have changed our perspective of life, the universe, and everything. It’s interesting to note that it was on a Thursday that the Earth was destroyed by the Vogon Constructor Fleet to make way for a hyperspatial expressway through our solar system.

05-12-17 update

What I’m watching
I’ve been watching The Tudors for the second time on NetFlix. One of the things I like about it is that it follows the history reasonably well. They changed a few facts for whatever reason, but they manage to get many of the events of Henry VIII’s reign pretty close, very unlike many other historical drama series I’ve seen.

What I’m reading
I’m still reading The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin when the mood to read strikes me. Several reviews I read on Goodreads complained about his explanations of the meteorological background but I found them interesting and felt that they added to my understanding of the events of that tragic day.

Project I’m working on
I got busy getting the garden ready for planting. I raked out the twigs and weeds which had accumulated over the winter. Then I turned over the soil using a shovel which, for my small garden space, worked fairly well. After that I mixed a few bags of topsoil and manure together, and mixed with the the existing soil. Hopefully, we’ll have a good harvest this year.

Events I attended
On Tuesday we attended Jacob’s last concert with the Wayne Choir. It was quite enjoyable. I especially enjoyed the Choraliers’ rendition of Queen’s Somebody to Love and the full choir’s beautiful treatment of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

On Thursday we watched Abigail perform in her last concert at Weisenborn. She played tympani, cymbals, and snare. She’ll be moving on to the high school band in the fall and attending the marching band camp this summer.

Technology I’m working with
About a month ago I created a little Bash script to copy an image file from a temporary folder to my journal and Dropbox folders on my PC. The script worked well enough but it lacked error checking and robustness. I changed the method used to build the destination directories incorporating the year and month passed in the command line arguments. I added tests to determine the validity of the image file and the existence of the destination folders and call a function to print the command-line syntax in the event any of the tests failed. I also added tests to confirm successful copy and move operations.

Quote I’m contemplating
“When a wise person says education is the key to our future, he or she often means tomorrow’s adults must be educated well enough to advance their interests and the interests of society. When a politician, pundit or preacher says education is the key to our future, they often mean tomorrow’s adults must be dumbed down enough to advance the interests of politicians, pundits, and preachers.” – Paul Sunstone

05-05-17 update

Another week has gone by. I can’t say that I accomplished much, certainly less than I had intended.

What I’m reading
The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin. This book is about the sudden, violent blizzard that swept across the Great Plains on January 12, 1888, claiming 235 lives, most of whom were children on their way home from school. I had ancestors who were living in the Dakotas at that time and I’ve read accounts of the Sweet family who were related to me and were caught in the storm and suffered greatly because of it..

Stuff I’m dealing with
I’m still dealing with the crud I had last week. I think I’m over the worst of it but I’m still given to fits of coughing, particularly at night. Who in their right mind develops and markets with a night-time cold medicine that’s only effective for four hours? A night-time medicine should knock me out for the whole night. This past week I’ve often been waking up between three and five in the morning so I take another 4-hour dose and go back to bed, usually waking up after ten.

Since setting the DVD/Blu-Ray player to a static IP address, I’ve noticed that it has been connecting to the Internet much more quickly. In fact, I don’t even see it going the three stages of acquiring content. I’m wondering if I have other devices on my network that might similarly benefit from a static address.

Events I attended
This week my wife and I attended concerts by the Wayne High School bands – Concert, Jazz, Symphonic Winds, and Wind Ensemble. Our grandson, Ben, plays trombone in the Jazz Band and the Wind Ensemble. They were enjoyable musical evenings.

On Thursday we watched the Charles C. Huber Elementary School talent show. It was quite entertaining. Our grandson Nick sang an acappella number. He’s got a good voice.

Quotes I’m pondering
“This one simple change – seeking and finding peace within – could, were it undertaken by everyone, end all wars, eliminate conflict, prevent injustice, and bring the world to everlasting peace. There is no other formula necessary, or possible. World peace is a personal thing! What is needed is not a change of circumstance, but a change of consciousness.” – Neale Donald Walsch

“In this universe, and this existence, where we live with this duality of whether we exist or not and who are we, the stories we tell ourselves are the stories that define the potentialities of our existence. We are the stories we tell ourselves.” – Shekhar Kapur

04-28-17 update

Event I attended
On Tuesday I was with the Sayaw FilipinOH dance group at an International Fair sponsored by the Wright-Patterson AFB International Spouses Group. There were about 20 nations represented. Each country had samples of their cuisine and displays. A few groups performed, including our group. I always enjoy these international gatherings. They show that people from different nations can get together to learn about and appreciate each other’s cultures. Despite our apparent differences, we have so much more in common with one another.

Quotes I’m pondering
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” – Stephen Hawking
“How nice – to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.” – Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five
“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.” – René Descartes
“I recommend walking around naked in your living room.” – Alanis Morissette, You Learn

Stuff I’m dealing with
I’ve had some sort of crud since Tuesday in the form of a sore throat and a non-productive cough and it’s kept me feeling run down and lethargic all week. I’ve been treating it with over-the-counter cold medications and it seems to be getting better. I’m hoping that I haven’t been infecting anyone else with it. I’m avoiding close contact with anyone.

I often use my Blu-Ray/DVD player to watch NetFlix and often it will have a little trouble connecting to the network. Last night I have the device a static IP address and it connected with no problems. Hopefully, this solved the problem and I think it had been having problems talking the the DHCP on the router. We’ll see.

04-21-17 update

What I’ve been watching
The latest incarnation of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Netflix is pretty good. I’d always been partial to the orginal, feeling that later incarnations were quite up to the mark. But this new series is every bit as good as the original, maybe better. There seems to be no shortage of cheesy B movies to torture us and those on the Satellite of Love but their commentary makes them bearable.

Technology I’m dealing with
I’d already gone through my MojoNude blog in its entirety, restoring images, updating links, and occasionally editing entries. Over the weekend I began the process on the For What It’s Worth blog which will take much longer because I’ve had this blog going in some form long before MojoNude. It also has entries imported from my Live Journal so there are duplicate entries from that. Until recently, I posted to it more frequently than I did to MojoNude.

In one of my tech email subscriptions I found an article about alternate DNS services to what’s provided by default by one’s ISP. I overrode the default DNS addresses provided by my IPS on my gateway router and put in the addresses for DNS.Watch. I chose that one because they don’t log DNS requests and they claim to have optimized their service for speed. I’ll try it out for a while and see how it goes. So far, it seems to be working well. I was glad to see that once I’d made the change on the router, all of my computers and devices picked up the change right away instead of waiting for a reboot or the next DHCP request.

Projects I’m working on
It’s spring so there are plenty of outdoor projects to be done. My mower died over the weekend after several years of faithful service. I’m certain that repairing it would cost just as much as replacing it but I haven’t gotten to it yet. I’ll make a trip to Lowe’s or Home Depot today or tomorrow and get one. (I bought a cheap power mower from Home Depot because I already owed them less.)

I got a truckload of mulch from the city’s yard waste facility yesterday and applied it to the flower beds in front of the house. I dug out a few inches along the bricks and filled that in with mulch to make mowing along the beds a little easier. I did the same thing around the garden boxes in back. I had plenty of mulch left over so I decided to cover the grass inside the fence around the garden. I’ll get another load next week and finish it off then take whatever remains to the kids’ house for their flower beds.

Quotes I’m pondering
“The bible should be reverently and ceremoniously burned every Easter. It is a dangerous book. We need it no longer for the spirit is with us.” – Alan Watts
“You must realize that you are now only a heap of conventions, habits, what society has made of you. Once all these have left you, you realize that they were defenses and aggressions accumulated solely to maintain the ego.” – Jean Klein
“You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views. Which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.” – The Doctor
“I would say that the idea America has a crumbling morality, that we have some kind of morality that’s standing, is built on repressive patriarchal conceptions of sex and sexuality. So if that’s crumbling, then let it crumble.” – Kirin Gupta