Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A Smart Dog to Knows What To Do With a Drunk

There is just something about having a smart breed of dog.

No matter what, they learn. If you allow them to, they will learn you.  They will focus on you like a laser.  They're adaptable.

When I got my dog, Rack the McNab SuperDog (TM), his spirit was crushed.

His fear level was over the top, and the first time I ever moved a trash can with him along, he flattened on the ground and shivered.

He's past that, well past that.

In fact he did something I saw my Lettie, the McNab and Border Collie cross do before him that shows just how well they watch.

You see, there are some breeders of dogs that have a closed mind.  A dog is for a task they will tell you.  If you don't exhibit what their definition of that task is, then they won't recommend that dog to you and may not sell you the dog.

Many herding breed dog breeders are that way.  I don't agree with that at all.

Yes, a herding breed dog needs a job.  Actually, scratch that, ALL dogs need a job.  After all, deep down, a dog is a wolf in fancy clothes.

In our case, Rack's job is me.  He treats me as a pack leader, or rather his pack leader, and his job is to watch over and support me in what I do.

Never sell a dog short, because if it does not live up to your expectations, it's probably because you aren't making your needs understood.

I'm at the point where if I speak to him in English, I simply expect him to understand.  I just have to make sure I use what I personally consider Dog Command Words and he will get them right.

He also speaks English.  As in, if I am saying to someone that I want to go to a specific place next, he goes there without being directed.

I was out walking him and we needed newspapers.  I said "Lets go to the drive and get them then".

He did.  No muss and no fuss.

One of his favorite things in the world is a Ride In The Car!  As in I can't say it strongly enough in text how much he likes a Ride in The Car.  He loses his mind.  I have to tell him "Sorry, you get to stay home and watch the house, Rack" to get him to calm down if he is not coming along.  Otherwise he does "math" to figure out whether he's included if I go out.

The other morning, we went out for a walk an hour before sunrise.  That's normal.  I have a set route.  I have a set routine.  We know it well.  If I say "you need your leash" he goes to his crate and waits for me to get the thing or he will come back there if I am standing there and flip the harness over his nose in order to get me going.

We left the block and headed into the darkness to the little M.E. DePalma Park near the house.

I'm walking in my pre-dawn haze and all the sudden Rack is in front of me and won't move.

That is the herding dog signal for "Human, stop, danger is ahead".

Lettie did it once and there was a wild animal up ahead.  She would not allow me to go until danger was past.

In this case, Rack spotted something very strange.

A Foot.

In the flowers.

Yes, a foot. 

He told me I was not going somewhere until I acknowledged it.

"What the actual hell is this?"
Rack went Off Duty.

I realized it wasn't just a disembodied foot.
It was a body.

Then I realized from 10 feet away, literally, it wasn't a body, it was a person.   Male, under 40, about 5'10" in "Bar Clothes".

Snoring.

Smelling a thick haze of alcohol from down wind, I realized that it was a drunk who passed out in the flowers in the park.  He was about 1000 feet from the bars, staggered off, found the park and collapsed into a drunken heap.

Don't light a match, there will be an explosion level of Alcohol on the Wind. 

I muttered to myself "All a part of living in a tourist area", and then I touched the instep of his foot with my right boot.

Yes, bare foot.  His shoes had been knocked off and ended up somewhere else.  Maybe even back in the bar, who knows.

I have been trained in First Aid and maintained my certification for about 20 years.  There are courses for that and literally the first thing they tell you is that "You are under no obligation to act".

So I acted.

Actually the drunk groaned, pulled his foot away, and rolled over.  Made a rather nice pillow out of the flowers there and went back to snoring.

Sheesh, yet another drunk.

Rack realized the danger had passed, and I was just... well I realized I wasn't able to help him any more.

I left the guy to sleep it off.  It was an hour and a half to sunrise and I really didn't want to try to help hoist some guy to his feet so he could sleep it off.

Besides, the sprinklers are scheduled to come on shortly in that park.  If he hasn't awakened by then, the ground water would make sure he did.

"Rack come on, let him sleep it off."

We left.  Rack had gotten bored with it all.  The drunk was in what I felt was a safe place for the time being, and we had our own drama to finish with.

After all, you can't fix stupid. 

If you want to live your life like a Jimmy Buffett song where you "threw off your flip flops" in a park in South Florida, just make sure it's a safe spot to pass out.

We went on our way.   "Come on Rack let's go". 

Off we went.

My morning walk is a 30 minute loop around town.  We came, We saw, We watered a tree or three, and We came back.

But Rack, knew what I was saying when I said "Let's go to the park".  He took me right there.
The drunk tourist had moved on, as did the sprinklers.

When I said "Ok, we're done, lets go home and get you your food." He looked up at me.

"Hungry, boy?"  With a wag or three, he knew where to go.  Back home.  No more drunks, we're done.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Don't you hate it when they put a movie in between my TV adverts.

I seem to have picked up a couple food-oriented followers since lately I've been on a food bend.  The method and technology behind it all can be quite interesting, after all. 

Just tweak your process just a bit and you have a totally different dish.  That is especially obvious when cooking pork. 

You can go from BBQ Pulled Pork, which is one of my favorites, to shoe leather just in a matter of degrees of cooking.  

It used to be that you always had to cook pork well because the production methods in the US meant you had to cook out any nasties that were in the meat.  Since the farmers cleaned up their act, even the government has dropped the recommended temperature for cooking lean pork depending on the cut. 

I was researching recipes and found one that recommended 110F for a first cook of a pork chop in a crock pot, then follow up by a sear to bring internal temp to 135F and a rest to serve it at 140F. 

A bit surprising to me when you consider that I come from the generation that thought that a pork chop was meant to be shoe leather, and therefore we would pass.

A bit of a long lead in for a story about a pig farmer isn't it?



My buddy, who's a pig farmer, was having some marital troubles. His wife was threatening to leave him.

He called me up and asked my advice. I said "look I'm a chef, why don't I come over and cook you both an incredible breakfast from the produce from your farm, and we can talk things through over a delicious meal". He agreed and I headed over.

The breakfast was perfect, and the conversation was long but cathartic. They seemed to iron some issues out and I left the room a couple of times so they could be alone.

He eventually came out and said "thanks so much, I really think we've turned a corner after today. I don't have much to give you as a thank you, but as a token of my appreciation, please take this bag of salt-cured pork. "

I'm happy to say I saved his bacon.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

When someone says hold your horses... They’re telling you to be stable

I grew up in a large suburb.  It felt a bit sterile at times.
I moved to a large city.  It was nice but most certainly what you make of it.
Moving to what I consider a small town, It can be interesting.  It's not what you know, it's who you know.






Tom, fresh out of law school, got a job in a small town

The first day on the job he was shown around the town by his boss Paul. At the end of the tour he asked his boss where he could buy alcohol should he want any to which Paul replied: "Well, around here we make our own, have you ever tried moonshine?"

"No, but that's illegal, aren't you afraid of being caught?" asked Tom. "Everyone here does it, so we don't worry to much about that" Paul said.

Tom nodded to the grocery store where the manager was out front, "You're telling me he makes moonshine?" "Of course" replied Paul, "Where do you think we get our supplies?"

Tom pointed to the carshop nearby with a mechanic taking a smoke outside, "And he makes moonshine as well?" "Of course" replied Paul, "Who do you think sets up and repairs the equipment for us?"

Tom pointed to the bakery where a sweet old lady was making cookies, "What about her?" "Of course" replied Paul, "Who do you think made the recipe perfect?"

Amused, Tom pointed to the priest who was watering the front lawn of the church, "Surely the priest doesn't make moonshine?" "Of course" replied Paul, "Sunday School is where the young ones learn it. They're the biggest producers in town"

At that moment the Sheriff passed them in his patrol car, and Tom looked at Paul and asked "Of all people, the sheriff doesn't make moonshine does he? "No no no… Of course not." replied Paul. "He buys his from me".

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Skip The Stone, You Really Need a Pizza Steel For a Crispy Crust

I'm on a pizza "jag" lately.

Yesterday, Saturday, I made a pizza.  That in itself isn't all that out of the ordinary.  It was so good that I was requested to make yet-another one.

I tell people that I make the best pizza on the island, and that is not me breaking my own arm by patting myself on the back.  Of course it is a bit of a Co-Evolutional comment - I make what I consider the best pizza because it is what I like.

But.

I have also been making this since I was a teenager and constantly refining the results.  The first meal I ever made for someone else after moving out of Mom's House was a pizza for my then college roommate in the dorms at the university.   It's been onward and upwards ever since.

The crust and the sauce have their own recipes here on my blog.  A proper Neapolitan pizza is simple.  Crust, a sauce made of reduced tomatoes with minimal seasoning, mozzarella cheese, and cooked in a high temperature oven until the cheese just begins to toast.

Anything else is embellishment to your own personal standards.

But that temperature is important since you have to get the heat up high enough to basically toast the bottom, even fry it, and get a crispy bottom.

I hate a soggy bottom.

I have tried Pizza Stones and they don't stand up to my own abuse.   Since they are usually an un-glazed terracotta, the second time you use them, the water you used to clean it the last time begins to boil, expand, and it will begin it's journey to cracking.   I get about 3 uses out of a stone.

Living in Florida, keeping anything sterile is imperative since you don't want creatures coming in and dining off your cookware.   Ants, and worse.

So that Pizza Steel?

Yeah, that.

If you don't have one, or have an idea what it is, you can substitute an old school cast iron skillet.  I would say a minimum of 9 inches, 22 CM or so.

If my math is right.  Bigger if you have it.

The skillet must not have anything other than bare metal and "seasoning".  Plastic, Wood, non stick coatings are all forbidden.   You will be cooking your pizza as hot as you can get the oven, 500F/260C or more.   Even a backyard grill can be used.   Anything THAT hot will catch fire, burn, scorch.

Leave the "Teflon" and other coatings alone.   Oil your surfaces well.

But what is a Pizza Steel?

Simply put it is a cookie sheet sized sheet of cast iron that is as thick as grandma's cast iron skillet.   It is "bigger" than the skillet and that is the benefit.   It gives you the room to grow.    Room to roam and roll out your dough.

They are flexible, this isn't just a kitchen gadget that sits rusting in a corner until you want a pizza next month.  If they are large enough, a proper pizza steel can be used to make eggs, pancakes, and other items as a griddle.   They even benefit from the use since they need to be seasoned like any other cast iron implement with oil.

How I use mine?

First, I cheat.  I lay out aluminum foil on the steel to give me a work surface.   Removing the foil that is now marked up to size, I oil up the steel and the foil.  It's a bit overkill but I want to make sure the bottom of my crusts are nice and crispy, like a cracker.  If I have done it right, the pizza and the foil slide off the steel when I need them out of the oven, then the foil will allow the pizza to simply slide off the oil and corn meal like a cushion.

Second I use corn meal.   I dust the oiled aluminum foil with a generous layer of corn meal to give it a nice non stick surface.  That allows the pizza to roll off the foil like it is on a bed of ball bearings.

Third, I roll the crust out to size.  This is important because since I use a yeast-risen dough I have to give it time to rise.  Once to size, I slide the foil and crust back on top of the steel, close the oven and turn on the light.   Yes, cold oven.  One or Two hours later, the yeast has risen, the oven is a warm day by the sea for them, and you get a nice thickness.

Finally to cook the thing.   Slide the risen pizza crust onto an inverted cookie sheet and build your pizza.   Sauce, Cheese Mix, and Toppings.  My cheese comes premixed but I add more freshly grated Parmesan and a little Feta for sharpness.   Typically I add only Mushrooms and some chopped Basil on top but that varies.

The Pizza is now done, waiting to cook on the cookie sheet and foil.  The oven is closed and heated as hot as I can get it.  500F is the marking on the oven, but the oven's thermostat stopped being accurate well before we bought the house in 2006. 

Allow the oven time to come to temperature, and the thermal mass of all that cast iron in the Pizza Steel will take time to warm.   Allow a little extra time since you want that steel to be "good and hot".

When you are ready, you can put the Cookie Sheet next to the Steel and pick up the "leading edge" of the foil.  Slide that soon to be pizza onto the very hot pizza steel making very sure not to burn your hand.

At this point I have found in my own oven that 6 minutes at 500F Plus will give me the results I want - slightly caramelized and toasted cheese, a crispy bottom, and a wonderful meal.

Yes, I'm obsessed, but I do make the best pizza in town.  Yes, better than that shop.  And the one on the corner.  Oh and the sauce is better too. 

So there.  Good luck.  It just takes prep work.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Nose jokes stink but eye jokes are cornea

There is an art to finding jokes that are clean enough to tell in front of a general audience.  You know, when there are kids present, you don't want to be telling the more coarse stories and lose half of your audience.

Sure, the kids will get it but the parents will fah-reek out!

So I tend to specialize in "Dad Jokes" on the weekend.

When do you know a joke is a dad joke?
When the punchline becomes apparent.

When does the punchline become apparent?
After the delivery.





A young boy enters a barber shop.

The barber whispers to his customer, “This is the dumbest kid in the world. Watch while I prove it to you.”

The barber puts a dollar bill in one hand and two quarters in the other, then calls the boy over and asks, “Which do you want, son?” The boy takes the quarters and leaves.

“What did I tell you?” said the barber. “That kid never learns!”

Later, when the customer leaves, he sees the same young boy coming out of the ice cream parlor.

“Hey, son! May I ask you a question? Why did you take the quarters instead of the dollar bill?”

The boy licked his cone and replied:
“Because the day I take the dollar the game is over!”

Saturday, May 11, 2019

What does a clock do when it's hungry? It goes back four seconds.

So here's the deal with this one.  It's a pun.

Hate Puns?  They hate you too, but this one is a good one.   It got me laughing when I read it first, and read it again this morning.

I hope you enjoy it because I have pizza dough to make!  Yum. 

Here's your tasty story about Crows.


Crows aren’t so smart after all

The South Carolina Dept of Transportation found over 200 dead crows on highways recently, and there was a concern that they may have died from Avian Flu.

A Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone's relief, confirmed the problem was NOT Avian Flu.

The cause of death appeared to be from vehicular impacts.

However, during analysis it was noted that varying colours of paints appeared on the ...bird's beaks and claws.

By analysing these paint residues it was found that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with motorbikes, while only 2% were killed by cars.

The Agency then hired an Ornithological Behaviourist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of motorbike kills versus car kills.

The Ornithological Behaviourist quickly concluded that when crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow to warn of danger.

They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout "Cah", not a single one could shout "bike"

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Don't Let Your Fashion Choice Effect Us, Dress For That Workout And Leave The Spandex at Home

There's something called a shower thought.

Go take a shower and try not to think about this.  I'll wait.

Didn't work did it?

It's the mental equivalent to an ear-worm, a musical piece that gets locked into your mind on a loop.  "This is the song that never ends" is a good one.

My shower thought is that your fashion needs to not intrude on my space.

No, I don't mean the appropriate clothing that you see in appropriate places.  Australians call bathing suits on men "Budgie Smugglers because it looks like you stuffed a budgie, parakeet to those of us in Los Estados Unidos, down your shorts and are walking around with it down there.

There's another shower thought for you ...

Well, here's the deal.  I'm well known for getting up very early.   I have to force myself to stay in bed until after 5AM, an hour or two before sunrise here in South Florida.  It helps me get things done, and in fact I get more done before sunrise than many people do all day.

Yeah, seriously.

I got in the habit while working out.   The formerly asthmatic teen got into his 30s an athlete by running, then biking, then inline skating with everyone else who joined the fad.

Not a fad for me, I found that my long legs made this the sport I was built for. 

I could run a 10K but it would bore me and blow out my knees, and did so multiple times.

Biking?  I'd need to go 50 miles to get in the same workout I could do on skates in 30.  Besides, who wants to fight traffic for 50 miles when it is tough enough to do it for 30.

I learned full well that if I got up at 5, I could be at the park, Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, where the roads were closed on Weekends until Noon, and get in a workout from 6AM until.

But it was a shared resource.  Meaning you had to literally fight for space at times. 

The Nineties were a weird time.  People on Skates sharing the road with Bikers who demanded you be off "their" roads while they were making fashion statements in artificial fibers such as polyester and spandex.

Yeah we skaters and runners called them Spandex Wearing Freaks as they rode from the Art Museum to the Falls Bridge and back again over and over screaming at others to get off "their" roads.

So the bikers were in a pack.  5 to 50 of them in one large pack, getting their workout in while you had to fear for your life no matter what your workout was. 

Mom, don't bring the kid and stroller down to West River Drive.  It's just too unsafe.

But there's another problem with that. 

No, I don't mean the "Boob Walks" of people for a various charity walking 6 miles and feeling all chuffed because a penny on the dollar went to a Good Cause.

Oh, it's that ratio of return on investment that made that so laughable, not the fact that these boobs were out there walking to save the mud skippers or to publicize the use of cotton, or what ever cause they thought you needed to be involved in to the detriment of your weekend.

Penny on a dollar?  Yeah, I'll read to my own nephew instead, thanks.  If you ever are in Philly, the United Way has a better office than you ever will have.  The Palace On The Parkway for the Parasites On The Parkway. 

I will never...

You get 50 arrogant people on bikes riding 25MPH around people who they don't believe belong on THEIR planet, and a good proportion of them will be wearing workout clothes.

Spandex and Polyester, again.

Another reason why those boobs were laughable.

You see, Spandex, being a synthetic, will pick up your "funk" faster than if you pushed a nose into your "junk".

After 50 of them get going, and 25 or so are sweaty and getting "funky".  No, I don't mean in the good way as if it is a Parliament-Funkadelic song, I mean stanky.

Now, you are standing at that water fountain that is midway between The Art Museum and Falls Bridge and they're coming.  Taking over both the trail and the street, hauling their self-absorbed, and non absorbent selves past you at an unsafe speed.

Wait.  Oh about 30 seconds go by and you smell them passing by.

Hurl.

Well luckily most of the regular workout people know of this effect, but these rarefied people on Their streets, getting in Their workouts don't know that their stank is being passed onto those of us who are not participating.

Fast forward.

It's Present Day.  Or 20 years from now, assuming that those Rarefied Bikers are still wearing Spandex and other non natural fibers of course.

Stupid Sexy Flanders.

Actually it was this morning.  I was up at 5AM, on my walk and midway, I was on Wilton Drive.

I expect this won't be going on 20 years from now because the drive will be narrowed and not so convenient for people to cut through to get from point A to point B.

But for now... I really don't think they got the Memo.

I'm walking my boy Rack, the McNab SuperDog (TM) south on Wilton Drive.  An hour and a half before sunrise give or take a few.  I hear a familiar hissing sound of chain on gears and overly loud voices talking about some nonsense.  

After all, before 6AM, anything a loud voice says is bound to be nonsense.

I see a cluster of spandex wearing frea... er bikers coming my way. 

My PTSD Flashback to the late 90s comes to mind.

Yep.  Stanky Spandex Bikers pushing towards illegal speeds riding on Wilton Drive.   The decidedly rank scent of a bicycle rider who definitely needs to run through the shower and burn his spandex wafts on the little air that is moving predawn hits me.

No breezes, too many bikers, yep, it's a weird flashback brought forward to this day by someone whose hygiene is more equivalent to the homeless guy who they looked down their collective noses at when they rode through downtown Fort Lauderdale fifteen minutes and three miles ago.

So remember, fellow babies, friends don't let friends wear spandex in public.   What you do in your own house is your own business, but if you're going to stank up the trails, the rest of us are going to know it!

Oh and yoga stretch pants at the mall?  Yeah, we're looking at you too.   You really aren't as lean as you think.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

I was gonna make a joke about pancakes but it's pretty crepe.

Mexicans and Mayonnaise

Most people don't know that in 1912, Hellmann's mayonnaise was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to have been the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York.

This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico.

But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was lost forever.

The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so great that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day.

The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course, as Sinko de Mayo.



Especially appropriate today, May 5th.   Even if the day is a bigger deal here in the US than it is con mis amigos mexicanos. 

Tengo mi cerveza para mi almuerzo.  Y tu?

Saturday, May 4, 2019

A skeleton walks into a pub and he asks for a pint and a mop.

Ladies, I think you just may get a chuckle out of this one...



20-Year double-blind university study in Sweden on the effects of diet on sex drive

Have you heard about this new study?

Researchers in Sweden tracked 2,000 couples from the moment they first started dating out to twenty (20) years forward.

Obviously, most of the couples ended up getting divorced, but their behavior and health was still tracked throughout the study.

There were many interesting findings, all available in the Swedish Journal of Human Sexuality and Reproductive Health. Yet, the one that caught everyone’s attention was the effect one particular kind of food had almost exclusively on women.

Regardless if women ate a lot or just a few bites of this food, practically all women in the study, across all ages, ethnic backgrounds and controlling for other factors, exhibited significant increases in total body fat percentage and a simultaneous nearly total loss of their sex drive.

The culprit food? Wedding cake.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Distro Hopping is pointless because the Answer Is Always Debian

If you have an Axe, and you replace the handle.
Later you replace the blade.
Sharpen the blade again.
Chop the wood for the fireplace this winter.

But... Is it the same Axe?

There are indeed options.  Alternatives, even with computers.  That's what this is all about.

"This" is "Distrohopping".

Think of it as remodeling your computer instead of your bathroom - which is a very small area that results in your emptying your bank account into a small hole in the floor where all your money turns to sh... sewage.

Windows and Mac people don't really understand the concept, but it is more like the ultimate theme.

You see, I actually enjoy tweaking things on my computer.  I have the freedom to tweak away.  Change fonts, colors, even the entire way that the work flow happens on the thing.

I expect everything to just work.  Why not, I've got the tools.  I can change almost everything.

I stopped running Windows when I found out that Microsoft gave themselves the right to watch every little thing that I am doing on my computer.   Since they are not paying me for that right, I dumped Windows.

On the spot.  "F" that spyware.

Not completely sure how Mac fits in that, however I finally got the chance to play around with the Apple operating system and found its rigidity never fit with my innate curiosity.

So here I am on Linux.  Debian Linux to it's friends.  BSD People know what I am talking about when I refer to absolute control, so come close, little cousins, lets laugh at the normies.

I have a spare laptop.  Still quite useable, an i3 with 4 GB soldered in.  That is all it will ever be, and it was bequeathed to me when a friend passed.  So we shall call this machine David as a result, In His Honour.

David doesn't get used too much.  It is the slowest "i" machine I have here, but with the right operating system it will run quite fast enough to be useable.

By the right operating system, I mean a Distribution of Linux.  I did try a version of BSD called Nomad BSD that boots from a stick.  It says that it never touches your hardware, which is intriguing and it does show promise.

Since BSD is even less used than Linux in the home market (Less than 1% vs about 2-3%) it is inherently more secure due to "Security by Obscurity".

But I digress.

I run Debian Linux on my computers.  It is Utterly Stable.  As in that granite counter top that some have will chip before my Debian computer will crash.  Stability comes from the Debian Foundation testing the ever loving daylights out of it.  I got tired of instability along with Windows' snooping, and settled in on Debian.

Stability comes with older, more stable software due to all that testing, but it can be quite old to be on what is called "Debian Stable".  That is a problem for some people who want newer and more cutting edge software, but that is easily solved by installing "Debian Testing".  It's the last (arbitrary last) time Debian moved the "Unstable" version to save it off.

As of this date, Debian Testing is the "Release Candidate" for the next version of Debian.  I am running that every day on two computers.  Still stable, still no problems.

Since Testing is what many other foundations use for their own base to spawn off a software library for their own Distribution, Testing is much more stable than many other distributions efforts.

In fact, the largest distributions, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and many others are all derived from that.

Ok, enough background.

I wanted a change for David.  Ubuntu just recently went to their newest version called Disco Dingo, and since I still unironically listen to Classic Disco, I chuckled at that name and installed it.

Except it had no way to hibernate David.  David is also a laptop and a mere "suspend" is worthless.  Write the data to disc (or SSD in my case) and turn the thing off so you are not wearing out the batteries.

Ubuntu is the base for Linux Mint.  The hibernate issue is a requirement so any distribution without hibernate is a "Non-Starter" for me.  

Ubuntu?  Fix that.  It works in Debian Stable and Debian Testing.  You being arbitrary because "Some Systems May Crash So We Turned Hibernate Off" is an explanation on the order of having your child paint their younger sibling with Peanut Butter because they liked it.

It Does Not Work Because You Broke It, So Fix It.

That leaves Linux Mint off the table too as well as anything based on Ubuntu or derivatives including the alphabet soup of versions.

If you're counting, this is Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Linux Mint, plus some other newer distributions like MXLinux and a few others that the names slipped my mind.

Yes, I can install another version of linux on a laptop in 15 to 30 minutes while watching old bad sitcoms at night, and I have, and I got bored with it.

Another thing I require is a fast interface.  I settled on XFCE4 because it looks like the versions of windows, broadly, before they went insane and decided everything should be giant ugly blocks and resemble something like Legos On Acid.  

My usual configuration of XFCE4 looks like Windows 7 once I get through with it, Base fonts are usually something that looks like the London Underground with a font called "Gill Sans".

Helvetica and Arial, as fonts, both look like hell.  A Lower Case Letter L and an Upper Case Letter I should look very distinct.   With Helvetica, it does not.  It irks the daylights out of me, along with the strange spacing between the letters (Kerning) and other very subtle things that some people have grown used to without realizing it.

So after churning through the top ten Debian Derived Distros, I tried CentOS.  It's a Community Based option that is the shared version of the same software that runs on all the servers.  At least all the Linux Based ones that aren't running Debian.

It was what I started with on Linux around 2000, give or take a few years.  I had a Pentium 3 Mobile laptop that I kept on the couch in my house in Philly down in the living room that was still useable in 2013 or so when CentOS dropped all support for that particular version.  Centos 3 I think.  Maybe Centos 4.  I forget.

But, CentOS is not geared towards you - or me.

It's a place to rest my head.  To hang my Skating Helmet I guess.  You see, while it is a Server Operating System, and I could do some serious web development on that little computer, it has a major problem.

The last version of CentOS 7 was announced, and while they have a long term support for it, they do not have an upgrade path for it.

Even Windows 2000 had an upgrade that you could run to get to XP, 7, 8 (ick), 8.1 (UGLY still) and that obscene spyware that is called Windows 10.

So it's a stop gap.  I wanted something different.  I'll continue all that searching later.

The laptop runs well on Centos but it won't stay there.  I'm considering a BSD for it, but not just yet.

The other problem I have with Centos is that it uses a different piece of software to install software called YUM.  They also have a newer package manager, but it also has the same problem that I see and it's called Dependency Hell.

It is what happens when you get a circular reference while installing software.

A game is written.  It needs something to manage the way a sprite works or how it gets information into it.  That is in a library.  It requires a very specific version.  So installing the game requires you install both, Manually. 

By Hand.

But... Debian (any version) does not require that.  The Debian Foundation made very sure that it just works.

Period.

So why fuss with YUM (or DNF) and Dependency Hell.

Especially when Debian has the same software library that everybody else has and I can install what I like on it.

All that just proved what the meme says.  When installing Linux, if you have any questions:

"The Answer Is Always Debian"

Seriously, anything I want for the home, for a server, for a laptop, The Answer Is Always Debian.
  • Server to write web pages?  LAMP using Debian.
  • Wordpress Server?   LAMP with Wordpress using Debian.
  • Graphics Work?  Debian.  In fact, it comes out of the box with Inkscape for vector grapics and GIMP for very fine photoshop work, as well as Krita and others.
  • How about Video Processing?  Debian.  Install Flowblade for Video Editing, Handbrake for Transcoding.
  • Um...Word or Excel and the rest of Office?  Debian.  Libre Office is extremely stable.
  • An old Windows Program?  Debian.  Add WINE and you can run some, but not all, Windows programs once you figure out the configuration.
  • File Server?  Debian, install and configure Samba.
  • Learn Spanish? Watch Video? Listen to the Radio?  Debian.  Doing all that right now.
  • How about DOS?  Debian.  DOS Box works great.
Haven't you got this down yet?  

Actually the exception people always bring up is Windows Games.  Some of them run on WINE, others via Steam.  I don't play those.  Too busy, just check that list above and ... you get the picture - with graphics, labels, and effects added.

I won't go on here.  I have a feeling that little machine, David, will eventually end up with Sid, because Debian Sid is cutting edge, more up to date than Ubuntu or what ever flavor of the month that people are enamored with on this week, and because it is a Debian flavor, it will be more stable than you should expect.

Just be aware when they upgrade software, it could break.  All the names for the different versions of Debian are from the movies Toy Story.  Sid is the neighbor kid that breaks all the toys.  Debian Sid could break your toy (computer) so do a backup before you proceed with an update or an upgrade.

Yes, even Debian Stable should be backed up, and I do it once a week.  After all I do author content, like this blather.

Yes, you should too, even if your preferred "distro" is Windows.
Even you Windows people.

Ick.

So I ended up going full circle.  I started on Centos, went "elsewhere" and put Centos on David.  I will get frustrated with it when I can't play FreeCiv because I can't find some obscure library because YUM (or DNF) is not very tasty.  I'll eventually give in and install Debian Sid, type in sudo apt install freeciv, it will install, it will work because:

The Answer is Always Debian.

So why did I distro hop again?  Because I have the memory sticks and the time to actually "Play with" my computers instead of "Play on" them!