Sunday, June 23, 2019

I got a new dry erase board at work. It's remarkable!

You really do have to be careful when you speak. 


While I try, I have managed to confuse myself in two languages.

This is one of those stories.





Two students are late for school, so their teacher sends them to the principal's office.

The first boy enters and sits down. The principal asks him why he was late, to which the boy responds, "I was throwing sticks in the lake." The principal, new at the school, thinks to himself, "Boy, this school sure is strict - that's not really worth an offense worth going to the principal's office over. Heck, I loved doing things like that when I was a kid!" Pretending to be dead serious so that the boy might shape up a little, he slowly says, "Well, knock it off and get to class on time from now on. You won't get off as easy if I see you back in here after this." The boy furiously nods his head and practically sprints out of the office.

As soon as the door closes, the other boy comes in after him and sits down in front of the principal's desk. The principal asks him why he's late, and he gives the exact same response - he was throwing sticks in the lake. A bit annoyed now, but understanding that the boys were just enjoying themselves together, and reminiscing on his own youth, the principal tells him, "I'll let you off the hook this time, but go to class and come to school on time. You're here to learn - don't squander your opportunities by goofing off." The student, now red in the face, gives a faint "Yes" and leaves the office. Satisfied, the principal smiles, leans back in his chair, and thinks to himself, "These kids aren't so bad. I think I'll like it here."

No sooner than the instant he finishes that thought, the door swings open for a third time, and a boy who looks to be about as old as the other two slowly walks into the office, soaking wet, completely disheveled and tracking mud everywhere he steps. He gets to the chair the other students sat at before him, angrily grumbles to himself, and sits down in a huff, furiously staring at the tiled floor. The principal, a bit fed up at this point, but still not wanting to be overly harsh, jokingly says, "Let me guess: throwing sticks in the lake with your friends, and you bit off a little more than you could chew?"

The boy, seething, snaps, "No - I'm Sticks."

Saturday, June 22, 2019

A toothpick saw a hedgehog. “Oh wow, a bus.” It says.

See, when you need help, sometimes you just get someone to show up just at the nick of time.




So my mom decided to sell her house, but she’d always promised she’d get the boulder out of her front yard.

It was an eyesore, but she couldn’t handle it herself. I was still in college, so on a long weekend, I loaded all the guys I could in my car, drove the 11 hours home.

We borrowed a truck, backed it right up, and tried to lift it. We couldn’t move it.

So I called in all the old high school friends I could reach. It still wouldn’t budge.

So we get scientific, try to wedge a metal beam from the garage under it, and slip an old tool chest in as a fulcrum, hoping to pry it loose.

The beam bends, and the tool chest actually snaps.

By now, it’s been a few hours, most of the group is ready to give up, and the pizza and drinks I’d offered and running out, when I see Nate pull in next door.
He was our neighbor’s son, rarely showed up to visit her, but felt like a godsend at that moment.

I convinced myself one more man would make a difference, which seems a little less crazy when you know Nate.
He’s 6’8", and pure muscle.
He holds back when shaking hands so he doesn’t hurt people, and still feels like he’s going to crush you hand.
He grabbed me by the arm to pull me out of the way of a speeding car once, and they had to put the arm in a cast, because his grip broke it.
Saved my life at least.
Plus, Nate is a landscaper, and I figured he might have trick to help us.

So I thought with everyone and Nate, we got this. I ask Nate for help with the boulder, start waving everyone else over.

Only Nate doesn’t wait for us.

He just grabs the boulder and pops it up into the truck.

And that’s how I learned a valuable lesson: better Nate than lever.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Meet Mothra, My Mystery Moth

I keep telling those folks Up North that Florida has weird wildlife.

Ball Pythons and other snakes in the Everglades.
Iguanas grazing in my backyard.
Those damn Muscovy Ducks all over the place.

This is much more benign.

I've grown accustomed to seeing large flocks of birds around town.  Green parrots shrieking at Dawn and Sunset call to flock.  Flocks of white Snowy Egrets hunting for grubs in the yards around here and sometimes standing on the roof of a car from time to time. 

So when I see large things flapping around my front yard, I tend to only give them passing notice. 

It rained for a couple days straight this week.  The first sunny day we have Zebra Mosquitoes that can carry you off.  The second one it's the dance of the Dragonflies that dine on those evil creatures.  All the while it's Zebra and Swallowtail Butterflies and my Monarch Butterflies dining on the flowers.

This was a bit of a shock.

Moths in my mind are wee little coin sized creatures.   They silently fly around eating things that they can get at but are never too numerous.  It isn't a case of running for the hills, it's more like, "Oh. There's a Moth."

I thought there was yet-another bird confused and fluttering on the front porch. 

Nope.  I finally looked up from my Big Green Chair where I was practicing my Spanish and taking tests and I saw this total Unit of a Moth.

I mean huge.

As in the size of your hand.  Flip your hand over and look at the palm.  Then have your fingers touch each other at the outstretched flat tips. 

Six inches, 15 CM of absolute moth. 

I have never seen a beast like this.

I allowed its privacy while it could probably see me.

Buenos tardes, senor, como estas?
Good afternoon Mr Moth.

Or Mrs, I don't know how to tell.

I did get curious, so next trip off my perch, I walked out front with the camera and did the tourist thing.

It visited me for a day and a half and one moment it was gone.  Flapped its bird sized wings and flew off into the Florida Sunset.

Sipping my Iced Tea.  "Weird freaky wildlife we've got here.  Most of it is introduced.  That's a story for another day."

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Why can’t a bicycle stand on its own ? Because it’s two tired.

After a burglary a store owner calls the police. After they arrive one officer takes the owner aside to ask about what happened:

"How tall was the perp'", the officer asked. "He was about six foot", the owner replied.

"Did he have any distinguishing characteristics?" "Well, he did have a large mole on his cheek."

"Interesting. What was he wearing?" "He was wearing a suit."

"A suit, you say? What was his demeanor like?", the officer continued. "I can't really say."

Suddenly the officer got out his ticket book. "I hate to do this, but I'm going to have to write you a ticket."

"Why?" The store owner looked at him in shock.

"Well, it's the missed demeanor of course."




And two Boomerang one liners since I don't know what to do with them!


What do you call a boomerang that doesn't come back?  A stick.
One day I forgot how to throw a boomerang but then it hit me!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

What do you call a confused pig? Hamboozled.

Sitting watching an early morning rain,  wondering if the city will get its Pride celebration off the ground or will it be washed out.




Not that you have to be involved at any level but when a Pride Celebration is scheduled for a place just two blocks away from your living room, you will have a party. 



Or you just can sit in and let others have fun.



As for me, I have been tasked with making Lunch today, so it's going to be a very very busy day.  

...If I can get that dough started!

Whatever you do today, hopefully it will be Positive, Uplifting, and Proud.  

Enjoy yourself, no matter what.




Three men walking in a desert

Three men are walking in a desert when they stumble across a wizard next to a magical slide ‘Slide down this ride shout out the name of your favorite drink’ the wizard commands

The three men question his logic but never the less the first man climbs to the top of the slide and begins to slide down ‘Coke’ the man shouts and to his amazement he winds up in a pool of coke The second man is already at the top as he slides down he yells ‘Fanta’ and he too ends up in a pool of his favorite beverage.

The last man is up at the top of the slide is is a lot dumber then his comrades and is known for being idiotic sooooo when he is sliding down forgetting about what he is doing and enjoying himself he screams ‘weeeeeeeeeee’

Splash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well I don’t know what you were expecting

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Raspberry Pi - How to clone your boot chip and backup your system

Basically, I came to the conclusion that I needed to use my Linux Desktop to do a clone of my Raspberry Pi.  Windows has different tools, Mac has some of the same tools and I believe dd is available under terminal. 

I'm not a Mac or Windows Guy, I use Debian Linux, exclusively.

The lay of the land is
  • Host Computer running Linux
  • Sufficient space on the internal hard drive
  • A chip reader to connect the chip to the USB chain of the host computer

So you have a credit card sized computer.  The little computer that could.

You decided to do some things to it and perhaps got your feet wet using Linux.

Good for you.  That's one good use for a Raspberry Pi.

It's a machine that is best used for learning.  Doing weird projects like you see all over the place. 

I have the second "use case" for it here.  It's a great Print Server.  I turn it on, my Linux desktop sees it, and I can print to it.

All that requires some customization of the machine, installing CUPS, maybe some other things like using it as a small data server with SAMBA.

You got your machine stable but did you back it up?

After all, if you're playing with RTL-SDR and want to look at some amateur radio using the Pi to serve the radio out from where the antenna is, it will take more customization that you won't want to lose.

Ok, so since the Raspberry Pi can run off a couple rechargeable batteries or a wall wart, it's getting put out in the shed and is now nice and stable but the second situation comes to mind for backing it up.

Debian and Raspbian will be upgraded to the next version "very soon".  There's no rush for that, the old stable will be maintained for a few years, I mean Linux isn't managed like Windows is, is it?

Even though the next version, Testing, is stable enough to use as a daily driver like I do, you really do want to back that machine before you upgrade in case you do it wrong.

One final reason to back up is that the Raspberry Pi occasionally corrupts the litlle SDHC chip that has the Operating System on it due to static electricity, power pops and so forth.  That is how the hardware is constructed, you can't avoid power instability without filters or battery backups.

Get the picture?

Here is how I do a backup, and when I am done, I have an .ISO file that I can write out to a different chip.

  • First shut down and power off the Pi.
  • Remove the Pi's Boot Chip and put it in your USB Chip Reader.
  • Make sure your Linux Host Computer is turned on, and booted.
  • Navigate to the directory you want to store your .ISO image with Terminal under Root.
  • Plug the USB Chip Reader with the chip into the USB Port.
  • From the Root Prompt run "dmesg".  dmesg will scroll very quickly all the console information, but what you are looking for is a message that says that you plugged in something to /dev/sdb or similar.  In my case, it came up on /dev/sdd .  The messages that I got when I plugged the chip in are below.
[132387.203934] usb 3-2: new SuperSpeed Gen 1 USB device number 8 using xhci_hcd
[132387.224573] usb 3-2: New USB device found, idVendor=05e3, idProduct=0749, bcdDevice=15.32
[132387.224577] usb 3-2: New USB device strings: Mfr=3, Product=4, SerialNumber=2
[132387.224579] usb 3-2: Product: USB3.0 Card Reader
[132387.224580] usb 3-2: Manufacturer: Generic
[132387.224582] usb 3-2: SerialNumber: 000000001532
[132387.227673] usb-storage 3-2:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected
[132387.263161] scsi host2: usb-storage 3-2:1.0
[132388.282897] scsi 2:0:0:0: Direct-Access     Generic  STORAGE DEVICE   1532 PQ: 0 ANSI: 6
[132388.286984] sd 2:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg3 type 0
[132388.679099] sd 2:0:0:0: [sdd] 31116288 512-byte logical blocks: (15.9 GB/14.8 GiB)
[132388.679447] sd 2:0:0:0: [sdd] Write Protect is off
[132388.679450] sd 2:0:0:0: [sdd] Mode Sense: 21 00 00 00
[132388.679775] sd 2:0:0:0: [sdd] Write cache: disabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA
[132388.686945]  sdd: sdd1 sdd2 < sdd5 sdd6 sdd7 >
[132388.688860] sd 2:0:0:0: [sdd] Attached SCSI removable disk


  • The command to do the backup is a simple dd command.  This command will be creating a file called raspberrypibackup.iso in the present working directory.  Assuming your linux host saw the USB stick as /dev/sdb the command is following:

          dd if=/dev/sdb of=raspberrypibackup.iso conv=noerror,sync status=progress

Really that is it.  Just issue that command, walk away.  It took about an hour for me to do this al, plenty of time to do something else.

Or just go have a coffee.

When it is complete you will have your backup ISO and you can copy that back out to a chip or just leave the file on your hard disc as an archive.

The restore is the same dd command with the if and of parameters swapped:

          dd if=raspberrypibackup.iso of=/dev/sdb conv=noerror,sync status=progress

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Two men walk into a bar. You would think the second one would have seen it coming.





Love Drunk People

A man and his wife are awakened at 3 a.m. by a loud pounding on the door. The man gets up and goes to the door where a drunken stranger, standing in the pouring rain, is asking for a push.

'Not a chance,' says the husband 'it's three in the morning!' He slams the door and returns to bed.

'Who was that?' asks his wife.

'Just some drunk guy asking for a push,' he answers.

'Did you help him?' she asks.

'No, I did not, its three in the morning and its pouring with rain out there!'.

'Well you do have a short memory,' says his wife. 'Cant you remember about three months ago when we broke down, and those two guys helped us? I think you should help him, and you should be ashamed of yourself!'

The man does as he is told, gets dressed, and goes out into the pouring rain.

He calls out into the dark, 'Hello, are you still there?'

'Yes,' comes back the answer.

'Do you still need a push?' calls out the husband.

'Yes, please!' comes the reply from the dark.

'Where are you?' asks the husband.

'Over here on the swing,' replies the drunk.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

A family member told me that my sausage puns are dreadful but I've told wurst.

I can't think of a better topic for today.  Lunch I will be grilling some Sweet Italian Sausage.  Pork of course. 

Like Anthony Bourdain says, Pork is a gift from God.


Now Hiring

A dog sees a "Now hiring" poster outside of a computer store. The poster reads:
"Must be able to type. Must be able to program. And must be bilingual. We are an equal opportunity employer."


The dog takes the poster in his mouth, and walks in. The manager spots the dog, and decides to humour it, pulling up a chair and a computer with a word processor. "Alright, if you want to work here, you need to first write a letter," and leaves the room.

30 minutes later, he comes back in, and the dog has typed out a completely error-free letter.

"Well, I'll be. This is a smart dog. But can he program?" he asks himself.
20 minutes pass, and the dog has made a perfectly running website for the store.

He looks, shocked, at the dog, and finally speaks. "Look, I know you have the qualifications, but, well... you're a dog."
The dog nudges the words "We are an equal opportunity employer." on the poster, and the manager sighs.

"There's no way you're bilingual."
The dog looks him in the eyes, and says, "Meow."

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Radar O'Reilly Taught Me, I Taught My Dog Rack

Back when it was on the first time, it was a massively popular TV show.

Even today it is heavily watched on some of those channels that specializes in old shows.

The last episode of MASH was watched by half of the TVs tuned at the moment.  If your neighbor was watching something else, you were watching MASH.

I watched a fair amount of the show over the years.  I had friends who were active duty military, and one in specific that served in Korea.  I couldn't tell you what he did over there since he closed up when he came home.  He told me very clearly that there was an ongoing "shooting war" over there at the time, but it isn't publicized.

I did watch enough MASH to have picked up some of the jargon of the shows, and use some of it to this day.  If something looks confused I quote Radar O'Reilly by saying "It doesn't look like Mom's Nash".

One other thing I got in the habit of saying was "Incoming!" when someone was approaching.  The house, me, doesn't matter.  I'd fire off "Incoming" and usually whoever I was with would realize that we're about to be joined.

Well.  That someone does not have to be two legged.

Rack.  My "Respect The Process" furry tape recorder who knows that I am going out to the back yard at 7:30 AM for Yard Inspection because I either move my feet from the ottoman or I put the wireless keyboard on the table.  He's learned the secret of "Incoming!".

Actually he's learned all too well.

You see if I say "Incoming!" He trots over to the large hurricane glass front door window and starts grumbling if he sees someone.   If he likes the person, or dog, he'll stand there and whine or wag his tail.

It's become a game.   Not teasing the dog, that is, but seeing just exactly what he will go on alert at the front door with.

Sure, Radar has trained me, and I have trained the dog, but the dog has also trained us back.

I've learned that if I say Hello like I'm actually greeting someone at the door, he does an Incoming! alert regardless.

Too bad because I have a habit of talking at my computer as well and Rack isn't that selective.

Incoming!, Hello, OK, Who's that?, and quite a few others will get him up off his mat and to the door.  Just don't use those words in conversation, especially if he's asleep.

So the other night I was actually watching MASH.  We found it, and are watching the series from Season 1 Episode 1, at the rate of a couple episodes a week.

In the very first episode though, Hilarity Ensued.

Out on the street in front of the house was someone walking their dog, and someone else across the street.  Rack didn't know any of them.

He didn't care, he had fallen asleep, next to my chair.  The picture of Domestic Bliss, I sat on my big green chair in the corner of the room, and Rack snored.

As the show introduced characters, Radar O'Reilly was there, and said "Incoming!".  As they explained on the TV what that meant to them, get ready for incoming choppers and some busy hours, My Dog Went into Action.

Dingus.

He stood up, and went on full alert, barking the sleep away.

"WOO WOO WOO..."
I said, laughing, "Rack, Shaddap, go look!"

He ripped tires across the living room scrabbling for purchase and traction.  Four paws does not mean Four Wheel Drive sure footedness.

He collided with the coffee table, knocking a few papers into the air.

At this point we were all just kind of in shock laughing away as he slipped around to the door.  It was really only about a few heartbeats.

The Choppers were landing, Hawkeye and Trapper John were getting prepped for surgery.

Rack spotted the Interlopers, and went full stupid.

"WOO WOO WOO..."
I said "Damnit, you're a McNab not a yapper, shaddap!"

He started to calm down to a grumble with "MROWMROWmrow mlum mlum" coming from the front door.

The people on the street looked at the door from 50 feet off or so confused as to why he was being so radical, and began to disperse.

"Rack, Enough!"

He finally went quiet and off to the mat to repeat.

All this because a 30 or so year old TV show went to make a plot point.

So I'll ask you.  If you do come by for a visit, try not to use "Incoming!".  Or "Hello" or "OK"...

Or never mind, he's got to learn not to overreact.

But that Doorbell?  It's off limits, OK?

"WOO WOO WOO!!!!"


Sunday, June 2, 2019

What type of tea is not in outer space? Gravitea!

This is one of those stories that I was told years ago.  I am pretty sure it was told by a teacher in the university trying to explain something deep to us and realizing he was losing us, he segued into this story.




But yes, it's a good point.



First-year students at Med School were receiving their first anatomy class with a real dead human body.

They all gathered around the surgery table with the body covered with a white sheet. The professor started the class by telling them,

"In medicine, it is necessary to have 2 important qualities as a doctor: The first is that you not be disgusted by anything involving the human body." As an example, the Professor pulled back the sheet, stuck his finger in the butt of the corpse, withdrew it, and stuck his finger in his mouth.

Go ahead and do the same thing," he told his students. The students freaked out, hesitated for several minutes, but eventually took turns sticking a finger in the butt of the dead body and sucking on it.

When everyone finished, the Professor looked at them and told them: "The second most important quality is observation. I stuck in my middle finger and sucked on my index finger.

Now, "LEARN TO PAY ATTENTION!"