Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Debian may be stable, but that doesn't mean I have to be. "touch /forcefsck" will help.

I started the day the way I ended the last one, cursing at a laptop.

You see, If you are running Windows on your personal computer, a lot of the control has been slowly taken from you until Microsoft has turned something that was once a long time ago a hobby machine, into an appliance.

The Mac never really was anything but an appliance.  Do as we say, stay in our little walled garden, and walk in lock step while pretending you have freedom.  Draw your pictures and enjoy.

I run Linux.  There really are no rules.  You have a computer, in my case an older one that is a hand me down from corporate life.  You push the Windows install away, and you take the control back. 

The design philosophy is drastically different.  You have control.  Free will, really.  So you find an acceptable level of risk that fits your capabilities, your knowledge, and you make your own decisions.  This implies you will make mistakes along the way.  You will break things.  It's not always a comfortable ride, although it can be.

I use a version of the operating system called Debian.  In its Stable form, it is one of the most comfortable and competent pieces of software you will ever experience.  It is the warm comforter on a cold night with a nice mug of hot chocolate and a Labrador retriever sitting by your side.  It simply does not break.  Oh sure, it is known to be a bit older, but that software being older has its benefits.  Stability. 

It's the air cooled VW Beetle of your dreams, or in my case that 2002 Jeep Wrangler that is sitting in the driveway with no rust and no check engine light.  I'm proud of that, really.  I mean who has a 22 year old car that is worth $15K without really trying?

On the other hand, I've turned this island of stability into a rowdy puppy.  With the Zoomies.  Colliding into the china cabinet and breaking dishes.

How?  I turned it into "Testing Debian".  Now keep in mind, Debian anything is more stable than most.  There are companies that have based their entire existence on running something that is called "Testing" by one of the most careful and conservative organizations in the Linux world. 

Where Windows and the Mac are all hush-hush and closed source, if I had a mind to, I could get the actual code that built the software my computer runs on and build my own version.  Create my own distribution.  There are a large number of computer companies that do just that.

But, things sometimes go awry.  Hence my bad night and day.  Something has been lingering and I tried to force it.  I ended up in a "Dependency Hell" where one piece of software was depending on another to run at a low level within the computer's library of software. 

Didn't work.  I gave up just after breakfast and did something I did not want to do - I restored the computer from a backup.

And that's the moral of the story.   Always have a complete back up of your computer.  I did.  A clone of my hard drive.  Why not?  Memory is cheap these days, and I set the machine to do a full and complete backup on Sunday night so on Monday morning, I can update the thing on my own time.

Yes, Windows users, I can tell my machine to do things on my own schedule even if the thing is not going to work right once I am done. 

Windows Update be damned, I'm flying by the seat of my pants.

That is how my Jeep got its wheels cleaned.  Start the restore, then get bored.  I went outside and cleaned the car while the "dd" copy was working.

"dd"?  Originally meant Disk Dump, but I have used it like Disk Destroyer before.

Jeep has the wheels cleaned, windows washed, and I have a 22 year old car that the check engine light is now turned off.  Not every Jeep Wrangler (2002 TJ) Owner can say that.

The Computer?  I'm back on it, as you can see.  Feet up on the couch creating a divot on the arm just like always.

On the other hand the version of Debian will tick over so the Testing version I am on becomes "Stable" in summer.  Until then, I just run in parallel like I am here.  Encrypted hard drive, testing operating system, and all.

Had I had any sort of a command prompt I'd look for the following:

From the command prompt, make sure your encrypted disk is at least readable.  Mine was not, it booted directly into the Bios which meant I was stuffed.

In /dev/mapper there are files pointing to your encrypted hard disks. 

fsck -y /dev/mapper/ (your disk names)

Then try a reboot.  If you are successful you will end up at your normal desktop.  If not, find your back up drive and do a restore.

You did do a backup right?

Ok, now that you are back, this command will force a fsck (file system check) on your hard drives when you reboot next time. 

sudo touch /forcefsck

Sunday, February 25, 2024

What did they yell at Edgar Allen Poe to stop him from walking into the oak? Poetry!

 A little Canadian Content.  I started the day listening to the news on CBC Radio 1, via the internet.  I'd rather be using one of my shortwave radios, but here in South Florida in this day and age, it's very doubtful that can happen.

A couple were driving through Canada on their way out west.

After a while it became clear they had made a wrong turn and got lost. The wife consulted the road map but couldn't figure out where they were. They were driving along a rural road when they saw a farmer standing by the road.

"I'll pull over and see if he can help," the husband says.

He gets out of the car and asks the farmer "My wife and I seem to have taken a wrong turn. Can you tell me where we are?"

"Saskatoon, Saskatchewan," the farmer replies.

The husband gets back in the car.

"Well, where are we?" the wife asks.

"I don't know. He doesn't speak English," the husband replies.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

I used to be a baker but I couldn't make enough dough.

So last week was sourdough, this week's topic is a really good brioche?

Oh and if you fry it, it makes an amazing yeast risen donut, but don't come crying to me that your belt is getting too tight!

(Trust me, that is an awesome recipe) But now onto today's story...


So one morning a guy walks into a pet store. He tells the pet store owner "I want a pet but I want one that is utilitarian, and can help me do things. I am single and would love some extra help." The pet store owner says "you need a centipede. They will do anything. They are very loyal and understand instruction."

He takes home a centipede. Later, around noon the guy is relaxing in his recliner, the centipede is hanging out on the couch, the guys says "centipede, clean the living room." Within minutes the living room is spotless. A little bit later, the guy says "centipede, fix me a sandwich for lunch." The centipede goes into the kitchen and within minutes has a nicely constructed sandwich before the owner.

As the man starts to eat his sandwich, he realizes he has nothing to drink. He says "centipede, go to the end of the block, to the store and get me a soda." The centipede walks out of the house. An hour passes and the centipede is nowhere to be found. Knowing that the store is only a block away the man gets worried and decides to go find the centipede.

When the man opens his front door he sees the centipede on his front porch. The man says "Where have you been? I told you an hour ago to get me a soda? " The centipede says "Hey man, I am putting on my shoes."

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Rack, The Vet Said You Can Walk, It Doesn't Mean You HAVE To Sniff EVERYTHING!

 I admit it.  The short walks were annoying.

I'm from Philadelphia (Area).  We walk EVERYWHERE.  I am one of the few people who has actually worn more than one pair of sneakers through the sole to the cardboard on the sub-sole below it.  Above it?  I'm not sure.  You think that through.  The ball of the foot, the heel, I know where my step is because of where the shoes are worn through.

Others from the Philadelphia (Area) are welcome to sit on the bench.  A Typical Day for me is to walk 3 miles (5 Km) plus.  I learned that at the time Philadelphia was the fattest city in the nation while I was in the middle of a set on the Pec Deck on Nautilus.  I laughed at the irony and continued my set.

When I was told that we had to walk Rack only short distances, he's on No Tail Wagging Rest, I was confused.  It took a visit to the vet and get growled at by staff to change things. 

Rack has his stitches out.  He has a pink spot "on his butt" where they were, and he has fur growing back.  But he is back to being allowed to walk "normally".  Which means now I have my walking partner back and can just "go".

So that day I did my usual 3 Miles or so.  Every damn tree.  "Come on, Boy, you already sniffed that plant!"

Oh wait, it's been two weeks, a couple downpours, a "micro-burst" of a tornado and a lot of weather in the interim.  New dogs, new things to sniff.  Even most of the flowers from the blooming Mango trees have been blown down.

*grumble* Well, at least we can get a proper walk in!

I know we're now on Perpetual Hospice.  We'll never know until it happens whether we got all the cancer out.  But for now, it's back to "normal".  It's not just a setting on the washer, it's a comfortable routine.

I guess I am lucky that I don't live "Out West" where The McNab Dogs roam.  They're smart enough to know that indoors is where the beds are warm, and the couches are comfy so many McNabs just walk away from the farm and "get lost" by their choice.  I'd have a pack of them.  Regardless of what the Ranchers say, there are some McNabs that are Working Dogs In Name Only.

Except... those Working Dogs will find their own Job.  Mine has us.  That's just fine.  He fits in well with our lives.  Even if I have to clean up after him after two solid weeks of changing him into Doggy Depends diapers and he's got the Cone Of Healing on now, it is nice not to have to be on High Alert.

We'll take that and run with it.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Sourdough is like regular dough except it holds grudges and hates seeing other doughs become successful.

 I have tried, oh my have I tried.  My Sourdough Mother never quite turns out right.  *pout*.  I guess conditions aren't quite right.


A nun woke up one morning feeling great, she got out of bed and decided to go to the kitchen for some breakfast.
On her way over there she runs into sister Jane and she says, "Hi sister Jane,"
by which sister Jane says, "I see you got off on the wrong side of the bed sister.

She did not understand what sister Jane meant by that so she ignored it and went on.

She was passing by the garden when she ran into sister Roberta and she says, "Good morning sister Roberta I am having a great day."
Sister Roberta says, "I see you got off on the wrong side of the bed."

The nun was wondering why everybody she met kept saying that when she felt great so she decides to go and see mother superior.
She asks mother superior, "Everybody keeps telling me that I got off on the wrong side of the bed when I feel great and...

Mother superior says,"That is because you have brother Johns shoes on."

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Why didn’t Han Solo enjoy his steak dinner? It was Chewie.

After reading many stories all based on what we think a Genie would do, or what the results would be had we encountered one - and granted Genies don't exist - I think the best way to handle things is to just walk away.. 

But that's boring and safe, right?   You wouldn't do that nor would I but hey it is safe!

Three Men Find a Genie

Three men were walking along the street when one of them spotted an old lamp on the side of the road. Picking it up and rubbing it they were surprised to find a genie appear.
"You get one wish," The genie said. "I offer wealth, wisdom or power."
"I choose wealth." Said the first man.
"I choose power," said the second.
"I choose wisdom," said the third.

Many years later the men met again at a diner to discuss the results of their wishes.
The first man spoke. "I wish I chose power," he said. "I had money but I was robbed and it was all stolen."
The second man spoke. "I wish I chose wisdom," he said regretfully. "I had power but was betrayed by the people I trusted and lost it all."
The third man spoke. "I wish I had money. Do you know how hard it is to get paid for telling people how to actually solve their problems?"
Then all of them realized that none of the others had any cash and they ran off without paying the bill, but the wise man took off running first.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Sedation Reaction In Dogs - Run Run Run Thump is Not Far From True


Rack was diagnosed with Cancer.  Left side of the tail Gland, and while you may raise an eyebrow at that, it is where it happened.  I don't want the search results to be ruined by using the clinical term for the location of it, and for this discussion, it's not completely required.

Just think of Expressing That Gland In The Butt.  On the left, specifically.  If you mention that line to a vet or a vet tech they will tell you exactly which gland.

He went in and the surgeon believes that he got all the cancer out, which is the best you can hope for in a 12 year old McNab SuperDog (TM).  That does not give me a prognosis.  It only puts Rack on something that I describe as Permanent Hospice Care since he could easily live 16 years or more, or just 16 weeks more. 


(For dramatic emphasis.)

Anyway, what happened is that Rack has always been tough to sedate.  As in he's been stitched back together when a pit bull attacked him standing rigid on a table full of meds.  Three times the expected rate of sedation for a normal dog of his size.  He simply did not go to sleep. 

And before you get on me for Breed Specific Behavior - it was a Pit Bull, so save your pontificating.  Oh and get off your own platform as you are getting a nose bleed.  There are a lot of irresponsible dog owners out there.  The owner solved the problem by moving away.  Vanishing.

So stuff your attitude.

Fast forward to today.  Rack came home from being sedated.  My "Very Reputable Veterinary Hospital was amazed at "How Much Sedation We Had To Put Into Him Before He Went Under".  Yeah we know, and that was why we warned you.

They brought him out.  He looked like a cartoon character.  Cone of Healing on, Doggie Depends Diaper on, legs not getting traction so he was galloping down the hall.  His pupils were so dilated that they were reflecting light from down the hallway.

Oh he was trippin' balls, as they say!

We got him home.  It was as if the episode of the Paul Reiser show "Mad About You" had cast Murray the Collie in my house.  You know, where Murray was obsessed with a mouse in the walls of the apartment and was running around the entire episode trying to get the thing.  "Run, Run, Run, Thump!" as Murray collided with a wall or a piece of furniture.  Strange, annoying, bizarre, whatever you want to call the behavior.  Season 2, Episode 2, Mad About You, called "Bing, Bang, Boom" for however long that link lasts.  Definitely worth a watch if you like Paul Reiser like I do. 

No Dogs were Harmed in filming the episode, he said so at the end of it.

This was what we went through that night. 


Youtube links do not last forever, so watch it while you can - Bill, Feb 14, 2024

For about 6 hours until Rack wore himself out and the night medications (Tramadol plus Gabapentin) kicked in, he was going around the house, cone and diaper on, and banging into things.  Then he'd back up, turn around, and return repeating the path.

The only other time I saw something like this was on an "Animal Documentary" where an Antelope was walking around in circles, compulsively, due to a parasite.  The predators of the area stopped that behavior, eventually. 

Rack's imitation of Murray stopped around 10 PM and we were able to get a few hours of sleep.

So if you are back from your Vet Visit, and your dog is compulsively and excessively pacing your house, what we did was to give him more.  Literally another Tramadol tablet brought him down to the point where he could sleep.  Turning off the lights kept him asleep.  The next day he did not need any more sedation for a while, until the second meal and the broken stitches meant we had to go back to the vet for a "repair".

It has been a rough road.  Rack is healing.  He has been under medication and some of those are sedating, for a week and a half now.  The first few days were frankly quite dirty.  Blood and gore flying when he would shake.  Any time you operate that far down the intestines, you will get all sorts of infections, and he is on some pretty strong antibiotics right now. 

But we're hopeful, and we're watching, and that is about all we can do for now.

Wish us luck.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

What do you call a mean cow? Beef jerk-y

This reminds me of the story of the dog who noticed people paying in a convenience store.  They used paper money which looked like colored leaves to the dog.  So the dog would come in to the same store, walk in and hand a leaf to the person behind the counter and wait calmly for a treat.  

The dog got the treat.

A big bus stops at a roadside eatery.

The passengers flood inside the eatery and as they take their respective seats the driver calls the manager aside and explains, "Look sir, we're from the mental asylum down the road. I'm taking the inmates for a ride. When they're done eating they will insist on paying with bottle caps like they do inside. Please humor them and accept their payments. I'll clear the entire check at the end."

So, as each passenger finishes eating and pays with bottle caps, the manager solemnly accepts them.

After they were all seated in the bus, the driver approaches the manager who presents the bill to him.

The driver carefully scans the bill. "Excellent! I'm grateful for your cooperation. You don't know how hard it is to handle these people. Now, would you have change for a hubcap?"

Saturday, February 10, 2024

They say cows kill more people than sharks. I’m surprised cows kill any sharks at all.

Just like a Lawyer, Huh?  One profession we all like to cringe at!

So this corporate lawyer comes into his office

A corporate lawyer just bought a brand new Porsche, and he's pulling up in front of the office to show it off to his envious colleagues.

However, in the rush to be first he's not only double parked, he opened the door without looking just as a truck is driving by. Of course truck hits the door at full speed and completely rips it off the car.

The lawyer jumps out of his now ruined Porsche, jumping up and down and shouting about how he'll sue the truck driver into oblivion for destroying his prized possession and all that.

The office doorman has seen it all happen, and says to the lawyer, "you pompous prick, you've been so occupied with your damn car you didn't even notice the truck also took your arm off at the same time!"

The lawyer stops ranting for a moment, looks to the bloody stump that used to be his left arm, and then screams


Sunday, February 4, 2024

What do you call fancy swearing? Cursive

 I'm a bit late.  Haven't done my Spanish.  Was busy roasting coffee.  Walked Mr Dog before the rains hit.  Even took a walk on my own. 

Wow.  Well it really is the routines that make life enjoyable, right?  And hey, if you're going to have coffee in the morning, have the best.

Grandson's Boomerang

A young man was visiting his grandparents for the holidays. He decided to surprise them by bringing a gift: a boomerang he bought from a souvenir shop. He thought it would be fun to teach his grandpa how to throw it.

He went outside with his grandpa and showed him the boomerang. "This is a special toy from Australia," he explained. "You throw it and it comes back to you."

"Really?" his grandpa asked, intrigued. "How does it work?"

"Well, you just have to hold it like this, and then swing your arm and let it go," the young man demonstrated. "Watch."

He threw the boomerang and waited for it to return. But it didn't. It flew away and disappeared into the trees.

"Oops," the young man said, embarrassed. "Maybe I did something wrong. Let me try again."

He took out another boomerang from his backpack and threw it. Again, it didn't come back. It landed somewhere far away.

"Sorry, grandpa," the young man said, feeling foolish. "I guess these boomerangs are defective. I should have bought something else."

His grandpa smiled and patted his shoulder. "Don't worry, son," he said. "It's the thought that counts. And you know what? I have a gift for you too."

"Really? What is it?" the young man asked, curious.

His grandpa reached into his pocket and pulled out a phone. He handed it to the young man and said, "It's a boomer rang. You call me and I'll call you back."

Saturday, February 3, 2024

I don’t mean to brag but cashiers are always checking me out.

Ok, here are two for the old folks.  Like us.  Who tell inappropriate tales and mess with other people!

A 108 year old man and his 107 year old wife appeared before Divorce Court

"Irreconciliable differences, Your Honor," said the man, when asked the reason. "We've been married for 87 years, and it's been torture all the way."

"87 years‽ That's the longest marriage I've ever seen in this court!" exclaimed the judge. "Since everything looks to be in order, we can formalize the separation today. But if I may ask, why is it you waited so long before applying to separate?"

Replied the woman, "Well Your Honor, to be honest, we were just waiting for the kids to die."

If I were 92 years old, I think I might actually say the same thing!

True Confession

An elderly man entered a church and headed straight to the confessional.

"I am 92 years old, have a wonderful wife of 70 years, many children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Yesterday, I picked up two college girls hitchhiking. We went to a motel, where I had sex with each of them three times."
Priest: "Are you sorry for your sins?"
Man: "What sins?"
Priest: "As a Catholic, you must repent your sins in order to be forgiven."
Man: "I'm Jewish."
Priest: "Then why are you confessing to me?"
Man: "I'm 92 years old ... I'm telling everybody."