New entry in my Kilt blog 9/21/2011

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Old Fools Journal: Steampunk Geezer at Work or what's that oldfool done now.

What does it do? It moves and makes smoke. What's it for? Nothing. It's a do nothing machine. Why?
Because it was thunder storming all day so I was stuck indoors and I felt like piddling around. Watch the movie I took with my Kodak. I love my Kodak.


Here are some working gears. I believe the two drills at the bottom are older than I am. I don't remember when I got the one at the top or the one at the bottom but the one in the middle I got when I was twenty. It came with my first wife because it had belonged to her father who had passed away. These tools are not for display and are used regularly as needed.It was a busy day in the sand box and play room. Nothing constructive was done. I accomplished all that I set out to do, Very satisfying.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Old Fools Journal: How do I love Linux? Let me count the ways.

The grandson's (His Highness) 16 birthday new laptop arrived Friday morning. eMachines E625-5776 Laptop AMD Athlon 64 TF-20 1.6GHz, 2GB, 160GB, 15.6" Widescreen TFT (WXGA), DVD?RW/DVD-RAM, 802.11b/g, Webcam, Windows Vista Home Basic (Black). $295.95 from It's made by Acer.

After spending practically the entire day messing with Windows Vista I decided screw it and popped in a cd with PCLinuxOS on it and in 30 minutes had a working system wirelessly hooked to the internet. Most of that time was playing with the wireless and I mean playing as setting it up was easy and quick. Another 45 minutes of automatically getting and installing all relevant updates and I was done. It took less time than just writing the backup disk for the windows vista OS. At least now when I say that windows vista is too clunky I am speaking from experience.

The PCLinuxOS is on one CD. The backup for Windows Vista operating system requires two(2) writable DVD's or 12 cd's. Windows came with a 60 day trial of MS Office. Pclos came with a complete office system. I don't know if Vista has working music and/or video players out of the box but I do know that Pclos does. I didn't have the patience to keep fooling with vista to find out what worked because I could feel my life slipping away waiting. I don't wait well.

There is a caveat with Pclos that I know about but a first time installer might not and that is that all codecs are not automatically installed with the initial installation. You have to go online and go to the repository to get them but that is quick and easy and automatic. That goes for Skype as well and I'm sure there are other things that I can't remember with this sieve I call a memory but as they are needed I'll find them in the repository.

His Highness's experience started with Windows 98 and then on to XP. His transition to PCLOS appears to be seamless. I haven't heard a peep out of him.

The Princess departed Saturday and once again I have this empty spot.

What's Up Doc?
Today is Bugs Bunny's birthday. I'm older than Bugs Bunny. That just seems weird.
Happy Birthday, Bugs.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Old Fools Journal: Busy

The addition to the shed is coming along in between the heat waves and the rains. So far I haven't had to buy anything new but that will soon come to an end.
Found this at my favorite thrift store today. Never been used. It has twelve stoppered bottles and a sheet of labels for herbs and spices. $5.00. As you can see I have already put it to work.

I was not just driving around frivolously today. I had to travel to a nearby town to get a new mattress as mine blew up yesterday causing me a miserable night. On my way home after completing several errands on the errand list I found this at one of the roadside fishing holes.
Fabricated from two Ford Aerostars from the '80's by a local man. He and his wife use it for a fishing vehicle. I did not get a chance to talk to him as he was away when I talked to his wife. Hopefully I'll get another chance.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Old Fools Journal: Dragons and Frogs

If it wasn't for these guys we would be up to our asses in bugs. As it is we are up to our knees. These little critters work diligently every night on every window screen eating bugs attracted by the light. It appears that they are pink because they are. They are only a few inches long but to the bugs they eat I imagine they look like Dragons. I only see these at night and some times there will be 10 or 12 on a window screen.

In the day time we have the green Anole ((Anolis carolinensis) and I have seen them 6 or 7 inches long. They are Gecko's to us, a hold over from our years in Hawaii. They are not Gecko's however.

Several that look just like this live on the tree just outside my window. I know they all look alike but I see a lot of them and they seem always to be in the same areas on the house. Apparently they are quite territorial as they are always chasing each other off and I have seen some really vicious fights. Except sometimes they seem to be wrestling, Tee Hee. Ah love ain't it grand.

These guys are quick. When they decide to eat a bug it is doomed.

This guy (it could be a girl but how do you tell?) came walking across my window the other night competing with the Dragons. He/she is Spider Man of the frog world. That is wet glass he's walking on. I don't have these all the time because apparently when it's dry they hide out. This was taken on a wet rainy night. When I walked across the yard there were so many frogs that the ground appeared to be moving. I found one today in some very wet leaves while re-potting a plant. I wonder why they don't get moldy. Must be a girl, I don't see any balls. You can probably tell I'm not a frogologist or whatever a frog expert is called. The only thing I know about frogs is they have little bitty brains and great big legs that taste good. I have recent culinary experience.
Here is the picture as promised in my last post of SWMBO's* truck loaded for a four day camping trip. She could get a lot more stuff in there. This was a cabin camping trip so no tents, tarps and assorted paraphernalia was needed as in tent camping.

*SWMBO - she who must be obeyed

Monday, July 13, 2009

Old Fools Journal: Seasons

There are only two seasons here in Louisiana. That would be the furnace repair season and the air conditioner repair season. It's the only place I have ever lived where you switch from heater to AC on the same day. The heater seems to be more reliable than the AC. When the heat is switched on in the Fall about the only thing that happens is we get the odor from baking spiders and mouse turds. The worst case scenario is it catches on fire and burns the house down.

No amount of watering could save these plants. It wasn't just the heat, the nearby Hackberry trees just north of these beds contributed. The trees themselves were not so much a problem but the aphids that eat the sap and then crap the sap coupled with a northwest wind coated all the plants in the area with a dark sticky mess (aphid shit) that ultimately killed everything. The aphids are controlled by lady beetles all of which have been killed by spraying for something else. I don't remember what the something else is but it killed the lady beetles, dragon flies and lightening bugs. It might have something to do with having very few bees as well. We still have mosquitoes, wasp, hornets and deer flies.

The AC is a different story. When switched on it comes on and works fine until one hot day when you really need it. On that day, which is always a Friday afternoon, it will crap out. Of the four AC units I have (two in cars, one in the bus and one in the house) I have repaired one and rebuilt another in this air conditioning repair season. It is hot and dry, it's killing my tomatoes and It must be baking my brain as well because I don't care.

I took a little trip to my favorite thrift store last week and I found this little jewel. The things I like about it are its all brass and Plexiglas. Brass and bronze are my metals of choice. I like the Plexiglas because it is constructed in such a way to show the clockwork music device operating.
When it plays a gear pushes up on a lever connected to a rod with a plate that lifts the roost, There are two tiny wires hanging from each side of the roost that when the roost comes down sort of randomly causes the roost to turn. I doubt if it's random, few things truly are, but it appears that way to me.

I love any clockwork machine but especially music boxes, something from my childhood I guess but this one I really love. Cost $1.00.

I took this little movie with my $100 Kodak. I might have the start of a new obsession. I could be famous.

I am ready for them other people that live in my house, namely SWMBO and her minions to be home. It's lonesome around here.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Old Fools Journal: Another Road Trip of sorts.

This is not how you want to see your car. My thanks to Outlaw Towing and their prompt and courteous service.

I went to pick up Her Highness the Princess and it seemed a little much for this nearly new vehicle(22 years new). It started after about 100 miles by towing a tail of haze that looked like smoke but no other symptoms so with a reduction in speed I pressed on. On arriving at the Princesses northern home I found that the rear window washer tank had ruptured and was spreading a trail of mist behind me. What a relief. With the last of the water gone(I thought) there was no more mist tail but as we were descending the western side of the Mississippi bridge it started again. The bridge is high so I thought the pitch up and then back down had moved the remaining water around and was again spraying the traffic behind me. That was too simple.

Upon reaching the stop sign in the wide spot called Chackbay something was terribly wrong. The car would go but it didn't like it and it was obviously a transmission problem. Coasting to a stop in front of the convenience store and fuel stop in Chackbay. Checking the transmission fluid level found no transmission fluid. 150 miles earlier it had been full. Oh well no problem I'll just put some in and get it fixed tomorrow. Riiight.

After pouring a quart of transmission oil through the transmission and creating a giant lake of oil under the car it was time for the above pictured action.For her Highness it was just another adventure with grandpa. When school starts she will have just one more thing to tell about when asked "What did you do on your summer vacation?". So ar she has been to Disney World, got to ride in a tow truck and is now at a KOA camp with her brother (who is 16 today) and grandma (She Who Must Be Obeyed).

I don't know why SWMBO calls it a vacation. She spent a month preparing for it. She literally filled the living room and most of her bedroom with stuff leaving only a path. When she loaded her half ton pickup it was stacked to the top of the cab. I asked if she would like for me to unbolt the kitchen sink so she could take it too. I won't repeat her reply. I didn't think of taking a picture until they were out of sight but I'll get one when they get back and post it because you've got to see this.

Thankfully I had the good sense to not go besides someone has to stay home to feed the dog pack and their cats.

The red Bronco II is home already. One day, $458 and it's fixed. The front transmission seal was the culprit. I can live without a car but it is severely inconvenient and degrades the quality of my life severely. Living here one needs a car more than a house and that's sad. You can live in your car but you can't drive your house.

Standby for the continuing saga of ill fated road trips as I have to deliver the Princess next weekend. I'm already getting stressed.
There was an interesting sunset. It's is setting behind the edge of the granddaddy of all thunderstorms. This storm started in the morning somewhere near St John and is now west of Thibadoux around New Iberia .

Friday, July 3, 2009

Old Fools Journal: Odds and Ends

New project: It is to be an open shed to cover generators and bicycles. All the poles are now set but my priorities seem to be a little askew and I keep bouncing from one thing to another.
My helper: Stupid dog but she's pretty and never complains about anything I do.Bike/pedestrian path: This is La316 southbound and this is how we get to the store, library and such. Not much is it. For you bike critics I know that I am on the wrong side of the road but the other side is lose gravel almost impossible to even walk in. Just past the bank about a 100 feet it becomes more like this and I cross over. "Why not just take the lane?" you say, it's legal. Sure it is but you do not know the murderous nature of the natives here. They know that if they hit a bicycle here that it will be deemed an accident and their conscience will be clear. I am convince that most peoples lives are so boring and dull or so filled with stress that they are willing to kill just to add some spice to their lives. Not all are like that but I never go down this road that I don't see an example. Yesterday, for example, while approaching an intersection a fat man in a fat SUV pulled up to the stop sign and waited until I was about to pass then quickly pulled out in front of me. Little did he know that I knew him for the asshole that he is and was ready. Not all are like that but being unable to tell I just treat them all the same. With caution.
Notice the in the two photos above how much room the vehicles are giving me. That is only because I was holding a camera. Without the camera most are within inches of that white line. I spent about 20 minutes testing that theory.The Princess has a new mailbox at the foot of the stairs to the tree house.The Bus: Need a clean up from winters dirt and some paint. There will be a post about this sometime in the future.Water front property: A little paint and duct tape and the yacht will be ready to launch. The Parish(county in the rest of the world) just cleaned the drainage ditch behind the house. Picture is taken from the tree house. It is navigable and connects to the Gulf of Mexico by way of other canals and bayous. When it is not full from rain runoff it rises and falls with the tide.Under the bird feeder: This is not a good place to set your wine glass.