Thursday, July 7, 2016

Google Fi and Nexus 5

I just received my Nexus x5 and started on Google Fi. So far, the improvement over my Sharp Aquos on Sprint is incredible.

While Google Fi probably is connected to a Sprint network, the end user experience is much nicer. Additionally, I opted for the 32 GB phone which is an incredible improvement over my Aquos' 8 GB.

I'm still playing with some features, but Blogger works much better.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer Reading List

It's started already. The summer reading list is coming together. Neither book is in my usual comfort zone, but each is especially compelling.

First up, Josef Ferri's Trying to Catch the Wind. December of last year, I started working at a West Side school and ran into Mr. Ferri teaching at our school. His autobiographical story launches right in the middle of Buffalo's Westside, in the height of the 60's. Mr. Ferri's work is an atypical love story with humble beginnings and is driven across the county during one of the most tumultuous eras in American history.

Mr. Ferri advises: "If people open their hearts, a new love is possible."

Having spend weeks in his graceful presence, I know that he lives these words, daily. It's more than a quote, they are words he lives by.

My second choice was selected in that open heart and mind advice. Esmeralda Santiago's Cuando Era Puertorriqueña is another autobiographical story of change and tension.

Again, we are taken back to the 1960's, this time lead by a young Puerto Rican woman and her family transplanted from the island to New York City.

I could have purchased this item in English, but I wanted to share the love of reading and literature with students at my school. The text and language is crisp and the learning experience is wonderful. I may struggle at times, but so far it has been well worth the difficulty.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Stupid Linux Tips - Disable Touchscreen Temporally

I have a touchscreen that needs a good wipe down. Touch screens are annoying when dirty and you only have three options:

1) Wipe it down and hope you don't click something stupid.
2) Turn off the computer.
3) Disable the touchscreen.

I want item three, but there seems to be no Unity control panel for the touchscreen. I couldn't find one so I opened the Swiss army terminal and typed xinput.


Reading down the list is simple enough, id=13 is my touchscreen.

The command is xinput disable 13 or whatever number you need. Turning it back on is just as simple with xinput enable 13.


Obviously, I am not the best Linux user, but I like to share tidbits that make things easier.

Now clean that monitor.

Quickly lookup Ubuntu info

Ubuntu is nicely consistent. So consistent that often you can't tell what version you have just by looking.

Two commands in Terminal can grab that info for you:

lsb_release -a

uname -r


Settings and Details does the exact same thing, in a prettier form.


Monday, June 20, 2016

Thunder

I love thunderstorms at night. It's the only time you can smell dust and water, flowers and lightning at the same time against a noble van Gogh blue and white sky.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

File under Nostalgia - The Tower of Power

Many years ago, I worked at the Electric Tower in downtown Buffalo.



One of the most amazing things I have ever experience was watching thunderstorms race in off the lake from the 11th floor. The nickname for the building is "The Power Tower", but the second you get up high enough to get a sense of how big a thunderstorm is, the name pales. On many occasions, I have seen lightning at extremely close range from that vantage point. It is mind-blowing to be in an edifice that is engineered to take direct hits from lightning yet know even the lightning is tiny compared to the storm outside.

Awe-Invoking doesn't cover it.

Monday, March 28, 2016

File under Funny - Kitty's Whim and Horses

It started when Kitty wanted to ride horses. So one cold winter day, we were off to ride horses on a whim. Her horse was named Star and mine was called Chico. I can managed to mount a horse and saunter around, but I am far from experienced.

Chico was a majestic, deep brown horse, standing about 16 hands. I got on him like a champ. And I sat there for about 5 minutes smiling and admiring him as he admired me.
Well, no. He was sizing me up.

First, he twitched head to hoof. Then he spun, followed by a serious attempt to throw me. Since I was still attached, he took off like bolt of lightning racing over mud and snow, on the trail and then between trees. His final trick to get me off was to crash to a stop in a shallow pond and roll.

I managed to keep my seat through all of it, including in the part where he rolled over me in 18 inches of water, mud and ice. I somehow fell backwards against Chico's rump instead of being smashed forwards onto the pommel. Then we trotted back to the barn where the rest of the group was waiting.

I was terrified. So terrified, that the grin I had on mounting him was locked on my face. I couldn't speak because I had the wind knocked out of me. The people who were expecting a complaint or possibly a lawsuit were left the impression that I was completely unfazed by the horseplay. And off we went on the rest of the ride. Me, sopping wet, bruised and bloodied; others, happy, dry, and content.

After that, I was in with her.