Category: GeekStuff

Genship Passing

GenShip Passing

A few years back, I was challenged to write a lyric to the tune of City of New Orleans. It seemed an easy and fun task but, several hours later, I had come up with an entire science fiction song. Since I’ve been working on a generation ship idea for some time, I thought I’d present this little ditty.

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I’m Offended

On the Privilege of Being Offended

Lately, I have been seeing more than a few news articles about people who are upset because they find something offensive and want it stopped. I think they are being silly at best, and an extreme danger to society as a whole, at worst. Please consider the following items.

Two issues

Number one: The ability to be offended is a privilege available only in a free society. In a totalitarian state such as those that exist in much of the world, if you say or do something that offends someone in power, you may lose your possessions, your freedom, and even your life.

Number two: We must learn from accurate history. If we erase the visible traces of history we deem offensive, then we have blinded those that follow to the very reason we find them offensive in the first place.

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My Desk

Reflections on the Creation Process by Anthony Stevens

My friend, the Sassy Brit, has a weekly challenge.

What’s On Your Desk, Wednesday?

I accepted her challenge, sent her a photo and a brief description, but then it occurred to me that some folks might be interested in a more detailed description of how I do what I do.

  1. Workspace

“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” – Cesar A. Cruz

Any discussion on the creative process should start with the physical environment and tools to be used. With that in mind, here’s a little background.

My wife and I have retired to a small apartment wing of the old family homestead. With this in mind, I downsized my office to include only that which I found critically useful.

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Krita Drawing

Lately, I’ve been jonesing to do some drawing and have been experimenting with the Free and Open Source program Krita.

Here are some great art tutorials using Krita and a Wacom tablet.

Krita meets Bob Ross #1

Bob Ross – Mystic Mountain

I’m planning on getting a Wacom tablet later this year. I’ve some projects that I think will be a lot of fun.

If you’ve any experience with this sort of setup, how about sharing some of your images?

Road Trip Discussion

While on the way home from an event, the teenagers and I were bouncing odd books we’d read recently. I came up with the following setup for a novel. 

An Asian Cajun is working as a Luchador for a travelling wrestling act in England. After a show, he’s abducted by the gay first mate of a steam-powered UFO piloted by a lesbian captain and her transgender girlfriend. Oh! And the UFO is haunted by the ghost of a torch singer, killed by her jazz saxaphonist lover, who is still chasing her.

Well? Should I jump right on this idea? What y’all think?

The I Dare You Tag

Last week I was tagged by Emma over at bluchickenninja to do the I Dare You book tag and here it is. You should go check out her blog, it’s really cool.

1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest?

“Time Enough for Love” by Robert Heinlein. I got the paperback when it first came out and it is still on my shelf. Unless you count comix. I still have The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers from the late 60s.

2. What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next?

Current read is “Halting State” by Charles Stross. Last read was “The Hot Gate” by John Ringo. Next read is “The Magicians” by Live Grossman.

3. What book(s) did everyone like and you hated?

Just about anything from Nora Roberts.

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Kubuntu 16.04 vs 14.04

Like most of us, I’ve lost things stored on my computer from time to time. This has made me more than a bit obsessive about backing up stuff I consider critical.

I also know that the average life of most electronics is about five years. Few hard disk drives give a three year warranty while most only give a year.

With that in mind, I’ve developed a strategy that works in conjunction with cloud storage to minimize the chance of a catastrophic loss of data.

Every couple of years or so, I purchase a new hard disk drive (HDD) for about a hundred dollars. I will unplug both of the HHDs in my tower, connect the new HDD, and install the latest version of my favorite Operating System (OS), Kubuntu.

Which brings us to this… I was very happy to get my new 3Tb HDD in the mail and immediately installed and format the drive with the latest Long-Term-Support version of Kubuntu, 16.04.

Worked with 16.04 for three days and must say, I’m terribly disappointed.

It appears as if the primary focus of the Plasma development team was to make an OS for a tablet, not a desktop. The overall look and feel is crude to say the least. Icons looks like they were created for a 1980s game system and several features have been removed.

I’m afraid Kubuntu 16.04 may well turn out to be Canonical’s answer to Windows8.

In the meantime, Kubuntu 14.04 will be supported until 2019. I’m hoping they get it right for the 18.04 LTS release. If not, I’ll probably recommend some of flavors, such as Ubuntu or Linux Mint.

As always, this is only my opinion and your mileage may vary. I’d love to hear of your experiences with other Operating Systems.

Bug Out Kit

Here in South Florida, the hurricane season is upon us. With that in mind, I’d like to remind all my friends that even if you live up north or out west, there are lots of things that can happen that might put you in danger. Plan ahead and keep yourself and your family safe. One way is with a bug out kit just in case your home or neighborhood becomes uninhabitable.

This is not designed as a long-term camping solution. Rather, it is intended for a three-day survival pack. The idea is to look innocuous and yet be able to walk to safety without outside support.

Do NOT forget spare glasses and prescription medicines.

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