Sunday

School work and work around the house, along with remote systems work both days made for a long weekend. World economic news is depressingly awful, and sadly, our losses in Iran and Afghanistan still mount.

Our condolences to the families and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Sgt. Garrick L. Eppinger Jr., 25, of Appleton, Wisconsin, died Sept. 17 in Parwan province, Afghanistan.
  • Spc. Chazray C. Clark, 24, of Ecorse, Michigan, died Sept. 18 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.
  • Staff Sgt. Estevan Altamirano, 30, of Edcouch, Texas, died Sep. 18 in Tikrit, Iraq, of injuries suffered in a non-combat related incident.
  • Spc. Ryan J. Cook, 29, of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, died Sept. 18 in Takhar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Sgt. Timothy D. Sayne, 31, of Reno, Nevada, died Sept. 18 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Spc. Jakob J. Roelli, 24, of Darlington, Wisconsin, died Sep. 21, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.
  • Spc. Robert E. Dyas, 21, of Nampa, Idaho, died Sep. 21, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.
  • Lance Cpl. Terry C. Wright, 21, of Scio, Ohio, died Sept. 21 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Sgt. Andy C. Morales, 32, of Longwood, Florida, died Sept. 22 in Baghdad, Iraq.
  • Sgt. Rafael E. Bigai Baez, 28, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, died Sept. 23 in Wardak, province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.
  • Pfc. Carlos A. Aparicio, 19, of San Bernadino, California, died Sept. 23 in Wardak, province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.

Lexi Pictured Here

Lexi loves the camera

Lexi loves the camera

Lexi especially loves the new camera. I’ve been researching DSLRs for over a year. What I wanted and what is prudent are two very different things, too. I’ve held back from buying a D7000, since I’m not a “serious” photographer. But I want to take much better pictures than I can with any of our other cameras. So when a great deal came up at BJ’s, I plunked down for a Nikon D5100 kit with a couple of lenses and a bag. I’ve supplemented that with a spare battery, a 35mm prime lens, a filter, an SB400 flash, and a diffuser for that. More pictures as worthwhile ones appear.

*     *     *

I don’t think I mentioned this previously: I made the Dean’s List again this year. If I maintain this level of work, I’ll finish up with all A’s, and another year on the Dean’s List before I finish up next December. I just hope I manage it before the Mayan calendar runs dry!

 

Another Week Down

A very social day today – a company picnic this afternoon, and Linda Rose brought Mike over for pizza and an episode of BAB5. I only wish I felt good … but I don’t. Not sure what ails (I probably ate too much!), but I’m not going to let it slow me much.

*     *     *

Our condolences to the families and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Staff Sgt. Daniel A. Quintana, 30, of Huntington Park, California, died Sept. 10 in Paktika province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire.
  • Staff Sgt. Keith F. Rudd, 36, of Winder, Georgia, died Sept. 10 in Parvan, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained while supporting combat operations.
  • Sgt. 1st Class Danial R. Adams, 35, of Portland, Oregon, died Sept. 13 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using mortar, machine-gun and small-arms fires.
  • Sgt. Rodolfo Rodriguez Jr., 26, of Pharr, Texas, died Sep. 14 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan of injuries sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Sgt. Chester G. Stoda, 32, of Black River Falls, Wisconsin, died Sep. 2, from a non-combat related incident.
  • Sgt. Mycal L. Prince, 28, of Minco, Oklahoma, died Sept. 15 in Laghman province, Afghanistan of injuries sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire.
  • Cpl. Michael J. Dutcher, 22, of Asheville, North Carolina, died Sept. 15 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Staff Sgt. Michael W. Hosey, 27, of Birmingham, Alabama, died Sept. 17 in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small arms fire.

 

School’s started again

Can you tell that I’m back in class. I sure can. Actually, this week and next are likely to be the “worst” in terms of time commitment for a few weeks – I’m trying to get well ahead so that when the next class starts up in a little over five weeks from now, I can cruise through the tail end of this first class.

*     *     *

The most interesting thing I read today was Jerry’s analysis of NASA’s new “old” plan. Sigh.

Ten Years

Ten years ago, 2, 997 people lost their lives at the hands of 19 Islamic hijackers wielding four airplanes as weapons against the towers at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, and at a field in Pennsylvania. We are heavily invested in two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as a result of that attack. Neither of those nations were the prime supporters of the hijackers. While those wars may be justified (or not), and ultimately successful (or not), we have a job left undone … probably due to pathological political and religious correctness. The “good news”, such as it is, is that the real enemy of Western civilization, Islam, does not suffer from political correctness, and will attack again, and again, until we wake up and wipe that problem off this planet. Of that latter solution, I am sure (someday).

*     *     *

Our deepest condolences to the families and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Spc. Christopher J. Scott, 21, of Tyrone, New York, died Sept. 3 at Kandahar province, Afghanistan of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.
  • Pfc. Christophe J. Marquis, 40, of Tampa, Florida, died Sept. 4 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Landstuhl, Germany,of injuries sustained Aug. 27 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device.
  • James W. Coker, 59, of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, was pronounced dead Sept. 5 in Kabul, Afghanistan, while on temporary assignment with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Spc. Kevin R. Shumaker, 24, of Livermore, California, died Aug. 31 in a stateside hospital of a non-combat related illness.
  • Cmdr. James K. Crawford, 50, of East Concord, New York, died Sept. 7, as a result of a non-combat related incident in Manama, Bahrain.
  • Spc. Koran P. Contreras, 21, of Lawndale, Calif., died of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device Sept. 8 in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
  • Pfc. Douglas J. Jeffries Jr., 20, of Springville, California, died of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device Sept. 8 in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
  • Sgt. Bret D. Isenhower, 26, of Lamar, Oklahoma, died Sept. 9 in Paktia, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.
  • Spc. Christopher D. Horton, 26, of Collinsville, Oklahoma, died Sept. 9 in Paktia, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.
  • Pfc. Tony J. Potter Jr., 20, of Okmulgee, Oklahoma, died Sept. 9 in Paktia, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.
  • Petty Officer Brian K. Lundy, 25, of Austin, Texas, died while conducting a dismounted patrol in Marjah, Helmand province, Afghanistan, on Sept. 9.

Mostly Central Americans

The coffee I’ve ordered, that is. Here’s the list of coffees ordered from Sweet Maria’s this evening:

  • Costa Rica Bajo Canet de Tarrazu – 2 lbs
  • Costa Rica La Legua Bourbon – 2 lbs
  • Nicaragua Mozonte -Un Regalo de Dios – 2 lbs
  • Ethiopia Yirga Cheffe Dumerso Cooperative – 2 lbs
  • Kenya Nyeri Kagumo-ini – 2 lbs
  • Costa Rica Helsar de Zarcero – Macho Arce – 2 lbs
  • Guatemala Antigua Finca La Folie – 2 lbs
  • Yemen Mokha Ismaili – 2 lbs
  • Panama Carmen Estate 1900 Meters – 2 lbs
  • Panama ‘Siete Dias de Bellota’ – 2 lbs

They’ll be here in a week and a half, fingers and eyes crossed. I’m down to two pounds left downstairs, so this is cutting it pretty fine. Yikes! I should have ordered the day we got back from Maine, but I was tired from the drive. Oh, well.

Weather Plus

The plus part is that the sun came out today. For a while. But there are still clouds. According to the gauge, we’ve had just over 12 inches of rain in our back yard in the last 15 days. Yowza!

*     *     *

Things I think when driving:

  • Did you have trouble coloring between the lines as a child?
  • Is that handicapped sticker for your driving or for your parking?
  • You’re doing 39 miles per hour. On the freeway. With the high beams on. You freaking moron!

Those are the polite things, unlike what I was thinking about the driver of the truck sporting yellow livery on the topic of bobcat rentals … that truck’s driver was a maniac who cut people off, and exited a parking lot by the entrance-only path in order to get ahead of two cars. What a maroon. I’d make a phone call if I could remember the name of the business.

Oh, hey … Lexi wants supper. Ciao!

“Day off”

Wherein I:

  • Went shopping for food.
  • Paid the bills.
  • Took a nap.
  • Swapped disks around and reloaded OS X Lion onto Darla…

That last item may deserve a bit more explanation. A while back, I picked up a 160 GB SSD to muck around with. Since I was in a bit of a limbo with the Mac at the time, I chose to drop the SSD into the big workstation and load Windows 7 onto it. Because that box is a VM host (VirtualBox) and gaming machine, I put a 1TB drive in as ‘S:’ (for “Storage”) – that’s where all the multi-gig games are installed. It’s a fast-booting windows box, and that’s no bad thing, since it’s one of the few systems that spends more time off than on around here. But … really, it’s overkill for the use I put the box to – I can live with 40 seconds of boot time, and make the old MacBook Pro shine for a bit longer perhaps (probably as a media box attached to the TV downstairs). In that role, fast booting is an advantage.

So I snagged and burnt a copy of Clonezilla, and used it to image the SSD onto a spare 500 GB Seagate 7200.10 drive I had laying about. Then I swapped the Seagate into the system and it booted just fine, thanks. Then I went over to iFixit and pulled up the guide for replacing the HD in my model of MBP. It’s the same guide I used before to upgrade the drive from small 5400 RPM drive to larger 7200 RPM drive a couple of years ago. Oh, yeah, before I did that, I re-downloaded a copy of OS X Lion …

There’s a trick to that. Assuming you’ve purchased and installed Lion via the App Store, it deletes the local copy of the download as part of the install. In order to create a USB key that you can boot from, to install Lion on a new HD, you need to have that downloaded app, again. I’ve read several different methods, but only this one worked for me. Open up the App Store and sign in. Then hold down the Option button (sub-labeled: “Alt”) and do NOT let that Option button loose while you click on “Purchased”, then OS X Lion, then Install. That bypassed the checks that say you’ve already got it installed, or updated – those checks burp out various “error” messages, and won’t let you download. DO NOT then start to install Lion again, just Command-Q to terminate that, and follow all of the directions in this howto (also linked above).

So, I swapped in the SSD, booted from the USB stick, erased the drive, then did a clean install of Lion onto it. Of course, I’ve only got half the RAM that the Air has, and I don’t know about application performance yet, but with the SSD in place, Darlion (formerly Darla) boots nearly as fast as Agog. Wow! Now to get the software updates installed. Ciao!

Gone Fishin’

Brian caught a chain pickerel

And there’s only one way that happens… we went fishin’

We drove up to Maine last Thursday, and stayed near to Marcia’s sister up there. The rest of her siblings and their spousal units were present, too. A good time was had, great food was consumed, and the Three Consecutive Days Fishing Achievement was unlocked. Today we left shortly after 5AM, and picked up Lexi from the kennel at about 4 in the afternoon, then headed home from there. V.tired, but a fun long weekend.

Tomorrow, we unwind, and catch up on a couple of chores before returning to work on Wednesday.

Catching up

First, Happy Birthday to Pete! I’ve tried to call a couple of times, but no joy. So here’s where it is, when you have time!

*     *     *

Next, the duty. Our condolences to the families and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Spc. Douglas J. Green, 23, of Sterling, Virginia, died Aug. 28 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device and small arms fire.
  • Pfc. Alberto L. Obod Jr., 26, of Orlando, Florida, died Aug. 28 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered during a vehicle roll-over.
  • Sgt. Devin J. Daniels, 22, of Kuna, Idaho, died Aug. 25 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle using an improvised explosive device.
  • Sgt. Colby L. Richmond, 28, of Providence, North Carolina, died Aug. 25 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle using an improvised explosive device.
  • Spc. Dennis James Jr., 21 of Deltona, Florida, died Aug. 31 from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device in Wardak province, Afghanistan.