Spider's Webtrail

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Post 2020 Post

The last time I updated this Blogspot was at the end of July 2019.
The remainder of 2019 was relatively uneventful, Christmas and New Year came and went, then we all arrived at March 2020.

Work: God's Pantry Food Bank

Friday 13th March 2020 is the day we designated as the start of the effect of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic on our mission. That is the date I use in most of my reports.
To say that things went a little crazy busy for the next few months would be an understatement. As Food Procurement Officer it was my task to order enough truckloads of purchased food to keep us supplied, and as Reporting Officer it was my task to keep everyone updated with all the relevant numbers.
During those months I ended up working a whole lot of overtime, ranging up to an extra 10 to 20 hours per week over the regular 40.
The workload did settle down by the end of 2020 and I was even able to start taking planned time off to give myself a break and relax from working. I know many that did not take a vacation day in 2020.

Recently Kentucky was hit by an Ice & Snow storm, then major flooding, especially in the Appalachian counties.
Our notification of relief actions and appeal for assistance went out on social media, including this Tweet:
Flood Relief Tweet

Our website is here: www.GodsPantryFoodBank.org
I highly recommend you scroll down to the "Our Current Fiscal Year Impact" numbers on the main page.

Church: Ironworks Pike Community Church

Our website is: https://www.IronworksPikeChurch.org

The church has dealt with the issue of in-person meetings in a few ways, depending on the directives given to us by State Governor Andy Beshear, a man I highly respect.
We have had small inside gatherings, outside meetings at our shelter, and purely virtual services via YouTube Channel
Google Meet has also been used for prayer groups which has been a true blessing.

Our household made the decision to not attend in-person meetings and have been gathering instead on an online capacity.
We do look forward to the day we can all safely meet together again, and visit each others homes - that day shall be soon I am sure.

Home: Household

Since the start of the pandemic, our household has been pretty much self-locked-down.
Started with Arianna & I, then we were joined by her Mum Eva to make it a household of 3.
Arianna has 60% lung capacity so we have been keeping her as safe as possible.

Regarding Eva, "Dragon-in-Law" is my term of affection for her, and she laughs at it.
In the last few years she has:
a) Slipped on water, falling in a supermarket.
b) Diagnosed with breast cancer. For months I would daily drive her to chemo.
c) Had a hip replaced.
d) A dog attacked her in her yard, damaging her defending hands and arms. She had to get a rabies shot.
e) Light dose of shingles.
f) Fell causing damage to her knee. She moved in with us as she went through PT.
g) After a PT appointment she and her friend ate carryout and she got food poisoning.
h) While being tested for the food poisoning, she was diagnosed with diverticulitis, undergoing surgery and a few weeks in hospital.
i) Good news is that she never caught COVID-19!!!
Daily I have been driving to her house to feed her cats, inside and out.
She may be my Mother-in-Law, but I love her.

The 3 of us may live in the same house, but we all have our own areas.
Arianna & I both have our own computer rooms, which has been really handy for the times we each have had to work from home.
Eva pretty much has the run of the living room, including large TV and Roku box. She has became a YouTube searching expert!!
Most of our meals these days are made by Eva, so it is wonderful to have hot food ready at the end of our workdays.

Most of our groceries get delivered by Kroger Supermarket, but we have occasionally shopped at Costco and the local Crossroads IGA store (Independent Grocers Alliance)
We have been wearing masks when out even before it was mandated to do so.

Arianna and Eva have received their 2 shots of the Pfizer Vaccine. They both done well with no real symptoms, even after the 2nd shot.
I received my 1st shot yesterday afternoon at Alltech Arena, Kentucky Horse Park. Glad they did not use a horse needle!!
The whole operation was ran with military precision by Kroger Pharmacy and the Kentucky National Guard. When you entered the arena, after being expertly guided to park by the Guard, you join the queue which snakes for about a literal mile inside. Despite being that long, it moved pretty well. Everyone staffing the event were very polite doing their jobs extremely well. When someone got up from a seat a Guard member immediately wiped it down! The Kroger employees were also very efficient.
Did have some cold / light flu like symptoms last night, but only have a sore left arm today.
My 2nd shot will be about 3 weeks.

Linux & Computers

An update of my Computing Devices and the Operating Systems on them:
  • System76 Thelio desktop running Solus Budgie
    Yesterday I uploaded my setup video to Peertube: System76 Thelio Setup 9th April 2019
    Full description is in the video notes.
    Solus Budgie has been rock solid on my computers since November 2016 and runs like a dream on the Thelio.

  • Alienware M15x laptop running Solus Budgie with the unstable repo.
    I have this set up for testing.

  • Alienware M15x laptop running PCLinuxOS Trinity Desktop
    Last year when Arianna upgraded the SSD in her main system, I replaced the HD in this laptop with the "old" 128GB SSD.
    Had been testing a few operating systems on this machine, and recently installed PCLinuxOS Trinity, which is maintained by my good friend Alie.
    The website for this community edition is: Trinity R14 Desktop on PCLinuxOS
    Truly been enjoying the speed and customisation of this OS, that I have decided to keep it permanently installed and have joined the forum: PCLinuxOS Forums which runs itself as a community as well as a helpdesk
    This laptop and the Thelio are connected via the software Barrier KVM that allows me to use 1 keyboard & mouse to control both computers.

  • Dell Optiplex 755 running Solus Plasma
    I might be biased but this is one of the best installs of Plasma I have seen on a distro with excellent presets.

  • ASUS Chromebook Flip C302 running Chrome OS (of course).
    Excellent machine for on the road use, and it also allows me to install Android apps.

  • Asus EeePC 1000 Netbook running SparkyLinux LXQt
    Despite this over 12 year old computer being 32 bit, I like to keep it running, and SparkyLinux which is Debian based runs really well.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 5 phone running Android (version 7.0)
    I include my phone as it really is a mobile computer, used more for apps and surfing than actual calls.
    It is getting dated, with an older Android version which I have noticed some apps will no longer install on.
    That said, it has been the best phone I have ever owned. The funny thing is that if anything happened to it, we have a spare phone of the exact same model sitting in Arianna's room, as she did not hand it over when she upgraded last.
    Maybe when we get the next stimulus package?
Years ago there was a group named Bluegrass Linux User Group (BGLUG) that met here in Lexington, KY. It has gone the way of the Dodo for many years.
Since then most of my Linux interactions have been online, especially via Telegram and YouTube (static and live).
Had fun on Thursday, as I noticed a Tweet from the Portland Linux / Unix Group (PLUG) stating they were having an online meet that evening via jitsi at 7:00pm their time, which was 10:00pm for me.
I joined the chat and had a great time. Looking forward to joining them again in April.
Have been informed that the San Francisco Linux Users' Group (SF-LUG) does the same, but their monthly meeting is on Sunday morning, which is difficult for me.

Home: Personal Projects

At the start of 2020 I had hoped to catch up on a few of my own personal projects including:
  • The garage - currently a lost cause until I get a full week off work with full health and no other major plans.
  • Ordered an Open Source Scan Converter for my Oric Atmos 48K
    This device hooks up my 1983 computer to an HDMI monitor, but I have not had the chance to clean up deskspace in my computer room to set it up.
  • Ordered a SSD and extra RAM for the Dell Optiplex 755, and have yet to install it.
At least we have been able to keep up with regular household duties, including laundry and dishes.


Back in October 2010 I posted this blog: Biblical & Political Non-Political Conviction
During the last Presidential Election here in USA that conviction was highly challenged.
I prayed and thought much and decided to register to vote. Let's just say I did not vote for the previous President, and was very glad to see him voted out by the American citizens.
As a Scotsman I am still highly infuriated at this event: Trump and Scotland - A BBC News Report
Although I highly surprised Arianna, my church, and many who know me, I absolutely believe I did the right thing.
During the last election period many friendships were stretched, and I even had to Facebook block someone after many years of not doing so. Hopefully we can all move on together now, get through this very real pandemic, and be the nation we should be.

Podcast Listening

At the start of 2021 I went from listening to 1 podcast to at least 5:
  • 80's Underground - 2 hours of concentrated underground 80's rock.
  • For a few years I was an informal member of Tech and Coffee after discovering the group on MeWe.
    They had mostly been conversing via Google Hangouts, but recently expanded their usage of Telegram text and voice chat.
    Through that group I discovered The Bugcast loving the show immediately with their mixture of Creative Commons music, news, and interactive chat.
    Dave & Caroline host a weekly show, and is currently at episode 656. I have listened to all of 2021, and been catching up on the archive, with episode 58 from May 2009 lined up next!
  • Through The Bugcast I discovered TuxJam - Mixture of Open Source reviews (mostly Linux) and Creative Commons music.
    Last episode was number 87. Catching up on episode 28 next from December 2013.
  • Through TuxJam and The Bugcast I discovered The Duffercast - What can I say? They are a bunch of duffers that waffle on about this and that.
    Last episode was number 18. Catching up on episode 14 from November 2018
  • Although I am missing meeting with Big Daddy Linux Live on Saturday evenings, as they are on hiatus right now, I have been enjoying a kinda-offshoot podcast named Linux User Space
    They gave Solus a good review on episode 15 and PCLinuxOS on episode 17.

On the morning of Friday 19th February 2021, as I was feeding my Dragon-in-Law's outside cats, I banged the top left of my head against the bottom corner of Ruthven the Rav4's back vertical door. It was not open all the way due to the build-up of ice on top on my vehicle.
I went down like a sack of tatties onto the snow and ice covered street. Pretty sure I blacked out for a bit.
After waiting 10 minutes I did carefully drive to work. When I got there I reported to the nearest Director informing her of what happened.
She had me sit in the board room to rest and recover, which I did for 30 minutes, after which I used the elevator (lift!) to go to my office.
Although I worked most of that day I was definitely not at full speed.

On Monday 22nd I went to my Doctor's office. They examined me, confirmed I had a concussion, and wrote me off work for the week.
That afternoon Arianna drove me to get a CT Scan, which came back with the following report:
Subject: Message From Organization: FPA . CT Head WO CONTRAST
1. No evidence of intracranial trauma, bleeding or midline shift.
2. Normal CT of head.
So unsure of their definition of "Normal"!!!

That week I found myself napping 2-3 times per day, with deep sleeps but waking up with horrible headaches.
Worked remotely on end of month reports on Sunday 28th taking my time during the day, and went back to the office on Monday 29th.
Only worked a few hours that day going home exhausted.
On Tuesday 30th I called my Doctor's office with my symptoms of exhaustion, deep napping, headaches, and concentration which feels like a bunch of cotton wool, to which they wrote me off for the rest of that week also.
My medical records were updated with these notes:

Have been referred to Neurology for what I expect will be a dye scan or something like that. That visit is not until mid-April, the first appointment they could give me.
This Monday, 8th March 2021, I am going back to my Doctor's office for a check-up, including blood work. Need to starve myself for over half a day.... poor me!!! he he

Thank you so much for your concerns, thoughts, and especially prayers as I go through this. Also for Arianna & Eva as they have stepped up greatly to help me.

... and anything else....

This is probably the most typing I have ever done in one day on this Das Keyboard Model S Professional Cherry MX Blue Mechanical Keyboard and it has been a pleasure to type on!

I think I am done for now.
Please feel free to leave a comment, or contact me on Social Media via one of the links to the right of this page.

I smell a wonderful aroma of cooked Breakfast Casserole that Arianna cooked for us.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

God's Pantry Food Bank Employee Spotlight

God's Pantry Food Bank publishes an internal newsletter once a quarter.
July 6th 2019 was my 20th anniversary and I was the Employee Spotlight.

Click on this picture to see larger.

So glad to see my church and interests mentioned.

System76 Thelio Unboxing & Setup

On Tuesday 9th April 2019 I received my System76 Thelio desktop at my workplace.
Once I got it home I filmed myself unboxing and setting up the system.

Here is the video: System76 Thelio Unbox & Setup

Full specification:

System76 Thelio (thelio-r1) Walnut - Classical style in a rich brown finish
Pop!_OS 18.04 LTS (64-bit) with full-disk encryption ***
4.3 GHz 7 2700X (3.7 up to 4.3 GHz - 8 Cores - 16 Threads)
32 GB Dual Channel DDR4 @ 2933 MHz (2x 16GB)
1 TB NVMe Seq. Read: 3500MB/s, Write, 3300MB/s
5 TB HDD 5400 RPM Drive
8 GB Radeon RX 580 with 2304 Stream Processors
WiFi up to 1.73 Gbps + Bluetooth
3 Year Limited Parts & Labor Warranty

APC Sine Wave UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector, 1500VA, APC Back-UPS Pro (BR1500MS)
LG 34UC80-B 34-Inch 21:9 Curved UltraWide QHD IPS Monitor with USB Quick Charge
Das Keyboard Model S Professional Cherry MX Blue Mechanical Keyboard - Clicky
Audioengine A2+ 60W Powered Desktop Speakers | Built-in DAC & Analog Amplifier | Direct USB Connection, 3.5mm and RCA inputs
Logitech MX Master 2S Wireless Mouse – Use on Any Surface, Hyper-Fast Scrolling, Ergonomic Shape, Rechargeable, Graphite
Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910 (Cameras & Frames)
Blue Yeti Nano Premium USB Mic for Recording and Streaming - Shadow Grey
Asus External Blu-Ray Writer Black, BW-16D1H-U PRO/BLK/G/AS/PDVD
Anker 10 Port 60W Data Hub with 7 USB 3.0 Ports and 3 PowerIQ Charging Ports

*** Note: 2 days later Pop!_OS was replaced by my beloved Solus Budgie.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Too many Linux Distros?

Are there too many Linux distributions?
Some say yes and some say no.
Regardless, I test the ones that are of interest to me, and also via Big Daddy Linux Live on Saturday nights.
The BDLL website is at https://bigdaddylinux.com/
We video chat via Zoom and broadcast on YouTube from 9pm to 11pm Eastern time USA.

Here are the Linux distros that I am currently running, listed by machine and partition:

Machine: Alienware M15x A08 Laptop with Dell External Monitor
Name: Max
CPU: Intel i7 Q 740 (8) @ 1.73GHz
Distro: Solus 3.9999 Budgie

Machine: Alienware M15x A07 Laptop
Name: Erma
CPU: Intel i5 M 540 (4) @ 2.528GHz
Distro: Solus 3.9999 Plasma
Distros on external 2TB eSata HD:
Partition 1: SalentOS 64-Bit - Debian with Openbox. Like #!
Partition 2: openSUSE Tumbleweed - Xfce
Partition 3: Xubuntu
Distro on Persistent USB: MX Linux 18 - Debian with Xfce

Machine: Asus EeePC 1000 Netbook
Name: Ervyn
CPU: Intel Atom N270 (2) @ 1.6GHz
GPU: Intel Integrated Graphics
Distro: SalentOS 32-bit - Debian with Openbox. Like #!

Machine:Dell OptiPlex 755
Name: Davie
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 (2) @2.333GHz
GPU: AMD Radeon HD 2400 Pro
Distros on 500GB HD:
Partition 1: Elementary OS 5 Juno - currently personally testing
Partition 2: Linux Mint 19.1 Xfce - from BDLL challenge - to be replaced tonight
Partition 3: Drauger OS - Ubuntu with Xfce - designed for gamers - testing for the developer Batcastle / Thomas.

Those are the installed Linux distributions, but the Linux kernel is also running in these devices:
Machine: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Phone - Android 7 Nougat
Machine: Asus C302 Chromebook - ChromeOS with Android Apps

At work I use Windows 8.1 ..... nuff said! 

BTW, anyone get the restaurant reference?

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Rejoined the Linux Community

Although I have been running Solus Linux (Budgie and KDE Plasma 5) on my Alienware M15x laptops for the past 2 years, I found myself only chatting with the Solus community on IRC and G+.
Solus website: https://getsol.us/home/

A couple of months ago I picked up a few Linux based podcasts, which I mostly listen to on BeyondPod on my Note 5 Android phone:
Destination Linux - https://destinationlinux.org/
Late Night Linux - https://latenightlinux.com/

After rejoining mintCast, chatting them in the IRC channel during the live recording, I went ahead and installed Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 32 bit on my Asus EeePC 1000 Netbook.
Although the device is 10 years old, it still runs quite well.
I also use it as a portable Oric Atmos emulator running Oricutron.

Talking of Asus, on Black Friday I purchased the this Chromebook from Amazon for $499, a saving of $150.
ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DH54 12.5-inch Touchscreen Convertible Chromebook Intel Core m5, 4GB RAM, 64GB Flash Storage, All-Metal Body, USB Type C, Corning Gorilla Glass, Chrome OS
Really loving this machine as a portable computer that is also light on weight at less than 3lb. It is also excellent at running Android Apps.

Last week I stopped posting generally to Google+ since it is going away next year, apart from the Solus community there which are still looking for new social home.
Looked for replacement and found MeWe - https://mewe.com
It is a social medium platform, which is kinda a blend of G+ and Facebook.
My own profile is at: https://mewe.com/i/peterpaterson
On MeWe I discovered the Tech and Coffee group
Finding myself talking with the geeks of Tech and Coffee pretty much daily on Google Video Hangouts. Great bunch!

On Saturday 1st December 2018 I took part in a 2 hour video chat with Rocco and others on Big Daddy Linux Live.
During the show we were given a choice of distro to install and review next Saturday. I picked Enso OS: https://www.enso-os.site/
Made the mistake of trying to dual-boot install Enso alongside Solus KDE on my 2nd laptop, as it totally messed up my grub boot settings. Ended up grabbing my data, scrubbed the drive, and reinstalled Solus KDE.
Last night I picked up an HP Pavilion P6243W desktop. The HDD is on the way out but worked enough to install and run Enso. Have ordered a new 500GB Hitachi HDD from Amazon for $30.
It has the following spec:
CPU: Dual core AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+
GPU: AMD RV620 LE - Radeon HD 3450
This PC shall be my Linux distro tester and shall work well for that task.

Here is a photo of the HP PC with case panel off, HP 2311x 1080p monitor, Compaq keyboard, and Gateway speakers:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Spider's Linux Laptops

Here are the respective screenfetch (Mint) and neofetch (Solus) information from my two laptops.
Both are Alienware M15x, and about 6 years old, but still doing just great.

 MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMmds+.        OS: Mint 18.1 serena
 MMm----::-://////////////oymNMd+`     Kernel: x86_64 Linux 4.8.0-32-generic
 MMd      /++                -sNMd:    Uptime: 14h 13m
 MMNso/`  dMM    `.::-. .-::.` .hMN:   Packages: 2576
 ddddMMh  dMM   :hNMNMNhNMNMNh: `NMm   Shell: bash 4.3.46
     NMm  dMM  .NMN/-+MMM+-/NMN` dMM   Resolution: 1600x1800
     NMm  dMM  -MMm  `MMM   dMM. dMM   DE: MATE 1.16.0
     NMm  dMM  -MMm  `MMM   dMM. dMM   WM: Metacity (Marco)
     NMm  dMM  .mmd  `mmm   yMM. dMM   GTK Theme: 'Mint-X-Aqua' [GTK2/3]
     NMm  dMM`  ..`   ...   ydm. dMM   Icon Theme: Mint-X-Aqua
     hMM- +MMd/-------...-:sdds  dMM   Font: Noto Sans 9
     -NMm- :hNMNNNmdddddddddy/`  dMM   CPU: Intel Core i7 CPU Q 740 @ 1.73GHz
      -dMNs-``-::::-------.``    dMM   GPU: GeForce GT 240M
       `/dMNmy+/:-------------:/yMMM   RAM: 2146MiB / 5955MiB

            -```````````                  peter@erma 
          `-+/------------.`              ---------- 
       .---:mNo---------------.           OS: Solus 2017.01.01.0 x86_64 
     .-----yMMMy:---------------.         Model: M15x A07 
   `------oMMMMMm/----------------`       Kernel: 4.8.15 
  .------/MMMMMMMN+----------------.      Uptime: 14 hours, 13 minutes 
 .------/NMMMMMMMMm-+/--------------.     Packages: 878 
`------/NMMMMMMMMMN-:mh/-------------`    Shell: bash 4.3.42 
.-----/NMMMMMMMMMMM:-+MMd//oso/:-----.    Resolution: 1600x900 
-----/NMMMMMMMMMMMM+--mMMMh::smMmyo:--    DE: Budgie 
----+NMMMMMMMMMMMMMo--yMMMMNo-:yMMMMd/.   Theme: Arc-Darker [GTK2/3] 
.--oMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMy--yMMMMMMh:-yMMMy-`   Icons: Arc [GTK2/3] 
`-sMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMh--dMMMMMMMd:/Ny+y.    Terminal: terminator 
`-/+osyhhdmmNNMMMMMm-/MMMMMMMmh+/ohm+     CPU: Intel i5 M 540 (4) @ 1.8GHz 
  .------------:://+-/++++++oshddys:      GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M 
   -hhhhyyyyyyyyyyyhhhhddddhysssso-       Memory: 1368MB / 7975MB