Get off my lawn.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

YALU (Yes, another linux upgrade)

I can't get over how easy it is to upgrade a linux box.

I had been running an installation that I had upgraded from Ubuntu Dapper to Edgy, and
it somehow screwed up my video settings and was running kind of slow. I had some time off for Christmas, and thought I'd dedicate a minimum of that time to wiping everything out and installing Edgy from scratch.

So I started by copying all known data files to an external drive. There was something like 70GB, so that took a while. Then I installed Edgy from scratch, wiping everything out in the process. Then I copied the files back. While that process was running, I used apt-get to install everything I knew I needed/wanted.

It's done already. On a linux box, there's no registry. So, all your settings are stored in configuration files. In this case, they all got restored from the backup, so everything that I wiped out during the installation magically appeared again. My browsing history, settings, mail, cache, etc. all just came back from nowhere.

Except, of course, the stuff I had in my MySQL database. I forgot to back that up. I had one website I was working on for my church which is now empty of content. Not a big deal, since it was all test content anyway, but still. If I had remembered to do that, I'd be done. At least now I have something to keep me busy for a couple more days.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Big ole cup of attitude

Our lives are not determined
by what happens to us, but by
how we react to what happens;
Not by what life brings to us,
but by the attitude we bring
to life. A positive attitude
causes a chain reaction
of positive thoughts,
events and outcomes.
It is a catalyst...
A spark that creates

This is the saying printed on the side of a coffee cup I got today at a holiday party at work. The other side of the cup says in all caps: THE POWER OF ATTITUDE. It's decorated with lightning.

I used to be in the habit of photographing cups from Starbucks and translating the sayings printed on the backs of them into plain English, which I would then put on this blog. Someone at work suggested that I do that with this cup. I used to do that with the Starbucks cups because the sayings on them were pretty flowery-sounding, and I felt they benefitted from clarification. That's not the case here; The saying above is pretty clear as-is. I have a suspicion the person who made the suggestion may have had a hand in authoring the above saying (he's one of two people in history to use the word "outcomes" in a sentence, and it appears in the text on the cup). So, maybe he's looking for feedback or something. (Just as likely, this was a stock saying from a catalog, and it was picked by having a monkey throw a dart at a menu of many such sayings. Who knows.)

Anyway, here's a possible translation:

Here's your Christmas present. I bet when you heard you were getting a Christmas present from management, your heart leaped slightly and you thought "Hooray, maybe it'll be something expensive, I'll feel all important and appreciated, this will be the best Christmas ever", blah blah blah. Well, no. This cost about $1.75. But think about it: We had to hand a lot of these suckers out. That adds up, and frankly we have better things to spend money on than a bunch of Christmas presents. On top of that, someone had to come up with print, graphics, and a motivational saying to put on the cups, and a committee had to be formed to select an appropriate cup configuration. All of that takes a lot of effort. You're basically getting a Successories poster you can drink out of. You have to admit, that's innovative! We could have just slapped a big "Z" on it and something about "protecting the brand", but we were trying to be nice. In light of that, and the fact that the motivational saying on the cup has to do with having a good attitude, how can you possibly complain? You're not going to bitch about how cheap it is and come across like some kind of ungrateful whiner, are you? No? We thought not. Happy Holidays!

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Biggest. Squirrel. Ever.

A couple of friends of mine bagged a giant squirrel the other day. They were driving down an old rural highway when they spotted it. They had their guns with them, so they took a shot at it and dropped it right by the road.