Friday, July 16, 2010

So that is what woke me up....

Something rattled doors and windows and and woke me. I looked at the clock and it was about 5am. My first thought was that it was too much noise to be the truck coming to empty the dumpster. Besides, I had not heard that truck all week since I am on the far side of the buildings from it this trip. My second thought was that I was too far away from where they are digging the new subway tunnel for something there to shake things. Then I was asleep again. I never thought of an earthquake. The morning news enlightened me.

D.C. Earthquake Shakes White House Windows
Minor Quake, Still Largest in 35 Years, Rumbles Through Capital


Monday, May 24, 2010

New Look to Fedora Docs!

Have you seen the new Fedora Docs ( site?

A lot of awesome work went into the transformation.

Some it is a look an feel for the users. You can choose your language then the release and guide that interests you. The translation teams have been very busy getting many of the guides for F13 translated over the past few weeks.

What is the most exiting for those responsible for pushing content to the site though is the streamlined procedures. It all uses Publican now! This is just the latest in a series of steps making life for the docs team easier. Rudi even wrote up basic instructions for the publishing portion.

Many people from the docs team have written about the great work of the publican and translation teams. John specifically has a whole series centered about the great talent. The new procedures are SO much easier than they were in the past. I know I will someone or some team if I try to list anyone so I will just add my thanks to ALL and encourage others to look for all of John's posts as well as those from Eric, Paul, and others.

Behind the scenes there has also been a streamlining of the docs membership accounts. In the past we had to apply for a group and receive sponsorship for each guide we wanted to work on and there was frequently only one or two people with sponsor privileges. Anytime we had a bug stomping party or a group effort to bring a guide up to date for a new release we would have to hunt down access for a number of people.

Over the past week, nb has been handling the tedious job of moving all the guides under a few central groups. The "docs" group gets you started, "docs-writers" gives permission to write directly to the git/svn/cvs repositories where guides are eventually made available to translation teams and can built into different formats, and "docs-publishers" gives permission to make the built guides available on the website. Such simplicity! Each guide owner and contributor can now back each other up without having to wait for additional group sponsorship. We also upgraded a number of the currently active contributors to be sponsors and admins of these groups in hopes that it will be easier to get new contributors the access they need without delay.

Come join the fun!


Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Good Burger

A couple of weeks ago when visiting with friends in the Boston area on one end or the other of a work assignment, I got taken to a new-to-me restaurant in Lexington.

Nourish uses local ingredients and organic when possible. I figured I could find something to eat even if it required pulling the bread off a sandwich. It turned out that they have a special diets menu. It is a one pager that has a column of gluten free menu items and a column of vegan menu items. It had some very basic descriptions on it but I turned back to the regular menu for more details.

I had a burger, no bun, and a salad. Being a good meat, it was tasty. Way too often a burger out is over cooked and a bland. I usually order medium rare. At home, where I trust the meat and the handling completely, that is what I like. Since MR is the least that any restaurant is supposed to cook burgers, I find most of the time even when I ask for that I get closer to medium. At Nourish, I got closer to rare. It was still good but I may ask a few more questions next time.

The pot of tea was also very good.


Thursday, April 8, 2010


It was a very sad day among my friends today.

The lower barn at Foxwood Farm where I used to board my horse burned to the ground last night killing 13 horses. They were able to save the 9 horses in the other barn.

Orange County barn fire kills 13 horses

I will particularly miss Tess, a horse I got to ride in a few lessons. I also knew Cricket, Abby, Beau, Farrah, and Maggie. The others all arrived after I had left that farm, including the mare of my friend Cheryl. Max was safe in the other barn and Kyrie was safe in the pasture.

I am very thankful that my horse is on pasture board (no barn, only a 3 sided run-in) and very sad for his former pasture mates and my friends who have lost their beloved pets.

  • Maggie
  • Farrah
  • Magic
  • Lilly
  • Ace
  • Levi
  • Abby
  • Beau
  • Cricket
  • Mystery
  • Tess
  • Bella
  • Summer


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Solar Powered

I am definitely solar powered. It was a dark, grey, cold, and wet winter. Some days I do not even realize how much so until the sun comes out. The past two weeks have given me an opportunity to catch up on some sleep, catch up on chores around home, and generally have a little fun and time for me. I had a great time in Boston last weekend despite the rain. Then I came home to a very unproductive grey day at home on Tuesday. Finally on Wed the sun came out and since then I have actually been very productive.

Around the house, I got some old bulbs in the ground that should have gone in around Christmas. Many were soft and unlikely to ever come up but at least half of them have a chance. I finally mounted the hangers in the basement for some of my tools and my skates and tennis rackets. I also turned over a piece of ground for some mums and emptied out the planters in the front yard. In the home office and leading to stress reduction, I finished my taxes, sent out some invoices, and got some checks deposited. Finally, I have mostly caught up on laundry, dishes, and other house cleaning including a trip to the convenience center to take out the recycling.

For me, I saw the UNC Tar Heel Women's Basketball team off to the NCAA tournament and took photos, went for a trail ride, and got a layer of hair off my shedding animals - all in addition to some extra sleep. I am having an urge for a road trip at the moment though. Probably because a friend of the family has been blogging about a road trip from Minneapolis to Arizona and back. They started last week with a stop in Iowa, headed for Spring Training, and were at the Grand Canyon today.

On the technical front, I renewed my efforts with the Fedora Release Notes and User Guide for the next release, paid some attention to the Desktop Help Summit and the Fedora Marketing FAD, and downloaded the alpha media for both Fedora and Ubuntu.

I am particularly proud of a couple of other accomplishments on my Fedora 12 laptop. I should not be surprised at all at how easy it all worked out, but I finally took a few minutes to get my internal wireless adapter working and I also finally got the sites to play the audio of the women's basketball games using moonlight. I'll be able to listen at home to the very late game tonight instead of going out and I am listening to the "early" game for that location right now - it is making me really appreciate how good we have it in the announcing category with the Tar Heel Sports Network! Brad and Jan are GREAT!


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Oh me, oh my.

Lordy, Lordy;
my best friend just turned 40!!!

Otherwise known as 22 with 18 years experience.

Growing old is mandatory, well, it beats the alternative anyway.
Growing up is optional.

To A: Have a happy one!


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Up next: the Runner Up

I have been aware of Ignite events for a bit but I didn't realize that they had started in my area. Apparently last week was the second one for IngiteRaleigh and was a huge success. There was also a local TEDx event yesterday. Someday I may make it to one of these events.

But what surprised me, as I discovered after the fact about these events, was the "Try these other events" section that pointed to FizzledDurham. Apparently if you submitted a talk to IgniteRaleigh and were not chosen, you can sign up to present that talk at FizzledDurham. I know that there are many more worthy talks submitted to Ignite events than time allows - even at only 5 minutes per talk - but still, I think I would feel like presenting at a Fizzled event would be at best an "also ran" honor. Maybe because of the name.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Check off another one.

I have updated my travel map adding the Falls Church, VA Zpizza and the Annapolis, MD Whole Foods. Both visited for the first time in the past month.

View the map on the right hand side of my blog or directly.


Monday, March 1, 2010

A Long February

It has been a very cold and wet and snowy February in NC.

The above photo is from Feb 13th - the third weekend in a row that snow fell in the Carolinas. It was not a lot of snow (left) and definitely one of the more mild storms of this winter, but there is still some left on the last day of the month (right) - and a chance of more this week.

The squirrel also thought it was excessively cold and moved into the bluebird house this winter. He likes to lie flat on the top, looking down over the edge at the ground.

On the other hand, there are signs of spring.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Go (Geek) Girls!

Thanks to Paul for pointing out this:

Cassidy: Geek Girls Make a Point at Linux Conference

(I have not met these young ladies but I have worked with their dads.)


Friday, February 12, 2010

One tough woman

Dorothy Lillian Lauber, Aug 20, 1913 - Feb 3, 2010
My Grandmother.

Always a strong women, she was the mother of three very different boys - all much taller than her. Until a few weeks before her 96th birthday she lived on her own and had never been in ICU. She lived alone in a condo near town for years after my Grandfather passed and then moved into an apartment in one of those retirement communities with different levels of care. Home care and Hospice allowed her to stay in that apartment to the end.

She passed both the vision test and the driving test to renew her drivers license a few years ago then decided on her own the next winter that she was done driving. My Uncles live in town and took her to appointments and shopping and such after that. She was a wonderful quilter and from what I heard very good at bridge. When I was little, she and I would play double solitaire. In the last few month she didn't have the energy to go to the bridge group meetings or the eye sight to do any more quilting though with a bright light she could still read the newspaper.

My Grandmother is the only relative that I have any real family history for. There is a reference to a book Down the Road to Yesterday, A History of Springfield, Annapolis County, Nova Scotia by Mary F. (Fletcher) Kendrick. Published: 1941. Working up the tree: Dorothy (McGrath) married Joseph Lauber and was the daughter of Cora (Durling) and Bernard McGrath. Cora was the daughter of Matilda (McNayr) and George Durling. Matilda was the daughter of William Sucliffe McNayr who was the son of Boyd McNayr. Boyd was born near Glasgow, Scotland in 1778. His father was an officer in the King's Service and planned to move his family from Glasgow, Scotland to Nova Scotia but died at sea when Boyd was about 8 years old. Boyd eventually made it to Nova Scotia and later married Rachel Beal who's ancestry has its own site.

In October I helped my Grandmother clean out the closet and sort through the last of the sewing and quilting books and tools to give away or donate to a fundraiser. I came across a pincushion that I made for her when I was young and the instructions for a quilt she had made for me. I also found her high school and college year books along with a couple of college text books. I got to hear a few more stories of her younger days such as early morning swims in Lake Winnipesaukee. She said she wouldn't need the Christmas cards from the bottom shelf. It turned out she could have sent some but by then even reading was hard and she wouldn't have been able to really sign them, let alone provide a note. It was a long wait at the end. She is at peace at last.


The Buzz

Buzz, Buzz.
What is that bugging me.
Swat it down.
Just make it die.

There is a complaint free world bracelet out there. The idea is to go 21 days without complaining about anything. The guy that created took something like 3 months to get it off. I asked the person that mentioned it to me how long it would take them. "probably until my dying day".

Me too.

While I am at it.
Is it ever going to get back to normal temperatures and stop snowing in the Carolinas?


Friday, February 5, 2010

Threes, Sevens, and more memories

Do things always happen in threes? Is seven really a lucky number?

It must make for good tv since there was a Criminal Minds on the other night where everything was done in 3's. Three turns of the knob, third floor of the building, three victims, etc.

This week in DC there are three snowstorms - Sat, Tues, and Fri.

The young pandas on their way home to China are travelling on a 777 for luck.

I have often believed that things happen in threes. Both good things and bad things, and I suppose things that might be good for some and bad for others.

Over the last 7 months, 3 people I care about have left this world, one each from 3 generations. One was a friend. One was a friend of the family. One was family. All knowing the end was coming - which is both good and bad. All with bodies that failed and minds that stayed clear - at least clear enough to fight back and clear enough to be frustrated by the changes that could not be prevented. All had a chance to say goodbye to family. All with family that was hurting watching and waiting. All with family that was there to support and love and care. Arielle in July, Mr. Thurston in Oct, and my Grandmother this week, February 3, 2010.

I already wrote about Arielle. Here is my memory of Mr Thurston. I'll preserve the memory of my grandmother in the coming weeks.

Donald Allen Thurston (April 2, 1930 to October 6, 2009)
A friend of my parents and the father of a friend.
A Hall of Fame broadcaster, champion of minorities in broadcasting, a man of great integrity, and much loved family man.
A survivor of cancer and a fighter against the effects of Parkinson's.

I do not remember much of Mr Thurston - I was about 8 the last time I saw him. I do remember his home and eating too many blueberries from the bushes in the back. I remember running between those bushes with the dogs. I have this image of a cold or rainy day and a deck of cards and fresh baked goodies. I remember being a little spoiled at his home though I do not know if that was by him, his wife, or his daughter. It is his daughter that was my babysitter when I was a small child and who I have stayed in touch with all these years. Her husband has provided a wonderful slide show of pictures as well as shared his remarks from the memorial. I shared this with my parents who smiled as they shed a tear and remembered that warm and wonderful smile. Bob also tells a nice story of building a plane a couple of years ago.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

I just want to go home

The original schedule:
A week in Boston for work.
Fly home to NC on Sat.
Drive to DC on Sunday for a week of work.
Drive home Friday night.
Fly to Baltimore Sunday for a week of work.
Fly home Fri night.

Then the weather began to interfere resulting in:
A week in Boston.
No flights home on the weekend due to snow and ice in NC.
Fly straight to DC.

Plans to drive home to NC Fri night are now threatened by big snowstorm in DC with snow and sleet to the south before getting to a rainy NC.

I really do not want to go straight to Baltimore.
I just want to go home.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pink Zone, honors, and memories

Feb 12-21 is this year's WBCA Pink Zone and basketball teams all over will be wearing pink and raising money for Cancer Awareness. The charity of choice is the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and this year the UNC home game during the Pink Zone is against NC State on Sunday, Feb 21. While NC State plays for their beloved coach, UNC will be celebrating the recovery of senior Jessica Breland. Meanwhile, I will be honoring a friend who passed last summer.

Courtney D Hester (October 7, 1966 to July 17, 2009)
A Friend, A mentor, A role model, A leader.
A well loved person with a huge heart who will be missed.
And a fighter through a 9 year battle with breast cancer.

Also known to me and in the SCA as Duchess Arielle the Golden, she was the Queen that awarded me my AOA and despite the sickness and weakness of chemo was at the event where I was awarded my OP. Not just for me - that was a busy day and a busy event, but still she is one of the people I specifically remember was there making that day special. SCA announcement:


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Events FAD

A group got together in Raleigh this weekend to talk about Fedora Events. The first part included talking about what works and what does not work for FUDcons and FADs. Everything from budgets, sponsors, locations, advanced planning, live streaming, post event replays and recaps, surveys, and more.

It sounded interesting and I had a little time on Friday while I was proctoring an exam so I popped into the chat rooms. I would have stayed longer, but I spent the afternoon rearranging travel plans after I received an alerted that my flight home for Saturday was cancelled because of the snow in Raleigh.

Max says that Mel and Jon really offered great summaries of the first day of the FAD. The work continues at the hotel in Raleigh with even more people remotely testing the live streaming and remote participation aspects of events.
At least that work was already a major part of the agenda!

Meanwhile, I go straight to my next teach job without a night at home.


Friday, January 22, 2010

And my car is old too

So the plan was to go get my teeth cleaned then come home and finish laundry and cleaning and packing for my next trip. I have three weeks in a row of travel and for one of those I will probably drive rather than fly. The car will need an oil change when I get home and it would be a 120,000 service as well but everything is up to date for the upcoming trip.

So it seems I am all organized for the next several weeks, right. Then you know *something* is going to go wrong. The "service engine soon" light comes on early this morning. This is normally an emission thing. Not urgent but not something you leave until after a long drive out of town. And today is the only day I am in town and the service center is open.

So the result is a couple of emission related items and a couple of 120,000 mile items and a large enough bill that they offer a free rental car for the day.

Ok, I leave the car, I take the rental, I continue home to deal with that laundry and cleaning and packing... and leave the house key at the service center... and the spare is not where it is supposed to be...

So much for getting in a nap before the ballgame tonight.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

I refuse to grow up!

Flash back about 3 years to a playground and a small child.
me: I'm coming up the ladder behind you.
child: No, this is just for kids.
me: But I'm a kid (at heart).
child: No, you're a grown up.

Then today I went to get my eyes checked because it seems to be getting harder to read - particularly a few weeks ago trying to read to the same (no longer so small) child.
Dr: Your eyes are fine. Your prescription has not changed. Try taking your glasses off to read... and maybe find a brighter light.
There were also phrases such as "2-5 years before bifocals" and "normal for your age"

Translation: you are just starting to get old.

Mom just laughed.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cats can count

Cats can count, or at least keep track of days. This is not news to any cat owners, myself included, but it was brought to my attention this week.

I usually travel for 5 nights with occasional trips that are 4 or 6 nights. My parents act as cat sitters when I am away. My cats are never happy with this arrangement but after 10 years, they tolerate it and are usually under foot looking for food and back scratches.

My last trip was for 8 nights and I was due home very late that last day. Weather was also raising questions as to if the late flight would even happen. My parents stopped in to feed the cats.... and got hissed at. They had had enough. When I got home later that night I was snubbed at first. Then throughout the night I was awakened with purring and nudges for scratches. Forgiveness? More likely payback.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Year in Reveiw - Year Ahead - Home sweet Home

I actually spent more time at home this year than I have in a while. I had a couple of work projects that let me work from home. That was good. The other time was for lack of work. That was bad. I had the time to work on projects but was resisting spending the money on any of the projects. The weather also did not cooperate as much as I would have linked.

I did get the gutters cleaned and gutter guards installed. I also did get the retaining wall put in along with some of the grading to fill in behind that. I still need to put the stone on the top and also the on the front porch and the patio. I know what I want, I just need to go pick it out and get it delivered. It has been too cold and wet to work on anyways. That task gets moved to the spring list. I also still need more mulch but there is a little more grading to do and for the past few months it has been too wet. I do not want a drought or anything, but getting 6 months worth of rain in such a short time this fall has not been fun either.

Inside I had picked out some additional lights to replace the plain light bulbs that I have been living with for a couple of years. One was on backorder but finally arrived. I also lucked into finding a dining room light while out picking up ceiling fans for the bedrooms. Those have all been installed now.

I have ideas for some additional organizing of the office and painting a couple of rooms which are probably next on my list. The larger projects are going to have to wait for a while yet.

It is nice not having anything urgent so I can actually enjoy the projects.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Year in Reveiw - Year Ahead - The geek stuff

So I thought I would join the masses and reflect on the past year and the new year. What I did, what I did not do, what I want to to do next.

I did get to FUDCON 11 last Jan and really enjoyed it and then did a lot of docs work and wiki cleanup for Fedora 11. I did not get to do as much work on Fedora 12 within docs though I did more testing as part of a separate project. I also had to miss FUDCON 13 but I am looking forward to getting a bit more involved again with docs and I still want to learn more about packaging and do more than just lurk in infrastructure.

There really is not anything new for me in the Red Hat world. I still enjoy teaching. There was not as much work as I would have liked, but I got by and so far the new year is starting well. The classes did add something called "interactives" and I am getting used to those. I also really like the new instructor setup procedures. I am hoping to see a new version of RHEL this year - Fedora is so different now! Oh, and Summit is back in Boston this year and I really want to attend. I should be able to swing the travel costs - anyone want to sponsor me for a conference pass?

I have learned a bit more about organizing, resizing, cropping, and generally working with photos. I also got a new camera! In addition to learning more about taking photos and managing my photos, I would like to learn more about inkscape and I plan to work on some player profile collages for the basketball booster club.

I was going to learn more about content management systems this past year but that seems to have gotten lost. Meanwhile I now have three specific projects that I can help with as a learning tool. One wants to use Alfresco which is java based (not my interest), one is using Zicula (php based). The last one is looking at Drupal (also php based) but another option there is also Zikula since there is already some Postnuke (the predecessor to Zikula) available to them.

I definitely need to clean up my new laptop which has been used recently for rawhide and F12 testing and get it the way I want it so that I can add some virtual machines with the different CMS and start learning and comparing. I'll need it fixed up for F13 work as well.