Thursday, November 30, 2017

Top post for Category Links

blogging   cycling   transport   Portland   Sports   Politics   DIY   Maker   Music   Philosophy   Writing   Tech   Op-ed   Corvallis   Pacific Northwest WTF 

(On my mobile the layout doesn't include my categories widget so I would like to put that in a top post (edit: you can top post in blogger by setting the published on time in the future) so people viewing my site from their mobile can easily find the links. Funny, I thought assigning category numbers then linking the search number to the category was clever, but noticing the iphone tries to recognize the category numbers as phone numbers.. will consider changing to just keyword search links. )

Categories/Tags: 99823 99836

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

How many different kinds of rain are there?

  In the Pacific Northwest we get all kinds of rain. It's not like when I lived in North Texas and I would get the clockwork afternoon thundershower, then it would just clear up. Like the other day started with a light mist, then it turned into a drizzle, followed by showers. Sometimes you can walk around in rain and not even get wet, maybe that's why many Pac Northwesters don't carry umbrellas. But when you get soaked in minutes, I call that a 'wet rain'.

  I heard once that the Eskimo had fifty different words for snow, and I figured if they have that many different kinds of snow then we should be able to come up with that many different types of rain.

  For this purpose I will accept not just singular words, but types of rain or expressions used to say it's raining. Alphabetized and numbered for posterity. Thank you to my facebook friends for helping.

1. Autumn Rain
2. Cold Rain
3. Cold November Rain (Gun's 'N Roses)
4. Deluge
5. Downpour
6. Drizzle
7. Dumping
8. Fall Rain
9. Flash Flooding
10. Flooding
11. Freezing Rain
12. Getting Biblical (ala Noah's Ark)
13. Gullywasher
14. Hailstorm
15. Hosing
16. Light Spray
17. Liquid Sunshine
18. Mist
19. Monsoon
20. Muggy Fog
21. Pissing
22. Pouring Rain
23. Pouring Buckets
24. Precipitating
25. Rain
26. Raindrops
27. Rainfall
28. Rainstorm
29. Raining Buckets
30. Raining Cats and Dogs
31. Raining Sideways
32. Rainbow Weather
33. Really Coming Down
34. Showers
35. Sleet
36. Soaker
37. Spill or Spilling Rain
38. Spitting Rain
39. Splash
40. Spring Rain 
41. Sprinkling
42. Storm
43. Sudden Dew
44. Summer Rain
45. Swash
46. Taking a Bath
47. Tears from Heaven
48. Thunderstorm
49. Thundershowers
50. Torrential Downpour
51. Trickle
52. Trinkle
53. Tsunami
54. Warm Rain
55. Wet Rain
56. Winter Rain

Honorable Mentions:
1. It's Raining Men (song by Paul Schafer)
2. Rains of Castamere (Game of Thrones)
3. Purple Rain (Prince)
4. Red Rain (Peter Gabriel)
5. Black Rain (nuclear fallout? I hope to never see that)

I think that's pretty worthy for pretty much not using google, dictionary or anything else! 

Eskimo words for snow article;

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Installing Windows 7 on a Linux Mint machine that used to have Windows 7

I have two desktop computers that I got from Free Geek Portland that were running Linux Mint.

One is a Dell Optiplex 790 and the other is a Lenovo Thinkcentre

They both have product keys for Windows 7 Pro OA (whatever that is)

My goal was to get one of them running windows again to set up as a gaming computer capable of playing overwatch.

Warning: before trying any of this, I recommend backing up all your files. Installing an operating system could potentially wipe out any files or operating systems you're currently running on your computer.

To duplicate how I did my installation, you will need internet access, a windows computer to make your bootable usb stick with, and at least one usb flash drive (usb stick, whatever)

These instructions will wipe any data you have on your USB, so back that data up somewhere before trying this. 

You WILL need a product key to complete installation. This is not instructions on how to pirate a copy of Windows.

If you have an installation CD or USB flash drive from when you originally purchased your computer, or if you have a friend that has a Windows 7 installation disc for the type of Windows you need (Home Edition, Pro, etc.) Congratulations, you can just try installing with that.

If you tried booting up that way already and it didn't work, you probably need to adjust your BIOS settings to boot to USB or CD drive first. Try googling BIOS and the type of computer you have for specifics. It generally entails booting up your computer (watch the screen closely for instructions) and hitting F2, F12 or sometimes 'enter' to enter and then change the BIOS settings.

I didn't have a disc to start with so I was going to have to make my own.

First I tried just going to a windows site and installing the OS BUT a lot of the ways to install Windows require you start with a machine that has Windows so I ran into some dead ends.

then I found this link;

which seemed like the ticket but when I entered my product key I got this error message;

the product key you entered appears to be for software pre-installed by the device manufacturer. Please contact the device manufacturer for software recovery options.

But I didn't want to do that because I didn't purchase the machine new, I imagine the warranty is expired, and didn't think it would do any good.

It offered a button for FAQs but wasn't helpful. Apparently there's a difference between a copy of Windows you would purchase from the store (that would have a product key) and would work on any computer, and a product key from a copy of windows that came pre-installed.

so I did some googling and found this link, which basically lets you download a copy of windows without the product key. YOU WILL STILL NEED TO ENTER IT LATER. Also, installing this way on the Dell Optiplex 790 worked, but for some reason the internet didn't. I had to go on another machine and download drivers for it, put them on my usb stick, and install that way.

I only recommend this if you, like me, are too stubborn to contact the manufacturer like Windows recommends, you have some knowledge of computing, and you are willing to take the chance of disabling your computer.

I used the 'windows and Office ISO Downloader' from

Once I got that going, I was given a choice of what type of windows I wanted to download ( you can't go older than windows 7 or office 2007)

I didn't see Windows Pro OA like on my product key sticker so I chose Windows Pro SP1 (service pack 1)

The next mistake I made was I didn't realize there was a difference between just putting the iso on a usb stick and booting up, and creating a bootable usb stick.

When I tried booting to the usb I got this error;

Error: No configuration file found No DEFAULT or UI configuration directive found! boot:

I had skipped the step of taking the iso file I had downloaded and creating a bootable usb stick.

I needed the windows7 usb/dvd tool, which I found here;

When you go to that page, it directs you here;

(editing my post and having some trouble with this link. If you can't get it to work you may need to find another way to create your USB flash drive. It did work for me this way and I installed windows 7 on two different computers so...)
 (evidently codeplex is shutting down soon per the homepage on this link, which tells you to read Brian Harry's blog)

At this point you should be able to load your usb/dvd tool and create your bootable usb flash drive stick from the iso file you got before.

Now you have to ask the question: do I care about the operating system I already have? Do I just want a totally new install with just windows or do I want to dual boot linux?

If you don't care about what's on your machine, you can proceed with installation.

Your BIOS will have to be set to boot to your USB or CD before it looks at your hard drive, otherwise it will just boot to the operating system you already have.

Maybe I will talk about BIOS and partitioning (I'm expert at neither) in another post, because this is getting lengthy. I'm going to assume you've backed up all your files and you're not trying to do a dual-boot.

You should boot into windows installation now. If it comes to the part where it shows you the partitions on your hard drive and it tells you windows can't install on either of them, hit delete. This will delete the partition in question (I had two, one appeared somewhat larger and fuller than the other, which I assume was the one with my linux and files on it) and allow you to install windows.

Sometime around now you'll need to enter a product key

On my dell optiplex 790, the internet didn't work right away and I had to find a driver for the network adapter or whatever. I googled dell optiplex 790 drivers from my other computer and it took me here;

Cool! It's always nice to download straight from the manufacturer instead of a random website.

I clicked 'find it myself' (it generally assumes you're downloading drivers for the computer you're currently online with, that was not the case with me) scrolled down, and found 7 drivers under the category 'network'

I put all 7 on a usb stick and went to install them on the Optiplex. The first one worked. Not sure exactly which one, but I was going to install them all if need be.

Funny I thought when I installed windows on the Dell Optiplex that I deleted the Linux, but it automatically created a dual-boot function through the GNU grub menu and I now have a dual boot screen that comes up when I boot up. A happy accident.

I had so much fun I then went and installed windows on the Lenovo Thinkcentre. This time I decided to try and partition the hard drive myself first.

See, Linux has a handy hard drive partitioner called gparted, but you can't partition a hard drive you're currently running on, so I would now need a USB flash drive with a Linux Mint iso much like the flash drive I just made with the windows iso. Here's the link I found;

This will give you great instructions for creating your linux flash drive from a windows, linux, or mac machine. This is a cool thing to have because you can use it to install linux on almost any computer (you still can't put 64 on a computer that requires 32), partition a drive, or try to revive a dead computer

I was using my linux machine so I scrolled down and followed the instructions to install unetbootin from terminal commands;

Ctl Alt T to open your terminal and type these lines one at a time (hitting enter after each line and waiting for the computer to do it's thing)

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gezakovacs/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install unetbootin extlinux
Then I just went to my linux mint menu and searched unetbootin and there it was, clicked on it and was ready to make my linux flash drive. It should be formatted FAT32 if it is not already formatted, first go to your USB formatter from your linux mint menu and format your usb stick (or if you have a shortcut for your usb stick on the desktop, right click it and select 'format') that part was super easy.

once running unetbootin, you should get a choice of what flavor linux you want to download and off you go. I chose linux mint 17.1

Now I rebooted to my new linux flash drive, but instead of installing, I hit quit. (Also it gave me a menu on different ways to boot, It was set to default so I just let it use default)

This will take you into a live boot which basically looks like you just installed Linux Mint (you can do this with Ubuntu and others too)

Now I was ready to run gparted and partition my drive.

Ctl Alt T to open your terminal and enter

sudo apt-get install gparted 

Went to my menu and did a search (I'm not always sure where things end up when I download or install them) and found gparted and clicked on it.

gparted started up and showed me my partitions. I clicked on the largest one and tried to resize it from the left side and got some error message, so I click dragged from the right side and reduced it to about 2/3 of what it was.

My goal was to create a new partition and format it NTFS (the file system windows uses) to do a dual install and retain my current linux os and files. An iso file is about 3gb so I wanted my partition to be around 10gb to have some wiggle room. I figured I could maybe go back and increase the size later if needed.

I got some warning that I might lose data and I should have backed up everything at this point.

This part was easy, but it did take awhile to do.

Once my partitions were created, I rebooted with the windows flash drive and went to install it.

This time, when I got to the screen with the partitions, I had one that was formatted NTFS and ready for windows to install on. Everything seemed to be working great but....

Once windows was installed it will now only boot to windows. Not sure if I can boot to the linux partition. Maybe I forgot to install GNU grub or something, maybe there is a different better way to dual boot with the Lenovo (I had read online that sometimes when doing Windows updates it can screw up your GNU grub menu, and a guy at work told me he has a dual boot system with multiple hard drives on his computer to prevent this.)

Anyways, after all that extra trouble partitioning the drive the dual boot didn't work and I may have lost access to the files on that partition of my hard drive (help?) still, I learned a LOT these past few days and I have my Linux flash drive in case i want to go back and install it on the Lenovo. I think I will try and do like my friend at work and build a dual hard-drive machine, and dual boot from BIOS.

I hope after all I went through this blog helps out some random person out there that has had similar problems that I had.

Edit follow up: I was able to boot into windows 7 and download something called easy bcd from neosmart technologies (free for non-commercial use, just scroll down the page)

I added a boot option and used the Grub2 setting and now I can boot into my linux partition and I regained access to all of my files. You should be able to tell which partition is which by the size (which you allocated with gparted previously if you followed all my instructions)

The one thing on my Lenovo Thinkcentre that's not working on windows is the built-in speaker, but I'm not worried about that. I kind of like not having it working. I could probably find a driver for it but I'm going to leave it for now.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

For your consideration; a very nerdy vlog wherein I give you too much information about my new bicycle. You're welcome.

Tags/Categories: 99823 99824 99825 99850 99827 99830 Cycling DIY Maker Recumbent Bigha

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Political correctness

It's pretty funny when a politician is against political correctness... what's more ironic.. a police officer that doesn't like policy? A teacher that doesn't like teaching or a plumber that doesn't like plumbing?

I LIKE POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. Political correctness is the thing that allows us to go to work every day and not hear about everybody's BULLSHIT.

Now if you want to be politically incorrect on your own time that's different. People have a choice who they spend their leisure time with.

Monday, June 26, 2017

DIY philosophy

I see a lot of DIY projects online and there's not doubt there a lot of really creative people out there, but I want to share my criteria for a really awesome DIY project.

In my opinion, the main reason to do it yourself is to save money and/or time. If it takes a lot of time and money, it defeats the whole purpose. You could have just paid someone else to do it for you.

Many DIY projects I see start off with purchasing a bunch of materials and tools, again, in my opinion, defeating the purpose.

I would say a truly great DIY project meets these criteria;

It is cheaper than paying someone to do it for you.

It does not require a lot of materials or tools. Ideally it can be completed with stuff you already have laying around the house, saving money and time spent running to the store.

It comes off as good OR BETTER than if you would have paid someone else to do it.

Maybe I'll start a category for judging my own and other DIY projects based on this criteria.

Categories/tags: DIY philoshopy 99829 99843

Sunday, June 25, 2017

DIY planter boxes

had a bunch of wood i wasn't using for anything so I thought I'm make some planter boxes. Used minwax to treat the wood. Old rope to hold them up. Notice how the rope goes under the boxes for good support, the soil and water will be heavy and I didn't want the bottom dropping out. This took a couple hours all told, a bit of hand sawing, drilling, nailing, etc... will try and post better pics when I actually get something planted.

Categories/Tags: 99829 99830 DIY Gardening