Sunday, July 09, 2006

JULY 2006

Saturday 01- visited Frank and Mary for a while Stuart and his girlfriend were also there- dropped by Chuck’s place and jawed for a while and he told me that he cooked breakfast over at the community center and he was really tired but he promised Stoney he would cook when he asked him to- went on over to the buffalo folks to have a chat wit Dion who was working there finishing up the new house with Tom and Manuel.
Sunday 02- to dang hot to do anything outside so I played with that old laptop of mine, updated the BIOS to see if the new version would let me boot to CD, but that didn’t work either. Old systems like my Toshiba laptop won’t boot to CD cause there is no BIOS setting for it. Found a program smart boot manager floppy that will let me boot to CD and that bypasses the MBR then I loaded up Puppy Linux 2.0.
Monday 03- started updating my Blog and cleaning up some things- Joel called to let me know that the electric power was down for 2 hours; I am on solar and don’t know when the power goes out- called Kula and talked- it rained and thundered today.
Tuesday 04- Roger T. came by with hamburgers, hotdogs and apple pie, oh my!
Wednesday 05- hot and muggy all day- visited Andrew.
Thursday 06- Andrew came by for a while and messed with computers.
Friday 07- Scott called for my help unloading cabinets from his trailer that go into the kitchen and bathroom, and then we loaded a bunch of stuff that goes to his other property- bout that time Lee’s Daughter got a flat on Winters just down from where we were and we helped her out moving her truck off the road, she had no spare, and gave her a ride to Lee’s and he came back later and fixed it.
Saturday 08- had to dig up my plants in the front by the road and replant them inside the fence before the critters finish them off- Ron D. and I went to Yucca Valley to their “Summer of Music Festival” and saw the band “Answer”. I saw them last year and as always they were great! I took some great pictures and brought a camera for Ron to use too.
Sunday 09- cleaned the kitchen; its a bi-yearly thing I do- rained and thundered and I saw smoke from a fire in the park down by Yucca, the TV news said they have it done by Tuesday.
Monday 10- called my longtime friend Mike L. who lives in Hermosa Beach, to wish him a happy birthday- went to town to git supplies.
Tuesday 11- The Sawtooth Fire that was started by lightning last Friday afternoon and the National Park Service gave an “Estimated Containment Date July 11, 2006”. Has this Tuesday flared up into a major disaster burning houses around Pioneertown and has provoked mandatory evacuations of Pioneertown, Rimrock and Bowden Flats, Piper Canyon and other communities in the fires path. Last I heard it has consumed around 6000 acres and I can see the flames from my home this Tuesday night and you can see that the setting Sun is “Blood Red”.
Wednesday 12- As of Wednesday morning 30 homes have been destroyed and the fire has now covered over 26,000 acres and Flamingo Heights has been added to the mandatory evacuations list- the smoke from the fire had been going north-east of us but tonight the wind has changed and now we are in a fog of smoke- Stoney called to say he’s back from vacation. Told me about Rufus Stokes passing a week ago; I will write something appropriate for the paper.
Thursday 13- because of the smoke, I stayed inside all day and cleaned the house some more. It is a good thing that I had exercised yesterday- the fire has grown to over 40,000-acre and Governor Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency in San Bernardino County where 42 homes and 55 other structures were destroyed.
Friday 14- not too smoky this morning, so I went for my jog and exercised. I spent the rest of the day indoors cause the smoke came back and it got to 110 degrees. Worked on the website and did some cleaning of the computer room- The Sawtooth and Millard fires have merged! Using 2,600 firefighters and many support personnel, with a cost so far at 7.1 million, the fire is 20 percent contained at 62,000 acres destroying 56 homes. The largest fire to hit San Bernardino County was in October 2003 at 91,281 acres and the largest in the state was the Cedar fire in October 2003 in San Diego County at 273,246 acres obtained from the California Department of Forestry Statistics & Events.
Saturday 15- not a whole lot of anything going on except the heat coming in around 113 degrees, and the smoke came back for most of the day. I just stayed inside messing around with my computers and organizing my files- tried several types of Linux on my old Toshiba laptop to find one to replace Win98 and found problems with all: Suse 10.0 couldn’t find the CD but it had to read from it to be able to tell me that, Damn Small Linux wouldn’t find the modem, and Puppy Linux found the modem but I couldn’t find a way to load it onto the harddrive.
Sunday 16- still dang hot! They say that the Sawtooth fire is 35% contained- I called my parents to say hi and see how they were doing- Dale from Landers called and we talked about the fire- Mike from Hermosa called and we jawed for a while- at around 10pm the winds picked up and clouds started to appeared bringing thunder and I could see the lightning strikes in the mountains west of where I am, I hope it doesn’t bring more fires or create mud slides cause I think everyone, including the Firefighters, have had enough.
Monday 17- got a call from Jeff R. wanting to take him to town to get a flat tire fixed. I told him I’d be there in an hour after I exercised- another hot and humid day, so I just messed around with that old laptop trying to find a Win98 replacement, but I have the Win98 running so nice functional I may just keep it as is and move on to other important things-
Linda S. called and we talked about the responsibility folks should take on their own than to wait for the Government to respond to global warming. I believe that we all can cut at least 30 to 40 percent on the amount of resources we consume. We could cut down on the our driving by planning our trips to town:
  1. Make shopping lists of what we may need for the next week or month so we can limit the trips to town. Go with a friend and share the gas.

  2. Plan your route so the stores are all on the same side of the street, as you drive, no crossing the street back and forth.

  3. Use less water. Only have plants that are native to the environment you live; no lawns in the desert duh, and wash your dishes by hand, that saves electric and water.

  4. Get rid of them old incandescent lights (they should be outlawed) and replace them with compact fluorescent lamps or LED lights.

  5. Get an LCD TV that is much more energy efficient than the old picture tube type.

  6. A laptop replacement for that desktop computer.

  7. Dry your clothes with a Thermonuclear Device (Clothes line)!

  8. Have a few of your vacations closer to home.

  9. On cold nights use an electric blanket instead of heating the whole dang house.

  10. On them hot and dry days use a swamp cooler instead of AC.
Remember that once you burn oil in your car or your home, that’s it! It cannot be recycled! It goes into the air, into your lungs, and is just a nasty pollutant. And once it is gone it cannot be made into a plastic that’s in about everything we use, and plastic is recyclable. So don’t blame the government or email your congressperson looking for answers and waiting for solutions, cause the solution to the answer is you.
Tuesday 18- so dang hot and sticky that it feels like the meat is being steamed right off my bones- called Dan A. to see how he was doing- Mike from Hermosa called- wrote column and sent it to the newspaper.
Wednesday 19- it’s hot but I did my jog anyways- lightning strikes real close to home and my phone was out for several hours. I was also told that the electric power was out for around an hour by Stoney when I went over to his house to check on him- loaded OpenSuse Linux onto my newer laptop but it couldn’t find the wifi, so I got mad and took it off and tried to load Kubuntu back on but I or it messed up on the partitions and it deleted my MBR , but the Windows XP partition was still there so I created a MBR with GAG (GRAPHICAL BOOT MANAGER) and was able to boot up to XP with no problems.
Thursday 20- went outside around 1:30 pm and to checkout the lightning and I thought I saw a small amount of smoke coming from the mountain right by a repeater tower to the southwest. I called a few friends and told them about it when I thought to myself, “git yer camera and take some pictures dummy”! It was on the TV news that night and they must have put it out cause there was no smoke the next morning- Andrew dropped by for a spell and then we went to his house to work on some equipment.
Friday 21- not a whole lot happen today, mighty hot and sticky- called Stoney and he told me that the power went out for about an hour- on my old laptop I tried to load Xubuntu Linux that is suppose to run on older laptops but it ran out of ram and I will have to rethink about it- reloaded Suse Linux 10.1 on my newer laptop to give it one more chance- spent a few hours tonight working on this blog making it more readable.
Saturday 22- Joel dropped me off some cinnamon rolls in my mailbox this morning- Dale called and we talked about how dang hot and sticky the weather has been (we ain’t complaining)- Scott called and said he be over tomorrow- that OpenSuse 10.1 I loaded yesterday still couldn’t’ find the wifi or the modem so I loaded up the old retail version of Suse 10.0 that had all the drivers and it found both! Roger T. called at 6:30 pm to tell me to look at the smoke coming from the south. It was just a little east of where the fire from Thursday and later at night you could see the red from the flames- I stubbed my little toe on the door I haven’t hung that’s leaning against the wall in my small hallway and in the way. I guess it’s trying to tell me something.
Sunday 23- another hot day- washed clothes the old fashioned way: in a bucket with a plunger- Scott and Dion down from Lancaster working on Scott’s property and I thought I’d be neighborly and drop on over and offer to help out. Did some arc welding tacking up some loose and broken poles that the buffalos had messed up.
Monday 24- my little toe is still hurting from Saturday so I can’t do any jogging but I can lift some weights- still very hot today and did very little- had a nice chat with Terry W. by way of email.
Tuesday 25- still hot and my little toe still hurts, so I only did light exercises- John M. came by and brought over something mysterious for me to look at that he found in a shed on his property that was left by an old tenant- wrote column and sent it into the paper.
Wednesday 26- can’t jog but I can ride my bike! Rained and hailed pretty dang good, and the temp dropped from 110 to 80 degrees in less than 20 minutes, hail was coming down so hard that it chipped paint off my house!
Thursday 27- finally hung the bedroom door, the one that I dang near broke my little toe on- Joel came by with some pizza.
Friday 28- a little cooler today- Ron D. came over and brought me some leftovers and we sat around and jawed for a while.
Saturday 29- even cooler today! Dale from Landers called and we had a nice chat- messed around with a really old Dell laptop running Win95 and got Opera 8.51 running on it after updating it to run 32-bit software, it runs, but its like watching paint dry when ya load a website - Billie called and she sounds like she is doing much better than the last time I talked to her.
Sunday 30- my lazy day! Just messed around the house and worked on computers.
Monday 31- jogged for the first time in over a week since I stubbed my little toe and it felt good to run again! I even rode the bike afterwards and lifted weights. I am a happy man- Jim S. called to say hi and asked me about some computer related stuff- I went to town for supplies. I took my spare to get it fixed, it has a slow leak, but the dang tire shop in 29 was closed- picked up a USB harddrive enclosure Mojave Techs in 29 to store my backups- Ken, a reader of my column, called to ask me about what to use to keep the rats from eating his car’s wires: spray on some peppermint- well it is the end of the month and it ended on a really nice and cool day!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

June 2006

Thursday 01- helped buffalo folk load Chief onto trailer, he was easy cause I got him to follow me into trailer by using carrots and slammed the door behind him- Joel came by with supper “chicken-cacciatore” and it was good!
Friday 02- helped buffalo folk load Sally into trailer, she was harder than Chief and I had to rope her horns and then we wrench her into trailer- Ron D. came by for a jaw and we got a call from the buffalo folk that Dion got rounded up and put in jail by the sheriff while following trailer back to Lancaster in car he needs us to go and pickup on HWY 247, so we went and picked it up- later that day Dion is sprung from jail and I pick him up and drove him back here- John M. dropped by to give me a door buzzer he thinks I need.
Saturday 03- buffalo folk call and ask me to come and help get Buffy into trailer cause they are having a hard time doing it. I spent the next 3 hours trying to help them get her in by she is just dang stubborn and we were afraid that she may hurt herself or have a heart attack in the hot sun, besides, Scott was pressed for time; he had to go to San Diego for a week and had to return the trailer to its owners that day, so I told them that I’d take care of Buffy for the next week till they got it together- Brenda dropped off her Gateway Profile2 all in one computer for repairs. FD and CD don’t work, boots up to Windows Me but the display is degraded and only fills a quarter of the screen.
Sunday 04- fed buffalo- 12 Noon John M. and I go to Morongo Valley in my truck to pickup a refrigerator he needs. We spent most of the day helping the lady who is giving the refrigerator to John with her burglar alarm. Her name is Annette, she used to be a famous model in the 40s’, and lives in a very big house that is built on a mountain that has had its top cut off for it. The driveway to the house is in between two mountains very narrow with a 200 foot drop off on either side (reminded me of Frankenstein’s castle, only desert style)- finished Brenda’s computer, got the display working right and recovered the USB functions buy reinstalling Windows Me and was able to plug in my external CD drive and copy files and drivers over from the recovery disks, but the FD and CD won’t work. I tried many things to get them to work, BIOS settings, different drives, and even tried Window settings in the system device IDE, but I didn’t think that was the problem. Since this is an “All In One” computer it is setup different than a regular desktop. I had spent over 4 hours on it to get it running the best I could without tearing it down and spending more time on a machine which is way out of date and maybe causing it to not function at all. So I ran it over to where she lives and told her she should get a new one before this one stops functioning altogether- Mike from Hermosa Beach calls.
Monday 05- fed the buffalo.
Tuesday 06- got up early and painted some Snow Coat on the roof- fed buffalo- wrote my column and sent it to the newspaper.
Wednesday 07- helped John M. get the refrigerator into his house- went to Andrew’s and we worked on a very old computer that had an IDE primary harddrive failure. We replaced the CPU and messed around with the BIOS till we got it working. We really need to stop working on these old computers, this one was a 233mhz processor with wires hanging all over its insides and dust clogging up the power supply fans- Fed buffalo.
Thursday 08- went to town to get some carrots for the buffalo and some supplies for me. Got propane at Bar Lumber and innertube for my small motorcycle. While I was putting groceries into my truck Channel 2 came up and asked if they could interview me on what I thought about the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's death, I told them that it was good news for our troops and that I hoped that his death would bring them home soon- fed buffalo with Andrew and got some pictures of him feeding her-
Friday 09- fed buffalo- saw fire in the mountains due west of here and it was up around Big Bear- worked on website for the weekend update.
Saturday 10- fed the buffalo- went to meeting at the community center for the Community Watch Program. Seemed to me a little fishy that the Board of Directors said we could only ask, “permitted questions” of the Sheriff’s Officers or they would stop the meeting. Now what was that about? – Mac’s computer has gone caput and I told him to bring it by and I’ll have a look see. Looks like a bad power supply, I checked all the connections, made sure all the boards and ram were seated, and told him to take it to his friend that is lending it to him to have it replaced. I will get one of mine ready for Mac to use until he gets it back.
Sunday 11- Ron D. came by with some vittles and a video for me. I took him over to feed the buffalo and took some pictures- reloaded XP on one of my computers for Mac to use as a loaner and took it over to him- Seime came by for a visit and we sat and ate fruit and crackers- Mike from Hermosa Beach calls.
Monday 12- fed buffalo- John M. comes by with some nick knacks- Jeff shows up with onions and I share some lime chicken and rice with him.
Tuesday 13- fed buffalo- cleaned up around the house- wrote column for the newspaper and sent it in.
Wednesday 14- fed buffalo- took tire off small motorcycle for repair- Scott called and he is in Yucca Valley with trailer and will be here to pickup buffalo in 20 minutes. Scott, Jason, and me spent the next 3 hours getting Buffy into that dang trailer and we weren’t going till we did. With a little heckling from me I got Scott to get out there and lasso Buffy by the horns and then we wrenched her into the trailer and Scott immediately drove off with her to Lancaster- called my friend Mike from Hermosa Beach- started writing this blog for posting.
Thursday 15- got tire patched on small motorcycle and filled it up with air and took it for a ride- Joel came by with dinner, a concoction that he made-up which was very good- Jeff called around 9pm needing a ride from the hospital, but my rear lights don’t work for night driving and told him to catch a taxi and drop him off at the bottom of Coyote Valley Road where the pavement ends and I’d pick him up there.
Friday 16- messed around the house fixing a few small things that otherwise wouldn’t hold my attention as I have so many bigger things to do- finished my “PC Trouble Shooting” that I’ve been taking online.
Saturday 17- worked most of the day finding the best way of converting a PDF to HTML and finally succeeded in finding a program that did it pretty well at the least expense. This is for a job I may bid on for a LA newspaper website, editor is named David.
Sunday 18- jawed with Scott and Dion for a few hours talking about our reckless youth, well their reckless youth; I’ll just let them believe I am guiltless- sent samples of the html document that was converted to David.
Monday 19- Raymond S. came by and asked me about that old VW bus that I have sitting in the front yard and ended up trading the tire changer, that I got from John M. a few weeks ago, for a camper shell Raymond had at his home that fit on my truck perfectly- Stoney came by with some food- John M. called to ask if we can take my truck tomorrow and pickup some furniture, I told him ok- John M. called again needing a jump for his car so he can take his grandson back home in Adelanto. I came with my jumper cables and we found that his battery wouldn’t hold a charge, I told him I had a spare at home he could use till he got it replaced and sent them on their way.     
Wednesday 21- Joel came by with lunch; double cheeseburger and onion rings- fixed flat on my bicycle.
Thursday 22- George Chadwick called to say thanks for the story I wrote about Joan’s passing and we talked for a while. I will write another story on her with the info I just got from George.
Friday 23- just plain hot but I exercised anyway- worked a little around the house and read.
Saturday 24- Mike called from Hermosa Beach- Dale called from Landers- went down and talked to Scott and Dion while they put in the bathroom tile- Brenda called and asked if I’d work on her sister’s computer, I told her to bring it down tomorrow.
Sunday 25- Debbie brought over her old Packard Bell 333mhz, 256meg of ram, system is running Win XP. CD and floppy drive didn’t work and has a virus. Replaced CD with one she brought over and got it to work. Tried system restore but it didn’t have enough space on harddrive.
Monday 26- continued to work on Debbie’s computer. Tried to do what I could to keep her XP but it is like putting a jet engine in a Model-T Ford. She didn’t mind if I installed Win98SE so I did and did the updates and downloaded driver for her modem. Replaced the floppy drive and messed with the BIOS and got it working. Installed anti-virus, anti-spyware and a firewall and called her to pickup.
Tuesday 27- John m. and I took the truck to Annette’s home in Yucca and picked up couch and washer- wrote column and sent it to newspaper.
Wednesday 28- had dinner over at Mac’s home with his family and neighbor Chuck. Mac cooked us up something special called rippers.  Played some kind of game with Dennis where you hit a piece of flat plastic around on a table with air coming up through little holes, he won the first one buy 2 points, I won the second by 5- it rained some up here and we had some thunder so when I heard a load noise I thought it was that, but it turned out to be a car that was speeding and hit the brim of the road and flipped over a few times and came to rest on its top. I talked to the officer who was at the scene and he told me that the driver had left before he arrived. I heard latter that the driver’s first name was Keith. I took some pictures and put one on the website.
Thursday 29- played around with old laptop and took off Win2000, which was making it run too slow, and installed Win98- Joel called and said he has a bad problem with his computer, I told him to bring it by.
Friday 30- worked on Joel’s computer and had to uninstall McAfee VirusScan that comes bundled with AOL. The program would start when the machine booted and run the CPU at 100 percent so nothing else could run- visited Scott for a while- Mike from Hermosa Beach called- Microsoft is discontinuing support for Win98-ME so I downloaded all the critical updates from their site and saved them to disk for future installs.