Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

curious software and avian quarry

First thing this morning I spent some time with the northern cardinal who lives in our backyard this Spring.


We seem to get along remarkably well. He stands in his trees, tolerating me, almost every time he sees me. I believe the female nests nearby. I saw her once, last weekend.

I debated between going to Hagerman National Wildlife Reserve an hour away, and staying local. I elected the latter. I hopped on my bicycle at 8:20 a.m. to ride the nearby Watters Creek Trail bike path. In line with its name, this path runs by Watters Creek, a small bit of riparian goodness nestled in suburbia.

When I first began to ride, I noticed that my front metal wheel cover lightly grazed the front tire. A bolt which holds the wheel cover to the frame disappeared. I found a small but thick stick and used it as a makeshift bolt. This solved the problem.

About a mile and a half into my trip, I stopped at the DaySpring Nature Preserve. This small city park features a small, wooded area and some open space. The pavilions resemble replicas of CCC construction, and a small sign explains about the CCC and the WPA. I saw a cottontail bunny and an eastern phoebe bird there.



I pulled off the Watters Creek Trail, walked my bicycle across busy Alma Road, and stopped at
Green Park. This little park lies between a fire station and an elementary school. I took a picture of a northern mockingbird there.

Mockingbird, Green Park, Allen,Texas, May 24, 2014

I rode my bicycle through Glendover Park and returned home. Then I got a bill paid that I wanted to mail today,and drove it to the post office. I also got some oatmeal at McDonald's. The oatmeal was neither too watery nor too dry, but just right. The manager-on-duty called me amigo, and asked if everything was all right.

When I returned home, I took Beatrice for a walk. We saw a blue jay by the pond.


We saw a brown-headed cowbird strutting its stuff.


Beatrice proved most impressed by the squirrel, half up a tree, who stared motionlessly at her. The exchanged stares spoke volumes.

I went to Dickey's BBQ for a turkey lunch. I like to mix the regular, sweet and hot BBQ sauce into one hot, sweet admixture.

Then I stopped by Russell Creek Park. I drove by lots of adults playing cricket, and lots of kids playing baseball, all on fields designed for each purpose. I drove to the small pond, where I successfully saw my two "quarries"--an eastern kingbird and a yellow-crowned night heron.



I went home and got some more paperwork done. I set aside three things for mailing later this weekend. While I worked, I updated my operating system. Fedora releases updates frequently.
Unfortunately, the update of the program WINE and of gnuutils failed to happen, due to reported inability of the system to sort out the dependencies. The elaborate messages from the updater
hinted that two versions installed caused confusion. WINE merely allows some Windows programs to run in linux. I decided to uninstall and re-install WINE. This went okay. But then I tried to do the same with gnuutils. I did not review the things that would be uninstalled with enough care.
Soon, my system had uninstalled things integral to the operating system.

I determined to re-install Fedora 20. I toyed for a moment with switching my desktop to Peppermint as I have my laptop. I like Fedora, but I have had a run of poor luck with upgrades since Fedora 20 came along. Admittedly, usually Fedora will upload fixes within days. But I prefer not to have things break or semi-break during a routine update or even system upgrade. Someday I may switch to something super-stable like one of the new spins of Debian. But I like Fedora, despite the hiccups, so I re-installed Fedora.

At first, I found it hard to get to my computer's BIOS, to tell it to install from the DVD. My help guide said F2. I flung off an e mail to my seller's support line when no F key worked, only to realize that it was that old standby I needed to press--the delete button.

I re-set the boot order in the BIOS to tell the system to load the Fedora disk. Soon I was re-installed. I did not lose much if anything I care about, because I use an external hard drive for storage. The anaconda installer is easier to use than the last time I did a new install. I liked that I could elect my desktop environment without needing a special disk for my favorite desktop, LXDE.

After the install, I updated. It all went well. I installed Firefox, which I prefer to Midori. I added the rpm fusion non-free software repository.

My wife and I went to dinner at a new "casual quick" eatery, the regional chain Black Walnut.
I had a great tortilla soup and a tiny salmon fillet served on an oddly cheese-tainted orzo.
My wife had lobster tacos she enjoyed.

We came home and took Beatrice for a walk in the dusk. She said hello to the labrador puppy down the street, which is roughly twice her size. the children belonging to that dog petted Beatrice, which she enjoyed. She also liked the rabbits we saw.

I came home and began adding back software I like: VLC (music and video player), audacity (recording), inkscape (vector drawing), pinta (raster drawing), open shot video, kturtle (turtle programming), and xaos (a fractal zoomer). Then I added flash and then did the little two-step to get my linux system to run it. Iwill do a lot more customizing tomorrow.

Now we are watching an entertaining rerun of Saturday Night Live,after a full day.

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