Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

tails and spotlight

Friday I was in nearby McKinney on some business, waiting in a hallway in a public building. As I waited, two different folks I know wandered by and greeted me by name.
I do not often run into people I know that way, so it made me feel as if I have lived in this area for a while.

Today the temperature was about 15 degrees C., but the wind was Arctic. Tonight we have our first freeze. When I walked Beatrice this morning, I put on numerous layers of clothes. Once upon a time, my theory was to avoid dressing heavily until the "real" cold begins, in order to acclimate. Last year I abandoned this theory, opting to dress warmly whenever I feel cool. This simple if non-macho approach seems to serve me well.

At 11 a.m., I went to the Dallas Makerspace for the November meeting of the North Texas Linux Users Group. I enjoyed the meeting. At one point, we all went around and introduced ourselves, as others beyond me were relatively new. Most of the other folks were in the computer business for their day jobs.

I was interested to hear which Linux distributions (akin to a "flavor") they used for their operating system. Some used Fedora (not surprisingly, these folks in general worked at jobs involving Fedora's commercial cousin, Red Hat Enterprise Linux). Some used Ubuntu derivatives, such as Ubuntu itself, Lubuntu, Peppermint (myself) and Linux Mint. A minority of folks used Slackware. One woman, a privacy buff with a system administrator background who introduced herself as "Joan, as in Joan of Arc" ran the privacy-minded (and Snowden favorite) Linux operating system called Tails. She had feared that her system was broken, affecting her privacy, but the folks there helped show her she was okay.

I had with me the 15 dollar eBay laptop on which I run Debian-based Q4OS. Its retro Trinity desktop proved to be of interest. One fellow sparked interest by trying to run OpenSolaris, an obscure non-Linux operating system. They helped him by installing an easy Linux distribution for him instead.

As my self-introduction included a mention that I liked to use computers to make Creative Commons music with synthesizers, one fellow wearing a Navy cap told me about his music business. He and a friend make electronic organs which use soundfonts of famous world organs to permit MIDI song creation. It sounded pretty cool. He was at the users group to learn more about command line use. He was a ham radio operator, and a ham-to-internet bit of software he wanted to use involved using text command line commands unfamiliar to him.

I really had a good time at the meeting. I'll go again--and again.

After the meeting, I drove to dine on chicken at Dickey's BBQ. Then I went for a half-hour chilly walk at Limestone Quarry Park. A smallish terrier mix dog growled at me, but its temper lost its fuse a bit when I said to it in a kind voice "what a tough dog you are". I saw lots of Yellow-Rumped Warblers, a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, lots of sparrows, and a high-hovering Turkey Vulture.

We met our friends Scott and Donna for dinner at Texas Land and Cattle. I had a grilled chicken breast, asparagus spears, a cup of tortilla soup and a roll.

We went to see the movie "Spotlight" at the Plano West Cinemark. This movie, about the Boston Globe assembling and then breaking the story on the cover-up of priest abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston, was a real must-see.

When the movie was over, I watched the play by play on the internet as the sports team from my alma mater lost a heartbreaker by 51-50 when a short field goal was blocked in the last half-minute of the game. I'll bet it was a good game, but I'm sure that the movie was better.

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