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June 18th, 2019

installs and circuit riders

I got up early on Saturday morning and walked in Shawnee Park in Plano. At Weight Watchers later Sunday morning, I was down a bit under a pound. I've been under 200 pounds since 2016, a loss of 98 pounds or so from my highest weight in 2005. I just treat Weight Watchers as an analog of a twelve-step program, which mental fiction appears to let me avoid relapse.

After Weight Watchers,  I walked on the Watters Creek Trail in Allen. Then I went to church.

Sunday the Reverend Abe Smith, associate pastor at First Methodist of Allen, gave his farewell sermon. He is being transferred one town over. In general, I like the way Methodist churches re-assign pastors often, though in some areas that can be a bit hard on the families. In the small towns of Arkansas, one could watch the perigee and apogee of a minister as he kept being assigned to churches in larger towns, and then, once he had peaked, spending the last part of his career being assigned to smaller churches. Things seem to be a bit different now. For one thing, the minister is not always a "he". Further, it seems to me that preachers move about a bit less than they did in my childhood. This is probably better for families. Our church is going to have women in the roles of senior minister, associate minister, and congregational relationships minister. That is a good thing.

I like Reverend Abe, who, like me, was raised in Arkansas. At his new church, he will lead the informal services with contemporary music.. Though I sometimes denigrate this type of low church service (in a middling-to-low church denomination) as pop-song services. But I wish Abe well with it.

I have been a surprised that our denomination did not split into two denominations yet. Schism looks inevitable after the unfortunate vote to "double down" on same-sex discrimination. So far I have not switched denominations, though  I did up my sometime attendance at the local Unitarian Universalist Church. We'll see how things go, and then I'll make decisions accordingly. 

After lunch, I walked in Allen Station Park. I planned to walk more that day, but a huge storm hit our neighborhood. A neighbor's Bradford Pear tree broke, as that species is wont to do.

At home, I keep one older-model desktop, an M58, as my "main" desktop. It's one I got years ago refurbished, which has lasted well.  Its CPU, a Core 2 Duo, still works surprisingly well.  I run PeppermintOS on that one, a derivative of Ubuntu, only lighter. I lean towards lightweight desktops like Peppermint's ever since Toluene on LiveJournal suggested I add pep to a very old eBay laptop by using LXDE desktop environment.  I used to be a bit bad with my home Windows computers and icons. I would allow my screen to be mobbed in rows and rows of poorly-arranged icons. Now I tend to turn off icons from being visible. I need to upgrade to Peppermint 10, as Peppermint 5 is at end-of-life.

Downstairs, I keep another somewhat older laptop on a TV tray by a brown La Z Boy easy chair. This one, an HP 8440p, runs an early Intel i5 system. It's been a good computer, though its older SSD drive failed after a few years, and I had to replace it.  It's run very well since then. I run on it Q4OS, a system which relies on the Debian Stable release. I like Q4OS because it uses the Trinity desktop, which is "old-fashioned".  It has a "start" button in bottom left corner. I set its style on Platinum, which I believe was a part of KDE 3.5, upon which the Q4OS Trinity desktop is based.

When I travel for work, I take with me another used laptop I got for very little on eBay (if one added all my laptops together, one would have enough laptop value to buyer a single business laptop). This is the laptop whose hard drive managed to fail at the Texas Linux Fest, just when I wanted, ironically, to take notes on a good talk on how to make laptops more efficient (or, before that, about cool children's game software).

Monday morning the radio told me that a 22-year-old disturbed anti-government terrorist in body armor starting shooting at the local federal courthouse.  He did not hit anyone. The police and FBI 
shot him. Once upon a time, courthouse shootings were usually about angry men shooting at divorcing spouses or their attorneys.  Downtown Dallas' recent shootings featured an anti-police man shooting police, and an anti-government man shooting at a federal courthouse. It's all ridiculous shootings, and that's before we talk about shootings like the 20-year-old killed for little or no reason in tonight's news. It's a problem.

I had hoped to install a new hard drive last weekend, only to find that I needed a 1.8" drive rather than a 2.5" hard drive. I got one the right part on eBay, though the form factor limited my selection a bit.  Monday night I installed it. At first, I thought it would prove difficult, but I made it work.  Then I installed Q4OS once more on that system. Now I am ready to travel for work again.

Today at Noon I walked in Muddy Creek Preserve in Wylie. I liked the checkerspot butterfly. After work, I ate three soft tacos.

I am not making much progress on the book I am reading. I am a bit sporadic about novels these days. I have been on this novel for weeks. It is well-written, but no likable characters. I like to like at least one character.



from Dreamwidth, because two posts of the same text are twice as nice