Debian 10 Buster, Perhaps Your Grandfathers Distro

I have been using Debian for the most part of my twenty years of my using Linux. Debian was always difficult, stodgy, and unfriendly to new users. Nothing has changed, and it feels like I stepped into a time machine, and went back in time with Debian 10 Buster.

Not new user friendly, barely user friendly

I downloaded, installed and used Debian 10 Buster for a short time. Debian Buster, is not targeted for a general audience.

I attempted four installs. Each install was a little different from the previous. The fourth install wanted a proprietary driver for my unused LAN. The second and third installations, for whatever reason would not install Grub correctly. Each of the four installations consisted of superfluous questions, a few different on each install, which should be handled by the installer.

Installation is unbelievably SLOW. For a release that is a few days old, downloading and installing an extra 1220 plus packages for the default is crazy! I could have installed Xubuntu three or four times in the time it took Debian Buster to complete one successful install.

This may have been negated if I had used the DVD version, but if that is the case, why have a CD version? Long time Debian users will say, “Wait a month or two and then install”. Debian is not a cutting edge product and is well tested before final release. This was good advice in the 1990’s, but not in 2019 for a major Linux player.

Debian Buster has bad manners when it comes to disk management. I installed on a 1 gig hard drive split in two with only the first half the drive formatted. Buster agreed to use only the formatted half of the hard drive, but insisted on formatting the second half too!

After a long dreary process, Buster is installed. But we’re not done yet. We are told to remove the installation media, before rebooting. It is not clear wether the installation media is still being used or not at this point. Two of the installs, I removed the usb stick, and perhaps this is the reason for Grub failure.

Debian Buster is pretty sparse. To add insult to injury some of my favorite programs were not only not installed, but not available in the repositories. I find this surprising because they are in Debian 9 repositories. Did I mention, no email program installed?

From my reading, it seems Debian Buster is using AppArmor to Sandbox Firefox. Needless to say, this doesn’t improve the speed department. While some may feel AppArmor or another application like it is a requirement, I am not one of them. My computing time is very web-centric and happens on trusted web sites. AppArmor should be my decision, not the software’s.

In ending what is several paragraphs of negativity, Debian once again has created a release with as little appeal as possible for the general user. If you are not general desktop user, and require only mainstream popular programs, with little browser use, Debian Buster is just what you may want to use. As I read over at Distrowatch some years ago, Debian is not a good Debian Distro (probably paraphrased),

Get Rid of Ants Outside Your Home Safely

Unless you want your yard turned into a hazardous waste site, your choices for getting rid of Ants completely is quite limited.

If you dig Ants up and throw the dirt somewhere else, they build their nest in the new spot. If you stir the dirt up and leave it in place, they frantically work to rebuild their nest. If you spray the nest with insecticide, within three days (or less), a new hatch happens, and the Ants go about their business as if nothing happened. Here are two safe options to get rid of pesky Ants forever.

The most difficult but cheapest way to rid yourself of Ants is as follows: Dig them up and place the dirt in a large bucket(s). Once done, fill the bucket(s) with water over the level of the dirt. Stir the dirt and add water as needed.

Ant’s are programmed to dig downward, and are rarely able to climb up a buckets sides. Ants will climb onto grass blades and twigs. If there are any grass blades or twigs in the bucket, remove them. As water covers the dirt, Ants drown. Hours later or the next day pour the mud back where the hill is. This will help kill any remaining Ants and Ant Eggs that were missed.

Cheapest way to get rid of Ants is to dig them up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may have to repeat this cycle a few times to kill all the Ants. Caution – If you let the bucket sit for a longer period of time, it smells pretty bad. Raw Sewage and other unidentifiable stink comes to mind.

A second safe and easy method is to buy powdered, “Roach Killer”, or “Twenty Mule Team Borax” from the laundry soap aisle. They both are made of Borax. Borax is a mineral with sharp points. Borax gets in the Ants joints and punctures the shell. The Ants then dehydrate. Sprinkle the powder on and around the holes of the Ant hill, and keep the area dry.

Borax when placed in contact with water dissolves and is harmless to Ants. This is why you want to keep the Ant Hill dry.

By the next day, all or most of the Ants should be gone. Repeat every two days as there will be Ant eggs hatching and restarting the colony. After about ten days of powdering the Ant Hill, all Ants should be gone.

Dirty Dishes Dilemma – Solved

Following what I thought I read as the advice on the Dish-washing Detergent Package, I was dropping the packet on the bottom of the bottom of the dishwasher.

After washing the dishes, the dishes looked worse than they did when they went in. Streaked and in some cases greasy. Glasses and silverware were coated with a white film.

After asking others about how their products worked, they all said, wonderful. I asked how many packets they used, and most said one. One said one packet in the closable detergent container. Problem solved.

I am sure no one has ever done this except myself, but thought I would mention it, if your dishwasher is performing a little less stellar than you would like. Problem solved.

Place the packet in the detergent dispenser, not on the base of the washer.

Sodosadoblog on Twitter

Twitter is a great forum for my posting those thoughts which I think are important. Since I started Twitter using the name: sodosadoblog in April, I don’t have many of these thoughts posted. I thought I would share some of them as food for thought? For me, Twitter gives me a place to post thinking way outside my already too many topics blog.

I hope my few serious Twitter posts help people to think more about important issues rather than than the daily fluff we are inundated with and inclined to think important.

I have an ex Boss who performs Missionary Work in third world countries. He tells me it would take the average American about half a day in any of the places he has been to before realizing how distorted thinking is about life in America, and life in general.

Great platform for concise thoughts of the moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sodosadoblog@

Jun 24

Born into a broken #Family, surrounded by #Violence, #Drugs, #Alcohol, no #Job, substandard #Housing, little #Education. When someone wants more, we #Arrest, #Incarcerate and #Murder them via the #Police. We think this is #Justice.

sodosadoblog@

Jun 23

Whether you love, hate, or are a part of the #LGBT community, it is time to change your focus from the bedroom, to what #LGBT people are doing for your community. Bees, Ants, Termites, Monkeys, and other species all have highly productive non producing community members.

sodosadoblog@

Jun 22

At least 360,000 Union Soldiers died in the Civil war. I think this number represents 360K actions of #Reparations2020 for #Slaveryreparations in America. A few $ compared to a sacrificed life. I think any debt has been paid has been more than paid in Solder’s blood.

sodosadoblog@

Jun 12

Without thinking about it, say, “Thank You”, meaningfully to spiteful #comments, #opinion, and unrequested #advice,]. Watch the speaker immediately become speechless. Keep doing it and your world improves.

sodosadoblog@

Jun 5

If you feel it is right to deny #Illegal #Immigrants entry into the U.S., and you are against #Women getting an #abortion, it is time to look deep into your #Soul, and see why you are so conflicted.

sodosadoblog@

Apr 17

Anti-#abortions? Open your eyes. Feed and cloth the #Homeless, #adopt a family or child, be a #Foster parent. We have enough #Dictators. You may have a #biblical obligation to help people, not to meddle in their most personal business. It’s between themselves and God, not you.

DYI Bird-Bath and Effortless Hummingbird Feeder Cleaning

Not a lot to this post, unless you like Birds. Especially Birds in your yard. I learned my enjoyment of birds from my Father. When I was young, he worked much of the week. One of the first things he did when getting home was fill his bird feeder with seed.

On a side note, my Father’s Bird Feeder was an upside down car hub cap on top of a galvanized pipe, stuck into the ground. The birds never seemed to mind. He also expanded into making Wren houses, raising Pheasants, Homing Pigeons (which flew back to their previous owner without fail), Chickens and Turkeys.

My Father’s Bird-Bath was the same. A second hub cap attached to a galvanized pipe, stuck into the ground. When I lived on my own, and took in (one at a time) stray cats which spent my out of town time outside, neighborhood sparrows were well fed on leftover bread. This kept a large bird population for the Cat to dine on when I wasn’t home. Lazy animal husbandry in action.

I’m now on my third Bird-Bath in one year. It hasn’t been a good time for Bird-Baths in my back yard. The first Bird-Bath broke in half. The second, laying on the ground in pieces in the bottom of the photograph, I thought was broken by wind. The third one, on the bottom left was knocked off the second night it was used. There have been sightings of Raccoon and Bobcat in the neighborhood this spring, so these may be the culprit knocking the baths down due to their weight. This is odd, because I am at least two miles from any wild areas.

I went to a second hand store looking for a cheap plastic something that would work as a bird bath and not break if knocked down. I found the current plastic ‘skylight’ Bird-Bath for $1.99.

I had my doubts it would work, as it doesn’t hold a lot of water and needs filling almost daily during these hot summer days. The skylight would fall off the pedestal in the slightest breeze, which was also a problem. Fortunately, I found the big piece of lava rock that is now sitting in the middle of the Bird-Bath. I fill the clay bath on the ground daily too.

The big piece of lava rock, displaced half the water holding ability, but the skylight hasn’t ‘fallen’ off. Considering the total cost of two dollars and change, I choose not to complain about the need for daily filling.

Bird-Baths do not need to be expensive. $1.99 for this incarnation!

Whet I do find fascinating about this most recent version of a Bird-Bath, is the number of Birds that show up and drink out of it! I have become spoiled over the years by Sparrows, Finches, Hawks, Robbins and Doves showing up throughout the day. With this newest Bird-Bath incarnation, the numbers of birds have increased four-fold!

I am not complaining, but rather, I am confused about why, when I had ‘real’ (and expensive) bird baths, the birds came hesitantly. Even with a sprinkler in the bath. Yet this cheap piece of oddly shaped plastic with a rock in the middle, really draws the birds in.

Bird related, I came up with an idea for my Hummingbird feeders, of which I have two. Instead of scrubbing the mold and slime out of them every three days when I put out a clean feeder, I came up with a no fuss solution. I empty the used feeder, rinse it, and place it in a covered bucket of bleach water.

After three days in bleach water, all the feeders need is a good rinse before use, to ensure the bleach water is rinsed off. I use 1/2 cup bleach per gallon of water. Being covered stops evaporation, so I will have enough solution for the rest of the season.

The Hummingbirds too are more prevalent now, and I am not scrubbing Hummingbird feeders in the kitchen sink, which makes my wife happy. If I forget to pull in a feeder after three days, I don’t have mold building up in the top of the feeder.

That’s it for this post, a bird loving bath, and no scrub Hummingbird feeders. Give my ideas a try, and let me know how they work for you.

DYI Bagless Canister Vacuum Air Leak Fix

I have what is becoming an old bag-less vacuum that was losing suction and cleaning power due to poor canister mating with the main vacuum body. It was obvious the leaks were coming from the airway connection areas as I could feel the air blowing out through the connections.

After looking for a seal that would be simple, hold, and is cheap, I decided to use pieces of Heavy Duty Duck (formally called Duct) Tape from my closet. I cut approximately 1/4″ inch strips off the tape and applied it around the mouth of the canister airway connections. Some sides of the connections took more tape than the other sides. Go slow and do not overdo the tape layer, or it may cause a worse air leak than the tape fixes.

I spent about fifteen minutes taping the airway connection areas. Most of this time went to the tape sticking to the scissors. Vacuum has improved 100%, and remains strong. If in the future, the vacuum starts to lose vacuum, it is simple to identify the leak areas and add tape.

DYI fix your vacuum's air leaks

Simple DYI vacuum repair hack

DYI fix your vacuum's air leaks

Simple DYI vacuum repair hack

Perhaps I used maybe three inches total, so if you don’t have any tape, I am sure you can ask someone if you can have a few inches of their tape. The beater brush is still worn out, but I don’t have a cheap fix for that. All in all, I spent ten minutes and ten cents making a large improvement to an old vacuum. Save yourself money and try a simple fix first.

 

DYI Simple and Cheap Bicycle Saddle Bags

Not a lot to read in this post. Four short paragraphs, two pictures and three links.

I saw this bicycle with buckets chained to a bike rack and thought this bucket idea was ingenious! The owner showed up, and explained how he did it. I asked if I could take pictures and he said, “Okay”.

It doesn’t get simpler and cheaper than this!

Close up of U-Bolt attached to bicycle head tube

The middle bucket is clamped to the head tube with a U-bolt and a Bungee cord. All buckets are removable and the second and third bucket is held on to the main bucket with two hand sized short bolts and four nuts, and Bungee Cords. The second nut on each bolt keeps the nut tightly on the bolt. As an added feature, one or both side buckets may be removed easily when not required.

Someone with a $10k racing bike would not be caught dead sporting five gallon buckets on their bike, though I think for most of us who need to haul groceries, and other items too big to fit in a pocket or small bag, this DYI Bicycle Saddle Bag system is excellent!

Of course if five gallon buckets are larger than you need, smaller buckets can be used instead.

Dryer Balls, Verses Dryer Sheets, or Unsightly Static Cling

First there was drying clothes on a clothesline. To dry clothes on a clothesline, the weather had to be accommodating. Clothes don’t dry well in rain or excessive cold. Women of the day wanted an easier way to dry clothes. It was little fun having a clothes line; it was less fun having drying clothes hanging all over the house due to local weather conditions

Clothes became dry, but clothes were often stiff, and uniform drying was an issue. Clothes dried this way were not a lot of fun to wear, especially if the water was hard. Eventually came the Clothes Dryer. This modern marvel was to be the answer to everyones hopes for an easy way to dry clothes in any weather.

Fast forward to today, and dryer sheets are the bane of clothes drying. They are expensive, really serve only on purpose, and end up everywhere there are clothes. Some claim there are uses for used dryer sheets, but how many uses compared to how many loads of clothes dried in a time period? They end up everywhere, even at work or school, in someones sleeve or pant-leg.

Dryer Sheets were a miracle product, but there time is at end.

Now there are dryer balls. Wool balls that promised to eliminate all the problems with dryer sheets, with none of the hassle. I decided it was time to move on and try them. I bought a package of four and dropped them in the dryer.

Some weeks later, they get mixed reviews. I think they do a pretty good job on most occasions but others in the house are not so easily impressed. I hear dryer balls do not take the wrinkles out of some pan seams. Some part of the dryer load has static while the rest does not.

I think this may be eliminated by using one more dryer ball, or perhaps I should have bought a more expensive set. I bought mine on the lower end of the price line.

I enjoy not having dryer sheets showing up at the most inopportune times because I forget I didn’t see it when folding my clothes. I do not have a problem with seam wrinkles, and secretly suspect they were there all along. I’m not sure about cost per load yet, as it has only been a short period of time. Going forward, for me at least, the cost per chasing dryer sheets around is much higher than any small failings the dryer balls have. SO even if the price per load is higher in the long run, dryer balls far outweigh dryer sheets in the cost of convenience.

And The Fight Goes On…And On

I’ve been around a few years now and seen and done some things. Today many young people think grass roots activism is something new to their generation. Thinking about this, at least in my generation, Social Activism has been around for a long time, spanning many, many generations. You can’t know what you don’t know.

I remember birth control or, “The Pill”. No one considered out of the gate that for the first time in history, Women will have control over their reproductive system. What the adults around me thought, and perhaps some still do, is only, “Dirty Women”, want the pill. Dirty in this perspective was not referring to the lack of hygiene.

DDT, the pesticide was sweeping its way around the world, touted as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Initially a few groups of people saw it for what it was, the greatest poison ever unleashed. It wasn’t until California Condors were almost extinct, that the rest of the country got on board. It was looking grim for several years, and some species still have not recovered from DDT.

Women’s Liberation! Following in the footsteps of, “The Pill”, Women’s Liberation swept the country. From control over their bodies, Women wanted control of their destiny. Women were once again demanding their right to equality. This time very loudly. The most common symbol of the time were ‘bras’ going up in literal flames in public happenings; meeker women showed their support by leaving their bras at home. What scandal that was!

Equal Rights. Who did those people think they were? Don’t they know their place? This was an all too common sentiment around the country. Thankfully the Hippies and those of this generation changed opinion, and changed the country a little, the fight unfortunately still continues for Racial Equality.

Social Change is momentary, the poison doesn’t get vanquished. Keep fighting for what’s right.

Three Huggers. People who saw the value in ancient and modern forests, and wanted to put an end too deforestation and destroyed habitat. They were out there in front of the Logging Companies, ringing trees with their bodies, and driving spikes into trees to destroy chain and other saws, should an attempt be made to harvest them.

Viet Nam War and Government Disobedience. Up until this period, too many people ignorantly put their trust in Government, like so many people do today. They relinquished their civil liberties because they foolishly thought the Government knew best, and would protect them and keep them safe.

It took a horrible war in a far off land to wake people and open their eyes. Mostly Sons who were slated for the draft and their Mothers. Followed shortly by returning War Veterans who saw the senselessness of what was being done first hand.

These activists and protestors changed how we felt about war and the killing of our finest young men in war. It was all too easy before for old men to send young men off to be killed and maimed in war. At least we stopped the draft.

Then I became married and the world moved on around me. Movements came and movements went. Protests and protestors were viewed under different light depending on the year. Being a Father and Husband, I had to focus on family, and let the world take care of itself. I made a mistake.

The ozone layer problem came and went, as I did my small part, while others gave it the fight it deserved. In less than a year, most of the world understood the problem, and came up with a fix. End of the world diverted for real this time.

Now we have a Global Warming, and are slowly becoming aware of what we have done and are doing to our planet. Once again, old men are only interested in money, and care little about the lives of their Grandchildren, as if having money makes destroying the world all right.

My point to all this, is this. Many of the issues and problems of today, I thought were resolved in turn as I grew up. The problem is old habits and old thinking diminish slower than we grow up and grow old. Scared selfish people will never go away, and they will revert every good we do if not prevented from doing so.

Keep fighting, but don’t fight wearing rose colored glasses. What seems like winning the war of a very important cause today, will prove to be a minor skirmish in and ongoing campaign, as the years roll by you. You can’t slow down and rest on your achievements. Your victories will be challenged all through your life and you will find, you’re never done.

Cane and Walking Stick Bark Removal Tips

This spring, I am making wood canes and walking sticks from shrubs, tree branches and found wood (on the ground wood). I am find it quite relaxing. Not a lot of thought needed for the most part. Finding pieces that will make canes with a traditional cane handle are harder to find.

I live in a desert environment. For wood, I am mostly limited to Ash, Elm, Cottonwood, and Tamarisk. The more exotic woods either can not be harvested or do not exist where they can be harvested. There is an abundance of Willow along the Rio Grande River, but it is too small and light, and I doubt it can be cut down. Tamarisk (Salt Cedar) is defined as a noxious weed in New Mexico, so I can cut down all the Tamarisk I want. Not sure how Tamarisk will work for a walking stick or cane, as I remember it being brittle when dried.

As I learn the best way to remove the bark by scraping, I have made some interesting discoveries I will share with you. The best tool for scraping bark depends upon two things:

The first is the strength in your forearms and wrists. The stronger your forearms and wrists, the easier it is to take the bark off with a wider selection of tools.

The second factor is how fresh the cutting is. The greener the wood, the easier to remove the bark. If cut and peeled on the same day, a butterknife will practically be enough. I have seen a vegetable peeler used in one Youtube video. For older and drier the wood, a more serious (heavier) tool which needed.

I looked around the web for recommendations for scraping. As you can see from the photo, my collection ranges from a smaller kitchen knife, to a rasp and finally a paint scraper. They all work in their respective environments. The tool needed being dependent on how fresh and green the branch is.

Removing Bark for Canes and Walking Sticks is simple, and easiest when green.

We’re not talking cabinetry level work here, and I do not own a grinder or sander, so I am limited to hand tools. I have found the following to be generally true.

Very green, a paring knife or something like it works well. –4/26 – I forgot to mention, if you peel just cut wood, it is likely to crack.

Older wood, still somewhat green and a heavy knife seems to work quickly.

Very Old and/or really dry wood, my heavy duty Hori-Hori knife (Japanese hori-hori are better made and heavier)comes in to play.

Both kitchen knives are from second hand stores and cost me less than five dollars together, so I am not expecting a lot out of them. It’s not clear in the picture, but the blade on the chefs knife developed some bends along the bottom. Probably from my using the blade as a pry bar in a few spots today.

The rasp, I have found little use for other than branch knots and handle shaping. That being said, It would be a lot of work not having one. This rasp is part of a cheap set, but does the small amount of shaping I need without any real fuss. One note on the rasp. It builds up (teeth hold the shavings) when the wood is very green.

The final tool no matter what I use initially is, get ready… a paint scraper! Found out about paint scrapers from a 2011 youtube video by a man named, “Don Dailey”, Walking sticks prep 1. Thanks Don!

Most of the under-bark on all but the greenest pieces remains in places no matter how well the wood is scraped initially. The knives may leave some scratches too. The (orange) paint scraper has very sharp blades which scrapes and smooths, both at the same time. The other scraper hasn’t worked as well for me.

That’s all there is as far as I know right now. It’s not rocket science and there may be better and faster ways to remove bark, like an electric grinder which I don’t own. I don’t think there are any cheaper or simpler methods however. When it comes to bark removal, if you want to do it fast, cut and peel the same day. The older the wood, the harder it is to remove the bark.

Let me know how it goes for you, or if you have a better way to get the bark off.