Adding Choice to Linux Color Schemes

Choice is what Linux is supposed to be about. You may do things your way. You may add this, or take that away. You have your choice of desktops, You can make your Linux bloated, or you can make it lean and mean. Some important choice is missing in many Linux Distributions.

Unless you are new to Linux, there is a commonality among most major Linux Distributions. Let’s see how much Distro hopping you have done while using Linux, and after we are done I think you will agree with me, Linux has a huge Achilles Heel.

Desktops are plain vanilla across most Linux Distributions whether you use Cinnamon, Fluxbox, flwm, FVWM, GNOME, i3, IceWM, ion, JWM, KDE, LXDE, LXQt, MATE, Openbox, WMaker, Xfce, they mostly look the same with exception of color from major Distribution to major Distribution. Snooze.

Want to try a short Linux theme color quiz?  Good. Here we go.

1. Which Linux Distributions use a blue theme?

2. Which Linux Distributions use a green theme?

3. Which Linux Distributions use a brown theme?

4. Which Linux Distributions use a black theme?

5. Which Linux Distributions let you easily make changes to your desktop colors?

6.Which Linux Distributions have Icons of more than one color?

When is the last time you looked at your Desktop and thought, ‘Wow, I like this’?

Imagine going to purchase a kitchen appliance. There are five brand names that all have similar appliances. How about buying an automobile. Every base model is more or less the same as another brand’s base model, Imagine a world, if no matter what you wanted to buy from underwear to Automobiles, every company had their own pet color? And buying from Ajax Appliance means your new appliance has a blue stripe around the top surface?

I think you get the idea. Here we are with Linux, where we can have it our way, as long as we want one set color theme. Of course, there are downloads and various options to change your desktop, sharpen it up, or make it look different, and possibly, unique.

Unfortunately the newer Linux user is busy learning Linux basics. They may not know or know how to add desktop effects, or make what should be simple changes. If your Linux Distribution has a blue theme, is there any real reason, why you have to continue to look at a blue themed desktop if you want to change the color? What if you really dislike blue, or brown, or green, or red, or black.Ditto for other main Linux Distribution colors.

Linux in general is becoming plain vanilla, most of the larger distributions only have color themes to differentiate themselves from other large plain vanilla distributions. The days, of really having any real differences in implementation or speed of your favorite desktop are gone.

If your favorite Linux distribution uses one of these desktop environments (DE). More likely than not the DE is no faster on your Linux Distribution than it is on most other Linux Distributions. With the exception of perhaps Mint Linux, which makes all DE’s conform to the Mint Linux idea of the perfect DE, they all look more or less the same in one Linux Distribution as in another.

What got me thinking about this is I am back to playing with Makulu Linux. I find Makulu Linux a breath of frsh color in a color challenged Linux world. If you want to read a well written review of Makulu Linux, you can find it here:

MakuluLinux Flash 2020 Could Be an Xfce Desktop Game-Changer

Makulu Linux, daring to be different

Makulu Linux reminds me of what Linux used to be. Makulu uses color, color, and more color. Whether Makulu Linux is faster, slower, or just as fast as the Linux Distribution you are using right now, is a moot point. Makulu Linux developers are not afraid to be different,

I have a computer with a graphics card capable of displaying more than 16 colors, I don’t need all my icons to look the same as the other 50 plus icons. I like color, and I enjoy the creativity Makulu Linux takes in their product.

Color! Who would have thought!

If you are not afraid of diverging from the main five or six colors of the main Linux Distributions, Makulu Linux and other smaller distributions are game changers. With that being said, not all smaller Linux Distributions use or access repositories of tens of thousands of programs and files, twenty-nine plus thousand of which you will never use.

This is the third iteration of Makulu Linux in the last few years, and perhaps they did not get popular enough for further development, but Makulu Linux seems intent on not being another plain vanilla Linux.

Maybe the days of having Linux your way are gone by the wayside. At least you do not have to put up with being bored into mortification from four or five color choices differentiating your Linux Distribution from another Linux Distribution,

Small Home and Small Space Composting

I have been composting using different methods for several years now, starting with a basic compost pile. While the compost pile works well in many parts of the country, here in the high desert, a compost pile is not really effective. Due to the lack of rain, and lack of vegetation, composting in a pile is a lesson in futility.

I have found the lack of water, greens, and browns all at the right time to be a big problem. I can harvest weeds in the spring to feed the compost pile, but this is a short green season. If the rains do not cooperate, the greens become browns before too much happens. Through the rest of the year, it is easy to collect browns, but there are little to no greens and less water. The result is a dusty pile of material.

The simplest, most effective small home and garden compost method.

Composting in a standing barrel open at the top is slightly faster, with faster being relative. I started seeing compost in the bottom of the barrel after about a year. A year for a few shovels full of compost doesn’t really do much for anything bigger than a sandbox sized space.

I had come across and wrote a post about Pot Composting. Using four rotating pots with the oldest material in the bottom pots had some value. The link to the first Pot Composting post is here.

Pot Composting Made Simpler and Easier

The Pot Compost material never really turned to compost as we normally think of compost, but when it was added to soil, it quickly broke down. If space or lack of open ground is an issue, the pot composting method works fairly well. I used kitchen scraps however, so if you are not into peeling your own vegetables and saving anything compostable, this method may be a very slow and tedious one.

I have had the best luck, if luck has anything to do with it, using the “Trench”, or Hole Compost method. This method is usually used where there is a formal garden. In my case, I have no formal garden, but I do do have a six by three foot pile of old worn out horse manure material that turned to dirt years ago. I do not use the Trench method though as I am not that organized to track where the last batch went.

Here is what I do. I have a covered Crockpot insert in the garage to collect kitchen scrap. When the pot becomes full I dig a hole to the right of where I last dug a hole. I empty the pot into the hole. Using an old plastic cooking spoon I scrape anything that didn’t fall out of the pot. I then cover the hole up. The hole is usually about a shovel blade deep, so there is not a lot of dirt on top the material. Generally within a couple of weeks, everything has been broken down and I can not find any remains of the last deposit.

I find this method to be the most effective and simplest. The kitchen waste itself provides the water needed, and the now robust soil does the rest. Even in the middle of summer when the temperature in the mid nineties, the most recent addition is completely gone in about three weeks.

Digging a hole and dumping in the kitchen scraps takes less than three minutes. No need to fuss over it, add water, make sure there is a correct mix of green and brown, add nitrogen, or any other chemicals. Simply dig a hole, add the scraps and cover the hole up. Microbes in the soil do the rest.

Nightmares, Voices, and Visions

What about those nightmares? What about those bad dreams that are not really nightmares but close? You know those dreams that are very unsettling but did not cause you to wake up terrified? What about childhood terrors? These are not the dreams that let us wake up refreshed and rested.

Sometimes dreams are just not fun. They are at the least unsettling, and at their worst, make for a bad day or week. In the realm of ancient knowledge, there are documented records of good dreams and bad dreams. Some dreams foretell of danger wiping out a community or culture. Other dreams are prophetic precursors of something going to happen and there was nothing to be done about it.

Are all nightmares just dreams, or could they be something more?

All these dreams are real from the viewpoint of the person who dreamed them. Whether they are a child’s night terrors to a dream of our dying, they are real to that person. Someone who hears voices or thinks they are being tormented by monsters or demons, to that person those events or dreams are real.

When a child suffers from night terrors, they are not called night terrors because they are so much fun. To the Child and Adult having night terrors, they are completely real.

The situation or the monsters are as real as you or I touching our hand with our other hand. Just because other people in the room can not perceive what terrifies the child, is not any sort of proof that the terror is not real. In times past, there was a different way of managing people who heard voices, saw apparitions, or were attacked by monsters or demons.

People in this unfortunate situation were severely tortured, semi-drowned, or underwent some other punishment which would be unthinkable today. We do a real disservice when flippantly dismissing a child who suffers from night terrors, someone who hears voices or sees things the rest of us are unable to.

The idea that we are not effected has nothing to do with personal experience. Jumping off on another train of thought, it is believed that these are real happenings, and are memories of a previous lifetime or existence.

We have a silly way of managing these occurrences, either dreams, visions or auditory occurrences. We classify them as either from some benevolent higher power or they are evil. I propose we shrink these two categories and have a much larger middle ground category where we can safely store night terrors, apparitions, voices, and other things that go bump, and not necessarily in the night.

Imagine for a moment, where the state of negotiation would be if American mathematician John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics and Abel Prize winner, was either tortured, locked away or murdered?

How many other brilliant minds throughout history underwent horrible forms of punishment as a method or a cure. People did not quit hearing or seeing things. If they survived their torture, they learned to lie convincingly, so it did not happen again. Most of us are just like them. We have nightmares, seen visions or heard voices. We are smarter than we were centuries ago. We have learned not to talk about them.

Dreams, Dreamscapes, and Dream Physics

There was a mystic of note around the turn of the last century through the nineteen-forties or thereabouts. His name was Edgar Cayce and was known as the Sleeping Prophet.

Cayce was an original and immensely popular. Cayce would be asked a question, and the answer would be given to him. He was the only mystic I ever read about back in the day other than religious mystics. There are volumes and volumes of information on Cayce, though some of them, are hashed and rehashed and regurgitated. I first read about him as a teen, and I was enthralled, and very curios about this idea.

If memory serves, Cayce would be asked a question, and then took a nap. When he awoke, he knew the answer to the question. Though I suspect his description of how exactly the process happened may not be what he claimed. Better a live Prophet than a burnt witch, or put in an asylum. All cultures and all times have stories of sometimes world changing information arriving in a leaders mind through a dream.

Nothing scientific here, as what follows is my observations of my dreams over the years. I find dreams fascinating as mentioned. While in a dream a dream may seem completely normal, same as being awake. Some dreams are so convoluted and at times irrational it makes one wonder why I had that dream. With few exceptions, physics and what we know about the world is thrown out the window. Depending on the dream and possibly the dreamer, there are two groups of physics, the physics that are applied to the dreamer, and the physics applied to everything else contained in the dream.

Dreams and Dreamscape

Dreams no matter what they are, are rarely boring

In some of my dreams, everything around me acts in what I think of as real time, yet my actions are in slow motion. In other dreams jumping long distances, moving faster than humanly possible, flying and other wild actions feel normal in the dream. In some dreams, there are one or more people I know (in the dream), and in other dreams I may be interacting or observing something with a group of strangers.

In one recurring dream, I was a teacher of some rather obscure subjects. Yet I was highly thought of for my teaching skills and knowledge. I have only had a handful of recurring dreams. I would have horrible nightmares when sick as a child. The first recurring dreams I remember having were as a Teen. Other recurring dreams happened randomly throughout the years.

Dreamland is sometimes takes place when lighting is weak, or dim, sort of dusk like. In other dreams, the sun is shining (and the hypothetical birds are singing). The landscape in my dreams goes from wooded forests to the sides or tops of mountains to what looked identical to any common environments, until I look closer.

One very interesting dream I have, usually after a lot of traveling, is a house based dream. By some accident or discovery, a door, a small panel in the wall, or walking around the outside of the house, I find the house different than I thought it should be. There may be other bedrooms that look just like mine, or another twenty rooms I never realized existed.

In the most recent dream of this type, the discovered part of the house was about five times bigger than what I thought was the house I was living in. I have waken while contemplating if I should be living in the large part of the house, rather than the smaller normal house I was living in. This makes the dream vivid and easy to recall.

There are exceptions to this, but sometimes my vision in dreams seems to be less than thirty feet or so. I think this is because of the fluidity of most dreams and the randomness of the physics. Then there are the dreams where I am standing on one side of a mountain, town or city, and I can clearly see the homes and businesses between myself and whatever distant point I am looking at.

Then there are the dreams that take place on other planets, or perhaps other realities. I am usually a visitor, and present to observe something that changes with each dream. Some parts of the dream are completely normal and other parts are hard to comprehend how they came about. Then I wake up, and wonder what I ate or was thinking about that caused me to have a dream like that.

Dreams also seem to be in the second person. Generally, I am watching myself in the dream, though who or what I am as I watch is a mystery. For all I know I am a movie camera recording what I am doing. I am interested in how your dreams compare? Are they the same general type, completely different, terrifying, or generally boring? If you would, leave me a comment about your dreams and observations.