Saturday, May 21, 2016

Where are you?!?

I'm having a whole string of issues randomly keeping me from posting videos here over the last few days, from the internet at home being down (it's up now) to a video being on the wrong device and NOW the latest video I shot is 104MB and Blogger only allows videos up to 100MB.

So, you know, fuck Blogger. But I'm gonna keep going. Long post, I promise it's at least mildly funny and informative!

I haven't posted in three days, but not for lack of trying. It's been a hectic but interesting three days. Wednesday was CAJOO (band night, Cable Access Jammers Open Office hours), and I think we're finally getting a bit coordinated. Andy is an excellent teacher (he teaches kids, too, and so is patient and works with multiple people of varying skill levels well), and a roommate of Jennie's finally made it and added an extra layer to the experience; he plays bass (among other things) and, even when we weren't actively playing, he'd just kind of do something in the background and add another layer to our experience that, I think, kept people engaged and feeling music. I'm glad he made it.

We had plenty of people and a lot of instruments, mostly stringed, and I think I'm up to three chords and sort-of two more, but I'm starting to think it's time to learn proper chords (Andy's been tuning my guitar to open G because my hands are uncooperative) just to smooth out the teaching process... he has to keep showing other guitar and banjo players one fingering and then show me another. And I think I'm ready... my hands are getting the message that I'm not putting up with their nonsense, just a bit.

Thursday, we didn't have a Team N00b meeting set up, so I planned to just do some work with my laptop; I packed a bunch of things I'm going to want at PS1 into The Beast (the old Army backpack my dad gave me and I lived out of through the '90s).., extra phone charger, mouse, a cheap pair of powered speakers, hand exercisers, etc... and took them all to PS1. I even claimed a locker, so I now officially have a locker at PS1!

My goal was to do some basic setup work on the laptop that needs to be done... FreeGeek set it up so when you first open Firefox, it shows a page telling you a number of things you should do or consider doing with a new Ubuntu or Linux install, which is wildly useful to a newbie like me. There's a couple around who just joined PS1 and I end up talking to them a bit about the heady feeling and excitement of being a new member. I was gonna do that stuff, get my laptop into a usable state and do stuff.

But noooOOOooo...

Jennie showed up with another roommate (I think maybe she keeps a set of them on a shelf or something?) and asks if we want to try doing stained glass. Now, stained glass was never really on my radar... I had it worked up in my head as complicated and beyond my skill level... but I figured what the hell, the opportunity is right there, so I can at least try.

Yeah, no, stained glass (and soldering, which I apparently also overthought) was nowhere near as intimidating as I'd expected. Mind you, I kept it simple... I cut a rectangle of glass into four pieces and then reassembled them... but the cutting process, lining them with copper foil, even the soldering, was much easier than I expected. I feel silly. The woman of the new couple good-naturedly ribbed me about the smoothness of my soldering.

See?!? This is what I hacked yesterday!


Now, I'm not completely clueless... I know stained glass is harder than all that. But I can see how etching and cracking the glass, then using the grinder for fine corrections, can shape pieces for truly intricate works. That I was able to do this with such ease, though, is highly encouraging.

The fact is, I've done a lot of oddball things here that have turned out to be good physical therapy!

Anyways, while we made stained glass works, Jennie made vegan waffles! She has an AWESOME fully armed and operational Death Star wafflemaker! And yeah, turns out, vegan waffles... I can't tell the difference, delicious is delicious. I learned something about maple syrup though, coz I was the one to run to the store to buy some and took the time to look up online what makes maple syrup vegan or not. (They might add just a little animal fat during processing to reduce foaming, but vegetable oil also works.)

Erm... weirdly enough, Jennie likes making waffles for people, but she doesn't like eating waffles...? Go figure. She did impart a hilarious story of life events to those of us there, and that might end up being repeated for The Moth, so I'm not gonna ruin it for you. End Thursday!

This time (Friday night), I went back to PS1, immediately went shopping for cheap, healthy food at the Jewel-Osco across the street, had breakfast, and then dug into my laptop to get that stuff done. It's actually been a very educational experience; I'm guessing FreeGeek puts XUbuntu on their systems for ease of use so people new to Linux don't get discouraged. It has a very Windows-like graphical interface and that informational page is VERY useful and educational... OH! Here it is! Yeah!

That page also leads to this one, discussing why antivirus programs aren't a high priority in Linux... it's actually a very educational read, even if you're not using Linux, just for the insight. A great deal of internet development rests on Linux work, so it's good to know this stuff.

Now my laptop is about ready for actual use, and I've learned a bit about Ubuntu in the process... I might even get used to leaving a command window open to access programs and features faster than hunting for the buttons for them in the menu. So... yeah, not so scared of Linux, now!

This weekend is going to be GREAT! Get out, do stuff! I'm going to be at PS1 pretty much ALL WEEKEND, and my gym is only a 15-20 minute walk from there... I packed my gym clothes and took them there, so I can go to the gym from PS1. Tomorrow (today? Saturday.) is Analog Game Night, where games are played but NOT on computers and TV screens! It's a magical concept! I've never played Settlers of Catan before. We have it there, and people seem amused that I haven't played it, so I think it'll get played. YOU DON'T NEED TO BE A MEMBER TO COME JOIN US!!!

Sunday at 12:30 PM is Beer Church! I don't drink anymore, but PS1 has beer-brewing equipment! This group gathers, samples various beers, and then they decide what they want to brew, make an exodus to the supply store a block away, buy supplies and brew beer! Alchemy at its finest! Well, no, that's cooking, but close enough!

ALSO SUNDAY! Orientation at 4 PM! This is NOT like a job orientation, this is people who want you to be excited to do your hobbies there... they're casual, they like chatting about it, they'll give you a good, solid tour and answer questions. You do not need to have joined to attend... you can go, then decide, but if you think you're interested, you should go and see! You do need to attend an orientation sometime shortly after joining anyways, so this would knock that out just in case. Orientations are only once a month, so do consider coming!

Well... no video... damn thing was a half-hour long anyway. I'm gonna sleep, shower, go back to PS1, eat, go to the gym, go back and then hack stuff! I hope I see someone new there! (By the way, I can TAKE A GUEST WITH ME whenever I go to the gym, so go with me!)

Be excellent to each other!
Jonny friggin' Panic

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