Category Archives: personal

U.S. attorney general pledges ‘going to take action’ after Florida shooting

U.S. attorney general pledges ‘going to take action’ after Florida shooting:

I’ll believe it when I see it.  Since 1999, America has had more than 400 fatalities related to school shootings.  That’s JUST school shootings, not any other gun related crime.  Let me state that again, more plainly:  More than 400 children and adults have been murdered in their schools

Many of these shooters used some version of the AR-15 rifle.  That’s the semi-automatic version of the combat rifle used by the American military for most of the last 60 years.

After the first military model was produced, Colt (the manufacturer) produced a virtually identical weapon for the civilian market and called it a “sporting” rifle.  The only functional difference is that the civilian version can only fire one bullet per trigger pul, while the military version has a selector switch that allows 3-round bursts to be fired with one trigger pull or to fire continually as long as the trigger is being held.

The standard AR-15 fires the same round that the M16 uses: Remington .223 also known as the 5.56×45 NATO round.  The muzzle velocity of the round is about 3300 FPS and is traveling at speeds around 3x the speed of sound.  The round causes an entry wound about the size of your pinky finger and makes an exit wound about the size of your fist.  As the round travels through the body, it causes a shock wave that turns bone to small shrapnel and causes soft tissue to essentially turn into hamburger.

There is no need for a civilian to have that kind of firepower.  Anyone who says that’s for target shooting is lying to either you or to themselves.  This model of rifle is designed to cause massive bodily injury with every round, and to be very accurate up to 500 yards, even in the military machine gun configuration.

Happy birthday to me, 2015

I had originally thought that they got me a new tattoo in the form of a Dharma Wheel or an Enso, both of which would have been great symbols for me, to go along with my labyrinth.

Turns out, though, that I didn’t have the decisiveness to get a new tattoo yet. But they got me good stuff to feed my spiritual journey! Continue reading

EFF member 2014

2014 members circle

I joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation this year. I agree with their mission, to protect the Internet against encroachment on the rights of free speech, fair use, innovation, PRIVACY, and transparency. Continue reading

Planning For Travel When Someone you Love Suffers From Chronic Illness

Last week, my wife posted an article about traveling with chronic pain, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia on our couple’s blog. This week, I posted from the caretaker perspective. She has gotten better about travel, but still has a tendency to over-extend herself, which is where I come in to play. Of course, sometimes my reminding her that she has real limits ends up in a minor pout.

More after the jump. Continue reading

Captured Lightning (Lichtenberg Figure) Sculptures – Gallery 1

I’m a nerd at heart, and I love interesting and unusual representations of the world that we live in. Thanks to a Facebook friend, I discovered the first piece of art that I actively want to own. These “Captured Lightning®” sculptures are exactly what it sounds like: Lightning “frozen” in acrylic, and they are amazingly beautiful.

I would love to have one of these some day.

Captured Lightning (Lichtenberg Figure) Sculptures – Gallery 1:

(Via Marc Bailey on Facebook.)

Why do we keep doing this?

Stupid leadership

Setting up a Raspberry Pi as an ad-blocking privacy server (Privoxy)

Why do we need another ad-blocking server for Raspberry Pi? This one uses Privoxy to act as a ” non-caching web proxy with advanced filtering capabilities for enhancing privacy, modifying web page data and HTTP headers, controlling access, and removing ads and other obnoxious Internet junk.”

Please follow these other tutorials in order:

  1. Install the OS onto your SD card

  2. Boot the Pi and configure it
    Don’t forget to change the default password for the ‘pi’ acccount!!!

  3. Verify that you can reach the Internet through your Pi: Execute


    to make sure that you can see the outside world.

Install Privoxy on your pi with the following command:

sudo apt-get install privoxy

Install Privoxy on the Raspbery Pi

Edit Privoxy configuration file as appropriate for your situation. I like to set the “hostname” and “enable-remote-toggle 1” settings since I run several servers at home and like to be able to toggle Privoxy on and off without logging into the server itself.

sudo vi /etc/privoxy/config

Search for “listen-address” and edit as appropriate. If you are using your Pi as a proxy for other computers, make sure that you change “localhost” to reflect the address of the interface that you want to listen on.

Edit the listen-address in the privoxy config file

Restart the Privoxy service with the following command:

sudo service privoxy restart

Restart Privoxy Service

Configure your web browser as appropriate to use the Privoxy server at the address you chose above, with the port 8118. Then, open a browser window and enter the address to go to the proxy configuration page. Here is what my screen looks like:

Privoxy Config web page

You will notice that my server name is “onion-pi” (as I configured the “hostname” setting in the config file above) with the IP address of The standard port for Privoxy to run on is 8118, though you can change that in the configuration file. I highly recommend reading through it at some point, and fine tuning your proxy to best suit your needs.

Once you have Privoxy running on your Raspberry Pi, the final step is to make it run at boot time. To do that, enter the following command:

sudo update-rc.d privoxy defaults

Install Privoxy to run at boot time

The final check is to reboot and make sure that Privoxy comes back up. You can do this by either going to the configuration web address, the shortcut to that address p.p or by checking from the command line with ps -ef|grep privoxy

Some things that I learned this week…

This week, I learned something profound:  It matters to connect with people you care about early and often.  I learned this because there is a friend that I can no longer connect with.

She died this week.  Suddenly.  Several niche communities lost a great personality when Andrea died on the 21st.  This loss was significant to me in a number of ways, not the least of which was the fact that I held Andrea and her husband in high regard.  She will be missed.  She had a wicked sense of humor and was a Master (Mistress) of Snark, and her delivery was so soft-spoken that she took more than one person by surprise. 😀 Continue reading

Achievement unlocked! And other updates

Membership certificate in Epsilon Pi Phi

Membership certificate in Epsilon Pi Phi

It’s been a while since I’ve stopped by here. I’ve been little busy, truth be told, with school and just life. I never did get that story written with the Story Cubes, but I’ve accomplished something that I never did in high school: I made a national honor society. I am a member of Epsilon Pi Phi, which is the honor society for emergency management programs, as of this year. I was so excited! I’m holding a 3.7 GPA and I’ve got about a year to go for my BA degree. Then on to a Master’s in Public Administration, I think.

I’ve been walking my  feet off at Target. I bought myself a FitBit Zip a couple of months back, and have learned that I average about a mile an hour around the store. In other words, I walk between 5 and 8 miles in an average work day. Considering that I did about that much in a month over the past 15 years, I’m working hard. No wonder I come home so tired after a shift!

And, starting the week of Aug 17, I will be taking classes to get an EMT license. If the stars align right, I’ll be able to get a job working as an EMT sometime after the first of the year. I’d like to get into emergency services so that I can gain some experience in a field that applies to my degree.

That’s about it for now. Time to go finish up finals paperwork for Pre-1600 World Lit and Forestry classes.


Fall down 6 times, get up 7 times

Someone shared this with me thanks to the power of Facebook.  It is a moving story of the power of belief in yourself.

Never give up!  Never surrender!

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