Sunday, December 31, 2006

Terry Paragliding

Launching for a a quick sled ride from the microwave towers here in Kamloops.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

XGL + Compwiz = WOW

I have been fooling around with some new Linux distros lately. Namely Open Suse 10.2 and Mandriva 2007. Both ship with the ability to run XGL and I have to say it's very cool. I will attempt to post a picture of it in action but if you want to see the real deal go to Youtube or Google Video's and type in XGL and watch a demo. I have been having a ball with all the effects but I also believe that this can be a productivity tool as well. Having four desktops available to you and being able to use them with little effort is a time saver. I tried Mandriva 2007 Power Pack first and was delighted to have a painless install and when it came time to finish my setup it asked me if I wanted to install a propietory driver for my video card (Nvidia 5200) I clicked yes and off it went to find download and setup my card with Nvidia drivers. Wow that was easy! After my first boot into the OS a quick look around the menus brought me to a "enable desktop effects" button. One click later XGL was running on my old hardware. I spent a day checking it out then did the Open Suse install. It was a smooth process also but installing the Nvidia drivers took a lot more work. But I prevailed and then enabling the desktop effects was a one click affair. Both OS's are very nice but I think the nod goes to Open Suse for it's clean look and sharp clean fonts. Don't get me wrong Mandriva is very nice also. I will spend some time with these two and let you know how it goes

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Something to think about

A quote from a song I heard on the radio.

"The more we take... the less we become."

I have thought about this a lot lately seems God wants say something and I have come to understand that when he speaks to me I need to listen, but more than that I need to act.

Saturday is here again

It's been a long while since my last post. Saturday afternoon is here and I am taking a break from chores. I just finished a little housekeeping, cooking and repairing our phone jack. The Internet has been making us a little nuts, one minute fast the other painfully slow. I found the phone jack was seized and the cord stuck. It would seem there was paint in the jack and hence problems. All seems well since I changed the jack out. The cold spell that hit us is over but we have a lot of snow left over. Derek said the launch has been plowed but only to the microwave tower. So.... still no flying. Perhaps in the next few weeks we can get a sleddy in. All is well here looking forward to Christmas. Just a few more things to get ready. Work is extremely busy but that is normal for us this time of year. Kris is coming to be with Jackie and I for Christmas and I am really looking forward to seeing her. We have been apart since she moved and I miss her. Thank God for the Internet and web cams I get to see my children and grand kids online. While it's not the same as in person it is nice. Jackie got herself a new laptop. This time she bought a MAC. I have looked at it a bit and found it similar to Linux but different enough where I feel lost. She is running Parallels software on it and is able to run windows at the same time as Mac OSX so it's kinda groovy. I am still playing with Linux and both my laptop and desktop are running dual boot with WinXP and Ubuntu. While the idea of a free OS and free software to run on it are appealing I think the average user will still find Linux a bit of a challenge. But with that said it is getting very close to being a viable desktop replacement in the very near future. Well the ham is bubbling in the pot and it's time to get some soup made.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Chilly Mornings

As I walked to the bus this morning I was struck by the beauty of the sunrise. It has been unseasonably cold of late. But the sweet sunrise somehow made it just a little bit more bearable. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It's a dreary tuesday and my mind wanders.....

It's been too long since my last flight. Withdrawal is setting in. Once you look up you become curious, but once you look down your hopeless. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Oh My... Oh My

Well as you might already know I am now paragliding on a regular basis. With 17 flights under my belt I still feel like I know very little but it's starting to make sense. I finally got my harness adjusted to my liking and am finding it gives me better control. Most of my flights have been short what is called a "sled ride" meaning no lift just gliding. But the odd flight I have found some lift and felt the power of "going up" I have to say it is most remarkable. Finding and staying in the lift has been a challenge but one I want to learn. I have met some great folks while involved in this sport. It was my brother Derek that got me started. He wanted to show me this new passion he had found and I was a willing driver (to save time retrieving the vehicle). I spent the summer watching the boys and getting several photo's of them but knew I needed to try this myself. Next Derek asked me if I wanted to come to Mara Lake and help drive for a advanced maneuvers course. I jumped at the chance to see more and was offered a tandem ride as a thank you. Well the view was amazing but the spirals left me nauseated (I never did do well at the midway) but I knew I had to try this. So in Sept off I went to take basic training. I have to say it was tough and I thought I would never get it. But we got three flights in and I was hooked. We where rained out on one of the days of training so I called and went back to get a little more confidence under my belt. They where great and so was the weather and we got four flights in one day. It was really good for me. I left the first time feeling kinda uneasy but the additional training left me feeling confident. Three days after my return I got a call from Derek, the conditions where perfect. We drove up to Little Dome and I did my first launch here with several of the local pilots and equipped with a radio and with one pilot on the LZ. All went well and my first flight was a success I was greatful to have the radio and did what I was told as I approached the LZ. The rest is history as they say.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Harold Returns To Earth

This is a shot of Harold my flying buddy coming in to land on his second flight. He planted a perfect landing. Posted by Picasa

Another Birthday... In The Air!

Well another birthday has come and gone. I turned 48 this year. My gift this year was to pool my resources and take a paraglideing course. I drove down to Eagle Ranch and took the beginner course. A fellow named Harold Sartorius and I hooked up to share expenses and try the course. We spent Friday evening learning to kite which is to get the wing over head properly inflated for launch. This proved to be quite a learning experience. I have all the bruises to prove it. Saturday morning was more of the same. We spent our afternoon doing more of the same and then came the call. Round up your gear we are going up the mountain. We scrambled into the van and pounded up the mountain logging road to the summit and upper launch. The view is and was absolutely marvelous. If you look on the site you will see a picture of it. I must admit I was scared spitless. But I trusted that my instructor was going to see me fly. Well I blew my first two launches both times I stopped running and tried to jump into my seat. Needless to say I landed on my butt with a wing wrapped around me. Well third time was a charm and off I went into the sky. I have to say it was about the sweetest thing I have ever felt. To be in the sky with just a few lines holding some fabric is awe inspiring. I cannot put into words the feeling you have. Suffice to say I plan on getting my own equipment as I can afford it and continue to learn this craft. We both got three flights in and I plan to return soon to get my novice certification.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I Got A New Puppy

i'm not sure if I mentioned PuppyLinux in the past. This little distro is 72 meg download. It comes in several flavors. This Is "Seamonkey" this refers to the choice of browsers. The latest offering from Mozilla. This distro comes whith and amazing amount of software. You can surf, chat, music, draw, write a letter do a spreadsheet, you name it right out of the box. It takes about 60 seconds to load on a average system. It runs totaly in ram no install necessary. It can save files back to a hard drive, thumbdrive, even a rewitable CD or DVD. This snapshot shows you just a little bit of the Puppy's stuff. if you need more programs you just go to the package manager and look around. Two or three clicks and you have just about every thing you need. Hardware detection is awesome. I have tried this little distro on everything from a PII 233 with 128 meg of ram to a Athlon 2400 with a gig of ram and it has run on every thing in between. I have also used this to rescue Windows computers when they are fragged. I just boot into Puppy mount the windows drive and burn all the files to a cd and reload Windows. Think about it you don't even need a hard drive. Just as long as you have 128 megs of ram. If you need a free OS that can deliver give this one a try. Click the link to the website and you can click the picture to get a better look.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Steveston Wharf

This is a shot of the boats at Steveston wharf is was a postcard kind of shot Posted by Picasa

Monk McQueens

This a shot of a table of trouble. We had a wonderful dinner at a place called Monk McQueens on the water. It was the scene of Dad's birthday dinner. The food was ok and the service great but the view was extrarordinary. Posted by Picasa

Vancouver By Night

The picture was taken of the water front during the birthday visit. Posted by Picasa

The Butcher Bunch

Here we are from left to right.
Derek, Ginger, Dad, Shane, and Me (Terry).
It was a great day. Posted by Picasa

Matt & Shane

My brother Shane and his son made the trip from Ontario to be a part of the birthday celebration. It was great to see Shane again and to meet his son who I had not seen since he was about 6. Matt was haming it up with dad for some happy shots
 Posted by Picasa

Harry & Hazel's Boy

This is my dad. Caught here during a lunch with his kids during the birthday visit Posted by Picasa

The Siblings

During our visit all four of Mr. Butchers kids got together for the first time in 34 years. A historic occasion. This a little picture of the youngest and the oldest. Derek and Ginger respectively. Posted by Picasa

Mickey's B&B

This is the B&B that Derek found for us in Kitsalano two blocks from the beach. We all gathered to honor our father on his 69th birthday The rooms where nice and the beds very soft. If you need a place close to the city and beach Mickey's is a good choice. Posted by Picasa


This is the view from Kits beach back to Vancouver Posted by Picasa

Let The Sun Shine

We made a little trip to Vancouver and decided to make a stop at Bridal Falls. While the falls where great the sun pouring through the canopy was also very nice. I loved the dappled effect of the sun straining to reach the foor of the forest Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Kubuntu 6.06 Desktop

Well here is another screenshot of a Linux desktop. This is as the title says Kubuntu. It's Ubuntu with the KDE desktop environment. I have made several mods to the desktop. I love the wallpaper and it's message just double click to see it larger. I hacked the menu to hide itself and then used Super Karamba to setup the OX 10 style menu and added a system monitor to keep an eye on the internal goings on. Just need to use Gimp to get rid of the penguin from the bottom right Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 31, 2006

The Ceiling

Here is a view of the ceiling of the cave showing the beautiful mineral deposits Posted by Picasa

The Entrance

During my visit to Vancouver Island I decided to stop and take a look at Horne Lake Caves. It was worth it. The picture you see is looking back up at the 2 foot square opening that is called the entrance. They have a very strong steel door that is locked open when there are tours and closed when they are not. You climb down the steel stairs to the base of the cave to start the tour. More pictures to follow. Posted by Picasa

A Walk In The Woods

Justin and his Grandpa (me) took a little walk around Cathedral Grove during our visit to Vancouver Island. You have to see these trees to believe the size of them. I have seen these woods several times and I still stand in awe. The oldest trees are over 800 years old. Think about it they where good sized trees before Columbus even thought about stopping by.

 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Electric Scooter aka the "Blue Bomber"

Well we have had the bike for a few days now and made a few discoveries. The bike goes about 40 km and still has some juice left. The brakes are terrible. They are noisy and hard to setup. But they stop good. We took the rear box off as it was kinda noisy. And we replaced it with our soft bag for our regular bikes. This works very nicely. I have taken it to work and found it runs great on level ground. Hills are a bit much with me on it. It is rated for 220 pounds and I meet or exceed that. Jackie has gone to work and back several times and it had done well except the brakes. We estimate the route to be about 34 km perhaps more and the bike does the return trip no problem. So I will keep you posted. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Not A Big Motorcycle (Just a groovy little motorbike)

Well we took the plunge. With rising gas prices we decided to try one of the new electric assisted bicycles. They are considered bicycles so no licence and no insurance. The claim is about 25 cents to charge with a range of 50 km. The top speed is 32km but I think that is optimistic. This translates into 875 km per gallon I'm told. The hope is that this little machine will get Jackie to work and back on a single charge. That should save us about 60 to 80 bucks a month. And zero emissions. I will keep you posted on how it all works out. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 10, 2006

Oh yah My Eye

Well I returned to Dr. Hopp today concerning my torn retina. He took a look and decided that I needed some laser surgery to help the healing process and to make sure the retina was firmly attached. Apparently the air bubble that he injected into my eyeball will take a few more days to dissipate. I gotta tell Ya it is the strangest thing to look out your eye and see half your vision blocked by a blue green semi transparent bubble bouncing around inside your eye. Doc says all will be well in a week or two. It has been a strange journey that I hope I never have to go through again.

I Love Linux

This is a screenshot of my dual booting laptop. This is PCLinuxOS with some serious hacking to the GUI. I used a fractal generator to create the wallpaper and I like the results. Just click on the picture to see it full size. You gotta love a completely free OS that is fully customizable. For more info on all the Linux distros out there check out distrowatch

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Doves In The Yard

Jackie pointed out to me the other day that this dove returns every day to take a look around our back yard. So I pulled out her Minolta and got a few pics. He seemed interested in my antics and watched as I "shot" him. We hope to see him stay a regular visitor Posted by Picasa

Torn Retinas

I just finished typing a long story about this eyeball of mine and lost it all in a formatting issue so the new story is. Here is my eye after surgery. I had been suffering with some problems with my right eye and after much persistance it was discovered that I had torn the retina loose in the back of that eye. I was sent to the hospital and was quickly met by a surgeon and we decided on a method of treatment. Within a few minutes he was sticking needles in my eye and then injecting air. Which will remain for 10 or so days to disapate. I will keep you posted Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Just Another Screenshot

I have tried several, well many versions of Linux and I have consistently come back to PCLinuxOS. This is a screenshot of the latest fresh install. I have found this version of Linux to be fast and stable. It can be downloaded from their website or at . Distrowatch is a great site to explore if you are remotely interested in Linux. There you can find all the active distros and what they are all about. They include reviews and links to all sorts of resources. Take a look and have some fun.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Where There Is Smoke....

Just over the mountain there is a little fire burning. The ash is beginning to fall and the wind is blowing hard. I can hear the roar of water bombers and I'm hoping they kill the beast. Posted by Picasa