Texas geek married to the Warrior Princess.
1374 words

De-Googlizing the Texas geek

While I like to use the Google search engine, I really object to a mega-company tracking every single thing I do on the web. If I happened to do a search for, say, Charlemagne, the next website I see has an ad enticing me to buy Germany. That is knowing jut too much about my life. It's also making money with my data and not sharing the profits.

Sooo....

I decided to ddGoogle-ize the Texas geek. The project was to get Google out of my life and computers. With that done, I expected to get some privacy back while I was on the Web.

Here's what that involved.

  1. Closed my domain, which was hosted on Google. Moved the domain to a great French provider. I get the same email address as before, some playing room on the interwebs, and a really low annual bill.
  2. Moved my mail to an excellent German email provider that specializes in privacy posteo.net This was the tough one, BTW, since I had to change login credentials for a metric ton of websites.
  3. Moved all of the stuff stored on Google drive to Nextcloud. Photos, music, documents, the works. Nextcloud is AWESOME. Store your stuff on the web, retrieve it when you want to using any device that has a network -- even back things up automatically to an external bugout drive.
  4. Started using a Virtual Private Network when I connect to the internets. Mine is from NordVPN. I wanted a VPN that had good throughput, worked anywhere in the world, and does not capture or resell my usage data. NordVPN fit the bill. I quite literally use it anytime I use WiFi from a portable device.
  5. Started using a router that uses the VPN for all connections over WiFi access from my home. My family and guests can use WiFi in my house, and no one is tracking where they go and what they look at.

At this point, my only interactions with Google are the search engine while I'm at work. Okay, and a really nice Chromebook that The Warrior Princess gave me last year.

Turkey Day tomorrow. The gang's coming over, and the Warrior Princess is roasting a big bird over a fire. Drop by if your in the neighborhood!

Earbugs

For those of you stuck in the 20th century, an "earbug" is a song that you can't get out of your head. Not even by listening to the very end. Nor even by listening to the very end and adding your own orchestrated ending.

But, did you know that earbugs are dangerous? No? They are, actually. Earbugs can be extremely dangerous.

Case in point. The Warrior Princess can stand, sword in hand in a battlefield of trolls, demons and Republicans, and defeat them all.

When the onslaught is done, the field will be littered with corpses of her attackers. The Warrior Princess will simple clean her sword and walk away. Her hair, naturally, is absolutely perfect and will not even mussed. No big deal, no real danger -- It's just another battle to be won.

However, mention an earbug to the Warrior Princess and she instantly falls to the ground screaming "No! No! Nooooo! Bad geek!"

Note the word "mention". Not play the earbug. Not even say the title. It's enough to hum it under your breath. Or ask"you know that song with gramma in it?". The song rings in the Warrior Princess' head for days.

And, if you are the Texas geek, your head will ring for days, too. Less like song-in-the-head ring. More like extreme headache ring.

Need some examples? Here you go!

  • "Christmas, Christmas time is here" by the Chipmunks
  • That song with gramma in it. (I dare not even think its unholy name.)
  • The George of the Jungle theme song (On YouTube if you're interested...)
  • "I want a Hippopatomus for Christmas"
  • The SuperChicken song. (Also on YouTube...)

Given that the Warrior Princess follows this blog, I'm gonna have to skip out of here and dash off to the Fortress of Solitude for a couple of days. Give her time to get the gramma song out of her head.

Cheers!

Reading now

It will be a surprise to most folks from the Northeast of the US ("Yankee Land") that someone from Texas not only can ready, but can read signs longer than "Beer", "Exit" and that little sign on the door that means women's room.

But we do, in fact, read longer things. No, really. Even stuff that's longer than a webcomic!

This week, I've been reading the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov.

For those not familiar with the series, Asimov presents the idea that the behavior of masses of human being can be predicted using history and mathematics. The series tracks that idea from its inception through a thousand years of growth, decline, war, discovery, scull duggery to the point that that a new Galaxy-wide, humane Empire results.

This is a good read. Asimov was a scientist, a lecturer and an amazing author. He has good narrative style, inserts technical information without it being technical, and really can move a plot along.

That's it for now. We'll discuss the rose gold iPhone 7 later.

Cheers!

My iphone died

Oh, the woe! The tragedy! A life cut short by the cruel vagarities of the modern world!

Heh. That sounded pretty good...

Sometime last year, I gave into temptation and bought myself an iPhone. The Warrior Princess got one for work, and has been fairly happy with it. And I'm honest enough to admit that Geek Me wanted a new toy.

The downside? iPhones are expensive. Not just "oh, I'll just leave out desserts for a month" expensive. More like "say goodbye to your Seattle Sehawks season tickets" expensive.

But...

If you buy an old, used iPhone at the place that's fixing the Warrior Princess' broken iPhone screen, which is just across from the store that's fixing a flat on the Warrior Princess chariot, then the cost is not so bad. I started texting Eileen over iMessage right away, and didn't look back.

Segue now, if you will , to two weeks ago. I had stashed the iPhone in the Bag of Death when I left the office. I got home, put the Bag of Death in its usual place, and then...

It was like a slo-mo segment in a horror film. The iPhone slowly slipped free of the bag. The fall climaxed as the iPhone slammed into the tile floor.

I recovered the victim. His screen was cracked from DC all the way to SFO, with a short branch through Kentucky.

I returned the iPhone to the store that fixes screens. Despite the excellent treatment, three different screen replacements, and the application of a whole fifty-five U.S. dollars, the iPhone was no more.

I was in mourning for about a week. I'm better now. Thank you for asking.

But -- you can't keep a geek down forever. I found an iPhone7 for a really good price, and no felony indictments. It is very cool, in better shape, and eligible for iOS 13 upgrades (the coolest iOS release ever!).

The only oddity is that the iPhone7 is Rose Gold. That will be the subject of an upcoming blog entry.

Cheers!

It got cold!

For those us us that don't live in Texas, getting cold is just part of the yearly tromp of the seasons. It's warm, then it's cold, then it's warm again.

Here in Texas, the flow of seasons is a lot less complex. It's very danged hot, then it gets very hot, then it goes back to very danged hot.

This year was an exception. We actually had coldness. The temperatures dipped down below freezing for almost two hours. Two hours!

There was also "snow" but it all melted as it fell from the sky.

We expect the temperatures to be up to very hot pretty soon. But, for a while, is was cold in Texas.

It's not the liquor...

My mom was a woman with a great sense of humor. She was also the source of some pithy sayings.

To wit...

"Hangovers are caused by bad ice. The solution is to drink liquor straight and leave out the ice."

A rule to live by!