Thursday, March 31, 2005

Mandrake 10.1

Mandrakelinux 10.1, running Fluxbox
It's been a bit over three months now since I installed Mandrakelinux 10.1 on my IBM ThinkPad. And things are going very nicely indeed with it. One thing I've been tinkering with is the look and feel of things in the Fluxbox window manager— that was always sort of a side concern with me before, don't ask me why. You can see the results in the screenshots.

Fluxbox has KDE support and partial GNOME support. You can get full GNOME support— at least, full enough support for my look-and-feel purposes— by adding the GNOME settings daemon to your Fluxbox startup file.

It so happens that I have matching Qt and GTK themes which imitate the look of the old SGI IRIS Indigo. Very nice for those of us whose theming taste already runs to greys and purples. My wallpaper was reconstructed by copy-and-paste from an IRIS Indigo screenshot I ran across somewhere. I like my brother's description of my wallpaper: "like the cast iron fretwork that used to appear on turn-of-the-(twentieth)-century building interiors as decoration, especially in Chicago." In Nautilus (below) I also use IRIS Indigo icons— found those on some site out there, though I don't believe it was on

Mandrakelinux 10.1, with various applications open
Window borders are Klowner's Graphite Integration. (I also did find a CDE/4dwm Motif-like window border theme, but come on, ugly is ugly.) And to top it off, I use a transparent redglass cursor, which you can get in Mandrake 10.1 by adding the following line to your .Xdefaults file:

Xcursor.theme: redglass

So there you go. Rather retro look, I like it. Oh, and you can also find a full-size screenshot right here.


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Behavior in an Ecological Nietzsche as Explicated in Zoology 101

Birds drinking cream from milk bottles in the morning in England as a learned response

Monkey tribe washing sweet potatoes in the river in Japan as a learned response

From 1958 on, monkeys washing sweet potatoes in the sea water at the beach for seasoning as a learned response

Throwing wheat and dirt into the water so the wheat will rise to the surface to be carried off by monkey welfare sponges waiting downstream as a learned response

Younger male monkeys and more than 1/6 of older females and all baby monkeys eating caramels laid on the ground every 18 months as a learned response

Male monkeys, sporting Reagan buttons and crewcuts, more conservative than female monkeys as an unlearned response

Shooting African baboon troops to cause avoidance of safari automobiles by troops absorbing survivors of a massacre, as a learned response

Male monkeys surprised by blasts from an airhose while playing with coffee pot rings naively in a lab cage and rescuing friend monkeys from the dire fate of playing with coffee pot rings naively in a lab cage as a learned response

Female monkeys overcoming reactionary and antirevolutionary responses to coffee pot rings and engendering consciousness-raising among friend monkeys in lab cages as a learned response

Monkeys eating strychnine and staying around lions dismissed from serving as role models for fellow monkeys as a learned response

Electrified floor grid with Mr. Edison's light bulb as a warning to impress monkey as an amateur lever-pusher, which is transmitted to monkeys watching the scene in horror through a glass window and also to entertain them as lever-pushers while watching movies, as a learned response

Monkey with a television camera on its face transmitted to movie screen where other monkeys exhibit similar physiological responses as transmitted through the ether, while eating popcorn, as a learned response

Isolated monkey who had never learned to relate also unable to transmit responses to the monkeys in the TV studio via wireless signals, while wearing a TV camera pointing at its face, as a learned response

—actual lecture notes I took one day in Zoology 101, spring 1977


Sunday, March 27, 2005


And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?" And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back— it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you into Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you." And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid.

—Mark 16:1-8


Easter Song

I got me flowers to straw Thy way,
I got me boughs off many a tree;
But Thou wast up by break of day,
And brought'st Thy sweets along with Thee.

The sunne arising in the East,
Though he give light, and th'East perfume,
If they should offer to contest
With Thy arising, they presume.

Can there be any day but this,
Though many sunnes to shine endeavour?
We count three hundred, but we misse:
There is but one, and that one ever.

—George Herbert (1593-1632)


I Have Returned

Well, after a hiatus of several weeks, I'm back blogging again. I'll be honest: when I left off abruptly on February 7, I was far from decided whether I was going to return. But kind words from several friends and visitors have swayed me. So here I am, back in the saddle again.

I have various posts in the pipeline. Up till the hiatus, I was informally aiming to post five or six days a week. From here on in, I may well be posting at a less frenetic pace— more like two, three, four days a week. Or maybe more, or maybe less; we'll just see how it plays out. I know from my stats that there were several visitors who were in the habit of stopping by daily— I deeply appreciate my regular visitors (my occasional visitors too), but from here on in I'm going to be taking this at a somewhat more leisurely pace.

Oh, yeah... a word to one particular individual, *cough* you know who you are *cough*: you might want to check out the meaning of the phrase "self-appointed netcop." I'm just saying.

I may take another day or two off here after Easter— this past week has been for me (as usual) the busiest week of the year. But I have returned.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Good Friday

And they compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). And they offered him wine mingled with myrrh; but he did not take it. And they crucified him, and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. And it was the third hour, when they crucified him. And the inscription of the charge against him read, "The King of the Jews." And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. And the scripture was fulfilled which says, "He was reckoned with the transgressors." And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads, and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!" So also the chief priests mocked him to one another with the scribes, saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe." Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.

And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" And some of the bystanders hearing it said, "Behold, he is calling Elijah." And one ran and, filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, "Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down." And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that he thus breathed his last, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"

—Mark 15:21-39


Vox Ultima Crucis

Tarye no lenger; toward thyn herytage
Hast on thy weye, and be of ryght good chere.
Go eche day onward on thy pylgrymage;
Thynke howe short tyme thou hast abyden here.
Thy place is bygged above the sterres clere,
Noon erthly palys wrought in so statly wyse.
Come on, my frend, my brother most entere!
For thee I offered my blood in sacryfice.

—John Lydgate (1370-1450)

bygged ] built.
palys ] palace.


Saturday, March 12, 2005

Interesting Article on La Crosse Area Bloggers

Yeah, I'm still here. Look for me to resume my regular blogging schedule by Easter or shortly thereafter.

In the meanwhile, you might want to check out La Crosse Tribune reporter Reid Magney's interesting online article on bloggers in the La Crosse area. It's entitled Local bloggers: The blacksmith, the preacher, the eye doctor. Give you one guess who the preacher is.

Now I've got to dive back into my hectic Lenten schedule. See you in a few.

Update, Sunday, March 13: A slightly condensed version of Reid Magney's article appeared in print this morning— as the cover story on the front page of the Sunday La Crosse Tribune.

Headline: "Blog revolution." Woohoo! I'm famous! :-)