Walter's Rant-fest

Observations and Research

Earl Update: Dec 1, 2016

The Earl team has reworked their website and changed their URL.

Check it out here: Continue reading

Setting up my Ubuntu 16.04.1 Workstation

As in the previous article, this is basically just a list of steps I took to set up my Ubuntu workstation/testbed so that I can reinstall it more easily if need be. Continue reading

Setting up my Ubuntu 16.04 NAS/Router/HTPC

After having dabbled in Gentoo Linux for years, I finally decided I was tired of dealing with the regularly-occurring broken packages and dependencies, out-of-date software, and distro-breaking structure changes. I am now diving headfirst into Ubuntu Linux 16.04.1, in an effort to set up a household appliance system that “just works”. However, I have found that Ubuntu doesn’t automate nearly as much of the setup as I had hoped, and so this is my log of steps I have followed to get my system working as intended, so that I can re-create them when and where necessary. Continue reading

Door Lock Rod Clip on a 2004 Dodge Neon

P_20160614_123359So, about a week ago, my car door lock stopped working from the outside. I’d insert the key and turn it, but it wouldn’t lock or unlock the car, and instead would turn a complete 180. After tearing apart my door and looking in there, it turns out that the operating rod had fallen off the end of the tumbler cylinder, and the clip that is supposed to hold it there had gone rogue. Continue reading

Walter’s Bookshelf

Finally got my cheapskate butt to pony up the cash for a phone with a camera good enough to read barcodes. I then created a catalog of all the physical books on my bookshelves. Here it is, for anyone interested, but mostly for me to keep track of what I have and who I’ve loaned it to. This was created using the Book Catalogue Android app. I had to manually add some of the older books without ISBNs, so they will have inaccurate information. Continue reading

Pornography, Exploitation of Women, and Misleading Labels


I recently noticed this image come up in my Facebook feed. To me, it is immediately apparent that there is something fundamentally wrong with the premise of this argument. However, in a brief discussion with the person who posted it, it became clear that she couldn’t see the problem, and insisted that pornography is an issue of male exploitation of women.  By the time I typed out a reply, I found that it was long enough to warrant its own article. Continue reading

Harbor Freight / One Stop Gardens 6×8′ Greenhouse Panel Dimensions

osg_6x8_panel_dimsI was recently given ownership of a Harbor Freight / One Stop Gardens 6×8′ Greenhouse. Having done a bit of research, I learned that the clear plastic panels will not stand up to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight for more than a few years. I will have to replace them eventually, most likely by creating my own. In anticipation of this, before assembling the greenhouse, I decided to record the measurements of every panel. I am also publishing them here, in case anyone else needs them. Continue reading

Earl Update: July 27th, 2015

The Earl team has posted an update. Read more here: Continue reading

Simple WordPress Plugin for Easy Amazon Links

You may have noticed I use a lot of Amazon affiliate links in my text to try and monetize my sad little ramblings on this blog. Up until this point, I was using EasyAzon to manage them. This worked okay, but I didn’t like the complexity of the shortcode and link, or the dependence on Amazon Web Services. I modified the source to bypass these problems, but every time they updated the plugin, they came back. Continue reading Upcoming service migration (Updated)

I’ve recently received a bill from COX communications indicating a price hike. I was unable to negotiate a mutually acceptable price, and will be discontinuing their service pending migration. Continue reading

Earl Update: April 6th, 2015

The Earl team has posted an update. Read more here: Continue reading

Rattlecan Camouflage Rifle Photo Gallery

100_7025Some time ago, I watched a YouTube video by TheProRancher in which he instructed the viewer on one way to do a cheap, effective camouflage job using Krylon spray paints. I followed his method, and though I don’t think I did as good of a job as he did, I’m happy with the way mine turned out. I took pictures of the rifle in front of several different backdrops in order to get a better idea of how it would perform.  Continue reading

Downloadable Rifle Targets, Zeroing at Odd Ranges

targetGiven that target shooting is one of my interests, I decided that I didn’t particularly like the price of commercially available targets, and I thought I could do better. I made this target many years ago, but for some reason it only now occurred to me that I ought to post it here so that others could use it. This is a PDF that will give you four targets on one 8.5×11″ sheet, and it has a grid spaced at 1/2″ to aid in measurement and sight adjustment. The extra lines should help to align thick or awkward crosshairs onto the center. It has fields for weather, range, and reloading data. Continue reading

Earl Update: January 27th, 2015

The Earl team has posted an update. Read more here: Continue reading

Earl Update: January 26th, 2015

Todd Cady has posted an unofficial update consisting of a video in which Jon showcases and discusses an on-hand working model of Earl.
Continue reading

Trying out Obenauf’s, Kiwi, and Sno-Seal on Roughout/Sueded Military Boots

100_6988 I have a pile of boots from my military service. Now that I’m out, they’re mine and I can care for them in the way that I choose, rather than how the uniform dictates. In order to preserve them, I’ve decided to try out two well-respected leather protector products, Sno-Seal and Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP. I’ve also thrown in a can of locally-sourced Kiwi Conditioning Oil. The boots I’ll be testing with are three pairs of Air Force issue ABU boots: two pairs of regulars and one pair of tennis boots. Continue reading

INCH/BOB Medical Kit

I decided to make a separate post for the medical items in my INCH bag in order to better explain some of my choices. You will likely notice that this kit is significantly simpler than some created by others for bug out purposes, but I believe it covers the basics reasonably well while allowing for multi-functionality that other kits do not. You will also notice that I do not carry certain items, like bandaids or sutures, which can be improvised from other components. Items such as saws, cordage, and duct tape are included with the main kit in order to allow for the improvisation of equipment like splints. Continue reading Maintenence, November 5

The power supply fan is acting up, and I will be replacing the unit at 3PM CST. Server will be down for about 15 minutes while I also perform a thorough dusting of the chassis. I will also install an updated kernel.

Fixing the Display of a Dual XR4115 Stereo

100_6525Last May, I purchased a Dual XR4115 In-Dash Digital Media Receiver despite its terrible reviews, most which complained about the same issue: after some time, the digital display would go out. However, some people posted that they were able to fix the problem by replacing the backlight LED. With some limited experience replacing soldered components, I bought the stereo at a great price with the expectation that I could fix it if it went bad. After a few months, the light went bad, I fixed it, and I’m going to show you how. Continue reading

Earl Update: October 18th, 2014

The Earl team has posted an update. Read more here: Continue reading

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