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04 November 2013

Kali Linux/Lenovo T510 Memory Upgrade

When you put more memory in your Lenovo T510 (I upgraded from 2x2GB DIMM to 2x4GB DIMM) your Kali 1.0.4 or Ubuntu 12.04 install may not recognize the new larger memory size.  In fact, my Kali and Ubuntu (I tried both while troubleshooting this) only recognized 3GB.  I fixed this by upgrading the BIOS using the bootable CD available from the Lenovo website.  Good luck!

 

http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/research/hints-or-tips/detail.page?&DocID=HT063289

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09 June 2013

How To Coach Teeball

1.  Teeball coaching is more about keeping the players entertained and preventing them from killing each other with bats and balls than playing baseball.  You can’t do it alone.  Get the maximum number of assistant coaches allowed.  I recommend a minimum of 3 assistants.

2.  Get the parents involved.  By the third practice most of the parents are sick of teeball.   Break the monotony and get them out on the field.  Setting up a kids vs. parents game is a good way to do that.  Make sure you coordinate with the parents beforehand so that they can bring a glove and wear the right shoes.

3. Buy some wiffleballs and kids tennis balls.  One  hardball-to-the-face and a kid becomes a flinching, dodging mess when it comes to fielding.

4.  It is difficult to teach kids this age the mechanics of catching and hitting.  When the rules of the game get layered on top of these, things get even more interesting (hilarious).  One big issue is where to throw the ball once you get it.  The kids need a queue, and no, screaming “FIRST BASE!!!!” before and during the play doesn’t work.  Get four clip-boards.  Paint the back of them white with a big black arrow pointing down.  Each coach gets one of these clip boards, one at first base, one at second, one at third, and one at home.  The object is to hold them up over the base where the ball should/could be thrown.  At first you should only hold up the arrows during the play where the ball should be thrown.  Once the kids are more advanced you could hold up multiple arrows where there are force outs.  Coordination between coaches with this method is vital.

5.  Your first practice might be stressful, especially if you don’t really know what you are doing.  Beware of kids showing up that aren’t on your team.  After you greet the kid and shake hands with the parent, check the roster to make sure their really on your team.

6.  Prepare a short talk for the parents at the first practice.  Don’t talk for more than 5 minutes.  Limit it to only the most important items.  Make sure you cover how you plan to communicate with them in the event that a practice or game is cancelled (you may or may not be planning to call everyone.  You may plan to send an e-mail or text, etc).  Cover your expectations, coaching philosophy, and goals for the season.  Cover how you expect parents to behave during games.  Cover any equipment and uniform issues.

7.  Hand out a hard copy of the practice/game schedule with your contact information and the contact information for your assistants.  Also include information on the leagues automated alert system if one exists.

8.  Buy some stickers.  Hand them out to kids who demonstrate positive traits like sportsmanship, honesty, perseverance, etc.

9.  Get the team a mascot.  A stuffed animal works great.  Bring it to the games, include it in the post-game high-fives and team cheers, have them hold it for good luck.  When the season is over, present it to the MVP.

10.  Remember that teeball is about learning, growing, and fun.  Its not about winning.  Coaching little kids is very rewarding.  Dealing with parents may not be.  If a parent gives you a hard time offer to make them the head coach.  They will quickly fall in-line.

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This past Christmas I received a Google Nexus 7 Android tablet PC.  The Nexus 7 is a great little tablet for reading e-books, listening to audio books, and playing games.  After a few days of experimenting with different apps and searching for ways to justify the cost of my little computer, I did an internet search for “best bagpipe apps”.   After a few minutes of sorting through numerous Google results for “Chris Apps reeds” I found that the list I was hoping for didn’t exist.  So I started experimenting on my own, and here are my results:

Metronome Beats

All bagpipers know that they need to practice with a metronome, but metronomes can be frustrating.  Frustration from an inability to play notes on the beat or from playing early birls is good; it means you know what to work on.  However there is also frustration from having to constantly rewind the key or adjust the weight on a mechanical metronome or frustration from not being able to see or hear or tricky controls on an electronic metronome.  This second kind of frustration might lead some to do without the steadying beat of a metronome.  The free Android App Metronome Beats solves many of these frustrations.   This app allows you to adjust beats per measure, plays a different sound for the first beat of a measure, and has options for changing the beat sounds and creating custom beat sounds.  A “settings” mode allows you to adjust the timing to suit your preference.  One of the most useful features, the ability to use your finger to tap the desired beat, takes the guess-work out of setting a tempo.  Clicking the “Start/Stop” button moves you to “practice” mode where a ball slides back and forth and clicks and lights indicate beats.  In practice mode, a swipe of the “beats per minute (BPM)” wheel or the tempo slide bar allow you to adjust the tempo.  Also, buttons are provided to allow you to quickly set the tempo to 95%, 85%, 75%, or 50% of your chosen tempo.  One minor complaint about this app is that it sometimes stalls or stutters mid-beat, probably due to some other application taking away processor time.  This is to be expected however from a metronome running on a computer and is fairly infrequent on my Nexus 7.  Overall the free Metronome Beats app is proving itself very beneficial to my piping progress.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.andymstone.metronome&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5hbmR5bXN0b25lLm1ldHJvbm9tZSJd

Christmas Bagpipe

By no means an accurate representation of the Great Highland Bagpipe, this app presents the user with simulated pipe chanter and the sound of drones.  The “piper” taps the nine chanter holes to play tunes.  Those hoping to use this app to practice on-the-go or in place of an electronic chanter will be disappointed.  At best this app will give the bagpiper a quick bagpipe fix.  I mention it because it is fun to play with and will get a chuckle from your friends.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nettuno.bagpipe&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5uZXR0dW5vLmJhZ3BpcGUiXQ

Da Tuner (Lite!)

This is the most useful bagpipe related app I’ve found.  When you open this app you see a decibel meter on the left.  The middle of the screen is nearly identical to the famous Korg CA line of tuners.  The “note” is displayed in the center with an indicator bar below showing plus and minus 20 and 50 HZ.  The upper right-hand side of the screen shows the baseline pitch.  The most useful feature of this app is the automatic baseline feature.  If you click the options button at the bottom of the screen (three dots arranged vertically), and then click the “settings” button, and then click “Listen for Reference”, and then play low “A” on your chanter; the tuner will automatically set its baseline.  There is no fumbling back and forth between tuner and chanter trying to nail down the baseline frequency.  As you play your pipes and they sharpen in pitch, you can quickly and easily update the tuner’s baseline.  Da Tuner is also much easier to see than the LCD screen of the Korg CA tuner.   As you bring the individual notes of your chanter and your drones into tune all elements of the screen (note indicator, decibel meter, etc) turn green.  The large note indicator can be seen from some distance reducing the amount of bending and squinting.  For the price (free) this tuner cannot be beat.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bork.dsp.datuna&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImNvbS5ib3JrLmRzcC5kYXR1bmEiXQ

Filled Under: Pipes

I was moving my website to a new server and changing my CMS to WordPress.  I needed mailing list functionality so I chose to use the WordPress “Mail List” plugin.  Let me just say that the support page for “Mail List” is terrible.  If you can use something else you should.  “Mail List” claims to have the capability to import a .csv file with a list of your previous mailing list subscribers.  I had a list of about 237.  No matter what I tried I would always get the error “Invalid File Type” when I tried to import my .csv.  Here’s what I did to fix it.

 

1.  FTP to your site and go to wp-content>plugins>mail-list>includes

2.  Download and open “menu_import.php” in notepad

3.  Find this line “if ((($_FILES["file"]["type"] == “application/csv”) or”

4.  Change “$_FILES["file"]["type"] == “application/csv”" to “1 == 1″

5.  Import your .csv file

 

The problem appears to be that Windows changes the mime type of your .csv file when it downloads.  When “Mail List” checks the MIME type and doesn’t find what it wants it errors our.  The steps above stop that check.  Good luck.

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26 June 2009

Welcome the Troops Home

person-of-the-week

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27 May 2009

Rest in Peace Scott…

Scott Biever
May 27, 2009 12:36 am

obitScottBiever0527.jpg

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Scott Biever

Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Charles Scott Biever, 46, of Fredericksburg, passed away from our arms to the arms of the Lord, Sunday, May 24, 2009, peacefully at home with his family.

Scott was a beloved husband and father and was a cherished friend to many. He fought his first cancer in 2001, and colon cancer in 2008, with strength and conviction, and was truly an inspiration to all. He always remained positive and had great faith.

Scott could always find a way to make us laugh. He was a talented musician, mastering both the cello and bagpipes, and played his bagpipes in the Mary Wash-ington University Eagle Pipe Band. Being a member brought him great joy.

Scott graduated from The Citadel with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1985. He served for 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, taking him all around the world. He received a master’s degree in national security affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School and his diploma for Korean language from the Defense Language Institute, both in Monterey, Calif., in 1991.

After retirement, he worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency. He truly enjoyed his job and loved all the people whom he worked with. They were a constant source of support during this past year.

His great inner strength and fighting spirit encouraged hope in all those he met.

Survivors include his devoted wife, Julie; his beloved children, Alex and Jana; his mother and father, Dale and Catherine Biever; his mother- and father-in-law, Charles and Janet Tvrdik; his sisters-in-law, Suzanne Brinkman and her husband, Allan, and Patrice DeSyl-vester and her husband, Richard; his brother-in-law, Brian Tvrdik; his aunt, Jane Snyder and her husband, Harold; his nieces, Lauren and Michele Velasco, Elizabeth and Katherine Brink-man and Kallie Tvrdik; and his nephews, Andrew Velasco and John Brinkman.

He was preceded in death by his beloved grandmother, Eleanor E. Keller.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 29, at St. Mary Catholic Church, with the Rev. Donald Rooney officiating. Interment will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19, in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 28, at Covenant Funeral Service, Fredericksburg. A prayer service will start at 6:45 p.m.

Memorials may be made through The Holy Land Christian Society to the Creche Orphanage in Bethlehem, c/o of Rev. Donald Rooney, St. Mary Catholic Church, 1009 Stafford Ave., Fredericksburg, Va. 22401.

Online guest book is available at covenantfuneral service.com.

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24 May 2009

Feedin’ a Emu

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