[donspatch] 2011-04-01

  • From: "Don (& Lisa)" <dondashguitar@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Donspatch <Donspatch@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2011 00:30:07 -0500

#159 April 1, 2011 from http://www.don-guitar.com

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First word, from Don:

I'm loving our new once-monthly publishing schedule.  It
has de-stressed the process of meeting our deadline at a
time when our stress levels were elevated somewhat by
events elsewhere in our lives.  What stress is that you
ask?   We've both had the flu for about a month now.
Lisa's does house cleaning and has had to keep up with her
clients while I've had assorted odd jobs (some paid, some
unpaid) to get done.  This has caused a delay in our home
building project.  The house, the exterior at least, is
finished.  Now I've got to convert the shed into an
apartment where we'll live while we finish the interior
of the house.  I have the materials I need to get started
and I'm just about over the flu.  With luck, I can get
started as soon as this issue is posted.

Something else I'm loving here lately is the medical care
I'm getting from the VA.  We hate the two hour drive to
Temple (when I have appointments) but the quality of care
I get has been phenomenal.  Another huge factor has been
the fact that, so far, the care I've received from the VA
has cost us nothing.  Now that I'm drawing Social Security
and have 'official' income the VA will probably begin
charging me something but I'm sure it will be within our
means and I don't grudge the notion in the least.  The VA
doesn't owe me anything, I owe them everything.  While
my flu was at its worst I used Albuterol Sulfate ampules,
administered with a nebulizer, to help me sleep.  I use
them so seldom that they aren't a regular item in the list
of my medications.  I ran out of them while I had the flu
so I logged into the VA website...   www.myhealth.va.gov/
... and sent a message to my doctor, explaining why I needed
them.  He wrote me a 60 dose prescription with 11 refills
(so, next time, I can refill it myself with one click from
the website) and had the pharmacy mail me the prescription.
When you think about that, it's pretty amazing.  I can also
create an in depth medical profile for myself on the VA
site, itemizing the OTC drugs, vitamins and herbal/mineral
supplements I'm taking.  I can't imagine why I wouldn't
share this information with my doctor but, nevertheless, the
VA lets me chose whether or not my personal profile is to be
shared with my doctor.  How cool is that?

So, life goes on and there are few dull moments.  :)

See you next time,


P.S. Have you heard my new band yet?
(still a little rough around the edges but getting better)

Our feedback form and contact info:

Don on...





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Lisa on...



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Section One by Don.

Is it a Windows app?  Is it a glorified browser?
I watched the video and I still don't know what
it is.   http://www.splashtop.com/os

Pretty cool currency converter.   http://coinmill.com/

A gross of places where you can learn online.
http://tinyurl.com/243zt9c [marcandangel dot com]

Once upon a time it was real tough to find gluten free
foods but it's not nearly so tough anymore.

Makeyour own calendar.
http://goo.gl/e0l3L [pcworld dot com]

A few costless (honor-system donation-ware) apps.

An excellent site for learning about animal behavior.

Create the future.   http://contest.techbriefs.com/

What Matters asked researchers, academics, journalists,
policy makers and executives to address ten big questions
about our collective future.  Here you can find their
answers.  http://whatmatters.mckinseydigital.com/

What's new and cool?   http://innovationwatch.com/

Stuff that some moms think other moms will like.

Flex your creative writing muscles every week alongside
some of the most talented writers on the web.

Sun, wind, human legs, whatever, these folks can get energy
from it.   http://www.alternative-energy-news.info/

Speaking of getting energy from human legs.

To a victim of Celiac disease even a tiny crumb of bread
that contains gluten can be disastrous.  I normally list
interesting blogs in the media section this one's special.

A site for groups or underpriveleged individuals who
need money.   http://pledgie.com/

This is sort-of commercial but if you have a big dog and
plenty of tools you ought to be able to build your own.

End of Section One.

This publication is only mailed to verified
double opt-in subscribers, and is brought
to you by me, Don Crowder, my wife,
Lisa Miller, and http://www.freelists.org

Section Two by Lisa.

Howard Snitzer and his new friends.

Don and I took the Jung Typology Test.  I'm an INTJ
and he's an ENFJ.  Who are you?
More thorough evaluations of the Types.

Free PDF samples of two fine books by NoStarch Press.
Chapter 3 from Book of Audacity by Carla Schroder;
And samples from Book of GIMP by
Olivier Lecarme  and Karine Delvare.

It started with the One Hundred Pushups
Challenge and evolved to a simple yet
effective exercise program.

Don't buy it, swap or borrow it!

Think you can build a house yourself?

Make real-food versions of snack foods.
http://bit.ly/9rWTg4 [planetgreen dot com]

How to sheet-mulch your garden.

Are you paying for standby power?

Ana White will make you believe you
can build beautiful, simple furniture.

Get your Smokey on.

Designing for the future Web.

All breakfast all the time.

End of Section Two.

At the time this issue was posted,
the current subscriber count for
this publication was 369.

This issue's collection of online news, blogs,
magazines, videos  and/or other media related
sites.  These are chosen for maximum diversity
regardless of 'spin' and in some cases may
have offensive or questionable content.

Section Three by Don.

The craft and business of fiction.

Studying American media.   http://mediastudy.com/

'Discovering new horizons'.


Mars exploration program.   http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/

Bringing together bright, curious, and interesting young
people from around the globe to challenge themselves,
discover the world of people and ideas, and experience
the joy of learning.   http://www.explo.org/

Exploring our solar system.   http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/

Research news from Vanderbilt University.

A simple but effective mp3 editor and a nifty little mp3
player which will automatically play every mp3 in a folder,
one-by-one.   http://mpesch3.de1.cc/

A century of musical innovations (video).

Who says the ukulele isn't a serious instrument? [videos]

Back when I still had a couple of daughters at home I rented
a silly little movie called "Adventures in Babysitting".
There was a scene in that movie where an extremely mean
looking black man told the babysitter that 'Nobody gets
outa here without singing the blues' and then he proceeded
to play some awesome blues guitar.  That mean looking black
man was Albert Collins and I'm embarrassed to say that I'd
never seen or heard of him prior to that movie but I didn't
waste any time getting to know him after that (videos).
(and there's a lot more to see on the site)

Stop bullying.   http://stopbullying.gov/

A poet with one vile habit (smoking).

I've just had a new sort of birthday!

Read Twitter and Facebook as a daily newspaper.  I'm not
saying I get this but it is interesting.   http://paper.li/
Here's an example:   http://paper.li/speakeasylive

Looks like a sort of software news and info site.

An interesting gallery from Time/CNN; 'What the World Eats'.
http://goo.gl/4v5m [time dot com]

End of Section Three.

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Section Four by Lisa.

A nice chunk of free online storage from Amazon.

The Texas Department of Transportation
seeds the roadsides with wildflowers for
maintenance and conservation in addition
to the 'natural' plantings all over.  Pure Joy!

The best of everything.

The truth about illegal aliens in the US.
http://wapo.st/ajfNlR  [washingtonpost dot com]
http://nyti.ms/aXUoVM  [newyorktimes dot com]
http://usat.ly/JzIlF  [usatoday dot com]
http://bit.ly/d55GLQ  [newsweek dot com]

Some simple explanations for how the web works.

Back up your Gmail.
http://bit.ly/10wAoW  [wired dot com]

It always feels good to eat well.

One key component of a good night's sleep, backup.
http://bit.ly/fz6NrF  [pcmag dot com]

Green Eggs and Ham!  Yum!
http://aol.it/iaF9il  [slashfood dot com]

Fun for youngsters.   http://fun-in-first.blogspot.com/

The one exercise to rule them all.
http://bit.ly/d8wjRw  [artofmanliness dot com]

Voyager's still out there, phoning home.
http://bbc.in/f5RlWb [bbc news dot com]

What can you do if a guide dog
goes blind?  Hmmm...

End of Section Four.

We welcome all comments, suggestions, or
criticism.  The form doesn't access your
email client (it's a CGI form), so your
privacy is assured.  If you know of a
website that would be a good candidate
for this ezine, please pass it on via
our online feedback form.

Section Five by Don.

Looks like another lifetime-learning web-junky.

A portal to online photo editing sites.
http://goo.gl/tKvcg [1stwebdesigner dot com]

Very few people in my age group (I'm 62) have heard of
Lalo Schifrin but would instantly recognise some of the
music he has composed in the last half decade or so.
By plugging his name into youtube you can listen to many
of his famous compositions.  In this video he plays an
awesome jazz arrangement of one of his most famous tunes.

Here's an awesome tutorial for photographers.
http://goo.gl/gC0XW [chookooloonks dot com]
From the same place, a wonderful concept.
http://goo.gl/7ROxf [chookooloonks dot com]

The 'Listen To Your Mother' show totally rocks.
If you doubt it, listen to the first episode.
Lisa and I have already bought our tickets for the Austin
episode.   http://www.eventbrite.com/event/1468976749

Back in 2002, when I started writing an ezine for
maxpatch.com (now defunct) I spent countless hours
looking for decent freeware for my Windows 98 machine.
Much of what I found was actually adware, nagware, or
limited in functionality unless you popped for the
non-free version.  Many of those apps are still out
there but with the advent of Open Source, computer users
were finally given the option for good quality, cost-free
software that didn't have a catch or a hidden agenda.
This site features the best of Open Source apps for Windows.

Consumers have more power than every before in history due
to the unifying power of the internet.  Sites like this
one are a great resource for us consumers but only if we
'speak up'.   http://consumerist.com/

The Sesame Street site offers awesome stuff for kids.

I love this teacher's blog.   http://www.toughteacher.com/

Antique sewing machines.   http://www.sewmuse.co.uk/

I enjoyed the video on Mozilla's 'about' page.

This twelve year old kid plays a mean guitar (video).

The power to change.   http://www.change.org/

Unity3d is a gaming engine for numerous platforms (but,
sadly, so far, not for Linux).   http://unity3d.com/

Life Without Oprah (a humerous music video).

Until I watched this video I thought Lady Gaga was just
another self-indulgent, air-headed rock star.  Boy, was
I ever wrong.  This is one awesome young lady.

End of Section Five.

Archives for this ezine are available online here:

The current issue is also available on our website.

RSS feed is available via this link.

Section Six by Lisa.

Now I know what a cow magnet is.

Sewing for beginners.

What is a Vook?

The voyage of the Plastiki.

The multidimensional art of Fredo.

The father of modern velvet painting, Edgar Leeteg.

Free photos for any use.

An amazingly beautiful cake.
http://bit.ly/eQif1l  [iammommy dot com]

Help and support for the spouses of
Alzheimer's Disease victims.

A responsible BP?  No.

I found a treasure, the Edina Public School
System website.  You can learn lots here,
starting with Resources for Teachers.
http://bit.ly/eXQXsq  [sites.google dot com]

Free ebooks and guides.  http://the-ebook-cellar.com/

For anyone interested in the human body.

Make your own Museum Box.
You'll be in good company.

End of Section Six.

The Linux Corner.

This fellow thinks a lot of Debian Squeeze (so do I).

KDE4 was a real jolt for me.  By now I've sorted out the
changes and figured out how to configure it to my liking
but plenty of folks haven't gotten over the shock.  A few
of them have decided to continue development on KDE 3.5.

This article really helped me learn about back-up solutions
for Linux.  Deja Dup and Amazons S3 work great for me.
http://goo.gl/l1lN8 [techradar dot com]

Their publications list is fairly technical but
may be interesing if you're well versed in Linux.

A very useful site, chock full of tutorials, how-tos and
tips for Debian/Ubuntu users.   http://www.debianadmin.com/

Debian live CDs.   http://live.debian.net/
Custom design your own Debian live CD.
(I think this page could use a 'help' button)

Debian won't use Firefox because it has proprietary artwork
but, because Firefox is Open Source, the Debian team is able
to build their own browser, based on Firefox, which they
call Iceweasel.  Thanks to the Debian Mozilla team I'm now
using the very latest version of Iceweasel on my Debian
Squeeze system.   http://mozilla.debian.net/

A Little Humor.

A priest and a rabbi are sitting next to each other on an
airplane.  After awhile the priest turns to the rabbi and
asks, 'Is it still a requirement of your faith that you not
eat pork?'  The rabbi responds, 'Yes, that is still one of
our beliefs.'  The priest then asks, 'Have you ever eaten
pork?' To which the rabbi replies  'Yes, on one occasion I
did succumb to temptation and tasted a ham sandwich.'  The
priest nodded in understanding and went on with his reading.
A while later, the rabbi spoke up and asked the priest,
'Father, is it still a requirement of your church that you
remain celibate?'  The Father answers 'Yes it is.  The rabbi
then asked him, 'Father, have you ever fallen to the
temptations of the flesh?'  The priest replied, 'Yes, rabbi,
on one occasion I was weak and broke with my faith.'  The
rabbi nodded understandingly and was silent for about five
minutes and then he said, 'Beats a ham sandwich, doesn't it?'
'Doc, I can't stop singing 'The green, green grass of home.'
'That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome.'
'Is it common?'
'It's not unusual.'
A man takes his Rottweiler to the vet and says, 'My  dog's
cross-eyed; is there anything you can do for him? ' 'Well,'
says the vet, 'let's have a look at him' So he picks the
dog up and examines his eyes, then checks his teeth.
Finally, he says 'I'm going to have to put him down.'
'What?, Because he's cross-eyed?' 'No, because he's
really heavy.'
Two fish swim into a concrete wall.
One turns to the other and says 'dam'.
Ever wonder why...

the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?

women can't put on mascara with their mouth closed?

you never see the headline,
'Psychic Wins Lottery'?

'abbreviated' is such a long word?

doctors call what they do 'practice'?

you have to click on 'Start' to stop Windows?

lemon juice is made with artificial flavor,
and dish-washing liquid is made with real lemons?

the man who invests all your money is called a broker?

the time of day with the slowest
traffic is called rush hour?

there isn't mouse-flavored cat food?

who tests new and improved tasting dog food?

Noah didn't swat those two mosquitoes?

they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?

they don't make the whole plane out of the same
stuff as that indestructible black box?

sheep don't shrink when it rains?

they call them apartments when
they're all stuck together?

Tips for This Issue.

Getting help for PC problems.

'How To' Computer Help.

'Figuring out fake email.'

Contributions from our readers and/or friends
are always welcome and you can even write
your own link descriptions if you wish (just
tell me when you send them if that's what you
intended).  Guidelines are available here:

From our web-sibling Jo-Ann (Jo) Burton:
( Jo's site: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sharinglinks2/ )

Making an overly big deal of sophomoric humor.

Andrew's strange blog.   http://spluch.blogspot.com/

Interesting artwork from Ceth Stifel.

A cute video on the blog of a Canadian.
More where that came from.   http://www.canucklehead.ca/

Holiday insights.   http://www.holidayinsights.com/

It's a mental thing.   http://litemind.com/

A cynical view.   http://www.cynical-c.com/

Entertaining in an off-the-wall sort of way.

See how it's done.   http://www.monkeysee.com/main

This site, billing itself as 'the consumer's guide
to the green revolution' offers much to explore.

Science fair project ideas, answers and tools.

Hubcap creatures is a commercial site but fun to explore.

It's about TV.   http://www.bestweekever.tv/

The world at night.   http://www.twanight.org/newTWAN/index.asp

Jim Denevan's sand art.   http://www.jimdenevan.com/

The photography of R Todd King.   http://rtoddking.com/
Museum of organs.   http://www.orgel.com/vlm/mus-e.html

Web-sibling Vinette (Vi) DePhillipe sent me an email
full of images from Terry Border's Bent Objects blog.
In his blog, Terry mentioned Chris Sickels' Red Nose Studio.
Which reminded me of our neighbor Kim Roberti.

From the facebook page of my friend Dennis Dodson,
a couple  of very funny videos on Jeane Robertson's
website.   http://jeannerobertson.com/

Web-sibling Jerry Fox sent us this article and video which
proves conclusively that some people are just crazy.  :)
http://goo.gl/s5MZ [dailymail dot co dot uk]

From the facebook page of my friend Clair Jackson.

How cute is this?   http://www.thatcutesite.com/

Stan Getz and Cal Tjader perform the Ginza Samba.

From our 'other brother' Bill (Beeyil) Lanoue.
( Bill's blog http://ncvietvet.blogspot.com/ )

How secure is your browser?

A disquieting article.
http://goo.gl/eM9R7 [propublica dot org]

From our web-sibling John Lepse.
( John's blog: http://hucknjim.blogspot.com/ )

This is a bluegrass group called the Cleverly's
doing the pop song 'Walk Like an Egyptian'.
John posted the video to his facebook page and I commented
on it which brought it to the attention of my friend and
fellow guitarist Warren Stinson who, not to be outdone
reciprocated with this post of Hayseed Dixie doing 'Walk
This Way'.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muyqMrsuLXw

Here's an awesome video of a medical breakthrough
which has the potential to save a lot of lives.

A well written article on facebook privacy.

Web sibling Sandy Martin sent this link to before and after
images demonstrating the devastation to Japan caused by the
tsunami.   http://goo.gl/TAyXQ [nytimes dot com]

Web-sibling Irving Stein sent us a link to this sobering
article on retirement in America (so far Lisa and I are in
better shape than ever but this article is worrysome).

Thank you Jo, Vi, Jerry, Claire, Bill, John, Sandy and Irv.

Last word, from Lisa:

We've had some small success recording Don's band
and our friends' band 'The Ventilators'.  I've made
them a Google Site with the music we recorded for them.


We've used the free and Open-Source program Audacity to
record and edit sound files.  I've learned a great deal and am
pumped to learn more.  I ordered what looks to be a great
instructional book, The Book of Audacity;


Hopefully it will teach me in relatively short order the
ins and outs of audio editing.  Looks like great fun!

We've spent the last month having and getting over the flu,
hope all of you escaped it this time around.  Not fun, but I
did catch up on a lot of recreational reading.  I've read more
in the last 3 weeks than I had in the last 6 months!  There's
always an 'up' side if you look hard enough.

The adventure continues....


Our feedback form and contact info:

Lisa on...



google buzz.

Don on...





google buzz.

Don Crowder and Lisa Miller
Friday, April 1, 2011
12:30 AM CST - Buchanan Lake Village, Texas, USA
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  • » [donspatch] 2011-04-01 - Don (& Lisa)