Sorry for the long, looong title – just wanted to make my article topic fairly clear! I am talking about Wine (http://www.winehq.org/) , a free, open-source application that acts as a kind of “interpreter”, allowing you to run Windows-specific software on a Linux machine.
Now, I’ve been an avid Linux user/ hobbyist for more than half a decade. I play with it. I co-install it on
Windows machines. I’ve recently wiped out Windows and created two Linux-dedicated machines… And yet, I have always (ALWAYS) avoided Wine or trying to run any non-free software, and have only reluctantly installed proprietary software, on my linux babies.
Why? Because, for me, the spirit of Linux, especially Ubuntu, my distro of preference, is open. Non-exclusive. For all.
So why now do I “corrupt” my dedicated Linux (Ubuntu distro) machine? Why now? Well – because I was bored, for a large part. And – I want to be able to mess around in PSE (Photoshop ELements) on my upstairs (back-up/ non-main) computer. Which is running Lubuntu 12.04 machine (a basic version of Ubuntu, which is super light and runs well on older pcs).
At first use, I am very VERY impressed and pleased. My PSE 10, which runs great on my Windows 7 computer, actually installed and runs well on Lubuntu, too! I’ve noticed, so far, just one glitch – the Clone Stamp tool doesn’t work properly (I cannot sample). But really – so far, the Organizer, and the Editor, are running very nicely indeed!
It all happened while I was living in Japan – the Great Recycling Revolution. And I was and am very pleased to see people recycling and composting and taking measures to help preserve our environment. And – in the case of Japan – the extremely limited land means extremely limited landfill, so recycling was more pressing.
In Odawara, where I first lived in Japan, I learned that cans had to be separate from garbage, and picked up on different days. Great!
In Susono, a small town in the conservative and yet precocious prefecture of Shizuoka, the rules were more stringent: your trash had to be in special, transparent bags sold in Susono for Susono dwellers. If you bought your bags in Mishima and they had the Mishima city stamp on them – woe is you, for then your garbage would not be picked up. You also had to write your name and address on each bag.
The same rules applied to “Plastics” garbage – all soft-plastic items like food wrappers, Styrofoam, plastic bags, etc, which were picked up on Thursdays.
And then, there was the grand recycle station, manned by local neighborhood folks, where a whole contingent of boxes and bags would be lined up on the first and third Wednesday of each month, and into which you would separate all your recyclables: batteries, razors, kitchen utensils, pots and pans, aluminum cans, steel cans, clear glass bottles, green glass bottles, brown glass bottles, clear glass jars, etc.
These Wednesday mornings were a great chance to chat with the neighbors and let everyone know we were all doing our part.
Back in the city, in Montreal, I wanted to continue recycling, and really tried. But – the green plastic box was not very big, and yet still too bulky to manage down the winding staircase on a regular basis. I did try though. And – recycling was not mandatory, and garbage was picked up twice weekly…This made me a bit lazy, but I did recycle as much as I could.
Now, in the burbs in Quebec, I am a total recycler (of course!), but it’s much more simple and has the added bonus of a composting pickup. Food stuffs (composting) gets picked up once a week in the brown bin, while recycling (a big blue bin on wheels) is everything (paper, plastic (not Styrofoam), bottles and cans, etc all in one bin) and gets picked up every other week, with actual trash being picked up on the off-week when (when it’s not recycling pickup, it’s trash!).
I know – sounds complicated. Or just boring. But you gotta love the different way every culture treats their trash and their environment!
I’ve been meditating and practicing mindfulness regularly for many years – but, of course, it’s easy to become distracted and abandon such practices when life throws a curve ball. And that is exactly when you need to stick with the practice most.
I find, like many, that being part of a sangha (community) helps motivate and maintain practice. I like to go to a meditation centre whenever I feel isolated or losing my practice. But also, I find joining an online guided meditation does the trick and teaches me something new, too.
The Wild Divine website has frequent free offerings, including a new two-week meditation practice with Deepak Chopra.
It’s easy to sign up, easy to follow and it’s free.
I didn’t have my early morning cleaning job today, and the high school didn’t call me in to teach – so I got a day off (albeit no work = no pay… but still!).
I took handsome Dexter for his morning walk, and discovered that the weather was totally different from yesterday. Instead of being cold, windy and rainy, this morning was warm with an almost tropically warm wind. During the walk, I realized that I needed to put in a decent run. Needed to for myself, for my body and for my mind.
Anyway, after dropping Dexter off at home, I got changed, loaded up my iPod, and hit the pavement. I ran along the path beside the highway, then wound my way down to the river side, to the beach, and back up the hill home again. I finished with 10.20 km on the clock. Perfect!
And it was, indeed, the most perfect run I’ve had in a while. Now – remember, though, when I say “run” I really mean a jog My body was in the zone, my cardio was good, and my mind was there, too. I felt great. The weather was just perfect to be out in a tank top and running shorts, I had a bottle of water, and I worked up a sweat.
But, it is in times like these, when everything is so sweetly right, that I realize I miss having someone to do these things with. Granted, I’ve been doing my favorite things alone for almost three years now.
I guess this is when we have to remember the old adage, “You can’t have it all”. Maybe not, but I can sure as hell keep trying
Although I’ve been meditating fairly regularly, and I have been remembering to stay in the moment, to pay attention to each moment we have, I somehow lost all of that on Saturday morning.
I went to work for a couple of hours in the restaurant in Chelsea, then was happily making my way home to enjoy the rest of the morning, possibly with some good garage sales to check out in the neighborhood when….
I got home, still thinking about garage sales and getting some coins ready to go “shopping”, etc. I parked the car in the driveway, went inside and was chatting with my mother (my roomie!), when…
Several loud crashing sounds thundered in our ears even as the floor shook under our feet. If this had been in Japan, I would have written it off as an earthquake, but being Quebec, I knew it was something else. Horror crept through my veins as realization started to dawn…it sounded like a car accident, felt like something crashed into the garage…Oh. My. God.
I looked outside and sure enough – my car was nowhere to be seen. We went outside, and there was my car, half inside and half outside the garage, having just about knocked the (newly installed!!!) door off its hinges.
Ah well. Suck it up, buttercup – and keep on meditating!
Two days ago, on Wednesday, I only worked a half-day, and it was a gorgeous sunny day at that. So, I decided to be productive with the afternoon!
While I have yet to get Dexter’s shaggy mane trimmed and beautified, I actually – finally! – got out the lawn mower and mowed my back and front lawns, which are now ready to be enjoyed for whatever bit of warmish and sunny weather is comes our way before winter gets its strangle-hold on us…
I only worked for a few short hours early this morning, and since it was a gorgeous day – warm and sunny – I decided to get out on my bike for what would, perhaps, be my last ride before winter. But best laid plans and all that – while pumping up my tires, one of my tube’s valves broke, and, no, I had no spares. So – I changed my plans.
I, instead, drove to my LBS (local bike shop), just to get some tubes. Then I parked at the marina, put on my roller blades, and rolled all along the bike path along the Ottawa river, from the marina to the Champlain Bridge!
Excellent outing – fresh air, nice views, and a smooth, easy roll!