It's been a cool and rainy day here. The high temperature outside barely reached 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Our heat pump never had to come on. I've said it before and I'll say it again, we love our efficient little mountainside cottage.

But today was different from our usual Sunday. A woman that Lisa knew in high school called and invited herself for a visit. They hadn't seen each other for many years but re-connected, as so many of us do, through Facebook. She stayed all afternoon and we had a splendid time. They reminisced and caught up on what had happened in their lives since their public school days.

She and I got to know one another, too. I hope she doesn't think I'm too odd; I had occasion to let her know something of my homeless past, as she had been telling us of her work with shelters and missions and youth groups around the country. But I think that she came away with a positive impression overall. I certainly found her easy to relate to and converse with.

As for my trusty Toshiba, well, last night's downloads all came through but the system locked up at some point during the night and none of them were installed. When I gave it a hard reboot this morning, I was presented with the TWM window manager. So sparse and "lightweight" that all you get is a blank screen. A left-click-and-hold with your mouse will present a menu, and you can run all of your programs from there.

Imagine a completely dark and sparsely accommodated warehouse, and all you have to see by is a mini-Maglite that you have to shake every few seconds to keep it lit. That's how TWM felt to me at first. I can't say that I learned to love it, but it eventually allowed me to get some things done.

There wasn't much available that was really helpful so I eventually opened up a BASH shell and worked in command-line mode. You know, like old DOS, but a DOS with real strength and ability.

It took me a while but I manually installed the downloaded files from last night and got the sucker up and running with my preferred desktop environment, KDE. The setup is still not perfect. I can't get the screen resolution correct. It's running at 1024x768 but my wide monitor expects 1366x768, so circles are elliptical and all that.

And all of my old desktop customizations are hiding somewhere. Before doing this whole reinstall I copied the entire settings directory tree. It's a deep tree but I know that my painstakingly developed colors and effects are in there somewhere.

I'll get it figured out. This is giving me a chance to learn and take notes even more than I usually do. Always important to keep my skills sharp. But for now I'm sticking with the semi-stable version of the OS. I love using the cutting-edge stuff until stuff like this happens. I'll be back to the unstable branch eventually, though.

It's getting late, just after midnight, and I'm still wide awake because I was drinking coffee all day. We always have a 12-cup pot between us in the morning, and I made a second pot for our afternoon visit. Our visitor didn't drink any after all, so Lisa and I drank it. Mostly I drank it. I just took a couple of Benadryl, though, so I should be out in an hour or so. G'night.

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