Saturday, 4 March 2017

09:50 – It was 21.3F (-6C) when when I took Colin out this morning, with light winds. Email overnight from Jane, with the subject line “I copied you again”. She and Tom didn’t have any powdered eggs in their pantry, so she ordered six #10 cans of them, which is about 35 dozen worth.

We had dinner last night again from long-term storage; Keystone beef chunks in barbecue sauce over rolls. Actually, the rolls were store-bought, but we have everything we need in LTS to make them ourselves.

In a prepping fail that turned into a prepping win, it turned out that we didn’t have any bottled barbecue sauce in the pantry. No problem, we just made it up ourselves from an old family recipe that we just made up:

1-1/2 cups white sugar + 1-1/2 Tbsp molasses (or substitute brown sugar)
1-1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup prepared mustard (or substitute 2-1/2 Tbsp dry mustard)
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp liquid smoke hickory sauce
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and heat on medium until it just begins to bubble. Yields about one quart/liter.

We reheated the pound or so of frozen leftover Keystone beef chunks in a smaller pan, poured about a pint of the sauce over them, and then served the beef and sauce over rolls and froze the excess sauce.

I was expecting our sauce to be at least okay, but it turned out better than that. Barbara and I agreed that it was better than all of the name-brand barbecue sauces we’d tried. Yet another advantage to cooking with LTS foods. Homemade tastes better.

* * * * *

10:43 – I just finished getting Barbara’s Dell notebook up and running under Linux Mint 18.1 Cinnamon. It was harder than it should have been. The first time, I installed from DVD, told it to restart, and removed the DVD. It came up normally, but was missing some drivers, including the one for the Broadcom Wifi chip. I fired up Driver Manager and told it to install from the DVD. When I came back a little while later, it hadn’t installed the WiFi driver, and the DVD drive was just sitting there making seeking noises. I suspect the drive itself rather than the disc, but I’ll check that out.

So, without a DVD drive, presumably, I used USB image writer on my own system to create a bootable flash drive image of Linux Mint 18.1, and installed that on Barbara’s notebook. Everything worked normally, and I now had WiFi connectivity. The next step was to restore Barbara’s Firefox and Mozilla profiles. As I’d done in the past, I simply deleted the default profiles for both and copied over her old profiles from her Windows system backup. But when I tried to fire up Firefox and Thunderbird, both failed with an error message about profile errors.

No problem, I thought. I’ll simply remove Firefox and Thunderbird in Software Manager and then immediately tell it to reinstall them. SM refused to delete either of them. So I went in and manually deleted the .mozilla and .thunderbird directories and then fired up SM again. It thought they were both still installed, and refused to do anything about it. So I fired up apt-get to try uninstalling/reinstalling them from the command line, but with no joy.

At that point, it seemed the easiest course was simply to blow away the contents of the SSD and reinstall. I did that just before dinner yesterday and then bagged it for the day. This morning, I fired up her system, copied the contents of the new default profile directories to backup directories, and then copied the contents of her Windows backup profile directories to the new default directories. When I fired up Firefox and Thunderbird, both came up and worked normally. The only minor issue was that I had to reinstall Adblock Plus on Firefox, but that took only 30 seconds.

Barbara’s system is now fully functional except that I still have to recopy her spreadsheet and other data from the backup flash drive onto her new SSD. And, yes, the notebook is now noticeably faster running from the SSD than it was running from a 5,400 RPM hard drive. I’ll stick the old hard drive in a box and put it on the shelf to cover the remote possibility that I’ll ever want to run Windows on her system again.