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Dirk Collins
Father, Husband, Inventor, Investor, Teacher
Father, Husband, Inventor, Investor, Teacher

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Geeks Weekend Update

Beautiful day out today! 82 degrees and sunny, that's 29C for everyone else!

Spent about ten hours doing yard work. Built a hobby horse because this huge tree branch from The Great Elm Tree fell down in my backyard. Dragged it off my driveway, then set it up on the hobby horse and cut it into firewood size chunks with a hand saw. Mowed. Trimmed the bushes and evergreens. Finished by blowing the winter leaf litter and detritus out of the garage and cleaning that some (lots left to do... haven't touched the garage since last summer). Home is looking good though!

So... yard also good until June! ...and then off to the fun super geek stuff. Between all day yesterday, and after sunset today, managed to finish Chapter One of my new book MariaDB Essentials. At this rate I'll have it finished before the end of the month, because I'm getting ready to either setup or improve at least four web sites. Improving my knowledge of Linux, MariaDB, MySQL, and HTML5 is going to help me automate many of the website functions, and add some unique and attractive features to each of these web sites for guests.

Best wishes for Mother's Day. My gift today was a good looking home! Oh, and a home made Mediterranean Salad with Stuffed Grape Leaves for dinner yesterday.

#MariaDB #MySQL #SpringCleaning #MediterraneanDinner

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Spacex CRS-10 Launch

A very good morning! The Falcon-9 flew perfectly this morning delivering the CRS-10 mission payload into orbit. The First Stage landed successfully at an open pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Congratulations +SpaceX Good to see you flying high!
LIFTOFF! The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 9:39 a.m. EST, and the Dragon cargo vehicle is on orbit heading to the International Space Station with an arrival scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 22. It will deliver science and supplies to the crew living and working on station. Follow along at:

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Cat Warming in Winter
Internet Cat image of this Morning.
Internet Katze Bild für diesen Morgen

 Having my morning coffee in the office and getting ready for the day, and Ari sets down next to me to shake off the chill.

+Dorian Hunter 

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Crystal Springs Manatee Dive
27 May 2016

One of the last of my summer vacation expeditions filmed using the Midlands XTC-280 GoPro clone. This concludes a short series of posts that cover much of the last year, as I was very busy throughout the year with work (only took one week of vacation) and am only now catching up on sharing some of the better family events here on G+

Many blessings for a happy and prosperous New Years for all of you in 2017!

Looking forward to making 2017 better (much better) than 2016!

A shout out to a few of my online friends whom I know would enjoy this, and I'll close with links to my posts from earlier this week.

Happy New Years!

Cayman Island Sea Turtle Sanctuary

Summer Vacation 2016

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Cayman Island Sea Turtle Sanctuary

Back during summer vacation we spent some time here. I'd like to share some photos with you, showing just how committed the local people are who live on Cayman Islands are to preserving the sea habitat in the Caribbean including all of the sea life, Turtles, Sharks, Fish, and more!

We totally contributed to supporting this and this was money well spent, and also Summer Vacation!

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Summer Vacation
Week of Memorial Day, 2016

Earlier today did my Christmas post. I didn't post much this year. I'll do a few catch up posts over the next few days.

We took our family vacation early this year and started with a road trip to Tampa, Florida where on the 24th of May we boarded Carnival Paradise, one of the older Carnival cruise ships. It was a vacation where the ships crew endeavored successfully to create one of our best vacation experiences ever! Thank you, again Maharddin and Kadek for your hospitality

+awaluddin mahardika 

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Christmas 2016

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday! A few photos!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

More posts before the New Year on the good things of 2016. We celebrate twelve days of Christmas here!

Election Day

For the last year, everyone has been talking politics. From the top right on down. Today it is my turn. I voted. After this post, I won't talk about politics again, at least for another four years, however I thought that some of you might be interested in just what some of us act on and really believe, here in the United States. ...And we'll start from the top.

This has been one of the most divisive elections ever that I can remember here in the United States. Big money groups have thrown millions of dollars at advertising campaigns, most of them are negative campaigns just speaking badly about their opponent. The excessive advertising backfired. It didn't work. at all. It is a shame to the FBI, that they would step in and try to publicly influence an election. Bad move. An unprecedented very bad move.

Now I'm going to talk about who I didn't vote for, ...and why;

Donald Trump No, just no. Twice bankrupt. Aggressive. He made it plain he doesn't care about women, minorities, foreigners, and American entrepreneurs and small business,. He said he wants to make America great again, but as part of the Republican party, he did nothing to prevent the big car manufacturers from going bankrupt. Without the democrats to light a fire under them, the Republicans would have let two of the three of the last big car manufacturers die in the U.S., and all of those jobs would have been gone. He's probably bankrupted a lot of business people who worked, and helped him, and now he wants to be rewarded for that. No Way.

Hillary Clinton Nope. No one remembers that it was Bill and her in the 90's who opened the floodgates and let the American manufacturers abandon their workers and run south of the border and into third world countries and hire International workers at a fraction of the cost using the NAFTA agreements. The Companies didn't have to pay taxes anymore ...and did those American companies pass the cost savings on to the consumer? No. Not even a little, Just ask Apple and Foxcon, or Disney and Digital. ...We see what you did there, ...and now you want back in, just because, know, a woman should get to be president? No.

I also want to touch briefly on the Clinton pay- to-play government plan. It makes me ill that lobbyists and foreign dignitaries get to socialize and influence American policy just by ponying up cash and showing up at parties. Kind of makes me feel like the American presidency is available for sale to the highest bidder. I could almost forgive the FBI for trying to dodge that bullet and throw Hilary Clinton under the bus, the only problem is, The FBI backed the worst possible candidate for President, ever. That's called a lose-lose situation.  Go James Comey!

Hilary Clinton wants to put ground troops into Syria and expand our war for the benefit of the Defense Industry, I want to get all of our ground troops out of middle eastern countries, and bring them home. All of them. Obama promised on this, and he lied. Also does anyone here really want Bill in the White House again horn-dogging his way around the country? She, didn't get my vote.

Jill Stein Nope.  I'll admit, the Green Party ticket was very attractive at first. It's loaded with Yankee good sense, good ideas, and all the right intentions. If she was elected and picked a cabinet, it would wreck both the Republican and Democrat agendas in Washington. This ticket had one big big problem though. No support at the local level, not even a small base. Back in June, After Bernie Sanders caved in to the will of the corrupted Democratic party and withdrew his nomination, Jill Stein was briefly in the spotlight. At that time I emailed the Indiana Stein Campaign HQ  and volunteered to help get her elected, and ....crickets.

Never heard back from anyone in the Green Party. Any presidential campaign that can not effectively recruit volunteers when the volunteers  are e-mailing and phoning in to help, will not be organized enough to successfully run the country, ...if by some miraculous remote chance actually find themselves elected. So, never a serious contender to Jill.

Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party. Me: Who? Never even heard of him until today. Seriously, what was the Libertarian platform, how would they run the country? Why didn't they get into the debates,? Why didn't they get more political coverage? A lackluster effort at best.So, with no clear idea how the Libertarians with Gary at the helm plans on running our country for the next four years. No Gary, no.

Kind and dear readers, you can see my meaningful choices getting slim here... real slim. Effectively, the entire political establishment ensured that there were  no presidential candidates qualified to actually lead our country well for the next four years. Not even one.

Now there is a blank spot on the ballot to fill in who I believed would be the best person for President and Vice-President for the next four years, and for the first time ever, I did.

I voted for the honorable Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren to become our next President. Never mind the fact that she said she really didn't want to. It is exactly these experienced public servants, the ones who are randomly called on, that end up doing the best job. She has spent the last eight years kicking big banks, and corrupt politicians right in the nuts, and publicly humiliating them, and taking every opportunity to fight for the American middle class, which still miraculously, barely, but actually comprises the majority of the population. Too bad the middle class are not returning the favor for her and giving her the opportunity to really make our government better and more effective.

...Imagine just for a second, corrupt lobbyists, banks, and foreign powers having to navigate through the horde of followers that Elizabeth Warren would call upon, the no-nonsense middle class folks that have been screwed, that would be eager to quash their repulsive bribery, kickbacks, cronyism, and nepotism that surrounds the office of our current Leaders.

I picked Michael Dell, to be her Vice-President. He just hangs out in Austin, and works leading one of the last truly great computer companies in America. He would back Elizabeth Warren good, and would even do a great job as President, if for any reason she couldn't.

My vote went to a personal friend for Indiana State Senate. He would do a better job than either the Republican or Democratic nominee, and I believe he would represent Indiana better than anyone else in the State. In all the other local and regional races where the Democrats and Republicans conspired to ensure they were the only ones on the ballot, I abstained from voting. Neither deserve to be elected for their conspiracy.

You know, the Indiana Governor came out as Anti-LGBT last year, so I thought I would clean house there too. For the Indiana Governorship, I voted for Rex Bell of the Libertarian Party along with Karl Tatgenhorst for the Lieutenant Governor. Unlike the current Governor, these freedom loving libertarians would not even dream of interfering with the peoples right to choose for themselves,  just how, and where they want to be happy.

There was one interesting measure on the Indiana Ballot this year;

Public Question #1
"Provides that the right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife is a valued part of Indiana's heritage and shall be forever preserved for the public good. Provides that the people have a right, which includes the right to use traditional methods, to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, subject only to the laws prescribed by the general assembly and rules prescribed by virtue of the authority of the general assembly to: (1) promote wildlife conservation and management; and (2) preserve the future of hunting and fishing. Provides that hunting and fishing are the preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife. Provides that this constitutional amendment does not limit the application of any laws relating to trespass or property rights. This proposed amendment has been agreed to by one general assembly."

This was a simple (but loaded) Yes/No question.  I voted Yes, of course. Everyone should have the right to fish and hunt on public lands. With this motion though, the Indiana State Government gets to exercise complete and totalitarian power over hunting and fishing rights here in the State on public lands. Just another good reason Libertarians would be good as Governors here, to quell any notions for denying hunting and fishing rights for any stupid number of reasons.

That concludes everything I'm interested in for politics. For the rest of you Americans intent on calling this running train wreck of an election an example of a good democracy, good luck. Please don't call on me when you run out of railroad track and your state and federal government comes crashing down around you, because you voted your rights away in fear and ignorance, and you are now slaves of corporations, some individuals, and special interest groups.

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RPG Update

The only thing better than getting together and playing a great game of the Star Wars RPG on a lazy Sunday morning, would be having Emperor Palpatine unexpectedly show up in order to tempt you to turn to the Dark Side.

Which is exactly what happened yesterday morning! Took the boy over to Indianapolis ComicCon to do a bit of shopping and star gazing. We were minding our own business and browsing the dealer area when a rather large contingent of Imperial Stromtroopers from the 501st Imperial Legion rolled through the main hall clearing the area ahead of them. In the very middle of the group was the dark emperor himself.

As they rolled right by us, on the way to the autograph booth I said to the boy. "Look, there's the Emperor, is your chance to turn to the dark side, and swear your loyalty to the emperor himself."

Look on the Boys face as Emperor Palpatine with his personal bodyguard strolled by; Priceless! ...and naturally I didn't have my camera handy for this. The 501st had a bodyguard in place for the Emperor the entire weekend!

This year, a fun and good show! Went on a Saturday field trip taking a group of Cosplayer's from my club for the day, as this is their favorite annual event. Then on Sunday, I returned with just my son. Ray Park a.k.a Darth Maul also attended and was signing autographs this year as well, so it was a Star Wars gathering of the Dark Side! Here's a few photos in an album to share from our day.

1. Entrance Hall

2.  Star Wars, Darth Maul and Jedi

3. The boy with Rey. There were plenty of Reys, and a few Finns present this year, this charming young lady stood out above the rest because she was English, and had the perfect accent as well.

4. Yes this is Daenarys Targaryn, Belle, and Tinkerbell from Disney, and of course, Cerci Lannister graciously posing for me.

5. Grey Delisle and the boy. Grey is well known for her character Daphne from Scooby-Doo and Vicky  from  Nickelodeons' Fairy Oddparents. She also has many movie credits including Last Airbender and Power Puff Girls, and Transformers. Gorgeous and smart too, and she reminds me a great deal of Tanith Lee , and she put the boy in his place quick when he got a bit snarky.

6.  Can't have a ComicCon without including Mario!

7. Indiana Jones & Dad. One of our special guests this year was Jonathon Rhys-Davies from Indiana Jones and Lord of the Rings.

8. The Punisher

9. Deadpool

10. Master Roshi from DragonballZ

11. Spiderman ...and he has Captain Americas' shield!

12. Super Steve from Minecraft and a very charming Catwoman!

13. Not sure what anime this is, but these Cosplayer's did such a tremendously great job detailing their costumes, I wanted to get the picture of their work and presentation.

14. Power Rangers Unite!

15.  ...of course Edward Scissorhand
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