Tech Friday: Increased memory cheat on a smallish web server

Posted By on January 15, 2021

Years ago when RAM was expensive, it was common to set up a SWAP space file for additional memory on computers and servers with plenty of fast hard drive space … especially when speed was not as important as preventing crashes. As applications get a little more demanding and server traffic increases,SwapScreen210112 memory use steadily rises .. and in my case is now often over 80% on this server. From past experiences I know it is only a matter of time again.

Since I’ve recently upgraded this server (should have added more memory), I’ve instead opted to use SWAP as I did years ago. So far so good. Here’s a comparison of two terminal screenshots of small servers running Linux 20.10 … the top running SWAP and the bottom (less used) without.

If you are struggling with memory issues and have optimized everything that needs to run on your server or computer, give SWAP a try.

Simply put, virtual memory is a combination of RAM and disk space that running processes can use. Swap space is the portion of virtual memory that is on the hard disk, used when RAM is full.


A bit disappointed in the 2021 LSSU’s Banished Words List

Posted By on January 14, 2021


One of my favorite January traditions is looking at the Lake Superior State University’s Banished Words listing that get posted on December 31. I can’t believe LSSU has been doing it since 1976 and it is fun to look at their archives! For the year ending 2020 (or 2021’s list), LSSU selected COVID-19 as the #1 word … and for good reason. Even I unfortunately included it on this blog over 60 times in 2020 … and who knows how many more in 2021… UGH! Let’s just hope it will be forgotten by 2022 (somehow I doubt it).

A post today from a Fox Business news guy had me using #CancelCulture (below), and it reminded me that I forgot to post on “banished words” this year. I quickly checked the list to see if it was included (it was not) … but since I’ve posted on this topic in many Januarys past, I will continue this week.


So, as for the rest of the words, check the LSSU website and be disappointed with #9 and #10 (unless #10 was “I know I’m right”). 😊

1. COVID-19 (COVID, coronavirus, Rona)

A large number of nominators are clearly resentful of the virus and how it has overtaken our vocabulary. No matter how necessary or socially and medically useful these words are, the committee cannot help but wish we could banish them along with the virus itself. Coincidentally, this list arrives as does a vaccine—the committee hopes this proves a type of double whammy.

2. Social distancing

This phrase is useful, as wearing a mask and keeping your distance have a massive effect on preventing the spread of infection. But we’d be lying if we said we weren’t ready for this phrase to become “useless.” With north of 50 nominations, many others clearly feel the same, and the tone of their reasoning ranged from impatient to heartfelt.

3. We’re all in this together

This phrase was likely intended as a way to keep everyone feeling safe and calm at the start of the pandemic. However, as the virus made its way across the globe and nation, it became clear that we are all dealing with COVID-19 in different ways and that we confront some vastly different challenges in coping with it. As with many words that show up on the list, its usefulness has faded.


A Toyota 4Runner window sticker and missing a photo #TBT

Posted By on January 14, 2021

While shuffling through a bunch of old scans and photos and uploading stuff to my Miami University .EDU Google Drive account for free cloud storage after downgrading my subscription to OneDrive (they refused to1996Toyota4RunnerWindowSticker_m renew the 1TB of space at my previous 4-years of discounted service), I ran across the window sticker from my black 1996 Toyota 4Runner (didn’t pay that price — it was a business lease) after the 1994 Toyota 4Runner (below). Both were fantastic vehicles and even better lease vehicles … because they held their residual value so well. In fact, when I turned in the ‘94 with higher than allotted miles, there wasn’t a penalty so as long as I leased the ‘96 (haven’t found a photo just yet??)

The same thing happened after I turned in the ‘96 4Runner since I then purchased Brenda’s 1998 Rav4 (another outstanding Toyota … as were the two late 80’s “sewing machine smooth” Camries … perhaps a future TBT post)?

Anyway, the window sticker and ‘94 4Runner, DadH’s “Great White Whale” Chevrolet Caprice wagon from in front of the Delray Beach Condo in 1995. Great memories for Throwback Thursday #TBT.


Archive: On January 6, 2021, my nephew Ben, Emily, Liev and Ellis welcomed beautiful baby Lyra Eileen Skinner into the world

Posted By on January 13, 2021

LyraEileenSkinner_7lb7oz_210106We don’t see my nephew and his family nearly enough, but a week ago, my nephew Ben, his wife Emily, and their two boys, Liev and Ellis welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world.

The boys baby sister, and Ben and Emily’s first daughter, Lyra Eileen Skinner was born in the morning, weighing a perfect 7 lbs 7 ozs. All are doing well … along with my ecstatic sister-in-law Chris (her first granddaughter after 4 grandsons). As the Howard family goes, the trend is in keeping,  since boys dominated Mom & Dad Howard’s first wave of grandchildren – 4 boys until the granddaughters made their sweep (well nearly). HA! Katelyn, Madison, Jackie, Jessica and Sarah … with Taylor in the middle.

Brenda and I wish the Skinner family well and give thanks for the birth of a beautiful and healthy Lyra.

Stealing cookies, punishment, deterrents and election laws

Posted By on January 12, 2021

The Storming United States Capitol 1/6/2021 and White House plus multiple cities protests 2020

In recent years, NPR has not been my source for balanced reporting and commentary, but I still occasionally pick up a morsel or two that resonates. This time it was shared by a politically liberal/progressive friend on her daily Life Logs – once The Voyage of Windbird (although suspect her focus is on the most recent events in Washington DC?)

“I loved an analogy that I heard on NPR today. It was basically that if you have a kid that sticks his hand in the cookie jar and steals a cookie, and is not immediately punished for that, the next thing you know his sister and his brother will be doing the same thing.”

— Judy Handley, 2021 Life Logs, Day 10 

As events around “peaceful protests” devolved into riots and violence this past year, there was often praise and support for the raucous behavior, or at minimum suggesting that it was understandable. From the tearing down of statues that particular mobs decided they didn’t like, to attacking Federal buildings, ormostlypeacefulprotests2020 even in-your-face personal attacks of people eating out or just walking on the streets. Looting and the burning store and private businesses was declared  “mostly peaceful protests,” even when they took over cities … declaring them “autonomous zones” … Democratic politicians did little to stop them.  The put you out of business threats for people who held conservative political views or shaming certain businesses in order to coheres them into siding with their cause was the theme for 2020. Celebrities and some political leaders even set up bail funds for those arrested during protesting that devolved into rioting that involved burning, looting and attacks on police … yet few in the mainstream media were overly critical of the incitement that turned to violence.

As for “incitement” … something we hear often when the left talks about President Trump … remember, everyone “must” support BLM and their Marxist ideology, even as their most vocal march PresidentTrumpMAGAhatand chant “pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon” or “What do we want? Dead Cops!” According to these kinds of protesters, that included groups like Antifa who advocate violence in city after city, we need to dismantled and defunded or “re-imagine” law enforcement. 

So I agree (and always have) with the commonsense approach of swift cookie jar punishment as a deterrent and as a way to prevent a sister and brother from doing the same thing. When civility, respect for others and societal laws are not followed, expect others to duplicate unacceptable behaviorand “in my world,” this applies to the ignoring of election laws put into place by state legislatures as defined in the US Constitution, but that’s for another post. 


New for me on Music Monday: Call It Dreaming by Iron & Wine

Posted By on January 11, 2021


IronWine_CallItDreamingSiriusXMEvery year, in trying to get out of my 1970’s Music Monday rut, I say that I’m going to try something new.  So to keep January 2021 going with that same resolution for Music Monday, I’m listening to Iron & Wine thanks to No Shoes Radio on SiriusXM.

This weekend I’ve been listening to Sam Beam’s 2017 Beast Epic album and am including cut #6 which is a song “Call It Dreaming.”  Besides including the audio mp3, here’s a great live YouTube performance on KEXP from 2018 that I really enjoyed too (embed below break).

  Iron & Wine – Call It Dreaming | 2017

“I recognized that a lot in my writing I’m trying to show both sides of the coin — the sour and sweet. Iron & Wine seemed to fit with that duality and I thought it would be more interesting to call the project that rather than use Sam Beam.” (link)


An interesting #book: EPIC – An Around-The-World Journey Through Christian History by Tim Challies

Posted By on January 10, 2021

Thanks to my daughter Katelyn and her family, I’m in the process of reading the Tim Challies book, “EPIC – An Around-The-World Journey Through Christian History.” It is the new book I mentioned in my 2020 Christmas wrap-up post and it has been challenging to put down. BUT … I’m sort of using it as aChristmas2020Book devotional book and reading one “object” at a time so am purposely not rushing through it.

There are 33 stories in all and I’m on #4, so it should last the month if I’m disciplined … unfortunately I already read ahead about Nate’s Saint’s Piper Aircraft (#31) and YouVersion Bible app (#33)). I couldn’t resist.P52_fragment

So far I found the “Augusta of Prima Porta” (#1) story very interesting although I wish I would have read it before going to Rome and the Vatican. Number #2 was equaling interesting and having just watched a movie about knights and the crusades, it had me thinking about just how old John Rylands Manuscript P52 fragment really is? (see image to the right) 

If you need a great book for yourself or a gift, this is a good one.

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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