Is There A Small Smartphone Left These Days?!?!?!?

Well, a little prequel to this post – my iPhone SE, which has served me well for nearly 4 years, finally gave up the ghost…on New Year’s Eve. Happy fucking New Year to me right?

So, thus starts the quest for a new (personal) phone. Luckily I’ve not had to be totally incommunicado with my family because they can still reach me via work phone (something I don’t want to do too much for too long since the clause at work says “limited personal use”). In my search, I have but one requirement – a reasonably small size.

Let me just be clear – I fucking HATE the trend of bigger and bigger phones. If I wanted a big fucking thing I’d get a tablet, not a goddamned smartphone. A smartphone has to be small enough to fit into my front pockets without the pockets protruding too far. Period. Sadly, such phones seem to be a thing of the past.

Hell, if I can’t find such a phone I might just go back to the late 1990s/early 2000s and get a dumbphone. I don’t know yet, but when the smallest phone you still have a prayer of getting is the iPhone 8 (and good luck finding a new one – all the ones I’m finding are pre-owned), you know the trend has shifted to phones that are just way too fucking big.

This is proving to be a nightmare. Wish me luck. Ugh. In the meantime, would it hurt anyone to bring back a 4″-ish phone? I can promise you I ain’t the only one who doesn’t want a big fucking thing to carry around everywhere.


“Privacy Violation?”

All I have to say to this “Sal P.” guy/girl (so-called “community guardian”) who contacted me regarding screenshots taken of my detective work to identify the thorn in my side: Are you fucking kidding me?

You should be protecting ME from cyberstalkers. What the fuck else was I supposed to do? Just sit there and take his typographical abuse? What a fucking joke!

I have, however, in compliance with your request, deleted those screenshots as the threat has seemingly passed. I will say though that I am disappointed in the leadership and “community guardians” of this site for not protecting me in light of a legitimate threat.

My detective work is done anyway and said thorn in my side knows I know who he is and knows I will take action if he contines to harass me, so that’s the main thing. Whatever. I swear that’s the same bullshit that Facebook pulls with their so-called “community standards” which are inconsistently and abritrarily enforced.

Please don’t let this blogging site go the way of Facebook. Please.

You’ve Been Seen!

One thing trolls use to their advantage is a certain level of anonymity that the internet can account for. You can assume any pen name and get after it and nobody can track you, right?

Well, as someone who has worked in IT before (and an avid fan of the show The Internet Ruined My Life), I can tell you that’s not the case. Often times a little detective work in the form if IP tracing and comment/post logs will bring you up out of the water. Hell, even before the information age it was often easy to figure out the identity behind the pen name – think of how quickly people caught onto the fact Richard Bachman was in fact Stephen King. It was quite obvious to anyone who had ever read any of King’s works.

Well think of how much easier it is to do detective work with the internet. If some of you were former Xanga bloggers, surely you remember “LoBornLyte?” Someone did some detective work and identified this person as a guy by the name of Curtis Bell – a high school coach somewhere in Cali if I remember right.

Anyway, I digress. Honestly, I had a hunch it might have been who I thought it was, but a little detective work absolutely confirmed the identity of my little troll. How did I figure it out? You’re about to find out!

In Fall of 2017 an old classmate resurfaced and commented a few of my blog posts. How he found me I haven’t a clue, but somehow he did. He thought he could hide behind various facetious pen names like “Your ISU Buddy,” “Your Buddy” among others. However, he made a grave mistake – he used his old Idaho State University email address! I had a positive identification on him quick and as those who were following me at the time can remember I called him out on it. He went away after I did and seemingly I figured the threat was gone.

Well a year later I started getting troll comments from this “Mike Muku” guy and looking through my logs I noticed he used the pen name “Mile” before he assumed the monkier Mike Muku. I did some digging in my Idaho State email address to find if maybe he used that or another one of his recent pen names and found where he had used the handle “Mile” back in 2017, as you can see here, along with his ISU email address:


I noticed certain similarities in the writing style between that Mile and the current Mile/Mike Muku, as I’m sure you do. That’s when I started putting 2 and 2 together. So what do I do? I type the name “Milan Bimali” (“Mile’s” real name) into a simple Google Search and it led to this:


There you have it ladies and gentlemen! I knew from recent IP logs that this “Mike Muku” had some association with UAMS. The very first Google search result led me to Milan Bimali, Ph.D., Assitant Professor of Biostatistics at none other than UAMS. Look at his MS citation and the year – it overlaps with my time there. This is absolutely the correct Milan Bimali; I know this is the first time you’ve seen his sorry face but I recognized the face before I even looked at the CV.

So now that I, and you all, have a face to a pen name, let me ask you this: how would you feel if you knew how a professor acted to his former colleagues or maybe even random strangers? Would you accept your professor treating you this way? Of course you wouldn’t! You’d walk out of class, never to return, and file a complaint with your institution.

I have to wonder if UAMS condones this kind of stalkerish, harassing online behavior from their faculty. If they are willing to tolerate this kind of behavior from their faculty, that is a huge stain on their credibility as an institution of higher learning and research. If they had an ounce of self-respect they’d have a zero tolerance policy for this kind of behavior and would offer up an ultimatum: clean up your act or you’re fired.

So then, Dr. Bimali, all I have to say is ball is in my court now. If you put so much as one more toe out of line I can guarantee you I will get on the phone with your superiors and let them know everything. Of course, if they choose not to take action that’s on them and I can’t control that. I just think they should know what kind of people they have molding the minds (or, should I say, poisoning the minds) of future medical professionals. This attitude is very unbecoming of any medical professional and should not be tolerated, ever. Dr. Gregory House might have been a funny character but if any real life doctor acted the way he did he’d find himself unemployed and unemployable both.

Just a friendly suggestion, good doctor: FUCK OFF!!! If you don’t, I accept no responsibility for what might befall you. You have been duly warned.

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Selective Censorship and the Downfall of Facebook

So here I am again, I’ve hit the maximum length for Facebook jail – 30 days. I didn’t even do anything wrong either, but fight back a bit. I’m sorry, but I will not sit by idly and be called a “fag,” “wanker,” “beta male,” among other things and not say something in return. I will stand up for myself. Alas, when these assholes get a free pass and I’m the one who gets slapped with a 30 day jail sentence, that’s when I know for sure things are a problem.

I have no problem with Facebook’s “community standards” as it were. They are a private company and can have whatever code of decorum they wish. That’s not the problem. The problem is how inconsistent they are in enforcing these so-called “standards” and why someone gets a pass for something egregious and then others get in trouble for something trivial.

To me, it’s cut and dry – either consistently enforce your so-called “community standards” fairly, impartially and equitably or don’t have them at all and let the place devolve into a free-for-all. One way or another I don’t really care, but when some rules apply to some people and not others? Yeah, not cool.

What’s even more troubling is the selective censorship of certain viewpoints. I often disagree with the viewpoints that are censored, don’t get me wrong, but when that viewpoint is expressed tactfully and in a way that does not violate the community standards as written then that’s a serious problem. I frequently have philosophical debates on the merits of existence and/or antinatalism that sometimes turn ugly, not from me but from the other party. I can’t count how many times I’ve been called the names above or been told to just kill myself yet somehow all of those get a free pass. Yet somehow by arguing for the antinatalist view I’m “encouraging suicide?” What the actual fuck?!?!?

As a Libertarian I have always advocated for freedom of expression, so long as that expression does not violate the rights of another. If we can’t have a forum with which we can exchange ideas, how are we ever going to learn? How are we ever going to grow?

With that, I think it might be about time for me to pull the plug on Facebook. If they aren’t going to be fair and equitable in their enforcement of their so-called “community standards” then perhaps we should all vote with our feet and find a new platform (or found one). It just sucks there aren’t many other platforms available for me to really keep in contact with my international friends especially. International calling and SMS is ridiculously expensive, and Google Voice only supports international SMS to certain countries.

First Post from Linux Mint 19.1 “Tessa”

Talk about an early holiday gift that got me going – a nice little upgrade to Linux Mint, from 19 to 19.1 “Tessa.” Sorry Tara, I know our relationship was short lived. Hah!

Anyway, some nice features for me and one not-so-nice one was in the works. Upgrading was a cinch, going to the update manager while the computer did the rest. Awesome stuff, the easiest and fastest OS upgrade I’ve ever performed. So with that, what do I think of the new 19.1?

There are some minor annoyances but a huge gain for me. Concerning the minor annoyances, I’m disappointed screensaver support was dropped so now just going to a dimmed desktop background with a clock over it. When I’m using my computer I don’t ever let it idle long enough to go to a screensaver anyway so this isn’t really an issue. Also, I found out really quickly I don’t like the “modern” panel and vastly prefer the smaller, less obtrusive “classic” panel. No big deal, at least they still have it as an option and hopefully will keep it in future releases of Mint. I did, however, have to re-theme everything after my short experiment as your themes and settings (applets, panel buttons, etc.) are reset to default when you switch panel modes.

Concerning the benefits, for one thermoregulation seems a bit better and I think 19.1 more accurately reports and regulates the temperature of the AMD Ryzen/Zen+ processors as I’m concistently running about 2C cooler during light-to-medium tasks.

So that’s all fine and good, but the huge thing for me? Look what is now functional that was not in Mint 19:


Yep, it appears as though 19.1 added support for the new HP/Chicony FHD IR camera! For HP users who have this camera, this upgrade is worth it just for that.

With that said, since I found myself just not really using Windows at all after going to Mint, I just wound up wiping Windows altogether and claiming that additional 250GB of hard drive back. That was easy enough to do by creating a bootable USB drive to use GParted Live and deleting the Windows partition and giving that back to free space.

With that, I think for me the migration to Linux is now complete after I’ve now also kicked Microsoft out the door.

EDIT 12/23/18: I was able to get my screensaver back by installing the full version of Xscreensaver (rather than just hacks which was the Mint screensaver package prior) Instructions for how to set it up can be found on the Linux Mint Forums. Turn off the default screensaver, follow these set up instructions and you should be in business. Of course, being a Mac-to-Mint convert there’s just something so comforting about the Flurry screensaver (mentioned in a previous post) so I’m glad to have that back.

And A Happy Ending for My MacBook Pro…

Well turns out my MacBook Pro wasn’t dead at all.

I was able to boot it into recovery mode and wipe the hard drive in preparation to send it off for recycling but my BIL wanted to try to revive it. No problem, can’t hurt right?

After unsuccessfully attempting to install macOS, I got the idea to try converting it to a Mint machine. I still have the bootable flash drive after all.

Well guess what? IT WORKED!!!!

Breathed new life into what I thought was a dead computer. Now the sister and BIL have a working computer they can use as they need. They have a newly refurbished what I’m going to refer to as a “Mintintosh” or “MintBook Pro” – either one works right? A friend also suggested “AppleMint” – that one is also good.

Talk about the ultimate “fuck you” to Apple! I am feeling so evil yet so accomplished right now. Muhahahahaha!!!!!

Re-Creating iLife (and Other Mac Stuff) on Linux

I have to admit, one of the things that initally drew me to Macs back in the day was the iLife creative suite. Some 15 year ago Macs absolutely blew everything else out of the water for artsy/multimedia type stuff with iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand. Windows equivalents were ridiculously expensive until Windows 7 was introduced and then the gap narrowed considerably, though I still found Apple’s suite easier to use.

So now that I’ve made the move to Linux I’ve had to try to find alternatives, and boy did I ever succeed in doing just that. I found three programs that gives me pretty much the same functionality as iLife and the transition was very easy to make.

With that, here are the three equivalents I settled on.

  • iPhoto – I can’t speak for any other Linux distribution, but Mint Cinnamon edition comes with an app called Pix built right in. It’s an image viewer that also comes with GIMP built into it for easy editing.
  • GarageBand – LMMS has a very similar interface to GarageBand and the same capabilities. You can use real instrument tracks as well as a synthesized instrument library.
  • iMovie – OpenShot has an interface that is almost identical to iMovie. For Mac users, this is probably the easiest app to make the transition to Linux.

As far as some other stuff, for a music library manager I ultimately settled on Amarok.  I never used iWork much personally, but Linux Mint Cinnamon edition comes with LibreOffice preinstalled, which is what I had been using for an office suite on Mac so that’s no different at all.

On another note, I was able to pretty much completely recreate the “dark” theme from macOS Mojave by downloading and installing the Mint-Y-Yltra Dark theme as well as the Loki theme and the Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” default background (the whole cosmic thing). By implementing the themes as shown in the preferences, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two:


To totally round out the Mac-clone package, Mint comes with the trademark “Flurry” screen saver* you can downoad the Xscreensaver package to implement the “Flurry” screensaver that’s the default Mac screensaver. That’s kind of the icing on the cake.

Anyway, hope this maybe helps some of you new Linux users who are coming over from Mac OS X/macOS. Of course, your results might vary depending on the distro you’re running but for Mint it was really this easy to almost completely recreate the interface I knew and loved on my Macs for a fraction of the price – this HP Pavilion 15z with quad-core AMD Ryzen 3 2300u processor, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB hard drive and a touchscreen set me back less than $750 including tax and shipping. A 13″ MacBook Pro with an equivalent Intel processor, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB storage and a non-touchscreen would have set me back $2,600 before tax and shipping. Sure, this HP only has a standard 5400 RPM SATA hard drive as opposed a SSD but that’s the only real edge the Mac would have over this machine.

Oh, and this thing actually still has the function keys (instead of that stupid Touch Bar) AND has a 10 key. Mac laptops haven’t had 10 keys since…forever. On some 2007 and earlier MacBook Pros they had an imbedded 10-key that was accessible via the number lock function but that’s completely gone now too.

Anyway, I digress. The point being is try not to fear too much, a simple Google search will show you plenty of alternatives to your beloved Mac apps. Also,  AlternativeTo is a great resource as well.

Happy app hunting!

*Note: As of Mint 19.1, the only built-in screensaver is a dimmed desktop background/blank screen. You can, however, install the full version of Xscreensaver and override your default screensaver by following these directions.

Linux Mint Update

So this is Day 2 of me being live on Linux Mint and let me just say I am already in love!

The operating system is so fast, so smooth and so intutitive that it’s like falling in love with computers all over again. I’ve got everything working now except for my webcam but as I rarely use that anyway I am not too worried about that honestly.

As far as theming, I’m already feeling much more at home as I essentially themed my mint to look like macOS with the background image I used on that and setting up my “quick launch” buttons on the bottom taskbar to mimic the dock – albeit much smaller and much less obtrusive than the macOS dock:


As far as the features, man I am in love. This thing runs 3D Lift Plan (the web-based software I use for day-to-day lift plans) faster than my work computer that has twice the RAM (this is a 16 GB machine; my Dell work computer running Windows 10 Pro has 32 GB)! How can I ask for more than that? Of course, I also get the stability and security that I loved in macOS with this as it’s built on the same UNIX kernel.

Can’t you tell I’m just totally in love? I hope you can. In my opinion the various distros of Linux are the the future of computing. The freedom, functionality and stability of the UNIX kernel as well as being able to choose the “flavor” of Linux that best suits your needs and fancies just makes it the ideal platform in a lot of respects.

Anyway, time to get back to just enjoying this.

First Post From Mint!

Hi All!

I am back in business. I now have Linux Mint 19 Codename Tara Version Cinnamon installed on my new HP Laptop. Everything is running completely smoothly now (including the WiFi – it was just a matter of finding the correct source code to install the proper driver for the AMD Ryzen chipset).

I can already tell this is going to be an excellent change. The OS is so fast, so responsive and so simple I feel like I’ve been taken back 20 years in time! I’m only 31 but I appreciate beauty in simplicity and function when I see it. This definitely delivers that.

Anyway, I need to get back to work but I figured you all would be interested to know that. All is well.

An Update to the Comment Policy

Again, I really don’t like to have to institute formal comment policies, but I’ve had to once before and it’s mostly kept the assholes at bay. Alas, I still get one every now and then (such as the current one) so I need to make a modification to said policy to tighten it up and impose harsher penalties for the relentless ones.

In case those outside of WordPress didn’t know, the blogging software tracks IP addresses from all commenters. The most recent thorn in my side is a little odd – it’s someone (probably a student) from the University of Arkansas Medical School. See here:


Which brings me to the update to the policy. The same three strikes rule will still apply as previously listed on the page Comments: Read Me First. However, this will also apply: to those who comment through an educational institution or through a company email/ISP, your institution or company will be notified of your harassment. For those who are through a regular ISP, depending on the severity of the offense, your ISP will be notified.

In the case of the offender above, UAMS has already been notified so they can take the disciplinary action they see fit to dish out for the abuse of their electronic communication conduct standards, if applicable. We’ll see who gets the last laugh here.

So with that, let’s all be nice and get along. Most of you are great. It’s just the few bad apples that make me have to implement such policy.

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