Roscoe's Notebook


When is a Chromebook more than a Chromebook?

07 May 2020 ~ 18:00

Emacs in Chromebook

And the answer is: when its inner Linux is awakened and allowed to run some more serious software.

Earlier today I activated the Linux sleeping in my new little Chromebook, did the apt-get update upgrade thing to get the underlying software in order and then installed GIMP and Emacs. The above screenshot shows the terminal open when I did a version check on the newly installed Emacs.

GIMP I wanted because it's the only image manipulation software I've used for ... oh man, forever. And I have no desire to try and work with whatever comes standard as a Chrome app.

Emacs is on my bigger Linux laptop, of course, and if the little Chromebook is to become my travelling/vacation machine, I'll feel much more at home if it has my favorite text editor onboard.

It's possible that I may add more Linux software to this little machine in time. But that's enough for now, I think.

And the adventure continues.

I’m publishing this as day 13 of my 100 Days To Offload. You can join in this blogging challenge yourself by visiting

#100DaysToOffload #SeniorLiving

Now THIS is the win I expected yesterday

06 May 2020 ~ 17:00

Mate in 2

After a flurry of moves earlier today during which I took Black's Rook, Queen, and a pawn protecting his Knight we found ourselves with the board pictured above. And Black resigned with his 49th move. That was sensible on his part, my checkmate of his King was only two moves away.

In other news, all is peaceful and calm here in the Roscoe-verse. An episode of Classic Dr. Who is on the front room TV as I wait for Wheel Of Fortune to broadcast on a local CBS Station. Sylvia and I love to watch that show together.

Most likely she'll want to find a movie to watch after Wheel and I'll retire to the home office to continue monitoring the situation in the Philippines. And another good day will come to its end.

And the adventure continues.

I’m publishing this as day 12 of my 100 Days To Offload. You can join in this blogging challenge yourself by visiting

#100DaysToOffload #SeniorLiving #chess

Not the win I was expecting, but...

05 May 2020 ~ 13:30

Win with Black

... I'll certainly take it. Pictured above is the position of pieces on the board when my opponent playing White resigned our Correspondence Chess (CC) game earlier today, giving me the win with Black. No, checkmate wasn't threatened. But given my material and positional advantage, I'd probably get there eventually.

When I saw the notice from our chess club that one of my opponents had resigned, I expected it to be another game. I've got an even stronger position in one of my others. My opponent there might be waiting for a checkmate. We'll see.

In other happy news I was delighted this morning to see how easily my new little Chromebook recognized my printer and printed from it. It was an exercise in frustration and futility when I tried to print years ago from a much earlier model Chromebook.

And now, the adventure continues.

I’m publishing this as day 11 of my 100 Days To Offload. You can join in this blogging challenge yourself by visiting

#100DaysToOffload #SeniorLiving #chess #computers

“Two out of three ain't bad.”

04 April 2020 ~ 19:45

Titled with an apology to Meat Loaf, of course.

As everyone knows, I like to start my day with at least three items on my task list. Today started with three, but one of them didn't get done: that being my exercise. It was just too darned hot here in South Texas. We were pushing close to 100 degrees and humid.

One of my other chores, doing laundry as I always do on Monday, had me in and out of the garage where our washer and dryer are. So I was getting a good dose of the heat every time I went out there, and only slightly cooling when I came back into the house. But I did get the laundry done. So that was one task completed.

And if I can get this post posted (the software seems to be wonky this evening, so I have my doubts at the moment, but I'll keep trying) that will count as another task completed. And that will give me two out of three.

And the adventure continues.

I’m publishing this as day 10 of my 100 Days To Offload. You can join in this blogging challenge yourself by visiting

#100DaysToOffload #SeniorLiving

Old habits, newly done

03 May 2020 ~ 18:00

exercise habit

In order to make life under the current lockdown environment more bearable, I've taken a few steps this afternoon.

The HabitShare app on my phone has shown itself to be both an efficient way to track my daily prayers and an incentive to keep at them. Since starting to use this handy tool I've not missed a day in over two and a half months.

There were different times in my younger life when I used to exercise quite regularly. Now that I'm older I've gotten out of that habit. But now that I'm living a much more sedentary lifestyle, it's more important than ever that I retain what health I have. And regular exercise will help with that. So, starting today I've added an exercise habit to the app on my phone and have recorded my first workout.

Even though I'm no longer able to attend Mass at my local parish, I'm still attached to it and feel responsible to do what I can to help it continue. And though I'm no longer to drop my weekly offering in the collection plate, I have taken advantage of the online giving option they offer, and have today registered to have a monthly contribution deducted from my credit card and sent to the parish. So I'm still giving as before, but in a new way.

And the adventure continues.

I’m publishing this as day 9 of my 100 Days To Offload. You can join in this blogging challenge yourself by visiting

#100DaysToOffload #SeniorLiving #habits

“The people here don't want anything to do with the police....”

02 May 2020 ~ 14:30

”... They just want somebody to pick up all the shell casings.” Overheard on my police scanner a few minutes ago. Apparently an officer was at the scene of reported gunshots. Huh. Don't know exactly where that was, but I'm glad it wasn't in my neighborhood.

On this quiet Saturday afternoon I'm back in my home/office listening to San Antonio and Bexar County Law Enforcement transmissions and realizing that there's one heck of a lot going on around town. All those “goings on” can just stay away from me, thank you very much.

The most exciting thing to happen to me today was about an hour or so ago when I was talking with Sylvia. She was sitting on the front porch and I was standing out in the front yard about six feet away. “Be careful if you step back,” she said. Looking behind me I saw a beautiful but very big brown boxer puppy standing quietly in our lawn and looking up at me. His (or her) owner had the dog out for a walk and she was moving on down the sidewalk. We smiled, and I turned back to Sylvia and we continued our conversation.

And the adventure continues.

I’m publishing this as day 8 of my 100 Days To Offload. You can join in this blogging challenge yourself by visiting

#100DaysToOffload #SeniorLiving

A quiet Friday in the Roscoe-verse (100 Days... my day7)

01 May 2020 ~ 16:20

Very little new in the Roscoe-verse to report today, which doesn't disappoint me to say.

The yardman came and did his usual efficient job. He arrived promptly, did his work quickly and as quietly as possible and was happy to leave with fifty dollars. I consider that money well spent.

Does changing the calendar pages in my paper planner from April to May count as a chore? I may need it to make my daily allotment of three chores completed.

The server-based correspondence chess games went well today. I'm only a few moves away from checkmating an opponent in one of them. With my Queen, Knight, Bishop and a Rook all bearing down on his King, it's only a matter of time. Heh.

So... no complaints from this old boy.

And the adventure continues.

I am participating in a blogging challenge called #100DaysToOffload. This is my day 7/100. Check out for more info.

#SeniorLiving #chores #chess

Three simple chores, but... (my day 6 of the 100 Days...)

30 April 2020 ~ 11:30

simple chores

... they are, nonetheless, chores I've assigned myself to accomplish today. And after I've completed all three I'll be able to relax this evening with a certain sense of satisfaction.

For most of my life I've relied upon daily task lists to organize my activities: professional, recreational, and personal. And I use 3x5 cards and more traditional bound paper planners. Pictured above is a snippet of today's 3x5 card.

Basic everyday activities seldom make it onto these lists, some have lists of their own kept in other places (daily prayers and Bible reading, chess games, etc.) and others I just do as a matter of course.

Now it's time for me to get busy. I may be retired, but I do have chores to attend to.

The adventure continues.

I am participating in a blogging challenge called #100DaysToOffload. This is my day 6/100. Check out for more info.

#SeniorLiving #chores

One Happy Humpday (100 Days To Offload – day 5)

28 April 2020 ~ 15:00

As the afternoon wears down toward evening I'm happy to note that the daily tasks I'd set for myself this morning have been accomplished. Granted, there weren't that many, but still.

Earlier this afternoon I jumped online and deleted an expiring credit card from two shopping/delivery services I use, and added a new card. And I entered moves in all my ongoing correspondence chess games.

And just a few minutes ago Amazon delivered a package I've been expecting. The package contained an old-fashioned safety razor and a supply of double-edged stainless steel blades. This is the kind of razor I learned to shave with as a boy over half a century ago. It will be good to start using it.

Just a few small tasks, yes. But I can mark them as completed on my daily task list and move into the evening with a sense of satisfaction, knowing that this day has not been totally wasted. And the adventure continues.

I am participating in a blogging challenge called #100DaysToOffload. This is my day 5/100. Check out for more info.

#SeniorLiving #100DaysToOffload #chores

Not so shaggy, not too shabby. (100DaysToOffload – day4)

28 April 2020 ~ 15:00

Looking at myself in the mirror lately I've become rather annoyed by the wildness of my unkept beard and the shagginess of my hair. So I've done something about that.

It has taken three days to bring my beard back under control using just the grooming tools I've got here at home: clippers and razors. But now it's finally in good shape again: moderately close-cropped and trimmed.

Cutting my hair has taken much less time than taming the beard. For most of my adult life, especially for the last three decades or so, I've cut my own hair. Since I keep it very closely cropped in a military cut, that's pretty easy. All I need to do is run the clippers over my head until all is cut that can be cut and there it is. And that's just what I've done earlier this afternoon .

Yes, yes, a barber can give me a more “professional” military cut. And for the last couple of years I've gone to barber shops to have that taken care of. So I've gotten out of the habit of doing it myself. During this “pandemic lockdown” the barber shops are all closed and, well ... the man I see in the mirror each morning was starting to look shaggy and shabby. But, no longer!

As an older guy with underlying health issues I intend to hold myself in self-quarantine even after the economy comes back to life, until this current pestilence is purged from the land or until a vaccine becomes available. But at least I'm looking better now, and feeling better, and I intend to stay this way.

And the adventure continues.

I am participating in a blogging challenge called #100DaysToOffload. This is my day 4/100. Check out for more info.

#SeniorLiving #100DaysToOffload #grooming #beard #haircut