Android and its ROMs

Yes, ROMs. Not Romulans, as this is not Star Trek. Alas.

A while ago I got an Android update on my smartphone. It was for Android 4.4.2. I installed it and I was not a happy camper: suddenly only Google’s own apps could manipulate the SD card! The trick would be to ROOT the phone (breaking it open, in a way, to give me all the permissions again). It was quite an experience.

How to root your phone: first you need a Recovery Rom. Best known are CWM (ClockWork Mod) and TWRP (no idea, I didn’t use this one).

I used Philz Touch CWM rom. Note: find the version that works for your phone. Mine was N7100. Make sure you pick the right one. Please use Google or Bing or so to locate this file, there are many versions. Search for “Philz Touch recovery tar md5“. You will also need a Windows-program called Odin. This is what you need to put the recovery rom on your phone. The last one I know of is Odin3 3.09.

Online you can find information how to do this, but the quick rundown is: run Odin. Point the ‘AP‘ location to the tar.md5 file with Philz Touch Recover. Put your phone in DOWNLOAD mode. Connect USB cable. Wait for Odin to recognise the phone. Press start. Wait until Odin reports Success.

Once you did that you can locate a ROM you want to put on the phone. The one I finally had success with was the TigraRom v4. This one runs Android 4.3, is rooted and gave me back read/write access to the SD card. This is the one I’m currently running. To install a new ROM, first backup your stuff. Then make sure you’ve backed up your stuff. Find the ROM that works for your phone. Really, read that again. Download it and put the ZIPfile on your phone or on the SD Card. Boot your phone into Recovery mode (usually Volume-up and Power, but my phone also needed the Home button pressed so look that up for your phone). You’ll be put into Philz Touch Recovery.

Start sweating: select Wipe Data/Factory reset and confirm you want to do this. return to this menu (is easy). Select ADVANCED and select Wipe Dalvik Cache. Confirm.

Then select ‘Install Zip’.  Locate the zipfile on your device and make it so. This is where the magic happens: the new ROM is loaded onto your phone. After that: reboot system now. That’s all there is to it. After that it’s up to you to find if the ROM works for you. I found Tigra to work after 8 or 9 disappointments. Flashing a ROM gets easy after a while, trust me. ;-)

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Qwerky

Before you wonder what this is: it’s a keyboard. Yes, I know it looks like a typewriter. That’s the beauty of it. It’s a ‘Qwerkywriter’, crowdfunded via Kickstarter. This keyboard can connect to devices via USB and BlueTooth. And I ordered one by pitching in on the Kickstarter. I find this an amazing thing to look at. It breathes steampunk and back to basics typing.

Love it.

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Your car. The prize and the price.

You are undoubtedly aware that your car is expensive. It’s expensive in ways you may not even have considered. First of course there is a lot of money involved in actually buying the thing, after deciding on the right colour.

Fun bits like insurance, taxes and inevitably fuel costs are something that you take into consideration as well.

But did you ever stop to think how much of the time you use that precious car? For most people it will stand around unused for at least 80% of the time. If not more. 80% of a day is 19 hours. Do you drive your car for 5 hours a day? If so, well, poor you (unless it’s your job to drive it). Do you drive it 3 hours a day? Then your car is standing around used for over 85% of the time!

It’s also a sad truth that many people who use their car for 3 hours a day even sit inside it while the car’s standing still.

Most drivers are familiar with the popular traffic jam that pops up more and more these days and weeks.

I am convinced that there are more efficient ways of transport and commute. Most people probably are aware of that. The problem is that so much has been invested in our addiction to the car that it’s hard to kick that habit. And “big oil” isn’t going to help us get rid of our car, their income, anytime soo.

 

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Traffic

Some people don’t have a clue what traffic is all about. They really don’t. Well, perhaps you do, or it’s different in your part of the world, but…

The problem splits up in several parts. One is speed. Many people don’t seem to understand that when they make their car move at 80mph/120kph, that they are moving fast. What? Oh, of course, everyone moves fast, so there’s no problem. Really? Speed kills. Accidents happen. People die.

Then there are the people who are not moving so fast. They putter on with 55mph/90kph, and decide they want to overtake the truck they’ve been behind for a while. Their problem? No idea of speed and traffic. They move forward, the people in the other lane move forward as well, so when there’s an opening on the next lane that will hold their car, they move their car into that opening. The speed difference between them and the other lane – neglect that. 25mph is just a number, let’s count on it that the other person’s car has great brakes, that the other person in the car reacts very fast, and then there’s no problem. The fact that there is probably a long string of cars behind that other person’s car? Ignore that. As long as they are in the other lane, puttering along at almost 60mph now.

I really can’t believe the idiocy that I see happening on the roads these days, and I spend a lot of time (far too much) on the roads. Not many people seem to think any more, seem to understand what this whole car game is about. It’s not a race track, people, even when it looks that way because of the speed freaks. It’s deadly out there.

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Skyclad

If you’re a pagan you probably know what ‘skyclad’ means. There are plenty of groups out there in the real world who perform their rituals that way. ‘Skyclad’, for those who don’t know, means ‘naked’. You wear nothing but the sky.

Skyclad

A skyclad circle

Not all pagans go naked when doing rituals. Not all pagans do rituals. But there are also non-pagans who go naked when they can, simply because they like it. They’re called nudists or naturists. There’s always something wrong with each word, so many of them don’t even bother calling themselves something. They just enjoy the freedom of being natural, either at home or in a natural environment.

Nudism

Nudity in our ‘modern’ society is often frowned upon, because many of the monotheistic religions condemn nudity as being bad. The people who agree with that are all born fully dressed, I am certain. And then there’s of course the porn industry that does its best to sexualise everything. Sadly they’re doing a good job on that.

Being naked is not bad (it’s actually healthy because it allows all of your skin to breathe). Taking someone who’s naked as an easy prey for sex, rape or other kinds of abuse is bad.

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Wind

It’s indeed worrying. And Mr Barton isn’t the only one. That’s even more worrying.

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One world religion

Image courtesy of wikimedia.org

This thing from the current pope had the world in shock for a while. Lately you don’t hear much about it any more though. It even had the Vatican in shock (and perhaps still has).

What many people perceive as the new Crusades to make the entire world become Catholic doesn’t seem to be more than a “repositioning” of that faith so it’s more modern. Will this pope succeed? Who knows.

“Some in the Roman Curia” — the Vatican bureaucracy — “say, well, this pope is old so let’s wait a bit, and things will return to the way they were,” said the Rev. Humberto Miguel Yanez, a Argentine Jesuit. (source)

I doubt that ‘the world’ will have to worry immediately. There are many people on this earth, and many of them aren’t Catholic. That’s a healthy thing. Anyone worth their salt should be able to resist the ‘lure’ of Catholicism. I don’t believe the Catholics will start a full-scale war on other religions – there would be too much opposition.

Still, knowing the history of Catholicism, it’s good to keep a watchful eye. Its history is quite filled with bloodshed and torture in the name of their loving god. The power that they hold is something to be aware of, as in January the pope had 178 diplomats from all over the world in his humble abode in the Vatican. Among whom several people who can’t see eye to eye in the halls of the United Nations. (source)

US ambassador AND Iranian ambassador at the same papal party.

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A pagan book, by a pagan. The darkened path.

One of my acquaintances/friends on the everpresent Facebook is a pagan writer by the name of Serita Tillson. She’s published her first book about her experiences on the pagan path. It’s called The darkened path (book 1).

I’ve decided to let you all know about this. After all, this is a pagan blog, and if there’s one thing pagans should do, it’s sticking together. So here’s a snip from Serita’s blog about her first book:

quote I have been rather busy with a different series titled   ” The Darkened Path, Book 1: The Burden” this first book of the series is a partial biographical work of myself, and the first 30 years of my life from the time I was 7 & on up until present day, and is intended to be part of a series where I delve into my own personal demons, and realize I have a few magickally inclined gifts, that just maybe I am not as crazy and unbalanced as my family and peers would like to believe. and finally, finally, come into my own as a Solitary Witch and Divination practicioner, after having gone through several lifetime’s worth of personal tragedies and setbacks. At the bottom of this page, is the cover of my new, about to be published work, I have thus far written about 120 pages and there is at least 50 more or so to complete before I get it published to Amazon Kindle.

To give everyone a sneak peek, here is a copy of the first two pages of the book, it has never been revealed to anyone, and I hope that you all will find this snippet to be a worthy read. There is much more to come, this is my Darkened Path. To all my readers, Blessed Be!

“Book 1: The Burden

Yes you read that right. “burden” was what I basically was to my family from the time I understood what the word meant and how it was applied to me and the situations surrounding me and my life. These chapters and some parts of the next few books are not going to be nice or sweet. They are gritty, depressing, occasionally heartbreaking and cruel. We will begin the magical part of this story at the time I was about seven years old. This time frame is my first vivid recollection of the idea that things were not normal or right in my life and in that of my fractured, socially unstable family. Some of you that read this book will probably be moved into some very angry and upset moods. For that , I apologize for your emotional upset, however.. the truth is the truth, and there is no avoiding or glossing over the facts.I was younger than seven when my mother, my dad and myself moved into this very old, debilitated, house on clear Creek Road in Newport , Tennessee. I think I was around four or five but when you are that young memories and impressions don’t stick in your mind unless it is a strong event. Before we moved to the house on Clear Creek, we had lived in a huge house in Dandridge, Tennessee. I do not remember much about living in that house and probably just as well I don’t because  Im pretty sure those memories are something I really don’t want to go back and examine in minute detail.  To this day I still struggle with some of those memories, as I’m sure you all will understand why as you keep reading.

I was born, Serita Milena Sprouse, on January 18, 1983, to Jacky D. Sprouse and Rita Faye Suggs. I was a extreme premature birth at 24 weeks gestation, my mother’s placenta ruptured and she was basically having a spontaneous abortion. Back at this time doctors gave very slim chances of survival to babies born like this and I was a extremely lucky case, I was born via C-section weighing a frail 1 pound and 10 ounces and immediately taken to the University of Tennessee where specialists were very shocked and surprised I was even alive, let alone breathing entirely on my own and staring at them all and flailing my pencil thin limbs in a tenacious stubborn fit, my mouth moving in a near soundless cry of what was probably outrage at having my world turned upside down. It was discovered I had no kind of severe birth defects or abnormalities usually found in extreme preemie births and that was even more a shock. My name and story was published in The Newport Plain Talk newspaper on the front page and again updated in April 1983 when I was allowed to go home from the hospital. Even from birth, I struggled and fought my way for survival and acceptance into this world where it was obvious I was so different from everyone and everything else around me and it has been this way for 30 years now.

Let’s jump ahead, fast forward 5 years. I’m 5 years old and we are moving from Dandridge to Newport, To the house on Clear Creek. At this time there is strife and upheaval in my home, my mother is now a single parent, my dad having left us, where he actually went I honestly do not know.. but I do remember the violent arguments and physical abusive fighting he and my mother done in their drunken rages. Once she beat the headlights out of his Jeep truck and he dumped a pan of motor oil on her head, I remember her sitting in the tub trying to wash it off, there was her handprint of oil on the wall for a long time, another time they got into a fist fight and she had a leg off a table trying to beat him off of her and screaming at him. He beat her face repeatedly onto a woodstove and her face was a mess and she hid from everyone for weeks, after that incident he moved out permanently. They were both alcoholics, and my dad’s departure from our lives only worsened my mother’s downward spiral into binge drinking delirium. Weeks would go by where she did nothing but try to drown her sorrow, depression, bitterness and anger in a bottle, not caring what happened around her, not seeing or understanding what she was doing to herself and what little was left of both our lives. She wasn’t like this all the time, but when she picked up her alcohol, she was just in a haze where nothing and no one mattered and the sun wouldn’t rise tomorrow and to her it would have been fine.

Cover of The Darkened Path book 1

First cover of The Darkened Path book 1

If you want to know more about this book and the other ones in the series, hop over to Serita’s blog.

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Plastic. Do you use it? Do you like it? Nature doesn’t.

Plastic. The most wonderful invention of all, or so it seems. It’s everywhere, and the more we have, the better it is. For instance in supermarkets, where you see something, wrapped in plastic. Before you buy it, it may be wrapped in more plastic, after which you get a plastic bag to take it home in. And water. That comes in plastic too. Naturally, because plastic is natural. Isn’t it? Even our plastic comes wrapped in plastic:

It’s really amazing what we can do with plastic.

Like decorate the turtles in our oceans!

Isn’t that cute? :D And the fact that only about 100,000 marine animals die every year because of our fabulous plastic isn’t something that should put us off using it. And this is not new, because here’s a post from 2008 that already addresses the problem. Sorry, I mean the issue.

But plastic is everywhere! We can’t escape it! Are you certain? I’m avoiding plastic like the plague. Indeed, sometimes you can’t escape it, but you can refuse additional plastic wrapping around plastic wrapping. You can refuse plastic bags (why not buy a nice, colourful shopping bag?) Get some cotton bags (make them or ask someone to make them) and get your bread in those instead of plastic and keep your bread in a decent bread box. No, that’s not silly, that’s how our ancestors did it too, before plastic existed. Give it some thought and see how much you can do to avoid plastic. At first you may get strange looks, but after a while people will understand, and even appreciate it. And copy your behaviour.

 Abolish plastic as much as you can.

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How to make people even more stupid?

You may (not) have noticed the attempts of the people in control (no, I’m not talking about politicians but about the big money-mongers) to make people more stupid by shoving all kinds of bizarre stuff into their heads via television.

Reality shows, games, all kinds of things that provide ‘mindless entertainment’. (By the way: reality TV isn’t real. They just stage stuff with real people.)

There is another path they’re going, though. Another way to influence your mind and make you nice, dumb and docile. It’s called safety.

You probably think I’m nuts, because safety is good. Safety saves lives, safety needs to be!! I agree.

But there are many levels of safety, and the one I’m talking about is a sneaky one. It is the kind that makes you dumb. A while ago I was riding my bicycle through some fields. I don’t own a mountain bike, it’s just a city bike, and the ride was rough, but hey, it was nice outside. I don’t wear a helmet. I don’t have knee- nor arm protection. In short, I don’t wear any safety stuff. A bit further I saw two kids having fun on an outdoor trampoline. Around the thing were lots of nets to make sure that the kids wouldn’t fall off the bouncy and hurt themselves. That was what triggered this post.

People have no way of learning that they can get hurt any more, if it’s up to the people in control. I used to fall off my bike, hurt myself and learnt my lesson: that was stupid, don’t do it again. A modern, helmet-wearing and fully padded cyclist can run into a speeding truck and get away unharmed. Lesson learnt? Wrap yourself up and you can hit a speeding truck with no damage to yourself! These kids on their trampoline? Lesson learnt? They’ll never fall off, never get hurt and never will learn to take care – because there’s a net around them.

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