Author Archives: Don Watkins

About Don Watkins

I'm a FOSS advocate, writer, educator, Python coder, Linux user, US Navy Veteran, Secular Franciscan, husband,father and grandfather. I blog about my life and experiences that give it meaning.

A story that needs telling

I’ve been reading The 1619 Project. It’s an enlightening book. The author describes plantations as work camps. I’ve never thought of Monticello, Mount Vernon and the like in the same light as Ravensbruck and Birkenau but they were. Enslaved African … Continue reading

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Soft and Supple

Acceptance is the key to life. Those who cannot change cannot survive. Those who can wear masks and get vaccinated are likely to flourish in our new environment. As I sat watching a basketball game at St. Bonaventure University’s Reilly … Continue reading

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Thank you for your service

Today is Veterans Day! It started out as Armistice Day. The holiday started from a decree from Woodrow Wilson in 1919. It was the day to celebrate the end of World War I, the war to end all wars. Veterans … Continue reading

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If you are wondering…

I first saw this quote from a framed poster at Mount Irenaeus over twenty years ago. It’s as meaningful now as it was then. In fact I find myself more and more attracted to solitude the older I get. Sitting … Continue reading

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Meaning

“How do you tell your all-white mother that your all-white “friends” just dragged you into their big all-white house in all-white Southampton, past an untouchable all-white room, just to corner you and call you the dirtiest thing in their all-white … Continue reading

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Colin Powell

This week’s passing of Colin Powell invited me to reflect on the impact of him as an American icon. I strongly disagreed with the decision of the Bush administration to go to war in Iraq and I was sorry that … Continue reading

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Untold history

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead My rating: 5 of 5 stars Well written and read. This puts flesh and bone on American history. The Underground Railroad is as much a metaphor to me as it is to Colson Whitehead. … Continue reading

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Windows 11 is not for me

Today I decided to give Windows 11 a try. I downloaded the ‘iso’ from Microsoft onto my Linux laptop. My System76 Darter Pro is an i7 with 16 GB of RAM. I decided to try to run the new operating … Continue reading

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Free Software is Freedom

I’m blogging tonight using my System76 Darter Pro which is now nearly three years old. The laptop came with Pop!_OS installed on it and I kept using that Linux distribution for much of the first two years. Last year I … Continue reading

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End of the republic averted

Peril by Bob Woodward My rating: 5 of 5 stars Excellent book with lots of keen insights and interviews with individuals involved in presidential politics in the past five years. The book confirmed for me the grave danger our republic … Continue reading

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