Chief Clancy Wiggum


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Adventures in technology – cloning a hard drive


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Running out of space on your main or “C” drive?  Want to upgrade to a faster SSD solid state drive?  This article will walk you through the steps to safely clone your hard drive and replace it with a larger or faster or maybe even larger AND faster hard drive.

First a little background….

As you may well know, the Windows operating system installs on your main drive, or “C” drive.  Why C and not A or B?  Well it all goes back to the early days when computer had floppy disk drives.  Computers are designed to look first for the A drive followed by B and then C and so on.  If you had a “boot disk” in the drive when you started up your computer, the computer would load whatever was on the floppy.  In those early days the operating system could actually fit on a floppy drive.  These day we have huge, bloated operating systems which need the space of a large hard drive.  But the convention remains.  Even if you don’t have an A or B drive, your main hard drive is still designated as C.  Plus your drive probably comes with a “D” partition also that might hold a recovery copy of the operating system.  Now besides the operating system, every program you download ends up installing on C unless you carefully tell it to install somewhere else.  As a result, C drives tend to get filled up.

My Problem

You might have a different need to upgrade your C drive than I, but here is what happened with me.  I thought I was being clever by ordering my Photoshop screamer of a machine from Hewlett Packard in a cost effective way.  I ordered it with 8 megs of RAM on one chip so I could upgrade to a max of 32 in the future.  And I ordered only one small SSD drive (128 megs) to run the operating system with the idea I’d add more hard drives on my own later.

SSD drives are solid state drives which provide very fast loading.  The operating systems load in seconds when you have this type of drive.  The downside is that they are very expensive, don’t come in huge storage capacities and can wear out in about five year of usage.

So far so good.  I have since added another 220gb SSD drive and a 1T standard hard drive, plus two 3T external drives for my photos and backup.  Now the problem I ran into is that I share this computer with my son who runs things like Mindcraft and records videos for YouTube.  Most of the time you can control where a program stores virtual memory, temporary files etc.  But sometimes its tricky to figure out where all of the files are going.  Long story short the C: drive was warning me that it was getting full.  You have to watch out with the drive you operating systems is on and give it plenty of extra space to do its thing with holding programs in memory.  If it doesn’t have enough “scratch” space, it can crash.

So my plan was to switch the C/D drive with the second SSD drive that has twice as much room.  The probably is that you can just copy one drive to another because you won’t get all of the hidden files.  What you need to do is CLONE the drive.  Drive cloning software makes sure that you get an exact duplicate of the drive.

The procedure is rather straight forward:

  1. Download free cloning software
  2. Clone the drive
  3. Switch the drives
  4. Reboot

In practice it didn’t work well with the first software package that I tried.  But forget about that.  Let me tell you what did work on my Windows 8 machine.  I followed the advice from this PC World article

Cloning A Hard Drive

  1. Close all programs that are running
  2. Download “EaseUS Todo Backup Free”  – this program is free for individual users for one PC.  If you work at a company, pay for the upgrade
  3. Installed and launch the program
  4. Then click Disk clone and follow the wizard.
  5. Change the partition size on the 2nd drive so that it recognizes it as being bigger
  6. Then click on PROCEED and go for a bike ride, hike, clean out the garage, or do what I did – chop some wood for a while.


Depending on the size of your drive this might take 30 minutes or hours.  My drive was small so it wasn’t too bad.  Now shut down the computer and unplug it.

Time To Get Physical

Open up your computer, locate your hard drives and swap them.  This is important because on the mother board there are spots drive cables that start with 0, 1, 2, 3.  You want your computer to find the right drive with Windows on it.

Now because both drives have Windows on it now, I ran into the problem of switching the computer back on and it still seemed to go back to the old drive for Window.  So I shut down again and unplugged the original C/D drive.  Then rebooted and everything worked. out.  Since my original SSD drive was only 120g I think I’m just going to leave it unplugged.  It will serve as an emergency back up drive if anything happens to the new SSD drive.  Or maybe later if everything seems to be working fine, I’ll reformat it.  Right now I don’t need the space.

There you go!  Not so hard.   If anything goes wrong you can always replace the original drive, reboot and your back to where you started.


Roadside Oddities: Solomon’s Castle, Ona Florida


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Far, far, away from the tourist trappings of Orlando and the sandy beaches of the sunshine state, following the power lines that criss-cross the unbearably flat landscape and down back roads frequently mostly by orange trucks and buses transporting fruit pickers, lays the wonderment that is Solomon’s Castle.

Shining like a knight of the round table in the full brilliance of the hot Florida sun, this folk art wonder tucked away in the deepest, most remote, out of the way places of Florida accessible by automobile.  On a plot of land formerly submerged by the summer rains, art Solomon Howard has built the ultimate roadside attraction.

Getting There

We made our pilgrimage to Solomon’s Castle on a trip from Fort Myers to Orlando via the really empty back roads.  Its a bit out of the way from anywhere but if you plan your trip with the idea of having lunch in the “Boat in the Moat” it makes for a fun half day adventure.

“The first thing to remember, is to make sure you have a full tank of gas before you leave civilization. We are pretty far out in the central part of Florida and there are not many gas stations out this way.”


N 27 22′ 26.5″
W 081 58′ 40.1″

Once you start getting close, there are signs for “Solomon’s Castle” on all of the “major” roads in the area leading to the castle.

What to Expect

When we visited about 2 pm on a Weds in late April.  The place wasn’t too busy.  There was a tour of about six people ahead of us and one person in the restaurant but there is a big parking lot, room for buses and the restaurant can hold tons of people so they must be busier on the weekend and during the winter season.

When you arrive, head up to the castle and pay for your tour.  A quick restroom break and you are off.  The scripted tour if full of painful puns delivered non-stop as the tour guide’s follow Howard’s script and show off the castle which is full of Howard’s amazing sculptures and artwork.  There are several large rooms full of his artwork, most done with tongue in cheek type of humor.  The output of this castle builder really is amazing.  You hear about the building of the castle, made from recycled materials such as the newspaper printing plates used as siding on the castle and the recycled materials used in his sculptures such as auto parts, oil drums, scraps of wood etc.  Not too much about the man’s career as an artist and the tour tends to stay on script.  I got the feeling that I was messing up the guide when I tried to ask questions but the guide did answer them and then got back on track.

Part of the tour is seeing Howard and his wife’s living quarters complete with a quirky elevator and other homegrown inventions from this amazingly creative mind.  After the tour you are invited to explore the property and even check out Howard at work if he is in his workshop.  There is a nature trail that is a bit overgrown and lacking in signage.  Watch out for the gators!  We saw one basking in the sun.

There is also the “Boat in the Moat” restaurant run by his daughter and her husband.  Its rather impressive as a structure – built to resemble a Spanish Galleon, it “floats” next to the castle.  Lots of seating and an especially beautiful tree house like function room.  Seems like a cool place to get married and have the reception.  There is even the “Blue Room” that you can rent for the night to see, as the guide put it, “what goes on there at night”.  Convenient for a honeymooning couple.

All in all a trip to Solomon’s Castle is a bit wacky, a bit of fun and certainly an out of the ordinary experience.  Plan your trip well so you can have lunch at the “Boat in the Moat” restaurant or on the weekends, stay for dinner and few drinks.  Some nights they even have entertainment.

Fun Facts about Solomon’s Castle

  • The castle is big and shiny.  It has a tower, stained glass windows and a moat.
  • The gleaming exterior is made of the printing plates discarded by the local weekly newspaper.
  • Inside are the family’s living quarters, a stained glass studio, a main entrance hall, and the extensive galleries, exhibiting Solomon’s “found object” sculptures.
  • More than 80 interpretations of stained glass windows in the castle.
  •  It took 16 years to build the 10,000 square foot gleaming castle
  • Howard bought the 45 acre property for less than $400 an acre not knowing it was a swamp in the summer.

More info:

Solomon’s Castle
Howard S. Solomon
4533 Solomon Rd.
Ona, FL 33865
Telephone: (863) 494-6077

Additional reading –
Fax: (863) 993-0755

A chance encounter with an American Beauty


A chance encounter with an American Beauty

Recently I had a chance encounter with a real American beauty – a completely restored vintage 1957 Chevy Bel Air in mint condition at the beach of all places. The location was beautiful, the light was amazing (sunset) and the car was simply stunning! See more in my car portfolio on Fine Art America at:

Or simply click on the photograph.


The 1957 Chevrolet is a car which was introduced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors in September, 1956. It was available in three series models: the upscale Bel Air, the mid-range “two-ten”, and the “one-fifty”. A two-door station wagon, the Nomad was produced as a Bel Air model. An upscale trim option called the “Delray” was available for two-ten 2-door sedans. It is a popular and sought after classic car. These vehicles are often restored to their original condition and sometimes modified. The car’s image has been frequently used in toys, graphics, music, movies and television. The ’57 Chevy, as it is often known, is an auto icon


cars art
vintage car art
farm photos
vermont photos
beach photos
retro photos

Harry Potter


<a href="harry potter art” title=”Harry Potter”>Harry Potter

Enter the wizarding world of Edward Fielding as I bring you Hogsmeade Villiage, Hogswart School for young wizards, the Monster Book of Monsters, Zonko’s joke shop and other treats from the world of Harry Potter.