mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

It's been another rough week. This week it's been mostly health care -- I found out Tuesday that Amazon hadn't continued my health care as they said they were going to, so I was unable to order Colleen's humira. (Which, at $1800 for two doses, isn't something one wants to pay for out of pocket.) My HR contact is looking into it, but it took several days to get through; meanwhile I went online and signed up for Medicare Part D and identified a Medigap provider (ExpressScripts and Premera Blue Cross; both for continuity and because they seem to get top reviews. Who knows how long that will last under Trump(Doesn't)Care.)

I know there's something called compassion fatigue. Is despair fatigue a thing? Or is that just another phase of despair? I find myself incapable of being surprised at whatever outrageous thing Trump and the "Republicans" have done each day. (I put "Republicans" in quotes because they are rapidly turning this country into a right-wing dictatorship. I feel powerless to stop them.)

Onward. Had a really good trip with Colleen up to Whidbey Island; we went up the whole length of it and came back by way of Deception Pass. It's been a very long time since Colleen and I went out for a drive that long that was just a drive -- our occasional loop drives along the California coast were probably the last ones. It was a little too long, but it went ok.

I've been spending much of my spare time catching up on my reading. For some reason I'd stopped reading LWN (Linux Weekly News) sometime around the first of the year; in the last two weeks I've completely caught up. You can see the results in the links, most of which came from LWN, or indirectly by way of Sacha Chua's awesome Emacs News. I've also been finding Whidbey-related links. At some point I need to go back through my archives, extract all the links, and aggregate them. They're kind of useless scattered across blog entries the way they are.

I've even done a little walking (not quite every day, and not much because I seem to be walking at about half my old 3mph pace), a little music, and a little hacking (almost entirely cleanup tasks). On the whole, I appear to have been keeping myself busy in a relaxed kind of way, though I haven't yet fallen into any kind of routine. Later, hopefully.


My last few trips down to the house we used to call Rainbow's End (should we call it "Rainbow's Ended" now?) have been increasingly sad and discouraging. We put a lot of ourselves into that house; it was a large part of what we were as a family. Now we're scattered. We'll come back together, mostly, on Whidbey Island in a little over two months; it may very well be wonderful -- I hope it will -- but it won't be the same. I can't keep from thinking of what I might have done differently, over the last few decades(!), that might have made it possible to stay there. Hell, we all made decisions that seemed like the right thing at the time. Can't be fixed.

"I can't fix it!" is probably what I say most often when things are going badly. It always feels like my fault. I don't think I can fix that, either. I should shut up and go for a walk with Colleen.

Notes & links, as usual )

mdlbear: (iceweasel)

It's All Text! is the Firefox add-on I've always wanted but was too lazy to write. Whenever your cursor is inside a multiline text box (the <textarea> tag, in other words), it shows a little "edit" button just below the lower right-hand corner. Clicking that button pops up a copy of your favorite editor (GNU Emacs, in my case), editing a temporary file containing whatever was in the text box. When you save, it goes back in the box.

From the ikiwiki tips page, by way of Don Marti ([ profile] don_marti).

mdlbear: (flamethrower)

I'm always surprised at how emotional some people can get about my choice of software. I get ad-hominem attacks when I mention that I prefer Emacs and LaTeX to somebody's favorite WYSIWYG word processor. I stopped allowing anonymous comments after somebody literally accused me of "child abuse" (those words, exactly) when I mentioned that my kids sometimes used Linux. I continually get snide comments whenever I mention that, as a visual illiterate and long-time X user, I find the Mac user interface unuseable. (And I'm not saying that Windows is much better, but nobody sends me hate mail when I criticize Windows.)

Seriously, I get fewer flames when I mention that I'm an agnostic Druid. In fact, I don't think anyone has flamed me about my religion recently.

I'm not asking for tolerance, exactly. Or maybe I am. At least until Linux achieves its goal of world domination. Then we'll see who...

Oh. Right. Sorry about that.

mdlbear: (hacker glider)
Remember my earlier post about open formats, and how Mark Pilgrim switched to Linux after 22 years on Apple hardware? Well, here's his Essential Software List -- it's an update of this list from 2004. I see we're both members of the Church of Emacs


Jun. 16th, 2006 08:14 pm
mdlbear: (hacker glider)

Spent some time this morning filling in the remaining holes in my Java git blob classes -- specifically the part that conses up a header into a byte array. I didn't need it for the stream code, since it was more efficient to write it into the stream piecewise.

Spent most of the afternoon hacking Emacs lisp to finally solve a problem with gnus automatic mail-foldering that's been bothering me for a long time. You see, gnus (the Emacs mail/news reader) lets you match a series of regular expressions against your mail headers in order to decide what folder it belongs in. A lot of mail from mailing lists contains strings like "[mumble]" -- a tag in square brackets. Turns out our new spam-filtering appliance does that, too. Trouble is, gnus insists that the thing you match look like a word, meaning it has to begin and end with an alphanumeric.

High hackery. Caution: contains actual code. )


Oct. 25th, 2005 03:55 pm
mdlbear: (hacker glider)

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