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

On the whole not too bad -- 9 days with no posts means around 2.5/week? So... not great either, when you consider that that includes "Done Since" and "Thankful Thursday" posts. But I've made a "Thankful Thursday" post every week, so that's something. Three "informative" posts, which is short of my preferred one/week, but more than half.

Posting stats:
   2399 2019/03/01--markup-markdown-tex-and-text.html
   1424 2019/03/03--done-since-0224.html
    273 2019/03/04--flashback.html
     81 2019/03/07--thankful-thursday.html
    156 2019/03/09--colleen-update.html
   1497 2019/03/10--done-since-0303.html
   2158 2019/03/11--git-for-poets.html
    154 2019/03/13--72.html
     83 2019/03/14--thankful-thursday.html
   1445 2019/03/15--climate-tragedy.html
    343 2019/03/16--s4s-colleens-birthday.html
   1270 2019/03/17--done-since-0310.html
    115 2019/03/19--word-of-the-day.html
     53 2019/03/21--thankful-thursday.html
   1282 2019/03/24--done-since-0317.html
     68 2019/03/28--thankful-thursday.html
   1346 2019/03/31--done-since-0324.html
     67 2019/03/31--no-foolin.html
    183 2019/03/31--stats-for-march.html
  14397 words in 19 posts this month (average 757/post)
   1596 words in 3 posts today
      9 days with no posts

mdlbear: (river)

Just wanted to mention that I'm not planning to make a prank post tomorrow. I rarely do. I might attempt something funny, but that's different -- I'm not the kind of person who normally considers deceiving people to be funny.

Icon Meme

2019-01-24 02:16 pm
mdlbear: (lemming)

How it works: reply with "Oh! Shiny" and I'll choose three of your icons. Tell me about them: where they came from, what they mean to you, and/or when you deploy them. Drop a link here to your post in your own journal. Spread it around.

(Not sure how long it will take me, if there's a deluge of responses.)

[personal profile] jesse_the_k asked me about:

"My fandom predates TV"

A stylized, multicolor line drawing of a propeller beanie. The outlined gores are colored (left to right) red, purple, and blue; there are white spaces between them. The propeller is a green infinity sign.

described in  entry

I got this from [livejournal.com profile] lysana; it looks like it was made by her artist husband [livejournal.com profile] blackfyr. It has fallen out of use recently; I used it 26 times, between 2004 and 2011, for posts about science fiction fandom or conventions.

The icon isn't completely accurate; Science fiction fandom as we know it today dates back only to 1929. Philo Farnsworth demonstrated the first electronic television, using his image dissector tube, in 1928, and mechanical versions existed before then. Television broadcasting, however, only started in the late 1930s.

"hacker traveling"

The background is a 3x3 grid of black lines on a white background; five black circles make a "glider", instantly familiar to anyone who knows about Conway's Game of Life. Against this background a picture of an old guy in a tweed cap moves counter-clockwise in a circle centered somewhere in the lower right-hand corner.

described in  entry

This icon was made by [livejournal.com profile] snobahr, in 2007; the moving image came from the cover of my CD, Coffee, Computers and Song, which was in production at the time. It was first used in this post, the second of two posts from OSCon 2007. It was used a total of 30 times in 2007 and 2008, once in 2009, and once in 2012, mostly for posts about software-related conventions.

On a purple background, the word "CONSONANCE", in black. The letters are compressed toward the top, and the two "N"'s are the support towers of the Golden Gate Bridge.

described in  entry

This is the logo of Consonance - The SF Bay Area Filk Convention. Colleen and I attended all of them until 2012, when we moved to Seattle, and a few after that; our last one was in 2015. This icon appears to have been used only once, in this post, live-blogged from the Interfilk concert.

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

Signal boost: jesse_the_k | Markdown Simplifies Formatting Your DW Posts.

Markdown is a popular plain-text markup language that strongly resembles the conventions of email. In fact, posting by email has used markdown for a long time; you can now use it for posting by using the HTML editor and starting your post with !markdown. It also works if you're using a client that takes raw HTML, such as charm or MakeStuff. See Jesse's post for the cheat-sheet, or go to the official spec, at https://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax. Note that most GitHub extensions, e.g. code fencing with triple backticks, are not supported. At least, not yet. There is one DW-specific extension: @username expands to a standard user link, e.g. [personal profile] mdlbear.

mdlbear: (rose)

I'm not sure whether to lead with the back-story, or the song. I think the song. One of the songs. For some of the back-stories.

Today's song is Janis Ian's "Welcome to Acousticville" (Lyrics). It's on her album, Hunger. Go and listen. I'll wait.

Back-story - the song

I first heard "Welcome to Acousticville" the one time I heard Janis perform live, at a little Mexican restaurant called Don Quixote in Felton, CA. (You might want to look at my post, though it doesn't say very much.) "Welcome to Acousticville" was one of my two favorite songs from that concert; the other was "The Last Train" (lyrics. I've sung that one quite a few times, though not recently. Never had the guts to try "Welcome to Acousticville".

Janis Ian is a science fiction fan; I find it interesting but not surprising that my two favorite songs of hers are fantasy; neither would be out of place at a filksing.

Back-story - the title

This post grew out of comments by me and [personal profile] technoshaman on bairnsidhe's poem, "No Simple Highway". I've already posted a Songs for Saturday about "Ripple"; what brought this one on was the later discussion of my purple rose icon (which you can see on this post) in connection with psychopompery. (I know it isn't officially a word, but it's what psychopomps do, and I'm not the first one to use it.)

Back-story - the icon

The rose icon started out as a gif that somebody posted on Usenet; I took out the background and adjusted the color balance until it looked right. I created it in 1990, in honor of my daughter Amethyst Rose. I first used it as an icon on LJ in 2003; it appears to have been the second icon I uploaded, after the fractal that I still use as a default.

Since then, I've been using it as my standard icon not only for the Amethyst Rose posts, but for most posts and comments about grieving. Most people use a candle.

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

It looks like the basic idea works, but I was using slashes as the delimiter for the sed command that puts the post url into the archived post. Since the url contains slashes, that failed.

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

This is a test: (The results will be posted in a comment)

### this prints out the URL of the last post you made today:
    wget -q -O - https://mdlbear.dreamwidth.org/$(date +%Y/%m/%d/)  \
       | grep 'class="entry-title"' | tail -1                    \
       | sed -E 's/^<[^>]*><[^>]*href="([^"]*)".*$/\1/'

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

Following up on mdlbear | Welcome, tumblr refugees: this might otherwise have just been a longish section of next Sunday's "done" post, but the Tumblr apocalypse (tumbling-down?) is happening now and I wanted to get tumblr_backup.py out there. (It's a tumblr backup script, via this tumblr post by greywash, who notes that the original post by Greymask has disappeared). I think some of my readers will find it useful.

It's also worth noting greywash | State of the Migration: On fannish archival catastrophes, and what happens next (by way of ysabetwordsmith; I saw this someplace else last week, but apparently didn't log it.)

More meta stuff:

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

I don't really expect that many Tumblr refugees will see this post, even with the tag, but I know there's at least one person already on my reading list who cross-posts from there, so there may be a few. There may be some G+ refugees, too. In reality, all I'm doing is taking advantage of the occasion to post a few links. Hopefully more than just a handful of my readers will find them interesting.

Let's start with the useful stuff. (People who have been on DW long enough to remember the Livejournal exodus will probably want to skip ahead to the fascinating stuff.)

We can start with the DW community [community profile] post_tumblr_fandom and ilyena_sylph's About tumblr and DW, mostly news post answers. Good overviews. Another great summary is staranise | Basic Dreamwidth for Tumblr users. (Which comes by way of umadoshi | More using/getting-to-know-Dreamwidth, fandom-migration, and WTF-Tumblr links.)

That's probably enough to get most people started. On my personal reading list, the posts I've seen lately are:


Okay, now the fascinating stuff. Watch out for rabbit holes.

Let's start with jesse_the_k's post, Remember when Fandom Spec'ed Pinboard?. Well, no, I don't -- I wasn't using Delicious at the time. But apparently a lot of fans were, so when the site's owners (Yahoo) made some "improvements" like disallowing several punctuation characters in tags (in particular, "/" -- just try tagging fanfic without slash), there was a mass exodus to Pinboard.

Jesse links to Fan Is A Tool-Using Animal, which tells the whole story very entertainingly. It's a transcript of a talk given at dConstruct 2013 by Maciej Cegłowski. The talk included a reading from this hilarious bit of fanfic and, more relevant to our current topic, this amazing collaborative Google doc which is a list of features (with votes and use cases) that fans wanted for Pinboard.

So, finally getting back to Tumblr, (remember Tumblr? this is a post about Tumblr) here's the Tumblr-inspired version of the Pinboard spec: Fandom platform of the future - specs and features, on Google Docs.

How much of that gets into Pinboard, Dreamwidth, AO3, or anything else is anybody's guess. But fen are amazing, and anything can happen when you dive down a rabbit hole.

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

This is (a first cut at) a sticky-post or landing post for mdlbear.dreamwidth.org. I intend for it to be edited rather than replaced, so the link should stay the same.

The Mandelbear

... is what I call the fractal you see in my default icon. The Mandelbear is infinitely fuzzy, being a two-dimensional cross-section of a four-dimensional object. It occasionally manifests as an elderly hacker-songwriter, and sometimes as a Middle-Sized Bear.

Series Tags

These tags mark ongoing series of posts (and are mostly lifted from the post I made last Thursday introducing NaBloPoMo, with a couple of additions and edits.

curmudgeon - The Computer Curmudgeon
This series is a combination of public service announcements, mostly about security- and privacy-related events, and longer informational pieces. These posts are cross-posted onto computer-curmudgeon.com. I'd like to work up to one or two per week.
done - Done Since...
Posted every Sunday (sometimes delayed or advanced depending on conventions and where the end of the month falls), this contains my summary of the week followed by (under a cut tag) the week's worth of to.do file entries. The format of the to.do entries is described in How to.do it, and has been described as sort of an online bullet journal.
river - The River
These are posts about, ... Hmm. What are they about? Love, friendship, grieving, ... I guess the overall theme is emotions.
thanks - Thankful Thursday
My weekly gratitude posts. I'm not entirely consistent about these -- you will occasionally see a "Thankful Friday". There's (almost) always one on (American) Thanksgiving. Of course.
Posts about my finances.

Other Tags

  • meta -- Posts about the blog itself, and other self-referential stuff.
  • poem
  • review
  • song
  • Conventions and other annual events get a pair of tags: the name of the event, and the year.

There are lots more; those are just the more important ones.


NaBloPoMo stats:
   4728 words in 10 posts this month (average 472/post)
    398 words in 1 post today

mdlbear: a locomotive engine dangling from a hole in a building (trainwreck)

This is going to be pretty random. I spent much of the day agonizing over a job application (which I finally finished, after about three weeks of writer's block) and an hour or so doing some necessary house repair; after which I've been vaguely out of it, and feeling as though I might be coming down with something. But it's NaBloPoMo, and I'm posting.

I'm still suffering from writer's block on the verbiage for a mailing list ad. I have a pretty good opening sentence (I think) but when it comes down to saying what it is I actually do, I come up empty.

Sometimes you just need to hire a curmudgeon to get annoyed at your computer, or your website, so that you don't have to. Get friendly advice, gentle coaching, understandable explanations, and expert help, from someone who's been using computers for over half a century.

Opinions? The reason I'm stuck is that I really don't know what I do that people would be willing to pay me for. I think I mentioned that I went to a day-long seminar on "Growing Your Consulting Business", and I've been reading books on consulting, all of which assume that you know what in heck you're doing. And have been doing it for a couple of years and just want to get better at it. You have to have at least some clients before you can specialize.

One of the posts I have planned for this month is a brainstorming session about just what I can do. I thought briefly about doing it now, but I think having a brain may be a prerequisite.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting here being kind of appalled at how little I've done -- I've been looking at old posts, and old unsent drafts; old notes for projects that never got finished and in most cases never got started. It doesn't do much for self-confidence.

Our cats are being adorable, as usual. Desti is lying on my gig bag -- it's soft-sided and empty, so her weight makes a little hollow for her to lie in. It's also black, so she's pretty well camouflaged. Ticia is lying on the floor with her head on the side of the gig bag. The other thing Desti does is sit on my lap, or my computer. I can close the lid on my laptop and use just the external monitor, but it's remarkably difficult to type with a cat in one's lap. Browsing, yeah; I can do that.

A programmer looks At a blank emacs window, Mind equally blank.
NaBloPoMo stats:
   3887 words in 6 posts this month (average 647/post)
    472 words in 1 post today

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

So, ... this is the start of NaNoWriMo -- National Novel Writing Month. I'm not doing that. My track record for writing fiction is rather dismal. I'd be tempted to blame it on the deficiency in imagination associated with Alexithymia, but mostly it's the fact that I didn't do any planning.

However, this is also National Blog Posting Month (supposedly; NaBloPoMo's web page, such as it is, seems to be mostly broken, possibly due to a change in ownership of BlogHer.com. Many other references have also gone stale.) No matter. I don't need somebody else's website to keep track of what I post this November -- that's a one-liner.

 ls ~/.ljarchive/2018/10 | wc 

So here I am, staring at a mostly-blank page in Emacs, writing down a very vague plan in hopes that it will become more specific as I go on.

I do have a goal. I recently added a couple of donation buttons to my Dreamwidth profile page; the goal is to make this blog into something that people feel is worth supporting.

I have a few ongoing series of posts -- not all of them are things I'd consider worthy of being paid for, and in fact most of them aren't, but all of them are important for maintaining audience engagement. That's my excuse, anyway.

The ongoing series at present are:

  • Done Since... -- posted every Sunday (sometimes delayed or advanced depending on conventions and where the end of the month falls), this contains my summary of the week followed by (under a cut tag) the week's worth of to.do file entries. This is currently the only thing that's posted consistently.
  • Thankful Thursday -- my weekly gratitude post. These have been mostly fairly consistent recently.
  • Songs for Saturday -- pretty much what it says on the tin. I haven't been all that consistent about these. There's (almost) always one on (American) Thanksgiving. Of course.
  • The Computer Curmudgeon -- these are a combination of public service announcements, mostly about security- and privacy-related events, and longer informational pieces. These posts are cross-posted onto computer-curmudgeon.com. If people think these are worthy of support, I'd be delighted.
  • The River -- These are posts about, ... Hmm. What are they about? Love, friendship, grieving, ... I guess the overall theme is emotions. There were a lot of these in 2008 and 2009, to the point where I was considering publishing a collection tentatively titled Two Years on the River. Didn't happen. Should it? It would take a lot of editing.

Okay, when you get down to it only The Computer Curmudgeon has the potential for being donation-worthy, and that only if I post to it more often. Poetry could if I wrote more of it. Anyway.

It's November 1st Posts: 1; days with a post: 1.

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

Another largely unproductive week, though I did put in three job applications (it seems to take me a huge amount of mental energy to write a cover letter, not to mention a lot of time) and got a rejection for another one. One of the job applications, for GitHub, had a really fun set of additional questions. I should probably post those, with my answers, at some point.

I also wrote two (rather small) curmudgeon posts, a PSA and a DW tip, and wrote and tested an alternative method for uploading a Jekyll website using git with a production branch. (The previous methods were simply pushing it to GitHub, which is trivial but only works if it's using GitHub's somewhat restricted version of Jekyll, and uploading it with rsync.) This method, which puts the build artifacts on a separate branch, could easily be generalized to anything else that has to be built locally. I had to do something, because I don't have a good way of running Jekyll (the static site builder used on GitHub) on my web host.

I did get off my arse and make two phone calls following up on healthcare referrals (one of which has been sitting on my desk since last December). One, the PT appointment for my trigger thumb, actually had an opening for Friday. So progress is being made there -- I've been doing exercises, and my Oval-8 thumb splint should be arriving in the mail later today.

I also did some mail sorting, which turned up a fairly sizeable check that I hadn't cashed (and didn't remember receiving!). So there's that.

I was less successful setting up a home office in our unused bedroom. The problem is that the cats have been using that room, and Desti in particular quite reasonably regards it as hers. If I shut her out, she scratches at the door, and if I let her in she promptly jumps up on my keyboard, which kind of defeats the purpose. Not sure what I'm going to do about that; hopefully I can persuade her that a cat tree next to the desk is more comfortable. That may require getting a new cat tree.

Notes & links, as usual )

mdlbear: (technonerdmonster)

It's time to do a little planning. As you may remember from the previous post in this series, there are some projects I want to work on. (I also need to find a job, but that's a not completely separate issue. If anyone needs an expert Java programmer or a git expert, let me know.) The ones I want to concentrate on today are the apps, specifically the checklist app and the setlist app. The first major decision about each of them is which framework to base them on.

I really want to learn both React (with React Native on the back end), and Elm (with Electron on the back end), and I think it makes the most sense to write -- or at least start -- the checklist app first, and use React for it.

Here's my reasoning:

  1. React: React is by far the more popular of the two frameworks, so a lot of jobs ask for React experience. One reason it's more popular is that it's basically just a Javascript library -- programs look like Javascript with a little bit of HTML and HTML-like tags embedded in it. It's easy to learn (not that that's really a problem for me -- see below), and there are a lot of starter kits and tutorials around.
  2. Checklist app: It's pretty clear that the Checklist app will have a much wider audience, so it makes sense to do that first. It will also be easier to monetize (possibly as a freemium app, with the free version stand-alone and the premium version tied to a back-end service).
  3. The Setlist app, which includes a lyrics viewer and playlist generator as well, is likely to start out using my rather unusual music toolchain, and would actually be more useful (and get a lot more traffic) as a front end to the lookingglassfolk.com and steve.savitzky.net Song pages. It makes sense for it to start out as part of a website rather than as a stand-alone app.
  4. Elm is a pure functional language (I love functional languages, which is why it would be easy for me) that is closer to Haskell than to Javascript.

Next steps:

  1. Make a place in my working tree for projects. Try not to give in to the temptation to completely refactor the whole hierarchy.
  2. Pull down and install a React starter kit and some kind of Elm starter kit.
  3. Set up the projects' git repos and working trees.


2018-04-13 06:26 am
mdlbear: (technonerdmonster)

It's been just short of a year since I retired, and I don't have a whole lot to show for it in the way of programming, apart from a little work on MakeStuff. OK, a fair amount. And it has an actual user now. But still.

Somewhere around the New Year I started making a(nother) list of potential projects that I wanted to work on in my retirement. As these things do, it got out of hand -- at last count there were 86 unfinished items in it. Time to start something.

There are a few constraints. I can't start any of the woodworking projects yet, because the contents of the garage are in storage waiting for the remodeling to get finished; that includes all of the woodworking tools. So there's that. Same for the recording projects -- my good microphones have either been boxed, or vanished altogether in the last move.

More than half the "projects" on the list are ideas for articles or blog posts -- there are forty or so of those. I should start picking them off, one or two every week, but they're not really projects.

What remains is mostly software: programs (the young people call them "apps" these days) and work on my websites. These are also areas where I have a lot to learn, and where I can develop skills that will be useful if I want -- or need -- to do some consulting. And there's another factor: there's really no difference between a web app and a mobile app! Not any more: with React Native and Electron, one can now build stand-alone cross-platform applications using web front-end frameworks -- they basically bundle a stripped-down browser and a trivial server with your web"site", which is often just a Single-Page Application (SPA). And with languages like Elm that compile into Javascript,...

I can haz apps

One app I want to write will be for managing checklists. (There's an existing app called Checkmate -- my first choice for a name; grumble -- that looks worth mining for ideas.) Beyond being able to have multiple, named lists, I want timing information so that one can ask questions like "how long ago did I last take my pain medication, and is it safe to take another dose?" That needs to work for both scheduled items, and "as-needed", floating items that can start their timer going at any time. More like a combination checklist and reminder system. I'd also like to be able to track the time it takes to go through a checklist, both so that I know when to start if I'm getting ready for something, and so that I know how much I'm improving with practice. Eventually it would be nice to link this to both a website and an Alexa skill -- the website will be easy, since almost the entire app will be usable as the front end.

It would be nice to have a combined lyrics viewer and a setlist planner. (I used to have a setlist planner, but it was in Perl and kept its state in the HTTP query string - bad news for caching and sort of search-engine pessimization.) There would be some overlap with the checklist app, since they both involve going through a list of things in sequence, with associated times. It would be especially useful on a tablet for performances, but it would be most effective combined with a website that hosts lyrics and music, which brings us to...

What a mangled web

Another thing I've been looking at is "Responsive Web Design" -- making websites that adjust smoothly between tiny mobile devices and large-screen desktops. This has long been a design requirement of mine anyway -- almost all my sites do this, but they do it by simply not having much of a layout, and they look bad both on very large screens and very small ones. It's time to take this to the next level by adding responsive CSS and mobile.

There are several websites that need work: lookingglassfolk.com, steve.savitzky.net, Stephen.Savitzky.net, and hyperspace-express.com at least. The first one is by far the simplest; just songs, concerts, (proposed) albums, and a gig schedule. steve.savitzky.net adds writing and software projects, but there's still a lot of overlap.

It would make sense to do the others using different responsive design frameworks, just to get experience with a few of the options. Stephen.Savitzky.net, in particular, is my "portfolio" site; it's also the only one that has a sidebar at the moment. It might be a good idea to turn into a GitHub Pages site. hyperspace-express.com is my "commercial" site, and it would make sense to use a CMS like Joomla or Drupal for it.

(I have some other sites, e.g. rainbows-end.net and thestarport.org, but they're simple enough to simply copy the CSS from one of the others. The Interesting.Places sub-site would be worth some attention.)

Now, here's my plan...

The underlying reason for picking this particular set of projects is to market myself as a blogger, consultant, and developer, in hopes of making a little money on the side. That suggests that I should start with the checklist app, and probably start the site makeovers by moving Stephen.Savitzky.net to a GitHub site (which would give me an obvious home for projects like MakeStuff and my development-focussed blogging). On the other hand, making over steve.savitzky.net would probably teach me more about responsive design, especially if I make S.S.net into a GitHub site. It might make more sense to keep S.S.net as a separate site, and build the GitHub site from scratch.

In any case, my main blogging site will remain here on Dreamwidth; most likely I'll just cross-post development-related blog entries to S.S.net (and GitHub, if it's separate). Or would it make more sense to keep all of the blogging concentrated here?

Comments? Ideas? Suggestions? Over to you folks.

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

This is the start of an experiment.

Last night, N took me to task for wasting my retirement time puttering around the house, reading blogs, doing things for Colleen, and not doing any of the things I retired in order to have time for: recording, writing, and programming in particular, with a side of woodworking. She pointed out that if I'm going to spend my time doing stuff that we could hire a housekeeper or caregiver to do, the family would be better off if I went back to work and we hired people to do those things. (Or increased their hours, since in fact we already have a housekeeper and caregiver.)


I realized that Colleen doesn't really need all that much help these days. Normally I've been teaching on the days when Colleen has a caregiver around, and spending more time with her on the days when she doesn't. But in fact, when I've switched (for whatever reason), Colleen does perfectly well with a little help around lunchtime and in the late afternoon. So if I switched, I'd have two large blocks of time completely to myself: 8:30 to 11:30 (my teaching time, but potentially expanded to 8:00 to noon) and 1:00 to 4:00. That's six or seven hours, at least two days a week and potentially three on weeks when I'm not needed Friday.

N. suggested that I start each block with 15 minutes of guitar practice, to get my fingers back in shape without hurting, then pick something from the project list (I'll get back to that) and keep going with it as long as I'm sufficiently engaged. Then switch to something else. Lather, rinse, repeat (like the programmer who died in the shower:). I could do guitar practice at 8:00 on teaching days, and I should probably schedule time for walking as well, say 4:00-4:30 or so.

So I did that this morning, starting out with guitar at 8am and continuing on to writing. It is now 9:09. I missed breakfast; I can squeeze in some cottage cheese between now and the next sub-project. Which should include working on the project list.

mdlbear: "Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness" - Terry Pratchett (flamethrower)

If you use Livejournal, you will already have seen the pop-up demanding that you agree to their new terms of service. med_cat has an excellent partial translation and analysis. A full copy of the agreement can be found in archangelbeth | And the translation of the New User Agreement for Livejournal

I will add more as they come in. The salient points are:

  • [The user must] Mark Content estimated by Russian legislation as inappropriate for children (0 −18) as “adult material” by using Service functions.
    Who the heck knows what this includes? Play it safe.
  • The user may not:
    • without the Administration’s special permit, use automatic scripts (bots, crawlers etc.) to collect information from the Service and/or to interact with the Service;
      Which arguably covers backing up to DW or your local hard drive.
    • post advertising and/or political solicitation materials unless otherwise directly specified in a separate agreement between User and the Administration;
      This presumably covers promoting one's CDs or other ventures.

Many of my friends are leaving altogether. I don't blame them.

What I have done:

  • I post no original content on LJ -- it's all cross-posted from here on Dreamwidth.
  • Copied all LJ content -- posts and comments -- over to Dreamwidth.
  • Comments on cross-posts are disabled; the footer has a link to the corresponding DW post.
  • I use LJ only to read comments and posts that are not on Dreamwidth. I read DW first so that I can skip cross-posts that don't have comments.
  • I have started to take people who no longer allow comments on LJ off my friends list.
  • Effective immediately, I am marking my journal as "adult content", and disabled my participation in "user rankings".
  • I have reduced the amount of information shown in my profile. In particular, I have removed my list of interests.
  • I have taken my website link off the journal headers and out of my profile. If you want more information, look at my DW profile.

Future action:

  • Sometime in mid-April, I will disable comments altogether on LJ, at which point all existing comments will be hidden. They've already been copied over to Dreamwidth, so nothing will be lost. This is for your protection, in case you've posted a comment that could be construed as violating Russian law.
  • At some point, I will stop cross-posting, both because of the legal risk and as a protest.
  • At some further point, I may delete all or most of my posts, or possibly replace them with links to the corresponding posts on DW.

Sorry, LJ. We had a great time together, but I think it's best for both of us if we go back to being just friends. OK?

And I'm not saying you treated me unkind / You could have done better, but I don't mind / You just kinda wasted my precious time. / Don't think twice, it's all right.

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

A few days ago I got a comment on my weekly post that went Oohh, you're doing what looks to me like a bullet journal? Only online. So I wrote a quick explanation. And then I realized that I might be doing something unusual, that I ought to write up in more detail. So here you are:

The Legend

Let's start off with the file called Journals/Dog/legend.do:


= item flag notation for to.do and to.done files:

= notation for to.do and to.done items:
  = note: keep  o to do  * done  x abandoned  ~ modified  . in progress
  & added after completion  (recurring items get * when completed)
  $ financial transaction (flagged as  o before completion)
  ? query/decision...  - choice  + chosen  ->chosen
  @ link/research
  ! emotion noted at the time, or soon after.  NOT added the next morning; 
    I'm trying to pay more attention at the time
  | body sensation worthy of note: pain, noticable change...
    (more recently replaced by %; should maybe go back to |)
  : observation or external event.  Weather, news, etc
    + external observation with positive emotional content
    - external observation with negative emotional content
  % observation/insight about myself
  # meta - flags, flist, filters, ...
  <b>...something I feel good about...</b> (may be added next day)
  <i>...something I feel bad about...</i>
  [ ... ] delete from public posts
  ... ongoing items
  " quotation
  ' interior dialog

= Notation for meetings and conversations:
  <- point to bring up.  After meeting, point to bring up next time
  *- point brought up
  x- point not brought up
  ~- point partially brought up, or brought up in different form
  &- additional point raised  
  -> information/point raised by someone else/consequence/resolution
  => action item for me
  =* action item done
  <= action item for somebody else.


The History

My usage has shifted a little over the years. I first started posting "to.do" items around 2006, though I'd undoubtedly been using at least the o and * flags for years before that. At first, since I was part of a support group working on procrastination and avoidance, I used it as an accountability thing: I would post a list of open items, followed (hopefully) by the items as they got checked in. It was a little discouraging, until somebody suggested just posting about what I'd done. That led to &, and my expanded use of the file as more a log than a to-do list and calendar.

Whenever the list of "done" items got too long, I would move them into a ".done" file -- the first one I have is 2006.done. In 2009 I switched to quarterly archives; by 2009/q4.done the file had most of its present features. By 2011 I was archiving monthly. I don't remember offhand when I stopped making daily posts in LJ and switched to weekly.

Sometime in September of 2011 I decided that the set of unfinished and probably never-to-be-completed items had gotten too long, and moved it to wibnif.do, as in "Wouldn't It Be Nice If..." My present Makefile plugin reports the current number of unfinished items in to.do and wibnif.do; the current numbers are 70 and 126 respectively.

The Files

So there's that. The file is called to.do, and edited with emacs. There are a couple of important marker lines in it:

Ongoing:                                                                             89->|
recurring items and long-term goals go here
this contains entries from the first of the month to the present
scheduled items for later this month
scheduled items after this month
items with no specific due date

Dates, in the form mmddWw (e.g., 0122Su), start in the first column; flag characters are indented two spaces. The marker at column 89 makes it easy to properly size the editor window when I first open it after rebooting; it's where lines wrap.

I'll put approximately-scheduled items in the this-month and later sections after the dated entries, and a few of the more important ones above =now. That doesn't keep me from procrastinating them, but it does help keep them where they'll be noticed.

Note that, except for the breakpoint at =done, entries are in chronological order from top to bottom. That makes this a log, not a blog or feed. My to.do and its associated history (see below) are one of a handful of journal-like collections under my Journals directory; the to.Do lOG is kept in a a directory called Dog.

The Archives

By now, I have a fairly well-established routine:

  • I maintain the to.do file using emacs, of course.
  • Sometime on Sunday, I move the last week's worth of entries from the working location near the top of the file, to the end.
  • At this point I still have the week's entries in the Region (emacs terminology for the current selection). I move point down two lines to scoop up the HTML boilerplate that I'll need for my weekly post, and copy (M-w).
  • Then I run lj-update, currently bound to M-L, and yank into the body. The boilerplate is arranged so that all I have to do is move back up two lines, cut, down one, and yank.
  • From there it's an easy step to go back to the first line (which is invariably the start date) copy it, and yank it into the subject line.
  • Write my summary. Edit out any [...] sections, if necessary.
  • Post.


  • Every month -- actually, on the first Sunday of the month, after making my weekly post -- I move the month's entries to yyyy/mm.done.
  • Every so often I go through and pull out obsolete entries, marking them with * or x as appropriate, and put them after the preceeding week's entries at the end of the file.
  • Every year, on New Year's Eve, I gather up my list of goals and make my end-of-the-year post.
  • The next day, I cons up my new list of goals and make a New Year's post.


I keep other, project-specific, to.do files. Most of them are much simpler, with undated items above the =done line (which is usually just a line of equal signs), and dated items after it in what I now call a "work log". It's convenient, because I can just go to the end of the file and make an entry, but it wouldn't work nearly as well if I had to schedule things.

mdlbear: (distress)

Rough week. Feeling doomed at work; things aren't coming together as quickly as they need to, and I'm not seeing things that should be obvious. Getting old, and I don't like it.

I thought leaving the Starport was hard. This is going to be worse. I guess it's like getting old -- I have to do it, but I don't have to like it.

If I haven't grown up by now I don't have to, right?

We've been doing a lot of sorting. Colleen and I have been through our closet (though there's still a lot left) and bookshelves (about half done), and I sorted books in the Great Room with Naomi. We'll probably have to do another pass.

There were a few small triumphs. I managed to track down the lyrics to Naomi's song "Staying Home Tonight", which had gone missing -- we'd performed it back in 2007. Took grep-find on my home directory (including both mail and LJ archives) to find it.

The emacs grep-find function is wonderful. Basically it searches for a pattern in the contents of every file in your current directory tree, and flags every hit the same way it flags compile errors, so that you can visit each one and do whatever investigation or fixing you need to at that point. You can run the same thing on the command line, but then you don't have the convenient integration with the editor.

Back to small triumphs -- Monday we had (new Honda Odyssey) Rosie towed down to the dealership in Tacoma where we'd bought her, to have her blocked fuel line fixed. Got her back yesterday. And I surprised and delighted Naomi last night wth The Pharos Gate, which I'd just finished reading and which she hadn't known existed. Hmm. Should do a review of the series, shouldn't I?

A comment on last week's post has inspired me to write up my journaling system. It looks like what's now called a "bullet journal", but predates the eponymous fad by at least half a decade. Hmm. Should put together an emacs mode, or see if I can tweak org-mode for it.

A Wikipedia dive starting at Irregular Webcomic! #3594 led me to the article on Slouch hat, which in turn led inevitably to the Tricorne and Bicorne hats. Does that make the slouch hat a unicorne?

Notes & links, as usual )

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

Short week, since I want to close out the year. Not a good year.

Not a particularly bad week, but not all that productive, either. Rather nice New Year's Eve with the Zoo -- four of Emmy's friends who have become friends with Colleen as well. Unfortunately, they live in Tacoma, so they can't come over all that often. Cheese boards for dinner.

More research and reading on tiny houses. This week the main focus was on shipping containers and bus conversions; I also finished reading Mud Ball: 6 weeks, $6000 and Plenty of Dirt. Fun. That was interesting in part because the author was 40 when she built it. Currently reading a blog, 40x28 | Building Our Shipping Container Home -- fun, but those people are a lot younger.

Last night I posted my Year-end Wrap-Up; I think there's more to be said there, but that's a start. A lot to regret, which doesn't come through, and needs more analysis.

Links in the notes, as usual.

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
There's that moment when everything changes,
But really it's just you,
Seeing things differently.

When you realize that the solid bench you're sitting on
Is mostly empty space between particles.
When you learn that even the particles
Aren't really particles, and that light isn't entirely waves either.

When you see the way special relativity views velocity
As simple rotation in four-space, 
And you study general relativity and realize
That it's geometry all the way down.

When you suddenly get recursion,
Reading the Algol 60 Report, with its crystalline prose
And elegantly compact rules.
When Goedel blows the top of your head off,
And you understand that some things simply can't be proved.
When you see how elegantly Turing applies the same trick.

When you realize that a little of the Unknowable
Isn't part of the Unknown anymore,
Because now you know why you can't know it.

First published in a comment in the October 2014 Crowdfunding Creative Jam, on the theme "Paradigm Shifting Without a Clutch."

This is entirely autobiographical, though the sequence has been messed with a little to give artistic verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.

Mirrored from steve.savitzky.net. My poetry there is in really rough shape; hopefully I'll get a little work done on it soon.

Also adopted by [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith as part of her Schrodinger's Heroes series, which makes it unintentionally canonical fanfic for an imaginary TV show. Talk about shifting without a clutch! At least it has synchromesh. Or was that synchrotron?

mdlbear: (space colony)

From the Jargon File, Hacktown 2138 memorial edition:


Originally consisting of only the titular rhyme, this document was added to the History/ section of the Hacktown wiki in 2039 by Lex Kalman and immediately became a repository for children's rhymes, teaching poems, short (usually humorous) scripts, and the like. Write access is restricted to human children aged 8-15, and it is traditional to make an entry on every birthday in that interval.


From History/Herstory/Doc


History Herstory Doc
Time overflowed the clock
Remember the date,
History Herstory Doc.
-- LexiKal@



if (age.base(8).size()==1 || age.base(16).size()!=1) deny(write)

mdlbear: (space colony)

So, I guess I'm finally going to do it. Things have come a long way since I wroteSilk and Steel in 1988, and The Rambling Silver Rose in 1992, and I'm going to have to change a lot of the earlier back-story to catch up. *sigh* So here I am, revising in realtime without a backup. We'll see how far that gets me.


From The Backworlds Guide to the Solar System, 2188 edition
The Golden Cockroach $$ ****

Assuming one can get to Hacktown (which, depending on the whims of its inhabitants and the configuration of the Interplanetary Transport Network, could easily be anywhere between the orbits of Venus and Jupiter), and assuming it is open to visitors (which is usually a reasonable assumption), the Golden Cockroach is not to be missed.

The 'Roach, as it's usually called, is the oldest restaurant in space, having opened for business in early 2039 shortly after Hacktown was founded. It is still run by descendents of Frank and Susie Wong, who originally ran the Golden Dragon in Sunnyvale. Their Hacktown Fry, still served the traditional way in the center of a sphere of guests with chopsticks, is justly famous, as are the Egg Foo Bar and Hacked Chicken. Note that living in zero G dulls the sense of taste, so don't be afraid to ask for "spicy".


Open Mike's $/$$$$$ ***

Across the main sphere from the 'Roach you'll find Open Mike's Saloon. Mike's is, of course, best known as the home of Lady Melody, who has been been running the joint -- and hosting its legendary song circles -- since the death of her partner Geoff Kalman in 2042. However, it is almost as legendary in other circles for its booze, a collection which ranges from the ordinary to the esoteric. The best of the everyday brews is undoubtedly the locally-made Hashtown Pale Ale, made from malted hemp seeds. The cellar, by appointment only, is the most extensive anywhere off Earth, mainly because Mike's accepts bottles in trade.



Mike's is named after the fictional proprietor of the alt.callahans newsgroup, one of the earliest and most influential "virtual places".

The Interplanetary Transport Network is a network of gravitationally determined low-energy paths connecting the L1 and L2 Lagrange points of the planets and their satellites.

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

The last week was dominated by the prep for my colonoscopy on Monday. This involved a week's worth of a low-fiber diet, which was highly annoying. The procedure itself went as well as could be expected, and I was able to have Naomi pick me up about the time they let me go. I understand perfectly why they don't allow people who have been drugged into unconsciousness to drive; after I got home I put the dirty laundry into the drier and came within a second or so of adding the soap.

Mom says that after 85 they don't bother, so assuming I don't need one more often than once every decade or so I only have two more to look "forward" to. The results will come back in a week or so.

Friday the stairlift arrived, and on Saturday I took Colleen down to check it out. She loved the master suite, especially the shower. I expected her to like it, but it was nice to have that confirmed.

The yard work was pretty much done by then except for the last of the planting -- it looks fantastic. Work inside the house is progressing; there's a lot of dust. It's going to be a bit dicey with credit until my tax refund comes in.

Lots of good links, many of them from the footnotes in ysabetwordsmith's latest serial fanfic, "Coming Around", and her (related) "three weeks for dreamwidth" posts.

More, as usual, in the notes.

Side note -- I'm considering putting my "done" posts somewhere else, in favor of somewhat irregular postings with more substance. Anyone not bored by the detailed notes? Inquiring minds need to know.

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

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Well, not quite. I've had worse years, but losing my job of 19 years, turning 65 (the week after getting my notice), moving to Washington (at my own expense), and job-hunting for six months all added to my stress level. Let's just say "exciting".

After a couple of gigs early in the year, Lookingglass Folk hasn't done much this year, and I haven't done much except for a couple of concerts. No writing to speak of except for my sporadic blog updates. No programming to speak of outside of work. No recording at all.

My exercise has gone from almost-daily 2-3 mile walks to maybe 20 minutes a couple of times a week, and I've gained a few pounds, though not as much as I thought.

My dysthymia seems to be back, and I'm as unsocial as ever. This does not help when one is trying to make contacts and friends in a new city.

Enough of that.

I'm also living much closer to my older daughter, Chaos, and my sister of choice, Naomi. I can commute by bus, to a job where I'm learning a lot. My health is pretty good, and Colleen's is holding up -- she's walking a little more, though only a little. I've become a Wicked Landlord(TM).

Hopefully 2013 will be less exciting.

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

Because of the recent major increase in anonymous spam comments on LJ, I have disabled them there. Either register, or come on over to Dreamwidth where anonymous comments are still enabled. Besides, I can always use more comments on the DW side.

Also, I've pretty much stopped posting "hippo birdie" posts, in part because the LJ portal is going away, and in part because I've taken the LJ portal and home page off my "AM" list. They were pretty useless to begin with and have become more so. With the demise of birthday posts, I now have no unique content on LJ -- it's all cross-posted from DW.

mdlbear: (river)

There aren't too many mileposts here by the river, but I let one of the few slip by last Sunday without noting it. I was busy, and couldn't get to the system that I do all my posting from. (Have to fix that, but that's another project.)

Anyway, I made my first posts on LJ on June 10th, 2002.

It's been a long, strange trip.

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

Yay! [personal profile] pocketnaomi is here visiting!

I have a new tag: "quest". It's intended to cover the job search, housing search, and moving. It's also intended to recognize that this is more than any of those separately, reframing it as a major life change. "Adventure" might have done, too, but I don't like adventures. Nasty, uncomfortable things. Make you late for dinner. Oh, wait.

Took a webinar about changing careers on on LHH's website, added "mentoring" and "technology transfer" to my lists of skills, and started to research green and ethical companies by chasing links from ricoh.com, which has received awards in both areas.

I've been waking up horribly early, mostly worrying about finances, and especially about the effect of the move on the YD. Monday I managed to get back to sleep, and slept through my alarm as a result. Yesterday I woke up somewhere around 4:30, and gave up and got out of bed around 5:15. Slept well last night, so maybe I'm more-or-less reset now. Hope so. Though I could do with a couple of hours less sleep.

Some good conversations last night about the move. Sort of encouraging.

A couple of links in the notes; nothing extremely noteworthy.

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

A fairly busy day, mostly spent doing cleanup of various sorts. I started by trimming my beard. I wrote a quick but passable index.html for Stephen.Savitzky.net, with links to my resumé and patents. I did some file and desktop cleanup at work.

Colleen contributed to the spring cleaning effort by acquiring a Dyson DC-26 vacuum cleaner and a Bissel SPOTbot. The Dyson is canister-style, small and light enough for her to wield from the scooter. Fairly expensive, but she used 20%-off coupons at BB&B, and they should last a long time. When she took the old vacuum in to a repair shop last week they told her to just put it out of its misery.

I also added a new tag, albatross, which refers to the house. It joins 8.3% (job search) and trainwreck (finances).

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

It doesn't look as though I got much done yesterday. That would, however, be somewhat misleading. I applied for Medicare (which should kick in next month), spent a lot of time talking with Naomi and Colleen (and a while on the phone with my Mom, who is very supportive and encouraging), and made some tough decisions largely as a result of those conversations. Not time wasted by any means.

On the other hand, my left wrist hurts. Don't know what I did there. And no walk. Self-care is going to be important over the next few months, so I'll have to work on that.

Oh, and I made up a new tag: 8.3% (which, in case you're wondering, is the current official unemployment rate). And several to-do sub-lists. And sent email asking which of several items in my office that I want have depreciated enough for me to just take home. And started going through my home directories on various systems, doing triage.

As Samuel Johnson said, "The knowledge that one is to be hanged in the morning concentrates the mind wonderfully."

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

Wednesday was a pretty good day, though I didn't take a walk. I drove home toward a gorgeous full moon rising, with wild geese flying overhead. You know, I should have been suspicious at that point.

In the evening, [livejournal.com profile] jilara brought over the yukata that she had taken home to hem, and I found its belt tucked away at the bottom of one sleeve. It's lovely.

Thursday morning I got in to work and was greeted by $BOSS and $CFO, and the news that I'd been laid off. Along with two other researchers in my building, and at least two three people in Menlo Park. Plus two from Japan who decided to leave the company rather than go back.

Public service announcements:

  • New tag: 8.3%
  • Party tomorrow at Grand Central Starport. I will have copies of my resume.
  • I am currently looking for work in the San Jose and Seattle areas. Please address job-related correspondance to steve@savitzky.net or ssavitzky@gmail.com.
  • I will be available to start work any time after April 1st

Felt very restless yesterday evening. Should have taken a walk.

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

It was a busy day, and a good one despite doing something unpleasant to my lower back and being sleepy enough to go to bed early. I had the house pretty much to myself all afternoon, with the YD up in her room (as usual) and Colleen up in San Francisco at the orchid show.

In the morning, I set up communities to discuss [personal profile] pocketnaomi's idea for a new Underground Railroad: you'll find them at underground_rail.dreamwidth.org and undergroundrail.livejournal.com. I also followed a link in a comment to Jane: An Abortion Service. There's a book, too, which I ordered.

I did quite a lot of puttering, including moving some fabric out of the former sewing room (now a combination pantry and guest room) into the "sewing corner" of the living room. That's probably what made my back unhappy.

I went out to REI and Fry's to look for a netbook sleeve, having decided that the Belkin netbook case I'm using now takes up too much room in my carry-on. In particular, there isn't quite enough room left over for my songbooks, which is very unhelpful. I ended up getting this one at Amazon instead.

[livejournal.com profile] moon_fox finished the picture of Rosie that I prompted for at her Character Art Jam. Very cool -- kinda grows on one, which is totally the Right Thing.

I started working on dinner, which consisted of split pea soup, chili (from scratch), and rice with garbanzos. Just as I was finishing up, Colleen came back from the orchid show with an enormous plant -- a green cymbidium that she had already dubbed Arabella (apparently so as not to have it confused with Audrey). She had been there at the very end of the show, so for the $25 she'd been planning to spend on a couple of stems to make corsages out of, she got a $200 plant from a vendor who didn't want to lug it back home.

I put up my S4S post about 8:30, and by 10pm was falling asleep in my chair. Splat.

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

Not too bad, but I really didn't get anything done except for what I'd consider puttering. Even at work, where I did a good number of little things while not getting much done on the big ones. Story of my life?

And even though it was perfect weather for walking in, I didn't: I got busy with something and the next time I looked up it was 1:30.

I made dinner, too, since the YD was apparently indisposed. Also, as usual, laundry, replacing the failing CFL bulb in the laundry room, and assorted other little things.

I went splat about an hour early; Colleen had gone to bed ahead of me while I was in the tub, which is also unusual. I don't think either of us was feeling up to par; I know I wasn't.

Also when I got home, I found 174 tweets in my twitter feed. If you're out there expecting me to keep up, don't. Send me an email. Same goes for G+ -- the larger post limit means that even with only two dozen people in my circles, I can't possibly keep up. I read about two pages worth of each in a typical day; the rest falls off the bottom and never gets seen.

Going meta for a moment, I've been wondering why we don't get nearly as many people at Wednesday nights and parties as we used to. (I know that I haven't been terribly good at party announcements, so that may be part of it.) So if you've been staying away from the Starport for some reason, could you let me know? Send email to my user name at livejournal.com if you don't want to post it. Or should I put this in a separate post and screen comments?

The most appalling link of the day is Topeka, Kansas City Council Considers Decriminalizing Domestic Violence To Save Money. See, the county has stopped prosecuiting misdemeanors, so Topeka gets handed the domestic violence cases under a city ordinance. This, people, is what the teabaggers mean by "cutting government spending".

raw notes )


2011-09-20 08:49 am
mdlbear: (grrr)
My last couple of posts failed to come across from mdlbear.dreamwidth.org. Anyone else having similar problems this morning?


2011-09-20 08:47 am
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

My previous post didn't cross-post to LJ; this makes me grumpy. We'll see if this one works -- I'm guessing it won't, either.

ETA: and indeed it didn't.

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

My main accomplishment yesterday was my post about Trinh Cong Son. Maybe now I can go back to working on my songs?

I also created a new tag: nse, for "New Song Energy". And if "Songs for Saturday" turns into a series, I'll have to come up with a tag for that, too. Later, if it happens.

I spend too much time on LJ and DW. But I did go out for a 3-mile walk, and worked on learning chords. Fsus2 and Am6 are still kind of shaky.

And I did a fair amount of puttering in the office, ending up with a box being recycled and its contents put away. So that's a win, too.

Oh, and cooked dinner: chili and cornbread. Tasty.

Yeah, a pretty good day.

Lots of links, too, although most of them have already showed up in the previous post. The best, clearly, is haikujaguar's "A Definition of Success":

So, I am going to bookmark this post. And when I am feeling anchorless, I will come back to this. You should too. Because if you have ever made a single thing that touched another person, you too, have succeeded.

And I got replies to my comment, which made me feel happy and accomplished. And I noticed that. Maybe I'm getting better at this "being human" thing?

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

A good day, I guess. At least, I finished the upgrade work on the router, took a 3-mile walk by Los Gatos Creek, and made a tasty chili verde for dinner (served with brown basmati rice and garbanzo beans). Colleen loved the chili, which was made in the slow cooker.

On the other hand, I didn't do much of anything else.

On the gripping hand, not doing much included going into Guitar Showcase and Fry's, and coming out without having bought anything. So... yeah. I'll take that. It was a near thing with a Belkin tote bag, though.

I'm still getting comments on Saturday's Done yesterday, which is kind of cool.

There are links in the notes, but I don't think any of them are really outstanding. This one is pretty scary, though. Be careful whose Javascript you use on pages served by HTTPS.

mdlbear: (river)

It's been a long, strange trip. It still is. The journey started three and a half years ago on livejournal, with this post and this song.

It's been quite a while since I was posting regularly on this tag, since I was looking inside and trying to understand myself. Even longer since I really used the river as a metaphor for this journey, or posted about friendship or the care and feeding of geeks. I don't think I've ever gone back and read through the whole thing. I want to change that.

I'd like to make at least one River post every week. Realistically, that's not likely to happen, but it's what I want to aim at.

About two years ago I thought of collecting the best posts and turning them into a book, which would have been called A Year On the River. "Three and a Half Years..." doesn't have the same ring to it, somehow. (No fair mentioning Two Years Before the Mast.) But that's still a possible back-burner project, maybe with crowdfunding.

And less than a week ago, I won a custom icon from the amazing [personal profile] meeks. I love the way she captured the idea of reflecting, which I hadn't even thought about but was obviously there all along. I'm using it for the first time on this post, and hope that it indicates a turning-point both in my posting habits and in my journey of reflection and self-examination.

Come walk with me again? We're about to go around a bend.

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

A pretty good day. I finished the last of my assigned JIRA (issue tracker) tasks at work, and got most of my office packed -- 9 boxes worth. Of course, several of those were never actually unpacked from the last move.

And I won a custom icon from [personal profile] meeks in her weekly drawing! How cool is that?

I had a comparatively brief session with (therapist) Dr. Rogers in the morning, where I realized that I don't seem to have any concerns that need therapy right now. I do need people to talk with who can help me explore myself (the mind of a Middle-Sized Bear is a strange and often confusing place) and how I interact with other people (rather clumsily), but that's what friends and Friends Lists are for. Expect more River posts again.

The links for the day are why pseudonymity matters (which links to the My Name Is Me project), and a wonderful obituary for Paul Metz.

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

A rather relaxed couple of days, though not without unwanted excitement due to the East Coast earthquake. Monday was vacation, but since we'd come back from Worldcon a day early to deal with a Situation, it ended up being a lot more relaxed than if we'd had to come back on Monday in time to get C&N to their flight. Basically hanging out.

Tuesday at work was pretty relaxed, too; mostly just catching up with everything I'd missed during the previous week, and thinking a little about a new feature that I will probably write up for someone else to implement a couple of weeks or a month from now.

Tuesday evening I finally got sufficiently disgusted with them to dump the two OXO Good Grips serving spoons -- the "good grip" handles are so heavy that they overbalance the bowl ends and flip the spoons onto the floor at every opportunity. After I finished cleaning the baked beans off the floor, I gave the stupid spoons the heave-ho.

I also spent some time working on the section on values and goal-setting in The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook -- that will almost certainly show up as a River post fairly soon -- I really need to get back to posting articles/essays, as opposed daily updates, on a regular basis. I'm going to aim for weekly. We'll see.

As for links, I'm going to leave you with moonvoice's fabulous totem / animal guide dictionary, and the utterly surreal PONPONPON. More, as usual, up in the notes.

mdlbear: (hacker glider)

I've made my decision: Most of my posts will start out posted on mdlbear.dreamwidth.org, and be automatically crossposted from there to mdlbear.livejournal.com. If LJ is flaky, I'll get them transfered as soon as I can.

The exceptions will be fluff like birthday posts, LJ's "writer's block" (which I do occasionally), and other memes, which will originate on LJ and get pulled back to DW somewhere between weekly and every couple of months. Weekly if I can figure out how to automate the import process.

I may stop doing the birthday posts altogether except on rare occasions; I seem to resent the time even though it's not very much. Possibly because it registers in my tiny bear-like brain as a break in my morning routine, coming well before the caffeine has hit. Let me know what you think about that.

I still want to have a "blog" on my main website, but that's still in the future. I have "blog" in quotes because it will just be for my longer articles and series like The River and Adventures in Family Computing.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Not a bad day, as such, but my brain was fuzzy and slow for most of it. I did get in a 3-mile walk, made a tasty seafood dinner, and made several posts in what appears to have been a transition from LJ to DW with crossposts to LJ. Most of my commenters appear to be in favor of my posting everything to both blogs, so that's pretty much what I'll do. And LJ is hosed this evening.

Ame: 21 proved to have been surprisingly easy to write. She seems to be finding her voice; I try not to block it even when she surprises me.

For there's no place as comforting, gentle, or strange
As the mind of the Middle-Sized Bear.

So, well, ... an ok day, I guess. I'm still a little fuzzy.

A couple of links up there in the notes, as usual. If you haven't encountered Tom Digby, or just haven't been keeping track, go read the latest SILICON SOAPWARE. If you think my mind is weird...

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

So... this is a test of crossposting from Dreamwidth to LJ. Assuming it works, my plan is to use DW for posting longer articles (e.g. things in the River and Adventures in Family Computing series), and continue posting my daily "Done Yesterday" posts, memes, and so on in LJ.

Every week or so, I'll import LJ back to DW. So DW will end up with the complete set of posts and comments, but the daily posts (being effectively back-dated) won't show up in your DW reading page. They will show up on your LJ friends page.

Alternatively, I could post everything on DW first. That would be simpler, of course; I wouldn't have to import as often, and my post stream would be the same in both places.

So what's more valuable to you? A place where you can read a low-bandwidth stream of (hopefully) interesting articles uncluttered by daily updates, or the ability to read my full set of posts on whichever service you prefer?

Inquiring minds want to know.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Another busy day at work, almost entirely bug-chasing.

By the way, Ricoh EWS, the company I work for, is hiring. See Career Opportunities at Ricoh EWS. We're located in San Jose, conveniently close to the airport.

Lunchtime was taken up by a somewhat unsatisfactory shopping trip; at least Lowes is big enough that I got a little walking in. I found their store layout to be confusing (why are lightbulbs, lighting, and electrical so widely separated?), and the automated checkout process highly annoying.

I finally got what appears to have been the last of the bugs chased down by around 6pm, at which point I came home to find Colleen waiting on the porch on her scooter. We went out for dinner at Red Lobster.

I have identified a couple more of the voices in my head: the Critic (whose name appears to be Waldorf, after one of the two annoying critics in the Muppet Show), and the Driving Instructor (whose name is probably not Statler). The DI's criticisms are always constructive and concerned with safety (not just on the road). The Critic is the one I have to talk back to.

A pretty good day, on the whole.

Watch out for low-flying bears.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Yesterday was a pretty good day. It included, after all, a st/roll with Colleen, dinner, and some singing for Naomi. I also added a new flag character to my raw notes: "'" (single quote) marks a piece of "internal dialog". Talking to the voices in my head, to put it more simply.

They're not really voices, of course; they're pretty-much indistinguishable from the interior narrative that goes on all the time in my head. But Naomi has, over the last couple of years, taught me the usefulness of labeling parts of that narrative as coming from different "characters". More on that later, probably. Someday.

I also noticed that I like it when people add to comment threads, especially when they answer someone else's question. I guess it makes me feel that my blog is useful?

Among the day's few links, I can recommend elf's post, Growing old fiercely

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

The items I've started tagging with 15min are part of a scheme I came up with last Tuesday for developing good habits by breaking never-ending tasks like sorting receipts, reducing clutter, and managing my websites into little (nominally 15-minute) pieces. The hope is that I'll do two or three every day, and so far it seems to be working. Another hope is that these things will become habits along the lines of taking my drugs, doing the laundry and dishes, and tracking things in my to.do list. The third hope is that I'll spend more time actually doing things rather than glumly and guiltily staring at my to.do file looking for something to do or, worse, looking for things I've already done or have long since given up on. There are a surprising number of the latter.

15min tasks are loosely categorized into "buckets", with the idea that I'll pull tasks out of two or three different buckets every day. As tasks become firm habits, some of the buckets may disappear -- for example, there are no buckets for paying bills online or doing dishes, because I'm pretty consistent about doing those. (There's no bucket for taking walks, even though I'm not very consistent about it, because those have been tracked separately for a long time and somehow don't "feel like" 15min tasks.)

The current list of buckets looks like:

  • Decluttering. This was, of course, the original meaning of the tag. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] thnidu for reminding me of this post.)
  • Receipt sorting: sales tax, income tax, healthcare, etc.
  • Paperwork: taxes, mostly, though it also includes canceling services, triaging the to.do list, and similar things.
  • Check writing: unlike regular bills, which are paid online, this includes charities, subscriptions, and other things that only get paid infrequently. I hate writing checks.
  • Web hacking: updating the website, fixing the makefiles, writing tools... It's not unpleasant, I just forget to do it.
  • Music: recording, practicing, writing and updating lyrics files... I sometimes need to be prodded to do fun things, too.

If you're following the "raw notes" section of my done posts, you can expect to see lines like:

  * 15min: declutter the office, mainly the left-hand pile.

I won't usually mention them in the narration unless there's something unusual to say about them.

Before you ask, this is just something I came up with on my own; it's unrelated to Flylady, Getting Things Done, 42 Folders, or any other formal structure; it is, however, influenced by what my friends have been blogging about, and a moderate amount of web-reading.

Comments are, as usual, welcome.

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

It's Cat Faber's idea:

You remember the Koran burning thing.

Well, I have an idea. What if we start a backfire (metaphorically)? Let's make September 11, 2010 "Stand Up For Religious Tolerance Day"

Everybody post something on religious tolerance.

That way we don't reward Koran burning trolls with attention, BUT we don't stay silent and let it look like we don't mind, or even agree.

If you think it's a good idea, please pass it on!

I do, so I did. See you Saturday.

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

I will not be cross-posting my LJ comments or links to them on twitter, facebook, or any other social network. I may conceivably cross-post my own posts between Dreamwidth and LJ, though in which direction is unclear, and I haven't done it yet. I may conceivably cross-post my twitter updates to LJ via one of the usual culprits; currently it doesn't represent enough bandwidth to be worthwhile.

I try hard never to put links to other peoples' locked posts anyplace in my LJ, even in friends-locked posts, because I know that some people don't even want the existence of their locked posts known. Similarly, I don't put links to my own locked posts anywhere except in other posts on the same filter.

If I make a comment on somebody's locked post that I think is worth making public, you'll find it here with all the serial numbers carefully filed off.

I actively encourage people to link to my public posts, and have no problem having my LJ name associated with my real one. However, when I finally get around to establishing a presence on Facebook, it will not link back here. The last thing I need is FB rummaging around in my friends list.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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I spent most of yesterday at ESC -- it seemed smaller than it was last year, and that was smaller than the year before. VIA was showing some very nice-looking (and affordable!) small server and desktop boxes, and I had a number of good conversations.

I managed to reserve hotel rooms at Baycon (for the YD) and Westercon, and pull my ancient IRA out of Chase before they charged it an unreasonable maintenance fee. I'm probably missing a few things.

Some links under the cut, as usual.

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