perldiver: A false-color multi-spectrum image of Sol. (Default)
2010-12-22 03:21 pm
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For your amusement: Dogs do not understand moving

Warning:  Do not read without a box of tissues to hand.  They are useful for wiping up tears of laughter.
perldiver: A false-color multi-spectrum image of Sol. (Default)
2010-12-05 07:29 pm
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Verily, I fail NaNoWriMo forever...or at least this year

Obviously, I blew it on NaNoWriMo.  I kept going for less than a week before I let work and NRE crowd me out of the race.  I did do a small bit more writing after I stopped updating my counts, but nothing really worth mentioning and I haven't touched it now in three weeks.

Although I regret not sticking with it, I don't regret trying it.  It gives me more of an understanding of what it takes to be a full-time writer, which is cool on its own.  More importantly, it got me started.  I can now go back to that story fragment any time I want. 

I have a house guest for the next two weeks, so I will give myself permission not to work on the story for that time.  Once it's just me again, though, I'd like to go back to  it.
perldiver: A false-color multi-spectrum image of Sol. (Default)
2010-07-29 06:26 pm

Looking for MySQL advice

Hey everyone out there with MySQL chops, can you help me out?
Read more... )
Does anyone have suggestions for a workaround?  I'm almost ready to do all of this in code and call it a day, but would really prefer not to -- that way lies madness and corrupted datastores.

perldiver: A false-color multi-spectrum image of Sol. (Default)
2010-07-04 10:34 am

Note to self

Note to self self:  if you can't figure out why you are only getting 7 rows of test data back instead of the 10 you expected...please verify that you actually inserted 10 (i.e. not 7) before wasting two hours worrying about it.

perldiver: A false-color multi-spectrum image of Sol. (Default)
2010-06-23 12:39 pm
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I am posting this from a subway train currently under 50 feet of rock.

Ok, there are certain parts of the San Francisco transport system that are damned impressive.
perldiver: A false-color multi-spectrum image of Sol. (Default)
2010-05-30 07:50 pm

Creating Catalyst DBIC models from SQLite via the helper

This is a note for my professional memory. If you aren't a Catalyst programmer, feel free to skip it, but it's public so that Google can make it available to anyone who needs it.

Read more... )
perldiver: A false-color multi-spectrum image of Sol. (Default)
2010-05-30 06:18 pm
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Idle amusement: my current iTunes DJ list

You can tell that I'm not terribly musical (or, at least, musically discriminating)  by looking at the current choices coming up on my iTunes DJ:
  • "The Lark Ascending (Opening)"  by the New Philharmonia Orchestra
  • "Lucky Star" by Madonna
  • a French pop song (the name and artist were not on the mix CD I got it from)
  • "And They Say I've Got Talent" by Tom Smith [filk]
  • "Cello Concerto in E Minor" by the London Symphony Orchestra
  • "These Cold Fingers" by Bill Morrissey
  • "Saggy Diaper Blues" by Da Vinci's Notebook
  • "Dinny's Farewell" by Draoicht [Celtic...folk / soft rock / ??]

perldiver: A false-color multi-spectrum image of Sol. (Default)
2010-05-22 11:59 am
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Saturday at the Maker Fair

Today I went to the Bay Area Maker Fair.  The rest of this blog entry will be in the comments to the pictures that I took.
perldiver: A false-color multi-spectrum image of Sol. (Default)
2010-05-17 03:46 pm

What to do if a crime occurs near you

A week ago, there was a domestic violence incident two doors down from me. The woman was (non-sexually) assaulted by her boyfriend; he pushed her down, twisted her arm, wrenched her neck, broke her necklace, then pushed her out the door of the apartment and locked her out. I invited her into my apartment and gave her my phone so she could call 911. They came, arrested the boyfriend, and took him for a psych eval.

The next day, an SFPD Inspector (which is what San Francisco calls Police Detectives) called me and took my statement over the phone. An hour ago, the public defender's rep came by and took it again.

Here are some realizations I've had, which come out as bits of advice if anything similar ever happens near you:
  1. Get involved.
  2. Stay involved.
  3. Keep a timelog of events as they happen. 
    1. Use video if you have it.  If not, use Voice Memos.  Lacking that, write it down.
    2. Your smartphone probably has video and/or Voice Memos.
  4. Volunteer your name and contact information to one of the responding officers and state that you will testify.
  5. Consider carefully what you say to officials: be factual, and do not answer leading questions.

That advice expanded... )

Obviously, this advice doesn't apply just to domestic violence calls -- you could do the same for a fender bender or any other situation where there are going to be legal issues involved later. 

One final thing I note -- the police took my statement the next day, while my recollections were fresh; they did it over the phone and recorded it.  The Public Defender's office did not get to me for a week when some details had gone fuzzy; they sent someone to my home to take my statement in person and the rep took everything down in the form of written notes.  Most likely, these differences are due to different staffing levels, different workloads, the time it takes for the case to get through processing and passed from the SFPD to the PubDef office, etc.  The effect, however, is that it makes it easier for the Public Defender to cast doubt in witness's minds about exactly what happened, when, and how.  Keep this in mind while giving your statement.

perldiver: A false-color multi-spectrum image of Sol. (Default)
2010-05-13 07:56 am
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Humor, or cause for a Crusade? Your call.

Apparently, I am not allowed to deeplink to pictures from a free account, despite there being an "insert image" link in the editor.  Ok, no worries.  Here's the original:
perldiver: A false-color multi-spectrum image of Sol. (Default)
2010-05-12 07:01 pm

What could this noise be?

Pretty often, I hear a noise that sounds like the neighbor on my left pounding a nail into the wall in order to hang a picture -- short, sharp, rhythmic thumps, maybe six or seven in a row. There is usually some other, indeterminate noises associated -- heavy things being moved, perhaps? -- but those noises only come at the end, and only last a few seconds. There are never voices associated. Now, they can't be hanging THAT many pictures, so I'm a little stuck as to what it actually is.

My top four guesses for what would cause thumping noises from a neighbor would be "banging a nail in to hang a picture", "turn the music down", "headboard knocking on wall", or "domestic dispute", but I don't think any of those is right, based on when I hear it and what it sounds like.

I could go over and ask, but I feel odd about that.

So, what could it be? Any ideas?
perldiver: A false-color multi-spectrum image of Sol. (Default)
2010-05-08 07:38 pm

What a great day

This was a great day, and it actually started yesterday.

Read more... )

Now I'm going to kick back, relax, and watch some TV with a glass of Buttershots. What an awesome day.
perldiver: A false-color multi-spectrum image of Sol. (Default)
2010-05-07 10:26 am

Finally arriving at the 21st century: I joined Twitter

I've been consciously avoiding Twitter for the longest time: it looks like it could easily be a huge time suck and, although I do see some positive potential uses for it, my suspicion is that the vast supermajority of tweets are utterly banal.  I feel that it also feeds powerfully into the "soundbite" mentality that we are all living in; 140 characters is not enough to encode a real thesis. (*)

Well, maybe it's living in the sunshine-and-dope-laden air of San Francisco, but lately I've been having lots of little one-liner thoughts that I'd like to share with friends or strangers or whatever, but it seems silly to do an entire blog post for one sentence.  So, I broke down and got a feed.

If you'd like to follow it, I'm david_k_storrs on twitter (since every one of my normal usernames was taken).  And I suspect that the vast supermajority of my tweets will be utterly banal.

(*) For the love of Asimov, yes, you don't have to trot out "F=ma" or "E=mc**2" or even "Better that ten guilty men go free than one innocent men be found guilty"(**) just to prove me wrong.

(**) Can anyone attribute that quote with cites, btw?  I always thought it was Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr, but I'm seeing references to it linked with Blackwell and I can't find anything authoritative either way.

perldiver: A false-color multi-spectrum image of Sol. (Default)
2010-05-05 07:33 pm
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Palm trees considered odd

Palm trees belong on tropical islands.

Palm trees belong on Florida retirement communities.

Palm trees do not belong outside my window in the heart of a major US metropolitan area. 

Three months and I still find them jarring.  The slower pace of life, the different brand of crazies, the differences in food -- all of those I'm getting used to.  But the palm trees are just weird.
perldiver: A false-color multi-spectrum image of Sol. (Default)
2010-05-03 09:31 pm

Looking for a NYC-based Windows tech support person

On my recent trip back to NYC, I bumped into an old friend / coworker from my days at Crossover.  She's got a Windows computer and she needs some tech support / help cleaning out viruses.  Is anyone interested in meeting a very cool lady and helping her out?  Failing that, can anyone recommend a good walk-in shop?  (Something like TekServ, but for Windows.)
perldiver: A false-color multi-spectrum image of Sol. (Default)
2010-04-19 04:28 pm

With apologies to Julie Andrews....

Browncoats in space who trust in their crew
Bright engine nacelles and transporters too
Space fountains rising high up, on rings
These are a few of my favorite things!

Armor-clad chargers and bonny strong questers,
Young Rennie nobles and jugglers and jesters,
Gold dragons fry all the Thread 'neath their Wings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Elves in white dresses with beautiful faces,
Who leave no traces on snow-covered spaces,
Villain-made winters that melt into springs;
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the bills come,
When the boss yells,
When I'm feeling pain,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel Mundane.
perldiver: A false-color multi-spectrum image of Sol. (Default)
2010-04-17 02:00 am

Congratulations, it's a unit!

I was chatting on IM, and trying to ask someone how voluble they tended to be on LJ.  I needed a concise, non-connotated-purely-factual way to say that, and I was struggling a bit.  I finally hit the Eject With Extreme Prejudice button on brevity in preference for non-connotated. 

Now I'm hoping I can turn this into a meme:

First, imagine a unit which describes how voluminously one posts to LJ (or DW, or...), on average.  For obvious reasons, the baseline of this unit is "1 'song", abbreviated 1ss.  And, just as obviously, the 'song is a unit like the bel -- a bit too large for everyday use under most circumstances.  So we usually talk about "millisongs" (1000 mss == 1ss).

So, the next time you want to know if adding someone to your friends list is going to deluge you, you can just say "by the way, how many millisongs are you?"

Personally, I think I'm about 10mss; the length of my posts is more than offset by their infrequent appearance.
perldiver: A false-color multi-spectrum image of Sol. (Default)
2010-03-23 01:58 am

The Gamers: Dorkness Rising

I just watched The Gamers: Dorkness Rising on Netflix Instant Play.  If you are or have ever been a gamer, most especially an AD&D player, give it a chance.

It's the story of a group of friends playing an AD&D module.  It's full of injokes and references, it's made on a budget of about $10 and a box of pizza, some of it is puerile, and parts of it drag a bit.  Despite all that, it's also got some really sweet moments, it's very nostalgia-worthy (you'll be nodding along going "yup, I've played that tavern scene / had that conversation with the king / said that to a fellow PC"), and parts of it had me in stitches -- the fight at Goblin Pass where Daphne has her first taste of combat was especially good.

Honestly, I wish this were a series.

perldiver: A false-color multi-spectrum image of Sol. (Default)
2010-03-19 02:52 pm

Online grocery shopping

For the first time, I just bought groceries online -- something that I've resisted doing for a long time.  I chose the exact brands, sizes, and even the delivery time.  The interface was about 4 stars out of five.  I suspect that I'm missing out on something by not going to to the store...but I'm not quite sure what. 

Somehow, this feels like cheating; I don't know if I'll make a regular habit of it but boy is it convenient. 

Anyone else ever food shop online?  Do you have the same feelings I do?