Dump post

Jan. 6th, 2012 11:09 am
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Spam tank (Bad Gods))

I'm taking a vacation from Twitter, but that doesn't mean I have to stop posting trivial horseshit.

  • Overheard: "It's a new testing framework, called 'so far so good.' "
  • Oh hey, F.lux is finally registering sunset as after 4:30. C'moonnnnnn springtime.
  • Hiring is harrrdddddddd. *whine* (By the way, my work needs another documentation writer. I don't talk about my job here very often because I instinctively compartmentalize, but I actually like it a lot. If you're reading me on DW, you can probably write, so if you also like the idea of investigating technical things, talking to people, and trying to elegantly explain some legitimately complicated stuff, maybe you should apply. Bonus: if I know you, I can recuse myself from the hiring process and maybe get some work done! Heh.)
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Dovecote - Progressing smoothly!)
I keep writing things and then not getting around to posting them! I've got a thing about coffee I'll probably just bin (a houseguest left some Black Blood of the Earth at our house and it is very interesting), a thing about how they should shave out the bike lane on N. Broadway and lay a bunch of sharrows down the hill, and a comics census prompted by all the #womenincomics hashchatter on Twitter this week.

Well, I'll post them soon. At any rate, things are good, except I'm having a real problem with the thing I am ostensibly writing. It's annoying, I don't even want to get into it right now; I'll get it figured out, but damn. Also, Kate is visiting Portland as of, like, tomorrow, so that's the rest of the news. Oh, and I might do the Bridge Pedal on Sunday. OKAY, UPDATE OVER.
roadrunnertwice: Yehuda biking in the rain. (Bike - Rain (Yehuda Moon))


  • I went with my parents and brother to see Ian Anderson last night! And it was amazing. I can't really name Jethro Tull as my favorite band or anything, but they've kind of always been there as a constant presence in my life, and it was truly wonderful to finally see someone I... well, basically grew up with.
  • I went alone to go see The Mountain Goats on Wednesday night (again, I'm trying to get back into my old live music groove). Totally bitchin' show, and my first time to the Wonder Ballroom. (Which is in walking distance of my apartment, as it turns out!) I also ended up running into Steve and Sara after the show, which was lovely.
  • Work is work. It's taking up a lot of my energy, and I've been thinking various thoughts about how to wall it off a little better.
  • I upgraded my OS, finally. (After hearing a couple of horror stories, I decided to wait until 10.6.2 dropped before braving it. Worked like a charm.) My favorite Snow Leopard feature so far:

    keyboard layout switcher panel

    'Nuff said. It's basically the same damn thing, but I do like what they did with Exposé and a couple other things.

  • When I'm not working or sleeping or eating or writing or learning Cocoa or reading the internet, I've been playing Final Fantasy XII. Yes, I am behind the times. I'm not very far in it, but I'm liking it a LOT. Also, I realize the battle system was meant as a way to integrate developments from the Massively Multiplayer side of the RPG family tree into the divergent JRPG branch, but honestly, what the experience of it reminds me most of is Secret of Mana. And hurray for that.
  • You guys are reading Homestuck, right? You had better be reading Homestuck.
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Ryoga is lost.)

I wasn't reading LJ for about a month, but I'm back now. How's tricks?

  • Photos of my new digs. Hi, Mom!
  • Man, SO many Portlanders have no clue how to use a 4-way stop sign. In the interest of public education, I'd like to re-iterate that in the event of a simultaneous roll-up, the furthest-counterclockwise person has right of way—if the other guy is to your left, you go; if they're to your right, you wait. Easy and fun!

    On the other hand, being forced so frequently to play traffic cop and traffic at the same time seems to have granted me the Pointer Finger of Authority and the ability to make recalcitrant drivers shift immediately. So that's pretty cool.

  • I am seriously considering learning Cocoa in order to cobble together a functional Dreamwidth client for Mac. I am obviously insane and should be stopped, and this is blatant displacement activity, but it would be reeeallly nice to have one. And since there's already a promising LGPLed Cocoa framework that talks to a Livejournal server, it may not even be as hard as all that.

    My immediate problem is that Cocoa still generally means Objective C—yes, there are Ruby and Python bridges, but you're still calling functions from a bunch of other folks' ObjC code and have got to be able to understand it. And ObjC, of course, requires knowing some C. So I'm boning up with one of Schwern's O'Reilly books whenever I need to take a break from writing. We'll see where this goes.

  • Finally had enough pay+expenses data to run a hard budget (i.e. "stay under this limit or you will bleed savings") instead of a calibration budget (i.e. "what does my lifestyle cost?"), and surprise, I'm not loaded. Say what you will about the middle class, but boy, it'd be nice to feel financially safe for a while.

    I mean, it looks like I'll be self-sufficient, barring catastrophe, and my ass is insured, which counts for a lot, even if American health insurance companies are criminal rackets run by vile subhuman pieces of shit. And I should even be able to sock a little money away. But when I say "a little," I'm talking like $30-50/mo. Not satisfactory, especially since I'll be needing to pay for some routine maintenance on Leslie sometime soon.

    I looked at food stamps, but after playing with that estimator over a wide variation of likely pay, I can't get it to say I'll get more than $10/mo, which really doesn't seem worth the hassle. If anyone here has been on Oregon food stamps within the last few years, I'd LOVE to hear your take on it.

    So barring some windfall, my options are to keep squeaking by in a state of mild worry, while working hard and hoping the shop does well enough in the coming year to give me the raises I need to live in comfort; get really creative with my scrimping; and/or drum up some source of supplementary income. I don't have any good answer for this yet. It is, however, making me think some very interesting thoughts.

  • Was dogpaddling and playing it safe for a while with my breadmaking, but a visit to the market struck me with a sudden desire to start pushing things forward again. So I made my first truly ridiculous bread tonight, a slightly deformed version of those Tim Decker via Pete Reinhart tater/cheddar/chive bâtards. I don't even wanna get into all the unexpected shit that went wrong here, but the loaves are cooling right now and they look and smell fantastic. Will update with taste report. (Edit: It is bloody delicious. Photos one and two.
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Ryoga is lost.)

Things are happening and stuff! Constantly! Zzzzoooommm.

So yeah, dump post. )

And that is what's up.

roadrunnertwice: Protagonist of Buttercup Festival sitting at a campfire. (Vast and solemn spaces (Buttercup Festiv)

I'm testing out one of those new Mac builds of Chromium (via), and it is actually kind of awesome! Feels sleek.

Lately I haven't been posting as often as I otherwise might have, because it turns out that I'm actually kind of reliant on having a native-app LJ client. And they all suck right now.

Xjournal used to be awesome, but it doesn't work with Dreamwidth and is stagnant these days anyway. iJournal always kinda sucked, and now it hasn't been touched for three years. MarsEdit technically works, but its DW and LJ support is... lacking. asLJ is too new to trust, Deepest Sender kind of defeats the purpose of using a client in the first place, and nothing supports the DW crossposter. So I have to post via a web form, which shouldn't slow me down as much as it does, but it does, so.

I AM MOVING HOUSE. Gonna go live with Schwern in inner Northeast! It'll be rad. I have not even started packing yet. Expect me to become increasingly bugfuck insane until the 6th or so.

The place I'm moving into is a 2nd-floor apartment in a brick building that kind of reminds me of my digs in Minneapolis. Not anything close to identical, but familiar enough to immediately feel like home.

That is a rather large spider in the bathroom, isn't it? I have granted her Not My Problem status, on the condition that she gets off the counter within the next half hour.

Writing continues to be difficult. DON' WANNA TALK 'BOUT IT.

It's one of those nights where The Replacements are once again everything I could ever want from pop music.

So yeah, this is my new job. I likes it lots. Folks is cool. Things:

  • The yarn world is far larger and stranger than I imagined.
  • Indigo is awesome. No, seriously, it's the weirdest shit. Reacts on oxygen contact! Changes color as you watch!
  • We get free coffee. My caffeine tolerance has shot through the roof.
  • The shop runs on this app called POS·IM, which apparently has a 20-year lineage and is One Hairy-Ass Beast. It's got a majorly schizoid personality. On the one hand, it's been polished for 20 years to suit the needs of small-to-midsize retail outfits, and in general, the developers have thought of everything you will need to do with the thing. On the other hand, the interface seems to be held together with baling wire and fun-tak, the search capabilities are about the least sophisticated I've ever seen, and none of the features seem able to decide whether they're made for database-savvy power users or the technically-disinclined. The manual is written in at least two, probably more like three different voices, which switch off without discernible pattern and use distinctly different sets of vocabulary. It perversely re-invents every available wheel. It makes it frustratingly fidgety and tedious to make any large-scale changes to the inventory, and frighteningly easy to wreck vast havoc.
    • I am absolutely confident in my ability to bend it to my will. JUST YOU WAIT.
  • No, I don't know how to knit yet. Gimme another week or two.
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Kekkaishi - coffee milk)
Wow, they actually got to use Scott and Wallace's ACTUAL (photo-referenced) HOUSE! I just think that's awesome.

Things that are not cool about Scott's apartment
1. Only one room
2. Only one bed and it's shared with a gay man
3. No light
3. No NATURAL light
4. Tiny bathroom
5. Tiny kitchen
6. All items in the apartment belong to the gay man

(via @radiomaru.)

Also, Warren Ellis just did a webcomics week over at his forum, and my favorite discovery so far is Darwin Carmichael is Going to Hell. It is more fun than a barrel full of stoned monkeys. Run, don't walk; read the whole thing.
roadrunnertwice: Protagonist of Buttercup Festival sitting at a campfire. (Vast and solemn spaces (Buttercup Festiv)
Dump post time!

  • As a long-time loather of voicemail, I read this whole article with my fist in the air. (via Christina on Facebook.)
  • Last day of canvassing was Saturday. I am Jack's hugh sigh of relief.
  • One morning last week, in a fit of sleepy and uncaffeinated inattention, I very nearly started a fucking grease fire in my kitchen. Apparently, the lasting result of this is that my cast-iron frypan (which has been acting up for months) is once again perfectly seasoned and at peak performance. In conclusion, HUH?! grumble. Clearly I still do not understand cast-iron; if Bikke were here, he'd be laughing uncontrollably. /:)
  • I went to Olympia for Mother's Day. My grandmother was just diagnosed with breast cancer, and her mastectomy was today; it sounds like it went fine.
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Kekkaishi - coffee milk)
Item the first: God damn did I miss these assholes.

I can't really read or write tonight, on accounta' being all exhausted from canvassing all week, so I popped s2 of The Wire back in. (I watched the first two eps months ago, and then got distracted.) I'd forgotten how much I love the characters in that show. Especially Lester, Bunk, Stringer Bell, and Prez. (Prez! Man, I still can't get over how one of the most despicable and useless characters from the first few episodes ended up as one of my faves.)

Item the second: I can has chips and salsa.

Item the third: Tweetie for Mac is my new Twitter client of choice. I'd been using Twitterrific ever since I joined Twitter, and expected to stick with it, but I downloaded Tweetie on a whim after Gruber linked it, just to see what the fuss was about. I can't go back. I WON'T go back:

  • First and foremost, and this is the real killer, it doesn't friggin' guilt you out about unread tweets. I've built up a large enough follow list that it's really difficult to keep completely up if I'm working an outdoor job, and since Twitterrific tracks which tweets are "unread," it adds a totally unnecessary element of stress to what's meant to be a silly diversion. Tweetie, on the other hand, has an on-or-off indicator that there are tweets you haven't scrolled past yet.

    I get home from work, and Twitterrific says, "You have 289 unread messages! Better get crackin'!" Tweetie says, "Yup, there's stuff! Go ahead and scroll around, see if anything catches your eye. Y'know, whatevs." This sounds dumb, but it makes a really huge difference. Yes, a dedicated user can bend any software to their will, but life is just better if your tools are already built to accommodate your psyche.

  • Built-in context! Double-clicking a tweet that replies to something will find the rest of the conversation and bring it up. Double-clicking on a user icon brings up the rest of the user's timeline. Clicking a picture link brings up the picture in an imitation Quick Look window. It is SO much easier to tell what's going on.
  • It's easier to draft a tweet, because you can type more than 140 characters and then edit until you get under the limit. This just makes the way Twitterrific does it look deranged. (Also, it lets you paste long URLs in and then auto-shorten them. Cool beans.)
  • Saner click-thru behavior. You can actually click links when you see them, instead of having to highlight the tweet first. (Again, this makes Twitterrific look deranged.)
  • It can open links IN THE FRIGGIN' BACKGROUND. Finally.
  • Uh, I guess you can use more than one account at a time. This doesn't matter right now, but if I ever want to use Twitter for experimental fiction or something, this'll make it a lot easier.

Which isn't to say that Tweetie's perfect, because it has a few weird design decisions and a wee bit of 1.0 nonsense. The spacebar behavior is straight-up insane, the icon is kind of lame, there's no easy way to scroll up or down by a whole page, and it has a non-optional menu extra, which is a thing I kind of loathe. (Menu bar space is precious! Don't bogard it! And it's the crappy kind of fake menu extra where if you click it once and then don't click anything else, your other menu extras will throw menus down if you mouse over them. The old iTunesRating app I used to use did this, and it's a totally amateur hour behavior. Also, for more fun, try right-clicking it with an external mouse. Hmm, I should probably be submitting this as a bug report, shouldn't I?)

But it's good enough that its imperfections don't bother me too much. It's got all the strengths of Twitterrific plus all the strengths of the Twitter web app minus all their weaknesses.

Hmm, item the third went on kind of long, didn't it.

Item the fourth: I am still maintaining my furious grudge against Faisal for introducing me to "Hey Schultz." The story went that one time when he was at Powell's, a dude was sitting outside with a huge keyboard and singing the same two lines over and over again: "Heeyyyyyy SCHULTZ! Gimme another / CRACK-hit, CRACK-hit!" And was still repeating them when Faisal left. The devil of it is that the tune has this intense syncopation (with the upbeats on "CRACK-hit") that causes it to burrow into your skull and NEVER LEAVE, and it's been on repeat in my brain all week. KILL. DESTROY.

Item the fifth: Dep't of Milestones: I used up my first jar of yeast at the beginning of this week.
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (John Bauer - Tyr and Fenrir)
At work yesterday, I was talking with the co-workers about the Somali pirates, and dropping some science I'd heard several months ago about how they started off as basically a freelance coastguard after the government died, and how they didn't get into the more traditional violent hijacking game for a good while after that. [livejournal.com profile] jwz linked to a cool-looking article about that today, so I thought I'd share with all of you, too.

And as I'm checking my friends page, it looks like Amazon.com is stripping the sales rank info for GLBT books, including totally innocuous stuff. (It sounds like Heather Has Two Mommies got on the too gay for sales-rank list?! WTF!) It looks like someone's collecting links to stories about it over here, and you may have already seen other roundups elsewhere. (It sounds Neil Gaiman's on the job now too?)

I don't have the juice right now to go off on a proper disdain-and-fury tear, but Dear Amazon, THIS IS NOT OKAY. It is, in fact, bullshit, so CUT IT OUT.

EDIT: Oh, I should have just phoned Candy about that one—Smart Bitches is totally doing the googlebomb thing on ye olde Amazon Rank.
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Default)

Contusions etc.

My hip bruise is developing nicely, and is now an attractive light purple-black color; the road-rash on the elbow is doing what road-rash is wont to do.


I think I may have gotten something that I wanted, and now I have to make some decisions.

Remember how I've complained about / rolled my eyes at some of the venal/short-sighted/poorly-conceived/just-plain-weird decisions made by LJ's recent hot-potato line of owners? And how I said that seeing LJ as a way to make bank was a rum call in the first place, and that it was a better candidate for a co-op or something? Well, some ex-staffers from LJ are building the "or something," and it actually looks like it's going to rock. It's called Dreamwidth. It's not a co-op, for reasons they actually bothered to explain, but it's something I find myself liking and trusting.

Blah blah blah etc. )

So like I said, now I have to make some decisions. I'm certainly going to get an account, but I still need to figure out whether and when to make it my main journaling space, and what to do about this LJ once that happens.

And while we're at it, I could really stand to re-evaluate most everything about my web presence. What am I doing out there? What could I be doing out there? LJ's grown on me since 2003 in a way I never thought it would, so whichever way I end up dividing my writing and photography and coding and whatever the hell else, I think I'll always enjoy having a place where I can ramble and vent about my computers and bike crashes and apartments and concerts and explorations in the city without worrying whether it "fits." But that place might move sometime soon. I've already cancelled my paid account renewal on LJ.

Oh, right...

Um, also, I could really use a new username. I've regretted "2ce" since about five days after I picked it, although I did rather like how it went with the recent "Roadrunner Twice" journal title. Maybe I could go with some variation on "Roadrunner Twice?" (It's not even my favorite song or anything, but I'm real fond of that line?) For reasons I find kind of hard to explain, I'm somewhat disinclined to use my usual "nfagerlund," but I might default to it if I can't think of anything better. (And y'know, half the draw of a social journaling site like LJ is the granular privacy control; honestly, calling my journal nfagerlund would be a better call than using that for my Twitter, but the deed there's done.)

Once upon a time, I was called Gamecat, but that shed skin won't fit no more. I don't think I've had an actual handle for a long long time now, and I find that I sometimes miss it. I dunno. Thoughts?

(Am I going to have to break out the fake-band-names file?)
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Default)

WANT. More info here. Alas, there are apparently only about 80 left.

EDIT: Actually, let's have a good old-fashioned dump post.

Regexen: Are they great or what? If you had to pick just one majorly geeky computer skill to learn, regexen might be your best call—paired with a good text editor (or a great one), they will rapidly become your best friend. Yes, the learning curve is a bit steep at first, but it's worth it.

EDIT: No Country For Old Men is gorgeous. Still deciding whether I can keep watching it. (I don't do so hot with thrillers.)

EDIT: Late last month, early in the morning:

EDIT: Pursuant to my brief mention of the über-sweet drawings from Smith of Wootton Major & Farmer Giles of Ham—it turns out the artist died the day after I re-read them. Curse and goddamn—but a big thank-you to PNH for bringing more of her work to my attention. Go, see.
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Out of the bathroom)
Happy Temporary-Victory-Over-the-French Day!

EDIT: Uptick in native Unicode webpages! (via Daring Fireball) Good. I look forward to the deprecation and eventual destruction of all those obnoxiously indistinguishable-yet-incompatible Western European charsets. It shall be our war chant: UTF-8! UTF-8! UTF-8!

(Explication: If you've ever opened a document only to find all the quote marks replaced by Ò's for no good reason, you have a dog in this fight.)

EDIT: Special preview of Things I Read in May: Go read Cory Doctorow's Little Brother.

The update

Apr. 16th, 2008 01:29 pm
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (I have caught many hapless creatures.)

Electromagnetic Pulse

I spent Saturday in a room with a hanging model of Deep Space 9 listening to nerds talk about Blue Öyster Cult, Eva Tanguay, and disco. It was completely awesome.

Anyway, I learned about the EMP Pop Conference two years ago and have been wanting to attend ever since. This year, I was finally in town and at loose ends, so I bussed up to Seattle for one of the (what, four?) days it was running.

A good time was had, and it reminded me of how much I used to enjoy being a scholar. I think that if I ever become one again, I will be a great deal better at it than I was.


I've decided to give up wheat for a while -- maybe a week or three -- to see if it has any unexpected effects on the old meat machine. (I have a few suspicions, so it's time to gather some data.) And wow that's a lot of stuff I can't eat. I do not envy the gluten-intolerant.


So the other day at work, Meg put The Weakerthans on the stereo, and she mentioned that John K. Samson used to play bass and sing in Propagandhi. And I was like, WHAT? But no, really. You'd think that racking up about 50 playthroughs of "Gifts" and 45 of "Plea From a Cat Named Virtue" (according to iTunes) would be enough to clue me in before now, but apparently not.

Cut: In which I get a new toy and make a spy joke. )

Dump post

Mar. 12th, 2008 09:54 pm
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Default)

Four things, and I post.


Anyone else notice those new "Expand" links in the comment threads? Best new LJ feature ever.


My computer has again developed insomnia. We've already been through this! It was totally fixed! Why is it broken again? Pain in the ass!

Time to back up and call AppleCare again. arrrrrrrggggghhhh.

Under There

Boxer-briefs. Someone explain these to me.

If one has an underwear model's abs, hips, ass, thighs, and package, then yes: boxer-briefs are the most aesthetically pleasing underwear for men. This is the undeniable truth. Until the wearer runs, walks, twitches, or scratches himself, at which point the legs roll into these sort of unappealing donut shapes and the garment rides up and smooshes one's balls.

Boxer-briefs: The underwear for physically perfect men who never move. Get yours today!


...we are Devo. )

roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Out of the bathroom)
I hear a mighty buzzing noise, and it sounds like... freedom.

EDIT: Also, via Daring Fireball: The most aggressive cinderblock ad EVER.

EDIT: I've changed my mind. This is definitely a low-mid grade flu rather than a cold. At least I'm getting over it fairly easy this year? I still feel crappy, but I'm not totally miserable.

EDIT: Ft. Lewis is doing nighttime shelling exercises tonight. It's kind of like a thunderstorm, except more irritating.
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Default)
See, if you lived in Sunnydale, this wouldn't be a problem.

In other news, I am totally into Cordelia. Any other series, she'd have been dead before season 1 was out; here, she is hilariously awesome and unkillable. Definitely one of my favorite characters.

EDIT: Apropos of nothing: I don't have any desire to go see the musical of Wicked, but I do kind of wish I had tried and failed to get tickets. Because then I could complain about it on LJ, and the title of my post would be, wait for it -- "No Wicked for the rest."
roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Default)
  1. (Attn: veggies) Miso soup is approximately equivalent to chicken soup, in the arena of convalescence. I've noticed that I've started craving it whenever my health is preparing to take a downhill skid.
  2. (Attn: Mac notebook users who hate the superfluous "enter" key) fKeys, while rather difficult to install and activate and much harder to configure, is better than DoubleCommand. Story shortened, DoubleCommand kept wandering off into la-la land whenever I logged out and back in; it claimed that my settings were still active, but they weren't, and the only way to bring them back was to do a full reboot. fKeys, for all its current usability faults, doesn't do that.

    (Though, uh, if you use a Macbook, you'll have to get the beta version and do some plist hacking. Actually, just skip the plist hacking and grab the finished versions; follow the regular instructions for getting things working, but substitute those files instead.)


roadrunnertwice: Yrs truly surrounded by trees. (Default)
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