Monthly Archives: June 2009

Computer science Friday: colo move

LibraryThing had been planning to move servers into our new colo in Somerville (we had outgrown our colo in Portland, lip balm notwithstanding).

As it turns out, changing colos is not as easy as yanking out all the cables, throwing everything in your car, shoving everything into the new racks, and plugging in cables hither and thither.

So, I found myself tapping in so Abby could go home at about 7 a.m. on Friday, during what’s now being called The Great LibraryThing Server Schlepp. I spent the morning in a colo (which means lots of racks of servers, lots of fans running, and temperatures comfortable for the machines and not us) shouting messages back and forth from John in Australia (the man orchestrated a colo move REMOTELY) with Tim and Mike.

It was a novel day, as my usual routine involves waking up and maybe putting on pants before sitting down in front of my computer with a bowl of granola.

My trip to the DMV

My trip to the DMV, originally uploaded by sundaykofax.

I got here a few minutes before 10, to find that there was a block-
long line waiting for the doors to open. I’m here to see a man about a
speeding ticket, and I’m hoping the "Yeah, but" office is not that

And the bounty begins

And the bounty begins, originally uploaded by sundaykofax.

Here’s the first crop from the garden – a mix of lettuces, thanks to
Jason’s mom, who gave me the seedlings.

Colin calling

Colin calling, originally uploaded by sundaykofax.

I finished replicating my friend Colin’s missing Spikos detachable
devil horns. The hard part was machine sewing the round bottom of the
horns. You know, where Satan himself sawed them off and … you know,
turned them into blue plushies.

So, one craft project down, one to go before I leave for Chicago Friday.

On the horn

On the horn, originally uploaded by sundaykofax.

My friend Colin lost one of the horns he wears on his bike helmet.

He asked if I would be willing to make him another one. I love a good
craft challenge, and it’s a safety issue – Mac is absolutely not
invisible when biking wearing them.

I couldn’t find material to duplicate the remaining horn, so I will be
attempting to make a matched set out of this blue, shiny, Umbro-shorts
kind of fabric.

I’m using scrap fabric from the Facebook crafty altruism meme to
figure out the pattern, then I’ll be cutting, sewing and stuffing the
horns. Lastly, they’ll get industrial-strength Velcro on the bottom.

So cold

So cold, originally uploaded by sundaykofax.

Yesterday I went to the Scooperbowl, a fundraiser that meant $8 = all I could eat ice cream.

I ate 10 of those bowls of ice cream, ran around, then took a nap. I’m not sure what other outcome there possibly could have been.

Thank goodness for my Northern European decent, and my lactose-friendly tum.

Guac-fest 09

Guacamole party
Two weekends ago, I participated in my first ever guac-off. My landlord (who’s about my age, and lives nearby), hosted the first one last year. It was such a raucous success, he did it again – only this time, he contacted the Avocado Council, and got sponsored. How’s that for awesome? There were avocado poster, notebooks, magnets, and even avocado tools (they slice the skin and scoop out the fruit).

Jason and I spent Saturday morning working on our recipe. I had this crazy idea to soak jalapeƱo peppers in lime juice – the goal being to spread the heat out, so you didn’t get a bite of superhot or a bite of bland. We also added some cholula, but not enough.

So, it was a contest of 8 guacamoles. We made it to the quarter finals, but then lost (meaning, either 3rd or 4th place – they didn’t discern). Guacs went head to head, and everyone could vote.

I think what the winning guacamole had was large chunks of fresh avocado. Mine was flavorful, due to the super-ripe avocados I used, but more the consistency of baby food because of it. I needed some super-ripe avocados, and some firmer ones, for texture.

In addition to being a contest, it was also an excellent neighborhood party. I met new people, got to hang out with my favorite neighborhood friends, and eat a bunch of guacamole.

It’s you I like.

I’m listening to a Tank Riot* podcast about Mr. Rogers.

I’m all calm and happy listening to Mr Rogers voice, and hearing about the absolutely amazing way he lived his life with the purpose of making everyone a better person. Fred Rogers exudes respect to others, caring, and thoughtfulness. I need to remember him more often.

Here’s a quote:

“You know, it happens so often, I walk down the street, and someone 20 or 30 or 40 years old will come up to me and say “You are Mr. Rogers, aren’t you?” And then they tell me about growing up with the Neighborhood and how they’re passing on to the children they know what they found to be important in our television work, like expressing their feelings through music and art and dance and sports and drama and computers and writing, and invaribly we end our little time together with a hug.

I’m just so proud of you who have grown up with us, and I know how tough it is, some days, to look with hope and confidence on the months and years ahead. But I would like to tell you what I often told you when you were much younger: I like you just the way you are.

And what’s more, I’m so grateful to you for helping the children in your life to know that you’ll do everything you can to keep them safe and to help them express their feelings in ways that will bring healing in many different neighborhoods. It’s such a good feeling to know we’re lifelong friends.”

Here’s a list of reason why Mr. Rogers is so great.

*I like Tank Riot in general – the guys are not professional, by any means – they keep talking over each other, and making overly geeky references or puns. I think they sound like me if I had a podcast where I research whatever it is I’m interested in that week.

High resolution

I spent the latter part of Saturday at a guacamole contest/party, and the latter part of that I spent tucked in the shade, talking to Ingrid. We talked about how much we enjoyed photography, doing freelance photography for the percentage of time that would make us happy, possibly bring in income, but still leave enough time for the real job that provided the real income, and how to balance all these things while not undercharging people because you love what you do and are kind of a soft-heart.

Ingrid really inspired me, and I made a resolution to practice photography more. Again. I love it so much, and there’s really really no reason not to spend more time taking photographs.

Technology has made this increasingly easy on me. To begin, I had a Minolta SRT 101 and the St. Ambrose darkroom. (The darkroom has the end of my finger – a story for another day.) It took hours and hours of processing film and paper to see my newbie photos. This was hard and frustrating, but I was full of energy and support (of both my professor and my friends – thank jeebs for running in the theatre/art/media crowd). I really had to work for the payoff, and because the stakes were so high, I paid a lot of attention to the details.

Stephanie was my first model, and I'm on to generation 2.

Then, after college, I found myself photographing less. I was dating Jason, and he encouraged me to get back into it. I explained the demotivator of buying supplies, handling chemicals, and using your apartment bathroom as a darkroom. He came up with a brilliant solution, and a really, really thoughtful gift – he got me a film scanner. Processing film is approximately 10x less difficult than making the prints, so I could shoot to my heart’s content, shake shake shake the film, then scan the negatives. The upsides were boundless – less work, and instant digital results I could alter as needed (flaws like dust or scratches weren’t the death of an image), and besides the scanner I didn’t need any new equipment.

this photo is also printed and on my living room wall

But soon I found myself not shooting again. Why take my 10 lb. camera and a flash to a party when I could use a little digital Elph that took pictures that were just fine, with no film costs and processing time? Years passed this way.

at least I got some knitting done

Then, while living in New Bedford and having come into some extra money from my brief but brilliant stint with the Toe Jam Puppet Band, I decided to spend my extra cheese on a digital SLR.

the only time I really pulled off that skirt

There’s no excuse now, is there? Ok, my camera’s still a little bulky, and expensive to just leave in my bag as I play frisbee in the park. Also, there’s the unexpected problem of having too many images. When I shot film, I made a lot more small changes in my head before pressing the shutter release because of the cost. Now, I can take five photographs in a second on auto everything, which means slogging through all of them later, weighing the merits of images that are minutely different. I’ll have to work on using the display on the back of my camera to help me make decisions and do some more mental editing between clicks.

So here we are. I’m going to take more photos. I’m going to post them to Flickr, and blog the best ones, and generally get more practice. I tend towards documentary style (only the fly, no posing, not a lot of post-production cropping or altering, lots of me crawling around or standing on top of things), and I definitely prefer to shoot people. (I’ll never get over how that sounds.) So, friends, beware. Jason, be very ware.

Here’s the last photo I took with my digital Nikon. May it be the beginning of a new era:

I still can't decide how to crop this

That is, by the way, Orange Bear – my friend Elliott’s constant companion. There’s discussion between Elliott and his parents about refilling him, but I like how he drapes over Elliott’s arm like a doffed suit jacket.

Book/band mashups

Mat blogged about it first.

What happens if you paint all your walls with chalkboard paint? Mashups of band names plus book titles.

It’s hard not to want to list my favorites here … but …. Neutral Milk Hotel New Hampshire.

My first thought was to take my favorite book – so then I thought … “The Little Prince”. Ha.

Now, go, go check the rest.