Category: Geek

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January, 2011: Two Presentations

February 8, 2011 | 1 comment { Geek, Life, Photography }

Each evening as the pets wax needy, the caffeine wears off, and the house creaks as it cools, I think: I should blog. A pin-snip tightening in the solar plexus; I clamp down and I panic lightly and I know, for one, that I don’t have the margins of energy to tell the whole story of what January is or has been. For two, guilt. The longer I go blogless, the heavier the onus. Even this paragraph has made me lose a kilogram or two of psychic weight. So, in compromise, let’s slide narrower the window of recap to encompass only one subject: two presentations I gave this month.

Reading, eBooks, and what I think of the iPad versus the Kindle

April 3, 2010 | 6 comments { Books & Learning, Geek }

The story begins: I once had an Amazon Kindle. I love to read and I love technology. It seemed like a good match. Except I kind of hated it.

Enter the iPad, with its iBooks application, and then re-enter Amazon with a Kindle reader for the iPad. Then there’s Kindle on iPhone and other options on the iPad, and, holy moly, what a morass of possibilities.

Planets Everywhere: Building our model solar system

April 1, 2010 { Books & Learning, Geek, Life }
"Build a Model Solar System" -- Ours will look like this when we are through

Things rarely get me unreservedly excited in my ripe old age. I’m thinking excited in terms of the way I felt about birthday presents when about ten. When I could, I’d stack them in order and slowly open each one and try to stretch out the event as long as possible, coaxing open paper and laboriously untying ribbons. The kind of excitement that actually makes me slow down instead of speeding up, because it’s just that good that I don’t want it to end.

We are building an Orrery, a brass-and-gears wonder of a mechanical thing (and heavy!) that models the planets in the solar system. I can’t stand how much fun I’m having with this. Even cutting the pieces out of their wretched blister pack and setting them out on the table (set screws, gears, axles, planets) is bliss.

Geek: WordPress: Quick Snippet for dynamically using custom single post templates

February 2, 2010 | 1 comment { Geek }

In my recent efforts to streamline publishing processes on my blog, I find that I need an automated way to use a custom single post template for certain of my posts. There’s a great plugin—Single Post Template—out there, but it means I’d have to remember to assign the right posts to the right template. I found a quick way to hook into WordPress and insert some logic to use my own custom single post template based on my own criteria: maybe you can use it, too?

WordPress icon by koka sexton

Geek: The hots and colds of setting up a weather station

January 11, 2010 { Geek }

David quivered with thrill a month or so ago, when he happened upon a returned Oregon Scientific base station on eBay.

“Weather station! Weather station! Weather!” I heard David shout from his office down the hall. His excited cries devolved into nonverbal coos of glee.

“Why was it returned? What’s wrong with it?” I asked.

“I don’t know. Who cares? Weather!”

The Big Lebowski: A la Shakespeare

January 4, 2010 { Books & Learning, Geek }

The Internets + Relatively firm knowledge of Shakespeare + Time + Geek Proclivities = TWO GENTLEMEN OF LEBOWKSI

THE KNAVE: Good sir, speak plain. I know not these villains, surely would I ne’er traffic with this man of Orient birth who so abused my rug. I have not the facility to present him with the rate of usance and demand money in kind for that which he has spent upon’t; so I entreat you, speak plain.

Image by Sleeper Cell on Flickr

This Just In: Pencilhaven Completes Tiny Grape Harvest

September 25, 2009 { David, Geek, Hobbies and Projects, Life }

It’s harvest time at Pencilhaven. The air is full of excitement; our back deck a hive of industrious activity. For at least three to five minutes. This year we are going to make wine again! Our Pinot gris vine is in its third leaf (probably) and has matured its first crop. Our low-yield viticultural goals [...]

Here it is: The Ultimate Narrow-Ruled Notebook

May 27, 2009 | 5 comments { Geek, Life }

It took a few years of angry searching. Condescension at wide-ruled “plebian” notepads. Eschewing of perfectly nice notebooks brought thousands of miles and placed at my feet as gifts. Finally, I have found The One True Notebook. Or at least the closest thing I’m likely to uncover. Meet the Rediform Chemistry Notebook, 9.25 x 7.5 [...]

Technical Notes

March 11, 2009 | 1 comment { Geek }

OK, folks, I hate to distract with minutiae but I have spent some time doing some things with the ol’ site here. Normally I keep quiet about things like this (I am quite often tinkering, but I imagine most of you read via RSS anyway), but this is something I haven’t quite exactly seen done [...]

Presidential Debate and Party: Thanks for a Great Night

October 8, 2008 | 1 comment { Geek, Internets, Life }

Last night was neato. We filled the Mission Theater in Portland with a lot of enthusiastic debate watchers. Rep. Earl Blumenauer spoke and said nice things about us and the potentials of technology like this. Team members (including me) got a chance to take questions and show off the capabilities of the application. So, if [...]

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From the Archive

From the archive, a few random posts that you might not have seen before.

Wonderful games with Caslon