Happy birthday

February 29, 2008

Happy Birthday to Jenny Visger – where-ever she is.

A girl I went to elementary school through high school with turned 8 today. She’s one of those people who only really gets a birthday every 4 years.

I haven’t thought of her in a number of years now but it being a leap-day made me remember that. I remember her birthday b/c she was always immediately behind me when we were alphabetized in homeroom rows: Vidal, Visger, Visnich, etc, etc. After 7 years it’s hard to get that out of your head. 🙂

So, if google picks this up and she’s ego-searching – Happy Birthday, Jenny.

In the afternoon on friday I spent some time playing with the autocurate tools from the Creative Commons tools. The Autocurate tool downloads the most recent ‘interesting’ pictures with creative commons licenses from flickr. It took a little bit of work to get it working but it got there.

Then this evening I started playing with the gnome-background rotation xml format.

I made a very very very simple python program to generate the xml file for rotating the images. You just run the program with its output to any xml file then you drag the xml file into the gnome-background changer window.

What I’m working on, now is a way to merge those two items a bit more and make it somewhat more seamless. So there are things I have questions about that maybe the LazyWeb knows more about:

1. is it possible to have the gnome-background-changer run a program to determine the image it should be displaying?

2. if not what is the best way to have a program run, per user, from time to time?

3. Has someone else already done this in a more trivial way?

4. Is the xml format for the image/rotation/transition documented anywhere other than the code?

This is the bag!

February 22, 2008


Originally uploaded by skvidal

And look, you can tell b/c it is adequately labeled as such.

When in doubt, label.


February 19, 2008

This morning I was shocked out of my sleep by the audio track from the video taping of the treatment of cows in the slaugterhouse involved in the recall of 143 million pounds of beef. I’ve never heard anything like it. Worse than my worst nightmares. What drives a human to be able to do such things to any creature is something I hope to never imagine.

I’ve not eaten any meat in over a decade. I’m a lacto-ovo vegetarian. I eat milk-products and eggs. In the last 2 years, in large part due to going to the farmer’s market, I’ve been able to see the places I get cheese and eggs from.

We’ve met the cows we get our cheese from and the chickens where our eggs come from. We meet the people who take care of these animals every week at the farmer’s market. The animals live outside in large spaces. When they get sick they get treated by a vet. When they are too old or hurt they are humanely put down. These animals don’t ever seem to encounter anything which causes them terror or shock. They will probably never have a reason to make the sounds that the cows from the video above made. I know we’ll never get to a point where people stop eating animals but I do hope we get to a point where all animals raised as livestock lead a life which is peaceful and as natural as possible. I also hope that when they die they can die a death which is as terror-free as possible.

If you can stomach it, watch the video in the article I linked to above. After watching it if you do not think you can be party to anything that causes that kind of terror then If you eat meat think about where you get your meat from and how the animals are treated before death. Think about if you would miss meat much if you stopped eating it. If you consume eggs, milk or cheese, make sure you know from where they come and if you have the chance go and visit the farms.

Follow your food chain, make sure you know what’s happening at all the links in the chain. Make sure you’re comfortable with being involved in those links.

can’t…. move… arms…

February 11, 2008

My dad came down on friday to help Eunice and I paint and work on various aspects of the house. This was both productive and excruciatingly tiring. I spent the weekend painting or sanding or sawing various components of the house. However, as photographic evidence will show, tomorrow, the house looks much better. Gone are the beige with white trim walls. Added are the green and blue and tangerine, and citroen cocktail. Much better in a lot of ways and if not better just not boring. 🙂

Many thanks to my dad for throwing away his weekend to work on this with us.

Pictures when the day-star returns.

torrent tracker software

February 8, 2008

Dear LazyWeb,

It seems like all the torrent tracker software is slowly dissolving:

bittorrent: 5.2.0 is the last open source version. The new versions are closed and therefore full of doom. If anyone has forked the last open version and is working on it I’d love to know that, too.

ctorrent: not obviously being maintained and not obviously designed to be a standalone tracker

osprey: not been updated in quite some while. Looks cool, developed by cool people. Still – last updated in 2006 fills me with dread

So what torrent trackers are all the cool kids using these days?


some days

February 7, 2008

Some days it is better to roll over and pretend morning never happened.

For more reasons than I can possibly explain today was one of those days.

I’m sorry to anyone I was grumpy with.