I liked this comment from a uk journal:

Instead of driving miles to the supermarket to load up on food just in case the shelves are cleared, or whingeing about strikers’ ability to cripple the country, we would be better advised to start looking at alternative ways of doing things, based on human energy, ingenuity and appropriate technology. Put simply, our default programmes need to be reset. We need to relocalise our lives.

It means more adjustment than merely declining the offer of yet another oil-derived plastic bag. Affluent middle classes in urban areas have to get over their hang-ups and use public transport, not just during the dispute, but thereafter.

Unless we want an ever more monstrous chunk of our budgets to be gobbled up in spiralling fuel bills, then it’s time to think about selling the second, even your only car.

If we can’t walk, bus or train it to work, then employers must start developing schemes that liberate us from environmentally-ruinous commutes, and allow more people to work from home, exploiting all the benefits of email and telephone conferencing.

Businesses need to understand that it is no longer acceptable to fly staff up and down the UK to attend meetings when they could perfectly well take the train.

I’ve had two interesting conversations this week. One with some neighbors about the cost of commuting 60 miles each way for work. Another with a co worker who commutes 37 miles each way for work. Both of them are concerned about the spike in the prices of everything. I’ve tried to help them find alternative routes/transportation to get to work. Both of them saving a good deal of money (and energy). Something I forgot to mention to them is what is said above: We need to get used to things being like this. It is not going away.

$30 bike ($72 with new tires and tubes)

Originally uploaded by skvidal

My neighborhood is a loosely collected semi-urban area. We have a mailing list which is really one of the biggest items that ties us together. There’s no ‘home owners association’ and it’s not a planned community in the disastrous sense that a lot of suburbs are. We’re just on the outskirts of what would be called ‘downtown’ in durham.

Two days ago a neighbor posted to the mailing list that he was cleaning out old stuff he didn’t need. Among them was a fuji mountain bike from 1990. I emailed back asking the size and once finding that out that I would take it. He wanted $30 for it. I figured it would be fairly rough. I was not expecting what I found. It had one flat tire and both tires had dry-rotted a bit -which is to be expected for old/unused tires. Otherwise it was in great shape. the shifting works, pedals are solid, very little rust and no weakness. The chain needs lubing and some minor maintenance bits but, all in all, in fine shape. I picked up 2 new tires and tubes, grabbed some spare fenders I had about an cleaned it up last night.

I feel pretty good about it for a total of $72 (so far). I need to get a rear rack for it and some lights and a lock. Then I can give it to my little brother for college. I need to find more of these deals. 🙂


April 22, 2008

I just said the same thing – but Michael Pollan, of course, said it much better.

almost 2 years ago

April 17, 2008

I wrote this https://skvidal.wordpress.com/2006/07/17/cause-for-worrymath-lesson/.

a number of people have been talking about these subjects quite a bit, recently.

If you’ve not been paying attention to the world:

1. there are food riots all over the developing world

2. Food prices are spiking world-wide.

3. Biofuels (especially corn-based ethanol) are exacerbating the problem.

I know it may seem like this is happening ‘over there’ wherever ‘there’ is for you but be aware that problems ‘over there’ have a way of visiting everyone.

Two years ago 12% of the population of the United States was Food Insecure – that means they did not know if they were going to have enough calories on any given day. The price of food staples has spiked an average of 50%. That 12% (which,  btw means 37 MILLION people in the US, alone) has not seen their situation improve, I’d wager. I wonder how much that number has changed by?

If you live in a rural/suburban area – think about growing some of your own food. It’s really quite straightforward and a good skill to have.

If you live in an urban area, get involved or start a community garden. Every little bit can help.

yum shell

April 14, 2008

This email was pointed out to me today. I do enjoy people who are not yum developers (or even working on any kind of packaging development) claim to understand the motivations as to why features were added to yum. I think a prereq for claiming to know any of my motivations is to be inside my head at the time I was thinking about it.

So much.

For the record here are the set of reasons why yum shell was added to yum:

– allow users to stack commands to deal with all sorts of interesting packaging issues (like trying to remove sendmail and install postfix in a single command – a common issue with rhl 7.2, 7.3, etc

– provide interface for doing scripted sets of commands that needed to occur in a single transaction for a variety of reasons

– to speed up repeated calls to the exact same setup functions. It takes a certain amount of time to call up python and the libs yum requires along with all the repo checking, etc. With the yum shell addition it removed the repeated setup expense for repetitive operations. Even the fastest program needs to do some setup to check its state.

– last, but not least, I wanted to play with the ‘cmd’ module in python and I thought this would be a neat use for it.

I don’t think any of the above are “cop outs”.

quote of the day

April 14, 2008

” yum devel is an excellent remedy to ever thinking too highly of yourself”

– Seth Vidal


April 7, 2008

My dog had an anal sac rupture on thursday so the major theme this weekend was “watch dog sleep, clean dog, give dog pills, annoy dog with sprays and wipes”. However, I did lay out our new raised beds in the front yard. I also abused one of the serverbeach boxes into coming back up only to promptly fall back over :(. However, I was granted a reprieve from the non-stop dog-watching fest by the girl. She said it was okay for me to take off and go see Vienna Teng in Raleigh last night. So, I did.

The show was in a little bar in Raleigh. I was surprised I didn’t get lost trying to find it. The bar was very much a bar. It was the rough shape of a tunnel and had about the same acoustics However, the folks who ran the place were clearly very respectful of the performers and the audience. It was quiet, not-quite-smoke-free but close.

The show included Alex Wong another musician she’s played with before and with whome she is currently working on a new album. They were quite amusing with banter going back and forth.

All in all a pretty good show, I’m glad I got to hear her in concert, finally.

Hey folks,

If you’ve emailed admin@fedoraproject.org in the last 2 weeks or so with a request to add/modify/delete your blog, please resend it. There was a change to the aliases file and my email got knocked off of that alias. So I wasn’t getting the requests.

I am now getting them again, please resend.


to the office

April 2, 2008

Going down to the raleigh office today for a meeting. Sometimes my ability to get and stay on the network there with this laptop is, umm, questionable, so if you need me call or email. I should be back after lunch.