2015-02 (February)

(note: just pulling in content from my experimental and now abandoned blog)

2015-02-27 Friday

surgery   #ostomy
OK, this is the day of my surgery. I am feeling good about it but can't wait for it to be over so I can begin my recovery.

2015-02-25 Wednesday

pre-op   #ostomy
Heading over to the hospital today to do the meetings with various people prior to the operation. This is supposed to take between 2 and 4 hours. I am assuming 4 and taking reading material.
I am spending the next 48 hours trying not to stress out too much and saying goodbye to favorite foods and toilet paper.

2015-02-24 Tuesday

Last night was sleepless. The roof was booming and sounded like it was coming down. We slept in the basement because the most weight was over our bedroom. There are a couple of brave guys up on my roof right now getting rid of the snow and ice. I am paying them to do it but I am extremely grateful they are here and they are welcome to my money.

2015-02-23 Monday

Interesting Bitcoin Opinion
This is a really good compare/contrast piece looking at the relative costs and benefits of bitcoin without getting into the blackhole of fiat currency and anonymity.
Winter continues
Today's battle against winter took on a new level of desperation. We had a day of continuous rain. What should have been a merciless period of melting was instead this nightmare of heavy snow becoming saturated and getting heavier. Or precious metal awning that has been in place since the 70's started to buckle under the weight and one bracket actually gave, the beam once supported by it now resting against the siding beneath it.
Our only option was to remove as much snow as possible. Snow that is mostly ice. I got a 2x4 from the basement and started painstakingly prying pieces off and working them to the edge. This took a long time and my arms are now casualties of war but it offloaded a lot of snow. What we could not reach got pelted with a lot of ice melter. Between these two techniques about 2/3 of the snow was removed.
Finally, I shored up the beans from underneath with 2x4s to help them support the remaining weight and prevent further collapse. When everything thaws we'll have a repair job ahead of us.

2015-02-22 Sunday

Convert Ebooks
Not running Calibre and need to convert an eBook? Try http://www.zamzar.com

2015-02-20 Friday

With my operation a week away I am thinking of it all the time. I need to use some of this energy to prepare for the experience and my life after it. This is some good advice I got from my wife tonight. I am so glad she is there for me.
We got about 2cm of snow so naturally plows were out all night. the result for me is a giant ice boulder about the size of the snow wall on either side of my driveway that is blocking my driveway now. I want even going to shovel I woke up early and there is was. a massive over boulder just dumped there. I mean I could be at this for an hour breaking it down and removing it. If I are an American tea party member I guess I would thank Obama at this point but I am left just shaking my head. at least it is good exercise.

2015-02-19 Thursday

I just got a call re: the consultation with variou health care people prior to my operation next week. I am going to try to book a private room for my recovery and it would be great if that works out. If not, that's OK too. I can't wait to get the surgery overwith as the anticipation of being in pain afterward is likely worse that actually being in pain but with good drugs. :)

2015-02-18 Wednesday

Hacker's Keyboard
At thw suggestion of someone on Reddit I am trying hacjwrsbkeubp
Nope. Doesn't work well for me so I'll stock with stock for now.

2015-02-16 Monday

I added Google Analytics to the blog tonight. Not that anyone comes here. But still, if you do, I will know how many of you came but very little else other than you are most likely a bot or spider. I'll be interested to see how my traffic compare with the WordPress blog I am replacing. I am pretty sure of that was spam bots.

2015-02-15 Sunday

Emacs on VPS (connecting by phone)
Just a quick write-up about how I use emacs: Emacs on a VPS (connecting using SSH from my phone)
The snow has definitely started here! I expect to be shoveling all day, even in the rain, to try to get rid of as much of this as I can before it all freezes. It will be a while until anything melts and there is still a huge mess from the last storm. Really great exercise, though.

2015-02-14 Saturday

There's a storm coming! Or driveway is still icy and full of snow from the last mess. I like shoveling but with all the ice down there isn't much I can do.
Chrome vs. Firefox :OPINION
OK, as someone who works as a web developer articles like this drive me insane: http://gizmodo.com/fuck-it-im-going-back-to-firefox-1685425815
This is written about using browsers on a Mac. This is only made clear by a comment the author makes about 75% of the way down the page and it is definitely not the top comment. There is a screenshot of a process list from a Mac but when you are complaining about slow-running software be clear about the hardware it is running on and the OS it is built for. Just say Chrome runs slow for me on this OS/hardware and move on with the article. It is a very easy edit.
I care because software built and optimized for a given OS might not port well to another OS and the dev team on that port might not have the time or resources to make it run well. So a million Windows users will read this article and think this guy's opinion matters and they will switch to Firefox – that's fine, I don't care what browser you use – but his opinion is really only completely relevant to Mac users.
He talks fairly early on about how he has a million extensions installed. In fact he compares his early experience of running a stripped down Chrome browser to his current experience of running one full of extensions. Well. guess what? Extension developers don't all work for Google and get their code reviewed by the core Chrome devs.
So "I am using a browser of an unspecified version on unspecified hardware on a software platform it is ported to and I am running tons of extensions and add-ons and oh, yeah, my co-workers and I have been fiddling with configuration to try to make it run better but it keeps getting worse". This is not a compelling argument and it should not be generalized to "this browser is terrible".
I have a lot of extensions installed because they help me do my job but they are regularly the source of pages blocked from loading, etc. I disable the vast majority of these unless I need them. They can be buggy, poorly implemented, and inefficient. So I don't leave them running all the time and I replace the worst with something better (these days I am using Fiddler for most of that anyway but that is for another post).

2015-02-13 Friday

Happy Valentimes
I love the Friday night before a long weekend. we are going to enjoy ourselves tomorrow, it being Valentines Day, and spend the rest of the weekend working around the house. Sounds good to me.
Smex + iDo
I added [Smex[http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/Smex]] and [iDo[http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/InteractivelyDoThings]] to my VPS .emacs (and Smex is now on my work system, too). This makes using emacs on the VPS via my phone MUCH easier. :)
Keyboard Macro - take 2
OK, the keyboard macro I created earlier didn't work so well but you can edit them using instructions here:https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/emacs/Edit-Keyboard-Macro.html
I just added a keyboard macro to my .emacs to publish my blog using these instructions:http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/KeyboardMacros

2015-02-12 Thursday

Autohotkey and Emacs
The discussion on this page is giving me lots of ideas for how to use autohotkey and Emacs together at work:http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/AutoHotKey
Cool Pen
Definitely one of the most impressive fountain pens I have ever seen: http://www.gouletpens.com/mv35290/p/MV35290(MONTEVERDE TOUCH SCREEN STYLUS FOUNTAIN TOOL PEN - ORANGE)
Latest First!
I am pretty excited. I was trying to figure out how to get my latest entries first for the blog when I realized I just have to sort the Org file. Since I am capturing my posts into a datetree I just had to sort by title in reverse and latest was first. To do this use M-x org-sort-entries and press T to sort in reverse by title.
Git Homedir
OK tonight I added my home directory, .emacs file, org files, etc to a private Git repo on Bitbucket. This should make living on a cheap VPS a little less nerve wracking. The last word in the previous sentence reminded me I need to install a spell checker in my emacs. :)
Note: Found out flyspell works pretty well.

2015-02-11 Wednesday

Notes from today:
Org-mode Blogging
Trying out a new blogging method based on this guy's approach: http://www.howardism.org/Technical/Emacs/journaling-org.html
Blog Improvements
So far tonight I was able to figure out how to set up org-html so that it uses a stylesheet (ripped off from the org-mode site) and I created a template for entering a blog post quickly.
The capture template for the blog enters the new post in the datetree format so it does pretty much what I want it to do. The HTML export is still not perfect but I am hiding unwanted elements with CSS (section numbers and table of contents).