For your viewing pleasure

Jul. 21st, 2017 12:15 am
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
I see it's been three weeks since I posted anything here. July has been a slow month for astronomy, due to persistent clouds over the Canary Islands and Chile, but I do have a few gems to share with y'all.

Behind the velvet curtain... )

(no subject)

Jul. 20th, 2017 04:13 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
The internet is full of assholes.

this is adorable

Jul. 20th, 2017 01:04 pm
sporky_rat: Fred and George Weasley looking quite dapper in suits and ties, wizard style. (twins)
[personal profile] sporky_rat posting in [community profile] alt_fen
Turns out Hydra's actress Saoirse Ronan is in Ed Sheeran's video, 'Galway Girl'.

Kinda neat seeing her all cheerful and happy and drinking dark beer.

I like to think this what it looks like in Ireland after the wards fell and everything got settled out.

(I'd never seen Ed Sheeran's face before. He looks like a Weasley!)

(no subject)

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:48 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
Wretched hive of scum and villainy . . . .
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Air temperature 65 F and dew point 64, calm, scattered clouds and patchy fog. Newspaper walk achieved.

Poor timing, version 2.0

Jul. 19th, 2017 12:17 pm
edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
[personal profile] edschweppe
Once again, the car's A/C is all crapped out. Just in time for a new heat wave ...

Wednesday floral report

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:34 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

First Canada thistle blooms (which tells you something about how New England views Canada), cotoneaster and evening primrose flowering in town, milkweed starting to form pods.

No roadkill, not even a flattened squirrel.

Roads got sorta-dry, still cloudy, got out on the bike. Thick air. Did not die.

15.29 miles, 1:15:05

Incremental change

Jul. 19th, 2017 08:12 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Crunching the house down the street leaves two in the same area with orange "unfit for occupancy" placards from the city . . . .

Misty musty morning

Jul. 19th, 2017 08:09 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Air temperature 66 F, dew point the same, wind SSW about 5 mph. Pavement wet -- bike ride once dry spots show.

(no subject)

Jul. 18th, 2017 09:48 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

"Don't take life so serious, son -- it ain't nohow permanent."

Porkypine

(no subject)

Jul. 18th, 2017 04:44 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
Now they'll probably just delete any funding from the budget.

The waveform collapses

Jul. 18th, 2017 03:05 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

House down the street crunches under the insatiable maw of a crawler backhoe.

Yet Another Book Meme

Jul. 18th, 2017 12:46 pm
stardreamer: Baby Got Book! (books)
[personal profile] stardreamer
50 questions about books!

1. You currently own more than 20 books:
2. You currently own more than 50 books:
3. You currently own more than 100 books:
Let's just lump all these together under HELL, YEAH.

4. You amassed so many books you switched to an e-reader:
Not really. I added the Kindle app to my phone for traveling convenience, and because of a few things I wanted which were only available in e-form. But I still prefer hard-copy overall.

5. You read so much you have a ton of books AND an e-reader:
That would be me. I should note that I also have a TBR stack on my Kindle app.

6. You have a book-organization system no one else understands:
Mostly it's pretty straightforward. Where people might disagree is some of my judgment calls.

7. You're currently reading more than one book:
Generally speaking, yes.

8. You read every single day: Yes.

9. You're reading a book right now, as you’re taking this book nerd quiz: No.

10. Your essentials for leaving the house:
My belt-pack and cellphone. I don't have to carry physical books any more because of the Kindle app.

11. You've pulled an all-nighter reading a book: Yes, many times.

12. You did not regret it for a second and would do it again:
If that refers back to #11, yes.

13. You've figured out how to incorporate books into your workout: Workout?

14. You've declined invitations to social activities in order to stay home and read:
This happens in the other order. I decline a social invitation because I don't want to go, and then I end up staying home and reading instead of doing something else.

15. You view vacation time as "catch up on reading" time:
Not as a rule. If I've spent money to go somewhere and do something, I'm going to do it. Reading may happen during travel time or in the evenings.

16. You've sat in a bathtub full of tepid water with prune-y skin because you were engrossed in a book:
No -- reading in the bath isn't compatible with showers.

17. You've missed your stop on the bus or the train because you were engrossed in a book:
No, but I did miss a fork on the interstate once because I was listening to an audiobook. That was the only time I ever tried to listen to an audiobook while driving.

18. You've almost tripped over a pothole, sat on a bench with wet paint, walked into a telephone pole, or narrowly avoided other calamities because you were engrossed in a book:
No! I loathe people who aren't paying attention to what they're actually doing.

19. You've laughed out loud in public while reading a book:
Yes. And then glanced around to see if there was anyone nearby who'd be likely to appreciate the joke.

20. You've cried in public while reading a book (it’s okay, we won’t tell): No.

21. You're the one everyone goes to for book recommendations:
Only some people. It's pointless to solicit recommendations from (or make them to) someone who doesn't share your taste.

22. You take your role in recommending books very seriously and worry about what books your friends would enjoy:
That's putting way too much emphasis on a matter of opinion.

23. Once you recommend a book to a friend, you keep bugging them about it:
I may ask them, once.

24. If your friend doesn't like the book you recommended, you're heartbroken:
Disappointed, sometimes. Heartbroken... no, I don't invest that much of my ego into it.

25. And you judge them. HELL, NO.

26. In fact, whenever you and a friend disagree about a book you secretly wonder what is wrong with them:
I would wonder what was wrong with someone who actually did this.

27. You've vowed to convert a non-reader into a reader:
No, I don't tilt at windmills. If it's going to happen, it'll happen with or without me.

28. And you've succeeded: n/a

29. You've attended book readings, launches, and signings: Yes.

30. You own several signed books:
Many! I even use "autographed" as a tag on LibraryThing.

31. You would recognize your favorite authors on the street:
Some of them, because I know them socially from cons.

32. In fact, you have: If you include "at a con", yes.

33. If you could have dinner with anybody in the world, you'd choose your favorite writer:
Maybe. Still stiff competition from Howard Shore, though.

34. You own a first-edition book: A few.

35. You know what that is and why it matters to bibliophiles:
It's about rarity and historical interest. And bragging rights, for some of them.

36. You tweet, post, blog, or talk about books every day: No.

37. You have a "favorite" literary prize:
I take more interest in the Hugos than I do in other prizes, but I'm not sure that translates into "favorite".

38. And you read the winners of that prize every year:
Not necessarily -- even for the Hugos!

39. You've recorded every book you've ever read and what you thought of it:
I try to keep up-to-date with entering books into LibraryThing, but that's partly to make sure I don't re-buy a book that's on my TBR stack. Sometimes I write reviews, but I don't feel compelled to do so.

40. You have a designated reading nook in your home:
Not really. Mostly I read either at the table while eating, or in my favorite chair, but I don't think of them as "reading nooks".

41. You have a literary-themed T-shirt, bag, tattoo, or item of home décor: Yes.

42. You gave your pet a literary name:
Of the current pride, Grey Mouser, Sunfall (of Ennien), Spike (from the Toby Daye books), and arguably Loki and Kitsune are literary-related; Spot, Winnie, and Catgirl aren't.

43. You make literary references and puns nobody else understands:
Yes, and usually my friends understand them.

44. You're a stickler for spelling and grammar, even when you're just texting:
Mostly. In casual writing I'll allow myself some leeway, and I don't beat myself up over the occasional typo.

45. You've given books as gifts for every occasion:
Every type of occasion, probably. But not every single one of any type.

46. Whenever someone asks what your favorite book is, your brain goes into overdrive and you can't choose just one.
No. I have "all-time favorite" which doesn't change, and "current favorite" which does. I do sometimes get snarky and respond with, "You want me to pick ONE?" Especially since I like different books for different reasons.

47. You love the smell of books: Meh.

48. You've binge-read an entire series or an author's whole oeuvre in just a few days: Yes.

49. You've actually felt your heart rate go up while reading an incredible book: Probably.

50. When you turn the last page of a good book, you feel as if you've finally come up for air and returned from a great adventure:
Sometimes. When I do, I frequently go back and re-read it immediately.

Addendum

Jul. 18th, 2017 08:15 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
House down the street now has a large construction Dumpster in the driveway.  That usually implies partial rather than complete demolition.

Play misty for me

Jul. 18th, 2017 08:12 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Gray morning, air temperature 64 F and dew point the same, wind south about 5 mph. Touches of mist on the newspaper walk. Weather radar suggests that I won't get a bike ride in this morning.

Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom

Jul. 18th, 2017 06:43 am
jenett: Golden key on dark blue and purple watercolor (seek knowledge find wisdom)
[personal profile] jenett
I am delighted to announce the launch of my research consulting business, Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom: research help on esoteric and eclectic topics.

Need a personal librarian? I can do that. Want help building skills or solving a research problem (or organising a home library?) Check out my services list for more details.

Courses and other materials will be coming shortly.

Feel free to ask me questions, tell your friends, and sign up for my newsletter and check out the blog.

(The newsletter is every other Wednesday, starting with July 19th, 2017, and the blog is every Tuesday and Friday. I am not crossposting these to Dreamwidth, but you can find links and crossposts on Twitter and Tumblr.)

(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 03:49 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
Haven't been able to decide whether a house down the street is being demolished or rehabbed. I could ask, but that spoils the fun.

Good news and bad news...

Jul. 17th, 2017 09:15 am
johnpalmer: (Default)
[personal profile] johnpalmer
So the good news is, I'm learning more about what fatigues me; and, I've been learning to to be more plugged in intellectually.

The bad news is that some of the stuff that fatigues me seems to be pretty low-key and difficult to avoid.

I've also gotten better a learning to avoid stuff that fatigues me when things are going badly - I think this is part of why I'm keeping plugged in mentally. That's a good thing.

In other good news, I'm learning about other database systems and starting to be able to reason about them more deeply, and to collaborate with other people who know them. The not-quite-bad news is I'm learning how hard it is to go from knowing huge gobs of information about SQL Server, and not always being able to translate it to other engines yet, because of the depth of the knowledge.

An example? Well: SQL Server is a database engine; most database engines make changes in memory, and then flush those changes to disk later. SQL Server has two mechanisms for this: the checkpoint, and the lazywriter. MySQL runs checkpoints too, but it also has a scan that runs once a second that *sounds* like the lazywriter, but might not be. And for some reason, this lazywriter-like function can block changes to the database. So, why? What's up with that? How does it work?

These are pretty deep questions, and they're pretty advanced, too. You could build a fine and powerful application running MySQL and never need to know this. You could build multiple such applications and never need to know this, in fact - and you could manage many such applications without need to know it. So where is it documented? Well... hither and yon. There are hints here and there in blogs and forums, but not all such hints are made by people who understand the process on a deep level, so they have to be reviewed carefully.

Just as in life where there's always a solution that's simple, elegant, and wrong, I'm sure there are discussions of this process that are likewise simple, elegant, and wrong.

I kind of wish I was younger - there were times when I'd imagine this as being akin to studies of magic in many fantasy worlds, where people know set spells, but don't quite understand precisely why they work. It would be exciting viewed from that perspective!

And it wouldn't surprise me if such stories were more likely written more by Unix programmers and admins than Windows. One interesting difference between Unix and Windows programs: Unix programs have a tendency to have dozens, or hundreds, of configuration options that you can set, meaning that there are all kinds of ways to control your daemons (no, really - that's the Unix term for what we Windows people call a "service") using these options, but it's really hard to know what, precisely, is making a difference.

So, you see, understanding MySQL is a lot like learning magic in such a world - you can see things to change, but if you don't have a deep understanding of how they all tie together, it's easy to make superstitious changes (things get better, but not because of what you did) or to confidently break something completely; you can also make the right changes, and things work much better. It could be really kind of fun and exciting to tie all this together and to feel like you're understanding the magic better.

Right now, it's a bit frustrating - but it's getting better. As I keep reminding myself, there are only so many ways to do things and I know many of them - once I figure out what is being done, and why it's being done, I can usually piece together how it can be done, and then reason from there how they are doing it. It's not as fun as imagining myself as a master of the mystic arts, but it's getting the job done.

Here's hoping life is treating you all well - that you have joy, and love in your life, and that you have striving where you need challenges, and rest and support where you need succor.

(Oh, great. Now I'm remembering old cartoons - someone gets in a bad scrape and someone yells SUCKER! It would be twisted in a good way, I suppose, to reverse that - have the cartoon show someone getting help when they need it, and having someone call out SUCCOR!)

I suppose, next I'll have to explain why, when thinking of random numbers, I'll usually come up with 2356.

Still moving

Jul. 17th, 2017 07:51 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Air temperature 61 F, dew point 60, light south wind and scattered clouds for the newspaper walk. Minimalism endures.

Back from Star

Jul. 16th, 2017 10:10 pm
edschweppe: (summer house)
[personal profile] edschweppe
I'm back from this year's All Star 2 conference on Star Island (forty acres of granite off Portsmouth, NH).

This year's speaker was Michelle Thaller, Deputy Director for Science Communication at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. She's an incredibly good speaker, and gave a series of wonderful talks about the universe and what we do and do not know about it. Frankly, after seeing some of the fun those folks are having, I almost wish I lived in Maryland, so I could apply for a job there. (Then I remember Baltimore summers, and think better of it.)

It was a much cooler week than usual. I was on the west side of third floor of Oceanic (the main hotel), and was rather dreading the baking those rooms get on hot sunny afternoons; that never turned out to be an issue.

Alas, now I'm back home, and have to cook my own meals. The good news, of course, is that I'm no longer constrained to showers ever other day. (A forty-acre rock like Star is rather limited in the amount of fresh water available, after all.)

(no subject)

Jul. 16th, 2017 04:52 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
I hear that something is bothering some privileged assholes who have cable TV.

Sunday floral report

Jul. 16th, 2017 03:27 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Second goldenrod starting to bloom, trumpet vine, common mullein. Cattail spikes filling out and turning dark brown, sumac spikes going red.

One aged porcupine for roadkill, week or more old, but new since I was last over this route.

DOT is rebuilding a freeway overpass on the bike route, throwing me into several miles of detour and a serious hill I could have done without. Did not die.

40.25 miles, 3:33:40

Another foggy morning

Jul. 16th, 2017 07:36 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Air temperature 61 F, dew point 61, light wind. You know the drill. Bike ride after we get visibility above a quarter mile.

NorthAmeriCon report

Jul. 15th, 2017 07:04 pm
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
[personal profile] stardreamer
Cosplayers 1
I've been saving up for this trip for nearly a year, because I wanted to have the experience of taking an overseas trip while I still can. And, sadly, it looks as though not only will this be the only such trip I ever take, but it will probably be the last time I ever fly anywhere at all. The default cabin pressure during flight has been raised from 5,000 feet to 8,000 feet, and at that virtual altitude I have Issues -- to wit, it knocks me off my feet at the other end for the rest of that day and most of the next as well. And that's on a 4-hour flight; I don't want to think about what might happen if I took a trans-Atlantic flight.

My flight out left at 10:35, but (working back) that meant I needed to be at the airport by 8:30, which meant I needed to leave home by 7:30, which meant I needed to get up no later than 6:30. Generous estimates all, but if the choice is between sitting in the waiting area for 2 hours and missing my flight, I'll take the former. And in point of fact, that's how it worked out; I was running early enough that the traffic thru downtown wasn't horrendous, I found the long-term parking lot I intended to use without trouble, and the bag-check and security lines were only 3 or 4 people long.

I had decided that since I was traveling solo, money spent toward making things easier for myself was worthwhile, so I sprang for the Early Check-In option with Southwest. This got me into the A boarding group, which meant that it was easy for me to get a window seat with bin space directly above it for my first carry-on bag. The flight was uneventful. Someone I know had told me that the San Juan airport was "a pit", but either it's been significantly spruced up since she was last there or she has a very different definition from mine; it was a lot like the Nashville airport. I retrieved my checked bag and got a cab to the con hotel (apparently the hotel itself doesn't run a shuttle).

The con )


Random notes:
- I would doubtless have gone to more of the panels if it hadn't been so goddamn cold on the convention level. I was feeling not really up to snuff all weekend for various reasons, and that made me even less inclined to sit in an ice-cold function room.

- I think this is the first con I've ever been to where I bought nothing from the con itself. There just wasn't that much to buy.

- Also because of not feeling up to snuff, I didn't take very many pictures.

- The streets in Old Town make the ones in the French Quarter look wide! One parking lane and one traffic lane, and you didn't see any SUVs or pickup trucks because there wasn't space for anything larger than a standard sedan to get thru.

- I had taken quite a bit of money with me, and came back with about half of it -- see above about nothing much to buy at the con. The largest chunk of what I spent, aside from the hotel, was on food and cabfare.

- I gave out a few no-Nazi buttons at the con, and two more to employees at the bookstore.

- Puerto Rico is primarily Spanish-speaking. Although everyone I interacted with was bilingual, all the signage outside the hotel was Spanish-only. I was happy to leave the navigation to my taxi drivers!

Bottom line: While I didn't get as much out of the weekend as I might have hoped, I'm still glad I went.

Things that annoy Jim (N+1)

Jul. 15th, 2017 12:50 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Was flipping channels on the TV while eating lunch. Came across a cop show, name unknown, where cops found a semi-auto pistol. Lady Cop dropped the magazine, showing it loaded, then set the pistol aside without checking the chamber . . .

(no subject)

Jul. 15th, 2017 09:16 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
A lot of people don't like mixing facts with politics.

(no subject)

Jul. 15th, 2017 09:15 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
Squirrel raiding our blueberry bushes. Between that and the robins, we won't get any . . .

Damp

Jul. 15th, 2017 08:29 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Got about half-way to the newspaper shop and rain commenced. Now have wet shirt and jeans hanging over a drying rack . . .

Air temperature 60 F, overcast, calm. Rain ceased.

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edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
Edmund Schweppe

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