Yeah, so not so much a literal “first post”, first post. More of a first post that didn’t get copied
from some prior
version of some prior blog. The kind of “first post” you get when you’ve set up a new account at a new web host,
and have to type something into it as a test.
This site is hosted via GitHub’s Pages. The docs that make
it up are stored in a github repository, and from there show up on a web site via
Jekyll and related technologies. It has the main advantage that it is
free, and the secondary advantage of being easy.
Supposedly easy, anyway. It would seem I’ve traded the complexities of Squarespace for
the complexities of having to follow filename and markdown formatting guidelines by hand.
Squarespace is really nice,
and generated a very pretty web site with minimal work. But the behind-the-scenes stuff is
way more focussed on how things look, than generating actual written words. It gets in
To use github pages, I need to create a text file for each post. Formatting of the pages
can be done via Markdown. I do this
on my computer, commit the changes to the local git repo,
and then sync the repo with github. Github magically notices the changes (if I do it
right) does the Jekyll thing and
re-creates the site.
This might not actually be any easier in the end. Or this might be just what I need
to make it so I can do this again. Or or, I might not be able to actively blog ever
again, because Facebook ruined me. I have until my Squarespace subscription
expires towards the end of April to figure this all out.
I had to stop and figure awk out again. I used to be almost ok with awk, but it’s
been a while.
I have a bunch of files from previous incarnations of this blog. I want to
add redirects from the old “munged.org/saga” locations to the new Jekyll
There’s a whole ‘nother decision about maybe just specifying a permalink
in the source files to put the resulting html files in the /saga/ directory, so
they show up where they used to. All my testing says Jekyll doesn’t have a
problem with posts scattered all over the place via permalink.
But I kinda want to “move on” on this one. Plus, this is also how I’d put in
the permalink variable in all the files anyway, so this work is not a bad thing.
And, I enjoyed dipping my toes in this again. What the hell, ya know?
I’m going to only add lines to the files
I want to add the new lines just above the second ‘- - -‘
The files must otherwise not be modified
The lines I need to add are:
Where ‘1’ is going to be a record number from the Moveable Type system. I have
files with ids as high as 507.
I’m adding the mtid just to keep the ID number around. Right now, it is part of the source
file name, but I want the data IN the file for safety.
For awk, I need two rules: one to write all the lines into the result file, and
another to add in the new lines before the second ‘- - -‘. The two rules are:
First, we select all lines with three dashes where the record number is greater than
1, so we select the second such record. Then we write the new lines into the file.
The variable “id” has to come from the awk command line. Finally, we write the line
out to the output.
The order is important. Since I want the new lines before the ‘- - -‘ AND I want
the ‘- - -‘ in the output, I have to trigger on the ‘- - -‘ and add the new lines before
“print $0” writes the ‘- - -‘ line out.
My blogging activities started shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11th,
2001 happened. On November 12th American Airlines flight 587
crashed on takeoff from JFK. I was in London for work that week, and
my voicemail pretty quickly loaded up with family asking where I was and if I was
okay. I was, but I didn’t have a mobile phone that worked in the UK, so I had no
way to listen to them, or respond.
I decided I needed a way to let my family know where I was, so they could have
some idea of the chances of me being in some major catastrophe. The US was kind
of in the mindset at the time that catastrophes were something that were going
to be a fact of life from then on. Planning on and around them didn’t seem like
an odd thing to be doing.
The sensible thing, looking back, would have been to use a shared calendar
somewhere on the web, and give my family access. I have no idea why
that didn’t seem like a good idea 13 years ago.
Instead, I started posting on a website my comings, goings, and whereabouts, in
a “web journal” format. The site was static; I wrote the first html pages by hand
using the vi text editor.
After editing by hand for a while, I moved to using Dreamweaver. The site was
still static, but Dreamweaver allowed me to edit in WYSIWYG, and send the
resulting files to the web server with the push of a button.
Even that’s a pain tho, so I moved from there to using Moveable Type.
Munged.Org was based on MT until about 2009 or so. I made almost 500 posts on
that system before I joined Facebook.
I joined Facebook in 2008, and started actually participating in 2009, and that
killed any blogging I might have continued doing.
I hadn’t been writing in the blog much anyway, because I was travelling so
much. My time all went to dealing with trying to live a life in hotels
and airports. But while the shiny lasted, FB was a lot of fun, and my friends
turned out to be interesting, creative, hilarious, people.
The idea of writing a blog wouldn’t die tho. Sometime since 2009, I set up a
WordPress blog on the same web server I’d had the
Moveable Type blog on. I didn’t post much. Those posts I did make are gone,
because when I finally took that site down, it doesn’t seem I managed to save
I also tried Tumblr for a while. Again, not much went up there, and none of it
saved when I stopped using it.
I even upgraded Dreamweaver again at some point, and was going to do a static
web site again. I never got that attempt to the point of having it show up on the web.
Last year, in April of 2014, to be precise, I created a web site with Squarespace.
Munged.Org is there as I type this. Hasn’t been much going on over there, tho.
My Squarespace subscription is up towards the end of April. So I’m playing around
with it to see if I want to stick around here. The new template is called “Native”.
It is cleaner than the old “Bedford” template, but still obviously way more focused
on the visuals than I feel Munged.Org needs to be. Pictures can go up over on
Some things that Squarespace made easy: The gallery of DC25 photos
was pretty easy to put up and looked good. Adding any pictures has been pretty easy,
and includes basic photo editing controls to make them look like I want. Easy
integration to YouTube and Vimeo videos for the Phantom. But it isn’t perfect.
The link tool will show some of the content of this site to link to, but not
blog pages. I had to save this as draft, go find the link to the DC25 gallery,
then edit this file again to paste it in. Hope it works the way I formatting
the link. Edit: Nope!
Where else would I go?
I’m currently testing moving the site over to GitHub Pages. It also has some
interesting implications about security and accessibility that may be considered
“features”, or not. For one thing, because I’m not paying for Github,
the source of the site is in a public repository. Everything is visible: page templates and
formatting code, plus the content source.
This means that all y’all could clone the repo, fix things, and send me pull
requests to include your fixes on my site. What would you change? Spelling.
Formatting. Site changes. Fact checking. Adding interesting links. Whatever
you are willing to spend the time to do to make the site better. It is my option
to include any changes, but it is an interesting idea.
There’s also an issue tracker I’m using to remind myself of things I want to do,
and a wiki that can be used for off-site collaboration. The wiki is intended for
documentation, and I have to admit the idea of my blog having “documentation”
The downside is that it isn’t really easier than Squarespace. The repository has
to be cloned to my computers, and edited locally. Changes are version controlled,
which is nice, but live locally until synced with the main repo on GitHub. If I
forget to sync, I could take the laptop and not have the most recent changes that
live on the desk machine.
I’m using GitHub and git, for the first time, so still kind of feeling my way
along. I GPG signed a tag (version release)
last night at a completely inappropriate spot in the development of the site for
example. Tho really, that was just to see what it looked like. I might, once I get
everything the way I want it, blow away the repo and re-create it from files saved
If I move over there, I’ll make sure to import all the posts from here as well.
There aren’t that many posts here, it will be easy. I might, if I end up with the
energy and interest, import the really old site from the Moveable Type days.
Sadly, the WordPress site is gone. But there wasn’t much there anyway.
It is very interesting, but will kind of be a lot of work for nothing if I
stay here. Them’s the breaks, I guess. Or maybe I’ll give Textpattern
a try again.
The plan is to get upgraded to current iPhone, and iPad. I have a new iPhone 6,
128 Gig on Verizon. Those phones are hard to find out in the wild, but for assorted
reasons I couldn’t order it from the Apple Web Store. I found one in Albuquerque
last week. I did order an engraved iPad Air 2 from the Apple Web Store, and it
was waiting for me when I got home yesterday.
I just need to get Ally an iPhone, and then the current upgrade cycle is complete.
I should actually be able to get her phone thru the Web Store.
Ally was already on Verizon, and I have switched to it. I have mixed feelings
about this. It is really nice to be able to use my personal phone in my house.
AT&T didn’t serve this area very well, and I had a lot of dropped calls.
My work mobile phone is on Verizon, because I had this same problem in DUMBO
before I moved to the woods of Carrboro.
Verizon has good coverage, and they use CDMA, so the call quality will be good.
But they are just evil incarnate. I switched from Sprint to Verizon back in the
day, so I could get a Motorola Razer flip phone. It would access the internet,
and I even tried it once. There was a “landing page” that indicated if you
proceeded, you’d be using the internet and would be charged for it. What that
landing page didn’t say was that it itself was on the internet, and you were
already being charged for using it. This sleazy move got Verizon slapped with
a lawsuit, which they lost.
So. The ability to use my phone from home if I so choose. Or not supporting
evil asshole corporations. Kind of an ugly choice.
After a few years of shitty “service” on AT&T’s part, I am done. I am on
Verizon. I could have gone with Sprint, but I had an iPad Air 2 that I returned,
and had it on Sprint for a while, and didn’t have good coverage from home with
I can assign categories to posts. Problem is, I’d rather have one set of
categories, and use them forever more, with the occasional addition as new things
Or, I’d rather have a small set where each is broad enough that
I won’t ever need any new ones.
There are like 4 posts on this blog, and already I am running into things
that should only bother me when I realize I have 200+ posts in the category
“Opinion” and another couple hundred in “Pontification”. Both categories
being the same thing in my mind.
This is partially a case of having a feature and being determined to use
it no matter how useful it is. As a tech support goon, I see the
CONSTANTLY in other people. You’d think after seeing the evil it
causes, I’d be immune. But I like my toys too, which is basically
what a feature is.
“YMMV”, “IANAL”, “ROFL”, “OMW”, “IIRC”, etc
“<A>”, “<BLOCKQUOTE>”, “<LI>”, etc
“Car”, “Life”, “Event”, “Opinion”, “Site”
Right now, as I write this, I’m leaning towards the internet slang abbreviations.
Damn Brett Glass for taking ymmv.com back in the 90’s and not updating the
content on it in over 16 years. That’s just mean.
A couple of week ago I bought new tires for Wook 1, to replace the Cooper Zeons
it had. I got Michelin PilotSport A/S 3s. It is coming up on winter,
and there will be at least one trip up North during a period of time where there
could be snow on the ground. So, all season tires. I drove around Des
Moines for years in cars with half-bald normal tires with no problems. Full-on
winter tires just don’t seem required.
That’s not because Wook 1 is 4WD,
because that’s not the reason. 4WD helps you go, but tires make you stop.
It is just that I’ve never driven a car that had snow tires on it, even when
I lived where it would have made sense to do so. If you are careful,
which I am, it isn’t a big deal.
Summer max performance tires, like the PS3s or P Zeros, are Right Out. At
least right now before winter. I know this from when I first bought the car,
and it has Pirelli P Zero Rosso max performance summer tires. I was in Des
Moines, it snowed, and I did a full-speed power slide thru a busy intersection.
Sideways. Next morning I took it out to McDonalds and it was like trying to
drive and stop a toboggan on a steep hill. Next day, it had the Cooper A/S
tires on it, and it was very sure footed.
But I hated the Zeon’s. They were loud. They had a weird road noise
that inside the car often sounded like metallic grinding. This had me really
worried until I figured out what was going on. When they sat for a day or two,
they would get a flat spot and would be bumpy on smooth roads for the first 10
miles or so. That was added to the fact that their ride was just rougher
than the Pirelli’s to start with. In their favor, the Zeon’s did have really
nice traction on ice and snow. That, they did do well.
I had to replace
them tho. I hit a granite curb in a parking lot, and not only dinged up
the rim, but took a chunk out of the sidewall of the tire too. That damaged
tire was on borrowed time from then on. I am astounded that it lasted
another 800 miles until I could replace it. But that was reason enough
to replace that one, and I replaced all 4 all the way around.
the Michelin PS A/S tires are nice. They are quieter, in my experience,
tho not as quiet as the Pirelli’s were. They ride nicer on all surfaces.
The only real complaint so far is that they seem to be overly squirrelly on
grooved highway surfaces. Even the lightest grooves seem to bring this
out in them. Ally noticed it from the passenger seat. I’m hoping
that a thousand miles or two will even them out a little. The original Pirelli
really badly for the first 2000 or so miles, but then settled down. Hopefully
the Michelins will settle down after a while too.
I’ll want to get max performance summer tires back on the car at some point.
That’s really when it is a complete pleasure to drive. My plan has always
been to buy a second set of rims with the “other” tires on them, so I can jack the
car up in the driveway and change them out for the season change. But that
hasn’t happened yet. Maybe someday soon.
My first thought at looking at the title of this, was “who’s still browsing
the internet without an ad-blocker?” (Ad blocking software is another topic
for another article here. Someday I’ll write it.)
I’ve always wondered why ads supposedly targeted at my interests and needs
never try to sell me something I’m interested in or need.
Based on my
experience using Facebook without ad blocking software for a while, I have
to assume they think every single guy in existence needs a membership to a
dating site. I didn’t at the time. Those ads went away instantly when I
removed my relationship status.
I was writing a script that had a lot of guns in it and I spent a lot of
time looking at guns online. And eventually, I’m not kidding, ads for Arkansas
This is either the biggest fail I know of, or somehow the biggest success.
I can’t decide which.
Back to the article tho, one thing that caught my attention was the following:
“You’re the product.” I’ll admit that I’ve used that line myself. But I’ve
come to believe that it’s pretty clearly a misleading and unsophisticated view.
With contextual advertising, you’re not the product. Advertisers don’t own you.
They usually don’t even get to know who you are. The companies selling the
advertising theoretically (and algorithmically) display ads to you if you meet
the advertiser’s criteria.
I don’t buy the idea that we’re not the product social networks sell. They
aren’t selling information they have on us, they are selling access. Just
because my info is anonymous, doesn’t mean the social network could exist
without that info. Which still makes us the product.
Two months ago I bought a drone. More accurately, an Umannned Aerial Vehicle
(UAV). In this case, it is a DJI Phantom 2 Video+quadcopter.
This thing is about the size of a dinner plate without the propellers, it has
a built-in camera on a stabilizing gimbal capable of 14 Megapixel stills, and
1080p/30 video. The stills come out in Adobe’s DNG RAW format, which I
thought was interesting.
The camera is good, tho not great by any stretch
of the imagination. DJI sells a Phantom with a different gimbal designed
to take a stand-alone GoPro camera. I didn’t get that one, because I had
questions about some of the details and the cost with the GoPro was higher by
a few hundred. I was concerned about what it took to get the GoPro to
work in a “first person video” (FPV) mode where you fly the ‘copter by watching
the video coming from it. I suspect that sooner or later, I will change
the Vision+ camera and gimbal out for the GoPro version.
Last weekend I flew the thing for the first time. I have two batteries, each
good for about 20 minutes of flight time, and I used them both up. I
remembered to turn on the video for some of both of those flights. Over
the last week, I managed to cut those videos into clips and put those clips
into a movie.
Everything about this video was a first: First flight of my first UAV.
First attempts at using iMovie and Final Cut Pro. First time I’ve ever had
a YouTube account, and first video uploaded to it. The results aren’t great,
but they certainly aren’t something I could have gotten any other way.
Next time, I’ll pay attention to the camera settings a little more. This
time I just wanted to get it flying. I think there is a not-so-wide-angle
setting, and I might see if I can lower the exposure, which bordered on overexposed
at times. There is also some video distortion in the form of noise bands
when the camera was facing towards the sun. There are reports that the
camera is way better if you can get a 2x neutral density filter on it.
That’s on the list of things to do.
Apple’s iMovie turned
out to be not even sorta intuitive. I struggled with it for 2 days until a
friend suggested I try Final Cut Pro X
trial version, and see if that worked any better. It did, a little.
Both enforce this “event” idea that makes no sense to me at all. I just
wanted to see the two videos I had, be able to dice them up into clips, and then
assemble the clips into a movie. None of this worked like I would have
thought in either product. I’ll check to see if there’s an Adobe Premier
My iPhone 4S is still going strong, tho it could probably use a new battery. I’ll
probably be buying an iPhone 6, probably the small one, because I want an iPhone with
the motion co-processor. I use location services enough that I have it on all the
time, and GPS just sucks the life out of the battery on an iPhone 4S. The M8 chip’s
primary purpose is not to provide GPS tracking, it is to provide GPS with a minimal
power drain. The iPhone 5 has this too, but I couldn’t justify upgrading that soon
after I got my 4S.
I went from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 4S, which is a 3
model upgrade (3G, 3Gs, 4, 4S). From the 4S to the 6 is also three models. My contract
is way past time where I can get a new phone.
Really, the only decision to make
on getting a new phone is not “should I”, but “what carrier to get”.
sucks pretty much anywhere. But at the same time, they also mostly work almost
everywhere. The only place I can get all 5 bars of service anywhere near me is
in movie theaters. I almost get 1 bar at home. Sometimes.
Verizon has good
service all over. But not on Cape Cod at my friend’s house there, so they aren’t
infallible. The main problem with Verizon is that they are just pure evil. I had a
Motorola Razor phone on Verizon, and the internet landing page that asked if you were
sure you wanted to go the internet because you’d be charged for it, was ON THE
INTERNET AND YOU WERE ALREADY BEING CHARGED FOR IT. Verizon started the
bullshit of always announcing how to use voice mail because it makes everyone use
extra airtime listening to it.
Sprint’s coverage is good in some areas.
Not so good in others. They appear to have the most data for the least money.
T-Mobile isn’t an option.
I don’t know that I’m ready to get an unlocked iPhone
6 and take it to a small MVNO that uses AT&T or Verizon’s networks. The phone
is not cheap when not subsidized, I doubt the money saved by going small would offset
the up-front cost of the unlocked phone.