scrap pad

3 videos yelling together

3 videos of a guy yelling about video sharing sites--meant to be watched all at the same time. YouTube vs. Google Video vs. Revver ~ Chris Pirillo. via waxy. towards the middle, all you can hear is "youtube," "google," and "revver."

spotlight hate continues

One of the things I want from Spotlight is that it rank documents I created higher than, say, pages of the mysql manual, or random pdf books. And factor date last opened into the ranking. I also want it to cache my fucking queries; I think I only ask it about five different things.

hate hate hate


sketches of military hats. also, how can I forget that amelia earhart was so cute.

screencasting apps

an article about some screencasting tools. I'd be checking out DemoStudio, but its' sourceforge site is down (and has been since at least May).

thing I am obsessed with today

graphing my battery status. I set up a cron job to log my battery status every 10 minutes, and whenever I think of it I open up that log and paste it into Excel. It discharges linearly, and this morning's charge lasted about 2 hours and 45 minutes (10 minute measurements; so 45 mins is not very precise). that included burning a dvd.


I don't mess around saying 'steven, um, stefen' these days; I say 'steven dobyns' and am done with it. also, I say 'cayche', 'eethernet', and 'bur-DOCK.'

commenting on people

when I say something about someone just to say it, I'm usually thinking: they're nice but I don't feel like I've really met them yet AND/OR that they're cute but that that's too trivial to say.

about yana

yana leans on strangers' cars.

lean back

leaning back is my preferred posture. also, it is a good posture! now I get to gloat! says some study on posture in ScienceDaily. via slashdot.

find powerbook battery status via cli

how to find out, from the command line, the battery status of a laptop running mac os x: use 'pmset' (power management setting cli util):

[1:38pm bec@persimmon:~] % pmset -g batt
Currenty drawing from 'AC Power'
 -InternalBattery-0     89%; charging; 0:39 remaining 
[1:38pm bec@persimmon:~] % pmset -g batt
Currenty drawing from 'Battery Power'
 -InternalBattery-0     89%; discharging; 2:11 remaining

resizing with js

wow: resizing stuff has never been this cool. Resizable Reloaded - A reusable component for resizing elements

google's master plan

Google Master Plan | by UnderGoogle. via waxy.

composite primary key

oh, it's that easy to create composite primary keys? CREATE TABLE with a composite primary key (click the button for the db server type at the top)

db normalization

(what is it?) MySQL AB :: An Introduction to Database Normalization

recommendation crazy

I have been caught in a flood of recommendations recently.

movies my aunt janet recommended to me:

  • Caught
  • The Narrow Margin
  • T-Man (or T-Men?)
  • Raw Deal (1940s)
  • Phantom Lady
  • The Big Clock
  • The Man on the Eiffel Tower
  • I Wake Up Screaming
  • This Gun For Hire

I get the feeling that she was just listing every film noir she remembered. This is the kind of list I will wait for backup on. This Gun For Hire I had heard about before, so it's now on my queue.

anton recommends (in general I think):

  • Jan Švankmajer (director), Faust and Conspirators of Pleasure (two of his movies)
  • Andrei Tarkovsky (director), Stalker and Solaris (two of his movies)
  • MI-5 (brit tv show, seasons 1 and 2)
  • The Avengers (with Diana Rigg, 1965-1967)

I kind of split this in half and put Faust and Solaris on my queue. Everything else is waiting until my list of things to see is a little shorter.

I'm putting a hold on all recommedations until further notice. If you've recommeded anything cultural to me in the past six months, you are on especial hold: I just can't keep up. Now it's my turn to make a few unexplained recommedations (though, to be fair, I'm really really curious about Solaris right now, because talking about the shooting style piqued my interest). I'm not doing links here, go out and find them your goddamn selves. I'd send you home with just some half-legible notes in your little notebook, if I could.

  • Firefly (tv show)
  • Some Like it Hot (movie)
  • Double Indemnity (movie)
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (movie)
  • Lockpick Pornography (book)
  • Starship Troopers (book)
  • Tomatoes, by Stephen Dobyns (poem)
  • The Kossoy Sisters (specifically, their album Bowling Green, it's music)

I know this person

really cool to read about the father of a childhood friend in the NYTimes. He was always doing something... designing hang gliders, experimenting with new oar shapes, building a house. now it's violins. New Approaches to Instrument Design - String Theory - New York Times.

somehow in my head people on the internet and in the newspaper are bigger celebrities than actors. also, being on myspace makes a person less of a celebrity in my head.

watching dr who

2006, episode 5: Dr. Who wears Chucks (black).


kb linked this cool drumming video: Amateur - Lasse Gjertsen (at youtube). "I can neither play the drums nor the piano."

3.5" drive enclosure

my roommate is getting this for the hard drive of his (dead) PC: firewire/usb 2 3.5" drive enclosure. on my recommendation ("any one of these should be ok"). (also, he's getting an imac! we will be an all-mac household.)

sleep cycle alteration

non-caffine awakeness pills. ugh, I hate the cycle that caffiene allows people, it's almost an expectation these days. this makes me nervous. via slashdot.

sleeping/notsleeping pills could become as much an expectation as birth control pills? freaks me out. not that I disagree with birth control pills; but like with sleep, I don't want to fuck with the way my body does things. and why should work/lovers/society orchestrate my dopamine/hormone/whatever levels? (side note about positive consequences, and how they're "positive" because they fit with society's needs, and how they're "positive" also sometimes outside of all that, but how society erases the weight of other choices anyway. society loves being anthropomorphized.)

facts about foods

"100 Nutrition Facts About 25 Well-Known Foods." useless 'facts' about how good vegetables are for you. since when is kohlrabi a "well-known food"? it looks like aliens!

flickr camera finder

Flickr: Camera Finder. shows specs + use statistics + pictures from various cameras. rock on, camera shopping. via simon willison.


I hope I cut myself shaving tomorrow
I hope it bleeds all day long
Our friends say it's darkest before the sun rises
We're pretty sure they're all wrong
I hope it stays dark forever
I hope the worst isn't over
And I hope you blink before I do
Yeah I hope I never get sober
And I hope when you think of me years down the line
You can't find one good thing to say

um, ouch. No Children, by the Mountain Goats

wordpress plugin

WordPress Email Notification Plugin. emails people when you post. dunno if I'll end up using it, but it's something I've been thinking about (for my 'travel' blog).

the story on animal products used in sugar refining

bone char is used sometimes, mostly in refining sugar cane. about 30% of sugar is from sugar beets. molasses (esp. blackstrap) comes from the cane sugar refining process, but before the bone char filter. sugar beet molasses is 'too bitter' for humans, but is used in animal feed.

honey pecan pie

my mom, baker of christmas pecan pies, asked me if there were any ways she could avoid using corn syrup. there's this honey pecan pie at Allrecipes. you could also substitute light molasses (not blackstrap!), brown rice syrup, maple syrup plus something else but that would be way too sweet... anyways, I will probably be *forced* to do some experimentation. I won't be doing a straight-up honey pecan pie though: honey-scent-overload.

corn syrup

attributes of high fructose corn syrup

Why use a high fructose corn syrup? ...

  • retain moisture and/or prevent drying out
  • control crystallization
  • produce an osmotic pressure that is higher than for sucrose or medium invert sugar and thereby help control microbiological growth or help in penetration of cell membranes.
  • provide a ready yeast-fermentable substrate
  • blend easily with sweeteners, acids, and flavorings
  • provide a controllable substrate for browning and Maillard reaction.
  • impart a degree of sweetness that is essentially the same as in invert liquid sugar
  • high sweetness
  • low viscosity
  • reduced tendency toward characterization
  • costs less than liquid sucrose or corn syrup blends

lots of big words! mostly unnecessary.


ever notice how quickly from an email (or conversation) show up here? maybe it's not as quick as it feels.


Lineform - ben calls it 'illustrator light'. (mac os x vector graphics app)

zip codes

zip codes - java applet. I have wanted to see something like this for years (ever since I worked retail and we had to ask people for their zip codes). type the first digit of a zip code, and it highlights the places where the zip begins with that number... type the next, it narrows it down. etc. I like (almost even love) zip codes.

donut robot!

holy fuck, seriously, a real Donut Robot! (complete with a beautiful nameplate: "DONUT ROBOT 42"). via simon willison.

museum exhibit: bikes

Folsom History Museum has an exhibit on bikes (and the American River bike trail) up, october 28-january 7. they're open tues-sat 11am-4pm. possibly bike out, visit it, bike back? now that I have a decently comfortable saddle?

web apps... taking over...

yet another variation on the project (life) management/notes to self web 2.0 app thing. you know where to stikkit (sorry). one of those things with so much 'usefulness' that it's un-integrateable: I'd have to change habits to use these things (see also: basecamp, ceo is Rael Dornfest, whose name I think I remember from bloxsom?


Seashore: "Seashore is an open source image editor for Cocoa. It features gradients, textures and anti-aliasing for both text and brush strokes. It supports multiple layers and alpha channel editing. It is based around the GIMP's technology..."

a mac blog

The Hard Six. like daring fireball was before the articles got all economist-y, and before the front page filled up with link posts. also a little more rambly/not as closely edited/not as precisely thought out. anyway I will be reading it I think.

bamboo for everything

bamboo bicycle. another pic, from fixedgeargallery's interbike 2006 pics.

bed bug life cycle

"Bed bugs can go without feeding for 80 to 140 days... Adults have survived without food for as long as 550 days."

hating the word:


pretty color scheme

I really like the fall colors on this site ( Offroad Fixed Gear Site):

p.s. note to self: no more reading about fixies! stop, now.

bike movies

a list of bicycle movies

from a conversation:

I don't think it should be a problem to be perceived visually in a way that you *do* identify with.

- but one of our cultural problems is that our visual identity is so closely tied to our percieved identity

other people percieving you as being in the wrong category is problematic, because it's an issue with their methods of categorization rather than your need (or lack of it) to match your presentation to your self-perception.

(it turned out to be a much-quoted conversation; kb quoted it for a school project on narrative. she came out with significantly more "um"s.)

kb recommends

the mountain goats' album "get lonely," and specifically the songs "get lonely" and "I hope we die." she says it's a "good breakup album."

anton recommends

seven samauri (a classic samauri film).

a lot about fixed gear bikes

also, a picture of a disenhanded fingertip (towards the bottom). Fixed Gear Bicycles for the Road.

more regularly updated bike porn

Fixed Gear Bicycles Bicycle Bikes Gallery. it is so nice to click through and see pretty bikes, and not have it become a giant tree of reading about bikes. really, I'm not that into fixies, but this is pretty.


"lugs" are the metal bits that join the tubes of a steel-framed bicycle. pretty lugs. lugged steel frame construction at wikipedia. also, pictures of frames along the building process. built by a woman!

recording skype calls

here's one solution: Call Recorder for Skype 1.0.6 (at MacUpdate). alternatively, if you have a favorite audio recording app, soundflower will reroute applications' audio output.

"how not to get hit by cars"

Bicycle Safety: How to Not Get Hit by Cars. I'm on top of this already, but: there are diagrams!

revision: I didn't really read this, just looked at the pictures. after some discussion with kb, I found out that it's ridiculous. possibly some of the strategies could be partially integrated into a general bicycle safety stragegy, but they shouldn't be blindly obeyed.

(fuzzy peach?) knit nudes

see also: family, dude. the artist, Anna Maltz does a lot with knitting.

secret giant nerds

on this week's episode of Veronica Mars (season 3, episode 7), Veronica quotes Occam's Razor.

self portrait

today I drew this picture of myself:

a lot of times I want to draw an impassive stick figure and title it things like "this is me saying the word cretin" or "this is me listening to the server buzz." it's not amusing enough to torture other people with, but my personal standards of amusement are lower.

biggest portable phone, ever.

last night kb and I were talking about the social pressure to "consolidate" our identities. and we "processed" about things like being more butch (ish) in new social situations. and about how I have trouble reconciling my bisexuality with my dyke identity. and about meeting different people and thinking, "I want to be friends with this person" and "I don't want to be friends with this person" even though they're both interesting/cool people. and about the biggest portable telephone ever (laptop + Skype + walking around the house).

pics of hot local singles! updated daily!

listpic: sacramento > bicycles. listpic shows craigslist listings by their pictures. via kottke.


I use PlainCalc all the time. (mac os x app)


Particletree. a web design blog. I like the squares and the colors. it bills itself as a "collection of knowledge" which is cool. ben emailed me about some article there (an email article, coincidentally).

wanted from CD Baby

Jason and the Punknecks, Outlaw Cuntry. The Kossoy Sisters, Hop On Pretty Girls. if the kossoy sisters' cd wasn't out of stock, I'd be clicking buy right now.

The Django Book

The Django Book. free internet book on Django.

poptech notes relinked

Ethan Zuckerman's Pop!Tech 2006 notes. they sunk, and got buried on my desktop, and I meant to read them all.

fools never differ

"Great minds think alike / fools never differ?" hadn't heard that second part before. from here.

"new" operator in javascript

JavaScript, We Hardly new Ya � Yahoo! User Interface Blog. via simon willison.


Pester: a really simple timer app for mac os x.


rock! there will be new BeOS sometime: Haiku uses the BeOS source.

cd cover art dimensions

Dimensions for CD cover art. with good diagrams.

train speculation

Is it a new train every time it runs through the station? On each execution of each route? Is yesterday's 10:40 the same train as today's? Is there only one train that makes multiple trips? Is it a different train every time different cars are put together? Or is the train just the engine? Did I take only one train this weekend, or two, because I took one down and another back? When I take the train again, will I take the same train a) because it is Amtrak, b) because I might take the same 10:40 train, c) because it is the same route, or d) there will be different cars, so it will be a different train? (expansion on an email ramble that got all stuck in my head)

also, sac-<sf train info: take the train from sac to richmond ($16, but it fluctuates. takes 1 hour, 40 minutes.), then the bart from richmond into downtown SF (to 16th & mission is $3.85. takes 45 minutes.). OR: train from sac to emeryville ($16), amtrak bus from emeryville to downtown SF ($5). the greyhound goes from downtown sac to downtown SF (mission and 1st) for $32 round-trip, or $18 each way, which seems to be a constant price. amtrak has more leg room and trains are more fun. amtrak does not necessarily not smell less like piss, though. sit on the west side to see the bay, and the C&H sugar refinery (left side going north; right side going south).

failure and hypocrisy

... I think it's worthwhile again to note the distinction between hypocrisy and akrasia, or simple moral weakness. This is an important distinction, albeit one made more difficult by the fact that "hypocrite" has entered the English language in a way that akrates has not. That word tends to get translated as "incontinent, lacking self-control," but it's literal meaning has more to do with powerlessness. Those of us who are not all-powerful sometimes fail. Such failure does not always, or even usually, entail the insincerity that is the hallmark of hypocrisy. It also does not involve the duplicity of hypocrisy—the notion that standards exist for thee but not for me.

from slacktivist: All you need is. a blog post about a guy's favorite part of the bible. bible-schmible, but I occasionally appreciate bits of other texts about philosophy and/or myth, so why not this.


Minus. a pretty/cute comic about a magical androgynous little girl. via joey of asofterworld.

Transmit 3

after using it off and on for years, I just bought Panic's Transmit 3 (mac os x ftp app).

or something

"I think you're a cretin"

anyone want to answer my drupal question?

Views using outdated contemplate info?

the Mac OS X Color Picker

Using the Mac OS X Color Picker. via


why do DSL modems need to "train"? (be connected and turned on for a longish period of time--ours says 10 days). the only clue the sticker gives is that it has something to do with speed.

training: "A process where two modems try to establish a connection over the telephone (voice frequency) line." from this Paradyne master glossary (pdf). Paradyne is a company, and the master glossary has isp things in it. so: training handshakes with the isp, and optimizes the frequency data is sent at; being able to send data at lower frequencies means that you can send data at a faster rate. "fast retrain" refers to an ability that some modems have to adjust to use more of the bandwidth (take over voice frequencies) when the phone is on the hook, and ignore (attenuate!) those same frequencies when the phone is in use. from this DSL sourcebook, also put out by Paradyne. this doesn't explain why it might take 10 days to optimize.

(this question came up because we just got a Zoom ADSL modem at work.)

being interesting

"how to be interesting": this is fucking pretentious. Not that I don't aggree that it's really important to observe, process, and engage with the world: I think that people being fully engaged with their world is one of the most important things. But it's narrow minded and blindly privileged to suggest that the best way to engage is to take digital pictures, blog, and podcast. It's also dangerous to think that "interestingness" is, as it's portrayed, a superficial goal, intimately connected with being a creative professional, and you choose to "become interesting" for the admiration of others (or the blog readership, or career boost).

blogging can be a great way of processing information, but it is by no means the only way. taking photographs isn't the only way to look more closely at the world. creative professionals are not the people who most need to know that they way they percieve and process the world is valid. I think it's really important for people to analyze their experiences themselves, rather than using other filters—companies/advertisers, tv, magazines, music, newspapers—to define how they think about things. but what's the good of blogging it if you don't talk about it with your mother? why take a photograph of something when you could point it out to whoever you're walking with? how will you podcast your discussion with your grandmother if your only internet access is at the library?

uh, and, that wasn't the intended audience at all, was it. I guess the insecure bloggers who might take this to mind without taking the underlying idea (engagement) to heart are all set up for this list. also: do shit because you're interested in it, not because you want to be interesting. holy shit, that is obvious. and beyond that, it's radical and Important to be engaged. but the internet as the absolute engagement? as the panacea?

I need to go buy raisins.


Flatland: A romance of many dimensions. I really enjoyed this book when I read it in middle school.

word I could not remember

"triumphant"! triumphant is the "word that means win and victory, and starts with an i" that I was trying to think of yesterday afternoon/evening. as in, "triumphant donut day."

hypo- thesis

hypothesis: that if I start telling people what to do when they ask advice, people will stop asking me for advice. testing, 1-2-3.

Introducing JSON

laughing at: "Excepting a few encoding details, that completely describes the language." from

Content Templates (Contemplate) |

I love Contemplate. CCK is pretty neat, Views is a little nasty (works wonders, though), but Contemplate is my one true Drupal love. Content Templates (Contemplate), a Drupal extension. I love it even though I'm fucking myself over if I ever wanted to use another drupal template. Love love love.


"drupelet" (from Drupe, at wikipedia)


I loved eating gooseberries this summer, but they "serve as an alternate host for white pine blister rust, which can cause serious damage to white pines. For this reason, there are laws against gooseberry cultivation in some places." I heard about the laws against cultivation this summer, interesting to find out why. Apparently currant-family bushes in general serve as an alternate host (the disease has to go from currant->pine->currant->pine...). it's a european/asian disease, and european/asian pines are mostly resistant to it. which would be why currant-things are so popular in europe (Ireland is about the scope of my experience) as opposed to in the US where you barely hear of currants.

forum topic about apples

Mouthfuls > Apples. I could read this all day (I am reading it all day). also, apples are a "pome fruit," along with pears and more obscure things like quince and hawthorn fruits. apparently lots of Gravenstein (a type of apple) trees were planted "north of San Francisco." I haven't had gravensteins ever, yet.

internet word

TL;DR - "too long; didn't read." the LOL of A-list link bloggers. (granted, I'd never seen it before Anil Dash wrote on TL;DR. but it's fun to sell it as "the LOL...")

always wanted to grow up to be a bus driver

15 year old steals a decomissioned bus and takes over a bus route (does a good job). via

dolphin with legs

Japanese Researchers Find Dolphin With 'Remains of Legs'. they talk about the dolphin like it's a millions-of-years-old fossil. it is a mutant dolphin, right? they have vestigial leg when they're in the womb anyway. via slashdot.

internet dream

I had a dream last night that some dumb thing I did online got linked by a big site; I think I read too much boingboing yesterday.

wordpress wish list

  • bulk tagging interface
  • captcha for comments (exists, wish it was already installed)
  • speedyness

pinhole camera

I have been thinking about it for years, but I swear I am going to make a pinhole camera. soon. there is even an orphaned roll of film in the fridge. about pinhole photography. a matchbox pinhole camera.

my dad keeps reminding me that:

my uncle keeps his tax records in used pizza boxes under a table.

road sign fonts

in this context: "imitation" != bad (at a glance they look fine), "free" ~= free for noncommercial use.


"spendy," expensive.

presidential speeches

US Presidential Speeches Tag Cloud. in non- web 2.0 terms, it's a graphic of word frequency. secretly also shows language trends, and the expansion of the government's role. awesome. via Ben.

casio ex-z750

glowing Casio EX-Z750 digital camera review. blogs are useful!

point and shoot digital camera search

Leica C-Lux 1, in black: so pretty! also, $500. I am really frustrated with my camera's performance under low lighting that I've started thinking about my Christmas list. found this great comment thread on point and shoot digital cameras at 37signals, and I'm inclined to listen about the Fujifilm FinePix F30. I've been daydreaming about a digital SLR, but IRL I know I'd hate lugging it around.

the lecia is also sold under the panasonic lumix brand. exact same camera, less expensive and different body. aparently it has a full manual mode! super-unusual in a point-and-shoot.

comic about lesbian sex

GirlFuck. awesome awesome. not work safe. also available in printed form. via joey of asofterworld.

Jeopardy says watermelon is a gourd

"The gourd family also includes many economically important fruits and vegetables, including pumpkins, squash, melons and cucumbers." The World of Gourds. scroll down on that page for "penis gourds."

filling my media rda

WAMU 88.5 FM American University Radio - The Kojo Nnamdi Show for Monday October 30, 2006. on web 2.0 youth involvement. via a post on the ctc vista blog.

christmas present

for my dad. the book WorldChanging. via kottke. oh, nm, I can give it for his birthday! sweet!

where do I go to vote?

the Sacramento County polling place lookup gives me a picture of where I'll go to vote.

accessible tables

            <th>(row label)</th>

text sizing of some websites

random sites on my semi-regular reading list:

sets body text size as keyword small, everything else in %.
sets body text as 12px. not resizeable in IE.
sets body text as 9pt. not resizeable in IE.

using firefox blinds me to text-size problems, I can resize anything.

37signals' Campfire

Campfire is a chatroom for businessy people. or people who live in their browser. also, it has great history features. Campfire video tour.

standalone trackback

Simpletracks. because blogger doesn't do trackback, and today I wanted to comment on a blog without registering.

nonprofit research collection - a great resource for the non-profit community (at Non-Profit Tech Blog). interesting, but: why duplicate things on the web? isn't this what google is for? I really appreciated the mp3 conversation, though. from the mp3: "one of the ways that we've talked about it is as part of the open research movement." also mentioned is a lack of cross-organizational collaboration, and that issuelab is about making a place for organizations to share their research.

quick online photo editor

Snipshot: Edit pictures online

links: myspace for community organizing

nonprofit web 2.0 public relations

PR 2.0 Essentials (pdf). via non-profit tech blog, I think.

community planning for public health

Our Ailing Communities at Metropolis Magazine: "Public-health advocate Richard Jackson argues that the way we build cities and neighborhoods is the source of many chronic diseases." via kottke.


who I am