Quotidian Quest

balding

Category: personal
#creative challenge #video #vlog #balding

I created a vlog entry about how I'm balding.

Afterwards, I started to pick at the way that I look and sound. Of course, but I'm excited about doing this and making the video better than this one. Small steps, right?

pushing against writers block

Category: personal
#creative challenge #video #vlog

Today, I'm having trouble getting started in my alloted time to make something. I really just want to go home, eat and sleep. I think it is because it is the end of the day at the tail end of the week.

I was just going to make a post and call it a night when I remembered that I can make a small video on my laptop and you can see the result below.

250 Words

Category: misc
#writing #creative challenge

Today for my creative challenge, I'm going to write 250 words!

I was sending and tweet to Matt Gemmel (a developer who has transitioned to being a writer) asking what kind of exercises does he do to improve his writing. He stated that he writes about himself in third person and then does some fan fiction as well.

I'm going to do something similar to that because I have some desire to be a little bit of a writer as well.

Of course it was part of a dream that I've given up, but I think I should at least work on making it an option. Being able to express my thoughts, feelings and ideas can only help me interact with other people.

Sometimes, I get lonely and I don't know if anyone feels the same way that I do about a lot of things. If I write about what I think, I might find others like me who feel the same way about it.

Or even better, I can understand my own feeling about something and work towards getting a grasp of it. Understand it and do something about it if it is negative.

One last goal is to be able to write for another publication. I feel that I have a unique way of seeing things sometimes. Some of the reports and snippets that I see on the internet are about 250 words and if I could write something that length easily than it would open a lot of doors.

switching over to dashes

Category: tech
#blog #creative challenge

Today, I wanted to find out why urls used dash (-) instead of underscores (_). Personally, I perfer to use underscores because they are easier for me to read when looking at a long_title_that_signals_something and thought that the reason it didn't work out was because of someone thinking the opposite.

Turns out that it has more to do with how computers seperate words. Joel Atwood had a nice piece that points out that the w used in regular expressions matches up with the under score so what I view as multiple words would be counted as one.

The best example was in the comments when someone wrote:

This_is_a_single_word
but this-is-multiple-words
-- Jeff Atwood

I don't think I'll be changing my old files but going forward, I'll probably use this convention.

Setting aside research

Category: misc
#creative challenge

Last night, I spent some time doing research on how to work with exercism.io so that I could create a little video tutorial. From my home computer, I saved the individual webpages into evernote and than made sure that my laptop did a sync of the pages before I left the house.

I think this will work well going forward for my research materials, but1 it doesn't help me when I come up with new outlines and mind maps on my phone.

I have mixed feelings about this problem. On one hand, I have a point of friction. On the other, I'm moving! I'm doing something and this will ultimately be something that I can work on as part of this whole challenge.


  1. I'm the first one to run into issues with my own work most times. The perfectionist in me has stopped a lot of cool stuff. 

Spending some time in my room

Category: personal
#creative challenge #marriage

I was going to make something today.

I could say that I made waffles this morning.

Some of them were burnt.

Some of them were soggy.

It seems to be the metaphor for today.

Starting a multiday project

Category: tech
#animation #creative challenge

I had trouble coming up with something to make today. I usually set up a time to do something right after work, but found myself staring at my phone for 15 minutes thinking about how I couldn't think of anything1.

I spent so time dabbling with CrazyTalk Animator, but didn't want to spend the time customizing a character today. I noticed that there were some properties that I couldn't change using the version that I have on my laptop2.

So, I think what I will do other than make this post is to commit myself to crafting a video on how to do certain exercises using swift. It would mark off a couple of things that I've been wanting to produce and allow me to have a road map going forward. Not just sitting down and thinking "what am I going to make today".


  1. Maybe I shouldn't have been playing Crossy Road. 

  2. I don't want to fork out more money just to change the skin color of my characters. 

A simple alias

Category: tech
#unix #creative challenge

Today, I thought I'd document something simple like how I created an alias to render the blog and then port it to my website. I'm writing it out in hopes that something will pop up and say "There is an easier way of doing it!"

The first thing I do for most posts is I open up Byword to write the words that you are seeing before you. If it's something a little more complicated, I might start off in MindNode1 and export to Markdown.

I use a TextExpander snippet to set the header and then just start writing and save the file in dropbox.

The popup window for the TextExpander header for my website.

The part that I feel needs improvement is finishing the draft. I have a virtual environment set up for pelican that has all the templates and plugins that I've been tweaking to make the site look and behave in the way that I want. This means that any extra syntax or themes don't show up unless I process the markdown2.

To solve this, I've set up a hazel rule3 to copy over all the files.

Hazel rule to clone over all the posts and images for the blog

After that, I can run a local server to see what the post looks like after being processed.

An iTerm window with the commands that I use to run the development server

Which leads us to the thing that I created. An alias in my environment to rsync the finished website and push it to github to host.

alias pub="pelican; rsync -r /Users/mandaris/Projects/quotidian/output/* ~/Projects/mandaris.github.com"

Well, that was a longer explanation that I was thinking it would be.


  1. I do have iThoughts as well, but MindNode is better looking. 

  2. Although, I do use Marked.app to look at the post as I'm writing it. I haven't commited myself to making the my theme and processors work in the appplication. 

  3. To be honest, this hasn't been working like I want it to. I have to manually run the rule. I'll make it a OmniFocus project to get the rules to work properly. I tried using rsync, but got some weird errors when I attempted to put the configuration into github.