Quotidian Quest

Starting with Hazel

Category: productivity
#misc

Initial Creation of Hazel rule I write all of my blog post in markdown and store them in a folder in dropbox. From there, I use pelican to turn the files into a webpage. The steps would be...

  1. Open Byword or MultiMarkdown Composer
  2. Write the post
  3. Remember the textexpander snippet that I created for post headers because I don't post as often as I used to
  4. Save the file
  5. Copy the file to location where I have pelican looking1
  6. Generate the site
  7. Publish the site by copying the generated file to the proper git repository
  8. Push the repository
  9. Check that all the links work

Anyway, I decided that I've already bought tons of productivity tools and should use them for what they are for. I had a couple workflows in the past but not saving them while I switch between betas causes the system to falter.

It's not the complicated rule set, but it certainly a start and makes me happy that I'm actual using the things that I've bought.

Completed rule set for moving my posts to get processed


  1. This is my fault for not setting up pelican to auto publish. I just want to make sure that everything works locally before I send it out to my millions of fans. 

Tufte margin figure and column images

Category: blogging
#misc

There are a couple things that I still have to finish for the website theme plugin. They are margin images and images in the main column. It should be to hard and in fact this post that you are reading is an example of me using it.

In fact, I'm going to put a margin image here on the side followed by a small table of what I had for breakfast the last three days.

This is guy keeps getting better!
This is guy keeps getting better!

Day of week Breakfast
Sunday Eggs and fruit
Monday Protein Shake
Tuesday Leftover serial

Wow, wasn't that amazingAlthough this all looks nice, I think this might be the last update to the code for a while. . Now that we got that working we can get the column images working too.

Now to follow up with the column image. I hope that it looks cool in your browser of choice.

This example was lefted directly from the Tufte website. I hope that it works.

Well, until next time!

A small return

Category: blogging
#misc

I recently pushed the button to update my site and push my new theme to the world. It felt good to get it out there because it has been dormant for years now and I had thought about shutting it down sometimes. During the time that I had NOT updated, I had switched jobs and kind of doubted everything I was working on.

In a lot of ways, the doubt in my own abilities was part of the reason that it took so long to update because I just didn't think that it was good enough. In my mind, I thought "If it's not perfect than I won't show anything at all".

This is the wrong way of thinking about it.

It's almost childish in a way and reminds me of how I'd refuse to write the steps when I was doing my math homework1.

So now what?

Well, I've got a new redesign that loads really fast and looks pretty cool. The next steps outside of the technical details that I put in my previous post is to find my direction of the site again.

Currently, I'm using Day One for my journal entries and although this is my personal site I don't think I'll be putting entries from there here (more likely is that this entry will be an entry).

I think I'll probably put links to things that are really cool or some tutorials that I've been thinking about making.

We'll have to see.


  1. It was something that a couple of high school friends would do. We thought it was cool to get the answer completely in our head without writing all the steps of logic down on paper. It was stupid because the teacher would give you partial credit if you showed your work.  

Pushing the button

Category: blogging
#misc

category: blogging
tags: tufte, blog
status: published

Well, tonight is the night. I got the site design to where I'd like it to be. It's simple, easy to read and very fast. I tried looking at it in a couple of different view ports using Safari's Responsive Design Mode and it made me even more sure about what I'm doing here.

I understand that there are a lot of css/javascript frameworks out there and it would have been A LOT easier just to pick something like that and start posting. There is something to be said about just focusing on the actual words that go in the blog instead of how it looks like. I wanted my site to reflect me and what I'm about.

This is a message to me that I can complete the goals that I set out to do. It might take me a while but this has been so worth it.

Next up

Well, the initial design is done but there are a couple more things that I should probably finish up.

  1. Finish the rest of the tags (marginimage, columnimage)
  2. Add the analytics Not a real priority because I don
  3. Clean up the Archive page
  4. Create a 404 page
  5. Decrease the spacing between multiple footnotes1
  6. Clean up the regular expressions used to parse for the plugins During the process of trying to figure out how to do this theme, I spent a lot of time whether to do this in pelican as a plugin or the python markdown. I am happy that it is working but I am not happy with how fragile it is.
  7. Discuss Comments
  8. Create options to make it easier to go to categories and tags
  9. OpenGraph

I've done a couple comparisons with other pelican templates and I feel that I should have some of this ready for other users who want to try out the Tufte style without worry so much about how it fits with what a website is supposed to do2.

Well, it is getting kind of late for me here and I've got to push the button to make this public to the world.


  1. When I was first introduced to markdown, one of the things I thought was the coolest was the fact that you could have these little babies to put on the bottom of the page. If you look through my archieves you'll see that I use them off and on to do my writing. Some websites have them at the end or use a popup to show them when you click on them. I think I'll probably move to side and margin notes. Either way, when you get two or more they really start eating up space. 

  2. It took me a lot of time to pick a template when I first came to pelican and even then I found myself modifying it.  

Publishing incompletes

Category: blogging
#misc #goals

Today, I've decided that I was going to push my website out to the masses before the end of the week. This is a personal blog and just because it isn't perfect it is something that I created and I want to take pride in the fact that I'm willing to get out there and work on something and make it better.

Some of the things that I'd like to work on will be the handling of navigation at the top and figuring out how to get the tufte style to work properly with pelican. I attempted to get everything working with a liquid tag but the parser doesn't work well with blocklevel tags and wraps it in <p> so the expected css doesn't apply properly. This only applies to fullwidth figures but I'd like it all to be uniform.

Silver Bullets & Pedestals

Category: productivity
#misc

I follow a number of nerdy people on the internet. In my mind I put them on pedestals and marvel at how they make things look so easy.

I try to buy all the tools to emulate them.

Looking for that one silver bullet that will make it click for me as well.

Application Results thus far
TextExpander Saved .99 hours
Keyboard Maestro 36 Hours
Hyper Keyboard Works on my laptop but had trouble with the keyboard I was using at the time

Why Keep My Site?

Category: blogging
#misc

My personal blog hasn't been changed in over a year. I've been waiting for that perfect moment when it would be ready for the world. Unfortunately, it's been stifled because of my own drive for it to be perfect before it sees the world.

Honestly, I don't think anyone reads it and it's not going to get better unless I put some time into it.

But before I put any more effort into it, I want to take some time and write about why I should keep it in the first place.

Web Technology is cool

I like working on the web. Until this point, I never thought that I'd be considering a career where I'd be working on the web, but I've spent a lot of my life working or playing with something that is some how web related.

Play around with different tech

At the bare minimum, having a website allows you to play around with what can happen on the inter-webs and make that part of what people find when they google, bing or duck-duck-go your name.

My Part of the web

Ultimately, having your own website is about control. I control the content and what it looks like and if I choose. I can shut it down.

Vanity

Me.

All Me.

Provide a Place to Share My Opinion

I don't say much, but I know that this is the perfect platform because I choose to write here and I don't have to worry too much about saying "the wrong thing."

N-Word

Category: personal
#misc

Well, it seems like even Paula Deen has said it too. And it looks like a lot of people have a strong reaction to this. Her sponsor has dropped her and even the food network has severed her ties with her. "People" -I use the term loosely- are going back on forth on forums about how it's unfair to do this to her because some of the best selling rappers use the word like a particle of speech.

Personally, I think the outrage is too much. Doing this isn't helping race relations.

History?

I'm not going to give you a history lesson on the N-word. Most people in America already know what it means. If you don't know what it means, take some time and watch Roots or Django Unchained.

All I can think about are my own experiences.

My experiences

People yelling it out of cars

Most of the times that I've heard the N-word shouted at me was when I had someone drive past me and yell the word from a moving vehicle. I've had people throw things at me as they were doing it.

One instance was when our neighbor's boyfriend had yelled it at me after I had threatened to call the cops on him for yelling at his girlfriend.

None of these people knew anything about me other than I was black.

Children Yelling at Each Other

Sometimes, when I take my kids to the park I hear some of the younger kids say it to each other. Sometime to intimidate and anger each other and other times as a general insult.

I sometimes see how some of the children will gang up on the other and use it in hopes that the one being teased (usually a smaller kid and never the largest) will fight back.

I wonder if the kids are mimicking TV or just there life at home and feel sad for them that this is what they do when their parents are around.

Entertainment

I enjoy a lot of things, like music and movies. One of my favorite things to do is to watch a movie or listen to some stand up. In fact, some of my favorite comedians are Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle.

All three of them have had jokes that can be considered derogatory1.

When it comes to movies, a lot of the "black films" that I've seen in recent years have had the phrase "Nigga, please" or some kind of derivative.

I remember a couple times, when I've had "discussions" with my parents about how I don't "talk black".

Conference

Honestly, the most memorable use of the N-word that I've heard happened when I was at a NSBE conference back in 2003.

The speaker had painted an image of how a group of runaway slaves had been captured by some kind of bounty hunters and how some of them were going to be killed as an example. One of the runaways had just given birth and was pleading to be spared.

The slaver shot her dead.

Then stomped the baby.

And said "Nigger".

As if it was less than trash.

This was a powerful image, because it hit me that the N-word is the same word people would use to kill as to chide.

That makes no sense to me.

Do other races see it that bad

I don't know if other races, think about words used for them. And honestly, I've only know a couple. Most notably mexicans.

What are we going to do?

Well, we can all jump to arms and point fingers, but I doubt that is going to help anyone out in this situation.

Don't hide it

I feel we all need to be a little more open to the fact that people are going to say things that we don't like.

And honestly, there are people out there that even the worst words are too good for them.

It is up to all of us to be a little understanding and let people express themselves2 to a degree.

Otherwise, how are they going to learn? And how are we going to know?

Conclusion

We have a long way to go in race relations. I consider myself very lucky to be in America and even more lucky to be in California. I know we've made huge strides in equality and learning to live with other ethnic groups.

Still, there is more to this case than just the N-word. The lawsuit that brought this to light talks about other forms of harassment and I think that as human beings we should focus on that in regards to Paula Deen.


  1. I think this might actually be why Eddie Murphy doesn't do stand up any more. I went back and listened to some of his earlier stuff and shook my head to hear how many "faggot" jokes he used to say. 

  2. Don't be that guy who went to his child custody appearance dressed as Hitler

Morning musings

Category: personal
#misc

I wanted to write something today. That's the whole reason for this post. My mind is kind of wandering and I wanted to put some of those thoughts someplace where I can look at them again.

The Dog Smells

We've had our dog, Puddles, for almost a year and the first thing that comes to mind when I think about him is that he smells. He really, really smells.

From the very first moment that we had him, we noticed that he had a certain odor about him.

We had hoped that it was only because he was being rescued, but despite the regular bathing, the special shampoos and changes in diet…

He still smells.

Served

Category: parenting
#misc

Well after having nightmares about it for the last couple of nights, I can now rest easy now that the pancake breakfast is over.

And what a breakfast it was, at first things were moving really slowly as the people trickled two and three at a time and I was actually afraid that we wouldn't be able to make enough money to break even with the costs of all the supplies.

And then the boom dropped.

I found myself constantly mixing batter to keep up with a constant stream of hungry customers. In fact, I heard that there was a story of people who went through the line 3 times.