After reading Star Blazers Got Me Through The Shittiest Year Of My Childhood, I got totally nostalgic, not because I shared the author’s experiences (that came a few years later) but because I LOVED THAT SHOW. Broadcast from the mighty Channel 29 somewhere near Philly, I watched it religiously every day at 3PM. It was the center of the Venn diagram of awesome: Space, battleships, serial drama. I spent 3rd grade through 5th grade trying to construct the Yamato out of LEGOs. It doesn’t hold up today (in fact, it moves rather slowly) but sure takes me back.

Date posted: March 22, 2015 | Filed under geek, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

After sixteen years, Matt Haughey steps back from Metafilter. It’s one of the original content aggregators from Back In The Day, and though I don’t visit or participate as much as I used to, it’s still a valuable go-to site for interesting stuff. Many have learned from how Haughey developed his community, which has always been a model of polite, informative, inspirational, and human discourse. Also, site finances have improved, meaning it’s not going anywhere. Good news all the way around.

Date posted: March 5, 2015 | Filed under geek, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

How did I not know about this before? LEGO offers free Digital Designer Virtual Building Software. I’ll definitely be grabbing this tonight.

Date posted: February 18, 2015 | Filed under geek, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Jen and I ventured out to the AT&T store today to have our individual plans combined into one family plan. Some back of the envelope math revealed that we’ve been paying too much individually when we could combine our bill and get a decent discount. The representative at the store suffered from an annoying speech impediment, so understanding what she was telling us was difficult at least. What we saw on the initial bill changes drastically when the phone company adds all of their taxes and fees and charges and double-secret fines, so our takeaway is that we might save some money, but we might not save a whole lot. It remains to be seen.

While we were there I pulled the trigger on a new 64GB iPhone 6. AT&T has three different ways to buy a phone: the standard subsidy model, the buy-it-outright model, and something they call AT&T Next, which is supposed to be geared towards a two-year upgrade plan, but seemed like bullshit to me. The rep couldn’t explain it well enough for me to understand, so I opted for the subsidy. Of course, they didn’t have a phone for me to take home, so I’ve got to wait until the middle of this week to have it delivered. In the meantime I’m going to have Amazon send me a case, because I’ve heard they’re very easy to drop on their own. Then my trusty, slow 4s will be unlocked and sold on Craigslist, where it looks like I can get anywhere from $125-175 for it. It pays to take care of your equipment.


I sat down with my UMBC advisor on Saturday and went over the synopsis of the class, which seems pretty cut and dry. I’m still a wee bit nervous but I think it’s going to be good. My one worry is the amount of time I’ll need to spend on the road, which is going to take me away from the office at a very busy time. We’ve been going nonstop since last summer, and it’s going to take a lot of work to keep on top of everything.

Meanwhile, I’ve got to brush up on some reading and find some bits of inspiration to offer the class. The heavy hitters will be

Thinking With Type, Ellon Lupton
Designing With Type, James Craig
Canon, Massimo Vignelli

There are many more I want to add here; I need to spend some time going through our library and pick out some other heroes.


Peer Pressure got run up for the first time in two weeks on Saturday, and I took her downtown and back (a short trip). My intention has been to get out into the garage and get some work done on her, but it’s just been too goddamn cold.


I brewed a batch of Conundrum Session IPA last night, which went smooth and easy, up until the point I ran out of ice. I made up the rest of the water amount with our Brita pitcher and set it out on the back porch to cool down for an hour, which did the job pretty well. This batch has 3 oz. of hops, which means the bottom 2″ of the fermenter is nothing but sludge. Hopefully the yeast will kick in tonight and I’ll get a replacement for my current keg going.The Irish Stout hasn’t moved since I brewed it in November, so I’ll transfer that to the secondary this afternoon and clean up the pail. And I think I’ll buy a Hefeweizen kit this week and get that one started so that the kegs are full and fresh when the weather starts warming up.

Date posted: January 19, 2015 | Filed under art/design, brewing, geek | Leave a Comment »

Linda, this one is for you:

Free Han Solo in Carbonite Replica, from Craigslist.

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 12.57.34 PM

Date posted: January 15, 2015 | Filed under geek, humor | 1 Comment »

File this under things to do when I’ve got some spare time: Computerworld has a handy article for Removing your personal info from data brokers. Looks like some time and effort is needed, but that’s to be expected.

Date posted: November 30, 2014 | Filed under geek, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

From the Wirecutter/Sweethome: Helpful Gear for Any Emergency. I found a nice alternative to the $100 tactical flashlight I was recommended, as well as a highly-ranked first aid kit to replace the janky one I’ve had since 2000.

Date posted: November 18, 2014 | Filed under geek, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

No blocking. If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, your ISP should not be permitted to block it.

No throttling. Nor should ISPs be able to intentionally slow down some content or speed up others — through a process often called “throttling” — based on the type of service or your ISP’s preferences.

Increased transparency. The connection between consumers and ISPs — the so-called “last mile” — is not the only place some sites might get special treatment.

No paid prioritization. Simply put: No service should be stuck in a “slow lane” because it does not pay a fee.

I’m shocked it’s taken this long to state these ideas so clearly, but YES.

via Net Neutrality: President Obama’s Plan for a Free and Open Internet.

Date posted: November 11, 2014 | Filed under geek, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I spent some downtime on the train over the last couple of weeks entering numbers into Excel to see where our energy dollars have been going over the last number of years. I have paper statements up until 2010, which is where I stopped (in preparation for scanning and shredding), and I put in our charges for electricity, gas, and the average temperature as provided by BGE. Natural gas prices in the winter have been the biggest cost by far; electricity goes up as we run A/C units but overall it doesn’t see the same peaks and valleys as natural gas.

Print

The downward trend in 2010 is interesting, and I’d like to see where that goes if I add data from 2011 onward, or if it’s an anomaly of some kind. Guess I’ve got to see if BGE will let me download bills from that far backwards or not…

Date posted: November 4, 2014 | Filed under geek, house | Leave a Comment »

I loaded Yosemite onto my work laptop yesterday morning, figuring it would make a great test case for the rest of the machines I run (my home laptop, Jen’s laptop, a workstation under my desk, client machines, etc.) and overall it’s pretty nice. My work laptop is a Retina 13″ with an SSD, so installation took about 10 minutes and everything looks wonderful. It seems to be fast, there’s no performance hit with anything I can see, and all my apps seem to be running just fine (Adobe Creative Cloud, CS6, Office 2011, and a handful of utility apps I depend upon). The real test will be the aforementioned laptops–my home machine is an early 2010 model MacBook Pro which might not like as many of the visual improvements in Yosemite.


If you like data visualization, this book is like drinking from a firehouse.

Amazon delivered my copy of Information is Beautiful this morning, and I can testify, it is, indeed, beautiful. An entire book of charts, graphs, and visuals well-designed and displayed, about a huge range of subjects. Go to the site, absorb some of the work, and buy the book. It’s well worth the money.


Monday night I went out to the garage and started running wire to the ceiling for overhead lighting. Currently it’s a mishmash of plugin fluorescent fixtures scrounged from my old job run off extension cords, and I’ve dreamed of simply having a switch next to the door to light the space since we moved in. I ran wire from the panel to a new switchbox near the door and then started fishing wire up to the ceiling, then stopped because I wanted to make sure I was running the wire correctly. It’s looking like I’m on the right track based on this diagram, so I’ll continue getting things in place in preparation for buying the fixtures and a new breaker.

Date posted: October 22, 2014 | Filed under apple, art/design, geek, projects | Leave a Comment »