06 September 2011

summer means beach

i think the summer is best defined by the set of a sand and ocean and a radiant sun. in my home state, you usually substitute the first two items out for humidity–it’s twice as bad sometimes. since i had some pto available, i thought it would be best to find the first combination before the last twenty days of the ninety expire. you can see what i found on flickr.

sunday sunrisesunrise couplesunrise to the leftcherry grove pier at nightsunny piercherry grove pier at sunset
color poolsgradient poolsblue horizonpier shadow

beach, a set on Flickr.

10 August 2011

gnome 3

i’ve been a little late to the game on the gnome 3 love/hate bandwagon.  truth is, i did load up a beta version of fedora 15 with the gnome 3 and messed around with it for brief spot day before the actual release.  i liked what i saw, but at the time i was still clutching onto gnome 2 to start using daily.  i reasoned that i’d eventually jump in when everything was no longer beta.

release time came, and i balked.  my normal rush to install the latest fedora on my personal laptop didn’t happen.  i was very apprehensive.  i did manage to install it on my netbook and worked well with in that environment.   to me, it seemed better fit for that platform anyway.  ok, let’s be honest:  i was just too used to my compiz and transparent terminals and rotating cube and wobbly windows to give them up.  of course, a change like this on my work laptop would mean slower productivity while i unlearned what i had learned.

that’s the boring stuff.  i finally installed on personal lappy and work lappy.  correction:  i finally logged into gnome 3 on both.  i found that a few things in gnome 3 had been smoothed over.

what i like:

  • integrated messaging (using pidgin and the shell extension rather than empathy). this works like it was designed and for me functions just as efficiently.

  • suspend vs. shutdown. i have seen people suspend their laptops, shove it their bags, and go home.  i thought this was dumb since the battery would fade faster than if it had been completely shutdown.  but as i have been adopting this behavior, i like it much better.  there’s a time for shutting down and a time for suspending.  most of the time, i’ve discovered, it’s the latter.  and for a desktop, who shuts those down anymore unless you have to unplug it or open it up for maintenance.  more often than not, those are the exceptions.  what is great is pulling my lappy out of my timbuktu and having it ready to go.  a couple of seconds to find a network connection, and i ‘m back in business.

what i am getting used to:

  • vertical desktop layout vs. horizontal (or in my case, cube). the auto-adding of the screens/desktops when needed is nice.  my one dislike of this is the auto-removing when the screen/desktop is cleared of windows.  i like things in a certain order.  crashed or closed window can rearrange that order.

  • maximize and tiling of windows. i am still adjusting to this.  i would say i like it, but i still find myself accidentally max-ing a window then trying to line it up at the top of the screen.

what i don’t like:

  • the lack of transparency of my terminals! i read through my term windows rather than alt+tabbing (or alt+accenting) among them, so the transparency is key to me.  i do understand this is a side effect of how they did the transparency effect and will be corrected in gnome 3.2.  i really want this back.  (yes, i know you get your transparency with maximized windows, but i don’t open every single one of my terminals in max size work.)

  • the message pop-up bar at the bottom. i am still getting used to this.  i feel that it’s clunky and needs a change, but i don’t have a good suggestion for a way to change it.  i’m not even sure why i have a problem with it.  it just doesn’t feel like it works efficiently.

  • no battery indicator on the top bar. really?  seems kinda backwards when they want a more suspend-able mindset only to not show you how much juice you have left.  someone wasn’t thinking on this point.  i know some themes have it, but this should have been out-of-the-box included.

i’m stoked to see what version three point two will look and feel like.  and with a few adjusted themes, i’m happy with the experience.  bonus points to all those who have contributed the shell extensions allowing for modification.

the adjustment wasn’t as painful as i imagined.  i used xfce for a while before jumping into gnome 3.  i even toyed around with fluxbox as an alternative.  in the end, i gave it a shot.  i mean, c’mon!  it’s not like it’s kde or os x.

22 July 2011

baconfest 2011

i’ve had many people contact me via the interwebz about this year’s baconfest.  that’s right!  it’s a fest of bacon.  so, to answer the recurring question:  yes, i am going.  i have had this event on my calendar  for about four months.  they just recently started selling tickets.  among the many cool things i’ll get to do at this event, meeting allan benton will be a highlight.  it’ll be good to let him know how deliciously he has affected the lives of so many with his bacon.  that and eating bacon.

really, is there a better way to spend a weekend?  i think not!

13 June 2011

self 2011

i traveled to spartanburg, sc, this weekend for southeast linuxfest.  i got to meet some of the names i’ve only ever seen on irc.  i got to hear some good talks.  the favorite was the kdenlive talk by klaatu.  (they have really matured that piece of software.)

the f15 media was shipped to us but hadn’t made it to the hotel by friday.  a few of us started burning media to hand out on saturday.  we made a dent in the stack of dvds by the time it was over.  i cashed out a little earlier than the others as i don’t do late very well anymore.

when i made it down to the table the next morning, i found the official f15 media on the table.  fedex had moved it from salt lake city to spartanburg by 9:15a.  the media is nice, the crowning achievement being the live media which makes it possible to boot into any of four desktops on either 32- or 64-bit.  (thanks to spot for that work.)

check out a few pics:

05 May 2011

guy spacing

i have a few more things i’d like to post, but this photo caught my attention as a perfect example of guy spacing, and i decided to quick post it.

any guy who looks at this photo will immediate think to themselves, “makes sense.”  why?  proper guy buffer among all the men.

when chairs are normally set up in a room for meetings, they are put as close as they can be to each other to maximize the seating space.  however, this presents a potential uncomfortable condition for guys sitting next to each other.  it is the same as the seats in coach on any commercial flight.  tight for everyone, especially guys.

however, you could put a woman in between each of the first four gents (from the left), and they wouldn’t mind.  put a guy in any of those three chairs and squirming will commence.  this is clearly shown as hillary sitting between admiral mullen and the vice president.  ignoring the extended spacing between her and the vp, the space between the her and the admiral is inconsequential.

guys need guy spacing.  we don’t mind touching women so much, but we do mind touching other men.  this picture is the epitome of that principle.  lesson to be taken:  please space the chairs out a little.  please?

credit:  this photo is from the white house flickr account which can be found here:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/5680707744/in/set-72157626507626189/

01 April 2011

tiësto in knoxville

on wednesday, march 30, tiësto occupied the valarium stage and played music for the crowd to dance to. it seemed surreal to think that he was actually in knoxville.

when a friend told me he was scheduled for knoxtropolis, i didn’t believe it was really him.  after confirming it, i looked at the time, the price…i could pull this off.  i mean, he’s actually going to be in my home town.  i had considered seeing him in atlanta in the past.  that was the closest i’d ever imagined getting to a concert of his.

so, i worked out the details and went.  great concert!  i wasn’t aware anyone else in knoxville listened to any trance music, but i was surprised at the turnout of tiësto fans.  he started playing around 11:00p and was still going strong near 1:30a when i left.  (i wish i could have stayed the whole time, but it was a school night, and i don’t do well after 10:30p normally.)

it was a large sound for a small place.  the crowd loved him.  being as young as most of them were, they continued to dance the whole time.  i’m not much of a dancer, so i played it…more toned down…where i was.  i had a good spot to enjoy the evening.  check out the pictures.  and there were some videos posted on youtube.  i’ve included a couple of links after the pictures.

tiësto, a set on Flickr.

working hardjust getting startedresponsive crowdtiësto on the decksblue light specialvery loud
wire framesthis is the face of tiëstohands upcapturing the eveninglook into the lightscontrol center straight ahead
the crowd loved himfull houseback screengreat showtiësto was all the ravebright lights

DJ Tiësto live in Knoxville (shark9872)Tiësto – live in Knoxville (shark9872)

and the search results page from youtube for “tiesto” + “knoxville” for more videos:

26 March 2011

baskins–er, grotto falls

cmac organized a guyz hike to baskin falls…only we couldn’t find baskin falls while following the directions. since we couldn’t back up or turn around on the road, we decided to take the path we found and trekked out to grotto falls. it had rained before we arrived leaving the whole area foggy. it was an easy hike to the falls.

while we were leaving, we found the trail head to baskin falls.  so, maybe next time.

16 March 2011

fedora swag at pycon

i attended my first pycon just last week.  along with a few colleagues, we hit the ATL and enjoyed tutorials and some very interesting sessions.  there is so much to python i feel i don’t really know, and this type of conference whets the appetite to explore the language as it has evolved.

toshio sent out an email to the fedora mailing lists asking who might show up at pycon.  dave malcolm was there giving a couple of talks, one of which i attended.  (it was a very good session.)  along with toshio and david, i met neville.  (luke was there too, but i never actually spoke to him.)

ben sent the box of swag to toshio who in turn gave it to me.  on friday, which was first day of the main conference, i located the free grab table and put out some media, pens, pins, and balloons right before i walked into a session.  when i came out of that session, the stuff was gone.

wow.  next morning, i brought down more of the fedora stuff and put it out on the same table.  again, next break for the sessions, it was all gone…except for maybe one pen.  sunday morning, i put out the rest of the media, pens, pins, stickers, and balloons.  i didn’t check back later, but given the response the first couple of times i think it all might have found a home.

in all that saw, fedora was represented.  one of the network sessions i attended included a live security spin with the speaker’s scripts.  of course, dave malcolm highlighted the fedora blue.  and those of us who did attend wore our fedora shirts at some point during the time.

i don’t have any pics.  it was good to meet toshio, dave, and neville.  (luke, next time i’ll have a convo with you.)  it’s good to be part of the fedora community.

fedora events: pycon 2011

13 March 2011

facebook messaging is not email

facebook messaging is not email.  i knew this was bound to be confused on a personal level at some point.  the discussion about this at work occurred over a year ago.  my colleague pointed out that kids of this coming generation wouldn’t know what email really was because facebook’s messaging would be their norm.  i have an email address.  i check my email constantly.  i don’t always check facebook.  i wouldn’t consider that a reliable source of contact for someone i wanted to reach.  email and sms would be my initial weapons of choice.

i recently saw alex albrecht’s take on facebook events, which coincides with this philosophy, and i totally agree with him.  the clip from the episode is below, but be warned that as is typical with every diggnation episode there is some offensive language.

Bearish on Google & How to Secure Your Facebook

should you stop using facebook?  no.  should you not message me via facebook?  no.  if you do message me via facebook, should you expect a timely answer?  no.  i have missed events because people assumed i would see it in facebook.  that’s why email will always win over facebook.  (also, facebook is not the internet either.)

04 March 2011

healthy yolk [egg white myth]

i have a few friends who have been all about the “healthy” egg white eating.  but i had a conversation with an optometrist friend who had mentioned that recent studies had discovered vitamins were really in the yolk, including some nutrients potentially helpful to eye health.  i decided to do a search on the interwebz to see what it all about.  and i found this entry:  “the incredible, edible egg yolk.”

according to that report, the yolk contains all or most of the vitamins in eggs.

As you can see from the table, the yolk contains 100% of the carotenoids, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, E, D, and K (6 items). The white does not contain 100% of any nutrient.

in addition to all that, the yolk also contains the good, fatty acids which are healthy.

Egg yolks contain the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which is necessary for the brain and proper retinal function in the eye, and the long-chain omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid, which is required for the healthy skin, hair, libido, reproduction, growth and response to injury. These fatty acids are primarily needed by young children, pregnant and lactating women, and people with degenerative diseases involving oxidative stress, especially those of the nervous system such as Alzheimer’s.

whites don’t have that.  when you dump the yolks for the whites only, you lose all the good stuff.  i’m finding that keeping the whole egg in my diet has been the better choice for my health.  check out the rest of the report.  you’ll be surprised how little the whites have going for them.

watching nasa

watching nasa tv is so stinkin’ awesome.  i mean, you can watch them work in space!  check out these pics!  the app to the left of the stream is called gpredict, which track satellites including the international space station.  with the shuttle docked, tracking the iss is tracking both.  fun app.


03 March 2011


after having my site hacked by some kid with downloaded program, i’ve gotten things back up.  backups are now in play to avoid the confusion from last time.  i was able to get my data back thanks to google reader.  it was a lot of cut and paste, but it was all i had.  i should have been backups long ago.  it really only takes once of losing your data to start the habit.

so, now with the latest wordpress installed, i have some catching up to do.

27 January 2011


one of our papers, caller.com, is located in corpus christi, texas.  this past week, i traveled to the lone star state with looch, one of our project managers, to work through some matters with the integration of a new system at work and its communication with our existing online systems.  we met up with lakara from one of our florida papers who has a working knowledge of the publishing system who helped with the process.  it was a profitable couple of days.

corpus is a nice town too.  the weather reminded me of early spring in knoxtropolis.  the city seemed very colorful.  the uss lexingtonsits in the bay not far from our hotel.  there were some nice places to eat too.

10 January 2011

a good snow

this is finally a very good snow.  this is what winter is all about.  the roads are a cold slush underneath a few (several?) inches of snow.  and it’s still snowing at this point.  this calls for some coffee and breakfast.  then work…from mock manor.  (if i won’t spend two hours for work lunches, there’s no way i’m wasting time driving with those nuts who creep along in the “first snow they’ve ever seen!”)