I woke up pretty early again today, this time to the sounds of a thunderstorm. I took a look at my phone to see how big it was and if it would be through by the time I had to head to work and it didn't seem like it so I sent a text to Robert and asked if I could work from home today. Normally it's cool if I switch my work from home days around a bit if I need to but I couldn't just switch today and tomorrow because I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow at 4:30 so I have to be close by otherwise I'd have to leave work at 3:30 or earlier to make sure I got to the clinic on time. I also noticed that my phone had stopped sucking juice from the charger at some point during the night and was nearly completely drained for the battery, I think I'm going to have to take my phone in to get it fixed or replaced soon since the charge plug doesn't seem to work anymore. It was working before I went camping, not sure what happened to it.
Since I was already up and needing to stay up to see if I heard back from Robert I took a shower and made up a breakfast burrito. As I was getting close to the time I'd have to leave for work the rain had mostly passed but it looked like there was more coming in and I'd be riding into the storm. I still hadn't heard back from my text message so I actually called and asked if I could work from home, Robert was cool with it so I started in on the first project of the morning. This was an hour earlier than I normally start but that was fine, I didn't want to sit around doing nothing for an hour. The storm ended up hitting with the second cell right about the time I normally start work, if I had of ridden into work about half of the trip would have been in the heavy rain and I would have been absolutely drenched. I could have brought a change of clothes but I really prefer to just not get totally soaked if I can avoid it.
For the first project I found some example code on how to send an attachment with concrete 5 which was almost where I needed it to be. The code doesn't quite work, in line 12 it should be $image = $fh->getContents( File::getByID(19)->getPath() ); but that didn't really matter for my case. I was taking an HTML string and adding it as an attachment after encryption. It seemed to work but then there was some confusion when I would send the file to Robert. I could send the unencrypted version to myself and I would get the updated content after I applied some formatting to the tables but Robert kept getting old emails with the improper markup when it was encrypted and sent to him. I don't know what the final resolution on this was.
I had a hard time getting stuff to work on today, after that project I moved on to another one but I was eating lunch after waiting around for a bit to hear what I was working on next so I waited until after lunch to look at it and then I had questions. When I asked the questions to Robert he was on a conference call so I didn't get an answer back. I didn't know what I was supposed to be coding so I couldn't do anything because I might do it wrong, it was deciding if labels for mail chimp sign up IDs were going to have labels that were unique to each store or if they would be unique to each site. It would be completely different coding these two different ways so I didn't do either. I also tried to verify if the MailChimp registration was working with the user registration but as far as I could tell it wasn't - Robert had worked on this part of it because he knows the MailChimp API and I don't. I could tell that it was set up to work when you update registration but not when you first register but since the code to update the registration didn't work I didn't know how to port it into the first registration method. So I was stuck there too.
I never did hear from Robert after the conference call even though I sent several chat messages. There must have been other stuff going on. There were a couple of tickets that our project manager posted with info that had come out of the conference call but by the time they were posted I only had about a half hour left in my 8 hour shift. I managed to get one of the tickets cleared out, it was supressing links on Hutman News views if there is no "Long Story" - for this particular site we added in the ability to either do a more link or a PDF attachement for the news stories. That took a bit to get working right and then my work day was pretty much over.
I had tried to start up a batch of chai before lunch but thankfully realized that I didn't have rice milk or tea so I decided against that. I'm glad I noticed before I actually got the water up to boiling. I went to the coop after I was done with work and got the supplies I needed to finish up the batch, I'm not sure how it turned out because of soaking the ingredients at room temperature for several hours. Hopefully it turned out OK. The cashier at Seward and I had had a brief conversation yesterday when she was bagging about riding to avoid the rain and she remembered that I worked in Golden Valley today and asked if I managed to stay dry and expressed concern that my commute was too long. It's not all that bad actually, especially not since I only have to do it three days a week. Or two in the case of weeks like this one. So it's not a whole lot of miles each week. It does get pretty old to ride the same stretches of road and trail over and over again, I wish there were different routes I could take in.
My neighbor Cory brought me a package from Amazon with my new headphones. I lost mine a few months ago at an Occupy meeting. I didn't really want to order from Amazon but I couldn't find another online retailer that I trusted. I'd already tried to order once from some other place and never got a confirmation email or a shipment or anything, I'm not actually sure if I got charged or not. So even though I don't support Amazon I still had to order from them. I hated that a bit, probably if I really cared all that much I wouldn't have ordered from them and would have done more research to find someone else that sold them but I really didn't want to take the time necessary. He also stopped by a bit later asking if I had an adapter for presta to schraeder valves so he could use an air compressor to fill up some tubeless tires. He ended up borrowing my CO2 inflater and using that and then running to the bike shop to get me two new cartridges to replace the one he used. So I scored there. Turned out that he still had to buy an adapter to use the air compressor when he went to the bike shop so using the CO2 was kind of pointless. I've really stopped using the inflater anyway, seems like using my little pump is better anyway. The molecules of CO2 are too small to stay in the tubes in bicycle tires so after a few days your tire is flat and you have to use a floor pump anyway to refill the tire. The only real reason to use the CO2 inflater is to be quicker about changing the tire so I really don't use it unless I'm on a group ride and want to be done changing a flat as quickly as possible to get the group riding again. I'm never in that much of a hurry when I'm on my own and get a flat. It's pretty rare that I get flats anyway so I guess it's a pretty moot point.
That was about it for today. I have nothing to do tonight except for make dinner and I'll probalby just do leftovers for that. I don't have any friends to hang out with or any events to attend. I'll probably work a bit on re-configuring Ubuntu on my laptop again. I lost my OS when I tried to reinstall Windows because it would only install in one way, directly on the hard drive as three partitions and not as a virtual machine. A facebook friend found me some links to download full ISOs for Windows 7 so hopefully I can use that to install the Windows for it. I called into Adobe Tuesday and got them to reset my license keys so that I can install CS4 Web Premium on the laptop too. They only allow you to install on two computers and one of my computers was a virtual machine that corrupted, I wasn't able to access it to deactivate the installation to reinstall it on another computer. So hopefully that works, I'll find out once I get VirtualBox reinstalled and can try it out. First off I have to see if the Windows ISO actually works.
Since today was so slow at work I spent a lot of time on facebook. In the morning I posted up a bunch of links from a google alert that I set up for "Bicycle Bike" and had a lot of reactions from my friends on those. I set up the alert to start looking for more sources for content for when I get back to work on bikelove.org, hoping that it leads to enough content to write up blog posts on a daily or next to daily basis. I don't want to just only post about what I'm wanting to build, I'm hoping that I can have good content that people want to pay attention to to try and get more awareness of the site and the project. If it's just about what I want to build then it probably won't get a whole lot of followers. I don't know if I'll get a lot of followers no matter what I do but I'm trying to figure out how to make it relevant to people.
A local auto dealership has started offering bicycles in exchange for used car trade ins. The bikes aren't really good for commuting and even though it may get one person out of a car it's selling the car back to another person that's going to be on the road so I don't know what kind of impact it's going to have.
There were two stories about a bicycle robbery in Boise, ID. Normally bike thieves don't make the news but in this case they took $120,000 worth of bicycles. It was a race teams full collection, only 14 bicycles to make it that big of a felony. The bikes were recovered on the University campus but they don't have any suspects. The first bikes were found just locked all together on a rack. Not very smart of the thieves, it was probably someone who didn't realize at all how much what they stole was worth.
DeLorean is offering bicycles now, with a 5,000 dollar price tag. You can read the specs here for one of them, the other two models are 'coming soon.' Hand made in Italy from stainless steel but even so I still don't think these are worth the money.
A suspected bike thief in Antioch has committed suicide after police tried to serve a warrant for his computer to investigate child porn. I don't really think the world is any worse off for this, I have a special hatred in my heart for both the crimes this person is accused of.
I might have to get on of these rain capes for days like today when I don't want to get wet on the way into work. Several of my friends mentioned that they had other versions that were similar, about the only drawback I could see is it would be bad in the wind and it would make signalling nearly impossible.
Here's a nice article on bicycling in Minnesota.
There was a story that made the rounds recently about a high school that suspended several students for riding their bikes to school. To any cyclist this seems like a totally insane proposition, you should be encouraging cycling at schools not discouraging it. There was a post with more details about the town and the route the cyclists had to take to the school, and now it makes sense that they had to have a police escort and backed up a lot of traffic. The roads are completely unsafe in any way shape or form for bicycling or pedestrians. So maybe the school had some reason to be upset but I think it more shows that we need to have complete streets and accessible public spaces. The only option for students to safely get to this school is either a bus or a car, walking or bicycling would be very dangerous.
As I was saying yesterday I often wonder what happened to me in the past because I don't have a memory that works right. Things get distilled out and the actual events that happen to me are not indexed or saved. I signed up for a service called Timehop that will go through your old social media posts from several different services and even read your text messages if you sync your phone and tell you exactly what you were doing a year ago today in a daily email. That seemed like a pretty good idea.
Deep sea explorers apparently have been accidentally spreading organisms from site to site. The thinking was that animals die from the change in pressure when you bring the submarine up to the surface but apparently that's not true. So now we're helping spread invasive species just about everywhere on the planet. And in other ocean news it appears that the water we are pulling out of the ground for farming and other uses is a significant source of ocean rise, it's not just them melting ice caps that are a problem. We're going through our fresh water at an alarming rate, I'm kind of worried about this but don't know what I can really do about it. I don't use a whole lot of water myself, though I think I could probably conserve more.
I thought it was cool that someone took a street sign and modified it to say "Warning Daleks Ahead." I'm a big fan of Dr. Who, I actually watched the whole series all the way through from the beginning to the end. It took me several years to actually decide that it was worth doing, I didn't want to start watching the show somewhere in the middle. I'd seen some of the new stuff but none of the old stuff. I don't remember how many months it took to get through it all because I'm not good with dates or time but it was quite awhile.
This was a nice article on gender stereotypes. I don't want someone who's going to be dependent on me for anything, the only women I find myself attracted to typically have everything they need taken care of. I guess that's why I have such a hard time finding anyone, I only want people that don't need me for anything.
Turns out that those skinny hipster jeans are actually bad for your health. I don't get how people can wear uncomfortable things in the name of fashion or looking good, it's never meant that much to me. That's probably another thing that is wrong with me, I don't take much care in my appearance at all, it's only jeans and a t shirt for me. If I was actually going to try and make the changes I need to make in order to find someone to love probably one of the first things I'd need to do is change my wardrobe.
There's a petition to get Dictionary.com to change it's definition of marriage from being just between a man and a woman. Seems like they need to lobby more than just one dictionary for this but it's a start. Also on the gay marriage front there's a new survey that shows that black people are quickly changing their stance to support it due to Obama coming out for it. But apparently some white people are going the other way. I really hate how this shows how much like sheep people are, and how racist and bigoted people are. I don't think that it should be up to states to make this decision based on popular opinion, it should be legal for everyone everywhere no matter what the popular opinion is. It's a human rights issue and you should never put human rights up to a public vote because people are such shitty, shitty beings.
The state department has been hacking Al Qaeda websites and changing the message of their propaganda. It's an information war and one that I don't really feel is justified. I don't think that we should be spreading propaganda even with good intentions. It's just going to make us more hated.
I'd hate to be a woman on a reservation. It's truly horrible what's happening and I don't have any ideas what the solution should be. Actually prosecuting people might be a start. I was sad to see that the conviction rates amongst non-native populations weren't much better.
I like the premise behind this fake magazine photo. Most of these magazines don't do anything to help women out, they are just there to reinforce the gender roles that we have as a society.
This piece has a lot of information on what they think the brain is doing while you sleep. Apparently it's not just dreaming to reinforce memories from the day it's also weakening links to allow the brain to continue learning. I know when I find myself without a lot of sleep I get stuck into the same ruts, it seems to reinforce any mania that I have and leads to obsession. Getting enough sleep has been really key to regulating my bipolar.
I really enjoyed this article on the history of what we think television would become. It was really interesting seeing what people thought the future of the medium will be, and how much or how little of those ideas actually made it into the real world.
I donated 10 dollars to a Kickstarter Project to make Phil Tippett's film "MAD GOD" so I could get a copy of the film when it's done. He's an old school special effects and animation person who worked on a lot of films and this stop motion piece looks really great from the trailer.
Yesterday there was an action from Occupy Homes to defend the Cruz family home. Peter Leeman has several good pictures and a writeup on what happened. I wasn't aware that the family had actually vacated the home already and that it was only Occupy using it now, they are trying to keep the house from getting repossessed and using it as a "Social Center" while they work to keep the eviction from happening. They blocked traffic and had a stand off with police and ultimately got the police to back down after about 100 people showed up. It's a tumbler blog so I don't know how to link to individual posts so you may have to scroll back a bit to read the posts depending on how long after I post this you read it.
Google apparently is removing 1.2 million search links a month due to copyright infringement and piracy. As a pirate and a believer that all media should be free for everyone I don't agree with this at all but what can you do?
MPR had a great call in show about the future of food. I didn't agree with them on GMO foods. I personally think there's a lot of evidence that they aren't as healthy for you and in fact can cause lots of health problems but they just quoted the government and Monsanto as saying that they are safe so therefore it must be safe. My friends suggested that we eat bugs instead and I think this is probably going to become a major food source for a lot of people in the coming decades. We have to do something - it's taken us over 9000 years to get to our current levels of food production and we have to now double our output in the next 38 years if we want to feed our growing population. I didn't know that apparently 40% of food gets wasted. This made me feel pretty good about my own food buying habits, I don't tend to waste very much at all but I also don't eat all that much or buy a whole lot of food at any one time. So it seems like we could do a lot of good by not just improving crop yields but by figuring out how to waste less. Agriculture is also apparently the largest contributor to the degradation of the environment, you wouldn't think that crops and livestock would have that much of an impact on things but it's the scale of production that makes it such a large impact. Cities do a lot too but they are only 1% of the land surface on the planet, farming covers a great deal more land though I forget what the actual percentage was.
Thinking of plants there's now evidence that they can detect and react to smells.
Apparently changing your sleep cycles to drastically while pregnant can lead to miscarriages. I often wonder how people are affected by circadian rhythms. I used to be all over the place with my sleep cycles due to working second and third shift and I was also always feeling lousy and sick a lot when I was doing that. Of course the 1.75 liters of Jameson every two weeks back then probably didn't help out all that much. Articles like this make me think that I don't want to go back to having a different sleep cycle than the rest of the world.
Documents have been released that show some of the extent that the Department of Homeland security was spying on and working against the Occupy movement. I didn't read the released articles but it seems like they were treating the Occupy protesters like terrorists and trying to keep anyone from finding out that they were. Yet another reason that I don't like our government. Instead of trying to respond to the very real concerns of their population they're trying to quash any rebellion and keep doing things as they have been doing. It's very obvious to me that we need deep, real, systematic change all the way across our society, and not just in the government. I worry that we won't make this change because people are too selfish and small minded to think of the kind of world we could be building.
In other news about trying to change the world there's now a facebook event for next Tuesday's organizational meeting for the Neighborhood Democracy Project. We're going to have food from Food Not Bombs and hopefully some potluck stuff too. I'll probably bring some chai tea to share with everyone. Hopefully that gets more people out to the meeting. The website is starting to get more page views which is good, though there still haven't been many people signing up as users or posting any content. I'm not really sure how to change that, hopefully after the meeting we get even more people involved and people start using it the way it's designed to be used.
And that was my whole day. Now it's just watching some Time Team. I'm up to 2002 so far, I think it won't be long until I run out of episodes to watch of this show too. I really need to get on researching other stuff to watch to fill up the time, it's hard enough to keep sober without trying to do it without anything to distract me as I'm bored and have nothing to do in the evenings. If anyone has any suggestions on good shows to watch that have several seasons worth of episodes to watch I'd be interested in hearing them.