169 tagged with #daily

( page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 )

This is Just an Interface

I am rarely satisfied with my workflow for anything, and I suppose this is a good thing; it drives me to reinvent and improve.

At the moment, I type up my posts on a local machine, run spellcheck, then run a script that will scp it to the appropriate directory on the live server. The only purpose of the script is to save a few keystrokes (then again, isn't that the point of all scripts?) From there, I ssh into the live server and fire the script that generates the entire site.

It's starting to dawn on me that the more files I create, the longer it will take to generate, since every single page needs to be modified exactly once whenever a new post has been created. However, the payoff is that this only needs to happen whenever I make a post, not whenever someone else visits. There is an appeal to static pages, which I've carried over from when I ran a similar bloglike over a decade ago, only I updated each page manually, with an army of text files for copypasting reference.

I think the only reason I like writing code is because it allows me to do things that would otherwise require a prohibitive amount of copypaste.

In any case, I finally got around to writing a paginator for the tag views, which included recycling a little snippet of code for generating the page number navigation; months back, I spent an aggravating afternoon beating my head against a pile of scratchwork to make that loop sensible. Thanks, past me, for saving me the trouble of having to come up with that bullshit again.

26 March 2014 18:34

Taking Stock, Again

I only just remembered that I should think about planning and planting soon, despite the stubbornness of the season.

This past year was a low point in managing to eat what I grow; I missed the early part of the planting season, and was out of town too much to care for what I had in the dirt. Insects took a portion of the crop; construction on the porch took another. Too many freeze cycles have finally crushed the brussels sprouts that failed to thrive when I put them in the ground. I still hold out hope for the chives and green onions.

On hand, I have last year's leftover seeds and a packet of Oxheart tomatoes. The porch is back, and the front garden has spent a year recovering from the massive weeding endeavor. The spider plants are anxious for some room to spread out, and the geraniums have refused to die (much to my dismay). I'm expecting the usual influx of tomato seedlings and kale adolescents from my father, who cannot resist filling every available space on my porch with plants he personally coaxed out of the earth.

25 March 2014 12:14

Thought Quota

I pack in the following things: a 16 oz. jar of rice and beans, a banana, an apple, a few spoons of hummus, a piece of bread. At first, it seems like an excessive amount of food for a day, but then I remember that I've stabilized my Mondays so that I can peck at things over the course of twelve hours and do pretty alright for myself. Habits just mean fewer things to think about, fewer decisions to make.

It started with a routine late-night order; every time I went to Fuddle, I'd order a sirloin burger, medium, with lettuce and tomato, no barbecue sauce, and russet fries. My usual crowd is used to it; when I do this in front of someone new, or am overheard by a nearby stranger, I get the occasional odd looks for this oddly specific request that took zero deliberation. But this is an efficiency established after years of agonizing over menus; this is saving myself from further decision fatigue.

This is how I pack habits into my life. Little by little, all the things I should be doing all the time are etched into immutability so that I never have to wring my hands over deciding whether or not I feel like doing the dishes, watering the plants, clearing out my inbox, finishing my readings.

And the second I get knocked out of my routine, I'm helpless for the rest of my day.

24 March 2014 09:31


They call it a Gulf Nanosecond, the measure of time between when the traffic light switches from red to green, and when the first person honks. In the Gulf, it is such a small interval that it is known as the atomic unit of time, of which divisions are not possible. What impressed me most was when a car twenty rows back will instigate the first honk the exact instant the light changed, possibly exceeding the speed that it took for the green waves to travel that distance.

Taxis have started picking up the pace in Pittsburgh, in competition with the introduction of various crowdsourcing transportation options. For the first time in the near-decade since I've lived here, I've seen almost one taxi per trip into the outside world. At certain times of the week, I've seen as many as four or five taxis in one trip.

The taxi drivers' frustration with no longer holding a monopoly on individual transport-for-hire seems to be causing a decreasing amount of tolerance for anything getting between the front of a cab and the fare's destination. However, Pittsburgh cabbies still have a long way to go before they can compete with the horn finger of an impatient teenager who really wants his karak chai.

#daily #q

23 March 2014 17:24


My inability to describe my hummus process with any amount of precision led to a spate of data collection, weights taken at every step in an attempt to build enough of a model of the proportions such that the process can be reproduced without my supervision. We never got that to work.

Soak dry chickpeas overnight. Boil until split and soft. Mash. Add some amount of squeezed lemons. Add some mixture of seasonings. Add a little of the cooking water to help mix. Add some tahini. Pass around for flavor check. Adjust seasonings as necessary. Add olive oil.

Valid spice mixes:

1. salt, garlic powder, cumin, hot chili flakes

2. salt, garlic powder, hot hatch, cajun spice mix, cumin

3. salt, garlic powder, turmeric, hot chili flakes

No matter how tempted you might be, do not try szechuan peppercorns and sesame oil.

For the adventurous, add dry instant yeast and leave it on the counter until it gets fluffy.

22 March 2014 18:48

( page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 )

  Commons License this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. for more details, please see my license information.