darkoshi: (Default)
I got my taxes done.

I made a pie with a chocolate filling. It's somewhat gooey, not what I was expecting from the photo on the box. But it's actually good, even though it also tastes oddly like it contains grape syrup mixed in with the chocolate. Based on the ingredients list, I can't imagine why. It contains alkalized cocoa, and the link I posted before indicates that the non-alkalized sort is the kind that's more likely to taste "fruity".

I also made some Waldmeister Goetterspeise which is a German jello with a unique flavor not found in the U.S. My aunt used to make it for me as a kid (with vanilla sauce on top!), and I still like it. The flavor isn't as intense as I remembered though.

I trimmed my hair a bit. It was tickling the back of my neck too much a few days ago. My torso gets itchy sometimes. When I scratch, the skin gets pinkish red, and small itchy bumps, widely scattered, appear. When I stop scratching, it goes away. I haven't figured out a cause. It's been happening for a few years now. (Of course, having written "torso" there, now a few spots on my arms and legs started itching.)

I'm over my cold, but still have a lot of phlegm. That always used to be the one of the worst parts of a cold, the weeks and weeks of snot that would only slowly diminish back to normal levels. So I did neti today for the first time in possibly 5 years. I stopped using neti around then, after reading warnings against doing neti with unsterile tap water. Well, I used tap water today, like I used to. Anything else is too much trouble. But after reading the warnings again, I may forgo the whole thing for another 5 years.

I used LJSec to delete my old protected posts from LJ, as that was something that had been on my to-do list for a while. There may not be much point in having done it, but at least it is off my list now. First, I did another import of all entries & comments from LJ over to DW, as well as a few backups of both my LJ and DW (with LJArchive), to make sure I wouldn't lose anything. The only problem with LJArchive is that imported comments don't show up with the user's LJ name like it does on the Dreamwidth pages, but rather with a generic ext_#### ID. If I have time someday, I'd like to see if I can update the utility to fix that.

A few weeks ago, I cancelled my Netflix subscription, as I was using it so rarely. Qiao has another Netflix account anyway, which I can use when I want to. He also has an Amazon Prime account for watching videos.

Last week at work, I was able to find the cause of another problem, and fix it. Well, I probably fixed more than one problem, but the last one is the one I remember. It gives me such a rush, a good feeling, being able to discover what obscure thing is making the code not work right and how to fix it, when I still don't even understand what half of the rest of the code is meant to do. I was thinking, I've been working on this same general code base, though it has undergone many transfigurations, for the past 22 years. I could spend my whole *life* working on it, and I still wouldn't understand it all, especially because it is constantly being changed. That made me think for a moment that maybe I should leave this job, just so that *whole life* part wouldn't come true. Eh. But whatever, this code or some other code, what difference. Hmm. Coming up on the end of the quarter. Wonder if they will have layoffs.
darkoshi: (Default)
Interesting article: What's the Difference Between Dutch Process and Natural Cocoa Powder?
Natural cocoa is acidic, and the acidity of your ingredients affects the leavening you should use.

Even more enlightening: Baking Basics: Baking Powder vs Baking Soda

lovely goose chase

Monday, March 13th, 2017 11:22 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I finally figured out that the problem I've been debugging for the last 2 days, was only happening due to me having set a breakpoint in a certain place. One module was writing data to a cache. When another module tried to read the data, it wasn't found. The cache is configured with a "timeToLive" value of 180 seconds (which was unbeknownst to me before, but NOW I KNOW). My breakpoint was causing the data to expire before it could be read, which then caused other errors.

It makes perfect sense now. Back when this problem started happening, it didn't make any sense at all. What I was testing had been working fine before, and then it started getting these strange unexpected errors for no discernible reason.

The ironic part is that I had set the breakpoint in order to change some data on a database row, in order to force an error, as I was trying to test the module's error handling. But then, instead of getting the expected error, I started getting unexpected errors, even when I didn't change the row. At least all this did allow me to find and fix some other problems with the error handling.

Shima Uta

Monday, March 13th, 2017 01:08 am
darkoshi: (Default)
It did snow. I saw it. I went outside. I went back to bed. I slept until 2:45pm, not even counting the time change.

I'm still getting over my cold, though starting to feel better. On Friday afternoon, I took a pseudoephedrine tablet, from an old package I still had. The expiration date on the package was 2010. It actually did clear my nose up for a little while. I went to bed fairly early (for a Friday) - 1:30am, as I felt so sleepy. But I wasn't able to fall asleep until 3 hours later. Now I'm afraid to take any of those tablets again, in case that is what kept me awake so long. But the other medicine I have, with phenylephrine, didn't seem to help my congestion much if at all.

Came across this video today. The song is Shima Uta. So emotionally expressive. So fluffy hair. Something mesmerizing to me.


Video title: The BOOM - 島唄 ( Live )
Posted by: SilentFace007 さんのチャンネル
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_-OZfn1Zhk


The music reminded me of this album, also Okinawan style: Peppermint Teahouse. It is possibly the most upbeat album of music I have.


Then came across this video.


Video title: 13ºOkinawa festival 2015 -Mirukumunari- Kudaka Majushu
Posted by: 8shinji7898
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARW2oHVM5Rk


(Starting at 3:26, a cute black dog joins the performance.)

I wondered why there would be an Okinawan Festival in Sao Paolo, Brazil, of all places. Did all those many performers travel from Okinawa to Brazil for the festival? Then I read about Okinawan emigration and the many people of Japanese ancestry who live in Brazil.

The song on that last video is "Mirukumunari" by Hidekatsu.
darkoshi: (Default)
Here! In March!!!! And I was just taking more photos of the pretty blossoms outside! We're not likely to get much of it here, if any, but still.

weather forecast, 80% chance of snow!


According to Columbia, SC snowfall records, the latest in the Spring it ever snowed here was April 3, in 1915.

According to Florence, SC snowfall records (Florence is fairly close to Columbia), 14% of their measurable snowfall events have been during the month of March. (I didn't find a similar page for Columbia.)

Here is a page that lists the historic dates with the heaviest snowfall in Columbia.

gymnastic floors

Saturday, March 4th, 2017 03:03 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I was watching a bit of gymnastic floor exercises on TV, and for the first time ever, noticed that the floor seemed to be bouncy. Not simply padded, absorbing shock, as I had always assumed, but springy, giving the gymnast added bounce.

Then I wondered what was under the padding; how complicated is a gymnastics floor? It turns out that it is called a spring floor, and it really does have short metal springs under it.

This Slate article provides some history of gymnastic floors. They didn't always have springs, which partly explains why gymnasts can do more complicated jumps nowadays than in the past.

ruby tango

Friday, March 3rd, 2017 10:04 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Ruby Tango Tangerines: This new type of hybrid mandarin with red interior fruit is a cross between a blood orange and clementine bred in Sicily.

I bought what was labelled a "ruby tango mandarin" in the store, which must be the same thing. I was thinking mandarin = clementine -> easy to peel. Hopefully so. But clementines are a subset of mandarins, not the same thing. American tangerines haven't left a fond impression in my memories; either the flavor or the seeds or difficulty in peeling; not sure. Even though tangerine is one of my favorite smells. I'm very lazy when it comes to peeling citrus. I'll avoid them, to avoid having to peel them, even when peeling them isn't difficult. Although if someone else peels one for me, I'm like, great, I'll eat that! Maybe it's the seeds too. I suppose I'm lazy in not wanting to have to spit out seeds, either. ::smh:: Such a lazy person, I am. Such a baaaaad vegetarian. I haven't opened the new fruit yet. (Maybe if I weren't afflicted by said laziness, I'd be eating it right now instead of writing a post about it.) It looks like a very large clementine, but with a navel-orange-like navel on the bottom.

Over in Germany, I'm not sure if they distinguish between tangerines and clementines. The German word for the fruit (either one, I think) is "Mandarin", and I remember them always being like the U.S. clementines. It is why I always think of clementines when I see the word "mandarin".

I recall buying a "ruby tango" something or other before... thought it was an orange. Thought I had posted about it (but can't find said post). But I don't recall seeing a very big clementine like this before. Yet it must have been the same thing. Unless it was named something else that I'm mixing up with "ruby tango". Hmm. Ah, found it! It was something different, a mango blood orange. Hah, so maybe this new fruit will be a sensational new experience for me!
darkoshi: (Default)
This Is How Your Hyperpartisan Political News Gets Made - interesting to me because of this comment: The stories read like they were stamped out of the same content machine because they were. Using domain registration records and Google Analytics and AdSense IDs, BuzzFeed News determined that both sites are owned by American News LLC of Miami.

Google Analytics and AdSense IDs. So that is one way to link sites together, when their domain registration details are private/hidden.

I searched the page source of the 2 sites mentioned by the above articles, and found a section of script with an ID like UA-########-# (see below). This seems to be the Analytics ID. I've read that AdSense IDs start with "pub-", but I did not find that on those pages.

The 2 sites have different Analytics IDs. But doing a Google Search on them shows other sites using the same IDs. I presume that the number after the 2nd dash can identify multiple sites owned by the same publisher. So search without including the last number.

From LiberalSociety.com:
(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
})(window,document,'script','https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js','ga');
ga('create', 'UA-87513966-2', 'auto');
ga('send', 'pageview');


From conservative101.com:
'UA-85347348-1'


Search results for the first number indicate that godtoday.com (as mentioned in the article) and democraticreview.com have the same owners.

I still don't know where one can find the AdSense IDs; maybe that is how they linked the 2 sites together, as the Analytics ID doesn't link them.
darkoshi: (Default)
The little fig tree leafs are growing (bigger). There are a bunch of little figs growing too. The car is already getting lightly covered in pollen. This evening we had some wind and a small refreshing rainstorm. It was too warm inside, so I opened a few windows to get some of the breeze. Tomorrow it will be cooler, a high of 65. (Last week or somewhen, when the forecast was also for 65, I thought *eek* that will be cool, and then reminded myself that normally 65 in February would be nice and temperate.)

Feb 2017 weather history, Columbia SC
(click to enlarge)
(from https://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KCAE/2017/2/1/MonthlyCalendar.html)

Now that it is March, maybe I will stop feeling so disconcerted about the weather. In my experience, we could have cold weather and sporadic snow and ice up through the very end of February here. But March has always sounded like Spring.

Photos under cut... )

optimism

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 06:33 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Apparently I'm much more of an optimist than I realize.

I can't say how many times I find a problem in the code, fix it, and expect the fix to work fine, and there not to be any more major issues. Or at least, not until after I've verified the first fix.

Not that I don't know that there might still be other problems, but just that early in the day, I seem to have unbounded *optimism*. The kind of feeling that makes me think, I can test this fix, and then go on to test that other fix my co-worker put in, and then successfully retest the scenario the BA was having problems with, and then maybe even have time to debug the other outstanding issue. Like, I seriously expected I might be able to do all of that today!

It's not supposed to happen that in testing the first fix, I get totally unexpected results, and upon research determine that those results are due to stranded data from yesterday's failed tests, plus additional problems in the error handling logic, plus maybe the cursors needing extra conditions in them, plus who knows what else.

Please, not another can of worms. I've got enough cans of worms already!

*Optimism*, because this code was extensively tested in the past and was working pretty good back then. Even though I should be pessimistic due to all the issues we've already found, which have mainly been due to a large code refactoring project that was done last year.

Ghost

Sunday, February 26th, 2017 02:47 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Ghost in the Shell (1995 version).

Cool opening sound effects/music.

The opening sequence of the naked female body seemed to go on way too long. I suppose they made the anime movie for teenage boys?

I started out watching it with the English dialogue. But that was hard to follow. So I switched to Japanese with English subtitles, and started it back from the beginning.

In the English dialogue, her answer to "What's with all the noise in your brain today?" was "Must be a loose wire".
In the English subtitles, her answer was "It's that time of the month." I wonder if that matches the Japanese version, even though it makes less sense.

The sequence of her disrobing and letting herself fall backwards over the edge of the building... I've seen that before, haven't I? Ah... right, there is a live-action version of this movie coming out, the one with that cool trailer. I wonder how long I've had this item in my Netflix queue.

"The Puppet Master. That phantom hacker, right?" .. "Internationally wanted on dozens of charges of stock manipulation, spying, political engineering, terrorism, and violation of cyber-brain privacy. "

Hmm. "Political engineering". That reference sure doesn't sound like the Wikipedia definition of political engineering. It sounds more like this: The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine. That's not the first article I've read about Cambridge Analytica. I already posted a link to another article about them back in November. This one is even more disturbing than the last one though.

When I searched Google on "political engineering", the ad shown at the top of the page was "How Liberal Are You? - theadvocates.org‎. Take the World's Smallest Political Quiz and find out in minutes." Mmm, no. I don't need to take a quiz to know how liberal I am. Someone *else* wants to know how liberal I am. So that they can build their profile on me, and feed me personalized ads as mentioned in the above article.

The Google results also had 3 other ads, at the *bottom* of the page. Having ads at the bottom seems new. Or maybe not? Maybe they've been there before.

..

"Hope? In the darkness of the sea?"

..

Oh well. It's too late now to watch the whole movie tonight.

..

Two Saturdays in a row that I've worked from home, after working extra hours on Friday too. At least it is enjoyable work, debugging and researching issues. That's why I did it... nobody specifically requested me to, but I have the feeling that I should, as we are near the planned release date and still having all these problems.
darkoshi: (Default)
you had inserted a DVD into the DVD player, but still had the TV source set to a TV channel which you were momentarily watching.

And then you hear a strange noise like muffled music... where did that come from? Must be a car driving by outside with their radio on very loud? Then a moment later you hear a roaring noise like a gigantic aircraft, so you run to the window and look outside, somewhat nervous... until finally realizing that the sound isn't coming from that direction after all.

snap crack

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 09:58 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Two months later, and my neck is still doing that weird cracking thing every time I twist it in the right way. Fairly often during the day, I feel the need to do a quick twist of my neck to make it crack and momentarily get rid of that feeling of stiffness.

I'm getting so used to it that I've even started doing it while other people are around, at work. Today it occurred to me that I should take a video of myself doing it, to see how bad it looks/sounds. Because maybe it's something I really *don't* want to be doing around other people.

So I just took a video. Yegadz! It sounds awful! I should really go to a doctor or something. Except that I can't imagine a regular doctor being able to do anything about it. Heck, my spine has been cracky like that all my life. But when I stretch/unstiffen my back, it's good for a while. It doesn't keep on cracking like my neck can do. Maybe a chiropractor could do something to help, but the few times in the past when a chiropractor has adjusted my neck, it was scary! It makes me tense up... I'm afraid they might break my neck. So yeah no, I don't want to go to a chiropractor either.

It doesn't make sense to me, why my neck would have started doing this all of a sudden, without me having suffered any injury or trauma. If something had happened to cause it, surely I'd remember it? Unless it came from falling asleep in a bad position, maybe.

.

These exercises may help:
How To STOP Your Addiction To Cracking Your Neck

770 feet

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017 11:18 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
The Oroville Dam, 17 years ago. It didn't look very impressive to me. I had no idea it was the tallest dam in the United States. I mean, come on, it looks like a grassy hill, doesn't it?



View of Oroville Dam from top

View of Oroville Dam from top
...
darkoshi: (Default)
Checking why it hasn't felt like winter to me, this year...

With the help of numbers from Weather Underground (a wonderful weather resource), I've determined the following for my area here in central South Carolina. All temperatures are in Fahrenheit.

(although I wouldn't be surprised if I flubbed some numbers here and there in writing this post.)

..

The average December high temperature is 58, and the average low is 35.
This year (2016), the average December high was 60, and the average low was 40. So our December was 2 to 5 degrees warmer than usual.
.
The highest high was 82 degrees, on Dec 19.
The highest low was 54 degrees, on Dec 28.
.
The lowest high was 39 degrees, on Dec 17.
The lowest low was 24 degrees, on Dec 11.
.
What I'd consider warm winter days:
We had 6 days where the high temp was 70 or higher.
We had 9 days where the high temp was 65 or higher.

What I'd consider cold winter days, for here:
We had 6 days where the high temp was 50 or below.
We had 7 nights where the low temp was 32 or below.

..

The average January high temperature is 56, and the average low is 34.
This year (2017), the average December high was 64, and the average low was 43. So our January was 8 to 9 degrees warmer than usual.
.
The highest high was 80 degrees, on 3 separate days: Jan 14, 16, and 19.
The highest low was 60 degrees, on Jan 23.
.
The lowest high was 39, on Jan 9.
The lowest low was 22 degrees, on Jan 10.
.
What I'd consider warm winter days:
We had 11 days where the high temp was 70 or higher.
We had 17 days where the high temp was 65 or higher.

What I'd consider cold winter days, for here:
We had 4 days where the high temp was 50 or below.
We had 6 nights where the low temp was 32 or below.

..

For February 1 through 11, the average high temperature is 58, and the average low is 35.
This year (2017), the average high was 68, and the average low was 41. So our February, so far, has been 6 to 10 degrees warmer than usual.
.
The highest high was 78 degrees, on Feb 8.
The highest low was 58 degrees, on Feb 9.
.
The lowest high was 49 degrees, on Feb 5.
The lowest low was 28 degrees, on Feb 6 and Feb 11.
.
What I'd consider warm winter days:
We had 6 days (out of 11) where the high temp was 70 or higher.
We had 7 days (out of 11) where the high temp was 65 or higher.

What I'd consider cold winter days, for here:
We had 1 day (out of 11) where the high temp was 50 or below.
We had 3 nights (out of 11) where the low temp was 32 or below.

...

Based on the overall averages for this area, the daily highs and lows usually hit their low point in the first week of January, at 55 and 33 degrees respectively; then they start rising again. (Though there are odd blips for Jan 1 and Jan 4, with higher average temps than the surrounding days).

Spring of February

Saturday, February 11th, 2017 04:43 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
It is such a gorgeous warm sunny day today. This whole so-called winter has been relatively warm. Other than a few cold nights and cool days, it hasn't even felt like winter.

The pink magnolia tree started blooming this week. The blooms don't usually last more than a week or two. Based on photos, in prior years it bloomed in early to late March. So this year is a full month earlier than usual, unless the years in which I didn't take photos had earlier blooms too.





The fragrant yellow jessamine on the fence is also already blooming.

There is a bush at Qiao's house, which I've been curious to know what kind of plant it is. It has thin stalks, some with reddish blossoms and some with white (unless the white ones are a different kind of bush). It started blooming right at the beginning of February, even before the pink magnolia. In the summer, it gets roundish green fruit that look like plum-sized small apples. They are surprising to see, because the thin stalks don't seem like they could support such relatively big fruit, yet they do. The fruit smells and tastes like bitter apples (too bitter to eat). So it's probably some apple variant. It doesn't look like what Google Images shows for crab-apples, though.

After doing some searches, my best guess is that it is a shrub quince, even though the fruit is green rather than yellow, and more apple-shaped than quince-shaped.



More photos... )

smell the rainbow

Saturday, February 4th, 2017 11:25 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
You know those hilarious PooPourri advertisements, such as Girls Don't Poop?

Today I saw a similarly amusing ad for a similar product, Unicorn Gold. This is the ad. Unlike the PooPourri ones, this one is both hilarious and disturbing to me (I wonder if other people feel disturbed by it or not). Today, I had accidentally opened the same YouTube video in 2 tabs, the same ad playing in both, so the audio was overlapping/echoing in a weird way. At first I thought it was meant to be that way, which made the ad even more intriguing. After stopping the double-play and watching more of it, I realized I had seen it before. When I see something really funny, I generally want to share it. So I had considered posting a link to this one before, but decided against it, because of how it disturbed me. But to avoid going through the same thought process again next time, today I'm posting the link.

locks and keys

Sunday, January 29th, 2017 06:45 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I rekeyed two locks today; it was my first time doing that. One was an Andersen storm door lock, and was very easy to rekey. The other was an old deadbolt lock which both Lowes and Home Depot hadn't been able to do. Lowes had just looked at it and said "No", which makes me think they refused simply because it's a brand they don't sell. The guy at Home Depot, on the other hand, at least tried. But apparently because of it being an older style, he wasn't able to get it apart. I had watched him trying, and it looked like something was stuck. He wasn't able to get it apart, to get to the pins.

Today, I was able to get it apart fairly easily. The one end of the cylinder needed to be screwed off - maybe the Home Depot guy didn't realize that. I have a Kwikset rekeying kit. The springs in the kit don't exactly match the ones from the old lock. So I tried reusing them, but in the process lost one. I searched high and low for it, but it's disappeared into the ether. I ended up using one of the non-matching springs, which made it more difficult as it stuck out more. And my kit didn't have a tool that fit for keeping the bottom pins and springs pushed down (aka "follower bar")*, so I had to improvise. And the top pins fell out a few times, and each time the sizes of the pins didn't seem to match what I had written down before... weird. So I got out new top pins. I finally got it back together and working with the new key.

*which is probably a good thing, in hindsight. If I had found the right instructions, and if my follower bar fit, I wouldn't have seen that the springs and bottom pins had a lot of oxidation on them, which was making them stick. It was when I was cleaning off the springs, that the one sprung away and disappeared.

lilac twist

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 10:15 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Best headline I've read so far, this year (via andrewducker):
75-Year-Old Texas Woman Flies Through Tornado in Bathtub, Lands in Woods Unharmed

Actually, both she and her son flew in the tub after having taken refuge in it. This article has a video interview with them:
A 75-year-old took a bathtub ride to survival during ETX tornado

.

Good cover of a good song:



Video title: kriill - Lilac Wine
Posted by: kriill music
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwXtKECKaLs


Their Facebook page: kriillmusic