darkoshi: (Default)
About 6 years ago at work, I set up an online group on one of the corporate websites intended for that purpose. It was a group for our developers to share information and post questions & answers. Many coworkers joined the group, and it got a good bit of use in the first years (about 180 posts/threads). But the activity eventually lessened, and the last post was 2 years ago (for various reasons, I suppose).

Recently all group owners were notified that the website was being shut down soon, in favor of some other new site on different technology. We were told that if we wanted to save our group's content, no tools were being provided for doing so, but that we could copy and paste the content into Word documents.

I harrumphed at the thought. Opening each and every post, and copying/pasting it into a Word doc? You've got to be kidding. As the group hadn't even been used in 2 years, and much of the info there was no longer pertinent, there didn't seem much point in trying to save the content.

But yesterday I took some screenshots of the pages which listed the post titles, for memory's sake, or nostalgia, or because maybe that could somehow be useful.

Today a coworker emailed me a question. It reminded me of one of those posts, which explained how to find the foreign key relationships of a table in SQL Explorer. So I went back and read that post. It helped me answer the question.

Then I wondered if I could find an easier way to save the group data after all. I discovered that each thread had an option for saving to a PDF file - and to get that PDF, you only had to append ".pdf" to the URL of the thread's page.

If I could get a list of all those URLs, then I could save off the PDFs. Scrolling through the posts, 20 titles & URLs are shown per page. So I saved off about 10 HTML pages like that. Then I used File Locator Pro (an awesome tool; I highly recommend it) to parse out the URLs along with the titles. I used a reg-ex search query, and saved off the matches, using this method: export just the content found by a regex expression.

Then I determined how to save off the PDFs from the URLs. After logging into the website in my browser, entering the command "start firefox [URL]" in a command window would open the URL in a new tab of the browser. So I divided the URLs into groups of 10, and used a batch file to open the URLs, ten at a time. (I didn't want to do all 180 at once, as I had a feeling that would either crash the browser and/or get me into some kind of trouble, as in who's this person fetching a zillion pages from our webserver all at once?).

Then I used a Firefox plugin, Mozilla Archive Format, to save all open tabs to a MAFF file. A MAFF file is a zip file containing a folder for each tab. Each folder has an index.html (or in my case index.pdf) file, along with a RDF file which has metadata including the page's original filename.

So, once I had saved off MAFF files for all the URLs (about 18 MAFF files), I unzipped them all, extracted the PDFs, used another batch file to rename them back to the original numeric filenames (which puts the posts in order by date), and to include the post titles as part of the filenames.

For creating the batch files, I use Notepad++'s column editing to edit a bunch of lines at once, and macros to apply the same changes to each line.

And voila, I now have the group's entire content exported as PDF files which can be browsed or searched. And it only took me a few hours to do, most of which was figuring out how to do it as opposed to actually doing it.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the files now, but at least I have them.

Figuring out how to do things like that makes me feel clever.
darkoshi: (Default)
I've decided which phone to buy. The Moto G4 Play has pretty good specs (it has 2GB RAM, not 1/2 GB as I originally thought), for a good price.

.

This is the most chewed-on tree trunk by the pond.



These are Catalpa tree blossoms. The photo is from 2015, but the tree has blossoms this year too. The blossoms are about the size of big popcorn, and don't have much scent. But a clump of honeysuckle is also growing by the tree, the lovely sweet scent of which has fooled me a few times.



I found this growing in the ground in Qiao's yard. At first glance they look like fallen red blossoms, but what is that black tarry gunk on them? It's one of the strangest looking things. Per the internet, they are called starfish fungus. I saw one by the pond at work too, an odd coincidence, as I don't ever remember seeing these before. But then again, maybe I did and simply thought they were fallen blossoms.





While walking along, do you ever have a sudden amusing thought that makes you break out in a big grin?
darkoshi: (Default)
It occurred to me that I wasn't clear on the differences between a badger, otter, beaver... not to mention, weasel, muskrat, mink, ferret...

Badger and Otter - best of friends (video).

Animal Identification Throwdown: Otter vs. Beaver vs. Muskrat

Animal ID Throwdown Follow-Up: Whither the Mink?

Muskrats and beavers are rodents. Most or all of the others are in the weasel family "Mustelidae".

This year, some of the trees by the pond at work have had the bark chewed off near the bottom. So I'm thinking, beavers. Though I haven't seen them.
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.

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)
I bought this adjustable shelf to try out as a standing desk setup. It's wide enough for both the keyboard and mouse, and deep enough that I can rest my forearms on it.



At home, my laptop is on an adjustable mount that can be lifted and lowered, so that is how I raise and lower the display. At work, I have 2 monitors, one on the desk for use while sitting, and one on a higher shelf for use while standing (to switch between them, it only requires an alt-ctl-fn key press).

The above is okay in terms of comfort. (Having my skin touch cool metal is unpleasant, so I cover the metal with cloth as in the above photo). But to switch from standing to sitting, I need to re-position the keyboard and mouse from the shelf back to the desk, and move the shelf away. The shelf, while light, is big and awkward to move around. So switching between standing and sitting isn't a very simple matter. (Though, if the keyboard were wireless rather than corded, that would help somewhat.)

I found the below setup to be more convenient.




I use a box (or a stack of books) to raise up my mouse & mousepad. I've found that using the mouse is most comfortable when my forearm is horizontal like that, not angled up or down.
I put a wedge (about 2" high) under the keyboard (or stick something else under the front edge so that it is higher than the back edge). Typing is fairly comfortable to me in that position, even though my palms & wrists don't rest on anything. Without the wedge, I would have to bend my wrists a lot, which quickly becomes very uncomfortable.

To switch from sitting to standing, I just need to move over my box, put the mouse & mousepad on it, and slip the wedge under the keyboard. It's much simpler than the shelf.

little flies

Saturday, January 14th, 2017 01:41 am
darkoshi: (Default)
This morning, there was one of those little flies in my cube when I arrived. It flew in my face more than usual; it would definitely be a nuisance if it was always around. Not much later I heard a suspicious "smack" from my neighbor across the aisle. A little later after that, I heard a smack from the cube right next to mine. Upon which the coworker across the aisle got up and had a little chat with my neighbor. She asked if he's been having a bunch of little flies lately. Yep, he said, he already killed 6 this morning. He called them gnats. They discussed where they might be coming from.

So much for my visiting fly theory.

While I can handle, and even appreciate, a single solitary insect, the idea of having a bunch of them flying around in my cube, or anywhere else near me, is unpleasant and begins to be "something that must be dealt with", even if I don't like to kill them. It's sort of a contradiction, isn't it?
One = Why, hi there cute little bug. Let me help you out. So nice of you to visit. What's it like to be you?
Twenty+ = Agh, invasion. I suppose I'll have to kill them all. Kill, destroy, destruction.

little fly

Friday, January 13th, 2017 01:06 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Every day I've been at work, since about the week before the winter holidays, a tiny flying insect (not sure what that kind is called, but it's smaller than a fruit fly) has flown into my cube sometime during the day. It flits around between me and my monitor for a while, and eventually leaves again.

The first or second time it came, I thought it was stuck inside the building. I considered catching it to take it outside, but it didn't cooperate. I thought maybe it was thirsty, and put out a drop of water for it, which it didn't go near. When it kept coming back (even though I wasn't sure it was the same one), I figured it must be doing ok inside.

I didn't know if it was a single fly, or a different one each time (I had thought the lifespan of tiny creatures was likewise short, but maybe it isn't that short) but after a few days, it started to seem like it was. It feels like it purposely comes to visit me. I have to be careful when it does, not to accidentally smoosh or inhale it. (That would make me feel bad.) Today for the first time, it landed on my hand, walked around a bit, flew up, landed again, and repeated it several times. As if it finally trusted me enough to do that. It was the first time I had an extended look at it. Then it flew away again.

bless

Saturday, July 16th, 2016 08:18 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I've been updating scripts for setting up a local debug/testing environment for work.

I worked late on it last night. If I don't take extra time in my off hours to get it done, I'll never finish it, even though it is something that will make the rest of my tasks easier to finish, as well as helping out co-workers.

This morning, after getting only 5 hours sleep because I woke up early, I just wanted to tweak a few things and test it out. I should be able to kick it off and let it run while I'm doing other things, then kick off a few more things, etc. It started out well. Except that Eclipse wasn't picking up the right default JRE, which for our environment isn't the same as the JDK version that we need to use for running Eclipse itself.

It was unclear how to configure Eclipse's prefs and configuration files so that it would use my dynamically inserted JDK path. That took what, 5 hours to get working? Because of fascinating details about how all that works, which I'm too tired to describe now but maybe later elsewhere.

Then I had to do more tweaking because some files need single backward slashes in the paths, and some files need double backward slashes... and good heavens it didn't like having a combination of forward and backward slashes either...

Then I had to tweak it more, because in changing all those slashes in the paths, I accidentally also changed slashes that weren't in the paths. So I had to add logic to swap those back. At this point, even though that may seem convoluted, it's the simplest way to do it.

REM ... undo the slash changes that weren't in the paths. Change the double slashes back to single slashes.
powershell -Command "(Get-Content '%EclipseDir%\org.eclipse.jdt.launching.prefs') -replace '<\\\\', '</' | Out-File -encoding ASCII '%EclipseDir%\org.eclipse.jdt.launching.prefs'

I already inserted a "Sheesh!" to the end of the comment, and was debating adding "Please Lord let it work right this time" or perhaps, "Please Lord, bless this code..."
because you know, even if I don't believe in a Lord, it would probably amuse the next person who looks at the file.

.

and also thunderstorm and yapping dog and vegan grilled cheese sandwiches - Follow Your Heart has a new Smoked Gouda cheese which combines/melts well together with the Tofutti American cheese slices.

and also being partly upset with myself for having wasted more than half my weekend on work work. and yet still wanting to continue on it.

man ma'am

Thursday, May 12th, 2016 12:48 am
darkoshi: (Default)
At work, a guy from the cleaning staff came into my cube and swiped his duster across the top of my cabinets. It startled me - in the past, the lady who did it would ask me first if I wanted my cube dusted, and I'd step out of her way while she did it.

As he swiped the first cabinet, this guy said something like "How are you doing, ma'am?" and I replied something like "I'm good". Then, hearing my voice, he corrected himself, saying that from behind, my hair had looked like a guy's. So I realized he had originally addressed me as "man", not "ma'am".

Neither bothers me. I'm neither man nor ma'am, so either is fine with me.

Then I wondered if he had pegged me as female instead of male, if he might not have just walked into my cube like that.

.

I cut my hair a few weeks ago, and have been quite pleased with it. It's short on the sides and back, slightly longer on top, with a longer section in the top-back that could be tied into a small pony-tail. I had the same style several years ago, but maintaining the pony-tail part is difficult... when trimming hair it's much easier to cut it off than to evenly cut around it so that its shape remains circular.

Another good thing is that my left leg is regaining its former flexibility. For a year or 2, I hadn't been able to stretch it without feeling an unpleasant kind of ache. But recently something seems to have clicked back into place... maybe ligaments finally loosening or something, and it's back to a normal feeling.

My bottom thigh muscles still feel slight discomfort simply from the driver's seat pressing against them. But I don't have the nerve spasms anymore, which I had last year. Maybe the extra walking I've been doing has helped on both counts.

pink lights

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 10:37 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
At work, someone on the other side of the building put up a Valentine's Day Tree. It's a pretty pink (Christmas) tree, with pink lights and heart decorations.

.

A dead Canadian goose has been floating by the edge of the pond since at least Monday. Poor thing. I wonder what happened to it. I considered reporting it at first, but wouldn't even know who to report it to.

.

Driving home yesterday, there were 2 wild turkeys* standing in the driveway to a car body shop. Very close to the main road I was driving on, which had a lot of traffic. There was also a car parked off the other side of the road with its lights flashing yellow. Not sure if that was related.

*only got a quick glimpse, enough to be pretty sure they weren't buzzards. One looked vaguely peacockish, but I'm pretty sure we don't have wild peacocks around here.

.

My laptop is back from being repaired under warranty, with a new keyboard and touchpad. Seems to be working fine so far, yay. The new keyboard is a dual English/French one, which is different.

.

It's very cold outside. But something went wrong with the HVAC at work today, and it got very warm inside. Even with the doors to the atrium propped open. In the morning when other people started to complain, I was like "I'm comfortable actually. It's better than being too cold". But it got so warm that by the time I left in the evening, it was way too warm even for me.

sleep work sleep

Saturday, February 6th, 2016 12:28 am
darkoshi: (Default)
I've been back at work this week.

During my leave, I was getting a good amount of sleep - about 8 hours a day. But it was mostly between 4am and 1pm. Only near 4am does my brain start sounding an internal alarm: "OMG, it's almost daybreak; I really need to go to bed now." I tried to adjust my bedtime backwards, but there was always something that made me want or need to stay up later.

This week, my wake time was set to 7am, in order for me to be at work by 9:30am. I tried to be in bed by 11pm, but failed by about 2 hours each night. So I averaged about 6 hours of sleep. Except for last night: I really tried to get to bed on time, and was only half an hour late (I blame it on the squirrel with the camera). Also, I got up half an hour later as I had worked late the prior evening.

Not getting enough sleep gives me a low level headache at work. Still had it today in spite of one night's good rest.

be deep be deep

Monday, December 14th, 2015 01:23 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Hmm. Bought a box of holiday cards to send out to relatives. Was planning to write a newsletter along with them like I did last year. Looked through my DW entries to get ideas of things to write. Not much there that I feel like using. Culture Club, trip, flood, house. Hmm. Maybe I'm just too tired right now.

Due to technicalities which I learned about on Thursday in regards to our new time entry system, I have to work tomorrow (or rather today) even though Friday was supposed to be my last day. But then I'll be off.

off off, off and away. away away. to the looney bin.

Reading through the year's DW entries reminds me of things I wanted to do but never finished. Or never started. Just like things around the house. Unfinishedness.

I've got a medium-sized flat rate box with a few gifts in it to send to my brother and his new girlfriend. The small sized box was way too small. But the medium one is way too big. There's so much empty space that it's been sitting here all week. A simple job turned into a difficult one. What should I use, to fill the empty spaces? Should I send more gifts? Should I pack it with air bubbles? Too hard, too hard. Then I thought that I should get the cards out first. But that's not easy either.

Well I did marginally clean off the table. Some of the bills and mail.

I washed the dogs today, as Serena's legs appeared to be caked in mud, and it was a nice warm day for it. But the mud didn't come off. It's this strange sticky stuff. Her fur is coming off in small clumps. But there's new fur underneath. She's got a vet appointment tomorrow, for follow-up on her thyroid issue. More on that in another post.
darkoshi: (Default)
At work, our email system has been switched to Outlook. For accessing our email via the web, they've set up multi-factor authentication via text message. But it's not the kind where they text a number to you, and you have to enter that number on a webpage. Instead, they text a number to you, and you have to reply to the text, and in the reply you have to type in the number they sent you.

So not only does it eat up one text message (on your personal privately-funded cellphone!) each time you need to log in, but two. And you have to fumble to type the number correctly on your small cell phone screen. Switching the screen to larger landscape mode doesn't help, because then the original text is no longer shown so you can't see the number anymore that you're supposed to type.

Gah. Gah. Gah!

There's supposed to be a way of entering security questions instead of replying to the text. Before when I didn't reply to the text message in time, the security questions were automatically displayed. Now I get a blank page. Gah! I'll have to look up the instructions again.

And all this just so I can check my work email from home before leaving for work, without having to turn my work laptop on.

too much

Monday, October 19th, 2015 01:26 am
darkoshi: (Default)
I can't stand this. 1:30am Sunday night, and I haven't eaten dinner yet. I'm just now making sandwiches for lunch for next week. And I only got done half of the things I wanted to get done today:
mow the yard/fallen leaves
put up halloween lites
take care of the bills
empty the water from the blue bin
refill empty bottles
shower/wash hair
make lunches


Grr. I'm hungry. And I have to get up what time? No morning meetings, but I suppose 8:30am is the latest... so I'll be in the office by about 10:45am.

Dampfnudelwetter

Friday, October 2nd, 2015 11:18 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I could have made brownies. I could have watched a movie. I could have washed the dishes.

Instead I wanted to get this task I was working on for work, working. Because it was one of those coding/testing/figuring out/tweaking/trying again/failing/getting a little further/thinking of a new way of trying again/etc tasks that's hard to walk away from.
Now it's 11:30pm and is it working? NO!!!! The zipped files aren't working; the gzipped files aren't working; the compiled stylesheets don't seem to be making any difference; waaaaahhh! phooey!

It keeps raining and raining and raining. It was a fine mist most of today.

At the Little Oktoberfest in Munich, when I was a kid in weather like this, they sold Dampfnudeln (steamed dumplings) with a plum filling and vanilla sauce. I remember them as being so big. But they can't have been that big; I must have been small.

And then I do a websearch and find out that the Little Oktoberfest was in July, not October, so the weather couldn't have been all that cold and damp. Though it was Germany, so yes it could.

My aunt made green Wackelsalat with vanilla sauce.

Now it's 12:30am, and at least one of the 3 things I wanted to verify were working, seems to be working, maybe. Yes! It does! Woo-ha!

live scum oh what am i

Thursday, July 16th, 2015 09:01 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Google totally fails to answer the question "what is a live installer?". It is a small install program that downloads the bulk of the actual software to be installed as part of the install process itself (so that the install won't succeed unless you have an internet connection available during the process). Right? For a moment I wasn't certain. Now maybe this answer will come up if someone else searches on it.

.

The small pond at work is at a low level, due to the heat and not much rain. As I was driving by on my way home, it looked like young green grass growing out of the pond scum on top of the water! Yet I walked by the pond at lunch time and didn't notice anything then. Maybe I wasn't paying attention? Maybe it's some quick-growing fungus? Google fails me there too.

.

I decided which trees in the yard to get cut down. A few are half-dead. A few are simply making the back yard too shady, dark, dreary, and mosquito-ridden. Yet they do also block some of the view of the neighbors' yards which is a positive thing. And even the half dead ones... I actually like the look of bare gray limbs... on one tree, that is even more aesthetically pleasing to me than the leafy parts. And my wonderful Japanese Cherry Tree with the beautiful blossoms in the spring-time! It's half dead, but also still half alive. Am I making a horrible mistake??? I told Qiao he'd better hurry and call up some people to get quotes for the work, as otherwise I might change my mind. I'd been considering this for a while, but probably would have put it off longer had the neighbor not also mentioned trees needing trimming.

.

Next post about pronunciations! But Windows wants to reboot first.

fawn

Thursday, June 11th, 2015 12:02 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Driving through the parking lot at work this morning, I was thinking about blackberries, and driving slowly to check a couple of spots where I had seen berry bushes in prior years.

While doing so, I saw a small animal walking down the sidewalk, right next to the wooded area. A baby deer? But it was so small, the size of a cat. I paused, then drove slowly by to get a better look.

Maybe it was a young goose that had gotten separated from its parents; it was about that size too... It started running when it noticed me. Its running gait looked similar to a hare's. But when it stopped and turned to look at me, I saw clearly that it was a cute little fawn. Long ears, spots on its back, skinny legs. It disappeared into the trees.

I didn't realize that baby deer could be so small. I envisioned them being larger than that at birth. Bambi from the movie always seemed bigger than that to me.
darkoshi: (Default)
I'd been wanting to make these green tea cupcakes ever since Qiao gave me the fabulous vegan cupcake cookbook. I finally bought the essential ingredient - matcha green tea powder - last year, but didn't get around to actually trying out the recipe until last week. The cupcakes turned out soft, fluffy, and super-duper yummy, even without any marzipan flowers on top.

.

It is blackberry season. I've seen people gathering berries along the roads. On the way home from work today, I stopped by a patch and picked some myself. I'm glad I stopped at the place I did, as 2 other people were already stopped by the larger patches further down the road which I passed by later. As it was, after stopping my car where I did, it took me a while to gather my courage to get out of the car. I had a silly fear that someone would come out of the commercial building whose driveway I was parked in, and accuse me of stealing their berries. From the car, I couldn't even tell if there were any ripe berries in this patch. But I finally got out, and got me some lovely berries.

Thin dress pants aren't suitable attire for blackberry picking. A branch snagged my pants and tore out a few threads before I managed to get free. Denim would have been better.

After getting home, I checked the bushes across the street and picked some more berries there too. But those were tiny compared to the others.

.

I remedied the pinholes in the curtain black-out liners by using fusible web to iron on extra strips of black-out fabric over the seam lines.

The black-out fabric and/or the fusible web gives off fumes while ironing it at the necessary heat level. But at least those fumes were temporary.

.

Knoppix! I created a live disk and used it to boot my laptop to Linux. Neat! The last time I created a similar live disk and tried it on my old computer, I never got the internet working as that would have required finding and installing the necessary wireless drivers. But this Knoppix live CD had everything I needed - my wi-fi and internet worked, as did my external mouse and keyboard.

I was using Linux in order to reformat a 256 GB flash drive as FAT32. Windows didn't let me do it. Linux did.

The reason for reformatting the flash drive is a story for another time.

.

Partially inspired by this post by [livejournal.com profile] gfish, as well as articles such as this one, I've been trying to do more work standing up.

When we moved buildings, I was given a 2nd monitor. Rather than position it side-by-side with my other monitor, I put it on my cubicle's shelf, after moving the shelf down a few notches. That puts the top monitor at a fairly good height for me to use while standing. So now I have one monitor on my desk to use while sitting, and another on the shelf to use while standing. I can position my mouse higher by using a small stack of books. But I can't really get the keyboard high enough to be very comfortable while standing.

I was thinking that rather than moving the monitor and accessories up and down, it would be simpler to have everything up high, and to have a high chair. Then everything would be at the right height whether I was sitting or standing. Maybe someday.

For now, I can only manage to stand for a few minutes at a time before I start feeling tired/uncomfortable, or before I feel the need to sit down to do something that takes my full attention. Working while standing is sort of like trying to write with my left hand - I can do it, but at a slower pace and with more frustration.

Sometimes I stand in a spread-leg or horse-riding position, which brings my torso low enough to comfortably use the lower monitor and keyboard. But I don't do that for long either, as it makes my feet tired, and I feel self-conscious about looking weird to anyone who walks by.

Then again, I do full-body stretches in my cubicle a few times a day, which surely is a strange sight to see, too.