Misc

265/220/200

Forty-five down, twenty to go. For those unfamiliar, that’s what the title means: starting weight, current weight, goal weight. I lost the first 35 pretty steadily over 2017, then stalled for most of the first half of this year, and now the scale is moving again. Stalls happen; the main thing is not to start gaining it back. My goal of 200 is based on calculations using wrist size to determine lean mass (bone and muscle).

A Bit of Grammar Pedantry

There are some grammar mistakes that I see at least daily these days, more often than you’d think possible. I thought I’d use a few for blog fodder, and maybe it can be a resource. Buckle up for hardcore grammar nerdery. The reason….is….because…. For instance, “The reason I won the blue ribbon is because my cabbage was the biggest.” This is always wrong. It’s hard to explain why if you don’t know how to diagram sentences; but basically, you need a noun clause to be the thing the reason is, and noun clauses don’t start with “because.

DNA Is Code

I studied biology a couple years ago. I guess I mostly slept through it in high school, because I sure didn’t remember much. When we got to the section on DNA, I was like, “Holy shit, it’s a computer program!” DNA isn’t just roughly analogous to programming; it’s basically the same thing. When a living cell needs to produce something, the nucleus cuts-and-pastes a string of instructions out of DNA, picking the right short chunk out of a string billions long.

Time for the Fair

Almost time for the Adams County Fair! It doesn’t look like I’ll be exhibiting anything, since the only thing in the garden that looks good right now is the Swiss chard, and there’s no Swiss chard category. It would wilt before it could be judged anyway. But I’ll be there for dairy judging on Saturday morning, at least. That’s always a good time, watching cows drag kids around the ring. I saw the heifers they were trimming up and getting ready to go, and they looked great, not that I’m much of a dairy judge.

Same Deal Every Time

I was telling someone the other day that every computer I’ve bought has cost about $700-800, even though they keep getting more powerful. You can spend a lot more than that, of course. But it seems like each time I put together a system with current proven hardware that’s plenty powerful for my needs, the price ends up in that range, going back to my first computer in 1988. Then I got to wondering whether that’s really true.

Hats for Bats

If I wear a hat doing work out in the yard, I usually wear a baseball cap style hat, as is common around here. But the other day a few of my hats fell apart in the laundry, they were getting so worn. So while I was at Farm & Home getting feed, I thought I’d look at hats. The first one – just an ordinary baseball cap – was $30.

Little Buddy

One of the kittens turned up starving a few days ago, so I have a new best friend. Nothing like hunger to tame a wild cat, I guess. I took this a couple days ago, and she’s still filling out and doing better. Feisty enough to run past me a couple times when I opened the door, anyway, but we’ll be having none of that.

Pork Buying Demonstration

There are a few questions people often have about buying pork by the hog or half-hog, so I thought I’d do a little video to answer them with my latest haul. It should give an idea how much meat you have to be prepared for, what kind of cuts you can look forward to, and how the pricing works (if you get the hog from us). I hope it’s informative.

Gut Punch

Art doesn’t usually do that much for me. I tend to take things at face value, expect them to mean what they say. So the idea of reading a poem or looking at a painting and seeing things that aren’t there on the surface – it doesn’t happen much. But once in a while something works, and then it can be a real punch to the gut. This video is one of those.

Don't Be Spammed

A note to anyone who emails me: don’t put anything in your subject line like “website proposal” or “domain proposal,” even if it’s correct in context. I get so much spam with subjects like that, that you’re almost certain to be spammed. In fact, if you’re emailing from an address I haven’t already whitelisted, the best subject line is probably, “Hey, this is so-and-so, for real!”

Dragged Me in Kicking

They may be able to make me sign up for their data tracking nonsense to get coupons, but they can’t make me use my real name. (If you know where that’s from, you are a cultured individual.)

Should Have Been a Hoarder

I get an automated eBay notification for Commodore C128s, because sometimes I think it’d be nice to have a real one again, and I’m curious about what people are doing with them. But the prices on them keep going up, and an emulator is a pretty good substitute, so I haven’t bought any yet. The picture below is an example of what they’re going for these days: two completely untested systems, which may not work at all, and have missing keys, have a bid of $116 (including shipping).

I Left Him Cheese

I was reading through some old notes, and was reminded of this Dairy Council ad. It’s been almost 20 years, but thinking of that little girl’s grinning last line still makes me chuckle.

Starting Over

I’ve decided to revamp this site from scratch. I had built a very simple CMS based on Dancer, and it was fine, but I’ve been looking at static site generators and the possibility of creating my content in org-mode. I don’t really need dynamic content generation on the back-end, and I do everything else in org-mode anyway, so that seems like a better way to go. I’ll write more about it as I get familiar with it.

Quitting Facebook

I quit using Facebook a few months ago, when I wiped the app off my phone because it kept moving itself back to main memory and hogging it all. Normally I don’t announce when I’m going to stop using an online forum; I just stop. But in this case, it occurred to me that people might comment or post stuff on my timeline, and think I’m rudely ignoring them. I’m not, I’m just not seeing it.

New Year's Two Furnace Morning

Cold morning to start the year, -11 degrees when I went out to feed and water the beasts. Fired up both furnaces for a while to get things comfy for the day.

Latin Mass Propers

I’ve added a page containing many Latin Mass propers to the St. Rose web site, so I thought I’d link to it here as well. I’ve been making the propers for St. Rose since it opened, so I’ve gradually accumulated a decent collection that covers all the Sundays, Holy Days, and some other feasts. (A “proper” is the prayers and readings in the Mass that change from day to day.) Haven’t needed to do a new one in a while.

Latin Rosary Card

This is a prayer card I designed back when I was teaching a Latin class, so I could give one to each student. I ran across the files recently and thought I might as well put them online where someone else might get some use from them. They have all the standard Rosary prayers in Latin: the Sign of the Cross, Apostles Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary, and Gloria.

Pepper

“[S]he lies in front of me curled up before the fire, as so many dogs must have lain before so many fires. I sit on one side of that hearth, as so many men must have sat by so many hearths. Somehow this creature has completed my manhood; somehow, I cannot explain why, a man ought to have a dog. A man ought to have six legs; those other four legs are part of him… [M]y dog knows I am a man, and you will not find the meaning of that word written in any book as clearly as it is written in [her] soul.

Dactylic Hexameter

I made the mistake of telling the kids that their recent literature assignment might be more difficult than anything of the sort that I had to do in school. That gave them an opening to insist that it was impossible, and challenge me to prove that it wasn’t by doing it myself. Oops. The assignment was to write a 25-line poem in dactylic hexameter, the verse-form the Iliad was written in.