A friend linked to a thing today that’s pretty cool: the Deep Dream Generator. It’s a computer program that will take two photos and try to redraw one in the style of the other one. I gave it a picture of my mug and had it use a line drawing of a face as the style, and got the result below. They call it AI. I don’t know about that. To me, AI would be a program that is self-aware and goes beyond its programming in unpredictable ways.
[Setting: A Hollywood conference room.] Suit #1: “Gentlemen, we have a problem. Our new movie is setting up to be a disaster. Test audiences hate it. They’re saying it makes no sense and that the lead actress has two modes, boring and bitchface. The editors say there isn’t enough good there to salvage. We’ve been promoting it hard, and now word is leaking out that it’s bad. How can we save our asses?
Today I learned that if you’re an Adams Electric customer, and you need to drop a tree on your property that might get into power lines, they’ll come out and cut it down for you. I knew they’d do that for the power lines along the road, but it turns out they’ll do it for the lines coming in as far as your meter too. Good to know, so you can let them take care of it in the first place, instead of starting to drop it yourself and then having to call them anyway because you need more manpower to pull the tree over in the right direction.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!”
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.)
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“[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.
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.
I ran across this link called How to Care for Introverts today and realized I’ve never written about being an introvert, although I’ve mentioned it in passing a couple times. That link goes to a very crummy scanned image, so I thought I’d type it in here, and then add my own thoughts. First of all, for those who don’t know what an introvert is, the best definition I know is: “someone for whom spending time with other people is tiring.