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Programming Languages I Know [Aug. 17th, 2016|11:17 pm]
Expanding on a twitter meme, here are all the languages I have known how to program in. (I was going to say "know", but it's been long enough for some of these that I'd basically have to relearn them.) In chronological order, with random extra details when I feel like it.

Read more...Collapse )

I may well have forgotten one or two. And the bottom end gets weird: do I know javascript? Well no, but I can still make it do things. Still, that's a pretty good list.
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Downtime & Lack Thereof [Aug. 10th, 2016|10:32 pm]
So apparently downtime is mandatory now. After four days in a row of social things, on Monday I stayed home all day with a headache. It wasn't terrible, just one of those headaches that makes you totally incapable of focused thought. But I felt much better come Tuesday morning.

So what-all was I doing? Thursday night we had houseguests: Wiggles (a TEP from a couple generations after me) and his wife Hannah & their daughter Lumen were coming to Denver for a wedding and needed a place to stay just for Friday night, so we offered them our guest room. They were lovely folks. Got to see the 3-D display tech he's been working on and order in tasty Indian from Jewel.

Friday night we had Douglas over for a visit; he introduced us to Maria Bamford's TV show Lady Dynamite, which is pretty funny. On Saturday morning I had a half-day retreat for the Inclusivity Board (learned interesting things about refugees in Colorado), and then that night I ran Star Wars. And then on Sunday morning we met bears for brunch at Root Down. It was supposed to be in honor of Jeff Lammer's birthday, but he wasn't actually able to make it because his work schedule got switched around. Eit!

I had another Inclusivity Board meeting tonight, and last night we had Sarah over for a visit (great to catch up with her; it's been a while), and tomorrow night is games night, so I guess I better not plan anything for Friday!

I think the other thing worth mentioning is that I read Death by Silver over the weekend. It's a gaslamp fantasy gay romance murder mystery by Melissa Scott & Amy Griswold, and I enjoyed it very much. The pacing is very good.

Okay! I wrote my blog post. Now I just need to find time and energy to write the five other things I need to get written...
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Social, Peekaboo, and Automation [Aug. 2nd, 2016|09:39 pm]
I was thinking "ugh, there's been nothing going on," but then I was talking to my Mom on the phone Sunday and she said "you two have the most active social lives," and I guess there's something to that, since we had Gene & Brandon & Jon over on Friday night to play Sentinels of the Multiverse, and Saturday night was a bonfire at Bob & Pyro's, and on Monday I went and visited Grandma for a while. So there's lots going on, it's just that I'm bad at remembering the kinds of details that make for good anecdotes about everyday doings.

While our guests were over on Friday, we were able to show off Mimsabel's new trick, which is playing peekaboo. She not infrequently likes to hang out on the balcony, looking down at us through the railing. If you stand under the balcony, so she can't see you, and you poke your head out? She will give a tiny chirp when she spots you. (Sometimes it's even a chitter.) And it's ADORABLE!

At work, I have been developing a little R program that can enumerate all the files that ought to exist for the new dataset I'll be managing and then (1) report what's there and what's missing; (2) write makefiles to generate the missing files from the extant ones; and (3) link things into different directory trees based on what's the most useful organization for a given task. It feels kind of ridiculous to be writing code that writes code to do things that I can do by hand, but there are going to be tens of thousands of files with seven dimensions of variability when all is said and done, and after struggling with it for a while I concluded that automating everything to the teeth was the only way I was ever going to keep it all straight.

Three things make a post!
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(no subject) [Jul. 25th, 2016|12:36 am]
We went to see the new Ghostbusters last Tuesday with Douglas at the Cinebarre up in Louisville. (I remember way back when it was new, it was the UA Colony Square 12, and it was huge -- 12 screens! -- for like a year, and then AMC opened up the Mondoplex three exits down the highway with twice as many screens and stadium seating in every one, and everybody kind of stopped going to it.)

I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. I hadn't really been planning on seeing it; I was in favor of the case, but hadn't seen any previews to get excited about and am starting to get a little tired of reboots, but Jerry was enthused, and I'm glad he dragged me along. They did a really good job of changing things up enough that at no point did I feel like I was watching a movie I'd already seen, while still making it recognizably kin to the original. Plus it was really funny.

The other noteworthy thing from last week was sitting in on dry runs of the presentations our team of summer interns will give this week about their project. It turns out that PowerPoint presentations are another topic that I have a lot of opinions about. But all the other experienced folks in the room were agreeing with me, so apparently my advice is decent. (I was particularly proud of thinking to tell one of them to go check whether the projector in the main seminar room can handle the widescreen format she was using, or whether she was going to end up with great big letterboxing bars taking up most of her screen real estate because it will only do 4:3 and not 16:9.)

It was a double gaming weekend: Star Wars yesterday, then D&D today. Afterwards we split the party and Jerry went off to Rich, Ron, and Ray's housewarming while I went to the Floyds' to visit with Marty (and Bryree by skype), who's in town. Which was a much better plan than both of us rushing around frantically trying to do both things.
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Sting & Peter Gabriel 7/12 [Jul. 21st, 2016|11:51 pm]
So last week I went and saw Sting & Peter Gabriel in concert.

I had seen quite a while back that they were touring together, and that they'd be playing in Denver at the Pepsi Center. I I had been dithering about whether or not to go to, and then that Sunday evening (after a fairly full day of chores & errands) Monkey & I played some Rock Band in the basement, and I was reminded that every so often I need to hear really loud music. So I went.

The concert was on a Tuesday evening. I bought myself a ticket on Monday night off Flashtickets (the official resale site) and actually found a really good deal: right in the middle of the back row of section BBB (the one right in front of the stage) for only $99! (Well, plus a $22 official scalper's fee from the website, but still a good deal.) There was a little bit of a kerfuffle when I got to my seat; I was in row 22, seat 10 and the guy in seat 9 said he & his wife (who was off getting a drink) were in seats 9 & 10. So that was a problem. The usher-types sent us off to the main customer service desk, and they determined that yup, we did indeed have legitimate-looking duplicate tickets, so they bounced us to customer service over at the box office. We waited and fretted about the concert starting, and then a guy came out and took our tickets into the back, and after a bit he came back and told me I was good to go but started asking the couple questions about how they purchased their tickets. I ran off to watch the show and didn't hear any more, but at the end of the show I told the gal in seat 9 about the situation, and she got her tickets for a pretty good price online, too, and the couple had physical tickets, so I think somebody resold a pair of tickets twice and they got scammed...

It was a very good show. Mostly Sting & Peter bounced back and forth, taking turns playing songs, but they played quite a few songs together, too. They covered a couple of each other's songs, too; Peter covered If You Love Somebody Set Them Free and made it sound wicked and dirty.. It was pretty cool.

Visually, the show had 14 big LED panels hanging above and behind the stage that moved up and down and played coordinated chunks of video. They also had textured covers on them that were lit with colored lights from above and below. They got a lot of different effects out of them, and it was a fun show to watch as well as listen to.

photo 01

photo 06

As you can see, I had a really good seat. There was a tall fellow right in front of me, but after the first couple songs, he actually spent most of the show sitting down. Thanks, tall stranger!

I found a setlist online, which I have copied below. Sting's selections were a bit more in mellow mode, but he played Desert Rose, which was fantastic, and Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, which are two of my favorites. And Peter played all the really important songs: Solsbury Hill and In Your Eyes, and, most of all, Secret World, which made me weep openly and was worth the price of admission all on its own. So I was very happy.

Setlist behind the cutCollapse )

I met up with Karen & Thomas afterwards -- they managed to score free tickets from Thomas's work and had the evening free with kids off at the grandparents' for the week, so they got to watch from a private box almost straight behind me -- and we hung out for a while outside waiting for traffic to clear up. Astonishingly, I ended up parked very close to an exit, and it only took me about 5 minutes to get out of the parking lot! It was a nice cap on a great evening.
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Busy week [Jul. 17th, 2016|08:57 pm]
Last week was quite busy. D&D on Saturday was followed by a zillion chores and errands on Sunday. Okay, well, probably more like a dozen, but they still took up most of the day. Among other things, I dyed the gray* hair in my beard blue:


I was gonna go for a darker blue, but the beauty supply store was out of stock of most of the blues, so I went with "Azure" instead. I mean, what the heck, it's just decorative and it's gonna wash out before long anyway.

Monday was pretty much the only evening last week that I didn't have something going on. But it was also the start of a three-day workshop on Bayesian modeling that I took, so that was fine. I learned a lot (mostly a bunch of different and exciting ways that your model can fail to work properly), and it was keen. I think I stand a chance of being able to actually run such a model for real now!

Tuesday evening I went and saw Peter Gabriel & Sting at the Pepsi Center, which I'll post more about separately. (It was awesome.) And then Wednesday was the second Inclusivity Board meeting. It's still not totally clear to me what our mandate is, but probably we'll be able to provide some useful advisement regardless, so hopefully a navigational target will arise in time.

Thursday was games night at Chris's. I played two new games that I was favorably impressed by: Nefarious and Quantum. Nefarious is a card game with a little bit of meeple investment where everyone plays mad scientists building doomsday weapons. It was quick and fun. Quantum is a 4X-style space game where all your spaceships are dice, with power, speed, and abilities determined by which side is facing up. It manages to capture the 4X feel without bogging down, allows for different strategies, and is well balanced. Thumbs up to both.

Friday after work I went to a house re-warming for a friend from high school (Kent) who lives nearby; had a good time and ended up staying longer than I'd expected to. The really interesting thing is that I've been trying out a ketogenic / high-fat low-carb diet, and even though I hadn't had anything to eat since lunch, I didn't feel compelled to graze continuously on all the chips and snacky things. Which, like, never happens. And even though I got a workout that afternoon, I didn't get a low-blood-sugar headache and want to kill everyone when a bus misadventure on the way home caused me to lose half an hour and have to walk an extra 2/3 of a mile to catch the FF1 back from Union Station! So I think it's working.

Yesterday Monkey went to a board breaking seminar for kempo while I went to Bob & Pyro's for a pool party. He bruised his heel and his right hand hand and I sunburned my upper arms. We both had a good time. :)

Today I managed to go to the grocery store and call my mother and write this blog post, and that's it. I has a tired now.

Also, over the last couple weeks we watched both seasons of Gravity Falls, which I will recommend to anybody who hasn't seen it.

(*Random aside: I know that gray vs grey is mostly American vs British spelling, but I feel like gray with an A is for warm yellowish grays, and grey with an E is for cool bluish greys. Is that just me?)
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Stuff [Jul. 9th, 2016|11:10 am]
Man, has it already been a week since I last posted? Maybe it's because it was a short week.

We went to Bob & Pyro's on the 4th. Monkey even got in the pool and managed to not get sunburned! At sundown we did the usual fireworks watching thing over in Broomfield. It was good other than the sprinklers coming on just before the show started and right during the finale.

Tuesday evening we met Amber & her hubby at Dae Gee for a farewell dinner. (They're taking advantage of Denver's housing market to sell their house and use the proceeds to buy a bigger place in a small town in Michigan and pay off a bunch of debts.)

Work was good. I saw a talk on Wednesday about unit testing in R, and now I'm kinda psyched to add unit tests to my bias correction package. The talk itself was no great shakes, but afterwards there was some discussion about what areas are and are not worth building unit tests around, and that was very informative.

Current events are stupid and terrible, and it makes me mad how many problems are not a matter of not knowing what to do or how to do it, but problems that persist because people don't want to fix them because they're too attached to shitty ideas.
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Cucumber salad [Jul. 3rd, 2016|11:26 pm]
I improvised a cucumber salad for Jason's holiday BBQ today and I came out really well, so I thought I'd record the details here.

Dice / slice small:
6 small persian cucumbers
2 picking cucumbers
1 avocado
1 big king trumpet mushroom (mostly for texture)
1 large green onion

I mixed up the dressing in a bowl by eyeballing the ratios, so the quantities here are just a guess. Taste and adjust!
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons S & B chili oil with crunchy garlic (taberu rayu)

Jason made lots of tasty barbecued stuff and we hung out with bears & played some CAH and a game of Citadels. Made a later evening of it than we'd expected to, so that's good.

The only other thing I got done today was some grocery shopping. I needed some downtime after spending all day prepping and then running Star Wars. But it was a good session (especially given how many details I didn't get around to prepping!) after a bit of a hiatus, and I have lots of material left over for next time.
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Reunion, toosuto, #intrude [Jul. 1st, 2016|12:16 am]
Okay update!

So the reunion was great.Collapse )

As is not uncommon, there were a lot of distant (step-) relations who recognized me that I didn't recognize back. I always feel kinda bad about it, but I see no solution. I just know way too many people and have a lousy memory for names. But everyone was friendly, the countryside was pretty, we all had a good time, and all my siblings responded positively when I told them about our wedding plans. So yay!

Saturday was pretty much all travel. On Sunday, Jerry and I joined Thomas & Josh (toosuto), who was in town doing aikido stuff, for lunch at Domo. Since D&D that afternoon was cancelled due to DM illness, we also took the time to go see giant inflatable bunny sculptures downtown. Later in the afternoon, I went over to Karen & Thomas's to see a bit more of Josh & his family, and ended the evening playing a game of Lords of Waterdeep.

The rest of the week has been mostly unremarkable. Monkey has been working extra hours on a release that went live today. Pandemic Legacy on Tuesday night. Yesterday I thought I had strep, so I stayed home for a doctor's appointment, but it turns out it was just a canker sore in a weird place plus a random sore throat, so that was a pleasant surprise. Ended up taking the day off and sleeping a good chunk of the afternoon away, so clearly I was a little under the weather with something; maybe just lack of sleep.

Oh, and I discovered this week that I just flat-out forgot to pay several bills at the end of last month. Whoops! I'm all caught up on everything but the HOA (who you can't call, so I might as well just pay it double this month), and everybody else did a courtesy waiver of the late fees for me, but still, how embarrassing!

Bunny pics behind the cutCollapse )
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Off to Idaho [Jun. 21st, 2016|11:15 pm]
Tomorrow I am off to Idaho! My stepmother and all her siblings (and all their kids, and all their kids, which is a lot, because they're all mormons) are having a big reunion up in Idaho. I have a two-leg flight to Pocatello via a 2-hour layover in SLC, and then I get get to drive for 2.5 hours to get to the small town where the reunion is happening. Wheeeeeeee. I'm sure it'll be very picture-squee, and it'll be nice to visit with all my siblings, but I sure wouldn't mind if there were less traveling involved.

I did discover that I can fit all but one of my Dominion sets into a single box to bring along (at my sister's request). And that I can fit that box, my APAP, and four days' worth of clothing into a carryon-sized bag, thereby minimizing the chances of it getting lost in transit.

We had a lot of plans for this weekend, but they mostly fell through. Jerry caught a cold on Friday, and was out of commission in a healing coma most of the day on Saturday. He sent me off to Floyd's birthday barbecue without him (thereby minimizing my exposure to his germs, which was considerate of him). I grilled a couple eggplants and made an eggplant-tahini salad out of them, which was tasty, and had a good time socializing all evening and playing boardgames (two round of Between Two Cities and one of 7 Wonders) into the night. Sunday we had planned to do various Pride things, but what with it being beastly hot outside and himself still convalescing, we decided discretion was the better part of valor and just stayed home near the A/C. Probably just as well. I prepped dinner to take to the Floyds last night, since Rose is recovering from hip surgery. Tonight I did some packing and zipped over to say hello to Chris & Todd (and Missy Claws!) on their way through town as they move cross-country.

So yeah. Work has been a little unsatisfying of late; too many meetings and small, interrupt-y tasks with deadlines and upcoming travel to dive in and focus on the big projects on my to-do list. I'm hoping that once I get back I'll have the space to make progress on big stuff again.

I've been re-reading H. Beam Piper's Fuzzy books as an antidote to news about current affairs. It's interesting the degree to which the politics in them focuses on people rather than institutions. And except for a handful of villains, the people are generally good and decent, even when they disagree, which makes them very satisfying comfort reading.
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