Review : BloGTK – a Linux blog tool for Moveable Type

I’ve been having problems doing longish postings using Moveable Type‘s standard maintenance interface. While it’s fine for simple babblings, when doing longish reviews and commentary, say, like this one, doing all the edits in a <textarea> really gets wearing. So I set out to find a tool for my Linux machine to make posting easier.

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Compact Flourescent Recommendation

I’ve had this long-standing project of changing all the lights at Homeport to Compact Flourescent, or CF bulbs. These are very small flourescent lights in the shape of a normal lightbulb. Typically they put out about as much light as a 75 watt bulb, but only use 15 watts of power.
The problem has been finding bulbs that have a decent “temperature”. It’s easy to get very bright white CF bulbs, they tend to be sold in bulk piles, but it’s hard to get ones that have a nice ‘soft’ feel to them.
We picked up a packge of ‘GE Soft White 75’ bulbs – this is a 4 pack in a nice cardboard box. The bulbs are -small-, and have fit into every lamp I’ve tried, have a perhaps 1/2 second power-up cycle, and have a BEYOOOTIFUL color. I keep having to check to make sure they’re CF bulbs, but I’ve installed all 4 now, and will most likely be getting more.
The specs on the package say ‘GE Softwhite 75 long life” “Light output 1150 lumens” “Energy used 20 watts” “Life 6000 hours”
Highly recommended! If I find a way to identify different kinds of bulbs, I’ll try and post it, but that’s all the information I’m finding on this packaging.
We’re up to about 25 bulbs in the house now, perhaps half the total lighting in the house. I have yet to need to replace any of the CF bulbs I’m using, and I’ve been at this about 4 years. I know I’ve replaced some of the incandescent bulbs 2-3 times in that period. (mostly because I didn’t have CF bulbs handy 🙂

I wanna juggle.

I’ve had a screaming urge lately to get out and juggle. Maybe it’s the nice weather, maybe it’s the “I’m not working in someone elses office 10 hours a day”, or maybe I’m just weird. I used to go to a weekly juggling club meeting down in Philadelphia many many years ago, and it was really the highlight of my week, and I’ve been to a couple conventions, but its’ been ages.
So does anyone know of juggling clubs in the boston area that meet regularly? I know about the MIT Juggling club, but know no details. Anyone been there, know if it’s active, how big it is, etc? My old Todd Smith clubs are really beat to hell, but I have 4-5 I can get spinning. My real need is to find folks I can pass clubs with for a few hours, so I can get back up to speed and start learning again (I haven’t learned a new pass or trick in probably 15 years. Yikes!)
Anyone? 🙂

Work and Music.

With Cat in Chicago for the week, I’m taking care of Zach and doing lots of my own stuff. Part of this is taking him to school and back every day, which takes up some serious hours in the day, making it hard to get a good long set of work done.
So today I took my laptop with me on the morning drive. After I dropped him off I drove to Burlington, where I was going to meet a friend for lunch, and parked in the Barnes and Noble next door. I took along my new set of Koss Portapro headphones, (which was a replacement for a set I hard worn out) and sat down in the B&N coffeeshop.
After finding a power outlet and settling in, I jacked in the headphones, set up the laptop, and worked about 2 hours on some design documentation and other bits. I designed an entire new module for CONGO, and fixed a lingering logging bug in the code. Very nice. This sort of work groove is what I enjoy the most. The best situation is when I’m writing code – I can get into a sort of fugue state, being totally focussed on what I’m doing, ignoring everything around me. In this case it was design work and documentation, but it still gave me that sense of productivity and accomplishment.
By the way, there’s a book written about this state, called “Flow – The Psychology of Ultimate Experience“. I read it once a long time ago.
But here’s the question for the masses. I was listening to Afrocelts’ third album , ‘Further in Time’ at quite frightening volumes. It’s a remarkable album, and I’ve found most of their music is -fantastic- for coding or concentrating on work.
So what do YOU like to listen to when working or thinking hard?

Too Cool – Grow new teeth!

Folks who read Slashdot have probably already seen this, but apparently some researchers in the UK have used stem cells to grow new teeth in lab animals.. From the article:
“Stem cells, the so-called master cells, would be programmed to develop into teeth and then transplanted into the patient’s jaw where the gap is.”
“It is thought it would then take two months for the tooth to fully develop. ”
For those of us with less than perfect teeth (HI!), this sounds awfully cool.