Oh, the weather outside is frightful…


Originally uploaded by eidolon

This past week, as previously noted, I was down in NJ visiting my client. As such, I managed to miss the first snowstorm that came through on Thursday night.

Hahahhaha. I was not to escape so easily!

It’s still snowing out. The cleared driveway and path are nowhere to be seen. I’d call it another 11″ of snow has fallen, and it’s still going. Forecasts are saying it’ll turn to rain this afternoon, but it’s awfully chilly right now.

The kids next door are trying valiantly to bounce on their backyard trampoline, while it’s covered with a foot and a half of snow.

Zach’s curled up on the couch reading Harry Potter.

I miss my snowblower.

Our home.


Originally uploaded by eidolon

Yesterday I went over to the site for our once-a-month allowable visit onto the property while construction is going on. It was a nippy 18 degrees out, and the sky had that slate gray of “I’m a-gonna snow on you!” look (and in fact, did drop about 2″ of snow later)

The changes that have gone on there are quite amazing. Foundations are complete on about 70% of the buildings, and in Camelot’s case, they even have some of the framing in progresss on two of their units.

This particular picture is actually of the unit Cat, Zach and I will be living in. It’s a “large 3 bedroom + 2 1 bedroom flats” configuration, in this shot, our ‘side’ is on the right. If you’d like to see what it’ll look like when done, we have floor plans and exterior elevations available.

But there’s other wonders. The common house basement is in place, foundation poured and all the forms removed.

Seeing most of the foundations in place is really giving me a sense of what the space will be like. Our narrow walkways are… well, narrow! And the ‘upper lobe’ of buildings is going to feel more like a courtyard than anything else, an unexpected pleasure, to me!

After almost 8 years of working on this project, seeing it finally coming to life is a wonder. Walking down the north path toward the common house… pacing the actual walk from where the workshop (eventually) will be to my front door… it was stirring.

Yawl gets a new face.

New Desktop

Originally uploaded by eidolon

Investing in hardware for my workspace is always hard, particularly when it could easily be interpreted as “Oh, that’s just for FUN.”

But with the price of LCD monitors dropping, it was time to take the plunge and replace my 17″ 1280×1024 monitor with a Dell 2001FP 19″ 1600×1200 version. Ebay helped me find one for just a hair under $200, and a few days later, here it is.

Gutsy on yawl was very easy to reconfigure, using the nvidia-settings tool to generate a new Xorg.conf file (it was ALMOST pointy clicky from beginning to end, the only thing I had to do manually was copy the Xorg.conf file into place.

I’m already comfortably settled into the idea I’ve increased my desktop area by about 30 percent, but occasionally I find myself wondering at all this great real estate.

Fall in Massachusetts


Originally uploaded by eidolon

I do love the fall, particularly when it gets cool enough to really enjoy the outdoors. Hiking in the woods is one of the best ways I have of unwinding.

I took the new camera along and spent some time outside Callahan State Park, in Sudbury, and found the colors just fabulous. By this time of day, things had gotten overcast, but that certainly didn’t make it any less enjoyable.

Self-Portrait, cam and all

Self-Portrait, cam and all

Originally uploaded by eidolon

And, as promised in my final change jar post, I transferred the Coinstar number into an Amazon gift certificate, and went shopping. The amount I got from the change jar was just enough to get my dream Digital SLR camera, the Canon 400D, aka the Digital Rebel XTi.

It arrived yesterday, and, after fishing a spare CF card out of my parts bin, I’m happily taking pictures with it.

It has pointed out, however, that my Camera-Fu is seriously lacking, and I need to do some studying up. This camera has more settings, more fiddlings, more details than anything I’ve worked with before I have a lot to learn.

I took this picture last night while playing around with the mirrors a bit (was looking to take a picture of the camera itself, but ended up with this arrangement.)

One thing I hadn’t really considered. The images on the camera are something like 11meg each, and Flickr has an upload limit of 10meg. It means I can’t save the raw images I take directly to Flickr as my primary archive. I need to reconsider how I store / sort / upload pictures now.

But… Yay new camera!!!

End of the day

End of the day

Originally uploaded by eidolon

This year has been great for Maine visits, and this past weekend was just super-awesome.

It was a particularly stressful week, and also going into another stressy week, so the break in the middle was a welcome respite. Friday night was warmer than we normally like, but Saturday ended up being wonderful.

A long breezy day full of sailing and swimming, and a cool night of listening to loons.


got bent?


Originally uploaded by eidolon

The eternal challenges of being non-standard.

I love my Haluzak Horizon USS SWB (that’s Underseat Steering, Short Wheelbase for you uprights) recumbent bike. It has, however, been somewhat of a problem finding a way to MOVE the damned thing from place to place without taking up the entire back of the van.

This past week I borrowed my brother in laws’ hitch-mount sorta-tray style bike rack and used it to haul around Zach’s bike, as well as another one we had on loan for blk’s use, but it was really looking like the ‘bent wouldn’t fit on the rack.

Today I needed to cart some kids around, and needed the inside space. Necessity calls! After some adjusting, fiddling, and bungie-cording, the bike is in place, and secure. It works!

In this picture it sure looks like the boom and the back wheel are sticking out a good foot on either side of the car, but in reality they stick out only about 3″, far inside the distance, say, a rear view mirror does. I think we have a solution. It’s even arranged in a way that SHOULD let me put another bike on the inside of the rack. Yay!

Thanks to BIL for the rack loan! I’ll be looking to buy one for real shortly!

Debian Package Search?

Search page for Debian

Originally uploaded by eidolon

Seems like a simple request. I’d like to search the Debian packages to find out information about something I want to install. “Oh wait, I can just use the packages.debian.org site to look at the package and it’s history.” Hah, how naive I was.

Off to said site I go, I click on search and see… debian search disabled. I can use google, though!

“Wait, I remember this being disabled ages ago. They still haven’t fixed it?” – The text even still says ‘disabled for now, we’re working on it.’ But down at the bottom “Last modified: Mon, Dec 30 03:27:07 UTC 2002”

Boy I want that job. 5 years to make a search work. And it’s still not done yet!

Well, gee. Lets see if the google search they have there is working. Maybe they have it functional, and updating the comment has just slipped their mind. Type in the package I’m looking for (happens to be ‘ytnef’), and click *google search*

And get… a weekly news report in 18 different languages from 2005, which, luckily, includes a link to the package I wanted. If this package hadn’t been mentioned in the news article, I’d never have found it.

Come on Debian. No one in the entire volunteer organization can edit one HTML file?

Something Terrible Happened to my Headphones

The other night I decided to go out to dinner at the local CPK, and brought my MZ-RH1 along to listen to tunes while reading.

“Odd,” thought I, “why am I not getting any sound out? The player is running, the display is showing levels, dang, I wonder if I blew out the internal amp during the recording session the othernight? Nah, couldn’t be.” I resigned myself to a musicless evening, and went on with my dinner.

When I pulled the player out again the next day to see what was wrong, I plugged it into my desktop speakers, lo, it worked! Something odd with my headphones, I gu… oh dear. Oh my.

Apparently Lila decided that my headphone cable would make a tasty snack, and gnawed away on them for a bit. Fortunately, she chose the ‘headphone’ segment of the wire, so I can replace them with any generic mini-stereo jack equipped ‘phones. I was rather fond of the Sony headphones (which had the ‘one long, one short’ wiring arrangement that let one earpiece have a wire around the back, thereby leaving only one wire going from the unit to the ‘phones). They had great sound and were reasonably comfortable for ‘earbud’ style phones.

Ah well, I’ll haul out a pair of iPod headphones I have lying around and assume the mild-mannered demeanor of an Apple drone until I can replace my chewed up set.