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Three sentences about Ferguson [2014-11-27 @ 00:01]
It's possible that, of the many white cops who have killed black kids in the recent past, none of them have actually broken the law. THE LAW NEEDS TO CHANGE.

(http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120395/ferguson-grand-jury-makes-issues-no-charges-officer-wilson and http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/09/24/3571699/grand-jury-wont-charge-cops-in-wal-mart-killing-even-as-video-reveals-victim-never-pointed-his-gun/ and http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/11/24/as-a-federal-prosecutor-i-know-how-hard-it-is-to-convict-officers-like-darren-wilson/ and http://billmoyers.com/2014/10/27/century-racist-policies-created-ferguson/ are some other stories about this that friends have linked to)

I want to come up with a Ferguson Pledge, and I want every single politician who runs for office in the next two years (hell, ten years, but let's start small) to be obligated to say it, and then to do it, and for anyone who won't to be considered a joke candidate.

I'm not sure what the Ferguson Pledge should be. Some things (three?) that you promise to do if elected. Concrete things, changes that will help prevent any more children from being shot by the police. Demilitarize the police -- my town isn't threatened by anything today that it wasn't threatened by thirty years ago, any military equipment we've acquired in that timeframe is at least unnecessary and more like actively dangerous, and we'll sell or destroy or turn into public art every single piece of it, within a year. Deal with non-violent protests by pulling ten arbitrarily-selected protesters out of the crowd, spending at least two hours talking to them over a gourmet meal, and then giving them a PA system to speak to the rest of the protesters and explain what I'm going to do to address their concerns. Direct every precinct in my town that when there aren't any protests, they will hold a weekly meeting with community members and police leadership to talk about their concerns. (Treat it like jury duty, except that once a year you get invited to a gourmet breakfast with the Chief Of Police to tell them what they're doing wrong.) Change the way the police are trained to respond to vague threats, and change the laws that protect them when they wildly overreact.

This is just off the top of my head, and is not particularly well thought out, but I bet there are some concrete steps that could be written down. And I don't know how to get them to do it, but *every single fucking politician who runs for any kind of office* needs to be badgered *relentlessly* by the media until they agree that they're going to do what it takes to prevent kids from getting shot by cops.
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Three sentences about Ferguson [2014-11-25 @ 13:17]
I thought http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/ferguson-michael-brown-indictment-darren-wilson/ was interesting -- it suggests that grand juries are very unlikely to indict police officers. *That's* a big problem, but it's a different problem than the specific problem of Michael Brown's murder. #blacklivesmatter #ALLlivesmatter
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Three sentences about 2014-11-14 [2014-11-16 @ 20:54]
Friday, wow that was only two days ago and yet is already gone. Poof. I made some progress on my current thing at work, but I keep finding more yak. It's good, though, I'm improving many little things that need improving; but the Thing I Am Supposed To Be Finishing TM is not itself per se getting all that much closer to getting finished. Some. And it will. But still.

Links! About relationships:

This reminded a bit of Into The Woods -- what happens after "the story" is over: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/11/18/guy-walks-into-a-bar

Thor is going to be female! What do Iron Man and Odin think? http://textsfromsuperheroes.com/post/91917486206

The first time is always awkward, even if you're Superman: https://imgur.com/gallery/RCPYB14
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Three sentences about 2014-11-13 [2014-11-15 @ 23:12]
Thursday, another day. Bleah. Perhaps some links. Kid-related:

Why is the sky blue? That's easy; a better question is why is the sky *dark*: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olbers%27_paradox

If you were in a shop with your son and he wanted a princess doll, what would you say? http://www.rejectedprincesses.com/post/98706358103
(Also, if you were at a Ren Faire and an obnoxious woman told her daughter that she couldn't be a warrior.)

A fairy tale by the amazing Ursula Vernon (of Digger fame): http://ursulavernon.tumblr.com/post/89980094313/toad-words

The much-anticipated sequel to Go The Fuck To Sleep: http://thinkprogress.org/culture/2014/09/24/3571381/
(Also, free audiobook download! http://amzn.com/B00PHCLA14
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Three sentences about 2014-11-12 [2014-11-15 @ 21:25]
Oh hey, I remember what else happened on Tuesday, I left work early to come home and do some bike riding with Junie, because the weather was gorgeous. Only the second time she's been out there with pedals on, she was able to get started from a standstill a couple of times, but still finds it challenging, and gets frustrated when she can't do it, which tends to be a negative feedback loop. When she calms down and doesn't think about it too hard, though, she goes and goes. :^)

Anyway, Wednesday, hmm. I can again only assume that I did some faintly useful things at work (it was a somewhat sluggish week). No volleyball, our team was off this week.

Some Halloween links, before we're too far past: All from The Last Trick-Or-Treaters, a series of scary and often nasty one-panel horror comics about kids and Halloween by Randy Milholland of Something*Positive fame. http://rhymes-with-witch.com/rww10182011.shtml is the first from 2011, and http://rhymes-with-witch.com/rww10012012.shtml the first from 2012; http://rhymes-with-witch.com/rww10062014.shtml is the first from 2014, and is a quite poignant change of pace that I really liked. The rest of 2014 is more typical.
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Three sentences about 2014-11-11 [2014-11-15 @ 17:51]
Tuesday? I, uh, was probably tired from volleyball on Monday. (I often have a hard time falling asleep in a timely fashion after volleyball, which is not ideal when I get home at 22:30.)

Some movie-related links:

Princess Leia walked the streets of Manhattan for ten hours; see what happened: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DCDYSJwwE4
The Feminist Princess Bride: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jennaguillaume/gender-equality-as-you-wish
An artist removes one letter from movie titles, draws a scene from the movie: http://twistedsifter.com/2014/11/austin-light-illustrates-movie-titles-with-one-letter-removed/
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Three sentences about 2014-11-10 [2014-11-14 @ 21:24]
Whooo, where did the week go. Monday, hum, there was probably some stuff at work, and then volleyball, which was ok, but we went our usual disappointing 1 - 7. I'm working on putting together the Monday team for next season, and we're getting close, but still have a couple holes to fill, one way or another. Got a few weeks still, so we'll see.

A link! This comic: http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=3537#comic Whoa like what even I am bemused.

Here's the thing: I learned it as "Gimme five! Up high! Down low! Too slow!" What the hell is this "High five! On the side!" business? Is that a regional thing? Ethnic or otherwise cultural? Dude! I had no idea that this was not 100% universal. :^)
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Three sentences about 2014-11-09 [2014-11-09 @ 22:56]
A long but very nice morning with the kids, starting with a quick breakfast, and then off to a playdate with a friend of Junie's from preschool (who has a little sitter who Q played with, although in fact everyone played with more or less everyone). They had to leave at around 11:00, and we stuck around a little longer before heading home ourselves. We had thought we might drive, in case it rained (we had a backup in-case-of-rain plan), but it ended up being really nice, so we biked over, Q on his (formerly Junie's) preschooler-sized glider bike, Junie on her 20" "big kid" bike, which she's still riding as a glider bike with the pedals off. I mention all these details because she was doing really well with the gliding, and we talked about putting the pedals on... And then decided to try it this very afternoon (big kudos to Amy for encouraging this! I was totally going to just wait until spring), and she did *great*. She has a hard time starting, but that'll come. She can totally pedal pedal pedal on her big kid bike! :^) :^)
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Three sentences about 2014-11-08 [2014-11-09 @ 20:58]
Up early with the kids, and then off to swimming with Quentin, who is super enthusiastic and a lot of fun. :^) In addition to his previously-described skills, he is cheerfully blowing bubbles, which is great. We'll probably take a break for the winter, as we often do, and see what's what in March. Amy took Junie to Shotokan, and we then regrouped for lunches and naps. Chaos and the Wilks came over for Thai in the evening, which was sort of a fiasco -- remind me, past self, not to order from Tom Yum Koong via Beyond Menu again, because they invariably screw up the order, and I never had this sort of trouble with ordering directly from TYK by phone. (This time, BM dropped an item from the order before they sent it to TYK, and I called them to correct it, but then when they actually delivered the order it was missing two *other* things, which they brought later, but it was quite much later by then, so, bleah.) Dinner logistical issues aside, the company was excellent and we all had fun, and didn't get to bed too super late.
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Three sentences about 2014-11-07 [2014-11-09 @ 20:47]
Hmm, what happened on Friday. Some progress on some things at work, despite being pretty tired and out of it. I vaguely recall that something interesting happened at home in the evening, but now can't remember what. Really gotta post these things in a more timely fashion!
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Three sentences about 2014-11-06 [2014-11-06 @ 23:15]
Ok day today, I didn't make a whole lot of actual concrete progress on things but I did have a really good design/architecture conversation with Matt, and have a plan for a bunch of interesting revamp type work to do, which I always enjoy. Amy picked up takeout from Panda Express for dinner, which I hadn't had in years, and enjoyed greatly -- there was one on my way home from Caltech, back in the Pasadena days, and I probably got takeout there once every week or two. Amy and I started to have some pretty serious and complicated conversations about plans for next year for preschool for Q and afterschool stuff for Junie, and made some good progress, although we still have some figuring out to do. Now it's late and time for bed.
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Three sentences about 2014-11-05 [2014-11-06 @ 10:41]
Better day today, I made some good progress on the current task of my current project at work, despite various obstacles. Volleyball was fun, we mostly beat the teams that were worse than us and lost to the teams that were better than us, which is always at least somewhat satisfying from an all-is-right-with-the-universe perspective. I missed a whole bunch of serves, for no good reason, but we all had some great moments too, it's a fun team in a fun league.
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Three sentences about 2014-11-04 [2014-11-05 @ 10:47]
Sluggish day yesterday, I couldn't muster up the energy to do much of anything at work. :^P Managed to make some progress on some things, but not enough on anything. In the evening, elections, bleah.
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Three sentences about 2014-11-03 [2014-11-04 @ 10:21]
Back to school and work. I'm less involved in school than I used to be; our usual routine these days is that Amy and Junie and Quentin walk to kindergarten, A & Q walk back home, and on the days when he has preschool, Amy then drives Q there. I've been meaning to try doing dropoff some time, but haven't gotten around to it. Work was ok, some progress on my current big project, which is currently being thwarted somewhat by some weird network issues with one of our hosting providers. Volleyball was ok -- our team continues to struggle, in large part because more than one of us are not very good passers, but we managed to win a game for the first time in a couple of weeks, and I played well at the end at least (after missing a bunch of stuff early).
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Three sentences about 2014-11-02 [2014-11-03 @ 10:08]
Took the kids to Together In Motion in the morning, where we met up with a friend of Junie's from preschool last year, and her dad and little brother, and much tumbling and bumbling fun was had by all. It was SNOWING when we left, which more or less everyone found more or less delightful. :^) Naps in the afternoon, Amy led a bunch of cleaning up around the house (including Junie's room! it is so clean), and I shopped and made tacos for dinner. An early evening turned into a late one when we did more cleaning and made muffins, but we made it to bed not too super late after all.
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Three sentences about where the hell did October go [2014-11-02 @ 00:11]
Wow, I apparently didn't post in October. Here are some things.

Work was good. I wrangled a big release of our web site, and it went well, and I felt like I contributed useful ideas towards improving the process, which I've now begun implementing.

A bunch of volleyball things. I joined someone else's team in the Monday West Newton Intermediate league, which has been ok. I like the towers for ref-ing, and the level of play, but the location isn't as convenient, and our team in particular is not very good, in part because we've had a lot of subs and haven't gotten used to each other yet. One of the reasons our Wednesday team does well is that we *have* gotten used to each other, so e.g. we all know how to cover for the flaws in my game, we know who are our power hitters and who are our finesse hitters, we know when we've got two blockers and when only one, etc. Monday still feels more like a pickup game than like a team, which means losing a lot of games when you're playing against teams who do know what they're doing. :^)

The Tuesday team is an entirely different cast from the spring season, and mostly different from the winter season too: One of the original Big Dig group, one of the guys who's been playing regularly on Tuesdays, someone from a team who we've played *against* a bunch but which sort of dissolved I guess, a co-worker, and two women from the indie (players looking for teams) list. It's been a bit rocky, due to the still-getting-used-to-each-other problem, but they played really well last week, and we'll see what it turns into. (I only sub on Tuesdays, still.)

Wednesday has been great, a consistent lineup of players who are right for this level (except me, but hey), good attitudes, lots of fun.

The kids have been great. They started school, and like it. Junie graduated from "Penguins" swim class, and has now started "Dolphins", which involves more being in the deep end of the pool, and an implication that she can actually swim, which I suppose she sort of can. :^) She's now doing that on Mondays after school, and Shotokan on Wednesdays after school, and today went to Shotokan again (most kids go twice a week) since swimming isn't on Saturday any more, so she's like acquiring activities and stuff. And is generally astonishingly mature and smart and thoughtful, and a good little bug. Quentin is also still doing swimming, at the "water babies" level, but today we found that he's actually almost tall enough to stand at the very shallowest part of the shallow end, so he may be moving up to "Fish" (the first/youngest no-parent-in-the-water class) in the spring. He loves it, and is much more daring than she was at that age -- he'll jump in of the side and grab onto a floating barbell thing, without me catching him or holding his hand or anything.

Halloween was fun. There are probably pictures somewhere.

Trader Joe's has gluten-free pumpkin pancake mix now. No one in our household minds gluten, but the pumpkin pancake mix is one of our favorite things of all time there, so if you've been wishing you could try it, but are gluten-free, this might be exciting news. (Or maybe not everyone else is as weekend-morning-breakfast-centric as us. :^)

I've been listening to podcasts in the car on my commute, including Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, and Escape Pod. I'd like to jot down notes about stories I listen to, so I can remember more things about them, but haven't been, but perhaps I'll start, or go back, or whatever.

At work, we've been watching videos from the Velocity conference, mostly about devops stuff, and someone had a quote "The opposite of DevOps is despair." Actually, it's "spoved", but I really like that, and think we should promote the use of this term. "Aw man, we didn't have that file in our repo, and now we're totally spoved."

I hope to start posting daily again now.
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The tree is dead, long live the tree [2014-10-26 @ 09:32]
The eighty-year-old linden tree in our back yard was hit by lightning a few years ago, and has been damaged beyond the point where it can recover, is the opinion of a couple of arborists who looked at it. They have every interest in getting us to pay them to try to save it, so we're pretty sure they're right.

We think we'd like to have the tree removed, and buy a new tree to put in the same or a similar place. We have the impression that removing a big tree is a somewhat specialized job, so the tree removal people and the people we buy a tree from are probably not the same people? But maybe their activities need to be coordinated? We might also like some advice, like should we keep the stump or have it completely removed, when is the right time of year to do the removal and to plant a new tree, do we need to wait some time between the two things, what are the pros and cons of planting the new tree close to or farther from where the dead tree is, etc.

If this were a construction project, I'd say that what we want is to hire someone like a general contractor, who can oversee the whole project and make sure the various parts are coordinated properly. Is that a thing that people do for backyard tree projects? How do we find someone? Anyone local done this and have a recommendation?

Thanks in advance for any tips!
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Three sentences about last week [2014-09-19 @ 06:48]
Part of why I lost last week (not this past week, the week before) was that I was on call for work, which is less fun than I remember it being. I mean, it was never fun, but the last time I was part of a pager rotation, it was less disuprtive, because when I got paged, I was usually on IRC, or watching TV, or playing computer games, or otherwise doing something not tremendously importannt or problematic-to-interrupt. These days, I'm mostly doing something with, for, or to the kids -- getting paged while I'm trying to get everyone through breakfast or baths, or when I'm reading a story or playing a game, is always a nuisance, never a "huh I wonder what's up" sort of interesting distraction. Or when I'm asleep, which nowadays is harder to make up for, because these days when I wake up at 06:45, I'm not deciding "enh, I was up for two hours last night, I'll sleep in this morning", I'm opening doors and curtains and saying "hey kids, time to get up!" and knowing that I'm not getting any more sleep for another 14 - 18 hours at least.

It's ok; I don't wish I'd made a different decision about the job. (Among other things, my other options also involved at least some amount of pager duty and off-hours work, and at least we here have our act together about it.) I just hadn't quite anticipated how disruptive it would be.
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Three sentences about MORE PIRATES [2014-09-18 @ 15:48]
Arr! Loot! It's a pirate card game with art by Dylan Meconis and Scott Kurtz, and it's now hit a couple of stretch goals, so backers will get even more cool stuff. Will they hit any more before the Kicksarter ends? http://kck.st/1ABqCIR
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Three sentences about lost time [2014-09-17 @ 20:43]
Ok, let's see, more time gone. What do I remember. I have some notes:

On Tuesday, lunch and labor at new space, volleyball help.

On Wednesday, sluggish at work, volleyball, AWS.

Huh, well, those are some things. Tuesday is talking about the new office space where our company is moving at the end of December, where a bunch of us headed over at lunchtime to do some cleanup work in exchange for pizza. Volleyball help? Ah, yeah, I remember this: In the fall, BSSC has a Tuesday league at the same place where I run the Wednesday league, and there's someone new running it, so they asked if I could show up too, to show her around, which I did. Wednesday, pretty self-explanatory, except the "AWS" part, which refers to the fact that I'm tinkering with AWS as a likely place to migrate SWARPAnet stuff from its currently hosting provider.

Then some other stuff happened. It was the first week of school! Preschool for Quentin, kindergarten for Junie. They seem to like it. :^) June had a hard transition from home-with-Mama-all-the-time to preschool when she was that age, but Q is more fearless and crazy, and was off fearlessly and crazily running around within seconds of arrival, perhaps dimly aware that Mama was going to leave, reportedly not at all distressed when she did. Good little guy!

I might try to catch up with the past couple of days tonight, but not right this seconds.
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Three sentences about pirates [2014-09-10 @ 06:47]
Arr! Loot! It's a pirate card game with art by Dylan Meconis and Scott Kurtz. http://kck.st/1ABqCIR
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Three sentences about 2014-09-01 [2014-09-03 @ 14:50]
On Monday, the Wilks came over for waffles breakfast and a playground outing, both of which were fun. And... I don't remember what else, probably some things? I had the day off for Labor Day, so I probably mostly did fun things. :^)

I feel like I'm not getting enough things done. I remember a big wave of excitement about the Getting Things Done methodology; is anyone still using that? TSOR turned up a lot of pages from people who want to sell you something (a book, an app, etc), so I wasn't sure what to make of that. If you tried GTD and liked it and still use it, or tried it and didn't like it and gave it up, I'd be interested in hearing more, especially if you're in the former camp and used an Android app to do it.
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Three sentences about 2014-08-31 [2014-09-03 @ 08:28]
On Sunday, we had a playground playdate with a new kindergarten friend of Junie's (L), the first kid she met who's also in her classroom, after having met a couple who are in the other rooms at previous school-organized incoming-kindergartener meetups. They had a lot of fun, as did Q, and from chatting with L's mom, the two of them were good for each other, encouraging each other to be more adventurous than they usually would be on their own. In the evening, Chaos came over for dinner, and it was nice to hang out with her and have some grownup conversations.
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Three sentences about 2014-08-30 [2014-09-03 @ 06:45]
Whoof, fell behind again. On Saturday, I took Junie to Shotokan, which she enjoyed, and Q and I enjoyed watching her, yay. That evening, I saw Finding Neverland at the ART with Viva, which I liked a lot. Why have I not had ART season tickets for the past several years? Doh. Thanks Viva for suggesting the idea! I liked the show a lot; the male lead had an amazing voice, the first act was so solid that I almost thought they should've ended the show there, and the second act was a little less coherent but still good. I had thought going in that I hadn't seen the movie, and that I didn't even really know much about the actual plot or characters of Peter Pan, but things kept seeming familiar, so I think I knew more than I remembered (or remembered more thank I knew, or something :^). The scene in the park, in particular, was *super* familiar, leading me to think that maybe I had seen the movie after all; but almost nothing else was as much, so who knows. Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to seeing more theater in the coming year.
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Three sentences about 2014-08-29 [2014-08-31 @ 00:12]
On Friday, I had the day off, the last of our three Summer Friday bonus holidays, and the first on which I actually managed to take the day off. :^) We went canoeing at Charles River Kayak & Canoe in Kendall Square, which was fun -- Quentin's first ride in a boat! Not without its issues, though: They were short-handed, so there was a long wait to get the canoe, they ended up charging us for a Big Canoe rather than a Normal Canoe because they were confused, we had mis-read what their web site said about validated parking at the nearby garage (only on weekends and after 16:00), and they cheerfully stamped my ticket, which led to me having a minor confrontation with the poor schmuck at the cashier's desk, who said there was no validation until after 16:00 and if those guys at the canoe place said there was that was their problem, and I hadn't like yelled at him or anything, but felt bad that I had been at all cross and glarey and whatnot given that he was 100% right and I was 100% wrong. :^p Anyway, so we liked the activity, but we might do it somewhere else next time.

Came home and hand lunch after that; after lunch, before nap, Junie had a somewhat tragicomical mishap, in which a "dinsoaur book" she had made by drawing a bunch of dinosaur pictures on half sheets of paper and then stapling them together on one edge -- which was super awesome in like six sidfferent ways -- she wanted to staple something else to one of the pages, ended up stapling the entire opposite edge together, and then when she realized that she could no longer turn the pages of the book, she cut the whole thing in half. She is super smart and very resourceful and just awesome, but it is also clear that spatial relations are not her forte at this time. She was very very very sad about this all, but I managed to mostly calm her down, promised to help fix it after napping, and then Amy in fact did fix it with her, so that was ok.

Wow, this was an eventful day: After all that, we went over to Chaos's for her birthday party, where we had delicious India Palace takeout, and I got to play three games, two of them new to me, very exciting! (Big thanks to Amy for taking the kids home and to bed when it was bedtime.) We taught Genial to Junie, which she liked but didn't *quite* understand by the end, but I think that's par for the course for her age. After Amy and the kids left, I played a four player game of Survive!, which was silly and fun and I came in third, and a seven player game of Bang!, which was silly and fun and I (and the other Outlaws) won, in part thanks to Ben stockpiling a gigantic hand of Bang cards, and the gun that lets you shoot more than one bullet per turn, and then all at once emptying like six or seven shots into the Sheriff. :^) Home and to bed after that, but an excellent end to August and the school-year summer.
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Three sentences about 2014-08-28 [2014-08-29 @ 23:50]
Got some stuff at work done on Thursday, although I let myself get tempted into spending most of the day on something more like fun and satisfying than like the most important thing I should be doing. I'll get there. A nice and mellow evening with the kids, then some IRC, where Chaos talked about some SWARPAnet stuff, and we may have more of a plan now. (Our current stuff is on bare metal at a colo, the hardware is old and expensive, we're thinking about what to do next.)
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Three sentences about 2014-08-27 [2014-08-27 @ 21:14]
A pretty good day at work today, I finished up (or got into a state where I'm done for now) a variety of small things and the inventory thing, and have now focused my baleful gaze on a "data ETL" (Extract, Transfer, and Load) thing, mostly so far including a meeting and follow-up conversation to understand what I'm supposed to do and how I probably ought to do it. :^) Tomorrow, I will attack it in earnest.

Is it already Wednesday? I somehow thought this morning that yesterday had been Monday. Oof.

I've started using FB Purity to try to make Facebook somewhat more usable. It's not bad, so far. Lots of knobs, still figuring out which ones to turn for maximum impact.
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Three sentences about 2014-08-26 [2014-08-27 @ 07:56]
More progress on inventory stuff at work, which continues to be not quite finished, but to get better and better as I keep working on it, so that's something anyway. Found a weird bug late this evening which turned out not to be my fault, which was amusing but a little frustrating (especially at myself, for not thinking "hmm, maybe this behavior is due to a change someone else made" earlier). I tried stopping by the Fresh Pond TJ's on the way home rather than the Arlington one, and I think it took less time but in more traffic, so will have to think about what makes the most sense in general.

Otherwise, I sent off another flurry of volleyball mail, pretty close to finalizing the rosters for this fall. Kids are good, stuff is good. :^)
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Three sentences about the hole in my brain [2014-08-26 @ 09:51]
Hmm, so what happened here... I had been keeping very brief notes in a file about each day, and turning them into Three Sentences posts, temporarly cutting the later notes out of the file while I ran my post script, and then pasting them back in again. That worked fine, but then I went to make a non Three Sentences post, and didn't immediately paste back in the Three Sentences notes, and then my laptop crashed, and my notes were gone. So I fell into deep despair, and stopped posting, but have now stopped feeling sorry for myself, and am going to start again.

Sorry, future Josh, about the two-week gap in your memory. Some good stuff happened, and probably some bad stuff, and it ended up mostly ok.
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Police and cameras [2014-08-22 @ 14:27]
I really liked http://kottke.org/14/08/policing-by-consent. The idea that the police are the part of the community whose job is to help everyone stay peaceful, rather than some external force whose job is to crush anyone who tries to act violent, seems like a really powerful one to me.

I also like body cameras, but it seems to me like a big problem with putting body cameras on the people you're trying to watch is that it's hard to prevent them from subverting the cameras. I mean, you can tell them not to, and punish them if they do, but if the punishment is worse than being filmed, they'll do it and get punished -- and I think you don't want the punishment to be too draconian, or you abuse people who make mistakes (or create great incentives to cover up mistakes, or whatever).

For me, this is one of the big points in favor of things like Google Glass: What you really want is not for the police to be constantly filming all the people they do things to, but for everyone *else* to be constantly filming what the police are doing to them.
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Facebook is a terrible way to disseminate important information [2014-08-14 @ 22:58]
Ferguson offers the latest example of how Facebook is a *terrible* method for disseminating important information: https://medium.com/message/ferguson-is-also-a-net-neutrality-issue-6d2f3db51eb0

I think it's a stretch to pull Net Neutrality into this, but the Facebook vs Twitter angle is super interesting, and not something I'd thought about at all.

It's also interesting to me personally because "Facebook is the wrong method for communicating thus and so" sort of contradicts something that I've thought for a while, about e.g. e-mail vs Usenet vs FTP vs Gopher vs the web (this is a pretty old thought :^), which is: The important thing is to get your content out there, and you should be relatively willing to make it available via lots of methods. Saying "I can't publish this on Usenet, I can only publish this via e-mail, because Usenet isn't for this kind of content" is dumb; Usenet and e-mail (et al) are just methods for people to consume content, and you should publish your content in whatever ways will get it consumed in the way you want it to be consumed.

Facebook breaks this because you can't just publish your content there -- they *curate* it, and moderate it, and exercise editorial control over it, to determine who sees it and when and how prominently. I think people are starting to realize the extent of this, but it's not clear to me how much anyone cares (or at least how much anyone thinks it's a problem).

Ironically, Facebook actually works very well for me right now, because I've got it delivering everyone's posts, in chronological order, as soon as they're posted, via my consumption method of choice (e-mail). But most people use the web UI or the mobile app, and thus get only the Facebook Inc approved moderated curated view of the content their friends are *trying* to communicate to them.

Bleah. This issue makes me angry and sad. :^(
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RIP RW [2014-08-11 @ 21:08]
Alan Moore said it well:

Man goes to doctor. Says he's depressed, life is harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in threatening world. Doctor says, "Treatment is simple. The great clown Pagliacci is in town. Go see him. That should pick you up." Man bursts into tears. "But doctor," he says, "I am Pagliacci."

Man, what a clown.
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Three sentences about 2014-08-05 [2014-08-10 @ 23:49]
Behind. Hardly news. Tuesday? Tuesday we had site issues. Bleah. I was up late dealing with them, and that's all I remember.
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Visualizing Git [2014-08-07 @ 15:22]
The thing that I really have a hard time with, with Git, is visualizing the state of the repo. Like, what's my commit tree, where are my current refs pointing, etc. All the docs about Git have these awesome graphs to make it easy to understand what's supposed to happen; I haven't figured out how to get that kind of visualization of what's *actually* happened in any given repo. Like the stuff on http://gitolite.com/gcs.html#%2818%29 and http://gitolite.com/gcs.html#%2828%29, or http://git-scm.com/book/en/Git-Branching-Basic-Branching-and-Merging#Basic-Merging. How do I get a visual graph like that for my actual repo? 'git log --graph' and 'git show-branch' ain't doin' it for me.
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Three sentences about 2014-08-04 [2014-08-06 @ 15:48]
On Monday, our site issues continued at work, bleah. I was there late, but made it home in time to have dinner while the kids were having dessert, and then take them while Amy went to see Guardians Of The Galaxy. Solo bedtime for both kids is often challening, but it's gotten easier as Junie's gotten more independent (and taken more of a sense of pride in being able to do her own thing, rather than being cranky that she has to do things herself while Quentin gets babied).

Bedtime was particularly nice this time: Junie and I are telling an ongoing story, with a new fairy-tale character in each chapter, so we told tonight's chapter in Quentin's room, with both of them in his bed, and then she asked if she could stay and sleep with him, which he also said he wanted to do. I said that we could try it, but that if either of them was having trouble sleeping, she should just head to her room and sleep the rest of the night there, and she said ok. I sang them some songs for a while, and eventually Junie said (somewhat tiredly) "I think I'll head to my bed", and got up and did that. He was asleep about five minutes later, and she was too when I went to check on her. Super sweet. :^)

A link! I have a lot of links, but I liked this Dilbert comic: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2014-08-05/
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Three sentences about 2014-08-03 [2014-08-04 @ 22:48]
Sunday was a nice relaxing weekend day. I took the kids in the morning, napped after lunch, and shopped in the afternoon, before cooking in the evening. Tacos, yum, which we tried with bell peppers (which Junie (and I) like in general) instead of zucchini (which Amy (and I) like in general), hoping that Junie would like them in this context and that Amy wouldn't hate them. Seemed to work! We'll probably try zucchini again at some point, but Junie likes tacos in general, so it's nice when she expresses her enjoyment of them rather than whining about the zucchini. :^p
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Three sentences about 2014-08-02 [2014-08-04 @ 21:13]
I took the kids in the morning on Saturday, and then had a nice nap while Amy took Junie to shotokan (and Q along to play). Junie and I played Aquarius after I woke up; her main weakness at this point is that she has a hard time remembering where the goals are, so if they get rotated, and then one of the rotated-out goals gets seven, I can much more consistently get my hands back on that goal than she can. She'll get there! :^) After Q woke up from his nap, Chaos came over, and we played in the backyard for a while, while Amy cooked up a fantastic feast featuring (from my point of view) bacon-wrapped scallops. Ka-yum!
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Three sentences about 2014-08-01 [2014-08-04 @ 17:37]
On Friday, I had major Git woes, which I'm still going to try to sort out, but in a nutshell, in case this rings a bell with anyone, the problem seems to be that I created a branch, did some work on it, merged in master, and did some more work on it. Now I'm trying to merge in master again, to pick up changes that other people have made, but none of the changes that anyone else has made are to any of the files that I'm changing (because I'm just adding new things), and I haven't changed anything other than the files I'm adding... Nevertheless, it thinks there's a merge conflict, apparently because it thinks that the commits from the previous merge are now part of my branch, are downstream of the common ancestor of my branch and master, and now conflict with things that other people did in master. What I *thought* would happen is that after my previous merge, my branch and master would have a new (more recent) common ancestor, such that the next merge could simply fast-forward again... But that doesn't seem to have happened. So I need to figure out (a) how to get myself out of this mess; (b) how to avoid it in the future. Meanwhile, I'm sort of stuck on the inventory project (which is what I'm doing in this branch), because the next thing I want to do is test my stuff in a non-destructive mode on some live systems, which I can't really do without being in synch with master otherwise. Bleah.

In the evening, we went to the birthday party that was rescheduled from Sunday, and a good time was had by all. One highlight was a pinata, which at first led me to think "ooh, Quentin is totally going to rock this, despite being three years younger than the other kids, because whacking things with sticks is like his number one skill". :^) Turns out he is much better at whacking things with sticks that are about his size, than with sticks that are, say, the size of a broomstick and an inch around, which turned out to be much too heavy for him, poor guy. He had fun trying to swing it, anyway, and we all had a good time.
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Three sentences about 2014-07-31 [2014-08-04 @ 10:26]
On Thursday, we continued to wrestle with the DB issues that had been vexing us all week. There was also some confusion with billing from Junie's preschool: I noticed we had gotten a credit in our bank account for a month's tuition, on May 28th, shortly after our bank auto-mailed them the May payment, and I wasn't sure what was up with that, and the invoices they were sending us didn't entirely make sense, with balances and transactions not entirely adding up... With August her last month, they finally added everything up, and we realized that they never deposited (never received?) the *February* check, which was farther back than we'd been looking, and evidently our bank credited us for it having gone missing 90 days later. So, that's all squared away now, and it's weird to think that after three years of daily (weekday) attendance we've got three more weeks before we move into what will probably be a nearly completely disjoint era.
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Three sentences about 2014-07-30 [2014-08-03 @ 20:47]
Wednesday at work featured more DR planning, and more flailing around with inventory stuff, although I've helpfully forgotten the details. Volleyball wasn't great either, we went 2 - 6 and didn't have much energy and I personally didn't play very well at all, meh. Just that sort of a day I guess.
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