31. August 2010 · Write a comment · Categories: Personal · Tags: , ,

…I am totally ready for summer to be over. Let’s get on with the fall already.

Let’s get on with all the pretty changing of the leafs; all the brisk days and sweatshirts and long pants; all the coziness that develops as the temperature slows down and people slow down.

Let’s be done with the mosquitoes; be done with the uncomfortably humid days; be done with the nights that don’t cool down until 4am in the morning.

I have vivid memories of the fall from back in Minot. One stands out in particular: swinging around on the rope swing in my backyard, wearing jeans and a hoodie, laughing and talking with Aleasha-Rose from down the street. That memory must be almost 15 years old, but it really sticks with me.

I have none of those (well, besides the clothing) anymore. I’m aching for something just as powerful in my mind. This could potentially be my last autumn in Buffalo, depending on how things look if I finish my degree next summer.

Let me see what this city has to offer…

So after a nearly 4 month hiatus from even bothering to look at my coding, I sat down and cleaned up the parsing code I wrote way back when and got some subroutines going for it. Nothing too fancy, but it should discriminate satisfactorily between RIS and BiBTex formatted library exports (based upon file extension). I’ll probably throw in a screener to check the first line or two of the input file just to be on the safe side, but running on extension alone for now should be fine. Click on through for the code!

As I’ve already got the parser and uploader mashed together1, this piece won’t be hard to integrate in. Now it’s just time to write another subroutine or two for the other more common citation library formats, and this script will be ready to rock2!

Added perk: I totally just got my <pre> tags to wrap properly within my frames! Woohoo!
<perma-embed in CSS-file />

1I haven’t put that code up yet, as I got distracted by life in the interim. But, it’s totally functional. Fo’realz!
2Well, on Mac OS X and/or Unix systems at least. I need to verify and/or troubleshoot the script on Windows-based platforms, as I’m unsure how good the uri_escape and File::Spec are at respecting the different operating systems.

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I ordered an extra drive cage from Antec a while ago to supplement the Antec 1200 that I am using as a case for my FreeNAS file server. However, it did not come with any of the screws necessary for either mounting the hard drives into the cage, or for mounting the drive cage into the computer tower. They may be more marketed as replacement units, but as I do not need an optical drive in my file server1, I wanted to expand the 3.5″ capacity of the whole server and mount an additional cage+fan assembly2. So naturally (as many a customer has done previously), after browsing the forums, I file a support ticket to ask for spare screws as it appears they send them out very readily.

Unfortunately, that was over a month ago that I submitted that ticket. It took nearly three weeks for the screw to finally show up, and that included a follow up email to inquire after the expected shipping period had lapsed (10 business days). When they did show, they were only the hard drive mounting screws. So awesome! I can mount the drives, but now the cage can slide around pretty freely. I submitted another follow up email, and they got the cage-to-case mounting screws sent off. I finally received those Wednesday or Thursday of this last week, and they weren’t even the correct screws. *facepalm*

They sent me eight thumb screws that secure the side panels to the computer tower. Alas, they look almost identical to the cage-to-case thumb screws (same size thumb heads, thread length, but the tower screws are black, while the cage screws are polished/chrome), but the thread pitch is completely off (tower screws use a higher thread pitch). I had to follow them up with another email, and hopefully I’ll be receiving the proper ones this time.

I offered to send the tower thumb screws back (as eight is a lot of extras), but they said to just keep them as spares, and they’d send out the new ones ASAP.

I’m not dissing the fact that they’re doing this completely out of their own pocket, but it is a mild nuisance to have to go through this much rigamarole to obtain the pieces I need. It won’t deter me from purchasing from Antec in the future at all3, but it will make me hesitant to contact customer support unless I really need to. Thankfully, all the products from them that I’m using at present are in the file server, so it should be running for an indeterminate period of time (I hope)!

1Everything is flash-upgradeable in the FreeNAS server at the moment. If I really need to get an optical drive to reinstall anything on the unit from hard media, I can just acquire one for relatively cheap. I’m looking at acquiring a Mac Mini w/Snow Leopard Server sometime this fall to server as a static HTPC for the TV (instead of using the aging MacBook Pro whenever I bring it home), so I will likely procure an external optical at the same time I purchase the new Mac (funds permitting; hoping for refurbs on sale).
2Also, because I’m a little OCD about presentation on stuff. The tower just doesn’t look quite right without confluent blue LED lighting along the entire front face; it’s an all or nothing deal folks! Frankly, I’d go nothing (I mean c’mon, it’s just a file server, to hide out of sight when possible) if it wasn’t pricier to buy four non-LED cages than one LED cage!
3I really do like their products. The Antec 1200, albeit a gaming case, is as quiet (if not quieter) as the Mac Pro (and that’s pretty fucking quiet)! The oversized Antec 850W power supply in it helps contribute to that quietness, as the larger footprint allows for larger components that are easier to dissipate the heat over. All-in-all, they were a minor premium to purchase, but well worth it so far!

I am attempting to take the blog mobile, for the convenience of the few mobile hits that I get every month. That, and with how much of the web is going mobile already, why not try and keep up with the standards and trends? ūüėČ

Bear with me if you are coming here through a mobile device. I need to get used to how the plugin treats my HTML, as it appears my CSS header lines present in many of my posts is bleeding through as plain text. I’m going to have to work on that. In the meantime, back to experimentation at work, instead of geeking it up.

Update: Totally schooled the CSS file and got my text-indent and <code> customizations incorporated! I do believe I’ve ripped out those header-like <style> tags that I was using to improvise from all the relevant posts, so everything should look relatively kosher from a mobile device browser now.

04. August 2010 · Write a comment · Categories: Personal · Tags: ,

Last night’s dream recollection was awfully brief, but vivid at the same time. It was solely composed of me pulling a huge (size of my fist) wad of hair out of the bathtub drain, looking at it in a bit of shock, and tossing it in the garbage.

Pretty sure it was my roommate’s because it was all red/amber as hers is, not to mention mine are nearly black (assuming any of my hairs get caught in the drain). It’s one of those things I check for post-shower, and am lucky to ever have to worry about clearing the drain filter.

This is really bizarre primarily because it’s one of her things she’s very fastidious about (and would like to expect from a roommate). That, and who has dreams of pulling hair out of the bathtub drain?!?

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

So in following up last night’s post, I’ve been riding on a mildly high on life kick lately. With the move finally being finished from the past month, it has finally given me a chance to settle down and observe things with a little more clarity around me. Lab work certainly hasn’t improved that much, but on the plus side my social life was running a little hotter than I thought it had been, despite what I may have been thinking.

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I always keep talking about posting more, and I always keep failing at that. Less of a promise now, and more just a hope that I will. My weeks pan out to busier than they expect to be, and on the ones that I’m free, I’m too lazy to do anything with them. I could afford to mix it up a tad, or something. I’ll just add that to the never ending list of “notes to self.”

Last week wasn’t too bad, aside from the exhaustion part of it. Friday before last (7/23/2010) I participated in the Canalfest 4-mile Tim Frank Memorial run and added that to my growing repertoire of completed road races. I’m far from being able to jog/run an entire race, but a) my pace is slowly picking up with each road race, and b) I’m slowly making it farther at the initial run of the race before I have to take a walking break. With my latest road race last Wednesday (the Ronald McDonald House 5K, despite complications1), I finally slipped under the 12-min mile average pace, and I was pushing something along a 10’ish-minute mile for the entire first mile. I was rather pumped by this news! However, between the close temporal proximity of those two road races and the “fun run” practice run I did on Monday2, I really had no energy left for the week and my tibialis anterior was a little sore and tender from all the work.

Adrienne came up and crashed for the weekend, as we had pre-planned with Greg and Kelly to attend the Kings of Leon concert at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Friday evening, showcasing the opening bands The Stills and Built to Spill. At $70 a ticket, the show was a bit pricy. I only caught half of The Stills on stage3, but they were great to see nonetheless. Built to Spill was much as I was expecting, considering their latest album There is No Enemy is what I’ve heard the most of from them. Kings of Leon was fairly good, but I’m not a huge listener of their music4, and their rock became somewhat predictable as I listened to their songs I was unfamiliar with. And as Adrienne said, the fireworks at the end were pretty paltry for a rock concert5. All in all, good show all around, but probably not worth the money shelled out for the tickets.

There’s more stuff I’d like to dip into, but my shitty sleeping repertoire lately is causing me to try to rectify that situation and become better rested so I can recover a little more effectively from this new attempt at a running habit. I think those other posts will just have to wait on an expectant attempt to post repeatedly this week as long as I can remember to!

1The sky darkened rather rapidly prior to the race with a heavily suggested chance of heavy rain and potentially strong thunderstorms. Not more than 5 minutes into the run, the rain started to come down, and kept raining substantially for roughly 30 minutes. First run in a drenching rain, ever. Best time ever, but also the most exhausting. Once my shoes were soaked through, I was concerned about the leaden lift with each stride of my legs, and mostly about the possibility of developing some evil blisters.
2I’m running on a bit of a “high on life” kick, and so when I got home and my roommate was busy using the kitchen to make herself some dinner, I decided to go off on my first practice run since I started running these road races. I also wasn’t intending to run a road race two days later, so I would have reconsidered that fun run had I planned things out a little further than two days. That pushed me up to something like ~11 miles within a week. I haven’t ran that much in even a two month period, let alone within a period of six days!
3Pre-gaming the concert had us coming into the venue a little late. I personally thought The Stills would’ve been the middle act of the three as I thought they were a bigger deal than Built to Spill, despite the fact that The Stills have only been around since 2000 with three albums, and Built to Spill has been around since 1992 with a lot more albums. Oops!
4I have really only heard their music on the radio and on XM radio, so I was familiar with only maybe five or six of their songs en totale. I like some of their songs, but they remind me too much of Nickelback after they left their good ol’ post-grunge music and went popular mainstream rock. Booo!
5Adrienne has been to far more mainstream venues than myself. Every venue I have been to to date has had a maximum capacity of no more than a couple thousand, whereas she’s been to some pretty big shows, including Green Day, Dropkick Murphys, and Weezer just to name a few!