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Entries from June 2008
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Pac Tom update: June 2008 (07 Jun 2008 at 20:02)
Pac Tom map, June 2008
1007×836 version


logoPac Tom project:
site · all · map
Blam! Three posts in two days, after there being only 2 total posts last month, because I like to keep you guys guessing about the probability distribution that determines whether a post will be deposited in this internet weblog at any given time. I know that these Pac Tom updates are pretty monotonous, but they can't be any worse than some bloggy "Today I ate eggs and Jenny said that Kevin kissed Ethel" stuff, so too bad for you.

Today I ran downtown to do cleanup, a trip that turned out being about 21 miles (it is hard to tell for sure since the GPS works very badly when there are tall buildings around and you are running through alleys and under bridges, and plus the GPS was just working badly today for reasons I can't scrute because it was 90°F and sunny which seems like would be pretty good for satellites). Actually downtown is the worst for Pac Tomming because it is far away and because of the GPS issues (and so I have to meticulously mark of the streets I've done, sometimes from memory) and there are lots of people and cars who think you are weird for running there and sweating on their alleys and under their bridges. And there are lots of highway interchanges and other basically off-limits deadly stuff. AND downtown has some of the worst public water fountain availability, the only ones I know of being at the Point State Park which is currently under reconstruction. Today I was a little lucky that the Three Rivers Arts festival was going on and they will sell you a cup of mostly ice lemonade for $5, which is exactly the amount of emergency currency I was carrying, and ice is solid water anyway which turns into liquid water pretty quickly at 90°F, which liquid is my heart's desire. But it was not enough! On my way back I drank out of someone's garden hose faucet hook-up in the Hill district and I wasn't even sorry. Now downtown is totally done and good riddance to it. I also finished up the Bluff today, which is the location of Duquesne University's campus. An unexpected discovery of this exploration is that Duquesne has a pretty interesting and nice campus, which you might never notice if you only see it from the Hockey stadium side. There are grassy areas and fountains and private drives and little tucked-away nooks with outdoors religious memorabilia like gated plaster statues of ladies clutching babies. Since it's on this huge hill there are lotsa cool views of downtown and the rivers and the penitentiary and lots of three-dimensional topography that you can go over or under (like skywalks and that tunnel that Ben Roethlisberger smashed his football head near). These people don't drink water, I think, because they have no outdoor water fountains. A new feature of my obsessive-compulsive mapping is that I'm now endarkinating each of the neighborhoods that I've carefully validated being completely done with, and will never visit again except maybe on the way somewhere else. These are: Downtown, Bluff, Glen Hazel, Regent Square, Highland Park, Morningside, Stanton Heights, and Upper Lawrenceville. Swisshelm Park, East Hills and Hazelwood are each less than 50 feet of road away from being done, but I missed some tiny street in each of them that I have to go back for. Glowing purple stuff is my todo list, since for some neighborhoods it's easier to mark the stuff I haven't done than the stuff I have.

Stats: 9 days, 22 hours, 40 minutes, 17 seconds. 1718.356 miles.

By the way, I shaved my beard by contractual obligation when the Penguins lost the Stanley Cup finals. Now I have a weird anti-tan where my beard was.
Category:  pac tom (7 comments — 9 years ago)   [ comment ]
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emacs lost-mode (07 Jun 2008 at 00:31)
Spoiler alert! This emacs mode contains spoilers for the TV show Lost (Season 2). (I always wanted to say that, heh heh.) It will also make no sense to anyone who hasn't seen the show or used emacs.

Now that Lost Season 4 is over, I know you need something to tide you over for 9 months or whatever until it comes back. Therefore please enjoy this emacs mode simulating the Swan station computer from Lost. The modeline countdown timer will follow you in every buffer, ticking down the seconds.

Countdown


When reaching the 4 minute mark, you can use the Swan computer and do what you gotta do:

Swan


If you don't do what you gotta do, then you might get some System Failure:

System Failure


System Failure used to kill emacs without saving your buffers, but I decided this was a bit too cruel. Now you can live with System Failure indefinitely, meaning that you can safely run lost-mode as part of your regular day-to-day emacs use. If you have emacs I recommend trying it yourself so you can see the animations (particularly the timer reset animation). Put

lost.el


in a place where you like to store your emacs files (say, "/home/desmond/elisp") and then add

(load "/home/desmond/elisp/lost.el")


to your .emacs file (or the equivalent for your platform; don't forget to escape backslashes on win32). The mode is then activated on startup and cannot be disabled.
Categories:  favorites  hacks (18 comments — almost 6 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Summer Projects (06 Jun 2008 at 18:14)
Here is a super digital zoom picture of me surfing this weekend on an island of wild ponies:

Surfing


You can tell I don't know how to surf by the angle at which my board is pointing to the sky. But, it was my first time.

And here are my summer projects:

Finish the Pac Tom continental region. I'm in the home stretch now, visiting neighborhoods usually to do final cleanup in them, and the weather and allergies are getting to be real good for running. After that, it's over the rivers!
Secret Project H. Soon!
Super Mario Galaxy
Secret Project 8+LD
Secret Project LM. Really soon!
Run a marathon, probably the San Francisco marathon.
Listenquest Maximus 2k8, though this will probably take me through the end of the year unless I start listening outside of my house.
Secret Project L
Secret Project SV
Get a really sweet video camera that I can attach my EF lenses to and make music videos
Endless setlist all-expert mode


Did you know I have so many secret projects? Of course not, that is why they're secret.

Also, here is another fact: His Sophomoric Effort Edition 3 is now available. If you already read this or decided not to read it there is no reason to look again (except some of the typos and particularly cringey text has been fixed), but if you don't know what I'm talking about then maybe you want to go do some cringing in it.
Category:  nanowrimo (9 comments — 9 years ago)   [ comment ]
Entries from May 2008
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Malpheasants (21 May 2008 at 09:03)
Ill-suited birds
Hey, you know how I am always being in bands? Here's a new band. It is called Malpheasants. We only have two songs because we formed this band merely a week before Moira took off for her summer internship in California. The songs are:
  • Against Me In Dimensions. Yo this song is about math, dudes. Sorry those of you who don't like songs about math. You might be surprised/impressed to know that this is the first song Moira ever worked on the writing of! A team effort.
  • Under the Moonshine. Yo this song is about the famousest of family feuds, dudes. Sorry those of you who don't like songs about the famousest of family feuds. It's the Hatfields vs. The McCoys who apparently had some kind of weird brain cancer that makes them go into angry rages. You can't blame all problems on lumps in the brain, though. The story is a good read but one can also pretty much get all of that information more obliquely from our song. Listen to it while sleeping before every Americana edition Trivial Pursuit match for increased scoring potential.
  • Categories:  mp3  one night bands (8 comments — 9 years ago)   [ comment ]
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    Random Distance Run 2008 (02 May 2008 at 22:50)
    Today was the sixth annual Random Distance Run. Like usual I made the t-shirts: Here you can see the design for the front and back. I decided to try something different on the front (this is 1968 Olympics Theme) and I am running kind of dry on CS puns for the back—but fortunately there were twice as many real sponsors this year so I only needed two. (I had to recreate several of the logos by hand in vector format, though, urgh.)

    I also ran in the race, which was 1¾ miles this year. I came in 4th place. I am pretty happy with that.
    Categories:  drawings  races (5 comments — 9 years ago)   [ comment ]
    ... May 2008 continued
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