Realized my last post was almost two months ago! It’s been a bit of a busy period.
Clementine shared balloons and fun with kids at a community festival, marched in a parade, and served as a entertainment on the midway. Oh, and got herself a new pair of polka dotted oversize Converse sneakers!
I bought, built, and directed the decorations for vacation bible school, led games for vacation bible school, and went with a group of youth (including both of my daughters) on a week long mission trip. I even got to use one of my clown magic tricks for the VBS kids… that was my excuse to buy the requisite parts, so good to use it at least once or twice.
In between, I’ve also been working my way through a Coursera multi-class specialization on strategic leadership, and gotten to help bring a few candidates into our company. A bit more learning on Kubernetes, Gitlab, and ELK as part of the day job, too.
Oh, and we got a kitten! Strategy suggests I should keep up with my daily allergy pills. Miso (kitten’s name) is cute, but he makes ‘me so’ sneezy
A friend just posted her ‘movie list’ results on Facebook – how many of some 150+ movies she’d seen. She commented that the quiz oughta be: ‘how many of these movies have you seen more than once’. Wow, I’d score really badly. I’m not a movie person. I like to go see the occasional movie, but I have no problem at all letting them pass by. And once they’ve passed by, no amount of shaming ‘you haven’t seen? You gotta see!!’ will make it change.
My hubby (to be at the time) kept a list of movies that he thought I oughta see. The guys at work keep mentioning movies that I’ve gotta see. Hey, they’re available on Netflix or Amazon or … just sit down and watch it. It’s a classic.
A movie’s 1-2 hours or more. Even if I sit there with my laptop or iPad and multi-task, that’s still a few hours on my rear. I work a desk job. I don’t need more hours on my rear. If I’m going to spend multiple hours on my rear, it’ll be listening to a great live concert. Or reading a great book. Or writing a blog post or two with a beer in my hand…
Passwords seem to me to mostly be a muscle memory thing. I’m reminded of this every time I’m at a keypad with a different layout, or whenever I have to enter in a password into my phone or iPad. My head knows the phrase that generated the password. But my hands know which elements are numbers, which are capitalized, and whether there are any punctuation symbols in the mix. They only know it, though, when they’re on a QWERTY keyboard. Working through a touch screen interface just doesn’t cut it. Half the time, to enter a password on a mobile device, I first have to turn to a computer, log out of whatever it is I’m seeking a password for, and then log in and see where my fingers “talked”. In light of this, I’ve completely switched over to fingerprint and pin codes on my phone for getting into the device itself, but that doesn’t help me a whit when it comes to accessing other sites.
And in other news, I’ve now got a Samsung S8, hence my futzing with passwords this evening. Discovery: the S8 uses a nano SIM, whereas the S5 used a larger form factor. Ergo, a trip to the TMobile store or a session on the phone with TMobile is in my near future to resolve a phone number conversion onto the new SIM card.
I’m at OSCON 2016 in Austin. As opposed (ahem) to the last time I did this, I have a slide deck ahead of the day of, as well as working hardware. Realized earlier today, though, that working hardware is only practically useful if the audience can see it… Since the video is trained on the stage, rather than on me, unless I do something, it doesn’t practically matter whether my schtuff works. Problem, particularly given the amount of time I’ve spent making sure schtuff works…
To resolve it, I’m experimenting with live streaming. From my phone, I can send out a Periscope stream, which I can then pull up from my browser to make it visible on the screen to those in the audience. Depending upon lighting, maybe this’ll be valuable and maybe it won’t, but at least it’ll be cool!
Thing just realized… a GitHub gist is its own repository. I’ve treated it as a place to drop notes, mostly, and only edited them via the Github interface. Tonight I tried cloning my gist, and discovered that worked nicely – I had my notes file handily on my local computer. Better, though, I realized I could add more items to my gist… Could set up separate files, all within the same gist context. Each shows up as a separate block containing content.
I next tried to setup a directory, just to see how it’d be conveyed in the interface. Added a directory, added a file within the directory, pushed it up. Went to the interface – nothing changed. Went back and looked: my branch now shows itself as 1 commit ahead of origin/master, and the push of the directory shows that it was rejected by the remote, with a pre-receive hook which indicates that ‘Gist does not support directories’.
Interestingly, gits do support branches. As I listened to my daughters sing some very odd version of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer (who had a very advantageous nose…), I created a ‘weirdChildren’ branch. Git says it pushes up to origin, but the Gists don’t actually show me there’s a branch. I deleted my local branch, and then repulled from remote – got the changes that were unique to that branch.
Now, gists do offer a handy ’embed’ artifact, such as the following: . Whether the gist is secret or not, if that URL is given out, the contents of the Gist can be displayed. However, the URL doesn’t at least directly expose a way to browse the branches of a Gist. In GitHub.com, a branch would be exposed by using username/project/tree/branchName. E.g., colemanserious/gobot/tree/bmp180. That same /tree/branchName suffix doesn’t work on Gist, though: you end up on the GitHub’s well done 404 page. TLDR: if you use a branch for a Gist, you can futz with keeping versions hidden from all view, whether through gist searches or through those who’ve got a copy of your gist’s URL.
I recently got a request to submit a headshot photo to go along with my conference talk abstract. I’ve declined to respond, so far. I think I declined to respond the last time I gave a talk, as well. Were I a somewhat famous speaker, perhaps it might make sense to let folks say, oh yeah, I saw that person before – they were a good speaker. I suspect there are better ways to handle even that angle, like citing previous speaking engagements or linking to a video of the person’s previous talks. For the rest of us, it seems more like a way to let folks prejudge you before coming aboard. ‘Hmmm, that person looks friendly. Looks like me / doesn’t look me. Looks like they belong / doesn’t look like they belong.’
Conferences aren’t the only places that want pictures, though. LinkedIn strongly encourages a photo to increase your profile’s score. There’s a bit more logic to that – if someone’s scanning through a list of similar names, the picture lets you recognize the ‘Tina’ that you know, as opposed to the list of Tinas that you don’t.
Small company websites seem to take the headshot even a bit further. It’s a common meme to have a list of folks at the company, indicating their name (sometimes just first, sometimes full) and role within the company. I’ve seen several sites where the headshots are taken just a bit further – rolling over the picture shows another picture of the person, typically in some pose meant to highlight their fun-loving side interacting with the logo or brand image in some way. Perhaps this is meant to highlight their staff as well-rounded or engaging. Unless my role directly requires me to be an entertainer, whether I’m fun-loving or eye-appealing have nothing to do with how well I help the company satisfy its mission.
In my day job as a software engineer, I have used gravatars to help folks identify my work in a list of GitHub commit entries or other social network feeds. The one I use there is a cartoon Monopoly Man holding a pick axe… I thought it might help articulate my willingness to dig in and do the hard work. It happens to scale reasonably well to various sizes, always an advantage in having a consistent branding image. It also happens to look nothing like me. (I’m not male, elderly, or nearly that well-dressed.)
I’d like to encourage others to refrain from the headshot pressure. Or comment on this post and help me better understand why a picture is good supporting information for a conference speaker’s session description. For now, my OSCON bio will still be missing a head shot…
Last time, I talked about Powerball craziness. I confess, I bought tickets, both that Wednesday, and the following Saturday, when the payday was up above $1 bil. The enjoyment of dreaming was well worth the cost of the ticket. And if my ticket investment helped someone else’s dream, I’m OK with that, too.
Today we’re snow crazy. I live in Maryland, which is apparently just about ground zero for winter storm Jonas. The weather predictions are talking 20-30 inches. EVERYTHING’s already closed till Monday, even the local burger places. My kids were already going to be off Monday and Tuesday as part of the regular school schedule, and they got out two hours early today (again, scheduled). But they’re excited to hear that church is already called off for Sunday. They’re making plans for snowball fights, snow tunnels, and (thankfully for me) lots of shoveling. Work kicked me out at 2pm, and there’s pretty good odds we won’t be able to get in on Monday, just based on roads and parking lots being cleared.
There’re much worse things than being holed up at home with folks you love, having reasons to just hang out and have fun together….
My husband tells folks I’m a fast reader. When our kids have been interested in reading new series or things we weren’t certain were appropriate, the rule has been that Mom reads it first, then the kids read it, and Dad gets it last if everyone else thinks it’s good. The kids seem to have inherited the fast-reading trait, so they’re not willing to wait on Dad (no slouch himself, just a more thorough guy who’ll reread sections as he goes along)…
This month, I got my hands on a series my girls have been reading, which they’d originally started on through books bought at the school book fair. They each got one of the last two books in the series for Christmas, bringing their total to 5. But I’d never read any of them. So, Monday Callie handed me the first one, called ‘Cinder‘. Tuesday afternoon I asked her for the second one, ‘Scarlet‘. This morning, I told her I was done Scarlet, and need ‘Cress‘. She groaned, and said, ‘You’re done already?’. It took us a while to track it down across the two girls’ rooms, and I spent a bit of this afternoon napping with a stomach bug, so it feels too late to start reading it this evening. Though I bet she asks me in the morning whether I’m already done…
Sitting here on a Sunday night, realized it’s been a great womens’ sport weekend. On Friday, caught the USA Rugby Womens’ Premiere League championship series. Saw a local team (DC Furies!) and a team with former teammates (Glendale Raptors), and some great rugby play.
Saturday morning, my daughter’s soccer team finished out their season with an exhibition game – well matched teams, and LOVED seeing my daughter going head to head defending a guy we’ve known since they were both much younger. When that competitive drive kicks in with her, nobody is getting past her without a fight. That’s something I love to see, that fire in the belly transformed into energy to power her long legs.
Sunday morning, I got up and caught the Rhonda Rousey results. Surprising result – caught the replay later in the day. Kudos to both Holms for the win, and Rousey for taking the hits she did. That the undefeated champ met her match means all kinds of good things for interest in womens’ UFC.
And now Sunday evening, I’m watching the Glendale Raptors defend their WPL title. A UMBC alum is on the pitch, as is someone I’ve played with for Severn River.
Oh, I did watch the Raven’s game while I was on the treadmill at the gym. The womens’ sports stuff was much more inspiring….
Motorcycle dreaming… I have this image of me on a cruiser, feet out slightly in front of me, riding down the road. The road isn’t crazy, but it isn’t an empty country road, either.
Have had this dream for a good long time. Long ago, I did my first bit of dream fulfillment, buying a black leather motorcycle jacket at a yard sale. I’ve checked out bikes in parking lots and in magazines while waiting for haircuts. I’ve ridden on the back of bikes, and have a brother-in-law who was gracious enough to let me drive his bike around his apartment parking lot.
What I haven’t had is a license and my own bike. This week, I started to correct that. On my birthday, I started my first day of a 4 day motorcycle class. Tomorrow I get to move from classroom to driving range. I’ll happily get up early on a Saturday to get a chance to advance this dream. I’ll be on a Harley Davidson Street 500… not thinking this is my dream bike, but I’ll happily learn on it for a day or two.
Can’t wait to see what the weekend holds, and where my heart and brain are re: motorcycles by Sunday…!