Conservative Star Trek Fans

I wonder, what do politically conservative fans of Star Trek see and think about when they watch the show? Do they realize that the envisaged future goes against most everything they believe in?

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Munki Client Bootstrap

At work I’ve been automating my work as much as possible. One challenge I had was getting new and existing Apple computers configured. As most of the infrastructure is in the cloud I couldn’t use a Netboot server, and I didn’t want to deal with a DeployStudio workflow on a hard drive and maintain various images for different hardware. I’m using Munki and know bash scripting, so after a lot of testing and banging my head, I present this script.

Munki Client Bootstrap

You can read more about it at that link and how it works, and give it a copy if you find something like that useful. If nothing else you might find portions of it useful for your needs.

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Her First Story

A couple days ago La Petita told her first made-up story, front to end. My comments are italicized.

Once upon a time, she started; she knows how to start a tale, there was a little boy name named Chula. She makes up some really strange names. She’s quite good at it and I try to write them down when I can. He ran away from his Mommy and Daddy. He ran into the forest and met a wolf, and the wolf ate him. I asked if the wolf had a name, but not this time. Then, he fell into the ocean (pronounced “oh shan”, BTW) and sharks ate him. The end.

Read the rest of this entry…

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Arrr… Pirata!

Do want!

The boat is extremely comfortable and roomy for living — also a great boat for a party.
It’s not a single-hander, but is very satisfying and exciting to sail.
* It’s 91′ overall; 57′ on deck.
* Built 1979 – 1985. Ferro cement hull. Composite overall — ferro cement, steel, wood.
* 9 sails in new condition (full set)
* From aft to forward: Large saloon. Then, dining area to port and full bar to starboard. Two steps down and Galley to port, head (w/shower) to starboard. Then, two double-bunked staterooms, both port and starboard. Next, Captain’s quarters, with sitting room on port side and queen bed starboard. Lastly, the forecastle.
* 3″-thick mahogany dining table seats 8 or 9.
* Aft saloon includes a player piano.

Alas, this is located in the Bay Area so likely some hipster dipster will snap it up for $1.6 million and create a water taxi service called Arrrrber.

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Someday Eventually Updates

Someday, eventually, I’ll update this thing. It’s not like a lot hasn’t happened in the last year… We’ve moved cross country and I’m at a new, fantastic job, the family is doing well and so much more to tell and write about.

Not today, but hopefully sooner than next year…

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Goodbye October

October wasn’t the best of months for me.

Over two weekends, I helped move our San Francisco office to a new location and set up a brand new office in Denver. I’m willing to bet they’re happy I’m not an hourly employee. The whole process was exhausting and I wish I knew who thought this was a great idea.

Having to work those weekends also means I had to cancel a trip to New Orleans for a friend’s birthday. Flight and hotel were booked and I was looking forward to it. I’m also disappointed that I couldn’t go because another great friend, who I’ve been out of touch with for far too long, did make it out.

When I got back from Denver the battery on my motorcycle died. Getting that fixed was quite the event. Then, worse, the very next week I was in an accident. A guy was pulling in to Gough from an alley and thought it was a two way street so he wasn’t looking in my direction. I had slowed down and was going to go behind him when he stopped suddenly. I remember watching my tire hit the back corner of his rental and then nothing until I was standing up to move out of the way of oncoming traffic. Apparently I did a graceful roll, though, and the fact that I wasn’t really hurt (some minor bruises) is testament to that I suppose.

So continuing on with my October, coffee was accidentally poured on my work computer (the guy feels terrible) and then my home computer’s hard drive died. I have my home computer back up and running (mostly; still need to install StarCraft 2) but my work computer is still getting cleaned.

And finally, sadly, my Uncle (Mom’s brother) passed away. I wasn’t terribly close to him but close enough that it came as a shock.

I am saying goodbye to October. Though Rosa got her citizenship, which is a great thing, it’s otherwise been a month I’d rather just forget.

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If This Then That

I’ve been playing around with IfTTT, an interesting tool to help you automate your online presence. Basically it gives you the ability to say if this happens in my online accounts, then make that happen.

For example, I’m testing it out with three different “recipes”. Each one starts with my “if this” which is, “If I post a new video to my account on YouTube.” What I wanted was that if I posted something new I could automatically post it to this blog, to my Twitter account and make a note in Evernote. Each one has to be a separate recipe, but I created them and will be posting some video in the near future as a test.

I learned about IfTTT from Jamie Todd Rubin who is a major proponent of going paperless and also a pretty accomplished author. While I’m not entirely ready to go paperless, I do enjoy learning where I can automate my life to make things so much easier and get more done.

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Today Literature and Latte announced the anticipated release of Scapple, their “mind mapping” software that compliments Scrivener, my writing software of choice. To get an idea of what it can do for you, check out this video.

One of the motivating ideas behind Scapple was to create a simple-to-use tool to draw out connections and links between disparate notes containing characters, actions, items, or what have you in a manner similar to drawing on paper. What would be wonderful to see eventually is a tablet version that works with a pen, similar to Evernote’s Penultimate. Similar, that is, in it’s simplicity to draw the shapes and connections and have them converted digitally to format, synched to a cloud service, and editable elsewhere.

In the meantime, I’ve picked up Scapple and am excited to start trying it out. Maybe it will help me resolve a sticky plot situation I’ve found myself in with the current story, and even if not at least it will help me visualize the story in a way that words and outlines on screen can’t.

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Pen and Paper

Yesterday I came to the startling (re)discovery that I write, specifically stories, much better with pen and paper than I do on the computer. Despite having tons of great writing applications, especially Scrivener, my pace of thought and idea flow works better when I am physically writing than typing. So I’ve started a new project as a test and am rewriting a short story in a large Moleskine sketchbook that has already progressed further than I expected in just a day of recompiling notes, plots and characters from its Scrivener project.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not abandoning the digital process. I’m just going to work with a method that seems to work better for me at this stage of writing. Once done I’ll pop everything in to Scrivener and do my editing (which I do better on the computer anyways, based on experience) and finalizations.

Ah, pen and paper. How I’ve missed you!

UPDATE: Though I’m using pen and paper, I completely identify with this guy who uses a typewriter:

When I’m using Microsoft Word, staring at that bright screen kind of zaps some of the creative process from me, and there are lot of distractions with laptops. Plus, I’m one of the biggest self-editors. I’ll write something and instead of forging ahead like you should, I’ll go back and start tweaking things. With a typewriter, you need conviction. If you want to go back and fix something, you have to white it out or edit it later. So it helps me sustain momentum and get to the piece.

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The Magic Circle

The Magic Circle of Rudolf III’ve finished my first book of the year. Not that I started it this year, mind you; I started it probably back in October 2012… But I just finished it the other day. The book: The Magic Circle of Rudolf II by Peter Marshall.

I picked this up for research into a story that I started -and takes place- in Prague a very long time ago. Rudolfine Prague was always an interesting topic for me as you can still see the remnants of the golden age brought on by Rudolf today, and the cultural melancholy that came from his passing and the imminent Counter-Reformation and resultant Thirty Years’ War. Reading the book gave me an inside view of the thoughts, dreams and actions of Rudolf which led to, and depended almost entirely on, his life and peculiarities. Though the goal of the book was to show how Rudolf straddled the line between medieval thought and modern thought during his rule as Holy Roman Emperor, and did a good job of it, I read the book more for historical, character and cultural needs. Alas the coloring needs of writing.

My next task for the book before retiring it to the shelf is to gather all of my notes and put them in my Scrivener file for the project. I’m not sure what I’ll read next, but it’s looking like I might try fiction again: The SFWA European Hall of Fame edited by James Morrow and Kathryn Morrow.

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