Strange calls

I've been receiving phone calls regularly from (289) 597-2717 ... at my old number that I haven't used in over 8 months and hasn't even been connected to a physical phone.  When I call it back, it appears to be a Rogers number, but I can't leave it voice mail.  I wonder if it's someone who doesn't know I've changed my  number?  Dun dun dun.

Productivity and Firefox's Tab Groups

So recent habits to increase productivity involve segregating focuses.  I'm trying to use Firefox's tab groups to help separate life stuff, GSOC stuff, Thesis stuff, and other work/school stuff.  However, I have a couple complaints.
  • Pinned App tabs appear on all Tab Groups.  So, I can't pin Google+ to my Life one and have it not appear on my work-y ones.  I have to unpin it to prevent the potential distraction, but then I lose all the benefits of having it pinned.  I want pinning to be per-tab group, not global.  
  • ctrl-w, upon closing a tab, takes you to the last one accessed globally, not per tab group.  So, if I hop between tab groups (e.g. I want to check if I've received any IMs or e-mails while in the past two hours of work), and then go back and close a tab, I suddenly hop to another tab group.   I want ctrl-w to be per-tab group, not global.  
    • Update: This is probably actually bug 582872 and its happening might be anomalous to my old, aged profile.
  • ctrl-` for switching groups seems slow.  So slow.  Like a whole second slow
I was thinking about using "firefox -P profilename -no-remote" so that I could instead create separate profiles (and use -no-remote to use them simultaneously) but this apparently isn't working on my installation for some reason.  UPDATE: I hadn't removed .parentlock, as I had forked my default firefox profile while it was running. Whoops. :)  I can do this now.

I can do that with Google Chrome, but I really benefit from having tabs laid out in a vertical tree-style tab view, as an extension in Firefox gives me.  Sigh.

I'm also beginning to miss the static workspaces of GNOME 2.x.  GNOME 3.0 has dynamic workspaces, but they're in a linear list.  I'd like to keep some just constantly there, and I'd like them in a grid, so I can spatially orient my work.

It's not so bad.  I've been being pretty productive without these enhancements, I just want to be able to focus more on specific tasks without switching so much.

Fedora 17: Almost Installed

A new release of Fedora is out, Fedora 17.  I notice fewer and fewer new things recently, but I'm pleased to see that there is improved support for Tablet PCs like mine.  (Like, actual dialogues apparently that let you map buttons, rather than having to edit text files in the terminal all the time!  Yay!)   Now to go home, back up, and run preupgrade. :D


Background music

I've been working in the Grad Lounge recently.  I enjoy the atmosphere, and will buy something every now and then.  The radio plays and here are some terrible songs that have caught me.
  • Fun.'s We Are Young
  • Adele's Rumour Has It
  • Jennifer Lopez's Dance Again
  • The Wanted's Glad You Came
I'm not completely sure that those are the artists behind the renditions played.  Ever since Somebody That I Used To Know started being covered by everyone and their fire ferret, including a delicious parody by Hank Green =D, I'm having trouble distinguishing artists.

I am too lazy/busy to even bother linking any of those.

Recent thoughts

  • Reasonable support of friends.  Some times friends need a supportive friend for a prolonged period of time.  I'm trying to balance being there with not getting exhausting myself and running away.  (I did that once before.)
  • Time versus friends.  A friend is allegedly on the verge of a nervous breakdown due to all the work she has to do and how strong a demand her friends are putting on her time.  She's finding herself frustrated when people want to hang out, because she wants to hang out but can't justify it.  She's also feeling a little suffocated.  I'm trying to balance that too, trying to keep in mind that people who want my time even though I'm busy do mean well and to not get frustrated with them, even when I try to explain how busy I am.  So far, I'm managing to appreciate the interest and avoiding becoming avoidant.
  • Second guessing.  A friend recently questioned my decision to wear an artefact (a purple mushroom pendant) and whether it was influenced by unhealthy motives.  What I didn't want to tell them at the time but will note now is that I constantly second-guess decisions I make to try to ensure that they're justifiable and not unduly influenced by other people.  This comes down even to the things I blog and food I eat, and sometimes I still have to veto something, which can be quite hard.  Overall, this helps me better understand my own motives for things and helps legitimise my concept of myself to myself.

Things of recency

I realise I haven't written much.  I'm busy with school, GSOC, jodo/iaido, and trying to escape my computer.  So, here is a bunch of points if you're curious about where I've been, complemented by pretty photos.  If you like, you can just look at the photos. :)

  • The other weekend was the iaido/jodo seminar in Guelph.  It was amazing.  I volunteered with it since it's hosted by my dojo.  The crisp, decisive movement of 70-year olds is amazing.  We had 5 sensei come over from Japan to teach us. 
    • I had my iaido and jodo gradings on the Monday.  I woke up early, got ready, and casually went to the bus stop.  20 minutes later I realised that it was Victoria day and buses had a Sunday schedule and wouldn't start for another 2 hours.  I quickly made a mad dash to my friend K's and commandeered her bike (she willing) and cycled like mad.  The adrenaline had not quite passed by the time I went in for grading.
    • I managed raffle sales.  It was wonderful fun obnoxiously harassing people to purchase raffle tickets.  After raffling the main prize, I started raffling off all the things at random: boxes of butter tarts, people, etc.
    • At the end of the Monday, I joined up with some friends for fireworks by the Speed River.  I arrived a little late and felt a little asocial so I just sat in the shadows until they were done and surprised them.  There had been some vagrants camping in the park that weekend, but I failed to talk to them. They seemed classy.
    • I bought a lamp and painted it pretty colours.
    • This has acquired a new line of art supply to replace my lost one
  • I've watched a lot of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic with my friend K in the past month.  
    • We've watched a couple episodes every other night for a few weeks.  She'd sprained her ankle so it was an easy way to keep her company. :)
    • I quite enjoy a lot of anime, and I enjoy clever cartoons still.  MLP borders on clever the same way Genndy Tartakovsky's works (Dexter's Laboratory, Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack) do.  I don't think I'd invest the time in MLP if it wasn't for watching it with my friend.  This became relevant at Anime North.
  • Samurai Champloo: I've not managed to watch much in weeks.  Mostly I'm too busy with school + GSOC + iaido/jodo stuff. 
  • School: I'm taking my final course for my Masters this summer to try and wrap everything up.  I fear I may be making myself too busy. 
    • I love the course.  It's about knowledge acquisition and knowledge discovery and does a better job of covering AI in breadth and detail than the actual graduate AI course did.  Wow!
    • I haven't written about them much but I'm having some serious challenges remaining interested in my Masters.  This course helps.
  • Google Summer of Code: GXml, redux!
    • Last year I felt much more comfortable with the work I was doing: it was within the realm of stuff I was familiar.  This year, I'm branching out a bit conceptually and technically, and I'm having a slightly harder time figuring out what to do.  I need to remember to be willing to request help. :) 
  • Silly funs
    • I've been accumulating more people who like playing on jungle gyms and climbing trees.  And, perhaps more importantly, people who CAN climb jungle trees. :D
    • I've gone on a couple picnics with a friend, such that I've now got two thrift-store picnic blankets.  (One has my primary motif of stars.)
    • I've recently been in the business of making huge bubbles
  • Food and colourful things
    • I've baked a lot of cookies recently, but upon improving my acquaintance with a gluten-free friend, I feel obliged to make more gluten-free vegan cookies.  Or perhaps I will replicate this cupcake:
    • The more I sit before my computer, the more I want to integrate nature into my world.  I have added a fallen feather to my plant collection; I wonder whether it will grow into a duck.
    • That reminds me that my apartment's duck was sadly struck by a truck.  In other avian news, this nostalgic nest appeared at my father's.  I think it was abandoned.  I didn't need a mirror pole to check it, though.
  • This past weekend I went to Anime North, Canada's largest anime convention.  It's important for me because I have a few friends who I rarely get to see, so meeting up with them at least once a year here helps.  This year, I didn't particularly do anything anime-y, though for a variety of reasons.  :) 
    • I attempted a few costumes, but some I gave up on due to connotations and others because some ponies bailed. :)  Also, I've been busy the past two weeks and didn't have much time in-week to spend on it, so I went as Jin from Samurai Champloo (I have almost all the parts already) and as ... Pikachu!
    • I think it was honestly my favourite and least stressful Anime North yet, despite spending half the time hiding in the hotel.  :)
    • I also got to go for a swim when I returned to 32°C weather + humidity in Guelph with friends.  They're crazy ones, I assure you.
Thank you.  Back to work now, so good night!


Transient Quote

"When duty goes out of style, the world will be nothing but darkness." - Fuu


River of Light

Panasonic apparently sent 100,000 LEDs (in place of candles) down Tokyo's Sumida River.  Light, being among my favourite things, delights me here.  I wonder what the clean up and costs were like.
I was going to write about Mother's day, but the post took a turn for the worst so I've scrapped it and will instead report on The Legend of Korra!  She does not remind me of my mother, but I could imagine maybe my mother was like that as a lass?  Seems likely.

The Legend of Korra is beautiful so far.  It's improvements over The Last Airbender and other shows in artistic style and in story-telling through art are pleasing.  Especially a lot of the expressions and reactions people have. The story telling overall feels much the same.  Sometimes I see shortcuts.  I really enjoy the stringed instruments I keep hearing.  They delight me.  I'm eagrely awaiting the return of my violin from restringing and the commencement of lessons.  MWAHAHA.  This time I'll follow the madame's instructions for care a bit better.


Transient Memory

The Speed River smells very strongly of the sea  tonight.  It reminds me of walking along a beach in Victoria BC as my older sister's dogs play around me.

Transient Thought

Diablo III in a week and no adequate computer to play it on. ;_;

At least I picnic tonight. =D


T-shirt buddies

Ran into a girl in the UC wearing the same Legend of Zelda t-shirt as me and she named us t-shirt buddies.  Then I showed her my amazing Triforce gloves and she matched with her fairy-in-a-bottle necklace.  No buses have hit her recently so she hasn't had to use a fairy yet. :)  The Legend of Zelda: uniting Hylians everywhere.

My Zelda paraphernalia:

T-shirt of Hyrule

Triforce gauntlets

Double, double, toil and trouble

I know I write a lot about my thoughts and extracurricular activities, but I do spend a lot of time working, too!  Now, I need to spend a little less time, though, since I've discovered Google Docs' Web Clipboard.  Basically, I create a lot of my school documents using Google Docs these days.  (I'd prefer to use LaTeX and various other Open Source tools, but I need to be able to share my work with people who aren't savvy with that.  Ah well.)  I use Google Draw to create a lot of diagrams.  If you try to copy/paste a diagram from there into a Google Spreadsheet, or even into another drawing, though, you just get text!  You lose the structure!  It's horrible!

Well, hooray, apparently Google Docs has a Web Clipboard.  Instead of going to the Edit menu or using the keyboard to copy/paste items, click on the copy/paste icon on the toolbar and use "Copy ... to web clipboard."  Then, you can go to a new document, click that copy/paste icon, and there'll be a new, named item representing what you've copied from that other document.  Pasting it retains the structure, too: HOORAY!

I wish this was part of the default Edit menu.  I don't usually expect the buttons to have options that the text menus don't.  It's just not typically done.  Anyway, this will save me from having to create drawings, then saving them as PNG (not even SVG!) and then re-uploading them into other documents (quelle horreur!).  Whee!


Transient Trends in Interfaces

Amusingly, Google's newest major edition of their Google+ mobile app is now available for iOS and not Android.  Their war on data density seems to continue, which is a little alarming.  It seems like they might be trying to leap-frog the trend of Facebook and their Timeline into more aesthetic interfaces.


Transient Quote

"I'd be ashamed to have that on my face." - teacher to a student regarding their diminutive nose

The Sword of Power and the Surprise Foot Injury

A friend injured her foot yesterday which meant it was time to help get her to the hospital (finding a friend with a car in my contacts was harder than I thought) and waiting around for eight hours (longer than it takes Gideon to assemble The League!) to find out that it's nothing too horrific and she'll need crutches.  Consequently, a part of today was devoted to comfort, which included a long visit and the baking of multiple pizzas, as well as a famous dessert pizza!  My original trial for that was in New Zealand, and the recipe has changed a lot, but it's still delicious.  This should help keep her off her feet but still let her eat.
dessert pizza, mysteriously missing a bottom segment
This also meant I got to re-watch with my injured friend one of my top 5 favourite movies (which are SP, FA, GS, ESotSM, A, and) Excalibur! (Oh, that's six now.)  Excalibur has a lot of faults that others like to point out, but its strengths blind me to those faults.  The term essentialism seems appropriate, even though my computer's dictionary doesn't recognise it. Without bothering with such quaint notions as its common definition, I'll not that the principles, especially of goodly Truth!, found in the film make me brim with emotion and strike chords that echo through my being.

Some of the ideals seem outmoded to some or silly and preposterously naïve, but they're not just that.  I still have a lot of fun while still loving them.  I wanted to write so much about this but I'm suddenly going to fall asleep.  Good night.

TCAF, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival

So on Saturday I double-committed myself and ended up satisfying all needs.  Friday evening was spent assembling Avengers, so I couldn't sleep too much if I was going to squeeze in everything on Saturday.  You see, I had committed to attending a festival in the woods that evening but had discovered Aaron Diaz of Dresden Codak would be in Toronto for TCAF.  I had to go to both.

I woke up early, grabbed a burrito from the Salsateria booth at the Farmer's Market, and caught the first Saturday bus to Toronto.  I have missed the ride, oddly.  I have a strange affection for Greyhound buses.  A lot of the scenery seemed changed to me, but mostly it's the result of Constant Progress on the Toronto skyline.  My friend Ariel came and met me at the Atrium on Bay and we flew down the subway on her day pass to the Toronto Reference Library.  First I played the role of the day's savior when my phone's data plan and my laptop secured tickets for the Hillside music festival for a friend whose own laptop couldn't handle the task.  After that, I was overwhelmed and amazed with the festival, and the hunt for the Topatoco booth and Aaron Diaz commenced.

Aaron Diaz was special indeed.  Dresden Codak is my favourite comic for obvious reasons.  Mr. Diaz was perhaps the only presenter on the floor in a suit.  He was charming.  He dealt with rabid fans with finesse.  I was quiet.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to say or could say.  I avoided babbling, complimented him sincerely, and did my part in supporting him buy purchasing posters and the Dresden Codak Primer (today lent out to a recuperating friend: it is sorely missed).  I adore that he signed them but I forgot to request a photo. =) Is he vegan?  He might be vegan.  His twitter feed mentioned vegan food.  It also claimed he made a million dollars at TCAF, so I'm not placing too much credibility in his twitter feed.
2 of 3 Dresden Codak posters
I wandered a little and then chatted a little with the author of Nedroid, Anthony Clark, and then discovered the A Softer World booth with Joey Comeau and Emily Horne.  At first they were too popular and I was too poor to waste their time, but when I came back later after an unfortunately successful expedition to an ATM machine, I caught a break and was able to chat a little (they are amazing and amazingly inappropriate people!) as I went through their prodigious collection of large comic print outs.  They unfortunately lack the captions, which I'm going to write onto the backs myself.  Right, I acquired my favourite two.  As I mentioned to them, their posts often break my mind and heart in the best of ways.  It makes it hard to look at my favourite ones, but made it all the worth while buying them as reminders.
2 of my 5 favourite strips
They also sold a tote bag which I think perfectly describes a friend.

I also picked up a comic by Jason Bradshaw of Boredom Pays, who is a great man, and a random one about a SWORD or at least about someone who swings one, Delilah Dirk by Tony Cliff.  I like swords and I'm surprised by how few comics there featured them.
Delilah Dirk, as well as another Dresden Codak poster
Finally, I also got a couple free comics, like the trailer for Kindling (Jason Nerad and dechanique, the latter with whom I chatted), and the latest Adventure Time (wow, I never realised that that video became a TV series and a comic!) writ by Ryan North and this issue drawn by Mike Holmes (who I chatted with).
Endless supply of comics!
I had to leave early and didn't have time to stalk Bryan Lee O'Malley who made Scott Pilgrim, but that's OK.  I got home in time to bake cookies and super-prepare for a pleasant evening with friends under the full moon anyway.
Walking into the wilds outside of Guelph
Hooray for eating and having cakes.  Cakes are nice.  So are cats.


Consent and the Internet

So on campus, a big theme advertised in the University Centre at Guelph has been that of "consent" in terms of relationships and intimate relations.  It was motivated by an infamous objectionable comment that appeared on a Guelph facebook group.  An overlooked place for consent, though, has been Internet advertising with audio.  Yes, audible ads.  They violate your tranquility and peace of mind unexpectedly, often without first acquiring consent.  When broadband initially started taking it off, it was more popular to have video ads with audio start playing as soon as you visited a web page, or to have MySpace profiles instantly start playing terrible hip hop music.  (Not all hip hop is awful, but if you chose to broadly use MySpace, you might doubt your taste in general.)

Thankfully, I believe most advertisers understood how unacceptable it was to start blasting sound at potential consumers, so I actually haven't heard one for a long while.  Even most video ads like trailers for movies or cars (cars have trailers?  I mean, video trailers?) have a play button so you opt in to the abuse.  However, I was just in the University Centre, and opened The Ballad of the White Horse by G.K. Chesterton as hosted by famouspoetsandpoems.com to inexplicably start hearing the voices of a couple talking about their amazing trip to some tropical island.

I feel slightly violated now.  Consent.  It's important.


#General #Microblog friends #Technology life gnome music google iaido guelph fedora vegan bugs food school #GNOME linux technology #School jodo blogger gxml #Budo #Photos work web nature happy vala firefox android art Flesherton anime internet travel home open source stress kendo kosmokaryote writing animals birthday dad science security canada computers environment future cookies development german language photos programming reading sick sleep snow video winter GUADEC cell phones css fun learning love me movies people phone picasaweb ta time christmas evolution vancouver vegetarianism #Vegan Toronto ai git gsoc identity new zealand society speech vlogbrothers adventure birds communication dreams facebook google+ gseta happiness libgdata netflix night responsibility skedge stars tea tv video games wind mobile Nintendo baking cake consumerism design fedora 17 javascript memories nlp organisation photography quote tablet uoguelph Josh Ritter animalia blogging books bug encryption family 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veganism voice volunteering webschwerver wild wireless working world yojimbo zoology Avatar: The Last Airbender Blassreiter CIS*2750 CIS*6890 Czech Republic Diablo Dresden Codak Dunedin Dutch Blitz Electric Networked Vehicle Elliott Brood Ender's Game France Fringe GNOME 3 HTC Hayao Miyazaki Mario Kart Montréal Network Manager Newfoundland Nintendo Switch Ontario Ouran Host Club Richard SVC Samsung Samurai Champloo Santa Claus Studio Ghibli TCAF US academics adb advertising aeroport algonquin amusing animal agriculture apartment ask automation awkward bad movies banana bats battery beard belladonna beta bicycle book branding breakfast brno bus buses buy nothing day cabin calgary candy cards cars catastrophe celebrate celtic chat cheap cheese childhood china chinese calendar cities clarity clean clock comics compassion compiler computer conspiracy theorists consumption context convention cookie cool cornerstone cosplay cottage country court creation cthulhu cupcakes curiosity cute dancing dark themes dbus definition deja-dup democracy despair detachment dinosaurs discomfort dns dodgeball dragon dress dust dystopia earth earth day efficiency eggs elections email enhanced history ethics evil exhausted expectations exploring ext3 ext4 fail fair trade fall fashion favourite feedly ferry focus fonts formal free friendship fruit fudge full moon furniture gaelic game boards garden gardening gee generosity genetics gimp gir gobject good google hangouts google wave government grading gratitude green roofs groups gsec guerilla gardening haircut hakama help homosexuality honesty howl hp human rights humanitarianism humility hypocrisy ice images imaqua instagram integration intellectual property internet explorer jabber jazz jelly bean jokes kernel keyboard knife labs last exile: fam the silver wing laurena lazy letters library libxml livejournal lizzie bennet loneliness loss lovely lyrics maps maturity meditation melancholy metadata microbes microfinancing microwaves moon 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