June 24th, 2017
andrewducker: (Default)
June 23rd, 2017
warriorsavant: (Signpost Ft. Benning)
Hedgefund is (mostly) potty trained. Potty trained, not toilet trained, since she's too small for a regular adult seat. At home she either uses a potty, or we have a seat insert/adapter. In essence, a munchkin-sized seat which clips onto a full-sized one. Which we take with us when we go out. My "going out of the house" checklist is now something like: wallet, keys, phone, toilet seat. I now routinely carry around a toilet seat! My Army training taught me to pack for all eventualities, but I'm pretty sure this one isn't in the Field Manual.
sturgeonslawyer: (Art)
This is, quite possibly, the best autobio I have read by a popular musician. The only one that competes with it is the _Real Frank Zappa Book_. Like FZ's book, Bruford's focusses less on the details of his life and recordings and more on the things that interest and occupy him: which are _quite_ different from those that occupied the late Zappa's peculiar mind.

Bruford meanders back and forth along a vaguely-chronological path from his first public appearance at 14 to his retirement from public performance at 59, with stops at Yes and King Crimson, Genesis and Earthworks, a path that led from solo practice to rock to progressive rock to electric rock to jazz - with, again, meanders back and forth between them (as when the not-quite-newly-minted jazz drummer returned to play with the "double-trio" version of King Crimson in the mid-'90s). He comments a little on the personalities he's worked with, but this is no dish-o-rama; his colleagues are treated, each and all, with respect. Perhaps the closest thing to a snark in the book is this comment on guitarist Robert Fripp: "On a good night, the seated man appeared unhappy about something, and on a bad night unhappy about everything."

What the book is chock full of is discourses on the musical industry; on the meaning of music in itself, in commerce, in society, and to individuals; on the contrasted working lives of rock and jazz musicians; and on what rhythm is, where it comes from, and how it works.

Even if you have no interest in Bruford's music, either in rock or in jazz, this is a fascinating read.
andrewducker: (Default)
June 22nd, 2017
andrewducker: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] andrewducker at 09:11pm on 22/06/2017
At 2:06pm on Sunday I posted my feature request for the Lothian Transport app.

At 3:14pm the following afternoon I received an email saying
Sorry, street names and localities should have been added to the search screen before now. I’ve sent an update to the Google Play store just now so you should have an update available in the next few hours.
and about 45 minutes later my phone automatically updated to the latest version and I could see this:


I emailed back saying that this was awesome, but wondering why one of them just said "Edinburgh", and got this in response:
Unfortunately sometimes we can’t control what we get back from Google’s Places API. If Google decides that a place doesn’t need to have more than the town/city listed, then that’s all we get I’m afraid. We also mix in Foursquare and Google Geocoding data where appropriate as well.

It helps to include a bit more in your search, such as ‘Morrisons Granton’ or ‘Morrisons Ferry Road' rather than just ‘Morrisons’. The more you type in, the more accurate the results. It also takes into account your current location – typing in ‘Morrisons’ while you’re near Hyvots Bank will give you results geared towards South/West Edinburgh rather than North/East Edinburgh.

As to your other point (distance to search result) - at the moment, showing distance isn’t possible. We use Google Places to match search queries: that service is great because you can type in anything - ‘Morrisons’, ‘Tesco’, ‘pizza in Leith’ etc. and it comes back with accurate results. However, it doesn’t give the app the location of each place. Instead it gives the app a ‘Place ID’ - once you’ve tapped on a search result, the app sends the Place ID to Google which sends back the exact coordinate of the search result. If that changes in the future, we’ll be sure to include distance as part of the search result.


Which was a fascinating look at how their systems work in the background.

If only more places were so responsive to users taking an interest.
warriorsavant: (Couch camouflage)
posted by [personal profile] warriorsavant at 12:40pm on 22/06/2017 under , ,
Am playing hooky today. Went out for what was supposed to be breakfast, but ended up brunch or lunch by the time we got everyone mobilized. I used to be able to move out an entire medical company in less time than now takes to get two toddlers on the road.

After breakfast, were going to go food shopping, but got waylaid by swings and slides in a vest pocket park. Also they were doing road repairs, and Wallstreet needed to watch the machines doing their thing. Finally got to supermarket and kids fell asleep in car, so I'm watching them / typing this while Nom buys the provisionsJ
andrewducker: (Default)
June 21st, 2017
sturgeonslawyer: (Vampire Smiley)
posted by [personal profile] sturgeonslawyer at 09:06am on 21/06/2017
Kids don't realize how easy they got it these days with all this free internet porn. In my day, we had to go out and find someone to fuck.
andrewducker: (Default)
June 20th, 2017
andrewducker: (Default)
June 19th, 2017
andrewducker: (Default)
June 18th, 2017
andrewducker: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] andrewducker at 02:06pm on 18/06/2017
I love the Lothian Bus app - it allows me to really quickly find a bus from my current location to wherever I want to go in the city, using current locations of buses (as opposed to the bus timetable, which can be error-prone during rush hour).

However, it has one feature which could do with some work. If I want to get the bus to the Morrisons supermarket where my Amazon parcels are delivered I get a search results screen like this:

Which is completely useless, because I have no idea which of those Morrisons it is that I want to go to.

I'd actually like a search results screen like this:

(Yes, I know I've got East and West the wrong way around. Can't be arsed fixing it, and it's not important to the feature request.)

So I figured, why not spend two minutes writing a blog post, and then forward it to them over Twitter and see if I can get it on their backlog :-)
andrewducker: (Default)
June 17th, 2017
warriorsavant: (Computer-steampunk)
posted by [personal profile] warriorsavant at 09:11pm on 17/06/2017 under , ,
Computer hosed again. Partly still under warranty. Third parry repair, which is good, bc Apple, being the swine they are, consider it a "legacy" computer (they are the masters of planned/forced obsolescence) and won't warranty repairs on it even if they would do them. Posting this and last couple from my phone, very slow, since my fingertips are larger than 3mm each. Grrr.
andrewducker: (Default)
June 16th, 2017
andrewducker: (Default)
June 15th, 2017
sturgeonslawyer: (Art)
I'm not doing a lot of rereading lately, but when the office book club picked this one I had no hesitation about pulling it out for a third or fourth time through. It is not only a comic masterpiece; it is a book of notable pith and wisdom.

The basic concept is simple enough. The Antichrist is born and, in an Omen-like switcheroo, manages to be substituted not once but twice, leaving the Powers of Darkness thinking that a perfectly ordinary baby being raised by the American Cultural Attaché in Britain is the Son of Satan, while the actual Antichrist has a happy, normal childhood in the little town of Lower Tadfield.

The main viewpoint characters are an angel with the flaming sword, and a serpent demon, both from the beginning bit of Genesis. They've spent the last six thousand years or so on Earth and gone rather native.

Lesser viewpoint characters include Witchfinder-Private Newton Pulsifer, modern witch Anathema Device, and the star of our show, Adam Young, the misplaced Antichrist.

They are all, even the demon Crowley, rather nice people trying to do their jobs and get by.

But there is another character, not actually present in the story, whose long shadow covers all the action: Agnes Nutter, a witch and psychic of the 1600s, was not at all a nice person, and indeed, when burnt at the stake by one of Newton Pulsifer's ancestors, managed to take the entire village with her. She foresaw all that was to happen, and wrote it down in The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, prophecies which, while true, require a bit of deciphering. Her descendants right down to Anathema have been doing this ever since, and done all right by it, for it turns out to be a book of good advice specifically for them.

There are also some other unpleasant characters, like the Four Bikers of the Apocalypse and their hangers-on, but listing characters will get us nowhere.

The story proper, after some preluding, begins eleven years after the abovementioned switcheroo, when the Antichrist is expected to come into his power and bring about Armageddon. Crowley and Aziraphale - the angel - are at the Cultural Attaché's son's birthday party, where they witness the failure of anything untoward (or, from Crowley's point of view, toward) to happen. Meanwhile, a hellhound comes to serve Adam Young, who has been dreaming of a dog; because he must serve the Antichrist, the hellhound becomes that dog, a small purebred mongrel named Dog.

And so on. It is very much a comedy of errors, but also a comedy of joy, one celebrating the basic human-ness of humanity, by two authors whose separate works have made it clear that they both do, indeed, love people as they are. Gaiman's odd erudition blends wonderfully with Pratchett's wonky humor to produce something that is, at least, the sum of their massive talents if not, indeed, greater than that.
warriorsavant: (Composite)

I've mentioned that I go to the Ste Anne's Veterans Hospital once/month to see patients. It's sometimes an interesting variation on my usual practice, sometimes depressing, but I'm always proud and a bit humbled to be taking care of these WW II vets. When the previous Derm gave up the position because she was stretched too thin, I took it over because as a veteran myself, I felt it was right that I be the one to do so. 

 

About a year ago, as the number of eligible vets continued to decline, ownership of the hospital passed from the federal government to the province, who is using it for chronic care of the elderly, not just veterans. This is a population who deserves service too, but I'm here specifically for the vets. A few months ago, the provincial health care system underwent a typical bureaucratic reshuffling of the deck chairs on the Titanic ("to serve you better"), so support services have declined even further. In the hall where I come in, they had a series of paintings depicting Canadian military aviation history. Today when I came in,they were gone. The sour taste that left, combined with my needing to consolidate my activities has me starting to look for a replacement for myself to cover the Ste Anne's. I'll be a little sad to leave, but only a little. The reason I came there is fading, and other priorities are growing. 

andrewducker: (Default)
June 14th, 2017
sturgeonslawyer: (Politics and general idiocy)

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