• Yesterday I Made a Ridiculous GIF

    I was out taking pictures of airplanes and stopped to take a picture of cars.

    (I also took a picture of a train, so we have the trifecta of planes, trains, and automobiles.)

    freeway traffic


  • A Thing I Made By Accident

    I was making a thing at work that was supposed to do something, but instead it did something else.

    I’ve distilled the essence of it below (in JavaScript, so if you’re reading via a feedreader, you won’t see it). Pick two of the four boxes. Click the buttons until only your two boxes are visible. What’s the smallest number of clicks that will get you there from the original arrangement?

    pink
    blue
    green
    tan

  • Migraine Update

    You can probably guess that I’m doing better since there hasn’t been a migraine update in a while.

    To bring everyone up to speed, I’ve been seeing visual auras every day since late June. They got pretty bad in July (seriously disruptive), so I started taking the Scary Rash Medicine. They got better for a while, and by late August they were almost gone – just a faint shimmer or distortion or a quick flash one a few times a day. And then they started to get worse again. The doctor upped my dose of the Scary Rash Medicine, and I started to get better.

    All that to say, it’s pretty rare for me to see the auras just out of the blue, but there are two things that will consistently bring on an aura. One is staring at the same spot for more than 5 seconds in a row (happens when trying to fix mistakes in craft projects). The other is leaving my home during the daytime.

    Specifically, it is the security screen that triggers the migraine aura. It’s the perfect storm of edge-detection, light vs. dark, figure vs. ground, and a busy pattern to set off some irritated neuron in my visual cortex.

    Here’s a picture of the view out my front door as well as a closeup.

    screen door

    screen door closeup


  • The MemeMaster

    Sorry for the lack of posts. Managing two blogs at once is hard for me, and I have been focusing on the BugMaster Blog, on which the most recent post has very similar content to this post. Sorry, not sorry.

    You might remember that I am the BugMaster for our main homework system. Now I am also the MemeMaster! The Memestress? The title is not fully decided upon yet. Do you think that I should add “MemeMaster” to my LinkedIn profile? Is memeing a marketable skill if one has only limited experience with shitposting? As someone from Gen X, I am a little bit behind on my 21st Century skills.

    surprised pikachu

    As mentioned previously, we have a task management system for tracking the bugs and the projects and all the things (TRACK ALL THE THINGS). The “new task” interface has some drop-down menus for specifying some things about the tasks, and I had a strong opinion that these options could be improved.

    The prevailing wisdom was that changing these options could only be done via a command line tool that I found to be somewhat terrifying in both its syntax and its potential for failing dramatically and breaking everything. Upon reading the documentation, I discovered that there is a part of the web UI that allows the updating of these settings with much less terror.

    Unfortunately, I did not have high enough access privileges to change these settings. However, as I not only have a strong desire to change the setting, but I also have an ssh password for a sudoer as well as the root database password, it was decided to give me settings-changing access via the web UI.

    OK, OK, we are getting to the part about the memes! I promise!

    One other feature of this system is that when you are commenting on a task, you can insert a meme taken from a fixed list of image macros. Things like, “One does not simply upgrade to MySQL 8” or “If you could rewrite the entire thing in TypeScript and React, that’d be great” or whatever. No one has added anythnig to the meme list in years.

    My settings-changing powers include adding more image macros to the available list of memes!

    Things that I have noticed when adding the memes:

    1. Wow, a lot of memes would not be appropriate in an office environment, nor would they help foster a positive and productive conversation.

    2. While many memes represent People of Color, they is still a lack of Latinx, Asian, and other demographic groups in the meme space. Furthermore, a non-trivial fraction of the memes depict People of Color in a way that seems somewhat disrespectful to me.

    3. Lots and lots of dudes in memes. Most of the memes with women come from The Real Houswives franchise and depict strong, negative emotional moments.

    4. These days at work, I think that my spirit-meme is Kermit Drinking Tea.


  • Setting Up a Static Website on S3 with Namesilo

    Sorry for the boring technical post. I’m writing this up here so that I can find it the next time I decide to build a silly web page. While I deal with a full-on production environment at work, most of my recreational projects can be done entirely client-side, so Amazon S3 is a great place for me to keep them.

    When you read Amazon’s documentation for setting up a static site in an S3 bucket, they recommend using their own Route 53 service for DNS. This makes sense for them because why should they anticipate all the many possible ways you would need to configure some sort of external DNS when Amazon runs their own DNS? However, I did not want to use Amazon’s DNS for the project I set up this morning; I wanted to handle DNS via my domain registrar, Namesilo.

    In this situation, DNS is sort of like a logic puzzle. An “A record” (alias) can only point a domain name to an IP address (numeric). If your website lives somewhere with a static IP address, then that is great. But that is not the case with S3; your S3 bucket has a name that remains constant, but it does not have a static IP address.

    On the other hand, a CNAME can redirect a subdomain to another location that can be specified by its name. So you can use a CNAME to redirect a subdomain to you S3 bucket.

    Here’s the issue: You could redirect something like www.example.com to your S3 bucket by using a CNAME, but there is no way for a CNAME or an A record to send plain ol’ example.com to the bucket.

    Here’s how I solved it. I’m going to use example.com in place of my domain name throughout. The big-picture goal here is to have the content all live in a bucket called www.example.com and to have everything redirect to this location.

    1. I made a new bucket with the name www.example.com, and I uploaded rudimentary index.html and error.html files. I followed Amazon’s directions on how to get this bucket to serve these files as a static website (using the weird and long Amazon URL). I copied and pasted the recommended public policy from their documentation to set the bucket to public. I pasted the weird and long Amazon URL into my browser to make sure that my content was being served from that location. This part needs to be working before moving on to the next step.

    2. Don’t know if it’s necessary, but I also made a example.com bucket that is not public. I set Properties -> Static Website Hosting to redirect all requests to www.example.com.

    3. Next I logged into Namesilo and chose the option to configure DNS for this domain. They have a template called “WWW redirect”. This redirects the “naked” domain example.com to the subdomain www.example.com. I added this template.

    4. Finally, I created a CNAME that sends www.example.com to the funky AWS S3 URL.

    5. Wait five minutes. It probably won’t work instataneously. If it’s not working after five minutes, it might take a while longer. They say that it could take up to two days, but I’ve never had it take longer than 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, you should be able to type your URL into your browser and be taken to your website hosted on S3.


  • Morning Adventures in the Kitchen

    1. Which is more on-brand for me? I realized that there was nothing worth packing to bring for lunch today, so I made coq au vin at 5am? Or that the only corkscrew I own is swag from the 2011 Supercomputing conference?

    2. While getting the wine out of the cabinet over the microwave, the big plastic vent-grate thing at the top of microwave fell off. A plastic bit had snapped. This is the second plastic bit that has failed this summer (the handle is kind of falling off, too). My first instinct was to buy a new microwave. My second instinct was to figure out if anyone I know could 3D print me some parts that I could super-glue to the existing hardware. What I actually did was put the part in the bathtub and spray it with my favorite cleaning spray. I may leave it in there as I shower and see how much accumulated cooking gunk comes off with passive cleaning. I’ll probably use some sort of adhesive to hold it in place when I’m done.

    3. Forgot to inject myself with the stabby migraine medicine last night, so I need to psych myself up to stab myself this morning. I took it out of the fridge when I started cooking, so now I am kind of committed to stab myself in the not-to-distant future. Especially as it gets hotter than room temperature around here during this time of year.


  • Experiments with Anaglyph Photography

    Today’s explorations with anaglyphs was via digital photography.

    Red-cyan glasses; red lens over the left eye.

    Statue

    Cactus


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