outlier_lynn: (Default)
2015-01-21 08:52 am
Entry tags:

Browser Wars

I hate Google Chrome. There are many reasons mostly having to do with the user interface. The top reason, though, is that I can't customize the interface to fit my habits. The damn thing, like Apple's products, insists that I use it Google's way. I use it, though. I have two browsers open all the time on my desktop. One is a tabbed set of on-line documentation for all the things I use every day at work. Chrome works for that because I never ask it for anything else. I may stop, though, as a new candidate for the documentation viewer is available.

I hate Firefox. At least I hate Firefox from around version 25. While it is still more or less easily customizable, Mozilla is moving more and more toward the "use it our way" mentality. I thoroughly despise the "modern" icon-only user interface that the entire development world seems to have a incestuous hard-on for. That said, Firefox might become my choice for the documentation tabs.

Then I need a new browser for general Internet use. The candidate is a forked version of an older Firefox called Pale Moon. It was forked prior to the left turn Mozilla made with the UI. The Firefox plugins and addons I use work in Pale Moon. And the interface is usable. I had to massage opensuse a bit to get the plugins to work (linked the libs to a directory Pale Moon liked. Then a bit of this and that to adjust the UI to my liking. And I'm a happy camper again.

I worry, though, that updates to my favorite addons are going to break, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

And while we are at it, what is it with tabs on the very top above the tool bars rather than immediately above the view port. If the browser were a filing cabinet, the tabs would be sticking out the top rather than at the top of drawer. First Chrome then Firefox did that. The tool bars are common to all tabs and should not be between the tab and the tab's contents. It is just evil.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
2014-11-28 06:06 pm
Entry tags:

Like pappa use to make

When I was a boy, my father had a few meals that he really liked. And since he was very often the cook in our house, we got to eat his favorites quite often. On of them was thick sliced ham steak. It became one of my favorites, too.

Sometimes I look in the meat section of groceries for a ham steak. Usually, though, I find nothing or I find thin sliced "breakfast" ham. For many years, I thought it had gone the way of lamb chops -- another food that seems never to be in our groceries in San Diego.

I was out today to get food for dinner and there it was. The most beautiful, bone-in thick cut ham steak. I could not resist. So, tonight, I made mashed yams (cinnimon and butter), sauted onion and chunked mushrooms and that beautiful ham.

I was transported to my youth. I was exactly like I remember. Stacey was also thrilled. Scarlett has become on of the ham steak fans. And, the darling 3.5 year-old even cut her own meat.

Happy am I.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
2014-11-24 07:50 am
Entry tags:

Rumors and the news

Chuck Hagel resigned. A White House spokesman said it was mutual.

The two sentences sum up the news part of a ten minute NPR report I listened to this morning. One fact, one official statement about the fact. That's it. The rest of the story was conjecture by the reporters and rumormongering.

Rumors are NOT news.
Conjecture is NOT news.

Unsubstantiated pseudofacts are NOT news.
Unexamined statistics are NOT facts and are NOT news.

outlier_lynn: (Default)
2014-11-22 11:36 am
Entry tags:


I am increasingly intolerant of human generated noise. It doesn't seem to matter if it is mechanically generated noise, speech, or whatever. I'm in a constant struggle between physical comfort with my windows open or psychological comfort with my windows shut. I've taken notice of this issue more strongly over the last year.

I don't want to be a room where people are inconversation I'm not part of (and sometimes, even if I a part). I don't want to be a room where there is someone who is loud. That covers the granddaughter and her mother. I don't want to hear traffic noise or aircraft noise. We get many small planes and a lot of helocopters near our house. We also get noise from military jets.

I am more tolerant of background "white" noise. I find I can tune it out fairly easily if it's not too loud and more or less perdictable.

What I've noticed most recently is that I do not want to be in stores with loud background music. The grocery stores are usually okay but retail clothing stores are horrible. And it is worse when the music being played is an endless loop of the same 15 songs. Welcome to the last six weeks of the year.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
2014-11-20 09:14 am
Entry tags:

xml, xslt, fo and ...

I work with xslt and formatting objects even though I really would rather chew off my own leg.

I'm working with xml that has a node "Person" which is a child of "Subject". "Person" has many children, two of which are "PersonName" and "PersionBirthDate".

There is another node called "PersonAlias". This node has two children: "PersonName" and "PersonBirthDate".

Looks something like this:

I created a template that was suppose to create a string: "Alias(es): alias1, alias2, ..."
What I got was "Alias(es): alias1, ,Dob: dateAlias2, , Dob: date ..."

When I apply-templates select="PersonAlias", it gave me the dob even though I had not asked for it. Two hours later, I noticed that my PersonAlias template WAS NOT a match template, but, rather, an name template.

I learned something new. If a apply-templates does not find a corresponding match, it goes for the children of the node. And I have match templates for PersonName and PersonBirthDate.

outlier_lynn: (Default)
2014-10-07 10:37 am

Not much envy

I don't envy other people as a general rule. It is so rare that it catches me by surprise when it happens.

When it happens, it is always the same "issue." When I'm in the pit of ignorance about something I have studied until my eyes hurt, I find that I envy people and fictional characters with incredible memories. I work with half a dozen scripting languages nearly every day, yet when I have to call a function/procedure, I very often need to look at the documentation for it.

When writing in a language I'm not particularly practiced in (right now, it is bash), I've got to search the documentation for nearly every statement. Then I have to test to see if I understood it.

I had a "ah ha" moment just now. I will forget this new knowledge by the next time I script something in the shell.


Good Will Hunting. Why couldn't I be Will Hunting?
outlier_lynn: (Default)
2014-09-29 05:17 pm

Rereading books

I like rereading books. At least, I like rereading books I like. If I'm drawn into the story and I like the characters, I will have all the emotions of making friends. Rereading the books reunites me with my old friends.

I noticed that some of the friendships have worn a bit thin with the passing years. While I have grown older and my view of the world has changed dramatically, my old friends remain the same. And sometimes they are too young and simple to hold my interest. I'm sad when this happens.

The last time I read Heinlein books, was, likely, the last time I'll read them. His characters are too flat. I like the Howard Family stories, but the characters are one-dimensional caricatures with questionable philosophies. The last one of his that I read was Friday. I like that character because she is a strong female. Now, though, she seems a strong paper doll. It's sad.

I just reread Jo Walton's King's Peace and In the Name of the King. I like Sulien ap Gwien. But I'm tired of the endless war. I might reread the first again someday. I'm about half way through Among Others. I like the main character in this book, too. But, I think this one will be a read-once book.

I have just purchases all the Hornblower books, this time as ebooks. I haven't read them in a long time. And I know that Horatio will seems like a friend I haven't seen in a long time. Only now, I'll see him as Ioan Gruffudd who played the part for an A&E miniseries. I'm looking forward to that set.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
2014-09-29 08:59 am

Just a note on age

I'm old and getting older. Nothing wrong with being old. And getting older is better than not!

I can tell I'm getting older because the most exciting thing that happened to me in the last month is my discovery of Smooth Move tea.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
2014-08-25 07:46 am

Movies and memory

We have been watching a lot of movies. Some we liked quite a bit; some we tolerated; and some we switched off after 20 minutes.

And I intended to write my little mini-reviews. The problem is this. I can't remember the name of the movie be the time it ends. There are two exceptions.

Yesterday we watched the Harrison Ford remake of Sabrina, Zoolander, and Inequality For All.

It is extremely rare that I like the remake better than the original. Sabrina is one of them. It was much, much better. I like Ford and I really like Julia Ormond. I think she is a superb actor which shows up when scripts aren't great as in Witches of East End.

Second time around for Zoolander. I like that movie quite a bit. And this time around I caught more of the throwaways. I am not celeb watcher so I missed most of the cameos.

Stacey found InEquality for All. Robert Reich is my hero. I discovered him when he was Secretary of Labor. He ran for office once, I gave him money. I don't give money to campaigns often! I am old and easily depressed. This did it. :)
outlier_lynn: (Default)
2014-07-10 08:30 am
Entry tags:

maybe it's just me

I subscribed to the White House mailing list primarily because I wanted the weekly radio message and I don't think it is carried by any local radio station. The mailing list failed me for that purpose, but I've been reading it anyway.

I read it because I'm trying to figure out just why I feel like I've been slimed by the end of it. It is the language used and the sentence structure. It seems to be calculated to create a particular emotional response. Each email drips with sincerity. And regardless of topic has no real data. If it is about the state of the economy or jobs or health care, there are a few carefully chosen statistics of relatively low meaning surrounded by patronizing sympathy or nearly incoherent bombast.

The blather coming from both parties is not intended to educate the public about important issues of the day. Rather, the intent is to create an emotional responses such that the electorate can be easily controlled or, at least, easily distracted.

As much as I think the President is a very good politician, I also think he is a complete liar. Still. Even though I can't trust the Demarcates to protect the principles of American Freedom, it is abundantly clear what the Republicans would do if they were once again in charge of the Federal Government.

I think most of the Founding Fathers would call for a new revolution. I suspect, if they could have seen the future, the constitution would not have allowed a two-party system. There is something to be said for proportional representation.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
2014-07-07 01:00 pm

It seems likely

With the exceptions, such as Breaking Bad, television series tend to get worse as time goes on. I'm currently starting Grey's Anatomy over again. I didn't watch the series to its conclusion the first time through because it just became unbearable.

However, the first show is seriously good. So maybe I'll just stop after the first season. :)

EDIT: Just found out that GA is in its 11 season. Netflix only streams 7 seasons. I didn't make it through season 5.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
2014-07-07 08:53 am
Entry tags:


Gotta love my iPad for reading. I can just keep enlarging the type face.

I really love strong female characters that are multidimensional. One such character is Esmaya Suiza by Elizabeth Moon. Anytime there is a character that I really like, I reread the books. I'm fond of the Serrano Universe that Moon created and if I were in it, I could have fallen deeply in love with Esmaya. :)

I think I'm going to find out if I can by Jo Walton's books on iTunes. Especially here first two, The Kind's Peace and In the Name of the King. I really like the lead character. Another strong woman with a tough past.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
2014-07-07 08:24 am
Entry tags:

Movie Night

Really it was Movie Weekend. We watched Three.

The Sum of All Fears. In which we affirm that Ben Affleck cannot act. However, the movie did have Morgan Freeman. James Cromwell played the President. I like Cromwell, but he is NOT a convincing President. On a scale of 1 to "Hunt for Red October," This movie is a zero. I would not have made it to the end if it where not for Morgan Freeman.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Really? Just plug this device into an electrical outlet on the same wall as the office we can't break into and we will steal information off a super locked-down computer. Really? That would be the quality of this movie from opening credits to closing credits. Made it all the way through only because I starting playing games on my laptop and reading reddit. This one is also a zero on the Red October scale.

Two movies that just screamed "Fuck You" to audiences everywhere.

And then there was an independent titled "If I Were You." We debated what to give this on our normal 1-5 scale. Not quite a four because it was a touch slow in a couple of places. And I am not fond of adolescent relationship drama played out by middle-aged people. But there are plenty of twists and turns, dark humor and fine performances. I was really entertained by this offering. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who is not longer stuck in childhood morality.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
2014-06-30 07:25 am
Entry tags:


The Hobby Lobby case reported out. 5-4. A closely held corporation cannot be required to provide contraception coverage. So, now a corporation is a person with religious freedom.

I am of mixed feelings about this decision. I do not think employers should be the providers of health insurance at all. It is a dysfunctional system and really gives the employer too much power and way too much information about the private lives of employees.

On the other hand, I do not believe a corporation, even a privately held one, should have any rights normally associated with a human being.

I gotta say, I loathe the Roberts Court.

EDIT: I found out that a "closely held" corporation is any corporation in which 5 or fewer individuals can combine to own a controlling interest. Oh, joy!

After having read the Opinion of the Court, I can only conclude that the justices were fishing for any excuse to agree with Hobby Lobby. I do not agree with opinions quite often, but I can usually follow a well-reasoned line of logic. Not in this case. The opinion is all over the map and no logic can be found. I am sad.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
2014-06-23 07:08 am
Entry tags:

Movie Night

And it's another winner! "About Time." Stacey found it by accident in the SF section of Netflix. IT is a time travel story that really isn't about time travel. It is a wonderful cast of characters and a better cast of actors to play them. I'm going to watch this movie again, I'm sure. 4 out of 5.

How is it, I wonder, that I am partial to British TV and Movies?
outlier_lynn: (Default)
2014-06-17 11:23 am

Learn Something New Department

I recently took my Chevy in for a front end alignment (they didn't align it after replacing all the struts and wiped out 15K of wear on my front tires!) and an oil change. They did the alignment for free (and should have replaced two of my tires).

I forgave them this the alignment oops because we get extraordinary deals from dealer on new cars because we know the dealership owners and the family has bought a hundred cars from them.

There was a second oops during this service, my "change the oil soon" message just came on. I called the dealer to find out if I could just reset it or if they had to. Well, I can. The method: put the key in the on position without starting the car, press the gas pedal down three times quickly, and turn the key off.

It worked. And that is the weirdest thing I've heard in a long time.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
2014-06-16 06:51 am
Entry tags:

Movie Night

Blow Dry.

This went on our list for exactly one reason: Alan Rickman. We were not expecting much, though, as the synopsis strongly suggested that we would find this movie to much like a brainless, adolescent romp. How could Alan even be in anything that looked this bad.

Turned out to be very, very good. Funny, prancing premise that gives us a framework on which the actors hang wonderful performances of love, hate, betrayal and forgiveness.

Without Alan, I would have given this movie a 3 out of 5. With Alan, it gets a 4.
outlier_lynn: (Default)
2014-06-09 07:38 am
Entry tags:

Everywhere I look

The current rage in headlines is "Machine Passes Turing Test."

The first time I saw it, I followed the link and read the article. I call bullshit. 33% of the judges were convinced that the machine was a real 13-year-old boy. Since when is 33% a passing grade on any test?
outlier_lynn: (Default)
2014-06-04 02:45 pm

TV Night

Finally finished the second season of House of Cards. Not as well done as the first season. Possibly because we know the characters so well that the writers had to turn up the fire on each one. A little bit disappointing, but still good.

However, I feel a rant coming on and it contains a tiny spoiler. So if you have watched it, and you care about tiny spoilers, stop reading now.

This is 2014, damn it. It is not necessary to show how depraved your main characters are by having them be bisexual swingers. Really, guys. Really. I mean in this is the nicest way.... Fuck you!
outlier_lynn: (Default)
2014-06-01 02:33 pm

Movie Night

Great Cast. Great historical Theme. Disgustingly bad movie. 1 out of five.

"Monuments Men"

If you wanna watch a movie about the Nazis stealing art, watch "The Train" with Burt Lancaster.