Sunday, December 22, 2013

Emperor Mollusk Versus The Sinister Brain

I wanted to like this book as much as "Soon I Will Be Invincible."  It includes such gems as:

Relations between Terra and Luna had been strained since the Lunans had eaten Neil Armstrong in 1960.

and

I had a few pieces of art.  Some Neptunon seascapes to remind me of home.  The original Mona Lisa that Leonardo da Vinci had hidden away for fera that Terra would never be ready for the secrets of faster-than-light travel encoded in its brush strokes. ... The skull of the Loch Ness Monster, unfortunate victim of a Scottish chupacabra outbreak.  Edison's spirit radio; it didn't contact ghosts but the one-dimensional entities of another plane, though the entities liked to screw around and he could be forgiven the mistake.
Unfortunately, most of the prose is more like this:
We reached the end of the tunnel, emerging on a ledge above a vast cavern overlooking a sprawling city carved from the stone.  Hundreds of tubular creatures moved through its streets.  Zala ducked down, but we were so high up, I calculated it was unlikely they'd see us.

"Have you seen these creatures before?" she asked.

"They resemble nothing I've come across," I replied as I zoomed my exo sensors on the creatures.
It reminds me of Dave Wolverton's writing, in that the author's very distinct, somewhat flat writing is extremely effective in a narrow context, but when it comes time in the narrative to hear a different writerly voice, there's still just the flat one and what if it's not an affect deliberately chosen for artistic purposes but simply the only way they can express themself?  I was moved by Dave Wolverton's first book because his writing suited that character so well but I read five or seven more of his books and he didn't have any other voices so I gave up.  I'm scared to give R. Lee Martinez five or seven more tries because I only enjoyed this book in spots anyway.

Moby Dick Quotes

In 2013 I got scared that I couldn't read anything longer than a cat gif so I read Moby Dick and a few other books.  My favorite quotes:

from Chapter 13: Wheelbarrow
... one most perilous and long voyage ended, only begins a second; and a second ended, only begins a third, and so on, for ever and for aye. Such is the endlessness, yea, the intolerableness of all earthly effort.

from Chapter 25: Postscript
In truth, a mature man who uses hairoil, unless medicinally, that man has probably got a quoggy spot in him somewhere. As a general rule, he can’t amount to much in his totality.
From Chapter 30: The Pipe
“How now,” he soliloquized at last, withdrawing the tube, “this smoking no longer soothes. Oh, my pipe! hard must it go with me if thy charm be gone!
From Chapter 41: Moby Dick
But at length, such calamities did ensue in these assaults— not restricted to sprained wrists and ankles, broken limbs, or devouring amputations—but fatal to the last degree of fatality;
From Chapter 47: The Mat-Maker
... I started at a sound so strange, long drawn, and musically wild and unearthly, that the ball of free will dropped from my hand ...
From Chapter 58: Brit
Consider all this; and then turn to this green, gentle, and most docile earth; consider them both, the sea and the land; and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourself? For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half known life. God keep thee! Push not off from that isle, thou canst never return!
From Chapter 79: The Prairie
But how? Genius in the Sperm Whale? Has the Sperm Whale ever written a book, spoken a speech? No, his great genius is declared in his doing nothing particular to prove it.
From Chapter 96: The Try-works
Look not too long in the face of the fire, O man! Never dream with thy hand on the helm! Turn not thy back to the compass; accept the first hint of the hitching tiller; believe not the artificial fire, when its redness makes all things look ghastly. To-morrow, in the natural sun, the skies will be bright; those who glared like devils in the forking flames, the morn will show in far other, at least gentler, relief; the glorious, golden, glad sun, the only true lamp—all others but liars!
From Chapter 119: The Candles
In the midst of the personified impersonal, a personality stands here.

Monday, December 16, 2013

A sock/visual pun

This sock is for Aaron.  I used metal #6 circular needles in magic loop mode with The Fibre Company's Organik (70% merino, 15% baby alpaca, 15% silk), which recommends #8 needles.  This produced a nice tight stockinette pattern.

It went fairly smoothly for a new project.  I had to learn Judy's Magic cast-on, and I'm still a bit shaky on my M1R and M1L (it's all a blur of picking up legs forwards or backwards, knitting through the back or the front or backwards through the front or something) as evidenced by a few holes in one ankle but not the other.  The sock pictured is the second try; when the pattern calls for casting on 10, that's ten total, not ten per needle.  I'll get more practice because Aaron has already outgrown the newborn pattern; this sock only went as far as his ankle.  So I'll have to remake it (and make its mate) one size up, and now I have one extra sock suitable for any newborn named Aaron.

Hardly anybody seems to love the pun as much as I do.


(see also the Ravelry post.)

What to wear (hat edition)



After the lack of Championship baseball games, probably the biggest problem with the off-season is that I don't know which hat to wear when I go out. During the season, the universe generally makes it clear based on who's in or out of town, who had the better game last night, or simply who needs more cheering up. But what I am I supposed to do in December? Fielder trade: probably good. Fister trade: probably bad. Uribe deal: necessary but scary. Trey Hillman's firing: ugly. But worth picking a hat over?


I am pleased with the look and fit of my new road Detroit hat. And that's a lucky thing, because with the 30% polyester content, the trick of using hot water to shrink it and a blowdryer while wearing it to set it might not have worked. I guess that's what "molten" wool is: mostly wool. Also, it's made on "original machines", which conjures up lovely images of some rehabilitated warehouse/factory in Detroit with lovingly preserved, deeply unsafe 1930s machinery and old women and men who, thanks to the retro trend, have jobs because they are the only people who know how to operate it (they sure don't have pensions). But it was made in Bangladesh. Did they really ship the original machines there? Heck, I guess they may have. I am happy every now and then to pay absurd-seeming prices to indulge my inner hipster, but only if I have reason to believe that a decent chunk of that money is trickling all the way down.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Nomination for first against the wall

After reading this Explanation of Benefits three or four times, I think that the meaning is: "You got some tests recently, and your doctor billed you (or rather us, your insurance company, on your behalf) $136.84 to tell you the results of the tests, and we immediately thought about paying as much as $106.74, and we considered paying the rest, but it turns out that the tests come back from the lab in form that you yourself could already understand, such as "normal" instead of "311 mg/L", and so we aren't going to pay your doctor to read you that; and because we are an insurance company, we can simply refuse to pay and your doctor has to accept that; so you don't have to pay anything either directly or via insurance to have your test results read to you."  Note that this is the new, easier to understand Explanation of Benefits, not the bad old hard-to-understand one.

Insurance companies: even when they are telling you good news, they make you unhappy.  I'm not even sure who I'm nominating here, the insurance company or the doctor (i.e. the UCSF machine) for practically charging me for the oxygen they consume.


Monday, December 9, 2013

This is not a baby hat

This is one of my few adult hats.  The pattern is "Alternating Twist", which is a [purl 2, knit 3, purl 1, knit 3] ribbing with a few stitches slipped two rows and then pulled across the ribs for the "twist" effect.  It's knitted on circular bamboo #8 needles, casting on 99 and knitting about 36 rows plus the decrease rows.  The yarn is Cascade Yarns Eco Duo, which is a blend of undyed baby alpaca and undyed merino.  It's a very pretty kind of gray with some variation.  What's confusing is that although it's called "undyed", it has a color and lot number, which correspond to the "Koala" color on their site.  So if it's not dyed, and it's not its natural color, what is it? 

Update: I went to Ravelry to look something up and decided to make this first post there, and in writing up what I thought was an error in the instructions, I realized I may have made an error in my implementation.

In the Vogue instructions, the Row 4 repeat ends with
wyib sl next 2 sts;
drop sl st off needle to front of work; 
sl same 2 sts back to LH needle; 
pick up dropped st and k it;
It doesn’t say what to do with those two stitches that you slipped and then put back on the LH needle. I assumed that they should be knit. However, my implementation doesn’t look very much like the Vogue picture. The Vogue picture looks kinda like this, giving the impression of a solid ribbon that twists around, but mine looks more a solid ribbon that never twists but occasionally does have a loose stitch pulled diagonally across. So maybe knitting those two dropped stitches isn’t the right thing, but following the instructions you still end up with them on the LH needle, so what are you supposed to do?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

More knitting, but not baby hats

Baby legwarmers! All are Karabella Aurora 8 on #8 needles, simple 2 by 2 ribbing.  I think they are about 24 to 28 stitches in circumference, around 8" high, and they still fit a small baby around 10 months old.  The first one I did with double-pointed needles, and then I learned Magic Loop and my life got a tiny bit better.  (Only a tiny bit, because juggling needles with Magic Loop is still fairly annoying.)  I bound off the first one normally, i.e., with a chain bind off, and that did not work at all and I had to rip it up a bit.  It was frustrating that the basic casting on produces a stretchy edge but basic binding off doesn't. So I found and learned Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off, which works quite well.




Monday, November 18, 2013

The Basics of the Sit/Stand/Walk/Flowerpot desk

This is Part 1 of a series about the Sit/Stand/Walk/Flowerpot desk, why I built it.  To find out how I built it, see Part 2.  To see its shortcomings, see Part 3.

One nice thing about human health is that the human body is so complicated that, when everybody has a contradictory opinion about a health issue, they can all be right, and they can even all have contradictory scientific research backing them up.  I think this paradox is also one of the pillars of the self-help industry.

So, there's a growing body of evidence and anecdote that sitting in a chair all day is not healthy.  Here's a 2012 New York Times article, but I learned about in 2003 with Calvin and Peter at Collaboraid in Copenhagen, when standing desks, along with centuries-old refurbished office buildings and high-intensity lights to stave off SAD was all part of what the cool kids did.  I never made the jump to a $1000 motorized sit-stand desk (if you want to, see this excellent summary of the options and details), but for most of the last ten years I've used some kind of IKEA shelving arrangement that made it possible to manually heave my monitors to higher and lower shelves.  I can't point to any particular health benefit, and often I get pretty tired of standing all day, but I'm still alive, so maybe it helped?


Anyway, there's now plenty of argument that standing all day is bad for you; and/or that standing doesn't offer much health benefit over sitting, that it's movement that offers health benefits.  So now there's a big market for treadmill desks.  This one is $1500; these fancier ones start at $2100.  I decided that I wanted to make one myself.  Here are my requirements:
  • I can build it using only hand tools appropriate for an apartment balcony
  • It costs no more than a commercial equivalent
  • It supports my pair of 30" monitors (~20 pounds each, total width of bases around 35 inches)
  • It has sitting, standing, and treadmill walking modes
  • It accommodates my chair (an Aeron)
  • When sitting, I can put the keyboard in my lap
  • It can change between sitting, standing, and walking modes with less effort than moving 20 pound monitors up and down, and without any unplugging and replugging.
  • It must be pretty enough to be in the living room, and ideally the large monitors can be put out of sight.
All of this was percolating in my head for the last year or so, leading to these design considerations:

I didn't find any simple motorized solutions like a lego-style module and didn't want to build anything that complicated from scratch.  I suspected a cranked mechanism might also be extremely complicated.  So I was leaning toward a counter-balanced weight that slides up and down.

If I was going to use a counter-balanced weight, I wanted it to be a flowerpot, so I would have sit/stand/walk/flowerpot functionality.

I rejected a wooden frame as too bulky.  I was leaning toward plumbing pipe, and I made an end table as a trial run.  It was a simple grid structure, all right angles, with diagonal wires to make it rigid.  It was fairly hard to make it rigid with diagonal wires, and depended on having very tight connections between the pipes and the shelf surfaces.  It ended up costing around $200, which is what a table of roughly similar size and materials seems to cost (and at least $100 more than seems reasonable).  I also learned that standard steel plumbing pipes are pretty strong, but that the threaded connectors are a real pain, since to get a complete loop (e.g., a square or triangle, you have to have some reverse threading.  That and a tip from Fram put me in the direction of Kee Klamp connectors, which are basically giant tinker toy connectors.  I also considered Unistrut, but it seemed too bulky and didn't have the same look as the pipes.

From the table experience, I knew that I didn't want to mess with tension wires, and so I wanted to try and build as many triangles as possible into the shape for rigidity (a kind of space frame design), with a poor second choice being rectangles braced with diagonal bars.  Also, the Kee Klamps are very expensive so minimizing them would be ideal.  So, I ended up pretty quickly with the basic design of a pulley and swingset: two A-frame sides, connected by straight bars, with the monitors sliding up and down one side and a counter-weight hanging down from the middle. Since the feet can't get attached to the ground, extra bracing is required to keep the legs from spreading.



This design led to more basic questions: how exactly the monitors would attach to, and slide up and down, the pipes?  The monitors had to go on some kind of arm, that would go onto a pipe or bar, that would slide up and down.  Fully adjustible monitor arms, especially for 20lb+ monitors, are $200+ each.  Can the monitors be made to fold out of sight?  And how does the bar slide up and down?  On wheels?  And how do the monitor and mouse attach to anything?


Here's what I came up with:

The monitors are attached to simple (i.e., cheap) arms which are mounted on a wooden 2"x6" board.  The board hangs from Kee Klamps which slide up and down the front pipes, aided by some teflon.  The monitors are counter-weighted by regular lead weightsthe flowerpot hangs independentlyand can be moved up and down with a bit of muscle.  The keyboard and monitor are on independent arms, which are manually loosed with a hex key and moved up and down as needed.  The treadmill is manually pushed forward out of the way for sitting mode.  The overall transition between modes takes several manual steps, less than a minute in total but only after practice.

Altogether, the parts totaled about $1300, and I'll go into more detail in a future post.  I'm satisfied with the design and use it every day, but there are things that aren't perfect and different paths I might take with a second try.  Would I recommend this approach to others?  Only if you like this particular design more than a commercial solution, are willing to spend just as much, and have weeks or months and some space to play around with it.

(All posts about the Sit/Stand/Walk/Flowerpot Desk Index

Saturday, November 16, 2013

More hats

Three more hats. 

I think this is more Lorna's Lace, but not producing quite the same nice spiral.  Also, I tried to apply some new pattern, I'm not totally sure what, and as you can see I executed the pattern successfully but I can't say it produced a nice hat.


Here's a reversion to simple 2x2 ribbing, but with a nicely colored yarn which I didn't quite keep good track of so I can't tell you what it was.


And here's one that I think came out okay: a "bamboo" pattern from my Vogue pattern book.  This is the Karabella Aurora 8 again.



Saturday, November 2, 2013

More hats

This hat totally spoiled me.  I think the yarn is Lorna's Laces, 2x2 ribbing on #8s again.  It's hand-dyed, and this hat came out in a perfect spiral.  I got three hats out of the hank, and the other two had weird zig-zags that had me convinced I'd started knitting backward, but it was just the luck of the dye.  After this hank, I wanted more, and I've bought two or three more of the same yarn, but never come close to the same colors.  One big problem with baby hats is that pink and blue are such charged colors that I'd like to just avoid them altogether, but some of the followup hats were much pinker that I would have liked.



Having gotten the hang of 2x2 ribbing, I went for something new.  These hats were for twin girls.  Back to Karabella Aurora 8 on #8s.  The ribbing goes from 2x2 to 3x3 to 4x4, not very successfully.  I left a patch of stockinette for the monograms, which are duplicate stitch.  Which is very very hard.  You can probably tell which one was my first.  Even when you are totally sure you have the right stitch to loop through, you still end up on the wrong stitch.



Who wants to see some hats?

My first three hats. All Karabella Aurora 8, on #8 needles, I think 72 or 80 stitches cast on, simple 2x2 ribbing, about 35 rows. And the pom-poms!


The perfect web development framework

I've been trying out Django as a platform for resurrecting my website.  The crazy thing about websites is that they are almost all extremely similar, and yet each one seems like a huge endeavor to build.  Of course, some of this is self-inflicted because, in my own case, I'd rather rebuild a website from scratch in order to learn (and, to a tiny extent, enjoy) the latest development methods.  But mostly I think that we haven't solved the problem of how to reuse medium-level stuff.

If you want to "reuse" blog software, you can use Blogger or dozens of other systems, but then you can only do exactly what they have built.  Which can be pretty configurable, but there are still limits.  That's big reuse.  

If you want to reuse bits and pieces, like spellcheckers or mathematical functions, that's small reuse, and that works pretty well.

But in the middle, it's a mess.

I made it through the first Django tutorial and I'm not totally happy.  I wanted to get a simple web-driven application working, just a "Hello World" kind of thing.  A list of dogs: name, breed, gender, neutered true/false?.  Breed coming from a list in a separate table.  So the whole thing is two database tables and a relationship.  In the ideal web development platform, you define your data and then, pow, you get automatically and with no code or anything, all of the typical stuff that you are likely to need:
  • web pages to look at a list of each thing you defined
  • sorting
  • filtering
  • pagination
  • pages and forms to look at individual items
  • pages and forms to add new items
  • pages and forms to modify existing items
  • pages and forms to delete items
And Django provides all of this, with just a tiny bit of glue code.  But it's stashed away in the "Admin" interface, which is not supposed to be available to the public.  If you want to expose this data to the public, you are expected to completely rebuild all of that lovely functionality from scratch with lots and lots of repetitive code.

At least, that's what the tutorial wants you to think.  Until you get to part 4, which introduces "generic views" that eliminate half of the mess.  It says:

Generally, when writing a Django app, you’ll evaluate whether generic views are a good fit for your problem, and you’ll use them from the beginning, rather than refactoring your code halfway through. But this tutorial intentionally has focused on writing the views “the hard way” until now, to focus on core concepts.
 You should know basic math before you start using a calculator.
Screw you, tutorial writer.  You should have offered that as a choice on the first page of the tutorial.  Now I know never to trust you.

So, impressions after maybe 4-8 hours of Django hacking:

  • There's no standard way to do anything.  The tutorial alone provides two or three or four different ways to do things, and searching for help and examples produces lots of code that looks slightly similar but not really.
  • Django really wants you to think you are writing a Python program that looks like a website, not developing a web site that has bits of Python in it.
  • The request processing flow is on the complicated side.  To get one page to work, you need to put code in four or five or six different places:
    • urls.py
    • models.py
    • views.py
    • forms.py
    • a template page, which if your application is "dogs" is mysteriously in dogs/templates/dogs/yourpage.html
    • probably something else I've forgotten
I think I'll try a bit more coding, and then try out the big selling point, which is a huge library of prebuilt tools (reuse in the medium), and see how well that works.  After using Django for a bit, I'm further from committing to a platform than I was before.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Praying, obeying, and endlessly praising

... walk into any synagogue during any service and almost the entire content will be about praying, obeying and endlessly praising a medieval conceptualization of God.  ... many Jews find the current ritual practice at temple, with its obsession over an anthropomorphic God as envisioned in the superstitious Middle Ages, repellent ... formal Jewish practice has gotten itself stuck in rituals that insult our intelligence as a modern thoughtful people, and turn us away from our heritage.
Dan Bodner.  Oct 18, 2013.  Letter to the editor.  J. the Jewish news weekly p 20

I first had a thought like this about thirty years ago, and have felt this way ever since, but have never been able to come as close to articulating it as this formulation.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

You can set your watch by it

Mary, mother of God and patron saint
of Washing Machine Repairpeople
There are at least three ways to tell time without a watch from where I live.  The air raid siren that goes off downtown at noon every Tuesday is audible.  There are plenty of bells from the adjacent cathedral, Our Lady of Perpetual Agitation, although they don't always correlate well with Earth time.
And lastly, as retaliation upon the shoppers of San Francisco for not spending lots of money during Fleet Week (thanks to the sequester, we were spared the Blue Angels' aural assault this year), the waterfront merchants have paid for fireworks every Saturday night at 8:30 pm this month.  Thanks for that.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Overheard in San Francisco

At 7th and Market: "Hey, you see the narcos, right? ... HEY!  The narcs are right there!"

We won today

Actually, we didn't.  We didn't even play today.  In the last week, both the Dodgers and the Tigers, my baseball teams by birth and marriage, were eliminated four games to two from their respective league championship playoffs.  Instead of a World Series in which I can't lose—which would have been a glorious thing given the extent to which anxiety and dread dominate most of my baseball-watching—the best possible outcome is now a Red Sox sweep, which excuse me, ehhnchchhennnnchchh.

But this morning I went to my new gym for a 6 am class, a new and more difficult class for me and one that I was barely able to complete about 70% without crossing the line to nausea and, one can only presume, heart attack and death.  I came home, put on a dry sweatshirt and walked the dog, and pondered: why do I feel less elation right now, having just finished a tough workout that is directly improving my personal health and mental well-being, than I did when "we" won the first playoff series?  The only possible input I had into the team's success was contributing about one millionth of the team salary.  I didn't swing any bats, or endure six hours of physical therapy every day simply in order to get onto the field (the Dodgers are, by the way, the first team to hire a female head athletic trainer, and now the first team to apparently fire a female head athletic trainer).  So every day that I go and do a good workout for myself, I ought to feel better than any Dodger win.  Right?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Something weird at Chavez Ravine


Something weird usually happens when Gus and I see the Cardinals at Dodger Stadium. For example, we were there for the last free ball giveaway, when fans protested some bad calls and ejections by throwing their free balls onto the field, leading to the last MLB forfeit. It probably won't be the last forfeit ever, but it certainly was the last free "object that is dangerous when thrown onto the field from the top deck" giveaway.

And apparently Monday's game was something out of the ordinary, with an inside-the-park triple from Puig who celebrated a home run and was still fast enough after it didn't leave the park to get to third standing up; the Cardinals' center fielded missing three routine balls, none for actual errors (yet another obsolete and useless statistic); a double-phantom double-play; Hanley Ramirez going two for four with broken ribs; and a dancing bear who, after everyone remembered that the Dodgers don't have a mascot, was ejected and banned.

Tuesday's game lacked these features. It did have a tremendous Matt Holliday home run, as well as a home run from the littlest Cardinal, a 5'9" defensive specialist. As Gus said, "he's only an inch taller than me [not true]. He's me! I just hit a home run! [it bounced off the wall; it would have been caught if Crawford had suspected he could even hit the ball that far and not positioned himself so shallowly].

It also had a balk, catcher's interference, which neither of us had seen before, and a pickoff at second, which neither of us could remember having seen in person. All of these were against the Dodgers, because it was that kind of game. The Dodgers got essential, rally-starting hits in the sixth, seventh, and ninth, each of which fired up the crowd for up to 30 seconds before the inevitable double-play. It was, all in all, a thorough, grinding, soul-crushing defeat and a very ordinary day.

After the game, I went to the bathroom and then out the top gate to the little plaza, where Gus was waiting by the giant 42. According to him, while I was gone, a TV cameraman spotted him in his red regalia (everyone had been perfectly polite to him up to that point) and started to interview him, which triggered a mini-riot of abuse that was quickly ended by hustling security guards (so happy Frank McCourt is gone). So I missed my chance to save his life by shielding him behind my blue shirt, hat, and rally towel. Even the exciting part of the day I missed. I hate baseball.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Check back later?

Virgin America's website has, ever since their big upgrade a few years ago that made booking almost impossible for several months, always been a bit unusual.  I do like the message I got today after picking a seat in front of the exit row.
Due to FAA restrictions, this seat does not currently recline.
What are we expecting to change first, FAA restrictions or a new model of Airbus?  That said, it is nice to have the warning, especially if you aren't a compulsive Seatguru user.

Prerequisite for a dream

I took aufrecht.org down a few years ago because I was paying too much to host it, it was running on a niche technology called OpenACS, and I didn't have free the months I feared it would take to move it, upgrade it, port it, etc.  So I turned it into a read-only archive, at least for a while.  But for a year or more it's just been one page; that says it's "paused".

And before I could get it back up, I knew I wanted to invest a lot of time in doing it properly. Hosting your own website is very time-consuming when you can just use Blogger or any of dozens (probably thousands) of hosted systems. I do it as something between a personal hobby and professional homework; as a technical project manager working mostly with web applications, I want to know enough to be able to ask misguided and partially informed questions at work. OpenACS introduced me to technical concepts of automation of testing, deployment, configuration management, application version control, and so forth that still seem to be bleeding-edge questions a decade later, and I want to master some other platforms to see if anybody's caught up.

You can't just read about this stuff. You have to smash your face into electronic brick walls over and over again to really learn. If I hadn't had to manually, file by file, fix the results of OpenACS release branch merging, I wouldn't really understand what it means to say that branching is to merging as backup is to recovery: the first is easy but the second very hard, and without the second one, the first one is worthless. Before I could recover all of my old data, I would to set up a new website to put it in. Before I could set up a new website, I would need to learn a new web platform. Before I could learn a new web platform, I would need to understand distributed version control.

And before I could do all that I needed a new desk.

Calvin and Peter got me started with standing desks, and now I was ready to try a walking desk.  And I didn't want to buy one; I wanted to make one. I wanted a craft project, and I wanted to make something vaguely artistic. It ended up taking several months to finish, and it's the kind of project that's never actually going to be completely finished, but today I'm ready to show it off, and in some followup posts I'll go into more detail about how it works (and what doesn't work), how much it costs compared to a commercial walking desk, how to make it yourself, and whether or not you should try.

Without further ado, other than to thank David Gartner for his fine photography, I give you the world's first sit/stand/walk/flowerpot desk.

(All posts about the Sit/Stand/Walk/Flowerpot Desk Index

Temporary Blog

This is the first new Aufrecht.org blog post in a few years.  The archive of blog posts back to 2003 is still off-line, as are other Aufrecht.org features such as the "Songs not in 4/4 List".  But they will come back, and getting a place to post my thoughts about the process of rebuilding a website is step one.