Sphinx Moths

Akkana Peck - Sun, 2014-08-10 03:23

[White-lined sphinx moth on pale trumpets] We're having a huge bloom of a lovely flower called pale trumpets (Ipomopsis longiflora), and it turns out that sphinx moths just love them.

The white-lined sphinx moth (Hyles lineata) is a moth the size of a hummingbird, and it behaves like a hummingbird, too. It flies during the day, hovering from flower to flower to suck nectar, being far too heavy to land on flowers like butterflies do.

[Sphinx moth eye] I've seen them before, on hikes, but only gotten blurry shots with my pocket camera. But with the pale trumpets blooming, the sphinx moths come right at sunset and feed until near dark. That gives a good excuse to play with the DSLR, telephoto lens and flash ... and I still haven't gotten a really sharp photo, but I'm making progress.

Check out that huge eye! I guess you need good vision in order to make your living poking a long wiggly proboscis into long skinny flowers while laboriously hovering in midair.

Photos here: White-lined sphinx moths on pale trumpets.

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Recovery reading

Elizabeth Krumbach - Tue, 2014-08-05 16:06

During the most painful phase of the recovery from my gallbladder removal I was able to do a whole lot. Short walks around the condo to relieve stiffness and bloating post-surgery, but mostly I was resting to encourage healing. Sitting up hurt, so I spent a lot of time in bed. But what to do? So bored! I ended up reading a lot.

I don’t often write about what I’ve been reading, but I typically have 6 or so books going of various genres, usually one or two about history and/or science, a self improvement type of book (improving speaking, time/project management), readable tech (not reference), scifi/fantasy, fiction (usually cheesy/easy read, see Ian Fleming below!), social justice. This is largely reflected in what I read this past week, but for some reason I’ve been slanted toward history more than scifi/fantasy lately.

Surviving Justice: America’s Wrongfully Convicted and Exonerated edited by Dave Eggers and Lola Vollen. I think I heard about this book from a podcast since I’ve had a recent increase in interest in capital punishment following the narrowly defeated Prop 34 in 2012 seeking to end capital punishment in California. I’ve long been against capital punishment for a variety of reasons, and the real faces that this book put on wrongfully accused people (some of whom were on death row) really solidified some of my feelings around it. The book is made up of interviews from several exonerated individuals from all walks of life and gives a sad view into how their convictions ruined their lives and the painful process they went through to finally prove their innocence. Highly recommended.

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. I read this book in high school, and it interested me then but I always wanted to get back and read it as an adult with my perspectives now. It was a real pleasure, and much shorter than I remembered!

Casino Royale, by Ian Fleming. One of my father’s guilty pleasures was reading Ian Fleming books. Unfortunately his copies have been lost over the years, so when I started looking for my latest paperback indulgence I loaded up my Nook to start diving in. Fleming’s opinion and handling of women in his books is pretty dreadful, but once I put aside that part of my brain and just enjoyed it I found it to be a lot of fun.

The foundation for an open source city by Jason Hibbets. I saw Hibbets speak at Scale12x this year and downloaded the epub version of this book then. He hails from Raleigh, NC where over the past several years he’s been working in the community there to make the city an “Open Source City” – defined by one which not only uses open source tools, but also has an open source philosophy for civic engagement, from ordinary citizen to the highest level of government. The book goes through a series of projects they’ve done in Raleigh, as well as expanding to experiences that he’s had with other cities around the country, giving advice for how other communities can accomplish the same.

Orla’s Code by Fiona Pearse. This book tells of the life and work of Orla, a computer programmer in London. Having subject matter in a fiction book about a women and which is near to my own profession was particularly enjoyable to me!

Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore. I heard about this book through another podcast, and as a big Ben Franklin fan I was eager to learn more about his sister! I loved how Lepore wove in pieces of Ben Franklin’s life with that of his sister and the historical context in which they were living. She also worked to give the unedited excerpts from Jane’s letters, even if she had to then spend a paragraph explaining the meaning and context due to Jane’s poor written skills. Having the book presented in this way gave an extra depth of understanding Jane’s level of education and subsequent hardships, while keeping it a very enjoyable, if often sad, read.

Freedom Rider Diary: Smuggled Notes from Parchman Prison by Carol Ruth Silver. I didn’t intend to read two books related to prisons while I was laid up (as I routinely tell my friends “I don’t like prison shows”), but I was eager to read this one because I’ve had the pleasure of working with Carol Ruth Silver on some OLPC-SF stuff and she’s been a real inspiration to me. The book covers Silver’s time as a Freedom Rider in the south in 1961 and the 40 days she spent in jail and prison with fellow Freedom Riders resisting bail. She was able to take shorthand-style notes on whatever paper she could find and then type them up following her experience, so now 50 years later they are available for this book. The journal style of this book really pulled me in to this foreign world of the Civil Rights movement which I’m otherwise inclined to feel was somehow very distant and backwards. It was also exceptionally inspiring to read how these young men and women traveled for these rides and put their bodies on the line for a cause that many argued “wasn’t their problem” at all. The Afterward by Cherie A. Gaines was also wonderful.

Those were the books I finished, but I also I put a pretty large dent in the following:

All of these are great so far!

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

The gallbladder ordeal

Elizabeth Krumbach - Sat, 2014-08-02 13:26

3 months ago I didn’t know where or what what a gallbladder was.

Turns out it’s a little thing that helps out the liver by storing some bile (gall). It also turns out to be not strictly required in most people, luckily for me.


“Blausen 0428 Gallbladder-Liver-Pancreas Location” by BruceBlaus – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Way back in April I came down with what I thought was a stomach bug. It was very painful and lasted 3 days before I went to an urgent care clinic to make sure nothing major was wrong. They took some blood samples and sent me on my way, calling it a stomach bug. When blood results came in I was showing elevated liver enzymes and was told to steer clear of red meat, alcohol and fatty foods.

The active “stomach bug” went away pretty quickly and after a couple weeks of boring diet the pain went away too. Hooray!

2 weeks later the pain and “stomach bug” came back. This time I ended up in the emergency room, dehydrated and in severe pain. They did some blood work and a CT scan to confirm my appendix wasn’t swollen and sent me home after a few hours. At this point we’re in early May and I had to cancel attending the OpenStack Summit in Atlanta because of the pain. That sucked.

May and June saw 3 major diagnostic tests to figure out what was wrong. I continued avoiding alcohol and fatty foods since they did make it worse, but the constant, dull pain persisted. I stopped exercising, switched to small meals which would hurt less and was quite tired and miserable. Finally, in July they came to the conclusion that I had gallbladder “sludge” and that my gallbladder should probably be removed.

Sign me up!

In preparation for my surgery I read a lot, talked with lots of people who had theirs out and found experiences landed into two categories:

  1. Best thing I ever did, no residual problems and the $%$# pain is gone!
  2. Wish I had tried managing it first, I now have trouble digesting fatty/fried foods and alcohol

This was a little worrying, but given the constant pain I’d been in for 3 months I was willing to deal with the potential side effects. Fortunately feedback was pretty consistent regarding immediate recovery: the surgery is easy and recovery is quick.

My surgery was on July 24th.

They offered it as either outpatient or a single night in the hospital, and I opted for outpatient. I arrived at 8AM and sent home without a gallbladder and nibbling on animal crackers and water by 1PM. Easy!

Actually, the first 3 days were a bit tough. It was a laparoscopic surgery that only required 4 small incisions, so I had pain in my belly and at the incision sites. Activity is based on the individual, but loosely estimated a week for basic recovery, and 2-3 weeks before you’re fully recovered. They recommend both a lot of rest and walking as you can so that you can rid your body of stiffness and bloating from the surgery, leading to a quicker recovery. MJ was able to take time off of work Thursday and Friday and spend the weekend taking care of me.

As the weekend progressed sitting up was still a bit painful, so that limited TV watching. I could only sleep on my back which started causing some neck and back soreness. I did a lot of reading! Books, magazines, caught up on RSS feeds that I fed to my phone. Sunday evening I was able to take the bandages off the incision sites, leaving the wound closure strips in place (in lieu of stitches, and they said they should fall off in 10-14 days). I got dizzy and became nauseated while removing the bandages, which was very unusual for me because blood and stuff doesn’t tend to bother me. I think I was just nervous about finding an infection or pulling on one of the closure strips too hard, but it all went well.

By Monday I was doing a bit better, was able to go outside to pick up some breakfast, walk a block down to the pharmacy (both in my pajamas – haha!). The rest of the week went like this, each day I felt a little better, but still taking the pain medication. Tuesday I spent some time at my desk on email triage so I could respond to anything urgent and have a clearer idea of my task list when I was feeling better. Sitting up got easier, so I added some binge TV watching into the mix and also finally had the opportunity to watch some videos from the OpenStack Summit I missed – awesome!

On Wednesday afternoon I started easing back into work with a couple of patch fix-ups and starting to more actively follow up with email. I even made it out to an OpenStack 4th birthday party for a little while on Wednesday night, which was fortuitously held at a gallery on my block so I was able to go home quickly as soon as I started feeling tired. I’m also happy to say that I wore an elastic waist cotton skirt to this, not my pajamas! Thursday and Friday I still took a lot of breaks from my desk, but was able to start getting caught up with work.

I’m still taking it easy this weekend and on Tuesday I have a follow-up appointment with the surgeon to confirm that everything is healing well. I am hopeful that I’ll be feeling much better by Monday, and certainly by the time I’m boarding a plane to Philly on Thursday. Fortunately MJ is coming with me and has offered to handle the luggage, which is great because aside from wanting him to join me on this trip anyway, I probably won’t be ready to haul around anything heavy yet.

So far I haven’t had trouble eating anything, even when I took a risk and had pizza (fatty!) and egg rolls (fried!) this week. And while I still have surgical pain lurking around and some more healing to do, the constant pain I was having left with my gallbladder. I am so happy! This has truly been a terrible few months for me, I’m looking forward to having energy again so I can get back to my usual productive self and to getting back on track with my diet and exercise routine.

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Ditch Agile, Go With Common Sense

L J Laubenheimer (Iconoclast Blast) - Tue, 2014-07-15 17:40
I am so sick of Agile I could puke. Agile "methods" and "processes" are often used as a bludgeon to enforce the great speedup, doing more, faster, with fewer resources. I see estimations forced into the PM or manager's demanded hard deadline, hours getting longer because of wasted time in meetings, and "rapid" deployment of garbage code that needs to be rolled back because no integration testing was done (eliminating QA does that to you.)
Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

How To ***REALLY*** Advocate for the Customer

L J Laubenheimer (Iconoclast Blast) - Tue, 2014-07-15 17:32
I occasionally see job ads for "customer advocates" or "customer evangelists". They all turn out to be sales and marketing, that is, advocating or evangelizing stuff to the would-be user. That is so ass-backwards that it makes me foam at the mouth.
Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

SCaLE 12x Pics From Around the Web!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Los Angeles Chapter - Fri, 2014-03-14 23:14
The Tres Chix rocked it @ SCaLE 12x!!!!

The Tres Chix rocked it @ SCaLE 12x!!!!
Picture From the SCALE 12x Official Pics Site
https://www.flickr.com/search/?q=scale12x&s=rec

We won!!!! by Phillip Banks!

We won “Biggest SCaLE Spirit” and “Best Crowd Pleaser” Awards @ SCaLE 12x!  We won!  We won!!  We won!!!
Picture by Phillip Banks

And we got our own hashtag on Instagram thanks to TrueAbility!

Thomas Stocking ‏@ThomasStocking Feb 22 Expo has plenty of life for open source software geeks like me at #scale12x pic.twitter.com/3pXObnsF6p

Thomas Stocking ‏@ThomasStocking Feb 22
Expo has plenty of life for open source software geeks like me at #scale12x pic.twitter.com/3pXObnsF6p

 

A penguin on the loose at #scale12x pic.twitter.com/1Djo0ckPy3

A penguin on the loose at #scale12x pic.twitter.com/1Djo0ckPy3

 

randalschwartz 3 weeks ago · SCaLE 12x Audience for my talk at #scale12x

Audience for my talk at #scale12x
randal-schwartz

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

#New project problems

Brianna Laugher - Sat, 2014-02-22 23:21

I-know-how-to-program wankery (get to the content already)

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

New project: Crowdfunded Free Software (CFFSW)

Brianna Laugher - Wed, 2014-02-19 12:27

The launch of a new blog, which aims to chronicle crowdfunding campaigns for free software and related endeavours.

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Some Newsblur fangirling

Brianna Laugher - Tue, 2014-02-11 06:19

Notes on customising your Newsblur shared items page, intelligence training and the Android app.

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

What will we count?

What Will We Use? (Maco and Bethlynn) - Wed, 2012-03-21 18:39

Hello Readers…

This blog has been about Microsoft and its market share.

Specifically, on June 2009 I bet my friend Nick that Microsoft would lack a majority market share come June 2011. We discussed the three products that HAD the majority market share as of the summer of 2009:

  1. Microsoft Internet Explorer for browsers
  2. Microsoft Office for office suites
  3. Microsoft Windows for operating systems

Due to personal reasons, we did not conclude this project properly.

It was too time intensive to research the true market share of Microsoft products. It is without question that Microsoft no longer holds the majority market share on browsers, now with about 30% of the market share. The office suite question is still under debate due to Google Apps. Also under consideration is if tablets replace the desktop.

In summary, the question all along should have been “What will we count?” as office suites and operating system platforms instead of “What will we use?”

Without question, Microsoft is struggling to stay relevant as revenues plummet. Indeed, upon 2011 year close Microsoft is a different company. It is sad. I do not want Microsoft to fold. Competition is good even for the Apple and Linux-based products I prefer using.

After-all, I am a MSFT stock-holder.

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Ramadan Mubarak

Lilandra - Sat, 2011-08-13 05:10

Ramadan is here again. Actually we are about 13 days in…so almost half way done.

And you’re wondering what could I possibly doing that is new, right?
More pictures of dates and fried stuff?
An artistic shot of a glass of water?

Well I intend to host my very first Iftar.

I’m going to give people food to break fast.

Now my mom is not very happy about this.
She may not like the menu either.

But I had a plan…for how I could cook everything…bake bake bake…I really need a second oven…

However I was saved. I am outsourcing the meat and one side.

I am making one side and salad (well I informed my sister in law that she is making the salad).

I’m excited and petrified at the same time.

Wsh me luck!

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Transmissions from 2011-06-26

Teri Solow - Sun, 2011-06-26 12:50
Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

gothiccharmschool: I don’t care if Monday’s blueTuesday’s gray…

Teri Solow - Sat, 2011-06-25 21:00

gothiccharmschool:

I don’t care if Monday’s blue
Tuesday’s gray and Wednesday too
Thursday I don’t care about you
It’s Friday, I’m in love

Monday you can fall apart
Tuesday, Wednesday break my heart
Oh, Thursday doesn’t even start
It’s Friday I’m in love

I don’t care if Mondays black
Tuesday, Wednesday – heart attack
Thursday, never looking back
It’s Friday, I’m in love

Monday, you can hold your head
Tuesday, Wednesday stay in bed
Or Thursday – watch the walls instead
It’s Friday, I’m in love

Via l0vechild

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Transmissions from 2011-06-25

Teri Solow - Sat, 2011-06-25 12:50
  • One placeholder sentence to replace and I guess I'm ready to figure out this deploy. But, oh, what a sentence. #
  • @travisezell Oh man, he had such a cute little website and now it's contemplating sympathy death. http://bit.ly/kXiWQu in reply to travisezell #
  • Procrastination is a muse and the paradox. @ Reed College – Educational Technology Center http://instagr.am/p/GTxqY/ #
  • Taking my cats to the vet just now was my $500 nam. Seriously, the wisdom tooth extraction Monday was way cheaper and slightly more pleasant #
  • To be clear, the vets were great. It was the screaming murderous cats which were the problem. #
  • @palomint You're supposed to tell us. in reply to palomint #
Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Transmissions from 2011-06-24

Teri Solow - Sat, 2011-06-25 05:50
  • One placeholder sentence to replace and I guess I'm ready to figure out this deploy. But, oh, what a sentence. #
  • @travisezell Oh man, he had such a cute little website and now it's contemplating sympathy death. http://bit.ly/kXiWQu in reply to travisezell #
  • Procrastination is a muse and the paradox. @ Reed College – Educational Technology Center http://instagr.am/p/GTxqY/ #
  • Taking my cats to the vet just now was my $500 nam. Seriously, the wisdom tooth extraction Monday was way cheaper and slightly more pleasant #
  • To be clear, the vets were great. It was the screaming murderous cats which were the problem. #
  • @palomint You're supposed to tell us. in reply to palomint #
Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Procrastination is a muse and the paradox. (Taken with…

Teri Solow - Fri, 2011-06-24 20:16

Procrastination is a muse and the paradox. (Taken with Instagram at Reed College – Educational Technology Center)

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Transmissions from 2011-06-23

Teri Solow - Fri, 2011-06-24 05:50
  • Wondering how many apps I have installed on my phone came bundled with wee web browsers. Guessing 50%. Seems massively wasteful. #
  • @micahjgates It's mostly wasteful in that it wastes my time making me re-login to various places every time I leave a comment or whatever in reply to micahjgates #
  • @darkuncle Instapaper, facebook, tumblr, and others all have their own tiny non-safari browsers. in reply to darkuncle #
  • @ahockley You din't think they already have access to everything you have in the cloud? in reply to ahockley #
  • Kid, to other kid who just walked past me: "Dude, you really shouldn't be ahead of us like that! You might get kidnapped!" #
  • Store! Y U no have creamer?! #
  • Looking down, you realize that most people consider tiny stars entirely disposable. #
  • Video: This really drives home what an amazing song this is. It literally gave me chills. (via 35 YouTube… http://tumblr.com/xp7350z70o #
  • Photo: Living on the edge. http://tumblr.com/xp7353rvk6 #
  • @darkuncle @marco Maybe it's based on safari, I don't know. Since it doesn't use safari's cookies it makes no difference to me. in reply to darkuncle #
  • Watching some awful little songbirds attack a sickly crow :( #
  • A second crow came to the defense of the first. I hope they eat all the songbird's babies. #
  • Good samaritans are my kryptonite. If someone dropped something, LEAVE IT ALONE kthxbai. #
  • @darkuncle Who cares how it's implemented then? A separate cookie jar means it's less useful than if it just used safari. in reply to darkuncle #
Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Living on the edge.

Teri Solow - Thu, 2011-06-23 21:02

Living on the edge.

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers
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