Older blog entries for mojotoad (starting at number 8)

Jumped into an interesting discussion regarding stock splits and proper portfolio accounting on the gnucash mailing list. Hopefully I am not being an irritant with naive accounting questions.

Has anyone tried to browse the project listing lately? Shouldn't this at least be alphanumerically sorted?

dria: Huzzah on the cat declaw decision! Some advice: if the cat does not go outdoors very often, then clip its claws with a nail clipper on a regular basis. If he happens to scratch, the claws do no damage. Make sure not to cut to the quick, though -- this should be clearly visible since cat claws are translucent. If you brace the underside of the toe with one finger and press gently on the top of the toe, the claw will extend. (actually the vet sells special nail clippers that behave more like a cigar cutter than nail clippers -- these cut better). Also, I don't know what you got on the scratching post. If it's carpet, and they don't like it, try hemp rope. And my cats, at least, really like the coiled cardboard that sits in the middle of the trackball toys.

As for coffee: perhaps you will find the secret to a perfect cup of joe as informative as I did. It's the nuts and bolts of coffee theory. And, of course, if injesting your coffee just ain't a quick enough buzz for your tastes, then there are alternative techniques.

Phil Katz: God speed, man; hope things go better the next time around.

Cat claws. dria, please do not declaw your cat. This means that you place furniture as a higher priority than the annoying little bastard. Please either a) give the cat to someone with different priorities, or b) don't buy furniture that concerns you so.

Besides, scratchability is really a function of surface texture, and the ability for them to sink their claws into the material. Step 1: Get a sacrificial anode, such as a scratching post or one of those ball-in-track deals with the coiled cardboard centerpiece. Step 2: Don't buy tasty claw furniture. For instance, I have a very nice Italian leather couch. The cats don't touch it, because the leather surface is not appealing to them for scratching.

As an optional Step 3: Have you ever noticed how quickly cats run from compressed air, such as from one of those bottles you dust your keyboard with? Whoo! Negative feedback generally doesn't work with cats (they just learn not to behave that way in your presence), but it sure can be fun to watch them scramble from time to time.

And please don't use neutering/spaying as a counter example of owning cats under our own terms. Scratching furniture does not produce more cats.

Damn I love perl.

Since HTML::Element was not playing friendly and sticking to the class methods, I was having to jump through all sorts of hoops in order to let my sub classed objects frolick freely with regular element trees. I was having to override all sorts of methods in order do achieve that goal, which decreased efficiency and ease of maintenance.

Finally, I just said to hell with it; when necessary, I tie a special array class to the content that "does the right thing" when that element is masked -- now it doesn't matter who pokes around in the object internals. Hah!

I'll probably go to some sort of programmer hell for it, but it trimmed about 100 lines of needless, unmaintainable code.

Done with the big ride...first day, ~100 miles, camped in La Grange (yes, the same as in the ZZ Top "Haw Haw Haw..." song). Sunday we wrapped it up in about 85 miles, but there were lots of hills so it was a tougher ride over all. We hit up the Gingerman in Austin for a few beers afterwards. On the trip back, I blinked, and was home (it's about a 3 hours in a car).

I was eating vitamin "I" (ibuprofen) like tic-tacs, trying to keep my knees under control. I think they'll be all right. In general, I turned out to be better conditioned for road biking than I gave myself credit for...the jarring of mountain bike riding seemed to have unexpected benefits concerning road endurance.

Took today off. I am about to quest for some protein, carbos, and caffeine.

I've been hanging low, lately, prepping for the big ride this weekend.

Worked on some of my HTML::Element based classes last night, trying to utilize the new methods provided by HTML::Element whenever possible. As it turns out, I really wasn't able to deprecate many of my prior enhancments because the author of HTML::Element has a tendency to rifle through the object data structures directly, for efficiency...so a method invoked in an object higher in the tree structure a) directly accesses the structures of objects further down the tree, and b) makes assumptions about that structure.

Bad Programmer. No biscuit.

In response to starshine, regarding names vs faces. I too, am better with faces, and was a regular LISA attendee from around '93 to '97. Perhaps the facesaver database could be of assistance. I know I'm in there, somewhere, but I'm having trouble getting to the site at the moment. (at least, it's a younger version of me...haven't updated it in a while).

Heard an interesting tidbit recently...apparently the Sacajawea dollar coins are the exact same dimensions as the old Susan B. Anthony dollars. Of course, the new coins have smooth edges rather than reeded. (the dimensions in question: 8.1 grams in weight, 2 mm thick, and 26.5 mm in diameter...diameter is the only one required in the specification, so I'm not as sure on the thickness and weight equivalence)

That would sure explain how the vending companies did not have to retool their machines for the new currency...and here I thought they had some sort of inside skinny.

Furthermore, I heard that during the approval process for the Susan B. Anthony dollar, the idea of making it gold colored was quickly tabled. Oops. What a difference color makes for near-quarter-sized coins, huh?

Taking it easy today...yesterday was a "smoke test" ride on my road bike in preparation for the MS-150 (Houston to Austin) coming up next week. 50 miles sure smacked my knees; I think I'm getting old.

So I'm relaxing...making homeade spaghetti, doing taxes, working on various computer projects...and waiting for the season finale of the Sopranos.

In response to rakholh, who wants to randomly iterate over an array: randomly store the indicies in another array, and iterate over the new array.

I'm having a nice conversation with pjf regarding adding Finance-QuoteHist to the gnucash effort. He brought up some excellent points regarding other exchanges around the world. His mail hub appears to be balking on delivering my last response, though, so I might have to try again via sourceforge, just in case it's a different address.

I decided to post this after reading jennvs recent diary entry, after having absorbed the whole meta conversation.

I think jennv is right in ignoring the various posts that are overt attacks on one another.

Also, the get used to it type of responses land in a grey area; the point of such posts is perhaps worth discussing, but that sort of phrasing is just rude and gets you nowhere if you are interested in actual communication.

So, jennv's points about listening are accurate -- but only if each party to the conversation a) is willing to listen, and b) presents themselves as such.

I think the real problem is human nature and language. Take me, for example. I tend to despise most "Politically Correct" dogmas (bear with me, I mean dogma quite literally), but I have tremendous respect for clear communication. These two things often conflict within me.

The reason I am so suspicious of Politically Correct language is a general issue I have with symbols in general. Words are symbols. The more someone on either side of an issue heaps onto a symbol, the more likely miscommunication will result -- and assuming the people involved have a general respect for clear communication, the perceived insults are often unintentional.

Symbols for ideologies are the worst of all -- this cuts straight to the heart of more visible issues surrounding such things as flag burning, crosses, the rebel flag, the swastika, etc. kuro5hin was right on the money by suggesting the writings of Jacques Derrida on deconstruction.

But, back to sexism and language. Listening is paramount -- really listening. Automatically dismissing someone as sexist because they are using sexist language is just as misguided as someone who deliberately trys to be sexist. The same can be said of racism. It is the individuals who harbor the true fear, resentment, and hatred that are the real dangers; not the individuals who use language in hurtful ways through ignorance.

Which brings us to being Politically Correct. Since words are symbols, and can have multiple meanings, I find typical PC a bit pompous in the assertion that if you do not use language by our rules, then you harbor hatred. Now, I realize that that is an overly broad statement, but this is the trend that I most dislike about the movement.

We all use language, and language is an imprecise tool. Both sides of any issue have to understand this before clear communication can occur. Insisting that everyone play by your rules of language is just asking for attacks that were never attacks in the first place. Language is a slippery thing, and it's a shame when people get overly wound up about language and ignore real communication. Only through communication will the real problems be addressed -- the fears, the resentments, and the hatreds. Many times I think those that are easily offended by language will find that these bogeymen exist more in the realm of perception than reality. Don't short change the human spirit because of mere language.

So, in the meta discussion, there were many suggestions along the lines of use words that have no prior definitions for the trust rankings. This is a perfect example of PC gone awry: In order to escape connotations, intentional or otherwise, we use words that have no meaning? Can you imagine if this sort of thing were broadly applied to language?

Glorp nurquen rasdemblem?

(I'm glad we had that last chat...I feel we know each other so much better now!)

Anyway. This seems like Playground 101, to me: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.

The internet is uniquely cursed, because we are forced to sieve communication through nothing but words, nothing but symbols. No innuendo, gesticulation, facial ticks, posture, nada.

Just good ol', imprecise words. Nothing but tools.


Hmmm. Interesting system, here. I wonder how much of the CPAN crowd hangs out in these parts.

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