Scanning Station

Now, for something that will seem completely different because it looks, somehow, a little practical. I used to use an all-in-one to scan stuff. And it always took up a huge amount of my time just to get the beast to work, use it (especially stuttering iiinn NNNammeeess wwwiiitthh a number keypad) and keeping the beast up to date and running. Once I got a phone that was at least 12MP, I switched to using to using that as a scanner. “Installing software” is searching the app store for CamScanner. It’s the best free scanning app I’ve found and it runs on both iOS and Android. Now, naming is just as fast as thumbing a short tweet. I added a fold-up stand so the camera is instantly lined up with the document. And, for the final touch, an overhead light. This is a first pass. I’ve learned to get something working well-enough and then constantly tweak it to work it better. The craftsmanship comes later. At this point, instead of sharing my first draft recipe, I’ll explain what’s behind each of the key choices I made. If the light is even slightly uneven, the pictures give it away any so I hung the light (a cheap hardware store clamp light) overhead and put in a high wattage bulb to compensate for the angle. I’ve never liked actually seeing the glowing bulbs, especially really bright ones, so I’ve angled the clamp light so the bulb can’t be seen while working (and, … Continue reading Scanning Station

Happy Day formerly known as Columbus Day

In Grad School, we talked about Old Dead White Guys. It was short hand for the fact that the vast majority of books that we read were by  white males who were distinctly older when the author’s picture was taken and who, by the time most people read them, were dead. They were typically from the upper reaches of society in terms of wealth, power or connections. There’s an older more direct way to put it: the victors write the history. There are many problems with this. Even the proverbial Capitalist Pig would pick up on the obvious: white males just are not that big a slice of humanity. There’s a reality gap here… Business opportunity! Everyone else missed it! Woot! And he would then rush off to plan his conglomerate’s next subsidiary. In less greedy terms, the brilliance of the vast majority of humanity has, until relatively recently, been effectively invisible. When I went to school, the old story was still holding on: the heroic Christopher Columbus and the ensuing wars to defend white settlers against attacks by Indians. Christopher Columbus was the proto-American who raised a fortune in royal venture capital and came in peace to the new world and, before his company tragically failed, hosted the world’s first series of international trade exhibitions at the Spanish Court. That story changes significantly when you look at from the other side. When Europeans arrived, governments and countries had existed in the Americas for more than a Millennia. The Americans … Continue reading Happy Day formerly known as Columbus Day

weren’t exactly Dog ate my Homework (The Stuff Field)

Buddhism says that everything is an illusion to which at least one man replied they were (still) really great noodles. Other people say the only meaning events and things have is that which we give them. If that’s true, why not reimagine the forces that shape our lives as a set of fields comparable of those of the fundamental forces of physics including gravity, electricity. The first one I noticed is the Stuff Field. For a while we were so poor that at the end of every month, we waited for G*d to parachute in the rent. Even though we couldn’t pay for the bills and afford food, the stuff. still. just. showed. up. I don’t mean that people brought us stuff. I mean that it literally just showed up. Maybe it was abandoned, maybe it fell off a truck, maybe it appeared out of thin air. Things just appear in the living room, on the driveway, on the backporch, in the trunk. When I tell people that there is a Stuff Field in America, a field that just naturally pulls stuff to everyone who lives here, the recognition shows up on their faces and they start nodding. Over the last few years, the assortment of stuff that the field has pushed at us has spread into every room in our house: drinking glasses, a push broom, some hand tools, recycling tubs, scrap lumber and on and on until it’s become a standard part of the flow of stuff that … Continue reading weren’t exactly Dog ate my Homework (The Stuff Field)

Weblogging that’s not so Hopelessly ugly

4til7.com has existed, almost continuously, since the mid ’90s. I say “almost” because I forgot to renew one year. Records say the domain was created on 4 Sepember 2000 but that’s the second time the domain was created. I forgot to renew the domain. If that sounds weird on multiple levels, you’re right. Automatic reminders weren’t wired into the world yet. Unrenewed domains were not immediately scarfed up by domain squatter robots. We weblogged instead of blogged and the number of domains was in the hundreds of thousands instead of hundreds of millions. Back then, young whipper snapper, real men hand-coded websites in html while trudging uphill through six feet of snow and fighting off raiders with muskets to the left of us. Then a few years later, we trudged uphill through more snow, migrated to php and bolted on CSS when rain didn’t kill the dialup connection while fighting off indians to the right of us. By the time I recreated the registration, I had managed to do something that was and is very difficult to do: build a website around a black background that is beautiful, readable and unique. A few years ago, I finally broke down and migrated the whole thing to WordPress. And, oh boy, did that look refuse to migrate. I’d created something too unique. After I realized it was going to take a full, ground-up, redesign to make it work, I quickly put finishing the migration into backburner mode. Many moons have passed and 4til7.com … Continue reading Weblogging that’s not so Hopelessly ugly

a Flash of Micropoems

Last night a flash of micropoems galloped through my head. A few of them:   prepare Kids for Life even Monopoly can be a Teachable Moment 1. Capitalism is Ruthless 2. do not mess with Mom     floatn Gauze Frogsong baseline Leaves rustlesweep Windchimes waterfall even cars fear to break this the Quiet is roaring     on hearing a Micropoem please say more she insisted I paused   why?   the Wind said everything   Share with: TwitterRedditEmailLinkedInFacebook

Building the Ultimate Workspace

One meta office with divider: office desk on onside, tools on the other… the office equivalent of the commercial grade kitchens, often bigger than many actually commercial kitchens, in larger american homes. Cross: simplifying: only things used every day on desk, used every week away but in reach, every month in a closet, less: gone. For me working from home, every week, I use my workspaces for paying bills, programming, managing my business, writing books, writing blog entries, social mediaing, publishing, studying, making things, writing poetry. Do a little boiling. e.g. don’t tie things with no physical footprint to a physical workspace: paying bills, programming, managing my business, writing books, writing blog entries, publishing, studying, making things, writing poetry Group closely related and put them in order of “importance”: x programming x writing (books, blog entries, poetry) ? publishing x making things x studying (mDiv) ? managing my business, paying bills   More on simplifying… clear your workspace and bring things back when you need them, move them to drawers, closet, gone over time.   We are creatures of time & space… use that. Share with: TwitterRedditEmailLinkedInFacebook

This may feel a little… strange at first

After we eat breakfast, I drive my daughter to school. When I get back I get a cup of coffee and start the writing part of my work day. Sometimes I start that by continuing to work on something I’ve already started writing or editing. And sometimes, just by thinking. Today, traffic kick started me. It feels like the drivers in this town are worse than they used to be. Part of it is there are almost three times as many people as there were when I moved here the first time. There are at least three times as many people screwing up based on that alone. And it’s partly gadgets. Show me someone driving with a phone to their ear in Colorado Springs and there’s a good chance I’ll be looking at someone whose car tires do not stay in their own lane. Gadgets are a great opportunity to not see what’s going on around and a great way to screw up without trying. Anybody who’s heard me talk about traffic probably expects me to go into a full rant. But that’s where this thunk got interesting.This went on a tangent. to be continued… Share with: TwitterRedditEmailLinkedInFacebook

Thunk, scribble, create: micropoetry history society culture criticism g*d y mas en minder. Hashtaging #ThusItBegins #After2016 #MommyDaddy