headed to gwx (geowoodstock 10) with my girlfriend. i had a couple people ask what the hell i was talking about. it’s a geocaching “mega event.”
geocaching.com describes geocaching as “a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using gps-enabled devices and then share their experiences online.” as i said before though, it’s better described as “hanging out with nerds and running around in the woods, chasing after tupperware filled with mildew-ridden mcdonalds toys.”
so, what’s the draw? what’s my take on the “game?” (as an aside: game seems inaccurate to me, as “winning” isn’t possible or, alternately, you make your own rules, so everyone can “win”)
- the hike: i’ve found trail systems i’d never have hiked, if it weren’t for geocaching. 100′s of miles and 10′s of thousands of vertical feet hiked. ’nuff said.
- the cleverness: about one in a hundred caches either wracks my brain or has me grinning for hours. sometimes, it’s because it was a clever hide, sometimes it’s because it was a clever container, and sometimes it’s because it was a clever puzzle cache.
- the hunt: i’m a numbers whore. i’ll pull off to the side of the road to grab a magnetic key holder stuck to the back of a guardrail. no redeeming qualities, but it’s “another cache found.”
- nerd social: nothing like meeting someone on the trail who’s as obsessive about caching. everyone has their own “rules” or find a “game within the game.” learning about others’ obsession is fun.
- the race: when a new cache is published, i get an sms message, an email, and a pop-up on my desktop. if close enough, often within minutes i’m headed to the location of the new cache, trying to be the “ftf” (first to find). around here, it’s frequently an “ftf party” with 6 or 8 cachers showing up and looking.
anyway.. it’s a ridiculous waste of time, like anything worth doing.
going to geowoodstock, this year. long weekend over memorial day, hanging out with nerds and running around in the woods, chasing after tupperware filled with mildew-ridden mcdonalds toys. what’s not to love?
consider… 802.1x generally requires _some_ dns resolution. and in most cases (small sample set), those are also caching recursive resolvers.
shouldn’t it just be, “requires a warrant?”
While picking out the farm property/house, obvious points of interest were the electric, water supply, sewer, water heating, and house heating. I think about each of these as “supply systems” and have been working to build plans to improve the “sustainability” of each.
The term “sustainable” used in marketing misses the mark when used to describe my goals. Yes, I want what I do to have a minimal ecological footprint and examine the source, transportation, and materials used to produce what I buy… but that’s not the only way I’m using the word. I want my “supply systems” to a) help us survive (supply clean potable water, keep us from freezing, keep us out of the dark, etc.) and b) require little input to continue function.
sus·tain·a·ble [ sə stáynəb'l ]
1. able to be maintained: able to be maintained
2. maintaining ecological balance: exploiting natural resources without destroying the ecological balance of an area
My primary focus for the past year has been on water, electric power (for lighting, cooking, computing and entertainment), and heating. The house is on Puget Sound Energy utility power, a well, and septic tank. It has forced-air electric heat, a small Jøtul wood stove, and a big propane hot water heater.
I posted about my water woes in December, but haven’t posted the full impact that this had on my electric consumption. The shocking thing to me is how much of my electricity usage is driven by water consumption. The well is fed by a 79 foot deep 1.5HP submersible pump and a 9 amp Franklin Electric pump control box. To put this in perspective, that’s the equivalent of flipping on 10 100 watt light bulbs, when it runs! For much of the month of December, the pressure switch was misadjusted and even when working property, I was running the water to try to clear the sediment out of the lines. The effect is clearly visible in the “January 09″ bill. What’s going on in that Jan-Apr 08 timeframe?! My well was broken. There was a crack in the pipe leading from the well to the house. That was fixed in late Feb. and you can see the drop in usage immediately after.
My goal for the summer is to draw less than 500 kWh/month. To do this, it’s going to take some diligence, but I think it’s doable. The house has several very large skylights that almost eliminate the need for interior lighting until after sundown. I put a clothes line, last summer and that should supplant my clothes dryer. I’ll probably even use the solar oven (caramelized onions, Israeli cous cous, and lentils work well).
I’ll post again, about my overall energy conservation (and which definition of that word I’m using) and some more metrics another day. I also endeavor to post more about the rest of my “supply systems.” I have to run, though… there’s a light on in the kitchen.
so, i finally got around to cleaning up my public blog a little. in looking for some canned solutoins to my moveable type woahs, it became appearant that i’d slept through the downfall of moveable type. the last time i looked, wordpress was a niche app without the bells and whistles i’d grown accustomed to.
bengt.org was accumulating roughly 1000 spam comments a day. while they were queued for approval (and auto-deleted after 7 days), any actual comments would have been buried in the onslaught. i intend to post more frequently, but touching doing so on moveable type was just a reminder of how janky my instance had become.
after 45 minutes of fiddling with captcha and openid plugins, i started looking for a cleaner solution. i’ve been with moveable type since may of 2004, the pre-3.0 days, and upgraded several times, so bitrot had definately set in. hack upon hack and left a fragile pile of php, perl, and really bad css. any of the less elegant patches were non-starters, as they conflicted with my previous hacks. i pretty quickly realized a clean install (app, database, themes, and plugins) was the only real solution… so, while i’m reinstalling, i might as well consider my options, right? it’s possible sixapart has taken their eye off moveable type while they’ve “diversified” in vox, typepad, and blogs.com (not to mention the brief affair with livejournal). whatever the cause, moveable type has flagged.
as i mentioned, my previous experience with wordpress was several years ago and the early versions left me underwhelmed. somewhere in the interim, it’s become a full blown content management system, with a plugin and theme architecture that makes it pretty compelling. i exported my posts and piloted a moveable type install on an unused domain (i own several that are typically just redirects to bengt.org, including the puke.net and monkeylove.org). while some of my glee is clearly neophilism, i was very happy with what i found.
i was able to setup the blog, import my old moveable type posts, add some pretty workable anti-spam measures, find a canned theme i liked, modify it, and integrate my flickr photostream within an hour or so. after another couple hours of fiddling with permalinks (including some fairly nasty mod_rewrite hackery) and kicking the tires, i was satisfied it’s a relationship i was willing to commit to.
i can’t lie down/sleep too soon after eating or drinking. (see the life posts for a full description of why. in short, i have a hiatal hernia and bad acid reflux.) on vacation with not much else to do, i pulled the trigger last late night. the most noticable effect is that rss readers refetched my last 10 posts. a minor, but annoying side effect of differing rss schema. i had figured out a way to avoid it, but not without propogating some of my foul moveable type hacks to wordpress, a sin to which i was unwilling to fall victim.
when viewing a jpg in internet explorer (uri ends in .jpg), why doesn’t “right-click, properties” get me exif data?
and where’s my flying car?
the official windows live hotmail launch was monday.
a lot of very talented developers put a lot of long hours to make this specific release happen. i have the privilege of working with many of them and am frequently impressed by their desire to ‘do the right thing.’ this is one of the reasons i love my job.
i’ve worked for microsoft for 7.5 years and had something to do with hotmail that entire time. i’ve seen many many talented people have a profound effect on the service we run. many (most, in fact) have moved on, inside or outside the company. some have gone back to school, some have moved north to redmond, some have left to work for other companies, and a fair number have left to pursue careers with our competitors.
it wouldn’t be right to congratulate the current product planning, customer support, business, marketing, dev, and ops teams on this major release and re-branding of hotmail without highlighting the incredible legacy left by their predecessors. there are hundreds of people who’ve worked on hotmail over the past 11+ years, most of them will go unrecognized. hotmail works, in part, because of a number of very wise decisions that were made many years ago.
congratulations to all of you who used to work on hotmail. any success we have is partly your doing.
it’s been a long and productive week. i’m still at work (7:46pm pacific) as we roll back the much touted m6 release of the windows live mail beta.
it’s not as exciting as it might sound, but leaves me with the reminder of why i work where i do. i work with smart people who’re motivated to do the right thing. can’t beat that.
decided to clean up some blog spam.. i junked ~30 comment spams dating back to the 3.2 install, then clicked the “Junk” tab to see what moveable type had found:
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that’s a big number. color me impressed.