Happy (belated) New Year!

So, here’s my first post of 2010. A new decade dawns. What will it bring? I hope a renewed commitment to blogging. I guess that’s a bit optimistic given my track record to date and considering it’s January 12th and I’m only now writing my first post of the year.

I’ve been working on a Ruby project the past week or so. It is basically a script to scrape data from pre-formatted text on a web page, cache it to a local database, then use it to generate animated plots to visualize how it changes over time. It sounds kind of pedestrian but is actually quite fun and is giving me an opportunity to build my Ruby skills on a task that I more or less understand instead of trying to build them while inventing something entirely new.

If I would just write for ten minutes a day to start with I would be in the habit in no time. Sigh!

Musings on Quo Vadis

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. With the current state of my bank account, thinking is a very inexpensive pastime. I’ve reached a point where I know quite a lot about myself, my profession and living in general. What I’m still trying to come to terms with is translating what I know into action. I’ve also had problems reconciling what I know with what I feel. My psychologist tells me that is because the limbic system takes much longer to achieve stability than the frontal cortex does. This means when you’re angry, you stay angry long after you’ve resolved the issues that made you angry in the first place. I suppose there was probably some kind of survival benefit of this at one time but it doesn’t seem to be nearly as useful in the modern world.

I am approaching a time when I can take early retirement from my job and draw a pension large enough to pay most of my bills. I’m too young, IMHO, to consider really retiring, as in quitting work and living the life of Riley. I don’t think I’ll ever really want to retire in that sense. Instead, I am considering what I want to do now that salary is not a major consideration. I have been thinking about what I enjoy doing most as well as what I can contribute to the world. I still haven’t achieved my initial goal of financial independence. I really don’t want to be rich. I just want to have enough money so that money is not hampering me from doing whatever it is I want to do. Perhaps that is at the core of why I am not financially independent yet :-).

Whatever I decide to do, I have this gut feeling that blogging is going to be part of it. Blogging is a way of getting your thoughts out where you can see them and doing it in a public forum helps keep you honest with yourself. I need to get in the habit of writing something here every day. It doesn’t have to be big, just regular.

Blog Post from ScribeFire

I download Firefox 3.5 today. While I browsed through the add-ons trying to replace the functionality of the add-ons that 3.5 made obsolete, I came across ScribeFire. It scratched an itch that I didn’t even know I had. Maybe this will help me start posting to my blog on a regular basis again.

What’s Up?

I went to the Huntsville, Alabama Hamfest on Saturday. I walked from around 10:00am until after 1:30pm. My feet were sore. I didn’t buy much. I bought an RCA Victor stuffed Dalmation for Riley and a bamboo cutting board for Pam. I bought me a little dual band (2m and 70cm) mag mount antenna with an SMA connector. It worked great. I got ready to go to work this morning and discovered that the main radiator had come loose and fallen off the antenna sometime since Saturday. I was angry and sad.

Also, this morning the sherrif was outside my neighbors house with a bull horn telling her to come out or call them on the phone and tell them her side of the story. Pam called later to say that she had come out of the house and gotten in the police car without handcuffs and of her own volition. We’re worried about her dog. We’ll call the sherrif’s office later and see if arrangements have been made.

I’m anxious about my trip to Huntington Beach this week. It’s not that I’m afraid of flying or anything. It’s just that flying to the west coast exhausts me. I have apnea and so I have to carry a CPAP machine with me. I can’t sleep without it so I  refuse to check it. I also have to carry a laptop to do my job while I’m there. The laptop the company provides me is a Dell M70 that weighs in at over 7 lbs. I am really excited about the training that is the reason that I’m going. I’m just dreading the travel process.

If any one is actually reading this, drop me an email. I am jkelliemiller at gmail dot com (you know the drill). I’d love to hear from you. Or comment here. Comments are moderated so it may take a little while for your comment to be approved. But I do read all the comments (even the spam).

A Pause to Reflect

So now I’ve got this really nice blank piece of paper in front of me. I’ve gotten myself into the habit of writing on it frequently. Where have all my ideas gone. I wrote them down somewhere. I guess I need to find that file or notebook or whatever.

I know what I’m interested in. Programming, video making – both vlogs and actual video production with scripts and editing and such, playing music, composing music, writing, building robots, ham radio, creating web sites, the list goes on and on.

I suppose I should write about those things and see what happens. I act so ADHD though. I flit from one thing to the next. I can’t do them all at once so I have a hard time sticking with anything for long enough at a stretch to accomplish anything to speak of.

Drupal Resolution

I finally figured out how to configure PHP on my server. It was documented in my provider’s help desk pages. I guess I won’t move yet. I will probably wait until I can afford to buy a slice and keep this site. “Don’t fix something that’s not broken” I always say. I promise I’ll write a post that is about something more substantial than my web hosting configuration adventure real soon now. In the mean time, at least I’m posting more frequently.

Drupal Woes or To Slice or Not To Slice

The domain name finally propagated and I tried to install Drupal. Now, it complains that one of the PHP configuration variables is set to an unsafe setting and refuses to let me install until I fix it. This is infuriating. I spent about an hour researching the issue and discovered that there may be a way that I can resolve the issue on this server but it entails another round of emails with tech support. I have hit my head on this problem enough times that I’m tempted to buy a 256M slice from slicehost and move everything, my domains, this blog, etc., over there. Don’t get me wrong. I like my web hosting provider. I think I’ve just moved beyond the services that they provide. I suppose I could ask if they provide a similar service to slicehost before I just jump ship. Food for thought.

Discussion Started?

A friend of mine pointed out some issues with how I had commenting set up on this blog and suggested some ways to improve it. I am grateful for the suggestions and have implemented them (I think). Commenting should now be “enabled”. If you comment and have problems, my gmail account name is jkelliemiller. Please drop me a line explaining what didn’t work and I’ll try to fix it.

I’ve learned from my experiences on YouTube that a dialog is worth the hassles of filtering spam, etc. Thanks for being patient while I worked this out.