Dig-Duggin’ [From the Archives]

My “Day I Left Pennsylvania” led me to some archived website posts (before blogs were invented) I had written many years ago. I’m re-posting them now. Bear in mind that most of the content in this series is over 5 years old. I have left the content more or less intact. I have removed some links and added some others — but that’s it. Enjoy!

Being able to find information effectively has become a lot easier since Google has improved their search engines, but there was once a time when you had to use crazy pedantics to find stuff you wanted. Some of the techniques still apply.


The power of identity

digdug

Names are very powerful things. Names identify us, can label friend or foe, provide clues to origin, announce familial history, and much much more! And all for the low low price of 19.95!
When you’re starting your quest to locate some obscure little tidbit of information, a photograph, a song, CD, or 12″ vinyl that you’ve been hunting for months or years, it helps a lot to know the name. Sometimes simply finding the name can lead you right to it! Common knowledge says the majority of solving any problem is identifying it. Continue reading

Biking, Blackberries, and Pancakes [Sustainability Saturdays]

sulandlena_onbakfietsThis morning, my friend Mark stopped by to see if Sullivan and I were interested in going on a bike ride.

Mark has a really cool Dutch cargo bike called a “Bakfiets“, it’s like a normal bike except it has a wheel-barrow-sized cargo bay up front. It has a bunch of other nice amenities as well, including handcuff lock, internal-gears, and head/tail lights. They’re kind of pricey and a bit difficult to get used to, but definitely handy to have!

One of the nice features in the Bakfiets is that the cargo area has seatbelts built for children. We strapped Sullivan into the cargo area, right next to Lena (Mark’s daughter), and grabbed a plastic container for collecting blackberries (the fruit, not the PDA). Continue reading

Barney Google [From the Archives]

My “Day I Left Pennsylvania” led me to some archived website posts (before blogs were invented) I had written many years ago. I’m re-posting them now. Bear in mind that most of the content in this series is over 5 years old. I have left the content more or less intact. I have removed some links and added some others — but that’s it. Enjoy!

Being able to find information effectively has become a lot easier since Google has improved their search engines, but there was once a time when you had to use crazy pedantics to find stuff you wanted. Some of the techniques still apply.


Syntax

Syntax is not what you pay when you buy cigarettes, alcohol, or pornography. Syntax is, in layman’s terms, the grammar you use to communicate with the google search engine (in this instance.) This will look a little complicated, but I’ll explain it all, bit by bit.

<modifiers><term 1> <modifiers><term 2>…

Modifiers

What are modifiers? Modifiers, or “qualifiers” are represented by punctuation symbols, but they tell the Google search engine to interpret the following term in a certain way.
For example the quotation marks [" "] are used to tell google that you want the enclosed term to be verbatim. Entering dog pile would find pages that matched ‘dog’ OR ‘pile’. Entering “dog pile” would result in pages that only matched ‘dog pile’. It basically forces the search engine to treat multiple words as one solid term. Continue reading

It’s like Deja Dad, all over again

In case I haven’t talked to you in a while, we’re having our second (and LAST) child; it’s a girl. It’s also nearly here — we’re in the final waiting days.

I’ve been mostly involved in the whole process so far; I go to all the OB appts, Mel and I have talked about the birth-plan, and I’m somewhat educated on the process (enough that I know some buzzwords and am able to ask some questions to our OB).

In spite of all that, it really hadn’t hit me that we’re going to have a little girl until Melissa made this:

Wow.

I’m going to have a daughter soon. Continue reading

The Laptop, First Month Retrospective [Linux FTW]

screenshot2

Well, it’s been one month.

I figured since I had blogged obsessively for the first week, it seemed only fair to see how things stand after the initial test-period.

Before I get to the details, the general opinion I have is still very positive. I definitely consider it to be a solid purchase, and I have no buyer’s remorse whatsoever — I’m usually very apprehensive about large purchases because I’m anal-retentive about our family finances, so for me to be comfortable dropping $1500 on ANYTHING is a big deal.

That said, there have been a couple challenges along the way — nothing dealbreaking, but somewhat disappointing. Continue reading