Year: 2015

  • Summer in the City

    My body tingles all over, droplets of water slowly shrinking and evaporating into the thick night air. I’ve repeated this process half a dozen times in the last hour, hoping and praying that one of the attempts will cool me down enough that the sweet embrace of sleep will take me. It’s summer in the city, and air conditioning is a luxury we have not been blessed with.

  • Migrating to Octopress 3

    Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have seen me dither about whether to re-style my website after the very appealing (to me) Tufte CSS. The sidenotes with their wide bar didn’t work particularly well with my blog format, but I’ve taken on some of the major style elements, and unless you’re reading this via RSS, you can see the results in front of you right now.

    In doing so, I decided to update the old Octopress code on which many of my websites are based. This is a long, complicated process of “merge hell” where I try to keep my own customisations to core files, theme mods, new themes, and odd plugins, while making sure nothing conflicts with the changes that have taken place within Octopress itself. With eight different Octopress sites, each with their own oddities, this was a daunting task.

  • Blackberries on Lammas

    Today is the first of August, the traditional date of the Gaelic festival of Lughnasadh, in honour of the god Lugh. Although worshipping gods isn’t something I particularly go in for, if a particularly threatening Theist were to hold a gun to my head and demand I pick one, I think it would be Lugh. There’s something about spear-wielding sun gods that, if you’ve known me for a while, you won’t be surprised to know appeals to me.

    It’s also the date of the frequently conflated Saxon and medieval British festival of Lammas, the beginning of the harvest season. And while I have no land of my own to harvest — not yet even a garden to pick from — there’s a patch of waste ground near our flat that provides a harvest of its own.

  • A Middle-Class Malaise

    It occurs to me, as I sit and mope about the fact that I still don’t own a little slate-roofed cottage by the sea, that I’m suffering from what must be the most terribly middle-class malaise.

    By some round-about route involving heavily rose-tinted spectacles, I’ve come of age with the idea that the baseline against which the quality of one’s childhood should be compared is, essentially, the adventures of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five.

  • Vivarium Automation: Requirements and Component Spec

    It’s a little over a month until we are getting our first pet – a crested gecko. Joseph has decided that if it’s female it will be called “Scarlet”, and Eric has decided that if it’s male it will be called “Rimbaud” after the surrealist poet, partially because it is also a homonym of “Rambo”. I almost hope we get a female as it will be easier to explain.

    In the mean time, we are getting our vivarium set up ready for our pet. We have just about everything we need, but managing the environment is a manual process — turning the lights on in the morning and off in the evening; maintaining heat and humidity.