Wow, so I've always been wanting to start doing some mapping, but never really known where to start. Now being on vacation it is the perfect time. I downloaded the Mexico map with osmAnd which is great for offline maps for travelling on android phones.
At home I was always looking for unmapped roads to map and finding none, now as a traveler here I suddenly see that mapping points of interest is wildly useful. So, while my trips to Mazatlan seem to be about 10 years apart I'm finding it fun to map the hotels and restaurants that we visit. And hopefully this will make things a little easier for other travelers (or at least my next visit in ...2023!)
My process is now:
- Start osmand in offline mode on my phone and create points of interest at any hotel or restaurant that I don't see on the map. I don't fiddle with the node type or anything, just type in the name and move on, I'm usually walking with my family so there's no time for fiddling around
- Upload the points of interest to openstreetmap.org when I return home and have wifi
- Log into openstreetmap.org on my laptop and find the change set by viewing the history
- Start editing the changeset using the potlatch editor and use the Bing tiles to move the nodes to a better/more accurate location, make the nodes the appropriate type (hotel, restaurant, etc) by adding the appropriate tags (this is done in advanced mode on the ptlatch editor by adding a tag such as tourism:hotel), and add any other details I can then,
- Save the changeset and close it (by pressing "C", not sure why that feature wasn't included in the potlatch editor.)
Not sure if there is a better way, but if there is, I'd be pleased if someone let me know.
Just for fun my first edits were to put my hotel "El Cid El Moro Beach" in as well as a bunch of other hotels, a few restaurants.
Being a stay at home Dad, it feels to me that it is suddenly my responsibility to keep up on the latest book on parenting. While no one recommended the book to me, quite a few people recommended it to my wife. And I started seeing it around at some of our friends houses. So I read/skimmed:
Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman
This book is a kind of research/personal reflection on raising kids in Paris by the author, a journalist.
The parts I found interesting were the french techniques for getting your kid sleeping through the night, ideas on helping kids behave appropriately, and a look at the parisian day care situation. There were a bunch of other parts that were more... womanly related to being pregnant, breast feeding, and social norms in Paris that I just skimmed/skipped because, they just didn't seem all that applicable for my situation.
I think the overarching principle that I took out of my reading was that babies, even infants are little people quite able to understand, control themselves and even empathize with what a situation requires if given a chance to try and parents are adults who have a duty to give their kids an opporunity to do these things. It seems to me that much of the stuff about sleeping and behaving is related to expecting the kids to be able to sleep and behave, explaining to them the importance of these things to them. And boy to they start this process very early, like one month in, but it seems to yield good results on the sleep and behavior front.
Another item that book brings up is the idea of giving the kids freedom within structure. There were some really helpful examples of how Parisian try and achieve this.
The last thing that I thought was interesting was the idea that seemed to come through the book that in general the french don't let their children make them into harried parents (they have a social system that very much supports them in that) and I think that is a point to be noted, that parents need to give plenty to their kids, but they also need to retain a sense of self happiness, confidence and enjoyment.
Finishing a book is a good feeling that I haven't had in quite some time. So when I bought an e-book reader I had to admit to myself that I would need to change some habits to actually be able to get soem use out of the machine. Luckily being a stay at home Dad allows some time for book reading.
This was an interesting book that I read to get a better idea about the copyright laws and the changes to them that are going on in the USA. I've been an interested follower of the creative commons licensing and understanding how and why it has come about and how it is being used.
While the book is separated into sections for me it really boiled down to two sections the initial portion was the issues with the existing copyright system, and the later section being the court case to try and change the laws and then, given the outcome, the creative commons licenses.
The first section was a great read outlining what is lost in American society as a result of the copyright laws being what they are. As a Canadian reader I was constantly wondering if the same things were true here in Canada, I know that our laws are different, and have recently just changed with the introduction of Bill C-11, it seems like from a personal use standpoint if someone is caught infringing the damanges can only be stutory damages adding up to a total of $5000, which is good. I liked the fact that through this book there was a distinction drawn between legal activities, like making a mix tape/cd or backing up your stuff and illegal activities, like downloading mainstream movies and the like. I think any copyright discussion really needs to draw that distinction, at the end of the day it shouldn't be the case that any creator should be unable to make money (even a lot of money) by selling their work and not having it stolen via the great-copy-machine (the internet).
The second section, the court case was a little less interesting to me, just because now it was not so much principles that I could apply back to my own country but the specifics of the American court case. I read it all the same, but it was a bit of a slog for me.
All in all, I think the book is well worth reading if you're interested in copyright.
Wow, lent started early this year. I was a bit surprised when I looked it up today only to realize that it started two days ago. Good news, is Easter is coming earlier too!
Part of Lent can involve giving something up luxuries as a form of penitence. This year I'm chooising to give up reading and watching the news. Of course being two days late, I've already blown the possibility of a perfect record, but rule keeping is really the focus here. So I've uninstalled google reader from my phone to remove one temptation and now just have to avoid it and a million other possibilities of reading, watching and listening to the news. Of course if people tell me the news, I'll consider that part of daily life, but I plan to not take my own time to seek it out.
I'm hoping that the void that is left by all the time that used to be spent in the news, can be devoted to things that have been squeezed out, or never squeezed into my life due to easy hits of information being so readily available these days. This isn't the first time I've tried to squeeze the news out of my life, So and it likely won't be the last, but it is my attempt to beat back the cultural expectation that I feel to be up on the news, and let long form study, reflection, physical work, project work and spiritual growth happen in the space that's left behind.
Whoppee!! I got a new printer. After filling the inkjet tanks for one to many times at a constant $10-14 dollars a pop per color, I just couldn't do it anymore. And since all four tanks were empty I figured the first $40-50 bucks was going to be spent anyways.
I settled on the HP LaserJet Professional P 1102w, a monochrome laser printer with wireless. After have a scanner for so long it was kind of hard to imagine not having one, but given that this purchase was destined to be on the thirfty side of the scale I really couldn't justify a scanner, when in almost every circumstance I can do what I need to with a camera phone.
I bought it at Staples in town, because the price was decent ($80, $96 after taxes and fees) and I suffer from got-to-have-it-today syndrome.
So all installed now, and I'm really happy with it. Printing wirelessly is awesome, we did have this previously via our usb enabled router, but it never really worked under windows, but this appears to be working for both windows and linux.
Now it's time for the time trial, lets see how the beast stands up to a few months of service.
As a side note, after declining the instore service warranty, my receipt was stamped in RED ink that I declined. Boy, the stores sure want to reinforce that you just made the wrong decision. Feel like I just failed a spelling test
The end of the year strikes, so quickly with a bunch of end of the year tasks. One of those tasks that we tackled today was making a political donation. I really have to recommend this because the tax credits for making a $100 donation are so significant. In a nut shell the government gives you a 75% tax credit for the first $100 that any tax paying Canadian donates to a political party. So in effect it only costs $25 bucks.
Pretty good incentive to give your party of choice a boost and be involved in this crazy democracy thing.
It would be really interesting if the government increased the tax credit to 100% on the first $100 and do away with per vote funding and electoral expense government funding of political parties.Wikipedia has an amzing article on how government funding of political parties is currently done. Reading that article it is shocking how few people donate to political parties, especailly given the relatively low cost of a contribution that is $100 or less.
After having taken over my wife's phone which is with Bell, I started looking at seeing about getting a couple extra features, call display and voice mail. Simple enough. $12 per month for the cheapest bundle including those two features. Separately they are $8 per month, each. Omigosh. $8 per month, each. I actually can't believe that is legal. For someone trying to keep expenses in check that's like more money per month to see who's calling them I'm likely going to spend on lettuce this month. And I like lettuce, we eat a lot of it!
You can be sure that once this contract gets down to a reasonable buy out price. I'm going to be switching to the next closest network that can give me these very basic features for a monthly price that doesn't make me feel like I'm being swindled. Currently that appears to be Koodoo.
Here's a gem I stumbled on in my news feed.
"No man can be said to be truly educated who cannot relate his intellectual gifts to creative work." - AW Tozer
I finally got around to something that has been bugging me for ages. I have a closet computer, on that just sits there running and serving up webpages or whatever else I need. For ages now I've been tweaking my own host files here and there and everywhere to try and get things working smoothly. Finally, I took the five minutes to setup my dd-wrt router to serve up the dns for these sites.
I followed the instructions to setup DNSMasq to do the work. Which while I know very little about DNSMasq was
Why oh why did I wait so long! Suddenly, every device inside the house can be reverted back to the default host settings, and those ones I never got around to changing... they work now too.
PS I love dd-wrt, so far the only features I'm using are the running two separate wireless access points, so I can provide some free internet to the renters and now this. But even these two small things are amazing. Anyone else done anything awesome with dd-wrt that I should probably be doing?
Honestly, I have a fixation on to do lists. Why? Because I think that the list will somehow make me do more. Facts are that the list has VERY little to do with being productive. Motivation has a lot to do with it, but the list itself... not much.
So I've worked through the to do lists that we're available. Most recently, Astrid, before that, Toodledo, before that Emacs org-mode, before that Remember The Milk, and before that, [TiddlyWiki]http://tiddlywiki.com, I was trying some recipe cards, GTDGmail, now ActiveInbox and memory gets faint further back tan this... do you think all that switching was productive. Oh no it wasn't! Why did I switch so often? Chasing the next feature. The one that I believed would make the todo system work.
This was all kicked off by an out of control inbox. Which led me to read The Inbox Zero series of blog posts. Which all made perfect sense. Then I read Getting Things Done, which seemed to make sense but for me, it has always created more work maintaining the system and less doing good stuff. So this blog post is really my declaration that the system is worth very little. All it needs to be is a list. So, I'm putting that list back into my email, not my inbox but my email. Why? Because that's my number one goto point when free time hits and everything I've tried so far really hasn't changed that. And you know what? Email has some kicking features. Especially, in a world where we've learned how to tag emails rather than put them in folders. Gmail is great. Personally, I'm using notmuch for my system, cause I want to be able to do stuff without Google, but really it's just a token effort to keep Google honest, (a little).
- Sharing is easy. Email to the person who needs it. If you need a response tell them you need a response. Or if you gotta make a waiting tag.
- Want notes send yourself an email with some notes about the topic. you got notes.
- Want subtasks send yourself another email with the subtask in it. Archive the part that is done.
- Want recurring tasks. Use a calendar with email reminders
- Want a specified date reminder, use a calendar, with email reminders
- Want contexts, I don't I never really used these, since I have a phone in my pocket and most of the stuff that I end up doing is @computer contexts always seemed kind of useless, though I tried to love them.
- Want ubiquitious capture. Email hello? heard of it.
- Convert inputs to todos just tag them with a label
- Belongs to a specific list, tag it with another label.
- Need it on every device I have... IF you're using Gmail, you've already got that.
- Time tracking, if you're billable, I'd say use a calendar, otherwise, who cares, it takes however long it takes.
How this system will work for me.
- I think of something I want to do, email myself, when I get to doing email, I mark it "todo" and with a label to categorize it.
- You want me todo something, you send me an email, I decide I'm going to do it, mark it todo and categorize it.
- When I do something I remove the todo label.
- Notes, subtasks, pictures, required resources all get emailed to myself as a reply to the original email.
- Things that have a specific time attached all go into a calendar, that sends me email reminders when they come due, which... get labelled todo and categorized if necessary.
- What to do next... The list is there, the brain will do the filtering/deciding. It's always doing it anyways. I used to imagine the system would help to decide, but I am a sensitive being not in the mood for anything at any time
- Is this a work task? It goes in the work tracking system. Jira. No mixy mixy of work and play for me.
So I guess I'm not giving up on a todo list system after all, I'm just bringing it back to my email. And now I tell myself I've said my piece on this topic. Move on, stop accessorizing what needs to be done, breathe the truth that the system really doesn't matter and just tackle the jobs one at a time.
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