Miscellany

Feb. 18th, 2014 10:26 am
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
1. The jambalaya seems to have worked. The first helping, on Sunday, was OK but seemed a bit less robustly flavored than I expected. The second helping, yesterday, was delicious, although a little watery - I may not have let the rice simmer quite long enough.

2. We seem to have escaped winter for a while; Wunderground has our highs above 50F through Saturday. Light snow next Monday, though....

3. A couple of days ago, I finished subcataloging the Annals of America. It took a long and weary time; twenty-one volumes, most with a hundred or more documents, and some of those documents combined more than one original piece. Still, done; now I'm moving rapidly through the Great Books. (This is the Hutchins/Adler set; I bought it, and the Annals, when I bought my Britannica back in the late '80s.) Most of those have only a few works in them, so they're going much faster. The volume of Plotinus is coming up soon, though, and I just realized that I can't just record it as "The Enneads", nor as six separate works; each of the six Enneads is actually a collection of essays, each of which will have to be entered separately. ("Will have to" in order to satisfy the rules I set for myself in beginning this project.)

4. I'm also constructing a database for tracking my characters' progress in Skyrim; I'm not playing Skyrim again until I've got this set up. Thus far, I've been entering the basic data - skills, perks, races, quests, locations - and establishing links between them (e.g., you can't enter Kilkreath Ruins until you begin the Break of Dawn quest). The connections between the different quests need to go in next; then I'll be able to start building character-specific tables and forms. (Sometimes, my need to organize information gets to be a pain....)

Persons

Nov. 26th, 2012 07:52 am
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
I just noticed that, as of my purchase of a Who album, I have songs on my computer titled "Who Am I", "Who Are You", and "Who Is He". No "she", "it", "we", or "they" as yet.

Library

Jun. 13th, 2009 07:54 pm
stoutfellow: My summer look (Summer)
Last year, when I began putting together my library database, one of my goals was to distinguish between Volumes - physical books - and Works - individual, self-contained pieces of writing, which might appear in more than one Volume. I'm in the process of "subcataloging" my library, recording which Works appear in which Volumes. This is a rather more tangled task than I expected, and I'm going to mumble and grumble about it under the cut. Feel free not to look.

Who? What? Where? )
stoutfellow: My summer look (Summer)
On Monday, the convention was over, but my vacation wasn't, so...

Aftermath )
stoutfellow: Joker (Default)
This is how obsessive I am.

The Tomato Nation website has just been revamped, with the unfortunate side-effect that all links to their archives have become inoperative.

Over the past few years, I have posted a number of links to some of their better columns. I just spent about half an hour repairing all of them, as far back as 2004. I did this in the knowledge that, most likely, no one will ever click on those links.

That is how obsessive I am.
stoutfellow: (Ben)
I'm a little bit obsessive about keeping good personal financial records. (Only a little, as shall be seen; laziness can trump it, sometimes.) The problem is, the kinds of details I want aren't available (as far as I can tell) in the commercially available financial packages, and on the other hand those packages usually contain a lot of details I have no interest in tracking. So, I've been using makeshifts of my own construction, lately based on Access.

The set of tables I'd been using until a month or two ago was more-or-less satisfactory, but I never got around to constructing forms that would make data entry easy; I had to pull up numerous tables every time I wanted to enter a transaction, and it got to be a real nuisance. Finally, I got tired of it and quit keeping records.

Obviously, this was a bad thing.

I've taken advantage of this week's break to reconstruct the system. In particular, I've eliminated one bit of foolishness; I was trying to keep items like "1 bag of dog treats, $x.xx" in the same table with "$40 withdrawn from checking account", even though the latter needed to be treated differently (since running balances are important for the one, but not the other). Also, this time, I've built up a decent set of forms, so that I can create a transaction (Shop'n'Save, Nov. 25, 2005, $xx.xx) and immediately itemize it, with running totals kept for error-checking and each item assigned to its appropriate account (meat, pet food, sales tax...).

I just ran through entering several transactions, and it works like a charm. There are still some bugs in it - in particular, I'd like to be able to create new accounts on the fly, instead of having to close the transaction form, open the accounts form, create the account, and then re-open the transaction form - but it's much better than what I had. I'm rather pleased with myself.

UZ

Sep. 13th, 2005 08:02 am
stoutfellow: (Murphy)
Just for the heck of it - and because I do things like this - I went through my library yesterday looking for works of science fiction or fantasy with one-word titles beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Here's what I came up with:

Arslan (M. J. Engh), Barrayar (Bujold), Cetaganda (Bujold), Dune (Herbert), Eon (Bear), Flameweaver (Margaret Ball), Grass (Tepper), Hogfather (Pratchett), Inheritor (Cherryh), Jingo (Pratchett), Komarr (Bujold), Lavondyss (Robert Holdstock), Madouc (Vance), Norstrilia (C. Smith), Orca (Brust), Pyramids (Pratchett), Quicksilver (Stephenson), Ringworld (Niven), Sourcery (Pratchett), Tamsin (Beagle), Valis (Dick), Wyrms (Card), Xenocide (Card), Yvgenie (Cherryh).

The attentive (or badly in need of stimulation) reader will note that the letters U and Z are missing.

Would anyone care to nominate the best (or, failing that, good) works of F/SF, with one-word titles, beginning with those two letters?

Song Titles

May. 6th, 2005 05:50 pm
stoutfellow: (Ben)
I have no idea whether anyone else will find what follows amusing or interesting, but I did, so... In deference to those who will not, a cut. )

Made It!

May. 5th, 2005 09:02 am
stoutfellow: (Ben)
This morning, on my third try, I managed a complete recitation from memory of the titles of the songs on my hard drive. That's 2165 songs by 123 singers and groups; it took me a little over two hours. (I was slowed somewhat by having to do it around eating breakfast, showering, getting dressed, and walking the dogs.)

Later (just because I can) I think I'll post some word-usage statistics on the song titles. Other than that, I'm rather relieved to be done with it. Also, I can finally buy some more music. (Silly I may be, but stupid I'm not.)

The identity of the current song is purely serendipitous.

Spam

Apr. 27th, 2005 01:13 pm
stoutfellow: Joker (Default)
The university server uses a spam-blocking service, which seems to work pretty well on the whole. There are a few items that get through (items that, I would think, just *scream* "SPAM!"), but on the other hand there are very very few false positives - non-spam messages that get tagged as spam.

It does happen, however, so I've gotten in the habit of checking the Blocked Messages folder every day or two. Sometimes, a genuine piece of spam has an intriguing enough subject line that I take a look anyway. Today's haul included one headed, "You'll never forgot again!" I had to take a look. (Maybe H*y*m*a*n K*a*p*l*a*n has returned!)

Nah. Boring.

For the record: I'm halfway through the R's - 1696 songs, 98 singers/groups. The end is in sight.

I think my memory's okay.

Halfway

Apr. 17th, 2005 08:34 pm
stoutfellow: (Murphy)
If anyone's curious, I'm close to the halfway mark in my memory challenge, having finished the G's. They (the G's) aren't stable yet, but I've run through them three times with only minor errors. That's 1094 songs by 62 groups...
stoutfellow: Joker (Default)
I'm about a quarter of the way through. There are two major hurdles in the near future.

I have 20 songs by Barry White; most of their titles are complete, or near-complete, sentences. (Most of them are also sentences anyone with the faintest trace of reserve would blush to speak aloud.)

Then there's Enya. English titles are no problem. Latin titles I can handle; the shift from classical to ecclesiastical pronunciation is a minor hitch. But I'm really not familiar with the spelling/pronunciation conventions of Irish... I can guess how to pronounce "Smaointe", because I know that the Irish Prime Minister's official title is "Taoiseach", pronounced (I am told) "tay-shock", so "Smaointe" should be "smain-teh" - or maybe "shmain-teh". But "taoiseach" is one of the very few Irish words I know.

Addendum: I am indeed an idiot. Sitting in my to-read pile is a book titled The Celtic Languages, which includes a clear description of the quirks of Irish spelling. Study time.
stoutfellow: (Murphy)
I'll confess that this is silly.

Every so often, I set myself a memory challenge, usually taking the form of memorizing some list - the Vice Presidents of the U.S., the titles of all 144 episodes of Buffy, what have you. This time, I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

The task: memorize the titles of every bit of popular music on my hard drive. That's over 2000 pieces by about 120 singers and groups. I'm taking them one singer at a time, and ordering each singer's songs alphabetically. I'm a little less than a fifth of the way through - 375 songs by 23 singers and groups. (The biggest hurdle so far was Celine Dion, with 51 songs. Fortunately, it's not hard to establish sub-patterns. For instance, six of her songs on my computer have titles beginning with the word "If", and the second words of those six are "I Love That We You You", which is bizarre enough to be memorable.)

Even if I get this done, I doubt I'll retain it for very long. But I'd like to be able to run through the whole list at least once.

Silly. Yes. I know.

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