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Windy Day!

by stitch

The weather interjected a little entertainment into my workday last saturday. The wedding I was shooting had an outdoor ceremony and a huge storm was moving by just to the north. It was decided to try things outside and watch everybody scurry like ants if the rain started. With storm clouds a mile away the winds picked up to veil popping speeds just as the ceremony started. Just a few steps out of the door the bride lost her veil, the wind carrying it two stories up until it was caught on a window ledge. Luckily I was able to snag the veil as it blew towards the lake. The bride didn’t let any of it faze her, and marched off to get married: wind, lightning and all.

2 comments | July 1st, 2008


Finally some progress!

by stitch

Since my MacBook decided to die on me for the second time in 6 months, progress on nearly every project I have going has come to a halt. I’m in the process of launching a web design company (or was . . .), which leads to a HUGE list of things to get in order. Business plan, prototyping server, portfolio, registering the business as an actual company (apparently important), tax id# (more important), . . . the list goes on.

I bought a mac mini to serve as a second (backup?) workstation. My macbook won’t be back in action for another two weeks (new hard drives are expensive) and I won’t get my data from the busted drive for at least a month (gonna have to save 20,000 pennies or so for that). So the mac mini is the main production machine for now. It’s all set up, the main apps I need are all in place (Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Flash, TextWrangler, Fetch).

With that done, I’m back to where I started, time to knock out the next to-do: development server. I installed Ubuntu Server Edition 8.04 on an old Dell that was gifted to me by good friend Carlos (though I haven’t heard from him in weeks, did he go back to Mexico?). Running at 2.4 ghz P4 with a mere 256mb of RAM (also gifted from Carlos I think), the server is running great. There is a decent learning curve when it comes to setting up a LAMP server (Linux Apache Mail Php), but nothing couldn’t help me with.

I’m using webmin to administrate the machine. E-box is gaining popularity, and is the only solution listed in the ubuntu docs (they even took webmin out of the repository), but I’ve used webmin before so I used that. I’ll try e-box on a virtual machine so I can compare and see which one I like better.

More to come . . .

Add comment | June 18th, 2008


Setting up the mac mini: Day 1

by stitch

With the macbook out of commission I needed a new mac to work on.  While I love my linux machines, none of them can run photoshop, flash or dreamweaver.  I suppose I could buy windows versions of each and try running them through WINE, but I’d rather just work on a mac.  The only other mac I have is a legacy G4, 800mhz I think.  So I put in an order for a mac mini.  The cheapest mac mini has more than enough power to run Adobe CS3, and the nicer desktops start at $2700. 

I’m keeping track of all the steps I’m taking to set the machine up.  I haven’t paid attention to how much time I spend setting up a machine so it will be interesting to see how much time I really spend (waste?).

Round 1

First order of business is to get all of the main applications I use installed.

Adobe CS3 Web (photoshop, dreamweaver, flash, illustrator, fireworks, acrobat)







Chicken of the VNC



Add comment | May 28th, 2008


Back from break.

by stitch

Systematic Disorder is back from an early summer sabbatical.  What started as a work related hiatus turned into a real vacation when my MacBook decided to die for the second time in 6 months.  Mechanical failure somewhere inside the piece of shit hard drives apple uses and all my data gone.  When this happened 6 months ago I swore I was going to have an iron clad backup system . . .


We’ll see how much drivesavers wants to fix it all.

Add comment | May 28th, 2008


This Week in Music 4: Stitch

by stitch

We got a keyboard this week (just to learn some Scissor Sisters) so despite my efforts to diversify the playlist, the play count still leans towards one band . . .

1. Laura Scissor Sisters Scissor Sisters (can almost play this one now)

2. I Can’t Decide Scissor Sisters Ta-Da

3. Take Your Mama Scissor Sisters Ta-Da (can play the guitar but no keys yet

4. She’s My Man Scissor Sisters Ta-Dah

5. Lights Scissor Sisters Ta-Dah

Pillows and Don Juan Dracula are poised to break into the top five!

Add comment | April 21st, 2008


This Week In Music 4: ramengirl

by ramengirl

1 Kiss You Off Scissor Sisters Ta-Dah

2 Laura Scissor Sisters Ta-Dah

3 More Human Than Human White Zombie Astro Creep 2000

4 Electric Head White Zombie Astro Creep 2000

5 The Sanity Assassin Bauhaus Crackle

Add comment | April 20th, 2008


Carcinogens and Food

by stitch

Yesterday’s post looked at the link between food and cancer through a fairly small window. I don’t really have an opposite view to expound upon, but rather another side of the issue (through another small window). It has long been thought that higher consumption of red meat increases the risk of colo-rectal cancer. Turns out that food cooked the way I like it increases the risk of cancer simply because of the way I like to cook it.

I always cook at high heat. Especially meat. Stir frying is a forgiving art that allows the cook to get away with almost any pick of ingredients. Cut it all up small, put the big stuff in first (go by water content), and cook it as hot as you can. It always comes out good. Same thing for the grill, cook steaks and chicken on high heat and let the center come up to temperature off the grill. The crispy texture is great, and the quickly sealed outer layer keeps in moisture (in beef). The great taste comes from the fond that forms at high heat.

Now studies are concluding that this charred meat, the fond of which we are all so enamored (thought I was gonna say fond?), contains several carcinogenic chemicals. The tumor promoting kind, as the poor lab rats found out. Maybe they were eating grilled red meat up until the tumors. Probably direct injection of the chemicals in question instead, controlled experiments never seem to be in the rats favor.

Having evolved to eat meat, I don’t plan to lay off the stuff or even slow down. I’ve kept meat to less than a fifth of my diet for a couple of years, mostly due to an addiction to various green vegetables if they are prepared right. Wok fried string beans with some XO sauce is probably the best among them. Next time the grill comes out for dinner, throw something new on there. Potatos, eggplant, squash (3 kinds atleast), asparagus, corn and bell peppers all grill up great. So do over a hundred other vegetables. Just put the corn (soaked) and potatoes on early.

Add comment | April 16th, 2008


Common Sense Premier

by stitch

The glaringly obvious is never as obvious as it would seem. Never the less, how often have you seen something so stupid that it boggles your mind? Your common sense is the uncommon assessment for others and I guess that is why Mr. Rogers told us we’re all special. What is the elephant in the room (for me) this time?

People eat shit. I don’t want to be disgusting, and hence the paraphrase. The things people actually are eating turn my stomach more than shit (any kind really). I know those first three words weren’t fun to read, but I’m not writing a rogerian appeal anxious for agreement. Products that are edible are treated as food and have been long enough that most of us aren’t aware there is a difference between the two. You will find food defined as anything that can be metabolized and used to build tissue. Edible substances can fit that interpretation, but you will also find food defined as something not made of synthesized substances.

Why is this worth consideration? Obesity and the related health issues that come with it. Since the CDC started tracking the rate of obesity in 1960 the figures have been on a steady upward trend. That means that each year has a higher occurrence of obesity that the year before, quite literally exponential growth. Cancer rates have risen in the same period of time with a nice reduction in the 90’s as medical technology improved (treating cancer became a profitable industry). Now I know it is false logic to positively correlate two variables just because they have a consistent reaction to each other. Correlation does not imply causation, it merely suggests the link between two variables.

That said, look up the ingredients in a twinkie. Polysorbate 60? Grew that in the garden did you? If you dig a little, you find that the polysorbate 60 is an emulsion that can contain ethelyn oxide, a tumor promoting carcinogen. Don’t trust me though, I’m kind of biased. Don’t trust .com and .org sources either, they’re probably leaning one way or the other pretty strongly. If you like being taken seriously, you need data and logic before you present your hypothesis. Turns out science is your friend. When in doubt check out the NIH’s website for some good data.

My daughter (9 months old) is demanding I turn over the laptop, and I think I had better. Read all the ingredients of the next meal you sit down to eat, then decide what you really want going in your body.

2 comments | April 15th, 2008


This Week in Music: 3 ramengirl

by ramengirl

1 Laura Scissor Sisters Ta-Dah

2 Take Your Mama Scissor Sisters Scissor Sisters

3 Return To Oz Scissor Sisters Scissor Scisters

4 Yoo Hoo Imperial Teen Jawbreaker Soundtrack

5 Jesus Christ Superstar Laibach Jesus Christ Superstar

Add comment | April 14th, 2008


This Week In Music: 3 Stitch

by stitch

This week is proof I need to listen to so something other than Scissor Sister for at least a month.

1. I Can’t Decide Scissor Sisters Ta-Da

2. Laura Scissor Sisters Scissor Sisters

3. She’s My Man Scissor Sisters Ta-Dah

4. Lights Scissor Sisters Ta-Dah

5. Take Your Mama Scissor Sisters Ta-Da

Add comment | April 13th, 2008


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