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For the curious, I’m not blogging much over here anymore. I am however, syndicating a lot of my active content (links, photos, etc.) over here on Tumblr. I like it so far. It also pulls in Code Sorcery Workshop which, by the way, is keeping me quite happy and busy.

And, if you thought I couldn’t make it any more meta, this post (and others on this blog) should show up over there as well, so you won’t be missing anything if you jump ship here.

The post on cat seizures on this blog continues to be the most popular and gets nearly a comment a day. I can’t believe that cat seizures are so rampant.

Allegro never misses a beat

The Allegro Condos being built next to my building advertise on their site that you “never miss a beat”. That certainly seems to be the case this morning as they are driving steel beams into the ground like clockwork, shaking my entire building (I’m on the fifth floor of a brick building) and echoing off of the rest of the Tivoli Theater area buildings. The slamming has a period of about a second and is rather similar to what I imagine someone with cinder blocks for shoes jumping in my kitchen would sound like.

seismograph of me tapping my keyboard where the sensor is located

seismograph of my computer, untouched, as the construction goes on

I only wish my laptop microphone could pick up the sound, but alas, it doesn’t register. Unfortunately, it is enough to wake me at 6am. And this from a guy who sleeps through fire alarms above the bed and once slept through an explosion from a half-stick of dynamite.


Akismet 666

The classic blog death rattle — a redesign :-)
Actually, I’m not looking to perk up this blog any, but probably to change its purpose in the near future. Also, I just nabbed an unmodified theme and will likely change it again shortly. Coincidence that when I finally moved on this, my Akismet spam count was 666?

A personal blog just doesn’t fit my lifestyle. My links are much more active, as are my Flickr photos. That’s where the action is. Over here I just post when something doesn’t fit there or is for a wider audience than my friends-only LiveJournal (over six years strong now, by the way).

My original vision was like a home base for all my digital cruft. I think Code Sorcery Workshop will be more like that once I finish the redesign, since that’s where all of my work is happening.

The self-employed life continues to be excellent, but challenging. Discipline is key and can be improved.

Pet health update

I realized that I should give an update on Macy’s health after my last post. Also, amazingly, my original post about cat seizures continues to garner comments well over a year later. Now up to fifteen comments, people from all over are apparently also seeing seizures and finding this blog. So, I hope to be able to provide a bit of info about what I’ve learned.

Short version: she’s alright now and with any luck, things are now under control. However, there is a slight possibility of a brain tumor or something like that and the only way to tell is to either spend thousands of dollars on scans or continue to medicate and hope that the symptoms don’t get worse. More detail on this below.

By the way, we went to Friendship Hospital For Animals here in DC. I highly recommend it — they’ve got an ER and a full-blown facility unlike the smaller vets that I’m used to. Particularly, if your cat has had seizures before, make sure you know of a hospital like this and how to get to it in the event that you see multiple seizures in a short time.

Also, of course, keep in mind that I’m not a vet and you should be sure to consult with a trained professional. I’m only relating my own experiences and feelings here.

Lastly, the backstory: Macy is about six and a half years old and I’ve had her for six of those years. She had her first seizure in March 2005 and since then she’s had maybe six total (at least when we were present) until she had four in one night last month. We had her on Phenobarbital for about six months initially until the seizures seemed to go away and we took her off of it in September 2005. She had had maybe three “normal” seizures after that. Our vet recommended that we act again if seizures happened more than about once a month.

Here are the possible causes of the seizures as outlined to us:

  1. Environmental toxins: This would be poisons such as lead in your home or plants harmful to cats. We pretty much ruled this out. We’ve lived in three places total since this began and all were a couple years old or newly renovated.
  2. Liver shunt: More info on this here. This can be ruled out with what is called a bile acids test. It was ruled out in our case.
  3. Epilepsy: I actually originally misunderstood our vet in that this was exceedingly rare and she had only diagnosed one cat in 12 years. However, this is not because of rarity but rather because of near impossibility to diagnose. You have to diagnose by elimination. This is manageable with Phenobarbital, which we have put Macy back on. Seizures should hopefully go away entirely.
  4. Brain tumor: This can be diagnosed with an MRI or similar scan and would then require brain surgery to be hopefully removed. Typically, it’s my understanding that most owners hope for epilepsy and begin treatment and if the seizures continue or get worse, assume brain tumor. This is certainly a more economical option. Of course, for absolute peace of mind, you go straight for the MRI to rule out the tumor. The ballpark cost for the scan (not counting hospitalization and such) is about $1000 from my understanding.

Given Macy’s age and after some heartfelt thought, we decided to medicate her with Phenobarbital and take a wait-and-see approach. She seems fine and I will of course update as things progress!

I hope this info is useful. It seems the best use of my blog lately has been a pet health resource but hey, what’re you gonna do?

Cats, cars, and ice make for an eventful night

Will write more later, but for now, last night:

1) Macy has multiple (like, five) seizures.
2) Car needs to be busted out of its ice encasement since I haven’t driven it in over two weeks. Used hammer, pieces of old desk, and kitty litter.
3) There is slight flooding in our basement storage unit from melting ice and snow.
4) Car is nearly out of gas.
5) Macy goes straight into emergency triage at animal hospital.
6) Small fortune gets charged to credit card.

We had her stay at the hospital overnight. She’ll be fine I think, but we just need to go back to meds (including some “rectal Valium” — I think we’re about to test some limits of my extremely tolerant cat).

The jungle that is my hard drive

Ok, I admit it. Sometimes it gets to me. Coming from a Linux and FreeBSD background, I’m used to a lean-and-mean system with very few extraneous files. So when I switched to Mac about five years ago, it took a little while to adjust to a multi-gigabyte install by default, not to mention all of the crap that you then pile on top of that.

Case in point? Thanks to Barkings!, I’m now aware of this:

Go to the Finder’s Go menu, and select “Go to Folder. ” In the window that appears, type:


and hit Go. In the window that opens, double-click on the file and your inquisitive nature will be fulfilled.

Installed on every Mac — for free!

Travel and FIOS

I’m in NYC for most of this week around an Apple mini-conference tomorrow. In the meantime, I seem to be stuck with FIOS while working:

Bummer ;-)

Well, hello there, 2007

So it’s 2007. Things are good. I’ve been keeping quite busy and today is my two-month milestone as a freelancer. On that front, I’ve been working with some great clients and February is starting to fall into place. I’m also continuing in a serious way with the Mac software, though it is hard to demonstrate the depth to which this has been keeping me busy until I get a release of Pukka out the door. I’ve also got some other products in the pipeline — soon, soon. Lastly, I’ve got a website redesign heavily in the works over there (and then next, over here, but that’s not begun as of yet), so keep an eye out. I’m doing it all myself, mixing a bit of the rusty design skills with some new learning. As a friend said, “that probably doesn’t feel like work to you — you love it!” which is true, but it’s still tough to find the time.

So how about that iPhone? Pretty amazing. Everything’s pretty much been discussed to death, and as it happens, as much as I’d like one, I probably will not have one in June when they come out. This is for the same reason I don’t currently have a Treo or Blackberry — I still relish being able to unplug once in a while. I happily do not get email on my current phone. That didn’t stop me, however, from watching the liveblog of the Stevenote in realtime, chatting on IRC in #macsb, and pretty much peeing myself as all of the goodies were revealed. I struggle daily not to create a cardboard cutout of the iPhone so that I can get a sense of its dimensions.

That’s all for now. I’m enjoying waking up each day with a renewed sense of urgency — many things to accomplish and learn and a more well-rounded life to attempt to live.

For a better idea of my daily input and output, check out my ever-Pukka‘d links.

Were you aware of it?

I’ve been using Apple’s Pages program quite a bit lately, namely for proposals and reports. In preparing a table of milestones with hour and cost estimates, I happened upon a great new feature: formulas in tables.

I guess this was a publicized feature of Pages 2, but it’s news to me. I was able to format cells containing amounts like this:

Fine and dandy, but then you can customize the suffix for doing something like hours:

This will tack on the word ‘hours’ to any numbers in this column.

Lastly, at the bottom of the table, I can use the built-in formulas to total each respective column:

I know, I know, this is not rocket science, nor is it drool-worthy, newsflash material. But, it’s notable to me for two reasons:

1) Apple doesn’t (yet) have a spreadsheet application, so this is a fantastic intermediary for great-looking tables.

2) Microsoft Word sucks, has sucked, and will continue to suck for simple things like this. I’ve been able to create all of my business templates in Pages (including envelopes) and they’ve worked flawlessly.

More on the feature here on

Honeymoon? Oh yeah…

Starting to get the honeymoon photos up, beginning with Athens. My goal is to finish it by 2007. Each stage of the trip required significant paring down to the (hopefully) interesting photos.