Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

Maple Hard, Finger Soft

14 May 2006

I was working on a shaker oval box this weekend when the work slipped, and the knife I was using to define the swallowtails turned, cutting a 3/4″ gash on my left index finger.

I’m very fortunate: one of the guys drove me to the ER (thanks Tom), and I’ll be able to finish my boxes another day (thanks John). Surgeon says I only cut the skin and nothing critical, so five stitches later, I was ready to go home.

I’ve got a splint until Tuesday, which has halved my typing speed, but the splint will keep the wound from opening back up (the injury’s pretty close to a joint).

I blame it all on still being exhausted from the move and less aware than I could have been. I thought I was safe, but I was wrong.

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A Few Moving Tips

12 May 2006

1) Colored packing tape to color-code various rooms. Way easier to see than reading some scribble that may not be legible. Obviously, this may be less useful if you have color blindness.

2) If you have a lot of books, actually buy some boxes of the same size. They will pack much tighter until you unpack them.

3) A suitcase with essentials for a day or two is a wonderful thing. Even though you know where your underwear is, it may not be accessible.

4) Don’t expect to keep track of anything. If it’s important, pack it in a given place and move it first (then don’t put anything in front of that place).

5) Exhaustion is a fact of life, so plan for some post-move downtime. Every one of us has been physically stretched to our endurance limits. I managed to wrench my good hip.

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Moving Sucks

07 May 2006

Not that this will surprise anyone, but moving sucks.

The one good thing about moving is the re-evaluation of what one has vs. what one really wants.

The one bad thing about moving is the time and energy for the re-evaluation of what one has vs. what one really wants.

We should be finished by Monday. I’ll be SO happy when it’s Tuesday.

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SDForum Ruby Conference, day 2

23 April 2006

Chris Wanstrath offers a pretty complete transcription of a very flawed talk by Alex Chaffee. There were some really interesting talks, but one thing I was hoping for in the domain-specific language talk was, you know, an actual example for creating a DSL.

(edited to add)
I have been meaning to write up notes about the conference (rather than just a few criticisms), but I haven’t gotten to it yet. Tonight’s out, so probably tomorrow.

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SDForum's Ruby Conference

22 April 2006

If you’re going to have a technical conference that’s one or two full days, I have two key concepts for you:

1) Power available to everyone.
2) A place for everyone to put their laptop that makes notetaking convenient.

There were these devices invented many thousands of years ago, though it seems novel to this group: tables. Sure, you can’t pack as many people into the room, but people will actually learn more if they’re not fussing about looking for power.

While the chairs are wonderfully comfy, I’d rather have tables and power.

Should you be planning an event, the standard parlance is “classroom seating” rather than “theater seating.” This will cut the capacity of the room approximately in half, but everyone will be a lot happier.

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Now the h2 of Deirdres

21 April 2006

When search engines first came about, I was typically the top ranked Deirdre. However, other Deirdres have become active on the net, so as recently as a few months ago, I was the #4-ranked Deirdre.

I’m currently the #2 rank on Google for Deirdre.

Even though Saoirse is fairly commonly seen without the word Deirdre, nearly all the ranks for both terms together are me (except for some people in Ireland named Deirdre associated with the the newspaper (Saoirse) from Sinn Féin.

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Nasty Little Bugses

13 April 2006

So, it happened that I was doing a rails project where I needed joins in paginate and I wound up discovering something unexpected: came through as the id for one of the join tables.

The way around that is to find_by_sql instead, and to avoid a similar problem, something like:

def self.find_my_foos(for_which_bar)
  find_by_sql("select foos.* from foos, bars where foos.bar_id = and = #{for_which_bar} order by foos.position")

This does have a side effect of not pre-loading the joins correctly, so that may not be the best solution for your case, but it does fix the larger issue.

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Rails, moving stuff from one db to another

07 April 2006

Sometimes, you want ActiveRecord to do all the heavy lifting of data conversion. Plus, then you can use all the stuff you want during the conversion.


Copies stuff from old mysql db to new postgres db, including changing of icky

old int fields to shiny booleans.

require ‘rubygems’
require_gem ‘activerecord’

require ‘../app/models/survey.rb’
require ‘../app/models/topic.rb’

Read database config via YAML

@dbs = YAML::load(“../config/database.yml”)).result)

connect to old db.

curr_db = @dbs[‘production-mysql’]
ActiveRecord::Base.establishconnection(:adapter => currdb[“adapter”],
:database => curr_db[“database”],
:host => curr_db[“host”],
:username => curr_db[“username”],
:password => curr_db[“password”])

read in all the records

@surveys = Survey.find(:all)

close the db


change to postgres db.

curr_db = @dbs[‘production’]
ActiveRecord::Base.establishconnection(:adapter => currdb[“adapter”],
:database => curr_db[“database”],
:host => curr_db[“host”],
:username => curr_db[“username”],
:password => curr_db[“password”])

for survey in @surveys
s = survey.clone

close the db


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Galoot Aspirations, Class 1

01 April 2006

One of the first things you learn in a woodworking handtool class is how to sharpen. Unfortunately, this turns a lot of people off.

Instead, our teacher asks for experienced volunteers, who come in before the class and sharpen some of the school’s planes, then the newbies get to start with a tuned plane. Great idea!

Anyhow, my planes still aren’t sharp, but at least I have the success of having learned to flatten (and having flattened) one side of a board with an already-working plane.

We did lose one student, who decided to go over to a power tools class. He could not understand why anyone would pay the money for a Lie-Nielsen plane (and god forbid he should learn about any of the modern infill planemaker’s prices), nor could he understand why anyone (::cough:: Anant ::cough::) would ship planes that were miserably unflat.

Thus, a lot of the drudgery of getting one’s tools in shape was distinctly unappealing to him. While I sympathize, it’s something you need to do only once, really.

I’m sure I’ll get the shipping grease off the Record planes pretty quickly, though.

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