Greetings again, Tumblrers and Hipsters who still use Instagram on your site. It’s gardening time!
This year marks the fourth year of gardening and a change of how things are done. The Square Foot Garden Method will be used as well as container gardening. It is a plan I’v had ever since I got started with gardening.
The benefits are that I will no longer use any of the soil in my back yard. An unsettling revelation about what’s been going on at the creek behind my house over the the past fifty years involving the Mallinckrodt during the Atomic Age (see FUSRAP), along with the remediation of the dirt near the creek for Uranium, Radium, Thorium, and other This-will-give-you-cancer-ium isotopes has me thinking about where the dirt came from in my own backyard that wasn’t the dirt that I put in.
Now before everyone gets into a panic, ionizing radiation is practically in everything on this planet. Electronics, including cellphones, produce non-ionizing (low energy) radiation, which is harmless. But the high energy (ionizing) is the stuff that can cause cell damage and cancer.
Interesting enough, plants are more used to radiation exposure. After the Chernobyl disaster, Sunflowers were planted by farmers and discovered that sunflowers could absorb the thorium fallout that contaminated the dirt. The stereotype of nuclear goo (which could really just be a rock emitting ionizing radiation) making mutant large plants are only half true. Some plants will grow larger from radiation exposure, but they won’t turn into bizarre mutant monsters.
Since Chernobyl, the evacuated ghost city of Pripyat, Ukraine has been overrun with plant overgrowth. The plants are now the rulers of the city in the former Soviet republic.
However, my problem isn’t even close to a Chernobyl problem. Not even by a long shot. But it still doesn’t feel right to plant the plants I eat in dirt with possible above average radiation levels. I’m not afraid to live where I live. And the majority of cancers that have occurred in the neighborhood were the result of the kids playing in the creek (which they shouldn’t have even without any warning that the water may have been tainted) or coincidental.
So there is really nothing wrong with living here, just don’t play in the creek and help Florissant Mayor Tom Schneider demand the clean up of the Westlake Landfill which could do much worse damage to North County than what’s in Coldwater Creek as it is where some of the materials from FUSRAP were transfered but could seep into the water table or get flooded out and potentially contaminate the water supply throughout North County.
OK, enough with this nuclear crap. (Go green! Buy a solar panel. I know. I’m working on it.) Time for the gardening part.
As always, this Tumblr site is used to upload pictures of my progress with the garden. A new smartphone this year will probably produce some better detailed pictures of my garden and the places I go to look at other people’s gardens.
The magnolias are in bloom as I speak and cheery blossoms and dogwood should soon follow. Expect pictures.
This year’s garden will concentrate more on herbs and flowers rather than long large plants like last year. Seeing how quickly all my zucchini and pumpkin were decimated by pest bugs last year really got me more motivated to do my gardening indoors, at least until late April or May.
On advice by a local gardening expert at my local TrueValue hardware store, indoor seeding should generally start around the March full moon, which has recently passed. I got a little eager and started some of my herbs indoors early. A couple week later I started most of my usual including peppers and tomatoes.
New plants have been added including peas, garlic, green tomatillo, spinach, lettuce, and broccoli of two types regular and romanesco. The latter will look very awesome to take photos of as it produces natural fractal patterns and have an interesting taste to them supposedly.
I’m hoping to share extra seeds with the neighbors if they are interested.
That seems to be everything for today. Stay tuned for more awesome garden photos.
A 360-degree look at at the street across from St. John Regional Medical Center in Joplin. The hospital was hit by Sunday night’s tornado, and the area around it was destroyed.
Another Joplin neighborhood:
Photos by Jess Baker, @borntorunnergrl
IT’S ALL GONE! Everything is flattened except for the hospital. You look at these pictures and can see in all directions that just about everything is flattened as far as the eye can see.
A storm report will be posted later by the National Weather Service office in Springfield, Missouri. According to KODE-TV, a press conference is scheduled for 3:00 PM. They have a stream of live updates posted on their website.
I am incredibly disappointed with Yuggoth’s weather software.
Last night as a terrible severe thunderstorm rolled through the St. Louis Area, the short bash script I wrote as a shortcut to pull up my local weather data and any weather alerts failed to do the latter task of fetching weather alerts. While I was safe in the confines of my basement as the windstorm did damage to from what I can tell everywhere except my neighborhood, the fact that this software doesn’t use a practical means of fetching weather alerts, nor does it organize a full list of weather information unless you invoke several commands that pull up other weather information is a problem.
Today, I am more motivated than ever to learning Python. But now I have a new task to complete: Writing a comprehensive weather program.
Because Yuggoth’s program did not include a complete list of metropolitian areas (St. Louis surprisingly was one of them), emphasis on creating a central hub of information. That is, a table which lists how to translate SAME codes to METAR (Meteorological Aerodrome Reports) data.
Since it is clear that Yuggoth’s code is not designed to handle severe weather information like it should, especially for the stormy Midwestern spring and summer months, the new program, which I am calling Tiempo (Spanish for “weather”), will work.
Eventually, I’d like to figure out how to set up notifications, but to be honest, I don’t use the UNIX mail daemon. I’ve been meaning too, but I don’t run my own e-mail server so I haven’t had a need to.
Other features will include pulling up weather information by Zip Code or Area code, using colors (something more Linux Programmers should learn), and displaying Forecast Discussions which appear to be quite popular with the weather geeks as well as professional meteorologists. I might ad an option to translate the meteorological shorthand use the the Forecast Discussions in to plain English. Sunrise, Sunset, and moon phases will also be considered. I don’t have a lot of experience with tides so that will be a long term goal.
I plan on making separate applications for hurricane and earthquake weather. Although, last night must have been quite interesting for the folks in Arkansas who had a 4.7 trembler which occurred at the same time the severe weather rolled through.
Just one more thing to keep me busy. But the thing that will make my programs better is my understanding of various text processing tools.
I didn’t know there were any on tumblr
any followers on an FRC, FTC, or VEX team?
St. Louis will host the FIRST Championship April 25-30 at the Edward Jones Dome. We are rather excited about it.
Locally, the St. Louis FRC Regional Competition will be held at Chaifetz Arena on the campus of St. Louis University March 16-19 from 7am to 5pm
Dates and times may change, so check their websites, especially the US First Website.
Hello, World (again). I’m Mr. Hacks. You may remember me from my last blog at Blog.MrHacks.com or followed my twitter feed.
Well, in an attempt to jump on the bandwagon of yet another blogging trend, I’ve come here to Tumblr, in hopes that all the fake comments generated by almost-Turing-Complete spam bots will bother me no more.
This doesn’t mean that the MrHacks.com domain will be going away or that I won’t use the blog there anymore. But WordPress is an unbelievable pain in the butt to maintain and practically impossible to customize without having twelve different Vim windows open to edit each part of the template. I can write in PHP, I just don’t like how WordPress uses it to make writing a blog template so complicated.
On top of that, Oracle’s relatively recent acquisition of MySQL has made it complicated as to whether I should use something that is now an Oracle Product or if I should use something lesser known that doesn’t have the features that MySQL had.
So what does MrHacks.Tumblr.com have to offer? Well, it will probably be similar to Blog.MrHacks.com. Generally there are two main subjects that I like to focus on: Moderately Liberal Politics and Computer Programming…especially computer programming, which was the original point of any blog I made over the past decade.
Think of it as Rachel Maddow’s Blog only subsitute all the gay rights issues with a heavy amount of Linux.
I will admit that my political attitude is moderately liberal. I used to be a conservative supporter up until 2005 when all hell broke loose. On top of that, the College Republicans group was a complete sausage fest. (Not really, but they just never organized any meetings.) I was completely unsatisfied with the group and wrote literally a three page letter to the group on Facebook announcing my resignation and affiliation with the group. It was one of the best decisions I could ever make considering all the technology, research, and medicine they held back. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the lack of empathy and social justice, especially against people with mental and physical disabilities.
As a moderate liberal, I feel that it is important to remind my more liberal colleagues to chill out when political leaders don’t always vote for a completely liberal agenda. It is that element of compromise that has divided Democrats and Republicans. The precipice of the unwillingness to compromise was proven by Republicans who usurped the Tea Party which was originally supposed to be a moderate conservative alternative to the corporately swayed GOP, but was hijacked and turned into a group of hard right conservatives, who made a big stink about having a black president in 2010, but after the November 2010 election disappeared like a flash mob at a shopping mall.
While Republicans have the House and Democrats the Senate, everyone on both sides must now relearn something they forgot: COMPROMISE!
There are overtones of bigotry, austerity, plutocracy, and oligarchy on the Right. The Left has funding troubles, leadership troubles, and—well—troubles. As much as I’m glad to see many of the liberal issues like Healthcare Reform, Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell Repeal (which frankly, if there is a war going on, turning away anyone regardless of who they are and who want to serve this country is stupid), and putting a boot up the butt of all the corporations who played possum with the government on the assumptions that the new more diverse administration isn’t very intelligent and trying to rob the government. The end-result was they used up all the money that should have gone to reinvigorate the American workforce was spent wastefully and the government became the owners of GM, Citibank, and a few other corporations that caused the Financial Collapse that lead to the Great Recession. Of course, outsourcing our vibrant technology industry didn’t help, especially now that China has the world’s fastest supercomputers because we let them take the best and brightest workforce from Silicon Valley and the rest of the United States.
It is for this reason that politics became integrated into this tech blog. But who needs another talking head to persuade your political views? (Well, to be honest, we could use a few more liberal pundits considering that Fixed Noise has a major influence in just about all forms of media including radio, television, the Internet, and print (via Wall Street Journal).)
Anyone can start a blog and say they’re a political expert. Especially if you wake up in the morning to Fixed Noise Radio, turn the TV on to Fixed Noise Channel, read the Wall Street Journal while eating breakfast, drive to work listening to Fixed Noise Radio, working in an office with a radio tuned to Fixed Noise Radio, eat lunch reading the Fixed Noise Website, go back to work listing to Fixed Noise Radio, check Facebook to read Sarah Palin’s latest ghostwritten screed, drive home listing to Fixed Noise Radio, and go home to watch Fixed Noise Channel, and fall asleep in bed listening to Fixed Noise Radio. You are not a political expert. You’re a consumer. In between Glenn Beck’s crocodile tears, Bill O’Reilly’s better-than-you ego, Denis Miller’s unfunny snark, Mark Levin’s yelling into the microphone, and if you live in the St. Louis Area Jamie Allman, David Glover, and Dana Loesch’s rhetoric, you barely have time to enjoy the silence of not having something political forced into your psyche in between all of the commercials and advertising for crap you will never (and really shouldn’t) buy.
I say you should liberate yourself from media immersion. Limit the amount of time you spend at news sites, radio, and TV. In fact, turn off the TV! Listen to Internet Radio, and buy a police scanner. Human interest stories have no business being on the news. That is what advertising is for.
The second major topic of this tumblr, is programming. In fact, I will make sure that this blog is 80% computer programming, 10% local (St. Louis and Missouri) issues, 5% moderately liberal politics, 1% nougat, ???, and PROFIT, and 40% mental just like baseball! That’s 100% goodness! ;-)
Programming is my niche. It’s my bread and buttah, and the reason for my online identity (MrHacks). Sadly this economy has made it difficult for a greenhorn like myself to find work in the computer industry. For a few years after college, during the Great Recession, I didn’t have any motivation to write a whole lot of code. But recently, something has motivated me write programs again. Could it be the fact that the carrier path program on the computers at the unemployment office lied to me when they said how much I could make (Not $20/hour, but THIRTY DOLLARS PER HOUR!) or whether or not there was any industry left (which there might me). Could it be that my writer’s block had been broken up? Or is there a greater motivation? I really don’t know. But I’m writing code again, and using programs that a few years ago I failed terribly at using when I took that UNIX class back in college. (Perhaps my ego had been bloated back then like a C++ written program compiled on Windows using the GCC compiler. Now it is less bloated, and smaller like a C++ program compiled using the GCC compiler using Linux.)
It is this knowledge that I plan on sharing here. Assuming I can configure tumbler to show code in monospace.
By the way, if you have a job opening, are in the St. Louis Area (not St. Charles County or some other place where the buses don’t run or it takes 4 hours to get there; I’ll start adding jobs in St. Charles County when I can catch a bus or a train that takes me from North Hanely Station to the other side of the river at any time, not just at rush hour!), I am open to here what you have to offer, so as long as it is not spamming the Internet, marketing nonsense, or abusing SEO to promote your crappy website selling some useless product people like myself would never use, especially if they are broke. I highly doubt anyone in North St. Louis has the money to buy your time-share in Branson with his blue collar job and dodging bullets by the local wannabe gangsters.
I want to use this blog as a way to keep myself in check and keep programming the way that I am right now.
Linux is my preferred operating system. Vim is the best editor.
gawk are in my lexicon. There is no
dir there is
ls -l. GNOME, Ubuntu, Fedora is how I roll. I just haven’t the courage to do the more dangerous stuff considering the computer that I am writing this post at the moment is the only one I have.
Windows is only good for playing videogames on, especially video games you did not make yourself. The only DRM I like is Digital Radio Monodial not Digital Rights Management. Books belong in a library that can be shared, not coveted on an e-bookstore app with DRM (the latter kind I mentioned).
C++ is spoken here. English is a second language.
With all that said, let’s get down to business!