This Year's posts

Archive for April, 2006

Humans 1, Rodents 0

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

I killed a mouse tonight. Not quite with my bare hands, but close.

So we’ve had a mouse running around the apartment for about a month. He’s bold enough to even come running out when we’re sitting on the couch or walking around– he doesn’t wait until we go to bed. These close encounters infuriated us to the point where we just wanted him gone, preferably dead.

So, we took all the measures possible– put put out tons of traps, we had our landlord fill all the cracks and holes we could find and made sure all of our food was packed away tightly.

Earlier this evening, my roommate Roseanna walked out of her room and saw the mouse run under one of our couches. As soon as I heard her yell, I knew what it was and sprung into action. We’ve gotten used to jumping up and trying to trap the mouse (see prior evidence on Flickr).

I’m not sure why we thought we could chase the mouse down and catch it, but we really did. I think it may have been a combination of two factors: (1) we always saw the little bastard running around and (2) Jen (another roommate) had heard a story about someone chasing down, cornering and trapping a mouse.

Anyway, based on Roseanna’s shout, Will (another roommate) and I sprung into action to trap the mouse in the living room by closing off all the exits. We were able to do this quickly (we have practice, remember).

Still, the little bastard had hiding spots– the two couches and the TV.

So, I’m thinking, if we can get rid of the hiding spots, we might just be able to catch him. As long as he has good hiding spots we’re hopeless. Oh, and we’re pissed off, so we’re not giving up easily.

So, we begin to eliminate his hiding spots. We can’t easily take the couches out of the roommate (the doors are blocked off, remember?), so I decide to just tip them up on their ends, which gives us more open space and eliminates all that hiding space.

Then move the TV out from the wall, so he can’t hid behind there.

Next comes the fun part. Without hiding spaces the cute little bastard doesn’t know what to do. He runs around (with us chasing), running into the barricades we have set up to keep him in the room. He even tries jumping over the barricades, but is unable.

Let me take a moment here to explain something. Setting up barricades to keep a mouse in particular place is not easy. The main problem being that they only need about 1/4 of an inch to slip through– a fact we’ve learned the hard way. In order to seal our barricades off, we resorted to using tape to seal them to the wall and mouse traps to guard other gaps.

Back to the chase…

So, we’re chasing the mouse around the room, Will with a plastic tub and me with the lid. The plan is to corner the mouse, trap him in the plastic tub, slide the lid under to seal him in. Seams reasonable, right? I thought it was the best plan available and far better to waiting for him to get caught in a trap.

Eventually, after about ten minutes, the mouse tries to run past me, I try to stop him and shoo him back to Will to trap, but I hit the mouse on the head with the lid.

The cute little bastard just falls on the carpet and dies.

It was anticlimactic– after a month of terror, a half hour of work and ten minutes of running around in circles in our newly arranged living room, the mouse is dead.

Humans 1, Rodents 0.

I have no remorse.

Evidence on flickr: previous attempt, mess from moving stuff out of the living room, the setup, Will inspecting the corpse, Will again, Kitchen barricade.


Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

There’s something about digital media that really bothers me– ephemerality.

I’m not sure why this bothers me so much, but it really does. It bothers me even more that it doesn’t bother you.

Tonight, while heading to meet Courtney for dinner, Eran and I were talking, and I mentioned that I’d really like to update the style of this blog– as I’ve mentioned here before–but have a demand that seems to be unfulfilled. When I update the style of my blog, I want the existing, archived content to retain its current appearance, not take on the new style.

Now, it seems that very few people care about this. In fact the only other person I’ve found that cares about this wrote his own blogging tool in HyperCard. I think some of you might know him.

Anyway, Eran thinks I’m crazy for caring. I think all y’all are crazy for not caring.

I think you care too much about having a ‘dynamic’ website. But will your website stand the test of time? Will it endure?

Writing and thinking about this takes me back to a conversation I had several months ago. The topic was “what will happen to my website when I die?” Currently, no one else was access to my website, except for my host sysadmins.

Will my website just rot? I hope not.

Anyway, to step back from the ledge a bit…

Seriously, I want the archives of this site to retain their current look– they’re a snapshot in time. Are there any tools which support this?


Sunday, April 23rd, 2006

I’ve been getting to use Ruby quite a bit lately, mostly for schoolwork. Ruby has a nice little operator, <<, which is used to append items to objects. The only other language I’ve used that has this operator is C++. So, I figured I’d reconstruct the C++ stuff in ruby:

  class Object
    def cout() $stdout end def endl() "\n" end

  cout << 'oh' <lt; ' ' <lt; 'yeah' <lt; endl;

Office Hours

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

For a long time I’ve been suggesting/threatening that we have a weekly IRC meetup for microformateers. We have an IRC channel for discussing microformats, but rarely do we have the critical mass of active participants sufficient for having ongoing conversation. I believe that WordPress developers do something similar and they were my inspiration for the idea.

When I met Dan Connolly at SxSWi last month, I realized that he was extremely willing to work on microformats, but needed to schedule out time to coordinate. So, since I couldn’t get the idea of a weekly meetup off the ground, I came up with a simpler idea– I scheduled a weekly time, in which I’d commit to being in the microformats IRC channel for at least an hour.

So, at 2PM (Pacific Time) on Wednesdays I’m always in the IRC channel. The only other regulars to stop by are Dan and Brian, but we’ve been able to crank out a bunch of hCard and hCalendar test cases and bugfixes for X2V.

I suspect that, at some point, this may grow into more than just “office hours” for me; it may grow into a full-fledged meetup.

Moral of this story? If your idea isn’t working, try a simpler one.


See Dan’s related post.

RDF in Ruby?

Monday, April 17th, 2006

Earlier today….

  1. eran: trying to install from source
  2. eran: cant get this crap to work even from source
  3. eran: are they seriously planning to build the semantic web over this??? 10 years and they don’t even have a working library.
  4. ryan: yeah
  5. ryan if you can’t get a library that’ll work in ruby on mac osx you aren’t trying
  6. ryan: and you are going to get ‘web developers’ to do it
  7. eran dude, i’m talking about linux
  8. eran: it’s not like fedora core is some obscure distro either
  9. eran and they’ve been using ruby for “semantic web” project for like 3 yrs now
  10. eran if not more

Seriously, there’s gotta be an RDF library for Ruby that works, no? And by works I mean, is installable.