Where in the world is Canin Applesnacks?

In Medellin for the time being. The political climate in the US unhealthy, and I need to learn Spanish. Or such are my excuses. I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to continue working while I am traveling. I'm only a few days in and am feeling my capacity to focus returning. We've been able to get Ross' blog up and running; as well Brady seems to be doing well with recording his music. Yea, we need to get some more shows booked for him, but we've also compiled a fantastic list of venues!!

OMG, and MnActivist received fiscal sponsorship -- which means I've got some work to do. That site seems to be fuddling up, but I've also made some great connections to help change the structure (adding a WordPress component) which is a great opportunity to expand my webdev knowledge. I was always hesitant to learn WP because is it written in PHP, which is not as strictly written as Python. But with time, WP has grown and I'm super excited to return to the platform.


Update on UMN Data Ooops

In an earlier post, I relayed some numbers cleaned from a test run of my use of a Python library to scrape web pages, Twitter and Facebook. It was not well-received by an individual in their office who sent me a direct message via Twitter. At first I was lightly questioned, and then my presence was requested, and a meeting arranged. I thought I might have found an opportunity!

Nope! Got chastised for not knowing the way my numbers made another person look, and they wanted to know if I was trying to take their job!! So I recently went through filing a complaint. Relationships were ruined because this individual was insecure about their ability to do their job. My curiosity made this evident; and I have been punished, it would seem.

This is a cycle that needs to stop.


MPDComments [dot] com

All of the entries are in the database!! Eight-hundred names, badge numbers and assignments. Now to start cataloguing vehicles. The reason for it all primarily is as a challenge, and exercise through which to learn other social and technical skills. Both the creation of the database structure - which items to add where - as well as the technical details of how to dynamically connect otherwise separate database structures, are key features key another project.

As well, this is information communities should be tracking. It is information communities to which communities also have a right. The macro-level visual of >90% of Minneapolis' police force living, raising children, and barbecuing with friends outside of the city is horrifying. One community is policing another. My question being, regarding suburban police forces - do they have residency ordinances? Oooo, wasn't expecting to find that question! Welp, this seems to be the start of another adventure.



Data For Funsies: %ΔHP by MN Congressional District

I've been munging a bunch of data for a while. Learning to processes, etc. Here's a little something I put together after deciding I wanted to have something to show. Using Quandl as a data source I was able to grab monthly average housing prices by zip code. By comparing this to data from the Minnesota Legislature's website - I was able to plot the Average Percent Change of Housing Prices per Congressional District.

This was an excellent project to get into pandas, a requisite for deep analytics. Also, matplotlib, being another prominent tool; it also uses ggplot, just like R. Python ever expanding libraries are the impetus behind moving on from R with regards to statistical analysis. Before endeavoring to complete this small side-quest, I dug into NLTK as well. This is where the optimization, and extensibility of Python really come into play.


Mozart's Arc:

It had been sometime since I had heard string and woodwinds together. Today while on hold during a phone call, I was momentarily taken away for a ride. When the phone was answered I almost asked to be put back on hold.

It is difficult for me to care these days. People do not seem to be living full lives. This is not to say that we don't think our lives are full. We have things to do, people to see, and experiences to purchase.

That is one thing that I must say I enjoy about classical music. So often is it a relatively few instruments playing with a variations on a melody. There is a simplicity and elegance I am only beginning to appreciate.

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Cultural Consultancy and What It Can Mean:

Being a person of color in a state with dramatic cultural/racial disparities puts one in an odd position in terms of employment. Often one either becomes a silent observer, or recipient of cultural ignorance, and the learning curve that accompanies such a process. Or one chooses to confront the aggression, and face the consequences. The latter of which, while admirable, is a statistically improbable path to success by contemporary measures.

What endures is a sense of strategy and foresight that is almost unparalleled. The learning curve mentioned earlier is the cycle of having to field the learner's consistent mistakes. This teaches both patience and foresight by having to discern what encourages progress; or conversely, what encourages regression. As society fractures, cultures will fracture as well, and the bridges between become fewer and further. In searching for narratives strong enough to live for, disagreement will proliferate, and alliances strengthen, shift, or whither. The winners will be those who are able to listen.

The individual of note did not listen. Years ago I advised a re-evaluation of compensation practices, warning that a key team-member would be forced to look elsewhere for employment. That time has now passed, and said team-member has taken the first two-steps in transitioning. That this transition is happening without their employer's awareness is what is saddening.

Without a clear vision of the future the incidental changes of the world turning feel like earthquakes. What happens when the earth does shake?


And that just feels really good ...

This weekend I'll be rolling down to Chicago to pass off a website that I've built for a client. They started off with a cookie-cutter site provided by Cookie-Cutter Website Co. A valiant level of customization was possible, though there were enough areas of aesthetic, and more importantly, functional, displeasure that finally encouraged them to explore their options. I'd been whispering in my friend's ear for some time, that yes, there are better options available.

Computer aptitude exists on a few levels. On the basis level is being able to print out a document or picture, send an email, or update a social media platform. Beyond this any other computer interaction can become fraught with difficulty at the mistaken click of a mouse. Though the hills have been climbed, and a functional, accessible imitation of their previous website is ready for delivery.

It is has been fantastic to be able to help them work through their issues, and be able to provide solutions, about which they could be enthusiastic. My friend is about to release his book, and he needs a portal through which he can process payments and addresses for shipment. At present he is using Flint, though we are considering our options here as well. I need to get to my other job soon, so I think I will opt to finishing this conversation at another time, and maybe even elsewhere :)


Learning ArcGIS w/ USpatial

Yesterday I attended a 5hr training on GIS provided by USpatial which focused on the ArcGIS Web platform. My interest is in using QGIS, which is an open-source platform; though it seemed not unreasonable to attend such a primer. It was definitely worth while!

Many of my questions were not just answered, but I was enabled to elevate my comprehension of the mechanics of GIS software. Databases fuel so much of the research going on these days; but I was unsure about how PostGIS functioned within the scheme; while I am still a bit confused by the graphic accessibility of each layer. Regardless, it all works out of a relational database system: tables, rows and columns. Interplay between tables, translates to interplay between layers. This is how complex analysis of data is carried out.

Below is a copy of a map we created through the training. I've got a few more to go to, though now my thoughts on on voice recognition software! CMU Sphinx Eeks!

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