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.


DigiSnaxx [dot] com is up and running!

3 server boxes, 2 laptops and dozens of scrapers later -- it's up and running! Presently it's tracking Minneapolis and St Paul's City Council schedules, Minneapolis Park and Rec Meetings, and the Legislative calendar at the Capital. Now if I ever want to know what is happening in these cities - I just need to open my phone to DigiSnaxx.com and BAM! I do need to add County Commissioner meetings though ... eeks. And the ideas keep flowing! Oh crap, school boards too!

I'm also pulling in a considerable amount of media content. I'm interested in the frequency and reach of conversations. Unable to obtain employment because I'm an unpalatable juxtaposition of cultures, and Minnesota is certifiably on the xenophobic end of the spectrum, I'm forced to create my own datasets. I've found open ears where they are paid to be, and their sincerity is noteworthy.

I am excited for the prospects of DigiSnaxx though --- I'm proud of what I created. It works.


Progaming Solutions

Having to solve problems with spatial, not linear, answers.

Speaking of a spatial problem, it has been a while since this site has seen improvements :/

An inaccurate allusion of one function might cause a misfire in a parallel, presumed-to-be unattached, other. At present I'm also appreciating a script I've been working on in my head for quite sometime. I wasn't aware that it was possible until a few years ago, and even then, it has only been in the past year that I have been able to acquire the tools to build it.

Database architecture (PostgreSQL), as well as database construction were requisite. Followed by a manner of displaying the information archived in the database. Django has become the go-to tool here. Written in Python, it provides a means to build, maintain and display, databases. The added bonus is that there are Python libraries available to do just about anything else one might like to as well!


It's Clean!

The sites are running clean. Pop-ups work again ~ that was a silly mistake, but I like what I learned! Running Django_Bootstrapped, it's helpful to have the static files easily accessible so they can be overridden as needed. I forgot about the other implications of that :)

I also had a chance to setup up a dev site that will always maintain the newest packages. This way I can consistently see what will be breaking as the new releases are made available. Both Django & Ubuntu have concrete development schedules for the next few years. This makes maintenance easier, and more enjoyable (for those who enjoy writing automation scripts.)


Scrapy: Wherefore Art Thou?

I want to thank you to Scrapy for so many things; mainly, for making web-scraping accessible. At first it looked overwhelming, there were so many moving parts. What was SQLAlchemy?!? None of the tutorials were showing me how to connect back to Django's ORM. Then I found Scrapy-DjangoItem.

You accepted both my cssselects, and xpath searches. You fetched pages, just go I could look at them for a millisecond, only to throw them away. You tirelessly collected and cleaned data; dutifully providing me a glance whenever I asked. You were everything I asked for before I knew how to get requests of my own. You were a wonderful librarian.

This is not a sad farewell, though it is a farewell for now. I may return on occasion, your pages still hold much I have yet to learn. 'Til next time my friend, 'til next time.

t webdev
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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 :)


LifeUpdate:: Kind of...

I think my laptop is going out on me :/ It is was it is -- I got it for about $200 a year ago. I'm not sure exactly what is going on -- it might also just be the a browser issue? Two things happened around the time I started experiencing a drastic system slowdown. 1) I had started using Selenium; though I don't suspect this was it. 2) I imported a ton of data from {GeoNames}(); this I think is the culprit, if there is one to be named.

When I first attempted to pull down the data, the computer shutdown had to be restarted. When the computer was restarted, some of my greeting screens were out of proportion, and larger than they were previously set. None the less, when I attempted to pull down the data the process proceeded swimmingly. This is to say that I happily a consider amount of GIS content, now parsed for specific use, and ready for play.

I also booted up and got the old BigBox server running Ubuntu 14.04. The drives are acting super funny; this issue is also a bit of a carry-over. My previous Raspberry Pi setup utilized a drive caddy that no longer reads SATA drives. It does read SSD drives just fine. As well, the BigBox reads the drives ... so meh. So ~ I'll use the bigbox as a back storage. Right now I'm loading out the contents of a nice 500GB drive that can roll with me and the Pi's.

DigiSnaxx is starting to take shape again. This is where the GIS information was necessary. There are a few more scripts to pull in some more information. Selenium doesn't seem to always play that nice with Scrapy; though I think I've found a work around. I'll post more later. Right now I just got it work on a local environment. Then I idiotically did the rm -rf without thinking, and deleted a folder containing a small handful of really helpful scripts. I am lucky that I keep redundancy copies of certain scripts; I don't have to start from complete scratch. Honestly, I just need to visit a page and grab a half dozen xpath.

The laptop acting up had sidelined that to a degree though, which is frustrating. It could also be a heating issue. I've noticed the temperature of the drive reaching about 90 Celsius; though now it seems to also have a problem loading my conky panel -- I just tried to check the temperature. At present I'm backing up the /etc and /home folders. I've got a few other scripts to make lists of the programs installed -- looks like I'm building up a full and fresh copy.

Oh, and I got this site updated to Django 1.9 which is super cool. But now I'm going to start looking at these development cycles; along with Ubuntu's. I'm starting to be able to integrate the technology (phone, laptop, server) for use on the go, as well as at home with OpenVPN.

I did other stuff, and that was cool -- I'm going to be actively looking for a day job now.

The resume doesn't look like complete shit :)

Got a lead, waiting to hear back on an app, fingers, toes and hopes all crossed.

Cheers Life.


It's not polite to stare...

[Funny note, I need to fix it -- this site is like the first of a litter, last to get attention at times, so everytime I update a blog post, it retweets it ... I just haven't taken the time to change this. Though I think I will in the next day or so, have a few other bells and whistles to add - or rather, I have to update it, in order to save -- this is getting changed soon!]

In certain situations one is given great amounts of time. Not exactly with which to do what they will, and so they must make do with what is accessible. Entertainment must ensue for sanity to be maintained. Sometimes, world's shrink. Wrinkles become riptides. The following is such a tale of travesty and triumph:

For a time I was disgruntled with Bootstrap, there seemed no easy way to facilitate an elegant sidebar navigation. Alas, this quandary is no more! The library Foundation was being used for a time; but like so many things in this digital age, seems to have fallen by the wayside. I've recently found a storefront framework that also uses Bootstrap, and was not looking forward to juggling so many frameworks: DOESN'T IT LOOK GRAND!!

I find it all rather spectacular! There is simplicity, for both the desktop and the mobile experience. Yay.


This experience has been a deviation from another experience I was dissuaded from pursuing under threat of continued harassment. I learned how API's worked and sought some data to capture using this new found knowledge. Having had NO idea that anyone ever read this silly ol' blog, I thought my pictures would have little effect.

As the world would turn, my little post was made known and a little bird came knocking on my door. This little bird needed me to know that what I was doing was affecting someone. Or at least that is what I have since distilled after the conversation that ensued. The explicit morsel I've been left to ponder is the quote, "I thought you were trying to get me fired?". The readily victimizing, self-centeredness of the allegation, without any thought to the author's person, is what hits so deep.

[There was also a small row over the use of the word chaos in describing the data returned on a preliminary scan of a collection of media outlets. We'll get back to that later.]

People will always want to placate their own discriminatory tendencies to, "it's not because of that that". Which is all well and good when one only sees their actions in isolation. When one looks through a lens which experiences disproportionate recrimination or praise depending on circumstance, it becomes pretty clear that that has something to do with it.

While it becomes incredibly depressing when this happens during more any public interaction. Like, wtf? Oh yea, ugh! The constant need to be put on a pedestal, to be the teacher in the matter. "When you use words like chaos," I speaking from a perspective that has acclimated to chaos, after a fashion, and accepts the role is plays in every day life. Data requires much manipulation before it is useful, and even then can only be read with a spoon-ful of salt.

Enough of this for now ...

peaches and cream under whirled peac

t webdev
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