Introducing My Van

July 20, 2012

Today, I added another mark to my scorecard's eccentricity column. Instead of using the money I was saving to replace my cheap 32" with a big screen TV, I bought a cargo van.

I've been kicking around the idea for a few years. It's in my nature to try to be self-sufficient. It's also in my nature to get into projects that require me to haul big things. A van makes sense here. No more borrowing friends' vehicles when I need something moved. But those projects aren't especially frequent. It would be tough to justify a van for the hauling purposes alone. The key to the decision was my second rational: I'm going to turn the van into a Mini RV.

My future RV

Road tripping has always been one of my favorite pastimes. My car is great for trips where a house or hotel sits at the end of the day's road. While I've slept in it, that's something I only do when absolutely necessary. I avoid planning multi-day trip in just the car. With an investment of time and elbow grease, the van will become my stand-in RV. No shower or running water, but a bed, mini grill and (some day) solar panels will open up the road multi-day excursions.

I've got several ideas for trips with one big one that's officially on my bucket list:

Attend every Bama game in a single season.

That adventure is still a few years away, but the van is what's going to get me there. Who knows? Maybe I'll even do a photographic version of the only sports book I've ever read: Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer. In the mean time, I'll start saving up again for a big screen. I'm sure I'll get one some day. Whether or not that comes before or after solar panels remains to be seen.

Quick Copy For The Current Directory Path

July 13, 2012

Copying the current command line directory path is a frequent task. On a Mac, this can be sped up using pbcopy. A little command Apple included that takes whatever it's fed and copies it to the clipboard1. The basic command string to grab the current directory path with it is:

pwd | pbcopy

Unfortunately, pwd sends a newline to pbcopy which is dutifully included on the clipboard. Rarely useful. Often annoying. The tr command comes to the rescue by removing the newline:

pwd | tr -d '\n' | pbcopy

That makes a nice little command string, but too long to be useful. The last step is to add an a alias to ~/.bash_profile so it can be called with only a few keystrokes.

alias pwc="pwd | tr -d '\n' | pbcopy"

The old standard pwd prints the current directory path, as always, and the newly created pwc makes a copy of it that's ready to paste.


  1. Officially, Apple calls it the Pasteboard, but everyone I know, including myself, calls it the clipboard. So, I'm sticking with that.

Stack Exchange Sites As Of June 2012

June 17, 2012

It all started with Stack Overflow. The site that has become the go to place for answers to coding and development questions. From that initial site, The Stack Exchange Network born and grew. I'm curious to see how the network changes over time so I wrote a script to pull down some data about the network. A copy of the script can be found here.

As of June 17, 2012, the network looks as follows.

It's Been Raining

June 14, 2012

A few weeks ago, I made a post1 on how it's been drought-level-dry in my neck of the woods. Apparently, that's the modern day equivalent of a rain dance. The skies opened up and we've been getting drenched (including a bout of precipitation from a tropical storm) every day since.

For a visual aid in the earlier post, I shot some photos of the little pond in my back yard. Here's the original photo from May 21st.

Low water level

Here's a shot from roughly the same place taken today (June 14th).

High water level

I don't know how deep the pond is, but it wouldn't surprise me if the volume of water has doubled between the shots. For another comparison, check the water level at the overflow drain.


Low water at the drain


High water at the drain

I couldn't shoot that one from the same location. I would have had to have been chest deep in the water.


  1. The original It's Been Dry post from a few weeks ago.

Clouds and Lampposts

June 14, 2012

Clouds and Lampposts

I always enjoy scenes that look almost black&white even in color.

Brendan Eich, Ward Cunningham and Me

May 31, 2012

There are two languages that make web pages work - HTML and JavaScript. While attending the O'Reilly Fluent Conference1, I had the pleasure of meeting Brendan Eich2. He's the creator of JavaScript.

Brendan Eich and Me

Unfortunately, I was experimenting with the settings on my camera and borked this shot a little. Alas… such is life.

I also met Ward Cunningham3. AKA the guy who created the first wiki, the forerunning of Wikipedia.

Ward Cunningham and Me

I feel smarter just for being in their proximity.


  1. Fluent 2012: JavaScript and Beyond - The conference was very well done. Congrats to O'Reilly for putting on a good show.
  2. Brendan Eich - Creator of JavaScript. Currently the CTO at Mozilla. My job would be boring without the language he created. 3.Ward Cunningham's Wikipedia Page. Not at all surprising that they guy who created Wiki's has his own WikiPedia page.

Fancy Soap

May 29, 2012

The soap in the San Francisco Union Square Hilton is the fanciest I've ever seen.

Fancy Soap

Memorial Day in San Francisco

May 28, 2012

San Francisco National Cemetery

Remembering service members, past and present, on Memorial Day.

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