December 31st, 2014

We are back! From a week and a half in Seattle.

So you know, if you were going, gee whiz, is she okay? She's been awful quiet lately. Well, I was busy talking to people in person, which is rare for me. And I didn't bring my laptop, just the ipad mini, so updates were a bit laborious.

Anyway. There will, at some point, be one or more trip reports, and possibly a whole lot of thinking-by-writing about Seattle development and how that relates to the country as a whole.

Timeline/Social Media Aggregator musings

Towards the end of our recent Seattle visit, we got to hang out with my cousins S. We had a great dinner at Flying Squirrel in Maple Leaf, then went back to their house to hang out a bit more. S. (pere) had a question about Simile Timeline, and it took a while to understand what he wanted to do, and I didn't really understand Simile at all and really wasn't in the right headspace to figure it out right then. But his basic idea was pretty appealing: creating a personal timeline to help jog one's memory of what happened when. None of us want to turn into our parents, who were constantly unable to remember when important things happened. My dad, in particular, was always saying things happened a couple years ago when it was more like 15. (Actually, saying the Dutch equivalent probably _does_ cover 15 years ago, but in English, that is Just Wrong. But that's not what was going on. He did the usual middle-aged and older thing of failing to integrate the knowledge that subjective experience of time changes with age into his actual perception of the world and narrative description of his experience of it. Whatev.)

In general, I tend to shove projects like a personal timeline (which I have not done) onto my personal website, and just hand code it in HTML and accept that the resulting product will be heavily textual and very simply laid out. But he wanted something else, and I can see where Simile and other timeline projects are going: put the content (whether text, image, URL, etc.) into a spreadsheet and then have it rendered automagically in a nice, consistent way. However, I think that S. (pere) has maybe underestimated the degree of coding skill needed to use the Simile timeline widget(s). Like by a lot.

There are simpler spreadsheet driven timeline tools out there. But as I've been thinking about this, I find that I'd kind of like to use this as a layer on top of what I've already done. So: Flickr integration, maybe? LJ integration? I'm not sure. I could obviously hack all that in as hardcoded URLs, but ugh.

I'll have to think about this for a while. On the one hand, a broad outline of my whole life (extract the milestones from the baby book, enter which teacher I had for each year of elementary school, etc. all the way through college, first marriage, blah blah bleeping blah) would be kind of amazing and would require very little connectivity to other online data. On the other hand, that is sort of a breathtaking amount of work to contemplate. I think I have all the backing paperwork (and wow, talk about prepping for writing a boringly detailed memoir). And I must admit to feeling some trepidations from a privacy perspective.

The aging developer in me wants to just create an agnostic spreadsheet and dump all the data into it and then write middle layers to feed it into whatever product I pick later. The hacker in me is tempted to do the same thing, and generate the HTML to render it myself. The actual work I have done since retirement, however, indicates that I'm much more likely to shove it all into an ordered list in a hand coded HTML page (pages, really) and call it good enough.

Geez. My laptop has clang on it. *sigh* I think I'm probably suffering from a lot of socializing induced mania right at the moment.

Having sync problems with iOS for Notes, Contacts, Calendar?

I have. I have a Mac laptop, an iPhone, an iPad 2 with retina display (and then all the crap my family has on my appleid because family sharing was invented after we set things up). I update notes, my contacts, my calendar from all three devices. Often. And I hit the same kind of sync problem that drove me bananas with EverNote and caused me to give up on them entirely.

But I've been more successful at debugging _where_ the problem arose in the AppleVerse (was it some device's failure to get it up into the cloud, or another device's failures to get it down from the cloud), which tells me clearly which one needs to be synced. Also, Apple defaults to duplication over deletion in most cases, thus sparing me some heartache.

Anyway. Here are the ways I have found recently to force sync.

Contacts: on the All Contacts view, touch "Groups" in the upper left corner. Swipe _down_ from the top. Wait. That should force a sync.

Calendar: Go to "Calendars" (where it lists everything you have hooked into your Calendar). Swipe _down_ from the top. Wait. That should force a sync.

Not sure how to do it in Notes yet. But I have a theory, based on these other two things . . .

Ah, the mysteries of clothing sizes

Columbia has 1X aka 16W-18W long sleeved stretchy shirts that fit me just fine. Nominally, the bust is 43-45 inches.

Talbots has 1X aka 14W-16W, nominally 43-45 inches. In a poly-filled vest, didn't even get close to closing (like, many inches apart).

Go figure.

Altho I will note that I have encountered wildly erratic sizing in Talbots clothing over the years, in both way smaller than expected and way larger than expected.

ETA: To be fair, I typically get the Columbia 2X top instead, but the 1X really does fit just fine in the style I wanted (I know, because someone else got me one). And I exaggerated slightly about the Talbots vest -- I could get it to close, over a single, very thin layer, but it sure didn't look good and when you wear a filled vest that tight, it sort of defeats the entire purpose of the loose insulation for warmth effect.