Chirp is a thing

Chirp is a new annoyance, a way of sending links and stuff via audio. Sounds like it’s doing it via MFSK, and is only sending the ID of the link on Chirp’s server, as there’s not much data sent. Here’s what the spectrum plot looks like:

This is what it sounds like: test chirp [mp3].

spring (!) cleaning

I’m upgrading Gallery right now, so many of my pictures will be unavailable for a bit. I suspect (but I hope not) that my old deep links into Gallery from the blog will be broken by the upgrade.


Portpatrick, with the Gimp faux lomo effect
Portpatrick, taken with a Fujifilm MX-1200 pretending to be a lomo

For probably no better reason beyond babbittry, I’ve always half-wanted a lomo. Half-wanted, that is, because of my previous experience with “Russian” photo gear (I’ve had a Lomo TLR, a Fed rangefinder, and a Pentacon six) and its legendary quality control. I’m also so done with film.
A while back, Donncha wrote about a  GIMP Lomo Plugin. While it looked handy, the link to the code is now dead. You can find what I think is the same one here: (or a local copy here if that link dies: lomo2.scm). Just pop it in your .gimp-2.2/scripts/ directory, and it’ll appear as a filter. The original author‘s comment on Donncha’s blog contains good settings: Vignetting softness=1, Contrast=30, Saturation=30, Double Vignetting=TRUE.

I knew there was a reason I retrieved my old 1.3 megapixel Fujifilm MX-1200 from my parents’ house. And that reason is fauxlomo!


Did some remedial gardening today, which included lopping some trees that have sprung up. Man, are these things soft wood:

tree section

It’s about the thickness of my wrist, and got there in only five summers.

Weird weather; there was a dandelion flowering, and some of the trees had buds.

Maybe it was too easy …

Configuring the rest of the Sempron box has been a slog. It seems that there isn’t a single wireless adaptor that works with 64-bit Linux. I might have to resort to a wireless ethernet adaptor, like the D-Link DWL-G820. They’re not cheap, but they may be the only option.

the end of poverty in your coffee cup?

I’m not sure what to make of EWB‘s current campaign, which features a future newspaper headline G8 Leaders Declare End of Extreme Poverty. It links to, which seems to say that we can end world poverty just by buying fair-trade goods?

I know there’s a lot wrong with the coffee industry (Free Trade Coffee: You Grind The Beans, We Grind The Peasants! Enjoy the smooth trickle-down flavour, etc) but it’s a simplistic argument. What can the extremely poor sell to us?

I don’t know what to think.

the late b.p. helium, live at The Boat, Toronto — 28 June 2006

  1. (intro)
  2. crying*
  3. reminder to self
  4. they broke the speed of light
  5. fela*
  6. i tried to make it with you
  7. (banter)
  8. bluebeard
  9. rabbit’s ear
  10. the curse of the trial
  11. raisa raisa
  12. the weeping soul

*: These short titles are taken from the setlist. I don’t have their full names.

Info page: the late b.p. helium, The Boat — 28 June 2006, which also includes a link to FLACs.

what the tortoise taught us

Just finished Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, the fictional thoughts of Gilbert White‘s pet tortoise. Verlyn Klinkenborg has really captured the pace of the tortoise’s life.

The tortoise/taught us rhyme doesn’t work if you’re Scottish; we pronounce it tor-toys, not taw-TUSS. Lewis Carroll didn’t think beyond the RP.

In memory of Timothy, I’ve geotagged this post with the location of a bridge in a nearby ravine, near which a little turtle used to snooze in the sun.

Standard Offer is Go – March 21

From OSEA:

The moment we have all been waiting for has arrived! The Ministry of Energy, the Premier, David Suzuki and OSEA will be announcing the Standard Offer Program on March 21st. We are organizing a celebration and press event in partnership with the Ministry of Energy that will take place at 3 pm at Exhibition Place, Toronto, home to Ontario’s first community wind turbine.

Please mark this date in your calendar and watch for further notices (via email and at on details regarding location, speakers and entertainment.

This is a celebratory event – please everyone, let us celebrate the positive role the Standard Offer Contract program will play in Ontario for renewables, for community power, for cost effective power, and for our air quality and health!

Thanks to everyone for their efforts!

If the province has got this right, we really will see a lot more wind power in Ontario.

little turbine on the desk

GE 'Your Wind Turbine In A Box'

I’ve finally managed to snag a model wind turbine. Thanks to Jay Wilgar at AIM Powergen, I now have a GE Your Wind Turbine in a Box 1/265 scale turbine, complete with tiny plastic cow.

Kelly’s Tetris Shelves

Tetris shelves - view 2
Kelly wanted the tetris shelves, but the cost was a bit steep. Her brother made these for her birthday.

The image links to a gallery of three views of the shelves.

music of 2005

It’s getting towards the end of the year, so I’m thinking about what albums I enjoyed most. These are the 2005 albums I have in my collection:

  • A Hawk And A Hacksaw — Darkness At Noon
  • Aimee Mann — The Forgotten Arm
  • Animal Collective — Feels
  • Beck — Guero
  • Bettye Lavette — I’ve Got My Own Hell To Raise
  • Bright Eyes — Digital Ash In a Digital Urn
  • Bright Eyes — I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
  • Calexico / Iron & Wine — In the Reins
  • Caribou — Marino Audio
  • Dan Jones — Get Sounds Now
  • The Decemberists — Picaresque
  • Deerhoof — The Runners Four
  • Devendra Banhart — Cripple Crow
  • Dressy Bessy — Electrified
  • The Duhks — The Duhks
  • Eels — Blinking Lights And Other Revelations
  • Fiona Apple — Extraordinary Machine
  • Gorillaz — Demon Days
  • Grandaddy — Excerpts From The Diary Of Todd Zilla
  • Jennifer Gentle — Valende
  • John Parish — Once Upon a Little Time
  • Kate Bush — Aerial
  • Kate Rusby — The Girl Who Couldn’t Fly
  • Kimberley Rew — Essex Hideaway
  • Lazerlove5 — Flicker Mask
  • Lemon Jelly — ‘64–‘95
  • The Lollipop People — We Need a New F-Word
  • Malcolm Middleton — Into The Woods
  • Marbles — Expo
  • The Mountain Goats — The Sunset Tree
  • My Morning Jacket — Z
  • Of Montreal — The Sunlandic Twins
  • Sigur Rós — Takk …
  • Sleater-Kinney — The Woods
  • Sufjan Stevens — Illinois
  • The Vanity Project
  • Wolf Parade — Apologies to the Queen Mary

I know there are some that won’t make my list (Aerial, for one) but the rest of them all have their moments.

blog entry for dad

My folks have been visiting for the last couple of weeks (we’re just about to leave for the airport), and Dad asked for some links we discussed. The following will probably make little or no sense to other readers:

Radio Silence

Wouldn’t you know it, but my tablet recipe appears to have fallen off the net? It’s supposed to live here:, but it appears to have gorn. Such irony after wowing GTABloggers with it last night.

Happy Thanksgiving, eh!