Monthly Archives: November 2011

Looking Ahead, Looking Behind – Fare the Well, Anne

Looking back through the driver's side mirror
Tues 11.22.11 – Looking ahead, looking behind. Photo taken late this afternoon when I was driving east on Westminster Ave through the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Base as the sky was very lovely.
Today was a busy day and when I had time to sit down with my computer tonight, I found out that Anne McCaffrey passed away at her home in Ireland yesterday at the grand age of 85.
While I didn’t find Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series until late in college, it was a perennial re-read fave throughout much of the last 20 years. I have loved the Tower & Hive (Rowan/Lyon) series as well as the more recent Freedom series that was an re-write & expansion on a short story she wrote in the 1960s. I loved how her worlds were built so well, like Tolkein, that in my mind, I can still wander Pern, Altair, and Deneb.
Anne McCaffery stands with Madeleine L’Engle and Ursula Le Guin as the trio of writers who have greatly influenced my life, my imagination, and my hopes for being a smart woman in this world and for the future.
Thank you, Anne.
John Scalzi’s RIP, Anne McCaffrey
Jenna Busch’s RIP Anne McCaffery, the single biggest artistic influence on my life
And the MeFi folk


Yesterday, my mom, sister, and I went to what my mom calls ‘soul comfort food’ for a rainy day – Ashoka the Great in Artesia.
I love the dal makhani at the Ashoka the Great’s buffet, as it is a thick multiple bean stew/curry perfect to put on top of rice and just on the edge of my ginger capacity. The cooks put 1/8″ fresh ginger cubes in the dal and while it is tasty, it is almost too much ginger for me.
My mom loves fresh ginger and loves lots of it. Through much of my teen years she would use nearly a whole root in dinner which was too much for my palate, as the dish would seer my tongue with ginger fire. If I would complain she would tell me that she didn’t really put much in at all.
Seeing all the ginger in yesterday’s dal, I encouraged her to go get some, when she came back from the buffet and sat down I saw that her dal had many ginger chunks in it. She ate about half her dal and then told me, “I don’t taste any ginger in this.”

PySide, from the Heights of Happiness to the Depths of Despair in less that Two Hours

On Friday in the way of any good internet bunny trail, I found myself at the PySide website wondering what progress had been made with the Python port/binding for Qt since I last looked, downloaded, built and inspected to see if it was fit for my mobile application development purposes back in April/May (or more like was my skillset I ready for building the most recent stable version of PySide).
In the first 20 minutes of traipsing down Python and Qt based bunny trails on Friday afternoon, I found myself in raptures of happiness, as it appeared to my eyes and reading comprehension that Nokia had taken on the PySide project and was moving forward with it as a legitimate wing of Qt. I was so excited that I called a non-technology-working friend and gushed about it to her (sorry).
I tweeted asking if any of the PySide folk would be at Qt Developer Days 2011 in San Francisco next week. I was ecstatic about the prospects of using Python for the logic in my Qt Quick apps rather than C++ or Javascript.
The major reason that I love both Python and Qt Quick/QML is that the code is by and large minimal and declarative but gets the job done powerfully without excessive grammar, wordiness, and very little punctuation, which makes my minimalist loving self happy happy happy. The very idea of Python + Qt Quick sounded too deliciously good to be true.
And it appears that after some months of Nokia dedicating employees to making PySide a robust binding for Qt and Qt Quick, that Nokia is now un-dedicating said employees and will be decommissioning their involvement in PySide to an add-on for Qt.
My hopes were crushed in less than two hours. Up in happiness of the possible perfect pairing of my favorite programming/scripting language with my favorite mobile framework, only to fall down the rocks of despair and sadness that so much potential was so fast dissipated.
Matti Airas the Nokia python guru on the PySide project does write in this email that he does see a future for PySide and mobile as an add-on for Qt in the community separate from Nokia. Here’s to hoping that he is right.
Further hopes go to Python catching on as a good option to the various C languages and Java for mobile app development. And here’s to hoping that PySide folks will be at Qt Dev Days next week.
Update from Wed 11.23.11 – Just to clarify, this post is for NaBloPoMo and is my joke on / to myself about moderating my enthusiasms in a world where the funding of technology projects is driven by management stratagems & quarterly profits, as I get so excited upon finding out a technology has finally reached the point that it will be useful and then, in this case, less than an hour or two later after searching for more info I find out that the project has been discontinued.

The Canvas Shop Grand Opening Party

Dan Canvas Shop grand opening crowd Uncle Marty and Earl Sr. Tammy and Solomon Karen and Terri Hide 'n Seek Carolyn Seal Beach ladies Ryan using his new Square on his iPhone Ralph and Megan Kurt and friend
All photos taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8.

Sat 11.19.11 – After many months of hard work and much planning, design, and thought, Tammy and Ryan Callis had the Grand Opening party of their new Canvas Shop tonight.
It was good fun to not only see how they have transformed the 1940s era boat canvas space into a dual custom canvas creating shop in the back and a locally sourced art / creative gift shop in the front. They are selling a wide range of California created art and artisan created objects from local band’s CDs to jalapeno jelly to handmade surfboards to books and paintings. It is wonderfully eclectic and a great addition to Seal Beach.
Canvas Shop
702 Marina Dr. (corner of Marina & PCH)
Seal Beach, CA 90740

The First Camellia of the Season a Few Months Early

November 17, 2011 - First big Camellia blossom of the Seal Beach non-winter
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N950.

Thurs 11.17.11 – The one block of south-east and 2 blocks of south facing front line of houses in Seal Beach have an interesting little micro-climate where one home owner has roses and camellias all winter long and another can grow bananas and tomatoes around Christmas time. Go one block away from the south facing ocean front and no one can grow bananas no matter how hard they try, although my next door neighbor Earl does try to convince his stunted banana tree to grow.
The camellia bush on the south-east Anaheim Bay side always blooms in late December-early January, usually a month before the camellias at the Huntington Library and Gardens, the last two years it has bloomed in mid-December.
Today is the 17th of November and there are three big red, showy camellias’ on that bush. Hello early over-performer! Hello micro-climate!
Hello Seal Beach, the land of a flower blooming somewhere in town every day of the year.
And yes to answer your question that you are thinking right now in your head, we have no real winter to speak of here in Seal Beach, just some fog and chilly-esque 55F degree nights. As Ryan says, “It’s Seal Beach cold.” Which means, not cold enough to scare the bananas away.

Nokia N950, The Night Photos

Nokia N950 : The last of the dusk with a small dot of Venus shining in the sky Corner of Electric & 12th, neighbor already has Xmas lights up Local plant displays its shadow next to a mailbox

Wed 11.16.11 – Today during Scruffy’s late afternoon / early evening walk, I decided to take the Nokia N950 along to see how it would handle low light and just plain dark photo situations. In each of the photos above, I only turned off the flash, kept the camera on Automatic, and did not change any other settings. The Nokia N950 did a fine job in the low light situations where I could hold the device steady.