Visual Beep

The quieter you become, the more you hear.
Rumi

I was hanging in the local IKEA store when I came across this $5 multifunction digital clock. The interesting thing about it is that you switch between the functions, not by pressing a button, but by turning the clock on its various sides. It has four sides and hence four functions: thermometer, alarm, clock and countdown timer. The countdown timer in particular is awesome. You set the timer and every time you turn the clock on the timer side, it automatically starts counting down.

IKEA desktop clock/thermometer/alarm/timer

It comes under two names: LÖTTORP and KLOCKIS

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Unraged

Finally tonight, on the way home
I woke up, and for once not alone
I found another way to be known
not by doing, but by keeping them calm

I’ve stood so many grounds
I’ve pulled so many frowns
Raged inside without bounds
mostly without a sound

Tonight it ended
My smile ascended
Inner peace trended
Golden Rule amended

Post fact

Black and white brush master
Lay out the outline a little faster
Moon is ducking behind the roof
Edges are morphing into aloof

I walk with my head in all directions
Holes and ditches ready for dilation
Still looking for the peeking head
before my own descends onto bed

Spring toes can carry me afar
Guided by some restless star
And a rocking seat on a train
Crawling its way through the rain

Arch backed and hurriedly stacked
Highly scoff resistant post fact
These humble rails are well willing
Deliberateness of the ride is thrilling

Came to think of it again tonight
To take pen to paper and write
With this dizzy head of mine
I can't promise to reach the end of line

Three way

Twelve stories tall
Waiting for a call
Watching city porn
Groping the glass wall

Seismic handshake by the lake
Bear hug soothing the hand ache
Fresh lime with a slice of cake
Conversing for hours without a break

Turning down the volume
Leaning in to consume
the air of your perfume
Feelings to exhume

systemd-nspawn based dev environment

Over the last week, I decided to move my dev environment from OSX to my own Archlinux box. Now I didn’t want to pollute my machine with various libraries/tools needed for work so I decided to run things in a container. I had played with systemd-nspawn in the past so it was the clear first choice (and last in this case). Overall I am very happy with it as it was a piece of cake to setup and only one or two hiccups along the way.

I followed the excellent guide on Archlinux Wiki and that took me 95% of the way. Firefox tweaks page took me 99% there. What follows are some tips for the last mile.

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Split PDF files

Another ghostscript trick to split a single PDF to multiple PDFs one for each page:

gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dSAFER -o outname.%d.pdf input.pdf

GPS Nav Wishlist

I drive once in awhile and even though I’d much prefer to rely on someone/something else to tell me where to go, I’ve decided to memorize directions rather than use a GPS navigation software. Instead of the why, I’ve listed my wishlist for GPS navigation software. If these are taken care of, I probably no longer have to look at street view for every turn and use pen and paper like it’s the 90s.

Top Priority

Lane navigation. A passenger familiar with an area giving you directions tends to mention which lane you should stay in well before the next turn so you won’t have to force your way onto the neighboring lanes at the last second and potentially cause an accident. This can be extended to take into account streets with lots of cross streets where people queue to turn to or streets where a lane is occupied by parked cars (both further dependent on the time of day). A lot of drivers, especially inexperienced ones, find changing lanes under pressure (ie upcoming turn) very stressful and are more likely to make mistakes doing it.

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Convert multiple images to PDF

This command takes a bunch of images and makes a multi-page PDF out of them:

convert *.jpg -units PixelsPerInch -quality 100 \
  -density 300x300 > out.pdf

Battle Pillows

Your happy face, your red and cyan shoelace
Your cream denim melting on your legs
My lightheadedness ever since

Plenty of poke prints on your back
You deflect the poke monster’s attack
My waving a white flag

Kiss after kiss but never in excess
Occasional gaze only to catch a breath
My hands, sound asleep on your waist

Sauce and cheese raining on your dress
The same dish with a wildly different taste
My forkless dining experience

Smell of morning grass through the windows
Lifting mist of feathers from battle pillows
My eyeing your cozy toes

The medalist in every trolley race
Fair play never on your conscious
My losses’ only ever cheering audience

Guide to renting out your room

Here’re some tips I’ve learnt over the years sharing apartments. Some are only applicable if you live in the state of NSW in Australia.

Prep

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