Caveat: the bombastic intimations of winter

Contrary Theses (II)

One chemical afternoon in mid-autumn,
When the grand mechanics of earth and sky were near;
Even the leaves of the locust were yellow then,

He walked with his year-old boy on his shoulder.
The sun shone and the dog barked and the baby slept.
The leaves, even of the locust, the green locust.

He wanted and looked for a final refuge,
From the bombastic intimations of winter
And the martyrs a la mode. He walked toward

An abstract, of which the sun, the dog, the boy
Were contours. Cold was chilling the wide-moving swans.
The leaves were falling like notes from a piano.

The abstract was suddenly there and gone again.
The negroes were playing football in the park.
The abstract that he saw, like the locust-leaves, plainly:

The premiss from which all things were conclusions,
The noble, Alexandrine verve. The flies
And the bees still sought the chrysanthemums’ odor.

– Wallace Stevens (American poet, 1879-1955)


Caveat: v-truck

Our nearest neighbors, Mike and Penny, are down the road about a half a mile.

Penny has a hobby of making three-dimensional pop-up greeting cards. She uses colored cardstock paper and some kind of computer-controlled cutting device. The last time we visited there, she was showing off her hobby. She’d said, “I’ll send you guys one, sometime.”

She sent us a Valentine’s Card. It is a red “Valentine’s truck.” Only in Alaska.



Caveat: rootless

Sometimes I work on my server. I have been trying to automate the map-rendering job for the geofiction site I built, that until now I’ve had to run manually. The problem I ran into comes down to permissions. Who knew that even the infamous Linux ‘root’ user is sometimes not the right person for the job? Emphasis added to the excerpt of the log file, below.

INFO: Total execution time: 16621 milliseconds.
Stopping renderd (via systemctl): renderd.service.
osm2pgsql version 0.95.0-dev (64 bit id space)

Using lua based tag processing pipeline with script ~/src/openstreetmap-carto/openstreetmap-carto.lua
Using projection SRS 3857 (Spherical Mercator)
Osm2pgsql failed due to ERROR: Connection to database failed: FATAL:  role "root" does not exist

It took me all day to figure this out. Not that I was working on it, exactly. Art and I went to town, did our shopping, came home, ate dinner. All the while, I was cogitating on this problem, and how it matched up with the results I was(n’t) seeing. And then, sitting there, it clicked.

These are the more pleasing moments of computer work – when a seemingly intractable problem presents itself and you work it through in your mind and you solve it. After it clicked, I came and opened the log file and saw the error, above, and it was an easy fix to the bash script.

Caveat: 입살이 바살이라

Here is an aphorism from my book of Korean aphorisms.

입살이 바살이라
ip.sal.i bo.sal.i.ra
mouth-SUBJ bodhisattva-BE-QUOT
“[As if your] mouth were a bodhisattva.”

A bodhisattva is a Buddhist saint. One would normally pray to a saint for help in some difficult thing, using certain types of Buddhist prayers. This is about uttering such prayers but devoid of target – just speaking as if the words themselves would make it true. That is, to speak as if words had the power to make something true. “If words were magic…”. “If wishes were fishes…”


Caveat: dinosaurs eating people

What I’m listening to right now.

Fenn Rosenthal, “Dinosaurs In Love.” Rosenthal is not quite 4 years old. She had help from her dad in production, but the composition is hers.


dinosaurs eating people
dinosaurs in love
dinosaurs having a party
they eat fruit
and cucumber
fall in love
they say ‘thank you’
a big bang came
and they died
dinosaurs fell in love
but they didn’t say good bye
but they didn’t
say good bye