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Old Blog, New Blog

In a triumph of hope over experience, I’ve decided to try blogging again, this time connecting my blog directly with my public identity here on this domain. It was well beyond time to refresh its contents with something, anything other than work projects from the first years of my career. I’ve resurrected a few posts from my old blog that aren’t too embarrassing.

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Using pip-tools with pyproject.toml and setuptools

When building this blog, it wasn’t obvious how to configure pip-tools for my minimal project using pyproject.toml and plain old setuptools. Pip-tools does not pass through the full error message from the libraries it calls, and part of the error message it does show is misleading:

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Mission Trip to Haiti

During the first week of April 2011, I participated in a mission trip from The Gateway Church to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to help rebuild churches and schools destroyed by the January 2010 earthquake. We had been planning to go the first week of December 2010, but election-related violence meant we had to postpone the trip. We almost didn’t get to go at all, because the final presidential election results weren’t announced until Monday, April 4, the first full day we were there. Thankfully, the popular candidate won, and we were able to do our work.

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Sufjan Stevens in Kansas City

I saw Sufjan Stevens last night at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City. It was an awesome, awesome show. I think it was more enjoyable because I had only a vague idea of what to expect, as I hadn’t listened to his Age of Adz album beforehand. I’m not a big fan of electronica or synth anything, and his new work is a mishmash of 80’s-style beats (“Put on your slow-jam pants,” he told the crowd before one song) and, well, I don’t know what. He even broke out the autotune somewhere in the middle of “Impossible Soul”, during which he donned a glow-in-the-dark visor with an attached glittery mullet. One thing remains constant from his earlier work: it’s delightfully, unabashedly weird.

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O for the P

I just finished reading Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World. I’ve known of the book for a couple years but never quite got around to reading it, likely because I knew it would challenge me. After the Haitian earthquake about a month ago, I remembered the book, decided I must read it, and then Barnes & Noble had it on sale. So here I am.

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Privacy: Privilege or Right?

Nicholas Carr, my favorite information technology skeptic, has written a great post on privacy with respect to the Gmail security breach and Facebook’s “enhanced” privacy options:

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Dr. Johnson’s Dictionary Blog

The Beineke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale is blogging a word a day from Samuel Johnson’s seminal A Dictionary of the English Language. Their selections are so far tending toward the obscure (i.e. bandog), and include great photos of the book and many handwritten additions and corrections. I wonder how many of these words were actually in common usage in 1755, especially those where Shakespeare is given as the only reference. It’s a lexical cabinet of curiosities.

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Fare Forward

In the January/February 2009 edition of Books and Culture I read a review of Thomas Howard’s Dove Descending: A Journey into T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. (I would link to the review but it isn’t on the B&C web site yet. UPDATE: The article has been posted: Rest for the Weary.) This motivated me to dust off (literally) my copy of Eliot’s Selected Poems, which doesn’t contain “Four Quartets” but has the Ariel Poems, his first published as a Christian. One of these, “Animula,” stimulated enough thought to be worth writing down.

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