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👋 Hi friends. I'm Brian, and I'm a teacher by day. I also manage all of the professional development (training and enrichment workshops) for staff in our school district. I'm a Mac user and I write Flask apps to make life easier for staff.

I'm interested in open source (mainly python) productivity libraries and web apps/API development. Hoping to start an official side business in the next year with some education-related SaaS apps I'm working on.

I also keep honey bees.

Final tally was actually closer to 55 pounds. That's a lot of liquid gold.

Honey update: almost 4 gallons, which is almost 50 pounds (23kg).

That's a lot of honey. And that's for two not quite full steam hives. I'm hoping to drown in honey in one more season

After two years of work and care, I'm able to harvest honey from the bees today.

I also decided to install Micro as an editor so I can keep personal projects off of the work machine.

Finally took some time to get the set back up. Did an upgrade and got SSH turned back on so I can login from my couch.

Tonight, I'm re-installing all the web things so I can get a little server up and running again. Planning to learn nginx and play with some Flask ideas I've had floating in my head.

I feel like I have a good hang of CRUD operations, so this charting adventure is pushing me to learn more and think differently about what kind of data querying I can do.

I decided to learn more about directly for creating charts. Not exactly light, but it requires no frontend JS and I can server-side generate everything. I need to work on generating SVG instead of PNG output, though.

Anyone have recommendations on _lightweight_ chart libraries to use in a web app? I would prefer server-rendered (I know about Bokeh and plotly), and will mostly be making line charts to show quantities of registrations over time.

I was part of a discussion recently where someone argued that "empathy" is embedded in "respect." The other side is that empathy is fundamentally different and worth teaching as a life skill explicitly.

For me, it was more revelatory that we had to have a discussion about which is more important to teach at all.

Brian boosted

What's the strangest thing you've ever found in a book?

Here's my story...

About 20 years ago or so, I was at a Salvation Army auction one morning. They were selling of tons (literally) of junk they'd had donated to them over the last few years or so; stuff that wasn't easily sold in their actual stores. A lot of it was good stuff, too.

One thing that immediately caught my eye was a pallet (6' high, 4' wide X 4' wide) of nothing but boxed up hardcover books. I looked through some of the books in the top boxes and realized that there were some very old, and often valuable, books in this boxes. I decided I'd bid on it a bit and see where it goes.

The auctioneer kept bringing up lot after lot, but not the pallet of books. I was getting impatient by the time the morning wore on. Finally, when he'd pretty much sold everything that was in the yard back there that morning, he brought up the pallet of books. There was only a small crowd of folks left by then (about 20 or so). He described the contents of the pallet briefly by saying, "Here you go, folks... a bunch of books".

He looked around at the faces in the crowd and said, "I'm opening the bidding at one dollar." I about shit myself. I bid the $1 immediately to get things rolling. Well, after I bid, he looked around and said, "Once, twice, sold that man there for $1." I just laughed... and wondered how the Hell I was going to get this pallet home and what I was going to do with all those books.

When I asked the auctioneer afterwards why he'd let it go so cheaply, he said, "Did you see anyone trampling you to get in a bid?" I said no, I didn't. His reply, with a smirk on his face, was, "Gotta' know your audience in this job."

Well, needless to say, I got the books home and spent a few years going through them and selling some, giving some away, etc. However, that's not the point of this story. The point was finding things in books. So, with that in mind...

There were quite a few books in this collection that had the name of a fellow in them. His name was Charles Lounsbury. He was evidently a well-educated man; many of his books were text books from Cornell University. Anyway, whilst thumbing through one of them one day, a small business card fell out into my lap. It was a dentist's appointment card for Mr. Lounsbury. It also had his address and phone number on it.

Just for grins and giggles, I called the number on the card. An older-sounding man answered on the first ring. I said "Hello" and gave my name. I then asked the fellow if he was Charles Lounsbury. He said he was indeed. I told him about all the books I'd bought and how I had found this dentist appointment card in one of them. He was BLOWN AWAY immediately upon hearing about the books.

He told me that his sister had possession of his personal library at the time of her death, but he had not spoken with her in many years. When she died, it seems that someone cleaning out her house had donated all her possessions, including Charles' books, to the Salvation Army. Mr Lounsbury was very interested in possibly seeing his books again. He was wanting to leave some of them to his grandchildren upon his demise.

I made a date for him to drive from Sarasota, FL up to my home in Tampa and take whichever of his books he wanted back. The following Saturday he showed up. He was absolutely amazed to find all his books in the middle of my living room (huge stack of books, here's a sampling):

Anyway, he picked out 10 of 15 of his prized books and asked if he could take them. I, of course, said yes... for sure. After that we sat and had some coffee and he told me his life story. It was a wonderful afternoon! Charles and I became pretty good friends after that for about 10 or so years, until his death at age 88.

It's amazing, sometimes, the things you find in books. :)

*This posting previously published on my blog:

Nocturnal Slacker v2.0 | Letters to the void…

I have an application at work that allows someone to send an email to registrants. It currently opens the user's default email client with a `mailto` link and addresses in the BCC.

Is there benefit to moving this to some kind of SMTP client on the server?

Running fsck on a micro SD card and...just waiting...

Since moving to our current house, we have only met older (60+ years old) neighbors.

Tonight, we met another family in our age bracket. That was super encouraging.

She's also a beekeeper, which is doubly exciting.

I used to use GeekTool on my desktop and wanted to set it up again, but the official site doesn't exist anymore and I'm wary of the download mirror forges.

So, I'm trying out Ubersicht as an alternative. I like that it loads from HTML/CSS/JS, but the config is kind of a bear for the widgets.

I drive between buildings a lot for work and I can claim mileage benefits, but I have to remember to open and update a Google Sheet with my mileage each day.

Since I know the distance between buildings, my new app idea is to have a thing I can text when I arrive somewhere that throws it into a database and spits out a monthly report.

Brian boosted

I'm looking for a alternative to the Amazon Kindle. Is there an alternative OS a person can install on old devices? Or are there open source eReaders out there?

That said, what are people's thoughts on Chromecast? I've tried to de-Google, but I don't know what alternatives are these days.

I'm out of the home entertainment appliance loop.

We've lived for several years without a TV in our main living space, but now that kids are older, we want to have a small one available for movie nights.

I really don't want a smart TV - I'd prefer to use some kind of casting device to run off our iPad/phones. Any good options out there?

Is it still possible to buy a new TV that's dumb?

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