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Things AppleScripts

Posted on: 2009-08-25 09:32:56

Just thought I'd throw these out here. They are a couple of AppleScripts that have helped me manage what I have going on in Things.

"Followup Tomorrow":http://nickvahalik.com/sites/nickvahalik.com/files/Followup%20Tomorrow.scpt

This script closes the task for today, creates a new one for tomorrow and adds the label "follow-up." This gives me a warm fuzzy that I got something accomplished for the day but that there is something else tomorrow that needs to be followed-up on. It doesn't copy notes, just the title.

"Followup Next Business Day":http://nickvahalik.com/sites/nickvahalik.com/files/Followup%20Next%20Business%20Day.scpt

This script functions the same was as the one above, but if you execute it on a friday, it will schedule it for Monday.

Just throw these guys in ~/Library/Scripts/Applications/Things and you're set! To use them, click on a task and then select them from the Scripts menu in the top-right corner of the screen (or assign them a hot-key).

Anyway, hope this helps someone!

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SmartSleep Can Kill Your Battery Life

Posted on: 2009-07-07 14:17:25

I usually switch my system to "Better Energy Savings" while on battery. It kept switching back to "Custom." I ended up tracking the problem down to a program called "SmartSleep":http://www.jinx.de/SmartSleep.html. It appears that it was changing my settings to Custom about every 30 seconds or so:

de.jinx.SmartSleepDaemon[54] SmartSleepDaemon: setting hibernation state to: 0

If you are wanting to get the best out of your battery life while not connected to a power source, you might want to disable "SmartSleep":http://www.jinx.de/SmartSleep.html. It consistently shaved 30 minutes off of my runtime when it was set to "smart sleep."

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I Am Neither Ignorant Nor Intolerant

Posted on: 2009-06-03 23:14:10

After moving out of Waco, I truly feel that a veil has been lifted from my eyes. As if, suddenly I am able to reason and think clearly. There are many benefits to this, however it has pretty much made me an outsider politically and socially as far as my views and beliefs are concerned. Some are open to this idea, and I am appreciative to this. Some however, are pretty much convinced that my views and beliefs make me both "ignorant" and "intolerant."

And to those that think that I am both ignorant and intolerant, I will present the evidence that you are the ignorant, intolerant one.

Firstly, I have the right to speak my mind about whatever I want. Yes, I think Obama was the worst possibly choice for president. Yes, I think abortion is wrong. Indeed, the bible tells us that homosexuality is a sin and is wrong. Now, these are my views, and it just so happens that these views are not only shared with me by my wife, the members of our church and many of our friends. You might consider it intolerant, that I oppose "women's rights" or homosexuality. Friend, the moment you disrespect my right to express myself, you yourself are showing intolerance.

I was listening to a radio show a few days ago and they were talking about how the word "discriminate" used to have a positive connotation. A person with "discriminating tastes" only like the best. It was a good thing to be labeled discriminating in certain respects.

But now, the world is crazy, and a group of people who are already have equal protection under the law want something that I don't think they deserve: the right to call their union a "marriage." If I am ignorant and intolerant, then so were the millions and millions of people who came before me who thought the same way. You see it as intolerance, but I say it's calling it what it really is. Homosexual relationships can never be fully equal to a real marriage. It's physiologically and spiritually impossible. And if you think can read all of the material that has brought us this far and conclude that something in there says otherwise... then you probably need to really re-evaluate your reading and/or comprehension abilities.

Another thing: I know several gay couples, not many on a very personal basis, but I've worked with a few over the years. I don't think they are bad people. I've never hated gays, or talked down to them or even treated them any differently than I did and I attempt to be respectful and polite. Do I approve of their relationship? No. I still think it's wrong, but there is a difference between these people and the people I read about in the newspaper.

None of these people make a big deal about it. It is not the defining factor of their lives. I do have a problem with people who make it their goal to impress on others a lifestyle which for the past, you know, 5000 years, has been looked at as physically unhealthy, spiritually sinful, and socially disgraceful. They want it to be actively accepted like "regular" people and you know what? I won't stand for it.

If you want to live your life quietly and don't want to involve me or flaunt your "pride" up and down the street, that is fine, and I can respect that. So what is it? Am I intolerant? Tolerant? Confused, mistaken, or maybe just fed up? How about ignorant? Am I missing something here? I'm all ears. You can e-mail me, call me, or reply here.

P.S. Obama, you've officially ruined June.

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What We Are Supposed To Know About Abortion

Posted on: 2009-04-04 12:16:42

I had a conversation with a friend last night and during this conversation, they said that they didn't want to argue about abortion because "no one knows! is it murder? is it not?"

There are some people that don't know the answer to that question. But some people, especially Christians should know the answer to that question.

bq. "I do. I understand that nowhere in the bible does it dictate that it is a baby at conception"

I have to admit when I heard this, I was absolutely shocked. I wonder if this person has read their bible lately. The bible indicates that we are created by God, for God. Each and every one of us.

What matters here is the understanding that God creates life. All life is precious. If you call yourself a Christian and think that a "fetus" is not life, then you need to seriously revisit your beliefs.

Maybe this will jog your memory:

Jeremiah 1:5 says "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;..." (he is, of course, speaking to Jeremiah, but these apply to us also.)

David writes in Psalm 139:13 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."

"Did not He who made me in the womb make him, And the same one fashion us in the womb? (Job 31:15) It's very apparent. Job understands this. Why don't you?

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Diving Into God's Word: Rebuilding my Foundation Part 2

Posted on: 2009-02-08 09:09:32

I have a big problem reading God's Word every day. My boss gave me daily-read bible that you through everything chronologically. It's great and I really look forward to reading it. But i'm behind a couple of days now, but I'll catch up this afternoon. Sunday afternoons are always my catch-up days. (Right now it's going through Leviticus and Numbers, which, imo(In My Opinion) are semi-boring because they are very repetitious.)

I had a conversation with myself a couple days ago. It went something like this:

"Why didn't I read the Bible today?" "Because I was busy." "Yes, but watched 5 youtube videos and looked at lolcats for almost 10 minutes during lunch." "Well, yeah, that was taking a break." "God's Word = best break evar." "I didn't have my bible handy." "Perhaps you've used <a href="http://biblegateway.com/">BibleGateway or <a href="http://youversion.com/">Youversion?" "Yeah, but what am I supposed to read?" "<a href="http://youversion.com/1yearbible">This." "Yeah, but I'm not always at my computer..." "<a href="http://youversion.com/iphone">Ownt."

Unless you are phone-less, computer-less, and bible-less, there really isn't a reason to not dive in, even for a little bit, every day. We need it to survive. Our spiritual food. I'll skip the cheesy analogies that our Pastor gave us a few weeks ago and skip straight to the meat. Living a Christian life in this world takes so much. I can't tell you how many times I can feel anger in my heart or how many times I almost (or do) speak harsh words to someone. No matter how much I try to cover up that those words were rooted in truth, you would never tell because they were shaped and brought forth by anger and not love.

"The Word of God is a seed":http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=49&chapter=8&version=31. A little bit of it gets put in us when we our saved, but it is our duty to make sure it is cared for so that it "grows and produces fruit":http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=50&chapter=15&version=31. We are expected to be grow and do something with what God gives us. "The Parable of the talents Matthew 25:15-30":http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=47&chapter=25&version=31 gives us a really clear picture of the expectations that God puts on us. It's a lot of work, really. But it's all worth it.

After all, we get God's protection with his Word in us. Ephesians 6:17 says "Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.":http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=56&chapter=6&version=31. His Word is also our protection. Like I said in my last post, being able to lean back on the sturdiest foundation of all has been my best defense against the one who would rather not see me thrive in Christ.

There are so many ways to get into the Word. "BibleGateway":http://biblegateway.com/ was my favorite for quite some time, but "YouVersion":http://youversion.com/ seems to have a much more interesting interface and is really made for people like me (web-enabled, bloggers, etc). I go back and forth between the two. If you know of any other good ones, please e-mail me or add a comment.

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Coming To Grips With My Fears: Rebuilding My Foundation

Posted on: 2009-02-02 22:26:42

There is a lot going on in my life right now. You might be able to tell that from my previous post. I'm going to try my hat at some different writing for the time being. There is quite a bit of adjusting going on from myself, my family and Sarah's family. It's all going really well (I think). During this adjustment I feel like I've really been able to open up and be really honest with myself and with others. It's tough for me to be open about what I'm thinking about because of how I think and the processes that go through my head.

I've had a chronic problem since the 7th grade with two specific problems: "autophobia":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autophobia (fear of being alone and something that some "people on the internet have dubbed":http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060925193918AA67hS4 "rapturephobia" (fear of the apocalypse).

Anyone who knew me in high school and early in my college years might have easily guessed that I really didn't like being alone. I got really antsy and acted very immature whenever I was alone. I spent a lot of time in front of the computer and it seemed to help assuage the pangs of anxiety. I constantly had to have something in front of me to distract me from the reality of being alone whenever I was. Luckily I had some good friends and roommates and that was never a problem and, for the most part, never really adversely affected me in deep painful ways. It was usually what followed in those times when my thoughts would creep down a path that I dare not tread.

Fear is a powerful force. It can spread the fastest of any sickness and cripple armies, "spreading from one person to another":http://www.youversion.com/msg/Deut.20.8. It can cause you to act rashly and "trip over yourself":http://www.youversion.com/msg/Lev.26.36, even when there is nothing to truly be afraid of. Lord knows that I've done my fair share of tripping, running and being overly fearful for things that, as a Christian, should not even have a place in my life. I guess that is why they call them "phobias":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phobia, though. There is that irrational characteristic that gives that edge any other common fear.

I can't tell you why I fear the end of the world. I just know that when the fear grips me, it holds me tight and fiercely. The fear itself might not be the biggest issue. For me, it's always been my reaction to the fear: running away, hiding, or just plain panic. It cuts me off from the world. It destroys the peace in my heart. As a man in battle, if my training was completed, my weapon issued, and my life and my freedom were at stake my reaction would be to fight. The fear of engaging in combat and possibly losing my life would be swallowed up by what I've been trained to do to protect myself and defeat the enemy. And in my heart, I believe that I have a fight inside me that would not be easily conquered.

What is at stake here is not my physical life and freedom, but my mental and spiritual well being. I have no reason to fear. I never had one. There is no reason to fear anything that is coming because in Christ we have a promise:

bq. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (NIV)

This script is quoted so often, I think, because it sums it all up (John had a way with words and putting things in such a way that made it that way.) The message is plain, overt, and unmistakably clear: we have nothing to fear if we trust in Jesus Christ. This is my foundation, my training, and my song. Now, when I feel the sword of fear coming down upon me, my weapon will be ready and I will fear no more. I will stand fast in the promise that has been made by the only one who is capable of making it.

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The Sound of Crickets

Posted on: 2009-01-28 15:01:16

Been really quiet since Do It With Drupal. Life has taken a few exciting turns the past few months. I got engaged to my Fiancé, Sarah! I've completely moved out of my old place and into the new house. There is still quite a bit of work to be done on the Condo, but it is moving along (albeit at a snail's pace). My weekends are pretty much spent between that, Church, and just hanging out with Sarah and friends.

I've started going to GymX down the road to shed some unwanted poundage as a new year's resolution. So far, so good. I've lost about 8 pounds or so. Sarah got me a grill for Christmas and man, have I been using it! Chicken, fish, steaks, potatoes, corn, scallops, squash, you name it! It's taken some getting used to... but it's been tasty and healthy.

I haven't really spent much time working on my side-gig. Partially because it's really calmed down and partially because my role at RVOS has taken over. There is a lot of exciting stuff going on and some new opportunities that will be making themselves available really soon.

Originally, the idea of moving here to Temple seemed really dull and death by boredom seemed like a possible outcome. I haven't really felt any of that. The fact that I can go home and watch some TV, fire up the grill and have dinner is very soothing. The ability to wake up at 7, make breakfast (a real one) and get read and leave 10 minutes before work (and be early!) is great. One of the best decisions I have ever made.

As things settle down more over the next few weeks/months... I will hopefully get some time to start working on my Drupal contrib plans again. Until then!

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A Simple Drupal Database Copying Script

Posted on: 2009-01-01 23:13:41

At work, I needed a simple, scriptable way to copy my drupal database. Since we have a shared-table multi-site installation, the normal import/export tools would not work. What it boiled down to was making sure that all of the data was copied except for:

  1. Caches,
  2. Session data,
  3. Watchdog logs,
  4. and Search data

This code seems to work well:

<code lang="bash">mysqldump -dn -h<from_server> -u -p <source_database> mysql --batch -N -h<from_server> information_schema -e \"SET SESSION group_concat_max_len=16768;select group_concat(table_name SEPARATOR ' ') as ' ' FROM tables where table_schema = '<drupal_database>' AND (table_name like '%cache%' OR table_name like 'search%' OR table_name in ('watchdog','sessions') OR table_name like 'devel%') group by table_schema;\" | mysql -h<to_server> -u -p <dest_database>

<code lang="bash">mysqldump -n -h<from_server> -u -p <source_database> mysql --batch -N -h<from_server> information_schema -e \"SET SESSION group_concat_max_len=16768;select group_concat(table_name SEPARATOR ' ') FROM tables where table_schema = '<source_database>' and table_name not like '%cache%' and table_name not like 'search%' and table_name not in ('watchdog','sessions') and table_name not like 'devel%' group by table_schema;\" | mysql -h<to_server> -u -p <dest_database>

Basically, what it does is:

  1. Gets a list of tables the mysql command inside the backticks. This ensures that it always pulls all of the tables.
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How To Make Scaled Images Look Better in IE

Posted on: 2008-12-22 19:15:52

Alert reader Chris S. emailed me to point out this post by a developer at flickr about how to make IE scale images more smoothly. All you have to do is add...

img { -ms-interpolation-mode:bicubic; }

to the stylesheet. It worked!

Via <a href="http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2008/12/22.html">Joel on Software.

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Altering Profile Field (profile.module) View Functionality

Posted on: 2008-12-11 11:33:02

Someone here at DIWD had a question on how to modify a view (in Views 1.6) that uses profile fields (defined with profile.module). The specific idea was taking a "name" field and making it link to the user profile. This can be done with two functions defined in a module.

For this particular scenario, we created a module specifically for this called obs.module (named for Austin Smith's obs module during his "NYO Site Dissection @ DIWD":http://www.doitwithdrupal.com/sessions/site-dissection-new-york-observer ). In it, we define two functions:

This first function implements view's views_tables_alter hook. This allows us to alter the huge "tables array generated by hook_views_tables":http://drupal.org/handbook/modules/views/api. The stuff we want to change is auto-generated by the default installation of views (which comes with profiles support). You'll have to put the name of your field in here (you can find it while editing your profile).

<code lang="php">function obs_views_tables_alter(&$table) { $table['profile_display_name']['fields']['value']['handler'] = 'obs_profile_name_handler'; $table['profile_display_name']['fields']['value']['uid'] = 'uid'; $table['profile_display_name']['fields']['value']['addlfields'] = array('uid'); }

The first line of the function sets up our output handler. The second maps the uid value to the uid field and the third pulls the uid field out of the profile_values table so that we can access it. We'll need it to generate the link to the user's profile.

The next function we add is the handler for the field, which just renders the field. Pretty simple here:

<code lang="php">function obs_profile_name_handler($fieldinfo, $fielddata, $value, $data) { $value = (unserialize($value) === false) ? $value : unserialize($value); return l($value,'user/'.$data->profile_display_name_uid); }

Pretty much it's copied verbatim as the default handler for profile fields in the views module but adds the link and returns that instead of the value.

Not that for your field, you'll have to replace any instance of profile_display_name with the name of your profile field.

Hope that helps!

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