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Episode IV: A New Job

After spending the last 20 years (!) of my career in shipbuilding (and 15 at a shipbuilding software company doing R&D with the U.S. Navy) I was given an incredible opportunity to switch gears to something much more aligned with my personal convictions.

I am the Data Architect for the Dauphin Island Sea Lab!


Using Multiple GitLab Accounts

I got a new job (more on that later)!

One of the things I needed to setup is multiple GitLab accounts. I want to continue using my personal account but I also want to automatically be able to use a new work account as well.

My personal repos were in ~/personal/ and work was (gasp!) ~/work/.

I tried out a few different things I read online such as this article on Medium by Arnelle Balane that uses includeIf in .gitconfig to change the user configs based on the gitdir. It didn’t work for me, however.


You Go Hugo!

I finally got around to updating this site to use my static site geneator of choice these days, Hugo!


Libre Arts

Over a year ago my friend (and fellow GIMPer) Alexandre Prokoudine asked me if I’d be willing to help him build a new site for a transition of Libre Graphics World to something broader in scope that he was calling Libre Arts. Of course 2020 managed to get in the way and I didn’t really get a chance to work on it as much as I would have liked.

Fast forward to my December break and I finally had time, energy, and desire to get things finished up for him. Some furious part-time hacking over a couple of weeks et voilà!

Please welcome Libre Arts to the world!


On the Open Source Creative Podcast

Last weekend I was honored to be a guest on the Open Source Creative podcast with the one and only Jason van Gumster!

Before recording he made the mistake of telling me to feel free to go off on a tangent. I’m thinking I probably made him regret staying that. :)

Open Source Creative Podcast Logo

My Tools

I’ve been meaning to write up something more comprehensive about the Free Software tools I use daily to help me work remotely or with distributed teams. I have no idea if this will be interesting or helpful to anyone but my hope is it might in some small way…

In B.C. (Before Coronavirus) time I was already working towards being able to work from anywhere. One of my personal computing goals is to be as computer-agnostic as possible.

I think when computering, most people are focused on the software they’re using and not as much the underlying OS (if anything I’d bet the primary interface to the OS and filesystem for most would be a file manager). They want to use particular programs to get their work done and if the programs are cross-platform the OS just fades into the background. As I believe it should be—just get out of my way and let me get to work! :)

On that note, I wanted to talk about the programs that help me get work done!

(Note: all of these programs/projects are Free/Open Source Software, which is a primary requirement for me, as well as cross-platform.)


The Upper Berth

“We are not superstitious in our profession, sir,” replied the doctor, “but the sea makes people so."

The story this week moves the haunted house concept to sea! I started these stories with a haunted room in The Red Room so here is a haunted cabin on a ship.


The Monkey's Paw

This is a story whose fame precedes it, I believe. So much so that I think I’d be surprised to find someone that hasn’t heard of at least the basic premise of the story: someone is granted three wishes but finds that the wishes don’t quite work out the way they had intended.

This is not a new idea of course, but W.W. Jacobs manages to perfectly capture the horror of being granted these wishes and their unintended consequences. This theme shows up quite often in modern literature, movies, and television shows (to varying effect).


On the Brighton Road

This is a quite short story by Richard Middleton that I love for its simplicity and brevity. In talking about the story here, I drop a couple of spoilers. If you’ve never read it before scroll down now. Do come back when you’re done, though.


The Red Room

A little too late I realized that it might be fun to do a daily post of my favorite short ghost stories through October (to honor my favorite month and holiday!). Last year I shared one of my personal favorite stories, “Smee” by A.M. Burrage.

I will do my best to try and get a few good stories out this October. I feel like I could probably at least get one good story every week until Halloween!

Many of these stories are ones I first encountered in what I consider to be the definitive book on the subject: The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories edited by Michael Cox and R.A. Gilbert. Their introduction is wonderful to read and really provides a fantastic overview of the rich literary history of the ghost story. As they note in the opening paragraph of their introduction:

“Whatever we do with the dead they will not go away. Whether we entomb and isolate them or scatter their ashes, they remain as ghosts in our memories and faced with their continuing presence we have no option but to learn to live with them. Our most effective way of accommodating them is, perhaps, to encapsulate them in stories, either as the vengeful or grateful dead of folklore, as the dull prosaic phantoms of psychical research, or as the less predictable revenants of fiction.” Michael Cox and Robert Gilbert, Introduction - The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories

I am certain to be including other stories from this collection as this particular book has greatly influenced and guided my love of short ghost stories.

This particular story comes from H.G. Wells (he of The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, and plenty other pieces of fantastic fiction).


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