Editors, or The Tools of my Trade

I spend a fair portion of every day writing programs. As with all professions, using the right tools makes a huge difference in my productivity and general happiness. Having good tools helps me keep my gumption up. One of my favorite books is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Contrary to what the title suggests, this book is actually not about motorcycles. It’s about a lot of things; one topic is about tools and caring about your trade.

The Best Two Years

September 30th marked two years since I arrived home from serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The mission is colloquially referred to as “the best two years”. (There is a movie about missionaries, which I have not seen, by this title.) My time on the mission did constitute the best two years of my life. I grew and learned so much in that time.

Induction and Side-Effects

Today in my proofs class (MATH 290 at BYU) we talked about the concept induction. I like this, because it sounds a lot like recursion. On the Wikipedia article, there’s an excerpt from a book that illustrates the principle with an analogy using a ladder: Mathematical induction proves that we can climb as high as we like on a ladder, by proving that we can climb onto the bottom rung (the basis) and that from each rung we can climb up to the next one (the step).

Life Hacks: Text Notifications

Life Hacks: Text Notifications So many notifications come to us in the form of an audible alert, and this can sometimes be inconvenient. Who likes having their phone go off in church? The problem is that sound propagates regardless of the intended target. Touch, on the other hand, is an inherently personal sensation. Setting your phone to vibrate lets you know you’re being alerted, without notifying everyone else in the room as well.

Leaving Facebook

Deutsche Übersetzung folgt. I’ve left* Facebook. There’s an asterisk there. I’m not going to delete my account, but I’m no longer checking Facebook more than once or twice a month, if that. I’m not trying to be a recluse—below are a few ways to contact me that I do check far more often than Facebook. I want to be your friend, but I’d rather that friendship be through a real connection rather than some online “status”.

My Wedding

I got married last week! I met Sarah almost five years ago on trek.1 We stayed in touch afterwards, and look where we ended up! Below are some stories from our courtship. First time seeing each other It was the first day of trek. I found my family and sat down at the most extreme end of the bench. I got to know my trek brothers a little bit, but mostly kept to myself.

Light

I came across a quote posted by a friend of mine that read: The difference between spiritualism and religion is that spiritualism is pro-light, while religion is anti-sin. Or something to that effect. This quote bothered me because I felt that it maligned religion. I asked this friend for some clarification; it seemed clear from their response that they had had a rather negative experience with religion. They explained that they felt that religion (in general) micro-manages the lives of its adherents and focuses on telling people what they can’t do.

Drafting

I once asked my dad over email how to improve my the potency of my words and thoughts. His reply came back as one word: Revision. Good writing does not emerge spontaneously; it comes as one practices writing. A “draft” is a pass of writing a particular work. It’s like sketching in art: when an artist starts a painting, they usually start with a rough sketch outlining where the figures will be, what the landscape will be like, etc.

Rapid Website Development with Mojolicious and Polymer

My girlfriend works for BYU SA—it’s the division of BYU that’s responsible for planning and running events. As part of her job, she has to review song lyrics and make sure that the song is okay to play at BYU functions. This can get rather irksome. Imagine reading text looking for vulgar words or phrases. Yuck. I took some time this evening to write a little website that checks MetroLyrics for any vulgar words or phrases.

Eh, Docker, we have a problem here…

Quick note for those who don’t know about Docker: Docker is a program that lets me take packaged-up programs (called images or containers) and run them without having to worry much about dependencies. Today I decided to upgrade my version of Ghost Blog. I’m using the Docker image on a Digital Ocean droplet. Updating should be simple, I thought. I would take down the blog then spin it back up again after pulling down the latest Docker image.