Clipped Wings

Well, scratch the last plan I had.1 I will not be able to go to OggCamp 17 as I had planned. Due to a member of my immediate family having been put on the docket for open heart surgery, family wants me to stay on-continent and within six counties of Northeast Ohio if at all possible.2 I do not have a date yet for when that family member will be going into surgery but recovery will be tough.

Yes, I was looking forward to the trip to be able to meet up with everybody in-person. Other relations have indicated to me that, if there is an event next year, they may help me plan for travel. Continuing uncertainty about the status of my job due to proposed cutbacks by the departmental offices in their budget submission to the Congress has not helped things either. I am certainly not happy about this but I will have to soldier on.

Efforts to unravel some of the mysteries behind Outernet continue. Eventually I will be able to put together some sort of paper. My preference was to have presented something at the gathering in Canterbury. I will be having to review plans instead. Learning more about LaTeX may prove useful, I suppose.

The trip was going to be nicely timed before the Fall 2017 semester started at Lakeland Community College. I missed one class during the Spring 2017 semester during to workload constraints at my day job.3 If I had taken that class I could have graduated. If I can talk the program director into getting the capstone offered off-cycle in the fall I may be able to graduate from the program by December 2017.

Somehow the work as an evangelist at West Avenue Church of Christ is continuing.4 It is hard preaching to residents at a nursing home. Shut-in populations still deserve to have the opportunity to hear the Word if they so choose, though.

If you want to talk about anything contained here, I don't have comments on this blog. Use something like Telegram to contact me at https://t.me/smkellat or via Mastodon/GNUSocial/StatusNet/Fediverse at https://quitter.se/alpacaherder/. I've been off IRC for too long so I cannot be found on freenode at the moment. Others have more special, rather direct ways of reaching me.

Have a beautiful day!


  1. It is reasonable to ask exactly which plan at this time as there are so many, though... 

  2. Northern Ireland has 5,460 square miles. Ashtabula, Lake, Geauga, Cuyahoga, Trumbull, and Portage counties come to a mere 2,935 square miles. One is just slightly over half the size of the other. 

  3. It is rare to be in a workplace where you actually have "All Hands On Deck" called and that is an actual operating condition but I digress. 

  4. Eventually the congregation may get a website. That is triaged low. Getting audio issues sorted out in the sanctuary is a higher priority problem right now. 

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Watching Sites Disappear

At this point there seem to be some systems problems arising on the web. I have had more than minor difficulty attempting to access http://identi.ca as well as http://quitter.se. Identica has frequently been down as of late. As to Quitter.se it seems that there is a site in the so-called fediverse that is providing a proof-of-concept bit of destruction to the federation between social sites. At the last bit I could see, there was discussion of implementing a routing "blackhole" against the miscreant to keep the rest of the federation operating.1

Between this and other matters, I do have pause to wonder as of late.2 How does our connected world survive? Frankly, I do not know the answer.

I have noticed lately that the amount of physical media that I own has increased. If there is a DVD version of a movie that I want to watch again, I may in fact own it. I have a decent catalog of books that I own. That you can search that library catalog at https://www.librarycat.org/lib/alpacaherder is something left unfinished.3 Unlike Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory, I do not have things barcoded and I do not have the circulation module fired up. It is more an attempt to just track what I own.4

Much of the Internet could easily be classed as ephemera. It is full of things that are here today and gone tomorrow. That is why there is often to push to host your own servers so that when servers run by others disappear, you may in fact still be online. To a certain extent, much of what I try to do is attempt to hang on to a sense of permanence.

I am still learning about the morehype package on CTAN to learn how it can be used to take LaTeX2e documents intended for print and convert them for the web.5 Not everything needs to be a PDF although I am finding that I really like the style of the Paratype font. Quite a bit of what I have had to do lately for church-related matters has been intended as "Large Print" for the elderly so I've been working my way through the font catalog.

Change is hard. I like stability. With as bizarre as things have been at work lately, I know I will have plenty of change and little stability there. Watching social sites disappear suddenly also helps contribute to that feeling of lost stability. The threat of a possible reduction-in-force at work coming in late September/early October does not really help either.

My upcoming big goal is to book the tickets, find accommodations, and cross the Atlantic for OggCamp. This is a major undertaking. There are still matters in play on my part. Strangely enough, Canterbury won't be the farthest I have ever traveled into Europe if I manage to pull this off.

These aren't the greatest musings to start a week. For those interested in contact, you can reach out via Telegram at http://t.me/smkellat perhaps. I may inhabit other channels you are already in as well.


  1. An attempt to view the site in question immediately resulted in a possible malware download so that site could easily be branded "anti-social media" perhaps.***

  2. The electromagnetic pulse threat posed by the government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to North America makes many scary possibilities become imminent.***

  3. I have an earned master's degree in library science but it has been a rather long time since I have been a proper librarian.***

  4. LibraryThing does not support DVDs yet. I should make a support request, perhaps.***

  5. See: https://ctan.org/pkg/morehype***

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