Thursday, June 26, 2008

How Much from a Bottle

I would have thought it would be easier to look up how much a bottle-fed baby needs to eat! What I found was a rule of thumb, baby's weight in pounds times 2.5 for number of ounces to drink, and this table, with average number of feedings and ounces per feeding.

age in months

total daily amount (oz)

number of daily feeds

amount of feeding (oz)













(Babies start solid food at 4 to 6 months, so they eat less liquid after 7 months.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Redirecting stderr

I have some scripts that echo warning messages that really should go to stderr instead of stdout. The basic form is

echo "error" >&2

but I've twice gotten frustrated when I've tried to get fancier than that (not with echo, but with other commands). The essential problem is that the redirecting to stderr needs to be the last redirection. So my quick example is

echo "error" > /dev/null >&2

where redirecting to /dev/null or a file must come before the stderr part.

Hope this saves some time!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Reason to Blog

I ran across this tweet (that stuck in my mind) in a post about the inherent lack of scalability in email: it's still primarily one-to-one communication, unless you copy everyone on the email, leading to email overload and no one reading email and back to the lack of knowledge problem that copying everyone on the email was supposed to have fixed.

I realized that's what blogging addresses. The information is out there, it can be threaded - searched - categorized - tagged, so it's find-able when you need to know about it. We use a Changes Blog at work, and it's already been more useful than I expected. I no longer ask "did anyone make a change when this process broke?" because I can look up the answer painlessly. It works.

Add in Dipity, and the possibilities expand. Hmm. I probably need to think about this.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Food Poisoning

Assuming "avoid it" didn't work for you, this is a good reference on when to go to the doctor and what to do if you get food poisoning. Wikipedia is another reasonable reference too. (Daddy still feels unwell from Tuesday's bout. I had to do some research.)

No Caffeine for Baby!

As if I needed more reasons not to drink caffeine, it has a half-life in full-term newborns of around 95 hours, infants 80 hours! (The range is 65 to 130 hours.) Yowzah! The peak transfer to breastmilk is 1 to 2 hours later. Half-life indicates a decay pattern that starts with a large initial peak, then tapers off slowly. The half-life is the time to purge half of that caffeine, but there's still a long tail on the curve: after two half-lives, 25% of the original caffeine still remains.

So this afternoon when it was so hot and I was walking back to my office past the old-fashioned convenience store, I got the caffeine-free Pepsi (less acid than Coke). I don't know why this baby is awake at 11 PM, but at least I know it's not because I should have skipped caffeine.

Sleep Deficiency and Women's Health

Here I was, thinking I was doing well to reduce my insomnia to half an hour (or less!), but this study says I should keep working on it.


they found that poor sleep is associated with greater psychological distress and higher levels of biomarkers associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. They also found that these associations are stronger in women than in men.

Since I do have some issues with blood sugar, the mention of diabetes caught my eye.

"Interestingly, it appears that it's not so much the overall poor sleep quality that was associated with greater risk, but rather the length of time it takes a person to fall asleep that takes the highest toll. Women who reported taking a half hour or more to fall asleep showed the worst risk profile.

OK, I'll stay in sleep school a while longer!

Fix Your Arthritis!

I developed osteoarthritis in my knees at 16 (as well as lower back pain), and I got serious about fixing it with physical therapy when I was 29. I'm happy to report that arthritis no longer bothers me! Usually I'm in no pain, and I know when my knees hurt a little, I just need to buy new sneakers. This might explain why I was so happy.

Arthritis pain really is different from other types of pain, according to a small study reported last year. That’s because the pain caused by arthritis is processed in the parts of the brain that also control emotions, including fear and distress.

So seriously try what your physical therapist says! Worked wonders for me!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Happy Monogram

Tonight I was able to start and finish an embroidered monogram in one pass! A first!

The major lessons I've learned are always use stabilizer (even on heavy material), and always check the thread, both upper and bobbin, for proper tension if the test piece doesn't pass.

As always, a dull needle, nicks on the throatplate or bobbin, or poor thread (old, or just not even) will also cause problems. But I'm starting to think I can handle this embroidery machine ... that I got three years ago at the very end of June. Ah well, at least I learned my way around it eventually!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I like TiddlyWiki, and I like the d3 version for GTD, but it wasn't fitting how I wanted to organize tasks at work. The main problem, of course, is that my job doesn't fit GTD that well. Mainly that Done part. I always need to upgrade software to the latest version, and to fix something, and whatever: I have many eternal projects and loose tasks.

The real problem was that I was using Projects in d3 as Categories. So where do projects go? And so almost every action in some projects was floating, and that breaks down the utility of the powerful Next Action concept.

Well, it's just JavaScript and I ain't afraid of no new programming language. So I created Categories for myself, just above Projects, as well as a way to look up uncategorized projects. It's not difficult.

First I edited the GTDMenu tiddler, adding this line at the very top:

+++(gtdCategoriesSliderState)[Categories]< >===

That line is just like the following line for Projects, except with Categories.

Then I created a tiddler titled CategoryList tagged gtd with these lines:

*<<list tagged "category -someday" all>>

*+++(gtdUncategorizedSliderState)[Uncategorized Projects:] <<list tagged "project -Category1 -Category2 -Category3" all>>===

Fill in your actual categories instead of those CategoryN placeholders, and you're set. (Or, if you're better at JavaScript, list the tiddlers that are tagged project that aren't tagged with a tiddler tagged category.)

Now make yourself some category tiddlers! Remember to use the category tag to make them show up in the menu on the left.