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Archive for March, 2010

I’ve been meaning to write a more geeky post for some time, and since I have nothing better to write at the moment, I thought I would take this opportunity to write about folder actions.

I’m going to assume that you can figure out the details of how to bend folder actions to your will. Or you at least know someone who can.  Often the hardest part of using a new technology is deciding what to do with it, so I’d like to share some ideas that I’ve found very useful.

The basic idea of folder actions is to trigger a script whenever one of the following “actions” take place:

  • adding folder items to
  • removing folder items from
  • opening folder
  • closing folder window for
  • moving folder window for

To be honest the only trigger I have used is adding folder items, which can of course be used to notify you when something is added to your Drop Box, or to perform some operations on downloaded files (e.g. move all pictures to ~/Pictures). But for me, the most useful has been taking action when a volume is mounted. This requires a little trick since the interface doesn’t allow you to attach a script to /Volumes. Firstcreate a symlink to:

ln -s /Volumes ~/vol-link

then start Folder Action Setup and add vol-link to the folders with actions list. You can then remove the symlink since Folder Action Setup follows it and will save /Volumes instead.

rm vol-link

I’m sure there’s a way to do the same thing by editing the plist files directly, but why bother?

Then you have to tell it what to do when a volume is mounted.  I use the following script (sorry there is no syntax highlighting) which simply finds the name of the volume, and runs a script (if it exists) named volumes - VOL_NAME.scpt saved in path to Folder Action scripts from local domain (you may prefer from user domain if don’t wish to share scripts with other users on the machine).

on adding folder items to this_folder after receiving these_items
	repeat with volume in these_items
		process_volume(volume as text)
	end repeat
end adding folder items to

on process_volume(vol)

	set short_name to (text 1 through -2 of vol) as text
	set script_name to "volumes - " & short_name & ".scpt"

	set FAS_folder to path to Folder Action scripts from local domain
	set full_path to (FAS_folder as text) & script_name

	try
		run script (full_path as alias)
	end try

end process_volume

-- for testing
on run
	process_volume("Kindle:")
	process_volume("Kindle2:")
	process_volume("GPOD:")
end run

With this in place you will need something to do. I have two scripts volumes - GPOD.scpt and volumes - Kindle.scpt that I have found useful.  GPOD is the name of my iPod, and I have several mercurial repositories for configuration files, school work, etc. which are updated whenever I plug in my iPod. That way I always have the latest work with me wherever I go.

Perhaps more useful is the Kindle script. I have a folder where I drop things I want to put on my Kindle (this is especially handy since I don’t have whisper net here in Budapest with my pre-international Kindle 2). When a file is dropped in this folder, a folder action script (bet you didn’t see that one coming) looks at the extension.  If it’s directly readable on the Kindle it moves it to a holding folder, otherwise it will compose an email to Amazon to have it converted (I hardly ever use this now that the Kindle supports pdf) or throw an error if Amazon doesn’t know how to convert it. When the email comes back, another applescript should trigger off of a Mail rule to place it in the Kindle folder, but I never actually wrote that part. Then when the Kindle is attached, all files from the holding folder are copied to the Kindle and moved to a processed folder.

So, when I see something I want to read on the Kindle I simply put it in the Kindle folder knowing that the next time I plug in the Kindle it will automatically transferred.  It’s good to be lazy.  Now if only I had time to actually read everything that I have on the Kindle…

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Avery and I are in California visiting my sister and Grandpa. Saturday we went to Huntington beach.

Avery had a BLAST. She chased the waves down the beach and ran away from them as they came back up the beach giggling and laughing the whole way. The weather was soooo nice. It was warm and sunny, but with a cool breeze that was perfect for me because I don’t have a maternity swimsuit and had to spend most of the time out of the water.

Linden borrowed a wetsuit, but totally wimped out when everyone went to learn how to surf. She had fallen asleep on a towel and when they asked if she wanted to go she declined. The waves weren’t extremely surf-friendly anyway, but I tease her anyway. She did boogy board.The rest of the week we’ve kind of just relaxed and chatted with Grandpa, Linden and her friend Leslie. We went out to eat at Cheesecake Factory and Claim Jumpers. Both were really good. We saw Paula and her kids on Saturday too, but only for a couple hours, which was a little sad.

Yesterday Grandpa took us to the bookstore. Holy cow, it was like a toddler version of Disneyland or something. We hadn’t even made it inside the store before Avery had three books she was carrying around with her from the outdoor display. Once we got in it took us forever to get to the kids’ section because she kept finding the Easter book displays and the bargain book booths. Once we got to the kids’ section she found an end display with baby board books, pulled me over to it, sat down and made me read about 8 of them to her. I had no idea Borders was going to such a hit. I’ll keep this in mind for rough days…

I was pretty excited, though because Grandpa bought me a copy of Hypnobirthing. I’ve wanted to read Natural Childbirth and Hypnobirthing since I got back from Budapest, but I’ve been having trouble getting them from the library. I finally got Natural Childbirth (it was checked out, so I had to put it on hold), but the library wouldn’t transfer the other from the Library in Allen for some reason. So now I can read it anyway. Yay for Grandpa and bookstores!

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Lucille

I started writing this several times, but never felt like I could finish it. Then I realized that I can never finish it, so I’ve decided to just put it out there before too much time goes by.

Sitting in church a few weeks ago, I realized that I haven’t seen any Jolly Rancher candy recently (not just in Budapest, but in the states either). Perhaps it’s because I never go down the candy aisle, or because I never looked for it, but I got a little nostalgic. I thought, “I bet Grandma and Grandpa would know where to get Jolly Ranchers.” And then I realized, yet again, that I will spend the rest of my life without my Grandma Lucille.

I’m going to miss her sandwiches wrapped in wax paper, her water bottle, her fishing vest, and catching her lip on my hook. At the very beginning of my mission I remember distinctly thinking that I wanted to go fishing with her and Grandpa again. I didn’t do it. I wish I knew more about her childhood. It wasn’t a happy childhood and she didn’t like to talk about it despite our efforts to get her to.

She died just right after Rachel and I decided to tell people we were pregnant. When she got sick just before she died I was hoping to call her and tell her. Unfortunately, I was too late. I think that’s my biggest regret in the whole affair. I think it would have made her happy in the last few hours of her life. I’m just glad that she got to see her first great granddaughter a few times, though I’m sad my daughter probably won’t remember her.

Other people in my life have died, but most haven’t been that difficult for me. In fact, I often feel guilty for not mourning as much as I feel I should. But occasionally someone dies who I can’t stop thinking about: my high school bus driver Barry who committed suicide, my high school chemistry teacher Mr. Kolski, and a man from church who’s name I don’t even remember but who said hi to me just before he died. But none of them has caused the same emotions as my Grandma.

For some reason I have had a difficult time grieving. It seems like I have no way to express what I’ve been feeling. I couldn’t go to the funeral, I couldn’t even talk to any family face to face. I was desperate for some action to perform, so although she would not have approved I went to Szent István Bazilika and lit a candle for her. She was raised Catholic and because of her experiences did not have much affection for it. Nevertheless, I felt that I had to do something physical to show that I cared and to acknowledge that I would miss her.

I used to be proud that the Mormon church doesn’t have much in the way of ritual, but as I get older I often wish the church had a little more ritual. It gives us a constructive way to express our feelings when we are too confused to know what to do on our own. Lighting a candle made me feel much better even though I don’t believe it did much good (and I don’t even understand what it’s supposed to have done). I hope she can forgive me.

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During my mission in Guatemala, I heard the following joke several times:

What is the truest church? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
What is the second truest church? La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días.

While this may be horribly culturally imperialist I’ve come to believe it. Only in reverse.

Ever since my mission I have preferred to take my escrituras to church, and I usually sing the first verse of the hymns in Spanish. In the beginning this was certainly influenced by the sheer coolness of being an RM. But it is also partly because the scriptures are easier to understand in Spanish, especially when someone else reads them in English and I can follow along in Spanish. And I must admit that I like to translate when called upon to read. But I realized today that, especially recently, there may be another reason, namely that I have more faith in Spanish. I know that sounds weird, and it might not be true, but I think it is.

I recently remembered a study I had read earlier indicating that bilingual people may have “different personalities” when using different languages. This got me thinking, maybe the reason that I believe more in La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días is simply that my brain thinks differently in Spanish.

The natural question is “Why might this be?” For me it’s most likely linked to my missionary service. The vast majority of my Spanish experience was in a church setting, and more specifically in a teaching, preaching, and testifying setting. Perhaps if I knew how to say descent with modification in Spanish I wouldn’t have a difference in belief. But of course I don’t know how to say that, nor do I know how to conjecture that the product of two faithful irreducible characters of a solvable group is never irreducible. I do know how to say restauración, arrepentimiento, and “Yo sé que Jesucristo vive y es nuestro salvador.” Is it any wonder then that I think differently in different languages? I also remember being much less afraid of strangers while on my mission, and for a short time thereafter if I spoke to them in Spanish. It had become my language of boldness.

I am constantly amazed at how the mind works, and I wonder what else might effect “personality.” Certainly being in different company will but, for example, do sedentary people act differently when active? Or city people behave differently when in nature? I guess I’ll have to pay attention.

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Hummus Extravaganza

I made the last recipe in my hummus extravaganza today. I started last week and I’ve made one recipe every couple days. Review of recipes:

My favorite: Cilantro and Lemon (recipe here)

Least favorite: Artichoke, although it was still good (recipe)

Most fun to make: Roasted Red Pepper (recipe)

Quickest and easiest to make: Sun-dried Tomato (recipe

Also totally delicious: Parsley (recipe)

3 of these recipes came from the blog Pinch My Salt, and 1 is from Kalyn’s Kitchen. I love both these blogs and owe their authors thanks. I also found a pita bread recipe that’s pretty easy and good. I found it here.

The extravaganza was really fun and I feel like I’ve got a good recipe base for hummus now. I’ve tried hummus two or three times without much success, so I was really surprised at how well all of these turned out. Pita bread is fun to make, too, although I still can’t get it to make the pocket it’s supposed to. I got one decent pocket out of about 2 batches of pita bread. Someday I’ll get that worked out.

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