I hear that some of you are celebrating today. If that's the case, good holiday to you, dear readers. If that's not the case, I hope you're not too befuddled by this very strange Thursday we seem to be having.

I guess in some respects I'm celebrating. Though I often leave, the fact that no one else is working changes the way the day feels. And I'm writing today's blog post/letter this morning after having a nice fish-brunch (it's a family ritual/jewish thing) with the family. We're going to go get food at an Indian buffet that's near by. I'm looking forward to it. But other than that it'll probably be a normal day. I'll be writing, and maybe doing some work. But for now I'm just going to write a letter to you all.

Lets see, there have been a lot of little projects that have taken up a lot of my time and brain power. I'll outline them to show what I've been working on and to see if anyone has suggestions:

  • I've been working on switching to a different terminal emulator (urxvt from gnome-terminal) and I have yet to get the colors right, which is a barrier. A terminal with hard to read colors is totally useful. Also, I haven't quite figured out how to get copying and pasting from other apps to uxrvt to work, but I figure I can just read the documentation again, and that should be apparent. The reason for doing this? Gnome-terminal, though easy to configure, is pretty heavy weight, when there's no real reason for that. If I were running one or two instances, that'd be fine, but I need to have at least 4 instances (mail, irc, IM, actual terminal things) and sometimes that grows to even larger numbers. So lightweightness is desirable.
  • I'm starting to switch to using jabber/XMPP for all of my IM needs. The good news is that this attempt works way better than my previous attempts. The AIM transport (which seems to be the de facto IM standard in my network) works like a charm most of the time. I'm not deleting pidgin for emergencies, but I'm pleased. The client that I'm using, mcabber works quite well. I'm having two odd problems. First, I find that I'm having trouble adding Google Gtalk users to my roster. It seems like it might be a DNS glitch with dreamhost, but I can't get it nailed out. Secondly, I seem to have done something so that I can only connect to my account using mcabber, which isn't a problem in the short term, but it could be annoying/deal breaking in the long term. At some point I'll probably switch to running my own XMPP server (when I move off of dreamhost) but in the mean time it would be nice to have this fixed.
  • I'm thinking of switching away from Wordpress to a blogging platform called Jekyll. This tool would conform more to my workflow (easier posting), it would be fun to have a blogging platform that I could conceptually hack on myself. While I've been using Wordpress in its current iteration for three or four years, I've used a lot of different CMSs to power the Teal Art/tychoish website. Greymatter (back in the day), b2 (the predecessor for wordpress), and a custom CMS that a friend wrote in 2001-2002. And I've toyed with Drupal and Moveable Type, of course. While the current setup works--I think it's not entirely ideal. I'll need to blog about this a bit more before. And the conversion process promises to be somewhat complex. There's always something interesting going on.
  • I'm thinking of using bootcamp and installing Linux on my mac-book, and going back to using that hardware more full time. It's good hardware, I already have it, and it might be fun to use another installation opportunity to play with Arch Linux (though I'll probably wimp out and install ubuntu again). What I've discovered, I think, is that while I have a lot of respect for and history with Macs and OS X, a linux/awesome platform is--at the moment the system that I feel most comfortable "living in," and most productive working in.

Anyway, I'll get back to my day, and enjoy yours too. Remember today means, 10.5 months without Christmas Music in public. That's something I think we can all celebrate.