# How To Unlock All SuperTuxKart Tracks

We introduced my son to SuperTuxKart around his third birthday, about when I was in the first trimester of my second pregnancy. Which means that I still associate that music with the desire to hurl. :P

Of course, my son wants to play all of the tracks, but there’s no way under the sun he could beat enough levels to unlock all of them. Or even one of them. In fact, I’m not entirely sure he knows what the goal of the game is; he just drives around looking at the cow or windmill or whatever. Although, he did eventually learn to turn right — that does help a lot. :)

For the most part, I stick to other people’s tried and true recipes, but every now and then, I come up with something brilliant all by myself. Here’s a little fruit salad that I whipped up out of the blue one day and knocked everyone’s socks off with. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

# Pregnancy Weight Linear Regression with Octave (2)

Last time, we did an exploratory plot of the data and determined that it was a decent candidate for linear regression. Now let’s do that regression!

## Linear Regression

This is the excellently functional tutorial I found, and while I will be streamlining a couple of commands, the nuts and bolts are exactly the same.

# Pregnancy Weight Linear Regression with Octave (1)

I had my first idea for a data science project about six months into my last pregnancy. Like the obsessive INTJ I am, I had carefully recorded my morning weighings (on a balance beam scale accurate to the 1/4 pound) in my journal, and knowing that pregnancy weight gain is (supposed to be) roughly linear, I was curious whether I could do a linear regression at that point, use it to predict my end weight, and then see whether it was accurate. Kind of like those booths that will tell you what your toddler will look like in 20 years.

# A Data Science Blog

Hi there! Welcome to the relaunch of my tech blog.

The last time I did this (a half decade ago, wow!) I was a budding web developer, digging into MySQL and Apache and setting up vim. While I hope to keep talking about some of that stuff (especially vim!), this time around, I’m going to switch the focus to something new: data science.

# INTJ, INFJ, and INXJ (oh my!)

When I first discovered Myers-Briggs about three years ago, I tested as an INTJ and all kinds of things about my life suddenly made a lot more sense. But regular prowlers of my website (hi Mom!) might have noticed that I described myself as an INFJ for over a year. I’ve since reverted to identifying as an INTJ, and the process of getting there has been a fascinating journey in self-discovery.

# Farewell, Paleo!

It’s been really, really great, but it’s time to move on!

### First, let’s recap

Five years ago, my entire life changed: Along with my husband, I left college, packed all of our things into our Ford Taurus, and moved halfway across the country. Along the way, we stopped to see my father-in-law, I happened to mention that I wanted to lose weight, and he happened to tell me about his own weight-loss experience a low-carb program called Protein Power. No cutting out meat or fat? Sounded great to me, so I dove right in.

# Life Update

Well, hello! I’ve been on quite the hiatus, haven’t I?

I’m really glad to finally have my blog and website in order again! I’ve really missed it. But before I jump back in, I thought it might be nice to do a quick update on where I’m at in life. As I was reading over my old posts, I realized that quite a lot has changed since I started this thing up, gosh!, five years ago; and while I’ve talked about some things, others have gone unmentioned.

# Hello world!

Welcome to my blog!

This is its fourth incarnation, and this time, I’ve decided to move it to Jekyll. (For the non-hacker set, Jekyll is a site generator that gives you significantly more control over your website than something like Wordpress, so long as you are willing to code.) The learning curve is nontrivial, so there will probably be many changes (and hiccups) along the way!

# Finding focus

This post was migrated from my Go Lovely Rose blog.

It’s been over eight months since I wrote my last real post, so I think it’s official: I have writer’s block.

But what I have struggled with even more is finding focus. In a life where I’m lucky to get 10 uninterrupted minutes and there’s always a chore waiting, focus has been a difficult habit for me to cultivate.

# Where have I been?

This post was migrated from my Go Lovely Rose blog.

A picture is worth a thousand words:

That was taken on March 8th, just hours after Adam was born. Here’s the little urchin just a few days ago:

# Room to Fail = Room to Grow

This post was migrated from my Go Lovely Rose blog.

A recent Seth Godin blog post really grabbed my attention. In it, he talks about climbing “an endless series of difficult (but achievable) hills” as the way to success — in short, setting prudent milestones. This seems pretty simple … so why is it so hard? Seth has an idea: “There are plenty of obvious reasons why we avoid picking the right interim steps, why we either settle for too little or foolishly shoot for too much. Mostly it comes down to fear and impatience.”

# My Ideal Superpower

This post was migrated from my Go Lovely Rose blog.

Today, while watching X-Men: First Class, I inevitably got to thinking about what superpower I would like to have if I could have my pick. Telepathy is an obvious first choice and would be very useful on a daily basis, but the ability to manipulate magnetic fields (Magneto) or absorb and reuse energy (Sebastian Shaw) seems more powerful in a physical fight. Of course, there’s oodles more to choose from.

# Celebrities miscarry too

This post was migrated from my Go Lovely Rose blog.

Jay-Z recently revealed the stunning news that he and Beyonce had struggled with fertility before conceiving their current bundle of joy, enduring at least one miscarriage.

# I Can't Hear Myself Snore!

This post was migrated from my Go Lovely Rose blog.

Can you? Apparently, some people can … but I can’t! Not even when I’m still awake — you know, drifting off but not completely under yet. I distinctly hear my husband say, “Honey, you’re snoring!” … but not my own snoring.

It’s so weird. I wonder why?

# Barefoot Winter Shoes

This post was migrated from my Go Lovely Rose blog.

When the first chilly week of October crashed through the seemingly endless heat, I suddenly realized how woefully prepared I was for the winter — at least where footwear was concerned.

# Appeals to Society

This post was migrated from my Go Lovely Rose blog.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people talk about society: “Society should change …” “Society needs to be more …” “For the betterment of society …”

Society doesn’t exist, not in the sense of a living, breathing entity with a will of its own. It’s just a collection of individuals, all doing the best they can to get through life and spending most of their time looking out for Number 1.

# Why I Went Barefoot

This post was migrated from my Go Lovely Rose blog.

I took up running two summers ago. We were living in northern New Mexico at the time, and using the Couch to 5k plan, I was soon jogging half an hour, three times a week along the breathtaking trails of the Jemez Mountains. I loved it and was terribly proud of myself.

# It's Never Too Late

This post was migrated from my Go Lovely Rose blog.

I’m in my mid-twenties, and I worry every day that I’m not making as much of my life as I should be.

Never mind that I’m doing really well by all reasonable standards. How come I’m not the CEO of a multi-million dollar startup? Why haven’t I founded an international charity? All by the age of 25. What did I do wrong? Where did I waste my time?

# Individualism and Humility

This post was migrated from my Go Lovely Rose blog.

One thing that I keep thinking about is her glorification of human achievement. In particular, in Part III of the book, Gail and Dominique have a long conversation about how silly it is to feel humbled by nature. Both of them agree that only in the presence of man’s creations is it proper to feel wonder and respect and awe.

This post was migrated from my Go Lovely Rose blog.

I love Penelope Trunk’s blog — it makes me realize how crazy you can be and still live a good life. :)

Anyway, Penelope is really into Myers-Briggs personality types and is always suggesting that you take the test. I cheerfully ignored her for ages, but I finally capitulated while reading this post. “What the hell,” I thought. “How long could it possibly take?”

# DIY Haircut

This post was migrated from my Go Lovely Rose blog.

I cut my own hair today for the first time. It actually went pretty well. Here are the instructions for anyone feeling adventurous / bored / crazy today.

# Vim gems

This post was migrated from my Techblog.

Wow! Looong time no see! If you’re wondering where I’ve been, about three months ago, I got a job as a web-developer, which ironically, leaves me less time to maintain my techblog. :)

# Christmas 2010

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

Wow, I can’t believe another year has passed so fast.

You’re probably wondering where, oh where, have I been? I got a new job three months ago. Enough said, right? :)

Anyway, yesterday was Christmas, and I baked a primal pumpkin pie (nut meal crust and honey). It tasted great … and was a disaster in every other way, especially the crust, which was was so runny, I barely got it to work as a crumble crust.

# Introduction to MySQL on Ubuntu

This post was migrated from my Techblog.

For ages, I avoided — was even a little scared — of databases. I had heard all kinds of horror stories about databases being overused in commercial applications, and I got the impression that I should stay away from them if I didn’t absolutely need one. That wasn’t too hard: if you’re a hobbyist programmer with a decent knowledge of Bash, it’s a long time before you need a database.

# Enable PHP in Userdirs

This post was migrated from my Techblog.

In my Apache post, I mentioned that it was a nasty process enabling php in per-user directories. Well, I did another google search today, and it turns out I was wrong — it’s actually very easy!

# How to Install Apache on Ubuntu

This post was migrated from my Techblog.

When learning web development, it isn’t long before you need something more than pointing your browser at a local file. You want to learn PHP, AJAX, or Wordpress … and that means a web server. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to get one installed on your local machine.

# Vim: Show Line Count in Visual Mode

This post was migrated from my Techblog.

Last year, I worked a great job writing little scripts. My office machine (an ancient thing running Windows 2000) had a gvim installation with an incredibly cool feature I had never seen anywhere else: it showed you how many lines you had highlighted in visual mode.

# Hello world!

This post was migrated from my Techblog.

Hi, I’m Joyce. Welcome to my techblog, where I’ll be sharing my adventures as a young programmer, web-designer, and linux sys-admin (among other things).

# Hello world!

This post was migrated from my Go Lovely Rose blog.

I woke up this morning to Seth Godin making a very good point about writers like me — i.e. blocked. Thus this blog was born: a place to share random bits of me with the world.

# China’s New Material Girl

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

I woke up this morning to find a surprise email from a friend in China. He had sent me a very interesting article titled,

“China’s housing boom spells trouble for boyfriends: Many women won’t marry a man who doesn’t own a home. This recent shift, along with soaring real estate prices, has created a woefully frustrated class of bachelors.”

# Free Chord Theory Tutorial!!

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

I found a great guide to chord theory a few days ago, and I’m so excited, I wanted to share it with everyone!

# Paleo Bread Cake in a Bowl

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

Happy happy sunshine! After over a week of miserably gray skies, today dawned bright and clear … yay! This spring has been a bit crazy. Would you believe it was snowing a few days ago?!?

# How To Move In Your Car

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

Gen-Y has a lot of interest in the nomadic lifestyle, but I’ve not found many how-tos on the internet, certainly not about organizing a movable household. No doubt, this is because most nomadic techies are single men who eat out all the time, etc. … smile. I suppose the demographic “housewives married to a nomadic techie” is pretty small. But here I am nonetheless.

# April showers bring May flowers

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

(Which bring … PILGRIMS! We used to say that all the time in elementary school.)

Ah, April, am I glad to see you! If I had gotten around to writing a few weeks earlier, the post would’ve been titled “When, oh when is it EVER going to stop snowing?” Yes, even though we’ve been enjoying gorgeous balmy days since early February, we’ve also had an unending stream of blizzards. Guess that’s Colorado weather for you. The cycle goes something like this: It’ll be sunny and 70 degrees; then it’ll snow 12 inches; which will all melt the next day. Repeat.

# Joyce's New About Me Page!

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

I repent! The About Me section has been “Coming soon!” for no less than a YEAR!!

What can I say? It slipped my mind … all year … ummm …

Anyway, you might be wondering what Olympian force has motivated me to finally put it together. Well, today I was in a phone interview for a job (Yeah, I applied for a job! Anyway …) when my interviewer casually mentioned that he was looking at my website. That’s about when I smacked my head into the wall thinking, Here is a REAL LIVE PERSON looking at my blog, and I STILL don’t have an About Me page. At least he didn’t know it’d been like that for a YEAR! I’m sure there’s a special place in purgatory for bloggers like me.

# Tomato: A Command-Line Recipe Manager

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

As with any other food-loving cook, my search for the perfect recipe manager has spanned years and could be written into an impressive dramatic saga. After trying all of the usual full-featured gui applications, I eventually realized that what I really wanted was a simple text-based approach, preferably on the command-line. Alas, I could not find any such software … so I wrote my own!

# I Heart Lenka!!

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

As some of you may know, Lenka is probably my favorite music artist ever. There’s something about her that is so very me. My husband always smiles whenever I bop around to The Show.

# World's Smallest Printer

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

Ever since we ditched our HP home scanner/copier/printer monster, I’ve been agonizing over whether to get another printer or not. We wouldn’t need it 99% of the time … but that 1% when you do, there’s not really anything else in the world that can substitute. Running to the nearest copier shop gets old pretty fast. So what to do, what to do?

# Crazy Month!

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

Gosh. Where to start?

Three weeks ago, my husband took a new job in Boulder, CO. It all happened so fast. Within a week, he had signed on with the new company, visited Boulder, and turned in his resignation to his old place. We were set to move in another week.

# Inspiration

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

I found these pictures on Carol Hannah’s blog, which is a really lovely website — go check it out! Ever since seeing her on an offhand episode of Project Runway, I’ve been a fan (which is saying something for a media-apathetic girl like me). I love her feminine style and I really admire her character and personality. She’s also self-taught. That’s really inspiring for a homegrown latecomer like me, especially during those times when I’m holding a wad of fabric thinking, a baboon could have muddled through this better than I just did. :)

# Very Cold Car

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

If my father has one big thing about health, it’s to always keep warm. (My grandmother was the same way — I guess it’s a Chinese thing.) So imagine his dismay when our car heater broke. Spencer and I discovered this driving to Missouri (from Los Alamos, NM) to visit them, in the middle of November no less. We figured we would get it fixed before we came back, but through a comedy of errors, it didn’t get done.

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

As I was sewing a button back onto my skirt today, I recalled that back in the 1950’s, boys would often peek into a girl’s sewing basket to decide whether she was marriage material. I’m glad that’s not the case anymore because not only do I not own a sewing basket, my skills pretty much dead-end at buttons.

# Me, A Redneck??

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

After a lifelong hatred of country music, I have suddenly and inexplicably become fond of the stuff. It’s really quite alarming. At first it was just Randy Travis. Then I started listening to Big I 107.9 in the car. By now, I like almost all the songs they play on that station. Not just the pop-like Taylor Swift, but even the more hardcore stuff. I even looked up Gretchen Wilson’s Redneck Woman on Youtube out of curiosity. (It turns out I have a nontrivial amount in common with redneck women; at least the part about loving Wal-Mart and Christmas lights. Who-da thunk? Of course, I grew up in Missouri. It would be pretty weird if I wasn’t redneck at all. :D)

# The (Mis)Adventure of the Week

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

(Or, Joyce Becomes A Bookselling Monster!)

It all started last week, when I finally got around to listing some books for sale on Amazon. These were good books, beautiful books, that I bought in a a fit of passion, only to eventually succumb to buyer’s remorse. For many months, I kept them on my shelf, admiring the shiny cover, smiling over glossy pages, knowing I should recoup my losses, yet unwilling to let go. But finally the guilt of watching my husband lug 150 pounds of books up to our third floor apartment overcame my bibliophile defenses. I love my husband very much (more than my books, really); I love his back too. And so I determined to get the dirty job done.

# Why Women Like To Shop

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

I’ve heard the new fad in pop psychology is to interpret everything in terms of hardwired gender differences. No doubt this is a lashback to the era when people were supposed to be born completely malleable, and like any lashback, it will be carried too far and inspire yet other lashbacks. So I realize it’s not the complete answer.

# It's the mushrooms!!!

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

I’ve FINALLY figured it out!

Six months ago, I woke up with severe abdominal cramps that I assumed was food poisoning, maybe from eating out the night before. I thought “It happens” and shrugged it off. But after that, every few weeks my stomach would cramp up after a meal and leave me groaning for hours. It seemed completely arbitrary. Sometimes it was chicken, sometimes beef, sometimes well-cooked, sometimes nearly raw; but the crazy thing was, I could eat the exact same stuff other days and be fine. I was totally mystified, especially since my stomach has always been pretty hardy.

# Arts vs. Crafts

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

I’m an avid crafter, and I’ve heard that there’s a lot of disdain in the art community for crafters. I admit that I have to laugh a little. See, I could be an artist but I don’t really want to. Why? There’s something in me that balks at creating something whose sole purpose is to be admired from afar. To me, something is so much more beautiful if it has a practical use. Let me explain a little.

# Life Update

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

Hello, I’m back! I know, two months with nary a peep from me … It’s been absolutely hectic: We’ve been through 2 moves and 5 business trips over the last two months. But we’re better now.

# Hoop Dancing

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

Normally I don’t like to post my plans before they come through for me. Call it self-defense. That way, if my lazy rear never leaves our cushy carpet, I can just look the other way and pretend nothing ever happened. Hum-dee-dum-dee-dee …

# Diet Update

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

It’s been a while, sorry about that! But I have good news to report. First, I FINALLY bought a scale. :) Second, I’m down to 135 pounds! That’s 20 pounds lost from my heaviest! Woohoo!

# We're Moving to New Mexico!

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

I’m so very excited! We’ll be living just south of Albuquerque, in a house that belongs to Spencer’s aunt. He’ll telecommute and every other week, we’ll come back out to LA for a few days. How could life look better?? :)

# Thoughts about large families and the childfree movement

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

Since my miscarriage, I have given parenthood quite a bit of thought, and I have something to admit: I am not good with children; and actually, I don’t like them much. I had the devil’s time in grade school, and both there and elsewhere, I have learned that children are some of the cruelest creatures nature has ever turned out. Adults are infinitely more pleasant. Now I don’t know many people who will admit to disliking children; so I hopped online to investigate and stumbled across a most curious and modern phenomenon: the childfree movement.

# A pregnancy and miscarriage

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

I never got around to announcing my first pregnancy on this blog. It’s just as well because at 7 weeks, I miscarried.

For weeks now, I’ve been hiding under a rock in my little emotional world. Every time I get to thinking about what’s happened, I crawl back in; but hard though it is, I think it’s high time I came out.

# Short row experiment ... with unexpected results

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

Yesterday, I sat down to learn short rows via Nona’s short row experiment. The idea is pretty simple: Knit the same short row swatch three times except using a different method for each; first the wrapped stitch method, second the yarn over method, and finally the Japanese method (or catch method as it’s called in Monste Stanley’s Knitter’s Handbook). Compare the results.

# How to Win Friends

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

There is a myth that homeschoolers are socially inept. I know this is a myth because my husband busts it wide open. His social skills far outstrip mine which, forged in the blazing fires of public school, are supposed to resemble steel. The reality is more like styrofoam. In our family, my husband manages all the PR.

# I Love Bok Choy

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

Bok choy … my favorite veggie

Bok choy is simply the best vegetable ever created. When stir-fried with salt, it is crunchy, mild, and faintly sweet — delicious! Bok choy is such a staple in Chinese cuisine that its name, qing cai, translates to “green vegetable.” It’s a favorite of my mother’s — and now one of mine.

# Driving in LA

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

LA traffic is legendary, and the longer I live here the more I understand why.

I didn’t used to drive much. In fact, I was one of those wives who tried to wheedle her husband into driving her everywhere. I just didn’t like it behind the wheel. After we moved to LA, necessity dictated that I learn to cart myself places; so I reluctantly picked up the car keys and headed out into the mayhem.

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

I’ve done it! I made my first puchase from Victoria’s Secret. See? Here’s that signature pretty pink shopping bag vying for space with my purse and cd collection.

I’m so very pleased by its presence. I was walking around the mall with my purchase when it hit me that I looked just like all the other women carrying that lovely pink bag — feminine and with a secret (Victoria’s presumably ^^).

# Going Back to Knitting

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

There are a one or two things in my life without which I get weirdly restless. One of these is musical instruments. The other is knitting. You think I would’ve learned by now not to deprive myself of either and especially not both. But that is exactly what I have done for the last few months. No wonder I found myself moody and depressed for two weeks straight recently. After some urging from my husband, I roused myself from my despondence and dug out the lace scarf I’d been working on. I picked up the needles and — voila! — felt better immediately!

# Diet Update

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

I’m losing weight! It’s painfully slow, but it’s visible: My face has definitely slimmed. It might seem like a small victory, but when nothing else seems to be moving much, it’s something. As for my waist, I’ve lost something like 2 inches, though I’m always nervous stating progress by the tape measure – it’s so easy to “gain” or “lose” a half inch by shifting every so slightly. My clothes don’t fit much differently though, so no exultations there. :(

# Why I Became A Minimalist

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

My husband has long been a fan of minimalistic living. Once during our engagement, he described with great rapture his ideal bedroom, which had only a hammock and a computer.

# Sleeping on the Floor

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

Our unorthodox sleeping space

One of the more unorthodox changes we’ve made recently is sleeping on the floor. Voluntarily.

# Diet Update

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

It’s been about a month since I started my diet, so it’s time for an update!

I still feel great! I have virtually no headaches anymore. My endurance has also improved dramatically. On a good day now, I can walk all over L.A. without feeling much more than muscle soreness; in the past, I would have been positively ill after more than a mile. Even on a bad day, I can manage a 2-1/2  hour grocery trip, a few hours labor in the kitchen, and a trip through L.A. traffic to my husband’s office, all without much fatigue. In the past, that would have been an extraordinarily good day!

# Shrimp Alfredo

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

Here’s another delicious low-carb recipe.

I love Alfredo ridiculously much. For something like two years, all I ever ordered in restaurants was Fettucine Alfredo. If I’d known it was this easy to make, I’d not have bothered with the expense.

# Splenda

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

I just don’t like Splenda. I tried it in a recipe a few days ago, and it tastes wrong to me.

Which is a huge shame, because low-carbers rely on sugar substitutes for sweetness. Sugar = carbs, pure and simple. There’s just no way around it. Nevertheless, no sugar substitutes for me. Sugar only has 3.4 carbs per teaspoon, so its okay in moderation. I’ll just nix the recipes that call for so much sugar that I can’t use the real stuff.

# Deviled Eggs

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

Deviled eggs, with paprika

These have to be the best deviled eggs I’ve ever had in my life. Best of all, they’re low carb without even trying.

# A New Diet

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

Two or three weeks ago, I went on a low-carb diet called Protein Power. Let me tell you, boy is it something! I feel absolutely great. I love what I’m eating, and I’m always satiated, never hungry. Plus I’m seeing some results already, which is astounding — I was sort of on the diet for a week and then officially on the diet for a week or two, and already I look slimmer.

# Exploding Anchor Hocking

This post was migrated from my Lifeblog.

Yesterday, I set my brand new Anchor Hocking 1 cup measuring glass on the counter and measured out a half cup of refrigerated chicken broth. I went on preparing the meal. Fifteen minutes later, the glass exploded, throwing hundreds of tiny shards every which way in our little studio apartment.