Stuff from August, 2011

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on August, 2011.


Yesterday at 5pm, our power went out. A fierce storm pushed a power pole over Franklin Avenue and onto a tree. The whole contraption was emitting smoke and sparks when I passed it on my bike. Not big arcs of movie sparks and smoke. Just lazy tendrils of smoke and the occasional ominous sparking sound. It reminded me a steam engine that had run out of steam.


Mayer on Song Writing

John Mayer 2011 Clinic – Berklee Blogs

I can’t stress enough how important it is to write bad songs. There’s a lot of people who don’t want to finish songs because they don’t think they’re any good. Well they’re not good enough. Write it!  I want you to write me the worst songs you could possible write me because you won’t write bad songs. You’re thinking they’re bad so you don’t have to finish it. That’s what I really think it is. Well it’s all right. Well, how do you know? It’s not done!


Studying for boards

Ok, it’s set. I take my third set of boards (NBDE written, Part II) on October 10 and 11. By my count, that’s just over 2 months from now. I have a large box of “decks” — 1440 flashcards made by some very smart (rich) company and distributed by the Minnesota Dental Association. They have some errors in them — let’s hope I don’t memorize any of the errors.


Happiness Limits

Since the humidity and heat decided to die down for a day, it has been feeling downright cool outside — 70° with a pleasant breeze. Things smell different — there’s a crispness that isn’t fall but isn’t the oppressive July heat, either.

Halfway through yet another rotation (pediatric dentistry), I’m beginning to realize that there is a point in my life when I’ll be done with dental school. At that point, I’ll have a world of options in front of me. Like a river delta opening into the ocean, my life will have 1000 directions where there once was one. Invigorating, right? Well, I suppose. More on that in a minute. Here’s something I wrote almost four years ago, on the private changelog for my software that powers tumbledry:


Summer break

Three patients left until my last dental school summer break EVER. This is extremely exciting! This fall, it is the beginning of the end. It is a little odd to be starting summer break in August, though. In high school, I was lamenting the twilight of summer at this point in the year.

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Pediatric phone use

Today, I saw a four year old (I didn’t get a look at her teeth so I can’t tell you for sure, but I’m pretty sure she was four) on a cell phone. Having a conversation. While walking next to her father. I’m always making sarcastic remarks about how young kids are starting earlier and earlier with cell phones, but confronted with the reality of it in person, it made me feel more sad than smug.


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Scrub repair

Sewing project #1 completed: just finished stitching up the crotch hole in my 3 year old pair of scrub bottoms! Let’s see if we can’t get them to last for 9 more months.

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An Experiment

This is an experiment. I will now post the following to my Facebook account:

The only thing I want more than a really good Democratic presidential candidate is a Republican one.

Likely response: apathy. Time will tell, though.

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Mykala with Falls

Mykala with Falls

Me at Falls

Me at Falls

These are my signature vacationing sunglasses. You may remember them from such trips as “Honeymoon 2009” and “Sandusky 2010”.

Tree Ridge

Tree Ridge

The hard red quartzite stone prevents many trees from growing.

Flour Mill Ruins

Flour Mill Ruins

The house-like structure on the left is the tallest thing left standing from an overly-ambitious flour mill built in the early 20th century.

Picturesque Falls

Picturesque Falls

Hard to take a bad photo around here.

Water Power Engineers

Water Power Engineers

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Mykala + Buffalo

Mykala + Buffalo

Alex + Buffalo

Alex + Buffalo

Thought he might be hungry.

77777 Miles!

77777 Miles!

An exciting day: four 7s on the odometer. Who knows where we’ll be when we hit four 8s?

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Weird Target Logo

Weird Target Logo

This Target logo must be awfully old: the ratio of inner to outer circle is really unusual. I’ve never seen this still used as a sign. It almost looks like it was the original Target logo (with 3 concentric circles), and they just painted out the center one. I can’t be sure, though.

Downtown Sculptures

Downtown Sculptures

Downtown Sioux Falls

Downtown Sioux Falls

A vibrant little downtown.

Orange Door

Orange Door

Cathedral of St. Joseph

Cathedral of St. Joseph



Perfect day to just lie in the grass, listen to the falls, watch the clouds, and feel the warm breeze blow over us.

Ethiopian Food and Laptop Repair

Ethiopian Food and Laptop Repair

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Rest Chapel

Rest Chapel

Let Me Fix That For You

Let Me Fix That For You

Uh Oh

Uh Oh

Tooth Powder

Tooth Powder

Sheriff Me

Sheriff Me

Mykala + Giant Jackalope

Mykala + Giant Jackalope



Behold, Dinosaur

Behold, Dinosaur

Tail Climbing

Tail Climbing

Us Off I-90

Us Off I-90

Amphibious Shoes

Amphibious Shoes

Rocks and Sun

Rocks and Sun

Rock Picture Frame

Rock Picture Frame

Also Rock Picture Frame

Also Rock Picture Frame

North of Sylvan Lake

North of Sylvan Lake

North of Sylvan Lake #2

North of Sylvan Lake #2

East of Sylvan Lake

East of Sylvan Lake

High Country

High Country

Rocky Pass

Rocky Pass

One of six tunnels cut through rock.



Almost Sunset

Almost Sunset

Horse Thief Lake

Horse Thief Lake

We were actually in a traffic jam, waiting for construction to clear the one-way up to Mount Rushmore. Because this area of the state is awesome, we got to admire this view during our wait.

Approaching Mount Rushmore

Approaching Mount Rushmore

Minnesota’s Awesome

Minnesota’s Awesome

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore

Terrace Lunch

Terrace Lunch

Perfect view from the terrace on the back of Sylvan Lake lodge.



I’m eating a delicious date-based dessert.

Mount Coolidge Lookout

Mount Coolidge Lookout

Burros #1

Burros #1

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Burros #2

Burros #2



I didn’t know a pronghorn was an animal. However, I have reaffirmed my love of Wikipedia:

Though not an antelope, it is often known colloquially in North America as the Prong Buck, Pronghorn Antelope, or simply Antelope, as it closely resembles the true antelopes of the Old World and one theory is that it fills a similar ecological niche due to convergent evolution. It is the only surviving member of the family Antilocapridae.

Sylvan Lake Sunset

Sylvan Lake Sunset

Spent an absolutely fantastic evening with Mykala and a picnic blanket on this little patch of grass by Sylvan Lake.

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Mykala & Burro

Mykala & Burro

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Lairds of Learning

George Monbiot’s “The Lairds of Learning” (via HN) is exceedingly important:

But the academic publishers get their articles, their peer reviewing (vetting by other researchers) and even much of their editing for free. The material they publish was commissioned and funded not by them but by us, through government research grants and academic stipends. But to see it, we must pay again, and through the nose.


9 million hits/day with 120 megs RAM

Here’s a quick summary if you haven’t time to read the whole thing:

Solaris 5.11 (virtual: Joyent SmartMachine)
PHP 5.3.6 with PHP-FPM: 4 instances running, 10meg APC cache
nginx 0.8.53
Pax 1.0 (my silly self-coded website software… and yes, oops there’s already software with that name)
120 megs of RAM used
Load tested using blitz.io: 9 million+ daily hit capability


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