Automating contracts

I have to juggle multiple authors and their contracts, so I thought it’d be better to automate those contracts so I can prevent errors and have uniformity throughout. Ideal workflow:

Of course, all of the work is between bullet 2 and 3.

Potential tools:


Right now I work in a Windows environment in a small, windowless office. Which is fine. But I’ve taken to bringing in my Macbook and setting myself up in the empty “visitor” office, which has windows and plants. When people have walked by, I’ve explained, “I do not have space on my normal desk for this extra computer, the multiple monitors and mice (I have dual monitors on my work machine) would confuse me, and I wanted to bring my Macbook in since I’ve already set up a development environment for working with Python on my Mac that I did not wish to replicate on my Windows machine.” All of which is true, but very boring.

Spent a good deal of time trying to wrap my head around LaTeX, using TeXmaker, because these contracts need to be PDFs, and do I really want to go into the Word doc and save as PDF a dozen times?

At this point, yes. Trying to figure out LaTeX has been really tricky, most of all because I have an image (the company logo) that has to go on every page. I’d like this contract template to work for every contract we have.


22 May 2017 | Painting | Podcasting | Franco A. Alvarado

This one was going to be about maps, but I accidentally painted a painting! Isn’t that fun? So as not to keep you in suspense, here it is:


15 May 2017 | Meta | Organization | Franco A. Alvarado

I believe I am still adjusting to this new way of working, this new way of living. I had a very productive weekend at the very least. I turned the kitchen island 90 degrees. It separates the space in a more pleasing way. My fianceé had realized that we had just created another galley kitchen by having the kitchen island parallel to the sink / oven / countertop. It’s a strange looking layout to be honest, but I tested it out today when I cooked three different meals at the same time. I made a chicken tikka masala, eggplant pasta, and pesto. Cooked for the week so I can also get back on my workout schedule.


08 May 2017 | Meta | Writing | Franco A. Alvarado

I had a lot of freelance work to do this week. It made me think about whether I should quit doing this blog, but then I realized that it’s probably fine. It’s more like a check-in for myself and my projects. Someone might stumble upon this, but it’s not adding anything terribly interesting just yet to the discussion of the different topics I’d like to get into.

Project Rotation

01 May 2017 | Python | Jekyll | Meta | Franco A. Alvarado

I have extra-curricular projects I like to work on, in additon to projects at work where I am a project manager and my freelance projects (which I am careful to make sure are never a conflict of interest, in case you were wondering). The projects can include any of the following:

Organizing Metadata in YAML

24 April 2017 | YAML | Metadata | Franco A. Alvarado

I have organized a large amount of content into a YAML document. This will aid in the contact automation I was talking about before. For the encyclopedia project I am working on, there are topics and entries. The editors relay to me the author’s information and what topic they will be writing about, which I am to cross-reference with a set of three documents.

A Python Disaster

17 April 2017 | Python | Pandoc | Regular Expressions | Franco A. Alvarado

I had 30 docx files, each between 300 and 400 pages long (so between 9,000 and 12,000 pages total), with random headings thrown in and also bolded text that is supposed to be a heading but is, of course, like most things in life, completely without style.

Yet another scheduling Jekyll posts post

10 April 2017 | Jekyll | Python | Meta | Franco A. Alvarado

I’ve been trying to research how to schedule these Jekyll blog posts so I am one of those great Internet unicorns that regularly updates their blog. If you don’t know, Jekyll is a static site generator, but it is pretty involved in its setup.

Automating contracts

03 April 2017 | LaTeX | Pandoc | docx | Franco A. Alvarado

I have to juggle multiple authors and their contracts, so I thought it’d be better to automate those contracts so I can prevent errors and have uniformity throughout. Ideal workflow: