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:

Painting of a hill overlooking a stormy sea. In the near distance, cities with white buildings and red roofs. In the far distance, a mountainous shore with black towers. Upon the sea are red-sailed ships in a line between the two civilizations.

It was originally something else entirely. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of it, but it was a swamp with reeds and there was a large ship approaching. I didn’t like the color scheme, but eventually it came out to a completely different environment. I might add some flowers in the foreground or something. But other than that, I’m fairly happy with how it came out. Painting isn’t something I’m aspiring to be great at, but it’s fun and it looks all right so I can hang it somewhere.

I woke up that morning. It was Saturday. I woke up early and was by myself for a good two hours. I sat on the patio and had breakfast. And I wanted to redo the painting. I had woken up very homesick. While I was painting, I had this image in my head of a photo. It’s a photo of my grandfather and my older brother, before I was born, in Moyobamba, Peru. My brother is probably 4 or 5 in the photo, holding a plastic uzi gun. It’s a photo that was part of my memories of growing up, but I didn’t go to that spot or even to that town until almost 20 years later. It’s an outdoor space. I guess you could call it a courtyard. Maybe it’ll be the next thing I paint.

Anyway, this weekend, we started a podcast as well. Haven’t done anything but record a preliminary episode, but we’d been talking about it for over a month and finally got together to do it. Even if it doesn’t turn out great, it’s important to try things, especially creative things. Keeps the mind sharp. Another week of me trying my hand at things I’m not really very good at.


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: