The Almost a Year and Wanting to Escape

Posted on Tuesday October 29, 2013 by Jacob Campbell.

A video I made in iMovie from my iPhone 5 Video Camera. It uses Lenny Kravitz Fly Away) for the music and features Mateo trying to escape from our home.

After taking Mateo’s 10 moth pictures, I filed this movie and edited it with iMovie. It was kind of fun, and didn’t take more then a couple of hours. The Monthly Photo Project has been kind of a fun project and we are getting close to the tail end of it.

 Concept for the Monthly Photo Project for Mateo. Concept for the Monthly Photo Project for Mateo.

Make sure to check out my Instagram for all the photos, you can search for #MonthlyPhotoProject and you’ll see most of the pictures I’ve posted in this process.

Playing with Automator Services and Apple Script

Posted on Saturday October 19, 2013 by Jacob Campbell.

 A Header Image I created for my blog article about my playing with automator & AppleScript A Header Image I created for my blog article about my playing with automator & AppleScript

I’ve never really been a programmer, but I always have been a geek. One thing that I think is kind of cool about my transition from Windows to a Mac has been a lot of the utilities. One utility that I have tried a couple of times to play with, but I haven’t found an interesting enough use (or been able to figure out how to do uses that I did want to do). Automator) on the Mac is a pretty powerful application. Doing some research, there could be some applications that could be downloaded used in Windows, but nothing built in like automator and services.

There have been several times that Mac Power Users has talked about automator, but specifically MPU 070: Working with Automator. Its good, and a great Podcast if your interested.

Another application that I have been loving has been TextExpander. For some reason, with all of my popup select features (I think it’s because I’m syncing it with Phrase Express on Windows). I created a service which uses an AppleScript which searches copied text for the “|” and replaces it with “:” a pretty simple apple script is below (Its probably not very efficient, but it’s my first one.

on replace_chars(this_text, search_string, replacement_string)
        set AppleScript's text item delimiters to the search_string
        set the item_list to every text item of this_text
        set AppleScript's text item delimiters to the replacement_string
        set this_text to the item_list as string
        set AppleScript's text item delimiters to ""
        return this_text
    end replace_chars
    
    
    set the message_text to get the clipboard
    set the message_text to replace_chars(message_text, "|", ":")
    
    return message_text

The Great Pumpkin Mateo Campbell

Posted on Sunday October 13, 2013 by Jacob Campbell.

 It's The Great Pumpkin Mateo Campbell It’s The Great Pumpkin Mateo Campbell

Holiday’s can always be remembered by what Charlie Brown Special was aired for them. A Halloween favorite is It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. If you are in a reminiscingessing mood, you can watch the entire episode below.

While it’s not quite Halloween yet, fall is in full swing. I have mixed emotions about fall. I always say that I would prefer the heat to cold weather… I do really enjoy sweaters and the security they bring. This halloween we do have another thing to look forward to, but I don’t want to over sell it yet. I’m pretty sure the costume idea we have for Mateo will be a giant hit. All I’m going to say for now is that “Adventure is out there!”

 The Country Mercantile The Country Mercantile

Another joy of the impending fall season is Harvest Events. Earlier today Minnie, Mateo, and I all went to the Country Mercantile. Mateo was being a little bit grumpy. Normally he is just a ham for the camera, but today we only got a few good smiles out of them. The Country Mercantile is a generally cool store and always worth the drive to get some ice cream. Especially if you have kids that are toddlers or older, the $6.50 entrance fee is well worth it. There were a ton of great activities that Mateo is just not quite old enough to participate in.

  • Fair style food booths
  • Amusement park rides
  • Petting zoo
  • Mountain of hay play area
  • Hay bale maze for toddlers
  • Corn maze
  • Hay bale ride
  • Enormous pumpkin patch

When we went to the petting zoo (pretty small selection of animals, but cool non the less), they had a feisty cow. We were trying to introduce Mateo to the cow, when he started introducing himself to Mateo. With the cows Moo, Mateo started balling and completely freaked out. I think he was overwhelmed by the smells and new sounds.

I’m really looking forward to when he is a bit older, and can run around some. It seemed like it would be such a great place for him to run around and play. This is particularly true for the little toddler maze and the giant hay bale pyramid. Maybe next year, and hopefully it won’t start to rain again.

Having my iPhone close, you know that I took a plethora of photos. I am really enjoying the square aspect shots (like Instagram) and the photo filters that are built in for iOS 7. I even got to play around with the panorama shot. Anyways, I’ll upload some of the pictures to the gallery below, but you can check out the rest of the photos on Facebook in The Great Pumpkin Mateo Campbell.

Great Pumpkin Trip Photo 1 Great Pumpkin Trip Photo 2 Great Pumpkin Trip Photo 3 Great Pumpkin Trip Photo 4 Great Pumpkin Trip Photo 5 Great Pumpkin Trip Photo 6 Great Pumpkin Trip Photo 7
Great Pumkin Trip Photos

Transition to SquareSpace & Giant DYI Growth Chart Ruler

Posted on Saturday September 28, 2013 by Jacob Campbell.

A photo of my finished giant growth chart DIY project complete with some photos of Mateo pasted on it. A photo of my finished giant growth chart DIY project complete with some photos of Mateo pasted on it.

Change in Website

I figured that I would start off by saying that I’m not a professional web designer, although I have done it and graphic design on occasions professionally. For the past couple of years I have been using a CMS called Drupal. There was a time when I was really enjoying learning some PHP and coding techniques. As my life has gotten busier and now more family oriented… I haven’t had as much time to keep updating it.

Many of the Podcasts that I like listening too, kept advertising SquareSpace. It’s has been pretty easy to set up and is fairly flexible. I am missing how my site previously looked, and I still haven’t been able to add all of my previous content in yet… so it is still a work in progress. I still have my previous website running http://jacobrcampbell.com/ and this post will even in the future likely be placed there, but for now I’m using http://jacob-campbell.squarespace.com. I’ve decided that updating and keeping up the Drupal version of my website is too much work. The last couple of months, I haven’t even been able to log into my site. I think there is some sort of problem with the tables, that i just don’t have the expertise to fix. I’ve been trying to find a programmer who is familiar with Drupal site development, and have been unable to.

I’ve decided that my primary purpose for having a website is to be able to write, especially here on my blog. Maybe some day I will want to go back to something more like Drupal, but for the now the overhead is just too much (not to mention that I still can’t log in and update my website currently…). I’ve been spending some time transferring old articles and blog posts to my new site, but I decided that I do want to continue to post some new content even as I am going through this traditional phase.

Giant Growth Chart

One thing that I have been wanting to post about for a while was a DYI project that I after moving into our new house. I created a giant growth chart to be able to track Mateo’s growth. It was a pretty fun project. I went to Lowes and bought a 12’ by 8” board. I sanded it down (60, 80, 120 grits) and stained it to match our hard wood floors. After attaching it to the wall, we have been attaching photos of Mateo as he has been getting taller. I had decided that I wanted to do it with pictures and I thought about a lot of different ways to attach pictures. The following is what I did.

I bought a bunch of metal refrigerator magnets. I removed the magnet part along with the casing for it. I screwed in at the height that Mateo was when the photo was taken the clip to the wood. We took a bunch of pictures and posted the best ones to Instagram with information about the date, and age of Mateo. I printed them for 36 cents at Walgreens through their iPhone app and picked them up. I think it’s been turing out pretty great. I figured that Minnie and I had to be on the chart too… even though we won’t be growing any more.

Giant Growth Chart Photo 1 Giant Growth Chart Photo 2 Giant Growth Chart Photo 3 Giant Growth Chart Photo 4 Giant Growth Chart Photo 5 Giant Growth Chart Photo 6 Giant Growth Chart Photo 7 Giant Growth Chart Photo 8 Giant Growth Chart Photo 9 Giant Growth Chart Photo 10 Giant Growth Chart Photo 11
Check out my gallery of photos from the growth chart project.

Jacob The Not So Mad Scientist

Posted on Tuesday June 18, 2013 by Jacob Campbell.

This is a photo that I took of one of the toy’s that Mateo always throws on the ground while Minnie and I are sitting at the table and eating dinner. This is a photo that I took of one of the toy’s that Mateo always throws on the ground while Minnie and I are sitting at the table and eating dinner.

As a mental health counselor, I feel that I have a pretty good grasp one how to raise my son, and what to do. Something I feel like I explain to parents frequently when they bring their kids in, especially young kids, is that the majority of the counseling I’m going to do is with them. I explain that they are with their children and have so much more powerful of an impact then I ever could in the hour a couple of times a month I get to see them.

I feel like with my education and experience, I have been able to discuss some pretty sound points with parents and work through some issues well. That being said, as I go into raising Mateo, it’s like everything is an experiment right now. Hopefully Mateo won’t feel too much like I’ve been experimenting on him when he gets older, but I figure we are in it together to find the best solutions to everything that comes up.

A couple of nights ago, Minnie and I were sitting eating dinner and Mateo was in his high chair (already having eaten). He kept throwing his little barn on the ground. I decided that I didn’t want to pick it up every couple of minutes. I know that he doesn’t have the fine motor control to really manipulate objects and move things around very well. He also get super excited and starts flailing his arms around (so cute). I am not saying that I was upset with him, or even view this as anything but normal baby behavior, that being said, I did say I’ve been experimenting on him (not in any bad way). I decided that every time he knocks his toys off his high chair, I will pick it up. I will show it to him and tell him that he supposed to keep it on the table (pointing to the table) and then put it on our table for him to look at for about a minute (I tell him that I will give it back to him after a minute). He’s a pretty content baby and doesn’t seem to mind losing his toy too much right now. After about a minute, I give the toy back to him and explain again that he can play with it, but not to throw it on the ground or he will lose it again for another minute.

All that being said, it’s a pretty simple exercise, and some classical conditioning. It does seem to be working some. While he still throws it on the ground or knocks it over, I feel like he is more careful with it now, as if he knows that he want’s to keep playing with it. Like I said, pretty simple little thing… but it does give me a bit of the mad scientist feeling of trying to figure out what works best. I just figured I’d share…

Also, today is Mateo’s Six Month Birthday! We completed our monthly photo shoot so I will be posted a lot of shots on Instagram, so make sure you check them out.

Been So Long

Posted on Wednesday June 12, 2013 by Jacob Campbell.

 This is a photo that I took from the alley way. I found out a couple of weeks after that this sign was still up after somebody rang out doorbell wanting to see the home. This is a photo that I took from the alley way. I found out a couple of weeks after that this sign was still up after somebody rang out doorbell wanting to see the home.

Maybe I shouldn’t feel too bad. Life has been hectic, and its been a long time since I’ve posted anything to here. My excuse is that it’s because I purchased a home, no big deal right. It has been quite an experience and I’m a proud home owner now. I feel as if there are a million things that I’ve been thinking about posting on, but haven’t. In this post I might overview some of them… But it is far too late tonight to go in depth with any topic.

I have been improving my Mac computing ability slowly and feel as if I know have a strong grip on the system and am absolutely loving it. Last thanksgiving I purchased a MacBook Pro. It has been amazing. My mom just got a new Mac and I’ve been teaching her how to use it.

Staying on the Mac theme, I’ve been listening to the amazing Podcast Mac Power Users. I’ve gone through almost a hundred of their sometimes 2 hour podcasts and I’m still not caught up. So much amazing information, it makes me feel like such the better nerd.

More than the looking for, negotiation (for sale by owner), and purchase of our home in Central Pasco… I’ve also been renovating some of it. I ripped out all of the living room carpet and refinished the hardwood floors. I’ve done some other projects to, some of which will likely end up in as DIY articles eventually.

I’m even doing a first ever complete post written from my iPad and is the first post I’m writing in Markdown. Maybe too many experiments at once, but I just really wanted to post something.

An Allegory of the Free Market and Capitalism, Atlas Shrugged Book Review

Posted on Thursday March 28, 2013 by Jacob Campbell.

Overview of the Book

The Audiobook Cover for Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. You can find it on  Amazon  and listen to yourself. I uploaded this graphic for my blog post  An Allegory of the Free Market and Capitalism, Atlas Shrugged Book Review . The Audiobook Cover for Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. You can find it on Amazon and listen to yourself. I uploaded this graphic for my blog post An Allegory of the Free Market and Capitalism, Atlas Shrugged Book Review.

Ayn Rand’s classic Atlas Shrugged (Amazon || Google Books] is an enthralling novel with lots of conservative political implications done in the opposite of brevity. My friend Ami, carried this book probably weighing at least five pounds across most of our Jaunt Down to South America. I wondered at the time why she continued to pack the heavy book in her bag and heft it onto her shoulders every day. Even without having read the book, it sparked a number of interesting discussions between us as she leafed through it’s pages.

I decided that it was finally time for me to go through this highly acclaimed book. Instead of trying to take the time to read the book word for word, I decided to purchase the Unabridged Atlas Shrugged Audio Book and listed to it on my drive back and forth to work, and as I got further into the story I found myself listening to it at times I should have been sleeping.

The book examines in my experience, rarely for the genre, mainly a dystopia coupled with a remnant of a utopia. It explores a great number of topics through its story format and it is nearly impossible to miss the conservative political leanings of Ayrn Rand. It takes place in a world where the world has apparently become communistic (i.e. all of the countries are labeled “The Peoples State of Germany” [or fill in the country name]). In this dystopian world, the main protagonists (business men and women and industrialists) are disappearing from the world. The struggle mainly follows Dagny Taggart, the vice president of a transcontinental railroad and her never ending struggle to find “men of ability” and produce in a society of “looters.”

Throughout the novel, it addresses a number of different topics through its story format. Mostly indirectly it seems to me to address communism verses capitalism through a number of smaller topics. It looks at education and philosophy, victim and what Hank Rearden refers to as the sanction of the victim, government and business, and property rights.

Discussion of the Book

I found the novel to be particularly enthralling. While, I don’t necessarily believe the argument is a based argument as the author appears to lay out. The is most undoubtedly coming from a very right and conservative leaning stance. If the book can be considered an argument for capitalism, limited government, and social welfare I don’t believe that it lays out a fair argument. In it’s entirety, there is not one logical non-obtuse antagonist. The novels puts the concepts of social welfare and progressivism out like a straw man type of argument. All of the antagonistic characters are all quite deft and you just have to hate them and be rooting for the industrialists and business people. I wouldn’t disagree with rooting for these people, I truly do and have no problem with them.

For my own political leanings, I tend to describe myself as idealistically conservative but pragmatically highly liberal. You can read more about why my political stance is like this from something I wrote while in South America, Out of Trinidad & Tobago and into the New World of Venezuela.

One other thought about this this book, although I could and probably should write a lot more because there is so much in there, is about the concept of people with ability. There is a lot of argument about people of ability in the book and that it is not right to force them to pay for the “looters” who are without ability. All of the antagonists in the book are truly made up of people who could, with work, be people of action and ability it would seem. The book doesn’t address one bit societies need to help the most helpless and those who don’t have ability, especially those who are disabled. In my work, more and more, I find myself working with people who can not work (by definition for our services, somebody must not be able to work or must be on TANIF). While I do have clients that I could see doing some work, their disabilities make them highly undesirable for an employer and anybody that would hire them would have to make many sacrifices to keep them employed and I would imagine that they wouldn’t be financially productive for the company (don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have some employers like this… but it’s pretty uncommon). But then, I also have clients who I can’t really imagine doing any work currently due to their mental heath disabilities. They tend to be homeless, and have major psychosis that would extremely limit their ability to even do a job, less likely have clean and presentable clothes. I wonder in Rand’s utopia of Atlantis, who takes care of these people?

All in all, I would highly recommend the book, or the audiobook if your like me and have a long commute (although it was pretty pricey at about $30.). If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought, because I really only glossed over some major topics of the book and it’s such a long and deep piece of writing.

First DIY Project, Useful Cup Holder for the Couch

Posted on Tuesday March 26, 2013 by Jacob Campbell.

This is the first DIY (Do It Yourself) project I’ve done for my blog. As I’ve been moving towards home ownership, I’ve been enamored by Pinterest and all of the projects I’d like to take on at the home I’d like to buy. Actually, I’ve completed a purchase and sale agreement with the owner and the paperwork is being process by the bank. You can see the home posted for sale by owner on Zillow at 1119 W Irving Street. It’s a pretty amazing house. I’m sure in a month or two we will be inviting friends over for a house warming party (no need to bring stuff). While the home is pretty well done, it sounds exciting for the moment to think about personalizing the house. Who knows if that’s how I’ll feel in a year, but for now it’s fun to think fondly about weekends spent working on my home.

That being said, I worked on my first DIY project, even though we are still living with Minnie’s dad. The idea actually came from visiting my mom a couple of weekends ago. She recently got a brand new couch. It’s really nice, one of those two seater couches with an armrest / cup holder in the middle of them and lazy boy’s on either side. I noticed that both of them had placed coasters over the cup holders, due to their glasses being too large to fit into the cup holder. I found myself worrying that the coasters would move. I thought about pasting something to the coaster bottom that fits snuggly into the cup holder, and then no worries about the coaster moving.

You can see the problem first hand below

Built in cupholders The built in cup holders for Minnie’s dad’s couch, for my DIY Project that I posted on my blog, First DIY Project, Useful Cup Holder for the Couch.

I decided to go out to Good Will and found a set of three clear glass coasters. Initially I didn’t want clear glass coasters, but I was limited to what I could find in the thrift store in Sunny Side. They cost about $0.99, so pretty inexpensive. I also picked up some guerrilla glue and some a box of canning lids from the store. All together under $5.00. The picture displays that I bought the complete set of canning lids, but I ended up using only the circular inside section which you could purchase for cheaper. It had been my plan to use the outer ring as the piece, but I found that having bought the wide mouth lids, it didn’t fit into the cup holders. I tried to cut them down, but found I didn’t have any sufficient tools to do the job. The inserts were the perfect size, and it turned out looking better then I had thought. Below are the utensils used.

Below are the various items used for my coaster cup holder  DIY Project  that you can read about at  First DIY Project, Useful Cup Holder for the Couch . It is a  photo  of canning lids, gorilla glue, and coasters purchased at Good Will. Below are the various items used for my coaster cup holder DIY Project that you can read about at First DIY Project, Useful Cup Holder for the Couch . It is a photo of canning lids, gorilla glue, and coasters purchased at Good Will.

It was pretty simple, once I decided to use the canning lids inserts (the flat round pieces). Basically I just glued them to each other with plenty of gorilla glue and then I glued it on the bottom of the coaster. You can see the final product below.

The final product of my  DIY Project  that I wrote about on my blog, at  First DIY Project, Useful Cup Holder for the Couch . A  photo  of a thrift store bought coaster with canning lid inserts gorilla glued to the bottom. Works pretty great! The final product of my DIY Project that I wrote about on my blog, at First DIY Project, Useful Cup Holder for the Couch . A photo of a thrift store bought coaster with canning lid inserts gorilla glued to the bottom. Works pretty great!

Just for fun, also check out the YouTube Video of MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS - THRIFT SHOP FEAT. WANZ (OFFICIAL VIDEO) thinking about Good Will.