chez Tracey Jaquith

Welcome to Tracey's little nest on the internets!
This site is a hybrid of normal pages (see navigation above) and blog entries (see below).
I'm into software, video, and time-lapse photography.


Now, let's start the show...

embeddable book from my work

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REJOICE! the angel POOHBOT brings you good tidings


having some fun riffing off of some imagery I rather liked that I saw at a Christmas eve service.

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Hyper Green Magic — Green Magic Man Kawasaki ZX-6 motorcycle Hyperlapse, route 1, CA

From the video:

“Two weeks ago, Green Magic Man became the top poster on kawasaki ZX6 forum”
“One week ago, Hyperlapse hit the App Store”
“this is their story”

“Green Magic Man” hitting the curves on Highway 1 towards the coast, Marin County, CA on Labor Day 2014

We tried “Hyperlapse”, which just came out this week, for the first time.

Posted in family, motorcycles, vacation, video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

decaf front brake fix — fluid flush and bleed — 1978 Honda CB 400A

The front brake of my 1978 Honda CB400A (baby cafe racer — AKA “decaf”) went almost dead.

Here, we fix it in about 30 minutes — my first time doing more than just an oil change or electronic reworkings! 8-)

We assume somehow my brake fluid has deteriorated/aged from viscous fluid to closer to water (this naturally happens over time) and/or somehow has taken in air (which will sack your brakes entirely).

We open my brake master cylinder, inspect, flush clean brake fluid through (making sure to never get air into the line — AKA “brake bleeding”), and see how the results are.

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play motion-JPEG video using javascript (in browser, no plugins, minimal JS)

Motion JPEG test

play motion-JPEG video using javascript (in browser, no plugins, minimal JS)

click a button above to begin!

This extracts the JPEG frames, likely without the huffman compression tables (though chrome dont care 8-), found within the .avi bytestream, and then base64 encodes them so they can be easily inserted into a dynamic <img> tag.

Add in a short display timeout and keep overlaying images, and you have your "video", using <img> tags, like a flip book.

WORKS: [ chrome: yes ][ firefox: was yes but now not 8-( ][ safari/iOS: no ][ IE: i bet not ]

Originally created 2006 by Tracey Jaquith. minor updates to jQuery and simplifying 2013

Source (or "View Source"):

Posted in coding, video | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

wow that was 2011, <3 wyden

Watch Ron Wyden strongly warn how angry the American People are going to be when they find out how the US Government has been secretly interpreting the PATRIOT act…

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Time-lapse overlooking the San Francisco bay (on Labor Day) — with a 150 foot tree removal

Figured this would be fun to mention from last year’s fun event.

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New Bay Bridge Span opens — VLOG 1st person motorcycle ride across

New Bay Bridge Span opens — VLOG 1st person motorcycle ride across.

Labor Day 2013, Monday night, ~10pm

The Bay Bridge opens *7 hours before* the widely reported 5am tuesday reopening, after being completely closed for 5 full days.

My twin, Russ AKA “Green Magic Man” (google it ;-) (on green Ninja) and I are the first 30 vehicles on to the 8th street onramp and show you how the new Bay Bridge span looks like from a first person HD camera (courtesy of Hunter, thanks, Baby!)

It is dazzling at night!

Includes 2nd raw 30 minutes of entire trip in a 2nd file.

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amazing darth vader helmets

awesome stuff from
Total Film

Vietnam Vader

Vietnam Vader

this is my personal favorite!

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Anthony Weiner lewd texting after leaving politics

more lewd texting since after you left politics and “became a changed person”?

le sigh…

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how to stop indoor cat pee

OK, after over a year of being “terrorized” by our little 1 of 2 cats, peeing nearly every carpet (in one place or another) she could find, as well as (especially!) bath mats, door mats, etc. here’s the winning steps that seem to have made nearly four months of no pee!

  • Removal of the mats and carpets.  We found huge amounts of areas on the bottom -side of wall to wall that we had *no idea* were being hit repeatedly!  and *man* did they reek once peeled up!  (sad/sucks because I love wall to wall).  only room left w/ carpet now is “cats only w/ human chaperone” in Hunter’s office
  • Kitty prozac (half dose/prescription).  Yes, I’m very sorry to say that sometimes psychiatry may be the answer.  Of the 2 sister cats, the “little one” was bullied by the “big one”.  And little one periodically would rear-leg-scratch her chin (where she has a little mole/bump) and make it bleed.  We feed a full dose mixed in to their mixed/shared wet food dinner bowl (mouth injection was just torture for little sensitive one!  she also was too clever to notice “chicken wrapped pill pockets”). chinese herbal pulverized powder helped a bit, but not like the prozac.  So now they both get ~ 1/2 dose, and the stress/bullying has dropped markedly.
  • Nature’s Miracle remover/cleaner.  It eats away at the smell/molecules *as well as* making a citrus smell cats dont like.  They maybe won’t “run away” from a treated pee carpet spot, per se, but it’s certainly no longer a place they can hardly avoid when nearby.
  • More catboxes, each changed 1x/2x day!  We’re up to three, none covered, all “in the open” (so no chance for big cat to ambush little cat on coming out of the potty box (yes, that happened!))
  • Reward catbox peeing with treats she loves.   A coworker who grew up with cats named Sam mentioned how negative feedback (yelling and shoving her face in pee just made her confused and look stupidly “did I do something wrong? why are you mad?”) doesn’t work with cats, but positive does.  So if you stop feeding a peeing/misbehaving cat, they get the message “real quick”, goes the theory.  That seemed a bit extreme, so went with “follow kitty after getting up in the morning” (when I’m around), gentle verbal coaxing (sometimes pre-catnip) to go to catbox and then *lots* of praise and a treat she *loves* after she’s peed.  She’s smart and sometimes doesn’t want to pee (very smell sensitive I think) and pops in/out, hoping for treats on occasion. But now, she gets no treats unless she pees, so she’ll go back in (immediately or in a little bit) and catbox pee and get her treats!
  • Years of loving little one to get her 100% trust.  This was ongoing.  She was always skittish, jumpy, and independent.  It took me years to get her to entirely stop hissing at me at times, getting pissy, etc.  The key seemed to never lose my patience with her and suffocate her with waves of love, love, love until she knew I was her #1 ally in the house

So thanks internets, Sam, and all the places and things we tried (many many up until now).  This is the list that has worked for us, and prior to this “little one” could pee our house up good, sometimes as many as five times a week.  It got to the point where I lost my sh*t and started utility-knife cutting up rectangles of the wall to wall and throwing it out — she just would not stop.

My hope is this post may help other owners who adore their cats but are suffering, too!

true love

true love

And as a postscript, “little one” is now The Most affectionate cat ever.  She likes to hop under the covers at about 5am for a few hours and spoon with me, purring happily in our mutual love fest.  I can hardly convey how happy we are to have her happy and “back”, and have teased out this little lovey wonderful thing that was hidden insider her before.

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made my own heat duct “reducer” today — for $25 in only two hours!


custom heat duct reducer


Using a 24″ x 36″ sheet of (intended for ducting) sheet metal (~$10) and rivet tool + rivets (~$15) I was able to take a 14″ x 8″ opening and create a 4″ deep reducer down to a 14″ x 4″ opening.

This way, this can be an insert into an existing duct and “boot”/box that takes an 8″ pipe of heat into a 4″ deep 14″ x 8″ box.  It can then exhale the heat into a 14″ x 4″ vent.

Why the insert you ask?  Hint: house was built in 1960.  Guess what the most common way to insulate ductwork *and* boxes/registers/boots was back then?   ASBESTOS, YAY!

So while we don’t know it is for sure, it sure looks like it (inspectors clued us in, t00).   So we not gonna mess w/ the box/ductwork that is in relatively good shape and not cut it, etc.

This is all part of a Bigger Project of redecoration we are doing at the bunny fort…



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new “php-htm-mode” for emacs — intermixed PHP, HTML, JS, and CSS using multi-modes

I finally formalized, cleaned up, and packaged up my current emacs editing setup for files with intermixed PHP, HTML, JS/javascript, and CSS code all in the same file.  It uses an existing but rarely used technique called “multi-mode” and sets “trigger points” for switching the “major mode” of the buffer as your cursor moves through the code.

A nice thing about this approach is that you can always glance down anytime you are editing to see which mode you are in (or the emacs lisp code *thinks* you are in).  You can also fork/edit the single “.el” lisp file to add/update the triggers for various modes.


screenshot of php-htm-mode

screenshot of php-htm-mode

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Morgan Territory Motorcyclin’ — 85 mile east bay loop around Mt. Diablo with Honda CB400A “decaf”

After months of work, Russ finally gets his Ninja 600cc working!

Hunter, Russ, and I celebrate with an 85-mile day trip during the three day weekend around Mount Diablo, through the legendary Morgan Territory.

Ridden over: Oakland, Canyon, Moraga, Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Clayton, Morgan Territory, Danville, San Ramon, and home!

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today I did my first oil and oil filter change, ever! (Honda CB400A “decaf”)

Russ and I changed our motorcycle’s oil and oil filters today.  This was the first time I’ve ever changed oil in a vehicle — I guess it sort of was a life goal I figured I’d never get around to — part of understanding cars/bikes more!   So it was a nice way to kick off the start of our 3-day holiday weekend.

The actual work on my bike was quite simple:

  • 1 ratchet-able bolt as the drain plug to release most of the used oil into oil drip pan
  • 1 ratchet-able bolt underneath to release the bike’s oil pan and oil filter section

 Russ helped figure out those bolts which I could confirm with a shop manual PDF.  Harder was sorting out what oil and filter to get/use and getting them.  I went with:

  • Valvoline SAE 10W-40 Motorcycle oil (for 4-strokes; non-synthetic; ideal for wet clutches) (AutoZone/Walmart)
  • K&N KN-111 oil filter (local motorcycle shop)

Putting everything back couldn’t be easier — slipped on new filter to bolt/cover, ratchet-ed the two bolts back in, and poured in ~3 quarts of oil.  I was happy parts were all in good shape and aside from some relatively dirty oil, no badness or surprises for my 35 year old bike.  Phew!

my first oil change

my first oil change

removing bottom bolt and filter

removing bottom bolt and filter

garage work overview

garage work overview

Posted in biking, motorcycles, pictures | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

How to turn Time Machine from disk with many partitions to single partition (logically “extending” Time Machine partition)

The high-level answer is:  

  • use macosx Disk Utility
  • make a .dmg of Time Machine partition (to another disk)
  • wipe out disk
  • restore .dmg
  • extend partition to full size (or whatever size you want) of disk

Detailed steps:

  1. backup one last time with Time Machine
  2. turn off Time Machine via preferences
  3. open Disk Utility (builtin mac app)
  4. select the partition where your Time Machine backups are
  5. hit the “New Image” icon in top bar — use the default options (with “.dmg” suffix, no encryption)
  6. save the .dmg to another disk that has space (this takes awhile)
  7. once that’s done, you can re-partition using Disk Utility the disk that originally had your Time Machine partition on it.  (WARNING THIS WIPES OUT ENTIRE DISK AND ALL PARTITIONS!)  Select each partition on the disk and hit the [-] icon near the bottom of the partition list.  BE VERY CAREFUL AND MAKE SURE YOU HAVE IDENTIFIED THE RIGHT DISK!
  8. your disk is now empty…
  9. repartition the disk however you like — since Time Machine uses its own subdir, I suggest partitioning the disk to a single partition, full extent of the disk
  10. with the emptied disk still selected, hit “Restore” button/tab to the right
  11. find the .dmg you made previously as your Source
  12. drag the emptied partition (where you want Time Machine backups to go) to the Destination
  13. hit the “Restore” button (bottom right)
  14. it will ask you to approve scanning/verifying .dmg (yes/OK)
  15. (this takes awhile)
  16. resize your restored Time Machine partition to full disk (or whatever size you want)
  17. turn back on Time Machine backups
  18. approve the question about “disk has moved…”

PS: you can also you this technique to move an entire set of Time Machine backups from one disk to another disk (without losing all your backups!)

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simple way to make h.264 mp4 web and iOS/mobile playable video mp4 files for linux and macosx using ffmpeg

Greetings video geeks! 8-)

At my job, I’ve updated the process and way we create our .mp4 files that are shown on video pages on

It’s a much cleaner/clearer process, namely:

  • I opted to ditch ffpreset files in favor of command-line argument 100% equivalents. It seems a bit easier for someone reading the task log of their item, trying to see what we did.
  • I no longer need qt-faststart step and dropped it. I use the cmd-line modern ffmpeg “-movflags faststart”

Entire processing is now done 100% with ffmpeg, in the standard “2-pass” mode
As before, this output .mp4:

  • plays in modern html5 video tag compatible browsers
  • plays in flash plugin within browsers
  • works on all iOS devices
  • makes sure the “moov atom” is at the front of the file, so browsers can playback before downloading the entire file, etc.

Here is an example (you would tailor especially the “scale=640:480″ depending on source aspect ratio and desired output size; change or drop altogether the “-r 20″ option (the source was 20 fps, so we make the dest 20 fps); tailor the bitrate args to taste):

  • ffmpeg -y -i stairs.avi -vcodec libx264 -pix_fmt yuv420p -vf yadif,scale=640:480 -profile:v baseline -x264opts cabac=0:bframes=0:ref=1:weightp=0:level=30:bitrate=700:vbv_maxrate=768:vbv_bufsize=1400 -movflags faststart -ac 2 -b:a 128k -ar 44100 -r 20 -pass 1 -acodec aac -strict experimental stairs.mp4;
  • ffmpeg -y -i stairs.avi -vcodec libx264 -pix_fmt yuv420p -vf yadif,scale=640:480 -profile:v baseline -x264opts cabac=0:bframes=0:ref=1:weightp=0:level=30:bitrate=700:vbv_maxrate=768:vbv_bufsize=1400 -movflags faststart -ac 2 -b:a 128k -ar 44100 -r 20 -pass 2 -acodec aac -strict experimental -metadata title='”Stairs where i work” – lame test item, bear with us –’ -metadata year=’2004′ -metadata comment=license:’’ stairs.mp4;

Happy hacking and creating!

PS: here is the way we compile ffmpeg (we use ubuntu linux at work, but this script works on macosx, too).

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decaf 1978 honda CB400A running and instruments working

Here’s a short video mid-way through a 50-mile day of canyons and twisties. Fun!

The “idiot lights” are working (still have to get the dang neutral light to turn off when in gear, but otherwise good 8-p)
and now you can hear my little kitty purr

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decaf – CB400A reassembled and on the cruise

Everything is working again with my greatly streamlined instrument cluster is in place! (Well my LED “idiot light” for “neutral” is always on now so one last adjustment/fix sometime soon!)


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honda CB400A — fixing turn signal and neutral LEDs (to new speedometer)

Whups, my new speedo’s turn indicator LED was only going on when left signal was running.

Thankfully, found this post on hondatwins that mentioned the orange and light blue bike lines were actually active lines for when left or right turn signal was on — not that they were positive and negative general lines. It also mentioned a (cheap/simple, yay!) fix to use two 3-amp diodes and tie them in together. A quick putt-putt to Radioshack and $2 later…


I focus mainly on that in this image, but also some other related notes.

annotated picture of wiring behind headlight


I also have my new speedo’s neutral LED light now turning on when bike is on (but not running) — will see tomorrow if it *also* properly goes *off* when shift up when bike is running.

Posted in biking, motorcycles, pictures | Tagged , , | 2 Comments