Open source publishing


John Bartlett owns and operates Bartlett Publishing,
which puts out approximately four titles per year in programming,
business, and ... religion. Huh? Those don't go together, do
they? This is the strength of small publishing, to bring together the
disparate genres that make up a particular publisher's passion.

Bartlett is a true believer, in God and Linux. He chose open
source tools because he "believes in free information." He uses the
DocBook DTD,
running the manuscript through OpenJade with a heavily
customized version of Norman Walsh's
. "Using OpenJade and Norman Walsh's stylesheets to
typeset gives me a huge advantage in both costs to produce a book and
time to market. In particular, with DocBook, an index is amazingly
easy to produce," says Bartlett. Post-processing of the PDF is done
with Perl's Text::PDF module
and Adobe
for complex work. A professional graphic artist produces
the cover and Bartlett does post-processing with the GIMP. Finally he uploads the finished
materials to CafePress or LightningSource.

Bartlett's recommendation of the open source tools he uses is
unequivocating. "DocBook makes your book look professional with very
little effort. The combination of DocBook and a good cover artist
gives you very professional results with a minimum of time and money."

John Culleton of Able
Typesetters and Indexers
provides services for small- and
self-publishers with a completely Linux-based workflow using variants
of TeX. First, he keys in and
corrects the source text in Gvim.
Culleton compiles the text to PDF with ConTeXt or pdfTeX and views
the output in Xpdf. He
also uses various other bits and pieces: grep; the Ghostscript ps2ascii

translator; pfaedit (FontForge); PSUtils
for brochures, makeindex
for indices, and some custom macros and scripts. He does image
processing in the GIMP and has recently begun using Scribus for book covers because it
can handle ICC profiles and
produce CMYK output.

Culleton makes two points about the strengths of open source
software. First, "All of these tools are supported by active email
lists. I don't have to call an underpaid clerk.... I
get superior support from users and maintainers of the software." (Ask
any XPress user about Quark's customer support. It's infamous.)
Second, when Donald Knuth backed away from TeX, others picked up the
torch. Development continued and TeX is still going strong.
Meanwhile, in the proprietary world, PageMaker is dying a slow and
painful death and is no longer the behemoth of book production;
FrameMaker has been losing ground as well. Adobe now pushes InDesign.
QuarkXpress went years between updates on the Mac, still
the dominant desktop publishing platform. With proprietary software,
Culleton says, "[You] face the potential discontinuance of the
product, just like users of the once excellent WordPerfect have found
their own purgatory -- the Curse of Corel."

Posted by klsh

Last July Session of ASA's MVP class


Yay! Lisa joined us! She's signed up for the class, so we'll be seeing her twice a week. Whoo!

Today's workout focused on arms. Not in a workout sense, but in a movement sense: quick arms propelling quick feet. I was also working on moving my arms forward and backward, and not across my chest.

I also asked G about intensity level. Should I be going all out, all the time, or should I try to pace myself. G was actually surprised. He thought I was already going all out. Essentially, he was reducing the recovery time each time, to adjust for our improved performance. Whoops. My bad.

I started early with my ladders, with G giving me direct feedback about moving my arms. I tend to chicken-wing my arms, keeping them away from my body and often crossing my chest when they come forward. It really helped to have G give immediate feedback.

  • twisting from the outside: L foot on the right side, twist to put R foot inside, L outside left side, R next to L, twist to put L foot inside, R outside right side, L next to R, etc.
  • Outside L-in
  • Outside, R-in
  • Outside, R, outside, L, outside, together
  • Ali shuffle
  • probably more

We started off with the I of pain and square drill. Kris and Lisa worked the I-of-pain, while I worked the square drill. My first time was about 11.6, with the subsequent three being about 10.5. I think I cheated a little on those three. The last one was 10.9, which was around the time all my runs should have been. Not cheating on that one.

We switched, and I ran the I-of-pain, while Kris and Lisa ran the square drill. I ran the I-of-pain as hard as I could. I needed longer than the 30 second rest. My legs felt spent at the end of the drill.

Next, we had the equivalent of running ice-skaters. Instead of side-to-side ice skaters, we shuffled forward. We were working on quick feet. It was a little difficult for me, more so I think for Lisa. Kris, with his fast feet, had no problem. The cones were about 3 feet apart, width-wise, and 2 feet forward-wise. The goal was to shuffle through the cones, around the outside, facing forward. Shuffling forward. We ran 5+ of these runs. We then faced sideways, instead of forward, and quick-feet ran around the cones. We went through this way a good number of times, too. It was difficult to get the arms moving quickly and correctly in synch.

The star-shuffle came next. It was a small circle: only one step between the middle cone and the outside cone. It made, once again, for quick feet and fast arms. We couldn't get a full shuffle in, so we had to move quickly. We went counterclockwise twice, then clockwise twice.

Kris offered a suggestion to G to modify the exercise. Instead of shuffling from cone to cone, G walked around the circle, adjusting his distance from the center cone. We shuffled from the center cone to G, as he walked around the circle.

Wall ball came next. Kris and Lisa started out playing wall ball against each other with the 8# ball. They threw from their hips, playing twice for a minute each round. G and I played next, with the 6#. When it came time to play throwing overhead, using abs, of course, G had Lisa play wall ball with me, instead, with the lighter ball. 8# was 2# too heavy.

Abs, of course, were last. The first set was a three exercise round: ab pull downs with the weight machine, bicycles, and big ball balance (where we balanced in a plank position with elbows and forearms on the ball, then back up, with just hands on the ball, butt in the air). We each rotated through the three exercises. Next were cross-over V-ups, similar to Lisa's cross-over bicycles from the workout she developed for us. There was another few ab exercises.

The last ab exercise was 6" leg holds, for only 30 seconds. No problem.

Special K sprint workout

Update: changes made for the SCU women's team, with more explanations.

Derived from an article I read about the US National Women's Soccer team, the Special K workout builds sprinting stamina. It was modified by Kris for Special K, which is no longer a team. The season this was written for was a shortened season, with coed playing in July and open/women playing in fall. As of this moment, it was the last year a player could play in more than one division in a season.

For reference, a stinker is:

Sprint 50 yards out and back 3 times in a row for a total of
300 yards.  If you are feeling really ambitious, do this in
under 1 minute.  Rest one and a half minutes afterwards.
A stinkette is:
Sprint 25 yards out and back 6 times in a row for a total of 300
yards.  If you are feeling really ambitious, do this in under
1 minute 5 seconds.  Rest one and a half minutes afterwards.
And a suicide is:
Run 5 yards out and back then increase to running 10, 15,
20, and 25 yards out and back.  Rest 25 seconds afterwards.

That said, the workout is:
Ultimate Workouts  4/3/00 - 7/6/00

4/3/00 Monday
   7x20, 5x40, 3x50, 3x90

4/6/00 Thursday
   1 stinker, 2 stinkettes, 3 suicides

4/10/00 Monday
   7x20, 5x40, 3x50, 3x90

4/13/00 Thursday
   1 stinker, 2 stinkettes, 3 suicides

4/17/00 Monday
   7x20, 5x40, 4x50, 4x90

4/20/00 Thursday
   1 stinker, 2 stinkettes, 4 suicides

4/24/00 Monday
   8x20, 6x40, 4x50, 4x90

4/27/00 Thursday
   1 stinker, 2 stinkettes, 4 suicides

5/1/00 Monday
   8x20, 6x40, 4x50, 4x90

5/4/00 Thursday
   1 stinker, 2 stinkettes, 4 suicides

5/8/00 Monday
   8x20, 6x40, 4x50, 4x90

5/11/00 Thursday
   1 stinker, 3 stinkettes, 5 suicides

5/15/00 Monday
   9x20, 7x40, 5x50, 5x90

5/18/00 Thursday
   1 stinker, 3 stinkettes, 5 suicides

5/22/00 Monday
   9x20, 7x40, 5x50, 5x90

5/25/00 Thursday
   1 stinker, 3 stinkettes, 5 suicides

5/29/00 Monday
   10x20, 8x40, 5x50, 5x90

6/1/00 Thursday
   1.5 stinkers, 3 stinkettes, 5 suicides

6/5/00 Monday
   10x20, 8x40, 6x50, 6x90

6/8/00 Thursday
   1.5 stinkers, 3 stinkettes, 5 suicides

6/12/00 Monday
   12x20, 8x40, 6x50, 6x90

6/15/00 Thursday
   1.5 stinkers, 3 stinkettes, 6 suicides

6/19/00 Monday
   14x20, 9x40, 7x50, 7x90

6/22/00 Thursday
   2 stinkers, 4 stinkettes, 6 suicides

6/26/00 Monday
   14x20, 9x40, 7x50, 7x90

6/29/00 Thursday
   2 stinkers, 4 stinkettes, 7 suicides

7/3/00 Monday
   16x20, 10x40, 8x50, 8x90

7/6/00 Thursday
   2 stinkers, 4 stinkettes, 7 suicides
I believe it is worth noting that although we do these various "workouts" on different days, the US National World Soccer team did both the weekly workouts on the same day. They are some amazing athletes, those women.


This one is from Dom, though I think he received it from Byers

4 pounds pickling cucumbers, cut into 1/2inch thick rounds
1/4 cup chopped garlic
2 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill

4 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
6 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
5 heaping tbsp pickling spice
2 tbsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp black peppercorns

Combine in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.  
Remove from heat and cool for a couple of minutes.  Pour over
other ingredients.

Cool to room temperature, cover, and put in the fridge for a week.

Dom's comments: I find that it makes less brine than is necessary,
so you can increase the brine proportions, decrease the cucumber
amount, or just shake the jar around each morning (which is what i usually do) to make sure all of them are getting pickled

Session 7 of ASA's July MVP class


Today was yet another rough day at ASA Baseball's MVP training class. I don't know why I'm never quite able to do this class. I often feel I'm just completely, terribly and permanently out of shape. Either that, or I need to do more on the off days.

Started with the usual ladder drills. Now there's something I think I should probably start doing every day. Along with situps, pushups, chinups, stretching, hamstring exercises and having sex.

  • LR RL LR RL ...
  • L-in R-top L-in R-bottom
  • Fast rotate R foot first (outside, straddling the ladder, rotate 90° putting L in box 1, R in box 2; rotate back to straddling, advance to put L in box 2, R in box 3; continue), followed by L foot first
  • Straddle L-in straddle R-in
  • Straddle L-in straddle R-in straddle together
  • R-L traversals: R-L to the left side of the ladder, R-L inside a box, R-L to the right of the box - I can never get this one right.
  • Might have been another one in there...

We worked with the big boxes to start the session. With three aligned in a row with a 24" space between them, jump over each quickly, then sprint at the end. I was totally psyched out, and kept pausing between the boxes. When I did manage to keep going, I was totally flailing.

Our next box exercise was jumping off one onto the floor, then immediately onto two stacked up. 2 sets of 10. Kris managed to leap onto three stacked up for his second set, though he missed one and scraped his shin really hard on the corner of the top box (leaving hair and flesh caught in the grain - ew!).

Because we were unable to complete the box jumps, we did mini-hurdle runs.

  • Facing left, land each foot between two hurdles; repeat facing right.
  • Both feet together, hop over each hurdle
  • Facing left, feet together, hop over each hurdle; repeat facing right.

Next came 2 sets of 3 exercise rotation: sumo walks, side to sides with sprints, toe touches on the box. The sumo walks were walk the length of the room crouched down, back at a 45° angle, feet in a wide-wide stance, pushing a weighted ball. For extra goodness, we had to hold a rubber tubing loop apart with our feet.

Side to sides were the standard ice-skater like movements, followed by a sprint at the end. We did two for each set. I thought the point of this exercise was to drop deep into the stance. I was mistaken: quickness is the way to go. So, I did much better on the second set.

I also need to work on keeping my arms in when I sprint. My elbows go out, and my arms will cross over my chest to get going fast. Better to keep the elbows in and move them directly straight back & forth.

The toe touches weren't difficult. The usual. At some point, however, during these sets of three exercises, I stood up quickly and had a head rush. It lasted longer than normal (I'd say, 15 seconds, which is 12 seconds longer than my head rushes normally last), which was strange and a bit disturbing.

The abs workout was different. More ball work than usual. Our first exercise involved sitting next to each other, about six feet apart, and tossing the 8# ball across the body at the other person. After, eh, about 20 passes, we rotated 180° and threw at each other again, working the other side.

Next we put our feet together, facing each other (still sitting on the floor), and did chest pass situps to each other. G had to hold our feet down for a while.

Next were back-to-back ball passes. I passed down each time, Kris passed up. The first was Kris' left shoulder to my left hip. Then we switched to his right shoulder down to my right hip. Unfortunately, I moved into his shoulder as he passed the ball, and was smacked right in the nose with the ball. It hurt a lot. Stood back up and continued, though.

Next we did standing ball tosses, from the hips, push out at the person standing about 12 feet away. The 8# ball was a little too much for me, so G and Kris did the first set, and I did a second set with G and the 6# ball.

Regular abs after that. Bicycle, Russian crunches, V ups, lower back, regular crunches, stretch.

Lisa steps in with a plyo workout.


Today we did a session of Lisa's "Conditioning Program for Ultimate." The program is a Core/plyos/agility program, at the intermediate level for which base strength and fitness are assumed.

The focus of this session was:

  • Build lower-body explosiveness for optimal acceleration, change of direction, and jumping ability
  • Build core strength (esp obliques) for optimal performance and injury prevention

We started with a warm-up (approx 15 minutes):

  • Light cardio
    • Jog in place, for 60 seconds
    • Jumping jacks, for 60 seconds
    • Squat thrusts, for 60 seconds
      For these, start standing. Drop into a low squat, then place your hands on the ground. Next, thrusht your feet out behind you, so that you're in a push-up position. Hop back to put your feet back under you, hands still on the ground, then stand up.
    • Jog in place, for 60 seconds

  • Dynamic stretch
    Dynamic stretching is better for you when warming up than static stretching (where you ease into a position, then pull the muscles just a little past that position to stretch the muscle. Dynamic stretching is moving the muscles as you ease them into extended positions (like arm circles, leg swings, etc.). The trick, of course, is not to swing/stretch too far beyond the muscle's current flexibility (i.e. not more than a bare hint beyond).
    • Strides at 50% speed (4 x 100m)
    • Actively stretch legs, knees, ankles, hips, arms, shoulders, neck as needed

  • Form running:
    • High knees (2 x 40m, i.e. there and back)
    • Butt kicks (2 x 40m)
    • Side shuffle (2 x 40m, face same way there and back)
    • Carioca (cross-over grapevines) (2 x 40m, face same way there and back)
    • Exaggerated skip (2 x 40m)

Next we focused on Core work. The focus on this section was strong abs, flat back, and minimizing extraneous motion.

Although we did three sets of each of these, only one set was one of each at a time: one bicycle, then one of the three pushups, then one of the three planks. That's one. Do three.

  • Bicycle criss-cross (3 x 60 seconds)
    These differ from Gino's bicycles, and they are slow and controlled. Starting with the typical bicycle (lying on your back, hands behind head, lift left elbow to right knee, then switch lifting right elbow to left knee, repeat quickly), extend the lower leg out, touch elbow to knee, and breathe out. Then switch to the other leg. The trick on these is to extend the lower leg so that it is straight. That'll take time.
  • Push-up sequence (3 x 20)
    These were hard:

    • Regular
    • Rotational: start in a push-up up position. Balance on one hand and twist to put the other hand straight up into the sky. Look up. Twist back, returning to the original position. Switch arms and repeat. 20 = 10 left + 10 right.
    • Oblique: lie on your side, propped up on an elbow. Now, left your hips straight up and hold for 60 seconds. Ugh. Repeat for other side. If lifting from the feet is to hard, bend your knees so that when lifting you're balanced on knees and elbows.
  • Bridge sequence (3 x 60 seconds)
    The trick on these is to flatten your back before you lift up. That way, you've set your back position. If your lower back starts to hurt, this is bad. Drop back down to the ground, flatten your back to the ground, then lift back up.
    • static
    • lift arms overhead to the touch the ground over your head
    • alternate leg extensions - keep knees still!
  • Plank sequence (3 x 60 seconds)
    Lie on your stomach, then prop your elbows under you. Left your hips so that your body is straight. Yay!

    • set 1 = prone
    • set 2 = left side
    • set 3 = right side

And then we came to the meat of the workout, the plyometrics. Lisa had us working hard in this part! The focus of this part was power, balance, single-leg strength, and eccentric strength.

  • Jump-sprint combo: cycle through 2 sets of 5 each; sprint 40m after every 5 jumps
    • Knee tucks (2 x 5) : drive knees upward to chest
    • Squat jumps (2 x 5) : explode up as much as possible
    • Star jumps (2 x 5) : spread eagle: feel your massive hang time :
    • Split jumps (2 x 5) : land with same foot forward
    • Alternating lunge jumps (2 x 5) : land with alternate foot forward
    • Lateral bounds (2 x 5) : push off outside foot (single-leg)
    • Side hops (2 x 5) : back & forth jump over imaginary cone (double-leg)
    • Dip & sky (2 x 5) : grab the low disc then the high disc

  • Lunges and squats:
    • Lunge twists (2 x 40m) : twist outside for one set, inside for the other (single-leg)
    • Frog jump squats (2 x 40m) : standing broad jump: go for distance and soft landing (double-leg)

The last section of the workout was the agility section. It focused on acceleration and change of direction, both critical in ultimate.

  • Shuttle runs (10 x 5-10-5m) : stay low, push off hard
  • Explosions (10 x 40m) : from sprinter's position, accelerate, through finish-line tape at 25m, then coast

An active cool-down is important in preventing "pools" of blood from forming in muscles from a sudden cessation of exercise (the heart is pumping hard to get blood to the muscles, then the muscles suddenly don't need it).

  • Strides at 50% speed (4 x 100m)
  • Easy jog (5-10min)
  • Stretch, throw, drink water

Lisa had some extra notes in her summary of the workout:

    "In general, rest between reps should be close to zero. Rest between sets should simulate ultimate: sometimes longer, sometimes shorter. Use your judgment, but try not to always recover fully before moving to the next exercise."