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Showing posts from April, 2006

first autocross in the BMW

It felt so weird not typing '...in the MINI' just now. My old car's gone, and my old ways of autocross are gone.

Well, 55 more horsepower and rear wheel drive do NOT make for a faster car, at least not without magical, R-compound race tires. There were some great moments though:

- Being second in class, despite having 100 fewer hp than one of the cars (Mazadaspeed 6) and no race tires (E36 323i w/Kumho Victoracers)

- two words: Throttle steering.

- finally having the option for understeer, oversteer, or 4 wheel drift at will...

137k miles and still ticking. . .

The Bimmer just turned-over 137,000 miles on my way to work this morning, and it's running just like a top. I'd put up some pictures, but I lack a camera-phone anymore (sold on Ebay 6 months ago) and my powerbook's dead and we haven't figured-out how to do pics via PC.

Proof there are flowers in hell...

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Well, the Frickin' Dandelion exists, doesn't it?



I've seen these things grow into SOLID ROCK at Natural Bridge State Park. They grow overnight. They reproduce without having to be fertilized. They exist in all temperate zones on the planet.

I've pulled at least a bucket of thistle and dandelion from the lawn for the last 4 days. Joy!

I've had too many frickin' cars...

Post over at The Car Lounge asks how many cars you've owned since you started reading TCL. My count:

1995 200SX SE-R - gone
2001 VW Jetta Wolfsburg - gone
2003 MINI Cooper - gone
2001 Chevy Silverado 4.8L - gone
2004 Pontiac GTO - gone
2001 Olds intrigue
1990 BMW 325is

7 cars...geeze.

Kinda profound

So, I'm in chruch today and the sermon is on achieving a personal relationship with Christ...then it hits me.

God made people.

WHY!? I mean, think about it. . .You're the most powerful being in the universe. Omnipotent, omniscient, everywhere simultaneously. You ARE reality. You DEFINE everything we only have equations and intuition for--time, space, probability.

What do you need people for?

You're lonely.

I used to ask myself if God was bored. After all omniscent & omnipotent means you know all that's going to happen, right? Also, I used to get hung-up on the whole 'can God make an object that even he can't move?'

Yes he can: The human soul. He was powerful enough to create a being with free will, and when we worship him, it's a CHOICE, not a compulsion.

We exist, so I finally believe that free will exists.

From the frontlines...

A few key phrases that I've heard regarding software development:


"Ring" code: Software so bad that if you even LOOK at the code, you're dead, like with that darn video in The Ring
Coyote project: A project so bad, you'd gnaw through your own leg to escape.
Guy1: "Bob is so bad, whenever he's informed he's wrong, he complains that they changed it from the way it used to work without telling him. "
Guy2: "I've had days like that"
Guy1: "Bob's had a life like that."

Update...RIP one powerbook

Yep...just got the call from the fellow down @ CompUSA: More than $850 just to replace the logic board on the powerbook, and that's just for parts. Yikes.

Well, I guess I'm back in the Windows world for the forseeable future.

:: sigh ::

Just a standard Thursday

Up at 0-dark-thirty: check
Long breakfast with Joey: check
Beautiful, cool ride to work in the Bimmer: Check
Dead Powerbook: check

* * *

:: sigh :: Well, my beloved laptop is in for repairs after 2 great years of service. Tea and laptops apparently don't go well together. Paid the (up front) $140 labor cost for diagnosis, but if it's overcostly to repair, I'll just suck it up and use Whitney's trusty (if slightly bruised) Thinkpad R40.

I'm not upset about it, just sad, really. I liked that Powerbook G4 quite a bit. Just hoping I can recover the data off it after CompUseless (Eric's term) is through with it.

Airset -- the greatest software that no one will use.

If you need: Todo lists, calendars, collaboration, or just to view the state-of-the-art in Web 2.0 apps, look no further: AirSet. This is the first calendaring app that's a pleasure to use, and I've been there/done that: Outlook, Lotus Notes 4/5/6, iCal, Thunderbird, Palm Desktop.

Thing is, I HATE schedules and being scheduled and scheduling, mainly because it turns me into an asshole, and I don't like being an asshole. I don't like being disappointed in myself, my teammates, and the people I love because they didn't fulfill some arbitrary schedule.

However, the above is a problematic attitude if you want to get anywhere in life. I've a sieve-like memory for the minutiae of life.

Example:
-What's the engine code for my 325's engine: M20B25.
-What's the bore x stroke of a Nissan SR20DE 2.0L motor? 86mm x 86mm
-What am I s'posed to be doing today? Uhh....

I need HELP, people!

So, airset is nice. It' easy--dare I say fun?--to u…

Scary Stuff

At my second startup we had to keep track of how many hours we worked each week. The justification was vague: something to do with a client contract. The numbers each week were public so things got competitive. Developers began working even crazier hours -- noone wanted to be thought of as a slacker. As anyone who has tried to sustain ultra-long work hours knows, things got bad over time: more mistakes were made, people lived in their offices, the place started to smell, external relationships were strained, people got sick easily and still came into the office infecting co-workers, etc. The sad thing was that management didn't recognize that there was a problem. People wanted someone to say "hey, it's okay, you can ease up!" but they didn't. By the time burn-out set in, the level of resentment of the managment team was huge.


Also read Damien Katz's excellent blog about slack


Sometimes I'm hyper focused on code, sometimes I'm not. When I'm not, I tr…

The Cat in the Programmer's Hat

Once there was a Cat.
She was an old, wise Cat.

Cat came to the department.
The programmers didn't like Cat.
Cat made them work and be honest.

"Tell me the Truth!" said Cat.
So they told her the truth.
The managers didn't like Cat, either.

"Don't tell us the truth!" said the managers.
The managers were sad.
They needed to be done.
"Done, done, done by Christmas!" they said.

Cat was very cross with the managers.
"You may be done by May, but not one day before that day!" said Cat.
And then the managers still said,
"No, no! This will not do, this will not do at all, little Cat!"

And then they sent Cat away.

* * *

Well, folks, it's April 13th, and they sent Cat away, and looks like she was right. It might be done by May. Of course, by this point, it was the manager's idea all along. Naturally.

Miss ya, Cat. You were good...er...people.

Negotiations

Talked to Phil last night about that 1990 325is...got within $150 of buying the car, but I'm at the high end of my price range. After Tax, Title, License, and the "VIN Inspection" at the sheriff's ofice, it'll be an extra $350.

More bad news: Insurance on E30's is just as bad as the MINI, while insuring a vehicle for a whopping $2500. Yike.

Bummed & excited

Didn't get the Knoxville E30, but the Lord had pretty much prep'd me for that...had a strong feeling in church that wasn't going to fly. Feeling a VERY strong tug towards the 325is up in Cincy; I called the local BMW experts here in Lex and they said they'd never heard of 1990 M20 needed a headgasket repair.

Taking a hard look at the car budget and trying to figure out what I could offer the guy / what I could afford.

Sweet E30 in Cincy

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With only hours until the end of our Ebay auction, Bella and I went up to look at a BMW in Cincy:







Awesome little car...mint condition (almost), owned by a former autocrosser + racer. It's his wife's car, and you can tell she really doesn't want to part with it.

Negatives:
- Hasn't had the head-gasket done, though I'm researching prices on it right now...
- "smells like an old car"
- wheel + tire combo isn't as nice as the one in Knoxville.
- price is pretty high for what it is.

Still, this one has great exterior, no rust, no leaks, and a FULL maintenance history.

Getting out of debt...

Today was the first big milestone on our path to being debt free: We paid off all our credit cards, and we paid-off the Olds Intrigue. Our 5-year-old car is now officially paid for!

W0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000T!

Excitement...

:-) I'm currently the highest bidder on a 1990 325is down in Maryville, TN (outside Knoxville).

Whitney and I have been drooling over this car for days now, and we finally decided to bid on it this morning. I bid it up enough to get rid of the "Buy it now," so it's just a waiting game at this point. I think we'll head down there and inspect it Saturday.

I'm excited, and a bit frightened. This is what I've wanted, but the price is rather high.

Serendipity...

Hmm...I've been to a German-speaking country, I'd like to learn a bit of the language, and there's a Free German language series on the internet.

Niiiice.

The weekend that was...

I think the French have it about right...a 3-day-weekend rocks! I felt more relaxed and recuperated this weekend than in some 1-week vacations I've had.

Friday was all about selling the MINI; Took it down to Clean Sweep Carwash for the $159 detail. They did an okay job, and it did freshen the car and give it that sliding-butt-on-leatherette, new-car feel inside. The buyer on Friday was a bust..showed up in the rain from Cincy with a low-ball offer of $12,500, along with his best buddy Jeff who was the "bad cop". We negotiated and did the appropriate sabre-dance for AN HOUR AND A HALF, and he left after a last ditch offer of $14,200. Given that I had Mr. Musgrave coming on Saturday with a full-price offer almost assured, I passed.

So, the car got filthy and rainy during their test drive, so I got-up early Saturday to give her another wash anticipating the Musgraves's arrival. They showed-up at 10:45 to find Joey and myself playing baseball. Couldn't have been…