Showing posts from May, 2006

Stevey's my hero


You can go far just by being nice.

Not at this company, bub. But then again, reading through the top section, looks like we're on our way out, anyway.

Great article by a great engineer. If his code's half as good as his insightful blogs, he's awesome.

The film camera is dead?

Ars Technica Article

Still, as occasional hobby photographer myself, I find myself wistful in saying goodbye to the film era. I won't miss the lousy enlargements I get when I break down and go to the drug store for processing, but film has a feel, or maybe a look, that I still can't quite capture with a digital camera. There's also something to be said for the beginner who learns to carefully compose a quality shot, knowing he can't just take a dozen photos, throw ten away, and fix the remaining two in Photoshop.

This one's tough, because I cut my teeth on non-AF, black & white photography with a Cannon AE Super. As a Junior in HS, mom & dad bought me an awesome Pentax PZ-1 with full AF features and tons of lenses (40-80mm zoom, 70-210, 28mm f/2.8, 50 f/1.7). I LOVED photography. Yes, it was a bit of a phase, but I still treasure the shots I took with that camera, especially my pics of the Hale-Bopp comet ( ISO 800 50mm @ f1.7 for 15s, tripod mount)

I gues…

On programmer productivity...


My fav quote in the trackback:

I read an article before about a guy who worked when he felt like it, e.g. if its raining outside then he'd stay at work longer and get some more stuff done, but if the next afternoon as sunny, he'd take off knowing that it would be a waste trying to write code when his head wasn't in it.

Hmm...Microsoft is in rains ALOT in Washington. M$ churns-out lots of code...connection? :-)

Coupla gags from today

Q: What's the shortest distance between two jokes?

A: A straight line.

* * *

Signs that you've been programming too long...

Jamie walks in and remarks that one of our compadres just got promoted, saying "What'd Tom do, port the 'C'"

Me: "Yeah, I think he's done alot of stuff with 64-bit drivers and stuff like that. He's an awesome coder."

Jamie: "No, man, I said, 'Did he part the sea?' You know, like Moses."

What stank about having a MINI

Now that I'm a whole month removed from having one of the coolest cars of the last decade, I have some downsides for all those of you considering a MINI purchase.

The 02-04's are garbage. BMW came to Oxford, England and converted a plant with...ahem..."sufficient" build quality to build a 21st century automobile. They simplified the mechanicals and did constant improvements, even amid model years. Get an 05 or 06, especially if you're getting an 'S'.
Yeah, the trunk *is* that useless. It's a hatchback, but you'll need to tumble the rear seats forward to haul anything.
Frameless windows. Ugh...what a dumb idea. They're fragile, they flutter, and they don't seal very well.
Backseat. Yeah, it's too small
The hatch leaked. For 10 months and 3 trips to the dealer.
Engine. Okay, iron block, undersquare, 115hp out of 1.6L. It's a turd, in true English tradition. "I've got a tractor engine, but good handling."

Local Political commentary


Harvey Jason Richardson stunned Breathitt County political observers by beating veteran incumbent Judge-Executive Lewis Warrix by 666 votes in the Democratic primary. Richardson has no fall opponent, so at age 27 will become what is thought to be the youngest judge-executive in Kentucky, though not the youngest ever elected.

So, the punk defeated the decent, honest fellow by 666 votes? Coincidence? And it gets BETTER!

But in Breathitt County, former Sheriff Ray Clemons, removed from office in 1997 after being convicted of failing to report drug activity within his family, defeated incumbent Sheriff John L. Turner in the Democratic primary.

Okay, Ray lied for his daughter, I get that. But GEEZE, was John L that BAD of a sherrif?

Shutting down development in G'town


Interesting statistic: Georgetown has grown 20% since 2000.

Other interesting thought: No new homes for awhile == "WOOHOO! Property values skyrocket"

Why the PDA is dead

Remember these things?

You know, those quirk handheld personal digital assistants from the late 90's that EVERYONE had to have to keep their lives in order. More memory, power, and capability than a full desktop computer of 5 years earlier, but ultra-portable.

Sounds killer, doesn't it? So...where are they now? The PDA market is ever-shrinking, and I think I know why:

First, they evolved. Like most scientists believed dinosaurs evolved into birds, these single-trick PDAs evolved into today's smartphones.

These things are Phones, cameras, MP3 players, organizers, and Java Micro-Edition hosts. Don't know if they're GOOD AT being any of those things, but que sera sera.

Second, they're not necessary. With ultra-portable laptops (my dell M410 is ~2 lbs), you have that paper-notebook formfactor with the full power of a computer, a real keyboard, and a hard drive.

Finally, we don't work that way anymore. In the middle 90's, you needed to 'have' all yo…

Shiny :-)

Daddy like. Daddy like alot.

They're CHEAPER than they used to be, believe it or not. Same specs as my old powerbook and only $1100.

Weekend in review

Happy Mother's Day to all...yes, my 2nd favorite made-up gifting opportunity holiday (after V-is-for-Vendetta Valentine's Day Chocolate Massacre) is Mother's Day. This one's actually nice, and it makes one feel good to treat the mom's of the world special today.

Whitney thought Joey and I had nothing up our sleeves, but was she wrong. She got THREE DAYS of gifts -- Flowers and a locket on Friday, a "Son in Law" DVD on Saturday, and some pearl earrings & cards on the day itself. We love her dearly and it made us happy to surprise her 3 times over.

Saturday was the Mayfest at Gratz park down by Transy's campus in OLD (1780's) Lexington. Brick Buildings, free carriage rides, and "Mommy! A viking ship!" Joey got to do all that, and also made some sand art. A nice outing before the cold & rain set-in for the rest of the weekend.

Had a bit of a scare Sunday with Whitney's reflux acting up in...uh...exciting ways, so we hit the …

The anti-enthusiast, pimp-my-ride thread

Okay, so you know you're on the wagon when you're considering swapping out your 3.73 Limited-slip differential ( 3k RPM @ 70 mph ) for a 2.93 diff from a 325e. If my autocross days are over, then switching-over to a diff less mechanical advantage would cause immediate gains in fuel economy.

*** nerd factor 4 time ***

Using the calculator found Here


3.73 (stock)3025



Comments *are* enabled.

I know, I know...hypocrite! Still, I have some readers, and you never know who might drop-in.

OOF to the door...

Out of Office anecdote

I used to do that very thing, but I took it a step further: When I first hired on full-time, I'd put a "be right back" sticker on my door when I went to the bathroom.

Ah yes, in those heady times, I thought as a junior, java-ignorant programmer working in a group of hardcore Java developers, that I'd better let everyone know every SECOND just where I was.

Q: How to kill a hobby??

A: Cold turkey.

First you realize that you have no spiritual, familial, or financial ability to do said hobby. Realize that it's costing you money you don't have, destroying the only car you have to get your butt to work. Moreover, understand that you don't have the time or funds to compete at the (obsessive) level to which you're accustomed. Realize there are more important things in this life and what comes after it to occupy your (limited) time. You have a son to raise and food to put on the table, and the coming years will likely be harder than even your history-savvy brain can imagine.

So, that's it. Time to move on, cash in my chips, put away my glasses and plaques, and stop fooling with autocross & SCCA altogether. Honestly, going to the meetings and talking to the guys while NOT doing any of the activities is too painful. Even going to's SCCA board feels like peeking through the fence at the Burlesque show--it's a place I do…

Stuck @ work musings...

We have a Product Engineer (1 step above a Technical Support guy) in the field today in San Diego, so I get to be the on-call guy here in Lexington for any problems he encounters. Given that I got here at 7, looks like 13 hours today, minimum. Ahh...timezones.

S'ok...I'm feeling creative.

* * *

I got scared last night, mainly because I had double-strength coffee around 4ish and couldn't sleep, my mind racing to every corner of the house (literally) thinking of what needs to be done and what could be fixed.

While buzzing inside, I thought of the Grey's Anatomy episode last night, about a family enjoying their eccentric Southern in-laws hit head-on by an overworked intern who fell asleep at the wheel, killing the "big haired southern girl"--a wife, mother, and daughter. I don't know why, but my mind swam to a simple, morbid calculus: Unless we die together, there's a 50-50 shot that'll be me watching Whitney die, whatever the reason--disease, accide…

Lethargy and Friday. . .

Long time, no blog. Well, for me in any case

Took two Benadryl last night and it had me glued to the mattress until 7:30 this morning (I'm usually at work before 8), and I didn't get to work til after 9.

Lots of changes and rearranges on my team as we try to get a new project started: New manager, new (old) second line, a new contractor, and a guy from Kolkata bowing out.

Save Serge and Jamie, my whole team from last year has evaporated. In some cases, that's a good thing, but the crushing changes of having new people looking at the same old code are, well, different.

* * *

I'm doing better with the whole work/life balance thing, though that workaholic in me keeps yelling at me to work harder, that I'll lose the respect of my team and/or get fired if I don't work crazy hours. I finally have some ammunition for that one: 1) Yep, probably going to lose the respect of my team. If you're a hardcore programmer and you deal with a non-wonk, you patronize them.…