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Showing posts from 2007

And I'll have a Wii Christmas

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Well, a week later, here we are. I've gotten and gotten-over a nasty stomach bug, so I managed to miss most of Wednesday through Friday.

In my absence, the Wii has replaced the iMac as the coolest thing in the household. Yes, it's that good.



Just to give you an idea, we had Stu and Cathy using it within 4 minutes of watching us play it. We've played it for at least 5 hours a day since we got it.

So far, the most popular game is the one that comes with the system, called Wii Sports, where you can play any of Tennis, Baseball, Bowling, Golf, or Boxing. We've really gotten into playing versus with two controllers, and it gets intense! Family game night may be very exciting from now on!

Christmas: Leg 1 COMPLETE

We returned from our 2 day roundtrip to balmy (!) Columbus, Ohio this evening, Joey running a 101.5 fever and Maria dozing contentedly.

Pretty uneventful trip--ate too much, slept too much, saw Whitney's Uncle Richard's old...ahem...Ferrari.

Yep, honest-to-goodness Ferrari GT, Brown....V-12 & everything. Not a good looking car, particularly, but DUDE!

So, we're opening presents tomorrow morning and doing stuff around the house, then going down to my Mom's for Christmas Eve. We have to turn Joey over to his dad at 7am Christmas Day.

Hopefully, by tomorrow afternoon, I'll have a full report on what playing a Wii is like!!!

"Flyboys"

2 hours and 20 minutes of THAT?!!!

This is a pretty-standard war/buddy flick. Some guys wanna go fly, they go through some training, meet an old salt who tells them they're stupid, and get a rude awakening when they first meet the enemy. They ALL have backstories, and they're all (poorly) developed. One resembles Porkins from Star Wars and dies similarly. There's a love interest thrown-in and many long, conceited scenes flying about in a CGI wonderland resembling a decent WWI Video Game.

And then they blow up a Zeppelin. Didn't see that coming, did you?

Had the director kept a tighter rein on his material, this could've been a run-of-the-mill war flick with good SFX. As is, it's overblown dreck. UGH!

Stay far, far away.

The weekend...

It was a blessedly content, stresss-free and safe weekend. The SNOW ADVISORY WEATHER EVENT turned out to be all hype (could it have been anything else?), with only a few flakes in Georgetown.

On Saturday, we picked-up Mom to go to my cousin's baby shower; Bryan and Dixie are expecting their first child on February 6th. I keep admonishing them to wait 'til the 10th just for easy scheduling.

Mom is remarkable. But, of course, you knew that if you read this blog with any regularity. She estimated herself 80% recovered from the surgery, and blessedly pain-free on her right side. Shoulder pain? Gone. Back pain? Gone. She's delighted her doctors throughout with her progress.

She is starting simultaneous oral chemotherapy and targeted radiation this week, so keep those praryers coming, Prayer Warriors.

By some incredible fluke, despite scoring a measly 85 points, my team looks like it's in the finals of our fantasy football league. Going into tonight's game, it als…

Golden Compass: Crash'n'Burn

E! Article


New Line, meanwhile, was the woozy-feeling patient after its would-be franchise starter The Golden Compass (third place, $9 million) fell off a cliff, down 65 percent from a disappointing debut weekend.

So far, the $180 million fantasy film is the unwanted fruitcake of the holiday season, having taken in just $41 million overall. (It has performed stronger overseas; so, perhaps any sequels could be made expressly for Slovakia, et al.)


* * *

Seeking to understand the hype on this thing, but yet not support it commercially, Whitney and I grabbed a book-on-tape version of Pullman's The Amber Spyglass. This is the third book in the series.

Essentially, the book's a protracted treatise on reconciling religion, quantum theory, and why we whacky humans believe in the Almighty ("The Authority" in Pullman-speak). Unlike most Atheists, Pullman not only accepts the supernatural; he embraces it. He simply melds what we would call "The Supernatural" with Arthur…

Little Miss Sunshine

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Yes, it's that good.




Just finished watching the Odyssey-in-a-Microbus, Little Miss Sunshine. It's the type of movie my wife hates, but which I love, where all the characters are shades of gray. They're intensely real, and flawed, and they love and hate one another. Yet they're bound together by bonds that bring them together when it counts--death, adversity, and the bald insanity of life.

Steve Carell is a revelation as Frank Hoover, the frustrated homosexual academic who we meet in a hospital fresh off his failed suicide attempt. Out of work, without insurance, he's kicked out of the pysch ward to the care of his overwrought sister, Sheryl. We meet her blended family next: Her husband Richard the self-help guru, the vow-of-silence goth teen Dwayne, the heroin-snorting profane Grandpa, and the little ingenue Olive.

The plot is almost "National Lampoon" worthy: After getting Frank home and settling him into his Albuquerque imprisonment with Dwayne ("…

Mom -- looking up :-)

Happily, Mom didn't have chemo on Friday.

Her oncologist looked at the results of her PET scan and said the surgeon was full of it.

She doesn't have ASC, she has CCC, Cholangiocarcinoma, a cancer of the bile duct that is fairly rare (1-2 cases / 100,000 ppl), but which is curable through surgery. Mom had surgery, and there's no evidence the cancer had spread through her lymphatic system.

The short answer: Prognosis is much better than with ASC. Surgical resection allows for a cure, and follow-up radiation shows good results. Mom's scheduled intensive, local radiation 5 days a week for the next 5 weeks, and an oral chemotherapy tablet after that. Her hair probably won't fall out.

I feel, well, amazed. Mom has a fighting chance.

Keep it up, prayer warriors!

CompUseless is closing

CompUSA to close all its stores

Meh. I'll just have to go to Louisville to lust after Macs, I guess.

Ah, that time of year again...snow, mistletoe, Kirby salesmen

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Yesterday was pretty tough--I was up at 4:30, at work by 6, and home by 2:45 to watch the kids (4 kids now--our two and two from Whitney's BFF Sarah). While firehosing me with all the TODOs (change this, change that, sippy cup, etc.), Whitney mentioned, "Oh, and a guy from Kirby should be here from 3 to 5 to clean the carpets and shampoo the carpets for free."



:-) I was not too thrilled with this, as I'd been here before. Twenty-three years ago...a guy showed up at Hacienda Combs and sold Mom & Dad a Kirby Heritage II vacuum. Thing was solid steel, essentially unbreakable. It was also $1200 give-or-take. (According to The CPI calculator, that's $2400 in today's money, folks!)

Anyway, the guy shows up, and does the song-and dance with this new Kirby that's self-powered, but (to me) made of the cheapest plastic they could find. And the guy's sales technique...ugh.

"Please buy one."

"Woncha just buy one so I can go home?"

Yeah,…

Mom Update -- chemo starting tomorrow

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers as I've shared about Mom's sickness. I've not posted more, out of deference to her, and simply because we didn't know much.

Mom had surgery on Halloween, but didn't get any follow-up on pathology results until 2 weeks later, November 16th. That day, we went into the Transplant Clinic at UK Hospital (!) to get some results. I won't go into it fully here, but it's a rare hybrid of two cancers of the liver itself. They said to set-up an appointment with Oncologists as soon as she felt better.

So, Mom went in last Friday and had her first appointment with the Markey Cancer Center Oncologists. He and his team of nurses and nurse-practitioners really raised her spirits. They've got her on a plan of IV and oral chemotherapy to attack any remnants of the cancer they resected on Halloween. I think it's an 8-week round of therapy overall.

Throughout her life, Mom has been a survivor. When her mom died, she survive…

Heresy...Firefox has jumped the shark?

I've been with Firefox ( originally Phoenix, then Firebird, forked to IceWeasel) for years now. Yes, it was the chip off the old block (Son of Mozilla, rise!), and it was build upon Good Code©, and it bore no hint of That evil corporation that won the browser war by not playing fair

It was the best parts of mozilla, with none of the bloat of the suite (that email program that no one used)

Great. Except now, Firefox (both 2.0.1839 and 3.0B1) LEAK MEMORY LIKE A FRICKIN' SIEVE. On no planet should I have 4 tabs open and have a resident size of firefox of 256MB. I currently have google reader, blogger, netflix, and Microsoft.com open in IE and it's using 94MB. Granted, that's insane enough, but it's 200MB less than Firefox.

Firefox 1.5 wasn't like this--you could leave it up for days with dozens of tabs, no problem. Both 2.0 and Beta 1 of 3.0 are just unstable.

Makes me sad, but I'm considering using IE. IE 7 is fast, tightly integrated with Windows, and doe…

The "Real" Software Development Lifecycle...

If you ask a student out of college or technical school how software is developed, he'll say the software development lifecycle (SDLC) is something like:


Gather requirements for a new system
Design the new system's inputs, outputs, screens, etc.
Develop the system
Test the system
Deliver the system to the customer
Maintain the system


If you're *really lucky* he's read enough slashdot to know, it's more of a spiral or iterative approach--less initial work, more testing, earlier customer involvement.

The more I'm exposed to real software, I'm convinced it's closer to.


Some nerd decided he needs a cool, fast widget to do 'X'. He just wants to make his job easier. He codes it up after-hours, fueled by cheetos and Mountain Dew
He shows it to somebody in his cube. Immediately, that shameless self-promoter decides it's the second coming of VisiCalc
The company makes a multi-language version of his Widget and starts selling it
Version 2.0 comes out, adds 20 …

My Uncle Dan + a funny dialogue

So, on the 16th, I sat with my Mom at the Transplant clinic of the UK hospital to get the lowdown on her cancer. The room was on the 4th floor, off the 'B' elevators, and the atmosphere was grim. The people here had been or would be very sick, and most had a thousand yard stare, wishing they or their loved-one was anywhere but in that waiting room.

Except, that is, for my Uncle Dan.

Dan's the jokester of the Haddix clan, father of three boys, Jesse, Justin, and Jade. Dan never met a sandwich he didn't like, and he's gregarious. He's the sort of guy who never really grew up, and he's never met a stranger. More precisely, he's never occupied the same space with someone for more than 47 seconds without finding some common ground for conversation. He doesn't DO uncomfortable silence, or silence at all.

Yes, I like my Uncle Dan, in spite of myself.

Anyway, so Mom, Dad, and I are seated in a line at one side of the waiting room, and Dan plopped him…

quick hit movie reviews

Watched several movies over the past few days (Thank you, Netflix). Some thoughts on them:

Constantine: Creepy, dark film about a man blessed/cursed to see the interplay between angels and demons in our world. I really liked it, especially for its vivid portrayal of Hell.

The Muppet Show: Wow, this doesn't age well. It's about as interesting to the modern eye as the 70's variety shows upon which it's based. Plus, without "Pigs...in...space." Bah!

Useless quiz of the day...

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My wonderful IT experience this morning

So, I'm trying to print something to our color printer. I go to our internet site to download a driver, then I find that the site is dog slow. So, I thought I'd report it to our IT operations.

IT Guy: Hello my name is ____. How can I assist you?

Me: The driver download site is very slow.

IT Guy: Let me check. (pause) No it's not.

Me: Umm...I've tried this three times and wasted 20 minutes of my life trying to print something.

IT Guy: Well, let me call one of our service technicians. (LONG pause). Yes, Harold? The technician confirms that he sees no slowdown with the site.

Me: Where are you?

IT Guy: mhrf-hfrm..dia.

Me: India?

IT Guy: Yes.

Me: Okay, well, as I recall, the site is hosted on different servers throughout the world, so couldn't I be seeing a different configuration than you are?

IT Guy: No, that is impossible. It is the same server. (...protracted discussion of how I must not be seeing what cannot occcur....)

Me: Ooookay. Thanks for your time.

IT Guy: Well, …

Review: Electra

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Ugh. I've said it before ("Underworld"), but how do you dress Jennifer Garner up in this outfit and have a boring movie?



Lots of camera effects layered atop a very weak story, that's how.

Ponderings

Spoke with Mom this morning...she's resting at home, and letting Dad and my Aunt Norie take care of her, which makes me smile. She's taken care of so many people her whole life...thanks to everyone who's written-in and keep up those prayers. I heard from Stu and Cathy that churches throughout the Louisville area are praying for Mom -- neighbors of theirs and their prayer groups. She goes in Friday for the lowdown on where things are and what the next steps are.

* * *

My Toyota and I have a love/hate relationship: It loves me, and I hate it. I inherited Whitney's car as a daily driver/kid schlepper after my Beamer sprang a leak. On paper, it's a wonderful idea--quiet, simple, reliable transportation. Modern safety features. Four doors. Better mileage. Better in bad weather.

All that's true, but I can't get over the feeling I'm driving a tin can, powered by 1.5 melancholy hamsters. It goes down the road well, but isn't too excited about speedi…

Birthday greetings!

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Twenty-nine years ago today, I came squalling into the world, pissed-off that my head looked like this:



Mom was similarly disillusioned that my head was the size of this:



So, yeah...birthday. Pretty-much feels like any other day...I got one of these as a present:



As a result, my wife now gets to wake-up every morning at 5:20 on the dot to the sound of whirring blades, grinding coffee beans, and dripping hot water. I think of it as the gift that keeps on giving ;-)

Last year nearly killed me: Maria's birth, shipping my last version of MarkVision, losing Joey for the summer, deciding to change jobs, changing jobs, getting real with all my "stuff", miscarriage, Maria's burn, and now Mom's surgery--I can't believe all that was my 28th year.

The big thing I learned was I couldn't run and hide anymore. Everything around me had changed, but inside I hadn't. I was still egocentric, and did all these "selfless" things not because I wanted to, but be…

Recent Maria Pics...

Shameless cross-link here

Reaction...pathology results...

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From Daniel 3 (KJV):


16Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

17"If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

18But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up."


Paraphrasing Beth Moore:

God always delivers us. Sometimes God delivers us from a furnace, sometimes He delivers us through the furnace, and sometimes he delivers us via a furnace to His arms.

Rack, Shack, and Benny believed that, and believed in it enough to lay down their lives.





* * *

Mom was not delivered from the furnace; preliminary pathology results are back, and she had/has Liver Cancer, confirming what we knew a week ago. The doctor didn't go into more detail, but will either later today or at her follow-up appointment next week.

Once again wit…

Mom update + election day

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Mom slept pretty well last night, and is finally cleared for some solid foods. Everything is working in her digestive system, and they seem to be managing her pain well. She was resting comfortably (for the first time in 6 days) last night, according to my aunt.

* * *



Well, today is election day, or "The day the democrats take back the keys to the cesspit." Getting anything done in this state is akin to the intrigues of Lorenzo de Medici's Florence...everything is a political game. Fletcher went into the governor's mansions naively thinking he could undo centuries of entitlements and pork.

To be fair, his underlings and political "operatives" showed all the subtlety of a weed-whacker as they went through the transportation department, and they got burned for it. He lost the endorsement of the big stick in the party (Mitch McConnell [shudder...I hate that guy]), and his own Lieutenant Governor turned on him. Beshear scored big in ads, despite doing his …

Mom update -- recovering, no prognosis yet

Just got off the phone with Mom. They've unhooked the epidural, so she's in quite a lot of pain in the area of the surgery, which they're counteracting with oral pain meds, augmenting with injections as needed. She still has a long road to go just recovering from this surgery.

The docs said biopsy/pathology results would be available in 4-5 days, so we're in that window.

Thanks everyone for your encouragement and prayers.

Quote of the Day, yesterday

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[Discussing someone else's car]

Whitney: SO......his car's about 6 years old at this point.

Me: Well, our are 3, 7, and 17 years old.

(pause)

Me: WAIT! Those are all prime numbers!

Whitney: That is so....you.

From the "When It Rains, it Pours" file

Someone broke into my house today, right after Whitney left with Maria to pick-up Joey from school. Our ADT security system detected the intrusion and they called the police immediately. ADT called me and I told Whitney to go home and check-it-out. She said everything was still there, but the three drawers in our kitchen bar table were open wide.

Bizarre things--it was broad daylight, and if they've been casing our house they know PEOPLE PICK UP THEIR KIDS BY THAT BUS STOP every day.

My going theory is they were after the iMac, having seen it through the rear windows.

Sometimes I just want to live in a bunker surrounded by a minefield, ya know?

Can't find the words....

I'm trying to find the words to describe how awful yesterday was...Dad is devestated, we're all in shock...

First, the good news: When they got in there, they saw what they were dealing with, and the surgeon considered stopping the operation. He didn't. He did not give up hope on Mom; that's about the best news I can hold onto right now.

The facts of it: She had a tumor invading the right lobe of her liver, her diaphragm, and the bottom of her right lung. They did an initial analysis on the lymph nodes in her chest and they came back clear, so they went forward, removing 40% of her liver, 20% of that lung, and removing/reconstructing her diaphragm. The surgery took 6 hours, and involved 3 surgeons. They considered stopping the surgery several times, but didn't.

She recovered from the surgery amazingly well--the doctor said there wasn't very much bleeding, and she was able to breathe on her own immediately in recovery. They placed an epidural prior to the …

Mom update

My mom's having surgery tomorrow morning. Preliminary indications are the 'thing' on her liver (they switch from calling it a lesion or a tumor every other time.) isn't cancer. She still has one more test to undergo tonight, then she is "top of the list" for surgery tomorrow at UK.

I just spoke with her, and she seems a little tired and on some pain meds, but she doesn't seem scared.

I'm taking tomorrow off work to be there for the surgery.

* * *

In case you can't tell, I'm a bit of a "Momma's Boy", and I love my mother very much. I've not agreed with her much since I got saved and became a man, but we've always had a special relationship and I hope and pray this "thing" is just as mundane as they said.

I have a bad feeling it is more than they're saying, but as Whitney says, "You ALWAYS have a bad feeling..."

Yep.

Update (sort of)

Thanks to all of you who've written offering prayers and well-wishes for Mom. She's out of the hospital as of last Friday, but she's going back tomorrow for further tests. What they think they know isn't awful, but it will require more surgery.

She's in pain, but she doesn't seem too concerned (typical Mom, in other words!)

Please keep her in your prayers.

Mom's in the hospital...

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There are days where I want to rename this blog "Tragedy and trials du jour"

So Mom's back in the hospital for tests...she has some sort of "lesion" on her liver. She just had her gallbladder out back in July, but had continued pain during her recovery.

I'd really like to list the litany of crap that's going on in my life right now, but that's not going to do me much good. I feel like an over-saturated sponge (appropriate, considering), and I've lost the ability to internalize anything.

Maria Update III

I know I know...where are freakin' pics? Well, it's been crazy at home, and I haven't had 10 minutes on the computer to upload (insert excuse #2 here....insert excuse #3 here)

Summary: She is amazing. We're massaging lotion into her new skin over the burns 4 times a day, and the areas are pinking right up. She's learned to locomotor on all fours the right way, and she can blitz across the living room anytime she sees something shiny. She's one smiling amazing baby girl.

The doctors admonished us to keep those areas away from the sun for a full year, and to be aware that for the rest of her life those areas will hold a tan longer and be more susceptible to skin cancer. (Yay :-( )

Overall, though, she's doing tremendously well, and the constant prayers and well-wishes have been great.

Followup -- Religion and politics

Wow, if I just throw sex in there, we'll have all three taboo topics in one, n'est-ce pas?

Response to my post yesterday has been overwhelming (well, for me. I'm no Dawn). I think my wife put it best: "Jesus wouldn't have been [Republican or Democrat]. He was a-political."

Let me say this right up front--Christianity is tremendous. To me, it is Truth personified, the Creator of the universe reaching out to us as lovingly as He can, trying to reconcile the ultimate divide (sin) between Himself and us.

However, if I might put my historical and practical hat on for a moment, Christianity is an awful form of government. It presumes two principles: 1) Love God. 2) Love your neighbor as your self.

Governments (especially democracy) are set up with the opposite principles: 1) You love yourself. 2) You hate your neighbor and wish he'd go away, along with his dog that craps on your hydrangea. Or as I've put it at intervals before: Democracy operates on he…

Jesus was a Democrat ???

Flash of insight I received during the sermon yesterday: Jesus was a Democrat (or, more appropriately, a 'Liberal'). More specifically, I don't see any way I could call Him a Republican or a Conservative.

This all spills out from our current sermon series on the book of Mark. Mark is (probably) the first gospel to be composed, and it was likely written by John Mark, a disciple of Simon Peter, the guy of whom Jesus said "Upon this Rock (literally Petra == Rock) I shall build my church". Mark is all business--this is what Jesus said, this is what it means. If something seems unclear or too Judean, he explains it in a parenthetical note. Mark's the Cliffs' Notes for Christ.

So, if I might oversimply my definitions:


Republican: Socially, fiscally conservative. Believing in small government, low taxes, and the rights of the individual. Likewise believes each individual is responsible for his own station in life. Believes in harsh punishment for criminal…

Quote of the day (so far)

(Blathering description of how a device was probably broken, but if it was I had a magic way to fix it 'temporarily')

My colleague: "You're into all that nerdly stuff, arencha?"

Yes. Yes I am.

Trying to get back in the swing...

I had some really bad chili Wednesday night at church and...well, let's just say I won't be eating chili again for awhile. Maybe ever. I awoke around midnight and began a 36 hour nausea bender, combined with weakness, muscle aches, and general exhaustion.

Yep, I was sick.

So, Thursday and Friday pretty much didn't exist, and Saturday. Well, Saturday was hard. No excuses, just...I was not my normal, loving self; I was abnormally self-loving, and that wasn't cool.

We accomplish much outside once I could stand upright. We dug-up the front planter and put in a Japanese maple and 3 hedges. (Hey, considering I trimmed the holly bushes back to a nub and killed all the backyard stuff with deck sealant, we needed SOMETHING!)

So, I'm back at work today, with a meeting to figure out where (if anywhere) we can go with all this Web Services stuff. My stomach's still not feeling its usual cast-iron self, but aside from that, all is well.

Quick hits:
- Still haven't purc…

RegisterForPrintAsyncNotifications

I write this in hopes of saving you some time, if you're looking at MSFT's new RegisterForPrintAsyncNotifications API (new in Vista and Server 2008).

At first glance (and second, and third) glance, this API doesn't seem to work. It promises to provide asynchronous notifications of state changes to the print objects in the spooler, but how the $#@^ does it work? Let's look at it more closely. (It's defined int he file prnasnot.h, if you've got your sdk handy.


HRESULT RegisterForPrintAsyncNotifications(
LPCWSTR pName,
PrintAsyncNotificationType *pSchema,
PrintAsyncNotifyUserFilter filter,
PrintAsyncNotifyConversationStyle directionality,
IPrintAsyncNotifyCallback *pCallback,
HANDLE *pRegistrationHandler
);


pName is a pointer to the name of the print object you want to monitor. If you want alerts from all objects, you can pass NULL here (or so I've observed!)

pSchema is a pointer to a schema that the client expects. This is…

Preserved for posterity

Had to steal this from the whiteboard in my old building.

"Potential Mottos for the family crest"

Why does this keep happening to me?

Again?!

Recidite, plebes!

Duty, honor, payment

We don't know what's broke or how to fix it

The next one will be normal, you'll see!

Fabricati diem

too lazy to work, too nervous to steal

we don't have clue one

What, me worry?

rex cloaca!

Probably our fault

Seldom right, but never in doubt

praying for sterility for over 300 years

I drank what?

Your family is no prize, either.

Clovis had it right

We're all out of toner!

Give us time, we'll screw it up.

Maria Update II

Nearly a week on and no update on my daughter. Sorry!

As is typical with me, no news is good news--Maria's Aquacell bandages (think big synthetic scabs) have fallen off, and her torso is healing very well. It's trending more towards a healthy pink away from the angry red that it was.

We're not so pleased with her leg. Her wound there is still seeping in two places; we're calling the Dr's for opinions on that.

As I said before, her mood is pretty normal for an 8-month-old (just as of yesterday): She's curious about everything, and very concerned with how much her teething hurts her. I love her toothless grin so much, it almost pains me to think of her with teeth. Still, that's part of it--can't eat baby food and formula forever!

I'll try to post-up some pics soon, thanks to our new iMac 20". MAN I LOVE THAT COMPUTER!

Review: "The New Reality" Seminar

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Just sat through Karl Schoemer's "The New Reality" seminar. Schoemer, an Indiana-Weslyan University grad (Woohoo!), teaches a tough-love seminar on recognizing change, dealing with your responses to it (Shock, Denial, Identity Crisis, and Search for Solutions), and recognizing positive and negative behaviors associated with it.



The overall message is: "Old reality" is dead. The social contract of selling your soul to a company, working there for 30 years and retiring as a good "company man" no longer exists. Each person is responsible for his relative contribution, attitudes, and responses to change. It's never going back to "the good old days". Stop having this familial, parent/child attitude towards work. They owe you nothing, aside from a paycheck.

It's not all as harsh as that, but he's the first person to look at us LXK'ers and say "You're pissed-off. Great! What are you going to do about it?"

Tremen…

Kevin Bacon

Try this

Leave it to compsci guys to take all the fun out of "Six Degress of Kevin Bacon"

Maria Update

First of all, let me thank everyone for the outpouring of support we've been given! Family, church, friends, and mere acquaintances have all written, emailed, called, and visited. If it takes a village to raise a child, then our real and virtual "village" has closed ranks like I've never seen.

Maria seems to be getting better. She remains comfortable during dressing changes, and her outer dressings are no longer "dirty" when we change them. Honestly, I think she's more concerned with eating and playing with toys than her burn at this point. She's even gotten up on her hands-and-knees to crawl for short distances.

Whitney has been a superior nurse, despite the trauma of reliving the experience each time she sees the burn. She's born the brunt of this, while still taking care of the household. I'd be a complete mess (see "After Maria's Birth"!) if it were left just to me.

So, we wait. We wait with hope and prayer for a good…

Near tragedy...

At 11am Saturday, while she was out enjoying breakfast at Cracker Barrel with Whitney and her Grandmother Cathy, my daughter Maria was scalded over 10% of her body by a carafe of boiling water. The waitress sat the water too close to her, and she reached out and pulled it onto herself.

She was seated in a highchair at the time, and the boiling liquid burned her from the center of her chest to her waist, and the upper part of her right thigh. A nurse behind Whitney directed them the administer first aid, and an ambulance took her directly to the University of Kentucky hospital E.R.

Evaluating the burn, the doctors said it was 2nd degree, and should not require surgery. They admitted her to the Children's Hospital, room 441, where she remained for observation until yesterday afternoon. Doctors administered morphine in the ER, tylenol with codene at the Children's Hospital, and we're managing her pain with straight tylenol and motrin here at home.

She's been given an adv…

Courtesy of my mother-in-law

"Isn't it awful that he's so old heonly gets the parts of the dead guy?"

Hoo Boy we need RAIN

From the Herald-Misleader:


Georgetown officials yesterday placed mandatory restrictions on outdoor watering. Among the uses banned are watering established lawns or golf courses, filling fountains or pools, and washing sidewalks. Soaker hoses may be used on sod, vegetable gardens, flowers, trees and shrubs. That should happen only on certain hours and days. The schedule is the same followed by Kentucky American Water customers: 6 to 10 a.m. and 6 to 10 p.m. People with addresses ending in odd numbers water on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Those with even numbers water on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Billy Jenkins, manager of the city's water service, said officials hope to reduce consumption by 15 percent to 30 percent. Royal Spring, which usually supplies most of Georgetown's water, has been dropping rapidly, Jenkins said. In recent days, Georgetown bought up to 60 percent of its water from Frankfort.


So, I can keep my trees alive with my soaker hose Wednesday, Friday,…

Latest Shot

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closeup_cropped, originally uploaded by miniharryc.
Daddy with severe 5 o'clock shadow and Maria squinting at the camera :-)



My boss cooing at Maria

Lovely article about Mr. Bose

link

They are some awesome (expensive!) components. At the height of my gadget craze, I almost bought an Acoustic Wave, but just couldn't justify it.

My struggle

Tired.
Bored.
Lonely.
Bitter.
Angry.
Helpless.
Controlled.
Concealed.
Afraid.
Aggravated.
Imprisoned.
Obligated.

I really don't have anywhere to hide today. I've ALWAYS had somewhere to hide--work, women, racing, ****, friends, school, academics, video games, chat rooms, reading. That's the comforting thing about being obsessive--you lose yourself in things, easily. You're not YOU when it's uncomfortable to be there. Obsession, fantasy, denial--they all go hand-in-hand. They're my trinity of "not dealing with stuff".

Sure, sometimes reality smacked me in the face, but it was a temporary thing. I could "deal" with it and get back to where all was okay: Inside my head. Life in a bubble? Yep. That bubble led me to screw-over many good people in my life

What I'm trying to do, step by step is just to be real: Stop lying to myself and others, and stop the obsessions that are just escapism. I'd like to be able to sit in a room by myself an…

Silly Quiz of the day

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You Are an Espresso
At your best, you are: straight shooting, ambitious, and energetic

At your worst, you are: anxious and high strung

You drink coffee when: anytime you're not sleeping

Your caffeine addiction level: highWhat Kind of Coffee Are You?

"Hercules": AWFUL

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Probably the worst Disney animated film of the modern era. They sanitized the lusty, humanist story of Heracles. Example:

One of Heracles's challenges was put to him by King Thespius of Thespiae who wished him to kill the Lion of Cithaeron. As a reward, the king offered him the chance to impregnate each of his 50 daughters. Accordingly, Heracles did this in one night (sometimes referred to as his 13th Labour).

Yeah. This is a Rated 'R' story turned into a redemptive tale.

Anyway the movie itself:
- The songs are stupid, trite, and forgettable.
- The characters are wooden, minus James Woods's excellent Hades.
- Disney cliché abounds--shrill sidekick, outsider protagonist, etc.
- The animation's no great shakes. I think they killed their 2D studio after this turd.

ROFL!!...

I was sitting at a red light when they rolled up beside me, the guy riding his Suzuki Do-Me 8000 with his hot female companion on the back, her thongage pouring out of her low-rise jeans. Her blond hair fell from beneath the helmet and fluffed weightlessly in the hot breeze. Her skintight ballistic-armor motorcycle jacket was unzipped down to her navel. It's a good look, I guess, if you go in for that sort of thing.

As I sat there in the Amana-white 2008 Honda Accord EX-L sedan, she looked over at me. I knew what she was thinking. I knew she wanted me.


"I'm a smoldering volcano of straight suburban love". DUDE!

Article

Courtesy of Joey...

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Scene: Kitchen table. Joey's eating his A-B-C's & 123's. I'm reading the paper. The contents of my wallet lay spread upon the table, drying from their recent trip through the washer. ("But Honey, I was going to wear those shorts!"/"For the THIRD DAY IN A ROW?!"). Joey regards one card intently.

Joe: "Harold...umm....this doesn't make sense."

Me: "Huh?"

Joe: "Well...this says Auto-Zone Re-Wards."

Me: "Yeah..."

Joe: "There's nothing rewarding at Autozone."

Yep

TCL quote of the day

TCL goodness


One girl told me I loved my car more than I loved her.

I replied that I love my car. I don't love you.


Oy. Make a girl feels special, whydoncha?

Fantasy Football!!!

Yeah, you knew it had to happen...I like football. Why not indulge in that national passion--Fantasy Football.

My team's called the 'Madden 09 Wannabees', and we had our draft at Bufallo Wild Wings on Todd's road:


View Larger Map

Anywho, Here's the linueup I got (picked #8 in a serpentine draft):

Starters:

RB - Brian Wetbrook - Philly
RB - Willis McGahee - Balt'more
QB - Vince Young - Ten
WR - Larry Fitzgerald - Arizona
WR - Plaxico Burress - NY Giants
TE - Tony Gonzales - Kansas City
RB - Ahman Green - Houston
K - Josh Scobee - Jacksonville
Def - Dallas


Da Bench:

RB - Jamal Lewis - Cleveland
WR - Joey Galloway - Tampa Bay
RB - LenDale Whilte - Tennesee
WR - Jerry Porter - Oakland
QB - Rex Grossman - Chi-town. (yes, yes, I caught alot of ridicule for this one...)
TE - Ben Watson - New England


Went in with a pretty conservative strategy:
- 3 decent running backs, with two backups (or trade fodder)
- 2 good WR's, with 2 alternates.
- 1 backup each for QB & TE.
- A Kicker and a D…

One more thing about the circus....

We had GREAT seats. I've never had seats like that for anything...not a High School band concert, even. We were 2 rows back from "center stage". When they were doing their skits, the performers were maybe 5 feet away from me. I could see the creases in the makeup, that some performers were a LOT older than they wanted to appear.

And then, it hits me. I've got highly made-up women on a platform above me dancing in spandex, sequins, and stockings:

This is as close as I'm ever going to get to a strip club.

Review: Ringling Bros "Blue" Circus

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You'd think the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Baily Circus is unchanging, right?



Wrong.

Two words for you: House Cats.

Yes, there's an act in the middle of the 1st act of the Circus where a two trainers do an act with trained housecats. I'd pay real money if Letterman would do a walk-on and and make some quip about "Stupid Pet Tricks".

But, it got better.

I've been to the circus in Lexington many times, most recently in 2001, when the "Red" Ringling Bros. circus came to town. This is the circus with Bello, a clown/aerialist/acrobat main character with Vanilla Ice's haircut. It's also the traditional, 3-ring "Big Top" show. What we got this time in Lexington is the "Blue" circus, a one-ring circus with a plot (trust me!) that plays like an amalgam of Cirque du Soleil and a broadway show.

The theme to the blue circus is the "Circus of Dreams", and they have a faux family (all players in the circus, natch) "j…

Rumination on calling conventions

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Back in the dark ages of 1998, I took my first programming class. As was the style of the time, the class was taught in Pascal, a language Nicklaus Wirth designed explicitly to teach structured programming concepts. Think of Pascal like an advanced jet trainer:


They teach you all the cool stuff with it, before they turn you loose in the F-15's to wax some MiGs.

Anyway, Pascal had some neat concepts and quirks, one of which was the way it made a distinction between 'functions' (subroutines that returned data) and 'procedures' (subroutines that were passed data and operated on it). So, for example, you might have a function called 'double' that took an integer and returned that number times 2:


function double( k: integer ): integer;
begin
double := k*2;
end


With the above, the parameter 'k' isn't modified, so you'd call the code this way:


...
var i:integer, result:integer;
i: = 2;
result := double(i);
# at this point, 'i' is still 2, and '…

"The Wifi Guy"

I went to my first meeting with my new division yesterday, and I must say, It sounds pretty good. A particular highpoint was The Wifi Guy. Nice idea for the new media--funny, viral, very over-the-top.

LXK's making a big foray into wireless consumer printers. Thing that gets me--why aren't we doing some sort of co-branding with Apple? Apple's main selling point these days is cordless, wireless, de-cluttered desktops. With this new line, seems like we'd be right there.

Anyway, good to be hearing a different tune.

Neat little C++, templatized command line parser

I'm writing some toy apps that integrate with our libraries, and so I was looking for a good, Windows-compliant version of GNU Getopt. Cygwin has a version, but that ties me to the cygwin installation (I think...)

Anyway, Getopt is straight POSIX C, and googling around I found this C++ .h called TCLAP it's well documented and implemented as inlines in the tclap/CmdLine.h. Seems very similar to the ruby 'optparse' module in spirit and implementation.

Transporter 2

Ah, Luc Besson (The man who wrote The Fifth Element) brings us another gem of style-over-substance.

If you could epitomize Eurotrash in a movie, this is it.

But, God, such fun!

Nothing like a man barrel-rolling a W-12 powered Audi A8 to remove a bomb attached to its undercarriage. Frank (Jason Statham), is a very, very bad man, but his schtick great--Always wearing a crisp suit, always in a clean car, always in control.

This was one great Action movie, and even Whitney stared transfixed for 75 out of 88 minutes.

Getting up-to-speed in the new reality...

Ah, so two weeks have elapsed of my new job, two weeks that skated between elation, boredom, fear, and frustration. It's a whole different world over here. Some people like it, some people don't. Me? I'm withholding judgment for now. I do like my team--they seem like quiet, competent, hardworking folks. They've been helpful to a total outsider in all senses of the word--an old unix + java wonk who's now playing in the world of C/C++ and Windows.

The code is a revelation--tight, Object Oriented, and thought out. These folks don't vomit out code the second an idea strikes (yes, I'm talking about myself there...). For one thing, C++ really doesn't benefit from that style--the separation of header implementation files makes you be more deliberate. The only downside there is it seems to encourage copy/paste coding because things are so darn...finicky. There's lots of macros/typedefs/etc to remember, and it's impossible to keep everything in …

Quote of the Day

(Scene: Inside a meeting room with my new department, going over survey results)

S: "Well, the results indicate I'm not doing too well with y'allz careers on and individual level. So let me know if you're aching to do something different..or if you're bored with what you've been doing for 6 years."

B: "Like...Harold was."

Yep

Win32 in a nutshell

Link

So, basically:


Create a struct to hold your class.
Create a Window struct.
Enter your event loop and process events


That's kinda it...The rest is a bunch of nasty #define's and macros Windows has built-up.

Silly Quiz of the day

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Which Harry Potter Character Are You? You are Harry. You're a loyal and courageous friend. You'd do anything to protect the people you love, especially if it'll get you a break from class for a little while.Find Your Character @ BrainFall.com

Cups...er, I mean XPS

So, I'm reading through the documentation on Windows printing, trying to learn what this is all about. My team writes stuff that sits between the Windows Spooler (spoolsrv.exe) and the Kernel-model communications pieces.

Anyway, so I come to a great fork in the road: GDI and XPS. GDI (Graphical Device Interface) is the way that earlier windows programs (Win32) talk to the display and printing subsystem. Essentially, everything in GDI is a bitmap. This is "the old way of doing things".

XPS is a whole 'nother ball of wax. XPS stands for Xml Paper Specification, and it offers a way to describe, render, and print information. It can function as an XML-based Page Description Language (PDL).

At first XPS and the new XPS-based print subsystem sounds like a great idea: The application stores its documents in XPS format, sends the documents to the screen via the Windows Presentation Framework (WPF), which natively speaks in XPS, and then the printing subsystem is even mo…

Black Friday?

Hrm...let's see. Yesterday:

- A French Bank closed 3 subprime hedge funds because there's not enough liquidity to value them. I don't know what that means exactly, but it sounds bad.
- The S&P dropped 3% yesterday.
- The subprime mortgage fiasco is turning into a vortex.

I yanked my 401(k) back into a money market. I'm NOT looking forward to a repeat of the bath I took on my Roth in 2001.

Quote of the Day

Krishna: "How long have you worked here?"

Me: "Umm...it'll be nine years total, next March."

Krishna: "Wow, such dedication to the company!"

Me: "Um...yeah. Yeah, I guess."

Why it's imperative to read your mortagage agreement...

link


The final type is known simply as the demand clause, and this means that the lender can demand repayment of the loan in full at any time for any reason. This clause gives the lender the same powers as the acceleration and due on sale clauses, but also allows the lender to raise interest rates even if you aren’t selling your property.


Yikes...

First Blog from my new office

The good:

I have an office (yes, my own!) and it's really sweet--near the door, the printing area, the break area, and the AA desk. I got all my stuff over here in 1 load, and everyone's been really nice so far.

The bad:

I don't have a power cord for my phone yet. If you want to contact me, better try email, IM, or cell.

Think I'll break for lunch and hit some yummy leftovers.

I HATED "THE SIMPSONS MOVIE"

So, I took one 2 hr block to myself. I grabbed my once-a-month blow fund and headed out after a rather trying Saturday of watching the kids, and said, "Damn it, I'm going to see something for me."

Something with nary a trace of romantic comedy, meaningful plotline, or maybe even sense. I went to watch "The Simpsons Movie".

Let's cut to the chase. You get to see Bart's penis, Homer flips-off the residents of Springfield, Otto hits a bong, and Marge says 'Goddamn'. That's why this movie is PG-13.

It's dumb and boring. I nearly got up and left right after they went to Alaska. If they're shooting for 'duh duh', at least make it move apace. How do you make (generously) 90 minutes that BORING?

There were some pleasant vignettes and quick-hits; in particular, they skewer the gov't very well. However, I can't help buth thinking they made this 'movie' a few years ago, and it made a big 'thud' with test…

Holden Beach Sunrise

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Holden Beach Sunrise, originally uploaded by miniharryc. (Trying out a post from Flickr, so forgive me if this is weird...)

Rest of the set

Great, funny read

Why I hate frameworks

Put in my context: "Here's a 150MB download with a Java Virtual Machines, a Tomcat webserver, the entire Spring framework, extensions to the spring framework, a firebird database, and two Windows Services you must install."

"What's it do?"

"It gets 5 pieces of data from a fleet of widgets. But it's really fast."

"How long did it take to develop?"

"2 years"

::sigh::

I also believe a 747 can be used to squash a flea, but YIKES...

Quote for the day (yesterday)

"Do you go a day without self-reflection?"

"Yes"

(narrowed eyes) "Do you go TWO days without it?"

(long pause) "Yes. To answer your next question: Three days is pushing it."

...and now, I'm a real homeowner. (Part 687)

Returning from our jaunt around Georgetown last night around 8, Joey and I entered a house that couldn't be more tranquil: A load of laundry swished in the washer, the dishwasher was humming, and the pleasant smell of the new Airwick was in the air.

Joey went up to shower, and I sat down to veg-out.

A few minutes later, feeling peaked, I went to the fridge for a cheese stick. As I closed the door, processed cheese in hand I felt something hit my foot. Then I looked up to see A STREAM OF WATER GUSHING FROM THE LIGHT FIXTURE.

My mind raced. I (apparently) dropped my cheese stick in the floor, wondering if a pipe burst. I shut off the lights and yelled 'JOEY!'. Whitney thought I was yelling for no reason, then I told her, "THERE'S WATER COMING FROM THE CEILING". I ran upstairs as fast as I could to find water running in puddles all over the bathroom.

"Wha....You....Wha....?!" Yeah, that's me sputtering.

Joey (in towel): "The sink overflowed&…

Thoughts: C++ (is whacked!)

So, at my time on the beach, I inhaled Lippman's "C++ Primer (4th Edition)", attempting to get back up-to-speed on a language I left 6 years ago. At that time, I knew enough to be dangerous, but I didn't know enough programming theory to "get" half the stuff. My instruction on C++ had been "C using iostream", and some cursory stuff on classes and templates.

Anyway, I'm both impressed and horrified at C++. After coming through its ISO standardization, the language picked up some heavy-duty container and algorithm libraries, and they're well thought-out and consistent. However, C++ makes some design decisions that are almost contradictory, and the programmer pays the price for it. It's a compiled, strongly-typed language that allows multiple inheritance and operator overloading. Put a different way: It's a language that lets you prove how smart you think you are, while shooting yourself in the foot, ankle, leg...you get the idea…

Short update

First things first--thanks for the well-wishes! Mom's doing okay--she had gallbladder surgery July 20th, and sailed through with flying colors.

We embarked on our vacation, and I'll be writing several updates to go with that, but to summarize: Eight days with no computer, and barely any traveling in the car were awesome. The drive down there and back with two small kids was not so great. Didn't get too sunburned.

Yes, getting up again at my normal 5am was hard.

Prayer Requests...

My mom is in the hospital, awaiting surgery today at 11 am. It's just a gallbladder removal--simple, laproscopic, and routine. I'm still uneasy--the pain she's been having doesn't add-up to just gallbladder problems.

If all goes well with that, I'm headed out on vacation tomorrow, 654 miles to the Atlantic Seaboard, namely Holden Beach, North Carolina. I pray we all stay safe and that all goes well with Mom's surgery.

Quote of the day, yesterday

Bella:


I have no idea how you can find computer programming so interesting, but it makes me happy that you like it.


Honestly, if you don't like it, it'd be hell--cooped-up in an office all day, solving (mostly) intractable problems, surrounded by chaos.

And that's just the fun part. :-)

Factoid milestone

At 11:42 pm this past Saturday, I had a moment: I had a useless piece of information to impart regarding the topic at hand, and I DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING.

I'm usually the guy who's throwing in random facts. This is because I have (or had) a burning desire to appear intelligent.

This marks the only time in recent memory where I had the opportunity and didn't say anything

The weekend that was...(funny story ahead)

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Idyllic weekend...reading, exercise, and trying to buy a piano in Da Hood.

Friday night: walked around Scott Co Park for 1 1/2 hrs.

Saturday: The Piano Story.

Sunday: Church, hanging out at home.

* * *

The Piano Story:

Whitney wants a piano. She wants the kids to take piano lessons, and she'd like to start playing again herself. I dig pianos, too. Well, I like music in general.

Thing is, in order to afford one, we need to get one used. This isn't really a problem, because lots of people move cross-country and don't want to take their thousand pound piano with them.

Since Craigslist is your friend, Whitney found a Kawai piano for $200. This is rather like finding a BMW for $2000, from what I understand. Anyway, she tries for a week to get an appointment with this gal Robin to see the piano, but nothing. She finally calls her Friday to see if we can see it Saturday. Arrangements are made, but things seem a little sketchy. The piano's in a very bad part of Lousiville …

Loving a good rant

Project management in the software industry seems to suffer from a level of delusion that would get a person heavily medicated and assigned to a padded room for their own safety. One definition of insanity is expecting different results from the same input. And yet project after project gets planned with the same naive assumption that deliverable dates will be met, changes will not be added at the last minute and that senior VPs will not want to mark the project by making a pointless last minute addition just so they can say they had input into the project and justify their salaries.


Not saying I totally agree with this guy, but an overwrought 'I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore' rant is fun to watch.

* * *

I've not dealt with this lately because I quit my job. Or rather my many jobs: Team lead, offshore development coordinator, technical advisor, management flunky, and maintenance support programmer. Wasn't that I didn't like it; I'm enou…

Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

A couple of years after the last film came out we have the next installment of the Daniel Radcli...er...Harry Potter movies, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Let's get this out of the way--I LOVED THIS MOVIE! The trio can really act these days (particularly Emma Watson and Radcliffe), and the movie was a visual and comedic delight. From the first scene on, we're in the land of tasteful CGI--From the first scene's dementor attack throught he climactic battle between Voldemort and Dumbledoor, it's a wizard's world, and wonder abounds.

It's also a claustrophobic, small world--the visual language of this movie turns the expansive, bright world of the earlier movies inside out. Bravo! Here most scenes are at night, and daylight exteriors are shot tight against the actors. This is an intimate story about Harry as a young adult, filled with guilt about Cedric's death the previous term. He's increasingly isolated, and he feels the evil within hi…

Correlation: No pension == no loyalty?

Had a fascinating conversation with Chuck the other day, where he said:


The best thing that ever happened to me is when they cut out my pension


This got me thinking: Today, if you're lucky you have some employer-matching, tax-deferred retirement plan, like a 401(k), 403(b), SIMPLE, ABC-XYZ-Dooflatchie. These plans are all portable--quit or get laid-off, and you take the money with you.

From a corporate perspective, this moves legacy costs off the books. once you've contributed to the plan, your obligation ends, and the employee and the servicing company (say, Fidelity or Vanguard) handle the rest. This is A Good Thingtm.

But, is there an unintended side effect? Does this make employees more willing to move when tough times hit.

Janitorial Spin

Replying to your earlier email about the quality of my work.

I'd just like to reiterate that while your comments about the bathroom and vending areas are valid (and appreciated), I would remind you that this building has four floors. I agree that your floor is sub-optimal. I think our whole product support organization would join me in echoing your sentiments that toilets that flush are preferable to 'sewer gas spewing [expletive deleted] holes'.

Please allow me to recharacterize: The other three floors of this building have been in production for six years now, and have given very many good years of service. They've met (and, indeed, exceeded!) all customer and business requirements. I'd like to build consensus and shift the conversation to those positive aspects, and away from the bad report from the unfortunate incident.

After all, the other three floors are key business-drivers. We have four gold-class accounts served by those floors. I agree that, as y…

Quote of the day

Did you set the alarm just so you get up to watch Family Guy?

Shameless plug :-)

I've got like 30 books for sale at Amazon.com, ranging from Parenting manuals, roadtrip books, and technical tomes.

I've gone through my bookshelf here, and I've also gone through those at home. We managed to toast one bookshelf completely.

I should have the lowest price on each of these books, if anyone's interested.

Engineers explained

POWERS OF CONCENTRATION
If there is one trait that best defines an engineer it is the ability to concentrate on one subject to the complete exclusion of everything else in the environment. This sometimes causes engineers to be pronounced dead prematurely. Some funeral homes in high-tech areas have started checking resumes before processing the bodies. Anybody with a degree in electrical engineering or experience in computer programming is propped up in the lounge for a few days just to see if he or she snaps out of it.


link

The 1-series is coming!!

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I'll take an E30-size car with 240 hp for under $30k, please, Alex :-)



I think BMW finally figured-out that the 3-series was getting a little too big. Supposedly, there's plenty of the previous gen 3-series engineering in this car (as there is in the R50/R53 MINIs).

Nummy...now in about 10 years when I can afford a used one :-)

From a beautiful meeting a few days ago...

J-M (with heavy French accent): ...and now vee have zee tree per-son who get ze 'ate wall certification.

J: [raised hand] May I ask a question?

J-M: Cer-tan-lee

J: What's 'eight wall'.

J-M: It is zee next thing af-tur seven wall.

* * *

Perhaps this was one of those 'you had to be there' moments, but dang was it funny! J-M goofing on my old boss. Beautiful.

On "Compilers"

link

At Georgetown College, I took Compilers, a 400-level capstone course that scared the hell out of everyone. Everyone was like 10 students, because our CS department was that small. However, it was a required course. If you wanted to graduate witha B.S. in CompSci, then you had to have this course.

The prof was Bryan Crawley. Mister Crawley (insert Ozzy reference here). A strange guy, he was without a terminal degree, which made him the bootheel of the Math, Physics, and Computer Science department. The one thing this guy *loved* was compilers--he started introducing compiler-like concepts back in CS 111.

Anyway, the class was pretty boring, but it covered all the bases--using lex and regex's to tokenize, then using yacc to generate the Abstract Syntax Tree, and then writing the C code to do the code generation by traversing the tree. The language we were using was a fairly trivial stack-based affair, but it did demonstrate most of the problems with compillation. In part…

Review: Ghost Rider

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Two words: Loved it.

link



Dumb, enjoyable comic book movie. Not pretentious (a la "Hulk"), nor overlong (Spidey #3).

Any move where a flaming skeleton rides a demonic motorcycle up a skyscraper to defeat an elemental demon is worth at least a look. The CGI looked great, and Cage got to chew the scenery (and co-star Eva Mendes) for a full 112 minutes.

Probably the best part for me is Peter Fonda as Satan, strolling by Cage's motorcycle offering "Nice Bike." Cage's bike is a replica of Fonda's from "Easy Rider"