Showing posts from August, 2007

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):


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

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


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

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;
double := k*2;

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."


Win32 in a nutshell


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

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 @, 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: "'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...


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.


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.


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

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"


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?"


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

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