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Showing posts from 2009

Genesis of a Paper Trail

In the beginning, man created paper, and it was good. It was permanent, stateful, and could be used for warmth if the auditor got too close. Man could transfer the paper to another man, certain his message would get across. Man could doodle and mark-up the paper. For a backup solution, there was carbon paper. And, there was much rejoicing.
And, lo, God saw Man enjoying paper, and said, ""If as one people they use the paper, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them." And so, God invented e-mail and the Blackberry. And suddenly, man's communication was much faster, yet intent and meaning was lost. Yet, there was much rejoicing. (?)
Finally, in the business, Man created Groupware. "Email is no longer sufficient! We need Lotus Notes databases, and Wikis, and Blogs, and forums, eRooms, and FocalPoints." And vendors grew rich providing solutions to the business Men. And no one knew where to find the information. Putting information into…

Quick Hits: I'm not dead

Randomness:
* This month marks 2 years since Mom's cancer was diagnosed. She's still kickin'.
* I'm going to try and blog much more. Facebook's great. Twitter's great. Sometimes, though, I just can't hear myself think in there. Blogging's much more composition and reflection.
* I've learned to say 'No'. I've de-committed some things at church. Whitney and I have worked out some ways to get time for ourselves: Every other Saturday morning, we get 'Off'. The opposite parent takes the kids, no questions asked. It's still a work in progress, but I like where it's going.
* I'm melodramatic. I see drama where there is none. When I recognize this in myself, I'm trying to be self-deprecating, since my other problem is I TAKE MYSELF TOO DAMN SERIOUSLY. :-)
* After coming back from vacation, I'm re-evaluating lots of things. I don't know if it's really healthy for me to get up at 5am every day, for inst…

A strange sort of love story

I was staring at myself in the mirror a moment ago, washing my hands, thinking of a time years past, when I sat across from a Hazel Eyed woman:
"Why do you keep doing that?" she asked.
"What?"
"You keep doing sign language when you're talking. Why?"
It was the Fall of 1999. That summer, I thought I'd lost my soul mate, the woman who'd taught me a little bit of sign language. Her name was Whitney. I loved her so much I couldn't see straight. Even this sparkling gal from Menifee County couldn't cheer me up.
Now, in the Fall 2009, 10 years on, I realized God returned to me that woman I love.
Fact is, I got a second chance. Sad to say, I've spent most of the last 4 years in bitterness and self-delusion. When you bottle up so much darkness, it's hard to see the light shining through. Back in 1999, I would've given everything for even a glimpse of the blessings I have now--a life with Whitney, children, memories, laughter. …

A Dummy's way of doing CVS tagging in Subversion

User story:

As a developer, I want to tag my code every so often, so that other people can get code that's stable, not bleeding edge.


This is the classic CVS usecase: Commit your code, and then tag it as 'Production' or 'Released' or whatever. In CVS, that entails touching every file. In Subversion, that's a constant-time operation you can do wholly on the server.

Let's say you want to copy your current /trunk to /tags/release-1.0 tag. Issue this sort of command

svn copy http://server.foo.com/Repo/trunk http://server.foo.com/Repo/tags/release-1.0


Great huh?

Thing is, that's great for leaving a trail of tags in your wake (Beta 1 -> Beta 'N', Release 1.0 -> 2600). What it's NOT good for is for the 'moving tag' usecase: I want to tag my code and then change that tag to point at a new revision of code. This is useful for when 2 modules are evolving towards a release:


\module1
\trunk
\common

\module2
\trunk
\common &l…

Randomness: Found my coffee cup

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[Insert obligatory apology/observation about not updating my blog here]

It's a brand new me, folks. Less introspective. Focused on "What" and "How", not "Why." 'Why' is an empty question where one can spend one's whole life.

I'm 30 now. I'm married. I have two kids I love very much. I also have no idea who I really am. Most of this blog from these many years is complete B.S., I'm afraid--at least the stuff about me.

I'm hoping I've turned a corner, and I got a sign about that the other day: I got something back that I thought was lost.



Years ago, the last time I thought I "had it together" I had a coffee cup that I used to take everywhere with me at work. I drank less coffee then, but I'd still fill it with water in the afternoons. Right after I proposed to Whitney, I lost it. Last Wednesday, I found it on a shelf, forgotten in one of our labs.

Maybe certain things go away and just return when …

On the Murder of George Tiller

Someone gunned-down George Tiller in cold blood in his church Sunday. That he happened to be an abortion clinic doctor is immaterial. Vigilante justice, retribution, and demagoguery are not roads we need go down in this country--it's been done before.

Memorial Day Hangover

I enjoyed Memorial Day quite a bit. Our trip to Kings Island (formerly Paramount's Kings Island) was great. I would actually call it an achievement--we didn't overtire ourselves, and we never had a desire to strangle one another.

For the Combs clan, that's an achievement.

We got there at 6pm Friday, having checked-in to our excellent Courtyard Inn in Blue Ash and settled our stuff. A 20 minute wait for our Gold passes later, we were in the park and headed towards Nickelodeon, standing in awe of the new ride, Diamondback. As I've tweeted and Facebooked---WOW, what a ride. Beautiful, graceful curves--it's a transcendent beauty that's really themed the wrong way. The ride's not a snake at all, it's a tour de force of elegance and grace. A shark theme would have been better.

Anyway, so we settled into an alternating pattern--Joey would ride, then Maria would ride. Where we could, we rode all togeter. As the sun set, Whitney piped-up: "Harold has…

This is total crap....

Linky

Simply put, this regulation will be the end of the automobile industry (and possibly the automobile itself). They want 42mpg fleet AVERAGE? Given current regulations, the 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid gets 42mpg average. Nearly EVERY OTHER CAR on the road will underperform.

They want these regulations by 2016...understand, that's ONE GENERATION in automotive terms, given the 5-year product lifecycles the carmakers deal with. The 2011 and 2012 cars are already done and in the pipeline at this point.

Sheesh, not like the automakers had much choice. . .so they now have consumers who can't buy a car and a government that ties both hands behind their backs.

Americans won't buy cars that run on pixie farts, go 0-60 in a couple weeks, and hold 2 people. We're big people spread across a large continent who assume safe, comfortable transportation.

My prediction: The next shoe to drop is a $5/gallon tax on gasoline. That's the only way you're going to drive the meat of…

The solution...well...or not :-)

So, as anyone who's followed my blog for a year or more knows, I got motorcycle fever last spring and summer.

It all started innocently enough. I got a ride on my father in law's scooter (hey, I had the helmet already thanks to autocross, right?) It was something of a disaster--maneuvering the 600cc scooter at low speed wasn't *quite* as easy as I thought.

Long boring story later, I had full-blown fever. I took the MSF course and REALLY learned how to ride, FINE-C, the whole deal.

Then came the apodiction: "YOU WILL NOT BUY A MOTORCYCLE."

Fair enough.

Thought I had a loophole today--an ATV. Del, my carpool buddy, hatched a plan of engineering perfection. An ATV's offroad vehicle, far away from Semi's and other could-squash-you-like-a-bug stuff. Fits quite well, no?

No. They're deathtraps.

That's also a NO on Dirtbikes.

Jetski's show promise

Bizarro Dream of the weekend....

So, Sunday, I decided to do something completely out of character--I took a nap.

My wife took one look at my cranky-pants self after church and said, "You need a Nap for Jesus."

Which is a polite way of saying, "Jesus, Harold...take a nap!"

Anyway, my bizarro dream went like this:

[Interior. Lab environment. Soft lighting, muted hum of machinery]

Serge: Hello, Harold. I'm Sergey Brin. This is Larry Page. You might know us...we founded Google.

Harold: Umm....Hi.

Serge: So, we've been studying this Twitter phenomenon for quite a few years now. What do you think of Twitter?

Harold: Oh, I like it.

Larry: Hmm...interesting.

[Harold notices he's reclined on a couch, his brain wired up to some sort of halo device]

Harold: Are you READING MY THOUGHTS?

Serge: Possibly. So, Harold, tell us how your mother laughs.

Harold: What? NO!

Serge: Nevermind...this one's uninteresting. Send him back to his bed.

[White light. Fade to black]

* * *

And, then I woke up. In m…

My Day, these days.

I haven't blogged in forever...I guess it's just the omnipresence of Twitter and Facebook that have me being "unfaithful" to my blog.

Over the years, I've liked to record the way my day goes, just so I can look back and say, WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

A rundown of a typical day for me:


5am -- wake up, hit snooze button
5:09 -- wake up
5:18 -- NO REALLY, WAKE UP.
5:18 -> 6am -- Listen to "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" podcast while doing dishes, making coffee, eating pop-tart, reading RSS feeds (depends on the day)
6am: Get Joey up. Bring Whitney coffee
6:15 -> get in the shower
7am --> Whitney, Joey, and Maria in the van to leave for school
7:15 to ~8 carpool to work
8 - 9: relish the quiet. Get work done
9: 15 minute social time with Jim.
9:15->11: work
11 -> 15 minute stand-up meeting with my team
11:15: Lunch
1->5: work
5:35 -> arrive back home
6 to 6:30 -> DINNER
6:30 to 7:30 -> Help Joey with his homework
8: Time with Whitney
10: Bed, if I hav…

Man, the real world sure is different that I expected

You know, growing-up I had three examples of "real life" to go by: My mom, my Dad, and my Aunt Norie. Each led vastly different lives: Mom was a schoolteacher; Dad was a travelling salesman; and Norie did payroll for the local office of the D.O.T.

Like most schoolteachers, Mom's life existed on two levels--the "regular" hours that looked so attractive, and the reality. On paper, it was a sweet enough deal: Work 7 to 2, 5 days a week, get Summer Vacation and lots of "snow days". Reality wasn't so rosy, with Mom doing lesson plans in her off time, grading papers 'til the wee hours of the morning, and running extra-curriculars all the time.

So yeah, I didn't want to be a teacher.

Dad's job wasn't just bad--it was an anathema. He was gone 10 to 14 hours every day selling groceries to every God-forsaken grocery store in Eastern Kentucky. He put 50,000 miles per year on his car, and only got off on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Act…

Review: Yes Man

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Linky

Oh, Jim Carrey, how far and hard you've fallen.

Last night, Whitney and I RedBox'd Yes Man, a movie completely devoid of plot. Plot: A progression of a story through introduction, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution (denoument).

Yeah, this story has none. It has a terrific *premise*, that of a man who is stuck in a rut until he magically transforms into a guy who can't lie and hilarity ensues (wait, that's that other movie by the same guy). No, this time, he's a guy who can't say 'Yes,' until he goes to a life-changing "Say Yes" seminar taught by General Zod.



After this, he experiences a Benny Hinn-style conversion, saying "yes" to everything. Compulsively.

And that's pretty much the movie. Back the truck up, there's no plot from that premise on in. Oh, there's lots of peripheral characters, vignettes, and sketches, but it's much closer to "Kentucky Fried Movie" than "Citizen Ka…

Rant: Thirty Five Million Dollars???

Perhaps Cal's a bargain at that price.

However, when I look at the budget presentation here, I see a $2.2 Billion budget for the University of Kentucky (slide 5). Calipari's $4,375,000 per year is right at 0.2% of the total budget. A pittance? Again, perhaps.

However, when we flip over to slide 11, notice a budget slashed to meet declining revenue projections, with 188 positions eliminated.

It makes me sick to my stomach to read the last slide, Dr. Todd's valediction to those whose education become unaffordable, and those staff who lost their jobs:


The budget before you is far from perfect. There is pain here
that no one seeks and no one deserves. In it lies the sacrifice of
our students, who will pay more tuition. In it too lies the
sacrifice of our faculty and staff, who will not see their pay
increase.


Yet, you found $35 million to pay some scoundrel who'll probably lead us straight to NCAA sanctions.

I can't believe my tax dollars support this kind of crap.

/rant

A few updates

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Too long for a tweet, to short for proper blog. Here goes:

On Gillespie
Yes, you woke up the next day, and Billy Clyde Gillespie is really gone. He's trying to "win" the breakup, showing the world his smiling public face, but make no mistake--you hurt him. You took him right off the turnip truck, threw him in front of the most rabid fan base this side of Notre Dame football, and now he'll be laughing all the way to the bank as he deposits $6 million. I'm no lawyer, but I think that's what that "Memorandum of Understanding" implies.

I hate this state sometimes. We generate illiterate sheeple via our public education system, we're closing down higher education programs left and right, and we have to pay someone $6 million TO LEAVE. Brilliant!



* * *

On Corporate Jargon

My wife hates corporate jargon. And general wordiness. And fuzzy-logical things. I laid this gem on her last night:


Plans are useless, planning is essential -- Dwight D. Eisenho…

I had a dream last night. . .

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It was a hot Friday evening, the pavement sizzling though the sun was just about to clock out for the day.

Work stank today, in that "Where else you gonna get a job, loser?" sort of way. Fear and loathing in Lexington, yup. But, she waited.

She was hundreds of horsepower, rear wheel drive, and leather interior. She didn't run, she purred. Red--I've NEVER had a red car, but nothing else seemed to fit. Those 4 50-series tMIGHT last 10,000 miles, if I never drove hard.

Tonight was for driving hard.

Slide in, flip the ignition to 'run' just to hear the fuel pump engage. Six individual throttle bodies need lots of pressure, after all. Grind the starter. Yeah, baby...I know it's been a whole week. Sorry.

Clutch in, left and up for reverse, ease her out. Idle lopes along...cams, cams, cammmmms.... Lights on. It's twilight, but I don't want anyone missing me on the windy road as I speed by.

Coolant temp's coming up, but it'll be awhile befor…

On politics: Why Revolution in America is a REALLY bad idea...

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Ah, Revolution.

Romantic thought, isn't it? Taking an untenable social and political situation and hitting the big 'Reset' button on the old Nintendo. Start fresh. Start clean. Do it RIGHT this time. Certainly, it worked for our Founding Fathers.

You see, I've been hearing the 'R' word bandied about quite a bit in the last few weeks. Casually, as if people were trying it on for size, or as a rhetorical caper: "Do __________, and you'll have revolution in the streets, Mr. Chairman!"

As Peter Griffin would say, "Whoa, whoa, whoa....whoa....whoa!"



Take a step back and THINK for a moment what revolution would mean in modern America. We are no longer a decoupled society of self-sufficient frontiersmen, able to handle the gamut from Native American attack through plague through famine in stride. We're 300 million "entitlement" people without basic survival skills other than driving to Kroger to buy fuel.

Glen Beck said it bes…

Convalescence, in brief--and a 'Twilight' review.

As I sit here at 5:15 am, drinking coffee and eating Raisin Bran, this is pretty much the first time in 2 weeks I've felt like myself. A head cold turned into bronchitis, then back into a severe head cold. I had fever & chills 3 out of 4 days last week. Finally, the doctor prescribed a course of antibiotics and two days later I couldn't hear out of my right ear.

Fun times.

So, Dr. Whitney prescribed strict rest--don't do anything unessential. Weld my butt to the couch, drink lots of fluids, stay warm--all good advice. Nearly drove me batty, but at least we started a RedBox-fueled movie marathon. Reviews below:

Bolt: Amazing this pointless, self-important, slow 3-D animation came out of the same people who brought us The Incredibles. It's a very small movie, essentially a rip-off of Homeward Bound, starring vocal talents (!) of John Travolta and Miley Cyrus. Like the title character in "The Truman Show", bolt is a TV superstar who has no idea he…

Maria loads another 16....rolls?

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Meme: "25 Movies you cannot live without"

Once you have been tagged, you are supposed to write down 25 movies you cannot live without. You know, the ones you can watch over and over and never get tired of. They don't have to be in any particular order. These are the movies that make you laugh, cry, think of an old friend, whatever the reason.

Please note that these are not in any particular order, these are just the 25 films I feel are my favorites, and ones I return to often.

1. Airplane!
2. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
3. 30 Seconds over Tokyo
4. WALL-E
5. Empire Strikes Back
6. Top Secret
7. The Godfather, Part II
8. The Godfather
9. Bridge over the River Kwai
10. Patton
11. Risky Business
12. The Secretary :-)
13. Top Gun
14. Grand Prix
15. The Italian Job (original w/Michael Caine)
16. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
17. The Ten Commandments
18. National Lampoon's Vacation
19. Dr. Strangelove
20. War Games
21. The Last Starfighter
22. Major League
23. Die Hard
24. Elf
25. American Pie

Review: City of Ember

Linky

City of Ember is a gripping, family-friendly tale of perserverence and survival. It stars some no-name child actors amid a cast of recognizable adult faces (Bill Murray, Tim Robbins) as the residents of an underground city called "Ember".

As the story opens, we see a group of scientists in a "doomsday" scenario: Huddled around a time capsule device, they discern that 200 years is "enough" time to wait for...something. Life to be sustainable on Earth again? The planet to give itself an enema? Memories of "Hannah Montana" to fade? Who knows.

Anyways, as FerFAL would say, the SHTF--globally--and it's time to hunker down and preserve English speaking society, dangit!

So, 200 years pass, and somehow, this city hundreds of feet below ground persists, despite running short of food, sanitation, spare parts, and any ability to do more than gaze at its own navel. It's ILLEGAL in Ember to try to go outside.

Oh, and by the way, the bugs a…

Cutie-pie

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America, the Oligarchy

Oligarchy

This country is an oligarchy--a country ruled by a narrow, incestuous, elite class bent on maintaining their tenuous grip on power. Where once we had a broad spectrum of representative government and limited federal powers, we now have an all-encompassing federal government, controlled by two parties that look suspiciously like one another.

Where's the healthy disagreement? Where are the extremist whackos (Libertarians, Greenies, Communists, Socialists, and...heck...Whigs) that are the hallmark of a functioning democracy? They don't exist in this country. What we have instead are two centrist parties bent on maintaining the status quo, keeping the constituents fat, dumb, and happy.

That's what grinds my gears--the fat, dumb, and happy part. That's the REASON Oligarchy exists, the REASON Socrates drank the hemlock: Oligarchs can't have an educated, engaged populace. They can't tolerate it, because the plebes just might start questioning them. Can&…

Having another Bi-polar day.

I've been keeping up with twitter, but no so much on my blog. It just seems like such a futile time to be writing much of anything.

The world economy is dying. We have (er...had) a super-optimized consumption machine going, with a supply-line stretching from the third world (where stuff was made) through the first world, where stuff got consumed and thrown away. The consumers bought the stuff with their white-collar paychecks funded by the 100,000+ people per year who became finance majors, because only suckers become engineers or scientists (too hard, involves math, can't BS your way to the top).

Only...the reality of it was, keeping up with the Jones's destroyed the Jones's as well. Like a vast game of Liars poker--everyone saw what you had, but you didn't know yourself. If everyone else could afford a 4000 square foot house, 3 new cars, 2 vacations per year, why shouldn't we? I mean, THEY could make it work, why not us? Looking successful became all-imp…

Maria's 2nd

Maria's second birthday was yesterday, at 10:40pm.

At that point, everyone else was asleep and I was at the computer working on our taxes for the year.

We're having her party this weekend on Sunday.

An Open Letter to Southeast Christian Church

As Easter grows near, this particular blog is going to haunt me again, it would seem.

In hopes of staving off another storm of firey, hurt emails, here's my open letter those whose ire I've inspired.


First, I am sorry if I upset you.

If you reread my post, you'll see that I pointed out good and bad points about the particular night I attended a performance. And I stand by those opinions from one year ago.

I agree I could've said some things differently in that post. Several comments were contemptuous, and they do not reflect the person I am as I respond to you today. Yes, the Southeast Easter Pageant is a massive undertaking, and in previous years' attendance, I was amazed at the production values and strong message for Christ it portrayed.

I've considered removing that post entirely several times. That being said, my blog reflects both who I am, and who I have been. If I remove posts that are a snapshot of a prior time, that defeats why I blog in the …

Something completely different--Music

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Been a pretty stressful time lately--co-teaching a class at church, layoffs at work, and kids bored OUT OF THEIR MINDS because of the Snowpocalypse.

My iPod's been my one refuge. Listening to it today, I've learned something about my (new) self--I hate lots of music.

Basically, I hate atonic noise, overwrought compositions, and LOUD stuff. That's ALOT of what people listen to--and alot of what's on my ipod.

About the only thing that gives me peace these days is Miles Davis's Kind of Blue



There's a peace there--amid the din of this insane, lost world--that I just crave. It's a basement jazz bar, a soothing glass of bourbon, warm conversation, and a pleasant feeling of "being"--being yourself. There's no anger here, just smooth jazz: "Everyone's got issues, man. Just sit down and relax."

This is getting comical...

So, most of Kentucky is shut down because of this snow/ice mess we have currently, and my august company has decided to go forward with their yearly kickoff meeting, despite 50% absentee rate at the moment.

On Stopping

Stopping means bringing a moving object or system to a halt. Things naturally get slower as they get colder, down to absolute zero, when all motion (even molecular vibration) ceases.

I was talking to Whitney last night before bed about it...it just feels like everything's stopping--the economy, politics, people's attitudes. Just grinding to a halt.

Yay, we have a new president. Yay, he signals an end to the basic racial divide in American history. So...what now? That seems to be the gut reaction--flowery rhetoric fails when cold reality frosts its dewy petals. I'm sure the last Byzantine emperor made many great speeches before the Turks battered down the walls with a cannon.

* * *

Americans have seen many dark winters: The troops at Valley Forge, the siege of Petersburg, and the Depression and its interminable bread lines and hopelessness. This looks to be another slog; I just hope a spoiled and cosseted generation can live up to the example our forebears set.

On "Norah Jones"

Every time I hear Norah Jones, I'm hear Joey snoring softly in the back on my MINI, dusk falling around us as we drive back from Somernites Cruise on US 127 from Danville.

The sun's gone down on a perfect day, and Whitney's looking at me every so often with so much love in her eyes, I just want to cry. She doesn't know I see her looking. And that's okay.

* * *

It's that time of the winter when you never know if you'll know warmth again. That memory keeps me warm, as it has for many years since.

Retweet / Rememe: Focusing

From Chuck: Linky

Productivity for a creative person or thought worker is consistency, discipline, and knowing yourself. I don't do well at night, so I try to work before noon, leaving time for all the corporate crap in the afternoons.

Sadly, everything has a way of blowing up at precisely 4:45 pm. Don't know why.

Where my temper comes from

You know, I think I finally figured out where my temper comes from: My Mom's side of the family.

I sat here 2 minutes ago and had a full-blown Aunt Norie incredulous rant. At one point, I took a step back and heard myself speaking and it was like, "That sounds an awful lot like Norie at full tilt."

Yep. Dad's family is placid. Mom's is a tad more assertive.

Contemptuous image of the day

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I miss my family

Been a hectic couple of weeks around the Combs household. Whitney got a crash assignment from our pastor to develop a devotional handbook from scratch in a week. 50 days of devotional thoughts, on 7 different themes.

Joey cut his hand trying to close his pocket knife on Saturday, requiring 3 stitches in the back of his hand (they come out in 8 more days).

They turned off our FSA (thank you, Humana), so we're paying our medical copays out-of-pocket. Honestly, for all the trouble we go through with that frickin' thing, I'm tempted to set the amount to zero next year and just pay it with after-tax dollars.

Work's been...well, they're laying off 375 people this month. Not me (I don't think), but people in middle and upper management are carrying-on as if nothing's changed when people are fighting for their livelihoods. The "Dilbert" and "Office Space" factor has gone up exponentially. Honesty and cooperation are disappearing.

And I'…

On Prayer

So, last night our small group topic was prayer. Not surprisingly, we used Matthew 6 as our text:


9"This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us today our daily bread.
12Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.'


Then someone piped-up on "your will be done," saying: "Well, I kinda expect God to answer and I get frustrated when He doesn't."

Our leader's reply: "I do the same thing. I think we both need the Prayer Drive-Thru: Drop off your prayer at the first window, get your answer at the second."

Fun times.

Nerd: Copy windows command line STDOUT to clipboard, directly

Linky

Need to send somebody an svn link to the code you're working on?

svn info . | grep URL | clip

Then, just Ctrl-C and paste it into your email.

Rant On getting smacked down...

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So, you live in an organization for 10 years, and you acquire a certain rep. A reputation as a maverick, a guy who's not too wrapped-up in procedure, kowtow'ing, and career. You've said some things in meetings that were career-limiting, but damn it, they were the RIGHT THINGS.

Sure, you broke into someones computer once to get their hard drive so you could deliver the code she REFUSED TO CHECK IN before going on vacation. Sure, you telnet'd in to a running test server to see if your hack worked and could save everyone working the weekend (it didn't, you hosed the test run, and you worked round the clock that weekend). Sure, you've slapped your head at stupidity (both in others and your own), and welcome anyone who'll do the same.

However, 10 years, several promotions, two kids, a mortgage, and a car payment tend to make you forget who you are. For one sparkling moment this morning, you remembered. You asked an innocent email question last night to a tec…

Comment: Web 2.0 is over?

Linky

In hindsight, certain things look foolish: Jewel-encrusted buggywhips, Pets.com, and GM's interest in Hummer. I'm sure after enough time, this Web 2.0 foolishness will look just as silly. I loved some of the apps that resulted: RescueTime, Mint.com, etc. They're neat.

Still, eventually, you've got to have a business model. Something that doesn't begin and end in "ad-supported". Something people will pay for, that they NEED, and that has some complexity and barrier-to-entry. Government protection or an outright monopoly wouldn't hurt, either.

I've long bemoaned working at a hardware company, but having a revenue stream and an annuity-based business model is looking pretty good right now, just like it did in 2001.

Quote of the day: Video style

Maria overcomes vacu-phobia

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It's been a long journey from terror, to disdain, to abidance, to curiousity, but now, HERE IT IS:

The Break, Summarized

School's back in session, the teacher's hungover, the class is catatonic, and the assignment is "Essay on what you did over Christmas Break".

* * *

Over my Christmas break, I enjoyed my family and relaxed. This was a novelty; usually by the 3rd day I feel cooped-up and restless and turn into a complete asshole. During this week-and-a-half, I really had no desire to put my fist through a wall, run away to Mexico, or otherwise dig a hole in the back yard and jump in it.

For that inner peace, I credit this journey I've been on for the last 4 months, learning to embrace some inner peace and become a better husband, father, friend, and human being, in general.

Notable moments from the break:


Whitney and I went to see A Tuna Christmas on January 2nd. This is the last time the show will be in Louisville and it was truly hilarious, if bawdy and downright offensive at times
Joey and I went target shooting with my father on New Years Eve. Joey's shown some interest in …