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Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Time:10:26 am.
Copy this sentence into your LiveJournal if you're in a heterosexual marriage, and you don't want it "protected" by those who think that gay marriage hurts it somehow.

Ed. note: And just to be clear, for those I know who may disagree with this, I'm talking about secular marriage.
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Monday, October 20th, 2008

Subject:PSA: Dell and McAfee suck!
Time:4:25 pm.
Especially if working together.

I'm not going to go through the 6 or 7 phone calls I've had with them today. Each time I've been bounced back to the other. To solve a simple issue that should take 30 seconds, they've made me waste hours of time on hold or dealing with a (and no, I'm not normally this much of an ass) dumbass call center flunkie who doesn't know anything other than the buttons he can push in front of him. Give these folks a map and they'd probably get lost.

I'm never gonna buy anything from Dell or McAfee again if I can help it. This is so dumb that it is beyond the pale of understanding. And before this, I was a loyal Dell customer. Fuck'em.
Comments: Read 2 orAdd Your Own.

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Subject:It's called Stunts.
Time:6:32 pm.

Exalted has had this (and other games too) for quite a while. Scenery, scenery, scenery used to be the mantra in our online games. Exalts being played right should chew scenery like it is going out of style. In fact, players are encouraged to, unless it breaks what the GM has already stated about the scenery, to _add_ to the scenery in order to make use of it.

Fighting on a glacier, make a chasm appear in front of you to jump or to use for other purposes. Fighting in a forest, have an old forgotten and buried shrine appear during your chase. Fighting in a desert, have a sandstorm appear on the horizon coming on fast.

Sorry, no points for originality there, my friend. But you're making me want to play Exalted again. :)
Comments: Read 6 orAdd Your Own.

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Subject:Three fer Friday ...
Time:1:22 pm.

The Democrats that backed the revised FISA bill all got money FROM the telcos. I'm shocked and mortified, I am. Shocked I say.

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Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Subject:Not another one ... the Giants are all falling.
Time:9:36 pm.
Erick Wujcik is apparently now in hospice care. He had been fighting pancreatic cancer (that was already in his liver when they found it) and ... and well, you can guess the rest.

His were some of the best Palladium books to come out. Certainly his treatment of the martial arts, mystic kung fu and all things asian in Ninjas and Superspies and later Mystic China helped make my games more fun.

I hope that he finds comfort and peace.
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Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Subject:Don't do it...
Time:10:14 am.
You know that you want to. You tell yourself you're saving an icon, a good business and a tasty treat. But don't give to Tosci's. They failed to pay their taxes, they made the mistakes, not you. You're not letting them be responsible citizen's and adults and more likely you're teaching them that they can count on you to bail them out.

Just say no to Tosci's.
Comments: Read 7 orAdd Your Own.

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Subject:A good professor can teach ADA in any language.
Time:10:19 am.

I feel for these guys, I do. I'll state up front that I'm not a professor or for that matter a software programmer in a "mission critical" project ... like say, air traffic control. So this isn't a perfectly generalized rant. I suspect that there are parts of the software world where the above article might find more traction.

However, while I agree with a lot of what they say ... I disagree with some of the particulars.

ADA. There is no need to ever learn this. Ever. Fortran is almost the same, except if you're going to maintain any math libraries, many of them are still fortran based so you'd have to know it. But ADA and Fortran, aren't something you're likely to encounter in the majority of your work. So why learn it? The same goes for Cobol in case you're wondering.

They suggest that there are a number of habits that the current crop(s) of software engineers aren't learning. So, they suggest that the students learn these languages to learn good habits.

Pardon me, guys, but if you tie the learning of the habits to the languages, languages that folks aren't going to use elsewhere, you're more likely to find that the habits get lost. Case in point, 6.170 used to be taught in CLU. If you've never heard of CLU, there's a reason. It isn't used _anywhere_ except academia. And any habits I learned in CLU I lost years ago. On the flip side, I see LISP all the time, even though it isn't what you might call a primary programming language in almost any company these days. Habits I learned in LISP I still use. And habits I learned in C++ stuck hard because I used it a lot more.

Instead, curricula should focus on teaching the habits that they want students to learn, in the languages that the students are likeliest to use. If Java, or C, or Python, or Rails, are likely to be the PLs that folks use, then the professors needs to learn those languages, warts and all. What is more likely do you think, that 10s of thousands of software engineering students will learn ADA and the skills that these professors claim are associated with it, and then take those skills to Java, or that a few hundred professors could learn Java and then teach habits to their students that they'll carry throughout their careers? Yeah, I thought so. I think that the same mentality that they claim hits students (laziness is one) has hit professors in this regard. I know it is hard to learn a new language every few years, but you're a professor. You can't pull students back to your past, you have to work with them in their present.

Personally, I do agree that students should learn a language like C. Understanding pointers, understanding the memory, knowing the processing beneath the sorts of tools like a Java VM helps them make better decisions later. Hiding everything about the system from them is only going to turn them into software artists, not engineers. But ADA? Fortran? Cobol? Even LISP? These are languages that you'll only see in a very few, narrow corners of the world. Outside of them, forget it. So why build up a framework in a language most of these students are going to discard?

Instead of a good programmer can program ADA in any language, how about a good professor can teach ADA in any langauge.

There, fixed that typo for you, professors.
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Monday, December 24th, 2007

Subject:A season'd greeting...
Time:2:38 pm.
Merry Christmas!
Froehe Wiehnachten!
Feliz Navidad!

to all and to all a good night.

We will be on planes tomorrow, so elsinoreblue and I send our wishes out today. Be well and may peace be your present this holiday.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Subject:Make Congress understand what laws they're passing? What a concept!
Time:9:27 am.
I dunno how realistic these are, but I feel the need to pass the word.

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Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Subject:Very cool picture ... very bad geometry?
Time:6:13 pm.

I love the picture, and given my current field of work, love the concept of a 3D stereoscopic vision of the sun. :)

But, I think someone either oversimplified, under-researched, or just completely lied about something in the story.

How does something that is travelling 1 million miles behind us, get any angle wherein the moon is between it and the sun? The moon, btw, orbits at a distance of 250,000 miles from us. Doing a bit of geometry, it is clear that at no point can a line from that satellite run through both the moon and the sun.

My guess is that these images were taken while the spacecraft is on its way to its million mile away parking orbit. Somehow.
Comments: Read 2 orAdd Your Own.

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

Subject:Meme and a bet not taken ...
Time:11:34 am.
Well, I suspect that someone out there did what I did not, which was start a pool on how long it was until some conservative/Republican stooge went and obviously confused Barack Obama with Osama bin Laden. Am I surprised that it came from "We-like-to-call-it-'Fair-and-Balanced'" Fox News?


In Memage, Top 5 places besides Boston that I'd want to live. Brought to you by jencallisto. In no particular order ...

1. San Francisco
2. San Diego
3. Germany
4. New Zealand
5. Hawaii

If you'd like me to give you a Top N list to fill out, just post a reply here with your selected number N (must be positive integer :)).
Comments: Read 9 orAdd Your Own.

Friday, February 9th, 2007

Subject:Fairly sure everyone has seen this already, but just in case...
Time:9:42 am.
Pandemonium Books is having problems. They're a good store that seems to have had more issues that originally thought as a result of its move. I really like the store and it would be a shame to see it go after all these years.

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Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

Subject:Cold and colder ...
Time:9:09 am.
Wow. It's damn cold out. In fact its so cold that the windshield on my car cracked. :(

It's 8 degrees out. Well, we were due.

Also, in the PSA department, anyone who got that stomach flu might want to report it if they haven't already. http://www.boston.com/yourlife/health/diseases/articles/2007/01/17/intestinal_germ_leaves_trail_of_misery/
Comments: Read 2 orAdd Your Own.

Saturday, January 6th, 2007

Subject:Wierdest Birthday ever...
Time:1:46 pm.
I am about to walk out into _warm_ weather, in my shorts and t-shirt on my birthday.

I don't think I ever did that even in El Paso.
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Subject:Birfday fishes
Time:11:49 am.

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Monday, January 1st, 2007

Subject:Happy New Year Everyone!
Time:12:50 am.
Tomorrow come many resolutions and changes, but for tonight toast the end of 2006, the beginning of 2007 and all our friends, old and new!
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Monday, December 25th, 2006

Subject:Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Time:1:12 pm.
Have a good one, folks!
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Friday, December 1st, 2006

Subject:Open Letter to Website developers
Time:3:46 pm.
If you're not testing your nice little flash popup ads in Firefox (or Opera, or whatnot) and making sure they don't fuck up your damned site, that's your problem.

No. I will not use IE * with your website. No, I will not change my settings so your page works. I will not update Flash for you.

You will simply, and if it continues, permanently, lose my interest.

That means _you_ www.scifi.com.
Comments: Read 1 orAdd Your Own.

Subject:December 1st! What?!
Time:10:44 am.
Ok, where the heck did the year go? There's 1 month left, 31 days, a bit less than 800 hours to go in the year.

My year in review would be very sad in terms of things that didn't get done, but perhaps I will try it later in the weekend.

Enjoy your last few bits of 2006 everyone! Lucky 2007 is just around the proverbial corner.
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Thursday, November 16th, 2006

Subject:Two moments in a day
Time:3:08 pm.
I'm driving into Boston to get some stuff from my dentist and there's traffic on 128 south. It turns out some guy (girl?) has flipped his car onto its top over on the side of the road. From the looks of it, they had to break the window to get out. There was no sign of an ambulance, though I suspect that may have already left. Glad I wasn't in that car.

Then, while on Memorial Drive, heading back to work, I pull up to this light, look over, and there's this blue jay on the grass. Only, he's not a blue bird like most jays are. He's more of a sky blue, or a pastel light blue ... very pretty, very hungry ... he grabbed a grub and left. It was just one of those moments when you had to appreciate life.
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LiveJournal for tirianmal.

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