Friday, October 31, 2003
Ok... so Tina definately does not want any pictures of her on the internet. I've remove any pictures with her in them (including group shots). But there are still pictures of the rest of us.
Also... my blog is set to show 10 entries, and I've blogged more than that today! So, if interested, you may want to look at the archive for the month for anything you've missed.
Speaking of archives... Yeah, last year I reported on each of my Fantasy Football games. This year I've just been too busy to do much besides sign up. I lost the first 5 games I think. Then I won one, and that caused me to at least look at things, so I started moving people around on the bench, then picked up a player. Now I've won two. Still 6-2-0... but that makes me TIED for last place, instead of BEING last place. :-) Maybe I'll pay some attention and actually move up into the middle of the pack. Why bother? Well it has given me a little fun, even if I don't win the whole thing. At least when I've had time its been interesting.
I'm looking for recipes I've posted, and some were on this blog. So I'm scanning back through all the archives. Journalling is cool. I've never really done it, except here. Cool just to see old stuff I thought was cool, events that happend in my life, etc. Yeah, its not every thing, not the really personal stuff (for me or others), but it is a snap-shot of something. And its kind of cool to go look at it. And its only been a little over a year.
And Tina asks why I'm watching the food channel at 2:00AM. Hey... you can find some cool dishes!
Was watching last night and caught the tail end of a family making Chicken Karahi on Calling all Cooks. Looked pretty interesting. After having the Eggplant Curry last week, I'm in the mood for trying out some other mid-eastern food. (Chicken Karahi is Pakistani). I haven't tried it yet, but probably will in the next month or so (Its a busy month for cooking, not sure when I'll try something new).
Just went downstairs to tell the girls I had posted pictures to the web... No answer. They are too intent on the movie. But I did get the oppurtunity to see something that looked like a head exploding. I'm not sure what it was, but I decied it was better to retreat to my room and do geeky stuff like blogging, etc.
So... its Holloween... the girls: Tina, Jaime and Erika, are all downstairs watching scary movies. Watching some flick with half dead rotting looking people, blood, screams, etc. Not my idea of a fun time. I could barely get through it eating my dinner!
So, what to do? Hey... we got a digital camera not too long ago and I've been meaning to upload a bunch of pics to my home page. Might as well do it now. Uploaded stuff from cancun, becky's wedding reception, the "kids" while they were here (and dancing at the reception), and a few pictures of Bobby, Zack and Ricky. One of the reception shots has a picture of a bunch of the women, including 4 that have worked on Sheriff.
So... if you want to see some recent shots of people, some flattering and some not so, go take a look.
And hey... if any of the girls get upset... well that is what they get for watching scary movies. ;-)
Oh great... the company that just fired someone for blogging a "company secret" is now talking about buying Google, which is the parent of Blogger... Ev... say it isn't so!
Turns out that blogging can get your fired. What a drag. I hate self-censorship. Not about what you think is appropriate to publish, but what someone else might find appropriate for you to publish. You end up not writting what you'd like, but always wondering what someone else will think about what you write, or the consequences. I've often worry about this when writting technial stuff... is this appropriate? Is this a company secret, etc. Drag.
Thursday, October 30, 2003
Hey... when you're the best, where else can they go. ;-)
There are issues, but its a start!
Hey... I'm doing my best to stay innovative...
Day 3 of a week long "drop some weight" diet. I'll have to see if I can find a link for it later. Anyway, Becky gave it to Tina and I. Jaime lasted one day. "Hey, I don't really need to lose weight (she doesn't), and I hate these vegtables." Day 1 was easy. Day 2 was rough. This morning, day 3. I open my mail and remember tomorrow is free breakfast day at work... waffles, pancakes, juice, etc. And my diet calls for... bananas and soup. Hmm... maybe I should go off it. Tina says yeah, 3 days is enough. So I figure I'll tough out today.
Today is mind-numbing. I've got 176 files left to review. It is going somewhat slow. My head hurts. I need some caffine... a Diet MtDew sounds great (not on the diet). Josette pokes her head into my cube, "Want Yakitori for lunch?" - Hmmm... Sure... that is enough peer-pressure for me to drop the diet.
2 greasy-crunch onion-rings... Oh man. The crunch, the grease, the sweet taste of the onion! And then 2 shrimp, just as crunchy, but dipped in mustard sauce. A sweet mustard sauce. Yum! Then the chicken yakitori and some white rice with sweet sauce. I'm in heaven.
But hey... it was worth it. I lost 5 lbs in two days! And if I watch it, I should be able to keep most of that off. The diet was ok... I think I'll do it once in a while, maybe just for 2 or 3 days. If I can maintain and drop 5 lbs here and there, I should be good!
I think it was the code review that really did me in.... just too boring w/o anything to look forward to, like FOOD.
Then down to the cafe for a MtDew... Come back, check the blogs, set my wall-paper to jcn's photo today, write this up and back to work. Speaking of today's photo. Reminds me of lunch in cancun. Sitting on the veranda, watching the lizards. Cool.
I'm code reviewing this morning. To do this, I grep for the files containing "jjw needed" (these are the files I have to review), more the diff file, look at the diffs to decide if I need to make comments in the file, and then edit the file. This was taking some manual effort (find the file, type in the name, etc.), which gets to be a pain when you have 100s of files to look at. Played around a bit and figured out that I could use the following commands:
more `grep -l "jjw needed" * | head -4 | tail -1`_diff
xemacs `grep -l "jjw needed" * | head -4 | tail -1`
The 'grep' searches for the files and lists just the file name, 'head' displays the first N results (in this case 4) and then tail displays the last N resluts, in this case 1. This basically perfoms a 'more' on the 4th file, appending "_diff" to the file name. Then the next command edits that file.
While I still long for VMS, and think it is a much better OS, there are some cool things you can do with Unix.
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
I've always (well pretty much always) had long hair. For quite some time I had it in a mullet (although I didn't really realize that. I just had it long in the back and Tina liked it short on top). Recently (within the last year) I decided to grow it all out. It is almost long enough to put in a pony-tail now. Not quite... but close enough that with some hair-spray it works.
Anyway... it is kind of interesting to see how I am treated differently because of my long hair (not longer recently, but pretty much my entire adult life). Two main things I notice. The first I've noticed for quite some time, the second just recently.
- Fast-food, 7/11, etc. help tend to treat me as an equal. There will be someone in a suit, etc. and the service person will be like, "How may I help you sir. Is there anything else you'd like?", etc. But with me they are always like, "Hey dude, hows it going?", etc. I actually perfer the informalness of it... and it is one of the perks of having long hair. I think this is especially true as I get older. At 45 it kind of gives me a lift to have a 20-year old call me "dude", "man", "bud" and not "sir". :-)
- People tend not to trust you when you walk up to their car window. This has happend a few times in the last month. I broke down at work and there was this car that stopped and looked like maybe they were trying to see if I needed help. I couldn't see the person and thought maybe it was someone from work. (I was still at work). So I walked up to the window and this middle-age woman had a look of fright on her face. Like I was going to mug her or something. Then last night I left work and the guy behind me had his lights off. It was about dusk and it was kind of hard for me to see him. Going down Garden of the Gods Rd, I noticed quite a bit of traffic pulling onto the road. (Lots of people leaving work). I started thinking, "Maybe someone won't see him and pull out right in front of him." So I'm thinking if I should signal him somehow. We go through several lights (me being a block ahead of him at times) and finally we pull up to a light and he is right behind me. So, I figure "Oh well", jump out and run back to his window. He just stares at me... so I yell, "Your headlights are off" and jump back in my car. A few blocks later I turned off, and he still had his lights off. Oh well... I gave it a shot.
All in all... I think the advantages out-weight the disadvantages. :-)
Jesse Chan-Norris has a cool seascape on photo_a_day. I set it as my wallpaper. For some reason it is kind of disconcerting as I close windows and am looking out at the ocean, instead of some StarWars scene. Not sure why... but I'm keeping it as my wallpaper anyway.
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
- But Maj. Gen. Dale Meyerrose said Linux is likely to endure.
" But I predict that five to 10 years from now, there may be almost no Unix-based systems, just because the intellectual investment it takes to maintain a cadre of Unix-trained, -educated and -experienced engineers is too difficult a problem."
Wow. I had never heard that before. I'm not sure what his alternative is. To me, Linux and Unix are almost the same thing... Another paraphrase is that the systems aren't that complex and are much easier than learning Unix. I totally disagree. But them maybe I'm just working on a complex system.
People that don't know how to use a clock...
Tina's relatives (mom and sister) are always calling first thing in the morning and saying, "What time is it there?". One lives in Florida and one periodically works in England. In addition to all the other jobs I have, I also have the job of removing the phone from the bed-room when I first get up on Saturday. This keeps them from waking Tina up at 7:30 on a Saturday. I guess I now have to remove it during the week too, since Tina's mom just called at 7:10 with "You aren't up yet? What time is it there?"
Really... timezones are not that hard to figure out!
And just to be helpful... this Atomic Clock link is set to Mountain... just in case you want to know what time it is in Colorado. ;-)
Monday, October 27, 2003
I posted a link some time back to the PlayMoney blog. This is a blog written by a guy who is a trader in UltimtaOnline. He trades virtual items and sells them for both real and play money.
I regularly follow his blog and his most recent article is about a tower he bought and is reselling on e-bay. He opened it at $1, and it is currently at $122.50. He bought the account for $250 and has sold off coal armor for 112.50 and regents for and unknown price. So, it looks like he'll end up coming out ahead.
Friday, October 24, 2003
Following is the content of a letter I received in email today. Working in a Fraud group, I've heard of things like this, but have never received one. It is hard for me to believe anyone would be dupped by it... but again, working in a Fraud group, I know people are. In the following, I've replaced the company name, etc. just to make sure no one goes to their web site, etc. from this blog!
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2003 12:15 AM
Subject: Fraud Alert. Foo.com - Order 1845.
Foo.com & Foo.net
Recently we have received an order made by using your personal credit card information.
This order was made online at our official http://foo.com or http://foo.net website. Our Fraud Department has some suspicions regarding this order and we need you to visit a special Fraud Department page at our web store where you can confirm or decline this transaction by providing us with the correct information.
But, if you have never visited our site or made a purchase, you can decline any charges from you credit card, by entering your personal info below. Or, if you feel this method of verification insecure - please visit our highly secure site http://foo.com or http://foo.net
Enter your credit card number here:
Enter your credit card exp date:
Enter your name as it appears on the credit card:
Enter your address, zip code and city:
REMEBER: NEVER give out this kind of information over email or to someone that blindly requests it. Yes, if you are on a web site doing a purchase it is normal to expect it. But if you ever get a call or an email that of the form "This is
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Not to sound too much like a un-cultured, head-stuck-in-the-techonlogy, geek... but I rarely look at art. Not because I don't like it... just because I don't think about it I guess. Thanks to Maggie, not only did I come across Heather Champ's work, but today Jesse Chan-Norris. I thought this was rather cool. I like that it is black and white... and it just touches something in me. Not sure why... But then, maybe that is the point of art.
Thanks again to Maggie for posting this stuff. I now have these links saved so that I can check them out every day as I'm munching on lunch. Cool.
Intel Corp. CEO Craig Barrett ... blamed the K-12 education system in the U.S. for a shortage of computer scientists... "The K-12 system in the U.S. does an excellent job of weeding out anyone who's interested in science," he said...
It is such a cool field. A shame more students are going into it.
Last night I made Chicken Curry and Eggplant Curry. Tif had seen Rachael Ray make it and was going to try it out, but Tif wasn't feeling well so I cooked both. The eggplant turned out very good! A very nice vegtable curry dish. Good accompaniment for the Chicken Curry... or any meal where you want to add a vegtable curry.
A few recipe notes:
Eggplant: I used 2 heaping teaspoons of Thia Kitchen Green Curry Paste and it was a little hot for us. Not so bad that I wouldn't eat it, but a little hot. Next time I'll probably only use 1 tsp. The mango chutney was great, and I also sprinkled coconut on it. The sweet helps cut the hot. I think next time I may also peel the eggplant, as the skin adds some toughness. Not sure... trade-off the texture and color for a little more consistent texture. We'll see.
Chicken: I again used baby zucchini instead of green beans in the chicken. I just think it is a nicer touch. I'll have to update the recipe at some point!
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
I was looking for my recipe for curry chicken, and I hadn't published it on my recipe site, but had posted it here. So I was looking through my archives, and some of them were not showing up. Drag... I save everything, so it would be very upsetting to me if my old posts were gone. Went out to Blogger support, found an entry on how to republish your entire site and did that. And now they are there. So easy! :-)
BTW: Took me a while to find the curry chicken link. I guess I'll have to move it out to my recipe site so it will be much easier to find!
Monday, October 20, 2003
Saturday, October 18, 2003
The "kids" (Tiffany and Brian) are arriving this afternoon. Sushi with friends for lunch and then the kids get here. I'm so excited!
Its going to be a week of good eating (Tif and I are cooking, plus we'll be going out some), playing Halo and maybe going up to Cripple Creek just to "get away" for the day. It should be a great time. And we haven't seen them since Christmas!
Friday, October 17, 2003
OK... this totally cracked me up. Someone sent it to me in mail, but it is 2M, so I'm just posting the link here. It is off of SpeedZone... which is in belgium maybe? I'm not sure. Anyway, click on the Antena Anti-boredom Campaign link, which is an MPEG video.
McDonalds last night.
G: That will be $3.18
M handing the guy a $5: I've got the 18 cents
I dig in my pocket and start to hand him the 18 cents
G bewildered look on his face as he points to the register which states the change as 1.81: Oh... you have the change? Well can I just give you the 81 cents?
M: No, just give me $2 back
G enlightened happy look on his face: Oh... ok
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
4 hours of sleep yesterday. Went to bed a little after 10, up at a little after 11... laid in bed for almost an hour, on the computer at 12:30 and worked till 2:30. (Good thing, the build was broke and this let me fix it so that when everyone got in we had a working build). Back to bed, reset the alarm for 6:30 so I could get 4 hours of sleep... and then work up at 6 anyway.
So... stop at Starbucks on the way to work:
G: What did you order? I'm sure our very efficient staff already has it going for you!
M, barely speaking: Triple Venti Sugar-Free Vanillia Carmel Machiatto
G: Great! Isn't it a great day today! Beautiful!
G: And here is your change!
M: Boy, you are awful perky for so early in the morning
G: Yeah! Oh... does it bother you, you know it does bother some people. Seems they just can't handle someone being so happy first thing in the morning!
M: No... its fine
LOL. :-) She just cracked me up. Here are all these people, stumbling in, ordering their caffine, and trying to get their bodies go. She is just bubbling away. Most of them missing half of what she is saying and responding with comments like, "Oh... were you talking to me?"
Tina and I are sitting in a restaruant watching the waitress package up the rest of our food. I'm watching in disbelief as she puts the vegtable mix (which has liquid in it), into a divided go box and piles the shrimp crackers on top of them. What is the chance that they aren't going to get all soggy... Zero. She then puts this into a bag, puts a container of soup on top of it, and then sets a container of vegtables into the bag on its side. The chance that this isn't going to leak all over, be a disaster and edible by the time we get home is nil.
As we are walking we have the following conversation:
M: As soon as we get to the car I'm opening the bag and rearrange all of this.
T: Yeah, I figured. I was watching the look on your face as your eyes were following what she was doing.
M: Yeah, can you believe she mixed the shrimp crackers with the vegtables?
T: I figured that would bother you... but none of it bothered me until she picked up a dirty fork to put the food into the containers.
M: Oh, that didn't bother me at all. It was our fork.
T: Yeah, but still!
Monday, October 13, 2003
I guess its just pop open your laptop at DIA or Starbucks and start surfing. Might be cool... as long as there aren't big security holes. Microsoft claims this enhances Wi-Fi security. Coming from a company known for security holes... we'll see.
Variety at work is a cool thing. It is what keeps me interested, I think. Early last week I was doing performance analysis on the system. Trying to find new ways to make the system faster. Either by configuration or writting new code. Towards the end of the week I was debugging code, trying to figure out why major parts of the system were no longer working when we went to a new third party product. I was also involved in some architecture meetings to discuss how we are going to design some new portions of the system. And in consulting with some implementations on ways to improve their system performance and to discuss what new features might help them.
This moring I'm writting up lessons that we learned while doing performance tuning, so I can share the ideas and things that worked with other teams, so they can do it on their team.
Architecting, designing, analysis, trouble-shooting, mentor, etc. Although it all deals with the same application, and the same domain of computer science, each is different in their own ways. It keeps things interesting and fun.
I'm blessed by my job!
Fleetword Mac was awesome. It was a great concert. I have been a hugh Stevie Nicks fan ever since I saw Fleetwood Mac in Billings MT when I was probably 19 or so. She was awesome. Lindsey Buckingham was as big a freak as ever... but he is what makes part of the band. And I just love Mick Fleetwood. Man, what a drummer and showman. And then there was John McVie... just standing in the back, playing his bass like always. IMO there aren't a lot of bands that can still rock like they used to, 30 years later, but they guys certainly can. It was an awesome show and so much fun. I have the T-Shirt and Program to prove it. :-)
Christy McVie was missed. The show was awesome, but Don't Stop just isn't the same w/o Christy.
Thanks Steve so much. What an awesome birthday present!
Saturday, October 11, 2003
Home alone blogging. Leaving for Larkspur around 5:15 so I can hook up with Steve and we can head up to Denver. Fleetwood Mac tonight. How cool!
My first Saturday as "no longer a youth worship director." Home alone cause Tina and the girls had to drop a CD off for Bobby and then go to the movies. Tonight is Homecoming and neither girl are going. Youth ministry rules are you can't "date" and going to a dance, etc. is frowned upon if you "like" somebody. Since Jaime does like someone, she isn't going. And although she could have gone to youth, it would just be too hard to go there tonight and hang out with all the girls that are getting made-up, talking dresses, maybe going for dinner and limo rides. The other girls are going because they are going with guys that are just "friends", so it is ok. Being a teen can be really hard some times.
But both my girls (Jaime and Erika) are really great and make it through. And they'll have fun with Tina going to a movie, then maybe out to dinner, and up all night watching movies and snacking. And my other girls are so awesome too. Tif who will be home next weekend with Brian for a week. (Woo hoo!) And Tina - who is my soul-mate and who I'd be so lost without.
Kind of melancholy, sitting home alone I guess! :-)
Just kind of weird to think about how some of us work. Maybe it is a computer thing, maybe not. Dan and I both work pretty much 7 days a week. Well I work 6, and Dan usually 7. He works late at night and I work early in the morning... plus our normal "you have to be at work from 9 - 4, even if you put in overtime and work other times".
Why do we do it? First because it is "fun". Hey, good thing I love what I do. Second because it is just way more productive. The Infrastructure now takes about 4 hours to build under normal system loads. That means if we get a compile error in the build and then kick off another full build, we'll get maybe 2 of those in, in a day. Well if Dan is kicking them off late, and I'm kicking them off early, we can get a few extra builds in. Add the weekend in, when nothing would "normally" happen, and you just end up with many more cycles.
This AM I got on around 6 and saw a problem with the build. Just a couple of minor things. Put in the fix in about 20 minutes and kicked another build off. About 2.5 hours later it was done (since the system wasn't under much stress being as no one was on it). If we worked "normally", then it probably would have gotten fixed and rebuilt on Monday morning, finishing up around noon or so. Pretty much 1/2 a day wasted.
Yeah... we don't have to work overtime, and yeah, we don't have to work weekends... but if we didn't, much less would get done. It isn't that working for 30 minutes on Saturday morning buys you 30 more minutes... it can buy you 4 hours. And not just for you, but for the entire team. This kind of thing happens all the time, and it happens in cycles. Some times on a weekend we'll get several builds in. I may do something early, Dan will do something mid day and maybe that night, etc.
Working 5x8 just gives you so many less cycles than working out-of-normal hours. Not that we are working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.... but checking things here and there "constantly" can really improve the productivity.
On the plane flight (to/from - don't remember) Cancun a few months back, Heather had a book on intraverts. There is a test you can take to see where you fall on the scale. 0 is the most extraverted, 30 is the most intraverted. I got 27 out of the 30. Like I had any doubt...
And in light of that, Tina tells me at 5:00 AM yesterday that she has a part for me in one of the leadership training skits. Yeah... that's good for an intravert, put them on stage in front of 50 people. :-S Hey... but I love her. Whatever she wants.
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
I was down in the cafe getting some soup (split-pea - I almost always get it when they have it, because it is one of my favorites), and I was picking through the packs of crackers, making sure I got ones that weren't crumbled at all.
This later struck me as rather odd, as I sat at my desk and crumbled them into little pieces before dropping them in my soup.
Monday, October 06, 2003
After practice Saturday, Jaime, Erika and I went and grabbed food at Subway before youth started. I'm for the most part not a very observant guy. But as I was waiting for them I noticed that Erika looked different. (That's the way changes in hair, makeup, whatever hit me... Just a general - hmm... something is different.)
So, we are sitting at subway and I said, "You look very nice" or something to that extent. She had dyed her hair "red" (Ok... probably not red, but I have a very limited color vocabulary), it was straigthend some as well. And she was wearing this black turtleneck with a light suede coat. "Very eurpopean looking", to which she struck one of her "Erika the model" poses. Very elegant... at which point she took a bite of her sandwhich and dropped a black olive covered in oil and vinegar onto her coat.
Some times they (her and Jaime) look so grown up that it breaks my father's heart... but they they usually do something that they would have done when they were 2, and it reminds me that as grown up as they are... they are still "girls"... at least for a little while longer.
And here is a beautiful note from Erika on worship and me stepping down. I love you girl. You are my third daughter. Thanks. It really touched me. (and now I'll wipe the tears from my eyes and get back to work...)
Oh... and I'll still be around to encourage and lift you guys up. I just won't be there all the time, or "in charge". But you guys rock so much. God is just taking you to a new level and letting you have a little more control over your team. And as in everything you do, you'll excell.
Well for me anyway.
I stepped down as the FusionWorship director. Stepped down is Christian slang for "quit"... but not because of any troubles or anything. There are quite a few entries (starting with this one) about it on the FusionWorship blog. Basically I've been working 7 days a week for close to 2 years and I just couldn't do it any longer. Plus the team is well able to lead themselves, which is an extremely cool fullfillment of the whole "student led" idea.
Thursday, October 02, 2003
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
Pastor/Dr. Jim Richards from Impact Ministries is here at church this week. He is an awesome Pastor, person, speaker. He always has an awesome message. We would be there tonight if it wasn't for getting the Cher tickets before we knew when he was coming. But we'll definately be there tomorrow.
Still trying to handle 100 million events a day. First we backed up the data source, then we handled the data in the initial stages, but would eventually drop some of the day.
(Part of the system is a queue that holds data until other parts are ready for it. For the non-geeks that care... think of it as a clothes basket. Someone is throwing stuff into it and another person it taking stuff out. If you take it out fast enough, then it is almost always empty. Thats a good thing. You are "processing" the stuff right away. If you start falling behind (it takes you longer to take it out and do something with it than it takes the person to put stuff into it), then you start falling behind. The basket starts filling up. If the person putting clothes in stops, then eventually you'll catch up.)
Tweaked the system some more and got it to where it never dropped data (the basket was never full), but we still weren't keeping up. Looked at what was going on in the code, and for about 150 thousand processed object, we would do 6 BILLION operations. The operations were very fast, but still... you do 6 billion and it adds up.
We figured out a way to perhaps significanly reduce that. I put in the code, we tested it out, and now the system is purring along. Running at about 50%. (In other words, 1/2 the time it is working and the other 1/2 it is just wating). And now we are never getting behind.
It was a cool think. Like I said last month, I love this kind of stuff. So now are system is up and running and we are ready to handle even larger amounts of data. And there are still other ways we could have tweaked the system. But at 50%, we are probably good enough for now... so on to other things.
Going to see Cher's "Farewell Tour" tonight. I've liked Cher at certain points in my life... Haven't really listened to her much lately. I think the best was when she was with Black Rose... However, Tina loves her. When Tina's hair was long (back in the day), people were always telling her she looked like Cher. And she can do a really good Cher impersonation. She was coming to town, so I figured, "What the heck" and got tickets. Should be cool.