Tuesday, January 31, 2006

E-Trade Goes into the Great Wide Open

E-Trade moves from Solaris to Linux and Open Source software.
It was in this branch that the team made the adjustments necessary for the code to run properly on Linux. For example, the move from Solaris to Linux also involved moving from the Sun Studio C compiler to GCC, or GNU Compiler Collection, the dominant Linux and open-source compiler, and the team had to sort through syntax errors turned up by the compiler change.
Been there, done that. But it was well worth it.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Google CEO on censoring: 'We did an evil scale' - Computerworld

"'We concluded that although we weren't wild about the restrictions, it was even worse to not try to serve those users at all,' Schmidt said. 'We actually did an evil scale and decided not to serve at all was worse evil,' he said, referring to the company's famous 'don't be evil' creed."
You hate to see that kind of censorship, but as they said, is some capability better than none? Also later it talks about the gov trying to get search records for criminal cases. The larger google gets, and the more "market share" they have, the more the pressure will be applied.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

All Headline News - Matthew Perry, 'West Wing' Creator Together Again - January 29, 2006

Matthew Perry is working on a new series. Jaime should be excited about that!

Term-limited 'West Wing' ending in style

I had heard from Jaime that 'West Wing' was ending - but I wasn't sure if it was because it got cancelled or because the series decided to end itself. I'm really surprised it got cancelled; its one of my favorite shows. I've always thought the writting/acting was excellent.
That core audience includes Washington politicians, predictably mostly Democrats. But cast members have discovered that some Republicans watch, even though many share the belief of at least one TV critic that "The West Wing has supplied seven years of liberal propaganda."
While I agree that there was quite a bit of liberal viewpoint on the show (after all, it is a Democrate administration); I thought the overall viewpoint was one of honor, doing the right thing, and fighting for what you believe is right. So althought I didn't always agree with a particular stance they took on some issue, I was all for their passion, loyalty and honor in how they handled it. I guess one of my overriding feelings has been "I wish that is how politicians really acted" - because I don't get a sense this is how they really act.

Anyway - I'll miss it. I was really looking forward to seeing how they would handle a new administration, how they would transition cast members, who would stay on, etc. I think they've done an excellent job lately...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

PersonalAlpha: Alpha Emulated on Windows XP - OSNews.com

Not that I have any VMS apps lying around... but still cool to see it is out there. Yeah, VMS will never die. :)

KKTV | Watching for Mountain Lions

Its not everywhere that you have to watch for Mountain Lions on your way home from school or while out running...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Pasta Sauce

(Yeah - up early before the flight, some last minute things to do - but might as well get some blogging done. I'm in the mooo - in case you couldn't tell. No posts for a while, then 5 this morning. Oh well - pretty normal for me to write in spurts).

I'm really considering not buying any kind of pasta sauce again. Forever I've been the "I can't take the time to let it cook all day. Just grab some 'store-bought' and then spice it up with some meat, extra veggies, etc." kind of person. But over the last few months I've made some by hand rather quickly. And last night kind of tipped the scales with a "Hmm... that was pretty good and only took 15 minutes" sauce.

Inspired by two episodes of Emril where he made a vodka sauce - the main point being the crushed tomatoes and cream, I decided to make Ravioli last night with a tomatoe/cream sauce.

Sautee some shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, and a little bit of proscuitto in olive oil. Then added some organic "chunky tomatoe sauce" and stired it around. Threw in some oregano and basil, salt and pepper. Let it cook for 5 minutes till bubbling, tasting and adding more seasoning as needed. Finished with some 1/2 and 1/2 and let cook a few more minutes.

It turned out pretty good. Nice spices, fresh tomatoe taste due to the chunks of tomatoe and that it hadn't cooked all day and wasn't acidy, due to the cream and the organic tomaote sauce.

Given the freshness, the fact that it was homemade, and how quick and easy it was... Yeah, I'm thinking maybe I'll stick with doing it this way. Plus its easy to play with and adjust as the mood strikes.

Back out to DC

Heading back out to DC today. 9 AM flight to Washington, 3 hour lay over in Cincinnati. Fun. But the tickets were close to 1/2 the price of going on a quick flight, so I guess its worth it. And we get to fly out of the Springs, which is good.

Out there for 4 days. Should be a good trip. More than just a meeting with a customer, this time we are hoping to get some system work done that we can't do without the customer. Two days of development type work, followed by meetings to discuss next steps. Good stuff.

And then of course there is the eating. The big part of a business trip is figuring out where we will eat. :) Sunday - not sure yet. Monday, "adventure" trip into Georgetown with Terry and Joan to see if we can find somewhere cool to eat. May take an hour to get in - but hey, what else are we going to do. Just hang out at the hotel? Might as well make the most of it. Then Tuesday our "whenever you are in town come over and have dinner", dinner with Gregory's. And this time several other folks that used to be on the team but now live in DC are coming over. Should be a great time. Wed hopeuflly Thia or something cool. And then Thursday head home.

Food and work - two ways to measure the trip. :)

Start 'em out young

I slipped going down the stairs yesterday afternoon, right before heading out to do grocery shopping. Didn't fall on my butt (like Tif), but did slide a few steps and kind of jar myself.

By the time I get done at the bank, Sams and King Soopers, my lower back is starting to ache. Sigh. OK... I need a Starbucks something fierce. That first jolt of caffine will surely help with the pain... Or at least make me feel better.

I call home to see if Jaime wants one. Of course she does. :) Cinnamon Dolce Frappuccino.

As I'm waiting in line, I glance up at the Father holding his 4 year old daughter in his arms. Blue eys, long blonde pig tails. The Barista calls out, "Hot Chocolate for Laura" and the little girls eyes light up as her dad leans her forward and she pulls it off the bar.

And for a second I feel a connection with the guy. Two dads at Starbucks, both feeding our little girl's Starbucks habit. ;)

What was that about?

Existing Sam's and the guy who quickly looks at my reciept, then into the basket, and then marks the reciept with an orange marker, is very distracted. This is odd. He is usually right on the ball. Today he keeps looking outside like something, then back into my cart, then outside. Finally he draws the line, then looking at his co-worker on the left side of the door, he says, "She cut around behind you just a minute ago. You missed her."

What and odd statement.

Then I push my cart out the door onto the sidewalk and there is a security guard and 2 or 3 managers, surrounding a mother with one little kid in a stroller and another little kid standing next to the stroller. They all look pretty stern, and she looks quite up-set, rummaging in her purse like she is looking for a reciept.

I continue on my way.

Busted? Shop-lifing some food out of Sam's with her two little kids?

Not sure. But I always wondered what the point of those "reciept makers" were. I mean, its not like they really check to make sure everything in your cart is on the list. Maybe the whole point is to just make sure you *have* a reciept. Hmm.

What a difference a day makes

Snowed in CO on Thursday. Our first really bad during the day snow storm. It took me 2 hours and 15 minutes to get home. Friday things were back to normal and it took me 30 minutes.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Busted by a bird

A computer programmer found out his girlfriend was having an affair when his pet parrot kept repeating her lover's name, British media reported Tuesday.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Software Engineering, Not Computer Science

Today's pervasive reliance on code-and-fix development--and the cost and schedule overruns that go with it--is not the result of a software engineering calculation, but of too little education and training in software engineering practices.

Good article on the difference between the two and the current state of the industry. Although this article has nothing to do with XP, one of the good things that XP is trying to do, is move us away from code-and-fix development and to something better.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Feed my... introvertiveness

I had to make my bi-yearly doctor appointment to get my high blood pressure checked. I pretty much hate going to the doctor. Not because I don't like the doctor (I actually do like her, she's been my doctor for 15 years or something), but just because I: hate the interruption in my routine, think its somewhat a waste of time (yes, I still have high-blood pressue, yes I still need the pills, please right me another 6 month perscription... see you in 6 months). Since she knows this, she only gives me a 6 month prescription, because whatever my presription time period is - that is about how long it will take me to come back. So anyway... Since I'm also a procrastinator, I usually wait until the last minute to call and make my appointment. Which usually deals with things like "If I make my appointment now, I can get in, in time to get a new prescription and order it on-line, thus reducing the amount I have to pay", followed by "Oh - I forgot to call, and now its too late, so I might as well until its almost run out", etc., etc.

Bascially I have to call and make an appointment, but I hate talking on the phone, and so I just keep putting it off.

Well *this* time, at pretty much the last minute, I remememberd that my doctor's office allows you to make appointments via the web. Well *how cool* is taht? I don't even have to talk to anyone. Just click, fill in a few optimal time selections, click again, and a day later you get your appointment via email.


Friday, January 13, 2006

Wired News: Spin Doctors Create Quantum Chip

From an article that Michael sent me a link to (Thanks Michael):
University of Michigan scientists have created the first quantum microchip, which could be a giant stride in the race to produce a new generation of brawny, super-fast computers.

Discusses a new quantum microchip where a "bit" has 3 states: on, off and both. If I'm reading this right, this would give us a Base-3 numeric system, instead of Base-2. Cool stuff.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


I realized this morning that there is might be something rather paradoxical about me paying top dollar for meat from Whole Foods, because it has less hormones, is organic, and is better for me and my faimly tht normal "super market" meat; and at the same time eating a left-over, preformed, previously frozen, Stouffer's Meatloaf in Gravy, mini-meatloaf for breakfast.

But they do taste really good, and I guess it isn't that much of a universe exploding paradox... after all, I'm still here to blog about it.

Microsoft vs. Computer Security - Why the software giant still can't get it right. By Adam L. Penenberg

What can you do to protect yourself? Besides avoiding Microsoft products, one way would be to use substitutes whenever possible. If you run Windows or the upcoming Vista, use a different e-mail program, browser, and/or media player than the ones that come in the box.

Which, again, is why I use Firefox. I also use WinAmp most of the time, rather than the windoze media player... Although I must admit I'm still using Outlook. But I'm *thinking* about switching to Mozilla's mail package...

Yeah, I'm a geek

One trait of a geek - at least some of the time - is someone who doesn't have good fashion sense, doesn't really care that much about clothes, etc.

So I'm sitting in a manager's meeting yesterday (5 of us) and I'm listening in on a conversation, and I happen to look down on the left side of my button up shirt (I'm wearing a button up shirt over a t-shirt and the button up shirt is open) and I notice some lint, so I flick it off... But it doesn't come off. "Odd". So I pick at it and realize it is not lint but thread on the back of the button. "OMG - ok... so I have my shirt on inside out." Argh... So I *casually* get up, walk into the break room behind the conference room (like I'm throwing something away - yeah I know... pretty smooth) and take my shirt off and put in on right. Sigh

I really need to start getting dressed BEFORE Tina leaves for work - so she can at least say things like, "New fashion trend... OR DO YOU JUST HAVE YOUR SHIRT ON INSIDE OUT?"

Its why she thinks I'm cute though. :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

OpenVMS.org - OpenVMS Community Portal

According to George Cook of WVNET this cluster has been up for over 10 years.

VMS is so sweet. :)

For those of you not knowing what this means... it means the machine has run for 10 years without being rebooted. In Windows terms - 10 years without a Blue Screen of Death or being shut down. :)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Create an e-annoyance, go to jail | Perspectives | CNET News.com

Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime.

It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity.
Hmm... so now posting annonymous comments is a federal crime and punishable by up to 2 years in jail.

It wasn't bothering me that much... really. ;)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Read it out loud

Just read my "letter to the editor" to Tina. Surprising how it sounds in your head, and how it sounds when you read it out loud. I've always known I'm not the best writter. I are an engineer - as the saying goes. I usually write very informal, and very fast. In speech, and sometimes in writting, I tend to be dyslexic. Typing to fast and spelling one thing when I meant another, switching words. I'm just in too much of a hurry. And even though I know that, I know everyone else knows it too - so I rarely take the type to reread and edit.

So I read my letter to the editor, a few times before sending it. Then I read it again when I saw it in the paper... Then I read it out loud to Tina. Turns out when you have to read it out loud, it slows you down... and you notice things. Like how many times you say "etc" or how you use "than" when you mean "that".

Hmm... lesson learned - maybe. Not that I send many letters to the editor (I believe it is one in almost 50 years). But still, when I'm sending stuff external, I should read it out loud - at least once. Just to catch those things I'd otherwise miss.

Last Holiday

The movie Last Holiday comes out this friday (the 13th). It looked interesting due to the fact that Queen Latifah is in it, and I've always liked here. But then last night I was watching the Food TV channel, and they had a special on it. All about how they did the food for the movie, the "food is like a second character", all kinds of behind the scenes things about how their people did the food, prepared it for shots, etc. Some cool stuff.

One of the things about Queen's character is that she is very into food, and watches the Emril all the time. And how she plates a dish and then takes pictures of it with her digital camera - which is something I do. Just some cool cooking stuff.

Now I really have to see it. :)

I'm in the papers.

In my entry on Holiday movies - the best and worst experiences I wrote about a group of 15 little kids that went to the movies and the three adults that supervised them, and how well they did. I thought about it enough that I wrote a letter to the editor for the Woodmen Edition - and they put it in. :) Kind of cool to see your name in the papers like that. Although a bit of second thinking and "did that sound dorky" or whatever. But hey, still cool. :)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Friday, January 06, 2006

AP Wire | 01/06/2006 | Verizon completes $8.5B purchase of MCI

The deal is done. I'm working for Verizon now.

Schneier on Security: Internet Explorer Sucks

MSIE was 98% unsafe. There were only 7 days in 2004 without an unpatched publicly disclosed security hole.
As a friend of mine posted, "Not that I havn't said this a thousand times, but IE Sucks." Yeah - no kidding. And here, is yet again, proof. It is 98% "unsafe" and that is "optimistic." Pretty much that means, if you are running IE you are just screaming to get hacked.

And yet again, for all those of you our there running IE... You really should install mozilla. (or firefox). Its safer (on windows it is 7% unsafe as compared to IE's 98%), and its a much better browswer with much more functionality. Again - the *only* time I run IE is when I have to because some site I have to use doesn't support Mozilla. And then, I only bring it up for as long as it takes me to get whatever I need done, and then bring it back down.

Free lance

I updated my profile. It no longer says that I'm a percussion player on the ICC worship team... After much struggle, thought, prayers (of my own and of other people), and having given it some "first of the year" reflection - I've left Impact. Most readers (at least that I know read this) already know - so since I put some of the struggle here, figured I'd post the update as well.

It was a very hard decision, and I'm going to miss folks, but the timing just seemed right and it seemed the right thing to do. To use a common Christian saying, "I just have peace about it." I really do. I went up to NCF last Sunday, and it just felt like home. Some of which is just my own heart.

There is no perfect church, there is no perfect person (except for one). Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do, and what is going to work for you, your family, and your relationship with God.

So - I think I'm in a good place right now. I was able to totally worship at NCF on Sunday. Not think about anything, but just worship. And I went up to Tom and Jennifer's last night, and did some worship with them - and that was awesome too. And people were discussing various scriptures - and it was very cool because the one I posted yesterday morning totally tied in with what folks were talking about. God's just like that.

So... we'll see what happens. God usually surprises me. He moves me slowly, and rarely shows me the big picture. I figure I'll just kick around for a bit - but maybe he's got something right around the corner for me. Right not things seem very focused on work - and on "getting back to that first love" - of just doing free, unencumbered worship without worrying about things.

But who knows. I know you are all dying to know what happens next in my life - so as always... I'll blog it. :)

Well - its been a busy morning of sending emails and now blogging - guess its time to start thinking about work. Later ya'all (yes... I know I'm weird. That's the great thing about a blog. You can say whatever you want :))

Thursday, January 05, 2006

BibleGateway.com - Passage?Lookup: 1 john 2:27

An interesting scripture that I came across today:
1 john 2:27: "As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him."
I do not think this is suggesting we don't need church (where we are taught) - but I do think in means that we have an annoiting of the Holy Spirit, and that we know the truth. Sometimes, as lay people, we don't study, pray, think about scriptural things all that much. So it is good to go to church and be encouraged, enter into discussions, etc. But when we hear things, we can mediate upon them and know the truth of them, based on whether or not the Holy Spirit that is in us agrees with them.

Anyway - that's my thougth this morning. :)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Mooning Deemed 'Disgusting' but No Crime in Md.

Acquitting a Germantown man who exposed his buttocks during an argument with a neighbor, a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge ruled yesterday that mooning, while distasteful, is not illegal in Maryland.

I thought the very last line was great:

James Maxwell, one of McNealy's attorneys, said yesterday's ruling should "bring comfort to all beachgoers and plumbers" in the state.