August 29, 2005

Signs you're playing Katamari Damacy too much


The signs:

  • You arrange the items on your desk in order of smallest to largest.

  • You think installing a ramp from the kitchen floor to the countertop might be "something fun to try".

  • Grocery shopping takes much longer due to your policy of getting big items last.

  • Upon seeing a semi truck at a stop light, you ponder how many Hondas you'll need to get first.

  • You notice how there's hardly any fruit laying about.

I recently got Katamari Damacy and it is so warping my brain. But in a good way. Royal Rainbow!


August 28, 2005

I may be lazy and dumb, but... wait... what was the third thing?

Why Good Programmers Are Lazy and Dumb


Fucking Tourists

LONDON, (AFP) - British tourists have left the residents of one charming Austrian village effing and blinding by constantly stealing the signs for their oddly-named village.

While British visitors are finding it hilarious, the residents of Fucking are failing to see the funny side, The Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported.

Only one kind of criminal ever stalks the sleepy 32-house village near Salzburg on the German border -- cheeky British tourists armed with a sense of humour and a screwdriver.

But the local authorities are hitting back and with the signs now set in concrete, police chief Kommandant Schmidtberger is on the lookout.

"We will not stand for the Fucking signs being removed," the officer told the broadsheet.

"It may be very amusing for you British, but Fucking is simply Fucking to us. What is this big Fucking joke? It is puerile."

Local guide Andreas Behmueller said it was only the British that had a fixation with Fucking.

"The Germans all want to see the Mozart house in Salzburg," he explained.

"Every American seems to care only about 'The Sound of Music' (the 1965 film shot around Salzburg). The occasional Japanese wants to see Hitler's birthplace in Braunau.

"But for the British, it's all about Fucking."

Guesthouse boss Augustina Lindlbauer described the village's breathtaking lakes, forests and vistas.

"Yet still there is this obsession with Fucking," she said.

"Just this morning I had to tell an English lady who stopped by that there were no Fucking postcards."

Original story here (it's Fucking censored).


August 25, 2005

Duck duct goose

A cool history of duct tape on the Wikipedia. I didn't know that it was originally nicknamed "duck tape", but was corrupted to "duct tape" when its color was changed to grey and sold commercially. Ironically the one job it sucks at is taping ducts.


Atheist? Asshole!

A weird little flame war is brewing in the comments of my About Me page. The funny thing is it was started by me simply stating that I'm an atheist, that's all it takes to raise people's blood pressure. If I had said I was Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh or whatever, I doubt anyone would care. But say you're an atheist and some people just can't stand it, like it's a personal attack on them somehow.

So, for the record, I have a firm disbelief in the supernatural. That means I don't believe in God, angels, spirits, demons, ghosts, Flying Spaghetti Monsters or an afterlife. I have not come to this decision lightly, I grew up in a very religious area (Charlotte, NC) and there were no atheists in my family. It wasn't until my mid 20's and after lots of hard thought that I finally abandoned my theistic comforts and to see myself and the world in a naturalistic light.

People may think that to be an atheist you must also be a nihilist. Or immoral. Or unhappy. Or that the world must seem a cold, empty place. Or that you can't love your children as much. I understand this, I used to think like this too. All I can say is that it simply isn't true. I find meaning in my existence, I have a feeling of purpose and duty in my life. I'm a pretty happy person, much happier now than when I believed in God (but I don't think the beliefs have anything to do with it). The sunrise still looks beautiful, I still love to listen to music and I also really like to walk by the Cinnabons at the mall. And I love my daughter and wife more than I ever thought possible. And I'm just as bound by my conscience as ever, I have a strong sense of duty to society, and I still feel terribly guilty if I wrong someone.

I also can recognize why it is that I feel the way I do, recognize my emotions, motivations and mores for what they are. And yet I can't really change them (not without work anyway). I still feel them regardless. Just because I can recognize the reasons why I find a grilled steak delicious doesn't mean I can decide to stop finding it tasty. And similarly reasoning about emotions, motivations and mores doesn't make them stop or go away, but it does mean you can understand them and hopefully shape them in a productive way. My point is that just because I don't frame my view of myself and the world in the supernatural doesn't diminish my experience of life, it doesn't turn me into an unfeeling robot or sociopath.

Anyway, part of why I am posting this is there is a real hostility to atheists in this society. I don't think its a new thing, but I do think its been a bit more focused lately and I think it stems partly from the relatively recent phenomenon of cultural tolerance that prevents people from bashing traditional targets: other religions (e.g. anti-muslim sentiment was surprisingly subdued in the wake of 9/11, but the demonizing of the secular Saddam Hussein was not). Political correctness doesn't really cover atheism, and so it seems it's still a viable target for many looking to get their righteousness-on. Whatever the reason, the effect of the hostility is to de-normalize atheism, to make it seem stupid or shameful and not something a decent person involves themself with. It's been said an atheist can't get elected Dog Catcher, that's certainly true in my part of the country.

So the only way I know to fight that anti-atheist sentiment is to stand up and be counted and do so without shame or apology. If that upsets people, then flame away in my comments. Or better yet, just go away.


August 24, 2005

I can't stop thinking about ninja's


1. Ninjas are mammals.

2. Ninjas fight ALL the time.

3. The purpose of the ninja is to flip out and kill people.

The Official Ninja Webpage: REAL Ultimate Power!!!!

Apparently I'm the last guy on the internet to see this, but this site is sooooooooooo sweet that I want to crap my pants.


August 21, 2005

Simplicity Rules

"95% of our services are REST based" — Keeping it simple instead of over-engineering the APIs. "The deciding facto for us was the Amazon quote that 80% of their users are on REST and 80% of their support is for SOAP."

Joho the Blog: [foo] Toni Schneider - Opening up Yahoo


August 18, 2005

While my ukulele gently weeps.

I can't describe how amazing this is, you simply must watch it: While my ukulele gently weeps

via Ned


Why Switch?

This video of Dave Chapelle convinces me the Mac is a superior product. New product idea: iFlog

via Carl Tyler


Thank you Martha

Thank you for the piano Martha. Laura, Gwendolyn and I all love you so much.


August 15, 2005

Take him to...Detroit


Shrinking Detroit has 12,000 abandoned homes - Yahoo! News

They are building a housing glut of extraordinary magnitude.


August 14, 2005

How to blow $65k?

When my new supervisor was hired, she was responsible for the oversight of our $300,000.00 budget. Unfortunately, due in some part to issues beyond her control, she neglected to spend over one quarter of it.

My friend Ronnie is confronted with the old dilemma of how to spend excess budget. I already asked, hookers and cocaine are out. So any other ideas on how to spend it? How about something sciency? One limitation is that has to be spent in increments of $2500.


August 13, 2005

But I *was* watching the baby

Today in the BJ's Wholesale Club, my 1 1/2 year old daughter somehow, without us seeing, pulled off her diaper from under her dress, stowed it back in the cart and proceeded to pee all over the floor in the frozen foods section. My wife was mortified, but I found it to be hilarious, seeing my grinning child standing in a puddle of pee. We did the appropriate thing, put back on her diaper and left without telling anyone.


August 4, 2005

CEO of Vonage is spamming my blog?

Check it out, Jeffery Citron, CEO of Vonage has personally left a response on my Fuck Vonage page (I checked the IP of the poster and it's a * address).

Well well Mr. Citron, it looks like the tables have turned. Now the shoe is on the other foot. The hunter has become the hunted. Ok, too many cliches, but lets just say I made him sweat. Ha ha! Or did I?

I think it's odd his comment doesn't address anything said by anyone on the page, but instead pitches a special discount for their service and gives his email address where you can mail him with concerns. It almost looks like this is just canned message that gets posted to blogs that mention Vonage, positive or negative. Nice going guys, way to stay on top of the whole "blog" phenomenon.

But regardless if I'm making Mr. Dirtbag squirm or not, people continue to link to the page and the traffic has been increasing steadily. It's also gotten a few comments from Vonage employees, some of them are a little, eh, odd, like this gem:

I'll be the first to say Mr Citron may not be Mr wonderful and the vonage system definately has its faults but then again ..for 24.95 with your virus infected computers that fuck everything up to start with, what do you expect?? most of you cant follow simple instruction and then blame Vonage because you're the ones who are inept. As I said in a previous post at almost 1 million lines strong there will be some who love it and some who hate it enough said for now

a vonage rep, July 26, 2005 06:58 PM

That should be a commercial, just put this Vonage rep in front of the camera and let 'em roll, I'm sure people would love to see the corporate culture they're marrying into when they sign up.


August 3, 2005

Child Labor Operation Shut Down

Dominic Serino, 9, and his neighbor, Ryan Decker, 11, were forced Saturday to shut down their lemonade stand at Salem Common after an employee of a nearby sausage vendor called police, complaining that the boys were hurting his sales.

The budding entrepreneurs had to call it quits, under orders by some reluctant police officers. The boys, after all, did not have a license, and rules are rules. The two packed up and trudged home.

The Boston Globe - When life hands you lemons...

Maybe trying to sell lemonade on a cul-de-sac wasn't such a bad idea after all.


August 2, 2005

Firefox be all crashy

I just crashed Firefox 1.6, again. I'm getting a couple of crashes a day, this version seems much crashier than earlier version, and the last version was already kind of crashy. Anyone have any clue whats going on? Is there something to disable that makes things better? Should I suit up and fix it myself? (as if)

The crashes are pretty unpredictable, or at least I don't have a reproducible case. The crashes usually happen when loading a web page, but they sometimes happen at a completely random time. But in the random cases the crashes might just be because another open window is doing a timed reload at that moment. Its hard to say.

I could also start disabling extensions and whatnot, but I really don't want the hassle. If I can't run realiably with extensions, my reasons to use Firefox dwindles drastically, I'll probably go back to IE. Or maybe try Opera.

Anyway, I've been kind of unhappy with the whole security implementation around extensions in Firefox, it's every bit as bad as ActiveX in IE. The browser's extension facility really should have some sort a permissions security model, even its very corse grained one. Right now its an all or nothing model, yuck.


August 1, 2005

C++ Unit Testing

Check it out, two software related posts in a row. I deserve a soda. Ahhhhh refreshing.

I've gotten the architecture of CouchDb implemented enough that I'm confident it won't be changing damatically. Up to this point, so much of the code has been churning I've been letting some things slip, like making sure the code is well organized and maintainable (I've just been putting most of the code into a single .cpp file, yikes!). I've already gotten that mostly taken care of, and now I need to replace my unmanagable heap of test code with a good unit test framework. Does anyone recommend any books or resources for unit testing in C++?

Wait I just found the article Exploring the C++ Unit Testing Framework Jungle which looks pretty informative. I've skipped to the end of the article and favors CxxTest. Now I must read the rest of the article (wow. it's long). In the meantime, any other suggestions are much appreciated.