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May 2007 Blog Posts
Crushes I'm Personally Embarrassed About, #1

Southwest.com TV commercial where you have to pay for everything, getting a pillow, getting a drink, pressing the 'call attendent' button, etc.

Female stewardess making the in-flight announcement....hot.

First of many.

posted @ Tuesday, May 29, 2007 8:53 PM | Feedback (0)
Something that bugs me about the Monorail project

The location of the Monorail project is here.

So, I'm skeptical of Rails.  There is something about it that strikes me as horribly, horribly wrong.  And Monorail seems to be an approach that throws out the baby with the bathwater in order to try and recreate the baby afterwards.

I'm aware that my 'it strikes me' list is often based on lack of information, experience, etc. so I'm willing to take a look at things.  Especially because, as part of my development as a philosopher, I felt it to be of utmost importance to understand a position I disagreed with as much as possible.  More often, I still disagreed, but I felt I could explain and defend that disagreement better if I tried to think like someone who didn't disagree.

In terms of Monorail, I'm going to be watching Ayende's presentation very soon.  Whether I agree or disagree with him, I find reading his blog highly informative, and I enjoyed his presentation on Rhino Mocks.

But, there's this comment on the Monorail project site:

"Developers that were introduced to Web development using pure WebForms also lack the basics http protocol concepts required to use MonoRail (or any other web framework for that matter). "

Excuse me?  I can pull off the arrogant, elitist, jackass routine with the best of them if I care to.  I received my Ph.D. at the age of 25 (26?  I forget).  My tested IQ is way up there.  Etc. etc. etc.  My professional career is littered with numerous cases of where "I told you so" could have been uttered (and in moments of frustration and/or arrogance, was uttered).

Don't insult my intelligence with this sort of crap.  If you have to include insulting comments under a section of why you wouldn't use Monorail, you're a douchebag.

Bite me.

posted @ Thursday, May 24, 2007 8:03 PM | Feedback (11)
Porcupine Tree, May 17th 2007, Park West, Chicago

This is more a set list than a review (some comments at the end).  These are only vaguely in order:

Fear of a Blank Planet
Lightbulb Sun
My Ashes
Anesthetize
Blackest Eyes
Gravity Eyelids
Sentimental
Open Car
Drown with Me
Unknown Instrumental
A Smart Kid
Sever
Way Out of Here
Sleep Together

Encore:
Even Less
Unknown Instrumental
Halo 

I think I'm missing one, though I'm hampered by the fact that I listened to their entire discography warming up for the show.

Overall, the playing was very solid.  I was wondering how they would pull part of Anesthetize off (the repeating lines in the last section of the song "water so warm that day/I counted out the waves/As they broke into surf/I smiled into the sun") but they used the soundboard to record each line and then repeat while the 2nd vocalist song over it.

As a side note, a number of reviews that I've read don't think the slower, softer 6 minute end fits the rest of the song, but I think that's the point of it really.  The reference to Pearl Jam's Black "In this moment/You were stolen/It's black across the sun" suggests to me that it's the loss of this person that leads to the angry apathy expressed in the first 12 minutes.

But that's just a guess.

I probably would have been disappointed if I didn't know from the previous set lists that I'd read ahead of time that "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" and "Start of Something Beautiful" weren't played.  It will be interesting how much, if any, the set list is for the June 1st return show.

It was the first all ages concert I've been to in quite a while, and I was standing up near the front with some teenage kids.  I think it was the first time they've seen them live, and it was fun to see their enthusiasm.  At the end of the concert, they were hugging each other, high-fiving, it was pretty cool.

The strangest moment came towards the end of the concert.  A couple of girls came up through the crowd to get to the front of the stage.  I didn't really notice, other than I'm a guy, so I'm aware when girls are around.  Anyway, in between songs, I looked at one of them who turned sideways, and realized she looked really familiar.  After another song, she walked back to one of the bar areas to grab her boyfriend and walked literally one foot in front of me.  Which is when I realized it was a girl I was involved with 7 years ago.

She never noticed me (which is just as well, as I'm not sure what I could have said to her.  "Remember that time when I crushed your heart and made you feel so low?  Yeah, that was great.  So, how've you been?").  It took me a while to be sure it was her, as I remember her as she was when she was 23.  The next day as I thought about it, it bothered me a bit that she isn't married.  But she looked happy enough.

So, I'm looking forward to the June 1st show.

posted @ Saturday, May 19, 2007 1:43 PM | Feedback (1)
Bizarre Foods

This is a show, much like No Reservations, where the white man goes to impoverished indigenous places, eats bird shit (after often worshipping it), and pretends it is good.

It's fascinating viewing (though if you actually stop to think about it, massively depressing).

posted @ Sunday, May 13, 2007 11:29 PM | Feedback (0)
Refactoring at work

I've started to really dive deep(er) into mock objects.  I'm still highly skeptical about them (for reasons I won't go into here), but I am testing out Rhino Mocks for a project.

As such, I finally got around to watching Ayende's webcast introduction of it.

He starts off by noting that he is not a native English speaker, that he has a thick accent, etc. etc. etc. but I never had a moment of difficulty understanding him.  The fact that he isn't a native English speaker means he was consciously aware of what he was saying, which led to a few funny comments, such as: "I am explicitly expecting no exception...What a stupid sentence", but all of that is normal.

If you've ever heard a taped play-back of a conversation you've had, you have almost undoubtedly sounded a lot worse (this is why prosecutors sometimes have problems with wiretap cases....you aren't aware of how 'incomprehensible' normal speech is (which relies on visual cues, hand gestures, context, etc.) when read out loud).

Watching the web cast, a few things were very clear:

1) This is not an introductory webcast for people new to mocking objects.  It is an introductory webcast for people who are familiar with other mocking frameworks.  If you didn't have any context for what mocks are about, you would be very confused.  He does give an introduction of what he is going to be talking about, and why mocks are useful, but the actual presentation is not '101' level material.

2) I guess this goes without saying, but you can tell that he *really* knows what the fuck he is talking about.  I mean, one would hope he would know how Rhino Mocks works, and that's obvious, but the side-comments along the lines of "Well, I needed to do this because the compiler complained" just indicates his deep knowledge of all sorts of things.

3) I'm still highly skeptical of mock objects.  Little from the webcast changed that, but, to be fair, it takes a *really* good webcast to change a mindset.

4) The most I 'learned' was watching a very, very highly trained developer refactor live.  I understood the changes he was making (I think) as he made them, and just seeing them live made me realize how far I have to go in that area.  You could see why certain coding styles are so tied into tools like ReSharper, and why some think Microsoft's Entity Framework gets in the way.

I don't think I'll watch it again.  Well, I don't think i'll watch it again unless I become less skeptical of mocks and/or need to mock SMS, but it's a good view.

posted @ Sunday, May 13, 2007 8:03 PM | Feedback (2)