Tag Archives: confession

purged backlog

Wow. Well, I guess it had to happen sooner or later. My backlog of roughly 2 years of uncompleted blog posts was getting ridiculous. I have decided to throw away 15 or 16 stale posts that were never going to see the light of day anyway.

What got deleted:

  • How I’d build an internet radio station if I had to do it again. (Distributed network of listening sources, magical listening preferences dj algorithms).
  • What I’d like to see in an internet television station. (I built a prototype, but VP6 encoding is hard to automate – h.264 support in Flash makes that concern moot now).
  • A rant in response to all of the uninspired flames I received for my LOTRO stress test review. (I wasn’t impressed with either the game or the apparent education level of the trolls).
  • A gory description of the innards of an AS1 project I had inherited and wrestled into usability. (Don’t let script kiddies write your website for you).
  • Several WoW rants, ui mod reviews, and spec discussions. (The stock quest interface needs help in a very big way, Dark Pact warlocks are awesome – so is saccing your felpuppy, Combat Experience and Careful Aim aren’t worth it, Every class needs a panic button or three, Protadins need to choose carefully between Sanctuary and Kings).
  • Part 6 of my 2007 spring anime lineup review series. (Lucky Star absolutely terrifies me).
  • A rant on the differences between Adobe AIR and MS Silverlight. (They’re entirely not the same thing, btw).
  • A lossless way to get video out of .mov and into .avi wrappers for editing in utilities that can’t read Quicktime but can use arbitrary DirectShow codecs. (Huffyuv + ffmpeg).
  • A few benchmarking experiments with AS3/Flash 9 performance. (Setting a DisplayObject’s alpha to zero is almost, but not quite as good as setting its visible to false; For some strange reason, switch statements appear to be slower than if-else blocks).
  • A review of Rogue Galaxy. (One of the best console RPG’s I’ve played in a while).
  • Walraven needs quest journals badly. (EQ2’s is the closest to what I want; Need the ability to set one quest as a pre-requisite for another).
  • The four part epic story of how I sweat blood in order to build an SVN/Trac account management system that ran on a windows server… and then wound up getting to port it to Linux after a week when the windows box blew an hdd controller. (It took something like 4 weeks to build the original, it took 8.5 hours to port it).
  • A 2-year-old idea for a little web comic about chibi pirates. (Still probably going to revisit this one).

The queued articles I didn’t delete and still pretend I might write one day are:

  • Why it’s futile for me to pretend that I have any privacy online, and why I’m not splitting this blog up into three separate sites any time soon.
  • How to set up apache to write its logs to a remote host over an encrypted tunnel.
  • Two more character classes for my TSRPG idea.

But I’m probably just kidding myself. Part of the reason these ideas wind up getting shelved is that the spark of the idea is lost after an interruption. I’ll start recording some fascinating insight I had about humanity after watching Kurosawa’s Rashomon… only to be interrupted by feeding time for the baby. By the time she’s taken care of and happy again, I’ve lost half of the idea and can’t bring myself to post a 75% written entry.

This is also why I keep having long breaks between posts. The goals need to be less lofty and more frequent. We’ll see if I can’t manage better over the next few weeks.

it happens to the best of us

Sigh. Yesterday, I was digging through a data class on one of our projects and found this little gem:

[as3]
public function hasChanged() : Boolean {
return false;
}
[/as3]

Upon further investigation of the SVN logs, I can confirm that – yes – I was the one to blame.

Now, the method has to exist for interface reasons… but I’ve also confirmed that it’s never being called anywhere. So… I’ve attached an apologetic comment to the function and will pretend this never happened 😛

test of humanity

Ok, I’ve not formally announced on here yet, but we have a new house. We’ve been living there for a few days now, the vast majority of our stuff has been moved over from the apartment. It is good. We’re happy. I’m lucky to have had James & Scott to come help me in addition to family when we did the big furniture move on Saturday (3rd).

Warning: The following post contains a detailed account of suffering and death on the part of helpless little animals that many people (myself included) would likely rather not read. You have been warned.

The night before the big move (Friday the 2nd, Penny’s and my 6th anniversary), we saw a mouse. Can there be a greater proof of home ownership than an immediate attack by vermin? 🙂

Now, I’ve seen mice before. I’ve helped exterminate mice before. But I have NEVER seen a mouse so tiny and cute and adorable as the one we discovered last Friday night. I felt bad about looking for implements of furry little death, but it wouldn’t do to let the critter have free run of the place. Nor could I simply catch and release – he’d just come back inside the same way he managed to get inside in the first place.

Saturday, we sealed up the most likely point of access (clothes dryer vent wasn’t sealed very well) and I laid out the first of the traps – some standard issue poison. Now the poison promised results within a few days. And frankly, with just one adorable little mouse, I didn’t mind it taking a while before it killed him.

Shortly thereafter, as I was helping unpack and move some furniture around the house, I lifted the case to our Gamecube and saw two mice together at the same time. This added a bit to my urgency and I decided to go back to the emporium of death and acquire something a bit faster.

When I got to the store, they were completely out of traditional spring traps. The only things they had were more poison and glue traps. I’d heard that glue traps were amazingly effective so I took a look at the box. The traps claimed to have some anesthetic in them as well… so I figured I’d give them a go. After all, it was only two mice. Two adorable little mice.

I set one of the traps next to the refrigerator and went in to watch the Robin Hood series premiere. After the show was over, Penny went in to get something to eat and discovered that a mouse had already been caught. I took a look and he did seem to be quite sedated. I didn’t pick it up yet because I was kind of squeamish (he was still alive, after all), and because I really had nowhere to dispose of him. A few hours later, as I got a drink of water before bed, I discovered that the mouse was still alive. I got over my nerves and grabbed a plastic bag to wrap him in. He tried to struggle free as I picked up the trap…

The following morning, I set another trap behind the television where we’d seen the two mice together. By Sunday afternoon, the second mouse had been caught. He was a bit tougher than the first one and squeaked occasionally. After an hour or two, I decided that he wasn’t going to go to sleep like the first mouse so I wrapped him in plastic and removed him from the house as well.

The nezumi defeated, we resumed our lives free of the fear that something would join us in bed or crawl up legs or simply infect the house with some exotic disease. It was peaceful, the suffering of the two little mice was almost forgotten.

Then on Monday night, Penny thought she saw a 3rd mouse. Corner of her eye sort of thing. But it was late, she was tired and had been looking for mice for two days straight already. I dismissed it. Eventually, she did too.

Then yesterday she saw the mouse again while I was at work. I set out the remaining glue traps – one by the unpacked computers in my office and one next to the poison in our bathroom. I placed a little cookies in the poison tray. All that evening, I never saw the mouse. Then, at ~11pm as I washed my face before bed, I saw that the trap in our bathroom had worked.

The mouse had gone around the trap, into the poison, grabbed the cookie, and tried to escape across the glue. Naturally, he got caught.

With his little cookie.

When I saw him, he was still actively struggling to get free.

But I was tired and I had nowhere to dispose of the body (we’d been left a present of a completely full trash can by the former owner), so I left the mouse to calm down a bit as I had the other two. I forgot about him and went to bed.

At 2am, I woke up to his cries of distress. I don’t think the anesthetic really worked for him.

This morning, I was a bit late getting out the door, so I didn’t take the time to do something about him as I ran out to work.

At 3pm this afternoon, Penny informed me that the mouse was still alive. Still squeaking. Still struggling to get out of the trap.

Still in possession of his little cookie.

I am never using glue traps again. They may be amazingly effective… but… I like to think that I’m a bit too human to voluntarily do something like that to another mammal again.

Maybe live traps aren’t such a bad idea after all. I can always take them to the park before letting them go.

ほんとうのたからもの

Today marks the third time in living memory that Ammon has been brought to tears by a cartoon. The first was a result of the ‘baby mine’ scene in Dumbo when I was quite a young child. The second happened somewhere along the line when I was watching Ai Yori Aoshi a year or two ago.

Today, I sort of fast forwarded through scenes of Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. I think I might have only actually sat all the way through three or four of the fourteen episides. For some reason, the general emotional tenseness that pervades the series coupled with Mitsuki’s perpetual state of relative undressedness had the effect of preventing me from making any serious attempts to watch the show in its entirety.

So… I have managed to watch the first few episodes and the last few. I skimmed over everything in between, stopping when things looked funny or relevant to the plot. All in all, I don’t really recommend the show. That is to say, it is not required viewing. But it had an ending that had me fighting tears for about 15 minutes before I just gave in. It is too easy to relate to.

cranial shields failing

Well, today started in a sufficiently lousy mode and has continued along that vein.

I wasn’t able to get much in the way of sleep last night. I had every intention of crashing some time around 10pm, but I discovered that I only had 100 or so pages left in my book… and was tempted. On a good day, I could have finished that in under an hour, but Penny decided that she wanted to pester me a bit, so it wasn’t until about 1am that I actually finished the durned thing.

When I ‘woke up’ this morning, I came very quickly to the realization that I hadn’t really recharged at all. So, I tried to go back to sleep with plans on getting up at 10 or 11, taking Penny out to breakfast, and heading in to work around noon. This didn’t work either, Penny kept coming in and out of the room, turning lights on and off, etc… her office actually called her once and I had to answer that while she was in the shower.

So, at around 10:30 she started trying to actually wake me up, and kept doing so about every 90 minutes. This did not work out too well. I was, erm… cranky and yelled at her.

Thus, having made my wife cry, and having kept her around the house late enough that we weren’t able to go out for breakfast as planned… things were not mentally perfect to begin with. I’ve not yet had my pill, so that is probably not helping much either.

Anyhow, I am finally at work and have completed a survey of the password gathering seive’s progress. We’ve collected 45 of the passwords so far out of 180 users on the system. This wouldn’t be such a bad percentage, except I know how many more of those users are actually active – about 78 total have inbox spools exceeding 10k. So, the capturing process will continue.

I also set up an appointment to meet with the ambassador lady to help her make a final decision on blog software to install for their site. I am going to recommend this package because it is durned cool 😉

Otherwise, I am really and truly without anything to do here at work. My brain is completely drained from lack of sleep – I tried programming on a few different little projects but with no real success.