Category Archives: Miscellany

Happy 70 years to The Hobbit

Just read on Wired that The Hobbit was first released 70 years ago today. That book and Tolkien’s world at large have captured my imagination since childhood. Couldn’t let this occasion pass without making note of it.

As the nostaliga set in, I found myself on Google, which led me to the official Tokien site. To my surprise, it’s showing a new release, The Children of Húrin! This is apparently from the first age of Middle Earth, the time prior to The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings. Can’t wait to get a copy of this!

8 Things About Me

OK, so a friend at Poor Young Things has “tagged” me in this blogosphere incarnation of a chain letter. In the interest of playing along, here goes. But first, in keeping with the rules of being tagged, here are “The Rules”&#8482.

Here are the Rules:

  1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
  2. Players start with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
  3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog (about their 8 things) and post these rules. (**if you’re a non-blogger, you can e-mail them!)
  4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose 8 people to tag and list their names.
  5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them, “you’re tagged, now go read my blog.”

8 Things About Me

  1. I really like being a dad. I have known I wanted to be a dad since I was 6, and it has not been disappointing. It’s very challenging and takes alot out of me, but it is just one of the coolest things I have ever experienced.
  2. I am exceptionally introverted. Shocks lots of people who know me, but yep, but big crowds and lots of interaction are actually an energy sink for me, not an energy source.
  3. I love playing World of Warcraft. I missed the whole paper RPG thing growing up (grew up Baptist, Dungeons & Dragons was of the devil; bright side is that gives me +10 Charisma), but looks like I probably would have loved it. I have to limit my play time or I’d probably never get anything done.
  4. I am partially colorblind. Many guys have some degree of colorblindness; but mine became more pronounced after LASIK surgery. The red/green/brown realms are the ones that can challenge me most. What’s hilarious is how people react to hearing that; they start pointing out crap like “now that Falcons jersey there is red”; good God, people.
  5. I am an industrial adhesives and marking guru. Yep, apprenticed under my dad for over 10 years in that industry. That’s the career field I left to go into software development. The principles from that field that translate over to software are surprisingly high; I should blog about that sometime.
  6. I am country. As in from the country. Country as 3 rows of okra. And proud of it. It’s so hilarious to hear people who grew up in suburbia scoff at me having grown up in the country. A rural setting is way-the-hell more real than suburbia. Real life is not strip malls, soccer camp, and processed food. Seeing the cycle of birth, life, and death is real life. Doing manual labor on a farm to produce food is real life. Learning to hunt is real life. The lack of ethnic diversity did suck, though.
  7. I both dislike and do not understand most team sports. Played American football as a kid and some of high school; did not understand it. Faked it the whole time. Ran around enthusiastically until they blew the whistle. I still wonder exactly what the hell a post pattern is. Have had basketball and baseball explained to me several times; still don’t get it. Don’t want to; will probably have a son who loves it, at which point I’ll have to re-enroll in remedial sports comprehension.
  8. A military-style flat top haircut is the hairstyle I have worn the longest throughout my life. That surprises some people, since I have a ponytail now.

I hereby tag u8ashark, dianne marsh, mike levin, bruce eckel, mark ramm, james ward, brian panulla, and ben geyer. Let’s hear it; 8 things.

The close of Harry Potter’s tale

So I finished “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows” last night. As with all the books in the Harry Potter series, I thoroughly enjoyed it. J. K. Rowling’s writing is like a favorite shirt or pair of jeans for me; so comfortable and familiar that I feel completely unhindered by it, gliding through 350 pages at a sitting, pausing only to get enough sleep for the next day. There were many poignant moments, and having followed these characters for seven volumes intensified them all the more. It’s a bit sad to know that the tale of that magical world has finished, but at the same time I have that sense of it being complete.

Dry spell

Wow, I haven’t touched this thing for some time.

It’s not that I have forgotten about it; I have 4 unfinished topics, 2 of which might actually be worth someone reading. Blogging just hasn’t done much for me these past months — or is it years already? Yeah, now that I look back through the archives, my posting seems to have dropped off sharply right around the time 2 things happened; the start of my company and the birth of my daughter. Those happened within 3 weeks of one another. It was a hectic time; perhaps it stayed that way. The only flurries of frequent posts were actually centered around Open Space meetings with Bruce it seems. That stands to reason; those events were oases of peace and inspiration amid the desert that was my first independent contract; quite a soul-drainer, that one.

It certainly hasn’t been a case of not having topics to write about; my encounter and subsequent embrace of Python, my disillusionment (gasp!) with the Rails community after checking it out for awhile, discovering Domain-Driven Design (or did it discover me?) and the revelations that have ensued; tons going on, just haven’t felt inspired to write much.

It seems like the dry spell might be passing, but it’s too early to pass judgement. What I do know is that this is the first I’ve felt like updating this thing in forever.

BBC News, Bill Clinton, and an Ubuntu thong

So I am perusing the “Latest Headlines” RSS feed in Firefox this morning and notice the word ubuntu. It turns out Bill Clinton used it as a key term in a recent speech to the Labour party conference. The article goes on to discuss the increasing ubiquity of the word’s usage, including the mention of Ubuntu the operating system at the end of the article. And apart from a picture of Clinton at the top of the article, the only other image is of an Ubuntu thong like the ones you can buy off of Café Of all the choices, why pick an Ubuntu thong? One person suggested to me that Clinton and a thong was a natural fit. 8^)

Those shirts

Whatever happened to those shirts that seemed to be the standard uniform for women around 1999-2001? You know, the fitted one with a collar and those 3/4-length sleeves? It seemed there was a prerequisite to own one in French blue before you could move on to the other colors. I thought those were neat. They seem to have been exiled; haven’t seen one in ages. I miss them.

Nokia USA, TigerDirect, and caveat emptor

So I have been loving my Nokia N90 phone as far as functionality goes, but there are a few design issues that bug me. One is the rather primitive battery cover, which I managed to re-fasten a number of times until it finally came off without me realizing it. Beside that, a piece of the metal inlay by the camera button keeps popping loose on one end. I figure US$650 is way too much for a phone with pieces popping off, so I contact Nokia to send it in under warrantly.

And that’s where we pick up in the story…

Continue reading Nokia USA, TigerDirect, and caveat emptor