Monday, July 28, 2008


I have been listening to a lot of Megadeth lately. It feels good.

Friday, July 11, 2008


In many way, being a programmer is like being an artist. Inspiration comes and it goes. You can't always force useful work.
Many times I get on a project and I rock that project for hours on end. And then it will all putter out. It may be that I completed the project, or that I have to wait for someone else to complete something. It could be that I have coded up until I reached a point that there are now a few jams that have to be backed out. I need time to step back and rethink everything. Resort the puzzle in my mind so I can get a good idea of how to proceed, which will usually be followed by hours more of useful work.
When I reach these points it is best if I just go home. They usually come within an hour of the time I leave anyhow. I simply cannot get back to a highly productive state before it is time for me to leave, and even if I did, I would have to stop in just a little bit of time anyhow.
Other times I have the opposite problem. Four-thirty will come around and I'm rockin' code, but I have to abandon it and go home. Being in the middle of a productive streak and having it cut short by having to clock out, a meeting, or something else is very bad. It takes a while to go from cold to productive, sometimes up to an hour.
Code is big and it depends on so many other things. To get everything working just right takes putting a lot of pieces together and delicately placing them just right. Like in Operation, a single slip causes the buzzer to go off and you have to start from the beginning. And like doing taxes, there are so many rules you have to be really careful to get everything just right or you end up with the IRS a down your door, or in a programmers case, your boss. You round a number the wrong way, that number gets passed around and multiplied, and then you ended up billing hundreds of customers too much and they are upset.
It would be nice if my end time was not set in stone. I leave when it is best, not when the clock does its thing.

Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby

In a spark to learn a little about how to program in Ruby I ran across Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby.
It is definitely a different take on teaching programming. For example, there are cartoons sprawled all over the place. One cartoon has the two characters trying to convince the author to use the phrase "Crunchy Bacon" in one of his quotes.
There is also a side-bar that includes other such ramblings, such as at the beginning explaining that the book is released under the Creative Commons license, and what the means. The explanation being that the author's visions of wealth and fame from the book are being tossed out, and the reader is enabled to take those on for him or herself.
Anyhow, I'm enjoying reading it.


Aurora had watched a video cast of some guy making butter and really wanted me to help her make some. So I watched the video and saw what the guy did. It was pretty simple. Let whipping cream sit out for ~12 hours, put it in a jar, forcefully shake the jar in hard deliberate shakes.
It just so happens that I had a little tub of whipping cream, so I set it out yesterday morning before I left for work. I had poured it into a water bottle.
When I got home last night we took the bottle and gave it those deliberate shakes the man did in the video. After about thirty minutes we didn't really have much. I thought that maybe there was too much cream in the bottle so I poured about half of it into a cup. Sure enough, after that we had some action in just a couple minutes.
What came out looked a lot less like butter and a lot more like whipped cream. There was suppose to be some butter milk run off, and we didn't have any of that. I was a little worried we had created whipped cream and not butter.
I had bought some bread at Publix, because Aurora insisted that the man on the video cast said we needed "fresh bread", so our week old bread in the fridge wouldn't cut it. So we put our "cream" on the bread and it was really good. Athena enjoyed it too.
I put the rest of our cream in a container and put it in the fridge. About an hour later is resembled butter a lot more.
When we run out of this we'll try again, but with our water bottle not too full from the beginning.