Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy anniversary

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Javascript Drinking Game

The Javascript Drinking Game
  1. Procure several bottles of your favorite liquor with a high ABV percentage (it will help the pain go away better).
  2. Take a drink every time Javascript does something that a sane programming language does not.
You know what? Just open the bottle and drink until you pass out. The result is the same and this way you might stay conscious a little longer…
Current mood: Tired
Current music: Garbage – Run Baby Run

Monday, June 10, 2013

Cooking Time: Pizzeria Style Garlic and Herb Breadsticks

1 ½c Flour plus extra for dusting
1tsp Dry active yeast
1tsp Salt
¼c Grated Parmesan cheese
1Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1Tbsp Garlic powder
2Tbsp Olive oil plus extra for coating
Hot Water
Grated cheese (Mozzarella, Colby Jack, etc - optional)

  • Combine dry ingredients except optional grated cheese in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Add 2Tbsp olive oil and enough hot water to make a pliable dough.
  • Turn dough out onto floured surface and kneed dough.
  • Roll dough into a ball, coat with olive oil and place in bowl covered with a towel for 1 hour so dough can rise to approximately double its original size.
  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Punch down dough and roll out to a size of approximately 8”x9” and place on baking sheet, pizza pan, or cast iron skillet
  • Brush surface with olive oil, cover with towel and allow to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes
  • Cut dough into 8 horizontal slices, while maintaining the loaf’s shape
  • Cover dough with grated cheese (if using) and place in oven for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean

Monday, May 20, 2013

Your Code Sucks

I’ve seen a few people that I know berate people for the quality of their code and say things like they should just go and deliver pizzas.

You aren’t your code. Code is an expression of the skill, mindset, and situation facing the person who wrote it at the moment it’s made. Nothing more. In fact, it may be the chaining together of those factors from several people as the code is maintained.

There may be things about the situation that you don’t know. Maybe the person was under insane time constraints. Maybe they were thrown into a technology they had no experience with. Hell, maybe they were just having a bad day.

You may not like maintaining the code – I know I don’t, but I try not to berate the person doing it because I don’t know what lead there. (If I know the person in question and know that they just don’t care, that’s a different story)

There are a couple of appropriate responses to “your code sucks”.

  • Where can I improve?
  • Yes, it sucks. So does everyone else’s. I’m working to improve. Are you?

Improvement is the important part.

Yes, my code sucks. It always will, but it gets better every day.

Does yours?

Current mood – tired
Current music – 10,000 Maniacs – Candy Everybody Wants

Wednesday, May 01, 2013


After a couple of false starts, I started digging into learning ASP.NET MVC a couple of months or so ago.

First, I decided that I also wanted to learn webforms, just in case.

Don’t look at me like that. I learned the error of my ways after my eyes started to bleed and hands began reaching out of the walls for me. Though I’m not sure that was caused exclusively by webforms. That may have been caused in part by my recitation out of a book of really odd Latin poetry that I ran across…

Either way, I stopped trying to learn webforms, so mission accomplished. Now if the really creepy looking guy would stop making faces at me in the mirror when I try to shave, that’d be great. Oh, wait, that’s me. Sorry.

Next, I tried just diving in by starting with Professional ASP.NET MVC by Galloway, Haack, Wilson, and Allen.

This, for me at least, was kind of a mistake. The first couple of chapters were okay, but the first chapter on the topic of Views was full of hand waving and a sense of go screw yourself. It all kind of boiled down to “I’m not going to discuss the code. I’m just going to go off on tangents that you don’t need right now.” (This is a pet peeve of mine)

That’s not to say that the book is bad. It’s actually quite good as long as you have a rough idea of what’s going on (which I didn’t at the time). Otherwise, it got a bit frustrating. I'm going back over the book now, in fact.

I ended up going online to find the music store tutorial that was mentioned in the book and working through that first. That worked a lot better for me, but it could just be that I’m a bit slow. Who knows.

Going on the premise that I learn a lot better by playing with something once I’ve figured out the basics, I decided to rebuild my website with MVC. After all, it was just static pages, so I wouldn’t have to worry much about the M portion of things.

As a result, I got a decent grounding in the use of Controllers and spent a small mountain of time re-arranging the structure of the website to comply with the MVC principles.

Of course, I also got to do some much needed housekeeping, so that’s a plus. It just took loads of time because there were probably 40 or so pages.

In all honesty, most of my frustration was dealing with CSS3 (the site’s last incarnation used CSS2 and a lot of things have changed) and getting all of the settings right (both on my end and on my hosting provider) to get web publishing to work from Visual Studio.

The site isn’t “finished”. I’ll probably always have things that I want to do to it, but it is published. The visual changes are fairly minimal. Mostly, the menu has just moved to the top instead of running down the left side. However, things are a lot different on the back end.

Now I get to move on to more complex stuff.

Current mood: tired
Current music: David Gray – Babylon

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I'm Not an Expert

I’m not an expert. On anything, really.

Don’t get me wrong. There are things that I’m good at, but I wouldn’t call myself an expert on them.

Part of the reason that I don’t consider myself an expert on anything is that I’ve done so many varied things. I’ve never settled into just one area of development (or anything else).

I’ve had a lot of hobbies, interests and jobs that range from martial arts, to carpentry, blacksmithing, gardening, cooking, and (obviously) software development (among many other things).

That kind of spread isn’t exactly the sort of thing that screams “I’m the greatest person in the world at one thing.” It does, however, lead to being able to look at problems from a lot of different angles and helps you come up with a solution to something you may have never seen before.

I sometimes get asked what my specialty is by people who won’t take “I don’t know” for an answer, and the only thing I can think to say is that I’ve learned to ask questions that get me the answers that I need.

I may not know a thing, but I can generally figure out a way to find the answer.

I suppose that you could say people like me specialize in being generalists, but I think we just suffer from a combination of ADD and having to take on multiple roles. Somehow, it works out, though.

Current mood: thoughtful
Current music: Goo Goo Dolls – Give a Little Bit