Sunday, January 23, 2005

snowstorm pictures

During last month's snow storm, we lost power for several days. Here's a bunch of pictures (click "more pictures" to the right) from the storm. Of special note is the pinetree that lost 80% of its branches (the last pic). I should implement a slideshow or something...

Nothing special

I've got a new pic of geronimo. He's hiding in a tissue box. Once he got himself stuck in there, he got pretty pissed offed. He managed to chew his way out.

In other news, we've got another hockey game on Wednesday night at 12:15 am. Come by the OSU ice rink to see me humiliate myself.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

a new take on history

My Grandmother passed away last week. Don't feel bad - I didn't know her. I, to little suprise, didn't know her first name. It's a long story so you'll just have to take my word for it that there're good reasons behind the distance.

Anyhow, we went up today to clean up the house and go through everything. I felt like I was in a museum. It was pretty neat, actually. She had books from the 1800s; Sarah found a bible dated circa 1850. I found a geography book that excludes Hawaii and Alaska from the US, a reference book that only covers presidents up to Woodrow Wilson, and a world map that's missing all of today's warring nations. This is crazy! I found the original issue of Life magazine dated Aug. 8, 1969, covering the original lunar landing. That's 14 years + 1 day before sarah was born.

Sarah also happened upon a Chemistry book that shows only 92 elements--20 short of today's count.

More updates later. I hope to take some pictures when I go up next weekend and deal with the 4000 Reader's Digests she's got hidden away.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Spyware, Adware, Underwear

A friend just passed on the news that Microsoft has aquired a spyware-squashing company and is now releasing their software for free. The word is that it's very good. If you have spyware/adware/popup problems, try it out. I haven't used it so I can't add my $.02 but as my friend says, "it's got the MS 'blessing' so-to-speak."

tech humor - sql craziness

I've been working at RoviSys for a little while now and one of my projects just went live. The release didn't go very smoothly from what I hear. Particularly, there was a lot of trouble with one of my sql queries. For those not familiar, a 'sql query' is like a command that looks things up and a lot of different books but does it very quickly. If you go to whitepages.com and google, etc. and search for someone, a 'query' is being executed to find the information you are looking for. In my case, I had a query that was supposed to give you a list of data for a dataview. This query was taking an obscene 30 seconds to execute. While that's not really very long in human years, it should be taking less than one second to execute. This delay causes all sorts of problems.

Bryan, the sql-guy, took a look at the query and proceeded to craft this response:

Book of SQL 24:17,

"Thou shalt not return many columns with an ORDER BY statement. If thou dost return too many columns, time shall progress, seasons shall change, before thou dost see thy results. Thou shalt consider rending apart a query of many columns, as the cloth is when sewn, into seperate queries. And some had said: 'the Supplier data was not needed in the Dataview, and so should have been queried only when creating the edit pop-up.' And those who said such a thing were considered wise."
     --B. DeBois


He later confessed that he's not really sure what the problem with the query was but following the above guideline more strictly did indeed resolve the problem. I would argue that at one time, before the project specs changed, the supplier data was needed in the dataview...but he's right because it's not needed anymore. In either case, two queries would probably be better, anyway.

Hockey Madness

Sarah, Shelley, Chris, Jeff, and I just got out of our first hockey game. As spectators? Oh no, my friend, as hockey players. That's right--we don't play for Ohio State, but we do play at Ohio State. It was really cool. More updates on this later. Out next game is next week - Maybe i can get some pictures.

[next day update]
OSU offers hockey at three 4 levels: A, B, C, D, D being the least skilled, and A being the most skilled. Since we have no skills, the best place for us is D. Are we playing D-League hockey? No...The day of signups, we were too late and all the D-league teams filled up. Feeling invincible as college students sometimes feel, we built of our courage and signed the C league sheet. What the hell were we thinking? Only one of us has ever played before--we can hardly skate.

So we 'practice' for the first game by attending a couple open skates and we feel less-confident when we realize that, yes, we can't skate, have never handled a puck before, and are on a team with 15 other people whom we also don't know.

So Wednesday night comes along...our game is at 12:15 am. We start to meet some people on our team, assuming that people wearing our color must be from the same team. This assumption seems to hold and I learn that there are at least three club-hockey players on our team. Holy shit. "We are so screwed," I tell the first one, which invites a confused glare. Moving on, we enter the ice and warm up a bit. This is our first time with pucks and sticks. This illicits several additional glares from our new teammates as they come to a now common realization that we have no idea what we are doing. I fall several times trying to take slapshots while the club players fly around me with such speeds the ice catches fire. I quickly fall on the flames to extinguish them.

We clear the ice and our five starters choose themselves (phew.). We make lines for offense and defense. Most of us go to defense because that happens to be where we were already standing. A D-man comes off and I jump on. Six on the ice. Dammit, I jump off before we get hit with a penalty. 4 minutes into the game I replace a D-man before a faceoff. I promptly fall on my ass trying to stop in front of the puck. It is hilarious. I fall again trying to get up. The puck as already been swept away and chase after after it. I make a few hits at the puck, clearing it some times and completely missing it others. This continues for about 2 minutes before my line changes.

This process continues for 2 periods--I feel that I'm improving but with the fatigue, who knows. The 3rd period starts with us down 3-2. I make a cool steal and am feeling like hot-stuff at the exact moment that I skate over the puck I've just stolen and fall trying to turn around to get it. I'm beyond the ability to be embarassed, folks.

Then, my crowning moment...4 minutes left in the 3rd. we're down 5-3 with no chance of making up he difference. This is no-contact but we're starting to skate with a little less-avoidance of those in front of us. I'm on defense and someones coming at me. I make a lucky block and the goalie says something like "about damn time". I fly around behind my goal while the opponents offensive man does the same. It gets pretty crowded back there and I see my opportunity. I conveniently place my skate in front of the offender and he conveniently falls over it. It's awesome. I've committed my first minor-penalty worthy action. But since I'm so sly, there is no penalty. Oh yeah. I'm pretty sure this is quickly followed by another goal for them, making it 6-3 and probably me falling on my ass trying to get off the ice.

It's the little victories.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Technology suprises

Here's one for the techies out there... I plugged my iPod into my Linux box today and it was automagically mounted. Wow! I know, I know, Windows and Apple users would be very suprised if that DIDN't happen. Well, there is an important detail here: the ipod is formated with HFS--an apple format, which normally wouldn't work in windows. Those windows ipod users have vfat formatted drives. I was just suprised that my kernel came with hfs support out of the box (FC3).

So anyway, yay technology. Now, if I can get itunes running under linux...

Saturday, January 1, 2005