Thursday, June 09, 2005 10:27 AM
It's hard to rant when words are inadequate. Musing is similarly right out. This is exactly why Hallmark is doing a roaring trade in prefabricated sentiment.
Nathan Mayr, a friend, a fiendishly genius developer, and someone I looked up to (he was taller than me) has died and silence is all that comes out.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005 3:23 PM
In Canada, we celebrate Victoria Day every year on the Monday preceding May 25th, in memory of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). I'm not sure why. In Victoria, where I live, the conjunction of the Day with the eponymous City means we must have a parade. We have had for 107 years. "Every minute of this 2-1/2 hr parade will leave you entertained" touts our official tourism website. Well, whatever. Somehow I end up watching every year anyway.
A lot of American high school marching bands show up for the event, and they're mostly really good, for high school students trapped in polyester. Part of the fun (every minute, folks, EVERY MINUTE) is to try and guess what the hell tune they're playing. Sometimes it's obvious ("Louie, Louie"), sometimes it's more challenging, as you strain your "top of the pops" trivia skills to the limit. One in particular had me stumped. The tune was tantalizingly familiar - I could even hum along - but I couldn't for the life of me name what it was. My sister didn't know. My wife hadn't a clue. I was like, I KNOW THIS, but I couldn't identify it. Until suddenly, as the last rank of tubas was passing, I had it: Ozzy Osbourne, "Crazy Train".
Ozzy Osbourne? OZZY? OSBOURNE!? Now, I love Ozzy, but for me, that song is a symbol of my long-hair headbanging days. You know, rebellious youth and loud, possibly Satanic music. And here they are, these kids, turning my rebel anthem into an easy-listenin' family-parade-day brass-n'-woodwinds favourite. I hated every one of 'em. Then I remembered who was wearing the burgundy and gold, one-size-fits-none bibbers and jacket with matching spats for a two mile stretch on a public street in front of 90,000 spectators. And felt a lot better.
Friday, May 20, 2005 10:20 AM
Loose and lose are DIFFERENT words in the English language. For the love of GOD, if I see one more person use "loose" when they mean "lose", I'm going to gnaw a hole in my belly and pull out enough intestine to strangle myself out of sheer blighted hope in the human condition.
It's because yesterday I was using a third party control for a popup calendar. The control itself is great, and I was perusing the list of control properties, when what to my wondering eyes did appear, but the CalendarPopup.EnableLooseFocus property. The say what? Uh... some kind of focus where the rivets have joggled free and are rattling around because I prefer that over a TIGHT FOCUS? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Doesn't the Law of Grammatic Entropy which governs such words as qwik, ez, and donut (nee quick, easy, and doughnut) DEMAND that longer words collapse to shorter ones due to the overwhelming pressure of human laziness? How then the extra "o"? It's actually more work: the finger expends double the calories as it redundantly hammers the key. Obviously the Grammatic Entropy law is being counteracted by the Law of Orthographic Horsepower which says that if one letter is good, more must be better.
Next on the block: its versus it's.
Thursday, May 19, 2005 6:47 AM
David Kirk died yesterday - cancer took him at last. He did quite a bit of work with us in the past before he got sick, and Kathy and Denise counted him as a good friend.
I didn't know him quite as well, but I worked with some of his code. That may not seem much, but it always showed invention, clarity and attention to detail in an environment that doesn't particularly reward good behaviour seeing as it's completely hidden from the ordinary human being. I respect that.
Monday, May 16, 2005 1:15 PM
IIS Admin is a beautifully simple tool to use when doing web-based developing on an XP workstation, and it makes my life bearable some days. It's a blessing to be able to create a directory structure for each client project that actually replicates their real-life site from the web root down. Nathan told me about it. Thank you Nathan Mayr, I'm naming my children after you. Yeah, all of them.
From the website:
"IIS Admin is a small tool for for use on Windows XP Professional. As you may have noticed, Windows XP Professional's IIS installation only allows one running website at a time. This is where IIS admin enters the picture, it allows you to easily create multiple websites on Windows XP Professional and quick switching between them."
I like the very understated "as you may have noticed" bit. It's more like, "as you may have wept tears of bitter frustration into your keyboard such that the individual keys rusted shut."