Movie Catch-Up

Posted by Thomas Mon, 30 Oct 2006 01:48:03 +0000

That researcher guy got questioned and then his house searched and stuff confiscated, which is unfortunate, because he really did break the law. He should have known better, but the problem has existed for quite a while. I despise it when a company or organization or department feigns something like that. You give the illusion of security or fore-thought or whatever, but in reality you can’t or won’t accept the truth.

This should make a bunch of people very happy.

To catch up on movies as of late, I’ve seen “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, which I thought was pretty much “The Apartment”, “The Lake House” which was better than I was expecting from Keanu and Sandra, “Blade Runner”, which I still don’t really get, “Match Point”, which was excellent, especially from Woody Allen, “Nacho Libre”, which I should have watched in the theater, because it was really good and would have been better with an audience, “Lost in Translation” which was ok, but seemed more or less like “Code 46”, and “Memoirs of a Geisha”, which was wonderful.

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Strike up a conversation

Posted by Thomas Fri, 27 Oct 2006 01:13:54 +0000

Me, a couple of guys from work, and a couple of their friends went out to a bar after work tonight. So, me and this guy from work were sitting talking, and a very tall young lady comes over near us to pick up her purse and various other items from the table where her and her friends had started the night, to take them to the table where they were currently. My friend and I were in the middle of a conversation, and the young lady was picking up stuff from the table, but said something like when you aren’t sure if someone is talking to you or not (like, “excuse me?” or the like). I more or less continued with what I was saying, she picked up the stuff from the table and walked over to their new table. After she left, my friend chastised me, saying that she had wanted me to talk to her. To which I said that I was admittedly oblivious (as I really was). I more or less played it off, especially as I find it hard to see myself picking up some random smoking, drinking chick at a bar. But, it was a really nice sentiment, either way, if she really was trying to strike up a conversation, or if it was just his interpretation of the situation, it made me feel good. :)

Posted in Women | 1 Comment

Studio 60 and some odd geek dating advice

Posted by Thomas Wed, 25 Oct 2006 23:29:01 +0000

I finally got around to watching the latest episode of Studio 60 last night (episode 6). It was AWESOME! I really feel like the cast and the writers were really gelling, because the dialogue and the acting was spectacular. Multiple mini story lines, character and plot development. Good stuff. Maybe it was each becoming comforable with the other, maybe it was the cast getting used to the tempo and gait of the writing, maybe just the cast getting to know each other better, maybe it was the story progressing to the point where you were no longer having to remind the audience who was whom and could actually move the narrative forward. Whatever it was, it was good, and I’m glad that it looks and feels much more like what I grew accustomed to in Sports Night and the West Wing. I’m much relieved, as I was up until this point not yet convinced as to the quality. If this keeps up, then I’m not worried. :)

I guess that I saw this on Digg, which then linked to this and this. All I considered to be lackluster.

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¡Yo soy toro!

Posted by Thomas Mon, 23 Oct 2006 01:45:08 +0000

By Handsome Rob’s personal request, I posted a picture of the new bike.

Even though you may not be in CS anymore, you didn’t have to miss this year’s Bonding Sunday!

I have been quite remis in posting both here and in the photoblog. I just went back through what I’ve taken over what seems like the past 6 months and posted them into the photoblog (starting with this one of kb). They’ll show up one a day for quite some time (until the 12th of November). Enjoy!

Posted in General | 2 Comments

Python/dynamically type languages redux

Posted by Thomas Tue, 17 Oct 2006 01:41:47 +0000

I still don’t understand Python and its zealots. I find myself all too often in little altercations over the choice of languages and platforms with guys at work, specifically with my great disdain for Python.

I think that if you are an advocate of a dynamically typed language, then you are lazy. You don’t need to be programming if you can’t plan ahead for what variable types you are going to need. If you have a problems thinking that far ahead, then you really do have problems. I think it’s the lazy man’s way out. You can’t be encoumbered by declaring the type of your variables. It hinders your process and bogs you down. You can’t be saddled with such things. If you can’t figure it out, then you shouldn’t be programming. I add a type to a variable without thinking, just like I add a semi-colon to the end of every line. Just like I add a period at the end of every sentence.

I cut my adult programming teeth on C and Java, which are both strongly typed, and probably have permanently influenced the way that I approach solving problems in code and the length of code I consider acceptable for even the simplest of programs. I don’t even see the “boilerplate” any more and I don’t see people’s problems. Importing classes in java is a necessity to me, and I know and understand that, yet when I see imports in python, I always perceive them as the author’s attempt to be cooler than he really is. I don’t know why that is… But what I try to myself realize (and may or may not really reach a decent level of zen in) is that neither I nor you, Mr. Zealot, have the right answer. If there really was one best language then we would all be using it, and no one would be writing new ones, as I am sure someone came up with one just today. Don’t be a zealot and say that your language is better, and force it down my throat. Because it is not the one true language for all of the world and for every application.

I try not to be a zealot for Java, but it’s especially hard for me when other zealots rear their heads and plead their case. I try my best not to force my opinions down other people’s throats, and I appreciate it when others due the same. Don’t waste your breath trying to convince me that your way is better, show me your way is better and I will immediately fall in line. But, if you show me, and you don’t convince me, then you’d better go back to the drawing board and try again.

In my quest for answers, I ran across this.

Let’s face it: your average commercial application isn’t burning CPU cycles solving NP-complete problems. We typically write code that moves chunks of data about and adds up a couple of numbers. In these scenarios, is it worth worrying about the relative performance of the language used to do the moving and adding? Not in my book.

Most of the time the computer waits on you, just like in Mother Russia, and not being stupid and choosing a decent algorithm is key. And I, too, do not care what language it was written in as long as it does its job currectly and in a timely manner. I, in fact, like many other things, do not care for a very, very long time, but then care immensely about how well it will do its job. But then he quotes this:

Justin Ghetland experienced this recently on a Rails project. Having coded the same application twice, once in Java and once using Ruby on Rails, he was surprised to discover that the Rails application outperformed the Java one. Why? Justin believes it’s because Rails does smarter caching.

He compares Java to Ruby on Rails. How can you do that? How can you compare a language to a platform. Of course Java will loose if you’re running it against some other platform that caches the result. Are you stupid? A 2 year old could tell you that. I digress as he does into why Ruby is cool because you don’t have to write sql or some such blather.

Python was derived from ABC and I have as of yet to hear the true reason why he chose as he did. Are the perceived benefits of implicit declaration, statement nesting by indentation, and smaller size === more readable in fact true? Is the benefit perceivable or even quantifiable? Isn’t readability in the eye of the beholder, or more precisely in the eye of the maintainer?

I have not been one for trying to fix some else’s code in quite some time. Ever since that first time or two, I realized that the probability of me finding your error in your non-trivial code was very slim. And in the several minutes that I would be trying to orient myself with the code, the author would figure it out.

Plus all of my other gripes:

the language should not enforce style guidelines
the correctness of a program should not be dependant on indentation
how easy to comment out a code block and not affect the surrounding code
how easy to temporarily copy and paste new code into a block
how easy to determine the end of the code block
“it forces correct coding style” — indentation is only one of many factors of proper coding style, which of itself is debatable; would you want to enforce CamelCase or Hungarian notation at the language level?
“I dislike using braces because I have to indicate my intentions twice: once for the compiler and once for humans.” — couldn’t repetition be considered good for readability?

“When you get to the bottom of it, however, I write programs in Lisp for the same reason I write prose in English—not because it’s the best language, but because it’s the language I know best.”

Well, that last statement really is true and the crux of the whole thing. I know C and Java, and Python isn’t like them in more than a few ways. I ignore certain things about my prefered languages, and the other zealots do the same. I really don’t care what language something is written in. Do I care what language Firefox, Gaim, or xterm is written in? Surely not. I only care that they do their job and they do their job well. If they don’t then I find something else. This is how it should be. Survival of the fittest; a capitalist chosing of software.

I guess what irks me the most is when the zealots proclaim that Python is the best, one, and only, and then their apps suck. Don’t come to me proclaiming the wonders of a language, the ease with which this allows one to code, the brevity, the veritable snake oil-wonder language, and then your apps still suck. I shudder to think how much they would suck if they chose a “harder” and more verbose language.

And why does WordPress have a stupid little draggable ui, yet no autosave or type-as-you-go spell check. Get your priorities straight! Features first, eye-candy later. Function before form.

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Good Day

Posted by Thomas Sat, 07 Oct 2006 22:43:39 +0000

I’ve had a good day. I got up this morning around eleven, after several sleep/wake cycles. I had set my alarm for eleven, but I guess my body was anxious about not oversleeping, as I woke up several times before then, rolled over, and went back to sleep. I normally would have slept in even more, but there was a group of people from work that wanted to go bike riding on the Silver Comet Trail. I stopped off at work on my way, grabbing a bagel, a banana, and some Gatorade (it’s tough to believe, I know, that I ate a bagel and banana for breakfast). We met up around 12:30 and we finally headed out around 1, I think. The trip was supposed to be fifteen miles, which we surpassed. My computer said that I averaged about 13.9 mph, and our travel time was roughly an hour fifteen. There were some legs where we sustained about 20 mph, and I and another guy drafted off of each other and traded off leading. Afterwards, most of us went to eat lunch at a little sandwich shop. I was and am really surprised at how little sore I am and good I felt at the end. When I’ve ridden this past week, I’ve always felt dead at the end of a 2 or 3 mile jaunt, which hasn’t given me much desire to ride again. I came back home and showered and haven’t done much since.

I’m in the middle of Two Towers, having already watched The Fellowship recently. I should have had my Netflix in today, but they were not in my mailbox when I checked upon my arrival back after lunch, which was disheartening. So, that put somewhat of a damper on the rest of my weekend, as I would have had some new movies to watch. I can’t imagine why they are late, and I don’t know if I should blame Netflix or the post office.

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Some links for the Xen/ZFS post

Posted by Thomas Sat, 07 Oct 2006 22:42:50 +0000;jsessionid=9E9E779D80E585F4F2559E2E9E598150

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The Norm

Posted by Thomas Thu, 05 Oct 2006 01:28:41 +0000

How is it that I just spent $800 on a road bike, yet I don’t want to go riding in the morning? This is why I don’t buy stuff. This is why I don’t talk. This is why I eat the same food. Because when I deviate from the norm I get screwed, and I only wish that I hadn’t.

Long live the status quo.

Posted in General | 1 Comment

Road Bike

Posted by Thomas Mon, 02 Oct 2006 00:10:26 +0000

So, I got a road bike this past Saturday. I ordered it the Saturday before, which in turn meant that they had to order it and put it together, so I picked it up yesterday. I rode yesterday and today, and remembered how much out of shape I am (I also remembered that I am still in mourning over having my Gary Fisher Marlin stolen many, many moons ago). It’s a Trek 1000, and I took some pictures of it, so maybe I’ll post them to the photoblog. I watched “Taxi Driver” and thought that it was ok, and I watched “Puddle Cruiser”, which was ok as well. “Puddle Cruizer” is Broken Lizard’s first feature lenght film on 35mm. I guess that they just released it on DVD, as it was filmed in the mid-90s. The commentary was done pretty recently, as they made several references to “Dukes of Hazzard” in the commentaries. And, btw, they are planning a Super Troopers 2. Here’s to hoping it’s as funny as the first. I am leaning more and more towards augmenting my internet situation. Maybe I’ll make a decision soon… My parents are flying out on October 13, so that should be fun/interesting, which means I need to clean the apartment thoroughly beforehand. I went out with a few guys from work on Friday after work. Went to a bar until around 11. It wasn’t too drunken, so it was enjoyable.

I feel like I’ve really been out of it lately, and I have no idea why. I sort of miss being around people who will correct your smallest grammar mistake or mispoken word. It keeps your mind and tongue on their toes.

This week or last, I also had a guy from work ask me if I was going to church. We were discussing work and how I was down about it, and he asked me sort of out of the blue. This is a guy who I pretty much thought was a pagan, so it really took me aback.

I also finally got to watch the second episode of Studio 60. It was on par with the first. It’s still too early to tell, but I imagine that I will be a watcher…

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