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Odd Bits and random thoughts

Dear Reader,

I have a conference call with a guy form a company ( pronounced skip dot com. They make an “identity solution”. Anybody remember when we just wrote software? yea, back in the days when Marketing thought we were nerds and left us alone. Anyhow, this looks like a great black box access control solution for a project I’m working on.

The server move went, well, less than smooth. but it’s done and I don’t ever want to do that again. I’d like to say thanks to all my customers who showed infinite patience as I worked through some of the technical details.

Kathy has been at SIGGRAPH all week. For those of you who don’t know, SIGGRAPH is German for “Open Bar”. :) She’s having a great time and since she spent my food budget for the month on a camera, maybe she’ll upload some pictures to either my site or hers.

Santa Clara has a radio station MAX-FM that started off like Nashville’s JACK-FM. However, now they have live DJs and insipid banter in the morning so I’m forced to find another station or just listen to podcasts on my morning drive-time. (For those curious, JACK-FM is really somebody’s C=64 sitting in a closet somewhere.) :)

I think that’s all for now. Any more and I run the risk of rambling.

Until next time, it’s awful quiet in my world these days.


I know what the hell is wrong with Hollywood!

Dear Reader,

I’ve done it, I’ve cracked the code. I know what is wrong with Hollywood; “Content Overload”!

No, not in the traditional sense of we have too much coming at us so we can’t absorb it all. No, the problem with Hollywood is they keep making more and more ‘content’ for us to consume and most of it is crap. Let face it, good movie ideas are like good business ideas. One out of every 100 or so may be good and out of that only 5% will actually make it. So why does the Hollywood entertainment engine feel that it has to fill our lives with every crap script (‘cmon, who actually green lighted “Evolution”?) that comes across their desk. I mean some of them are good but most of what comes out of the mainstream entertainment industry is total crap. I’m not talking about, it’s a niche vehicle and just not targeted at me; no, I can recognize the difference between bad and just not interesting to me.

“The Jerk”

Father: “You see that?”
Navin: “Yeah.”
Father: “That’s shit. And this, “shinola.”
Navin: “Shit, shinola.”
Father: “Son, you’re going to be all right.”

Wake up Hollywood, we can all tell the difference between shit and shinola!

I’m tired of the entertainment industry being one of the few industries that, if they sell you a bad product, you can’t demand your money back. If you bought a car that looked beautiful in the brochure and on the show-room floor, only to find out that it smelled of BO after a week, the floors were sticky and you always had 2 people behind you that were so bored with where you were going that they’d rather hold their own conversation? No, you’d take it back and demand your money back and throw a royal hissy.

So here’s what I propose we do about the problem. To all who actually care that great baskets of money are being wasted on people watching bad movies, let’s setup a “Movie lottery” Insert of everybody in the US going to see the latest celluliod fluff foisted upon us at the theaters each week, we’ll all draw straws. Each week 100 of us will see each movie that comes out. That’s it. Everybody else stay home and watch “Caddyshack”, “Stripes”, “The Shining”, “Moulin Rogue!”, “The Jerk” or whatever your personal favorite movie is but don’t go to the theater. Then, the 100 that go see each movie will post reviews. Now at this point, it’s up to you.
Once you read the review and check the score given to it by ‘The 100’ then you have to decide then if it’s worth your money or not. But at least you aren’t going in blind.

Until next time, hope all is well.


The Forgotten

Dear Reader,

One of the most aptly titled movies ever made. This movie soon will be forgotten. I hesitate to even review it here for fear of piquing someone interest and thus prolonging it’s life.

Gary Sinise ought to be ashamed of this one. I’m sure he’s not because it serves the purpose of covering the stain on his record we know as ‘Reindeer Games’ (why does Ben Affleck still get work?) And sadly, this could have been a great movie. Ok, maybe not great, but it could have been a good movie. It has a quasi-interesting plot, a slightly X-Files feel to it and the lack of any major names starring in it. (Sorry Gary, you are a recognizable name but not a major name FWIW ‘major name’==anyone who has not appeared in a movie with Ben.) So it had all the ingredients to deliver.

Sadly, Julianne Moore just failed to deliver. She was much less the woman being driven mad and much more just a whiner. Yea, ok, your son isn’t really missing. Quit explaining it in detail to every extra that steps onto the set and DO SOMETHING!

Please dear reader, do not rent this, do not watch it the 15 times it will be on TBS, if a friend rents it, find a new friend. Let’s let this one die.

Until next time, have a sunshiny day!


My First MLB game!

Dear Reader,

Last night I went to my very first MLB game. It was the SF Giants (who have been on a losing streak of late) against the Cincinnati Reds. E got us tickets and since she grew up in “Reds Country” naturally she rooted for the Reds. Actually, most of the people around us were pulling for the Reds.

Against all odds, the Giants pulled it off. Somewhere late in the game, after I lost feeling in my finger tips but before hypothermia set in, they scored big twice. The final score (I believe) was 5-1. I would know for sure but by the time we got back to the car, my ear-drums had frozen solid.

All in all it was a wonderful evening. Lots of laughs, ball-park food (you know, there’s a reason the FDA doesn’t recommend a diet of hot dogs, popcorn and cotton candy, all washed down with Sprite and Root Beer) and a pretty good game. Hey, I actually got to see Ken Griffey Jr. play. Which was cool because he’s one of maybe 5 baseball players I would recognize by name. :)

The most important thing I learned: San Francisco gets cold and windy at night. Especially if all you are wearing is T-shirt and jeans.

Anyhow, if I’m still alive tomorrow (I may be coming down with something because my vocal range has dropped an octave or two) I’m headed over to SuperHappyDevHouse 2 which should be fun. (Thanks for the invite Jeff)

Till next time, thank you.


Oh HELL Yea!

Dear Reader,

PHP Console Mode

This rocks more than anything I’ve seen added to PHP in some time.

I grew up programming FoxPro. One of the great things about FP/VFP was the command window. Just fire it up and start issuing commands. It was wonderful. You could easily get things done, test new ideas, even check syntax. SideNote: I got in trouble at a previous job because a lot of what I did was in the command window and not in prg files. Now the company they replaced me with can’t figure out how to do simple tasks like data analysis. (Guys, I’m sorry you can’t find a competent programmer to replace me. Next time, don’t make such rash decisions)

Anyhow, this is going to be da bomb and my killer reason for switching to PHP5.

Until next time, have a wonderful day.