January 31, 2005

On Skiing

Skiing was a blast! I'm really glad that I went. It was a lot of fun.

Luckily, it turns out that I remembered a lot more than I thought from the only other time I went four years ago (thank you to Ryan Wayne, wherever you are). I wasn't nearly as awful my first time down as I expected to be, and I improved fairly quickly. Although I didn't get quite as many bruises as I expected (in spite of taking quite a few nasty falls), my muscles are still quite sore.

But I think that I might be hooked. Jon was talking about maybe going again in late February. I was wondering if any Ohio (or elsewhere) peeps might be interested in perhaps meeting us in WVA? Just tossing that out.

I snapped a few pictures:

Skiers on the misty mountain top 1 Random lift shot A lonely person on a ski lift Dan, on the lift, not wanting to have his picture taken

More are available at my photo.net Skiing January 2005 folder

In Matters that are otherwise worthwhile

Posted at 11:55 PM | Permanent link

January 27, 2005

Gone Skiing

This past monday at lunch, Jon asked me, rather spur the moment, if I was into skiing.

And so it goes that tomorrow after work, I will be heading up to Snowshoe Mountain in WVA with Jon, his girlfriend, and Dan for a weekend of skiing. We will be renting a cabin on the mountain. It should be pretty cool.

This will only be my second time skiing ever (the last being nearly four years ago now), so I'm planning on coloring myself plenty black and blue before the trip is over. Luckily, the story is the same for Dan, so at least I won't be the only one.

Wish me luck! Will try to get some pictures.


By the way, I really like this quote that I found in Craig's profile:

"People talk about 'finding themselves'.  Usually this is in the process of breaking up with someone or backpacking through europe/california or just plain leaving your old life behind.  Does this make sense?.  You do not exist in a vacuum.  Your personality is how you react to those around you.  The more varied enviroments you can expose yourself to the more you can learn about yourself.  I suppose people who take such drastic measures sense this, but don't know it explicitly.  That isn't to say that it is always the best thing to do... nothing is ever that simple..."

-- Craig Snoeyink

Craig, did you write this yourself? If so I'll definitely give you credit here.

UPDATE 2: Craig did write the quote.

In General

Posted at 11:59 PM | Permanent link

January 16, 2005

Venting PHP frustration

"By induction, the only programmers in a position to see all the differences in power between the various languages are those who understand the most powerful one. (This is probably what Eric Raymond meant about Lisp making you a better programmer.) You can't trust the opinions of the others, because of the Blub paradox: they're satisfied with whatever language they happen to use, because it dictates the way they think about programs."

-- Paul Graham, Beating the Averages

I'm currently pulling my hair out trying to write a web application in PHP. How do people get anything done in PHP? It doesn't have a toplevel. It doesn't support closures, packaging, method specialization, keyword parameters, or macros (!). I'm not even being strictly facetious here. Over the course of writing this app, at different times I've seen a need for each one of these features and have had to work around the lack of them in a less elegant fashion.

How retarded is it that the + operator doesn't actually concatenate two arrays, but instead does index-value replacement?

The only thing that PHP really offers is the built-in html templating system, but even this gets to be terribly convoluted due to the lack of an easy way to substitute expression values in your template, forcing you to sprinkle <? echo ... ?> tags throughout (which is awkward in the context of html attributes).

I wrote a mid-sized application in PHP around three years ago, and even at that time (as unenlightened as I was), I still remembered being somewhat frustrated by the lack of many full-blown Perl features.

I was hoping that things would have improved somewhat by now, but apparently I was wrong.

Whatever possessed people to to use this language over Perl? How the fuck did it get to be so popular?

I'm tempted to scrap all the code I've written so far and rewrite in Ruby.

In Technology and Software

Posted at 05:32 PM | Permanent link

January 07, 2005

A quote from my friend Roger

This is from my friend Roger, who lives in California, has two grown sons, and is certainly much wiser than I:

"A former girlfriend became a bit agitated as her thirtieth birthday approached. It wasn't clear whether she was concerned about her biological clock or something else. But, as her significant other at the time, my duty was to calm her and comfort her.

I told her what I had learned by that time: it isn't reaching a particular age (30 instead of 20s, or 40 instead of 30s) which changes your life--instead, your life changes when you leave home, when you leave school, when you marry (or, I suppose, enter a similarly committed relationship), and when you have children.

So, becoming a parent changes most people, and I now can add another life-changing circumstance to that list: when your parents die. Unfortunately, some children are having to deal with that change because of this tragedy. "

-- Roger Wilner (from here)

In Matters that are otherwise worthwhile

Posted at 12:01 AM | Permanent link

January 05, 2005

Hints of Spring in January

The weather here in Raleigh is beautiful!

We had a high of 75 today, and will be seeing much of the same over the next week. It certainly beats the wintery mix of the north.

If only the sun didn't set at 5 pm, so we us worker bees could get out and enjoy it.

In General

Posted at 12:47 AM | Permanent link

January 01, 2005

New Years Resolutions 2005

Some geeky resolutions for the new year this time:

In General

Posted at 11:40 PM | Permanent link