somewhat daily mutterings

/Personal_Mythology My Resume is Tops...

Well, according to Google, anyway. A colleague pointed out to me today that if you do a Google search for 'weblogic resume', my resume is the very first match. Wow. I'm sure it won't last. It's also ironic, given that I haven't worked with WebLogic for the last couple of years. However, if I ever did full-stack J2EE development, it would still be my platform of choice.

Posted: Tue Jan 31 20:25:43 -0800 2006

/Computing More Celestia Images

Like I mentioned before, I'm addicted. I downloaded some extras and took a few more shots.

Voyager 1 over Saturn [more pix]

This new set of Celestia images is published to my .Mac site.

Posted: Mon Jan 30 06:04:58 -0800 2006

/Computing Celestia Images

A coworker recently turned on to the open source space exploration software Celestia. If Google Earth is the coolest software ever created (it gets my vote), then Celestia is second coolest, and is basically like Google Earth, but in space.

Despina over Neptune [more pix]

I've burned up way too many hours playing with Celestia. My main time-waster has been space "photography". This is accomplished by visiting a location in space, and playing around with time, location, and camera adjustments until a pleasant composition is achieved, then taking a "picture". Celestia currently doesn't support photography on OS X, but a screenshot suffices.

I've published a Celestia photo album on my .Mac site, and intend to do more as I explore Celestia further.

Posted: Sat Jan 28 00:00:00 -0800 2006

/Meta Router Problems

My site has unfortunately been very unreliable lately due to some problems I'm having with my router(s). I had to replace my Linksys wireless router, and did so with exactly the same model. I'm pretty sure I set the new one up exactly like the old, but for whatever reason my DSL router and the Linksys are not playing together nicely sometimes.

Hopefully I can get my network stabilized soon, and my reader will have reliable access to my priceless content.

Posted: Tue Jan 24 08:05:15 -0800 2006

/Programming/Ruby Rails Studio Denver, Day Three

Day three was kind of divided into two parts: completion of Rails basics before lunch, then a grab-bag of more advanced topics after:

  • sending email
  • controller hooks and filters
  • web services
  • security
  • deployment issues
  • deployment using SwitchTower

Lunch itself was combined with the much-needed exercise of building a small app from scratch. Of course, my bud Bill (who came up from Dallas) and I burned up most of the allotted time cutting up in the back of the room over our lunch, and thus had only about 40 minutes to build the app. We did so by pairing-by-sharing, whereby he shared his hard drive and we worked on separate parts of the very same project. It worked out OK, but our app didn't turn out to be very sophisticated.

I really hope that Dave and Mike plan on creating an advanced RoR class, because in all, this class was not as deep as I'd have liked. I kind of felt as though I could have gotten nearly as much from going through Dave's excellent RoR book and following along with the Depot project on my machine. This is not to say that the class was bad - I know some folks appreciated it at the level it provided, and as I said before, you can't please everybody. However, I do think a class that focuses on actually building an app from start to finish, with the class perhaps dividing into teams, would be a big success. Perhaps the format could be: mornings spent covering the previous day's foibles, then some RoR feature training, then the entire afternoon spent applying the training.

That said, the class was a great way for me to immerse myself in RoR training to a degree which I probably would not have done on my own. I paid for the class myself (and used vacation time), and thus was quite compelled to take an interest. It was also a great networking opportunity, and having Bill in for a visit was fun, too.

Posted: Sun Jan 22 08:51:15 -0800 2006

/Programming/Ruby Rails Studio Denver, Day Two

We dug deeper into Rails today and covered a huge range of topics:

  • link generation
  • session management
  • ActiveRecord relationships
  • Ajax
  • rails form binding
  • web "components"

The format today was mostly presentation, with few exercises. This was a double-edged sword - a lot of information was provided (much more so than day one), but there was little opportunity to experiment with what was presented.

After class, a group of eight of us headed into downtown for Indian food. It was a bit of a wild goose chase finding the restaurant, but then we enjoyed great Indian food and beer. Aside from the usual geeking out, we were regaled with entertaining tales by an French expatriate attendee named Fernand.

Posted: Sun Jan 22 08:26:02 -0800 2006

/Programming/Ruby Rails Studio Denver, Day One

Just a very short entry, because that's all I have time for. The class is composed of about 50 attendees, from all sorts of development backgrounds. In terms of content, Dave and Mike first did a very short Rails history, then spent the morning on a Ruby review. Even though I've been coding in Ruby (inconsistently) for a few years, I picked up a couple of new things. The afternoon was spent getting up to speed on Rails basics, digging shallowly into ActiveRecord and static and dynamic scaffolding. Probably the most interesting and useful topic was that of migrations, which allow you to "version" changes to the database schema (and data!) as you progress through a project.

In all, the day moved a bit slow for me, but I'm sure there were folks for whom it was just right. You can't please everybody.

After class, a few of us headed into downtown Denver for dinner at P.F. Chang's, and had a good time geeking out over beers, lettuce-wraps, and other sodium-filled goods.

Posted: Sun Jan 22 08:22:34 -0800 2006

/Miscellany MB's New Orleans Pet Rescue Update #2

Due to differing hours, and MB's lack of access to PCs and phones, she's been rather incommunicado since my first update, and until today. I heard from her this morning, and she'll be back in Denver early Sunday morning if the drive back goes well. I hope to talk her into writing something up for me to post here. Until then, here's a bit of the email she sent today:

"... Sorry I haven't been in touch. My cell phone is dead and the charger isn't working in Nora's truck. It's hard to get on the one public PC here to email. Things have gone better than when we last spoke. Wednesday and Thursday were good days - we caught seven cats and two dogs in all. We are leaving today around 5:00pm and are transporting 11 cats and four dogs [back to Colorado] ..."

Posted: Fri Jan 13 20:55:11 -0800 2006

/Miscellany MB's New Orleans Pet Rescue Update #1

MB is currently in New Orleans lending a hand with pet rescue operations there. She and her two colleagues left from Palmer Lake, CO, around 6:30 Saturday morning and arrived in New Orleans about 24 hours later. I'll be posting excerpts from her "news from the front" emails as I receive them.

"Monday morning - can't believe there are five more full days to go - seems like a long time. We drove around from 9:30pm until about 2:00am last night, looking for dogs based upon reports of prior sightings, finding some, chasing after them in our big-ass muscle diesel truck, and being successfully eluded all night. What a surprise.... those dogs can hear that truck coming from five miles away! Especially in the deserted neighborhoods that we favor.

The destruction down here is indescrible, my first real view of it was last night, so I imagine it must be soo much worse during the day. Can't really put it into words. I'll try to get photos, but as with nature, I'm sure pictures can't do justice. One neighborhood we visited was particularly devastated. Debris everywhere, boats docked in front yards/medians and cars hanging from trees. Hard to imagine how long it will take for a full recovery in this town.

Right now it feels like a futile effort - maybe if we catch one dog it'll make it all feel worthwhile. We are supposed to look at dogs today for bringing home to Colorado. That's the bright spot of the day."

Posted: Mon Jan 09 12:24:22 -0800 2006

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