Friday, August 29, 2008

Now I Can Really Screw Myself

Bank of America just increased my credit limit... AGAIN! They bumped it up another $3000 to $17900. That's ridiculous. I've only ever had more than $4000 on it once, and I paid it off well ahead of the due date. It's not like I asked for it either. I'd rather it be lower, around $10000 or less.

And to think, I started with a credit card with a $201 limit.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Just an FYI: Ctrl + Atl + i = Immediate Window

It took me about 15 minutes of searching to find this tidbit, so I thought I'd share it in the hopes that the next person searching for it finds my post quickly.

If you can't find the Immediate Window in Visual Studio (it doesn't appear in Debug -> Windows or View -> Other Windows), press the shortcut "Ctrl + Alt + i". That will make it appear.

That is all.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Wait Wait What? Nullable Types in C# 2.0?

So I just learned that C# 2.0 has nullable types. You can do this:

int? i = null;

And it works fine. I know the idea is that you can represent a non-answer or unknown entity this way, especially when dealing with databases and DBNull. Still, it seems like a bad idea in a lot of ways. I've spoken out against nulls before when dealing with booleans. But what about integers?

I don't like it. I'm all about conceptual integrity; one thing is one thing. So what is an integer? A whole number. Is null a whole number? No it's not.

So what's the flipside? Sometimes nulls exist. You're going to do a left-join one day, and then your integer column "reset_count" is going to be null. Now you have to code to use the "hasValue" boolean attached to the nullable int (you get "hasValue" for free with every nullable-type declaration). Every time you want to use that value, you have to add code:

if (i.hasValue)

If you have to add that code, then you really have to refactor your code. Whatever you're representing should be able to handle this one-to-zero-or-more relationship without special code. Maybe use a collection and "foreach" through it. Maybe you do something cool that I've never heard of. But if you have to code for nulls, please seriously consider refactoring.

Appendix: I can think of one condition where you might need to add your own "valueSpecified" boolean: classes that represent XSDs with optional attributes. I don't have to like it though.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Job, Day 2: Let's See Some Code!

I just got myself a sandbox of the code in the project and my first assignment; replaced hard-coded XML with dynamically generated classes modeled on XSD schemas. Hotness.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Brett Gardner Knows No Limits

A Glimpse

I've mentioned Pat* before. Feast your eyes on this:
Pat: don't use byref. please for the love of god
Pat: haha
Pat: :)
me: what do you mean about byref?
me: it's appropriate in some cases.
Pat: i think it's confusing and rarely appropraite
Pat: it's too subtle
Pat: i don't want to debate software right now.
*Name changed, blah blah...

Someone Seems To Have Forgotten His Ten Arm Surgeries

"...Chad Pennington's ability to keep defenses honest aerially..."

Really now?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sorry But I Can't Hold It In Any Longer

OK, I promised myself I would wait at least a month after leaving my current job before posting any bad stories about it, but I just can't hold this one in. My project has a custom filetype associated with it. I wrote code to parse the command-line arguments and open the file, like so:

myexe.exe -f "c:\filename"

So I was surprised when I came in to work this morning and my file association/command line code didn't work. I check the history in version control and find that my esteemed coworker, Pat*, had changed it. I decided to be diplomatic (since I didn't want to piss off people to whom I would not have a chance to reverse any more impressions) and sent out an email to the team:
Did someone change the code for using command line arguments for file associations? All of a sudden this morning I can't double-click and run a file. It looks like someone modified the command line stuff...

I get this response from Pat:

I fixed it, as it was broken. Come over and I'll explain.

(Note: this is one of Pat's annoying tendencies. When he has to explain something he did that invariably is a bad idea or mistake, he always wants to explain in person.) So I trot my butt over there to listen to his story. Turns out when he was setting up our project to work with our deployment software, he entered in the file association code the same as his last project. That is to say, without the space between the "-f" and the filename. So obviously the association wouldn't work.

Instead of adding the space to his code, or even bothering to look and discover what was wrong, he edited the source code of the project to work his way, which of course broke the rest of our builds once he checked in the code. Then he had the gall to suggest that this problem was my fault!

Thank God I'm outta there.

* All names have been changed to protect the incompetent.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Entropy Leads To Solar Power

This is a really brief post. Doing things creates entropy. Making energy creates entropy. That means that wind, hydroponic, coal, nuclear, gas, oil, and fusion energy sources all create entropy. In terms of energy production, entropy means pollution. Therefore, the best source of energy we can get is solar, since it's the only one that comes from outside our otherwise-closed system (earth).

Just had to get that out there.


So I sucked it up and did some more troubleshooting with the 360... it's definitely red ringed, so I got the UPS label from Microsoft to ship it for repair/replacement. I hope I get one of the ones with a quieter optical drive.

In other news, I got a new job. Yeah, awesome. No more of the crap I've been dealing with, only new crap. The thing I'm most nervous about is going from being the big fish in a small pond to just another fish in a big pond (replace "big" with "professionally good" and you get the idea). I start next Wednesday, so stay tuned for more on that (or don't, or whatever).

And I've been updating my Todo list regularly as I fix things. I have a hard-copy of the current list in my moleskin notebook I've been carrying around... again.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Totally Freaked Out

My XBox just red-ringed, but it wasn't that simple. In a dark, quiet house at 11:23PM on Monday night, I popped in my GTAIV for a little stress relief. The console made sort of a braking sound, but then started to load as normal. Niko appears, I walk out my apartment, jack a red sports car, and check the map.

And the screen locks up with some static vertical lines flickering.

Ok, fine, a little weird whatever. I shut the XBox off and back on. It boots up, starts loading, makes the same braking sound, but then Niko appears. I move him to the elevator...

And again the static comes back with a crackly sound.

At this point I was actually scared shitless. I can't rationalize it, but somehow I thought that GTAIV is becoming self aware, or some other seriously scary shit. I don't know, but I was freaking out.

Freak. Ing. Out.

I jumped up and nearly ran to change the channel to TV or something non-threatening. With the Colbert Report on, I dared to turn on the console one last time.

Red ring of death.

I swear this was The Ring for how scared I was.

I won't be turning on the XBox until it's high noon.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Calling All Softball Players

Hey anyone who is reading, my softball team needs about 3-4 more people, 1-2 more girls. If you're interested in a recreational once-a-week league, let me know!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Trade: Post Mortem AGAIN

Just like that, I fired off another trade in the same league: I got Jair Jurrjens for JJ Hardy.

New dude:
Jurrjens has been solid for the Braves so far, and I hope he doesn't get shut down early.

Cya later dude:
Hardy profiles like a lesser Tulowitzki (which is funny since I just traded for Tulo). He's been on fire lately, and I can only afford to trade him since I have Tulo.

Seems like a trade that helps both teams. Hardy replaces Theriot on his team, and Jurrjens enters a rotation of Harden, Zambrano, Blackburn, Campillo, and Slowey.

Fantasy Baseball Trade: Post Mortem

I pulled off my latest trade in fantasy baseball yesterday*. I got Robinson Cano and Adam Wainwright for BJ Upton and Bobby Abreu.

New guys:
Cano is a notorious 2nd half player, and a very strong offensive and defensive 2B. He'll provide upgrades over Upton in every category except Avg. and steals. Wainwright will sit on the bench (until I decide to cut bait on Pronk, who currently holds my DL spot) until September or so, when he'll add some meat to my pitching rotation.

Long gone guys:
I love Abreu, and he's been crushing the ball lately. But he's 34 going on old, and he's shown some signs of slowing down. Plus I have a total logjam in the OF with Hamilton, Markakis, and Hart holding the 3 starting gigs and Abreu, JD Drew, and Ludwick (manning the Util for now). Upton was the focus of this deal. Since he was my 3rd round pick, I felt somewhat obligated to keep him for next year even though he'll lose his 2B eligibility next year. I managed to deal him and get a potential keeper back too.

I think I overpaid for Cano, but given that I got rid of Upton, I completed my goal. Of course, now I have 6 potential keepers: Pujols, Hamilton, Markakis, Hart, Cano, and Tulowitzki.

*League stats: 10 teams, 5 keepers, 8x7 H2H scoring (add'l stats: H, OBP, SLG, K/9, K/BB), shallow rosters. I'm currently in 5th place (top 6 make playoffs).

UPDATE: The trade got vetoed, and no one will explain why they vetoed it. We renegotiated and removed Abreu from the deal.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Shut Up You Bum! No One Cares What You Think!

It's about time I spoke about baseball. Now, I thought about making a fan-esque blog (like my good ol' buddy Matt, whose blog was mentioned by Jon Miller on ESPN baseball), but I decided that others do it better, plus I wouldn't really be able to keep up with it. But I realized I had two things I could do. The first you can see here; it's just fledgling, but I think it has a lot of potential.

The second is a little more interesting. I've played fantasy baseball for a modest 5 seasons so far with moderate success. Typically, I draft poorly but manage well. I also seem to do very well on trades. I get these gut feelings on guys, and while I try to focus on the stats, sometimes these gut feelings are very strong. Melky Cabrera is one of these. I wanted the Yanks to play Melky in CF every day over Bernie. Bernie was old, Melky was new. Stats favored the Melk Man. But I had this feeling that Melky wasn't the answer. I ignored it, argued for hours with my dad that Bernie was a 4th OF at best. One look at Melky's stats tells a different story.

The latest feeling was about Erik Bedard. He was so highly hyped this offseason for fantasy and real life. It looked like the Mariners could use him to catapult to the top. Despite having him high on my draft sheet, I had a bad feeling about him. That feeling was right.

I know hunches are total BS. But I also know that the subconscious is a powerful source of intuition, and that maybe the back of my brain knows more than I do. So just maybe I'll talk about them here.

OK OK Enough I know! I'll shut up already.

Blogger + Opera = FAIL

I can't seem to log into Blogger on Opera lately. What the crap man?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Current To-Do List

  • Buy wire shelves for basement Completed
  • Hang wire shelves in basement Completed
  • Organize basement Completed for now
  • Buy plants for garden Done
  • Plant plants in garden Done
  • Return some things to Bed Bath & Beyond What a fun time that was
  • Buy new coffee table and end tables
  • Buy and use crab grass remover Not doing
  • Start EBay auctions for Nokia phone and video games
  • Mail Eric his games back
  • Get window screens from basement and put them on windows Completed
  • Try to fix the broken screen in the office Fixed
  • Buy a new screen for the window above the sink Updated: attempt to repair screen Repaired
  • Weed whack Completed
  • Hand wash the pans and plastic containers in the sink Done, but will need to be done again
  • Clean up the walkway leading to the front door Completed
  • Get the mower fixed Fixed 8/16
  • Mow the side yard Mow the whole yard Completed
  • Return cell phone to Target
  • Removed some weeds from the middle of the yard Completed
  • Emptied dishwasher Done, but damn does this happen a lot
  • Ordered flowers for Mom Happy Birthday Mom!
  • File bills/paperwork
  • Take pennies to Coinstar machine Done; used the money to buy a new mp3 player
  • Get replacement license plate for Max Ordered; should arrive in 2 weeks
  • Hang new shades
  • Stain new ottoman legs Completed
All rights reserved. Take that!