I’m a Bad Person #1

14 Sep 2006 In: Miscellaneous

$1.25 worth of fat$1.25 chuck of fatI assume I will continue to do horrible things, so I may as well start numbering them. Last night I went out to dinner with Devon and Becker from work, and I noticed a large pie-slice-shaped piece of fat left untouched on his plate (pictured here). I told him I would give him a quarter to eat it which, surprisingly, he considered. Devon tossed in a dollar, bringing the total to $1.25 and making Devon equally as bad as I am and Becker, despite all good sense, agreed to do it.

He described it as disgusting, and chewy, and told us there was a hard rubbery spot in the center that took quite a while to get down, then he had to close his eyes and breathe slowly for a moment to keep it from coming back up. We salute you Becker, well done.

WordPress Upgrade

13 Sep 2006 In: Miscellaneous

I was able to upgrade to WordPress 2.0 without too much trouble. I had to install some plugins in both the new and old WordPress software to do a WordPress to WordPress import, but otherwise it was fine. The default theme doesnt stretch, which makes code samles look somewhat horrible, so I opted for this basic one instead and thyen just changed some color values in the CSS. I have a theme that I designed that I want to integrate, but I will have to find the time, so for now this is going to have to do.

Prototype Hack: Toggle Display Default

12 Sep 2006 In: Uncategorized

I am primarily a Ruby on Rails developer now, but even before that I had began to leverage Prototype into my PHP applications to make UI design easier. One of the things that bugs me about the Prototype library is that if you load an element with the default CSS ‘display’ value of ‘none’, you have to use the hide/show functions to toggle it’s display. That means finding some way to conditionally determine the state and choose which function to call. Who has time for that? Not me, enter my little addition to Protype toggleDisplay:

  1. toggleDisplay: function() {
  2.     for (var i = 0; i < arguments.length; i++) {
  3.         var element = $(arguments[i]);
  4.         element.style.display = (element.style.display != 'none') ? 'none' : 'block';
  5.     }
  6. },

I entered this code in directly between “toggle:” and “hide:” in “Object.extend”, around line 860. This was done in Prototype version 1.4.0.

Man, I need a better code highlighting formatting widget thingy. I guess I should upgrade this old and busted installation of WordPress to Version 2. I’ll do that now!

Unraveling Language Ambiguity: Quantity Words

11 Sep 2006 In: Observations

I have a tendency to dislike ambiguity, which is a problem because English is full of it. I was reminded today of a theory I developed when I was young. I think I was only about 10 when I conceived this, but it has stood the test of time. The impetus for this theory, I believe, was the sharing of candy. Some grubby handed youth would ask “Can I have some?” and then undoubtedly be unsatisfied with the “some” that I shared. Therefore, the following translation table was created:

Word Quantity
Couple 2
Few 3
Some 4
Brunch 5

A couple is obviously two, for the definition is quite clear, the other values are derived by the numbers of letters in the word, which I noticed as an increasing pattern as words of greater length were used for quantity. When poled independently, several people confirmed the order of these words above, if not the specific quantity mapping.

It seems like a small thing, but these sorts of things are quite valuable. In fact, Bacon (Francis, not Kevin) referred to such barriers to communication as the “Idols of the Marketplace”. After all, didn’t your mother tell you not to worship false idols? Eh? Eh? Also, I suspect this personal quirk of mine might be why I dislike acronyms so much, at least colloquial acronyms (VI = “Village Inn”, knock it off Devon)

Internet Bot Sex

4 Aug 2006 In: Reviews

I recently switched to Gaim so that I could slim down to only having one IM client running. I hate having too many icons in my system tray. I’m a little OCD that way. One of the features that is lacking in Gaim that is present in Yahoo! Messenger is the “report spam” button. When I would get solicitations from bots I would click the spam button and that was that. Now I don’t have a spam button, so today when I received such a message I decided to talk to the bot and see how long it would talk back. I’m not sure what category this falls under, but “review” seems appropriate somehow. Anyway, here is our conversation:

Warning: Explict Content

Read the rest of this entry »

10,957 Days and Counting

2 Aug 2006 In: Miscellaneous

10957/365 = 30

Thats right, today is my 30th birthday. My 20’s are officially behind me like so many whispered dreams of youth. I have had trouble sleeping the past few days in anticipation of this event, which is really… silly. If our society used a base 8 number system instead of base 10 then I would have another two years before I hit this youth-ending milestone. So my right brain shuns the idea of this arbitrary date having more meaning than any other, but my left brain has never been one to back down from a challenge.

My 30th birthday is ushered in with all the fanfare of going to the DMV. My family is far away in Colorado and I have work on my desk to keep my head on fire for weeks to come. Maybe next year I’ll throw a big party… at Baskin-Robbins.

Happy Birthday Amy

8 May 2006 In: Miscellaneous

Today is Amy’s birthday! For those of you not in the know, Amy is my wife, my best friend, and the star character in the sitcom that is my life. Happy birthday Amy, I love you!

New Jersey Bound

5 May 2006 In: Miscellaneous

Vonage Logo

I suppose enough people know this by now that I might as well announce it. After much deliberation with my family, I have accepted a position in New Jersey with Vonage, the VoIP leader for phone services. I will be coming on board as a Senior Web Designer/Developer and I have some exciting projects on my plate. I will be sure to share more about that with you as it progresses, once I have a better handle on what I can and cannot reveal.

I will be starting the first week of June. In the meantime I am going to be wrapping up things in my current job (as a web developer for the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center) and getting my house ready to rent. I will be out there alone for a couple of months, and then my family will be joining me.

This job will be more demanding than my prior positions, so I am not planning on doing freelance work anymore. Instead, I will be reformatting Blizzo.com to serve solely as a personal site once again, for my blog, photography and other randomness. I’m going to stretch my wings on this one, so get ready!

Zend Framework for PHP: The PHP response to RoR?

15 Mar 2006 In: Technobabble

All this AJAX buzz has forced me to look at more formal ways to structure my web applications. My experience as I learn Ruby on Rails led me to investigate PHP frameworks, to see if there was anything usable out there. While I wasn’t happy with what I found, I did find a reference to a new PHP framework being developed by the creators of PHP. It wasn’t that long ago the webpage just said PHP Collaboration with vague references to what they thought they would like to do, but now the site has been redone and is labeled the Zend Framework.

A cursory glance at the Zend Framework Components lists:
Zend_Controller, Zend_Db, Zend_Feed, , Zend_Filter, Zend_InputFilter, Zend_HttpClient, Zend_Json, Zend_Log, Zend_Mail, Zend_Mime, Zend_Pdf, Zend_Search, Zend_Service_Amazon, Zend_Service_Flickr,
Zend_Service_Yahoo, Zend_View

They seem committed to making web services easier to use, which is a good thing as the web becomes more communicative between discrete entities. They also claim to be focusing on DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) and elegant simplicity. There are specific focuses on AJAX related technologies (HTTP request handlers, JSON classes, etc).

I would like to make a sample web application with this framework and see how it feels. If I can scrape together the time I will let you know how it goes.

Pants Are Vetoed

9 Mar 2006 In: Miscellaneous

I have been invited by some certified mental patients to be a contributor to a community blog which we named vis-à-vis democratic process “Pants Are Vetoed“. Be sure to stop by and marvel at our mad malevolent musings.