Monday, February 28, 2005
One of my friends actually had the nerve to suggest that I was unavailable for playing World of Warcraft for two consecutive days. I told him that he was a filthy liar. I don't know where people get off spewing such awful things, but it makes me sick.
Harley: Hey. Hey! Are you passing notes during the meeting?
Phil: Ummm... maybe?
Harley: Is this something you want to share with the class?
Phil: Not really.
Harley: All notes need to be in the language of the class. No English.
Phil: So, C++, then. Like, for i = 1, this meeting sucks...
Harley: Exactly. I would also accept C# for full credit.
Sunday, February 27, 2005
That would be a great design for a business card. Maybe they could say something like, "I was fired for incompetence and cannot work. Please buy this card for $2 or hire me." I think that, for it to work, you'd have to have the brain teasers or Braille reference on the back, because it's going to be enough of a stretch to figure out your joke.
Another possibility is to just print up a sheet of 12 different business cards. Then, each person you give one to would get something exciting and fresh, or you could tailor the card to the person you're giving it to. Some people might think the "hahaha, make fun of jobless blind and deaf people" card was hilarious, but for others, the "Travis Spomer: Trained Assassin" cards might be more appropriate.
And then, of course, there's the simple and effective:
Level 43 Night Elf Druid
I bet there are people who would interview you if you sent them a résumé with just World of Warcraft character stats listed and no actual job qualifications. If you don't want to go overboard, you could just add "Casino Operator, Ironforge, January 2005 - February 2005. Reason for leaving: Casinos banned by Blizzard." to your list of past employment for a hint of nerd humor. This might be good for, say, a tech job. Not for, say, a dentist's office. Though, my old dentist in Lincoln is probably playing World of Warcraft a lot right now, based on how much he told me about his Neverwinter Nights character.
Funny how all of my posts seem to find their way to Warcraft. It's unhealthy.
Friday, February 25, 2005
Anyway, cool stuff. You're probably never going to have the opportunity to play it, as it's only available in a few states. So, you're just going to have to take my word that it was fun.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
A: Oh, my... condolences. ...Yeah.
L: Uh, thank you.
B: Oh, yeah, me too.
L: (smiles uncomfortably)
I certainly could have topped that had I tried...
That reminds me: I don't actually remember if my last great-grandmother is still alive or not. I don't think so. I think she died of lung cancer a couple years back. But maybe she lived through it. I don't actually remember how that all turned out. Needless to say, we weren't that close. She lives/d in Louisiana or Mississippi; one of those uninhabitable states.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Well, okay, that last part didn't happen.
Also today was the first time (as far as I can remember) that I felt like Shadowmelding in the hallway. (The Night Elves in Warcraft can Shadowmeld, which makes them invisible when not moving as long as it's nighttime. In World of Warcraft, they can do it during the day as well.) This infiltration of my thoughts happened almost immediately in Doom 3, yet I'm much more obsessed with World of Warcraft than I was Doom. I wonder why this desire to Shadowmeld didn't happen sooner.
Monday, February 21, 2005
Sunday, February 20, 2005
Which reminds me: I need to find a place out here that can serve as a reasonable substitute for The Oven.
Saturday, February 19, 2005
There's no compelling reason to watch the director's cut, especially if you haven't seen the movie before. Stick with the original cut, which is one of my favorite movies ever. Then, watch the deleted scenes. Then, either browse through the Philosophy of Time Travel in the special features and watch the original again, or watch the director's cut. (If you go this route, at least the relevant sections of The Philosophy of Time Travel are highlighted for the scene you're about to watch, which makes it easier if you don't want to read through the whole thing on your TV/monitor.)
It's not as bad as if The Sixth Sense had a director's cut that told you about the big secret a third of the way through the movie, but it's still a bit annoying.
Friday, February 18, 2005
Mike: Nah, we're only, what, like a half hour over normal? That's not bad at all.
Mike: Wait, does that say 9:00 or midnight?
The game was Age of Steam. We started at around 6:30. We ended at midnight. Needless to say, it's a pretty intense, brutal game. I'm not a huge fan of the super-involved games where a single mistake at any point can cost you the game, but for that genre of game, this one's pretty decent. And, hey, I won, just barly edging out Mike, who loves the game and plays it often. It was my first time.
I played the strategy of (1) being very frugal, and (2) trying to avoid getting in situations where I would be in direct conflict with other players. It paid off. I got a lot of advice from the veterans, and followed just about all of it. About half of it was good advice, so I figure things even out in the end.
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
I assure you that my query was purely academic in nature.
Monday, February 14, 2005
Things not to say on Valentine's Day:
- "I've been saving myself for you, sweetheart. And, by 'you,' I mean the first girl who I could get to have sex with me."
- "I know you said we wouldn't do anything extravagant this year, but I made this heart-shaped pile of murloc corpses for you anyway. I love you."
- "You mean we're doing Valentine's this year, too?"
The original plan, of course, was to have several of these. But, I haven't been able to come up with anything else since Saturday, so I just have to post as-is. Stupid internet for destroying my imagination.
I originally had a hot date (hot date, n. — a night of playing World of Warcraft with someone from work), but I was stood up. But, anyway, like any guy on Valentine's day, I'm just hoping for a mount. (Get it? Mount? Warcraft joke... can you tell I'm obsessed?)
Maybe this means that I'll be able to turn my attention to more "worthwhile" things. I'd like to think that.
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Saturday, February 12, 2005
Friday, February 11, 2005
Thursday, February 10, 2005
I’ve kept it pretty non-technical, partially because the technical details for some of the WEC/WEL stuff are still so far above my head that I don’t even feel my hair move when I make the “it just went way over my head” gesture.
Wednesday, February 9, 2005
UPDATE: After riding it this morning, I am even more angry that I waited so long. It goes up hills at almost full speed once again now, instead of like 5 mph. The handling is back to the way it was when I first got the thing. (The ride is, unfortunately, a little more bumpy on the horrid sidewalks near my apartment.)
Tuesday, February 8, 2005
I'll probably spend Valentine's playing Warcraft. Maybe I'll meet some special Night Elf lady in Darnassus and we'll
/kissbeneath an Ancient Protector... or at least
/flirt. Wouldn't that be romantic?
Monday, February 7, 2005
"The total is $Dollars."
"The total is $" & Dollars & "."
"The total is " Dollars "."(Fantasy syntax where concatenation requires no operator)
In practice, you probably shouldn't use any kind of shorthand like these, because they're not really localizable. Straight concatenation is out because certain languages will need to have the words rearranged, and the $ syntax is out because you also might not want localizers to be able to include just any old variable in the string, and it doesn't allow you to use expressions unless you start getting really complicated. An interesting idea would be one in which you could make up your own tokens on the fly using dedicated string formatting syntax:
["The total is [Dollars]."; Dollars: Total.AsDollars]
Wouldn't that be a great expression? That would be pretty easy to localize. If the string Dollars were already declared, you could get rid of the "
:Total.AsDollars" part. And, if my fantasy language made resources first-class citizens, you could do something like:
[Resources.TotalText; Dollars: Total.AsDollars]
OR, maybe the code could contain one version of the string (for example, English), and then localized strings could be substituted in as necessary. That might get a little too complicated...
[TotalText: "The total is [Dollars]."; Dollars: Total.AsDollars]
I think I'd like that after I got used to it. It's verbose, but something like it would make writing localizable code a lot easier, I think.
Saturday, February 5, 2005
The multivitamin cartel says that I need 100% of these five thousand different essential vitamins and minerals every day. (I wonder what % I'm really getting of some of these.) I'm wondering if I would theoretically be "healthier" if I did get 100% of my vitamins every day. But, I'll probably never know. I just can't take multivitamins. I've tried multiple brands, different times of day, eating them as part of a meal; it doesn't matter: any time I take a multivitamin, I get sick to my stomach and feel like throwing up. I don't even know what it means. I've never had heartburn (as far as I know), I don't get sick to my stomach at amusement parks, and spicy foods don't generally cause me any real discomfort. But, something in those five thousand essential whatevers, in every brand that I've tried, destroys me.
The one thing that I know that I need more of is calcium. You're supposed to have quite a bit of calcium a day, but I'm allergic to milk and milk products. Milk is one of the things that will make me sick, but I can now consume it in moderate doses. I take calcium tablets when I remember, but I rarely remember. Maybe I should be more proactive about taking my vitamins. I don't know.
Joe: Wait, is that a microwave?
Me: Yep. Probably close to as old as I am.
Kristen: Does it operate by crank?
Best DVD labels:
The Lion King (just very attractive)
The Matrix series (basically just the very cool movie posters printed to disc)
The Simpsons series (each season is unique and cool, but not all seasons have the season number printed)
The Star Wars series (attractive, distinct, and easy to read)
The X-Files series (each disc has a scene from a memorable episode, so if you remember an episode but not its name or season number, you can often find it just by browsing)
A special award goes to World of Warcraft for the prettiest discs for anything I've ever bought.
Okay, no more of that. I originally thought about scanning them in and posting them, but that's about ten times more work than it's worth.
Alanis Morissette—Under Rug Swept (cool, stylized picture of Alanis)
Basement Jaxx—Romeo (purple paw wearing bling-bling)
Maroon 5—Songs About Jane (cartoon of Jane; very easy to read)
Newsboys—Adoration (photo taken from under some kind of freeway interchange)
John Williams—Jurassic Park (the unmistakable T-rex logo)
A special lifetime achievement award goes to Amon Tobin for the most consistent series of interesting CD labels. They're distinctive, but all look similar enough that you know right away they're the same artist.
The hall of shame goes to Thievery Corporation. One CD has a blank label and the CD title printed only in the plastic ring in the center. Another CD is all matte white except the title, which is glossy white. You can only read it if you hold it up to the light. And one of their CDs isn't labeled at all. Enya gets the runner-up hall of shame award for her ridiculously boring CDs, most of which are just the Enya logo and a track listing in black.
Tomorrow's going to be a bit of World of Warcraft, hopefully. I haven't been playing nearly as much as I'd like. And, probably quite a bit of bug fixing. I don't feel compelled to match the performance of my other teammates, since I've already mentioned how arbitrary and useless managing by bug counts is. But, I do feel bad that I really haven't accomplished much this week. I worked on two hard problems to which the team's veterans couldn't find a solution, and found resolutions for neither.
We recently turned in our mid-year review forms. I decided to be completely honest on mine and say that being a developer on the FrontPage team is not really where I see myself in a couple years. I'd MUCH rather be a designer / program manager than someone who codes all day, especially when that code's in a product with a lot of old code, and especially when that code's in C/C++. I'm quite interested in seeing how that blunt honesty works out when I talk with my manager and possibly my manager's manager about it. Frankness is one of the values that Microsoft managers are supposed to care about... that will work to my advantage, as I'm not big on sugar-coating things. I'm almost glad that nobody asks my opinions on the team's management style, because I wouldn't be able to control myself. I'm talking about people management, not product management—I'm very pleased with the way that the FrontPage product is being managed, but I don't like how I'm being managed, even though I like my managers.
Interestingly, I've at least exchanged words with the entire chain of management above me except Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, and I've at least stood a few feet away from Bill. My manager's manager's manager has been the CEO of a major company. I've peed next to this person. That's weird.
Thursday, February 3, 2005
Anyway, if you want to see how it ends, you can follow the episode synopsis link I provided earlier. But, like a lot of episodes, the plot and the outcome weren't that important, just the issues raised, conveniently oversimplified into 44 minutes. I was entertained.
Wednesday, February 2, 2005
Tuesday, February 1, 2005
I got an email today from an EclipseCrossword user asking how he could include an interactive crossword puzzle in his Word document. Needless to say (well, probably), I was flabbergasted. But, then again, I guess such a thing would be possible. I mean, people have created games in Excel; creating a crossword puzzle game that worked entirely through Word macros is not outside the realm of sanity. It would even be an interesting little puzzle to solve. But, unfortunately, anybody opening the document would get a macro security warning, which would mean that no sane internet user would ever be able to play the interactive puzzle (though 95% would look right past the warning and let the macros run anyway), and it would be a lot of work for a mere curiosity. But, still, it could be done. I'm sure there's someone in the world motivated enough to build an interactive crossword puzzle in Word.
[Update] I do have one complaint about the CD; it seems like it's more repetitive than Tobin's previous albums. This makes sense; a soundtrack isn't supposed to drown out the movie or game. But, I do really enjoy the wacky unpredictability and occasional lack of coherence that I'm used to from the guy.