Saturday, December 23, 2006

Rocky Balboa

Wow. I can't believe how great Rocky Balboa was. This is a movie for Rocky I fans. If you were hoping for Rocky to bring peace to the middle east the same way he ended the cold war in Rocky IV, this is not the movie for you. Forget what the previews look like; go see this movie. Let Rocky end with dignity.

Some goals:
  • Refactor Tomboy to isolate platform-specific code to make win32 (or kde, mac, whatever) porting less of a hack. Possibly do this by moving code into a Tomboy.Platform.dll. Investigate how other projects do this sort of thing.
  • Kick ass on the prototype I'm building at work. Take names.
  • "Finish" svnservant; and seriously, move the repo to Google Code Hosting. Release the damn thing!
I'd like to make some progress on the first and last there over this break, but we'll see. It would be nice to play some Zelda, too. ;-)

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

I left work early to play Zelda

But damn was it worth it.

Other Wii-related thoughts:
  • The white shiny reflective Wii is a dust magnet.
  • Wireless controllers are a new thing for me and I'm LOVING them, especially when the dogs are around.
  • I realize that I don't have a very active social life, because the only people I can call up to invite over for Wii tennis are my sister and Scott from the Wii line. Although, I'm trying to rectify this.
  • Link-as-a-wolf can roll stones around with his nose. If you have ever been to the park with Tycho you know why Ellery and I find this endlessly entertaining. Link-as-wolf resembles Tycho in many other ways as well.
Non Wii stuff:
  • Hoping to meet like-minded people and spread the Ubuntu love, I went to a Linux Installfest run by the local Linux Users Group. I did help a couple of people out, but as a social thing it was kind of a failure. Everyone there was well past retirement, and most had worked in the defense industry. We certainly got along, and I liked them well enough, but in this case the only thing we had in common was Linux. Maybe one of their monthly meetings will have a different turnout? Still, I see it as yet another sign that we should be looking to relocate.
  • Ellery's increased animal rights activism (and her slow journey into veganism) is starting to challenge some of my preconceived notions. For example, I'm not sure how to reconcile my desire for scientific/medical progress with the condition of lab animals. I'll need to be doing some reading about this. One of the great things about being married to Ellery is that we challenge each other, and promote growth in ourselves as individuals and as a couple. But even when our values are well aligned, I can be slower to change than she is. I'm really proud of her decisions, and I sense that I will eventually make many similar decisions.
  • Work is still lame. It's a great company with great people, and I'm treated really well, but I have found that I'm just not compatible with their culture. I should write more on that another time.
  • In less than a week I'll be in San Francisco! It feels like going home. I've loved that city since I first visited in 4th grade. Growing up in Cincinnati, I used to dream of living there. In 7th grade we had to fill out some survey about our life goals, and when asked where we wanted to go to college, all I knew was that I wanted to go somewhere in San Francisco. Moving to California only confirmed those feelings. I really hope we can find a way to move back to that area.
  • Google Reader is the best way to keep track of blags (and anything else with an RSS or Atom feed).

Monday, December 4, 2006


Of all the things that could have dragged me into the blagosphere...

I just don't get it. I'm not much of a gamer. Why did I have such a debilitating case of Wii-envy last week? No matter... Target had plenty Sunday morning, if you were willing to get there a little early. I got up at 3, feeling a little silly about the whole thing. My vague goal was to get there before 5, but I couldn't really imagine not being the first one there. After all, it's two weeks since launch! I took my borrowed copy of Godel, Escher, Bach, figuring I'd spend most of the morning sitting in the car reading. Well, there were plenty there. Some folks had been there since 10 the previous night. I ended up getting ticket 19. 18 was an employee from that Target who knew that there were 42 systems, which was reassuring.

Met some cool folks in line (and a friendly but somewhat intense fellow who writes for One guy a few places back declared "OK, this is officially the nerdiest thing I've ever done." I've made one too many math jokes to agree with that, but I understood the sentiment. He couldn't convince any of his friends to accompany him, but I'll bet he'll have no trouble getting them to play with the system. ;-)

Got my system + Zelda by about 8:30. They didn't have any controllers, which was a real bummer. I bought a nunchuck on Friday because I saw one and was getting really paranoid, which ended up being a good idea. No store that I'd called had Wiimotes (yes, I'm going to say Wiimote, Mr. guy!). My new line buddy Scott (number 21) suggested Toys-R-Us a little ways away. Seemed like a good idea, considering they opened a 9 so we might have a chance of sneaking past the console line to get to the accessories before they sold out.

What struck me about Toys-R-Us was how little they cared about the people in the line. At Target, we had a guy come out some time between 5:30 and 6 to let us know exactly how many systems there were, that there were plenty of games, and that they had no extra controllers. This allowed us to plan. He came out periodically (even after he handed the tickets out at 7 so we could all go grab coffee) to check on us, and to let people at the end of the line know that if they were number 43 or later, they wouldn't be getting a Wii. When it was time to get our systems at 8, we all lined up outside in numerical order. He let us in 10-12 at a time, and once he got word that the previous group had their systems and was out of the electronics department, the rest of us could go. It was very smooth and controlled.

Scott and I got to Toys-R-Us a little after 8:30. The line was long, and growing. The people up front told us that they had already handed out tickets (for 30ish systems). But nobody was letting the 20+ folks at the back of the line know this. I went back there and told them, but about half stayed (probably didn't trust a random guy hanging out at the front of the line -- without being in the line). At 9 :05 Toys-R-Us finally opened, and they basically just opened the doors and let us all rush back to the video game department. I got there pretty quick and grabbed two Wiimotes (there were only 4 sitting on the table, and I didn't want to risk anything). Scott got there an instant after me, and was glad I'd snagged him a Wiimote since the others had already disappeared. As he was reaching for the last nunchuck somebody else snatched it. Nobody was really interested in the classic controllers (I have GameCube controllers, personally).

I felt bad about grabbing controllers that probably should have gone to the folks who were waiting in that line, but this is a social system, and it would be useless to me if I couldn't play my wife in Wii Sports tennis. Incidentally, Ellery really enjoyed it. She destroyed me in boxing. Now if only I could figure out how the hell to catch a fish in Zelda...

If anyone knows me and wants to be Wii friends, my code is 3586 5381 2329 2184.