These are the rules of Code Club:
1. You do not mix code and content.
2. You do not mix code and content.
3. You will use templates for content.
4. You will use CVS.
5. You will log messages when you check your code into CVS.
6. You will put any function that you use more than once into a library.
7. You will declare and initialize application wide variables and constants all in one place.
8. You will document your code.
9. You will use consistent naming conventions.
10. You will write build scripts.
11. You will use the bug tracking system.
12. You will use the right tool for the right job.
13. You are not your code.
I just caught a clip from the MTV music video awards show. I try not to pay too close attention to these things, but holy crap, I never realized what talentless b-movie stripper extras Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera were. It takes a special kind of suck to make Madonna look that good in comparison. Not that I have any specia kind ofl love for Madonna or anything, but I'd wager that when I'm 53, she'll be doing some depraved grandma dildo act at the 40th anniversary awards show, and the other two will be pretty much exactly where Tiffany and Debbie Gibson are today. Wherever that is.
Okay, it's become clear that whoever is Joe Jobbing me isn't just in it for the lack of consequences, they actually hate me. (For those of you playing at home, this means that someone is using reply-to addresses from my domain on their spam, so I get all their bounces, and people who don't know better think it comes from me, and there's nothing you can do about it.) Recently, I've been getting some bounces that advertise quite clearly the availability of hard core pedography, featuring oral, anal, and so on, ages 4-16. Pretty unsavory, and quite illegal. Furthermore, there's no contact information on the spam except my email address - no phone number, no fax, no shady website - so, the only way for someone to get their hands on this vile stuff is to contact me directly, supposedly. If it were me sending it. If it even existed. So, what we have here is obviously someone who just plain old hates me, and is trying to get me busted for pretty much the worst crime available to your average American.
If anyone reading here ever gets a spam that looks like it's from majcher.com, please send me the full email, with all the headers, and any other information you have, server logs, whatever. I'm very interested in meeting these scumbags.
Last week was The Wrench's birthday, but tonight was her birthday dinner at Habana. She only expecte a dozen or so people to show up, so when thirty or forty rollergirls came out... well, we're just lucky we had such an awesome waitress. Fried starchy stuff, mango margaritas, lots of spiced meat, the best tres leches cake in Austin, and a restaurant full of rollergirls and friends. That was fun.
Then I came home and worked. The stuff I'm doing now isn't very challenging, but I think now that if I ever met that guy from the Sprint commercials, I'd have to stab him in the fucking face. I'm sure he's probably a nice guy in real life, but right now, I hate him like Kat hates squiddy sentinels.
In between the hating, I've been reading reviews from Ebert's book of terrible movies. Some of these, I really feel like I need to see now.
In addition to the other craziness, we're having someone put in new wall tile in the bathroom, because I'm either too lazy or too smart to try to do what we were thinking of doing. It looks pretty good now, but damn if every contractor that we've hired hasn't left damnation and destruction in their wake. This guy seemed nice enough, and did a great job with the tile, but managed somehow to get some sort of white crap all over everything out front where he was cutting tile, and took out half the plants in front of the porch when he was cleaning up. Bernie was pretty pissed. I don't blame her. I think I'm just getting used to the intermittent slapass.
A few days ago, I got this quick-lighter chimney thing in the mail - it was a present via amazon from my dad. I thought, "Cool! Now I have an excuse to get out and buy that grill, and begin to make with the grilling and so forth!" This time, my laziness has paid off, for today in the mail came the second part of that shipment - a charcoal-powered Weber grill. I just finished putting it together, and if we weren't on our way out to Habana for The Wrench's birthday thinger, I'd be cooking some goodies up on it right now. Grill! Woo!
In other news, I am finding working in Flash today to be a very similar experience to swimming through cement. I'm not sure what my problem is, but I'm getting that Spock's Brain feeling, where none of the little wires are hooking up right, and every time I change some minor thing, the entire application explodes, and I have green brain juice all over myself, and I can't take a shower to wash it all off because there's a guy in the bathroom attaching new bathroom wall tiles to the wall, in a diagonal pattern, with a band of black bathroom wall tiles near the top. Well, at least the bathroom looks pretty cool now. Grill! Woo!
I, uh, acquired a copy of Bugsy Malone today. I probably saw that movie a hundred times when I was a kid, back when HBO only had half a dozen movies, and just showed them over and over again. At one time, before we had a VCR, I would put a tape recorder next to the speaker of the television and record movies like that - Willy Wonka was one of them, this was another. Invariably, at some point in the movie, you could hear the eight or nine year old me yelling at someone, "Quiet! I'm trying to record off the television!" I think I lost all those tapes, but I'm not sure. Anyway. Man, what a movie. Seriously, who thought that was a good idea?
Also, this working all day thing is strictly for the birds. I talked to my evil accountant today about getting that incorporation thing done, and he pointed me to an evil lawyer that might be able to help me out there. I'm still not sure exactly why I should do this, but I still feel compelled to do it.
I'm cleaning off my desk, getting stuff organized in preparation for actually doing some real work, and I'm finding all sorts of cryptic notes to myself, like "furious cane", "flash dice evolution", and "monotremes don't dream". I have no idea what any of this means, but I'm writing it all down again, just in case it ever comes back to me.
Man, I got a lot of new books.
Today, I woke up late as planned, got myself together, then went to lunch (breakfast?) at the County Line Barbecue. It was pretty disappointing - people, including kin, have been telling me that this place has some good food. Well, it's not bad, but there's plenty of places nearby that have barbecue as good, and much better. It's about on the level of RJ's, on South Congress, only RJ's has a much better atmosphere. RJ's is a cheap little place in what used to be a bad neighborhood, and you get what you pay for; County Line looks like someone thought that TGIFriday's had a real hot ticket going with their use of "flair" in interior decorating, and ran with that. Plus, it's full of scumbag yuppies from North Austin and Westlake, and their screaming yup-spawn. Plus, their mediocre food is priced for said yuppies. Plus, they make you pay for bread! What's up with that? It's like some yankee who's never been to another restaurant in Texas came down and created their own twisted little idea of what a BBQ place should be like. On the plus side, it's got a nice little view of some little tributary coming off the river, and I'm pretty sure that all the waitresses had nose jobs. Next time, we'll just go to the Salt Lick. To hell with this "trying somewhere new" crap.
Not too long after we got home, Bernie crashed out on the couch, and I headed off to the roller derby. It was a lot of fun - the announcing crew has been working on their presentation, and they totally have their act together, and it makes all the difference. The skaters were in top form, too, and put on an awesome show - fast skating, good teamwork, a bunch of good brawls, and more than a couple girls landing in the audience's lap. We also got to use the in-house projection system at the rink to display the scoreboard, instead of a projector on a cart, which meant that Dave had to work his Flash thinger on the laptop in the office up front with the A/V hookup, and I had to get the scores from the referees and call them in to him on a walkie-talkie. That was kind of fun, and worked okay, but it's hard to hear with the crowd and the hollering and the crazy rock'n'roll music. Plus, it wasn't so much fun for Dave, who was about as far as one could be from the action without actually being outside. The upside is that using the radio makes you look like you're actually doing something important. Ha! Suckers! Then I came home, and found that Bernie had made me a fudge pudding-type cake. I ate some with some ice cream. It was pretty darn tasty.
In addition to the usual socializing, I learned some nasty, nasty gossip about the evil derby and the nasty and stupid things that they've done recently, which I'm not at liberty to repeat here. Also, it looks like there's some photos of the (good) derby girls in the current (October, I think) issue of Playboy, in the Dave Attell article. So, I went to Book People after the bout to get a copy, and told the cashier that one of my friends was in it. I wonder how many months I can use that excuse and get away with it. There may also be pictures circulating of me, at the derby, in a very small shirt from Tabu Lingerie, one of the derby's sponsors. I assure you that these photos have been doctored, to besmirch my flawless public image. Also, Vin Diesel is a huge Dungeons and Dragons nerd! Who would have guessed?
Hey, I think I start working tomorrow. Like, for money. Crazy.
I crushed the Republic for my birthday. Done!
I went out for a walk to Book People this afternoon, but I was intercepted halfway there by the lady, so I just sat and read for a while, then had chicken chile relleno and cookies for dinner. I'm pretty sleepy now. We've got derby in the evening, and I think that something else might be afoot. My plan is just to sleep late, and see what my goodies are, and then drink some beer at Playland and watch the girls go 'round.
Scott is kicking ass with the actionscript these days. #noisier has been helping him learn some over the last while or so, and I was just realizing that most of the problems he's had lately have been typos and stuff, and that he's got the coding part pretty much down. It's really cool to watch, and he's already a damn fine artist, so I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of damage he'll do in the near future.
Sometimes I wish I wrote more. Then I read stuff that some people who write a lot write, and realize that the people who would like what I wrote would be people I don't want liking me. Or something.
I've been feeling pretty cranky for the last couple of days. Not sure why. Also, I think I skipped a whole week and a bit of class again. Lazy.
They took the hint.
This is why I never get anything done:
- I see a job posting, think, "I could do that", and sit down to send off a cover letter.
- I start off, "Hello, Mr. Foo, I see that Bar.com is hiring Baz engineers. I've been developing with Baz for..." How long? Let me check the ol' resume.
- Man, my resume looks like crap. I really need to update that.
- Hm. As long as I'm thinking about updating the resume, I'd better fix the page design, too, so it doesn't look like I just threw it together. I'm supposed to be a web guy or something, after all.
- Well, I can't just redo the one page. I'd have to apply the new design to the whole site. Argh. I'm going to have to redo the templates for those mini-projects, too, that have their own look. And get around to putting together an index and some descriptions for my code samples. I should use that rendering engine I built a while ago...
- Crap, how did this work again? I totally over-designed this. I know it worked last time I tried to use it - do I have to edit the config file? Man, I should clean some of this code up before I move forward with this. Actually, what I should really do is put that web front end on it, so I don't have to screw with it next time...
- Okay, let me just grab this code out of this other project I did a while back. Holy crap, look at that! What the hell was I thinking? I need to tear all that out and make sure that I won't die from shame if anyone ever bothers to download that code...
...and you see how this pretty much goes on forever. Installing new software, getting side tracked on little projects here and there, looking stuff up, getting sidetracked again by a comment in some documentation somewhere that leads to someone's personal site, which leads to an afternoon of me reading their favorite web comic or something. Maybe this is a problem that I can get some good prescription medication for. Or maybe I should just stick with the whiskey.
For the last two weeks, someone has been parking their SUV right in front of our house, in the no-parking zone on the corner, right in front of a fire hydrant. Now, keep in mind that we're in South Austin now, not San Francisco - there's tons of parking everywhere, but for some reason this dork has picked this as his or her favorite spot. Normally, I could care less, but, you know, fire. Plus, it makes it a pain to go around them to pull into our normal spot out front. Plus, you know, SUV.
Anyway, a printout of this photo is now on their windshield. Just the picture, no note. Let's see if they take the hint.
Here I am, complaining about not having any work to do - any paying work, that is - and all of the sudden, three gigs fall on me in one day. I think I can manage two out of three, easy - and the one that I'm not crazy about is the one that's most likely to fall through - but we'll see what needs doing, and when. My rates are almost a third of what they were in the Good Old Days, but I can still make four months mortgage in a full week - before taxes, of course. Seeing how I have, uh, zero taxable income so far this year, though, I don't think that's going to be a huge issue. Plus - evil accountant, and lots of valid writeoffs, so I might even come out ahead, unless I work too much. Ha!
Of course, this working for the Man takes time away from my personal stuff, just as I was getting rolling, too. I attribute this to a galactic conspiracy of time travellers, trying to prevent me from accomplishing some crucial task that will eventually spell the undoing of their decadent, futuristic civilization. Something to do with killer robots, I think.
And, just because I can't find it anywhere else, here's the cipher that Bogey finds in The Big Sleep. I've never figured out the code, and I don't think they really do anything with it in the movie. I think it's all bunk.
Bernie had her last wisdom tooth out today. I took her to the dentist and back, and this afternoon was all about ice packs, vicodin, and DVDs for her. (I sat down and watched part of The Dish with her - that one always gets me all choked up.) Fortunately, Bernie has amazing lizard-like powers of healing and recuperation, so she'll probably be back up and better than ever by the end of the day tomorrow. Teeth suck.
Since I still don't have any paying work, I've started work on an online game project to keep myself busy. This is that multi-user thing, frontend in Flash, backend in... no, not Perl, but Java. Yep. I don't quite trust the threading support in Perl (and Python and Ruby still don't quite handle the stuff I want to do) for the kind of thing I'm thinking of, so I figured it was time to jump back into the evil.
I checked a little while ago, and although I have "Java" on my resume and business cards, it's actually been quite some time since I've actually done anything with it. Like, 1997. So, this weekend, I broke out the books - I have a surprising number of fairly recent Java books for someone who doesn't use it that much - and started getting myself all set up. There was some cursing and hair-pulling, but I think I'm pretty much ready to rock right now, if not in fact rocking already. Got the latest SDK installed, configured my database support and such, dropped in Ant and jUnit to make it all fly XP-style, made sure that XML parsing and stuff was set up and configured correctly, and dug up some sample code for the stuff I want to do. After a bit of fiddling and tinkering, I've got my project skeleton all built out, and I've got ant set up to automatically compile, build, test, jar up, deploy, and check into CVS with the press of a button. (Doh, I forgot to set it to automatically generate my javadocs - that'll take another couple of minutes.) I'm reading the server configuration with my own little XML file parser, the beginnings of a nice little unit test suite, and some code for a multi-threaded game server ready to be implemented and subclassed to whichever ruleset I decide on. I've got a good bit of documentation, some class diagrams and database schemata coming along, so I think I'm actually in business here. Not bad for a couple of days, I guess - now, for the actual coding. Let's see how far I get here before becoming distracted by something shiny.
I also got a cheap stove-top espresso pot. That's pretty tasty.
Dave and Mel got us to go out to this improv show at the Drafthouse - the announcer for the roller derby, Les, has been doing this stuff for a good long time, and he got some of his crew together for this show, which I think will be an ongoing thing. There was some darn funny stuff in there. Unfortunately, I think we got some bad cheese or something there, because we were both feeling icky afterwards. I'm just going to go ahead and assume that it wasn't the beer.
Man, if I'm gonna totally lose weeks like this, maybe I should get back on the dope.
I did a good 20-odd hour marathon on kotor wednesday/thurdsay, and I'm just coming out of recovery from that. Had lunch with Patsy today at Java Noodle to talk about a design for a site for my consulting stuff. Got the electricians all out of here, and finally got the insulators to do our attic, so now we're all set on the air conditioning front. Got a bunch of rollergirl stuff done, and there's a bunch more to do. Read some, aaaand, that's about it. Lazy.
Oh, no, I did manage to pull a muscle in my calf on Tuesday while doing push-hands at class with an, uh, aggressive partner. It still hurts. Ow.
This weekend was Camp Hackenslash, the yearly summer camp that the Alamo Drafthouse puts on for us freaks. The general idea is, dress up like you're a kid at camp, do camp sports and activities, and then watch camp slasher movies all night. It's a hoot.
We actually showed up kind of late - it started at 1pm, and we didn't get there until five or so. Checked in, got our camp t-shirt and regulation striped tube socks, got dressed and situated, and commenced the drinking. Did I mention the heavy drinking? We didn't really get there in time to sign up for any good crafty activities, so we just wandered around the campground and watched other people make postcards home and little skull necklaces. People were playing dodgeball and indian leg wrestling, and that was fun to watch, too. Dave and Mel showed up even later, and there was more drinking and wandering.
One of the highlights of the day was the catered dinner from the Salt Lick, which was, coincidentally, across the road from the campground. I think the brisket and sausage they brought over was even better than usual, and that's pretty damn good. As we ate, they began to set up the entertainment portion of the evening. There was a wet t-shirt contest, which was shut down way too early because of of the male contestants got a little bit eager and showed the campers some intimate jewelry. Fortunately, Professor Griffin was there to fill in with a horror movie trivia contest, and Usher did a great fire performance, with the spinning and the blowing and the hey lady.
It was getting dark, so they inflated the screen, and started showing trailers - every Friday the 13th trailer, and every Nightmare on Elm Street trailer. That's a lot of trailers. After one last one - the new Chainsaw Massacre film - they jumped right into the feature presentation: the world premiere of Freddy vs. Jason! Beforehand, we were told that we were the first audience to see the real ending of the movie - not even the test audiences saw the whole thing. We were also admonished not to tell anyone what happened, and if we were good little boys and girls, we'd probably get another special treat from New Line in October - a premiere of Chainsaw at the abandoned mental institution, I think. So, I'm not the hugest slasher flick fan in the world, but I'm pretty much down with the big guys - this was a really fun movie, for what it was. Citizen Kane it ain't, but it was a good kick-off for the night. Afterwards, they had Robert Englund and the rest of the crew up for a question and answer session with the (insane) crowd, and then came the next feature, Sleepaway Camp. This one was not so good.
So, it's getting late, and we've just sat through the washed-up star of Sleepaway Camp giving us his acapella rendition of "Lean On Me", and we think it might start raining before too long, so we head home. There were more big thunderstorms that night, and that's the end of the story.