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"Murphy was an optimist!"

Where are all the CF developers? February 28, 2007 9:06 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : ColdFusion, Programming, Technology
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Do you code in ColdFusion? If so, put yourself on the map.

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Will getting computer parts in Knoxville become impossible? February 28, 2007 11:15 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Announcements, Of Interest
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Oh how I’ve longed for a Fry’s within driving distance. I do try to order online from vendors like Newegg but in a pinch I bite the bullet and pay CompUSA’s rates on their limited stock but that may not be an option for long. CompUSA is closing 126 US stores. I bet Knoxville doesn’t make the cut.


And they call themselves programmers… February 28, 2007 8:32 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Programming, Technology
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Coding Horror by Jeff Atwood made me cry today. I wanted to laugh but it was so painful all I could do is shake my head and cry. Two days ago he made a very good post asking "Why can’t programmers.. Program?" He referenced Imran on Tech who uses a simple problem to figure out if his prospective candidates can code. Imran also has good tastes in WordPress themes. One of Imran’s test questions:

Write a program that prints the numbers from 1 to 100. But for multiples of three print “Fizz” instead of the number and for the multiples of five print “Buzz”. For numbers which are multiples of both three and five print “FizzBuzz”. [Source]

The result was programming types completely missing the point of his post. The tears come in the comments. The first commenter rushed to get his solution to the problem before anyone else. Naturally, many other commenters followed with solutions in different languages or varying degrees of optimization. Why did I cry? Almost every solution has an error!

I also like the debate between the academics and the professionals about recursion. And yes, my view is that recursion belongs in academia and rarely (if ever) in commercial software.

Sadly, it appears that indeed programmers cannot program and, better yet, they cannot even read for comprehension!

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Of Grasshoppers February 28, 2007 7:36 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Grasshoppers, Philosophy
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Student: I need a counselor.
Master: You have me!

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Self-doubt – killer of good times February 28, 2007 7:09 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
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Am I ever having some serious self-doubt over agreeing to take Noah on the Okefenokee trip! Yes, money is a recurring issue in my head but when I think about it rationally that is just an excuse for me to bail. The real reasons are my work schedule (can I have my deadlines met before the trip?), some separation anxiety (am I being fair to Cathy?), fairness to the rest of the family (shouldn’t this money be put in a savings account to go toward a family Disney trip?), and are we properly equipped for such a trip. This seems like a wonderful and rare opportunity for Noah. I know I will return refreshed and chilled (these trips are like tranquilizers for me). I usually follow my gut and my gut seems to be telling me, "don’t go." Of course, other signs do point to going. When I went to ask if they still had adult and child openings (this trip is limited to 20 scouts and 5 adults), I was told, "someone confirmed you and Noah in an email."


Can’t be fair to everyone in a large family February 27, 2007 5:22 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Family, Noah, Of Being Dad
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Noah has an opportunity to camp out in the Okefenokee for 5 days and 4 nights. The estimated cost doubled on me last night. I have concerns about the trip including:

  1. Can I actually take 5 days off?
  2. Shouldn’t that money go elsewhere?
  3. My wife said that I was to make the decision and when I said, "we are going" she replied, "whatever" which in wife-speak means "wrong answer dumbass."
  4. Are we properly equipped for this kind of trip?
  5. If we pass, are we giving up a once in a lifetime opportunity (apparently this is a hard trip to book)?
  6. Can Noah handle this trip?
  7. Childcare during Cathy’s meetings and events

I feel like my gut is saying not to do this trip but I also think I am misreading my reasons for saying no. I have to decide today.

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Heroes txt msg February 26, 2007 7:15 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Uncategorized
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Our first plan has gone into effect. Let’s get together to observe. Go online to: http://www.samantha48616e61.co

Brought to you by, Cingular Wireless Messaging

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No. I won’t call you. February 26, 2007 11:07 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
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So, I just had a machine call me, give the following message, and hang up.

Hi! This is Cathy from Nebraska. Please call me at 888-xxx-xxxx.

More than likely this is some kind of collector. Sears and I are having a little dispute. I am more than willing to talk to Cathy but not if she is not going to be professional enough to 1) identify the nature of the reason she wishes me to call or 2) call me in person. This approach is wrong on so many levels. With the caller id blocked, I cannot reject the calls. I should do this approach with a 900 number where I harass people into calling so that I can charge them for the phone call.


Lots of fire yesterday February 25, 2007 11:35 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Family, Noah, Of Being Dad, Sarah
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Yesterday I woke at 4am to get Sarah to the church for her ski trip to Sugar Mountain NC only no one was there. At 5am I am calling to wake her grandparents who in turn call and wake the preacher’s wife only to find out that the trip was canceled due to the fires of global warming. Sarah was supposed to call the day before and confirm that the trip was on but she summed up her 13 year old skewed view of prioritized with "I forgot" which translates to "I didn’t want to make that call. That’s stoopid.quot;

Multimedia message

After returning a sad teenager to the house, I put out some fires on a client’s website then awoke Noah so we could go fire .22 gauge rifles with the boy scouts (see also and also). The boys did really well at the firing range. (Cathy has the non-cellphone pictures) When we returned home, the boys talked me into having a bonfire.Multimedia messageMultimedia message The flames were huge and elicited concerned phone calls from two parents of children that were at my house.

As the night drew on, the bonfire stayed strong. I wanted to sleep and I also wanted to let the wood burn down further but the winds were picking up. Checking the weather, I confirmed that a wind advisory suggested strong winds throughout the night so I doused the fire for 10 minutes yet today it still smolders.

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Burglars in the house? Ask the neighbor to deal with it. February 24, 2007 4:46 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Family, Molly, Pets
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Last Saturday, I took advantage of a gift card to Calhoun’s and took Cathy and Tommy out to dinner. We chose the Calhoun’s in Turkey Creek and afterwards shopped at World Market. Everything was nice and relaxed until a concerned neighbor called to report that our front door was wide open. Slight panic and concern for Molly ensued. Logical thinking went out the window and I begged my neighbor to please go confront the burglars in my house which she did. Afterwards, she called to report that Molly was sleeping on the couch, she chased the outside cat back outside, locked and closed the door. Tommy, being last out, felt horrible. The relaxing evening we had up to that point now held a tingling tension.

Bonfire with friends

Last night we joined a friend for a bonfire at their house. Upon returning home, our front door was wide open. Being the last out, I knew I had locked and securely closed the door. Moment of self-doubt. Then redemption! The scratches on the inside doorknob reveal that Molly, the German shepherd, can let herself out of the house! So, why does she scratch at the door to be let in?

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My alcoholism is bothering the children February 23, 2007 4:59 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Family, Noah
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Yes, in college I drank to excess. When Cathy and I were dating, she was working a health fair and one of the booths was worked by a police officer with "drunk googles" which are these fractured things you put on to simulate intoxication then try to walk a straight line. He watched me walk it really well and coolly commented, "this guy has had too much practice." But college is long gone and I rarely drink now-a-days.

So, once in a blue moon I might buy a six pack of beer and have one beer a night while watching television with Cathy. On rare occasion we buy a bottle of wine. I certainly do not hide it from the children. They should know that it is alright for an adult to have a drink. Apparently I was wrong. The last bottle of wine was purchased with our full complement in the car so Noah witnessed me walk into the liquor store and knew that later Cathy and I drank some wine! (of course, Cathy probably has all of 4 glasses a year) So, Noah took it upon himself to check out a book from the school library titled something akin to "Alcoholism: Someone in my family drinks too much" What a good caring guy! Of course, he is going to be a nervous wreck before he reaches high school if he keeps worrying like this.


And it streaked across the sky… February 22, 2007 2:45 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Science, Space
, 4comments

Last night Tommy and I had a great pleasure. We saw a shooting star and this wasn’t one of those tiny thin lines way up in the sky. This was a streaking fireball that at first I thought it to be a low flying helicopter as the light seemed to just appear but then it grew brighter and formed a tail then burned in a green ball. It was wicked!

I have seen tiny shooting stars before but this is only the second time in my life I have seen one so close. The first time I was lying on the ground by a bonfire in south Knoxville and a smoky rock streaked from horizon to horizon so low that it seemed like I could have thrown something at it. I swear I could distinguish pockmarks as it flew overhead. Tonight’s was different and very cool.

This happened a few minutes before 9pm EST (2am UTC). Anyone else see it?


Getting Worms February 22, 2007 2:37 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
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I know I’ve said it before, but there is just something powerful about waking up when all the numbers on the clock are the same. Today: 222

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BSA Comedic District February 20, 2007 6:49 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
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Multimedia message

So the boys are going to go the rifle range and fire guns on Saturday. The meeting has ended, the boys are playing and the adults are having a brief follow-up meeting. The speaker is very serious.

Speaker: "Saturday we are going to need lots of adults. We will be shooting 4 and 5 people at a time."
Me, unable to help myself: "Don’t you think our numbers will dwindle quickly that way?"
Speaker, trying to compose a correct answer stares blankly.
Me, clarifying: "I mean, you said you want lots of adults and we’ll be shooting 4 and 5 people at a time. I’m not showing up!"

On a side note regarding scouting, Penn & Teller really ripped into the organization not for the skills it teaches but for the discrimination and hate on the public’s dime. I am a huge scouting advocate so this was a difficult watch for me because I did not enjoy some of the things Penn & Teller point out as I believe we should teach our children acceptance and tolerance.

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From the mouths of babes February 20, 2007 5:26 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Cathy, Daily Life, Family, From the mouths of babes, Of Being Dad, Tommy
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Tommy, eating some cheese with dinner: "What country is famous for cheese?"
Dad: "Vaudeville."
Mom: "Tommy, how’s your cheese?"
Tommy: "Good."
Dad: "You should have said gouda."
Tommy: "Hurry up and finish [your meal], so you can leave."

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