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"Murphy was an optimist!"

Poetry at 70 mph November 30, 2009 12:14 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Philosophy, Poetry
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I tapped this out on my phone after cresting the hill south bound before the I-40/Pellissippi Parkway exchange. My normal glance at the peaks of the Smoky Mountains was obscured. The weather inspiring.

There are no mountains today. A cloud blankets the horizon. More so, it blankets us all. @djuggler

Theo Aukerman suggests this could become a Haiku.

With slight mods, could be a haiku: … @knoxcoder

So how’s this?

No mountains today
Cloud blankets the horizon
It blankets us all.

Hmm. I may have a thing or two to learn about meter versus moras ("on").

One on is counted for a short syllable, an additional one for an elongated vowel, diphthong, or doubled consonant, and one for an “n” at the end of a syllable. Thus, the word “haibun”, though counted as two syllables in English, is counted as four on in Japanese (ha-i-bu-n). Source, Wikipedia, Haiku

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Of Grasshoppers November 30, 2009 9:42 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Grasshoppers, Philosophy
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Student: Self-doubt.
Master: No doubt.

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Project Done November 30, 2009 2:40 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Programming, Technology
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I just put the wraps on one of my projects. This one was a site scrapper and a site rebuild. Scraping means the site which controls the data did not provide an API or other means to get the data so using PHP, cURL, and AJAX (in this case, jQuery), I retrieved the data, used PHP and regular expressions to parse the data to use only the parts I needed, and CSS to present it correctly. The rebuild was applying a new design, furnished by the client, to the rest of the site. Overall fun, albeit with some speed bumps and hiccups.

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Today’s Work Related Links November 30, 2009 2:33 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Programming, Technology
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I work in an ever changing industry. New techniques, new standards, new languages, new buzzwords are always developing. These changes are why programmers must be constant learners. I learn principles. Specifics of a language simply require a decent reference. I rely heavily upon Delicious as my own personal search engine and reference tool. To date, I have bookmarked 10024 websites. I can spent hours researching a problem and clicking through search engine results to read misinformation or bad links but when I find the resource I need, I bookmark it at Delicious with keywords which will help me find the information easily. The next time I need that info, I can find it in seconds.

Links I have used in my work today:

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The Magic is Gone November 29, 2009 9:46 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Amy, Daily Life, Evan, Family, Of Being Dad, Of Interest
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One of the thrills of the single digits is raiding my desk. Often I come down to find my organized chaos in a disarray. To Amy and Evan my clutter is their treasure trove, as it should be, so I try to keep it child friendly. I fidget with my magic from time to time. My nickel to dimes trick currently lives on my desk in a ziplock bag so the money doesn’t accidentally get spent. I found the ziplock open. The nickles and dimes are accounted for but a critical piece of the trick has gone missing. Nevermind…I’m stupid. This reminds me of the time I purchased my first rainbow rod. I was in Disney World and the magician at the magic shoppe performed the trick so well that I understood exactly what to do. I purchased my own. I was so excited that back the hotel I pulled the wand from its container and tossed the instructions aside. I had enough prop magic to understand how these worked. I did exactly like the performer from the magic shoppe and my heart wrenched from my chest as I immediately broke the wand! The result of my actions had produce an outcome unlike anything the magician had done. It was totally unexpected and nothing I did seemed to fix it. That is, until I read the instructions and laughed myself to tears. So, the nickel and dime trick…it’s kinda like that.

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How does Sunday work? November 29, 2009 10:40 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
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Christmas 2008Christmas 2006This is Sunday. The end of 5 day vacation from school for the children. Five sticky notes cling to my monitor screaming for the completion of the tasks scribbled upon them by this evening. Christmas 2007Christmas 2005Today is also family picture day. Today we torture the children to get the ideal photo for our holiday card. Naturally, we will look to KristyK for inspiration. These photoshoots are not always without pain. See if you can spot the less than cooperative teenager in 2006. Bonus points if you can find the Photoshop error in 2006 (hint: the uncooperative teen refused to wear black pants and there should not be a bow tie in the Christmas tree).

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I’ve blown this day away November 28, 2009 6:55 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
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The title is a leaf blower joke. Well, the wind making machine has been returned. My wrists hurt. I concede this year to Mother Nature but I put a hurt on her this time. She knows next year I have a new trick. The tide of this war is changing! The children enjoyed pouncing into the piles of leaves. The yard looks more like a yard than it has in over a decade. That feels good. The driveway received a major cleaning too.

"helping" cover Amyleaf splashflopped in the leavesleaves are funny

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Saturday November 28, 2009 2:41 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
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I have to return the backpack blower today. So today is interspersed with moments of yard work, moments of housecleaning, and moments of programming. Overall, a productive day so far!

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Of Grasshoppers November 27, 2009 11:15 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Grasshoppers, Philosophy
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Student: I have purpose again.
Master: You’ve always had purpose.

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That blows! November 27, 2009 7:13 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, House
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A friend of mine loaned me 2 rakes and a backpack leaf blower. I believe this may be the first time in over a decade I come close to actually winning the War of the Leaves!

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Of Grasshoppers November 27, 2009 12:27 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Grasshoppers, Philosophy
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Student: What I want to do and need to do are not the same.
Master: Split your attention between each and accomplish neither.

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FW: Today's roomba dissection November 26, 2009 2:19 pm

Posted by flickr in : Daily Life
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.flickr-photo { border: solid 2px #000000; }
.flickr-yourcomment { }
.flickr-frame { text-align: left; padding: 3px; }
.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; }

The motor which spins the main brushes.

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And I thank you! November 26, 2009 10:51 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Family, Holiday, Of Being Dad, Thanksgiving
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Thanksgiving Holiday

In the United States, today is a day of thanks. I believe most Americans probably do not know the roots of Thanksgiving. Wikipedia is very thorough discussing United States Thanksgiving as well as Thanksgiving in Canada, Grenada, and the Netherlands. See also History News Network’s The Truth About Thanksgiving Is that the Debunkers Are Wrong and Top 10 Myths About Thanksgiving. Note: I have not fact checked the History News Network links. From Encyclopedia Britannica Online:

[An] annual national holiday in the United States and Canada celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Americans generally believe that their Thanksgiving is modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag Indians. The American holiday is particularly rich in legend and symbolism.

Plymouth’s Thanksgiving began with a few colonists going out "fowling," possibly for turkeys but more probably for the easier prey of geese and ducks, since they "in one day killed as much as…served the company almost a week." Next, 90 or so Wampanoag made a surprise appearance at the settlement’s gate, doubtlessly unnerving the 50 or so colonists. Nevertheless, over the next few days the two groups socialized without incident. The Wampanoag contributed venison to the feast, which included the fowl and probably fish, eels, shellfish, stews, vegetables, and beer. Since Plymouth had few buildings and manufactured goods, most people ate outside while sitting on the ground or on barrels with plates on their laps. The men fired guns, ran races, and drank liquor, struggling to speak in broken English and Wampanoag. This was a rather disorderly affair, but it sealed a treaty between the two groups that lasted until King Philip’s War (1675–76), in which hundreds of colonists and thousands of Indians lost their lives.

[Source, Encyclopedia Britannic Online, History & Society::Thanksgiving]

I am thankful!

I am thankful for my wonderful family, the joy they bring, the laughter they elicit, the challenges they give me to grow, and their support for my non-traditional career choice. I am thankful for having great clients, some who have gone out of their way to keep me in work, during these economically trying times. I am thankful for all my wonderful friends in real life and online. I am thankful for having met Jason Jarrett on Seesmic and whose podcasts, along with his wife, Karen, have really helped me move closer to sustained happiness and away from the Five Poisons (greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance, and doubt). I am particularly thankful for my wonderful wife who has supported my insanity when she would have been justified to turn tail and run screaming, who can make me laugh with just a look, who makes my heart flutter just thinking about her, and who has pushed me to be a better person than I ever thought possible. I could type the rest of the day simply about the thanks I could attribute to Cathy alone not to mention the numerous people and things I have yet to mention. So thank you all! And I give thanks for this wonderful life of mine along with all its challenges.

For laughs

Don’t forget today is the day to watch the WKRP Turkeys Away video.

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Of Grasshoppers November 25, 2009 8:44 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Grasshoppers, Philosophy
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Student: This is not the path I thought I was walking.
Master: Do you have a map?

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And they’re off! November 24, 2009 10:41 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Holiday, Thanksgiving
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The children only had a 2 day week of school. They are off for the next 5 days for Thanksgiving break. This is that holiday where we celebrate invading a foreign land only to survive the winter by the kindness of the indigenous people in return we trade them worthless trinkets for their land, kill them off with disease and pestilence, then lock them in casinos. We celebrate it by eating the bird that Benjamin Franklin wanted to be declared the symbol of this nation when in fact the pilgrims probably dined on lobster.

If you want to jump to the WKRP Turkeys Away aka WKRP Turkey Drop video, start the video below and skip ¾ of the way through to 16:30 and watch until 23:30.

As God as my witness..I thought turkeys could fly.