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"Murphy was an optimist!"

Of Grasshoppers December 31, 2009 7:49 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Grasshoppers, Philosophy
, 2comments

Student: Take it back.
Master: Once a stone is tossed in the pond, only time calms the ripples.


A round tuit and a “new” laptop December 28, 2009 7:09 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Gadgets, Technology
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A good friend passed me their old laptop with an operating system that was broken. Doing that thing I do, I installed a new operating system and am pleased that the laptop easily meets my needs as far as processor and memory are concerned. I debated dual booting the machine so that I could work in either Linux or Windows XP but decided to try my hand with a virtual machine (VirtualBox). In this case, Ubuntu Linux is going to be installed in a VM within Windows XP which should allow me to take my development environment with me anywhere I go.

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I have joined the Cult of Jobs December 27, 2009 3:25 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
, 5comments

My Motorola RAZR v3xx which was so cutting edge when I got it years ago died. Being a miser, I replaced it with a free subsidized phone by agreeing to be an AT&T customer for another 2 years. The phone was an LG 360 and sucked for me. I fat fingered keys and menus. I was missing calls from clients. The phone froze. I missed a teleconference with a long standing client and his client that could have cost both of us an important contract. The end result was that free phone was costing me a fortune. I decided to exchange the phone using AT&T’s satisfaction guarantee. Basically I could chose another free phone that had all the suckage of my first free phone, spend a lot of money on a smartphone and in 6-8 weeks receive a rebate, or get an iPhone. Thanks to a timely project, I got an iPhone.

I dreaded the thought of giving up a Motorola for an iPhone mainly because of the lack of a keyboard. Anyone who has ever dissed or complained about an iPhone has never used one. Steve Jobs is a user interface genius! I’ve joined the cult of Mac.


A Merry Christmas was had by all! December 26, 2009 8:06 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
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And today I return to work. Time to code.

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Anxiety December 24, 2009 9:47 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Philosophy, Poetry
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This hand versus that
The good and the bad;
Trying to spread good
But feel only sad;
A harmless white lie
still tears at the soul;
Her ego judged me
When I did no wrong
Then I judged her
Same verse; same song.

Look in the mirror
It’s me that I see;
The image that is
Not the one I want it to be;
They write the rules
I write the rules
There are no rules
We; the fools.

I cannot live
Upon this pillar
So very tall;
Such that all can see
The stature
The nature
The me;
The higher it rises
The bigger it becomes
More of the pillar they see
And so much less of me;
As big as I wish to be
I’m shrinking
To small to see.

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When does work get done? December 23, 2009 3:13 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
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Today it gets done at 3:15am…

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State of me December 22, 2009 11:47 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
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Too tired. Too stressed. Here’s hoping the postman comes with good news tomorrow.

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Amy’s Christmas Present December 20, 2009 9:38 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Amy, Christmas, Daily Life, Family, Holiday, Humor
, 2comments

Amy wants a puppy for Christmas but we already have two large German Shepherds so I’m getting her this instead:
Small child rides aligator
Picture borrowed from Picture is Unrelated without permission.


Aw nuts! December 20, 2009 8:41 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Food, Health
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Last night we trade some food with hydrogenated oils for organic food at Earth Fare. N.B. there’s a coupon on their website somewhere that lets you bring any 1 food item from each of 5 categories even if it is almost empty and trade it for healthy food. While there I bought some almonds because I thought they’d be a healthy fidget food for programming. You know, takes time to crack open, gives you energy, improves memory, occupies your hands while you think through a solution to a problem, etc. So this morning I sit down to program and cannot crack open the nuts. What kind of household doesn’t have a nutcracker at Christmas time?!

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From the mouths of babes December 19, 2009 11:00 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Evan, Family, From the mouths of babes
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Evan has been reluctant to give up his pacifier, bop, at night. Last night he slept without it! Today he is a little crabby and just walked through the house with it so I bargained it away from him.

Dad: "Evan. I want you to say oral fixation.
Evan, 4.5 years old: "Oral fixation."
Dad: "Good. Now I want you to go tell Mom, ‘I have an oral fixation.’"
Evan, yelling through the house: "Mom! Dad has an oral fixation!"

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How ’bout them knockers? December 19, 2009 10:05 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, From the mouths of babes
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We had the pleasure of actually getting out of the house recently and participating in, gasp, an adult party! No this wasn’t an Eyes Wide Shut thing. It just wasn’t at Chuckie Cheese and no one had to be reminded to go to the bathroom. This was the party with some very fascinating people. At one point, one of the guests had a moment of recognition and recalled working with Cathy.

What he said: "The last time I saw you, you were breastfeeding your youngest daughter." (read more)
What I heard: "I’ve seen your wife’s boobs! NiiiiIIICce!"

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Science! December 19, 2009 9:10 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Amy, Daily Life, Family, Of Being Dad
, 3comments

As I held infant Amy, rocking her to sleep, I’d talk to her and tell her how much I looked forward to having conversations together. You know the joke: We spend the first part of their lives teaching them how to talk and the rest of their lives trying to get them to shut up. As I held infant Evan, rocking him to sleep, I’d have the same discussion. Eventually they did learn to talk and we’ve had some fascinating conversations.

Today Amy, 7 years old, asked, "What is radioactivity? Is it bad?" So I proceeded to talk to Amy about radio waves, the visual spectrum, light, ear drums, we drew an atom, and a water molecule. She listened and questioned and conjectured. That was fun!

Parenting Tip #423: Use a tape recorder to record a minute of your infant’s sounds every week. Their noises change from week to week and you will enjoy listening to the tape when they are older. Also, they love to hear their own noises so that tape in a Playskool tape player (vintage? Okay.. get a digital recorder) is good for about 20 minutes of babysitting or so I am told. This was some advice from a friend that I failed to follow with some regrets.


WordPress 2.9 has arrived December 19, 2009 8:46 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Announcements, Blog, Of Interest, Publishing, Software, Technology, WordPress
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WordPress 2.9 includes built-in image editing and now videos can be embedded simply by putting the url of the video on its own line in the post with Oembed support and more. Update your WordPress blog soon.


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Ultimate Unsubscribe Page December 18, 2009 1:35 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Programming, Technology
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Free milk! December 18, 2009 7:52 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
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This family used to drink roughly 3.78 liters of milk a day. We are down to about 7.56 liters every 3 days. I used to buy our milk at Weigel’s because of those wonderful square milk jugs. Wonderful is a bit double-edged. The milk was impossible to pour unless you bought a special spout and for a time the spouts were unavailable because the factory that produced them burned down. The spout also did not seal the milk leaving it exposed to air in the refrigerator which apparently just doesn’t matter. The good of the square milk jugs was primarily the fact they recycled. You’d return one jug for a discount on your next milk purchase. That program ended and Weigel’s Farms started using the same yellow plastic disposable jugs that the rest of the world uses. To retain customers, they issued loyalty cards so that after every 17th milk purchase, you receive one free and each 17 milk purchases gets an entry into a drawing for a year’s supply of milk…er, 52 milks…a year! bah. Frankly, this card kept me as a Weigel’s milk customer. For that matter, most of my Weigel’s shopping can be directly attributed to that card.

They’ve done away with the punch card and now use a magnetic swipe card. I no longer can glance down and see how close I am to a free milk although it is printed on the receipt. Today I walked in to buy 2 gallons of milk and receipted both free! It was a very odd feeling to walk out of the store having paid nothing. Thank you Weigel’s!

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