February 1, 2009


First post here in over three years - I'm curious as to whether anyone still has my RSS feed in their reader. :)

So I joined Twitter. Not sure whether I'll embrace it or not - I'm not big on the whole "I'm eating chips!" constant status update thing, but I don't think it has to be that way. I like the idea of Twitter as microblogging - forcing yourself to express a thought concisely - since I too often suffer from verbal diarrhea. I'm curious to see what conversations evolve out of this.

I toyed with the idea of keeping this post under 140 characters. Like that was going to happen. :)

December 7, 2005


Dear Blog,

There's no question I've been neglecting you.

I know it's happened before and I meant it when I said it wouldn't happen again, I really did, but wouldn't you know it.

I almost blogged a couple of weeks ago. I watched an old Jays game on ESPN Classic and I took a bunch of notes for a nostalgic look back at the '92 and '93 World Champions that I was going to call "glory days" – I never got around to writing it and the moment was lost. Isn't that always the way?

The only reason I'm posting at all is to point what few readers I have to Scott Feschuk's Blackberry Blog. Feschuk is Paul Martin's chief speechwriter and he's been writing some very funny stuff online throughout the campaign.

It's not that I don't like you, Blog, you know I do. It's just that I met this girl, and I like her much, much more.


Now Playing: Sarah McLachlan, Afterglow Live
Current Mood: vous devenez très somnolent

October 15, 2005

12 steps

There must be a program for this.

As I've mentioned previously on ye old blog, I've been doing a lot of Sudoku puzzles in my copious free time. I noticed Book 1 of the Times series on a table at Chapters one day a few months ago and it piqued my interest. I've never been very interested in crosswords [1] [2] but the logical nature of Sudoku appealed to me. I did a puzzle here and a puzzle there for a while. I'm not sure when I started chain-solving but I can now while away multiple hours at a time, happily marking and erasing until I solve one, then eagerly turning to the next.

I Googled "Sudoku anonymous" and found others in my predicament but no help.

I'm not sure whether I'm responsible for spreading this to my co-workers but a few of them have gotten into it as well. I think this is perfectly logical (smirk) behaviour for software developers, because at its core, development is about problem solving. There's also something very appealing about knowing the problem you are trying to solve definitely has a solution. This is all too frequently not the case in IT.

As if the books weren't engrossing enough, I have recently been introduced to two new wrinkles which have only intensified my obsession.

The first is samunamupure, aka Killer Su Doku. The grid is overlaid with "sum boxes" which connect multiple cells. The digits in those cells must sum to the number on the sum box. Often these puzzles have no starting digits at all. John and I went to Chapters on Tuesday; I picked up Book 3 of the Times series and he picked up the Killer book. I took one look at it and chickened out. No starting digits? The hell? I was intrigued, though, and I decided to try one at lunch later in the week. I proceeded to completely geek out over it and after work, I went immediately to Chapters to pick up my own copy. It is truly diabolical.

The second is websudoku.com. Tracy sent me the link on Friday afternoon. I shared it with the guys and went back to work. Turned around ten minutes later and they were all still there. This should have been a warning sign... hehe. The virtually unlimited supply of free puzzles is compelling enough. They really nail you with the ability to work out the puzzle in the browser, including multiple entries per cell. It's like the difference between word processing and writing longhand. You can erase so much faster. They also compile stats - you can see how well you're doing compared to the average, which is kinda cool.

In hindsight, the Wiktionary link for "geek out" was probably unnecessary. :)

In other news...
  • John played a short set at the Right Spot last night. It was a charity coffeehouse organized by one of the help desk techs. I knew John wrote songs and I knew he played a mean guitar, but I've never seen him rock out like he did last night. He played four or five originals and about as many covers, including a seamless melding of Beck and Weezer ("Loser"/"Undone - The Sweater Song") plus an encore of "Underwhelmed" and "What You Waiting For?" It was spectacular. He should be quitting his job and heading out on the road any time now.

  • I picked up Season 2 of Arrested Development on DVD this week. My love for this show knows no bounds. The DVDs are a little light on special features - the highlights are three commentaries and a gag reel. I'm enduring a short hiatus to accommodate baseball playoffs, so anything new is welcome. The gag reel actually ends with a profanity-laced tirade from David Cross on Fox's inability to effectively market the show, which gets pretty low ratings despite being a critical darling. It was awesome, and I still can't believe they included it.

  • Some of you know that I've got a couple of academic credits to my name. When I was at UNB, I did a co-op term and some part-time work as a research assistant to Dr. Colin Ware. The work I did with Colin served as the basis for two papers, one in a conference proceedings and another in ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction. I wrote the software, recruited subjects, conducted the experiments, and edited the text. Today I got to wondering whether those papers were ever cited by other researchers in the field, and with remarkably little effort (I typed "colin ware jeff rose" into Firefox) discovered that they have. I highly doubt I'll ever continue my academic career, but I still think that's really cool.
I started writing this post two hours ago as methadone for the heroin of websudoku.com. I think it worked. Let's find out...

[1] Once upon a time I did the TV Guide crossword regularly. This will not come as a surprise to those (Will) who believe I am the epitome of pop culture geek.  (back)

[2] I'm trying out footnotes for my longer diversions. I picked up the technique from alt.sysadmin.recovery and used it quite a bit on FTE back in the day. I think it's less annoying for tangents than dropping a sentence for a line or two and picking it back up. Yes? No? Anyone? Bueller? [3]  (back)

[3] Yes, nesting footnotes is all too common. My Atom feed specifies a base page for each article. When I read this post in Thunderbird, the footnote links launch the post in Firefox instead of scrolling the message. I doubt I can do anything about this. Hrmm...  (back)

Now Playing: Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have It So Much Better
Current Mood: you are getting very sleepy

October 11, 2005

simple pleasures

October 10, 2005

wild turkey stampede

Thanksgiving always reminds me of a sound clip that Tracy sent me a long time ago, that got a lot of play around ED&T after I left. It was a turkey gobbling overlaid dozens of times and it sounded like a wild turkey stampede. I know I missed out on a lot of fun never having shared an office with Tracy, Dan, and Stewart. Wild turkey stampede! That's nothing but fun. So that's how I got from this Thanksgiving Sunday to 1996 in just two moves. Wild turkey stampede.


I'm at my parents' house in Minto for the long weekend. Shelly picked me up in Fredericton on Friday and we went to Swiss Chalet and saw Into the Blue. The HBS reviews are pretty much dead on - the story and the acting were lame, the ocean cinematography was gorgeous, Jessica Alba has a fantastic body, fullstop. Spent some more time on a D&D module I've been adapting to run for some friends, finally gave up and settled on a plan B. Did a bunch of Sudoku puzzles. Played some Wizard with the parents. Had a turkey supper which was <SPAN STYLE="ACCENT: French taunter">very nice!</SPAN> Man, I'm a geek. This may be the geekiest paragraph ever written on ye old blog.

Johnny Five was my personal patron saint of rock and roll this week, loaning me the new Franz Ferdinand, the new Sigur Rós, and also the Frontier Index album he picked up at the Sadies show last week. All very nice. (French taunting is of course implied.)

Fiona Apple's third album, Extraordinary Machine, finally got an official release last week and it's #1 on iTunes. Her web site is streaming the whole record, which is très cool. The eleven tracks that were leaked this spring are all there in one form or another, with one new track. When I talked about the album in March, I noted that it was taking a while to get used to, as her stuff usually does. Well, I really fell in love with it. Those tracks in that order feel like Extraordinary Machine to me. The arrangements on the official release just aren't doing anything for me yet. They leave me wanting the "original" which is, fortunately for me, on my iPod anyway. I'll keep trying.

Haven't been playing much poker lately. In theory we have a home game scheduled for the 21st, if only everyone is allowed to come out and play. Here's hoping. Not sure if more PokerStars will help or hinder after the Tim/Marius debacle. :)

Still plugging away with Ultimus at work. What doesn't kill me can only make me stronger, right? Or weak as a sack of kittens. Something like that.

Go read about Sealand - a case of truth being stranger than fiction. I think John's going to write a concept album about it.

I love Firefox tabs. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I don't know where they've been all my life.

Wild turkey stampede? That's gold, Jerry, gold!

Now Playing: Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
Current Mood: rapidly sleepier