Monday, March 31, 2008

Interesting laws.

I just learned that it is illegal to destroy your own property during the heat of an argument. It is considered domestic violence. I guess that I will no long be able to hit my pillow when I am frustrated at the computer. However, if you are drunk, you can burn, destroy or shot with a fire arm, any of the property that you own. I just find this ironically funny.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


iHop = an Apple pogo stick

What I wish they made

For the past week, Heather and I have been going to the gym more. Well, more Heather than me at the moment. Each time we go, she and I both take a music player. I take my Archos Gmini 120 that I purchased back in 2004, and she uses her smart phone. Now, when I use my mp3 player, I put it in my pockets because I have caught the headphone cord to many times and dropped it on the phone, but Heather does not have the luxury of pockets. Every time that she has gone, she has done just this, and with her phone being around 300 dollars, I cringe every time it hits the floor. This is probably due more to the fact that I dropped her first phone on the carpet in our old places, and it cracked the screen. So to prevent us from having to have the phone repaired one of these times that we are not lucky, we ordered her a smaller, cheaper mp3 player for her. It was a SanDisk Sansa e280, a 8 GB storage device for around 75 dollars. Much cheaper than her phone, even with the insurance plan.

As we were looking around, I was thinking to myself that I listen to more lately than I do mp3s, because I can stream it at work and customize the station based on the mood that I am in that day. Also, with the Timbers having open Wi-Fi in the office/gym, I wish that I could buy a player that had a built in Wi-Fi so I could stream my Pandora station while I was at the gym. Unfortunately, the only devices that I know of with the flash player and the wi-fi are smart phones or the iPhone. Now, if the iPod touch could do this...that might be a reason for me to actually start thinking about owning an Apple product. Besides that, I wouldn't touch the Touch with a 10' USB cable.

I have also been thinking about getting a new player because the Archos is nice, but it is just a bit to big for what I am needing. Don't get me wrong, I have loved this player since I got it, but when you are lifting and doing exercise, a device the size of a laptop battery is not what I want in my pocket. If I was to go with a new player, I would really love to find a way to "time shift" Pandora, or record what is played (streamed) down to mp3 files that I could take it with me on the player. I guess until I can find a way to do this, I will just have to start looking at other ways to get my music.

Friday, March 21, 2008

It is always a good day when...

You know that it is a good day when you get an email that start with the following, "Alan was correct when he speculated earlier that TreeView.TopNode may not be the right member to use"

I really feel that the work that I have done in the last week has started to earn me a bit more respect from my fellow coworkers. I have been wondering if they felt that I was knowledgeable program for a while, and I think this email just shows that they do listen to the opinions and suggestions that I give. Ian has started giving me more UI programming tasks since I have proved that I could do a well designed one last Wednesday, and help solve several of the issue that we were having in the filter Tree system. I will have to see where things go from here.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Night out with new friends

Alina Lines it up

So tonight, Heather and I went out with some new friends. Their names are Alina and Joe, and Heather meet them, as she meets 90% of our friends, at work. She tends to meet most of our friends as they tour the complex that she is currently working at, and by the end of the tour they have a new home, and we have new friends. Now granted, it is against the complex's rules that she be friends with residents, so it is a good thing that starting yesterday, she only has a week left.

Well, seeing how both Alina and Joe shot pool, we went out to Side Lines in Factoria for a couple of quick games on the quarter tables. I am very surprised about how well I am still playing the game despite the fact that I have not picked up my cue in more than 2 years. Part of me really wants to try to find a good set of friends that play on a regular basis, or join a league. I miss the game so much.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Every programmer does it.

I think that every programmer, who has been in the field for more than 3 years, spends 2/3 of their day playing games or surfing the web, and the other 1/3 of their day actually programming. Now you might be asking yourself, "Why?" Well, I feel it has to do with the fact that if we didn't we would burn out of minds in the first 3 months were are on the job. If I am really working on a project and focus on it for more than 4 - 5 hours, I start to develop a terrible headache. At that point, I am useless for the rest of the day as far as anything. It is like running your car engine's rpms in the red. For a short amount of time, it won't hurt the car at all, but the more time that it spends in that state, things start to break down. Either your car will start to overheat, break a bolt, or just blow up your engine depending on the amount of time and how hard you push it. The same goes for the mind of the programmer. To keep our brilliant ideas flowing from our brains, we have to find time to idle our brains which tends to be done with the internet or games.

For me, I find that my photography is the gear shift that I need. It is not uncommon for me to spend the first hour of my day catching up on the photography forums, looking around Flickr, or reading other photography blogs. The rest of the day is then a mixture of this and actual work. And it is not just me, either. I look around at the other programmers here in the office, and 6 out of 10 times, they are also either playing flash games, browsing forums, or just listening to music. We don't just do this because we can, but because we have to.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Spark of Creativity


This weekend, Terence from the Seattle Flickr group held a macro class at the Redmond City Library. He had rented several macro lenses for people from to work on both the Canon and Nikon bodies. Due to some issues with how the group sets up meetings, his class did not fill up until the last week, so when he went to rent the lenses, they were out of stock. However, the owner of made a deal with him, in that he would order more lenses, and have them dropped shipped to Terence’s house. If a company is willing to do this for a customer, that is company that I would do more business with.

Anyway, one of the objects that were brought in was this spark plug. I though it would be a really interesting photo to have the spark plug with a black background, and then Photoshop'd the electric spark into the image. I told my idea to Terence, and he said that I would be able to do it with a flash. He let me use his PocketWizards and an off camera flash, told me how I should set up the camera to get the effect that I wanted, and taught me why it was going to have that effect. I think this is the best out of the series. Thanks Terence for the help and the knowledge that is probably going to jump start me into using off camera flash more in my photos.

All roads lead to Rome

All Roads lead to Rome