Friday, February 27, 2004

Quick observation

If you don't get much sleep the night before, and you have a lot of busy work to do in the morning, A Quad (4 shoots of espresso) White Chocolate Moca is the only way to go. I just got three hours worth of work done in an hour. On the flipside, I am hoping that I will be able to blink again fairly soon.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

A musical interlude

How about a little break from all of the technical mumbo jumbo that I talk about all of the time? How about music? I was talking about music with a friend tonight on the train home. We were talking about what we were each listening to, and what we liked or didn't like about each band or artist. Then we got on the subject of music that we didn't like.

Interesting enough for me, it is music that is over produced. Music that feels like it has been overcrafted by the A and R man at the record company. For example any song where the band or artist has their name in the song more then two times, definitely out. If all of the human qualities are carefully edited out of the track, thah is another one that is out. The other thing that I don't like is the band in their songs, or interviews telling me that they are hip and that I should listen to them. That's not how It works, they get to play the music and we as fans get to tell them if they are hip. Of if they shouldn't quit their day jobs.

I listen to a fairly wide variety of music. Techno to Jazz, Singer Song writer to Big Band. And some of my favor music has little mistakes in it. It makes it human. When the singer stands back to take a breath and you hear it. The sounds of the guitars fretting the strings as he moves his hands up the neck of the guitar. The drummer slowing down just enough to notice at the end of a long set. I like these things in a recording. I think that some people have gotten away from the true meaning of a album or a recording. It to me was to represent the live peformance, that you were either present at, or wished you were. Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying that all bands should peform each song exactly as it is on the album. I mean almost the opposite. The albums should have a flow, and a freedom that a live concert has. The freedom leave those little mistakes in.

So when I got home, I was in the mood to listen to some Jazz. So I grabbed my copy of Blue Miles, Miles Davis. This is an amazing album. I forgot how good it really is. This album isn't the kind of Jazz that has musical runs for the sake of the musicians. Nothing like that, you can tell, that Miles felt that each note was valuable and that runs like that was wasting a commodite of music. Each song is a master piece in Jazz. The best way I can describe it is, the he plays these very logically musical phrases, and them builds on them, and lets them build on themselves. Each note feels handcrafted. When he plays it, you completely expect it to be there. Which is simply stunning. Think about the songs that you add an extra note to, or leave one off when you hum or sing. That is because something about that note didn't make sent to you. Your mind says this should be added or this should be removed. There isn't any of that with this album. Every note needs to be exactly where it is. It is quite amazing.

Something about music that I have always loved is that it can be completely logical and completely emotional all at the same time. That the music has this structure yet in our minds we link a song to a time, place, feelings, people. There is something so strong in that.

So what is your favorite thing about music?

Quote of the Day

<quote source="DuckSoup">you are consumed with thoughts of ASP.boring </quote> Okay DuckSoup I will try (I make no promises) to not go more than two entries in arow about Programming. Hummm I may have to start pickup the news paper again, or I can use Google News.

A little .Net issue reminder

Ed asked me if I had used hidden field in ASP.NET. I said, "I think so?". So we went to check out the issue. And it is simply this, even if you are using an html control in ASP.NET, if you are going to fill the value of that hidden field from a function or programmatically, the html control needs the attribute runat="server". when you think about it, it makes sense, how else would ASP.NET know that the html control exist. Ah the joys of programming for a stateless protocol

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

things to do at 3:30 AM

I guess I couldn't sleep last night. So at about 3:30am I gave up trying to. Now there are a couple things you can do at 3:30, I mean hey, the 7-11 is open, some of the finest informercials are on at that time. So what would I do? Humm, I think I'ill start studying and creating an XML Schema for our real estate rates at work. Now, I know what you are think, 'hey man, you can't have that kind of fun at the time of the morning, it is illegal or something.' And in all truth it should be, but it isn't.

So I started looking around for some good sites on XML Schema. The first site the showed up on my google search was of course the W3C. They are the people that create most of the standards that are using on the internet link HTML,XML and XHTML. I am thankful they are there, but I have never been able to sucessfully read any of the documentation on their site. So I looked a little more and I found w3school. This was a little more like it, they broke the content in to byte size pieces, and in an hour I had the startings of my first XML Schema.

Monday, February 23, 2004

.Net Rocks and the CMS goes on

So I finally got to hear the .NET Rocks show with Scott Hanselman. Well what can I say, the guy is brilliant. He introduced a concept that was very new to me, but instantly made sense. It's called "Declarative Programming". He talked about writing code that generated the code for you. So you write an XML schema that follows the business logic of the application you are writing. Then you write an engine to render your schema. So now you can change parts of the schema at will, without having to rewrite all of your code. Also you can test sooner and faster. Like I said, this is a new concept to me, but I plan on studying it.

I am still working at putting the content in to the CMS. I have approximately 120 pages of the site in the CMS now. It is looking really good. Now I have to track down all of those pesky orphan pages and give them some structure. Also I think that I am going to rewrite the Site Map page to take advantage of the fact the CMS is so structured. That way I never have to update the Site Map. I can just let the CMS take care of that.

Well, my handy dandy Sony laptop just keeps plugging away. I took it to work today, because I usually do so work on the train or work at home, and needed to sync up with my station at work. Man, am I glad I did, It seems this weekend the power supply or more specifically the power supply fan had felt the need to give up the ghost. The fan still spins, kind of, it sounds terrible and you just know that at any minute that the thing is going to freeze up. So I worked from my laptop today, and left the workstation shut down. That means this little machine has been going for almost 14 hours today. What a great computer. It's hard to believe it is already three years old. This laptop is more reliable then some people I know.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Is that a Peacock in my livingroom or are you just happy to see me

So Friday I didn't have much excitement. I worked from home. I was going to drive in for the interview we had for the eMarketing position, I got about halfway there and my boss (The coolest boss in the whole world ) called and said, 'hey, if you haven't already just turn around and go back home'. And being that I had already been driving an hour and the way traffic was going it was going to be another hour before I got to work. I took his very wise advice. So I had them call me in to the interview and I did my part on the cell phone on the way back home.

Oh, on Friday Scott Hanselman was going to be on .NET Rocks. And I made sure I told everyone at work that would even be remotely interested. So what did I do? I forgot that it was on 9am PT and missed it! D'oh!

Friday night, over at the Folk's playing darts on the new dartboard my brother had just bought for Dad. (It's a really nice one, way to go big-little brother!) So we are joking around and I let something out of my mouth that was sharper and flew truer than the darts. You see Dad has been a city inspector now for about a year and four months. Before he was, we always had this saying about inspectors, but no one had said it since Dad became one. So I did. <quote src=”me”>You know what they say big-little brother, those that don't do, inspect!</quote> So my two brothers, I and my Dad and laughing so hard we are crying. What can I say, it had to be done. Of course Dad has a great sense of humor, and took it great!

Saturday I worked from home, on getting content into the CMS. It's a lot of tedium but in the end it is going to be a good thing. Saturday night we went to my Folks house, for my Cousin's anniversary dinner. What can I say never a dull moment at the Folks'.

Today was a nice day, this afternoon My Beautiful Wife and I where just relaxing and decided to go to the movies. We saw “Something's Gotta Give”. It is the second time we've seen it and we laughed harder than the first time! It's a great movie and very funny, however it is not made for the 18-35 year old demographic. You need a little life experience to get how funny this movie is.

Anyhow so we come home and what do I see in my living room? A peacock! No, I am not talking about the terrible sunday night lineup on NBC, I mean a real life, bird brain, crapping on the carpet peacock! I have to admit this took me back a moment. It isn't everyday that you walk into your living room and see live poultry.

It seems that my step-daughter's friend found it and brought it over for us to see. I don't like birds, I really don't! All I can say is being 10 years old and watching Alfred Hitchcock's “The Birds” at 2am will scar anyone for life, okay! So they are telling me what the thing eats (mind you there is a flippin' peacock in my living room!) and so I ask how it feels about garlic. The look at me with a puzzled look and I suggested that it would be best served with garlic and walked out of the room.