personal comments edit

How quickly would the pledge be altered if it ended “one nation under Allah” or “one nation under Buddah”?

AP - Not long after the Supreme Court came to order Wednesday with the invocation, “God save the United States and this honorable court,” the justices were deep in a wrenching argument over whether millions of public schoolchildren may continue pledging allegiance to one nation “under God.”

[Via Yahoo! News - Top Stories]

personal comments edit

Snowboarding A group of us went snowboarding at Mammoth mountain this past weekend to celebrate Judy’s (Dan’s wife) birthday. I won’t be so uncouth to tell you how old she turned. We stayed in a nice little condo with the 7 of us.

On the slopes for the first day, the weather was brilliant! It was very bright, sunny and hot, probably around 65 degrees or so. Hot enough for girls in bikini tops to snowboard around, while I was stupid enough to be wearing a long sleeve shirt and my jacket, completely burning up.

This was a good trip for me as I improved alot. After tackling a few blue-black diamond (advanced-intermediate) slopes, I was cocky enough to tell my wife that I’ll soon be as good as she is. So she promptly took me up to the summit so we could try the Cornice Bowl, a black diamond.

At the top, a friendly sign forewarned “Black Diamond runs are for EXPERTS only”. At the lip of the bowl, I looked down, and I mean STRAIGHT DOWN, and felt a rising wave of unadulterated, first time watching Nightmare on Elm Street, fear. Needless to say, my wife smoothly made her turns down the slope while I can’t really do justice to what I did. I started off toe-side, trying to plow my way down a bit. Perfecting my deer-in-headlights impression, I was paralyzed for a moment. Standing nearly straight up on my toe-side, yet able to reach straight out and touch the slope (I ride goofy foot), I realized this was steep.

I was not willing to point my board down the slope in order to make a turn. After snowplowing down a bit, I gained some courage and tried a turn, only to be rewarded with a mouth full of snow and a Pete Rose slide for 30 yards. I think I have a long ways before I can mouth off to my wife about how I’m approaching her ability. :)

humor comments edit

Found this on another website. Sorta ties into my earlier rant about Bush’s stance on the whole gay marriage issue:

Lawmakers who use the Bible to justify their opposition to gay marriage ought to be consistent. Here are some other Biblical rules to add to the Bill of Rights :

Marriage shall not impede a man’s right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21)

A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21)

In lieu of marriage, if there are no acceptable men in your town, it is required that you get your dad drunk and have sex with him (even if he had previously offered you up as a sex toy to men young and old), tag-teaming with any sisters you may have. Of course, this rule applies only if you are female. (Gen 19:31-36)


[Via Boing Boing]

humor comments edit

Austin would be so pround. I wonder what the Queen thinks of all this wanton shagging going on? And I thought the British were such a reserved people. Apparently so if we’re talking about reserving a spot in the park for a romp.

A new sex fad called ‘dogging’ is sweeping Britain, and it’s all thanks to the wonders of technology. By Leander Kahney.

[Via Wired News]

My favorite quip from this article:

Dogging is so prevalent, 60 percent of U.K. country parks are affected by it, Byrne’s report estimated.

code, sql comments edit

In general, cursors suck ass! Ok, that’s a bit extreme, but I have a long and ugly history with cursors. Let me diverge here and tell you a true story.

A while ago, a friend of mine recommended me to a company in serious need of senior developers for full-time or contract work. After talking to the dev manager over the phone, he felt my rate was too high, but wanted me to come in anyways. He set his top three developers in the room with me and left as they began to drill me with technical questions.

Now, I don’t mind being asked difficult technical questions in an interview. In fact, I think it’s a necessary part of an interview. But it was clear from the outset that these three hadn’t set their egos aside and they were quite antagonistic. One of them asked me the following question.

Suppose you have a table named tblUser with column named FirstName. On the whiteboard, construct a query that will select all the first names into a single varchar with commas. I asked if I may assume that the list of names will fit in a VARCHAR 8000, to which they replied yes. So I promptly wrote the following on the board.

DECLARE @FirstNames VARCHAR(8000)
SET @FirstNames = '' 
SELECT @FirstNames = FirstNames + ',' + @FirstNames
FROM tblUser

With disdain on their faces, they shook their heads and said no. No! Well of course they did, they were looking for a cursor answer. They wanted to know if I could write a cursor. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job, but after the fact, I couldn’t help sending the manager an email informing him that not only was my answer correct, but it was 1000 times faster than the answer they wrote on the board. Yes, I’m still bitter. ;)

Which brings me back to the point of this post. If you can avoid a cursor solution, by all means do. The following article describes a technique for performing row by row operations without using a cursor. It makes several assumptions about your table, but for the most part, this is very useful.

personal comments edit

Being of mixed heritageI have both bases covered. For now, I can claim my caucasian-ness and reap all the benefits of being the dominant sub-culture. But once minorities surpass caucasians, I can switch to

“You’ve oppressed us too long whitey! It’s your turn!” and claim my asian heritage.

Model Minority my ass! It’s Model Majority now punk!” I just love playing it both ways. ;)

AP - For as long as there has been an America, whites have made up a clear majority. But that will change by 2050 when minority groups will be 49.9 percent of the population, the Census Bureau says.

[Via Yahoo! News - Top Stories]

personal comments edit

Proving the whole 6 degrees of separation thing, I finally received an invitation to Orkut. The thing that struck me was when highlighting a button I noticed this in the status bar:


Ah, now doesn’t that look familiar. I looked up and noticed I was on the page. Definitery an ASP.NET page. Cool.

personal comments edit

We’re meeting the lender today to make the final preparations for the big loan. I thought college was expensive, but this is on a whole ‘nother level. For you out there who don’t live in California, I’m basically buying a small 1000 sq ft 2 bedroom 2.5 bathroom condo townhouse for probably the amount you could buy a mansion in Kentucky, or a four bedroom house in Seattle. This market is crazy, but we’re not ready to leave L.A. just yet. So it’s love it or buy it.

personal comments edit

I can almost smell the smoky embers. Burning Man tickets have already gone on sale. I tried to buy them in the mad rush when they first came online at a discounted price to no avail. Their servers basically decided to go on a vacation with the overload of requests. I had a vision of one of them Japanese subway cars where they have to shove people inside.

This year, I’ll be sure to bring my wife’s iBook (if she’ll let me) to take advantage of the WIFI connection. Yes, they have a WIFI network in the middle of freaking nowhere out on the playa. Very cool.

Hopefully I can convince some of the crew I went with last time to join me this year. Now that I’m buying a place and entering the realms of responsible adult life, this may be the last time for me to go (at least for the next couple decades). I’m looking to have a blast.

personal comments edit

With the news that we are about to be home owners, Kyle’s comment was

Now you are a homeowner. Commence reproduction cycle.

Akumi and I have both agreed we would’t start the baby making aparatus until we have a place. Now that we have a place, we’re not ready to start that cycle just yet. She just recently found her calling and is interested in getting that career off the block.

Pattern Making. Everybody in the L.A. fashion world wants to be a clothing designer. It’s the hip thing to do.

Why yes, I’m an aspiring actor, a budding screenwriter, and on the side I have my own label. Now may I take your order?

Many designers don’t know squat about actually putting clothes together. Every one of them needs pattern makers to take their designs and put them onto paper. Really, it’s just like the being an architect for the fashion world. The designer is really more like a GUI designer, asking for this and that. The pattern maker takes that information and creates a pattern which is analagous to a software specification. That specification can then be used to actually make the clothes in question. Apparently Pattern Makers are in hot demand here.

comments edit

This is a hilarious guide to distinguishing aliens from humans. Here’s an excerpt. Read the rest at

Green blood - Although you won’t always get a chance to see it, Vulcans bleed green blood. Isn’t that crazy? The diversity of life in the universe sometimes astounds me. Green blood… dang!


comments edit

At least this advice worked for us.

In this housing market, it may help to write a personal letter with the offer. Adds a personal touch to the potential 40+ offers the owner might receive. My wife included a picture too. That might of been a bad idea because the picture included me. But since it also included my wife, so we’ll call that a wash.

If you’re ugly, forego the picture.

comments edit

I was thinking about this question after reading an article in a magazine about setting goals. The article had four steps for setting goals, and six steps for meeting them. Included were your usual tips for visualizing your goal, writing it down, and making a plan of action to meet the goal.

The article made a good point to imagine how meeting the goal will make you feel. Will it make you happier? The article then went into a discourse on me… or rather dreamers. Those people who sit around dreaming about meeting goals, but not doing anything about it.

So that got me thinking. I’m very good at thinking about what I would do if I ever won the lottery. But what would I REALLY do? I can’t constantly travel, backpack, mountain bike, party, play soccer for the rest of my life (but I’m sure I could make a good faith effort).

Here are the things that came to mind:

  • Travel big time
  • Go on outdoor adventures and backpacking trips
  • Buy a nice house
  • Buy a really nice car
  • Get in shape via a personal trainer
  • Eat healthy with a cook/dietician
  • Read a lot of books
  • Work on open source projects and write lots of interesting code
  • Learn to produce music on the computer
  • Learn photography
  • Live up to my name through Philanthropy

And the list goes on and on. The point of this excercise is to ask myself, if these are the things that would make me happy, what’s stopping me from doing them right now? The answer is that nothing is stopping me. I don’t need to wait to win the lottery (which will happen I tell you!). In fact, I’m already doing all these things to one degree or another.

Granted, I have a lot less time and resources to accomplish these things. Since I have to pay the bills with a J-O-B (and since I have a nasty habit of needing 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night), I can only devote a small portion of my time to Philanthropy (because you knew that’s what I do in my spare time, didn’t you. Didn’t you?). Thus I have to settle for a less nice house, a less nice car, less time to go to the gym, etc…

Now before you go off thinking “What a freakin’ whiner!”, I’m not writing this as a “woe is me” diatribe. My point is that I am very fortunate to live in a time and place where I can meet all my goals (though not as fully as I may wish) without winning the lottery or selling my firstborn. But in order to do that in a more fulfilling manner, it’s important to reflect on what more specifically are my goals and why would they bring me fulfillment and then make a plan.

So what would YOU do if you won the lottery? Discuss amongst yourselves and comment!

comments edit

I’ve seen the future and it is good. Adam Kinney has a demo Rss Aggregator for Longhorn at his site, It’s very barebones right now, but you can just see the potential for how beautiful this will and does look. What struck me was how nice the text of a blog entry looked in the text window. Nice work adam!