Thursday, June 02, 2005

Blog Moved

This blog has been moved to

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Scoring for pride

In moving from England to the USA I have encountered many cultural differences that have taken some time to adapt to. In particular, the two countries apparently have absolutely no overlap in the sporting events that they enjoy watching. Growing up in England I was indoctrinated into watching sports such as football(1), tennis, cricket and F1 grand prix racing.

As part of my cultural transformation, I attended my first ice hockey game on New Year's Eve courtesy of a good friend at work (Travis you are the man!). We had a lot of fun and, in keeping with the American sporting tradition, I learned that hockey (the prefix 'ice' is superfluous in the US) is a pleasingly violent mix of mangling your opponents into the perspex guard plates that surround the rink and when that fails simply throwing down gloves and stick and beating the living snot out of them with your bare hands.

The Portland WinterHawks (our side) were playing the Seattle ThunderBirds, and although Seattle were clearly ahead in the 'goal scoring' objective of the game, the Hawks were more than making up the score by excelling in the 'beat the shit out of them' objective. We had a lot of fun and even though Seattle were winning 3-0 in the final 10 minutes, the Hawks first scored a goal for pride and then successfully won a five-man brawl for the big finish.

1. Real football (a.k.a soccer), in which the objective actually involves kicking the ball with your feet as opposed to 'American Football' where you throw a rugby ball as far as you can down a field while wearing full platemail armor and then run as fast as you can at someone who is nowhere near the ball and try to smash them into the ground.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Christmas 2004

Tiffany and I had a fantastic Christmas this year. Unfortunately, due to pilot error with our digital camera, I will not be able to post pictures for a little while until we get a new scanner. I have gloss print photos from Christmas but nothing digital and our scanner is currently on the blink.

It was a nice and quiet two-seater Christmas, which I personally enjoy far more than celebrating with crowds. Tiffany and I both did very well with the presents we received, and I hope that people receiving gifts from us felt the same way. DVD movies were the order of the day, with over 30 hours of watchable material being given and received. I was pleased with my new sword, Myst IV, and a radio-controlled truck among other things. Tiffany opened many new toys and books as well as the somewhat intangible, but nonetheless pleasurable, massage appointment. Surprise of the day went to an HP photo printer received from Tiffany's parents. A most welcome gift that has already received much usage.

The meal was fantastic, the turkey tender, and the jacket potates well cooked. Liberal usage of Christmas cheer, a log fire, and blinking lights around the tree rounded out the entourage.

Merry Christmas to all & a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Requirements & Specification

Quick reference to a lesson we all should heed about requirements, specifications, and the danger of making assumptions:
(click this link or the title of the post)

Monday, December 27, 2004

Prease Flasten Your Sleat Bert

As though it were of no concern to the well-being of other fragile minds, a document was circulated for review amongst myself and several work colleagues that was harder to read than an olde english text translated by a non-engligh speaker into pig-latin and then encoded into base-64. I believe that peer-reviews are among the most valuable of tasks that can be performed at work, especially in software development. However, when the first hour of the review consists of nothing but untangling webs of lexical confusion, the value of the process is utterly lost. The actual content of a document cannot be reviewed until the rot and decay of partial sentences, inconsistent references, and calamitous word-choice have been purged. Our poor reviewer does not now have the energy, inclination, or required sanity to actually perform the crux of their task. The whole process begins to feel like climbing a steep mountain of sludge, carrying a backpack full of steel anvils while angry gnomes throws rocks down upon your head.

So I ask that we all just take a few moments before distributing our disjointed excerpts and try to collect them together into something more worthy of review. At the least, try reading the document ourselves just once before hitting 'Send'.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Scion Pictures

I have (finally) got some pictures of Tiffany's new car ready to post. It had just stopped raining when I took these shots, and I was on my way to work (hence the Jeep with the open door) so no submitting remarks for photographic quality.

Here are the shots of Tiffany's new Scion XB:

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Click for larger image

Friday, November 26, 2004

McMinnville Air Museum

Today we visited the McMinnville air museum and, although I visited only 3 months ago, there was still more than enough material and interesting things to see that I could happily spend another 5 hours there and still not see everything that they have.

Tiffany and I currently have visitors with us for the Thanksgiving holidays, and so there were seven of us that travelled to see the Spruce Goose ( today. There was a little confusion with waiting for the second vehicle to arrive, my wife claiming that it was because I was "speeding away" from them, the truth being more that they were all talking and not paying attention to directions! We simply got a few coffees and sodas and waited for them to arrive.

Several cell-phone calls later, and a few laughs, we were on our way into the museum. The focal point of the area is the "spruce goose" itself, spanning almost the entire museum in both directions. However, the WWII planes are the area that I spend the most time wandering around.

The photos below are pretty dark, because there was not enough light in the museum and the flash was ineffective at those ranges. I have tried to correct the brightness and contrast levels to make them more visible. Click for larger pictures.

Click for a larger image.

Click for a larger image.

Click for a larger image.

Click for a larger image.