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SERIUOSLY COOL
Wed Apr 14 01:04:07 2004 | Prev | Next

Thanks to tara from www.burningpaper.net, I have found this really cool site where you can make a font from your own handwriting. So I did it, and its really scary. Because it REALLY does look like your handwriting. I have also added a new feature to ONE of the themes for this site where you can see my own writing...well in my own writing. Just change the font type on the side. Your selection is saved in a cookie as well. It turns out that it did not work the first time (I tried with a simple ttf file, but that did not work), but it should work now. (again though, I think that it only works on IE since the technology was built by Microsoft and is called WEFT).

I have thought of some more features that I want to add on the site. I want to add the ability to choose which sheme is seen. I also want to customize the schemes more because of this, but I am not the best at graphics, and I dont have much time (see last entry) so I dont know when this will be done.

I have also found a bug on my site as well. Apparently whenever there is an image in the entry, then the width of the entry goes past the width of the screen. I have no idea though why it does this, and did not immediately have the time to figure it out. Anyways...as a workaround, you can click on the permalink and it should open a new window with the width correct.

J.P.

TrackBacks referenced:
http://www.burningpaper.net/releast/mt-tb.cgi/2082
Posted by: j.p.

Who, What, Where, and how much?
Wed Apr 14 00:04:30 2004 | Prev | Next

How do people do it, I really dont understand. How in the world do people manage to juggle so many things in their life. I have said here before that I find that sometimes I really like being under a deadline and that it causes me to focus and perform well. Well, over the last several weeks since I had again been under lots of pressure (for reasons I am not allowed to comment on), I have realized that I needed to clarify my statement. That is that I like being under the pressure of a deadline when it is clear that it is possible to make that deadline AND the goals for the deadline are well defined and well understood. When goals are not clear and the ammount of work is seriously WAY too much for one person to finish, then I am not a happy camper and deadlines are not my friend in this case. I just thought that I should make that clear upfront since I have been thinking a lot about that statement that I had made a while ago and wondering what could have changed so much since I wrote that since I was clearly under the pressure of a deadline again, but clearly not feeling the same way about it in fact this one was just SO overbearing that it was just depressing.

But that is not all, there is more. Back to my first statement in this entry. How to people juggle so much in their lives? I mean seriously, I have trouble just keeping up with Work, friends, home, and everything else that fills in the cracks (like bills, taxes, registration, things to send in the mail, any other various errand or item needed for some secondary purpose) that keeping up with everything else that I do (and WANT to do, just seems impossible). I remember that I commented on this before (although it was not this exactly, I am finding that the general problem is still the same), but I think that after just being in the same scenario for so long, my views have changed.

Usually my life worked like this: I would take on a lot of work. I mean I would really sign up to do a lot. Some things would enevitably suffer because of this, but I would usually still be able to deal with them, but just at a lower quality or longer time period than I had planned. Then I would eventually finish everything up and work my way back to the basics (being Work, sleep, nourishment, friends, and leisure.....things which most people can not live without), and it would not be long before I was tackling many other things, just because I can`t sit still for too long without wanting to do something else.

But lately, I have a larger problem. My world no longer works like this anymore. In fact work provides the majority of these problems, but I have found that the problem is exactly the same for me out of work as well. The problem is that now I have SO many things to do or to accomplish that simply trying to remember what all of those things are as well as giving status (or lack thereof) on all of those things tends to take up most of my time. And the rest of the time is taken up with what little time and energy which I have to actually accomplish things (note that this is true for work as well as home). In fact, I am sure that there are many things that I just dont remember simply because the rate of new things that I have to do is so high that its faster than what I can remember (this is a problem for me because I have never been able to really use an organizer or pocketpc or really anything other than my brain to keep track of things). So now that I spend all my time in this damage control / catch-up type mode, I try to spend a little time all of the time focusing on what I can do to get myself out of this mess. (...what I was thinking about when I started writing this.) And I really dont know the answer right now. I mean, I can barely try to remember all of the things I am in the middle of trying to get accomplished. Since I can`t use work examples, here are some home examples: I had a list of upgrades I wanted to write for this site, I need to fix the rss feeds from this site since they are written in true RSS form (which does not include a date/time so many aggregators have problems with this), I am not sure if I will ever be able to catch up with all of the topics that I wanted to write about (I am not even sure what they were or how many there were any more, they are all just written in random text files and post-it notes, and anything I could write on...), I am not sure how much time I can continue to spend working on the CarPC (since this sucked up quite a bit of this weekend for instance), I am not sure how much time I will be able to spend riding the motorcycle (this this too sucked up much time this weekend.....it was nice out (86 degrees) here this weekend), I am not sure when I will be able to put the seadoo in the water this year (remember that last weekend I re-discovered how much I like being out on the lake), I still need to finish some of the finishing touches on the living room and entertainment center, I am still involved in (but only in body, not really in spirit) a committee for my Home Owners Association, I would like to keep spending time with my friends somewhere in here as well, I need to get some more sleep (the 4-6 hours a night that I have been getting for a few weeks now is not cutting it. I was getting 8 hours a night for a week or two, and that felt good, but I did not get much accomplished then either, so I am not sure of the tradeoff), and these are only the things on my mind right NOW (and that I am willing to mention here). There are many many more things that I would like to accomplish, many of them at work (more than I have mentioned above for sure), and even some more at home that I did not mention.

So again, I re-iterate: How in the world to people manage everything that goes on in life. I thought that I was doing such a good job until things stopped becoming FIFO (first-in first-out, refrence to a queuing model in computers) and start becomming AINO (All-in No-out, something I just made up...). I think that I may need to perform some hard core triage (triage == deciding what should be cut) soon and start either putting things off indefinitely till I get free cycles or just flat out dropping certain plans. Already one of these items is Tivo. I have not been watching much tivo lately (maybe an average of one show a night now), and when I watch, I have it on in the background while doing something else as to not completely waste that time. Luckily there has not been as many new shows on lately in my season pass list (I think I have 30-40 shows or so in my season pass list), so I have not had to watch much (if I do not watch or delete at a certain rate (about 2-3 days), then new shows will start recording shows that I have not seen yet, and that is not good because tivo overwrites by time and not by how I have ranked the show).

Ok, well back to trying to bring down this list of things that I need to do more. Hopefully things will level off at some point and I can make it back to a state where I feel in control of everything which is going on.

J.P.

Posted by: j.p.

The love and hate of MapPoint automation
Fri Apr 9 01:10:57 2004 | Prev | Next

Well, I both love and hate mappoint automation. So far its been good to me, but I already know there are things I want to do that it can not do.

Example:
I do a lot of exploratory driving and riding. Just to see places take pictures...say that I have been somewhere.

Desire:
I would like to record where I have been.

Problem:
Mappoint as an application only has the option to TELL you where to go, rather than where you have been.

Solution:
Write a C# app using the MapPoint control which can easily create routes based on where you click (the problem in the application is that while this is possible, it wants to rearrange the points for you. In my app they are in the correct order.

Product:
A Map outlining a journey based on points along the way...


Future Problems:
Well, I found out that the mappoint control does not support reading GPS devices...at all. Apparently it has something to do with licensing and legal stuff, but thats annoying since the application supports it fine. I am not there yet though, but that would have made a nice addition to this app.


I love how easy it was to prototype this in C#. This all only took about 2 hours or so to complete.

On other fronts, there are MORE problems with the place I bought memory from...they sent another wrong (even more wrong) part, and I have to send it back. I am not liking all the effort I have to put into this to fix their mistakes....but I will talk more on that later. For now its bed time.

J.P.

Posted by: j.p.

Average Joe confounds again....and other crazy stories
Wed Apr 7 02:16:56 2004 | Prev | Next

OK, so as you may have guessed by now, I have been watching all of the various Average Joe Episodes. Today, I just caught the final episode of "Adam Returns" (I had it on tivo from Monday). Well, apparently stupid decisions are not limited to the Women (refs: entry1 and entry 2), but this time the tables were turned and the Man made a crappy decision as well. I was used to it this time. In my previous entries I was pretty upset about it and not happy that the "non-average" guy was picked in each case (although Adam is not really that average). This time I am used to it. I have realized a few things. The first is that fame and attention changes things. I have realized that the whole fact that this guy was on the show before and now is on again as the main star DOES change things and changes who he is and his decisions....(ahem...see Heisenberg). Also its TV, so I would not put it past the producers to have some part in the final decision as well.

Well this time around though, the person that I really liked from the very begining (both because I thought that she was the most "real" person there and because I really liked the things she said about herself) was one of the final two. AND of course once again the person that WAS chosen in the end was one of the people that I thought for sure would NOT be chosen because of a number of reasons. I guess that means that I would either not make an interesting contestant on the show, or that they pick the show contestants because they know this can happen. Well, life goes on and another bad choice is made by a Average Joe person. Nothing is new.

On a side note, I stumbled across my favorite contestant`s web page and sent her a short email. Turns out that she lost her job by being on the show.

Anyways...on to other information...

This weekend was fun. Friday night I went out to a nice restaurant for dinner then to bowling downtown. Saturday I went to the Passport to Woodinville weekend, and got to visit 12 different wineries. This was my favorite winery, while this (see: LATE HARVEST SAUVIGNON BLANC) was my favorite wine. Afterwards, I got to go out on the lake for the first time this year. Wooo! I was reminded how much I like being out on the water. I have some pictures from both of these events, but have not posted them yet, I will in the next few days.

Sunday was a day for riding and driving. I started the day with a 70 mile or so ride in the mountains, and then later that day did some exploring in the jeep along the northeast end of Lake Washington. And, finally doing more exploring around Woodinville at the end of the day. This totaled 187 miles for the day total. Whew! I have pictures of this too which I will post soon.

Also, I got the box for the memory of the carpc.....THEY SENT THE WRONG ITEM AGAIN. They send an SD card this time....not even pc100 memory. I have emailed them immediately (as I did before)...but as before...I have gotten no response. I will not buy from them again. More on this later...bed time.

J.P.

Posted by: j.p.

Of great Halls and Galleries
Sun Mar 28 15:32:54 2004 | Prev | Next

Well, I finally did it, I went to http://www.bonusprint.com and ordered some prints for pictures that I had taken. I can not order very big ones, I am not exactly happy about that (since some of these I have high quality sources for), but at this point, I dont really care, I wanted to hang some of the pictures I had taken. Here are the ones that I ordered: (all but one link to the album where they are stored) (also note some may have been cropped)




I think some of the next candidates for getting printed are in here. But then again, I have thousands of pictures that are on various machines which I STILL have not optimized and put on the website. So there could be better ones around.





J.P.

Posted by: j.p.

Wild Aspirations and Complications of a spotted mind...
Mon Mar 22 10:16:12 2004 | Prev | Next

OK, Itís that time again. Itís the time where I start questioning whether I am an INTP (1 or 2) or an INFP (1 or 2). Because it seems that I go back and forth quite often. You can almost tell just by reading my blog what phase I am in. I should really write a better interface for accessing archived entries. Even I have trouble finding much from the archives unless I use the search tool. Any ideas?

To elaborate more, all day all I have really wanted to do is sit around and think about things and write about even more than what I was able to think about. This yields an incredibly vicious circle. I have covered this in the past as well. This is that I can think a whole lot faster than I could ever type, and I type faster that I could physically write, and depending on how well I am typing (as that changes constantly), I can even type faster than I could talk. This basically means that this is the fastest medium for me to get the word out and its still not fast enough for me to really say what I want to in the right way. I think that this is one reason that I really like taking pictures. Sometimes the picture can say something much better than I ever would, yet it took so little time to produce. However, sometimes a picture is just not enough, and I want to be much more articulate with my words. This is where typing comes in because I can get down to the extreme details if I want to. But what happens if you are writing about something, or even worse WANT to write about something and the words just donít come to you? I seem to experience this more and more often. Quite often itís a song that will embody what I want to say, or as I mentioned a photo. Yet sometimes nothing seems to come out proper. Even though I can see a photo in my mind, it does not always come out that way in the end. Some of my photos come out the way that I want them too, but still most of the time, what I was actually seeing in the lens is not what was captured in the image. And sometimes when listening to the same song again, it just does not have the same ďtoneĒ to it, or does not instill the same feelings that it did the first time. This is where I feel I have been today. I feel that I want to write and write and write about something, yet I donít really have to words to express myself with. So instead, I am trying to use my creative energies to explain the problem I am having through writing.

I am really not sure what makes me like this. I know that quite often feelings are my enemy and I am an INTP to the core focusing only on facts, figures, math and numbers. Yet now I want to explore them and contemplate them and to use them to understand myself better. I think the more and more that I try to understand this state, the more that it seems that something is missing. I am not sure what it is though. Many of you that know me know that I tend to buy a lot of stuff. Donít get me wrong, its cool stuff, but sometimes I just wonder if its me trying to compensate for something else thatís missing. How do I know that or not though? How do I tell what it is that fills the emptiness? What do I change? This is a problem for me too since I am not much of a fan of change. I think that I can understand that change is good, but really I have a whole different outlook on it. I try to understand the cost to benefit ratio in change before changes are made for change sake. Why should I do something differently tomorrow that was working fine today? Well that seems to make perfect sense, but what if there is just one thing, or a few things that I could change that would make life so much better? What would they be? How do I know what they are so that I know that I should change them? How do I ensure that I do not change something that should not be changed to begin with? How do I know what I am doing that really is working out well for me? These are the questions and problems that I often have with the concept of change, and these are the things that constantly race through my head as well. I am always thinking through whatifs and other various scenarios. My life used to be full of these actually, and it took a lot of time and effort to run through all of the various scenarios, but lately I have noticed how much simpler things are that this does not happen much anymore. This of course has its good side and its bad. The good side meaning that there is not as much time wasted on thinking of pointless outcomes, the bad side being that there are not as many (or any) better outcomes to contemplate based on small changes. Does this make any sense? It does in my mind, but who knows what it is like to parse it all in on the other side.

Bottom line is that I think I am missing out on something in life. I think I know what it is, but I am not sure, and the problem is that it is something that I will probably have to endure the most change in order to realize and appreciate. Now you understand the predicament (and hopefully the previous paragraphs of babbling), do I spend all the energy to change just in the hope of making things better? Is the cost worth the reward? As time goes on, the more and more that I think about it, I think that the reward gets higher as the cost stays the same.

Gretchen first showed this to me, but Scoble commented on it as well. The Seattle Times had an article this weekend about women that were looking for Microsoft men. Heh, I think that it then proceeded to mention all three of them as well. I am sure that the number is not exactly that drastic, but I am really not sure that this warranted a story in the paper. I know why it is there. It gets people talking. It gets people to read the paper. But really, lets look at a few things shall we? 1. How many single men OR women (I want to keep this fair) do you know that look for high stressed, over working, introverted computer geeks that know more about a particular area of technology than they know about anything else and probably communicate better in languages that were designed not for communicating with humans, but for communicating with machines? That really does not make much sense. Ah, but what if you look at it this way? 2. Sure who would not want to be in a relationship with someone who has a well paying steady job, but at the same time, how many are looking for only part 2 without part1? This is what I see as more likely. Men and women that seek the non-technical, non-geeky men and women that work here. Well, thatís just fine and dandy. Way to paint the picture for everyone that MS men and women can easily find relationships. Way to misinform all those out there that kust donít know any better. Well here is something else to think about. Think of how many people work here. (multiple tens of thousands right?) Now think about how many of them are single. (I donít know, but even at what I would say is a conservative estimate would be 3000?) Somehow, I donít even see there being 3000 singles in seattle willing to date a MS employee, let alone seek them out. I never like it when journalists paint pictures like this in peoples mind. Sure itís amusing, but its not fair to anyone, not those that know better, and certainly not those that donít. Oh, and.

Speaking of Gretchen, her blog has really taken off lately. There are just tons of comments and tons of mentions all over the place as well; now its time to see if Gretchen and Zoe and beat the statistics and keep up the great work. I sure hope they can.

Here are a few tests that I took today. The first one was shocking to me because I think this is seriously the most hard core nerd test I have ever taken. Normally, I score high on these, but in this case, I did not do so well. I think that for many of them, the questions are just not of my generation. For others, there is just too much detail I was not familiar with. But seriouslyÖ.you try it out, and see what I mean:
38.095238095238095% of me is a huge nerd! How about you?
(via sunnydev)

This one is completely pointless and utterly meaningless, but it was SO funny that I had to include it:
Caveman!
Nggghhaahhh!
(via revolving duck)

Also, I posted a pretty long comment to one of my friend`s blog about how we might solve the problem of having to re-type information everytime we sign up with a new service. Now all I need is someone to write it....since I dont have the time.

OK, so this last part of the entry held up me posting until the morning. I had the rest of the article ready last night around midnight, but it seems that my cable internet went out AGAIN for more than an hour again. I don`t know exactly when it came back up, but I am seriously getting sick of this. I am also sick of calling comcast about it, because everytime they play dumb, and after trying to blame it on me, and me showing them why its not my fault, they fall back to the "all I can do is send someone out in a few days" response. WORTHLESS! COMPLETELY WORTHLESS! They can`t tell whether they are working on the line since the engineering department does not have to tell anyone when working on the line. They dont have to log why connections go down, and when I call and say I have problems, they can say they see my connection going up and down, but never looked into it, and have no idea why. All they can do is send someone out. Then when they DO show up, they have no idea whats going on, and I have to explain it all to them again, only to have them say everything that they person on the phone did. Yup, looks fine now, yup, looks like its been going up and down, I don`t know why though, and everything is working fine now. SERIOUSLY PEOPLE, your company sucks at knowing whats going on. The pattern that this follows suggests that its not random. Why would it go down EXACTLY at midnight. And why will it sometimes go down just for a few minutes and come back? It seems to me that they are working on the line. But if there was a way for me to know that (or a way for me to protest and request that they only shut down the line once a year or so), then that would make sense wouldn`t it.

Also, some of you may have noticed that my site went down yesterday afternoon for a while. Well, I dont have time to go into detail now (blame comcast), but basically one of the last times that I copied files to a new hard drive, I was lame and forgot to setup the complicated system of ACLs that I have on the file system on one of my hard drives. This is important of course because I use a lot of perl on my site, and perl scripts are notorious for having holes in them. So, I shut down a while so I could patch a few holes both in file system acls (things are so tight now....it took forever to find the minimum set) as well as one of the perl scripts I had which apparently had a known exploit. I have a better story for later, but I will have to cover it some other time. While I was at it, I locked down the IIS and SQL ACLs as well.

J.P.

TrackBacks referenced:
http://blogs.msdn.com/jobsblog/archive/2004/03/20/93263.aspx
http://blogs.msdn.com/jledgard/archive/2004/03/20/93287.aspx
Posted by: j.p.





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