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VSarkiss (704)

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I haven't really taken the time to set this up, but you can look at my home node [] on Perl Monks.

Journal of VSarkiss (704)

Friday December 08, 2006
11:04 AM

Wii mostly available?

Yesterday as I was glancing thru the local newspaper, I looked at the gift guide. The games reviewer (scroll down to "Pete Metzger") recommends the Wii, and adds:

Nintendo Wii, $249.99, available at most games and electronics stores.

I keep looking for a store named "Most games and electronics" but I can't find a local outlet. I figure that's what he means, because the Wii sure isn't available in any other store around here.

Monday October 23, 2006
09:30 AM

"US bans vegemite"

Whoo. I know there are lots of Strines reading use.perl that travel back and forth, and they may want to re-think visiting or moving here.

I have to admit I've never tasted Vegemite, but a label saying it's "Concentrated Yeast Extract" doesn't make me go, "Yum, I'll try that."

Friday September 15, 2006
01:47 PM

Why you should learn PHP and not COBOL

Glancing thru Yahoo News, I came across the eWeek article 10 Programming Languages You Should Learn Right Now. (Shame TorgoX doesn't write here anymore: ALL MUST LEARN! LEARN NOW! :)

My favorite piece of lameness in the article is the reason you should learn the number one language, PHP:

Building Web apps from scratch using C or COBOL is going the way of the dinosaur

T. Rex called to say he's insulted.

Monday September 11, 2006
09:10 PM

LinkedIn for more than work

I recently created a LinkedIn account and proceeded to add people from various parts of my profession: past and present co-workers, and people I've "met" on the web (in quotes because I haven't met most of them in person).

On a lark, I looked up my alma mater and thought I recognized some of the names. Indeed, one person turned out to be an old crony, who also happens to be living in Souther California. After a couple of "are you who I think you are" emails, we got together for lunch this last Saturday.

I had a grand time. We ate lunch and spent the next three hours over coffee catching up. It turns out that we had many shared experiences (not all of which were happy ones). It was positively therapeutic: a few times as I was telling him about what I had done, I had to really stop and think, "Why did I do that? What was going thru my mind?" Unfortunately, we live at opposite ends of Southern California, so we won't be able to get together very often, but I'm looking forward to the next time we do.

So I guess I'm not as negative about social networking sites as I used to be. They can work, and lead to happy results.

Tuesday September 05, 2006
08:42 AM talk on Ruby

The next Los Angeles Perl Mongers meeting promises to be interesting. The topic is "Why you should use Ruby".

It'll be only the second time I'm able to attend an meeting. I'm looking forward to it.

Monday August 28, 2006
04:05 PM

Life is about to get complicated again

Well, summer's almost ending. I had a terrific vacation with the family at a nice rental in the Russian River. The place is dog-friendly, so we introduced our pooch to kayaking -- he was a little unsure at first, but ended up loving it. I've been "between projects" the last couple of weeks, so I've been having fun tracking down old friends (and making new ones) on LinkedIn. Meeting people for lunch has been my main activity.

Things will probably change a lot next week. After Labor Day, my daughters start school, and my wife begins to teach full-time at South Hills High School (be gentle, that's a student- and teacher-maintained site). Our closest friends, with whom we often traded pick-up and drop-off duties, are moving out of the area. We'll miss them as well as having fewer logistical options. And I'll probably start a project somewhere, hopefully either close to home, or with decent public transportation.

I'll enjoy the calm now, even while I watch the dark storm clouds gathering in the distance.

Friday July 07, 2006
11:43 AM

I have a feeling I'm missing something very clever

Hm. I like reading the "This week on p5p" summaries, and I usually understand the conversation. This one looked like something really clever was going on, but I didn't get it all. (I know C, but not XS.) The MMD in the name makes me think of multi-method dispatch, but I don't see how it fits. Clarification, anyone?

Thursday June 01, 2006
02:27 PM

GCal and weather goodness

I admit it, I'm a weather addict. I've had the Forecastfox extension forever, and I used to use the Konfabulator weather widget too. I also glance at the forecast in the newspaper. My latest fun gadget, though, has been playing with Google calendar to see how much use I can put it to.

So today when I saw Add weather to Gcal on Lifehacker, I just had to try it. It uses the iCal feed from Weather Underground to show the next week's forecast on your calendar, and it works great. Give it a whirl if you're another weather fanatic.

Tuesday May 30, 2006
09:16 AM

Turning a corner

I don't often write about deeply personal things in this journal. Sometimes my entries are Perl or FOSS related, sometimes not. But I think I need to write down some things for my own future reference.

Some may know I've fought depression off and on for many years, and for the last two or three years, I've gone thru a hard battle. In September I tracked down a psychotherapist that I'd worked with successfully many years ago, and began seeing her regularly, sometimes as much as three times a week. It's expensive and difficult, but it's starting to pay off. A couple of weeks ago, I broke thru some tough issues, and my mood has lifted significantly.

I'm not out of the woods yet. My current client assignment is very frustrating and un-rewarding, so it's compounding the problem. When I have time to myself, I'm still tempted to hide in my cave rather than face the world.

I'd like this whole episode to be over. I just want to celebrate and declare victory, but I can't -- not yet. I've had success, but I still need to keep working at it. Though my attitude's changed, I still need to get all my life's supports back together.

The most joyful thing in my life is still my family. I'm hoping things will slow down in a few weeks when school lets out for summer. My wife will be teaching summer session, which is not as time-consuming -- we hope -- so we'll have a little less pressure and more free time.

So as I turn the corner and continue trudging the road to happiness, I'll mark some mileposts here, to remind myself of my journey and progress.

Tuesday May 23, 2006
08:58 AM

Things have changed and stayed more the same

After about six months at $client[1], we got a panicked phone call from $client[0] last week, saying I had to be there the next day. After we talked them down, I came out here yesterday.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Same old (non-technical) problem. Here's the gist of the introductory conversation.

"We need a new data mart."
"Um, what about the new data warehouse architecture I was helping to roll out last year?"
"It's not ready yet."
"We were loading two or three subject areas into it when I left. Can't we extend it?"
"No. The application programmers don't know how to access it."
"Well, the main problem the new architecture faced was all these disparate silo databases. We're compounding the problem, aren't we?"
"There's no time to do it right."