Thursday October 27, 2005
Is this thing still on?
What? You're *still* here?
I left off quite a few months ago. Since then, i've moved to 3 other locations, the third being my semi-permanent abode. As permanent as any 1 year lease, i suppose.
I left the sublet in Inwood to live at my friend's girlfriend's place ... she took off to Argentina for a month. That was in the Bed-Sty/Clinton Area -- kinda ghetto, but safe enough. The roads were dillapitated and garbage was strewn about, but the people were nice. About 10-15 years ago i probably would have gotten shot.
After that, i found a place in Cobble Hill/Carrol Gardens. I had 5 roommates, but there was plenty of room. That was great until the lady who owned the house returned with her 2 year old daughter who liked to pee on the floor. One by one, all my roommates left. I finally found the place i am at now, and it only cost me $6200 to move in.
I moved into Park Slope on October 1st and i really love it there. I usually see the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty from the subway train as it crosses the Manhattan Bridge every day on the way to work, as well as walk past the base of the Empire State Building.
Since we last spoke ... i flew back to the South East (Atlanta and Nashville) and played a show with my old band, Big Vessel (God, i hate that name) and auditioned for a band back here in New York.
I still don't have a home computer or Internet connection. :(
Or a girlfriend. :(
But ... i have this handy corn cob pipe. And i sure do look cool with it. ;)
Any day now ... any day ...
Wednesday July 20, 2005
Anytime i run into problems with Krang, instead of emailing the Krang mailing list, i just send an email to myself describing the problem and reply to it with "RTFM."
Accomplishes basically the same thing. ;)
One of the worst things i can think of about using Krang is when you try to see what your element tree looks like. You simply cannot use Data::Dumper to inspect it, as the output is usually about 10,000 lines of info. Right now i am trying to replicate my DVD website in Krang. It's not a perfect fit for Krang, but it has allowed me to learn.
So far, what i have learned is that coding Krang is like coding Java. No where near as fun as coding Perl.
Monday July 11, 2005
No Sleep 'Till Brooklyn
I am in Brooklyn now. Fort Greene. No roommates -- i got the place all to myself. Still takes about the same amount of time to get work, but at least i'm closer to the action side of the action.
FWIW, i succeeded in finishing my weirdo Krang element. It's kind of like a photo gallery with pagination, except Krang is static so you have to tell it to generate a butt load of pages. Real PITA -- mainly because the docs are so lacking and ambiguous. I also managed to set up my own Krang site on my domain. Again, the docs for that were even worse.
Looks like someone (me) needs to fix that.
Thursday July 07, 2005
How To () Ostracize Yourself From A Community
Well Hell's Bells.
All i wanted was an explanation on how a certain method worked in Krang and what i got was endless chastising RTFM comments. Now i've gone and pissed off a rather cool individual who may never talk to me again.
Yes. I hate Krang. Big time. At this point, i'm ready to jump ship over to Java or .NET ... now, i know that is a hyperbole, but goddamit you would think that the Krang mailing list denizens would understand my frustration and level of experience well enough to avoid telling me to just RTFM.
What happens when RTFM just isn't enough? What happens when the documentation you point to is lacking? Everything i pointed out in my Perlmonk's article "How (Not) To Ask A Question" has been violated by me personally ... but is it really me ... or is it really that the documentation in question is so lacking that the folks who cling to RTFM are just abusing their stance?
I am this close to getting results in Krang ... *this* close ... and with little to no thanks from the suggestions given from the mailing list.
People died today in London ... what the hell i am complaining about?
Tuesday July 05, 2005
Happy B-Day America!
Indeed this was a splendid 4th of July weekend. Lovely weather (for Summer) and no rain! Well, except Friday afternoon ...
Friday i left work around 1pm ... totally drained. I took the sub to Brooklyn and met up with Mike. He had my bike ready to go. We biked over to his girlfriend's (Alanna) place where i will be staying from July 15th to Aug 15th. We headed back to his place and i took my bike up to Inwood ... via the sub. I would have been very tempted to ride it back if not for the rain.
Saturday i met Mike at Herald Square and we biked over to the east side. I bought a Kryptonite New York chain and lock ($80), a Kryptonite pocket lock ($40), and helmet ($40). We biked on down to Washington Square for some Ethiopian food and then off to the WTC site and to the PATH train to Jersey City to watch the World Bike Messenger championship events. Great bunch of people, let me tell ya!
We took the PATH train back and biked to Chinatown for some Thai, and then up to Sophie's and the Ace bar in the East Village for beers -- $2 Brooklyn Lagers baby!! Scott came by but disappeared really quickly. Don't know what to think about that -- guess it just wasn't his kinda crowd. *shrug* I biked by msyelf over to 8th and took the A train home. This time when it skipped my stop, i didn't care -- i had a bike.
A quite message on biking in NYC --- don't. It is about as dangerous as it gets. And no, i don't like to practice what i preach.
Sunday was more of the same. I met Mike over on West End Ave and 63rd at another bike shop. We biked around and found another cool Thai restaurant around Lincoln Center. Then we biked all the way down to the WTC Site again. PATH train to Jersey City. Watch more events -- damn, those bike messengers are GOOD! 400+ feet front wheel skids baby! One footed no handed track stands! Too much to get into here.
Instead of taking the PATH train back, we all (about 500 of us) took a group ride up the Jersey side to the GW Bridge (around 180th), across the bridge, and down Manhattan to Riverside Park (103th) to eat cheeep burgers and beer and watch the Messenger's Film Festival. I finally got to see The Warriors race, where different teams signed up to race a Warriors (the movie) Themed event. Mike wanted me to sign up and race in the (illegal) Alley Cat race that night, but i decided i wanted to live (and let Krang finish me off with a slow painful death instead).
I biked myself home that night. What a rush.
Yesterday i stayed at home and rested. Last night i watched "War of the Worlds" ... eh. I've seen worse. The fireworks in my neighborhood went on till about 1 in the morning. I loved hearing these gigantic BOOMs in the night followed by car alarms and mucho cheers! Gotta love Inwood.
god i hate krang ... :/
Friday July 01, 2005
Well, this week has pretty much been a complete failure for me. I've quit jobs, i've been fired -- but never have i NOT been able to complete a project. Never have i NOT been able to figure it out.
Until i met Krang.
I know what the problem is. The problem is that i simply do not have Internet access away from my job. In order for me to learn this, i have to have it set up on my own server. But i am running out of time. I have to set up a Krang site that uses my DVD collection. But that should have been done a long time ago. Weeks ago.
This is a dark day my friends. I have to put this shit behind me now -- concentrate on this weekend. 4th of July. Mike has my bike mostly ready and we are fixing to go bike riding. I just hope that when i return to work next Tuesday that i can see some light at the end of this tunnel. Even if it is a train.
Even if it is a new job. Just don't send me back to Tennessee.
Thursday June 30, 2005
Insert Generic Subject Title
Ugh. What a week. Working on another Krang website and i am just flat out exhausted. Yes, lot's of craziness in the City everyday.
Monday i had dinner with my friend Jim, who came up from Nashville (work related). I met him and some of his old high school friends at Ariba Ariba (wonderful food) and worked out Tuesday night. Last night, however ... i called it in early and slept.
I am suppose to be moving out of the Inwood sublet and into one in Brooklyn. More on that later, but it should suffice to say that i am looking forward to this place: i'll have the place to myself, i'll have a working TV, i'll have a computer with Internet connection. Trying to keep up this journal at work is just not inspiring enough. I blame Krang. ;)
Workout tonight ... should be good stuff. That class kicks my ass every time. I usually wander on down to Baxter to eat some Thai or Vietnamese cuisine afterwards. :P
<insert generic closing statement>
Tuesday June 21, 2005
How to (not) kill your roommates
I've been reading Neil Peart's "Ghost Rider" and i always get a chuckle when he mentions "kill them all!" ... talking about tourists and other worthless humans that he encountered on his travels. Where am i going with this? It's just me getting some stress off my chest about my quirky roommates. Nice people, but they kinda suck. No personalities ... i wonder why they are even in NYC? Last night i watched "The Machinist" with Christian Bale ... the whole time one of my roommates was making supper, eating supper, and washing the dishes -- oh, and reading the paper. He seemed disgusted that i was watching a movie -- a movie that seemed extremely disturbing, but really wasn't. Anyways, i tried to strike up a conversation with him after the movie was over (he had just finished reading some article so it seemed like a good time). He just sort of shallowly nodded and looked for another article to read.
"You aren't much of movie buff, are you?" I asked.
I love being controversial. Anyhoo ... i tuckered off to bed right about then (10pm) and slept quite soundly. This morning i discovered that my other roommate (the one whose room is really and open space next to the kitchen -- can't be too loud!) and his girlfriend were asleep. Great! Now i have to walk on eggshells and not make too much noise ... nah, screw them! You see, for the most part he is gone all week long. And when he is in town, he stays over at *her* pad. WTF were they doing here this morning? They know me and the other roommate (non-movie buff) wake up early and make noise. So what do i do? That's right ... crank up the "GTA3: San Andreas" on the XBox. She hates that game. Hell -- she hates NYC and America in general. So off i go to take over a new piece of territory for my gang.
He comes in. "Can you turn that down?"
It's fun being jeffa. >:)
Anyhoo ... i'm suppose to be out of there July 15th. It's a nice apartment. It's a decent enough neighborhood. It's too far away from the "action." And my roommates are zombies.
The good news is that the Krang project here at work is coming along much better. Last week was kinda rough ... nowhere near as rough as my "last" job in Nashville, but still ... i was cursing in the dark. Friday after work i took off to buy tickets for the VNV Nation show at Irving Plaza. I stopped at a nice little bar next door and drank a couple of Gin and tonics, while i waited for Mike and Scott to show up. We took off to an Italian restaurant (which i swore that i had never been to before even though Mike assured me i had ... he was right) and drank a bottle of wine and ate some damned good food. Off to the Punk Rock Tiki bar for some beers and then
BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM
Great show. I think i spent about $120 that night. Yikes!
Needless to say ... i'm taking it easy this week.
Friday June 17, 2005
Writing on the Wall (rant time)
I was warned when i took this job. I was warned about the code base. Well, after my last (and hopefully NOT "most recent") job in Nashville, i figured ANY code base would be better than that hell hole. And while this job is soooo much better than that rat race ... i am starting to see the writing on the wall.
Imagine a group of smart, productive, SANE programmers work for Company X. They develop a tool to be used by the clients of Company X (Cox). However, CoX is concerned because their clients are frankly too retarded to understand how to use this product the way it was intended. In short, their clients are not skilled enough to plug in a computer, let alone use a complex system that really isn't that complex if you just sit down and think about how building blocks fit together. AKA ... design! The programmers make a pretty kick ass tool, open source the tool, and then leave CoX. They take their open source tool and use it the way it was intended to be used for other clients, who understand that ... well, IT is hard dammit. Meanwhile, CoX continues to abuse the tool because their user base is just too unskilled to actually "do their job."
That's where i fit in. I bastardize this tool to make it easier for our clients to use it. That would be fine for me if it didn't mean actually "denormalizing" Object Oriented programming. After all, if you are going to do that, then why make it OOP in the first place?
"But ... doesn't that mean that the tool is not up to spec? I mean, after all, if it doesn't fit the clients' needs, then it is broken. Right?"
Perhaps so ... but, pray tell, why then are there OTHER clients out there using it properly?
Tuesday June 14, 2005
Time to play some catch up.
This past Thursday and Friday were not good coding days for me. I was working on some Krang code that someone who should not have been allowed to write left behind for me to "fix up," and while i don't mind fixing "bad" code, i do mind trying to learn a framework with said bad code. I left the office Thursday with a dark cloud over my head and headed to the gym. Phil gave us one hell of a work out -- since there were less students that night we were allowed to practice with the pads. That means we could kick and punch as hard as we pleased. Afterwards i attended the Jai Yet stretching class and headed over to a Vietnamese restaurant for some of their tasty tasty soup.
Friday day was more of the same at work (but i did get to have lunch with the lovely Marta :)), and that night i met up with sporty and drank some beers over at St. Andrew's pub. Lovely place that lovely place is. Saturday i woke up and decided to go work out after all, so off to the gym i went. Again we were allowed to practice with the pads, and my partner that day has been taking Tai Boxing for 2 years now. He kicked the hell outta my arm! I had some minor bruises from holding the pads for him, but it's all good. After class i wandered up to Astor Place, rented some flicks, and bought a couple of bottles of Aloe Vera (Vera! What has become of you?!?!) juice (mostly grape juice and water though) and got a call from Mike. He wanted to meet at Freddie's in Brooklyn and drink some beers that night. Also wanted me to bring the Xbox so he could jam on some San Andreas. I had just rented 2 flicks so i was unsure that i would be able to make it ... but i said "what the hell" and committed.
Then ... i got a call from Scott, he had just returned from a short vacation in Vegas. He said he was at Union Square, so again i exclaimed "what the hell" and walked on over to meet him. We walked on down to Washington Square and MacDougal over to my new favorite Ethiopian restaurant, Meskerem. On the way he stopped at a stand where a Russian lady was selling Russian T-shirts. Scott speaks a bit of Russion, so they hit it off pretty good. He stops ... i spend $20 on a T-shirt, couldn't resist it though. Off to the restaurant. I still had my gym bag full of stuff and didn't want to bring it into Brooklyn. We walked (in the rain - where'd that come from?) up to the subway station and made it back to Scott's place in the Upper East side. Nice freakin' apartment! Dropped my bags off and we headed out the door. When we entered the elevator, Scott used the opportunity to shock his neighbors inside with an overhearinnewyork.com momment:
"Yeah, i had to cancel my cards because of the hookers."
You see, while he was in Vegas, his "friends" decided (real late one night) to bring some hookers back to the hotel room. Scott was sound asleep and none the wiser. When he awoke the next morning, his discovered his wallet was gone. He rushed down to the front desk and used an Internet kiosk to cancel his cards. He took some cash from his "friends" (he knew the hookers stole his wallet) and then proceeded to try to solve the problem of getting on a plane with no identification whatsoever. About then his "friends" called and said they found his wallet, cards there but minus about $500 bucks. Money that he won at the blackjack table, so he wasn't to upset over loosing it.
"Yeah, i had to cancel my cards because of the hookers."
Man, that's just classic. So ... me and Scott hit the sub and attempted to make it Brooklyn. We crossed the river on the 5 train, but we didn't realize that we hit a "last stop" just into Brooklyn and went all the way back to Penn Station. We finally made it to Brooklyn, Scott had not been to Brooklyn yet. He fell in love with the place -- while he can afford to live in the Upper East Side (of Manhattan) he really doesn't like the neighborhood. We met with Mike and drank a few, and then we were graced with the presence of Mike's girlfriend, Alana. Afterwards we ate some greasy fried chicken and me and Scott headed back to the "City." When we got to Scott's place (at 3am) i decided i should just crash on the living room couch and try to get back in the morning. (Getting from the Upper East Side to Inwood via subway takes FOREVER!).
Sunday morning i awoke, enjoyed the view from that living room, and rode the elevator up to the roof of Scott's apartment building. I enjoyed the view of the City for a short while and headed back down. Stopped off at a nice yet cheap dinner for some French toast, eggs, and bacon, and proceeded down the 6 subway train to my office. I picked up my left over sandwich from a little party that was held Friday and proceeded to get back home -- during Puerto Rico Day!!! It took me about 2 hours to get home. >:(
When i got home i watched the 2 flicks i rented: "Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asssss Song" (thumbs down) and "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" (thumbs up), taking a nap between each one. Afterwards, i traveled ALL THE WAY back down the City to drop the videos off. Man, i gotta move closer to the East Village. ;)
I ate Taco Bell Sunday night ... man i just craved that stuff. All those kick ass restaurants in the East Village and i crave Taco Bell. :P
Monday was another "get my ass handed back to me" day at work ... until around 5:30pm when i finally made a breakthrough in the code i was working on.
And suddenly everything works. :) Well ... everything *so far* ...