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User Journal

Journal Journal: Define normal 4

I have never met a single person who is normal. I have never met a single person who was raised in a normal family. Yet I have met many people who insist, often to such a degree that it causes them a great deal of anxiety and stress, that everyone else, with them being the sole exception, is a normal person who was raised in a normal household.

I am not worried, dismayed, or upset by people who are crazy. We are all crazy. What I can't stand is people who insist on always holding themselves up to some idealized abstraction that they call normal.

Where I am from, being of mixed race is normal. Never going to church is normal. Recycling is normal. In the house I grew up in, worrying if there would be enough money to pay the bills next month was normal. A happy joyous Christmas was normal. My father getting up at 6:30am to fry me a steak for breakfast was normal.

Not knowing if my father was going to live tomorrow.


Not knowing who my birth mother is.


Cursing her every day for forcing me to live with the consequences and end effects of her behavior?


Knowing I have a loving family to go home to, no matter how psychologically messed up or near death they may be on any given day?


The things we take for granted, the things we, personally, in our hearts, believe to be universal truths that are beyond any doubt, make up what we consider to be normal.

To live a happier life, do not take for granted any of the positives blessings that you have received in life, no matter how few they may be. Be thankful, truly grateful to the world, for all the good that has come your way. Look at everything good in your life that you take for granted, all the positives that you assume are normal, and love them with all your heart. That which you assume is normal are things many others cannot take for granted. Food on the table. A safe bed to sleep in at night. A shoulder to cry on. A place to run away to when your home has become too crazy. Whatever it is in your life, love it and hold it dear.

Come to the understanding that everything wrong, everything negative in life that you take for granted, does not have to be that way. If you are unloved, do not assume that is normal. Do not take it for granted that no one will ever love you. If you saw your parents addicted to drugs, do not assume that you too must become a drug addict. If you saw your father beat your mother, do not assume that you must beat your wife or be beaten by your husband.

The beautiful thing about normal, is that it can, it does, everyday, change meaning. We define it. You and I define it for ourselves, and for the world as a whole.

Do not strive for normal. Strive for joy. Strive for happiness. Strive for a better future, for yourself, and for all of us. Make that the new normal.

User Journal

Journal Journal: People who don't comment the top of their source files

indicating what the purpose of the code in the file is, piss me off.

That is all.

(Seriously, NONE of these files have ANY indication of what they are. They are named OK I guess, but it still is annoying not ever being 100% sure of what some code's purpose in life is...)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Great moments in programming stupidity 3

I am taking this Programming Competitions Preparations class. The problems are all horribly unrealistic and not represenative of Software Engineering at all, but then again, they are not really meant to be.

Problems are solved in a two hour period in a team, typically of 3-5 students.

Well, my team realized that today's problem could be easily solved if we plotted points on a grid.

Hmm, lets see now. The largest a coordinate can be is 40,000. Ok simple, declare a 40,000 X 40,000 array of booleans.

Oh, too large for the stack, ok, declare it on the heap.

Umm, hey why is this taking so long.

Wait, what is 40k * 40k again? Oh crap.

Just for laughs, open up Task Manager and hit "Run", watch the VM usage go up to 1.90GB. Hey, look, I can see principles from my Operating Systems class in action! Awesome!

Hey, wait, did Windows just swap everything out to disk? Wow, everything is taking awhile to get back in order.

So, who here can quickly implement a sparse matrix?

To be fair, such stupidities only occure because there is a hard time limit. Normally I would never hard code in an array of anything near that size. Indeed, I do not know of any students here who would ever hard code in an array and say "That should be enough".

User Journal

Journal Journal: My latest nifty (and cute!!) web2.0 project 1

A simple implementation of tags!

I'd link to it, but it is on a non-routable box, I should have it up on a routable machine tomorrow[1].

Using Ruby this time. I now have a distain for Ruby, mostly because finding resources about it online is almost impossible. :(

I didn't use, just straight eruby (most often implemented as mod_ruby) with the CGI module used to get form data.

Oh, how Ruby handles file upload in forms is the most immensely stupid thing I have seen in awhile, and a damn good argument AGAINST dynamic typing. The type returned DEPENDS on the size of the data that was uploaded. ...

Data set is populated from CuteOverload. :-D

[1] I was about to paste in the local host address when the duh factor hit me.

User Journal

Journal Journal: AJAXian Canvas, Python, and Web 2.0 goodness 4

Ever had to find your way around a huge college campus? How about ever been late for a class or meeting on a regular?

AJAX to the rescue!

WWU Route Finder is a proof of concept of an AJAX map using Canvas and Python. Click two buildings, and the Python back end, accessed using XMLHTTPRequest of course, shows you the shortest path between your start and destination.

The biggest advantage is that the Python back end can access a highly optimized Graphing library and potentially support real time processing of hundreds of thousands of nodes, taking advantage of the server hardware and not relying upon the performance of a browser's Javascript engine.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Paypal delays + cool tech toys 3

Paypal just took over a week to send a payment.

Mailing a check takes less time.


Isn't Paypal supposed to be almost instant? Is that not the very PURPOSE of Paypal?

Oh, in other news, I saw the most awesome digital camera on eBay (Not what I used Paypal for though :( ).

3 megapixel (plastic lens, probably resolves to 1.2 if your lucky :) ), MP3 player, e-book reader, voice recorder, and digital camcorder.

512k of memory built in. :-p fits 2GB SD cards, hmm, for all that stuff, should have dual SD card slots, heh.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Holy crap, I just had an epiphany


in fact,

does not suck.

Oh well, it DOES suck, just not in the way I previously thought. The UI was beat with the ugly stick, but the darn thing is FLEXIBLE.

Bleh. Why should I expect flexibility from MS anyway?

Of course a 3 element array, in debug, gets displayed as follows by VS:


*Goes off looking for whatever idiot implemented this*

Real debuggers let me customize how my data is displayed damnit! I wouldn't have used a small array of test values if I wasn't expecting for, you know, A GOOD LOOKING OUTPUT.

Is this really the only debug window in VS? I have never needed to analyze anything more complicated than simple arrays in VS before....

DDD, I grok you now, come back!

edit: Oh crap, the VS debugger does not even highlight in red the array element that has been changed when the array is expanded out.


User Journal

Journal Journal: Nevermind, the array syntax sucks

I want to show the array row by row in debug.

Does MS's debugger support this for the nifty arrays? NO





Why not?

Someone forgot to implement it.

This, naturally enough, is the problem with syntactic sugar. It has to be sweet all the way through, or else you reach a sour center. Non-orthogonality may seem nice at the outset, but it almost always bites ya in the butt later on.

User Journal

Journal Journal: These overloaded array []'s rock!

C# again. Being able to go b[i,j], while being horrible for readability, sure is nice.

As an side, I *KNOW* for sure that my code is never-ever-ever going to be touched again, so I am using mathematicians notation, which involves all one letter variable names, which normally hate. ^_^

User Journal

Journal Journal: LISTEN UP, how to fix Slashdot NOW 4

For all you whiners and complainers, this is a how to of how to SHUTUP and start fixing things.


  1. Too many ignorant people who don't know what they are talking about poke into technical discussions on the front page.
  2. The circle (jerk) has gotten too calm.


  1. Wield the -1 moderations like a clue-by-4. If someone says something that is wrong, DOWN MOD THEM. If you lack moderation points at the time, YELL AT THEM. I remember when I first came on /., I was hardly said damn nearly anything, for fear of getting down modded AND flamed if I was wrong. Bring that attitude back to the .!

    Amongst the Circle, a good number of us have mod points at any one point in time. If we uniformly post links to idiots who are wrong, we can spread the word: Stupidity is NOT rewarded.

  2. Stop being so nice to everyone! If you are going to say something that will piss someone off, so be it!
  3. In closing, I would like to say that /. has a level of free speech that does not exist in ANY other online community. This is best exemplified by how hard it is to get banned from /.

    Yesterday, I saw a user who's signature line was "Be a patriot, shoot a republican."

    That line would get a user banned from ANY other form on the web. I have been banned from forums for saying far less incendiary things than that! On /., no one even bats an eye, no one flames him over his sig, and no one posts angry retorts. /. has that feeling. NO ONE ELSE DOES. Even SA has stricter rules than /. does.

    Don't leave, fix it. You see stupidity, slap it around a bit. Noobs always come, don't let them overrun the place, just slap them around a bit until they get the idea of how to behave.

User Journal

Journal Journal: I hate sitting down 1

It sucks.

Desk jobs suck.

I hate studying because studying involves sitting down. Study sessions that involve getting up and moving are a lot more fun.

Beanbags make life better because at least I can pretend I am not sitting down...

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