Wax Eloquently

This is my life — or at least part of it. Enjoy!

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Tree Rings of Code

December 4th, 2008 · No Comments

Looking around at blogs that are part of the HP Magic giveaway contest, I found this post:
which reminded me of something I’ve thought about recently. Working on some reeaaaally old code recently has been really interesting. Seeing the way we used to do things, and how strange they seem now. Our software is a giant tree, and as I prune it I get to see the odd shape that some of the more interior rings took.

I said so here. Which was not only a fun way to enter a contest, but also a nice prompt for a blog post of my own.

What weird coding conventions have you forgotten and then uncovered? Did you ever declare variable types using punctuation? “TheString$” instead of “TheString as String”? “If (FooBar = True)” vs “If (FooBar)”? Not all of them are folly, but they probably have a strange look to the You of 2008.

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On Bathroom Graffiti

December 4th, 2008 · 2 Comments

I’ve noticed over time that political bathroom graffiti seems to be overwhelmingly… “populist”?  Most frequently I see messages of a few different varieties: 

  • “F*** Bush”
  • “Republicans are Greedy”
  • “Cops are Pigs”
  • “End the War”
  • “Rich People are Bad”

Most graffiti I see that attempts a political assertion takes one of these angles.  Why not any of the opposites?

Where’s the “Barack Has No Experience” graffiti?  How come nobody is writing “Stop Welfare Entitlements”?  I have 3 increasingly likely theories:

  1. Geography: People in the Seattle area just don’t hold these beliefs as frequently.
  2. Timing: Republicans are in power, so non-Republicans have more beefs with the status quo.
  3. Self-Selection: People who agree with the things written on bathroom walls tend to be people more likely to write on bathroom walls.

What do you think?  Agree with any of these theories?  Got your own?
As a special treat, here is my favorite bathroom graffiti to-date; I found it on the wall in the men’s room of the Edmonds Theater:

Graffiti: "Rick Steves!"


→ 2 CommentsTags: life · photos

On Twitter and Blogging

November 13th, 2008 · 2 Comments

I can count on two hands how many times I’ve been asked what the “point” was of Twitter.  Why is it useful?  What purpose does it serve?  And normally I’ve had to answer extemporaneously; sometimes more effectively, and sometimes less.

This will be one of those effective times, I can feel it.  Let’s begin.

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→ 2 CommentsTags: life · science

“I’m Everywhere!”

August 25th, 2008 · 1 Comment

I woke up early this morning. After all, I’ve a schedule to keep!

On Saturday I took stock of my current list of hobbies, passions, and goals. I’ve been neglecting many of them for far too long. The result of this reflection was a schedule for the next week.

It’s a prototype of a large systemic change. And it’s exciting (to me)!

I start the day by waking up early to exercise and make coffee before getting cleaned up and ready for work. We bought a french press, and I enjoy doing science to it. So there’s that.

  • Studying for the GMAT is scheduled.
  • Taking the GMAT is scheduled.
  • Web design is planned.
  • Piano, voice, guitar, and harmonica are sorted.
  • Heck, even blogging is arranged.

Other goals (making ties, painting, etc) will filter in and out.

I love the metaphor of plans as gears, and this is a lot of gears working in concert. I am pleased as pi.

→ 1 CommentTags: health · life

Fun In Flight

July 26th, 2008 · No Comments

One part of flight I enjoy is crossword puzzles. I don’t usually take the time to seek them during my day-to-day wanderings, but the in-flight magazine brings them right to you.

Another thing in-flight magazines present is a good visual jam session. They provide some graphics and words, and it’s up to you to make them into something more interesting. This is their intention. It would be rude not to participate.

I recently found these fine examples while cleaning:

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A Bridge to the Early 20th Century

July 24th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Back in March I received some pretty mind-blowing news. I had just sat down at my desk after a nice lunch when I saw an e-mail from my mother-in-law.

She was too excited for a subject line.

The e-mail contained an attachment and four words: “I had no idea!!”
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Neat Quantum Physics (Many-Worlds) Super Mario Video

February 3rd, 2008 · No Comments

I really really like this:

Super Mario World vs. the Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Physics

The visualization of all of the permutations is significantly more interesting than a simple (and clean) tool-assisted run.

This reminds me of the terrible Nicholas Cage movie “Next” wherein Cage’s character can see two minutes into the future. There’s a visualization near the end of him following all of his ideas out to their conclusion as he searches a warehouse. They composite together a bunch of different shots of him walking off in different directions, testing all of the possible decision branches.

Anyway, this is an impressive work. I’d love to see more people use this technique!

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Snowpocalypse 2007!

December 1st, 2007 · No Comments

It’s like a blizzard out there!

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Knobs and Tones

October 18th, 2007 · 3 Comments

I’m building a 16-step tone sequencer using the Arduino Diecimila prototyping platform!


I’ve reached the first milestone: potentiometers for Volume, Tone, and Duration are all responding as expected (after correcting a few mistakes).  Here’s a movie showing how it all currently works!
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→ 3 CommentsTags: science · toys

The Second Most Fun Thing in the World

August 9th, 2007 · No Comments

As part of a pre-marriage Manly Dinner celebration, me and my groomsmen went out chow last night. Some food was eaten, beverages were imbibed, and conversation flowed like a proficient rapper.

As the dinner wound to a close, Sean told us that some of his friends had recommended visiting the Whirlyball place that was (sorta) nearby. It took him awhile to describe it (since he had never been there himself) and we decided that it sounded darn cool enough that we should at least check it out.

Oh man.

It’s basically like basketball-flavoured lacrosse, played in souped-up bumper cars.

I heartily recommend that you go. And call me before you do, so I can come along!

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