Thursday, 4-23-2012


I don't have a catchy title for today.  Nothing much happened, but I'm writing about it anyway.

My streak of waking up early and eating breakfast went away today, I had a really hard time getting out of bed and facing the day.  I half wanted to fake being sick or say I needed a mental health day or something just so that I could stay in bed longer.  Somehow I managed to get up at pretty much the last possible moment and then got ready and out the door quickly.  I stopped by the coop for my lunches and a muffin then headed in.  Somehow managed to get to work exactly on time, the headwind wasn't too bad.  I was worried that there was going to be a storm due to the weather so I rode the Cannondale to get the full fenders and brought a jacket, ziplock bag for my phone and change for the bus just in case.  I was really surprised when I looked at my GPS unit after the ride and saw that I actually made it to work in 3 minutes longer than it took me to get home yesterday.  I had been thinking that the ride home is always much faster than the ride in because it's mostly downhill.  I was also on the road bike yesterday which you would think would be faster but apparently not.

Work was pretty uneventful.  I finished up the port of Attributes Slider to be a slideshow of downloadable files in about three and a half hours then started moving on to other things.  I'm pretty happy with how everything on the block worked out, it made me really happy that I was able to reuse a lot of the code I already had for this. I am a big fan of code reuse, it seems like most of what I do is actually reusing code samples from other projects.  Often I'm stuck if I can't find something to look at that shows me the basics of what I need.

After that it was mostly bug fix kind of stuff to fill out the rest of the day.  Lots of 15 minute fixes on different projects.  I tried to get encryption working for the email on an External Form I wrote the other week.  That I think is working but it turns out that I might have to redo the actual content of the email.  Right now it's set as an HTML email with tables for all of the form fields but it looks like we're going to have to make it a plain text email.  That means redoing a whole bunch of the output which kind of bums me out.  The original estimate on this form was 2 hours for coding and 1.5 hours for encryption but that was before we actually saw what the form was and how many fields it had.  I think I'm close to 10 hours for it so far, so way over budget.  Not my fault by any means but I still feel bad about it.

I also took a few minutes to update Backstretch to use the most recent version of the Backstretch library.  I've been meaning to do this for a couple of weeks since I had a support request that the person told me they fixed the problem by updating to the most recent version.  I just couldn't find the time to actually update it.  I'm pretty happy with the add on, actually.  For how easy it was to set up and code it's really been a great seller.  I've made over 1300 dollars from it so far.  Not a whole lot of money but I think it was about 3-4 hours to actually code it and there's been almost no support requests. That's a really good return on investment, I wish I could come up with 4 or 5 more add ons like this.  I am doing a lot better for 2012 vs 2011 though, I'm actually only about 125 dollars short of my entire sales for all of last year this year and it's only May.  That makes me pretty happy.

I also decided that since I almost always buy the same thing at the coop for first and second lunch that maybe I should just cut out the middleman and start ordering direct from the manufacturer.  So I orderd up a 12 pack each of Amy's Pesto Tortellini pasta and Brocolli Pot Pies.  I hope that I have enough room in my freezer to fit all of them when they get here.  I might end up having to change around what day I work from home to make sure that I'm here when they get delivered so they can get into the freezer quickly.

On the way home I had a bit of a tail/cross wind from a storm off to the west that I was worried about coming into town.  So far it hasn't hit so I guess I was racing for no real reason.  I went back to the coop to pick up supplies for dinner and ran into lsboogy, the guy that sold me my Bottechia.  He came out while I was unlocking my bike to leave and asked what I'm doing this weekend.  Seems like we might get together for lunch or something, that would be nice.  That actually means I might have two people to see this weekend, very unusual.  Hopefully it doesn't cut into coding time too much, I want to try and get some work done on the website for Waterbirth Resources this weekend so hopefully I can stop stressing out about that.

I just got done last night watching up to the current episode of Game of Thrones.  It's OK, I keep kind of hating the people in it because they are all so bent on power and control of other people.  I don't see this as a human  trait to be glorified, I don't think that we should reward people that want to be leaders of other people.  I get that it's just a story but I keep wishing people would change how they act.  So now I'm out of stuff to watch except for shows that air once a week, Mad Men and Game of Thrones.  I need to find something else that hopefully has several seasons worth of episodes to watch.  I've been watching a lot of Time Team when I'm between shows but that gets a little old.  Today they are excavating a mixed Roman and Iron age site and building a round house.  Educational but I really prefer fiction for my main shows that I watch.  I usually like well written dramas or sci-fi that have story lines that go across whole seasons or longer.  Sadly I'm pretty dry on ideas on what to watch, and it seems like I've gotten all the suggestions from my facebook friends that I'm ever going to get.  I need to start doing some research and find places that have good reviews of shows that are searchable so that I can find new stuff to watch.

I've also decided that I'm going to start putting some of the stuff that I post on facebook onto the blog.  This is for a variety of reasons, the biggest  one is that it's really kind of hard to search for anything after you post it on facebook, after a few weeks it means that you have to scroll back for quite a ways in timeline view to find something that you posted that you want to look up again.  I'm also looking at it as another way of getting more content for the blog, seems like just talking about what happened in my day is pretty boring and I don't come up with code samples that are worth posting all that often.  I also don't really post up about how I feel about what's going on in the world very often, but for some reason I post lots of stuff on facebook about it.  So here are some of the things that I read or watched and re-shared today.

First up is a video about Mitt Romney.  Apparently not even other Republicans think that he's a good capitalist, lots of hating on Bain Capital's record for bankrupting companies for profit.  Personally I'm really scared of what might happen to our country if he's elected, I don't think he's going to do anything good for the common people at all.

The intelligence that told us where to find bin Laden?  Probably not from torturing enemy combatants, there was a sympathetic doctor who used vaccinations to do DNA samples that helped them find out where he was.  Now that doctor is being sent to prison for 33 years.  Seems like we made Pakistan very angry by going in and killing him, which doesn't surprise me at all.  We keep acting like we can just go around and walk into any other country and do whatever we want - this needs to end if we're ever going to make peace with the rest of the world.

I signed a petition to help military families at Camp Lejeune, where apparently the Marine Corps has known that the drinking water is full of carcinogens but they still keep people there and won't clean up the water or provide medical treatment for the people affected.  I signed another petition calling for President Obama and Congress to uphold the recent ruling that the NDAA is unconstitutional. I doubt that it will do any good but I'm pretty adamantly against the NDAA. 

There is a new app on facebook that when you install it takes over your browser and replaces all ads with ads from one particular service.  Though it's not technically illegal it's pretty unethical but the scheme has already made $250,000 in two weeks.  Something to watch out for, beware of what you approve when you authorize facebook applications.

I subscribe to the Daily Good email list and they recently started an initiative called Bike Nation that has had lots of good articles about bicycling.  Today's was about a new folding bike company, who are hoping that folding bikes are the secret to making bicycling more widespread. It makes a lot of sense, though I don't see myself getting a folder any time soon.  There was another article from Forbes about bicycling, this time it was about a study that shows that cyclists save the country at least 4.6 billion dollars each year.  I really don't get why we aren't doing everything possible to encourage cycling, it really makes sense on so many different levels.  Also in bicycling news there's work being started on a new reality show called "To Catch a Bike Theif" where they use GPS units and bait bikes to catch the thieves.  They want to release it on the internet and possibly on network TV.  I know I'd probably watch at least a few episodes of it.

There was a second study showing that Fox News viewers are worse informed than people that watch no news at all.  This isn't surprising, there was another survey recently that proved this.  But that survey was only in one city, this survey is nationwide.

Gizmodo published an interesting article on what it would take to destroy the internet.  Bottom line?  It's technically possible but you would have to have thousands of people helping you all around the planet with everyone doing the damage in unison worldwide.  They also had a piece about someone who got stranded in the desert with a broken car and they actually took it apart and made a functioning motorcycle out of the parts to get to safety.  I thought that was pretty amazing, I'm usually lucky if I can just get a broken bicycle working again, I'd be totally lost trying to modify a car into a motorcycle.

The Obama administration released another video detailing what was simply untrue about the latest attack ad from the Republicans.  Personally I think that both parties are severely flawed and that we need to do away with political parties altogether but I felt like it was important to help spread the word about the rebuttal to help combat the super pac money that's spreading all the lies trying to get Romney elected.  I don't think Obama is much better but I'm honestly scared to think of what the country will be like under Romney.

That was it for today, nothing else happened.  I made it past Skol without stopping in which was good.  Lots of cravings for the weed over the course of the evening, when I got home, when I finished dinner, just when I'm getting bored and don't have anything else to do.  I'm getting closer to the two week mark which is what I'm really focusing on now.  Telling myself I have to just make it at least that far before giving up on it.  But then after that I'm going to have another 2 weeks to get through without anything to do to really keep me from giving in.  It's not really getting any easier, I'm now justifying to myself that I could just cut back and maybe just buy half as much as I usually do and change how I smoke and still save money like I want to.  But I don't know if that will work, it seems stupid to even try.  I might buy a small bag when I reach the two week mark just to reward myself for making it that far and get rid of the cravings for a few days.  Not sure on that yet. 

And now I'm not sure what to do with the rest of the night.  Everything for the day is done including blogging, I guess I could clean for a bit or do dishes or something.  Meh.