Archive for November, 2002

No writing

Monday, November 25th, 2002

Sorry everyone, but I’m not really up for writing anything today. Feel free to chat amongst yourselves for a while. I’ll be back later.

Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate’s life for me!

Thursday, November 21st, 2002

Arrr. I just had that song in my head for some reason. I was accused of database hacking or some junk by one of my residents last night just because I had a number of terminal windows open on my computer and I was working on the database. Oh well. If I’m a pirate, then I’m a pirate. Arrr.

Girr… my tea’s gone cold. *goes to find a microwave…* Ahhh! Much better! So yeah, I’ve got stuff goin’ on. Tomorrow I’ve got a midterm in math and an assignment due in databases, so tonight I need to study for the exam and do the homework. Joy. In good news, next Wednesday I’ve got a gig scheduled at Mortier Engineering and they say it’s for three hours. This is good news, cuz I can use some Christmas shopping money. Also, I’ve just discovered that all of us University employees get paid on that same day, Wednesday the 27th. w00t! We get paid before the break! This is warm fuzzy news for all of us here.

WARNING! HIGHLY TECHNICAL TALK AHEAD!!! I’m also discovering that there’s a lot of little details that go into making a user-access-level-oriented chat forum. I’ve got a simple little entry form that can put user information into a database table, but that’s hardly anything. Right now, I’m working on some sort of validating login page that will use that information to determine if someone can log in. THEN we get into handling the concept of a “session”. This is the nifty part that lets the web site keep track of you when you’re online. Since HTTP doesn’t keep state, this must be done at the application level, which is tricky cuz the web client opens up a new TCP connection with each page (unless the user is using HTTP 1.0, in which case they open up a new TCP connection for each web object!) But I digress. Sessions work either by using (session) cookies or by using parameters passed via the URI. It should be set up to use cookies by default and then drop back to the URI method if the client doesn’t have cookie support. The only real purpose to all this is that it lets variables get carried over across multiple web pages that the user visits. Variables like “username”, for instance. With just that one varibale propagating from page to page, I can look up a plethora of other information (such as preferences, access levels, etc) for each page. For instance, you log in and it takes you to the main forum web page. You click on a message that you wrote earlier and want to edit it. The page checks your username, matches it with the one on the message you’re trying to edit and then lets you edit it. Also, if you go to post a new message, it already knows who you are so that when you post, it’ll say that it was you that posted. It’s all just a way of keeping track of who’s doing what so we can have a little accountability. It’s gonna be cool. END OF TECHIE TALK.

I hope that was enlightening for the few of you that cared to read it. If not, I’d be MORE THAN HAPPY to explain any and all of that at length. I’m also kind of thinking out loud here, so some of that I didn’t really figure out until I wrote it. I wanna go code now. ^_^

Naked Turnips for dinner

Monday, November 18th, 2002

As if this whole turnip thing hadn’t gone too far already, last night dad and Estelle made beef and turnip stew for us. He made sure to peel them first so that they were indeed naked turnips; some real world consequences from this silly web site and it’s derrivatives. I don’t recall ever eating turnips before, but they are remarkably like potatoes. After dinner, Kim called Kelly and we mostly just hung out in the living room or the computer room while that was going on. Megan and I spent a good hour or so throwing a spiney ball back and forth across the room. It was quite the lazy activity.

I learned last night that the world “slash” is a dirty slang word in England, so every time I’ve said “H-T-T-P colon, slash, slash…” I could have been insulting some Britt! I’ll have to keep that in mind and say it much more often at parties. Speaking of funny things to say at parties, I’ve recently learned a new pirate joke:

A pirate walks into a bar with his steering wheel down his pants. The bartender says “Isn’t that irritating?” and the pirate replies, “ARRRR!!! It be drivin’ me nuts!”

I love that one, and I don’t rightly know why. I think it’s purely due to my affinity to pirate jokes.

Lastly, I’ve added a new ChrisCam shot to finally get rid of that horrible one of my without a shirt. What was I thinking? I’ve also added a new survey, per ‘Lainie’s suggestion. I modified the survey to up the time required between survey submissions. SOMEONE out there has been stacking votes on almost every survey. I won’t point fingers, but don’t do that anymore. Thanks.

Well, onto another week! I’ve got another dentist appointment this Wednesday, so let’s hope it was as fun as the last one. Sigh.

More turnips? Surely not!

Sunday, November 17th, 2002

But oh, yes! We’ve got more turnip action for you all here! My ever-so-talented artist sister has modified the Turnip-Kelly picture, per ‘Lainie’s suggestion. I’ve also edited the old new column to simply have the image as a link, rather than display it inline. Obviously, I’m be doing the same here. Kim suggests that this whole Kelly-Turnip issue would make a good survey. How so? Discuss.

I know it’s not much time, but

Friday, November 15th, 2002

I know I just posted this afternoon, but I had to share this with all y’all.

I never could get the hang of Thursdays

Thursday, November 14th, 2002

I try. Anyways, I’m currently trying to design a new database schema which will eventually find its way to this site, but first it’s going to get me a grade in CIS451. I feel so sinister using my hobby of a web site for class credit, but it’s all for the same goal of making me smarter. Anyways, the design was pissing me off, so I’m taking a break to post here. I’m designing a new message board system so everyone can chat with a bit more control. This one will have actual user logins and stuff, but it will open the door to so many more features! I can make it so that you can edit your posts after you’ve make them, you can have a little graphical avatar to represent yourself, you can respond to other people’s posts… these are just the things that are coming to me at the moment. Right now, I’m trying to figure out the relation between the users, the forums, the threads, and the messages. I want to only allow admins (me) to be allowed to create new forums, but anyone can create a new thread. When people reply to that message (thread), those messages will all be grouped together. I’m not even certain there will be a distinction between messages and threads, but if there is, I’m not sure what that separtation will be. As you can tell, I’m thinking out loud here.

I’m writing all this so that I can get some motivation to actually do this. If I don’t say anything, then I won’t have the pressure to get it done soon. Oh, and don’t worry, the other features of the site will remain the same, so you can still post silly remarks in the news comments as before. Also, this stuff probably won’t be implemented for a little while yet. My class makes me use a different database system (Informix) and a different front end technology (Java Servelets), so I’ll have to write it in that first for the class, then I can translate it back to PHP/MySQL for this site over winter break or something. In the meantime, please use the old system to relay any feedback on this topic. Things you’d like to see? Ideas on how to make it so? How should it be structured? What should it look like? Who’s your daddy? ^_^

OK, so enough about that. In other news, Megs finally got a job!!! Yay! Guess what, she’s working at Toys ‘R’ Us! Isn’t that something? Didn’t we all want to work at a toy store at some point when we were kids? Well, kudos to Megan for gettin’ the mad hours. It’s gonna be crazy at Christmas time, but after working Little Cesar’s Super Bowl Sunday, Safeway on Thanksgiving, and Conference Services during Football Camp checkin, I’m sure she’ll be OK. As she says, every job has it’s hell time.

For myself, I think I’ll probably be in Eugene most of the winter break. I’ll probably be working at the library as usual, as well as a few duty days in Carson. It’s a living. I’ll certainly be at home for part of this, but I’ll miss the Internet connection, especially since the network will be all speedy again with the residents all gone. =D

So, I went to the destist yesterday, and can you believe I’ve never had a local anesthetic for dental work before? Well, I must say that it was a really weird feeling. Or, should I say, a lack of feeling. This lack of feeling ran from my chin all the way up to my ear and my eye, but only on the left side of my head. Again, very strange. At any rate, my teeth are all patched up now, so it’s all good. A bit more sensitive to cold now, however. I’ll try to get a hold of some sensodine toothpaste or something. Destist recommended, even! I’m going back again next week to get the other side done.

Well as much as I’d like to continue here (it beats doing real work), I think I’m gonna go now. Maybe I’ll do my math or something. Ciao!

Good mood for a Monday

Monday, November 11th, 2002

As the headline states, I’m in a relatively good mood for a Monday. I just feel like sharing it with everyone! =) Also, on a totally unrelated note I just noticed that the monitor on the computer I’m typing on is a Sony Trinitron type tube, even though it’s a Mitsubishi monitor. How do I know this, you ask? Well, it’s because Sony’s color screens use some sort of three-scan technology, which has the biproduct of dividing the screen into three horizontal sections. Usually, this doesn’t show, but if you look carefully, you can see a hairline dividing the three parts when the screen has a lot of white on it. Now that I’ve shared that with you, my Monday is even better!

Seriously, I don’t know why I’m in such a good mood. I only got at most six hours of sleep last night and I still have a big-ass computer networking assignment due tomorrow. Oh, and math. I have that due tomorrow too. I also have a hall meeting tonight. On top of that, I figured that since I wasn’t going anywhere, I might as well hold the pager for Anne. I suppose my good mood prevails because I can see the light on the other side. After I get this stuff done, many of my major worries will be behind me for this term. For the remainder of the term I have one more project in networking, a project in databases, numerous assingments in databases, networking, and math, and two dentist appointments. Not to mention finals in all these classes. The dentist appointments I’m actually kinda looking forward to, not because they’re fun, but because then I’ll be repaired and able to eat Butterfingers and Snickers again without massive toothaches! Yay!

Well, wish me luck on my various quests, but know that at least I’m tackling them with a positive mindset. Oh, and how ’bout a hello to my readers out of state and out of the country? Word up, everyone out there! Stay fresh! Just like lettuce.

No more midterms, nyaa nyaa!

Saturday, November 9th, 2002

At least, no more for a while. All I have to worry about right now is my next math assignment and my big scary networking programming assignment. The latter, of course is my worse of the two fears. I think my databases midterm today went fairly well, but in spite of that, my friends and I decided to go to Rennie’s afterwards for b33r. It was a long test (too long) and it was tricky. Ugh. Not fun.

I should now state for the record that it might be a good time for me to set up some sort of comment system for the cam shots like I have for the news. You’ll see why, and in advance, sorry mom, but at least the caption is the truth. You’ll see why. I also have a new survey, which is TOTALLY unrelated to the ChrisCam shot, but worth a look. I’m actually curious as to the results of this one, so please don’t skew the data (MATT!)

I think that’s it. Happy weekend to everyone, and damn you all who get Veteran’s Day off. WE DON’T!!! girr…. My apologies and Happy Veteran’s Day to all you veterans out there who may be reading this. =)

Midterm complete. You may proceed to the next level.

Thursday, November 7th, 2002

Well, I took my CIS 432 Networking midterm this afternoon, and I think it went all right. Some of the questions were kind vague and some of the calculations were confusing, but I think I did all right in the end. All that lies ahead of me now is my other CIS midterm tomorrow which is for my databases class. Shouldn’t be too bad, I hope, but we’ll see. At least I got my math done early; I just finished a few minutes ago. Also on my plate is the big hairy CIS 432 Programming Assingment #2! Ahhh! How’d that creep up so fast! Last I checked I had AT LEAST two weeks until it was due. Now it’s due Tuesday and I’ve done VERY LITTLE on it. So, expect to find me in the Deschutes 100 computer lab this weekend. That is, if I’m not repairing a fence or something back home. ^_^

As you may have guessed, I’m bored at work right now. I tend to save writing these things until I’m at work cuz it gives me something to do here. It’s dark out now, and it’s only 17:30. I’ll never get used to this latitude. Oh, and speaking of latitude, DON’T WORRY MATTHEW! WE’RE COMING FOR YOU!!! Yes, once again, dad and I and maybe Kimi are going to be making the drive down to Cali to go get my brother for the winter break. Also, word is he’s flying up here later this month for Thanksgiving, now how cool is that? ^_^

Lessee… I need a new survey. What about? I need more ideas, and so for Kimi has been the only one providing for me here. I think Annie may have, but I’m not sure. Oh, and speaking of Kim’s site, I’ve added the same feature there that I added here, per Kimi’s request. Now, at the bottom you can see who last posted in the comments. Speaking of that, I’m requesting that you please keep the Name field to a reasonable length. The layout isn’t really designed to handle really long titles, so please keep that to the email field, if you must. I don’t want to have to start truncating names, but I will if I have to. I could also rig it to just take the first word and show that. In any case, be considerate of folks with smaller monitors on which the really long titles and such won’t fit really well. OK, enough about that. Hey Matts, when are you two gonna get serious and make REAL web pages for yourselves? And you call yourselves nerds!! Well, maybe not, but I can assure you that other people call you nerds, so live with that one. 😛

All right, now that I’ve insulted a good portion of my readership, I think I’ll leave now before I can do any more damage. On my own site, no less! Have I no class? Now there’s a survey!

Just when you thought I was done…

Sunday, November 3rd, 2002

Actually, I very much doubt anyone seriously thought I’d ever be done tinkering with this site, so it’s not really a surprise when I say that I’ve added yet another trivial little thingy here. Beneath the comments links at the end of each news column, it will now display the last poster’s name for all to see. Oh yeah, life is good.

In other news, I’m not liking databases as much as I should. Aggregate functions are a pain in my ass and can go to hell. So are nested subquerries. They can go to hell, too. Ugh. Something as simple-sounding as find the employee in the database with the salary closest to the average is much harder than it sounds. Oh well. I’ll get it done sometime. It’s due tomorrow by 17:00.

This is gonna be a busy week, I think. I’ve got the aforementioned databases homework due on Monday, math and networks homework due on Tuesday, and midterms on Thursday and Friday in my two CIS classes. At least my dentist appointment isn’t until next week. I’ll be sure to write about that when it comes up, because writing is about all I’ll be able to accomplish, communication-wise. Dental work tends to have an adverse affect on verbal discourse, you see.

Oh, and don’t forget to vote, everyone! I think most of my readers are of the legal voting age now, so GO AND DO IT! I just filled out my Oregon vote-by-mail ballot this afternoon and I’m gonna go drop it off at an offcial ballot drop box location right after I finish writing this here column. Conveniently enough, the nearest polling place is in the building next door to the one I live in so that’s too easy.

Tonight I’m going to dad & Estelle’s place for dinner with Kimi and Megs, so that should be good times. I’ll have dad help me with my databases homework… 😉