SHDH6 wrap up and my crap.

Blog entry

Continuing in the "wow, it's the same, but different!" trend of the SuperHappyDevHouse events I attend, last night's (this morning's?) SHDH was different from the rest. The first one was very much a par-tay, and tons of fun. The second one was awkward and uncomfortable, as I was recovering from personal conflict at the time, and trying to make sure Kris was enjoying himself (while he didn't want to be there).

This one was very much what I wanted all of them to be: an evening of devlopment. Kris and I listened to the early presentations (Jeff on Vantage, Jesse on writing Firefox extensions (using XUL) (and again with a brief introduction to Ruby on Rails), and Kevin Burton on feed parsing (in reverse order). Then, we dashed off to work on myCrap.

For years, I've been asking Kris to work on a web project with me. He has always been willing, and asked, "okay, what do you want me to do?" but we've struggled with finding a project we're both interested in doing.

myCrap solves this dilemma well, because it's a combination of the freecycle site I've been wanting to write for a long time, and web-lend, a site that Bharat did a long time ago (6 years?) to handle books and videos he's loaned to friends. We're scratching the "Where is Disc 1?" "I don't know. Who did you loan it to?" "I don't remember." itch with this site.

There will be nominally two sites: for the former give-away functionality, and for the latter loan part. We'll be using flickr for image management, and tags for category control. Amazon will be used to look up items via the ISBN and UPC symbol. And, in the spirit of all new sites, we'll have FOAF, trust/feedback/rating user networks.

Did I mention we're launching all of this on the first of the year?

Probably not.

Everyone I've mentioned this project to has been excited about it and the potential to help people manage stuff (their crap!). That Kris is excited to be working on a project with me has me jazzed, too.

The downside is getting Kris up to speed on my preferred community website application platform. I hadn't realized how hard creating basic functionality in a Drupal module is, having been doing it for years now. Working with Kris was a serious eye-opener. Need to get groundr off the ground sooner than later to make that much easier.

The jokes with the site are fun, though. We're definitely not going to take ourselves seriously on this. The site is going to be all crap. "What are you working on?" "Mycrap." "Oh, well, can we work on my crap instead?" "Uh, I am." "Oh."


Blog entry

Went to the dentist today.

I hate writing about the mundane, "Hey, I had my teeth cleaned today!" stuff like that. I'd guess that 40% of blogs are spam blogs, syndicating content from other sites, and 50% of blogs are of horribly boring crap that reads something like,

I woke up late this morning. I tripped over the cat on the way to the bathroom. Work was hard because I was late. Traffic was bad. Lunch was boring. Lydea was busy. I ate by myself. I didn't go to the gym today. Jeff and I are going to dinner tomorrow.
You know, the stuff that reads like an uncreative fifth grader writing about her summer vacation.

So, if the mundane doesn't inspire a story or a rant, there's little reason to write about it.

Except, keeping track of things happening doesn't work if I don't write them down. Cal once commented to me that there was nothing here about his workshop I attended. And there isn't, as I didn't have a story to tell about it. Mike and I went to the conference, it was a good confirmation of our development processes and techniques. But I was distracted, and didn't get any good stories. Tell you what, not a mistake I intend to repeat.

So, today I went to the dentist. Somehow, the technician cleaning my teeth seemed distracted. At one point, she, for the first time, actually gouged my gums in a way completely reminiscent of the Gassoway Incident. When she commented later I wasn't flossing enough because my gums were bleeding, I couldn't help but glare at her. Of course they were bleeding, you just cut them!

I'll probably still get her an Amazon gift certificate for Christmas as a thanks for rooting around in my mouth for these last four years, but I'm not sure it'll be as much as I was originally planning.

2006 resolutions

Next year's resolutions. Pretty much the same as last year. More aggresive on the project completion

  1. resist feeding Bella or Annie from the table
  2. weekly workouts (weightlifting 2x week, aerobics 5x week, throwing 5x week)
  3. Finish dealing with body hair
  4. Launch a new project website each month
  5. Redo website as a drupal website
  6. purchase 100 shares of 15 of the 20 stocks on my to-buy list
  7. go on 3 vacations this year.
  8. write 12 drupal modules
  9. complete > five cards a week
  10. reduce total card count by >= 3 a week
  11. get rid of one thing a day
  12. finish the living and guest room decorating
  13. landscape the front yard
  14. pack at least the second night before a trip
  15. process all the junk boxes in the garage
  16. floss more days a week than I don't floss
  17. prepare 15 of the 21 weekly meals (20 of 28, if snacks are included)

Week thus far...

Blog entry

So, one of the problems with blogging (or rather, keeping an online journal that happens to be visible to most of the world, or any journal for that matter) is that if you don't write about something right away, the memory starts to fade. Capturing the details, the emotion, the mood of the memory is difficult if it isn't done immediately. Instead of a free-flowing mix of words that convey the enthusiasm or depression of the moment, stilted words come out.

Take, for example, this past weekend.

On Saturday, Kris asked me what I wanted to do on Sunday. We pretty much hadn't spent any time together for a month, and time together is what we needed. I answered, "I want to mooooooove!" That month we spent nominally apart, I had spent sitting on my butt, and I desperately wanted to exercise. A hike, ultimate, pickup, throwing, walking the dogs for hours, anything to be moving!

So, on Sunday, we slept in, then went over to the elementary school around the corner to throw. Chookie, Stephanie (I think I'd never get used to calling her "Petra"), Wade and Doyle showed up, too. We've been working on our low release, typically break-mark, throws, using the hurdles as 6" off the ground markers. Kris worked with me this week, which helped me considerably on my breakmark forehands.

Since we had six people, we had enough for hotbox. My team of Wade, Chookie and me managed to lose like 15-0 to Kris, Doyle and Petra. I had some great D's, including a forearm block of a forehand zinger from Doyle (and it hurt!).

Kris and I had to dash after that, as we needed to get to Heidi's art show before it ended. We thought it ended at 5, which it did on Saturday, but it ended at 3 on Sunday.

We did a mad dash and arrived at 2:40 and couldn't find Heidi. Turns out, she had left early to attend a college reunion, but hadn't quite made it out of the parking lot. We caught up to her, and John, Heidi, Bridget, Kris and I spent the remaining afternoon in downtown Palo Alto.

We had a mid-afternoon dinner at Plutos, and were wandering to the gelato place across the street from the Aquarius when I spotted the Cheesecake Factory on University.

Somehow, visions of White Chocolate Cheesecake Truffle danced in everyone's head (yes, I planted those visions), and soon we were jaywalking across University (a first for me!) to the Factory. While waiting (well, while hovering like rabid dogs over people in the bar area), I told everyone of my Beverly Hills Cheesecake Factory stories: how I would drive from Pasadena to Beverly Hills via Glendale and Mulholland to get there in less than 25 minutes, so that I could get my cheese cake fix before they closed at 11. I have no idea how many times I did that. I think that drive, with my driving it, was the only time I ever scared Determan with my driving...

We went shopping at Restoration Hardware after rolling out of the Factory. Lord only knows how we managed to actually leave without being carted out in a wheelbarrow, we were so full. As Heidi said, "This place makes you want to paint your room green, no, blue, no, pink, as you walk through it." A brief jaunt through Z Gallerie on the way back to the cars, including a 23 to 22 "1000 Places to Visit Before You Die" places visited win by Kris over Heidi, and we were back home by 7:00pm.

So, the day was full, but it was also full of many jokes and entertaining quips. I didn't write about it at the end of the day, so now I've lost all but the overview of the day, and hints of how much fun it was. Maybe a better camera phone, or a less obtrusive camera would help capture the moments better.

Christmas wish-list 2005

Each year, we do a Secret Santa gift exchange with my family. It's less expensive than giving both my brothers, their significant others and their children all gifts. Instead, the adults each buy one gift for another adult. The kids? Well, they're still a free for all.

In the spirit of the gift exchange, buying something the recipient wants is best.

So, Mom, here are Kris' and my lists.


  1. New bi-fold wallet
  2. Disc 4
  3. Disc 1
  4. How to Host a Murder Mystery
  5. Baseball Forecaster, Graphical Pitcher
  6. Underwear! Boxers or tighty-whities, size 30
  7. Socks (white, lots and lots - I'll probably get these for him from Costco)


  1. Seeds, vegetables and other edibles (trees, berries, etc.)
  2. Soaps
  3. Cook's magazine, M.S. Living
  4. stuff from my Amazon wishlist
  5. time
  6. light green or light (pastel) yellow potters (plant pots)
  7. pretty much any scone mix from King Arthur Flour

Can't think of any other things off the top of my head. Hope that's enough, Mom.