February 28, 2006

Mood: Bleh.
Music: Let It Whip, SR-71
Game: World of Warcraft, COD2, Full Auto, Dungeons and Dragons Online (Khyber Server)
Book: Beginning PHP5, Apache, MySQL Web Development, Naramore, Gerner, et al., Quicksilver, Neal Stephenson
Weather: 55F, cloudy.
Jobs applied to today: 0.

Kind of a low morale day. It’s sometimes hard to stay positive when you don’t get ANY callbacks. It’s probably true that I should be just throwing dozens of resumes out there…but I can’t in good conscience send a resume out for a job that I don’t really want. Anything that remotely matches what I’m interested in doing, that I think I’d be good doing, I apply for.

The job descriptions I’m reading seem to match EXACTLY what I was doing for Modem…and I like to believe that I was pretty good at that…at least good enough to get the job done. Maybe I’m just too old for the jobs now? No one wants to hire a 38 year old producer? I mean, yeah…I was much younger when I was doing the job before….

Maybe it’s too much experience. What a fucked up catch-22. I have too much experience to get a job…they won’t even give me a call, figuring that I wouldn’t be challenged, or I wouldn’t get my hands dirty, or I wouldn’t be close enough to the sharp end of the stick to understand how it all works any more.

Maybe they figure I’d want too much money. I have no idea. It’s bizarre being this young…well, maybe I’m NOT that young any more. That’s the funny part. My internal self-view has me at like 22…except I’ve been 22 for 16 years. I know I must have changed in a lot of ways…but my brain won’t let me see myself that way.

Anyway, I’m going to get back to coding. I probably should hit the job search websites again right now instead, but I’m not really feeling up to it.

There’s kind of a nasty problem with the views/raids php that somehow got introduced somewhere, and I’m trying to chase it down. I THINK it has to do with the way the dates are being entered, stored, and retrieved. At least that’s part of the problem.

And yeah, I said I would talk about DDO today…but instead, I’ll leave that for a day when I’m feeling more excited about things.


How are we doing?

February 27, 2006

Mood: Good.
Music: Ready to Go, Republica
Game: World of Warcraft, COD2, Full Auto, Dungeons and Dragons Online (Khyber Server)
Book: Beginning PHP5, Apache, MySQL Web Development, Naramore, Gerner, et al., Quicksilver, Neal Stephenson
Weather: 55F and Light Rain.
Jobs applied to today: 2.

Playing a new game, playing my old game, working on a marketing plan, coding a guild tool….

And generally slacking. Watching movies, just had a bowl of pho.

I haven’t written much lately…not sure why. Things have been going pretty good, really.

Chelsea’s getting some wisdom teeth out on Thursday, so this weekend’s going to be a taking care of Chelsea weekend.

Get some gaming in while she’s zonked on demerol, or whatever they give nowadays.

Nothing of any major consequence on the employment front. I think I’m going to start writing letters to old co-workers and see if they have any juice with companies in Seattle. I just need to get in to see someone….

Not really sweating it.

Yeah, it’s kinda stream of consciousness…but I’m not really in blog mode, and I realized I hadn’t written in almost a week. Need to keep this going.

More about DDO tomorrow.


February 21, 2006

Mood: Good.
Music: Cult of Personality, Living Colour
Game: World of Warcraft, COD2, Full Auto
Book: Beginning PHP5, Apache, MySQL Web Development, Naramore, Gerner, et al.
Weather: Sunny and cold.
Jobs applied to today: 0. (Nothing caught my eye yet. I’ll look again this afternoon.)

I’d like to take a brief moment and completely rip NBC Sports.

I, like most geeks, get the vast majority of my news from the internet. This should come as no surprise…face it, you’re reading this on the web as well.

I am an ESPN junkie. I check it 2-3 times a day…more if I’m bored. Hell, I read about sports I care absolutely nothing about. And, in spite of the fact that I think guys like Bill Simmons and Jim Caple are ridiculously biased fucktards with no ability to remain objective, I still enjoy reading most of the stuff on

Here’s the problem. During the Olympic Games (NOT Olympics, as NBC has improperly named their site…) ESPN links a chunk of their content to NBC’s Olympic Games website. This probably has something to do with sponsorship. In any case, NBC has subcontracted with Doubleclick to host their site, and undoubtedly serve up a mess of advertising along the way.

This wouldn’t inherently bug me…what bothers me is that the Doubleclick servers crash my browser about 75% of the time. They must be using some obnoxious mix of Java, javascript, cookies, flash, and who knows what else…and it completely locks up my browser when I hit their site.

Frankly, advertising online generally doesn’t bother me…seeing as I’m somewhat to blame (along with a huge chunk of Modem Media’s first 200 employees.) Hell, I even like to see some of it. But when it starts crashing browsers, not even allowing me to see the content I’ve requested? It’s gone past being an annoyance, and moved straight into “You people should be killed.”

Now, since you never know from ESPN when the content is going to be linked to NBC, I could be following an Olympic Games link and all of a sudden find my browser crashed out. It’s like playing Minesweeper…only not at all fun. All I want to know is hockey information from Torino, and instead, I get crashed browser. Fascinating.

This has been going on for days now. They HAVE to know there’s a problem…because my browser IS spitting “Bad link” messages on the bottom. Which means that there’s a configuration problem with NBC’s site…which means Doubleclick has fucked up. And NBC may well be pissed…but not pissed enough to get Doubleclick to fix the fucking thing.

Having worked on the Atlanta Games website for AT&T…I CAN tell you this: You have ONE chance to get it right, and your window for fixing problems isn’t days or weeks, like it is for a lot of other websites. Event websites, especially like the Olympic Games are every other year, for about two weeks…then you’re fucked. Each day you miss is about 7% of your ad revenue. The Superbowl is like that, I’m sure. Imagine having an ad during the Superbowl pointed at a site…and your site being down during that ad. So much for your several million dollar investment.

In any case, I’ll be going to CNNSI…which has lousy writing, and not very good organization, because I can read it…which is more than I can say for ESPN/NBC. Fuckers.


February 18, 2006

Mood: A touch sleepy.
Music: Paint It, Black, Rolling Stones
Game: World of Warcraft, COD2, Full Auto
Book: Beginning PHP5, Apache, MySQL Web Development, Naramore, Gerner, et al.
Weather: Sunny and cold.
Jobs applied to today: 1 (It’s Saturday. Most people don’t post job listings on Saturday.)

Last night, I ended up coding until 5am. Of course, a portion of that was watching Alexander…which you could definitely avoid like the plague-ridden piece of obnoxious garbage that it is. Oliver Stone’s lost his mind. Although I’m not at all sure it was there in the first place.

A good portion of it was installing and configuring Apache, PHP5, and MySQL on my computer, however…which was surprisingly easier than I would have thought it to be. Traditionally, I have a mess of problems installing such things on my computer because of all sorts of patches and quirks and such. But aside from a few minor errors on MY part, it went very well, and now it works.

This is cool, because it gives me a place to really mess about learning code. I know I could probably do such a thing on the ijsmp server if I asked…but I don’t feel comfortable messing about with things I don’t understand on someone else’s boxen. So I have an AMP environment at home now. Go me.

I also spent a fair amount of time looking at the code for the raid tool, and frankly, it’s a real mess. The more I understand what’s been done, the more I see better ways to do it. There are all sorts of inconsistencies in the code. It’s pretty bad, really.

Today, I’m going to focus on the templates…because they have hardcoded stuff in it that really shouldn’t be. I can wedge some php in there that will make it work better.

I also want to get rid of some of the pretty horrific design. While some people think it’s clever to have every last thing on a WoW-related site look like it was designed by Blizzard, I’m more inclined to have it look functional and less ornamental. The borders and corners and little gargoyle dragons and goofy typeface is overdone.

I know I should focus on the code, first, and I will. But I just want to get rid of some of the more obviously offending imagery….

No real plans this weekend…so I’ll probably spend it coding and playing games. How unusual, I know.

Hack hack hack…

February 17, 2006

Mood: Good.
Music: The Logical Song, Supertramp
Game: World of Warcraft, COD2, Full Auto
Book: Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson. Yes, again.
Weather: It was sunny and clear again…it’s dark out now, though.
Jobs applied to today: 3

I’ve added a counter for the number of jobs I applied to. Maybe you’ll find it interesting, and maybe it’ll be interesting for me to look back on it.

Today is Princess Beedril’s birthday. She doesn’t read this blog, know what a blog is, or even really care, probably. Happy birthday Princess Beedril! So when you look back at this, you can see I said Happy Birthday to you in 2006.

Anyway, I spent a huge chunk of time today hacking the location php for the raid tool. The original php was completely broken…misplaced code, variables missing or just wrong, and so on. I jumbled and rewrote for hours. It largely works now. I need to fix two or three more quirks, mainly in the error checking, before I think it’s done.

I had a pesky bug that I absolutely could not track down. Smitty took a look at it, and in a few minutes, figured out the problem. A missing close-quote. Isn’t that wonderful. I spent almost an hour looking for the problem. I learned the error message and behavior. I should be able to prevent that in the future. Or at least correct it quickly if it happens again.

I also juggled around some credit card balances to decrease some interest rates. Hopefully, I’ll be able to chunk down the credit cards over the next year…and after that, we look for a house.

Been sitting in front of the computer a good part of today, so I’m gonna go read on the couch for a bit, then probably get into bed.

Pretty cold out there…

February 16, 2006

Mood: Good.
Music: iPod syncing as we speak…
Game: World of Warcraft, COD2, Full Auto
Book: Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson. Yes, again.
Weather: Sunny and cold…colder than usual. Might even be below 40F today.

Finally got some of that code working. There’s something really satisfying about making a system run the way it’s designed/supposed to. While I’m not all the way there yet, I can feel my brain sorta working its way back into coding mode…thinking of things in certain ways, losing track of time when I’m backing on code, flipping between the editor, the FTP program, and the browser…just constantly cycling…putting in debug variables and lines…checking that, investigating. I just like it.

Not sure I’d want to do it for a living or anything…but I really enjoy it.

As soon as the iPod is done syncing up, I’m going to head to the post office and send off this 401k distribution form. Yes, I know it’s a “bad idea.” Of course, it’s not the first time I’ve emptied my 401k, and so the amount in there probably isn’t nearly what you think it might be. Doesn’t matter…bad idea, good idea…it’s necessary for me right now. So there ya have it.

I’ll find a nice job, get a 401k opened again, and just dump cash into it. I know I’m almost 40. What can I tell you? 25 years to make enough to retire on. I figure in the first 20 years of employment I made and lost enough money to retire on, I can do it again. I’m just lucky like that.

Anyway, I’m starving. Food, post office, maybe stop off and get something to make for dinner.

And back to coding.

OK…so I didn’t write so much today.

February 15, 2006

Mood: Good.
Music: Will I Ever Understand You, Berlin.
Game: World of Warcraft, COD2, Full Auto
Book: Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson. Yes, again.
Weather: Sunny and cold. I can see the mountains from my window today.

Ran out today, picked up Full Auto, and a book on PHP5/mySQL development.

The game is entertaining, and the book is good so far.

I need to mail in my form to deal with my 401k tomorrow. I’ll also do a few more errands in the morning.

Then, back to coding. I coded until about 3am last night. The code that we’ve inherited for this project sucks in a grand and royal sense. It doesn’t even do what it’s supposed to do. And we’re trying to fix it and upgrade it at the same time. Oh well.

I really like coding. Music in the ears, nothing but a mess of code to play with. No hassle.

I got accused of wallhacking while playing COD2 today. THAT was funny. Me. Hacking. Got banned from the server anyway.

Oh, and today is Smitty’s birthday. Wish him a happy quarter-century.

Tomorrow, I’ll start on the outline of the book…I want to get back to coding.