Been reading novels lately 
2009.07.20 00:21 - Entertainment, Books
Old Man's War by John Scalzi, and Old Twentieth and The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. Good books. The Forever War seems most important, with more to say, though I think Old Man's War was a more entertaining read.

I'm not really sure what all I think of The Forever War. It's essentially an allegory for the Vietnam War, but I get the feeling that it's as much a personal allegory as anything else. The social extrapolation doesn't really work for me, but that probably has as much to do with the timeframe involved as anything else.

I liked the ending, though. A happy one.
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House of Nerds 
2009.07.19 01:33 - Meatspace Stupidity, Miscellanea
Was watching "From Russia With Love" earlier this evening with my parents and sister. Everybody in the room had seen the movie three or four (or five or six) times, so we were engaged in a certain amount of conversation about the film. I was talking about guns (C96 Mauser, AR-7 rifle), because that's tho sort of mental fixation I seem to have these days.

My dad and sister were discussing the way at least three different pickup trucks appeared to have been used on-screen for the one flower truck Bond uses to escape late in the film. A Dodge and two Chevrolets from different years. I couldn't tell, personally.

So, in case you were wondering, I come by it honestly.
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Coding Standards SO IRRITATING 
2009.07.16 10:04 - Whining, Work-related
Visual Studio will let you specify an external settings file which can contain a blue million different settings, including coding style bits and pieces. This is probably a good idea, as there's also menu shortcut that lets you reformat whole files on demand, which will make whatever poor soul that winds up responsible for merging branches in your source code repository endlessly happy. (ISTR stumbling across a checkbox somewhere in the application's bowels that let you reformat a file whenever you saved it, but can't find it now. Perhaps that misfeature was removed.)

I'm still irritated that it includes settings for brace style, and that they're all wrong0. The only thing I find more irritating than having the Wrong Brace Style1 foisted on me for no good reason is having a SQL query I've already written completely reformatted because the other developer couldn't figure out how to make an isolated change without running the whole thing through some code generator.2

And if you think that this seems petty, trivial, and boring ... well, I never promised anything.

0. Where 'wrong' is defined as 'not the way I do things'. I just can't put every brace and flow-control keyword on a separate line. It's pointless. It makes an if-else-if-else construction take up four extra lines that say nothing. It's like inserting dramatic pauses into a reading of a grocery list.
Me Them
if (foo) {
} else if (bar) {
} else {
else if(bar)
Anyway, I hate it.
1. Where, again, wrong == !mine.
2. It's usually painfully obvious, too, because I use a somewhat verbose formatting style in SQL:
Me Them (often, not always)
        foo f
        inner join bar b
            on      f.foo_id = b.foo_id
                and f.blah = 'MAGIC_NUM'
            f.foo_id = 1
        and b.bar_id = 2
        -- or whatever
It's certainly more compact, but God help you trying to read anything non-trivial that's formatted like that. It's worse if they've done it by hand, so that the indentation is both inconsistent and achieved with a combination of spaces and tabs.

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Maybe It's Me 
2009.07.10 19:46 - Meatspace Stupidity
Driving back from the grocery store a few minutes ago, I got honked by some guy driving a large pickup. Apparently, in the thirty seconds between my stopping at the red light and looking up the street to determine if the blue minivan coming this way was getting onto the highway (thus not going through the intersection), this guy drives up behind me and the light turned green. It cannot have been green long; there were cars in the left-hand lane and they had not moved. I guess he was in a hurry, though, because he honked twice before the other lane started moving. I happened to look over at the next intersection to discover that the impatient guy seemed to be watching me from his pickup truck, and possibly cursing me (it wasn't that far from the previous light).

In ten years, I've had other drivers honk at me about five times, I think. Four of the five times, I have been convinced that the other driver was an intemperate jackass.
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Less Stressed Out Now. 
2009.07.08 11:26 - Entertainment, Microcode, Internet Stupidity, Meatspace Stupidity, Miscellanea, Zombie Preparedness
Apparently, two hours of zombie killin' on Monday night was darned cathartic.
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