Monthly Archives: April 2011
I know I should be working this weekend. I have a project that I really want to get finished. But, my family sacrifices a lot… a lot of “sorry, Dad needs to work”. Today, I wanted it to be about them.
We went to the Buda Wiener Dog Races. I’ve heard about this for numerous years and people always say what fun they had. I figured one of these days we had to check it out, and when I heard a few days ago that it was this weekend, I knew we had to go. It was fun. Had no idea so many wiener dogs lived in the area. It was fun to watch them race. Yes, I groan a bit at people who dress up their pets, but hey… if that’s your thing, fine. I will admit a few people had little “caps” (baseball, cowboy, etc.) on their dogs and they did look mighty cute. Had some good food, picked up a few interesting crafts. A good time with the family.
Then… we went to leave. As we were pulling out of the parking area one of the attendants waved us down and told us our front left tire was flat. Great. I examined the tire and it was sliced on the inside… not sure what the deal was, but there’s no patching this. Pulled over and changed to the spare. I can’t remember the last time I had to change a tire, and certainly it was the first time for the Kiddos to experience it. Showed them how it works and how it’s actually pretty easy to do. Thankfully it’s Saturday and Discount Tire was open. Thing is, I bought some Arizonian tires from them for the minivan about 5 years ago. I wanted Michelin’s, but money was tight at the time and the guy talked me into it (my mistake). Sure, they are tires, they do the job… but I was never happy with them. Loud. They seemed to lose air faster than other tires I’ve had. Seemed to wear faster than their label would lead you to believe, and the wear seemed rather uneven. I actually said a couple of months ago that I wanted to buy new tires for the minivan, and they’d be Michelin’s this time. Well… today was the day. Had them put on a set of Michelin Destiny‘s. We’ll see how they do. Bummed that I didn’t have the ability to shop around and get a tire of my choice at the best price, but hopefully this will work out well.
Thing is, while it wasn’t the way I wanted to spend the remainder of my Saturday, I’m just thankful I could. That I still have a good paying job. That I had the money to be able to handle this unexpected event, and didn’t have to compromise all that much. That I was able to spend a day with my family; Oldest even came with me on his own choice to the tire store.
Life doesn’t always give you what you want, but if you play things right it seems to give you what you need. Life is good.
There’s a bill working its way through the Texas legislature right now that would bring open carry to the state. It passed committee with a 5-3 vote.
Well, sorta. I covered this before. HB 2756 pretty much just takes the existing laws and crosses out the word “concealed”. So little changes, other than a requirement to conceal.
“Really all they did is some editing to the existing law that’s on the books. They basically just struck out the word ‘concealed,’” said Robert Greene. “Meaning you would be able to do conceal or open depending on the policy. The same restrictions on where you carry would be in place.”
I do appreciate the change to the lawbooks because it’s not adding to, it’s taking away. The engineer in me appreciates simplification like this.
Do I think this will make it through? Hard to tell. All sorts of strange things going on in the Legislature right now. We’ll just have to see, but keep pushing.
Routine much the same as before, but again, everything went up. More reps, more weight. I felt the intensity increase and all through the workout it was hitting me.
It’s all mental.
But today’s workout was more mental than any prior. I really noticed it during squats, because I went up in weight and squats are one of those exercises that I’m a little afraid of for whatever reason: probably getting stuck and I can’t push out the last rep, injuring myself, or some such thing, so I always play it conservative. But I pushed harder through it and boy it felt good. And even tho I track my workout progress, keeping track of exercises, sets, reps, weight, today I didn’t pay so much attention. Sure, I’d look at what I lifted last workout to know the starting weight or if I needed to go up, but after that I didn’t pay any mind to how many reps I did with that weight on this set. I think when I do that it makes my brain pre-set to only a particular level of exertion, e.g. “I did 8 reps last time so…” and then somehow my brain says 8 reps is the line. I ignored a lot and really surprised myself at how I’d go up on both weight AND reps. My body can do a lot more than I’m letting it… it’s all in my head.
I am feeling like the workout is getting to a point of “I need more”. I don’t think I’m ready to change up the workout schedule yet because I still feel that things are growing with this routine, not just physical growth, but a lot of mental and just body adjustment stuff. But I am starting to think about what I’ll do. Do I want to just switch to a 4x/week split routine (e.g. upper body Mon/Thu, lower body and abs Tue/Fri)? That feels like it might be too much. But I think about a 3x a week whole body…. that feels like it might be overtraining and not enough recovery. What I’m feeling is each body part is needing a little more work, like bent-over barbell rows AND lat machine pulldowns for back, squats and leg curls, bench press and flies… a sort of 1 compound 1 isolation exercise sort of thing. But also, 2x a week is good on my schedule, going up to 4x well… have to see.
Anyways, so long as I’m improving I’m happy. Body feels so much better than it did a month ago.
OK, programmer geek time.
I subscribe to a newsletter that mentioned an article saying “It *never* made sense to learn Java“.
I agree, and I disagree.
First, I generally agree with the guy because yes, just about anything you can do in Java you can do in C++, and perhaps better. I say perhaps because in all my years of using many programming languages I have found that people think C++ is a great object-oriented programming language, but it’s not. It’s a language where you can write OO-like code but there are lots of little idiosyncrasies involved that can make true OO difficult. C++ is a fantastic generic language tho, witnessed by templates.
I remember when I worked at Metrowerks, a developer tools company. Java had just come out. I was hired in their developer tech support group, and myself and another guy started on the same day. I was going to do Mac support and they gave him a bunch of “Learn Java” books and he became the Java guy. Java was all new, exciting, held the promise of “write once, run anywhere” but of course we all quickly learned that didn’t really work out well and over the years Java fell from grace tho it found a niche. When I worked on the Tango product, Java Beans was becoming a big enterprise thing so that’s the first time I got to actually do some Java dabbling, and while I thought it did a few things right and cool over C++, I still didn’t see the big deal. Ever since NeXT bought Apple, while it took me a moment to grok the syntax of Objective-C, I’ve loved it ever since because between that language and a good library like Cocoa (along with good tools to complete the development chain), I’m empowered to do true object-oriented programming and geez… I really haven’t had any desire to use C++. Sure, I did in a lower-level framework of a past project but when I had to use C++ and Objective-C side-by-side, there was no question that, especially with the framework support Apple provided, that ObjC was a far better language tool and you could really see the shortcomings of C++ as an OO tool. I’ve used a lot of other languages over the years, and well… while C++ is still a good language, it’s not the be-all-end-all.
But never made sense to learn Java? I think the problem with that premise is we’re looking at languages first. Most people do this, and IMHO it’s backwards.
We shouldn’t pick a language then forge ahead to solve a problem. We need to look at the problem, then utilize the best tools to solve that problem. The problem will dictate what languages, what libraries, what tools we choose. If you want to write Android apps, you’re going to have to learn Java. If you want some enterprise job, they may require Java because that’s what their backend uses. A project I’m working on now is separated into two main components: a background daemon that does the heavy lifting, which then communicates with a GUI app for the user to interact with. We are doing the GUI in Cocoa because that makes the most sense for writing GUI apps on the Mac. We write the background daemon in C++ using mostly generic libraries (e.g. standard lib, POSIX, BSD, some company-internal libraries) so the daemon can be easily reused on both Mac and Linux. The problem requirements dictates the tools and languages used, not the other way around.
So yes, I can understand and accept the author’s criticism of Java, but I do believe he’s answering the wrong question. We must look at the requirements of the problem to solve and let that shape what tools we choose, including language choice.
I just had Daughter and Youngest try to press the trigger on a new, stock Smith & Wesson 640-3. I don’t have a trigger pull-weight gauge so I don’t know the exact weight, but I can tell you it’s heavy, probably in that 12-15 lbs. range. With one finger, neither child could make the trigger budge even a millimeter. Using 2 fingers (both index fingers), no problem.
So you know… where there’s a will, there’s a way. This “safety” device isn’t going to prevent irresponsible gun handling and storage, which is really the root problem. Let’s work to address the real root problem, not symptoms.
For a start, check out those new safety videos from MidwayUSA. There’s a video on storage.
Check out Kathy Jackson’s Cornered Cat website. She has a section about kids and guns. Her article about “Disarming Kids’ Curiosity About Firearms” I think is a key factor. The kids don’t have to shoot, they don’t have to care about guns at all. But removing their curiosity, alleviating their ignorance, I believe that helps. Programs like the NRA’s Eddie Eagle where they teach small kids to “Stop. Don’t touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult.” makes for a simple and effective ruleset for young children to follow if they come across a firearm.
Despite our best efforts, we are human. We are fallible. We make mistakes, sometimes costly ones. Ignorance doesn’t help our ability to make wise decisions. Education, responsible ownership, responsible parenting… that’s going to take us further than any device or gadget. There may not be a lot of financial profit in that route, but I think the payoff is greater.
Tom Givens of Rangemaster sent around a message containing a great tidbit of information. I thought it worth sharing:
Do some dry fire. CLEAR YOUR GUN, and remove all live ammunition from the room where you will be working. A session of concentrated, disciplined effort for ten minutes is much better than an hour of fooling around. Your concealed carry presentation is one of the most beneficial things you can work on in dry practice. See www.rangemaster.com for dry fire targets that appear/disappear on your computer screen.
I’ve been having a hard time getting to the range these days: very busy. About all I’m able to do is dry fire. Even 10 minutes of it is better than nothing.
My guess is he’s getting paid or has some other higher-stake personal interest at play. As they say, follow the money.
I appreciate what they did. It’s a bunch of short videos that cover specific safety topics.
I will take them to task for their basic safety video, because Larry Potterfield provides his own take on “the rules” instead of adopting established rulesets like the NRA’s 3 fundamental rules. You might want to nitpick about it all, but there’s much careful crafting behind that ruleset, its ordering, its word choice, every subtle detail. Minding that ruleset and all it means leaves no room for error or “well what if” or other wiggle-room situations. The way Larry phrases things, it leaves something to be desired. But, I’ll take my instructor-hat off now.
I like that he covers non-typical topics like “what not to shoot at”, “know your target”, and dealing with 12 vs. 20 gauge shotgun shells. The videos are well-produced. Introduction, small overview, detailed discussion using the power of video to illustrate and reinforce, summarize, and that’s the way it is. Very digestible.
I think the best part is the tagline they’re using: “Firearm safety is YOUR responsibility.” Because it’s not about wacky devices, it’s about you.
I applaud MidwayUSA’s efforts here.