The data was dirty

February 19th, 2016

This was so long ago, shipping estimates were 6-8 weeks, and people didn’t complain, much.

I’d been brought in around week 5.  The process of turning information into data was destructive, so we couldn’t ask them to regenerate it, but what they had sent us was…of poor quality.  The language the client wanted to use to process the data back into information, didn’t have a raw file I/O library.  It had an import facility, but it required strict formatting, and crashed every time it ran across a single record that didn’t match.  Every record was a person who was waiting for something to arrive, so it couldn’t just be lost.

But I had an idea.  Just tell the import facility, every row was a record, as one entire piece, and fuzzy parse them after they’d been loaded.

And it worked, there was much rejoicing, I even got a car.

Just a model, but still.

Finding new music is like…

October 5th, 2015

People often ask me how I find new music, and I’m at a loss to explain the process in a single sentence.  Sometimes, I start out with a band I know and love, like for example Jellyfish, or Size 14, and go about following the former members as they move on to solo projects (Jason Falkner) or new bands (Linus of Hollywood).  Other times, it is a random chance listen to something that appeared on TV, or a search for covers of a song I already know and love, interpreted in new ways.  Word of mouth from DJ’s I like accounts for some, opening bands of bands I go to see used to provide new avenues too.  It is Very Rare that I’ll hear a song on the radio, but it can happen that way too.  Hanging out in a gay dance bar is a good pathway for new dance pop tracks, to make it into the rotation.

Of course, since there are huge gaps in my classic rock/blues/country knowledge, I’m often ‘finding’ stuff everyone else already knows about already, but new-to-me is still new-to-my-ears =p

A world without advertising

September 30th, 2015

For years, people begged Hulu to offer a tier of service that didn’t include advertising.  Hulu responded that it just wasn’t possible to provide one, at a price point that wouldn’t be ruinously expensive.  Then they finally did create one, and it turned out to only be $4 more per month, because, *gasp* an individual household just isn’t that valuable to an advertiser.  And so here we are, on the internet, debating the viability of websites in a world with ad-blocking, and I have to wonder if there isn’t a better way.

Facebook creepy data mining “success”

June 30th, 2015

They have correctly identified two coworkers, and a one night stand I’ve never contacted with an email address they should be aware of.   On the plus side, now I know his “real” name I suppose. Still, leaves me curious how they made the connection. 


June 1st, 2015

People talk about trust.  But most people don’t really understand what it is like to live without it.

Fake Space Needle Views

April 29th, 2015

If you ever watched the TV show, Frasier, and lived in Seattle, you might have noticed that he had an impossible view of the Space Needle.  There simply aren’t any high rise condo buildings close enough to provide the view he had, nor would they have also been facing downtown, etc etc.

It happens a lot in advertising as well.  I just saw a car ad that used an impossible shot of their car on the lawn at Gas Works park, with a clearly visible base of the Space Needle, in the background, and a funky mix of different slices of real and fake Queen Anne, blended together into a visual that, at least for me, completely took me out of the headspace of the car, and off into thinking about what that view actually looks like….you can see the top of the Needle, for sure, but trees obscure a good third of the tower, depending on your angle.

The better I get, the faster I’ll stop needing to use what I’ve learned

April 8th, 2015

It is a strange position to be in, learning a new technology with the end goal of never using it again.

Or is it annoying.


An apt metaphor for…

January 27th, 2015

There is some sort of fitting metaphor in Red Velvet cake poop.


It looks like blood, something that is essential for life, carries nutrients and oxygen, etc etc.

But it is just shit, stained red with the bodies of crushed up bugs that no part of our entire digestive system is willing to touch, and so comes out the same color as it went in.

Birthday cake

January 22nd, 2015

You can never have too much birthday cake. Unless you are diabetic, in which case, it’s probably pretty easy to have too much, depending on how bad off you are, which means it seems like a really cruel thing, for all your supposed friends to throw a party where you have to sit there watching them gorge themselves on a super rich cake, while you have nothing…what’s next, a big cake fight, where they all start smearing you with frosting and cake, a big huge dangerous mess of delicious coma. Who does that to someone Seems crazy to me.

Jack and the cuckoo clock heart

January 17th, 2015

Cool animation, but seems like nightmare fuel for kids so far.