Sunday, December 31, 2006

A few pairs of socks posted on my Knitting gallery for completeness. Thus ends 2006. Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A new "Objet tricoté" on my gallery, complete with pattern.

This happens to be for me, but if you knit, you *could* still make this in time for a Christmas gift. Jo-ann is open until 9pm on Saturdays and may even be open tomorrow.
I just found the KnitWiki. I'd been thinking for a while about creating a Wiki for knitting, because I frequently look through the Web for advice or ideas on how to use a particular yarn that I bought because it felt so great in the store. Of course, most of the search hits you get are yarn stores selling the yarn, not knitters telling you how it worked up and what problems they encountered. So I didn't learn until too late that Karabella Aurora widens dramatically when it's first washed, or that using a silk (drapey, less elastic) yarn in a side-to-side pattern would pull a neckline competely out of shape. I don't know if knitters are sufficiently interested in contributing their experience but judging by the number of knitting blogs that exist and are being created every day, they might.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Just how predictable am I? I've been enjoying the first season of Boston Legal on DVD, and particularly the James Spader character, Allan Shore. On thinking why, I realize he's a Bad Boy who's really a Good Guy (just like Dr. House). He's petty, grand, nasty, gentle, happy to help a colleague and has an enormous ego. As a TV series must, the show keeps his character's tension going, episode after episode -- no easy redemption or complete conversion as one can find in movies sometimes.

Here's some classics of the archetype, whether charming or aloof. See if you can figure out which movie BBwraGG I'm thinking of, described from the point of view of the heroine.
  • He's cynical, brusque and appears selfish, claiming to be helping you only for the money. Yet he turns out to be idealistic too, and shows up in the final battle to save the young hero just in time for the defeat of the bad guys.

  • He gambles and womanizes and definitely runs with the wrong crowd. Yet he knows how to be charming and gentlemanly and certainly how to have fun. When he helps recruit for your holy cause, is it just because he wants to win a bet, or does he really care?

  • He's haughty, aloof and seems conceited and cold. He appears to have hurt people just to maintain social class distinction. Happily it turns out the full story was secret to preserve a lady's reputation, and his actions really were quite correct. Plus, he has a really great house.

  • He's a low-class rebel, part of the summer staff. He's dreamy but when you get closer, he's also hot-tempered, impatient and people believe him to have abandoned his lover and illegitimate unborn child. He didn't though, he was really just helping her.

  • He's a beast, literally. But he can turn back into a man if only you truly love him...

In the tragic romances, the bad boy doesn't quite make it either to conversion or to redemption. Rhett Butler continues to mix bad behavior in even after the appearance of good behavior, and ultimately rejects Scarlet due to her own flaws. Rick Blaine is a charming egotist who proves himself not entirely selfish by saving Ilsa and Laszlo, whereas Laszlo is a dull idealist whom Ilsa ultimately chooses.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

It was at an OSAF picnic more than a year ago that somebody (not from OSAF) asserted baldly that Open Source and Open Standards were entirely complementary. I must have been in a perverse mood or found him disagreeable, because I immediately looked for reasons to disagree with him. It's taken me a while to work them into a blog post but it's interesting that I remember the exact moment this theme began.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Scott Mace is so right:

With a standard, one can have a standard server running independent of the Internet that one can test against.

Scott was inspired by Spanning Synch:

Building an application on top of Google Calendar (which is itself still in beta) [...] "building a house during an earthquake".

I'd broaden Scott's stability principle to any well-defined, stable API. It's easier to build an application on top of a stable (public, or standard, or external) database API than one you're developing as you go. I'm not sure whether it's better or worse when the developer making the API churn is on the same team or a different team as the developers using the churning API but it's bad either way. There are lots of techniques to try to enforce stability so that you're not building your application on quicksand and one of them is certainly to use a standard for an important interface -- it's a way of enforcing discipline one might not otherwise have.

Friday, December 01, 2006

If cheesy alternative lyrics turn you off, stop now. I deeply regret it if the season inspires excess cheese chez moi, but I cannot help it.

To be sung to the obvious seasonal tune...
On the first day of Christmas, I caught my cat as she...
Was eating needles off of the tree.

On the second day of Christmas, I caught my cat as she...
Was barfing on the floor,
And eating needles off of the tree.

On the third day of Christmas, I caught my cat as she...
Was peeing on the bed,
Barfing on the floor,
And eating needles off of the tree.
[skipping ahead]
On the twelfth day of Christmas, I caught my cat as she...
Was climbing on the curtains,
Chewing power cables,
Scratching up the sofa,
Coughing up a hairball,
Jumping on the counter,
Pushing things off tables,
Drinking from the toilet,
Meowing at my door! ...
Tangling my yarn,
Peeing on the bed,
Barfing on the floor,
And eating needles off of the tree.

Now I just need these guys to perform this for me!

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