Thursday, April 21, 2016

Linked In?

It is irritating when people I barely know endorse me on  LinkedIn. Do they expect me to endorse them? Who are these people?

And then the other day, I get all these people wishing me a happy anniversary. What Anniversary? What the heck is going on here?

I have not installed LinkedIn on my new phone yet. And I probably won't. What would be the point? I never used the app. The email is annoying enough, I do not need notifications.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

In the Navy

I went to a Navy recruiting office in high school. I assumed they wouldn't take me, and initially they didn't.

I was rather surprised to get a call back a few days later. Maybe there was something I could do.

I'm not sure why, but I like big ships. I m sure I would have been stuck on a small ship and it would no have been a pleasure cruise.

I never found out where I might have turned up. Probably Afghanistan.

The call back was to gauge the seriousness of going on a Church mission.  After I told the recruiter chances were pretty good, I never heard from them again.

I'm too old now, but I often wonder how different things would be had I gone down that path.

I worked on a damage control system a few years ago. I did a lot of R&D work in Visual Basic. I think there is one feature I solely worked on that made it into the final build.

Last I heard the software was deployed onto the USS Ronald Reagan. I thought that was as close as I would get to getting on a carier.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Lessons learned from cartoons

I learned this lesson from a cartoon idol: "Work smarter, not harder."

I'll never be like Scrouge, although I have been called that a couple times. Not sure a money bin is a prudent idea anyway. Even if I could obtain or even would want enough money that could fill an entire building.

After the game

The group of teenages triumphantly trotted home in the February snow. It was cold, but they were wearing shorts. The snow crunched under their feet as they went. They had just struggled in one of the best Basketball games they had ever played.

According to the score, the boys actually lost. But just barely. It was 31 to 30 against another group of teenages. A very good, tall, and possibly undefeated basketball team.

After weeks of preparations, we had expected a victory, but given the circumstances we fared better than anyone could have expected. The next team we met up with was in for a big surprise. The worst team ever was on it’s way to the top.

So we hoped.

As I took the shortcut to my parents house, I started to feel a bit dizzy. I did just play in it's entirety, a very rigorous game and decided I should take it easy the rest of the day. I went straight to my bedroom when I got home.

I was woken up for dinner hours later. I felt a lot better and the aroma of chicken and rice never smelt so good. I slept through lunch afterall.

For some strange reason the chicken tasted like fish, but I was the only one who thought that. I soon felt sick and everyone thought it was food poisoning.

Standard operating procedure was that I took up camp by the bathroom. I never thought much of that it until years later when my brother-in-law voiced his opinion of the practice. Well, he has a lot of opinions. If I recall correctly my bedroom, in the basement, was the only finished room.

Anyway, I remember trying to position myself so I could at least hear my favorite television show, the Simpsons. I was having trouble seeing straight, so I guess it did not matter that the angle from the hallway prohibited a great view to the set in the kitchen.

My parents thought it was the flu until I started to complain of numbness the next day. I could barely walk too. An appointment was made with the doctor and I was practically carried into the office. That was the first and only time I didn’t have to wait in the foyer. I was rushed straight to the back room, and then shortly after in an ambulance, was rushed straight to the Regional Medical Center.

If I was a cat, I suppose I used up a couple lives over the next few months. My basketball career was over, but it was alright. I wasn’t really that good anyway.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Sort DLL

I took this elective in college called Advanced Windows programing. It was the another Visual C++ class taught by these adjuncts from Intel. It was a fun set of classes.

When we got to creating Dynamic Linked Libraries or DLLs, they had a friendly competition for the project lesson. We had to create a DLL that exposed two functions: one to get an array  of integers and another to sort those values. The student with the fastest sort function would win a candy bar.


There were 5 winners. One guy was disqualified because he sorted the array in the function that accepted the array. Some people did not care and just did one of the many sorting algorithms like the bubble sort. Three people used the C library function qsort. It basically is a quick sort.


I was asked if I did any optimizations to my code. When i admitted I had not, I was given a Snickers bar. I guess it was funny, I did not do much and came in 3rd. The 4th and 5th place winner had done some work in the comparison functions used by qsort and apparently was slower than a simple comparison of integers. 

The second place winner had written his sort function in Assembly. It must have been a serious let down to do all that work and lose. The 1st place winner had used the sorting algorithm i n the Active Template Library.

“Never write your own algorithm when you can use a vetted and optimized one.” the guy proudly boasted.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Dreams

Why do we have dreams when we fall asleep? What are they exactly? Where do they come from? Is there a purpose to them?

I often do not remember my dreams. I'm sure I still have them. Some mornings, there is that time before I wake up that I can still recall the dream. Then it is gone.

It would be entertaining to be able to record them for viewing later, but it might be embarrassing if those records got out. I'm not sure I'd want to see other people's dreams either.

When I was kid, I had a few crazy dreams. Some where about dinosaurs. I'd run for the house because a raptor or something was chasing me. I'd shut the door behind me only to find out the door no longer fit the frame. Other dreams I'd be running and not be gingo anyway like I was on a treadmill or something.

I learned one day I could control my dreams. If I did not like something playing out in the dream, I could force something else to happen. Kind of like fighting a boggart in the Harry Potter series of books. Other times I would switch dreams entirely. Like changing a channel on a television set.

Sometimes, you hear of people getting warnings or inspiration from a dream. Not sure I can claim anything spectacular, but I can admit that when I was younger I knew it was time to get up when water randomly appeared in the dream. A river, or fountain, or whatever... That was the signal my bodily functions were active and I needed to get to the restroom fast.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Golden Gate Bridge

We got to the San Francisco Bay early in the morning. I was hoping to have gotten  up earlier and observe the bridge from a distance.

My Dad went out to out the balcony. There was quite a lot of fog and very cloudy.  He looked toward the front of the ship and then to the back.

"Where is the bridge?" He wondered aloud.

I had the hunch to look up. "Is that it?"

This picture was actually taken as we were leaving and it was much clearer than our arrival.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Sounds Easy

Where were you when you first saw the Princess Bride? On one of the rare occasions we were ever invited to a neighbor's home, they showed us the movie. Perhaps they got it from the video rental store called Sounds Easy.

We got many of movies from there. Sometimes we even got pizza. Dinner and a movie? Sounds easy.

Last time I went to a video rental store was with a roommate a couple years ago. Ok, more like 10 years ago. I wonder if the store is still in business. There is that Red Box kiosk that I have never tried but I see them all over.

Last time I was at the Pentagon, one of the first stores I saw when first getting inside was a Red Box store. Seriously, it is a store with a bunch of kiosks in it. I chuckled every time I saw it. Does anyone do anything here? I wondered.

With streaming services like Netflix or Amazon, who needs a video rental? I admit that I do the disc rental from Netflix as well. There is a lot you don't get from streaming and vice versa.

One day, you just might be able to print or better yet, get a pizza from the replicator. I'd ever try the hydrator from Back to the Future. Dinner and a movie? Sounds easy?