The Christian Science Monitor, whlie a great publication, has been challenged lately with staying under budget. In a move to help assuage costs, the CSM is moving to open source software, like the LAMP platform. Curtis Edge, CIO of the Monitor, explains in this interview the reasoning behind the move:
But beyond the tangibles like open source code it was the community that made a convert of Edge. Behind all the open code, it was the forums and flexibility that were the driving forces he believes breeds better developers than those that toil away with proprietary code.
I'm loving this move. Mr Edge, if you need some custom software leveraging the LAMP platform, give us a buzz.
Interesting sight today at "work": The FedEx guy delivered a package to the house. Not all that unsual, right? The unusual part was that he was driving a Penske rental truck. Did I miss a merger here?
As I contemplate the next vehicle to putter about in, I see myself more and more going the diesel route. The most compelling reason for me to do so is my interest in biodiesel and having a vehicle capable of running on it sounds good to me. More good news today from the EPA:
In a move that may presage diesel's Cinderella-like transformation, the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday required US refineries to begin making ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD), a fuel with 97 percent less sulfur than ordinary diesel that, as a result, slashes soot emissions.
Sounds happy to me. Now I just have to get the bank roll going…
When you look at magazines, they have pretty sweet formatting. One of the techniques I like is the drop cap, where the first letter in a paragraph is quite large with the rest of the text wrapping about it. The break down of it all can be found in this article over at mandarindesign.com. So I thought, rather than hand-coding it in on posts, I'd just rather write a Wordpress plugin to do it for me. Usage is quite simple:
What do you do with a government program that save $7 for every dollar it spends? Well, if you are the Bush administration, cut its budget by a third. Seems Mr. President thinks the best way to save $155 million is to axe or cut a bunch of energy conservation programs. Very forward thinking sir. Read all about it in this article.
For some pictures from Ben and Rachel's wedding, go here. These are not the 'official' pictures but great nonetheless. They are not yet purchasable but are downloadable. More to come…
Saturn sucks! So, I was driving my '97 SL2, shifting from 1st to 2nd gear when the shifter suddenly went limp in my hands. Unable to put the car back in any gear, I coasted to a stop in a left turn lane. Fortunately, the road was not busy at all and I had two friends in the car who were able to push the car into a parking lot. Also fortunate was the fact that it was maybe a quarter mile from the parking lot to my house so we were not stranded. Upon removing the center console, we discovered that the shifter had become disconnected from the shift linkage. Now, I'm not a car designer nor am I a mechanical engineer by any means. That said, I think it is bass akwards to have a crucial part of the driving system (the connection between the shifter and the shift linkage) be made of plastic!!! I'm all for plastic dashboards, plastic consoles, plastic whatever, except when it concerns the operability of the vehicle. Why the bleep would Saturn secure such an important connection with a small piece of plastic? Okay, plastic parts in crucial places is bad enough, but this story gets worse. This piece of plastic perhaps cost 50 cents max. I went to the auto parts store to see if they carried anything like it. Nope, gotta go to the dealership. We get to the dealership, I explain the situation, and the guy tells me that they cannot sell the piece by itself. I have to buy the entire shift linkage for $200 to get this bleepy piece of plastic??? WTF??? To make matters worse, the guy tells me that 5 people had been in before me that day to replace the same piece of plastic, and had all bought the entire package. Fortunately, I'm not that big of an idiot (nor do I have the dough), and I leave ready to jerry rig something fancy. Well, the car is now home, parked out front, because of twine. Why I had twine in my car is not important; it is important that I used it to tie the shifter to the shift linkage and was able to shift just fine on my way home. I figure I can drill a hole through the ball on the shifter, feed it through the hoop on the shift linkage, and feed a bolt through the newly drilled hole and not think about it breaking again. No worries, I do not intend to drive with just the twine. Moral of the story is: Saturn sucks. Not only do they make crucial parts out of plastic, but they also make you spend $200 to replace a $.50 piece of plastic.
To quote from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough. More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
So bring your towel with you today. It is in your best interests.
It has now been several months since the basketball season ended for my JV team. In that time I have reflected a lot on how the season went, how I performed as a coach, the ups, the downs, and the middles. I have a sheet of ideas that were written for the challenges I was facing during the season, but reading over them today, I find they are applicable to any sports scenario and thought I'd share them in a more public setting. Punctual: exact, precise, accurate, scientific, prompt, on time, well-timed, instantaneous, constant, steady, systematic, meticulous, detailed, instant, thorough, immediate, direct, precise in observing time, appointments, promises, duties. Patient: calm endurance of hardships, enduring or waiting without complaining (acknowledging what is right and waiting), perservering, diligent, single in purpose, persistent, even-tempered, peaceful, constant, poised, quiet, still calm, unflappable, submission to the divine will, composed, not impetuous, not discontented, expectant. Diligent: Constant, careful effort, perserveringm meticulous, steadfast. Keeping pace with highest purpose. Nothing is conclusive about a wrong picture. You are never safer than you are right now in Christian Science. Mortal mind would try to take you off-guard. Be alert to God's goodness. You are always in the court of Spirit. There's only one outcome - good. Every moment is the moment (staying in the now). Principle: The foundation from which an action or series of actions spring; a rule by which one directs one's life and actions. That from which a thing proceeds. Procedure: That which springs forth from fundamental principles; Exact in purpose. Skill: The familiar knowledge of any art or science, united with readiness and dexterity in execution or performance, or in the application of the art or science to practical purposes. Technique: A means or method of achieving one's purpose, especially skillfully. A manner of artistic exectution of relation to formal details. You are there to witness uninterrupted harmony.