Too Much Too Soon
Posted in Hobbies
First dog watch, 2 bells (5:08 pm)

I decided on a whim this morning (since my foot was feeling real good) that I would attend the Ingress Recursion Event in downtown Spokane. I knew there would be some walking but felt up to it. Aaaaaand I overdid it. I had to cut short my time since I had to be in Coeur d'Alene by 4pm, but even so it was too much. My feet are killing me. This was the most time walking and generally being on my feet since my Achilles tendon surgery. I hope I can walk tomorrow…

I did get a patch and a virtual badge, though. I also used up at least a third of my inventory. Which means I have room for more stuff later.

Update: I really did overdo it. I just endured a solid five-minute charley horse in my calf. My leg just would not relax.

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Why I Hate Koalas
Afternoon watch, 7 bells (3:57 pm)

I've hated koalas for years. People say they're cute and fuzzy, but they're disgusting creatures. Just watch this, and enjoy the MST3K commentary with it.


If you have the National Geographic Channel (unlike me, who cut the cable years ago), they're having RiffTrax (MST3K) over on April Fool's Day.

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Not Cut Short!
Forenoon watch, 4 bells (10:18 am)

I talked to Lorien last night and she just got news that she won't have to cut her trip short after all! Time to breathe a sigh of relief, I was bummed that she took the time to go so far and some stupid smoke would force her to come home early but it sounds like things are a little clearer now. Right now she is in Thailand with Arwen's family on their spring break.

Happy St Patrick’s Day
First dog watch, 1 bell (4:39 pm)

Today is St Paddy's Day, where everyone that may or may not have any Irish in them pretends they do.

Therefore, in that spirit I present today's phrase:

Irish Handcuffs
Having a drink in each hand
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Trip Cut Short?
Forenoon watch, 6 bells (11:03 am)

I just heard from Lorien's mom that Chevron is evacuating families due to the smoke problems they've had in the area. They are supposedly getting on a ferry to Singapore when they get up Saturday morning (in a few hours from now), and will then start their spring break early and head to Thailand. When that trip is done—around next Sunday—Lorien may be flying back immediately instead of returning to Sumatra. It sounds like Arwen and the kids may be on the same schedule. I will post more information when I hear it.

UPDATE: Rain has come and it is safe enough for them to return to Sumatra at the end of the week.

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Random Number Seed
Posted in Code
First dog watch, 2 bells (5:17 pm)

I have been running in to an error based on the ages-old method of seeding random generators with time(NULL), the number of seconds since the UNIX epoch. When this process runs in parallel with itself, the RNG gets the same seed because the time resolution isn't fine enough. There are other ways to seed based on hardware RNGs, reading from /dev/random or /dev/urandom, but I'm afraid I may call the function too often and deplete the entropy and make it less useful. Plus, cryptographic-level randomness is not one of my requirements. In talking with coworkers, we came up with adding the number of microseconds to the end of the UNIX timestamp to get a non-repeating number that will only get a duplicate seed during the same microsecond (i.e. highly unlikely).

Since the machine I'm poking around on doesn't have C++11, but does have Boost libraries, we came up with the following code:

int main(int argc, char **argv) {
    boost::posix_time::ptime epoch(boost::gregorian::date(1970,1,1));

    boost::posix_time::ptime now = boost::posix_time::microsec_clock::local_time();

    boost::uint64_t x = (now - epoch).total_microseconds();

This function will work until we overflow the boost::uint64_t type (an unsigned long long), or roughly at 8:01:49 am on Wednesday January 19, 586524. After that it's someone else's problem.

Today in 1993, @SJGames won its lawsuit against th…
Posted in Twitter
Forenoon watch, 3 bells (9:52 am)

Today in 1993, @SJGames won its lawsuit against the Secret Service. Fnord.

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Birthday Adventure 1
Posted in General
Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:55 am)

I went with some family to catch smelt on the bank of the Cowlitz river near Kelso Washington. Apparently you can only net them for 6 hours today and that's it. Lorien will be sad that she missed it.

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Middle watch, 1 bell (12:39 am)

Where do the years go? Since Lorien left for Sumatra on Monday to spend time with her sister Arwen I decided to drive down to Portland and spend my birthday with the biggest concentration of my family in one place.

The drive was normal, six hours plus or minus about 5 minutes door-to-door. I've done this drive quite a few times and have it down pat. Today I left home at 9:17am and arrived at mom's place at 3:19pm, with one refuel stop and one bathroom pit stop. I used to stop in Hood River since that's where I grew up, but I haven't lately. I suppose if I was actually likely to see someone I knew I'd be more likely to stop there more often, but the chances are quite low since I don't really talk to anyone that lives there anymore. For those that don't know, I moved in 1989 so it's been a while.

My youngest brother Wes and I went out to get a bite to eat at Cartlandia, a foodcart stop. I got Pad Thai noodles and they were delicious. Then we drove to Beaverton, to Powell's at Cedar Hill's Crossing to attend a 7pm book signing by Brandon Sanderson. He's a popular author, so it took about four hours to get my book signed. I texted my sister-in-law Cami to ask if she had the new book yet since the store announced they were closing the registers in about 15 minutes. I didn't hear back from her (turns out her phone had died) and she was bummed that she missed the opportunity. Fortunately for her I'm a pretty awesome guy and went ahead and bought the second copy just before they closed so I could get it signed, just in case she wanted it. I thought if she didn't, then I'd give it to someone as a gift. An hour or so later when she got back to me I got to surprise her and let her know she would be getting a copy anyway. I have to admit, that felt pretty awesome, it was a good call. Eventually my place in line came up and I got to talk about WorldCon 2014 in Spokane. Brandon gave some great advice about attending. I also just beat the night's record for longest distance driven: a couple drove from Pullman (about 350 miles). I got to one-up them since I drove 375 miles. Not much, but I won 🙂

We wrapped up just after 11pm and drove back, talking about how bad most of the drivers are in Portland. Now my evening is winding down, I'm checking social media and responding to the "happy birthday" wishes that started coming in. I guess some people feel like wishing others a happy birthday when their social media platform of choice reminds them is hokey, but I think it's endearing and always try to make a point of personally responding to each wish since they took the time to write me.

I'm only about 35 minutes into my birthday, but I'm pretty tired. I'll probably blog more tomorrow since I don't have much else going on. Maybe a visit to Bob's Red Mill and lunch at Otto's Sausage Kitchen will be in order…

PS Happy International Women's Day!

Taxes done and filed. It’s much easier when you pa…
Posted in Twitter
Forenoon watch, 6 bells (11:09 am)

Taxes done and filed. It's much easier when you pay someone to do them for you. In my case, it's the company accountant.

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Cd’A area: come and see @mariancall on 3/20 at @Th…
Posted in Twitter
Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:52 am)

Cd'A area: come and see @mariancall on 3/20 at @TheRooseveltInn and support great independent music! Details:

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Sitting on the couch watching movies while practic…
Posted in Twitter
First watch, 1 bell (8:51 pm)

Sitting on the couch watching movies while practicing the mandolin. Because my wife isn't home and I can.

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Two TP-Link WR-841N routers: $40. dd-wrt firmware…
Posted in Twitter
Last dog watch, 1 bell (6:52 pm)

Two TP-Link WR-841N routers: $40. dd-wrt firmware and setup guide: free. WDS at home: Priceless.

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I’m pretty sure I’ve smelled weed today at work. E…
Posted in Twitter
First dog watch, 1 bell (4:41 pm)

I'm pretty sure I've smelled weed today at work. Every time the heater kicks on, for just a second.

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Purchased a #cisco contract on 14 Feb. Today I’m f…
Posted in Twitter
Afternoon watch, 1 bell (12:35 pm)

Purchased a #cisco contract on 14 Feb. Today I'm finally able to download updates. 2 1/2 weeks for the world's premier networking company?BS

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