Archive for March 2007

 
 

Dangit, why didn’t I think of this?

Monitor your blood sugar readings on-line.

I’m learning Ruby on Rails right now. I could have come up with this idea and made a fortune from the Diabetes community, right? ::sigh::

Oh, and the site that includes this feature is, indeed, built on Ruby on Rails.

Nevermind.

Quick Ruby on Rails Question

If there are any Rails people out there, I have a quick question:

Say I have a table for players (player_id and name) and a table for teams (team_id and name). Now, a player belongs to a team, and a team has many players.

I use migrations to generate those two tables, including the “_id” of each other in them.

I generate the scaffold for the two tables.

But when I go to edit a player, I can’t specify which team he’s on. When I go to edit a team, I can’t specify which players belong on it.

Does the scaffolding not handle that? Is there a third scaffolding I need to create? I have a funny feeling I need to specify players_teams to get something going here. Or is that just in a many-to-many relationship?

Or, basically, do I just have to skip the scaffolding and code it in myself? Scaffolding won’t do it.

Help?  And thanks.

Suddenly, I don’t feel so bad about my job situation

This is the scummiest lay-off story I’ve heard in a long time:

Circuit City fires 3,400, will hire lower-paid workers

Circuit City said yesterday that it had fired 3,400 of its highest-paid sales staff and will replace them with lower-paid workers, a risky strategy to cut costs that goes beyond the layoffs, buyouts and hiring freezes commonly used by struggling companies. The fired workers will receive severance packages and a chance to apply for lower-paying positions after a 10-week delay, said the 655-store electronics chain based in Richmond, Va.

Yes, you can get your job back, but they’ll pay you like a newbie all over again. Of course, I wonder how great a difference that pay gap is. I somehow doubt there are six figure salesmen on the Circuit City floors.

Completely Random Link Dump

Sanjaya and his roommates

Show Tracker: ‘American Idol’ – Los Angeles Times

Another factor to consider — if it is true that, as one contestant said last week, that Blake, the Chrises and Phil Stacey are all roommates, this means that in the guys’ dorm, the surviving gentlemen contestants are all in one room together — except Sanjaya, who then would be in a room by himself. If this is the case, also consider Sanjaya presumably would’ve come to inhabit this suite after the decapitations of his roommates. So we can visualize the specter of Sanjaya, after watching his roommates be killed off one by one, sitting along in his cavernous, cold, bare dorm room while the cool kids party down the hall, surfing the web and seeing how one girl is starving herself demanding he be kicked off while at the same time he has become a hero to a generation of Idol haters. . . . you don’t need to be a Carl Jung, just someone who reads enough comic books, to know that this is how super-villains are born.

Swimming Directions from Google Maps

Google Maps has a sense of humor. It’s almost like Google knows that people look to prank Maps like this. ;-)

Ask it for directions from Stanford, California to Stockholm, Sweden, and you’ll get them. The most important step is #33: “Swim across the Atlantic Ocean. 3,462 miles.” Step #34, by the way, is a slight right onto E05 before hitting a traffic circle. Imagine swimming all that way and then having to negotiate a traffic circle in a foreign country?!?

I found this on Reddit, where the comments thread makes a few good points, too.

The business case for Firefox

Really smart explanation:

Giles Bowkett

The way to translate things for Joe Suit is to get him to do the math. Your initial expense to build the software is going to be X; your ongoing expense to add new features falls in the range of Y. However, if you’re asking us to develop Microsoft-specific code, your upfront costs will increase by alpha; and if you’re maintaining that code, your ongoing costs will increase by beta. Be honest, make alpha a lot but not too much, but beta is going to be huge. Firstly because any developer in their right mind hates Explorer, and should be compensated simply for even going near that toilet in the first place; second because bad design costs money. Maintaining for Firefox is simply less work than maintaining for Explorer. Less work means less cost.

And, yeah, I giggled at the toilet reference. I’m geek enough to admit that.

One last thought: Get Firefox.

AI6 – Round of 10 – Results

American Idol logoEither I’m getting better at this, or this season has just been too predictable so far. Not, mind you, that my Beginning Of The Season predictions are all coming true, but my weekly ones are right where it counts.

Chris Richardson was safe this week, but I got two of the three contestants in the bottom three right.

I had a very weird feeling before watching the show. We’ve seen it happen before where a Not Great singer has a great week and then gets voted out. I worried about Gina for a moment. Thankfully, it wasn’t to be.

In case you missed it, Haley, Phil, and Chris Sligh were in the bottom three. Phil was saved first, and then Chris went home. He knew it all along, I think. He was the last to join the bottom three. Sitting next to Gina at the end, you could almost see him rolling his eyes, knowing he was about to be brought down.

It’s a funny thing with Chris Sligh. You had to love him. He is, as Ryan pointed out, clever. He has a wicked sense of humor. He’s studied music. He’s written music. He has a good voice. But he just couldn’t pull it off on the big stage when he needed to from week to week. He had one decent performance out of three, one that was a complete mess, and one that wasn’t all that impressive. It’s a stunning fall from grace for a guy Simon picked earlier on as being someone to watch out for.I thought he’d go much further in the competition, but it wasn’t meant to be for him.

As for the remaining contestants: If I’m Phil Stacey, I have to be very worried. He’s made the bottom three two weeks in a row now, and the second time after a performance the judges liked. He doesn’t have a big enough fan base baked in right now to support him too much further in this competition. Unless he pulls an amazing rabbit out of his hat with an Idol Moment, he’s not going to hang around to the midway part of this series. Really, what’s his personality like? Why do we want to vote for him? Who is Phil Stacey? He doesn’t have a story to go along with his talent, and that doesn’t help the fanbase at all. He’s just another singer on stage each week. He hasn’t even played up the military aspect of it all. That might get him a few extra voters. He needs those right now.

Haley’s days are marked, too. Her good looks won’t save her forever. (Though, I do admit, I want to vote for her every time I see her. ::ahem::) She’s just not a strong enough singer in a very strong year for the girls.

And we’re all waiting for the week when Lakisha is forgotten by the viewers and falls to the bottom three, sparking judge outcries about how this is a singing competition, like they haven’t been through this five times already and haven’t learned their lesson.

For now, though, let’s just pity poor Chris Sligh, whose golden opportunity slipped through his fingers. His spirit was crushed and his body slashed open, for all the world to pour salt into because they made him sing that Police song again. That was the worst part of the show last night. He knew he blew the song, but he had to sing it again. And he blew it again.

Here’s a quick lesson for future Idol contestants: Don’t ever sing a Police song. Both people who did last night wound up in the bottom three.

That won’t be a problem next week, as it’s Tony Bennett week! Maybe they’ll have a special performance in the results show by John Stevens, too. I’m sure Chris (I no longer have to differentiate the two people with the same name) will find some way to do some insane “vocal Olympics” over a Bennett song. We might even hear Sanjaya sing decently, next week. If he actually tries, he might be able to pull something off. Or, he could continue down his path of being the Running Gag of Idol and show up in a suit and tie, dye his hair gray, and smile a lot through that damned San Francisco song. . . De Blieck Out!

P.S. Question for the day: Would Sanjaya have been better off this week singing “Spider Web?” I mean, could it have been any worse?

Wednesday Link Dump

AI6 – Round of 10 – Performances

I’m pseudo-live-blogging tonight. It’s 10:15 as I’m starting to watch IDOL, and I’m just going to type as I watch tonight, pausing here and there to type out my thoughts. It’ll hopefully be a quicker process, overall, than the usual one, wherein I write in a marathon burst after the show before I go to bed, trying desperately to read copious handwritten notes of questionable legibility.

One of these weeks, I’ll do an actual live blog. I’ve been threatening it for quite a while.

But for now, let’s go:

I love how the opening credits are EXACTLY thirty seconds long. It’s only one 30 Second Skip button to get through them all, with perfect accuracy.

Ooh, we ARE live: Ryan is racing through the judge introductions.

Gina looks like she cried when she met tonight’s guest mentor, GwenStefani.

LaKisha lucked out and got Donna Summer’s “Last Dance,” a song the Future Mrs. and I BEGGED not to have played at the end of our wedding reception. LaKisha is wearing a particularly colorful kitchen table cover and boots.

Oh, she attempted a spin. That was awkward.

Man, those boots have very high and very thin heels. I don’t now how she didn’t break one.

Is this really the kind of stuff I pay attention to?

Ah, well, she sang fine. A little karaoke, but I can’t call her pitchy or anything. She’s as strong as ever, but America isn’t going to fall in love with her enough to make her the big winner. And she went first this week. I might have to think of her for the bottom three at the end of the night. America takes people for granted sometimes, you know.

And, look, her bank got some free publicity! People in the crowd came from her place of employment, with the bank’s name front and center on their sign.

I was so fast-forwarding through the commercials until I hit that SPIDER-MAN 3 commercial. Peter Parker still looks like Frodo going after the ring, and like Luke reaching out for his light sabre at the end there. ::sigh::

WHOA! ZEB WELLS IS ON TV! Wait, that can’t be the kid writing Marvel comics, can it? The one who made his name making mockumentaries about superheroes for WIZARD contests? Holy crap, it is. He’s on THE LOT. Did I miss that announcement? I have to go post on the Pipeline board. Excuse me.

(Boy, this “live blogging” thing is going to take forever, isn’t it?)

Chris Sligh is asked about what he does in his free time and mentions something about hitting the bongo drums in his boxer shorts. Is that a Bill Clinton reference? Or, wait, was that Woody Harrelson?

Chris is singing “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.” Stefani tells us his timing is off. It’s a weird song to do for IDOL.

Ooh, he’s not starting strongly. He sounds like a pale imitation of Sting, with weird breathing and timing issues. This is not going to be pretty. He sounds so flat. . .

I don’t believe him at all with this song. It’s bad karaoke. And that Weird Al hair is starting to get to me, too.

He knows it sucked. You can see that look on his face.

And the judges are giving him hell.

Simon thought it was “a mess.” I can’t disagree with him.

Gina Glocksen gets “I’ll Stand By You.” Great song for her voice. Heck, it’s almost the perfect song choice for her. Give her credit for that. She looks emotional. But those boots are bad.

She doesn’t go for those high notes. She does a little rocker shout thing for them. I like that, actually.

Oh, but that last note got lost halfway through in a warble.

She seems exceedingly pleased with herself. I think it was a great vocal overall, so long as you ignore that last half of that last note.

Simon calls it her best performance. I don’t disagree. And he referred to “chalk and cheese,” which I’m sure Ryan will call him on – oh, there he goes. Ain’t live blogging fun?

Ooh, Train Wreck Boy is next. And what’s with that odd closeup to Ryan’s face on the way out to commercial?!?

Back from commercial, and LaKisha’s bank gets more free publicity.

The Hair of Sanjaya Malakar deserves its own spin-off series.  But for now, I’ll be content to discuss it After The Break:


Den ganzen Beitrag lesen…

New DVD Releases, 27 March 2007

Full list.

My list:

  • The Brady Bunch: The Complete Series (21-disc set)

Just don’t think about what happened to them afterwards. Try not to think of the drugs and the sex and the marrying of dimbat models. Just remember them as they are, frozen in that one period of 1970s time. It’s better that way. For all of us.

  • Cast Away: Director’s Cut (2-disc set) (2000)

Everyone’s been champing at the bit to relive this one, haven’t they? I think it would be REALLY funny if Wilson was a soccer ball in the director’s cut instead of a volleyball! It’s a miracle what they can do with CGI today. . .

Children of Men (Widescreen Edition)

  • Children of Men (widescreen) (2006)

Lotsa people really really liked this one.

  • The Curse of the Golden Flower (2006)

With a title like that, you know Chow Yun-Fat is going to be in it and Sony Pictures classic is going to release it, don’t you?

Yup.

  • Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes: Vol. 1

Don’t worry — I haven’t forgotten about my comic peeps out there!

  • Full House: Season Six (4-disc set)

…in the middle of the street…

I know that’s not the lyric, but don’tcha wish?

  • Groucho Marx & Red Foxx: Comic Legends

You say “Groucho,” and I say, “how high?” OK, that sounded funny in my head. I think it reads COMPLETELY wrong, though. Nevermind.

Happy Feet (Widescreen Edition)

  • Happy Feet (2006)

It’s the feel good global warming hit of the winter!

  • Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman: Vol. 1 (3-disc set)

I bet you forgot this show ever existed. Now, admit it — have you ever seen an episode? Me neither.

The Shield - The Complete Fifth Season

  • The Shield: Season Five (4-disc set)

By far, the release of the week. Season Six starts next week! It can’t come soon enough. Poor, poor Shane is in big big trouble.

  • Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj (2006)

Noooooooo!!!!!! That’s direct-to-DVD, right? Please tell me no movie studio would put money behind a wide release for this. PLEASE.

Next week: BOBBY, CHARLOTTE’S WEB, THE GOOD SHEPHERD, and DIONNE WARWICK: LIVE! That last one is NOT a joke.

24 Season Six – 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Chloe gives Jack the week offIt’s a very special episode of 24, as Jack Bauer makes a special new friend. . .

And then shows off his ability to run and gun to save him. Lots of fun!

Meanwhile, the White House plots get more and more outrageous.

And things heat up inside of CTU.

I’ve given Jack the week off, and give you fan-favorite Chloe in his place. I needed to make up for her loss of screen time this week.

What’s wrong with this pic of Jack? That’s a BAD Photoshop job. Whose nose is that on his face?

For those playing the drinking game, I only caught Jack muttering “damn” under his breath once. The phrase “within the hour” was also used at least once. (The 24 writers love themselves the ticking time bomb. . . ) Spoiler time:


Den ganzen Beitrag lesen…

Grease: It’s Over

Well, the series is over and the world responded with — a yawn.

Predictably, Max and Laura won. The girls were a toss-up. Max won the popularity contest, though I think Austin would have been better. But, hey, America gets what America wants.

We’ll see how things turn out this summer.

In the meantime, I doubt we’ll see a sequel to this, but it could be fun to speculate. What reality series casting call would you want to see next? PHANTOM OF THE OPERA: YOU’RE THE MUSIC OF THE NIGHT? LES MISERABLES: DO YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING? JESUS CHRIST, ARE YOU A SUPERSTAR?

Nah, I don’t really see that last one getting too far. . .

Monday Link Dump

The Pop Culture Stuff:

The Tech Stuff:

Podcasting More Popular

Here’s a good way to start the week:

Podcasting News » Podcasting Audience Up 18% Since Last Year

  • The audience for podcasts is up by 18% from a year ago. In 2006, 11% of those surveyed listened to audio podcasts; in 2007, the number was 13%, about 18% growth. This figure looks like it may be the most controversial info in the report. At Marketwatch, for example, Frank Barnako is calling this anemic growth. While faster growth would be great for podcasters, a lot of industries would kill for 18% growth.
  • Podcast awareness has exploded in the last year, growing from 22% to 37%.