Memorial Day Weekend

This weekend was pretty fun. I'm exhausted. Friday, my brother went to the Phillies game and left me about half a case of Busch cans. I decided to forget about anything else and just hang out front and drink beer. I was hoping my neighbors would be hanging out too, and they were, so that was clutch. We had a good time. My cool neighbors were hanging out a bit, and they asked me to go downstairs and help them with their basement. They were putting in the floor. So of course, I stumbled on down the stairs, and found the only spot of the floor that had no tiles on it, only glue. So under their tiles are two big footprints of mine! I'm forever a part of their house ;-)

Saturday was a similar day. Video games in the morning. My brother cooked ribs, we hung out front with our neighbors, except I didn't drink. We ended up eating pretty much all weekend. Sunday, the same thing. We were beat so we went to bed at like 10. Well, my brother did, I was trying to find out what show I wanted to watch that could put me to sleep. I ended up staying up until 4am, with a 9:45 tee time the next morning. I watched "The Girl Next Door" which was pretty good. I also watched a movie called "Stealth" which was alright. It probably bombed at the box office because I had never heard of it, and it was available free on demand... a rare occurrence for a movie released last year. Basically, this advanced AI controlled airplane gets struck by lightning and ends up going bezerk and almost starting war on Russia.

Yesterday we went golfing. I sucked. The first few holes I was doing awesome, but then I think the heat got to me. It tends to when it's 958643 degrees Fahrenheit in the sunlight and 958642 in the shade. I ran out of my thirst quencher on the 13th hole, but really on the 8th, since after the 8th it was like hot cocoa. Not ideal for cooling someone down. I wasn't thirsty but man was I hot. Anyway, long story short, I played my best golf for the first 8 holes, then my absolute worst for the rest of the day. I'm talking about after 6 holes, I had 26, when a pro could probably have 21-23. My drives were straight, my approaches were right at it and landing on the green pretty close to the hole. I was on fire. I ended up with a 45 on the front. Yes, 26 in 6, 19 in 3. The main problem began when I looked at my score after 5. I used to do that on this course, since I played it when growing up. I would get 28 or 27 after 5 holes. Monday I had 21. Pretty much one over after 5. But I stink.

After golf we went to my brother's house for more barbecue. This morning I feel like death.

I'm gonna start on this

My web game. I'm becoming increasingly sick of the internet and it's "nothing fun to do for a 5 minute window of time to waste". I was looking for something to easily scan images in that I create on paper, but the only thing I can find got bad reviews. It was a "pen scanner", literally 8.5 inches wide and about 1/2 inch thick, and you roll it on paper to scan it, but people were saying how the quality was diminished. I do have a flatbed scanner, but it's a POS. Basically, I wanted to make the site look professional, since I can't draw with a mouse. I used to draw as a kid, and was pretty good at copying images from, say, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trading card, and scaling it up to fit onto a standard art pad (10x14 i think). I would color it in and show it off. One time I drew a picture of Homer Simpson and said to my oldest brother, "Want to see a picture I drew of Homer?" He said sure, so I showed him, and he was like "Man, I was expecting something pretty bad but that looks just like him!" I also did pictures from Marvel comics like Wolverine and the Fantastic Four. They were fun. Point is, I used to be able to draw, and remember enjoying it a bit, and think I can still do it with the right equipment. Like this picture I drew in work at my last job:

Pretty f@#%@ing sweet, huh?!? Anyway, I'm going to just program the site this weekend during times of soberness (Three day weekend!!!), see how far I get, then do some art for it later. It'll be fun, and like the original post says, there's nothing like it out there.

Jim and Kate's Email

Seamus Michael Bygrave was born on Sunday, May 21, 2006 at 22:21 at Camp Lester Naval Hospital, Okinawa Japan. He weighed in at 7lbs. 2oz. and 21 inches long. And he looks just like his proud father :)

Delivery went well. Mom is doing great. Everyone is healthy and we are home now. Check out the pictures. There is only so many attached, but we will be getting the rest out very, very soon.

When we got home we discovered we had lost power at some point while we were gone, so if anyone did call, we're sorry we lost your messages.

Love to everyone!
Jim, Kate and Seamus

They will be back here in 6 months or so, and I can't wait to see the little guy. Congratulations!! He's adorable!

Golf and other Important News

Looking at only the first half of my life, you would not expect me to be completely opposite for the second half of my life. Up until 14, I was playing sports, from baseball, basketball, football, street hockey, and some "Kill the Man" or some other "whole street" game that we came up with growing up on my street with kids in almost every house. I was active. I played video games back then too, so they're not really the cause for my reversal in activeness. Here is the cause: I am too competitive for team games.

Those little kid leagues where the coach will play every kid for the same amount of time were the only leagues I was in. There was no competition, it was only fun. However, having a huge competitive yearning, these weren't enough for me. I can't just go out and make myself better unless I'm competing. I love competing, and I love winning. Practicing is boring, but scrimmaging was awesome. My big sport growing up was soccer. I loved that, because our practices were scrimmages, mainly. We'd have some standard drills but they would just lead up to a 6 on 6 or something. During one year of soccer, I scored a few goals, and I scored in the All-Star game... as a HALF-BACK (or Mid-Fielder). It's usually the "strikers" that score.

So, practicing is not fun because there's no competition. I guess you have to make a little game out of it in order to make it fun, but I wasn't that creative. So, when I got to high school, I decided to give up on those sports because I wasn't interested in making myself better, and I didn't play anyways. Luckily, in 6th grade, I was introduced to a little game where the competition is built in, with no one else out there. Golf.

My love affair with golf really started, though, in 8th grade, when I had a paper route. Our local course, Kara Kung in Philadelphia, was $8 for a junior (under 17) to walk. So every time I went out collecting for the paper, I'd come back and stash $8 lumps in a sock in my drawer. Then I'd count it up and say "I can go golfing 12 times!!" On top of that, I'd watch golf all the time, my Dad subscribed me to Golf Illustrated, and I read tons of books. But I never practiced.

"You never practiced golf?!?! You must suck!" I do. But I love it. You can go out on a golf course and compete all by yourself. Because you're competing with yourself, and you're competing with the course. You can think back, "Last time I played this hole, I got a 6..." So your realistic immediate goal is a 5, but really you'd want a 1 :P It's just an incredible game.

But it's one of those games where you find that you haven't played in almost 3 months, or a year, sometimes when you think back. Time flies between rounds of golf.

Anyway, Zatko and I decide to go golfing on Saturday. I hadn't played since last summer, probably 7 months. I'm a bit rusty. And the first thing to go when you have a long lapse like that between rounds is your short game. You no longer have any idea how a ball off of a quarter swing pitching wedge placed in front of your back foot will react. Or how firm you have to hit it, or any putt that you come across. It's like you're retarded. However, the long game, I almost never lose. That's more like riding a bike than riding a bike to me. My first two shots were a drive into the fairway, and then a 7 iron onto the green. I three putted.

This is my best shot of the day. This dog-leg right... pretty steep right turn with trees hugging the whole fairway, and a driver will surely find its way into the back trees, and the trees on the right are high enough that it's a pretty bad call to try to get over them with a middle to long iron. I hit 4 iron and it hugs the right side. It's looking like path... indeed, it does that exaggeratedly high bounce off the cart path and gives me a few extra yards. I find my ball out there, but now it's a tough shot. It's about a foot off the right of the path, meaning I'll be standing on the cart path hitting this shot. I got about 115 yards to go, but yet another dilemma. The pin is directly over the middle of this huge bunker (sand trap for non golfers), situated right in front of the green. I'm like, "Well, better to try and fail then to lay up and not even guarantee a safe shot then..." So I take out my club, take my few very boring practice swings, and let it rip. The arch is beautiful. It's heading right at it. The lack of grip on my shoes made me slip a bit on the cart path, so I end up facing the fairway, where Zatko is standing. I didn't take my eye off the ball though. It starts its descension. It looks like God hit this ball, it's still dead on. I say to myself "Get over, you f@#%@er." I see it hit the ground... The impact of the landing made sand splash up. I'm like "F@#%@". But then I see it bounce. It hit the very top of the sand trap, the lip, where the happened to be sand, but it wasn't part of the sand trap! I look over at Zatko... he saw the whole thing. I put my arms up in victory and yell "I AM THE GREATEST GOLFER IN THE WORLD!!!" I got to the green and I had about a 12 foot putt ahead of me... or a 17 footer, a 4 footer and a one footer... but I managed to make that one, sealing my only birdie of the day.

Man it was fun. That kind of stuff, for a weekend golfer, is a rare occurrence. It makes it worth it though.

Zatko always walks the course, which I have no objections to. With my lack of activity in the last 6 years (I would go skiing and stuff, and in college there were a lot of hills and drinking games), it's good to walk the course every time. However, the first time out with golf shoes is a lesson in pain. By the third hole, I felt as if someone placed razor blades in the back of my shoes, and at the same time, used a salt / lemonjuice / gasoline mixture in them and set them on fire. However, I don't regret walking at all, even with my complete inability to move faster than 4 inches a second today. To ease some of the pain, I'd kick the ground pretty hard, shoving my toes into the one inch space at the front of the golf shoes, meanwhile slicing the sides of my toes, giving me about 4 seconds of relief before they slid back into place, bringing on the salted flaming razors with a twist of lemon sensation again. Luckily, we went back to the car after 9 and got my regular shoes. After that, I was fine. As you can imagine, my toes hurt today.

And I had so many three putts, that Zatko and I were taking an equal number of shots at me. We coined the term "A hard three-putt". That's one where anyone, ANYONE, who has even dreamt about one day playing golf should make in two putts or less. An easy three-putt is one with lots of twists and turns, or just great distance, or both. They're easy to three putt. I would say I three putted about 14 holes that day. And I ended up with a 90. 45 front, 45 back. Yes, 42 shots could have easily been 28. A 90 could have easily been a 76. Well, most likely not, since I always screw up at the end. I'm not sure exactly how many holes I three putted, so I'm not sure that I could have shot a 76. But just for a "for instance"... this one hole, par 3, over a lake of stagnant, malaria carrying mosquito filled water, I made it right on in one. I three putted. It's brutal.

So, if I am going to practice anything, it's going to be my putting, and it's going to be at Putt-Putt.

But, onto the other news!!

Jim and Kate had a Boy!!! Seamus Michael!!! I'll be posting pictures as soon as Kate's giganormous email makes its way from Japan. Congratulations Jim and Kate!!! I can't wait to see pictures :)

Kate is having a baby!!

This is the story of Kate and Jim:

Jim met me in 4th grade. We became best friends. Jim met Kate in High School. They became best friends. Kate and Jason were then best friends by association, and later on, really became best friends. Later, Jim and Kate got married and left for Japan since Jim was in the Air Force and was stationed there. It's been almost 3 years. Now Jim and Kate are having a baby!

So, it's about "that time" now... it was also Jim's birthday on Sunday, and Mother's Day, which Kate now is a part of since she was like 9 months pregnant. If that doesn't qualify for Mother's Day blessings, then I don't know what does. So, I see Kate online this morning.

Me: HAPPY MOTHERS DAY ON SUNDAY :D Tell Jim I said happy birthday too... i'm old and forget things ;)

Kate: guess what...I think I am in labor YAYAYAYA

Me: HAHA you shouldn't be sitting in front of a computer then!! maybe laying in front of it...

Kate: no, this is good, trying to get it out. the sooner it comes out, the more time jim can have off from work

Me: jeez... "it" :)

Kate: sorry, the sooner Lilyann or Seamus comes out...

Me: I hope it's Lilyann. what about Batman?

(EDITOR: Jim wanted to name his first kid [probably a son] Batman, so that when people ask him "Who are you?" He can say "I'm Batman". It was hilARIOUS)

Kate: i vetoed it

Me: DOH! that was like, Jim's only wish and dream growing up

Kate: would you let someone name your kid something ridiculous like that. like Jem or Barbie or Cabbage Patch Kid

Me: not just someone... the father :P it's half of the decision making panel!

what was the middle name again? batman _____ bygrave

Kate: Batman Bicarboncabin Bygrave

Me: HAHAHAHAHA that's right!!!

I totally forget the story behind that middle name, but that's just f@#%@#ing GREAT. Jim, email me or post that here :)

So, pretty soon I'll be getting a phone call from Kate's parents, telling me everything about their new grandchild, and I'm certain that I'll be getting about a 400 GB email from Kate with pictures that are directly from the camera (2-4MB in size each) with no cropping or resizing, just like she always sends me, CC'd to 75 people. The internet screaches to a halt when Kate sends out an email ;-) I love you Kate!

More to come (I'm filing this under "Family" also, because obviously I will also be a new aunt/uncle depending on the sex ... oh wait, I'll only be a new Uncle!! Honorary of course)

I have a job, I don't have a job, I have one, I don't

I don't know anymore.

Oh well, can't blame anyone. Either I'll have to look for one after June 20th, or I won't. We'll see. To their credit, they "definitely want to bring me on, there's no question about that". "Bring me on" of course is slang for "to treat one as a god". That should be nice.

House shopping is on hold. I hate contracts, but I love them. I know this is a very confusing post. I wasn't sure if posting would work, but it does (I sorta broke it), so I am not committed to making this the best quality post, and I have a headache, which doubly ensures that this post will suck.

And how's this for confusion... today, I'm working with:

XSL, XML, XLS, VBS, and C#.

It's wonderful to get so many acronymns to have to know, and each one consists of about 100 grams of knowledge. I measure knowledge in metric system mass measurements... because if my brain weighs 2kg or whatever (.... thinking back to Jerry Maguire "The human head weighs 8 pounds"... that's right, 8lbs). So, say it weighs 4kg, and is capable of storing information in 10% of that, which is .4kg or 400g. Now, take everything you know and remember... that's 100% of 400g. So with each of those things taking up around 100g, then I'm actually taking up more than 400g, so I'm obviously using more than 10% of my brain. Just to give you an idea.

XSL and XLS are very different. (Yes, XLS is the stupid, sucky MS Excel file format). (Coincidentally, XSL [or XSLT] are xml stylesheets, with which you can transform XML. It's neat).

Interesting Development: We have glass doors here at work that allow entrance to the whole third floor. Well, someone working on those doors, and with a HAMMER, shattered one and now there's glass ALL over the place. I was apparently the second one to see, but when I got there, there were no perpetrators around, and I didn't want to be seen alone at the crime scene. That's like admitting guilt, especially in a place without laws or police or a judicial system, just bosses. So I jumped into the elevator and ran outside. There was a guy out there, and he looked steamed. He was talking on the cell phone, and I wasn't really listening, but then he said, in a much louder voice, "BOOM!". I assumed he was talking about our door. He went in, and I went back upstairs eventually, and he was picking up the glass. That's a lot of damn glass too. And did you know that a lot of glass in a pile will crackle? I walked by at first and apparently all the glass was falling into place, so it was crackling. I didn't hear the actual crash or "BOOM!" as the guy described it. But, that was interesting.

And don't you hate it when you say "The door on the third floor is destroyed and there's glass all over." And someone immediately asks, "Really?!? What happened?!!" I don't f@#$%@ing know!! I just told you everything I know, and none of it involves HOW it happened. All my mad Sherlock Holmes skills will tell you is that there was a hammer in the pile of glass, and a 2-3 foot step ladder in front of what used to be the door. From what I can derive, I'd imagine someone was working near the door with a hammer, probably up towards the ceiling, and a misplaced downthrust of the hammer shattered the glass. It's all I can deduct. From that, our perp will be dressed as a carpenter... jeans, maybe a utility belt, working boots, etc. That was what the guy outside looked like. That's all I know. Turns out I was right :-D

Did you see the catch?!

I didn't. But here's how it went down. Aaron Rowand plays center field for the Phillies. Top of the first inning, bases loaded, 2 outs. A long drive deep to center field. Rowand's going back, back, back. HE CAUGHT THE BALL!! Meanwhile, my brother's downstairs watching it, and starts going ballistic. "HE CAUGHT IT, HOLY SH@# HE F@#$@!ING CAUGHT IT!!! JASE, YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS F@#%@ING CATCH!!!" So I go running downstairs and catch it in slow motion. All I can say to describe it is "Splat". They cut back to the live action. Rowand is on his knees, leaning over, and blood is POURING out of his nose. Literally. It didn't look as horrible in slow motion as it did when they showed the live replay. That's why I use the word "Splat". It was like he was an insect and Citizens Bank Park was a car going 70 on I-95. There are these metal bars that go across the fence area in center field, he caught one directly on the bridge of his nose. It was ugly. He had complained when he was traded here that the bars are dangerous. The field crew was scheduled to pad them over TODAY! Horrible luck. You can see them in the picture, the silver part of the fence. A guy on WIP talking to Angelo Cataldi put it best. He said that he had no regard for his own wellbeing in order to improve the wellbeing of his team. Isn't that just what we want in Philly?! He described how he was in FULL STRIDE when he hit that fence. This was a bases loaded jam with two outs, afterall. If he hadn't gone all out into the fence, it was guaranteed a bases clearing triple. Phillies end up winning 2-0 after it was cut short when the skies opened up after the top of the 5th. Today Rowand lies in a hospital bed. Another article I read said, and you can imagine the severity of the injury, that Rowand "destroyed" his nose. Destroyed. Ouch. He'll have reconstructive surgery today. And what was I doing while Rowand was risking life and limb? Watching video game movies of course! It's E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), where all the video game makers and hardware makers (Sony, Nintendo, etc) show all their coolest sh@%. Let me say, there's some pretty f@%^@ing cool s@#% out there! I watched a few hours of game movies last night on GameSpot. Picture courtesy of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The 700 Level has video and some better pictures.

Great Site

I just found this site, The Daily WTF. Your average computer user won't find much use in it, but programmers love it! They post pieces of code like this:

if (errMsg.indexOf("Violation of UNIQUE KEY constraint 'UQ__mbrs_pwd'") != -1)
return "The password entered is already in use. Please enter another.";

And there's always some terrible thing wrong with it. The post with that code is called "Uniquely Secure".

I notice users on there that have trouble grasping what's wrong with the code sometimes, and it's good that they visit this site every day or whatever, since it's not only funny, it's a brain teaser every day.

Here's another quick sample:

function executeQuery($string)
$result = mysql_query($sqlText) or die(
"Query failed " . writeErrorToLog(
"Query Failed: " .$sqlText . " " . mysql_error()
return $result;

function writeErrorToLog($owner,$description,$script)
$script = str_replace($_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'], "", $script);
$sqlText =
"INSERT INTO errorLog (ownerID,time,description,script) " .
"VALUES ('" . $owner . ",Now(),'" . $description . "','" . $script . "')";
executeQuery($sqlText, $_SERVER['PHP_SELF']);

return "";

At first glance (I think it's PHP) it doesn't seem like much is wrong, other then they do the cardinal sin of writing to the database to report an error when there's a database error! But anyway, you will notice that if a piece of code fails to write to the database, it will always infinite loop! The reason for this is that, for one, there could be a database connection problem, and it would never succeed, but more interestingly, there seems to be a missing apostrophe (') in one of the values in the sql statement when writing an error! So no matter what, if it fails once, it's doomed for infinite loopage.

And the site has one of these per day, and I love reading stuff like this. I recently bought a book called Java Puzzlers: Traps, Pitfalls and Corner Cases. They're fun brain teasers, and most of the time, in the Java one, you can't tell what's wrong (having 10 years programming under my belt, that's odd!) and then you go read the solution and it's like some bit can't be set when calling a certain function. Java's a pesky language :) I still love it though.

Website is Beautiful

I just got through a round of updates. Now it's much awesomer than it was before. For instance, blah blah blah something internal that you won't see, and on top of that blah blah blah more geeky stuff blah blah, and not to mention blah blah my night was incredibly boring.

But honestly, I made a bunch of fixes and changes, and have a bunch more to do. Then this site will RULE. Or at least the software will.

And I HAVE to fix that system clock so posts that I make at 10:45 on May 10th don't get listed as May 11th by default. I can modify the date value on the News item through the website now, sorta.... only the date since that's how it's configured. Damn... what good is awesome software if you don't use it to its fullest capacity?!

Warning: Site Broken

Don't click on the news subjects on the left. I forgot to update that when I did the huge site update. I didn't test that either since testing is for losers. And I haven't been home for like 3 days... well, I have but yesterday I watched the Phillies game. They won 9 straight. Longest streak in baseball this year. The age old question is whether this train will stay on its tracks or will explode in a spectacular derailment. Stay tuned.

[Update] Site's fixed. My new "dumb" doesn't require a link object and my old site code was trying to use the link object, resulting in an invalid cast. English: It was f@#%@ed up but now it's fine.