observations from a slightly mad german-american

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Give me Liberty, or Give Me Death.

How about both? Free Willy is Dead.

Holy (Roman) Emperor, Batman!

I think the Pope has lost his marbles. According to this BBC Report, he will beatify the last of the Hapsburgs (the royal family of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This is one of the steps to saint-hood.


Just got back from seeing Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. Enjoyable movie. I do wish I hadn't read the book before seeing it; I was utterly unmoved.


"I want a hippopotomus (sp?) for Christmas. Only a hippopotomus will do..."
-- heard on 97.3FM

Call me a scrooge if you will. But, I cannot fail to observe that thanks to the ever-earlier start of the Christmas season, with stations like WLTQ playing non-stop xmas music starting in November -- rather than on Christmas day only, as I was growing up -- we have to hear stupid songs like that. Or Mariah Carey's forgettable "original" tunes.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Your Inner Goddess

Do you want to Discover the Goddess in You? You can now, thanks to Gillette.

The Goddess me is a "Breathtakingly Rare Inspiration who Amuses Nicely". My wife doesn't know just how good she has it.

Friday, December 19, 2003

PBS Routine

I'm writing about Hibernate for work, and have PBS on in the background. Some documentary about the Lakota nation. It's style smells of Ken Burns.

I enjoyed "The Civil War", but I'm getting sick of the photos, letters, and folk music.

Oh, it's called "The West".

Seems like Ken Burns and Riverdance are what keeps PBS alive these days.


Just about all my home-cinema showings have been childrens' films lately.


This is, by far, my favourite children's film to have been released in the last five years. Sully and Mike are compelling characters. The script's timing is flawless. The jokes are actually funny! (The CGI animation, btw, is amazing! Watch the snow gather on Sully's fur in the Himalayas.) The story is compelling enough. It helps if you have a three-year-old daughter who is your world, granted.

"No, they're lemon... Really!"

Watch it. You don't necessarily need kids. OH... and see if you can find Nemo when you watch it. Really.ICE AGE
Watched Ice Age with the kidz last night. The poor field-mouse was great fun. I had a hard time feeling anything, though, for much of the remainder of the movies. The characters were flat. The formulaic attempts at pulling heart-strings were haltingly executed.

That said, there are two moments that stand out. Great imagery. Great timing. Great mood. The first was when Manny (the wooly mammoth) grabs the human baby from the mother and the two speak with their eyes. The second is the still-shot of Manny -- when you see him from ground level looking up at his face -- when he recalls a family tragedy.

My three-year-old could not sit still through the movie. I had a hard time too.


One word: boring. Okay, two words: "boring" and "shallow." Except for one moment: the very beginning of the movie was -- at least to this dad -- extremely moving. If you turn the movie off after 5 minutes, then you will have seen a powerful film. If you leave it on, it's ruined.


For the technically inclined, I have never in my life had an unintentional out-of-memory error in programs I've written (well, except for this one module on an IBM mainframe where I used the wrong compiler setting and had everything running "below the line" -- akin to lower memory on the PC).

We actually managed to get that on our current project for a customer. I'm still nonplussed about it. Java GUI application is puking when we serialize an object to an XML string -- a 12MB xml string. I think we're going to start passing bytearrays to our webservice. 23kb for the same object when we serialize to that.

Monday, December 15, 2003


Great. So we got him. That makes everything all right now.

The lies don't matter. The billions in handouts to cronies don't matter. All that matters is we got him, Dubya's ratings go up to the polls, and he might finally be elected president.