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Archives for November, 2005

thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving dinner was quite pleasant, and surprisingly painless, given the amount of food. There were eight people eating dinner at our house; the food included a dish that could be labeled as a main dish if you wish, four side dishes, and two desserts. Which sounds like a lot of work, especially if you’re only […]

google reader

I started playing around with Google Reader over the weekend, and I think I’m going to stick with it as my RSS reader. I don’t have any reason to believe that it’s better than other web sites for that purpose, but it’s good enough for me, and is a significantly better RSS reader than Gnus, […]

book index

I added a book index. Pretty straightforward cutting and pasting, followed by some refactoring. The refactoring was a little different from normal. For one thing, it was my first experiment with writing generic classes in Java. (I’d written a generic function before, but not a generic class.) I learned a little more about what you […]

esteban loiza

Esteban Freaking Loaiza? A 33-year-old pitcher for three years at more than 7 million dollars a year? Was he as good as any member of the A’s starting rotation last year? Sigh…

more html explorations

I recently lamented the design that I came up with for outputting HTML: I was combining a class accumulating HTML together with static methods that spit it out as text, leading to an unhappy marriage that I thought I knew how to deal with in C++ but couldn’t in Java. As I said at the […]


I just got back from jogging, for the first time in about three months. Quite a three months it has been; I can’t remember whether the first cold or the massive lice invasion came first, but both started with Miranda and were passed to Liesl and me in short order. Then Miranda came down with […]

we love katamari

We ♥ Katamari is a sequel to the excellent Katamari Damacy. (I have finally given up and started spelling the second word the same way as its US publisher.) And it is everything that you’d expect from a sequel: quite good, several minor improvements, slightly worse in many ways (largely but not entirely because of […]

conservative bloggers

I hear about these conservative bloggers, but I almost never run across them. The one exception is Uncle Bob, who posts on the Object Mentor blog; I read that for the software development insights (and Uncle Bob knows much more about that than I do, believe me), but Uncle Bob also posts on politics there. […]

rorty and latour, part two

Something else Rorty and Latour have in common: they both answer their e-mail quite quickly. I got a short note from Rorty saying, among other things, that he particularly liked We Have Never Been Modern, and a longer note from Latour gently chiding me for completely misreading him. (“ah readers, readers…”) Latour’s point (unless I’m […]

what i’m reading: the css spec

If you look at my recently read page, you’ll now see what I’m in the middle of. Which took about 5 minutes to implement. My internet explorer problems are an IE bug: the fifth item in the list of rules in the CSS spec on float positioning says that “The outer top of a floating […]

rorty and latour

I’ve been reading Rorty’s Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth, and he reminds me a lot of Bruno Latour, especially his We Have Never Been Modern and Politics of Nature. Both of them, as far as I can tell, see statements about science having a special direct relationship with reality as, at best, not adding anything to […]

internet explorer css problems

I did some more cross-browser testing; it turns out that my pages look like crap under Internet Explorer, and probably have for a while. Specifically, on the book card section of the page, the headers (Title:, Author:, etc.) look fine, but all the values are lined up horizontally in a row. I suspect it’s also […]


My pages now have sidebars. And are a bit more colorful. Yay. It didn’t turn out the way I envisioned. At first, I was planning for there to be a darker color (grey, which turned into pink) across the top and left, and for there to be white not just in the data area but […]

2004 miranda pictures

Most of you probably don’t care, but we’ve finally gotten around to putting up some 2004 pictures of Miranda. We don’t seem to have any 2003 pictures in digital form; some 2005 ones are coming eventually.

i miss destructors

As threatened, I’ve extracted an HtmlWriter class. And certainly the code is an improvement, though there’s one thing about it I don’t like. The class has a couple of core responsibilities: it knows how to close the currently open tag, and it knows how to indent. (One could argue that it’s a bit pointless to […]

recently read books

If you gaze upon the right side of this blog, you will now see a link to my list of recently read books. This was a pretty interesting story to implement. XP encourages you to always do the simplest thing that will cause all your tests to pass; one of their key phrases in support […]

ant aargh

Okay, now I’m mad at ant: I just changed a method from public to private, a method which was called by other classes, and ant didn’t recompile all the affected files: I had to wait until I got an error at runtime. So either ant doesn’t do what it should, or something’s seriously wrong with […]


Last year, Miranda had a couple of pieces of homework each weekend: the red bookbag, where we were supposed to read some books to her and she was supposed to draw and write about them, and the yellow folder, where she was supposed to read to us. This year, the red bookbag continued, but the […]

ant and junit

After getting ant to do my compiling, I decided to get it to run my unit tests. Which it can now do acceptably, though the path was a bit rockier than I would have liked. Some steps: Copy down an example from a book, mutatis mutandem. Hmm: ant says it doesn’t know about the junit […]

benefits of white shirts

Miranda says: it’s good to wear a white shirt on Arts Focus days, because that way if it gets dirty and the stain won’t come out in the wash, it’s like a tie-dye shirt. One way of looking at things, certainly.