Archive for June, 2008

The Brothers’ Adventure Begins

Posted in Creative Writing on June 18, 2008 by osake

Halfling brothers Sam and Tam Footlick had an adventurous childhood.  Sam was always the troublemaker, while Tam, the younger, was innocent and just.  Tam was a great mediator as well, which came in handy when Sam’s wiles failed him.

One year, a paladin of Pelor by the name of Sir Marin Agdarish was passing near their village.  As he saw the two young halflings he felt compelled to stop and speak with them.

Seeing great potential after just a few moments with them, he took them in as apprentices to his profession.  Under the tutelage of Sir Agdarish, Sam & Tam excelled in the fighting arts.  Their innate cunning made them adroit fighters.

As time passed during their training, Tam adapted to the more upfront style fighting taught by Agdarish.  His older brother, however, only took the lessons at face value.  Lessons of wielding the various implements became rules of thumb as he spent more time honing his natural abilities.  Sam was also noted for spending numerous nights working on Sir Agdarish’s footlockers, drawers, and cabinets under the concealment of darkness.

One summer’s eve, after a hard day of training, the two brothers were assaulted by a small scouting group of gnolls.  As the two beasts bared their fangs, preparing to feast on the siblings, Agdarish sprung into action.

Long, but calculated slices cut the foes down before the eyes of the two inexperienced teens.  In shock, their eyes grew wider as a sword tip plunged through Agdarish’s belly.  Blood oozed down his legs and tears began to well in his eyes.  His legs buckled under the weight of his slumping body.

Digging deep for strength, Marin Agdarish let out a mighty cry for help from Pelor.  A soft glow enveloped him and he stood tall to the surprise of his aggressor.

Sam & Tam witnessed their teacher’s final blow to the surprised gnoll flanker in all it’s glory.  Bathed in the white light, they felt comforted for a short while as the last gnoll was beheaded.

As the light faded from the noble paladin’s body, the two brothers came to him quickly and he breathed his final words.

“Had you another season of training, this would not have happened.  Pursue friends of honor and learn to defend yourselves.  Save those in need and do good in the name of Pelor.  Sam, guard your brother’s back.  Tam, never let your brother fall in battle before you.”

With his final breath Sir Marin Agdarish passed into the night.  The boys knew what needed to be done.  Sam felt more of a need for revenge, whereas Tam desired justice under all circumstances.  And now their true journey begins.

RailsConf 2008 Part 2 (Finally)

Posted in Development, Humor with tags on June 16, 2008 by osake

This is a total tangent off of my doings at RailsConf this year.  Before completely losing the topic, let me dump some closing thoughts out real quick.

It’s been several weeks since RailsConf 2008 ended.  As they say, fresh thoughts from short crams tend to fade fast from your memory if you don’t put them to use.  Well, I took notes, so that I wouldn’t have to worry about memorizing the sessions until I could implement what I learned.  I also apologize to anyone who expected me to email them right away after getting many business cards to expand my contacts in this world.

The last few sessions that I attended were pretty non-Rails, which is where I wanted to strengthen myself anyway.  I need more Ruby help and I got exactly that.  I also got to enjoy talking with people more this year.  That was my greatest achievement: Stepping out of my comfort zone and being social in real life.  It was great to not only put faces to the names that I have learned of online.

While at the conference, it’s harder to talk social life instead of shop, but once you get out of the bounds of the conference realm (like the expo area, or even more fun…the restaurant scene).  I only wish I had more time.  Meeting more people this year and having less than a week makes it more difficult to enjoy the interaction.  I was also on a more limited budget, so lunch out and about was not in my itinerary.

So yeah, social life and Ruby were the big moments for my time in Portland.  I think I’ll just re-iterate that Ezra’s talk on the cloud computing management tool (code named Vertebra?) was the cream of the crop.  I also enjoyed the time with Tom, James, and Scott (hobocentral.net), the KCRUG guys, who all seemed to enjoy the conference, and finding out that a buddy of mine from high school is in the Rails scene (at least to some degree).

Anyway, let’s stop this spiral of crazy thinking and move on to the funnier part.  Mind you “funny” is very, very subjective.

So, I was talking on an IRC channel earlier today and realized that I like to emote a “bonk” to the head.  Much akin to the the monks from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

monk_bonk

In turn, that caused me to think, “Writing Rails apps is as easy as hitting yourself in the head with a wood plank.”  If you’re not following, just ask yourself, “Who can hit themselves with a wooden plank, given the plank is in their possession?”  Okay, good.  That was easy!  Just like Rails!  There is a deeper philosophical meaning and honestly, I’d love to dive into that topic some day.  The only downside is that my comparison isn’t a perfect 1:1 mapping, but it sure is close.

So there you have it.

rails_wood_plank

Bonk away.

RailsConf 2008 Interlude

Posted in Humor with tags on June 1, 2008 by osake

Well, I just expelled a ton of creativity in the wrong place, and this reminds my why I normally write my entries in a text editor first.  Grrr.

Kent Beck’s keynote last night had a great story in there.  He describe technology as having four categories.  They were enthusiasts, early adopters, early majority, late majority.  They talk about how technology is picked up.  The latter two are significantly larger than the first two.

Now, I will give my (hopefully funny) analogy to bad RailsConf sessions.

The enthusiasts is that very small number of folks who try to sneak out, and could be confused with what session they are in, or maybe even need to use the facilities.  At this point, you probably don’t know that the talk is failing.

Enter the early adopters.  These guys are more in tune with their distaste for the talk.  They might have even just been skittish and seeing the enthusiasts take off, they jump the gun prematurely.  Let the snow ball begin.

Early majority is the key to failure.  When you have a roughly 30-45% drop in population maybe halfway through the talk.  I’d say it has failed to inform (or entertain) the masses.

Lastly, the late majority would be your truly interested listeners.  Maybe sprinkle in some polite listeners