I'm a father, manager, programmer, scrum master, geek, & movie lover.

Lernin’ Weekend

If you can’t see the graph, let me know and I’ll change it back from .png to .jpg format. Graphing data is fun. I didn’t want to clutter the legend, so Great is Karma >5, Good is 0 to 5, Okay is -5 to 0, and Bad is less than -5. I have great plans. I wish I knew how to do this in 4th year university, instead of using Statistica. I also looked back into the open-source effort to do Flash Remoting with PHP (it’s only designed to work with asp & coldfusion). Well, turns out AMFPHP hasn’t been updated since the last time I looked — in July. I thought “there’s got to be a Reason… What is the reason?” — another site had sprung up, with an easier way to make it all work. Easier if you know how to use object-oriented php, which I do. So, Ghostwire is my new friend. I’m looking into this because currently when you search my site, you get a bunch of incorrect search results, even though I’m using the Google API to do my searches. Why is this? Becasue of the random content in those boxes at the bottom of the screen. Google indexes that content, BUT since it’s random on every page, when you follow my search link, that content is no longer there — it’s some other random content. Hence, it appears that ‘my search’ is broken, when really it’s Google indexing my random content — and there’s no way to prevent that — EXCEPT to make the random content un-indexable. How? I’m either going to pull it into flash, or write it using javascript. It’s unclear to me yet whether or not Google will index document.write statements from javascript, so I’m leaning towards flash for the random content. I also saw a *crappy* tutorial on making your own Custom 404 Page in php, over at I already have a much better Custom 404 page working, and it even does intelligent re-routing. What does this mean? I’m going to write a tutorial for phpfreaks and send it in. Or maybe I’ll send it to DevShed, which is my favourite code-oriented site. Their tutorials all have a “print pdf” option, which means you don’t have to go through them page by page. You can right click the print pdf link and “Save As”. Great stuff! I also wrote a single-file image gallery, which I’m going to release as open-source code for people who don’t know anything about php. You put the file in a directory, and you tell it what directory the images are in. It does the rest (creating thumbnails etc). You can edit the stylesheet if you want, and it’ll alter the appearance completely. I also re-wrote my file upload code, and it’s much cleaner now. I guess I’ll post that on here too, soon. I’ve been working on Version 5 — which will look much like this site, but have better navigation and ‘mini sites’ with their own navigation. One of those mini-sites will be my free code, and links to great tutorials. idea: if ORME (orbitally rearranged monoatomic elements) is a cheap superconductor to create, can I create ORME wire, to use in creating better/the best electromagnets? Might it help a lifter lift? Finally, my friend Sacha is in Hong Kong, and it sounds/looks *crazy*. He sent me some .jpgs :) I think I’ll ask him to post some updates on his TIG Updates page ;)

Comments from my old blog:

derek said: Ben Skinner just sent me this crazy link. The guy makes a different t-shirt every day, and wears it only for that day, then archives it. He has been doing this since Nov. 2001 !!! How much does he spent on t-shirts! ALL of the shirts are online, so you can see/read them. He also has an email list, so you can be emailed what today’s shirt says. at 2003-12-01 13:55:14

Energy, Not Tesla-Related

Vanilla coke i doubt is the problem as at one point i’d drink a six pack of Dr. Pepper a day, and still no probs. sleeping, at least not with any pattern that would indicate the Dr. was to blame!

Listenings good, i find that its also a very attractive feature to women, they seem to really dig guys that listen! Its how i landed the wonderful Annemarie!

Drop me an email this afternoon! at 2003-12-02 12:26:07

mom said: its true the more ideas the more energy. i have been the same lately, i work 12-15 hour days, but when that cash register rings i get all kinds of ideas on how to put it to good use. then i do it, its amazing! i am not half as tired when i am busy and doing tons of things, as long as i balance it with fun. I am. PS knock off some of the carbs and balance with protein, and check your blood pressure, always a mom, love ya at 2003-12-03 02:50:41

Carby Carb Carb

In Other News…

Miserable Failure

Hoarding, Tapestries, & Alien Horses

I read the 21 page article/pdf about interviewing with intelligence agencies, and it’s pretty much what I’d expected. Polygraphs, the 5 Factor Personality Questionnaire, and various other tests designed to make sure you didn’t lie on any of the other tests. Standard psychological stuff. Did I mention that I’ve already written a 30 page, every-line, small font outline of my entire life up to this point? Thirty pages seems kind of short, when you consider that I’m summing up my entire life in them, but really it’s 30 pages of bullet points; any one of which could be expanded into a full page. So it’s more like an outline for a 300 page book, which seems more appropriate. at 2003-12-08 15:51:06

mom said: I think that obsessive compulsive can be a disorder,and it can also come from unresolved feelings. i also think that society is calling way too many things disorders, however the behaviour can be controlled if one is willing to control it. Just my thought on the subject. i would love to read the 30 pages on your life, where is it,m and why stop there, write a book! hugs, mom at 2003-12-08 18:57:07

derek said: i didn’t say it was 30 pages of great reading, i just said it was 30 pages ;) at 2003-12-09 10:54:07

Evil Dead Dream Horses

Flash, Cash, & Patrick

Conspiracy This

Goddamn Aliens

And, although Eistein said….imagination is far greater than education methinks you’re educated enough to know the difference between objective and subjective imaginings.Having said still wonders!!!!!

What we think is what we project and therefore become. at 2003-12-12 17:27:25

jjjj said: this is a load of crap at 2005-04-18 18:47:38

mallota said: you want to know something you are full of shit and you should burn in hell at 2005-04-18 18:48:51

derek said: Thanks jjjj and mallota! Those are very constructive comments! If you think it’s a load of crap, send me an email or post details to the contrary. Also, I don’t believe in hell, really. To me, hell is hatred. Hell is feeling bad or angry. Clearly, you have a little hell in you, but I’m feeling fine :) at 2005-04-19 00:51:27

Saddam Captured :: Now What?

Now… what happens to Saddam? If he’s an international criminal, then he’ll be sent to The Hague for the International Court to try, right?

Yeah, and monkeys might fly out of my butt. :)

I’m having flashbacks to the Noriega incident in the early 1990s. “Hey - let’s invade a country, arrest its president, and put him on trial in Florida.”

Oh well, at least if they have the trial in Florida or South Carolina, Saddam can have a nice vacation before he gets executed. at 2003-12-15 03:09:26

Alex said: Hey derek check this out - Maybe he wasn’t hiding after all… at 2003-12-16 14:47:13

Coca-Cola, Mafia, & Lost Keys

Also, check out this page of geek tattoos Note the guy with the “toast” tattoo! My hero. at 2003-12-15 14:58:56

beige said: I had an english teacher in Australia who was a huge Sai Baba nut. She went over to India on a pilgramage once to see him and she said it was the most astounding thing she’d ever done in her life. Came back a changed person - or so she said. I have no evidence to support what her previous life may have been. Anyway, after listening to her for half a year, I still didn’t get what the hell the deal with him was supposed to be. Good that you ate some sacred ashes though. I ate scrambled eggs and ham for breakfast. at 2003-12-15 15:00:57

(beige)[] said: you should see if you can send that coca-karma thing to Michael Moore. He seems to be able to publicize stuff. at 2003-12-15 15:43:21

dad said: Derek;sounds like a bit of jungian syncronicity at work over the weekend with Dirko…pure coincidence doesn’t quite answer the hows or whys.The cuts…well that’s another thing,although the mind can manifest just about anything in or on the body depending on how fervently you believe something is going to happen and if you believe aliens are gonna get you and dissect you…well there you are..psycho sematic auto suggestion as in stigmata.

I once had a fellow touch me with a soldering iron years ago and told myself…be prepared for a burn,but, unbeknownst to me the iron was cold….i did however have a burn or what i thought was a burn.Turns out,after reading on the subject ,that the mind believing a burn was imminent..sent out enzymes to counteract it and caused a burn mark from within.I never forgot that fact and it still amazes me to this day.Of course it could just be that you had chips laying in your bed haha. at 2003-12-15 15:50:25

Child’s Play

Customer ‘Care’

Also, thanks Dad. I was just hoping FutureShop would sort it out on their end, but they didn’t. Anyway, it’s all good now. at 2003-12-16 18:30:49

(DJ)[] said: Someone on this website linked to the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion on my website. Thank you. Where did the link go? at 2003-12-16 19:09:02

Goodfellas, Sopranos, & Riches

Goodfellas 2 Greatest Lessons of Life: 1) Never rat on your friends; 2) Always keep your mouth shut.Remember when I was on TV telling the President of the CRIA that I was a music pirate, and he was introduced as ‘the guy who is going to sue Derek”? Well, they’ve started suing regular people. I hope they don’t remember me! For the moment I’m safe, in Croatia. This was disturbing - I’m the 433,272,059 richest person on earth! Find out how rich you are at GlobalRichList.comAn artist managed to “find” the alphabet in people’s brains. This is some of the weirdest ‘found art’ I’ve seen. Check it out!Ford is going back to the 60s racing circuit with their new Ford GT, for only $150,000. Check out all the big switches on the brushed titanium dashboard! You can see it here. And instead of linking to Neil Gaiman’s Journal for today, I thought I’d copy a bit for you. It’s not a horribly flattering description of Julie, but it does convey how incredible his life has been! > “Let’s see — I was checking the Journalista! Blog and learned that Julie Schwartz is seriously ill with pneumonia. Julie’s 88. He’s a bald, crusty, bulbous-nosed, gruff old New York Jew who has more than his fair number of claims to fame — he was the DC Comics editor who took DC into the Silver Age, for example. Before he was an editor, he was an agent: he was Ray Bradbury’s literary agent, and H. P. Lovecraft’s literary agent, and Bester’s, and Bloch’s. He knew Siegel and Shuster when they were all SF fans together, back in the dawn of time, and published one of Siegel’s first stories, about the Rise of the Supermen, in his fanzine. He knew everyone, and everyone knew Julie. When he retired, some years ago, DC Comics made him their goodwill ambassador, and it was in this capacity I first met him, at the Brighton Worldcon in 1987. I told him the plot of this book I was going to write for DC, called Black Orchid, and he listened to the whole thing without grumbling, and we’ve been friends ever since. He’s a mensch… I really, really really hope he pulls through.”

Comments from my old blog:

derek said: New Google feature! Now you can just type “define:” and then your word, like Define:Handy. This feature is handy! at 2003-12-17 11:00:40

mathninja said: Can I ask about the fish worshipping? (holy carp?) at 2003-12-17 19:49:25

beige said: worship this instead :

Bonus points for coming up with a good caption for the box. at 2003-12-17 19:55:15

derek said: Fish Worshipping involves: a) gutting them; b) smearing their innards on your head; c) dancing under the full moon; d) evading the wolves who want to eat the fish guts that are on your head. at 2003-12-18 10:11:28

Alex said: Dude,

Pussy Bompensario is also in the movie. He’s moving the furs in the club. A little cameo role there for ya as well. He’s on screen for 1-2 seconds too.

I noticed the Sopranos connection after I watched Sopranos for a few seasons and saw Goodfellas again. Now if they would guest star Ray Liotta, my dreams would be fulfilled. Oh and get Joe Pesci in there too. That would be a true cross over. But then I bet Soprano’s would ‘jump the shark’ if it already hadn’t after season 4. at 2003-12-23 22:22:39

Lain, Bobbleheads & Scripts

People perceive them as cool because ultimately we would all like to have some power…but for most ,moral and ethical boundaries exist which preclude us from ever having said power …thank goodness.

There’s a big difference between having your say…very cool…and beating someone into submission to get your own way.Rules are made to keep the 10% who would break them from running rough shod over the 90% who adhere to the rules….however when the 10% have all the power it means nothing to them because ultimately ,for them,rules are there to be broken…and damn it…money talks….so….cool=power=corruption=money and since i don’t really have any power over anything but myself,am not corrupt,don’t have any real money to speak of …i guess i aint too cool.But yet i like myself the way i am,follow the rules and sleep like a baby.i am sufficient as i am. at 2003-12-19 04:01:09

dad said: hmmm…where did the g in gan’g’ster go? at 2003-12-19 04:04:17

derek said: Dad said “People perceive them as cool because ultimately we would all like to have some power… There’s a big difference between having your say and beating someone into submission to get your own way”.

I certainly agree with those statements. I guess what I could have said is that “ganGsters on the silverscreen are cool because…”, thus making the distinction between real gangsters and movie gangsters. The former really killing people, and the latter not, though Jen would argue that merely introducing the notion of ‘killing’ into the public consciousness is evil enough.

So, my revised list… What Derek Martin Thinks is Cool: 1) Standing up for yourself (aka They don’t take no shit) 2) Saying what you mean and meaning what you say 3) Respecting your friends 4) Being on time 5) Being well dressed (okay, I don’t practise this, but I probably would if I could afford a lot of suits etc) 6) Moving on when bad stuff happens 7) Having power, but using it for good (not evil) 8) Not making fun of people (compassion/empathy) 9) Party hard when not working hard. 10) Live by a sort of Code of Honour 11) Think. 12) Truth. at 2003-12-19 10:16:43

dad said: yes indeedy….that’s cool….in my book….but that’s because we are of the same ilk and you project to the recipient that which you are.If the recipient has the same values in life then those values are perceived as….”cool”….because after all…..validating your own integrity is what it’s all about……and why we choose the friends who relect same. at 2003-12-21 13:19:23

Alex said: Derek,

You have the coolest parents I think in the world. How do yuo get them to put comments on your blog. Way to go ‘mom’ I agree with your observations. But you don’t have to be a gangster to do what Derek “Thinks is Cool”… at 2003-12-23 22:27:49

Tarantino Regurgitates

Living With People as They Are

We’re human. We get upset by unexpected circumstances, and surprises. Especially when it’s something like a friend being late, or acting like an idiot, or being homophobic, etc etc. So, here’s a surefire method I’ve developed for not being upset by that stuff. You don’t have to write this down, you just need to fill in the blanks in your head, whenever you’re expecting something from someone. personName is the kind of person who ___________ I should expect personName to ________ Repeat this for however many things annoy you about that person. When you expect them, they tend not to piss you off. Example:Jamie is the kind of person who _is_always_late. I should expect Jamie to _be_late_. You can then make plans based on these facts, such as telling Jamie that your appointment is 20 minutes earlier than it really is. When you’re expecting Jamie to be late, and Jamie is late, then it doesn’t screw up your plans, because you *knew* Jamie was going to be late and pre-compensated. This takes a lot of stress out of your relationship with that person. It’s helps you know that it’s not about you. It’s about them. ————— Check out the Eclipse Library if you’re a PHP Programmer who finds the idea of a generic iterator interesting. For the Do-It-Yourself Last-Minute Christmas Shopping types, check out this list of quick and easy gifts you can make yourself. ————— On my way home on friday, i saw some christmas lights at the grocery store, so i decided to break down and spend the 60 Kunas on them. It’s a strand 18 metres long! Wheeee. I was totally excited to light my apartment up with those babies. So, I paid for them, and hopped on the tram. When I came through the door of my apartment I ripped open their package, and tore them out. I strung them all over the place, and had to double-layer them because my apartment’s circumfrence is apparently exactly 9 metres. Then - the moment of glory - I turned off my regular lights and plugged them in. My christmas lights are designed not to stay on constantly, but to pulse at the exact, specific random time that cannot help but drive any living human being to the depths of insanity. Their is no rhyme, reason, or pattern to their pulsing, and they don’t stay on for more than 1 millisecond. It’s as if there’s a little homunculous in the outlet, flicking it on and off at whatever interval he pleases. I can’t believe how annoying it is. Maybe I will get used to it, but right now it’s like living inside a broken carnival ride, or the sequel to a bad Made For TV christmas movie. Bah. Humbug. Fate does have a sense of humour though. Friday night was also the first night I’ve bought any alcohol for consumption at home (Rum & Coke) :) Now I can sit drunkenly in the Carnival that is my home. Woke up Saturday morning and the lights had gone completely random. So random in fact that they *still* haven’t blinked after staring at them for over 10 minutes… 30 minutes… an hour… all day. Methinks they’re busted. It’s probably for the best. ————— You know, Run & Coke in Croatia tastes about 1000 times better than Rum & Coke in Toronto. I have no idea why, but maybe they have some kind of Magical Rum. I mean, Rum & Coke here tastes like those yellow candy canes you can get at Christmas time — you know the ones I mean? I think they’re supposed to be rum-flavoured, but in Canada they don’t taste like our Rum — but they do taste like Croatian Rum, and DAMN is it ever TASTY! It’s like I’m getting tipsy off of candy canes. I mean, can you imagine? ————— After my “almost locked out of my apartment for a whole weekend” incident last week, I’ve decided that I’ll buy a cell phone when I get back from England. I’ll get a tri-band one so I can use it in North America and Europe. This will give me certain freedoms, like being able to contact people without spending a 1/2 hr on a trip to the office to use the phone on weekends. Plus, people will be able to call me to see if I want to go out! How novel! ————— Steve Cox and I had a great Skype call on Friday. Once we got his mic working, it was clear as a bell. Good to hear a voice from back home. He just got a new job! He has been working at Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals for a few years, andhe kept putting in for a regional position that requires some travel, but compensates you with better pay and a company car. Well, Lilly never gave that to him, so when such a position came up at a competing company, he nabbed it! Now he’s got a pimpin’ new job, with fly company car, and whack wages. Congrats, Steve! 1st breakfast is on you when I get back ;) ————— For some reason I’ve been resisting watching Fight Club. I’ve gone through all the other DivX that I have, and on Friday night I was down to only 2 — so first I watched “American Sweethearts”, in which John Cusack has a nervous breakdown and goes to a new age retreat centre where they tell him to chew on some sort of root to calm down. Then, I had to do it. I turned on Fight Club. In the first 10 minutes they recommended that Jack chew on some of that same root — how random is that? Should I look into that balarian (valarian?) root? Further into it, Tyler says “The things that you own end up owning you” — and so there’s the crux of it. I like living in my tiny apartment in Croatia. I have nothing except my laptop, a hotplate, my bed, and a desk; and I don’t even use the desk. It’s simple. It’s great. In Toronto I have a fuckload of stuff. Why? Why am I so sentimental? I like being sentimental, but I hate being tied down by all that stuff. Maybe I can simplify like this when I get back. I have really gotten into e-books in pdf format since coming to Croatia. Most everything I read is in that format. I have always liked the idea & feel of having books, but really my 3 full bookcases do weigh me down quite a bit. They are a large part of what makes it hard for me to move. Maybe I’ll leave my books in Petrolia until I get a house of my own. My books are an ego thing. Half the reason I like having them is so that other people can see that I have them. “Ohhh, he’s read a book on Artificial Intelligence. Ohhhh, he’s read Halmet.” I can move away from that, or at the very least I can ditch the books and just have a list of the books I’ve read on my website. Plus, not buying books is way cheaper. Also, not upgrading my computer saves a lot of money. I would be happy if everything I owned, I had built myself. I want to build furniture when I get back. Starting with chairs. Then maybe some coffee tables. And gadgets. Sure, these things will tie me down a bit, but it’s different, because I made it myself, and because I would learn things while building them. In that way the things I build are like books. They contain my knowledge. Their being built is my learning. I would also like to digitize anything 2 dimensional that I’d like ot keep, and throw away or store the physical copy — things like photos and letters. My fear, though, is that in 90 years I won’t be able to view a .JPG, or that it won’t be of a high enough resolution. I mean, 3 years ago .GIF was common, but thanks to a copyright issue it’s been trashed in favour of .PNG Before either of those .BMP was the King of Images, but that’s because there were no good compression algorithms… Just as .WAV gave way to .MP3, this is bound to happen many times over in the next 9 decades. But, I digress…. Listened to Morphine on Saturday morning. I hadn’t listened to them in ages, and I love them. Unfortunately, I lost 90% of their mp3s just before I came to Croatia :( Happily, my friend Jeff copied them from me a while before that, so I think he has a backup for me :) ————— First, I saw This and was blown away. The guy has wired up a bunch of lights and things in his house and lets *you* control them through your web browser. You can see the light in his living room constantly flicking on and off. But that is nothing compared to This guy has wired his whole house, and the computers log *everything*. You can see records of every time his fridge door has opened, or at what exact times his doorbell was rung, or mail was delivered. Utterly. Insane. And. Great. Joanne Webb, a former fifth-grade teacher and mother of three, was in a county court in Cleburne, Texas, on Monday to answer obscenity charges for selling the vibrator to undercover narcotics officers posing as a dysfunctional married couple in search of a sex aid. If you can believe it, vibrators are illegal in Texas. Read Full Story————— On Sunday I had a moment of insight, during which “I saw the light” of how to re-design orangebox. By the end of the day it was done. I completely re-coded every line of it, and now it does more, but is much cleaner, faster, and several hundred lines shorter. Wheeeeeeeee! It supports php templating and smarty templating, pre-filters, post-filters, and encourages the separation of business logic and presentation logic. Also it lets you specify per-module and per-module overrides for any global variables, filters, and layouts. AND it’s easier than ever to use. Look for the new version soon after I get back from England… I’m totally excited to go to England tomorrow. It takes about as long to get from Croatia to England as it does to get from Toronto to Halifax, a fact which I find unbelievable. BOTH those trips (1hr 20mins) take less time than it took me to get to work in Toronto (1hr 30mins)!!! How crazy is that! I could get from Pearson International Airport in Toronto to Halifax faster than I could get from my apartment in Toronto to my work in Toronto. That’s how fast public transit is in Toronto traffic. You may not hear from me for the next while, as I’m not sure how much Internet access I’ll have in England, but I’ll take notes, and fill you in when I get back.

Comments from my old blog:

laura said: hey derek, just checking up on the site. i was in your dynamic webpages class last year. cool stuff. later. :) i think that ‘drivemeinsane’ link is the best thing i have ever seen. at 2003-12-23 16:58:10

dad said: Methinks Jamie will twig to the manipulation and eventually start being late for the pre-compensated time….when he’s late he controls you….when you compensate,you’re trying to control him….better to lay it on the line…and ask….’why are you always late’…the ball’s in his court then. at 2003-12-30 13:58:14

mathninja said: My math teacher instincts compel me to point out that your apartment’s crircumference is 9 metres only if it’s a circle. Otherwise, your apartment’s perimeter is 9 m. :)

I know, I know; but it’s an involuntary reflex. at 2004-01-05 19:45:02