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

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