Slipping the surly bonds

12 05 2007

Yesterday was the first crag day of the year for me. Actually, it’s the first time in about a year I’ve done any technical rock climbing at all. Rian (my climbing partner) and I headed east of Seattle to the local hang out of Exit 38, so named because it is, well, off exit 38 of highway 90.

Exit 38 is not the most impressive set of walls around, but it’s close. Really close. And that’s appealing when you really want to minimize the lugging-the-pack-around time. It’s sort of like an outdoor climbing gym, complete with crowds.

I top-roped all day, which would normally send me into a state of self-loathing depression. I was, however, able to keep the expectations at bay and just enjoy myself. I got a few of the longer slab routes in the trestle area, flailed around on some steeper stuff. Next time we get out there I’ll start leading again, though likely on some walk-ups.

Rian, who has been in the gym all winter, looked to be in good form. Even with a tweaked finger he was able to pull down. His achievment for the day was a 10+ with a good body length of blank wall as the technical crux.

Of course, I didn’t bring a camera. Not the Exit 38 really calls for one, but my arms are sore and I could have just filled this space in with some pictures instead of all these words. *shakes head* I’ll learn my lesson one of these days.


Where have all the good gnomes gone?

9 05 2007

So I have this ongoing addiction to World of Warcraft. It’s an on-off-on sort of thing, usually in swing with how motivated I’m feeling to do actual work, or get outside. The cycle starts with me getting a jones to play. I try to satiate the urge by playing some other game, something that doesn’t require the time commitment of WoW. After a few days of Xbox 360, though, I find myself reading forums for old realms I used to play on, or checking out the rewards for different battlegrounds. Then one evening I’ll be home alone, reading some random article on the web, and I’ll find out that the author of that article (which I am likely enjoying) is also a player of WoW. That’s usually a guarantee that within an hour I’ll have my wallet in hand, looking up my card number to reinstate my subscription.

The problem is that WoW is a social game. I’m not a social creature. I find it difficult to interact with people who’s only similarity I share is a choice in Horde vs. Alliance. It doesn’t help that most of the people who you interact with come off as being children with anger management issues, especially when they are likely in their mid twenties. I quit when the grinding and putting up with attitudes overwhelms the pleasure of whomping on your opponents with a large hammer. So where are these others, those who can play WoW and also write, create, and hold a conversation?

You would think that after playing the game and becoming dissatisfied once would be enough. But I’ve been through at least three full cycles of this. And it’s always some well spoken journalist/blogger/what-have-you that brings me back. Because I realize then that there are intelligent people who play this game. I just don’t know where they are.

Anyway, I’ve started the search for them again. I switched from Horde to Alliance. Despite the general reputation of the Alliance as being the less intellectually adept faction to play, I’ve noticed that nearly all of those whom I read about and look for play Alliance.

Got to go, Warsong Gulch calls, more later! Oh, sorry, I mean g2g, wsg!

El Oh El

4 05 2007

I generally consider posting youtube videos to be a cheap tactic on blogs, but this one made my morning. And it might be older than hell, I’m a little out of the loop when it comes to pop culture. Enjoy anyway.

Silverlight cross platform?

3 05 2007

I don’t think so, not yet anyway. As the current buzz around people ‘in the know’, Silverlight is creating big waves, and strong emotions, in a lot of people. The pro-softies say it will dominate web tech, the anti’s say it’s going to be one more tools MS uses to ‘lock’ you into their platform. But how can the antis be right when Silverlight is a coss-platform, open-source product?

Ok, so lets zip on over to the MS website and download the plugin. Ah, well, that would be great if I were using Windows or OS X. No love for GNU/’Nix though. In fact, it looks like their never will be. According to the faq, ‘Silverlight will support all major browsers on both Mac OS X and on Windows’. Sorry, Ubuntu lovers, you’re screwed. At least until someone builds it for ‘Nix.

Which shouldn’t be long, because the code is open, right? Well, not quite. Parts of the code are open, but it’s not like you can check out the latest SVN release and build a nightly. It’s going to take some reverse engineering, and that will take some time.

It looks to me like the marketing department at MS is more about form than function, using phrases like ‘open source’ and ‘cross platform’ without any true commitment to the idea. Silverlight very well may be the ‘Next Big Thing’ in content rich web apps, but the business model currently behind it is nothing but a big yawn.

EC2, S3, and Edoceo

1 05 2007

Also, a quick shout out to David Busby over at Edoceo. He went to a workshop hosted by Amazon showcasing their EC2 and S3 services. While there he got to show off his own library built around the S3 service, which they must have thought was pretty cool as they blogged about it the next day.


1 05 2007

So why try to write again? For starters, I just got wind of some of what went down after I published an entry on my old blog. The essence was that I read a book I really enjoyed only to find out that the author had plagiarised at least some of it. I contacted the author of the original work and then more or less forgot about it as Christmas, New Years, and then life overtook my mind.

Earlier today I got a message from my dad from an article that appeared in the Globe and Mail (Canadian Newspaper fyi) from February. Apparently the publisher decided to not ship anymore of the book. So then I go looking about for a little more info. Earlier this month it seems that the publisher has actually decided to dispose of the books and drop the title.

All this makes me feel a little weird. Having that sort of impact on someone’s life who I’ve not met is unreal. Mostly though, I’m a little sad that the books are being destroyed. Truth is that it was a good book. I think it should be reissued with corrections and/or attributions. Of course, one if left to wonder what else might be untrue in a book containing one example of plagiarism.

Also, I’ve been lazy. Links to the original article and the relevant sites are available at my old blog, Agnosco. Now it’s time to figure how to turn off this damned WYSIWYG editing. Seriously folks, code by hand or don’t code at all.

Agnosco is dead!

1 05 2007

Long live agnosco!

So, uh, hi. My name is Matthew. I’m a chronic non-blogger. Don’t get me wrong, I try, it’s just that, well, things just happen. And then I forget to write about them.

Anyway, this is Running Joke, so named because of my writing habits, or lack there of perhaps. I figured I would start fresh instead of trying to resurrect my short lived previous blog. I’m not making any promises. So hang out, leave a comment, send me a link to get a free ipod, whatever.

P.S. – Happy Mayday, go get nekkid and dance around a pole.