Archive for October, 2003

Under the (Miserable) Weather

The weather here on the east coast is pretty miserable today. Wet, grey, and nasty. How fitting that I’m under the weather today. Nasty stomach virus hit me last night during the Eagles-Jets game (thanks TiVo… I didn’t miss a minute!). I’m still convalescing.

Since I’ve had so little free time lately with my laptop (as evidenced by the dearth of postings here lately), I’m quite well behind on my blog and newsgroup reading. I’ll be trying to catch up today, and maybe post another entry or two.

Or maybe I’ll just take a nap.

Decaf is to Coffee…

…as handshaking is to French Kissing. This has always been my philosophy.

About a month ago, I went to see my (new) doctor for my first physical in over 10 years. Actually, it was only a pre-physical interview… tommorow I have the real thing. One of the complaints I mentioned to him is poor sleeping. I fall asleep easily, but I wake up alot during the night. I mentioned making multiple trips to the bathroom during the night as well. And then he asked about caffiene.

He seemed to feel my 4-6 cups of coffee a day were excessive. Even though they were mostly pre-noon, and all pre-dinner. He insisted I cut back, to see how it affected my sleeping (also, no drinks for a few hours before bed. I feel like I’m 7).

I’ve been a good boy though… down to 2 (sometimes 3 cups a day, and i’ve been having some decaf at nite. I’ve heard that the key to good decaf is buying top-of-the-line beans; because decaffination uses water (like brewing), only a high quality bean will retain enough flavour compounds afterwards to make good coffee. So I bought some Starbucks House Blend Decaf. It actually tastes like real (good) coffe, but I can tell the good stuff is missing.

So decaf is no longer a handshake, but a hug isn’t much better.

More Miscellany

I’ve been so busy lately, both at work and at home, that I’ve had little time for this blog. I’m going to try to rectify that, but I’ve got a bit of a content problem.

I tend to blog mostly about programming and web development topics, things I’m learning/discovering. Between my decreased spare time, and my current focus on Word/VB development at work, I don’t have the time to do my usual reading on such topics.

To fill the gaps for a few days, I’ll probably be posting more odds and scraps to the Miscellany category. The longterm focus isn’t changing; it may just be out-of-focus for a bit.

Tivo Loves Me

And I love my Tivo. I watched Enterprise the other night live (as in, not from the Tivo). I’d forgotten just how excructiating commercial interruptions are. I don’t really watch TV anymore, just Tivo.

Tonight I found another reason to love Tivo. Last Thursday night, I found that a show I scheduled to record (Coupling… ok, but not near as good as the BBC original – and with the same script no less) wasn’t there… it said it was, but what I got when I viewed it was another show all together (Whoopi. Rememer when she was funny?). That rarely every happens, so it surprised me.

So tonight, when I fired up the Tivo, I was greeted by a message from Tivo. Paraphrasing, it explained that last Wed and Thursday, CBS & NBC shifted scheduling due to Baseball playoffs, leading to some shows being recorded incorrectly. It went on to explain the while the missed episodes would be broadcast in the coming week or so, the descriptions would be the same as before. Because Tivo normally doesn’t record the same program (based on description) within 30 days, the correct airing might be missed by Tivo. And then it went on to explain how to fix it.

Didn’t I tell you Tivo loves me?

Word to Your Mama

Much to my woe and dismay, I’m writing a significant amount of new code on Windows again. I’m extending a reporting engine I wrote about a year ago at work, that generates Excel reports from XML data, to also create Word reports. This is my first foray into the Word object model. I’ve worked extensively with the Excel object model; if the WOM is even half as buggy as the EOM, I can’t be held responsible for my actions.

I’ve been looking for a good book on the subject. Good meaning it spends more than 25 pages on the object model before refering you to the help(less) file. There are none. Nada. Zip. There may have been at one time; I’ve found a few promising titles on Amazon… all out-of-print. I don’t have a couple of weeks to wait; so Half.com and it’s ilk are out. Guess I’ll just have to do it the old-fashioned way… slog through the lousy MS documentation, the object-browser, and some test code.

As long as I’m whining, here’s some more. There are a couple of books I’d like to take a look at which are O’Reilly books. I thought I’d be clever and look on Safari Bookshelf. However, neither is available on bookshelf. The books were published in ’98 and ’99, so they aren’t ancient. I just can’t win.

I sent an e-mail to the feedback alias for Safari Bookshelf. The basic gist of the reply is that it is the Publisher, and not Safari Bookshelf, who decide what to publish, but they will forward my suggestion. Gee, that’s swell of them, but isn’t Safari owned by O’Reilly? At least in part? At any rate, I think O’Reilly is a great company; hopefully they’ll get this worked out.