setting a 5-1

for the very first time in my life, i set a 5-1 in volleyball. usually, there are at least two setters per team on the court. each setter will set for 3 rotations and then they will switch from being a setter to a normal player. when i was first approached to be a setter a few years ago on my monday team, i was terrified because i had never set before. my sets were ugly, it felt like i was slapping the ball instead of setting it.

time went by and i got better. i had a good teacher to start off with, the other setter on my team really helped me learn the fundamentals. i went to a clinic and that really helped correct some of the really bad habits that i had back in the day. i started to play as a setter and gradually started to gain confidence.

but still that experience did not prepare me for subbing last night. i thought that i was a decent setter before, but after looking at the setting in that gym last night, i think i’m a crappy setter. every set was BEAUTIFUL. every set was spot on. it’s crazy. it was then that i realized that i was out of my league. and then on top of that i was the only setter for the team…

it was a fun night, though. a little tough, but fun.

dating your friend’s ex

in the latest episode of how i met your mother, it was revealed to ted that barney, his best friend, slept with his ex and current friend robin. ted, furious after hearing the news that his (best) friend barney slept with his ex, screams at him for breaking one of the cardinal bro rules: do not sleep with your bro’s ex. of all of the women on the planet, barney chooses to sleep with his best friend’s ex with whom he’s had a serious relationship with for a year.

that begs the question, does the length of time matter if you want to date one of your friend’s exes? or is it that when your friend dates someone, that person is forever off-limits? i think that how serious the relationship is makes a big difference as well as how long ago the relationship was. if we are talking about any relationships that date back to when you were little kids, i think that there’s more leeway. but i think once you get to high school-ish relationships, it can get more tricky. there are tons of high school sweethearts that end up getting married…or at least seem like it.

but i think the seriousness of the relationship makes a big difference. the more serious the relationship is, the more i think you should definitely back off. but if your friend went out on a couple of dates with the person and it didn’t work out, then i think there’s less of a commitment and it’s fine.

the biggest question to ask is whether or not you think that your friendship is going to be impacted by your actions and what you value more: the friendship or the chance at whatever it is with the other person. i think it’s important to talk to the person, first and foremost, if you are thinking about dating your friend’s ex and get a feel for what they think. i’ve had friends talk to me and ask me how i felt about them dating an ex of mine. generally in the past, i have been ok with it, mostly because i know that my relationship with the ex had ran its course. it turned out that nothing ever came out of it and i don’t know how i would have really felt if they did start dating and started hanging out with our core group of friends.

i would say that i’m on mostly friendly/cordial terms with most of my exes if we bump into each other, but i don’t keep in contact with most of them. sure, there are some who i don’t want to have any contact with and there are some that i wished we’d keep in touch more, but i wonder what it would be like if a friend started dating an ex of mine and they would start to run in the same circles again.

why i can’t use anything but firefox

the single greatest feature of firefox is its add-ons. the wealth of third party developers who have added so much to the browsing experience makes firefox not only a web browser, but a wonderful experience and interaction with the web.

safari is most notably marketed as the fastest browser for the mac. and it’s true, safari’s rendering engine is pretty fast. you get to see the page loaded up faster than most browsers on the market. as a mac os x user, it’s hard not to drink from the apple kool-aid. yes, mac os x has a beautiful user interface, but just because software comes from apple doesn’t mean that it is the best of breed. it’s usually the case, but not always.

opera is a pretty speedy browser too, i’ve only used it under windows and it does also seem to have a reasonably speedy experience.

internet explorer is my least favorite browser of the major browsers. the newest IE’s user interface is supposed to make it easier to use, i’d imagine, but i find that it’s harder for me to use than easier. it just feels incomplete.

so firefox may not have the fastest rendering engine or the fastest javascript engine, but what it does have are add-ons. the mix of add-ons that i use completely transform the web experience for me and i have not been able to use a different browser that gives me a similar experience. i’m reluctant to use firefox 3 because it is still in beta, but it looks like some of my favorite features of firefox 2 w/ add-ons might natively be dealt with in the new firefox.

absolute must have add-ons for general firefox use:
adblock plus
adblock filterset.g updater
auto copy
colorful tabs
customizegoogle bookmarks
long titles
pdf download
tab mix plus

additional add-ons for developers:
add n edit cookies
image zoom
live http headers
show ip
tamper data
user agent switcher
web developer

deadliest catch

i don’t know why i love this show so much. it’s about a bunch of alaskan crab fishermen and fishing for crab on the bering sea. it seems like it wouldn’t be that exciting, but week after week, season after season i keep tuning in. it’s a great show.

i think part of the drama is just seeing the greenhorns adjust, the struggles that the captains have managing their boats, and the great unknown of the sea. will there be crab? what will it be like? it’s interesting just to see what kind of life these men go through to make a living.

american idol – the top 5

spoiler alert. don’t read if you don’t want to know.

let me just start by saying: NO FREAKING WAY!

clearly america is voting with talent not on the top of the list! i cannot believe that jason AND brooke were safe! i think brooke was as surprised as the rest of us were. that’s great for me because i really like her, but my jaw dropped when i found out that brooke was safe and syesha was safe! that’s ridiculous.

if i had to choose between syesha or carly, though, i definitely would have saved carly. you have to start looking at who can really be an american idol and i don’t think that david archuleta is your man. he is just a little kid with a good voice. give it some time, but he’s no idol. david cook is the man that i have pegged to win it. syesha’s got the look. what will america do next?

at least they are all talented in their own way.

i haven’t seen it yet, so don’t tell me

i am going to try to avoid the internet like a thief in hiding today. i haven’t seen the american idol results show yet and i don’t want to know who got kicked off yet. it must have been a little part of me that knows that brooke probably got voted off last night. after forgetting the words at this stage of the competition, there’s really no excuse.

so maybe it was an unconscious desire to not have to deal with her leaving that made me not watch the show last night. i don’t know, but i’m going to go watch the episode soon and i’m not hopeful.

stupid optional coding conventions

i am a stickler for coding conventions. part of making code readable is to adhere to some set of standard coding conventions. i’ve been using the same set of conventions for a long time now, which means that at least when i look at my own code it looks properly formatted. what pisses me off is when i have to deal with code that has tabs all over the place inconsistently. it’s ugly, it’s awful, and it pisses me off.

i’m working with code where the code is a mess. there are no regular conventions used, it almost looks like people used whitespace on a whim. it’s like writing english sentences and using punctuation whenever you feel like it. now, i know that i never capitalize when i write emails or blog entries, and i’m sure that there are those of you out there where it’s a big pet peeve and it grates on you. fine, i get that. sorry. but at least the meaning of the content is clear. at least, you know, in my head it all makes sense. but i just spent 10 minutes looking at a block of code trying to figure out why something isn’t working when it should be and i finally found out why. it’s because the previous programmer decided that the use of braces and whitespace isn’t very important to them.

in some places code looks like:

if ($variable==true) {
// do this
// and do this
} else {
// do that

in other places code looks like:

if ($variable==true) // do this

and in other places it looks like:

if ($variable==true) {
// do this
} else // do that

and in other places it looks like:

if ($variable==true) { // do this } else { // do this; //do that; //do this too; }

it kills me. i’m glad that i enforced a coding convention when we had multiple programmers here. all of our new code looks beautiful.

prepping for vegas

there’s a big volleyball tournament (well, it used to be enormous, but it seems like it is getting smaller and smaller every year) in vegas this weekend. it’s been tradition to go to the volleyball tournament, play some games, and then have some fun while at vegas.

the funny thing is that i thought the tournament was months away and so there’s been a lot of chatter about where to stay and i was just thinking to myself that these people i’m playing with are crazy. it’s months away, we don’t need to worry! it turns out that it is this weekend and until last week, we had no place to stay while we were there!

that just goes to show you that my memory is still bad as ever.

still, i’m looking forward to vegas. i need to go find my throwaway camera. i wonder where i put that thing…i haven’t seen it in months…i hope i didn’t really throw it away.

i hate reporting

i hate writing reporting code. data handling and manipulation just isn’t fun. i want to create something beautiful, something functional, something useful. and i guess i don’t find reports all that fun.

but i think i have just constructed the longest SQL query i have ever written. there has got to be a simpler way to do what i’m doing. i’m updating some code that was previously written and the code that was written before uses all of these temporary tables and it got all confusing for me. i’m sure that it’s probably easier to join against these temporary tables and views, but i decided to wrap it all in one big query. sure, it spans a couple of databases but it all works.

a 1568 byte query. 24 lines long. one query. sheesh, this is why i hate reporting.

door to door cologne salesman

after getting lunch yesterday i was approached by a young guy probably in his late teens to early 20s. now, mind you, we’re in a parking lot of a restaurant and he’s trolling around and approaches me.

him: hi, do you like to smell good?
me: (freaking out a little that this was the start of a bad pick-up line) …
him: (whipping out a box of something or another) because if you do, wouldn’t you like to smell good with some cologne?
me: (relieved that he isn’t picking up on me) uh, no thanks.
him: how come? you don’t want to smell good?
me: not really.
him: everybody wants to smell good! don’t you want to get with the ladies?
me: i’m married.
him: don’t you want to get with the lady?
me: haha, no thanks.
him: alright, man, have a good one.

i know that back in the day there were door to door salesmen. i’m sure that kids have fundraisers and they sell cookies or chocolates or candy or something, but cologne?? man, what a weird world we live in.