Back Home and Charged Up About .NET

I just got back from Kronos’ first-ever Technology Summit. It was a great event, filled with very useful mini-seminars, and mostly free of the “fluff” that seems to plague most corporations’ attempts at such an event.

At any rate, the last seminar I attended was run by a Microsoft consultant, and opened my eyes to just how cool .NET is, and how radically different it is from other Microsoft our-way-or-the-highway approaches to technology.

I’m going to give the ASP .NET Web Matrix Tool (a free product, although the full Visual InterDev .NET is available as trialware) a whirl, if I have time.

Of all the stupid things …

Yesterday I went a little out of my way on my way to pick up a package from www.thinkgeek.com at Airborne in Newton, just so I would have the item I ordered to bring into the office today, instead of waiting for it to be shipped to my house today.

This item would have assured my dominance in the hierarchy of Geekdom—although Kevin Miller would probably argue that I need not worry about my position in that respect.

Anyway, the item was indeed as cool as I expected, but guess what I left at home this morning!?

Any takers on guessing what I actually ordered?

The keys for the what?

This morning Nichelle was extremely kind, and took Isaac to school so I could sleep about another hour—trust me, I needed to.

Anyway, around 8:00 am, David knocked on the door, and I told him to come in. He had a set of keys from some toy handcuffs that had come with a police role-playing kit he’d been given. Now, understand that David is quite advanced in his speech for his age, so I was ROTFL when he said, he had the keys, but couldn’t find the cheese puffs they went to.

Daaaaaaaaaaaagnabbit!

My workday ended with a whimper—demonstrating that I was missing a piece in my understanding of the data translator portion of the stuff we’re working on.

Then, I got an e-mail at home saying the CenterWatch project was not quite finished. Just a few revisions in the entire book, including two chapers that seem to have mismatched fonts.

At supper time, David’s question of the day was, “Where does the sun go at night?” His answer was quite interesting, more or less along the lines of the sun goes into space at night and comes out into the sky at daytime. There was something thrown in about gravity pulling it down. I demonstrated what really happens using a flashlight and a coffee cup, then remembered I had a globe in the basement, which would be even better for demonstration.

I got down in the basement to find 3 or more inches of water throughout, meaning that when John told me on Saturday the “thing was flooded” he meant it. (I thought we’d just had a puddle on the non-sump-pump end.)

After wrestling with the sump pump for a few minutes (thankfully it wasn’t bolted to the floor), I discovered the float on the float switch had become detached from the shaft. Now it’s back working, but life was full of surprises today.

Why does the weekend end so quickly?

Quite a bit going on this weekend. The primary task was to get a project for CenterWatch finished, including using a combination of MS Word's Table of Contents feature and some Excel formulae to generate an index of Companies by Therapeutic Specialty. I discovered a goof on my part; I needed to have one specific named style for the therapeutic specialties on each page, but not use that style for anything else on the page. Every time I would do a search-and-replace to fix this, Word would crash. Finally I gave up, created a second copy of the file, and deleted everything but the therapeutic specialties that was in the style I was trying to index. The section was, of course, 350 pages long! I'm making a list of notes for next year.

We had some good family time for a change (with Nichelle sick/me overworked for the past couple of months). We watched the newly remastered Chitty-Chitty, Bang-Bang, which should have been in Widescreen, but has not been issued that way (except for the opening race scene and credits and closing credits). The sound and picture quality are superb, and the DVD features a cool “sing along” feature for the musical numbers. I need to start a Web petition going about the widescreen/pan-and-scan issue … I’ve e-mailed MGM’s customer support several times, but not once received an answer.

Sunday afternoon we watched the new Veggie Tales Jonah film. I should add that Nichelle and I both fell asleep partway through. The kids liked it. Big Idea did a good job of explaining what the job of an Old Testament prophet was. David, after his class on Sunday night, presented me with his coloring sheet of the 10 Commandments, and said, “This is a message from the Lord.”

Sunday night I jumped over to Shine! to make a quick edit (remarking out a live performance that had past). When I went to check my work, I discovered that the site had been defaced by some juvenile crackers with an obscene anti-war message. Apparent Interland had a little security problem sometime early Saturday morning. Other evidence indicates their mail server was commandeered as well. Just what John Harris needs—his site defaced on a day when people were likely to be visiting the site to get directions to the performance Saturday evening.

The war news was negative for the first time so far. We have six people from our church on active military duty, plus another moved-away friend (he started riding our bus to church when he was in fourth grade—right now his neice is in Nichelle’s and my 4th grade Sunday school class.

Trivia Question:

Which American President said the following:

“If Saddam Hussein fails to comply and we fail to act or we take some ambiguous third route, which gives him yet more opportunities to develop his program of weapons of mass destruction and continue to press for the release of sanctions and ignore the commitments he's made? Well, he will conclude that the international community's lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on doing more to build an arsenal of devastating destruction. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow. The stakes could not be higher. Some way, someday, I guarantee you he’ll use the arsenal.”