Comments of brittongregory (74)

Comment on post long-overdue links: sexism in the tech industry, torture v. diversity, money wins elections:

Fair enough. :)

Comment on post long-overdue links: sexism in the tech industry, torture v. diversity, money wins elections:

In cases like that last article, does reading it do anything other than subtract enjoyment from what would otherwise be a fun night out?

Comment on post same-sex marriage at the Supreme Court, and a ton of links:

I loved the "Ask a Banker" article. His style is awesome. Of course, I particularly liked this quote:

"For instance, the debt ceiling debate demonstrated the possibility that the government would decide not to pay back our debts. That actually drove the cost of government borrowing down: people freaked out about that risk and so moved all their money into risk-free securities. Which happened to be U.S. government bonds. So."

...which was exactly the ironic point that I mentioned way Back In The Day:

Comment on post Silly season re Batman/Bane/Bain (a rant):

When Rush makes you angry, he wins. :(

(And yes, he makes me angry, too.)

Comment on post videos: bizarre anti gay marriage video, TED music talk, The Newsroom opening credits:

And Shawshank Redemption and Little Women and...

Comment on post videos: bizarre anti gay marriage video, TED music talk, The Newsroom opening credits:

I'm a huge fan of Thomas Newman. I've got hefty sections of the Finding Nemo and Wall-E soundtracks on my "stuff" playlist. :)

Comment on post whole lotta non-healthcare-related links:

In the firmware world, we deal with similar compiler-related problems *all the time*. And yes, it's fun!

Comment on post a little down, with music to bring me up:

Tell me that doesn't make you miss acapella. :)

Comment on post links: the 501 developer manifesto, etc.:

I definitely get what you're saying re: being a 501 developer. Coding is *awesome* -- why are they pissing over people who love it?

Re-reading it, though, I'm guessing that there's a lot of history that we're missing, like hearing one side of a phone conversation (or reading one of Paul's letters in the New Testament, for that matter). I especially get a lot of feeling out of the phrase "treat us with respect"; to me, it sounds like someone who is being informed that "clearly they're not a *real* programmer", and doesn't want to put up with it anymore.

(I especially feel for programmers at game companies. If you don't love it, you'll die quickly, as your entire personal life is sacrificed to the gods of crunch time. And you are expected to be thankful for the opportunity!)

But yes, whatever the history, the parts of the manifesto are defensive to the point of being offensive. The remark about pity is insulting and unhelpful.

Me? I'm a 501, for the most part. (Well, more like a 601.) I love my job, and I love writing firmware, and if my friends at work need me to stick around late the occasional evening or even work the occasional weekend, I'll take one for the team with a smile on my face. But when I check out...there's a wide world out there. There's a lot out there for me to learn -- a lot out there to create -- besides coding, and I don't have time to do it all as it stands!

Comment on post Independence Day links!:

And I agree with you and Marco re: pragmatism.

Comment on post Independence Day links!:

Liz and I were pulled over for speeding in our neighborhood back shortly after we got married. To this day, she'll drive exactly the speed limit when not on the highway.

Comment on post Debugging Windows Phone scheduled tasks:

“If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.” --Thomas J. Watson

Comment on post frustrated links:

Thanks for the link on contraception; I was always fuzzy on the particulars of Catholic doctrine in that regard.

Comment on post Thinking, Fast and Slow review:

Excessive coherence? That's a new one by me.

Comment on post CrashPlan and a few links:

I'm on CrashPlan as well, though I didn't take on the subscription. If I had known you were checking it out, I would have volunteered to be your off-site storage (especially if it's only 10GB). CrashPlan makes that sort of thing easy. :)

That said, $25 for a year is a good deal!

Comment on post More irritations with developing for Android:

The Nexus One is the same way. I'm constantly having to jigger with memory, even though I have GOBS of SD space, simply because most apps don't know how to use it well.

Comment on post Willpower review:

Sign me up; may I borrow it next time I come up for D&D?

Also, did they talk about any correlation between memory and willpower? I thought I read that somewhere, but I forget, and don't have the gumption to try and find it again. ;)

(also, Livejournal's CAPTCHA is seriously cruel to me sometimes)

Comment on post Lying (Kindle single) review:

What do they say about lying by omission, or lying in spirit but not technically?

Comment on post Software development tools I'm grateful for:

Ha! You kids and your fancy "debug tools". ;)

Comment on post a sigh of relief:

Congratulations. For me, few highs compare to evaporated stress. :)

Comment on post monday is for linking: financial geekery, NY same-sex marriage, DVR sports:

Ouch! Well-said.

Comment on post monday is for linking: financial geekery, NY same-sex marriage, DVR sports:

Well, this is in addition to, not instead of, my current direction. ;)

Comment on post monday is for linking: financial geekery, NY same-sex marriage, DVR sports:

I started getting into financial geekery in 2008, and discovered that I have a passion for it. Who knew?

FYI, for those of you who are interested, I'm running a personal finance workshop series in downtown Austin next month. The pertinent information is here. If you think you or anyone you know would benefit, by all means, sign up! (At $20 for the whole 4-part series, plus free child care, it's a steal...)

Comment on post Unusually good links:

I heart Tim League.

Comment on post it's-been-a-little-while links:

Indeed. Frugal doesn't mean not buying high quality -- it means buying high quality on sale, or used, or in bulk, or when you actually need it as opposed to when you feel like it.

That said, it's easy to bash being cheap when you have the money to easily do otherwise. (I'm looking at all you double-income-with-no-kids folks, in particular.) If you need something replaced and the choice is between buying cheap and getting consumer financing, the choice is less clear. I find the happy medium is to buy cheap, then save up to buy high-quality when the cheap stuff gives out.

Also, though the folks in this thread are smart enough to know this, it's still worth pointing out that cheap and low-quality do not necessarily go together, and nor do expensive and high-quality. Some Ikea stuff is cheap simply because you put it together yourself, not because it won't last more than a year.

(As a side note, I like what he said about ways to make your bathroom feel like a spa. We'll have to try some of those.)

Comment on post Queen! (and me):

Don't think I can argue with you, kernelm. And is there *any* rock band that has the vocal blend that Queen does?

And yeah, I have the same thought when I hear the word "Flash". My parents used to play the vinyl record album when I was knee-high to a grasshopper.

Comment on post tax cuts, Don't Ask Don't Tell:

Oh -- and do you have some links to back up "they're generally not stimulative"? To me, that's the crux of the argument, and I'd like to see the research (on both sides, if it exists).

Comment on post tax cuts, Don't Ask Don't Tell:

Just the fact that there was a compromise, rather than one side shutting down the other, leaves me hopeful. I still think extending the tax cuts to incomes above $250K is a horrible idea, but I'm willing to support some give-and-take.

Comment on post just some links: movies, money, voting:


Comment on post just some links: movies, money, voting:

Oh, I agree 100%. I didn't say you couldn't beat the market -- for some definition of "market" -- I just said you couldn't do it through the aforementioned methods. Investing in low-cost index funds, as per the article, comes to mind; research (even Morningstar's!) shows time and again that expense ratio is the best predictor of (after-expenses!) performance...

But I'll stop geeking out now. ;)

Comment on post just some links: movies, money, voting:

I like the investing article you read. I'm not convinced that you can beat the market through some combination of active funds, individual securities, and/or market timing, and it's good to know that I've got company.

Comment on post Vote!:

Hmm. The Statesman seems pretty do they decide whom to endorse?

Comment on post productivity techniques (or: remembering stuff):

Short answer: Getting Things Done combined with Remember the Milk.

If something should get done pretty soon, it goes on the to-do list. If something maybe should get done someday, it goes on the someday/maybe list, which I check regularly once a week for things that I might want to put on my to-do list. If it's something that I need to do later -- next week, or next month -- I put it in RTM with a date and a "timegated" tag, and have a smart list set up so that timegated items only show up when their date comes.

For e-mails with info that I need to capture, generally I just archive them and rely on Google search. I do have a bunch of (taggable!) notes on that I use to store info, though, and sometimes I file info away on that -- again, it's searchable, so I don't stress out too much about how I tag it. How do you generally archive your information? How do you generally use it?

If you want, I'd be happy to have an offline conversation and throw around some ideas. Like you, I have a terrible memory, but having a family forced me to really get on top of things, and my current system has kept me at Inbox Zero for almost two years now.

Comment on post prop 8. musical done! joining a choir?:

I can vouch for:

-David Stevens being an excellent, excellent choir director.
-the Conspirare chamber choir being a really scary-good choir, with some really scary-good vocalists in it. I had no idea there was a volunteer choir; I may have to check that out someday...

Comment on post The Checklist Manifesto:

One thing I love about engineering is that it's increasingly possible to automate these sorts of checklists. :)

Comment on post two sentence paragraphs!:

When they say yields are sucking, they're not joking around. The *best* ones I've found outside of CD's are the online banks like ING Direct, American Express Bank, and Discover Bank, and they're around 1.1-1.3%.

Remember the glory days of 5%+ rates? ;)

Comment on post link drop:

Assume the party escort submission position or you will miss the party!

Comment on post Heavy Rain review (no spoilers):

copperwolf: Same here. I can't help but superimpose my children onto the picture, and at that point my palms start sweating.

Comment on post Heavy Rain review (no spoilers):

Why is it that so many good emotional games/movies center around bad things happening to children? "Pan's Labyrinth", "Children of Men" a dad, I've left these more stressed than I came in.

Not that I'm condemning these -- they just personally stress me out. ;)

Comment on post buncha random links:

Interesting. #4 most liked in the US: God. #4 most liked in China: Barack Obama.

Comment on post daily weight tracking - one year later:

From what I've read, one pound per week is a good slow-but-steady goal to reach for.

Comment on post Rice pictures:

You should've figured out a way to get *inside* Fondren. It's pretty shiny in there!

Comment on post reviews of stuff I generally like:

That game makes me want a DS, just so Peter and I can play the puzzle levels. "Oooh, it's a dragon. What should we make to fight the dragon?"

Comment on post another day, another dollar:

I almost always feel better about life after going to church. :)

Comment on post big pile o' links:

Your South Carolina story is, sadly, par for the course. I love my state, its heritage, and its culture, but I must admit that it's a bastion of "good ol' boy" politics. Remember Strom Thurmond?

Comment on post A week of happy recap, and

Sorry, the above was my post.

Comment on post Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama:

I'm glad he said that. The trouble is, most people associate Islam as a whole with the violent, intolerant crazies the media's been pushing on us since 9/11. I bet less than 10% of Americans even know what the word "jihad" actually means, much less what it really refers to.

I know I didn't, until I started talking to my Muslim friends. They pointed out to me how the equality of women to men, the absolute sacred nature of any human life, and the importance of tolerance are quite clearly spelled out in the Qur'an. Unfortunately, just as in any religion that is believed passionately, it is quite easily to bend the text until it means what you want it to mean.

What gives me hope is that ignorance is something that is becoming harder and harder to hold on to, as information becomes easier and easier to come by. Perhaps one day it will join polio and pox on the list of extinct diseases.

Comment on post RIP webmajig:

How about using XNA to create an X-Box 360 game? I've been eying that for a while, but won't even be able to think about it until class is done at the end of the month.

Comment on post captioning sucks:

They need to start staging Food Court Musical across the country...

Comment on post *twitch*:

I echo bobacita. I hate it, can't seem to find a pattern (allergies are making my eyes dry out and water like crazy, these days I'm drinking 2x-3x the amount of caffeine I normally drink, but no twitchy-twitchy) but it hasn't ever appeared to be serious, and it goes away within a few days.

Comment on post Happiness (two kinds of ice cream!):


Of course.

Comment on post Happiness (two kinds of ice cream!):

Aren't they releasing Rock Band for PS2 on Dec. 11?

Comment on post random WTF:

See, I was almost sympathetic with James -- it's a pretty naive class, but I tend to be naive until I know I need to work on performance -- until the explanation. Then I lost hope. ;)

Comment on post schizowhatever:

I got "normal", but the questions irritated me. What, my only two ideal date options are watching a movie or bar-hopping? Ex-squeeeeze me?

Comment on post time warner not the problem?:

Oddly enough, we had a problem with our DSL, as well. AT&T was quite prompt in fixing it, once I was in town long enough to talk to a technician. Replaced router did it for us as well.

Comment on post two weeks to yuma...i mean austin:

Okay, yes, beating half of the bosses in one night sounds about on par with your crew. My hat, as always, is off to you. Good luck with the Curator!

Comment on post two weeks to yuma...i mean austin:

How far along in Kara are you? I figured with your crew, you'd be raiding Illidan by now...

Comment on post clue solver!:

You might have come closer to winning if everyone had correctly passed/not passed. As it is, there was some faulty data. Throw *that* into your solver and smoke it!

Comment on post starcraft, buying stuff:

Hold on -- as far as I can tell, you've basically said that it cheapens the experience *for you* to buy something personal when you're shopping for someone else. In this case, what does it matter what anyone else thinks? Rational or irrational, it's between you and yourself, and more importantly, it's part of what makes you unique. No need to go changing it just 'cause your friends don't feel the same way.

Now, if you feel that it's a *problem*, well, that's a different story. But from where I stand, it's just a charming little quirk that adds one more Unique Thing To Like About Greg.

As for separate accounts, while Liz and I don't do this, I can certainly see where that comes from. It cuts through any negotiation you would otherwise do if one person wanted to buy something the other person would definitely not use. I seem to remember hearing a few times that the #1 cause of spousal arguments is Money, so this would be one way to lessen the chances of such an argument arising.

Comment on post weekend, wow, project:

Finally dinged 70 last night and got my mount. So...a bit behind you and your crew. But having fun regardless! :)

Comment on post Cheney series at Washington Post:

The funny thing is, I know another fellow in a position of relative power who uses it ramrod actions through the system and ignores the opinion of those he has power over. He's the rector of Palmer Memorial, the church I used to attend at Rice U.

To give an example: when Katrina came through, he insisted that the church make room for the refugee students who could not fit in to the Houston school system. The vestry balked -- they couldn't make room, it would cost too much time and effort, etc. But he wouldn't take no for an answer, and somehow room and resources were found to create the New Orleans Academy of Houston.

Another: there is a decently large homeless population near the church, and occasionally one of the residents would "crash" a baptismal service in order to be baptized. He overruled the protests of the more gentrified members of the congregation, ignoring their threats to withdraw their substantial tithes, and insisted that they be allowed in.

So maybe there is a time and a place for a person in power to take unilateral action. Then again, Jim is different. He is completely honest and totally transparent -- he has nothing to hide, and will freely discuss his disagreements with anyone he think might care to know. And his unilateral decisions always seem to fit the modus operandi of the man that he and all other Christians claim to follow.

Comment on post Cheney series at Washington Post:

It seems to me that most politicians get to places of power by making the right friends, greasing the right wheels, and generally knowing how to make more people happy than not. For the first time a long time (as far as I know), we have a pair in the White House who don't. Neither of them care what anyone else thinks, nor do they believe that anyone with a dissenting opinion could possibly have any credence whatsoever.

Yeah, I'm scared.

Comment on post betteresque:

Whoops -- that last one was me. And let me amend that statement to "almost never", and it's certainly rarely come up before actually testing the code.

Comment on post Extortion is profitable!:

I believe I just heard the distinct sound of a gauntlet hitting the floor.

Ah, well -- guess I won't be able to call myself an Anglican for much longer. :)

Comment on post NJ marriage decision tomorrow!:


Comment on post LJ - Arkansas edition!:

Heh -- no skin off my nose. In this context, it's pretty clear, but I can imagine in the future really confusing the heck out of someone by talking about Hot Springs, Alaska. Just doing my part to preserve clarity of communication. ;)

Comment on post LJ - Arkansas edition!:

Note from an ex-AR hillbilly for future reference: AK is Alaska. AZ is Arizona. AR is Arkansas. :)

Comment on post (no subject):

I think it comes from the fact that most people don't fly as often as they drive. By several orders of magnitude. I remember the first time I drove, I nearly got creamed by a sixteen wheeler, and that made me a *lot* more afraid of driving than flying.

Oh, and this got linked by the angry fellow, and is worth watching:

Comment on post whatevs:

"why are you so terrified of silence?
here, can you handle this?

did you think about your bills, your ex, your deadlines
or when you think you're gonna die
or did you long for the next distraction?"

Comment on post rehearsal me tired:

A pain, yes, but so worth it. You get money if you started the religion, you get friendliness, and you get a free "spy" in each of their converted cities as long as you have a state-sponsored religion. Invaluable in detecting amassing troops.

Comment on post rehearsal me tired:

I found that a good way to avoid getting the smack laid down on you is to convert everyone around you to your religion pretty early on. You'll still get some militaristic-minded neighbors that want to play rough, but then you can get the rest of your spiritual brethren to join forces with you and carve him into little bits.

That's how I won Warlord, anyway. :)

Comment on post bad news, good news:

I read Obama's speech. It's been a long time since I've read a speech by a politician that made me think that perhaps, just perhaps, he actually gets it. Unfortunately, his speech addresses only a tiny minority in America. To whit, those Americans who are actually willing to think.

But maybe, someday, that will change.

Comment on post Java!:

Ugh. That's tricky. Of course, .NET (the tongue of choice in my group) doesn't have anything like generics or templates -- you have to either create a child to do the type-checking or do the (gulp!) Unsafe Cast of Evil. Still, I find templates so tremendously hideously ugly that I don't mind so much. Then again, I'm weird that way.

Comment on post weekendish activities!:

There's actually a Woody Allen movie set in Houston where at one point someone is giving directions to go south on the west 610 loop or east on the south loop or some such, and much confusion and hilarity ensures. So know that such things are part of a fine and longstanding tradition.

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