The Power of ActiveRecord and Strange Coincidences

Sorry for those of you coming here expecting non-technical posts, but I did start this thing for technical purposes, after all, and I figured it was about time to return to form. Tonight I was working on a little side project I’m doing. I needed to pull a bunch of legacy data into a new table for event data. To make this work, I created a set of models that referenced the old tables, using the syntax ActiveRecord provides to override it’s default settings.

The Oregon Coast

Nicole, the doggies and I went to Cannon Beach this last weekend. It was gorgeous weather for it and we had a splendid time. I’ve upload some of the photos to flickr. Check them out here and here. That second set is of the sitka spruce we saw on the way out there. It’s the tallest of it’s kind in the US. It’s an amazing site, but this place is full of things like that.


Well, lots has been going on lately. Too much, in fact, to bother keeping up with this blog. And, of course, there’s that whole things where each time something else goes on I find myself thinking, “well, there’s another thing I haven’t gotten around to blogging about.” And after a while the load just piles up so high… So, we’re in Portland now. Oregon, not Maine. It’s beautiful here. Nicole started law school.

Pi, Kottke, and the Circle

Kottke acutely points out the “meaning” of Pi: Oh, and as for patterns hidden in pi, we’ve already found one. It’s called the circle. Just because humans discovered circles first and pi later shouldn’t mean that the latter is derived from the former.

An Interesting Question

Matt asks an interesting question: This ultimately comes down to how one views the human race: Are we the inheriters of the Earth, free to do with it as we will? Or, are we the stewards of the Earth, responsible for looking out for others species? Or, are we just a cog in the wheel, our actions no more or less unplanned or unintented by Mother Nature? Personally, I think we are stewards.

Another Way to Look at It

Now, there’s an interesting way to look at things: On which point, incidentally, I’m vaguely (ie not really) hoping for a Bush victory: not for political reasons [as much as I’m allowed to given my British citizenship and living in Italy and all, I find the guy deeply objectionable on every count] but because a Bush victory will hopefully cause the US Liberals to either rent some cojones from someone or move en masse over here.

Garrison Keillor on the Republican Party

Garrison Keillor, yes THE Garrison Keillor of Prairie Home Companion fame, the man who I fondly remember listening to back in my youngest days, tears apart the Republican Party: Our beloved land has been fogged with fear–fear, the greatest political strategy ever. An ominous silence, distant sirens, a drumbeat of whispered warnings and alarms to keep the public uneasy and silence the opposition. And in a time of vague fear, you can appoint bullet-brained judges, strip the bark off the Constitution, eviscerate federal regulatory agencies, bring public education to a standstill, stupefy the press, lavish gorgeous tax breaks on the rich.

Rudy Rucker on Computation and Death

Rudy Rucker writes: Speaking of time, how long does a computation continue?. We won’t impose any bound at all. Certain kinds of computation will indeed signal when they’ve arrived at a desired result — for instance by beeping or by printing a result — and then halt in the s ense of no longer changing their states. But there’s a sense in which such computational processes continue after their halting point.

For the True Audiophile

Michael Fremer reveiws the Wavac SH-833 monoblock power amplifier. Now, granted, this is a review of a $350,000 amplifier, but this line just kills me: There’s nothing outrageous about spending a million bucks on a painting or a vintage automobile. Pretty bold statement. Then again, this guy did try this thing out with London Calling, so I have to give him some credit. And, for that matter, the lucky bastard got to listen to this thing (these, really, it’s a matched pair of amps) for two whole months.

Jon Eaves Describes the Consuling Dilemma

Jon Eaves describes what he refers to as the consulting dilemma, that is, the fact that as a consultant you are usually brought in to work with companies that you wouldn’t ever choose to work for and often in the worst of circumstances (the project has run off track, the team has no process defined, the architecture is a mess or nonexistent). While I’m not a consultant, I have thought a lot about this issue.