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TODO: Insert something funny and/or witty here.
Current Month
Aug. 29th, 2008 @ 10:11 pm (no subject)
working later than usual tonight
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Aug. 24th, 2008 @ 03:11 pm (no subject)
The vast majority of my time is spent fixing broken things. Businesses, software, furniture, toys, relationships.
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Aug. 24th, 2008 @ 12:57 pm (no subject)
Removed gitosis and configured plain git server.
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Aug. 17th, 2008 @ 01:44 pm (no subject)
Completed gutter repair
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Aug. 16th, 2008 @ 04:17 pm (no subject)
Trying to repair a broken gutter with one 6 foot ladder and one 32 foot ladder.
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Aug. 16th, 2008 @ 07:50 am (no subject)
Testing intertwingularity
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Nov. 9th, 2007 @ 01:23 pm Music on my mind
After a many year hiatus, I have been performing quite a bit lately. It started earlier this summer when my sister was visiting. She hadn't seen me play in many years and she asked if I could schedule some small scale coffee house gig somewhere during the time she would be in town. I found an open-mic show in the downtown area and did four or five of my original songs for her. It was so much fun, the following week I started looking around for other places to play and dusting off some of my old material. I did the next 13 consecutive Wednesdays at a small club in Cary with a lovely outdoor patio performance area. Another musician buddy of mine called and invited me to split a Friday night show with him at this coffee house in Apex. After the show, we went to the sports bar near to the coffee house and found out that the sports bar owner was looking for live music as well. We have been playing there every weekend for the past 5 weeks.

Having a steady gig has helped to motivate me to finish some of those incomplete songs I had lying around and has really whipped my voice back into shape. I'm certain I will be playing more around the area as I have been getting a pretty good response from the people who have been out to listen. You can check my myspace profile if you would like to see my performing schedule.
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Nov. 9th, 2007 @ 09:43 am Mark Holland: RIP
Another good friend of mine has passed away. He had talked to me before about wanting to take his own life, but that was years ago when he was involved in some city zoning issues and he thought he was going to lose his business.

When I last spoke to him a couple of weeks ago, he said that since those business issues had been resolved, those dark thoughts had not been with him. We laughed and laughed about stupid childish things, playfully insulted each other repeatedly and sang songs back and forth to each other.

Mark was getting ready to go on vacation to Canada and he told me he kept having this dream about waking up in the front seat of his van with fallen snow completely covering the front windshield. He said that this dream gave him the most pleasant, sedate feeling he could imagine and that with his vacation approaching, he was daydreaming about that scenario constantly.

Often, I would answer the phone to hear only music playing. Mark would just set the phone down beside some wobbly old Jimmie Rodgers song and hang up without a word after the song was done. Damn, I'm going to miss that.

He distinctly promised me he would not do this...
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Sep. 22nd, 2006 @ 05:43 pm Work: Cruise Control
I've just started development on a new project at work. I've taken the time to establish as many agile best practices as I can BEFORE coding begins. I've always wanted to do this up front work, but I could never seem to resist the urge to start coding right away. Since it's nearly impossible to retrofit a project after you're into the gutty-works, I usually wind up doing without and kicking myself later in the project when things go awry.

We've employed an XP like agile process, so all of the story cards have been authored, estimated, prioritized and added into our project management tool (Rally). We're also using Rally to manage defects and to drive the acceptance criteria.

I've started with the new ASP.NET 2.0 framework and SQL server 2005. I made all of the database creation, population, cleanup and incremental scripts earlier this week. No db hacking without the db scripts being updated to reflect the change.

I've switched to Subversion as my source control repository and added a DevStudio Subversion plug-in to replace the behavior of the gawdawful Visual Source Safe integration.

I've added log4net for app logging. I've also included my old javascript debugging framework and a standards compliant templated presentation pattern using xhtml, css and MasterPages.

I've added NUnit.ASP and MBUnit and a series of unit test stubs in order to be ready to use the "Test First" development approach.

I've created a series of scripts to manage the build and deployment of the project externally using MSBuild.

I just managed to get CruiseControl.NET working about an hour ago. Now whenever code is committed to the repository, a clean-room build gets kicked off and any compilation, deployment or testing failure sets off the fire alarm.

Although I'm tired from wrestling with these components all day, I can hardly wait to get to coding with all of my new bits in place. It's the first time I've actually wanted to code work stuff over the weekend in quite some time.
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Sep. 21st, 2006 @ 06:59 pm Life: Still alive
I'm finally beginning to feel like a normal human being. I suppose you never can predict what type of event will toss you into an emotional tailspin. My grandmother passes away and I blog of my sadness. Grandfather dies, brief little expression of grief. My music partner, who I haven't been face-to-face with in three years dies and I spend two weeks crawling on the floor and kicking holes in the walls. Sure, I'm my usual happy-go-lucky self most of the time, but my wife leaves for work, I crumble. Alone in the car...crying like a baby. I'll be normal at work all day long, laughing, kicking ass and productive, then in my car, sobbing all the way home and pounding the dashboard. I drive around my neighborhood for twenty minutes trying to compose myself. This has been going on for an entire month.

I'm getting better. It's only happened once this week, but DAMN, I am officially ready to be back to normal now.

My 20th high school reunion is happening in a couple of weeks. I won't be able to make it, as I'm scheduled to be in Las Vegas . I've recently made contact with many of my old, long lost friends from the high school days. It's weird to see names you so strongly recognize, but haven't spoken aloud for twenty years. I called my high school girlfriend and got an answering machine. Three seconds of her voice and I was crippled with nostalgia.
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