Lord of Time

I was eating a microwavable pizza while watching Doctor Who recently (literally the best show ever, alongside¬†Parks and Recreation) via Netflix, specifically the Tenth Doctor‘s episode The Shakespeare Code, when I started to think up some lines to a free-verse poem on the Gallifreyan hero that is the Doctor, and particularly the ninth, tenth, and eleventh forms of his regeneration. It started out with a pretty simple first stanza, with an ABCCDD progression:

Traveling all through eternity
Of which he is Lord
Helping those in dire need
Stopping those of bad deed
His box spans all space
And all time without trace.

Next, I wanted to include a bit about Bad Wolf¬†and Shakespeare, so I decided I’d add another bit, this time pullin’ the ol’ switcheroo and changing the progression to EFEFEF:

This blue box of time
Leaves bad wolves in its wake
Gives Shakespeare his rhyme
And works for our own sake
And all of that time
Just one week it would take.

For a while I thought this was pretty decent. After two more microwavable pizzas and three more episodes, I decided that I needed a bit more to end the poem. I ended up giving this final stanza one of my favorite progressions for ending poems, GHGHII:

Helping writers
And monarchs
And fighters
And lost arks
The last Time Lord lives
To help those he forgives.

Overall, I think it ended up pretty decently, although I had at least seven different versions of each stanza before reaching the final versions that you see above. For those of you who cannot or do not like to read each stanza and skip a bit of text and then read more, here is the final edit of the whole thing:

 

Traveling all through eternity
Of which he is Lord
Helping those in dire need
Stopping those of bad deed
His box spans all space
And all time without trace.

This blue box of time
Leaves bad wolves in its wake
Gives Shakespeare his rhyme
And works for our own sake
And all of that time
Just one week it would take.

Helping writers
And monarchs
And fighters
And lost arks
The last Time Lord lives
To help those he forgives.

 

If you would like to review this at all, feel free by all means to criticize the poem and tell me how it really turned out.

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This is my FIRST POST!

Hiya,

My dad finally set it up so I can blog on this site. So here’s my first post. It’s lame; but that’s mostly because he wrote it, not me. He was testing to make sure things were working. But rest-assured, the very next post by me will be by me. 4REALZ.

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Who knew?

At some point this weekend, maybe like Wednesday or so, I realized that Hedrick.org was in a state of disarray. Which really freaked me out because I use WordPress and read Daring Fireball, which means Gruber’s made me paranoid about my WP installation.

It was not totally broken — the theming and images were all busted, so the content just spilled down the page in true-to-html form that this stuff does (yay).

But, this past week was also just totally hairy at work. With a dozen unique projects running simultaneously (some HUGE; some trivial) and a release to production last week, there was funfunfun all week long (where by “fun” I mostly mean trying to keep some people calm and trying to motivate others to freak out. Not really, but yeah. :)

It wasn’t until this morning that I was able to try to figure out why WP was mis-behaving. And after about an hour of troubleshooting, I came to a pretty simple conclusion:

There’s no way I’m ever going to figure out why this shit’s broken.

So, instead, I downloaded the very latest version and installed it in a new area and ran an upgrade on my old database (non-reversible, yay!) and tweaked a few config files.

w00t. We’re back in business.

It’s not the exact same, though… I really liked the way I’d tweaked the Prozac theme and that did not come over, so things look different (of course, most of you read this in an RSS reader, so who gives a crap, right?). But then there was trying to figure out why all the photos were busted and blahblahblah.

Anyway, we’re back in business. Not that it matters much, I really don’t blog enough. Stupid twitter.

Oh, and I should probably make sure uploads still work… here’s an unrelated graph (complete with alliteration):

Unrelated Graph

Posted in Geek | 1 Comment

Family Reunion

I was so happy to visit with all my family this past weekend. Even if the circumstances weren’t the greatest. This is just a short note to let all of them know that if they stumble upon this place that it’s the right place.

My dad mentioned something on Saturday about anybody who wanted an @hedrick.org e-mail to just let me know. That offer still stands. Probably the easiest is if you want one, just e-mail me your current address and I’ll set it up so that anything sent here will automatically get forwarded to your current mailbox.

Don’t be strangers! Many of you come to Austin and central Texas. Look me up or drop me an e-mail.

Posted in Travel | 1 Comment

A “Run for Its Money”… har.

PhonesFor the last year, Daring Fireball and other blogs have kept a close watch on all the phones that are not iPhones. And for the last year or more, there have been a plethora of tech sites where reviewers have pledged, “Here comes the iPhone killer…” and yet, not a one has (as far as I know) ever said, “better than the iPhone.”

Well, this latest comes straight from Wired (Tired?).

Danny Dumas spent a few minutes with the Samsung Instinct and determined, “it’s definitely good enough to rank as a solid second-tier player in the smartphone space.”

I have to assume that Danny didn’t write the headline for his article and whoever did either read only his first paragraph, or has never actually used an iPhone. The headline gives the reader hope… at least, that’s what I think about when I hear “run for the money”.

That means that the runner-up came damn close and actually threatened the winner.

But then, pretty much the entire sub-500-word article whines about how incredibly sucky the Instinct is:

  • “it’s … not quite as polished” (which, from the text, seems a bit of an understatement.)
  • “The web browser shows some terribly rough patches”
  • “the narrower body … really cramps page size”
  • “typing on the Instinct can be rocky”
  • “Call quality is fair”
  • “No WiFi”
  • “Clearly cellphone-quality photos”
  • and my favorite: “Includes a stylus … but provides no slot to stow it.”

I don’t have an iPhone (DAMMIT!), but Meredith will be getting the new one when it starts shipping (JEALOUS!). Even with the fact that we’re Mac fanatics, there’s the beauty and the ease of use that makes the iPhone the top choice for a truly wonderful device. I get the “mac bigot” ridicule pretty frequently, but at least 6 friends who’ve ribbed my Mac-headedness are now contemplating Macs because their iPhones "are such a joy to use."

Despite the fact that they do look mechanically very similar, which one’s icons look like crap and which one’s icons make it instantly apparent what the task is? Which one would you rather use? The iPhone is so simple to use… whether you’re surfing or reading e-mail or listening to music or looking up directions, it just makes sense. I haven’t used an Instinct, but I’m guessing it uses the same tired point-y-click-y that all the other crappy smart phones use.

That’s what made the iPhone so perfect (well, as perfect as you want to admit a block of metal and silicon should be) — it’s been designed with the people who are using it in mind. If you ever have used an iPhone, then take a second to re-read that abridged list of Dumas’ complaints.

Duh. Seems pretty simple really…

“Run for Its Money”.

Har.

I think the real headline should be, “Another Tired Knockoff Misses the Mark Completely, Despite Attempt at Near-Infringement Level of Mechanical Copying.”

Posted in Geek, Macintosh | 1 Comment

Looking forward to Iron Man…

or… "Yes, I read Wesley Crusher’s blog!"

I think it’s the best comic book movie since Sin City, and blows Transformers and the last two X-Men movies into oblivion.

Posted in Geek | 2 Comments

Making money…

When reading the following quote from Daring Fireball out loud:

What matters is profit; market share and revenue only matter insofar as they lead to making money.

Hays’ comment?

“Isn’t that the point of having a job?”

I think he’s smarter than KL.

Posted in Kids | Leave a comment

Um, that was loud…

I sleep pretty deeply. I have since college. It comes from spending days working on school projects with less than a few hours of sleep each night. I kinda trained myself to sleep through pretty much anything.

At 2:33 this morning I bolted upright in bed: “What was that?!?”

A noise woke me up. I have no idea what the noise was (I was asleep!), but I have this sense that it sounded like a record player needle being raked sideways across the vinyl of an album. Yeah, yeah, I know… all you kids born >1980 are asking, “What’s an album?” STFU.

Meredith replied somewhat groggily (groggily?), “Um, I don’t know… sounded like a woodpecker on a metal roof.”

Yeah, I’ll buy that… we don’t have either (woodpecker or metal roof), but it was a descriptive response to an interrogative that she surely had exactly the same context I did… asleep and now instantly awake.

At this point, we both realized the wind was howling as the dryline for some storms was passing through. The power flickered, but not in your normal brown-out kinda way… more like the way arcing happens when you go to connect jumper-cables to your dead car battery. I decided I probably ought to get up and check it out. With all the wind, it could have been anything. About a million things ran through my head. Okay, really just a few: broken window? chimney cover? door blown open?

Our alarm system’s control unit chirped it’s little, “Hey, notice me” chirp. It’s like the “Hey, you just opened a door/window” chirp, but different. I walked into the laundry room and pushed one of the myriad buttons that will silence it. It’s made that noise a couple times recently and Meredith discovered on the Internets that there’s an internal battery that’s dead and needs to be replaced. We just haven’t gotten around to that. Oops.

Then it happened. All within about 3 seconds. First, the world’s loudest CHIRPCHIRP then a second or so of deafening silence. Then…

WEEEWEEEWEEEWEEEWEEEWEEEWEEEWEEE!!!!!!!!!

And it didn’t stop. I’m standing there in the hallway staring up at the little plastic box on the wall that’s screaming at me wondering, “Why don’t you stop doing that now?”

Meredith was a little more rational at that point and was trying to disarm it. Then I shouted at her, “Why don’t you disarm it?!?” and she shouted back, “I’m trying, but it’s not working.”

Well this isn’t good.

The neighbors are surely going to notice in the next few milliseconds that we haven’t made our house stop blaring at the entire neighborhood. At 2:45 in the morning.

By this time, Griffin’s shown up and she’s (rightfully) in full-freakout mode. Oh goody. Now let’s put ‘calm her down’ on the list with ‘make noise stop’ and ‘keep neighbors at bay’. I came out of the laundry room to talk to her and she instantly clung to me. “Don’t worry, sweetheart, nothing’s wrong. The alarm is broken. There’s no fire or anything.” That seemed very reassuring to her and she was much less upset.

But now I’m staring back up at this damn plastic box on the wall. The keypad seems ineffective. It is totally unresponsive. The main computer is in the top of our master bedroom closet. Do I need to go get in there and press a reset button or something? Meredith walks into the hallway and looks up… “Can you just yank that off the wall?”

Brilliant!

I grabbed the step-stool from the laundry room and immediately proceeded to climb up to the wailing box. Yank. It came free pretty easily. There was quite a lot of wire that fed out of the wall behind the box. And then a couple of twist-caps. Perfect! I grabbed the wire on either side of the twist-caps and yanked.

Ahh, blessed silence.

For 1.3 seconds.

Then the control unit in the laundry room apparently noticed the alarm wasn’t going off (okay, it probably really noticed the open circuit). “CHIRPCHIRPWEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” The high-pitched whine was incessant. I couldn’t believe it. Seriously? I thought to myself…

“Goddamn you fucking thing, did you see what I just did to that other piece of shit plastic box!?!”

Seriously.

Coherency kicked in at that point (it wasn’t NEARLY as loud). I grabbed a screwdriver and removed the unit from the wall. There was the cable coming out of the wall and split into a little jack thing on the back. Meredith asked, “Can’t you just unplug that?” Yeah, you would think that if you were sane and your alarm was a nice, 21st century alarm, but this POS was built in the 80s — way back when the wiring was connected directly to the circuit board via little one-way punch-in block connectors. “Just cut it,” she said.

For several second I contemplated that it really was stupid that I should have to cut wires connecting into this little breadboard. Again, I’m trying to rationalize why there isn’t some sort of jack/connector that’s unpluggable. Then…

<Snip>

It’s now after 5am. Things have been silent for well over two hours now. And no neighbors have come knocking. And the police haven’t shown up. So, I think the alarm’s broken (no shit), but the rush of adrenaline totally screwed up my ability to sleep and I’m likely to be a walking zombie tomorrow (today). Although, writing this has seemed to been effective at allowing me to relax. Maybe I’ll wander back to bed and see if I can’t sneak in another few hours. I am working from home today, so no need get up early to get into the office.

Oh look, the storms are here.

Posted in House | 2 Comments

Kids and sports…

Well, the Spring volleyball season has started at our local community center. And Griffin’s gotten her team assignment and had her first practice. She’s very excited about her teammates. Some are friends and some aren’t, but there’s also a handful of the vball wizards in the mix.

Griffin’s no slouch, but because she’s slight of frame and a little shorter than her peers, she’s at a minor disadvantage. Although, I should back up… that was her status as of the end of the last vball season. She has definitely put on some height, and I think she’s definitely built some strength, so I do expect her to perform more consistently this year (muscle memory and all).

But the good (bad?) thing is that she’s a fierce competitor and takes mistakes personally. It’s a tough parenting balance because I want to encourage her to succeed, but I try to temper that with the “it’s just a game” speech.

I do love that she gets excited about her teammates, and she’s encouraging and enthusiastic. She gets fired up when she needs to. Sometimes that’s a liability (technical mistakes and such), but at this age and level of play, those are certainly forgivable. I much prefer seeing the excitement.

Volleyball season runs through the end of the school year and she’s going to have to miss a few games, but she does love it and I love watching her play.

Oh, and Meredith pointed out that we now have some kid-related sports practice every night of the week except Friday. Whee (small price to pay, though, right?).

Posted in Kids | 1 Comment

Movie Night

This past weekend the boy and I had quite a bit of time together. Griffin had sleep-overs on both Friday and Saturday. So Friday, he and I were paging through the home-theater channels to see what movies there were.

I am Legend

Cool. But is he old enough? I’d heard that the baddies were more campy than scary so I figured he’d be okay with it. Idea: Let’s watch the free preview… that didn’t go so well… “Um, maybe we shouldn’t watch this.” Actually, I guess it did go well, because he did the responsible thing and wave off (unlike his father). We ended up sticking The Fellowship of the Ring into the DVD player.

Saturday morning, we decided that I am Legend would be more palatable in daylight with a whole day before bedtime. I like Will Smith, but he plays pretty much the same character in all his movies. And I haven’t read Matheson’s book, but my understanding is that there’s a bit of deviation from it, especially around the happy ending of the movie. But that’s not the point….

I remember seeing The Big Red One with my dad when I was like 10 or 11. It was a bit of a father-son moment. It was the point in time where my dad said, “Hey, you’re getting old enough that we can enjoy some of the guy things like war movies together.” It was something I didn’t really realize at the time, but after Hays was born it clicked, and I’ve been waiting almost 10 years for it to happen.

And then on Saturday night, we were once again out and about and decided to catch a discount showing of National Treasure: Book of Secrets. I had taken both kids to see it during its original theatrical release, but for less than a fiver I had blocked out two hours of entertainment. It’s flashier than the original, but the “puzzles” in this one are framed much more obviously as plot devices, which makes them predictable (eye-rolling). Nick Cage is a damn fine actor, but he’s not aging very gracefully. The pancake makeup and (assumed) hairpiece were noticeable. But it’s an entertaining story and Hays enjoyed it — nine-year-olds aren’t nearly as critical of movies.

After the movie (10pm), we went and got burgers and I learned that I’m getting old. Eating a grease bomb at 10:30 at night is a sure path to night-long indigestion and heartburn nowadays. Damn.

Posted in Food, Kids | 2 Comments