It took a while, but I think I finally figured out how to play the little solo part from Space Madness…have to bar the first finger on the 12th fret, and just use the 2nd and 3rd fingers, using a slide on the 2nd finger going down. Pretty tricky shit.

Well, the 752nd bi-annual meeting of the MidnightFraggers hosted by Tom with special guest star ChangPower was a roaring success. So now all we need to do is list out the games that should be installed before we get there to make sure Ol’BossHarv and 3.14159 don’t play pool all night.

I vote for Savage:Newerth. 2.00e patch.

Okay, quick update…we’re just about completely done moving into the new place (I have a few trophies and a mirror to put up, and gotta move boxes of clothes to the garage). We’re celebrating with a BBQ this monday, for which I purchased a relatively inexpensive gas grill. Welcome to suburbia.

There are two more ultrasound pictures I haven’t scanned in yet, but I’ll get around to those soon…the baby is coming along well, and mommy has been dragging daddy back to the gym.

My brother has offered me a pool table (since he just bought a new house and doesn’t have room for it…despite the fact that the new house is humangous), and I’m hoping to fit it in the garage. I still need to vacuum and carpet the garage (I have left-overs from when the carpeting guys re-did the carpet before we moved in), and if it all works out, we’ll have a pool table, dart board, and working fridge in there. I guess I’ll need to decide if people shoud lomi their shoes before going on the carpet…

Cameron has been doing well in school (it’s almost over), and will be going to 3 weeks of YMCA camp, and 3 weeks of Huntington Explorers camp (…check it out). His latest thing is Zelda & The Minish Cap on Gameboy Advance (don’t buy him games without consulting first please, we’re using that as motivation for good behavior in school).

Anyway, that’s the 5 minute wrap-up…when I’m feeling like ranting, I’ll write more later.

Believe it or not, it has now been an entire year since I first met my wife in the flesh.

According to the eharmony site, our match was created 3/19/2004. Amani answered my close-ended questions that very day at 5:07pm, and I answered her questions 3/23/2004 at 5:22pm (either that or I sent her questions the very first day, and she didn’t ask me questions until a few days later…the website doesn’t make the chronology clear).

We shared our must haves/can’t stands on 3/24/2004, 9:55pm, and answered eachother’s open-ended questions that very same night. I can’t seem to access the first open communciations we sent back and forth anymore, but needless to say, we had our first date on 4/3/2004 at the huntington gardens, with Jane Goodall in attendance for her birthday celebration. The rest is history.

It’s been by far the best year of my life, although I must admit I’m sure it will pale in comparison to the years ahead with my dearest love. Marriage suits me I suppose, or at least it particularly suits me with Amani .

So at work I’ve been going through the process of defining processes, and have seen many a power point and visio diagram cross my desk that just makes me want to scream. It seems that within any large bureaucracy a process is only as good as the number of pages it takes up when printed out. The number of twists and turns required to get any complex development project done is already fairly large, but when we pour on even more and more layers of paperwork and sign-off and approval, it only makes a bad situation worse.

Although lip service is given to improving processes, it seems that direct criticism of a proposed process is seen as a mark of the luddite – anyone who would dare criticize this great 50 page process power point presentation must surely not be interested in how much time you can save with a hundred extra steps! If only these process groups contained the people *doing* the damn work, and could take their knowledge and experience into account, we could actually be doing some good here.

My wife is a teacher, and it seems she’s running into the same sort of issues at her job as I am with mine. In LAUSD, instead of listening to the teachers and bringing best practices from the ground up, they have imposed “process” on the situation, and have worked to implement standards that break down the spirit and initiative of reformers within the system. The thought that one size fits all runs rampant, and because there is no effective feedback loop to the decision makers, all that happens is alienation.

I’m hoping, of course, that I can inject myself into the process of defining these processes, and provide some context to the decision makers within my company that will give them the insight necessary to build something that works, something that will be remembered years from now not as just another re-org, but as a moment of revolution. I don’t know how far I’ll get, but I’m certainly willing to try.

I’ve always been a man of great spirituality, but little faith. Dogma has been anathema to me since as far back as I can remember. And today I mourn the fate of our country, with the passing of a law by congress to overrule the wishes of a woman to be allowed to die with dignity.

For the facts of the case, click here. You won’t find zealot sites on the net support Terri Schiavo’s right to die, but any place where you have facts, you will see they contradict everything the religious right is claiming in this situation.

Although at this point it is cliche, it’s amazing that we would fight a war in a far off country to get rid of the religious fundamentalists (Taliban), and then fall victim to them in our own. The fact that based on doctored video tapes, and dodgy press conferences, a group of people have managed to deny Terri Schiavo justice for 15 years is abhorrent. I hope that every last member of congress who voted for this terrible measure, and our dear president who so blithely signed it suffer for the sin they committed today.

If there was a way to contribute to the fight that Michael Schiavo has been suffering through these past 15 years, to honor the wishes of his undead wife, I would. I’d march, I’d give money, I’d even vote democrat.

Sigh. I guess what I really want is a politician who wants to go to war in far off places with gays in the military and the right to choose and the right to die and the right to bear arms who wants to lower my tax burden. Instead I get suckered into a theocracy when all I wanted to do was support the military and do the right thing about fixing the problems our country has created across the globe during it’s flirtations with despots and dictators.

Can you imagine if the only concious thought running through Terri’s mind these past 15 years has been, “Please, kill me.”? Her parents and the rabid right-to-lifers should be ashamed of themselves. If there is any justice in this universe, these religious zealots will have God himself come down and slap them in the face for presuming to know better than Michael on what’s best for his wife. And then God will make Michael a saint, just to rub it in.

Well, as amazing as it sounds, Amani managed to stop taking anti-nausea medications today. She apparently still feels occasional waves, but it’s no longer the chronic debilitating kind of nausea she experienced for the first few weeks.

3/11/2005 Ultrasound

Haven’t gotten the video back from James yet, but once we get that I’ll post it too. The little bugger was doing spins and backflips…really cool stuff!

Imagine software development as building a bridge. We have architects which design the bridge, materials used for construction, and construction workers who put it all together according to the architect’s plans.

In the bridge building world, architects hand their plans off to the construction workers, who then put the bridge together. In this world, changes to the design become more and more expensive as time goes on – it’s what we read about in computer science classes about traditional waterfall design. And it made intuitive sense, since we could see how it would be much harder to change a bridge design once construction got started.

However, there is a critical flaw in this analogy. Software costs nothing to build. If I have 50,000 lines of code I can compile an executable in a few seconds. I can make a 2 line change to that codebase, and in just a few more seconds, I can have a new executable. I can make a 10,000 line change to that codebase, and the cost of compiling an executable is still just a few seconds.

So if we want to truly understand our bridge building analogy, we have to imagine a world where I could have a bunch of construction workers put up an entire bridge in just a few seconds. Tearing down the bridge would also be nearly instantaneous. And I would have not material costs for the bridge, just as compiling an executable wouldn’t cause wear on my computer’s memory, or my hard drive, or my CPU.

In this wonderful new world of instantaneous construction, how would this effect the role of the architect? Well, instead of using scale models to get a feel for what the design is going to look like, I’d just whip up a new bridge every time an idea struck me. Instead of trying to precisely calculate how the bridge would react to its environment (weather, traffic, etc), I’d simply build the bridge I was imagining and test it empirically.

Now, when it comes to tests, there are also several alternatives. I could manually test it – getting in bigger and bigger vehicles and driving them over the bridge until it broke. Or, if I was really smart, I’d have a robot army of automated testers, who would drive over my bridge thousands upon thousands of times in exactly the same way. Every time I decided to put up a new bridge, I’d just click the “go” button on my robot army, and they’d do their job.

This isn’t to say that designing a bridge would become a trivial process. In fact, the big issue with software is that *everything* is design, and these designs are terribly complex. If we have 30 architects working on designing the same bridge, we need to be able to manage communication within the team. But unless we can adjust our perception of what “building” and “designing” software is all about, we fall victim to the limits of our imagination, and focus on the wrong problems.

Hey, for those of you who want to check out some of the music I’ve been involved in, look at the top and you’ll find links for TSB and Silvereign MP3s.

Share. Enjoy.

Zofran. 8mg/8 hours. $992/30 pills. $0 copay because we’re double covered by Kaiser Permanente.

Essentially they forced Amani to suffer through a rough night before they gave her the good stuff. The reglan and the suppositories didn’t do enough to keep her from throwing up a single bite of pancake, but this Zofran stuff is gold…and probably worth more per ounce!

Today we ate at the Hill Street Cafe, went shopping at Costco, and then had dinner at the Olive Garden, with only minor reports of the hints of nausea from Amani. Hopefully this will continue to be effective as we reach week 13, which supposedly is the peak for HCG levels which correlate with morning sickness.

Well, it’s finally come to it – suppositories.

We came in for a 11:20am appointment, and by about 1:00pm Amani was admitted to the FCC (Family Care Center) ward. They got her hooked up to an IV with a saline drip, she’s taken 10mg of reglan in pill form, and got one suppository of some other drug. She’s managed to eat a bit of jello, drink some juice, and eat a few crackers.

We watched a couple of episodes of Smallville and Alias, fresh off of bittorrent, but my damn Lois & Clark episodes apparently have some sort of codec I haven’t gotten installed on this box…which is odd, since they work on my desktop, and I pretty much installed the same crap in both places. Go figure.

We’re listening to the Police on amani’s laptop, just chillin’ now.

Cameron is over at Dick and James’ for the night (thanks you two!), and I’ll probably end up missing yoga tomorrow, since checkout is probably going to be right around 12:00.

So who ever would’ve thought you’d have to put something in your ass to keep yourself from throwing up? I mean, who was the first guy to think of it? I guess people have been doing odd things to their bodies since the first time we developed the opposable thumb, but jeez, horse pills in the rectum? Eesh. (As you can tell, I just can’t wait until my first proctological exam…)

Let’s see, in other news I got my performance review today from kaiser, and scored an eye popping 3 out of 5. Apparently this is par for the course for high achievers in the organization, due to a firmly denied yet strictly enforced curve. As a courtesy to the line staff in our organization, the managers “give up” their 4’s to allow them to be awarded to non-management staff. My manager was actually quite cool about it, and I certainly agree that it’s good policy to sacrifice one’s own rating in order to reward the people doing real work, but it still stings a bit. Hopefully upper management will start to realize just what a joke their performance management regime has become, but until then we just grin and bear it. Or we’ll just end up with under-rated over-achieving people leaving…what a wonderful strategy for improving performance and increasing morale, eh?

On the other hand, I can appreciate that fairly judging people across an organization is tough to do…one manager may be more lenient, another more strict…but if the problem is on that level, that’s where it should be addressed, by replacing the managers that don’t have teams that produce results.

Well everyone, Amani is feeling much better now. It seems like the combination of constant Gatorade and 10mg of Reglan every six hours is doing the trick. She’s keeping food down, is generally up and about, and I’ve even gotten her to laugh again.

In other news, Cameron’s momma J (as opposed to momma A) is visiting, and he’s getting spoiled rotten. We just saw the triplets of belleville (trippy movie, pretty cool), and are just starting Chicken Run.