Category Archives: Life

Number Nine

1000 posts posted!

July the 4th means it’s another Blog Birthday. 9 years of con carne (albeit one of them vegan) and 999 posts (not including this). It’s numerically kinda cool because the arithmetic mean is 111, another triple number. A more accurate average is around 125 posts per year, since I was on hiatus for all of 2017 (to recover from the shock of 2016).

There is also that 999 is what I call an odometer number, but that might take some explaining. Metaphorically, it’s the kind of number that makes you look at your odometer and say, “Hey! Check it out!”

Even little 9, as the last single digit, has some cool properties.

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Random Past Blast

So this is my nine-hundred-and-ninety-ninth post here on Logos con Carne (which turns nine tomorrow). I’ll talk more about that when I do the anniversary (or perhaps more accurately, the birthday) post. What I’ve been struggling with for days is what this post should be.

The celebration post, as usual, will look back at the past year (as well as the past nine), which leaves this post wanting a topic. Yesterday I was looking at some old photos and got the idea of looking back at my own (much longer) past.

I figure it’s gotta be an easier post to write than trying to explain a tesseract.

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The Subtle Art

A few weeks ago a friend loaned me The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (2016), by Mark Manson. I just finished it, and — while I’m not a big fan of self-help books — I give this one an Ah! rating. Manson’s approach, contrary to our modern norm, is not about finding happiness, but about choosing the pain worth seeking (and letting the happiness come through our fulfillment).

The subtle part is that not giving a f*ck doesn’t mean one stops caring. The subtle part is learning to be selective about what matters to us.

The counterintuitive part is that chasing happiness leads to misery.

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Canadian Camping 1996

Walleye for dinner!

Well, that’s a surprise. My Ideas folder has a document I thought was a description of my first Canadian camping trip with my buddy (let’s call him) “Scott”. I’ve been meaning to post it one of these days. Having just told a story about my dog Sam, I thought maybe it was time to post some of the other memories stories.

The surprise is that the document is about a trip in 1996, the 10th (or so) annual pilgrimage we’d made. That first time we didn’t really know what we were doing and both under- and over-prepared. That was of a vacation with a lot of pain, but which engendered fondness in retrospect.

Enough fondness that we did it annually for over 15 years.

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Dog Tales: Memories

Father’s Day, 1994

This post rises from deep in my Drafts Folder. I started it back in 2012 as a followup to the Sad Day; Perfect Day post. That one recalls a special 1994 memory about Samantha, my dog (who died a little before her time, in 2004). The second post would catalog various memories highlighting how much fun we had and how much she meant to me.

Two years later I did post a version of that eulogy: Dog Tales: Games. That post was actually the second beat to a post the day before, Sam’s Final Walk, which described the disposition of her ashes.

For Father’s Day, I thought it appropriate to post once more…

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Sun Sign

The two Solstices are the only universal holidays I celebrate. There many personal holidays, almost all anniversaries of whatever happened that day: births, weddings, deaths; the arcs of jobs and love affairs; graduations and engagements; all the milestones of life. (The trick is to avoid Marley’s chains and chests.)

When it comes to the world, I see only two true holidays whose meaning every mind on Earth shares; two that everyone can anticipate and appreciate. These holidays are defined by the star that gives us life. They mark our orbit as precisely as the numbers of a clock mark the hours.

In fact there are four such star-marked days; two major, two minor.

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BOOL or Bust

This is part five of a series celebrating the passing of BOOL, the “ship in a bottle” computer language I’ve been tinkering with for three decades. It’s a design dream, and I’ve decided to wake up.

Last time I talked about how BOOL handles data and why that was such an issue. This time I’ll ramble on about some of the other snarls that ultimately made things more complicated than I wanted. Simplicity and elegance were key design goals. I intended the run-time environment, especially, to be utterly straightforward.

Unfortunately, the behavioral design goals — the way BOOL should to act at run-time — ended up in direct conflict with that.

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BOOL Pains

This is part four of a series commemorating BOOL, a computer language I started designing somewhere around 1990. After 30 years of sporadic progress I finally gave up. There were so many contradictions and (for lack of a better word) “epicycles” in the design goals that it just wasn’t viable.

So I’m mourning the passing of an idea that’s shared my headspace for three decades. Previously I’ve introduced BOOL and provided a tour of its basic aspects. Now I have to start talking about why it failed.

It has a lot to do with data, but that wasn’t the only issue.

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BOOL with Class

This is part three of a series mourning the death of a computer language I birthed around 1990. Now it’s turning 30, and I’ve decided it’s too old for this sort of thing. I’ve retired and now I’m retiring it (in the “sleeps with fishes” permanent retirement sense). These posts are part of a retirement party. BOOL might not be here to celebrate, but I’ll raise glasses in its honor.

First I introduced BOOL, a deliberate grotesquery, an exercise in “and now for something completely different!” Then I illustrated basic procedural programming in BOOL. This time I’ll get into the object-oriented side.

This aspect of BOOL is one of several that changed repeatedly over the years.

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BOOL World

This is part two of a series commemorating a computer language I started designing somewhere around 1990. After 30 years of tinkering I’ve finally accepted that it’s just not meant to be, and I’m letting it go. These posts are part of that letting go process.

Last time I introduced BOOL, said a bit about about what motivated it, and started laying out what made it a language only a parent could love. Later I’ll explain why things didn’t work out, but for now I’d like to tell you about what BOOL was supposed to be:

A glorious deliberate useless Frankenstein’s Monster (insert mad laughter).

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