Tuesday, December 16, 2008

For Future Reference

Running without being able to put much weight on the balls of your feet is a lot like running in dry sand.

Don't get a passport photo from the post office.  Just go to Rite Aid.  It's cheaper and nicer.

Babies will smile big huge cute smiles in their passport photos because they are inherently happy creatures.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Command Line Speed Demon

It will never cease to amaze me how people freak out when I open a command line and type instead of clicking around in the gui to do something simple.  You'd almost think they hadn't used a computer before Windows XP came out.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Running the Liferay Tomcat Bundle as a Service

Liferay, when bundled with Tomcat 5.5 (maybe 6 too, I dont know) can be run as a windows service pretty easily with a few simple commands.  These instruction assume you have already succesfully run the program from the command line and clicked around inside the application some.

  1. Open a command prompt (Run "cmd")
  2. navigate to the liferay bin folder
    cd \liferay-portal-tomcat-5.5-5.1.2\bin
  3. Install the windows service:
    service.bat install
    (You should get a success message)
  4. Launch the tomcat service manager program thingy
  5. Change "Startup Type" to Automatic
  6. In the Java tab, append these options, one per line, to the very end of "Java Options":
    Make sure there are no spaces at the end of the options lines and make sure each option is on its own line!  This can waste hours of your time!  If MaxPermSize doesn't work then you almost certainly have a space messing you up or you're missing a carriage return.
  7. Go back to the general tab and start the service.  That's it!
The other option to make this work without step 6 is to use BEA or IBM's version of the JDK.  Those versions of Java do not have Permanent Generation space which is memory reserved for Classloaders that normally never gets garbage collected.  The three options under MaxPermSize are meant to garbage collect that permanent generation space, but I found that I still needed to increase the size of it anyways.  Liferay does use Hibernate for ORM, and a lot of people have said that Hibernate is the real problem.  I'm not sure, I just made it work.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I Need a Better Search Engine

Google no longer searches for what I type. It is programmed to treat people like total idiots. If you search for a plural (even if you put + in front of the search term), it also returns nonplurals, infinitives, and gerunds. If you search for a something like "TempGetStateItem", it will try to correct it to some nonsensical crap. You can't search for anything with parentheses, slashes, quotes, or dashes. If you specify -linux in your search, you will get results that have the word "linux" and if you search for +linux, you will get results that don't have the word linux. Words inside quotation marks will be searched separately. And the worst part is that MSN search and Yahoo search still don't return results that are as good. Google is actively trying to drive people away and I wish I had a decent alternative that wasn't just an aggregator. Oooor, here's an idea for Google Labs: "Uncorrected search -- where you get what you ask for". I just want to find the docs I need quickly without having to stroke the ego of these dorks that think people want "features" like these.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Alfresco Open Source Edition

There's a comment here that says:
That, in turn, implies that the community versions are somewhat crippled, either intentionally or by omission, which I don't think was your point.

Whether that was the intention of the author (Matt Asay, VP of Alfresco) or not, it's true.  The open source version of Alfresco is riddled with bugs unless you're using it strictly as a subversion replacement.  Attempting to use any feature besides the core functionality will make you encounter javascript bugs and a vast documentation void.  There is no point to the Alfresco Open Source Edition existing.  If I had no kids, I would fork the project out of spite.  Instead, I just stopped using it about 6 months ago.  There is no free lunch, but there's lots of free bait.  Alfresco Community Edition is just bait.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My Vote for Quote of the Year

Soooooo ignorant it's funny.

Still, for some in China the Obama glass remained only half-full.

"Obama is half white, half black, so the progress in the U.S. is not that big," said Hu Jing, 25, a paralegal. "It will take dozens of years to elect a person who is 100 percent black."

It's hard to make up crap that stupidly hilarious.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Kicked a Squirrel

Last week, I was jumping down some stairs and a squirrel darted across my path too fast for me to avoid giving it a nudge with my foot.  It was the softest cutest (and only) thing I've ever kicked in the ribs.  I was so excited I immediately called my wife who told me a squirrel once ran into her while she was standing still at a bus stop. 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Adding thead to a Table Generated with ASP Datagrid using jQuery

Datagrid doesn't let you insert thead, tbody, or tfoot into your html. I wanted to scroll the table body and not the head using this plugin.

jQuery("document").ready( function() {

//Make the table scroll with the header/footer stuck in place
var mytable = jQuery("#myTableID"); var h = mytable.height();
//Add the thead that datagrid omits:
//Move the first row from tbody to thead:
jQuery("#myTableID thead").append(jQuery("#myTableID tbody tr:eq(0)"));
mytable.Scrollable(400 < h ? 400 : h, ct.width() + 30);

If you have multiple header rows, just rerun the append line unmodified as many times as you have rows.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


I am slow and hurting.
Ran a 5 miler this past Sunday in 40:07, clock time 40:29.
Ran a half marathon A week before that in 2:07:58.
And I don't expect to do a whole lot better in the Army Ten Miler on Sunday since I'm sick with a crappy cold and haven't run much this week.  My coworkers didn't even manage to register on time so I don't have the motivation of competition going for me either.  At least I beat them all in the Navy 5 Miler.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Love the Government

One guy in it anyways.  He can be annoying, but dangit, his relentless communication is purposeful and oftentimes really effective.  He is a great guy to work with.  Especially relative to some of the folks I've dealt with who operate in cones of silence.  I'd rather have too many requirements so I can reject some than none at all so that I have to engineer my own (which people will invariably object to).

Also, his diagrams make me laugh sometimes.  They strongly reflect his get-it-done attitude.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Failure to Communicate

There's a big difference between being able to watch new kids in September and being able to watch new kids in September until 2:30PM only.  My wife's plan was to ease back into work with a week of half days, but the lady we were relying on interpreted this as "I work half days".  When she came to pick up our girl the first day, there were five kids running around (two were the day care lady's own, two were the other kids who were now out of school, and one was our infant).  Day care lady is licensed to care for two kids (besides her own).  She suggested that my wife work 7AM-3PM, which would be just peachy if she weren't a secretary. 

So we have one week to find a new solution.  And our temporary backup solution (free, at least) involves adding about 40 minutes to our commute.  This bites.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Teleconference Fun

Our manager is in training during work hours all this week. Yesterday he used his blackberry to email invite us to a telecon at 630pm. I figure ok, it'll only be a few minutes long, I don't mind calling in from home. So I accepted with the comment "I plan to be home with my family at 7" The description of the event was "Will provide dial in later." So I hung out at work on my email waiting for this dialin number. I waited and waited. He sent the number at 6:28. I was stuck at work for an extra hour and a half. On the call, you could hear that he was at home, but we were stuck at work because he took his sweet ass time sending the details. Thanks a lot. By the way, whoever was practicing piano in the background at your house has a ways to go.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Overheard in my Cubicle

"EE's hate the stuff we do."  Followed by a lengthy tirade that appeared to be based on one (1) and only one former coworker.  I apparently hate use cases, Spring, and all sorts of other stuff.

I just want to clarify to the internet that electrical engineers don't hate all that stuff, it's just that CS majors are pedantic and overdesign things.  (Also, you're all whiny bitches)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I Don't Care About Nontechnical People

Not when it means I spend almost a whole day banging my head on a desk because I never remember that Internet Explorer hides useful error messages by default.  This is about the 4th time this has happened to me in about 6 years.  That's how often I use Internet Explorer for any kind of web development work.  I wish Firefox would stop sliding towards stupid too (the "Awesomebar", the new SSL "errors", tags, extreme integration with paying sponsors like yahoo, google, and whoever else that I haven't discovered).

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Sore Throat

When you have a PPO health care plan, you don't need a referral to see
a doc. So you can just look up whatever specialty fixes what ails
you, make an appointment, and go. Unless you have a sore throat.
Then when you search for Otolaryngogolists (I don't know why that word
has two g's; it's a fancy way to say Ear, Nose, Throat doc) you find a
bunch of people with websites that focus on hearing problems and
plastic surgery. I might be alone here, but I don't want to see a
fucking plastic surgeon for a sore throat. I'd almost rather just
suffer even though it feels like I have nails poking my ear drums from
the inside when I swallow. I mostly just don't trust doctors. Unless
they're military or a pediatrician, they're only interested in making
money in my experience.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Parkway Bridge over Four Mile Run

And it turns out that contacting the national park service via their webpage is remarkably effective! I love living near DC.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <GWMP_Superintendent>
Date: Mon, Jun 9, 2008 at 12:59 PM
Subject: Parkway Bridge over Four Mile Run

Dear Mr. Burke;

A GWMP Maintenance Work Order was initiated on Friday, May 23rd, to correct
this problem.
Thank you for alerting us to this trail drainage issue.

GWMP Superintendent

Friday, May 30, 2008

Dang Verizon

Verizon updated the firmware of my "free" Westell E90 dsl modem to version I noticed because their stupid domain search is suddenly working again. Now the modem management web pages are all verizon branded and have links to verizon's music and shopping services. It's ok by me so long as it crashes less. Previously streaming a half hour show from netflix without throttling it myself before it gets to the modem would cause an overheat and disconnect right when the shows would get interesting.

The reason their dns is hijacking my typos again is because in my router, I set the first two dns servers like their instructions state (ending in .14) buuut the dhcp is filling in my third dns server name as the modem. I'm not sure how to prevent this in ddwrt while still using dhcp so I switched to a static "WAN" IP. That is, ddwrt serves dhcp to my home network, now ddwrt has a static IP and is all alone on the network behind the modem, and the modem does whatever the heck verizon programmed it to do. I suppose this is ok for now.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Hackaday made me think.  Combine electronic ink (a la' Kindle) with a multitouch box to get a neato low power control panel.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Stole this idea from We, The Robots:

Our love is like a weed,
It's really kinda cool.
Out in the grass for all to see;
makes the neighbors gag.

Our love is like a weed,
it will forever persevere.
It grows through droughts and floods and fall;
blooms thousand times each year.

Our love is like a weed,
it's spreading out it's seeds.
Coming soon our kids will bloom.
Our yard, I hope they do not ruin.

Virginia is for Murders

We've started competing with Texas again to see who can kill the most people yearly. Tim Kaine should reevaluate what it means to be Catholic. I view state sponsored executions as revenge murders that are immoral given how easy it is for us to keep people in prison for life without parole. If we're going to have them they should be televised and either the prosecutor or the victim/victims's family should be forced to kill the convicts.

Sidenote: How is a bullet to the brain not more humane than induced paralysis? I'd rather be shot than crippled first then killed slowly.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Blind Lead the Rest

This article made me laugh a lot.  It's high time we stopped clinging to our traditionally identical sized bills.  It'll help sighted people too and make washing the ink off bills and reprinting them in a higher denomination less easy to pass off.  Less easy instead of impossible because sometimes people just don't pay attention.  And with different sized bills, you can fan out a fat stack and know that they're all the same much quicker.  There is no disadvantage.  The real waste of money is the fact that the treasury's opposing this.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

King Is Ours

Count me among those who don't think the MLK Jr. Memorial should be outsourced to China. Or built, really. I also didn't want the WWII Memorial, American Indian Museum, National Harbor, or FDR Memorial. I'd rather live near a grassy park than a bunch of stones that I'm not allowed to climb on. Plus, more memorials mean more run-off in the rain and more erosion.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I am the Ocean

Consequences and circumstances
crashing down around.
The cold confluence of events
makes to wear me down.

I am the ocean. (I am the ocean)
I am the sea.
I am the ocean. (I am the ocean)
I am everything.
I am the ocean. (I am the ocean)
And the ocean is me.

etc.  It's a very repetitive song.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Wherefore Art Thee, Aloe?

I ran and walked a total of like 13 or 14 miles this weekend (not sure exactly since the GPS watch is on the fritz). Since I mostly walked at a relaxed pace from like 8/9 miles on and since the weather was perfect, I got a little sun.  Now, no matter how much aloe vera I put on my face, it can absorb more almost instantly.  I'm not sure where the aloe is all going, but I think my face is composed of more plant gel than flesh now.  It's getting very smooth as I progress.  Almost creepily so.  Baby bottoms are like coarse grit sandpaper relative to my face.

On a side note, it's time to give in to wimpiness and start carrying water.  Wimpiness is a funny as hell word though.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

And now . . .

. . . some jerk is opening credit cards in my wife's name and racking up $5k bills. This is just more good news. At least my credit report is still clear for now.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


I gave up soda for lent. After drinking a few sodas since then, I
realized soda really does make me a lot gassier. Woo!

Monday, March 17, 2008

1/2 Marathon in 2:10

I didn't hit my goal time of sub 2 hours, but my sister did. Another friend hit 2:40 which was absolutely awesome since she was swamped by work and didn't get to train as much.

Next one will probably not be till September. Maybe April if I decide to be crazy. There's no way I will let myself get anything below 2:00:00 again.

I signed up for the September 21st half marathon in Philadelphia. Next year, I'll do a full one. I want to get under 1:30:00 in the half now. Nuts to losing.

Then there's the Army Ten Miler on Oct 5th, but that's not really going to be a huge challenge (so long as it's not all hot like it was last year when that guy my age died). It's mostly just to show the other guys at work that I'm faster than them.

Now I'm thinking that this next half would fit in well with training for the Richmond full marathon. But I might still just be angry that I lost. Or high on caffeine from all the tea I drank today . . .

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mazda Headlights

Three weeks ago my wife's headlight went out. We went to the auto store, bought a new one, snapped out the old one, and snapped in the new one. It was easier than changing a lightbulb in the house. Good job, Toyota! (Your cars are all still too bland though. Even the last version of the MR2.)

Two weeks ago, one of my lowbeams went out. Technical guy I am, I went to the store and bought another bulb. I confidently walked to the parking lot in the dusk and popped my hood. First I managed to unseat the rubber gasket around the bulb and cable. Then I used every ounce of my huge muscles to unplug the cable from the bulb. Odd, since it was really easy on the Toyota. Then I grabbed the end of the bulb, and tried to unscrew it. And tried and tried and tried. I looked at the new bulb in it's package and verified that it should unscrew. That's why it's designed with those notches and bumps on the rim like that. I tried just pulling. Rotating and pulling. Rotating, pulling, and pushing (all at once). It was not budging.

Later, in daylight, I surveyed the situation. There was a metal wire clip thing holding it down. No big deal, I would figure out how to get that off. It looks like you squeeze it and it will hinge off. Or maybe one leg can slide out enough to free the bulb. Well, I guess I'll just unscrew it. Oh wait, it's on the driver's side! The battery is in the way. I'll try my smallest screwdriver built for tiny computer parts. Too long! How about at an angle? Oops, dropped it. Well, I'll pick it up and try again. But it's sealed inside the bumper and there's no way to reach it. I had to use fireplace tongs as part of the lightbulb replacement process to get my tool out of this weird nook.

In the end it took 4 tries and a stubby 20 year old screwdriver that my parents had to unscrew the "evil paperclip" holding the bulb in place. HEY MAZDA! DON'T MAKE THE EASIEST CAR REPAIR JOB THERE IS IMPOSSIBLE!

That stubby screwdriver is great though. It's about 3 inches long and switches between philips and standard heads. Easy to turn. I still remember it from being a kid and taking stuff apart. It was the best.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


It would certainly be nice if this turned out to be a cure. I'm tired of avoiding the sun and being ultra pale.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pre Cruise Run

After botching the 10 mile run that was actually supposed to be 11 this weekend, I feel a little better. Not eating at all the day I run before I run helps hugely.

Route:--Elev. Avg:14 ft
Location:Washington Dc, VAElev. Gain:+3 ft
Date:02/19/08Up/Downhill: [+242/-239]
Time:07:38 AMDifficulty:2.9 / 5.0
Weather:A Few Clouds
39 F temp; 37% humidity
39 F heat index; winds SW 6

Distance: 8.00 miles

Speed:6.9 mph

Pace:8' 43 /mi


Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
17' 37-1' 067.9+1.0-3 ft
28' 07-0' 367.4+0.5+26 ft
37' 59-0' 447.5+0.6-23 ft
48' 44+0' 016.9-0.0-6 ft
515' 20+6' 373.9-3.0+7 ft
69' 52+1' 096.1-0.8+30 ft
78' 44+0' 016.9-0.0-20 ft
88' 58+0' 156.7-0.2-7 ft
end10' 50+2' 075.5-1.40 ft
Versus average of 8' 43 min/mile

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Computer Forensics

I'm taking a course on how to ferret out malicious wrongdoers all week. Sometimes it feels more like a course on how to do bad stuff and not get caught. It's all how you look at it I guess. Have you ever heard of Alternate Data Streams? Super scary fun way to hide data on Windows in a way that no normal users can see it. I'm thinking they'll be a great way to hide TrueCrypt executables.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

LTO Label Notes

LTO tape cartridge standard label dimensions are 3.11+/-0.031 by 0.669+/-0.031 inches. The barcode should be horizontally centered and 2.74 inches (maximum) by 0.437 inches (minimum). It should use Code 39 and be 8 characters long not counting the stop/start character (when using the code 39 font, make sure to surround the other 8 chars with *, eg *L3FULL01*).

Sunday, January 27, 2008

9 miles

27 January, 2008 10:37

Route:--Elev. Avg:13 ft
Location:Washington Dc, VAElev. Gain:-3 ft
Date:01/26/08Up/Downhill: [+252/-255]
Time:09:54 AMDifficulty:3.2 / 5.0

Weather:Mostly Cloudy

33 F temp; 39% humidity

33 F heat index; winds E 8

Distance: 9.01 miles

Speed:6.3 mph

Pace:9' 30 /mi


Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
17' 45-1' 457.7+1.40 ft
28' 32-0' 587.0+0.70 ft
38' 55-0' 356.7+0.4+19 ft
48' 49-0' 416.8+0.5-23 ft
510' 53+1' 235.5-0.8+3 ft
69' 10-0' 206.5+0.2-3 ft
710' 59+1' 295.5-0.9+7 ft
810' 19+0' 495.8-0.5+6 ft
99' 28-0' 026.3+0.0-16 ft
end9' 02-0' 286.6+0.3+3 ft
Versus average of 9' 30 min/mile: Slower Faster

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I ran/walked 5 miles in 46 minutes this morning, then cooked egg bacon cheese bagel sandwiches for breakfast and watched part of the Biggest Loser on Tivo while doing situps and jumping jacks and I'm completely fired up now.  I want to bench press my desk or something instead of just sitting here.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Minor Obsession

I heard Groucho Marx and his daughter (and an 11 year old Candice Bergen) sing Play a Simple Melody by Irving Berlin on tv and now it's completely stuck in my head.  The way the two different sets of lyrics go together is brilliant.

Friday, January 11, 2008

An Uncrappy Movie and Cloned Beef

Mad Money is surprisingly funny.  Like the whole movie is funny, not just a few bits.  I was not expecting that.

I predict now, on this website that only two people read, that cloned animal meat will result in copyrighted animal DNA and animal "piracy".  Somebody will take kobe or some other stupidly priced beef, get the dna out and clone those cows.  It will result in a lawsuit and people will make jokes about beef and chicken pirates.  The end result will be that congress does nothing and the courts will have to legislate on that issue.  DNA should regulated be like recipies as far as the USPTO goes. 

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Sometimes You Have to Plan Good Things

Or they just don't get done:

I tire easily and what I thought was a 3.11 mile route is apparently only 2.95 miles long.

Route:--Elev. Avg:8 ft
Location:Washington Dc, VAElev. Gain:+0 ft
Date:01/03/08Up/Downhill: [+75/-75]
Time:08:03 AMDifficulty:2.1 / 5.0
Weather:A Few Clouds
 23 F temp; 51% humidity
 23 F heat index; winds NW 8

Distance: 2.95 miles
Speed:7.2 mph
Pace:8' 18 /mi
Cold as heck, but no wind!
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
17' 57-0' 217.5+0.3-7 ft
28' 17-0' 017.2+0.0+7 ft
end8' 37+0' 197.0-0.30 ft
Versus average of 8' 18 min/mile