Sad state of affairs

I saw a commercial last night for the American Red Cross urging people to give blood.  It would have been an alright commercial (aside from the poor acting which I’ve come to expect from all commercials), except they were urging people to give blood to save their own lives.  Are we so self absorbed that the Red Cross can’t even get us to give blood to possibly save someone else’s life?  Unbelieveable…

Do you know the way…

We just booked our flight and hotel for the Dojo Developer Day on May 13 in Mountain View, CA. We’re flying into San Jose and staying at a hotel a ways from the airport. It should be a fun experience driving in California, since I’m used to driving out here in the sticks. My friend, Rick, who’s originally from LA thinks the traffic here in Iowa is nothing compared to LA and Seattle. This should be interesting :).

We found the hotel and plane tickets for a good enough price (thanks priceline.com) that we’re actually staying one day longer than we originally planned. We’ll be there from May 11 to May 15. I’m really looking forward to seeing the Pacific ocean and checking out some of the sights in San Francisco, Santa Clara, and San Jose. Any suggestions for where we should go? Are there any good art museums/galleries we should check out?  How about restaurants?  Anything we should steer clear of?

Dizzying weather

So, tonight we had a big storm. Lightning, wind, rain, hail, tornadoes… the whole kit-n-kaboodle. We had to go to the first floor laundry room and our cat didn’t like it (we ended up putting her into one of the non-running dryers so she could “hide”). It wasn’t really bad here, but Iowa City got hit pretty hard. The weather didn’t really bother me… it was the stupid weathermen on the local TV station.

Really, it was just one in particular (sorry, no picture). Whoever put him in charge of running the computer that shows the weather really needs to reconsider. I just about got sick watching him click all over the map, then zoom in, re-center, zoom in some more, zoom out, re-center, draw some things on the screen, zoom all the way out, etc. He also couldn’t hold the mouse still to save his life. It was like watching a crack addict play Mahjong on the computer. And it was readily apparent that the program that he was using wasn’t very user friendly since he kept having to move the mouse off screen to change tools. Have we heard of keyboard shortcuts?? Must not have taught you that when they taught you how to only be 25% accurate. I wish I got paid to only be about 25% accurate.

Pardon me while I go take a dramamine…

My current endeavors

Ok, so I said I would keep up with this blogging thing, but I’m not doing a very good job. It’s been over two months since I last blogged. What the heck is my problem? So here’s the run-down of what I’ve been doing:

Work
I’ve been steadily plugging away at Master Packing’s web site over the last two months. I’ve been trying to implement interactive features to some fairly boring things. Once its up, I’ll highlight what I’ve done, but until then, I’ve got to explain. On the mechanical packing page, I’ve used the Tree widget from Dojo to let you figure out which style of our mechanical packing matches other companies’ packing. Also, you can compare the temperature, pH, and speed ratings on all the mechanical packing we offer using the SortableTable widget. On the rail and marine page, you’ll be able to search for a partial or complete EMD number and the server will show you what part number we sell that part under and also suitable replacements. This search feature is something that isn’t available anywhere else in the EMD aftermarket industry. We should have it up and running by mid April. I’ll definately post when it’s up.

JavaScript
For the last month, I’ve been delving deep into the world of JavaScript for SitePen. It has taken me a while, but I think I’ve gotten the hang of the prototype-base inheritance that JavaScript uses. I think I’m past the fact that you can extend the prototype of any class so if you want a new method or want to modify an old method, you don’t create a new class. You just “mask” the old method on the current class. Coming from C++, that blew my mind.

Coaster
Development has pretty much stalled. I’ve been so busy with life, music, Dojo, Django, work, contracting, and everything else that I haven’t had time to sit down and code on Coaster for a long time. Also, the success of programs like Serpentine have shown me that other people are more motivated than I am. If someone wants to take the coding portion of the project over, contact me or Sean Harshbarger on the Coaster mailing list.