Archive for September, 2006

In the movie Dave, the Presidential impostor is at an automobile factory and is controlling robotic arms. He spreads them really wide and says something about a really big fish. If he were referring to the Internal Revenue Code he might have needed much longer arms. Here’s a list of the 17 books (available at the GPO) needed to get a current set of your own.

Let’s look at some statistics.

  • Total volumes: 17 (16 and 17 below are the same).
  • Pages: 12,154 (excluding the 2 pages from title 16 below).
  • Total cost: $846 (not including shipping).
Another hopeful sign for gay marriage. Of course, the bigots still don’t want to allow it, but gay marriage is gaining ground. Freedom has a way of doing that. Give us an inch of freedom and we will take a mile.
I have really got to get into not farming. No, not farming, not farming. The USDA wants to pay people for not farming to the tune of more than $200 million per year. At least that’s what Cafe Hayek quotes of a Harper’s Index article. It sure would be great to get a part of that cash. Well, that is, it would be nice to get the cash and not actually have to live in the country which supported such subsidies. Taking money from hard working people and giving it to other people to not work just doesn’t seem like a good foundation for a country.
I just caught a speeder and probably slowed a lot of others down. The evenings have been cool and a shady spot is just right for reading a book and waiting for weekend traffic. I have also been sitting outside some early mornings. I think my presence slows down residents, but I may get some paddles (with signs on them) to slow down some guest traffic. Private Road 1098 is pretty slow and I don’t mean to imply its the Indi 500. The speed of almost all vehicles remains below 10 MPH. There are only a few people who speed, but the residents who used to stop speeders have all moved on to greener parks. Speeding is really not a problem when the children are at school, but I am watchful when they are in the park.
To libertarians you are all the same. Each party seeks to limit the freedoms of others to fit their definition of a good and equitable society. You only differ on what behaviors you wish to control. Democrats wish to control how I allocate my property and Republicans want to control how I use my property. Both of you are willing to use coercion, which is often unethical, to force me to your point of view. As a libertarian, I believe those finding my argument wanting shouldn’t have to live with its consequences.

The first real estate investment I made was a rehab here in Stephenville. I made a lot of mistakes, but I also did some things few experienced investor can fathom. I didn’t put down any earnest money to get the contract signed. I started repairs before we closed. I negotiated a price well below asking. Asking price was $20,000 and I got it for $12,000. It was my lack of knowledge of what was expected which allowed me to proceed without knowing I was getting anything special.


I like to search the web for articles about the free market. Articles which are written in defense of the market are fairly easy to filter out. The articles (and sites) arguing against the free market sometimes rely on sleight-of-hand. It’s really kind of boring. You would think people who hate freedom would come up with better arguments. Perhaps there aren’t any.


Many times when writing code, a beginner will ask the language to perform an operation and receive an unusual result. While possible, it is highly unlikely that a beginner will find a bug in perl, JavaScript, etc. Programmers must be humble. The fault ususally lies with us.

Chances are we are asking the programming language to do what we mean instead of telling it what we really want to do. Some languages have logic builin that will try to guess when something might go either way, but we shouldn't depend on this.

Here's an example

  1. $time = "10:10:00";
  2. $other_time = "10:10:40";
  3. print $time - $other_time;

No web programming language will return 40 seconds as the answer without extra work.

The programming language does what I want (DWIW), when I was hoping it would do what I mean (DWIM). The next time you don't get a desired result, make certain you are using DWIW.

Sometimes you just have to peek. Whether it's baking brownies, an overheated engine, or a data structure, sometimes you just have to look under the hood. When programming in perl you need to dump the contents of your data structure to see what's there.

  1. #!/usr/bin/perl
  3. use strict;
  4. use warnings;
  5. use Data::Dumper 'Dumper';
  7. my @sirsi_array = (
  8.     '671|Psychophysiology|PPSY',
  9.     '671|Psychophysiology|',
  10.     '675|Notes and queries|PENG',
  11.     '675|Notes and queries|',
  12.     '675|Notes and queries|',
  13.     '676|The Journal of general psychology|',
  14.     '681|Greece & Rome|PHIS',
  15.     '681|Greece & Rome|',
  16.     '681|Greece & Rome|',
  17. );
  19. my %sirsi;
  20. foreach my $item ( @sirsi_array ) {
  21.     my( $key, $title, $data ) = split /|/, $item;
  22.     push @{ $sirsi{ $key } }, [ $key, $title, ];
  23. }
  25. print Dumper \%sirsi;
  27. __END__


This may seem trivial, but I believe how we organize programs is directly influenced by how we think. Perhaps learning to better organize code will lead to better organized, more efficient thinking.

  1. #!/usr/local/bin/perl -w
  2. use strict;
  3. open (FH,"/usr/local/bin/perld/derektapes") or die "cannot open FH: $!\n";
  4. my $w_param="-w ";
  5. my $tick="'";
  6. my $b_param="barcode=";
  7. my $or_string=" or ";
  8. chomp ( my @a = <fh>);
  10. #       $a[$i]=$_;
  11. #       $i++;
  12. #       print map {$_, "\n"} @a;
  14.         print $w_param$tick;
  15.         while (@a) {
  16.         my @output = ();
  17.                 for ( 1..4 ) {
  18.                         push @output, $b_param . shift @a;
  19.                         last unless @a;
  20.                 }
  21.         print join ($or_string, @output),"\n";
  22.         }
  23. print $tick;