Mike’s Dump

October 27, 2005

Bloggers, Bloggers, Everywhere

Filed under: Kids — mikesdump @ 10:02 am

Blogging seems to be really taking off at work which I think is really
cool. Hopefully I’ll get to update this post as more developers start

Steven R
Tony L


8th Grade Math

Filed under: Home — mikesdump @ 9:45 am

The good thing is I no longer need to try and pass grade 8 math.

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 8/10 correct!

Could You Pass 8th Grade Math?

October 25, 2005

Can you read this?

Filed under: Home — mikesdump @ 12:02 pm

This was sent to me in an email the other day and I thought it was pretty cool.

Give it a try.

cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg.
The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at
Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a
wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be
in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed
it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed
ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and
I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

This little blurb got me thinking and I wanted to read more about it. I
popped over to Google and found a few hits (this has obviously made its
rounds on the net) which pointed to this being a hoax. In my search I did find the below post which I thought was interesting.

This particular e-mail caught my eye because it beautifully illustrates
the problem with inspection. As an editor, it’s easy to read over a
word that is absolutely, completely misspelled and not catch it. The
mind sees what it wants to see. That’s why multiple editors read the
same pages over and over again to help mitigate this problem. Even
spell check doesn’t always work. How many times have we caught “quality
manger” or “pubic courses”? More than once or twice, believe me.

Read the rest here

The same probably would hold true for testing software. That is one reason developers are so horrible at testing their own code.

October 24, 2005

Duct Tape

Filed under: Home — mikesdump @ 3:49 pm

I believe I have mentioned it before but one of the blogs I like to
read is The WTF Daily. I have this blog under “daily comics” along with
Dilbert and User Friendly. These are great blogs for first thing in the
morning to help start the day off on the right foot. After the
experience Sandy and I had tonight it had me thinking there has to be a
doctor’s version of this blog (WTF Were You Thinking, perhaps?).

I mentioned this morning from the Sobeys’ parking lot Sandy hurt her
knee. The doctor gave her some anti-inflammatory medication along with
Tylenol 3s. She was over at my sister’s this afternoon and went to sit
down on the couch. The couch was lower than she expected which bent her
knee farther than she should have. It hurt so bad she was in tears; her
knee had swollen up and went into a spasm. So when I got home we went
to the hospital to have it rechecked to see if there was anything else
wrong (they didn’t take x-rays this morning).

After going through admitting we were sent down to a treatment room for
less serious cases. There were a couple of beds with the drapes drawn
and a number of chairs setup in a semi-circle. Two doctors in the room
were talking to people directing them off to x-rays and other treatment
areas. It felt like the room was meant to crank people through as
quickly as possible. From a health care point of view I guess that is
what they want to do, help as mainly people as possible in the shortest
amount of time.

The problem with this approach is there is absolutely no privacy to
talk with the doctor. It felt more like group therapy then been treated
for a broken bone or something. With the doctor talking to the person
sitting right next to you can’t help but hear what their ailment is.
While hearing the stories of the other patients I started to think some
doctors would be able to share some pretty funny (sometimes twisted
funny) stories.

Tonight there was this one guy that I noticed holding his arm funny. I
just assumed he broke or fractured his arm. Sandy later pointed out to
me the real issue. The probably thirty-something guy had something
sticking out of his hand. I looked a little closer and realized it was
a nail. There was a nail right through his hand!

By itself this story could just go on one of those medical TV shows.
What would make an interesting blog would be how the guy gets the nail
through the hand. This gentleman is in construction and was training
someone to use a nail gun safely (yep training someone else). Not
realizing the nail gun was plugged in (probably something that should
be checked when training on safety) he shot himself through the hand.
He said he tried to pull the nail out himself but “it was in there

The other doctor patient exchange I found a little more amusing went something like this:

(All behind a drawn curtain � thank God)

Doctor: What brings you in today?
Patient: My ankles.
Doctor: What happened?
Patient: Well, you see, my socks wouldn’t stay up so I used some duct tape and taped them to my skin and socks so they would stay up.
(My first mistake was I looked at Sandy and we were both thinking the same thing� taped on socks)
Patient: I took the tape off and the skin was all raw and I wanted to have it form a scab so I put some talcum powder on it.
Doctor: How long was the duct tape on?
Patient: About a week.
(Now that paints a couple pictures. Either feet in socks that haven’t
been washed in a week or he is showering with the duct taped on socks)
Doctor: One week continuously?
Patient: (long pause) well.
Doctor: More than a few days?
Patient: Yes
Patient: So after a while I noticed this really, really bad smell and that is when I decided to come in.
Doctor: Yes� It looks like there is some puss under the skin.
Patient: No, it is more like
this bloody watery fluid. I know because I cut into it. Actually that
is when I noticed the extremely bad smell. It smells like rotten flesh.
(I had to leave the room at this point because I wasn’t going to be
able to contain my laugher because he kept going on and on about the
smell. When I came back in I noticed the room didn’t smell hospital
Doctor: Ok, we’ll freeze it up and get this cleaned up
Patient: Can’t you just take a scalpel to it? It’s ok because I feel absolutely nothing down there.
Doctor: Ummm� no we’ll freeze it first.

Yeah sure, I’m probably being insensitive because it sounds like the
situation is pretty serious but holy cow, the guy duct taped on his
socks and left them there for a week (at least that is what he admitted
too). Duct tape!

Unsecured Wireless Networks

Filed under: Home — mikesdump @ 2:07 am

Don’t you just love unsecured wireless networks? Sandy’s knee is really
bothering her so I came with her to the doctors office so I could watch
Erika. Sandy is actually in the doctor’s office and I’m sitting in the
van with Erika.

I’ve been trying hard to block out the Barney CD that is playing� that
I have heard a thousand times before. I thought there is some work I
could do without an internet connection. So, I pulled the laptop out of
the bag, powered it up and what do you know? I’m now connected to a
wireless network sitting in a parking lot.

When I first got my wireless router a couple years ago I didn’t bother
setting up the security right away (probably a couple days after I had
it working). But now-a-days with just about every laptop coming with
onboard wireless you really have to be a little more cautious.

Thanks SSID linksys.

Disconnecting now.

October 22, 2005

Five Pound Bag

Filed under: Links — mikesdump @ 2:56 am

It has been a great morning. I have essentially said, “Screw
everything, I want to do some reading” (I doubt I’ll get much done on
the laminate flooring today).

I just read this Martin Fowler post and for this quote
alone I wanted to mention it here.

You can’t put ten pounds of shit into a five pound bag.

At work we have been working on adopting MSF
or at least using it as a starting point to move towards a more agile
methodology. With my XP background from my last job I find I tend to
rely more on those experiences then try and go by “the MSF book”. At my
previous job, beginning each three week iteration we would have our
planning game to estimate, prioritize and choose the stories we would
work on. I found this worked really well (I guess it also helped there
was no external client pressure to deliver).

With my current job I think the situation is a little closer to reality
with customers and sales putting pressure on the development team to
release software. One change we’ve made that I believe made a huge
improvement on a recent project was the use of short iterations and
regular reviews. We were having weekly meetings with our product
manager (filling the role as customer) to review the progress on the
previous iteration (we are aiming for one week iterations). More often
than not changes would come out of these meetings. Having the short
iterations made it a lot more obvious we can only fit in so much work
(it also helped we had a strict deadline).

I think we are making great strides forward on the development team
getting people thinking in terms of scenarios (AKA user stories) and
short iterations. If we can continue to change the way we think about
software development starting with writing unit tests (nunit) first I
think we will see tremendous professional growth in 2006.

Which Sci-Fi Character Are You?

Filed under: Links — mikesdump @ 1:57 am

You know you can’t wait to find out what sci-fi character you are most like (I found this over at cnet news). I just took the test and here was my results.

James T. Kirk
An impassioned commander with more respect for individuals than for
authority, you have a no-holds-barred approach to life and its
I don’t believe in the no-win scenario.

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

So if I’m James T. Kirk why don’t I ever see any really hot green chicks?

October 21, 2005

Unions and Job Security

Filed under: Home — mikesdump @ 5:35 pm

I have never understood the mentality of a labour union. More often
than not one of the main issues you hear on the news is the union is
fighting for job security or against outsourcing.

In IT, unfortunately, outsourcing has been a fact of business for a
number of years. At my last job the management was very open how much
cheaper labour was in Asia than North America. In most industries
outsourcing isn’t something new. A number of industries have tried to
capitalize on cheaper labour abroad all in the name of maximizing
profits for the shareholders.

In the grand scheme of things I don’t think sending work to less
fortunate countries is entirely evil. The “west” is generally looked at
as being greedy and materialistic. For the most part I don’t think it
is an inaccurate description. With more and more skilled work leaving
North America, hopefully, even with the low wages the companies are
paying, it will help raise the overall standard of living in these
other countries. Doesn’t everyone deserve the opportunity to live with
all the things we take for granted?

Now-a-days there is no such thing as job security but some people
haven’t awaken to this fact. Someone once told me a job equals the
Journey Of the Broke. The only way to have true job security and
generate wealth is to create your own business. While this might sound
appealing at first you have the constant worry of where you next
paycheque will come from and if you have people working for you their
paycheques as well.

Right now there is a labour dispute in BC with the teacher’s union. I
think overall the teachers in BC haven’t been treated fairly. The
little bit I’ve heard on the news the other day said they have had
contract after contract imposed for several years. If I was in their
position I’d be pissed off and probably be on strike as well. But do
you really think all the teachers deserve the exact same raise? Look at
the people you work with. There are probably people that don’t work
nearly as hard as you do, right? When you are talking money wouldn’t
you rather be judged on your personal performance instead of accepting
the same negotiated rate as everyone else? I know I would.

I think unions in the past have served a purpose of improving working
conditions but in today’s environment they mainly exist to serve
themselves than the people they represent. Instead of helping members
fight to only do what is in the job description teach people how to
prove themselves invaluable to an organization. Teach members to think
in terms of team instead of us and them. I think with this change in
mentality, while not perfect and perhaps naive, is a step towards job
security while working for someone else.

Pain A Mike’s Dump Point of View

Filed under: Home — mikesdump @ 4:27 pm

Today was a painful day. Not just a paper-cut kind of painful day but
the kind of pain you’d experience by having your eye scooped out by a
toothless mentally incompetent mutant with a spoon.

Here is the situation; you are watching your freshly plucked eyeball
roll down the road towards a sewer. In desperation you leap toward the
eyeball with hope you are able to grab it and a doctor can perform a
miracle and reattach it. But when you leap you trip over your own feet
and bang your head on the pavement. You land with such force both of
your hands ram through the bars of the sewer and with your remaining
eyeball you watch the other roll closer and closer to the sewer.
Finally, wobbling on the edge, plop! It’s gone and there is no hope of
recovery. This is the pain I am referring about.

At this point what do you do? Maybe you scream with frustration feeling
you were close to having chance at possible reattachment. Maybe you
start bawling like a baby in the fetal position (but of course you
can’t because the thumb you’d normally suck is stuck between the bars
of the sewer). Or maybe you laugh because it couldn’t possibly get any
worse (unless of course someone sees you in this position kicks you in
your good eye and steals your wallet). This is also like the laughing
like I did tonight during the 7-1 loss of the Edmonton Oilers (well I
swore at goals 1 to 4 but 5, 6 and 7 I laughed). Why limit yourself to

one emotional state when you can go through all three?

My day wasn’t that painful but it was pretty close (both of my eyes are
still intact). I also don’t suck my thumb… much… I mean anymore…
I mean ever. If I actually described the day it would negate all the
good the six beer I drank did so I won’t .Good night.

October 18, 2005

Because it is good for you

Filed under: Home — mikesdump @ 3:17 pm

I went to the dentist today. Same old same old, actually that isn’t
true, it is the first time I can remember where the dentist didn’t find
some reason to bring me back and cause me all kinds of pain.

What was the same as every other visit was the hygienist asked if I floss. My standard answers are
1) Not as often as I should
2) Not regularly
Both of these statements are true. I know from every other time I have
gone to have my teeth cleaned I should be flossing at least once a day.
I don’t floss once a day. I decided to go with answer number two
today. Well the hygienist called me on it.

“How many times a week do you floss”, she asks.

“Umm, maybe 2 or 3 times”, I replied after a little squirming in my chair. I knew I was in for the lecture at this point.

“Flossing every other hour is important, blah, blah, blah�. If you
don’t floss you will loose all your teeth and you will turn into a
toothless mentally unstable mutant”.

Being called a toothless mentally unstable mutant is nothing I haven’t
heard before except for the toothless part so it didn’t really bother
me. After I left I started thinking about things we are told to do
because they are good for us.

1) Floss your teeth
2) Eat you vegetables
3) Exercise 3 times a week
4) Eat eggs� I mean don’t eat eggs (can we eat eggs again?)
5) Wear sun screen
6) Wear your seat belt
7) Don’t smoke

This of course is just a small list but what all the items have in
common is there are no immediate affects by not following this advice.
If my teeth fell out the first day after not flossing my dentures would
be sitting in a cup right now and I probably wouldn’t be giving this
much thought. Maybe this isn’t the best example.

What if after one week of no exercise and no vegetables I turned into a
wimpy four-eyed geek with a beer-belly. Hmmm� that reminds me I should
probably get the treadmill we bought setup. It appears using myself as
the subject isn’t working out very well.

What if after the first time my friend in high school took a drag of a
cigarette he dropped dead? Would I have still started smoking and kept
doing it for two years. I believe I can comfortably say I’d be a little
smarter than that.

I like to say I’m normally a proactive rather than a reactive person
but that isn’t true with all aspects of my life. I should go floss�
tomorrow 🙂

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