An update?

I've done a little housekeeping, including adding more blogs, new webcomics list, and a "things I starred in Google Reader" widget. Enjoy!



And the word of the day is: myrmidon. There are two definitions: the first a particular set of participants in the Trojan war, and the second a man who executes orders without question. Since the whole Trojan Horse thing has been overdone, I thought I'd concentrate on the second.

Executing orders without question can be quite dangerous, both in terms of the actions done and the indefensible position it puts the executor in. And hey, humans aren't perfect. On the one hand, this means that orders are rarely perfect, and a healthy command structure encourages thinking and questioning; can the orders be improved? Are they really advancing our goals? On the other hand, you can spend so much time hemming and hawing that nothing much gets accomplished, which can be worse than the disease. On the gripping hand, who are these people giving the orders, anyway?


A Programmer's ABCs

A fantastic former colleague at Sun Microsystems just posted A Programmer's ABCs, which I found quite amusing.

Apologies for the long drought of no postings...


The Land of Mi... er, Ice.

After a couple of very warm days (High of 84! and 76!) Baltimore has been hit by the same winter storm which has been making life in the north-east quite entertaining. Baltimore's version is very icy; we walked out at 6pm, in light sleet and freezing rain, and by our return at 8pm, things were quite treacherous, with slushy ice everywhere! Sometimes I really miss California weather.


Maggie Visits

Last weekend, Maggie (a close friend of Frances's) and two of her friends from WashU visited. I've put together a gallery of pictures we took during their visit. I highly recommend viewing the map. (zoom out a bit and click on "play" under "timeline")
We had a great time!


Time warps

To continue the music theme[1], willowlaughter and I went to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) on Saturday, and enjoyed Brahm's Violin Concerto[2] and Pictures at an Exhibition, which were quite good. BSO's hall was clearly built in the 60s, but is pretty attractive. Comparisons to the San Francisco Symphony (SFS) were hard to avoid, and SFS mostly came in on top, unsurprisingly. On the other hand, they BSO's symphony hall is about a 8 minute drive from where we live, and we could probably walk or take the Light Rail[3] there without any issues.

In any case, there were a bunch of interesting-looking concerts on the BSO schedule, so we'll certainly return there.

[1] Okay, yes, I had intended to post with less than a 2-year gap between posts. Of course, I 'm beating that by a whole 8 days; doesn't that make you happy? Some minor changed have happened since my first post, including getting married and moving to Baltimore, Maryland...

[2] My main complaint here was that it was hard to hear the soloist over the orchestra, but willowlaughter pointed out that Brahms tends to put a lot into the orchestral side. I was much happier with the acoustics and balance for Pictures at an Exhibition.

[3] Baltimore's public transit is entirely crazed. Through dumb luck, we live in the only area with ready access to both the Baltimore Metro and Light Rail.