Monday, September 10, 2012

Performance Review

John Corbett recently published a nice summary of Ken Vandermark's career to date. Section #4 is of the of most interest to me, since it covers the time when I was living in Chicago and discovering both Vandermark's music in particular and free jazz in general. I feel very fortunate to have been there during the so-called "golden age in Chicago", when I had the chance to hear the Vandermark Five and other groups play on a weekly basis, if not more frequently. Simpatico is one of my favorite V5 recordings and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I was at the Empty Bottle nearly every Tuesday night during the summer of 1998 listening as the songs that were recorded for that album were being rehearsed and developed.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Quality Equality

Trying to compare two arrays for equality without regard to order in a unit test is often very annoying. In Java, it would generally take four or five lines of code to express this in a test, completely obscuring the aspect of the code that I was trying to test. Ruby's Test::Unit turned that comparison into a one-liner, (expected - actual).empty?, a definite improvement but still a bit ugly. I was testing this in RSpec a couple days ago and figured there had to be a better way, and there is: actual.should =~ expected. I probably would have written a custom matcher for this rather than overload =~ if I was designing it myself, but either way, it's a big improvement in test expressiveness and readability.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hi Neighbor!

Ever since being thoroughly disappointed by their porter and a limited run cranberry abomination, I've been staying away from Narragansett's craft beer offerings. I gave their Oktoberfest style beer a try last fall and found it pretty tasty, so I figured their Summer Ale was worth a try. I had a couple this past holiday weekend and I'm happy to report that it's quite good.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Red Panda

I avoided zoos for a long time because I figured I'd be spending a lot of time at them once I became a parent and I didn't want to burn out too soon. We are now zoo members and I have already been to the zoo twice in the past month. So far, so good. Here's a shot of an adorable red panda chowing down on some leaves from this past weekend's visit. Did you know while they may look like raccoons and are called pandas, red pandas are not actually related to raccoons or giant pandas?



Friday, April 06, 2012

Under The Sea

UNESCO has recently moved to protect the wreck of the Titanic from looting and damage. Apparently, its final resting place at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean 12,000 feet below the surface and close to 400 miles away from land is not remote enough to protect it from treasure hunters and tourists who are willing to spend $60,000 a pop to visit the wreckage in a submarine.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Madness

Attention hack business journalists: you are free to write stories every March about how many hours of productivity are lost to the NCAA basketball tournament as long as you balance it out with stories about how many additional hours of productivity are gained throughout the year when employees do extra work after hours and over weekends and holidays for no additional pay.