# Thursday, May 18, 2006

My wife (Vikki) finished her CERT training last night with her final excercise.  The rest of the family turned out for victim duty.  I got to be the “wandering guy” who’s wandering around the scene looking for someone.  Always a challenge to deal with.  I can walk around in circles like nobody’s business, so it was the role for me. :-)

We did the “airplance crashed into a crowd” scenario, so everyone got made up really gross with burns and compound fractures.

the crash

the crash

burns

burns

gross

the compound fracture

ouch

that’s gotta hurt

the team

they go to work

VikkiCert

Vikki’s all done!

And now for the plug...
All this training could be yours for free.  Classes are open to anyone who lives or works in Hillsboro (if you don't, look for a CERT program in your area) and are 3 hours, one night a week for 8 weeks.  You'll even get your very own hard hat, safety goggles and gloves courtesy of the city.  The next class will start in the Fall.  Check out the Hillsboro CERT website for details.  If you'd like to support our program, check out our gear site on CafePress.  Proceeds all go directly to the CERT program.
Thursday, May 18, 2006 8:04:39 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Last night, Vikki and I taught the first version of a class on “survival cooking” for our local CERT program.  We talked about scenarios to plan for, what kind of food to store in case of emergency or disaster, and how to cook it once you find yourself there.  If you are interested, the handout from the class (with references) is here.  The class went quite well, and we got to eat the fruits of our labors. :-)  The biggest learning I came away with is that Datrex brand survival rations are much tastier than I would have thought. 
Tuesday, May 16, 2006 1:49:08 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Monday, May 08, 2006

We had a great time on the Diabetes Walk this weekend with Scott, Mo, Zenzo, and the whole extended Hanselman family, as well as the other members of the team.  We had a lovely 5K walk through the Pearl district.  Vikki, the kids and I, and even our ridiculous dog Carter took the MAX downtown for the walk, strolled through Portland, and headed back home.  The dog lay around in a heap all day yesterday.  I guess 5K is a lot longer when you’re only 10” tall.  :-)

Congratulations to Scott and the team for raising such a mighty some for such a good cause.  If you are feeling extra athletic and want to raise money for diabetes care and research, the ADA also sponsors the Summit to Surf bike race, from Government Camp up to Timberline and down to Hood River.  I volunteered for it last year, and was glad I was driving one of the chase cars and not biking up that hill.  The downhill part looked like a lot of fun though.

Monday, May 08, 2006 1:17:38 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 

I’ve been doing some CodeDOM work in the last week or so after not having done it much in a while.  What I’m finding most difficult is keeping track of which constructs are usable and which aren’t.  Being a C# programmer, I tend to think about the code that way.  The hardest part about using the CodeDOM is upleveling your thinking to deal with meta-programming.  Describing the construct you want in the constructs of the CodeDOM can be challenging.

Given all that, I can understand why there are no CodeDOM constructs for foreach, using, lock, etc.  Those are C# language constructs that expand to some other CLR goo.  But ,while?  There’s no way to make a while construct in CodeDOM.  ????  I’m pretty sure there’s nothing language specific about a do…while construct.  So you have to translate into a for…next instead.  Sigh.  I’m glad I don’t have to deal with delegates for this code.  That’d be a third level abstraction, which is more than I can handle…

Monday, May 08, 2006 1:09:00 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Monday, May 01, 2006

Yesterday we met a bunch of friends for a birthday brunch.  A good friend of ours turns 50 this week, and a ton of people showed up to mark the occasion.  Afterwards, on a lark, I decided it was a good day to visit Multnomah Falls, out on the Columbia Gorge.  It took us for ever to find parking out there.  I forget that Multnomah Falls is one of the most popular tourist spots in Oregon.  And I think pretty much everyone was there yesterday. 

Anyway, I’ve been to the Falls maybe a dozen times in the (almost) 18 years I’ve lived in Oregon, but never hiked up to the top of the falls.  Being that it was such a brilliant day, and the kids had been inside way too long, we decided to make the hike.  It was well worth it!  What a view.  It’s certainly not a hike to be undertaken lightly.  It’s only about a mile, but it’s very steep.  However, once you get up to the top, there’s a viewing platform that’s built out over the top of the falls (with a very stout railing) so you can see all the way down.  There were quite a number of wild flowers blooming already.  It’s definitely spring around these parts. 

I was reminded of just how much I like hiking.  I’m thinking the kids are big enough that it’s time to start dragging them around the woods on a more regular basis. 

the view from the top

Monday, May 01, 2006 3:07:25 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Monday, April 24, 2006

We do a bunch of serialization from objects into various (legacy) formats, and just this week discovered a performance bottleneck I’d never anticipated (mea culpa).  Apparently Type.GetCustomAttributes(true), or PropertyInfo.GetCustomAttributes(true) are expensive operations.  When I stop to think about it, I guess I’m not surprized, but it was not something I’d ever considered as costly performance wise.  We have to pass true in a few cases, since we may need to now about inherited attributes out on leaf nodes in the inheritance hierarchy.

Anyway, some selective caching fixed a pretty sizeable portion of the problem.  The realy way to solve the problem is, not surprisingly, exactly how the XmlSerializer solves the problem:  runtime code generation.  But we’re not quite there yet. 

Anyhow, if you find yourself calling GetCustomAttributes(true), beware that it may be more expensive than you think…

Monday, April 24, 2006 2:20:11 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 

Vikki and I took the kids to see an “Indian Dance Ballet” downtown yesterday called Krishna Bhakti.  It was great!  Groovy costumes, great music, and some very impressive dancing.  The ballet focuses around the lives of two female saints and poetesses who were proponents of Krishna Bhakti, or love of the divine in the form of Lord Krishna.  Their stories reminded me a lot of that of Hildegaard von Bingen, a medieval German nun and abbess who was also a poetess, and whose work has become popular of late. 

The lead dancer and choreographer, Jayanthi Raman, also runs a school for Indian dance here in Portland, and many of the dancers yesterday were her students.  I’ll be looking out for future productions sponsored by Rasika, an Indian Arts and Cultural Council in Portland. 

Monday, April 24, 2006 2:12:52 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, April 10, 2006

I’m such a sucker for good TV shows on DVD.  Our latest favorite is Lost.  What a groovy show.  I love the fact that during the cource of the first couple of episodes you form distinct impressions about the nature of each character, and one by one during subsequent episodes those impressions are exploded.  A very interesting premise for a show, particularly set against the survival-on-a-desert-island background.  I also like the fact that there are unanswered questions that are allowed to linger for several episodes before finally being addressed.  It’s nice to see more TV shows taking advantage of story arc, a la Joss Whedon, and not making the assumption that your viewers are all dim bulbs who can’t remember what happned a few weeks back. 

We’ve been renting Lost one DVD at a time, which Vikki says is a good thing, or else we’d never sleep.  :-)

Home | Movies
Monday, April 10, 2006 11:29:36 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 

The second I win the lottery, I’m so getting one of these.  They are wood-covered, spherical rooms that you hang from trees.  What a great place to hang out in (literally). 

 

Treehouse sphere
Monday, April 10, 2006 11:03:06 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, April 03, 2006

This weekend Vikki and I were in Seattle for an anniversary party (that turned out to be a wedding… long story) and part of the festivities was a performance by Circus Contraption.  They were completely fantastic.  What an awesome show!  They are a group of musicians who also happen to be circus-style performers.  They played some very cool music, highly reminiscent of 30’s bistro music, a la Paris Combo or similar bands.  Along with the music (which would have been cool enough by itself) there was juggling, tap dancing, ballet, several varieties of trapeze art, a strong man, stilt walking, and more. 

I was really impressed not only with the breadth and depth of their talent, but how consistent they were with the retro-circus style.  The costumes, music, instruments, everything fit very well together.  I think it’s cool that people would choose to preserve this particular style of music and performance and do it with such obvious dedication. 

Enough raving… if you ever get a chance, check them out.  They are playing a week-long engagement in Seattle in mid-July (details on their site) and I’m hoping to make it up for a show.  It’d be worth the drive.

Monday, April 03, 2006 2:42:37 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |