24. June 2017
Bicycling , Arizona
During today's 32-mile ride through the deserts on the east side of Tucson, I probably should have called it quits when the temperature hit 120 degrees on my GPS... but then again, I was out in the desert with nowhere to stop, so my choices were: 1) keep riding, or 2) die. Or as Winston Churchill famously remarked, "If you're going through hell, keep going."
Originally this was supposed to be my usual 40-mile Saturday ride, but I decided right before my departure to drop the 8-mile loop through Saguaro National Park. (Which in hindsight was undoubtedly a really good idea.) On a positive note, there appeared to be no other cyclists riding today, so I had the roads all to myself.
(PS - I didn't get a photo for when the temperature hit 133 degrees on my GPS because my cell phone shut down due to the excessive heat. Of course, my lack of cell phone meant that I was also unable to abort the ride and call my wife to come find me.)
19. June 2017
Guitar , Music
I had a song continuously running through my head, and as I have done before, I decided to transcribe it in order to get it unstuck and move on with life... Tonight's song was "Unchained" by Van Halen, which was a perennial favorite of mine to play live back in the early 1980s. I used Guitar Pro to do the transcription and playback, and while the transcription isn't 100% it's pretty good for an hour's worth of work. Plus, I think I did a pretty decent job of dialing in Eddie's tone when compared to the original.
Note: I didn't transcribe the guitar solo section because the intro, verses, bridges, and choruses were enough to get the song out of my system.
But you never know, I might come back to this later...
A few years after my original post, I looked over my transcription, and what I called "Bridges" probably should have been called "Pre-Choruses." Oh well... it's a free transcription, so deal with it.
14. June 2017
CPP , Programming
Trying to get someone else's 20-year-old C++ code to compile is like trying to translate hieroglyphics without the use of the Rosetta Stone...
"Safe strings to prevent buffer overruns? Bah! Who needs 'em..."
UPDATE: True story - the original C++ code which was the impetus behind this blog post was written sometime around the release of Visual Studio 5 or 6, so the way that I eventually managed to get this code to compile on an up-to-date version of Visual Studio was to do the following: I set up a virtual machine in Hyper-V running Windows XP, installed Visual Studio 6.0, and compiled the code. Once I had it compiling with no errors, I kept updating the version of Visual Studio and recompiling; e.g. VS.NET, VS2003, VS2005, VS2008, VS2010, VS2012, VS2013, and finally VS2015, (which was good enough for what I needed to accomplish). As I upgraded each version of Visual Studio, I fixed whatever errors were introduced on a version-by-version basis. A few hours later and all the errors were gone, and the original program worked great.
13. June 2017
Humor , Technology
Wait... Apple is working on a self-driving car? Have they even SEEN Apple Maps?
An Apple car would drive you right off a bridge, and as your car settled to the bottom of a river Siri would cheerfully say, "You've arrived at your destination."
6. June 2017
History , Humor
Given the increasingly-ridiculous levels of political correctness and unnecessary inclinations towards white guilt, here is a bit of alternative history for today, which examines how the contemporary mainstream media might have handled the D-Day invasion if it had happened in the present:
7:30am, Tuesday, June 6, 1944
From various World News Services:
This just in - American and Allied forces, undoubtedly with imperialist ambitions, are currently attacking hundreds of undermanned and outgunned German soldiers, who are now desperately fighting for their lives amidst an onslaught of unprovoked Anglo-Saxon aggression. Just four years earlier, these same German forces successfully liberated France from centuries of colonial and imperial oppression, and yet they now find their comrades senselessly slaughtered on the beaches of Normandy while trying to defend the innocent people of France from foreign invaders.
Joseph Goebbels, the distinguished spokesman for the widely-popular German National Socialist Party, condemned the heinous atrocities of the invaders by stating, "This is a sad day for Europe. German sovereignty has been deliberately and ruthlessly challenged in a cowardly, pre-dawn surprise attack by those who wish to see Europe returned to the Dark Ages. After we have forced these intruders back into the sea from whence they came, history will remember this as a triumph for humanity, and henceforth remember this day as 'Deutschland-Day!'"
General Eisenhower, the duplicitous 'commander' of the invading forces, could not be reached for comment.
3. June 2017
Rants , Politics
In response to comedienne Kathy Griffin's recent political stupidity, someone close to me (who shall remain nameless) posted the following image to Facebook with the caption that "Double Standards Abound:"
Now I will not attempt - even for a second - to defend any of the Drumpf's ludicrous statements; he is a never-ending stream of verbal diarrhea. However, I want you to imagine if four years ago some comedian had posed with the severed head of Obama... that guilty party would still be serving a jail sentence for a hate crime, and there's your real double-standard. Or what would have happened if the Drumpf had posed with the severed head of Hillary Clinton during the presidential race? Can you imagine the uproar that would have caused?
Make no mistake - the Drumpf is an idiot, but what Kathy Griffin did exceeds the mere assertion that she "went a little too far." If we take the Bette Davis quote from that image at face value and we assume that Ms. Griffin was just "giving her opinion" by her actions, then think about what that really means.
I'm sorry, but espousing the death of a sitting president is unconscionable, even if that president is hypocritical buffoon and you cannot stand him; you cannot defend the indefensible simply because you happen to loathe the target of their hatred.