A Goodbye and a Hello

31 December 2019

It’s currently 11.15pm on December 31 as I write this and I don’t think I’m going to stay up until midnight. Not really my thing. But I did want to write this and post it before 2020. The last post I wrote on this site was almost exactly two years ago. I let 2018 pass without writing anything and I couldn’t let 2019 do the same.

I have a few ideas for some series I want to blog about over the coming year. I won’t promise anything but I really would like this place to be more active.

Goodbye 2019. Hello 2020.


(More) Podcasts For Days

30 December 2017

In the two months since I wrote my last post I’ve found a few more podcasts to listen to. Again, all links are to the podcast’s website unless otherwise noted.

As a follow up to a comment I made on the last post: I wasn’t sure how long I was going to remain subscribed to ‘Taking the Bullet’. It wasn’t very long. I had to unsubscribe. The audio quality of the show was just terrible and really not worth listening to. But, as outlined below, I found two other ‘bad movie’ podcasts to take its place.

Heaven’s Gate - a fascinating 10-episode mini-series about the Heaven’s Gate cult and the people behind it. I made short work of listening to this podcast.

Hidden Brain - another great NPR production. This show ‘reveals the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, the biases that shape our choices, and the triggers that direct the course of our relationships.’

The Indicator from Planet Money - a Planet Money spin-off show. Short and sweet about three times per week discussing some sort of numerical ‘indicator’ pertaining to the global economy.

Nintendo Power Podcast - Nintendo Power is back! And it’s a … podcast? Yes! There’s only been one episode as of this writing but I’m so anxious to keep listening.

Small Town Dicks - a true-crime detective show where identical twin detectives Dan and Dave discuss cases that they’ve been involved in. I was hooked from the very first episode.

Stinker Madness - The Bad Movie Podcast - a podcast about bad movies.

How Did This Get Made? - another podcast about bad movies.


Podcasts For Days

27 October 2017

Podcasts are what get me through commutes, workouts, and household chores. Here are the shows I’m currently subscribed to. All links are to the podcast’s website unless noted otherwise.

99% Invisible - a really neat show about the design of things we may encounter every day but rarely think about.

Accused - currently on its second season. Cincinnati Enquirer journalist investigates an unsolved murder that happened 40 years ago.

Crimetown - currently in between its first and second season. The first season focused on corruption and organized crime in Providence, Rhode Island.

Criminal - a true crime podcast that analyses crime from the ‘sociological, historical, and anthropological’ perspective.

DIS-Order: Every Disney Film (iTunes link) - relatively new podcast that discusses each Disney animated feature film in depth, in order. Very fun show.

Embedded - the episodes take a deep dive into a particular news story or event. The current season, however, is taking a close look at the personal and public histories of Trump and his closest advisors in the current administration.

GoNintendo Podcast - one of the first podcasts I ever subscribed to. They have published a new show every. single. week for over 12 years now. It’s incredible. It’s just a lot of silly fun with a bit of Nintendo news thrown in.

Homecoming - a scripted psychological thriller. Just finished its second season.

Invisibilia - a show ‘about the invisible forces that control human behavior’. Currently between its second and third season.

LeVar Burton Reads - recently found this podcast. LeVar finds short fiction that he loves and reads it to you. Simple but delightful.

Liar City - infrequent podcast that dives deep into discussion about some of history’s greatest liars.

Mac OS Ken - daily Apple news show.

Mac Cast - another one of the first podcasts I ever subscribed to. Adam gives news updates for the first half of the show and then dives into tips, tricks, feedback and more for the second half. He also occasionally interviews guests about various technology topics.

MuggleCast - a classic. Keeps me up to date on my HP news and then has some really in-depth discussions about the wizarding world. The show went on hiatus a few years back but has seen a strong resurgence with the release of the Fantastic Beasts films.

Pixar Post Podcast - fun show all about the world of Pixar. TJ and Julie discuss news relevant to Pixar but also often have some really awesome interviews with Pixar employees.

Planet Money - not as boring as it sounds! Actually, this is one of my favourite podcasts. It discusses economics but with some very interesting stories.

Serial - yes, Serial. I became completely enthralled with Adnan’s story in season one. Season two was not quite as interesting for me but I’m still looking forward to season three.

Taking the Bullet (iTunes link) - very infrequent show where the hosts discuss terrible films they have seen. I have only listened to a few episodes because they are published so infrequently. It remains to be seen whether or not I’ll continue to subscribe.

Twenty Thousand Hertz - interesting show about the way sound affects our entire lives. Somewhat like “99% Invisible”” but dealing with audio.

Ungeniused - each episode is short and sweet discussing a weird or strange Wikipedia article.

Up First - recently subscribed to this one. Daily. Gives a great brief rundown of what the world will be paying attention to that day.

Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! - been a longtime subscriber to this one. Always a hilarious show.

What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law - fascinating show. The Trump presidency has brought with it a whole new perspective on how we as a country read and interpret our Constitution. The show discusses Trump’s tweets, statements, and more.


You Should Not Force Quit Apps on iOS

20 July 2017

The single biggest misconception about iOS is that it’s good digital hygiene to force quit apps that you aren’t using. The idea is that apps in the background are locking up unnecessary RAM and consuming unnecessary CPU cycles, thus hurting performance and wasting battery life.

John does a fantastic job of breaking down why this entire mentality is wrong. I see people do this all the time and it drives me crazy. I’d say something to them but I know they probably wouldn’t believe me anyway. Well, now I’ve got the post bookmarked so it’ll be easy to pull up and say ‘See! I told you so!’.


On DRY and the Cost of Wrongful Abstractions

18 September 2016

But I also urge you to not follow [software principles] blindly. Put everything you learned in context and always question the validity of your ideas and actions. This is the only sane way towards becoming a better professional.

This quote nicely sums up why writing software can sometimes be quite a chore. I find that we frequently try to shoehorn our unique problem into a solution defined by - and only by - one of these principles. Do this for the wrong type of situation and, at worst it leads to code that is poorly written and riddled with defects. Even at best, the code is probably hard to understand.

Software patterns, designs, and principles are all great starting points but don’t let them limit your solutions to the problems you are trying to solve. The solution needs to be the right one; not the one that lives completely within the confines of a ‘rule’ you read in some book. Sometimes those two things are the same. Often, they are not. Don’t let that concern you.

Be sure to read the original article for more discussion.