Dad and Mike

Dad and Mike
Originally uploaded by andyhuey

I just finished uploading the third set of photos that I had scanned in by ScanCafe. We’re coming up on the first anniversary of Dad’s passing. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year now. There weren’t too many pictures of Dad in this bunch (he was usually the one taking these photos), but here’s a nice one of Dad and Mike, at Mike’s confirmation, outside the church.

Satoshi Kon

I read this morning that Satoshi Kon had passed away. He was only 46. He was a brilliant director and writer. Millennium Actress and Tokyo Godfathers are two of my favorite films of all time. I saw him at Big Apple Anime Fest, probably in 2003, for the first American showing of Tokyo Godfathers. (I remember first seeing Millennium Actress at BAAF also, probably in 2001, but I don’t think he was there for that.) I also got a chance to see him in 2008 for a retrospective at Walter Reade. He seemed like a really nice guy, self-deprecating, but very serious about his work. And he was very Japanese, in a way that’s kind of hard to define, though his work was influenced by both Japanese and American culture. The NY Times obit by A. O. Scott is well-written and I agree with pretty much everything said or quoted therein.

Somerville to join county library system is reporting that Somerville will be joining the Somerset County library system. I don’t know enough about the history on this to know why we weren’t *always* part of the Somerset County system, but it seems like a reasonable enough thing to do.

I only got my library card a few months ago, despite living in Somerville for more than ten years. And I haven’t actually used the card yet. I have a kind of sentimental attachment to libraries, since I used our public library in Roselle Park quite often as a kid, and because my brother Pat was a librarian.

I get most of my books through BookMooch or SwapTree now, or on the Kindle, so I don’t actually have much use for the library, but I’m glad we have one.

less than helpful naming conventions

I had to do a little debugging work today in a system that I’m not too familiar with. I came across this line of code:

bool result = processor.Process();

If your code has reached the level of abstraction where the most meaningful name you can give a class is “Processor”, and the most meaningful name you can give the main routine in your class is “Process()”, then you may have gotten a little too abstract.

stored procedures

I had to debug a problem with a third-party e-commerce system today at work. It took a while to isolate the problem, and when I did, it led me to a certain stored procedure, which turned out to be 7400 lines long. I don’t think I’d ever seen a single stored proc quite that big before. Is that normal? I figured out what it was doing by running SQL Profiler, with the “TSQL_SPs” template that shows all the statements being executed within the procedure. With all the if/then logic in the proc, it was really only executing about 1000 lines of SQL for any given run. Still, that’s a lot to comb through just to figure out why the logic was returning wholesale prices instead of retail.

I also found a number of lengthy queries in the proc that ended with “and 1=2”, which would of course prevent that query from returning any results. I’m wondering why someone would do that rather than comment out the query. It made it fairly difficult to find the queries that were actually executing and returning results.

Dad’s birthday

Originally uploaded by andyhuey

Today would have been Dad’s 79th birthday. Here’s a nice photo of Dad, having a little nap, probably after eating a couple of burgers off the grill. He looks quite peaceful and content.

It’s nearly a year since he passed away, but it really doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. Happy birthday Dad, wherever you are.

The old house

I hit a minor milestone with my parents’ old house today. I have now completely emptied out the attic. There’s nothing left up there except a whole bunch of dust, and probably a few rusty nails. And, since tomorrow is bulk pickup day, I got their old mattress and box spring out on the curb. And a bunch of other stuff, including two Christmas tress and (hopefully) the last box of my brother Pat’s old clothes.

There’s still quite a lot of stuff to go through, and quite a few things to think about selling, storing, or tossing. But I feel like I’m making progress.

I’m still working my way through all of the negatives I had scanned in by ScanCafe, by the way. Here are a couple of nice photos, one of Mom and one of Dad, both from a Christmas long ago.

Death Index

Social Security Death Index Interactive Search

I wish I knew about this when I was filling out the ridiculous life insurance form I had to fill out for my Dad’s insurance. I had to give birth & death dates, and SSNs, for all his brothers, and his parents. (I actually left a bunch of stuff blank, since I didn’t know it, and seem to have gotten away with it, since I’ve gotten past that form, and onto another one. I think maybe two or three more forms, and they may actually send me a check. Almost a year after he died. Sigh.)

Anyway, this is a little scary. It seems possible to look up just about anybody dead in the US, and get their full birth date, death date, SSN, and at least a general idea of their last address. I guess the dead don’t need to worry about identity theft, but still.

Newsweek sold

Newsweek Deal Announced; Meacham Will Leave – Media Decoder Blog –

I’m not sure what to think about this. It’s good that they found a buyer, and it’s interesting that it’s not anyone I would have expected. I’ve kind of liked Meacham’s Newsweek. I’m quite far behind though — I’ve got quite a few unread issues on my Kindle. Maybe it’s time to stop the Kindle subscription, and then think about starting it back up again once I see what the new guy does with the magazine.