Alex does Blogging

Play games, but do not wager. For wages are uncertain, and the game we play is for invaluable assets.

Day #5: I skipped one :)

Well, I skipped yesterday on accident.  Too busy working and hanging out with my girlfriend.  I’m really addicted to Clicker Heroes and am not at all that into the roast chicken I made.  Same recipe as last time.  Just not that good.  Chicken is too easy to overcook.  The amount of flavour and juiciness you need for it to be “just right” makes it more difficult than steak or fish.  I haven’t cooked with any meats other than those.

Although, I was recently watching a chef cook a long plank steak.  (That’s not the name of the type of steak, I’m just calling it that.)  It was a think, long, rectangular-looking steak.  When he cut it into little strips and those came out medium-rare, I was almost envious.  It looked so good.

On that note, I recall going to Longhorn Steakhouse.  I’ve tried most of their types of steak.  I’m going to be honest, I’m not a New York Strip fan.  Too fatty.  I didn’t feel as though I was getting what I wanted to pay for – which is just a lot of steak, not just steak that’s fatty and full of flavour.  I have also tried the T-Bone, which, when I cooked at home, was the best steak I’ve made. (I just cut the meat off the bone and ended up with a filet and a strip.)  I honestly think the long, rectangular-type steak I tried from them initially – and I did this for budget reasons – was the best steak I’d had from them.  It’s crazy, because there’s a lot of good talk about the other types of steaks.  To be fair, I haven’t tried their sirloin because of the price.  But the other steaks I’ve bought for variety’s steak just didn’t come out that great medium-rare.  The budget steak, however, came out absolutely marvelous.

I’ve been addicted to Clicker Heroes, almost quite literally.  I got home around 4 AM early yesterday morning, and 1:30 AM this morning.  I stay up late playing that game and hanging out with Ji-un.

Ji-un and I watched a whole bunch of animated shorts on  I’m glad she finds them entertaining.  Not a lot of people do.  I feel boring sometimes – but I’m realizing that’s not true – just not a lot of people with the same interests as me.  I like dancing, cooking, going outside, playing, etc., but not all of the time.  My most of the time is spent in-doors reading or working.  It’s true.  I do cook a lot more than I used to, and when I show my food to other people, they are very impressed.  Of course, I’m no where near as good a cook as some other people I know.  It’s sad so few people can cook well!  We need food to live, breathe, function, etc.

It’s just that after cooking that chicken, I’m a little demotivated to cook any big meals.  It’s sad to know that you can put so much effort into a meal and it still comes out poorly…😦

Oh, back to Ji-un.  Yes, she liked the shorts.  She liked most of my favorite animations.  We had fun.  I like her.  A lot xD

None of my other friends are really talking to me.  Interestingly enough, though, I messaged my old friend Anthony Williams.  He’s now a security guard and recently got a job doing maintenance.  It’s interesting that he’s such a nice guy.  Hard to imagine him working security, even though he is super-fricken-buff.  I mean it.  He’s a nerd, and a very strong nerd.  He’s having a baby soon enough, and he’s doing the thing men do and preparing for his child.  Working hard, staying focused, happy just to be employed so he can support his family.  We video chatted using Google Hangouts, which was cool that I can do that on my phone.  I was cleaning the apartment hoping that Ji-un could come over, but because of our schedules, I probably won’t see her for another week.  At least, not at my apartment…🙂

Additional expenses keep coming up.  Baby mama’s air mattress seems to be permanently deflating.  Her library card has an overage on it.  Had to get her a new phone because her old one got very wet.  Just, stuff.  At least with the new phone, I purchased insurance in case water damage happens again.  Oh, and my vacuum cleaner suddenly refused to keep running while I was in the middle of vacuuming.  Haven’t been able to turn it on since.  Thankfully, I was able to get most of the apartment vacuumed.  Hopefully, Ji-un will find my apartment acceptable, although I did have to spray one of my cabinets and all of my baseboards because I saw some ants by my food.  Thankfully, not a lot though!  They were just hunting.  But I’ve decided that everything is going to have to be in plastic bags if it’s reasonably exposed.  Ex:  Potatoes, onions, garlic.

Ji-un and I also went around the pond.  We are doing more and more together.  Unfortunately, it’s kind of risky.  But we like each other a lot.  I’m glad for that.  Someone I’m so attracted to who I like so much and who likes me.  I don’t usually get all of those in the same person.

The new office space at my company is great.  I still have the family photo of Skye and I together on my desk.  I don’t think I’ll be getting rid of those.  It has been very strange, though, to be moving on and still being so close to Skye.  I really do love and care about her, but when someone else holds onto your heart, it years to be held by only one.  Two people cannot hold a heart at once, or at least I haven’t found them able to, they only tear it.

It’s not a romantic tear.  Skye and I are over.  But she is my source of real intimacy.  The person who I’ve known for a long time, given my heart, mind, soul, intimate secrets and my open, naked self to.  She doesn’t think I have because I still do keep a lot to myself.  However, she brought me closer to God.

I need to focus on God more in my life.  If the Lord has blessed me with a beautiful woman – and Lord, I do hope that this woman is of You – then I need to not let my ego get ahead of myself.  Having satisfaction in life does not mean I should stop praising God, ignoring that He exists and has done all of these things for me, just because I seem to be doing fine on my own.  That is not the case.  Spiritual warfare is still occurring, and I suffer because of that.  I need to strengthen my spirit, strengthen my guard.  Ji-un is a Christian Protestant, which I like because it makes us largely religiously compatible.  That caught me offguard because she’s Asian, and I often find them more carefree and caring less about God than other races… But it is very nice and feels like a blessing.  I hope she is open to and can accept the spiritual side of me.

Intellectually, I haven’t had time to go over any of the online courses I’ve signed up for, but this is typical of me🙂

Work has been going well, though.  I finally caught up.  I’m very tired.  Getting only a few hours of sleep a night.  Not eating so much, although I am eating.  Not showering as much as I should, although I do shower.  Just… worn out.  Things happen when I have time to do them.

I’m not too upset about it, though.  I like doing a lot at once.  It makes my brain feel very worn out and tired, and even a little anxious because the stress causes my mind to just feel… strange, like if I work this hard mentally when I’m older it will lead to mental disease or something.  However, it’s how I want to live.  I like my mind always firing because that means I’m busy doing a lot of things, hopefully things I like, mentally.  Of course, I also like my mind being relaxed.  I just don’t have much time for that these days!

The good thing is, I’m catching up on work and I don’t feel like my life is just baby, shower, work, sleep.  It’s at least baby, shower, work, sleep, girlfriend, and this stupid online game Clicker Heroes that I am enjoying playing.

I will eventually feel like Clicker Heroes is a complete waste of my time, however, once I begin to get upset that my life is just baby, shower, work, sleep, girlfriend, stupid online game, and NOT something more intensely intellectual like studying how Linux works, Calculus or Compilers/Scheme.  That is a little sad and disappointing.  I think that, however, is truly at the limit of my time.  What I’m doing right now is barely giving me any sleep.  Adding exercise and theory on top of that would just be too much.

Yes, exercise would give me more energy eventually, but with how intensive many of my tasks are, I simply do not have the food, time or metabolism to EAT as much as I need to power that.  I am at my wit’s end with that.  Unless a magical food fairy appears and starts feeding me whatever my body thinks it can take at any given moment throughout the day, without that thing making me so full that I feel too tired to work, or eating taking too much time that I actually lose productivity, this is probably the best I can do for a while.

But life is good.
Instead of wondering when the next time I’ll be able to save $10,000, I pretty much believe that is going to happen.

Now, I’m wondering when I’ll be able to save $30,000 or $60,000.

I’d really prefer $60,000 over $30,000.  $30,000 is nice, but that’s more for security, a new car, etc.  Aka fearlessness, but not freedom.  I still have the fear of becoming unemployed at that point.  Even if I lost my employment, I could get into consulting, but $60,000 could buy me actual freedom.  It would give me a year or two to focus on me.  Exercise, studying, theory, and also branching out more into art, dance, and consulting/web design.  It would still be A LOT of work.  Unfortunately, a LOT of work is usually necessary when you want to go out and do your own thing.  There is no safety net of management doing things for you.  However, $60,000 vs $30,000 means I could take a few months off to just spend with my family… Work and study part time, and be a full-time dad.  Instead of a full-time employee and less-than-part-time dad like I am now.

I think about that kind of stuff a lot.  How should I spend my time.  Break it up if I ever have enough money to buy myself some free time.  Hm, something to ponder on.  However, I would like a RIGOROUS answer to this question before I do something crazy like try and do it on my own or only work part-time.  Or do something even dumber like invest in stocks and lose all of the money I’ve saved🙂  I mean, seriously, with my baby mama, girlfriend, daughter, career, personal interests, etc. you could give me $1,000,000 and I’d still ask these questions.  Not having freedom sucks because there’s always something else you want to do.

But I want to do A LOT of things.  (I say a lot a lot, huh?  But it’s true.)

So then once money is no longer an issue, mortality comes in.

The truth is, you really need to focus on what’s important no matter how much freedom you have.  Otherwise, you’ll find yourself with regret.  FOCUS on what’s important, but that doesn’t mean you can’t branch out and do other things in the mean-time.  Ex:  I could still work part-time, even with $60,000 in the bank, spend additional time with my daughter, actually FINISH one of my online courses or text-books, exercise and study web design to move toward consulting.  Truthfully, I could do a lot with 20 hours extra a week.  You have to be able to.  That level of productivity is essential when you want to be free, and also not have regrets over spending your extra time poorly (ex: not on my daughter) or not being productive (ex: all of the time passes, my money runs out, and I still don’t know how to modify WordPress sites).

It’s all about balance.

Let me say that again so that *I* remember.  This is important.

It’s all about balance.

Day #3: Some interesting events

This past day has been… interesting.  Not as productive as I would have liked.  I found it very difficult, in fact.  Work was tough.  I was presented with problems that I didn’t know how to solve.  I thought some rest and spending spare time thinking on them would help, but it just caused stress when I got back to working on them.  Guess I just have to try and push through the difficult problems like this from now on.

My one friend hasn’t gotten back to me, but I made a new one.

What I’ve Done

* Met a real amazing Korean girl at the leasing office.  I don’t talk to people at the leasing office too often.  It was nice to know that we hit it off right away.

* Work, work, work.

* Played this game Clicker Heroes.  Can’t visit the site right now because I’m at work.  Trying to hurry up this blog entry.  I need to stay caught up with my hours.

* Talked to my great friend Lachie Dazdarian!  He’s a Croatian who just recently got a raise and a promotion.  Really, a swell guy.  He’s so busy now, managing a machining company at some level.  But he takes time to talk to me every now and then.  That makes me feel good on the inside, and important, and valuable.  I have so much trouble keeping friendships sometimes.  I think Lachie and I have just the right amount of teenage angst to continue venting at each other for a long time from now🙂

* Sometimes, I love statistics.  Do what must be done.

How I’ve Felt

* Pretty much the same, but happy about my new friend Kelley🙂


* I’m still sad that Imani isn’t talking to me again.  I will give her some more time before saying hi again.  I don’t like feeling like people don’t want to talk, but maybe I was being rude?  :)

* The fact that Linus Torvalds has dealt with Linux business-wise as minimally as human possible has made me feel as though it is possible to do something substantial even if you are an engineer.  It sometimes goes well.  Better than it used to, at least!  Think Nikola Tesla vs Steve Wozniak.  Maybe they both got screwed, but one isn’t dying in poverty.  Then again, they are very different personality types so maybe that’s a bad comparison… hrm.

Anyways, take care!  I hope to have some readers soon🙂

Day #2: Tired, Inadequate, Determined

What I’ve done:

* Actually, I was up until 2 AM “yesterday”, so I recorded most of my thoughts in my last blog entry.

* I didn’t get any work done, really, so that’s sad.

* I purchased domain alias options with WordPress for $13 / yr, so I get forwarded here.  I’m really happy about that.

* Made sort of halfway maybe not really friends with the guy who disconnected the Wi-Fi in here a week or two ago.  He’s very introverted.  Even more than I am, but he told me to have a good night when he left yesterday.  That’s cool.

* Found out the pool area in my complex has an active power outlet.  It’s kind of tempting to go out there and work, but I’m not comfortable out there by myself.  It would feel kind of weird to just be on the computer the whole time, by the doors nonetheless, because that’s as far as the working power outlet will allow me to be.  Now, if I could work on my laptop reasonably in the lounge seats, I may consider it.

* Found out that Git API interfaces exist for C#, and that you could use Git as your project’s database if you wanted to:

That’s pretty fricken cool and I think is worthy of a research project in and of itself.

How I’ve felt:

* Happy that I have my own web domain.

* Hungry.  Too lazy to cook.  I’m going to starve while I work today.

* Sad that my new friend hasn’t talked to me again yet, but it’s clear she’s going through some things.

* A little upset that after the initial few people I found on OkCupid, I haven’t found any others.


* I think OkCupid lies when it tells you you’re attractive.  Ever since getting that email, all I’ve been seeing on the website is ugly people.  I may have said that already in my other blog post, though.

* I kind of wish I could work on compilers and operating systems for a living.  I’m not a huge university-type person because the … well, impractical aspects of it aren’t that interesting to me.  But it’s cheaper than full-on R&D and I’d learn as much as I could if I was allowed.

* Seriously.  If I could go to school for a PhD in computer science and get a stipend because of it, I would take that position ASAP.  There’s two things that would happen.  Either I’m not as smart as I think I am, so I wouldn’t come out really wealthy, and I’d end up a professor (which I’d then deserve, because of me not being as smart as I think I am), or it turns out that I am actually really smart and could both study toward an eventual PhD and also revolutionize the industry somehow.  When I hear that people sometimes spend 8 – 10 years getting their PhDs, I get insanely jealous.  I didn’t even know it was possible to get stipends for that long.

* So I know I’ve talked about getting a house within the next 5 years, but I think after that, if my baby mama has a decent job and can take care of our daughter financially, I will seriously consider applying toward academics.  I like writing.  I like reading stuff that’s interesting to me.  (Largely academic.)  I’m not that useful (once again, largely academic).  So if they’re good financially, I could do just fine living off of a stipend, assuming all I have to pay is property taxes and utilities on my house.  (Which they could live in.  I could live on- or near-campus.)

* Nothing so far.  Maybe I shouldn’t write blog posts as soon as I wake up.

* PS:  When I write, I write a lot.  If anyone else stumbles upon this blog, you have been warned.

Poem #1: Don’t hate the You of Yesterday

If you love yourself today,
Don’t hate the you of yesterday.
Hatred desires destruction, and destruction ceases to make progress.

Where would you be now,
If the you of yesterday ceased to exist?
If you love yourself now, then love the change you have gone through.

You have come from where you were and did not like,
To where you are and can accept,
Moving toward where you must be.

I love the you of yesterday,
Because today,
It brought that you to me.

Day #1: What I’ve done, how I’ve felt


What to write about?  Let’s see.  A naive classification of every possible thing I could write about is as follows:  Actions and Thoughts.  That sums up existence pretty well.  There are either things I do, or things I think.  I’m going to put feelings in with thoughts, even though they’re really some freaky hybrid between the two.  Or maybe they should be considered contextual information, assuming thoughts are just raw information, emotions/feelings are a way to bias those.

Changed my mind!

I feel like a robot sometimes.  I am so critical in my thinking.  That is an inherent feature of my existence.  Or not.  I don’t know.  Maybe it’s a learned trait from my depressing childhood🙂  As an experiment, I’m going to go with “What I’ve done” and “How I’ve felt” instead of “Actions and Thoughts”, although those will probably also be included.  You know what, maybe I should list all four to start… see where that leads me.

What I’ve Done:

* Watching this video featuring the inventor of Linux, Linus Torvalds:

* Attempted to make my delicious roast chicken again, but am honestly tired of cooking for now, so I decided against it.  Eating lunchables instead.  Living off of them, really.  Like a big kid, haha.  Recipe:

* Researched the Tesla Model S.  I had no idea it made so little noise and doesn’t have an engine, at all!:

Also, the supercharger stations are free and I learned you can just plug it in your garage overnight.  In other words, distance anxiety really shouldn’t be a thing.  Who drives 260 miles in a day without recharging?

Tesla’s actually a really great company, and I probably should have invested in them.

* Researched stock investments.  I am an IPO kind of guy.  I seem to have a knack for picking companies whose values will rise quickly over a period of 1 – 2 years.  Part of the reason, I think, is my knack for recognizing good technology.  Google, Dollar Tree, Apple, Tesla, LinkedIn, FaceBook and some others were stocks whose values I predicted.  Of course, this was based on psychology and understanding that they dominated the market by solving a problem so elegantly, competition would become difficult.  That’s my secret.  Here’s my new favorite website:

* Learned that Nikola Tesla was friggen awesome:

* Reading a lot of The Oatmeal.

* Tried working out again, but once again, I’m really worn out.  It doesn’t seem to help me, only make me more tired.  I’ve pushed through this before, but I can realistically only do so many things in a day.  It’s not about time.  It’s about stress-free time.  Unfortunately, dealing with injuries I dealt to my triceps years ago just makes things frustrating.  I’ve kind of given up on shoving food down my stomach to try and gain weight.  Just not feeling it right now, Mr. Crabs.

* Visiting to see what Tom Fulp is up to.  I love Jaltoid.  They commented and are awesome.

* Researched on what it would take to buy a house.  Apparently, I should get a house, and a nice one:

* Purchased the domain!!!  I am so happy about this.  I’ve been wanting my personal home on the internet for such a long time.  Unfortunately, there are some restrictions with .it domains, so I have to be sure to remain compliant or not make too big of a scene until I can be compliant… I paid good money to get the domain for 10 years.  .it domains are pricey.  I really want to keep it.

* Tried stretching.  Stretching really hurts, man.  And without having time to exercise and warm up, it’s even worse.  It’s time consuming and stressful.  I feel like I want to go off on someone when I stretch.  That’s because I am severely inflexible, sadly.  I worked a lot on my punches back when I was into martial arts, but not on my kicks!  Little did I know that kicks are probably more fundamental to martial arts than anything… other than grappling.

* My wisdom teeth are coming in.  It hurts.  Stretching helped.  Pain on top of pain.

* Baby mama convinced me to get a $30, 30-minute massage at the mall.  It was OK.

* Worked over the holidays.  It seems like those exist just for me to catch up on things.  Once again, I’m behind on work.  I hate being so busy…  There was a time when I could devote extra effort into work and really become single-minded in it.  I am a father, and I love being one, but it is taking time for me to adjust to not being able to be single-minded whenever I want.  I’ve talked to Skye several times about this, and she’s offered to take the baby, but always in an angry kind of way.  Almost to say, “You don’t have to be here if you don’t want to be.  I can raise her myself.”  But that’s not what I want.  I just want some time to focus on my career.  Not all of the time.  I’m so single-minded… switching tasks even throughout a single week is difficult for me.  I’ve had to go from being able to focus on work so much that I even forget to eat, to having to deal with work, the baby, transportation, family, etc. every single day.  It’s just… an adjustment, and I fear that I have reached my limit in my capabilities unless things change.

* I called people out for calling people demons, claiming people can create or spread demons, etc.  Just Biblically incorrect.  I also get upset when people cuss or misbehave in the same context they mention God in.  That’s just… wrong.

* Listened to this nerdy song:

I don’t think it’s that good of a song, but it’s fun to listen to.

How I’ve Felt:

* Worn out.  Me and baby mama are on an alternating schedule with the baby, but I feel like I’m stuck between Work and Relax mode, where Relax = Sleep, not actual time for hobbies.  In other words, my eyes hurt right now from the strain.  It feels like little vains are blistering in the back of them, ready to burst or give me a lazy eye at any moment.

* Happy and nervous.  Happens every time I make a friend.

* Also overwhelmed.  Making friends is difficult.  Keeping up with them knowing how busy I am is even harder, I feel.

* Sleep just doesn’t cut it for me these days.  I haven’t had a good sleep in a long time.  It’s like, I wake up with a headache or something every time now.  I don’t know what real sleep is any more.

* Pressured by the desire for success.  Pressured by thousands of dollars in debt.  Pressured by paying so much for rent when a house would be so much less expensive.  But I have to remind myself to be thankful for the good things.  I am free of student debt, I have a beautiful daughter, and purchasing a house within the next 5 years is a reasonable thing to hope for, assuming work continues to exist🙂

* Like I want to make a game or have a serious side hobby, but I of course can’t do that right now.  I’ve accepted that for a long time now.  There are less hours in the day than I have scheduled in my life.  This means that I typically suck at one thing I am supposed to be doing.  That thing is often work, which concerns me.

* Anxiety.  Happens every week when I pay my bills.  Not because I don’t have the money, but because I don’t pay all of my bills at once, so there’s a surprisingly huge amount of anxiety that comes from going to all of the different websites, paying bills if the statement is available, and then trying to remember which bills I’ve paid (or can’t pay) this week so I don’t have to worry about it until the next week.

* That, in combination to Skye having murdered her phone (accidentally) and the warranty not covering the damage.  And our car breaking down.  And her vacation coming up.  And me being behind on hours.  Etc.  So much just causing distress….


* I still program in FreeBASIC, which was my successor to the beloved QBASIC, in which I made many top-down, hand-coded RPGS.  By hand-coded, I mean I had THOUSANDS of lines of PSET (drawing individual pixels by hand) in my code for character animations, and huge IF THEN statements to render characters.  That was fun.

* I don’t play games any more.  This is a common vent of mine.  It used to be a passion, but now I’m not interested.  I still doodle a lot of game concepts.  I think out of habit.  I also think because my brain was taught to express myself in that form of art.  But I’ll probably never make them or have the time.  These days, I follow Jonathan Blow, Casey Muratori, the development of ernesto, and occasionally people like Phil Fish or Team Meat to see what they’re up to.  But that’s as far as it gets.  I hardly ever actually play a game.

* That being said, the mobile game Desert Golfing is really cool.  I haven’t played it.  Only watched gameplay videos.  But I purchased it.  The transition between levels is ingenius psychologically.  It makes the game so much easier to follow mentally.  There’s no black screens or sudden screen swaps.  It’s just one giant map that scrolls as you play.  Check it out!

* You ever get the message, “Unfortunately, Maps has stopped” and wonder why it was on in the first place?

* MCA, WakeUpNow, Multi-Level Marketing in general is a terrible thing.  Protip:  If most of your time is spent recruiting people instead of selling your “product” (which sucks), you aren’t going to make a lot of money and it’s a scam.

* For anyone interested in learning programming, HTML5, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, all good starts!  Ask if you want more details and I shall provide🙂

* Men’s facial soap bars, facial scrub and moisturizer are totally worth it.  We bought some recently and it has worked wonders.  So is a good shampoo and excellent conditioner.  (Preferably, one you can leave in.)

* I learned a gallon of milk can give you 2400 calories a day.  Wow.  If only I could drink that much milk without the (probably) irrational fear that my heart will stop working.  Just seems weird to consume that much calcium.

* I’m terrified by the existence of ISIL, but it makes me keep in mind that geopolitical warfare is a legitimate thing.  Even though we try and act high and might, and very privileged, in the USA, we can afford that because of our isolation.  For Russia, Ukraine is an important neighboring nation.  These are real issues people in other countries have to deal with from time to time.  CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE #YOLO  No but in all sincerity, we want to stay out of wars and other international affairs, but did you know that the total number of global conflicts has reduced SIGNIFICANTLY since the USA became the world’s leading power?  Unfortunately, I can’t find the link which detailed this, but it’s frighteningly true.  I think war is a terrible thing, but there are people in this world who want global conflict much, much, much more than we do and they can’t be permitted to come into power.

* I think the Samsung Galaxy Rush + Boost Prepaid plan is the best deal for cell-phones at this time.  You get a smartphone that can install the raw, basic apps you need like GPS and Hangouts, and even Glide, which I love.  By the way, I love Glide.  Video chat me sometime!🙂  And a plan that’s at most $55 / mo.  That is really cheap for unlimited talk, text, data, etc.  Decent service, too!

* I can’t wait for Google self-driving cars.  I think I’m going to stick with used cars until self-driving Tesla Model S cars become the mainstream😄  Other than that, cars are expensive, man.  Too expensive.  Like another rent bill.

* And my credit score currently sucks because I’m using up all of my available credit/debt.  So financing options are not so great right now.  There’s having enough cash to buy what you want up-front.  That’s the smart thing to do.  And I’ve had that at one point in time.  I don’t now, but I used to.  My problem was that I spent that cash instead of then purchasing things on credit and financing.  So my credit score isn’t as high as it should be, and all of my money is gone, when I probably would have spent it a lot wiser had I gotten on monthly payment plans instead of buying things up-front.

* So that’s my other thought on money.  There doesn’t seem to be much a reason to pay for things fully up-front, unless it’s going to reduce your interest rates.  But if you’re not on credit, there is no point, unless you really just have that much cash floating around.  Seriously.  Credit is a beautiful thing.  I am in so much debt right now, but it is very, very, very manageable and has allowed us to have a brand new furniture set, king-sized bed and car repairs without breaking the bank.  It’s not unreasonable debt, either.  In fact, through Firestone CFNA, my car repairs are interest free for 6 months.  Through wells fargo, my furniture payments are interest free for 4 years.  That’s exactly how long it will take for me to pay off the furniture, so in all honesty, I’m not sure how those people are making money loaning me cash.  But oh well!  I am not in the place to think about it too much.

* I wish WordPress made it easier for me to share photos, have photo galleries, organize photos like I do in FaceBook.  Maybe that kind of syncing, etc. exists….  I haven’t checked out any WordPress plugins yet.  I’d honestly like to host it myself…  Just don’t have the time to set it up.

* OkCupid is actually a cool dating website.  That, in combination with Glide and FaceBook, makes meeting people online way less awkward.  I’ve tried some others, but they were either all commercial or really weird “adult” dating websites.  I don’t recommend any of them.

* I have probably 100 tabs open in the background.  Closing them would make me more productive, but less happy inside.  Is it strange to admit that reading a whole bunch of random articles is actually what I want to do?

* The Samsung Galaxy Rush is only $50 from Boost, $80 from Amazon, and was initially cheaper from Amazon.  I think.  Or at least, I hope I didn’t pay full price when I could have purchased directly from Boost for way less…😦

* I learned what Grief Bait is.  It’s a term used in online gaming when you try and tempt trolls and other malicious users by intentionally leaving “bait” for them to pick up.  If someone grabs a super rare item, for example, when it was publicly displayed, they probably don’t play well with others.  Thanks, Jaltoid!

* Researching the Wunderbits source code was fun.  They use a lot of interesting tools and a fine client-side architecture to make their app behave just like the desktop app.  Everything is done client-side, then those changes are moved from localStorage to the server through Backbone-powered DB syncing.  Lots of custom tooling, too.

* Not even able to start any of the online courses I’ve enrolled in.  My life, man…

I think that’s it for now🙂

As you can see, I do a lot of things… I think about a lot of things… And maybe I feel too little.  But I just don’t have the time…

Sorry for the Delay!

I haven’t updated in some time.

I’d like to say that my thoughts don’t feel worth sharing, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t seem like I have many thoughts left to spare.  It’s amazing how much I internalize, but how little I share.  I can spend all day watching videos, listening to music (which would be a big deal, because I don’t do that often), doodling, talking to people, etc. and still feel like I have nothing to share.  I’ll babble and ramble, mostly internal thoughts on my FaceBook account.

But I feel much less of a need to do the same on a blog.

If you’ve ever witness my stream of thoughts, you might understand why.  The reason for this blog’s plain black and white, text-book-ish theme is that it was my intent to make it specialized and help be market myself as an individual – professionally, and to those who follow my increasingly rare creative works.  That of course hasn’t happened.

The assumed need for specialization stems from the fact that my thoughts are constantly streaming, and in the verbalized perspective of most people, unpredictable.  Is anyone really that interested in hearing my random thoughts throughout the week?  I can’t imagine so.  I document them for historical reasons.  I don’t even look at them after they’re written down.

But maybe I should write more often.

Hey, I wonder if I pick something to write about every day, even if it’s just a short blurb, if I’ll become a writer someday?

Maybe not a professional writer, but just someone who writes.  After all, isn’t that what you would call someone who writes every single day?

It’s worth trying.  Here’s Day #1, Post #1:  Sorry for the Delay!

SQL Server Data Modeling Patterns – Normalization 1

Let’s say you have the following entities:


Let’s say that people can only be represented by up to one business. Here’s one standard way to go about this:

        business_id PRIMARY KEY COLUMN

        person_id PRIMARY KEY COLUMN
        business_id FOREIGN KEY ON businesses.business_id

Common pattern, right? Here’s another one I’ve used:

        business_id PRIMARY KEY COLUMN

        person_id PRIMARY KEY COLUMN

        business_id PRIMARY KEY COLUMN, FOREIGN KEY ON businesses.business_id
        person_id PRIMARY KEY COLUMN, FOREIGN KEY ON people.person_id

Why do that? Well, businesses has nothing to do with people on their own. There’s a separation of concerns to think about. Structuring your data like this allows you to add individual entities without having to deal with the potential of foreign key constraints. Additionally, I think it makes the DB schema far more clear and less cluttered, at least until we have dozens and dozens of tables to worry about. (When that happens, I just don’t know what to tell you. Make separate schemas or databases. Unfortunately, that doesn’t play quite as well with tools I use for work, like Entity Framework.)

However, we need some adjustments to enforce all of our constraints. Primary keys are unique as a group. The individual columns are not unique. This means that the following record set is perfectly valid under the above constraints:

    business_id,    person_id
    1,              1
    2,              1

That is, we’re violating the business requirement that people belong in only up to one business. Our normalization pattern can still work with some minor adjustments:

        business_id PRIMARY KEY COLUMN

        person_id PRIMARY KEY COLUMN

        business_people_id PRIMARY KEY COLUMN -- mostly for indexing
        business_id FOREIGN KEY ON businesses.business_id
        person_id UNIQUE FOREIGN KEY ON people.person_id -- great.

Allowing people to be involved with more than one businesses is as simple as removing the UNIQUE constraint on person_id, and making the person_id and business_id columns unique as a pair. Perfectly valid in MySQL and SQL Server, and probably other RDBMS engines, too.

Viewing results is of course not a problem:

    USE Sandbox

    -- Drops.
    DROP TABLE businesses
    DROP TABLE people
    DROP TABLE business_people

    -- Create table
    -- I like to do data definitions separately from constraints.
    CREATE TABLE businesses (
        business_id int NOT NULL,
        business_name varchar(MAX)

    CREATE TABLE people (
        person_id int NOT NULL,
        person_name varchar(MAX)

    CREATE TABLE business_people (
        business_person_id int NOT NULL,
        business_id int NOT NULL,
        person_id int NOT NULL

    -- Primary key constraints
    ALTER TABLE businesses
    ADD CONSTRAINT PK_businesses
    PRIMARY KEY(business_id)

    ALTER TABLE people
    PRIMARY KEY(person_id)

    ALTER TABLE business_people
    ADD CONSTRAINT PK_business_people 
    PRIMARY KEY(business_person_id)


    -- Foreign key constraints
    ALTER TABLE business_people
    ADD CONSTRAINT FK_business_people_on_business 
    FOREIGN KEY(business_id)
    REFERENCES businesses(business_id)

    ALTER TABLE business_people
    ADD CONSTRAINT FK_business_people_on_people
    FOREIGN KEY(person_id)
    REFERENCES people(person_id)

    -- Misc constraints
    ALTER TABLE business_people
    ADD CONSTRAINT UK_business_people_person_id


    -- Insert test records
    INSERT INTO businesses
    VALUES (1, 'Test Business 1')

    INSERT INTO businesses
    VALUES (2, 'Test Business 2')


    INSERT INTO people
    VALUES (1, 'Alexander Pritchard')

    INSERT INTO people
    VALUES (2, 'Zack Johnson')

    INSERT INTO people
    VALUES (3, 'Scott Hanselman') -- Name used without permission

    INSERT INTO people
    VALUES (4, 'Tom Fulp') -- Name used without permission


    INSERT INTO business_people
    VALUES (1, 1, 1)

    INSERT INTO business_people
    VALUES (2, 1, 2)

    INSERT INTO business_people
    VALUES (3, 2, 3)

    INSERT INTO business_people
    VALUES (4, 2, 4)


    -- Constraint test
    INSERT INTO business_people
    VALUES (5, 3, 4)


    -- Select data

    SELECT *
    FROM business_people
    INNER JOIN businesses ON business_people.business_id = businesses.business_id
    INNER JOIN people ON business_people.person_id = people.person_id

Study Notes – SQL DML “Union”

Going back to database fundamentals on Microsoft Virtual Academy.  You know, there’s a lot of things I still don’t understand.  I’ll be taking a Coursera class after this, I think, on Data Analysis, Database Design or something like that.  It’s hard to find a balance between theory and practice, sometimes.  Like, hey, here’s a property.  Here’s a function.  Here’s a technique.  It exists.  It’s just a part of this system.  Is it useful?  … Well, is it?


use AdventureWorks2012
-- We notice that UNION returns results merged based on the primary set.
 -- So if there are multiple accountants, there will be an accountant with a
 -- business entity id, and an accountant with null as that ID.
 -- There will NOT be a null match for every accountant record, only for the
 -- group as a whole.
 -- Can join on multiple tables.
 (SELECT NULL, BusinessEntityID, Jobtitle
 FROM HumanResources.Employee)
 FROM HumanResources.Employee)
ORDER BY BusinessEntityID
-- Select defines the members of a set.
 -- From defines the data sources, which are unioned by default (?)
 -- Where defines the conditions members of a set must meet to be displayed

Programming Language Subjective Benchmarks

My co-worker and I spent today looking at language benchmarks. Here’s our results:

Haskell because it’s awesome (functional, fast with great syntax). Our 5-star programming language of choice;

F# because you’ll write half (or less) code;

LISP for the computer science books;

Ruby or Python because they’re easy and scale well;

C/C++ for raw speed;

Pascal for efficient RAM usage;

Java for bu$ine$$;

JavaScript for web;

Fortan for super computers;

and Scala, if you want to use a weird hybrid of Java and LISP with traits and mixins;

Mothers, Watch Your Children!

Where we live now, I’ve suffered racism and harassment from teenagers because I’m white. It’s NOT because of race. It’s because I stand out and people assume I’m going to be a punk.

(In truth, teenagers cursing at you from a distance is more laughable than it is intimidating. It was plain pathetic when one of them tried yelling at me from behind a gate after property management moved them out.)

I wanted to say something back to the teenagers – not to start a fight, but to establish respect – but I walked away. Skye is pregnant. She doesn’t want us taking any chances. We don’t always feel safe here anymore.

That’s not the only reason I walked away, though.

When I see the teenagers around here, I can’t help but think of the kids – the people who they were just a few years ago. I see them at the playground every day. Some of them cuss up a storm and are ill-behaved. (Mothers, take time to play with your children!) Others approach me while I walk our dog and practically BEG me to play with them. Sometimes, it’s subtle. Sometimes, it’s not.


They’re not being watched! There’s no adult playing with these kids. There’s no one caring about them, making sure they learn something new every day, making sure they feel loved, keeping them safe. Keep it up, and you’ll rue the day your kid comes home and calls their teacher “mommy” or “daddy” on accident – they may take better care of your kids than you do!

It’s these kids who become angry teenagers because no adult was ever in their life. Now they’re expected to be adults, and they don’t know how. It’s these teenagers who become young adults who stand in their yard circles all day talking about OTHER PEOPLE because they’re not doing anything with THEIR OWN LIVES. It’s these people who don’t need an excuse for my success other than that I’m “some white dude”.

No, my parents didn’t pay for my apartment, my car, my college, and they won’t pay for my child or the house I hope to own some day. What did pay off was taking an Algebra book with me when I left home and had no where else to go. You’d do well to do the same.

Mothers, make your kids know that you LOVE THEM! Let them know they can do ANYTHING! Because they can. It is possible to start completely from scratch and work your way up to a responsible adult who owns their own property.

It takes a lot of work, but that’s what being an adult is. It is working and loving the work you do because you know it puts food on someone’s plate!

So mothers and fathers, for all the hard work you do to support your kids, let that be the side of you they see. Don’t let the weight of negativity or your past and past mistakes be what they know. Let them know the positives of the work you do and what you’ve been through, and let them know that they can do even better.

Don’t let them be little kids out on the playground using words they don’t even know would get them kicked out of most jobs. Don’t let them be teenagers who are planning for failure. Don’t let them be adults with time on their hands but nothing to do with it.

Watch them play and grow. Set them up for success. If your kids ever have time on their hands, you better put them in their books until MIT or Harvard University are practically BEGGING you to let them come in and get a degree.