Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Would you say I have a plethora of pictures, Jefe?

Some of you are going to be disappointed, so let me say this up front: I don't have any pictures ready. For those of you still reading, I have a very good excuse for not having them ready. There are just too many! I have about 400+ from Cort's wedding, another 400 or so from Justin and Kate's wedding, as well as another 200 or so from a hiking trip, plus another 500 or so from a whirlwind tour of Washington D.C. I'm guessing I have close to 1,500 pics to go through, and since I insist on shooting RAW, it means going through every single one of them before I can post them. Right now, Cort and Emily's pictures will be up first, followed by Kate and Justin's.

That being said, the last few weeks have been a blast. It was good seeing family again, especially my 3 adorable nieces. I already miss them terribly. The wedding went off rather well, and my only regret was that the wedding was my last night there as I had to say alot of goodbyes on a rather fun night. The following weekend was Justin and Kate's wedding which was also a blast. Anytime our gang gets together to party is a good time, and a wedding just sends us to the stratosphere of enjoyment. My favorite quote of the night: "It's your birthday! I told you I work!" The next morning I picked up Josh at the airport and we immediately started our road trip to D.C.

Our trip was a whirlwind tour of 4 days since we had to spend about 8 hours of driving each way. On Sunday morning we signed up for a bus tour to maximize our time. We're waiting in front of the Hojo and this 80's Dodge Ram van pulls up. The driver asks us if we're there for the tour. I timidly said "yes" hoping he was taking us to the tour bus. After picking up 3 other passengers (Australians on vacation), we realized he WAS the tour, complete with microphone he plugged into the lighter on the dash. As nervous as this made me, it turned out the guy really knew his stuff and took us to every highlight of the city and gave us plenty of time to get out and walk around each monument and attraction. He had it timed rather well, and even got us to Arlington at the exact time they changed the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We started rather early, so I got pics of some monuments like the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam wall without any other tourists to clutter up pictures. He had the tour done by 3, but we weren't done so he left us in the city and told us how to get to the subway back to the hotel. We were so impressed we tipped him $20. We spent the rest of the afternoon in the Air & Space museum. The next day we took a tour of the Capitol building and the Library of Congress. We decided to cut our trip short at that point and head back to Boston so we could relax a bit on Tuesday. We were headed north and when we go to the NJ turnpike the traffic was so clogged we decided to take a slight detour through Philadelphia, which turned out to be a fun distraction compared to driving through boring NJ. We spent the next day at Fenway, starting with lunch at the Beer Works, then taking the tour of Fenway Park. They started batting practice as we were finishing up our view from the Green Monster. We then headed back to the Beer Works for more beer until they opened the park. We then watched the rest of batting practice, and of course the game against the Yankees. (We lost! grrr) There's nothing quite like guys spending the whole day watching baseball and drinking beer.

This last weekend was the weekend the Cali's made their move back to upstate New York. I was sad to see them go, but we did get to celebrate Jeremy finishing law school. I'm still amazed he managed to finish while working a very low paying job and taking care of his family. I spent Sunday and Monday down in RI for BBQ's and such. I would have enjoyed it more, but I think the last few weeks finally caught up with me and I ended up with a cold that's been going around. Tuesday was spent almost entirely in bed. Today I'm feeling better but I'm looking forward to another nap.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Billy Bush spills the beans?

Last night I was watching Access Hollywood during dinner. I don't usually find these kinds of shows interesting, but I saw that they were going to have some pieces on American Idol so I tuned in. They did a thing about Kat's childhood and Taylor's background as well. Nothing on Elliott and I thought that was curious. Then at the end Billy Bush comes on and says something about how sad he was that Elliot was gone. This was shocking because it was only 7:15 and the show hadn't aired yet here on the East Coast. I could understand the slipup had I been on the West Coast. I rewinded it a few times to make sure I understood what he was saying, and I was definitely left with the impression that Elliott had been voted off. OOPS!!!

Which led me to secret are those final results that a TV magazine can be prepped and ready to run the story before it's even happened!?

In an amazing turn of events, AI producers decided to show us some numbers this time around, which is something that they usually keep very quiet. I also thought it was pretty amazing that the votes were separated by less than 1%. A lot of people were upset about Chris being voted off, and I think the producers wanted people to see that there was no funny business going on. The voting really is that close this year.

Personally, I still think that Katharine is the better vocalist, but Taylor would also make a great American Idol. I think they'll both probably end up with record deals out of this.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Cort & Emily

Originally uploaded by Dan Bailiff.

Tonight I started looking through all the wedding pictures from Cort & Emily's wedding. I haven't had time to process them all (it's already 1am), and so I picked a personal favorite. I'll add more gradually over the next week or so. Keep checking my flickr pages for updates!

I also included a few pictures I had taken on a hike to Silver Creek Falls. I'll comment more on that later.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Not so geeky post

I received various comments from friends (including one comment here! Hi, Cara!) about my blog post regarding some programming stuff. It's one of the few times that people have told me they were actually reading my blog. Honestly, I had begun to think that no one was reading it at all, so this was more for me than for others. Perhaps I now have a small band of readers, or maybe I just scared them all away. My explanation for writing that was more for the other programmers like me who are stuck on a problem, and can't seem to find a good answer on the Internet, and then just happen to google upon the answer through an obscure little blog like mine. It's happened to me several times now, and so when I find a solution like this, I try to keep up my web-kharma by posting the answer in the hopes that it will keep some other poor programmer from putting his fist through his monitor in frustration. This situation doesn't arise often, thankfully, so I'll try to keep these posts to a minimum, so the rest of you non-geeks can skip right over them without any harm done.

So, I just got back from my vacation to Portland. I spent most of the time with family and a few friends where my schedule allowed. A week always seems too short, and there are always people who get left out of my visit list for various reasons. Do I feel guilty? A little, but I just remember that family is the most important item on the agenda and the rest will just have to deal with it. It's hard enough keeping up relationships with family and close friends, even with modern communications, and with everyone's life changes and moves, some friends get left behind completely. It's sad to know that there are some friends who at one time were very close are God-knows-where and there are plenty of people who are unaware of my life in Boston. It's just another reminder for me that my family members will always be the top priority as they are they people that (I hope) will never be able to grow apart from, even 3000 miles away. The rest are optional and it takes a lot of work to keep up those connections. Without some kind of common bond that transcends the distance, it can be really hard to keep it going. It's also a two-way street in that there are some I'm sure are upset that I haven't kept in touch, but then they've never called or written me either, it can't be completely about me just because I was the one who moved. I'm starting to rant, but I guess I'm just trying to explain my own thoughts and feelings on the difficulties and emotions of people who just aren't there any more, and I'd like to think it isn't entirely "my fault" and that some of it is just life. I'm not too upset about it, and I'd like to think they aren't either (or they'd call me!).

My trip back to Boston was a bit rough. My second flight got delayed by over an hour and I ended up having to take a cab home from the airport to the tune of $60. This was at 2am and the cabby decided that the proper speed on the Mass Pike was only 45 and after being on a plane all day, I just wanted to get home. Even worse, he slowed to 35 when we got on the interstate and I thought for sure I was going to be on the next day's news being pulled from the burnt wreckage of a cab that had been rear-ended by a truck because the cab had been going too slow in the slow lane. I felt pretty ill and got about 3 hours sleep before being woken by a stomach ache. I went to work early to deal with some crisis stuff and felt like a zombie the rest of the day. Next time, I'm scheduling a day off after my trip home. I don't know why I did that to myself.

I am hoping to start working on pictures tonight and I'll post them to my flickr account as I get them done. First up will be pics from Cort & Emily's wedding, followed by some pics from Silver Creek Falls and then miscellaneous family stuff. The brief views I got made me think that I got really good shots of the wedding and the waterfall pics are something I'm really proud of.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Textual Criticism

On the plane ride back to Boston, I read the book "Misquoting Jesus" by Bart D. Ehrman.

Basically, this book points out the fact that we don't have any original manuscripts of the New Testament. The best we have is a bunch of copies of copies of copies, and it takes a really determined scholar to determine what was closest to the original. He discusses how most errors in copies were due to accidents but some were "improvements" made by copyists who thought they were doing the right thing and others were definitely motivated by a spin on their personal doctrine.

The whole concept is completely at odds with the "doctrine" that most Evangelical Christians are familiar with, that the Bible is the "inerrant Word of God", when in reality it is a very human collection of writings. I expected there to be some catastrophic revelation that the Bible was full of terrible mistakes that would undermine my faith. To my surprise, I found myself convinced even more of their validity, but now I am more gaurded against taking some things too literally from the English Bible.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The dreaded SHIFT+SPACE of Datagrids and how to fix it

Anyone familiar with the .NET Datagrid class has probably run across the so-called "feature" where using SHIFT+SPACE selects the entire row. This is especially annoying when typing something like "How do I fix this?" in a text column. The row gets selected and if you manage to keep tying past the "I", you erase everything prior and all you get is "fix this?" Which is something I've been hearing for months from my users.

Today I decided to search once again on the web for a solution and found one on a fellow programmer's blog. He calls it a "dodge", but I think it's an excellent solution.

The Solution

Basically, you're overriding the Datagrid class, and then overriding the ProcessCmdKey method such that you can filter out the SHIFT+SPACE combo. However, I suppose it would be better to actually be able to alter the method that creates this behavior in the first place! Since we can't do that, this is the next best thing.

Just create the class below in your project, and then replace Datagrid objects with DataGridFix objects. You shouldn't need to make any other changes to your project.

using System;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;

namespace MyProject
/// This class is derived from the DataGrid class so that I can disable the "feature" that selects
/// a row by using SHIFT+SPACE

public class DataGridFix:System.Windows.Forms.DataGrid
// a couple of setup bits
const int WM_KEYDOWN = 256;
public static extern int GetKeyboardState(ref Byte pbKeyState);
public static extern int SetKeyboardState(ref Byte bpKeyState);

// over-ride the 'ProcessCmdKey' method
protected override bool ProcessCmdKey(ref Message msg, Keys keyData)
Keys keyCode = ((Keys)msg.WParam.ToInt32()) & Keys.KeyCode;
if (msg.Msg == WM_KEYDOWN && keyCode == Keys.Space)
if (Control.ModifierKeys == Keys.Shift)
// if the keystate is SHIFT+SPACE, make it just a SPACE
byte[] keystates = new byte[255];
GetKeyboardState(ref keystates[0]);
keystates[16] = 0;
SetKeyboardState(ref keystates[0]);
SendKeys.Send(" ");
return true;
return base.ProcessCmdKey(ref msg, keyData); // let the base method handle everything else as-is

I also need to give credit for the CSS code which make the code above easy to read.

CSS article