journal for 2003-12-19

christmas shopping

Well, I think Christmas shopping is nearly done with, which is a relief. I feel like I came through it much better this year, but this could be for any number of reasons. It’s possible that I was just less spendy, or I could just be wrong.

At any rate, it’s good to be done.

While at the CD Center, I picked up the new Strokes album for myself. It’s not bad, especially at the price ($12, I think). I’ll need to give it more listening-to. I read several “it’s like the Cars!” reviews, and this doesn’t remind me of Cars.


I’ve been playing icehouse games, still, which is good. If I suddenly got sick of them, I’d be pretty irked about having picked up pieces. I showed Martian Chess to Trevor today, and I beat him by a point. The victory felt more complete; I was surprised by the narrow margin at the end. At first, I said that the key seems to be “remember that you are not playing chess.”

Eventually, though, that’s easy to do. I wonder what the strategy becomes then. I can see a few leads, but I’m sure there are a number of more interesting things beneath the surface. I’m especially curious because I know that the game is meant for four players, and I’ve been playing two-player games.

I need to learn more solitaire games, though. I don’t have enough regular game partners for all these slick multi-player games.

perl: jfdi and being geeky

I made my first entry on use.perl today, despite my normal dislike of having journals other than the one on manxome. I figured there had to be some kind of Perl module to post to use.perl, and waltman pointed it out to me. I think I’ve got a crappy little script that will find perl-related entries here and post them to use.perl. I’ll find out shortly.

I wrote myself a message at work on my biggest whiteboard in big letters: JFDI. The more I try to JFDI, the more I actually do get things done, so it’s encouraging. I need to plan less and do more. I get too bogged down in “what-ifs” and I end up never creating stuff for fear that it will suck. More and more, as I try to get things done, I find myself quoting the Pragmatic Programmer in my head. “Pragmatic programmers fire tracer bullets.”

My personal take on this, lately, has been, “Pragmatic programmers write bad code and fix it later.” (Kinda.) Test::More is, really, a godsend for mixing JFDI with quality. I write the freaking tests, implement the freaking code, and I get some decent stuff done. Later, I can extend both to keep making them better. I feel like I need to share this discovery with everyone, but sadly most of the people I know already know or don’t get it.

Hopefully I’ll be successful in demonstrating its awesomeness to my Perl-learning co-workers in Cardiff when I’m over there next month. Showing is better than telling.

As mentioned elsewhere, I’m making my first attempts to see if I can start a local Perl Mongers. It’s hard to have zero local people off of whom to bounce ideas, or even with whom to socialize. I like non-geeks plenty, but everyone likes to have friends of his own ilk.


Yeah, so, I’m going to Cardiff again, from January 4 until the morning of the 17th. (I’ll get home in time for most of Gloria’s birthday.) It’s kind of a bizarre and fairly inconvenient time to be sent over, but I hope it will pay off. Development might actually start getting unified, especially if I can demonstrate the benefits of a lot of the stuff that I do over here.

I need to figure out if I’ll have time to do much of anything. I think that with my expedited departure from the UK, I won’t have any time in London, really, except maybe enough for dinner. I don’t know that I know any of the folks well enough to seek beers with them. At the very least, I’ll try to spend some out-of-work time with the guys at the UK office. Not just not-working time, but elsewhere time. Go see a movie and get dinner on a weekend, maybe. It seems like the social situation over there isn’t perfect, and I want to help, somehow.

Written on December 19, 2003