The Programming Talent Myth
grok_mctanys
This is an excellent keynote talk from PyCon 2015 about the image the programming industry projects about how people either "have talent" or do not, and how that discourages newcomers or amateurs - especially those who don't "look like" programmers - from taking their first steps into the field.

If you're thinking about taking some more steps, or possibly your first steps, into tech and programming, I highly recommend it.

The Programming Talent Myth

(via LWN.net)

Somewhat related to last year's retraction of "The Camel Has Two Humps"

Car help needed, again.
grok_mctanys
Dear lazyweb, it's been 4 years since I last needed your help in this way, but the cantankerous old beast that I bought from tiggothy has finally developed a fault that is too inconvenient (in that that car won't actually go any more) to live with, and more expensive than I'm willing to pay (more than half the current value of the car) to fix.

To give it it's due, it's 12 years old, done 220,000miles, and survived at least one accident. Also, it's been giving me hints for some time that it was getting ready to retire. I think the fuel pump dying is its way of saying that it really has had enough, and that I should stop being wilfully oblivious to its quirks and creaks. Also, it's been considerate enough to die just before the tax was due for renewal, so I have to thank it for that.

The previous post still has plenty of great advice on searching for a car at dealerships (thankyou everyone who contributed!), so I don't need much along those lines unless the state of second-hand car dealerships has changed much in four years.

However, if anyone has a car for sale, or knows someone they trust who has a car for sale, I'd be grateful if you'd let me know. I'm looking for something basic, roughly 4-5 years old with 40-50k miles on the clock, which I can mostly use for my daily commute (~45 mile round trip). Although I'm happy to consider newer/older vehicles.
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Now a real uncle!
grok_mctanys
My neice E (WINOLJ) was born late Wednesday evening. She looks like a baby, and her parents look smug - if a little tired.

The mission I have now chosen is to try and provide what antidotes I can to the avalanche of pink, and everything that goes with that, which will inevitably descend on her :-)

Musical Interlude
grok_mctanys
SpaceX Launch You Up

♫...told Orbital to retire, man. Oooh, that's hot (too soon!)...♫ :-)

(via reddit)

The most astonishingly uncomfortable experience in my life.
grok_mctanys
Now, I'm not one for superstition, but did it have to be the very first Friday the 13th after my 40th birthday for me to learn that my body is not quite as elastic as it used to be?

Having taken dozens of falls over the last 16 or so years of skiing and snowboarding, with nothing worse than a twinge in my ankle or a mild winding to show for them...Collapse )

And that's about it. I took a bad tumble and my shoulder popped out, but it's back in again now, and aside from a week or two of awkwardness from only having 1.5 hands (I can hold small stuff in the fingers of my right hand) I should be OK. Thank goodness for being semi-ambidextrous to start with, and being able to work from home for a short while, even if typing is slow.

Thankyou for a great party!
grok_mctanys
Thanks everyone who came and helped to create a wonderfully happy and relaxed atmosphere for seeing in the new year and celebrating my imminent birthday. I had a brilliant time, thanks to you. Especially to the few people I didn't get to say more than a handful of words to - I'm really sorry about that. I wish I had, and I wanted to let you know that I appreciate that you were here.

Thanks for all the moustaches that have appeared about the place. They're comedy genius, and I look forward to finding the occasional hidden 'stache over the next week or two! :-)

Also, I appear to have inherited a 4/5ths full bottle of Beak & Skiff Premium Small Batch Gin. It looks like the good stuff, and I'm not a gin drinker, so I'd be happy to return it to whoever brought it with them in order that it not be wasted. Comment below if it was you so I can return it.

Only one batch of washing-up remains! (Actually, I've had surprisingly little tidying to do. It's just been going slowly because I've been going slowly today!)

Happy Winter Solstice everyone!
grok_mctanys
Hope your festivities are full of pleasantness and relaxation.

Also, reminder, new year's at mine. Turn up from 6pm-ish.

Thinkgeek!
grok_mctanys
Thinking about putting an order in sometime around Wednesday. If you want me to add anything to help split the cost of shipping, let me know below!
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Exercise regime... still being followed!
grok_mctanys
So this is going better than expected.

My 2nd 4-week block finished a couple of weeks ago, and I kept up the "3 mornings/week with 2 of the mornings consecutive" pattern with only 1 missed morning near the start of the block due to my old running shoes actually falling apart and needing to buy new ones.

I"m 2 weeks into my planned "4 mornings/week" pattern...Collapse )

I'm not actually fit yet - but I'm getting to the point where I can put enough work in that I might actually start to make some progress.

I was right that life generally isn't getting in the way of exercising in the morning. I just hope I can continue to keep it up as it continues to get colder and rainier, and that I'll be able to fit into my old salopetteshave the strength and stamina to make the most out of as much time as possible on the slopes, rather than wimping out early.

Birthday!
grok_mctanys
It turns out that early this coming January, I'm celebrating a Significant Birthday™. And I know people aren't particularly up for going to another gathering shortly after the new year, because you can have too much of a good thing.

So, I'm going to be celebrating my birthday slightly prematurely on Dec 31st, at my house. If we've met and exchanged more words than a polite "hello, what are you studying?" and you already know where I live, then you, and +1 (or +n, depending on how much drama you choose to invite into your personal life), and any immediate blood relatives, are invited.