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JAV's Weblog

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Mon Jul 07, 2008

It's 2008 and the world has not ended

As I was placing the latest state quarter in my state quarter cabinet, I noticed that 2008 is the last year for state quarters.

I reminisced about when the state quarters first came out. I collected the quarters and didn't spend any of them. I bought one of those electronic component drawer cabinets with over 50 drawers, and labelled each drawer with the state and year that the state quarter would be released.

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The bottom of the cabinet started at 1999, and they went all the way to top to 2008. Almost every state quarter I've ever got I have placed into this cabinet. It must be worth a fortune now.

So when I was printing out all these labels, 2008 seemed so far in the future, and I couldn't imagine the world would still be around. Well, at least not like we know it. I did not think that we'd all be dead, but I thought things would be much different. Huge droughts, unbearable pollution, earthquakes, water shortages, crop failures, nuclear bombs, etc.

But the world is still around, and the biggest difference I can think of between now and 1999 is the high gas prices. But I can't imagine the world will still be around in 2017.

Posted by: jav on Jul 07, 08 | 1:46 pm | Profile

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Mon Jun 30, 2008

Bad Tacos

Last Thursday was Free Tacos at Jack in the Box if you brought in a receipt for gasoline. I thought it was a great deal, and I like tacos, so I made an effort to go to my local Jack in the Box. I have never had tacos at Jack in the Box. I was expecting the kind of taco that I get at a place like Del Taco. But no, the tacos were crappy. Very bad. It's weird - they do something like deep fry the entire taco. Very greasy.


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Posted by: jav on Jun 30, 08 | 6:16 pm | Profile

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Mon Feb 04, 2008

Tom Dowdy

I first started seriously working on a Macintosh in 1994 when I graduated from university and started writing Mac software for a company in Toronto. At the time, one of the most famous software applications was SimpleText, a precursor to today's TextEdit on Mac OS X. Even though it came with System 7, it seemed almost every other third party developer would ship SimpleText so you could read their README. It was really silly. Back in those days, names of actual engineers appeared in Apple About boxes, and so I learned the name of Tom Dowdy.

I was working on printer drivers at the time, and I encountered a problem where SimpleText would crash when using my printer driver. I was commenting to my colleague that I should send a bug report to Tom Dowdy. Of course, after more investigation, I determined it was all my fault. I was relieved I didn't make myself look bad by trying to send a bug report to Tom.

When I came to work at Apple in 1996, I was starstruck when I first saw Tom Dowdy. He was working on QuickTime in the same building as me, R&D 2. Years later, he went to work on iTunes.

Most engineers at Apple had some interaction with Tom because he had worked at Apple for so long (more than 17 years), and also because he was the bug screener for iTunes. So, any time someone wrote a bug against iTunes, Tom would read it, and send it along to the appropriate person, or explain to you why iTunes was right and you were wrong.

I shared the stage with Tom at the annual Stump The Experts event at WWDC. This last year I was sitting beside or very close to beside Tom. An audience member was addressing the experts. His name sounded familiar, so I asked aloud to my fellow experts, "Who is that guy? His name sounds really familiar." Tom replied to me, "I know. I think he posts on the mailing lists a lot." Even though I had exchanged emails with Tom over the years, and even though we communicated through Radar bugs, that might have been the only verbal conversation we had ever had.

I was surprised and saddened to hear on Sunday that Tom suddenly passed away on Saturday. Although I never really knew him, I always had a tremendous amount of respect for him. He was a great engineer, and his passing is a great loss to Apple.

Posted by: jav on Feb 04, 08 | 12:12 pm | Profile

LINKS TO THIS PAGE

Indeed: Tom Dowdy

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Tue Jun 13, 2006

Duane Got Married!

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My old university roommate just got married. Duane married Shakufe in Toronto last month.

It was a three day wedding, from Friday to Sunday. There were a lot of Indian ceremonies. Many ceremonies. All these ceremonies were designed to ward off evil spirits. This caused me to wonder, why are there so many evil spirits in India? And who are these evil spirits? Are they all the departed inlaws?

Posted by: jav on Jun 13, 06 | 8:14 pm | Profile

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Thu Feb 09, 2006

Good Night, Binomial

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This morning, Binomial entered a long deep sleep.

Binomial was such a wonderful cat. She was black and white and cute all over. She was such a sweetie.

I used to lie on my couch and watch TV. She would hop on and lie on my shoulder and watch TV with me, or lie on my chest and stare at me. I'd go to bed alone, and in the morning I'd find her curled up beside me, always on my right side. Sometimes I'd wake up when she was walking to my right side, and she always got there by walking over my head. When I got dressed in the morning, she would sit on the toilet lid and watched while I combed my hair and brushed my teeth. She'd say Meow, and I would say Meow right back at her. When guests came over, she would properly greet them, and then she would run her head on their purses for five minutes. There was never a purse that did not get rubbed with her head.

She'd been having kidney problems the last year and a bit, and it finally took its toll.

What a wonderful cat. The best, sweetest cat in the whole world. I love her so much.

Posted by: jav on Feb 09, 06 | 4:31 pm | Profile

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Tue Oct 18, 2005

I have no recollection

Yesterday I got some wisdom teeth removed from my head, but I don't remember much about it.

I was in the dentist's chair, and the last thing I remember was asking, "Did you just stick a needle in me?" The next thing I remember was eating ice cream at my kitchen table at home 4 hours later.

I remember 3 2-second flashes:
1) being put into a wheelchair
2) seeing my colleague Erika in the lobby, ready to give me a ride home
3) alone in the car in the Long's drugstore parking lot

I don't remember the surgery itself, or the car rides, or walking into my house. How interesting.

Posted by: jav on Oct 18, 05 | 6:11 pm | Profile

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Sun Oct 16, 2005

Blogging from beyond the grave

Some of you may know about the time I had surgery inside my head. Tomorrow, it happens again.

It's not so dramatic this time. I'm getting oral surgery to remove my wisdom teeth, which should have been removed in the last century. I inquired whether I could "pass on" from this surgery, and I was informed that it was a possibility.

So if you don't see me post again, I could be dead. Chances are I did not leave you anything.

Posted by: jav on Oct 16, 05 | 5:43 pm | Profile

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Fri Jul 29, 2005

Subway wants me to be a fat cow

Subway tries to be known for their healthy food that will turn you into Jared Small from Jared Big. But I'm thinking that your size is not at all what they are interested in. They just want your money, and they'll turn you into a fat cow if they need to, in order to get your money.

Americans are big and fat, and all the soda they drink doesn't help. I can't drink a lot of soda, so I just get a small one with my sandwich. 99 cents, and just the right size.

But Subway has decided that they can make more money by totally screwing me over. They have gotten rid of the small sized soda, and now their smallest is a medium sized soda for $1.49. I hate restaurants that have no "small" size. Just call the "medium" a "small".

A medium is too much for me, and end up throwing about a third of it out. Some people have no restraint, which is why they're fat, and so they'll drink the whole thing. But Subway doesn't care. They don't care about making you fat. Subway just wants that additional 50 cents, and all the people drinking small sodas were getting in their way.

Moo.

Posted by: jav on Jul 29, 05 | 11:13 pm | Profile

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Thu Jul 07, 2005

Tried to buy a house

I tried to buy a house yesterday, but there were 15 other bidders. Bummer.

Posted by: jav on Jul 07, 05 | 10:46 pm | Profile

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Wed May 19, 2004

San Francisco screwed me again

I was going to see a movie at the Castro Theater in San Francisco with some friends. I was driving along 18th Street and I saw a "P" sign showing parking. So I turn into it. It's a little strip with parking meters.

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All the meters were taken up. There was this guy who looked kinda like a parking attendant. I asked him how much parking was. He said $5. I asked where I could park. He pointed me to this red zone. I pointed out that this was a red zone. He said that was OK.

I ask if he has change for $20. He hands me this big ball of $1 bills. I ask what this is. He says it's about $10. I make a note to him that I need $5. He said he remembers me and he'll give me the $5 when I come back. I note that someone else just parked and he should have change. He says he turns it into some box all the time.

So it's becoming obvious to me that I'm being screwed. To my horror, I watch myself just let it happen. I should have just taken my money and told him to screw off. This is just some guy. Not a parking attendant. Just some guy. But I get screwed anyways.

I was worried the whole time I was in the theater watching Godzilla that my car would be towed. Fortunately I only got a parking ticket.

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Posted by: jav on May 19, 04 | 8:29 pm | Profile

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