Without beans there would be no chili. Without chili there would be no chili dogs. Without chili dogs, the global hot dog market would crash. If the global hot dog market crashes, pork futures crash. If pork futures crash, pigs will take over the world. If pigs take over the world, well, it wouldn’t be much different than it is today, except there still wouldn’t be chili dogs.

Thank God for beans.

I don’t like you, Mr. Stack Overflow editor

Stack Overflow is awesome. It has a lot of answers to questions I have about specific programming problems I run into daily.

But Stack Overflow’s moderators are not awesome. A few words to describe them:

  • narcissistic
  • pedantic
  • nit-picking
  • holier-than-thou
  • egotistical
  • unhelpful

I’m pretty certain I can find that list somewhere in the Bible, somewhere where it says, “Yeah, see that list? Don’t be that guy.”

I don’t like you, Mr. Stack Overflow editor. (And I get the feeling that those feelings are mutual.)

For an example of the things that make me angry, please read this example:

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 2.41.02 PM

Granted, Mr. abamert isn’t a moderator, but this is just an example of the exact annoying behavior the moderators display. Maybe my answer didn’t explain things to his satisfaction, but I *did* answer the question correctly. Annoying.




What have I been up to – August 2014 edition

I haven’t posted anything on my blog since February, so it’s time for a status update. Here you go.

First things first, I should introduce you to my lovely gf Kelsey:


She really is the best. She thinks like me, but doesn’t act like me, which is great.

I’ve also been really busy working at the Spokesman-Review, improving our website and working on various internal tools. We’re iteratively working on the overall site redesign, taking one section at a time and replacing the templates with our new responsive templates. You can see the difference if you visit spokesman.com/outdoors/ and compare it to the main site homepage at spokesman.com. We feel it’s a big improvement, but there are a lot of moving parts to figure out and re-arrange before we can replace the core homepage and stories templates for the rest of the site.

Right now I’m busy planning our next SpoCode event, which will be rad. Here’s the hand-crafted logo I made:


Finally, I just stepped down last week from my position at Rebooked, the company I co-founded back in April of 2014. The idea came out of Startup Weekend and was just so compelling that we decided to push forward with it and build it into something great. The local business community has been nothing but supportive of the project, and although I’m no longer on the team, I wish them the best.


How to drive in the snow

Here is my obligatory “How to drive in the snow” for snow dummies article.

* Drive really fast. The coefficient of friction is at about 1.2 without snow, but with snow it goes all the way up to 3.2 gigaohms! That means that the higher your velocity, the faster you drive, the more traction you’ll have. I know it sounds counter intuitive, but I’m a professional.

* Hit your brakes at the last possible moment. Again, this relates to Freud’s theorem of least significant intransigence. By slowing down early, you’re increasing the likelihood that someone behind you will impact your vehicle at a high speed because they weren’t paying attention. Which will likely cause them to slam on their brakes and cause a 14-car pileup, thus making my bus late.

* 4WD and AWD vehicles make you immune to snowy or icy conditions. As do winter tires. I’ve seen their commercials, and you can’t lie on commercials.

That’s about it.

How to make a dubstep beat

I’ve always wondered how people make dubstep, so I sauntered over to ye olde YouTube and found some tutorials. There are some really good ones, but so far my favorite and easiest to understand video is this one:

So now I understand, it’s all the same basic FM synthesis stuff that I’ve known about all along, but applied extremely liberally. Take the wobble bass, for instance. I had no idea that it was simply a triangle wave with a low-pass filter triggered by an automation track and dirtied up here and there with some bitrate desampling and other glitchiness. So cool.

But look how much work that is just for 8 measures. A full song would be, what? like 200 measures?

(140bpm / 4 beats per measure * 6 minutes)?

That seems like a lot of work for one song, although I suppose a lot of it is repeated and modified, so it’s not *as* much work. Still, it’s really cool that people invented this kind of music, because we need to scare more grandmothers.

Happy anniversary to me

So, apparently I registered this domain on December 31, 2003. Archive.org has a record of my site from 2004, but it errors out.

archive.org error message

But look at that! Geocities! Ha, I forgot about that. It was a Yahoo! site, but I recall I mainly set it up so I could get my email (dan @ thisdomain.com), which by now has a spam-to-email ratio of potato.

You’ll notice there isn’t much activity until I converted it into this blog in 2007, which is not coincidentally after I went back to school to get more learnin. In retrospect, I wonder where the earliest posts are? I must have an SQL file or WordPress XML export of the earliest stuff, since my first post on this blog certainly *wasn’t* the cross post from geek-vs-life.com. Speaking of, I should contact those guys and see how they’re doing. (If you’re reading this, what’s updog?)

It’s so weird. If I read through my old posts, I notice both how I was self editing (I have insider knowledge about the things that weren’t posted, or that *were* posted but got me fired ;p), but also how darn arrogant I seem sometimes. If I knew then what I knew now… I probably would have been even more arrogant.

Keep me away from people, people.

Anyway, happy anniversary to me.

Why does WP’s built-in thumbnail functionality suck so bad?

I’ll probably get flamed for this, but WordPress’ thumbnail functionality is the single largest pain point in trying to build a WP theme. It’s all well and good if you’re building a new theme from scratch, but if you’re coming in to build a new theme for pre-existing site? Heaven help you.

So this isn’t meant to be so much of a rage post, I seriously want to know why one of the most coveted carrots ever dangled in front of theme developers (WP’s thumbnail functionality) is such a PITA to work with and why is it so fickle? What’s the root cause, and what can I do to make it suck less bad?


A few of my tunes

I don’t think I’ve ever shared this here before, but I have put a bunch of songs onto Bandcamp. Check it out:

The incredible exploding whale

In case you’ve never seen this, or in case you forgot, here is the YouTube video of the exploding whale from Florence, Or.

I wish Spokane had an ocean beach, so that a whale could wash up on it so that we too could blow it up. But it would have to be an old whale, past its prime, dead from natural causes. Because I don’t condone that, the whole “whale blowing up” thing, if the whale were like alive and stuff.

Save the whales.