Monday, September 24, 2007

Programming Fundamentals

As my kids play soccer and other sports, I often ear about learning the fundamentals, and the need to keep practicing the fundamentals. It applies to math, English, and many other fields. So I wonder what the fundamentals of programming are? Would it be conditionals and loops?Is it like mathematics where you start with simple concepts and build on them? Are object, inheritance, polymorphism fundamental? What about database access? Security? Design Patterns? Templatized parameters?

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Arsenal without a chance

Stardate 61092.2
Thomas's team won their first game on Wednesday against a team called Arsenal. They did pretty good, and the ball stayed mainly in Arsenal's half of the field.

The title is a line from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", near the beginning. When I first read the book, I didn't know what the barman was referring to, although I thought it had to be soccer, rugby, or cricket. I did find out years later it is indeed a soccer club. The internet does make research, especially the casual kind, much easier.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Happy Constitution Day

Matt posted on September 17th being Constitution Day. I should know this. I did find the list of amendments interesting. I knew there were originally 12 proposed amendments, that only ten were ratified to become the bill of rights. I did not know until now that another was approved in 1992 after being proposed in 1789. Wow, a long time on the Capitol steps.

There was a book I read on James Madison (can't find it right now) that had a thoughtful 'what-if'. What if Madison did not take part in the debate in Virginia over ratifying the Constitution, and Patrick Henry wins the day by keeping the state out of the new Union while other states go on to make it the governing document? A new government is formed, but without George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and others who are from Virginia. Would it have survived?

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Stardate 61091.5
Patrick started soccer with the St. Joseph school team on Tuesday. He was a little late due to my not knowing where the game was being played. He plays with fourth, fifth, and sixth graders. Some of the older kids are amazing. I think he cam learn a lot from this.

Thomas played his first game on Wednesday. His team lost without scoring a goal. It' not a surprise since they haven't play many games together. One interesting play happened as an opposing player ran up to score, tripped, and the keeper jumped on him to get the ball.

Patrick had a training with Ollie at the same time as Thomas's game. April took him, and while she was there Ollie started to berate his team. He apparently told them he was ready to walk away because they lost the last two games. It didn't help that Patrick's team beat one of the teams that they played. He's getting married, so he will be gone for about a month. He's a good trainer, but I'm glad he doesn't coach Patrick's team.

Parent-Teacher conferences were Thursday night. The kids are doing well. Patrick is reading at almost a six grade level, and Rachel at a twelfth grade level.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Made it

Stardate 61091.1
Last weekend I managed to make it to a Mountain-Con meeting. It was just in time to do...nothing. With less than two weeks left, there is not much I can add.

Rachel had an orthodontist appointment Monday. He's little rough on her, and by the time he was done, she was i some pain. It caused us to skip her tennis lesson. No big deal. The instructor had told us she needs to play against other kds to increase her ability. She doesn't want to, but April and I told her its that or give up the game. Pretty much the same as with Patrick, accept the challenge.

Patrick's Ogden FC game was moved back an hour to 6:30, which gave us some breathing room. They played the team that walked all over the other U-10 Ogden FC team a couple of weeks ago. Patrick's team started slow, and at the half was tied one to one. They found the flow the second half and won the game by a score of six to one.

Patrick has decided at the start of school (three weeks ago now) that he will read the entire Harry Potter series. He has finished the first two already.

Thomas changed scout troops. He now goes to St. Rose instead of St. Paul. He has school friends in both of them, so he doesn't care which one he goes to (actually, he likes St. Rose because it is closer to home). Patrick will still be going to the troop at St. Paul.

April bought tickets to Spamalot for this Sunday. It's not the original cast, but I would love to see it.

I haven't read anything new since Deathly Hollows (finished that the day after it arrived). I've been re-reading some books. I did go to the library and picked up 'Lords of the North', the last book in Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Chronicles; 'Tiny Teeth', the latest Gideon Oliver mystery by Aaron Elkins, and 'Emperor: Gods of War', the first in a series of historical fiction about Julius Caesar.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Where art thou?

Ok, August passed without a blog entry. Be prepared for a long one. In a nutshell, it was consumed with work, vet visits, and soccer. Lots of soccer.

Work has been steady. Not overwhelming, just steady. It suprises me that some of the same issues occur at Flying J as at United Healthcare. From reading technical blogs the issues are pretty common across the development community (hence Dilbert).

The cat, Smokie, developed a UTI. April took her to the vet. They wanted to take some blood< but she would not calm down. They kept her overnight, but still nothing. When we got her home she was staggering, but it passed in about a day. They also gave us antibiotics for the UTI. A week later and we brought her back for a follow-up. Again, they kept her overnight to try and get blood, and again failed. The had to sedate her. When we got her home, she was confused and could not walk again. This passed faster this time. I can't understand why the vet had so much trouble. Sure, she's ornery and mean, but is is 18 years old and does not have front claws.

Ogden FC soccer picked up a trainer. Ollie (as the kids call him) is from Manchester United. He run 'trainings' for Thomas on Tuesday and Patrick on Wednesday. These run about 3 hours. Patrick initially had problems because it was so long, but I showed him the reasons. I let he practice with Thomas's team (without Ollie). I got a great reaction from the team; about half of whom know him. "I don't want to play against Patrick" was the general response. Afterwards I asked Patrick if the practice was hard, and he said no. An I asked him if he noticed the reaction from Thomas's team, and then told him how they respected his ability. The challenge is to keey ahead of them.

Thomas has not had any problems with Ollie. He seems nicer to the U-9 then to the U-10. I think the fact the U-9 is two boys teams and a girls team whereas the U-10 is all boys plays a part. Thomas and his team did ok in the Adidas USA cup, especially considering the odds. We arrived at 3 to find out the game had been moved to 5, which meant the team would play back to back games, one at 5 and one at 6. To top it off, several players could not make it and we had no substitutes. The first game the team came back from a 3-0 deficit at the half to tie it up. The second game we lost, and we lost the next day. Saturday we canceled because several boys had come down sick. Nottoo bad given the boys had never played together in a game.

The effects of training showed in the preseason game for Patrick. The won 5-1, and didn't even look like they were putting much effort into it. I asked Patrick after the game if it was easy, and he told me he didn't even start to breathe hard.

That's it for now.

Favorite Quote: "Dad, did I do good?" - Patrick after the preseason game.

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