beat on the brat

April 30, 2002 under Hockey, Life, Politics, Sports

As Johnny Ramone once sang…”I got a lot to say. I can’t remember now”.

You those battle-bot type shows? I’m gonna start my own; .plan of Attack or Battle Blogs. Barry and I are gonna stir things up again. Last week, he came to me with a dilema that he needed solved. His demo CD, that he’s making with Flash, needed a way to copy files from his CD to a temporary directory on users’ hard drives. He also needed a way for Flash to launch an instance of Windows Explorer and default to a given directory. No problem. I’m a software developer with plenty of weapons in my arsenal. I chose Visual Basic, purely for simplicity’s sake. But I could’ve chosen any number of tools to get the job done. Along the way, I commented about how Flash is a crappy app dev environment (I think Macromedia took a step backwards in some areas with this new release). Barry explained how Flash is not aimed at traditional app dev, but for Web applications instead. I couldn’t agree more. But I do recall several conversations that we had about Flash‘s future. Barry was very sure that Flash would reign over C++ and Java in future app dev efforts. Hell, he went as far as to say that Flash would be its own OS! This may have been drunk-talk, but he seemed convinced. Am I bitching? No. Just replying to his Blog bash against me πŸ˜‰ BTW, so far so good with his CD…it’s a mess but it works. Smoke and mirrors πŸ˜€

Oh, did all of you know that George W. Bush is an dumbass? It’s true. After the US “accidentally” bombed several Canadian troops in Afganistan, the US didn’t apologize until over a week later. No one from the US even showed up for their memorial. It hardly even made a blip on American news stations. And now they have the nerve to boo O Canada in Detroit (the asshole of America) and New York during the Raptors/Pistons and Leafs/Islanders series respectively. Now I know that the education system in the US isn’t all that great, but someone should realize that these actions aren’t intelligent or wise. It has to be one of the most disrespectful things you could do to a nation, along with hanging their flag upside down (recall the World Series a few years back). First they bombed us and then they boo our anthem. I have to play this safe since Dena is American along with her family, but this has to be said; how stupid could the US be? This sounds mean, but they wonder why other countries are flying their own planes into large buildings. Yesterday, Dena told me she thinks we’re safest where we are right now. I, as well as many other parts of the world, couldn’t agree more. So c’mon folks from all walks of life, email George Dubbya and tell him to smarten up that country of his.

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geek trades

April 23, 2002 under Computers, Internet, Life, Programming, Software

I’m a fool for the geek trades. Dena’s section is in development. I know a lot of you out there have been waiting for this (mostly her family). It’ll look as sharp as I can possibly make it and will contain lotsa kewl pix of friends and family (whether you like it or not). She’ll even have a section where she can rant and rave about things that bug her and anyone can comment on whatever she has to say. In this case, it’s going to take a lot of background programming wizardry on my part for me to make it as easy as possble for her to update and maintain. I’ll turn her into a geek, one way or another πŸ˜‰

Also, I’m helping Barry out. He’s making a multimedia CD for the company he works for, Dreamcatcher Games. They’ll be passing this CD out to folks at this year’s E3 Expo. He’s creating the multimedia stuff with Macromedia Flash. Flash is great for eye candy but man does it seem to sux0r at handling the simplest programming tasks (even though Macromedia is trying to hype Flash as a light-weight development platform…it’s hokey). So I have to write an app that will be included on his CD. The app is supposed to copy large media files from the CD to the Windows temp directory and then inform Flash as to the whereabouts of the files. I’ll develop the app with Visual Basic because I’m lazy and I probably won’t be paid a whole lot (if at all) for all this. Hey, I’ll take a bunch of swag from idSoftware, Blizzard, EA, Valve or Digital Extremes if need be πŸ˜‰ The trick will be to get Flash to accept input from the outside.

Is everyone watchin’ the NHL playoffs? You should, if you know what’s good for you πŸ˜›

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starting shit for kevin barnes

April 19, 2002 under Life

This .plan is for Kevin Barnes (or any other Habs fans)…

Felicitations a Montreal. Mais ils doivent gagner quatre matchs pour gagner les series. L’equipe entiere jouee bien. Jose est habituellement le seul jouant le plus dur. Pour vous, j’espere qu’ils pourront faire la meme chose dimanche πŸ˜‰

Dans d’autres nouvelles, j’attends Barry pour repondre sur son website.

And for the English kids, it’s the same thing πŸ˜‰ [inside joke that nobody would understand alert]

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my rebuttal

April 16, 2002 under Life

Here’s a rarity. Two .plan posts in one day. Conversation will do that to you. On to replying to Barry latest Blog entry on his website:

In my last .plan entry, I supported Barry’s decision to do what he must to achieve inner peace. I did, however, take exception to his views on the working world. To get caught up, take a peak at .plan archives for April 2002. In Barry’s last Blog entry, he rebutted. Here’s what he had to say:


I guess Chris Bellini has given his 2 cents on my comment in april 14ths charade blog. He seemed to have more of a problem with my comments on society at large. I think he felt that I was attacking his way of life. He feels guilty. Living large while ppl die in the streets around the world. Im not saying we all have to be Mother Theresa..but im saying I do. This is not about my problems with the way YOU live chris its to do with my own ideas of whats right and wrong.

Geez. And he almost used my full name. If he would’ve referred to me as “Christopher”…ack. Ok, what seems to have been gentle conversation has escalated. My bad? I dunno. I’m not one to argue, debate or talk much for that matter. I’m a geek. Geeks don’t talk, they just make stuff work. So I’m at an disadvantage but I’ll try. Should I feel that Barry was attacking my way of life? Yes, I should because he was. Does Mother Theresa attack other people’s way of life? I dunno. Anyway, I want to assure everyone that I am not living large. I have a $26,000 loan to pay back (Dena has two American loans to repay with Canadian funds). We live in a modest apartment and just bought our first new car ever in September (2002 Pontiac Sunfire sedan). Technically, we’re financing it since we can’t afford to pay for it in full up-front. Most of our clothes are several years old. We eat a lot of rice (plain) and drink plenty of water. We don’t “party” (and our alcohol tolerances have lowered significantly because of this). I drink domestic beer; no fancy stuff for me. We’ve worked hard for what we have an will continue to do so. We don’t plan on quitting our jobs to be like Mother Theresa, and I don’t think this makes us bad people. Nothing has ever been handed to us. We work hard and do our part as humans. We recycle, give to charity, donate and we don’t use products that were tested on animals. I believe in karma or some variation of it. Hell, I’ll swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid running over a squirrel that’s crossing the road (yes, I’ve done this before…unscathed so far). Do I feel guilty about my way of life? Not at all. Should I? I don’t believe so. Dena and I make an honest living and we share whenever possible.

So do I still support Barry’s decision? Of course. What I think shouldn’t and doesn’t matter anyway. I just don’t like being made out to be a money-hungry millionaire who snubs the less fortunate. Wow, is that notion waaaaay off.

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bad me

April 16, 2002 under Life

I think I upset Kevin in my post from yesterday. I feel bad. Really bad. I mean, the guy adores the Habs so much, maybe I should lay off the insults to his team. Kev’s good people and it’s playoff time. A time when hockey fans from all walks of life can enjoy the best callibre of hockey of the year. A time to bond, root and cheer for our favourite teams. Unfortunately, some of us may be able to cheer longer than others πŸ˜‰

Yesterday, I mentioned Barry’s latest Blog entry. It’s sudden. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, click here. What do I think of it? What does it matter what I think? Seriously πŸ˜‰ I’m no expert when it comes to these matters. If I was, I would be a guidance counsellor. Those guidance counsellors have all the answers [sarcasm alert]. But if I have to offer an opinion, and I can since this is my website ;P, I’ll give it my best. Barry can and should do what we wants. Those of you who know me are aware that a bible-thumper I am not, so free will makes sense to me (determinism sux0rs, IMO). He’s gonna do what he’s gonna do and the act of selflessness is always admirable. Personally, I try to accomplish this locally instead of travelling half-way around the world to do it, but that’s just boring ol’ me. I do, however, disagree with his comments about “suits” and whoring his skills. The world works like this, in my opinion: you have skills, you use skills to make money, you live off that money. Simple. If I could live by being a nice guy, that would be super kewl. Then everything gets quiet because reality set in. I design software and write code. I do this for a company. Some of this is used internally. Some of this is sold to customers. I get paid to do this but most of the money goes to the company president. The company president runs the company. The company is a place for me to use my skills. I’m fresh out of university (relatively) so I’m hardly wealthy. Ten years from now (hopefully) I’ll be perhaps an analyst or software architect. I’ll make more money and have greater responsiblity. Maybe I’ll become brass and help run a company. I’ll then hire kids fresh out of school to do the work I’m doing right now. Hopefully these kids are as enthusiastic about this industry as I am, and the cycle will continue. It’s symbiotic. This applies to any field. Doctors, lawyers, writers, carpenters, teachers, janitors and even artists. Everybody has a skill to sell and must do so if they want to live (unless they live off of inheritance or something like that). Me, I’m a computer scientist, I solve problems with my choice of tools (programming, software and hardware). I use my skills to make a company money and in turn I receive payment. Payment comes in the form of money as well as knowledge, experience and sense of accomplishment. Sometimes I lend my skills to others and expect no money in return. That’s just what I do, regardless of what income is or isn’t generated by me, because that’s what I enjoy doing.

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it's on, mr. barnes ;)

April 15, 2002 under Hockey, Sports

The 2001/2002 NHL regular season has wrapped up, meaning that it’s playoff time. It’s time for me to grow my playoff beard, but I won’t. It’ll make me look scuzzy (not SCSI); like one of the slimey characters in a mafia movie.

I’ll take this oppotunity to “start shit” with someone. Mr. Barnes, it’s on πŸ˜› See folks, Kevin Barnes (lost contact for a while with this guy) is one of those Habs-can-do-no-wrong types. Die hard Montreal Canadiens fans are the worst. They sing when they’re winning and want to kill the team when they’re not. Literally and not figuratively; there’s a reason why Pat Roy wanted out of that city and fast. So he thinks the Habs actually have a great shot of knocking the Bruins out in the first round. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Even if they do manage to eliminate the Bruins, he’s still wrong out of principle πŸ˜‰

Barry posted something unusual in his Blog on his website today. Hmmm…

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pat joins the blogosphere

April 10, 2002 under Life

It’s looking like spring now. Yuck. I hate setting the clocks back. Maybe I was born with a different neural design than most people. I like darkness, so I don’t mind if the sun sets at 5PM. I’d rather be cold that hot. If possible, I’d like to have the outside temperature at a comfortable -3 degree Celsius; that’s 26 Fahrenheit for you non-metric folks (read: Americans). If Hockey Night in Canada was on all 52 Saturdays of the year, that would be kewl. Baseball is quite boring and the CFL and NFL start up as the summer is coming to an end. I despise insects; especially those damn wasps that overrun our balcony. This problem doesn’t exist during the fall and winter months. Golf is the only diversion that salvages an otherwise crappy season, in my opinion. Yes, I think I’m wired differently πŸ˜‰

In other news, Pat will be joining “la révolution de technologie”. He’s working on his own website. More to come as he sends more wisdom.

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april me, er, fools

April 2, 2002 under ChrisBellini.com, Life

I’ve won the Lotto 649 jackpot and I’m retiring from the crazy world of computer science. April fool-ed ya!!! Yeah, right. I’m still quite poor and I never play any of the lotteries, except for ProLine. At least with ProLine you have a fighting chance, but I only bet on hockey.

XML is fun. I’m adding some XML features to a popular app of mine at work. Essentially I’ll be using XML to migrate configuration settings; import/export settings stuff. Using COM+ and the DOM, I can use Microsoft’s XML tools found in the msxml.dll file found on your system. Look in your %windir%\system (for Windows 9x/ME) or %windir%\system32 (Windows NT/2000/XP) directory if you don’t believe me. It’s pretty kewl being able to easily access and parse an XML document via C++. Barry’s doing some stuff with Flash and XML, too. Read his blog to find out what he’s doing. I’ll update ya’ll if all this XML excitement gets past the boiling point.

Dena is getting anxious and wants her section of ChrisBellini.com finished. Finished? Hell, I haven’t even started. She’d like a place to rant about things (she likes to rant more than me) and ChrisBellini.com fans can reply with their opinions. So I’ll be dreaming up something to handle that. You know me, I like things automated somewhat. So I’ll end up writing a lot of back-end server-side magic so she can update it easily. If only I got paid for this. Oh, I suppose love and adoration count as payment…aw shucks πŸ˜‰

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