09 Nov 2016: Well, that sucked. Who thought America would elect an openly racist, misogyist fascist to the Presidency. Clearly, only those who truly care about family values.
It was a rough night. I don’t like Hillary Clinton, but I wanted her
to win. Because Donald Trump is, I fear, cancerous to Democracy. But
either way, now it begins.
My father was right. We’ve heard these fools bitch for eight years
about how they can do it better. Well, here’s your chance. Republicans
have control of both houses of Congress and a President who will
apparently sign any fool thing push across his desk.
Meanwhile. I’m looking for a few good progressives. You know. The ones
with the ability to communicate. Progressives with a spine. Donald
Trump was literally the worst candidate ever, and he beat her.
No, I don’t think it was Comey or the emails, or any of that. Trump
promised change. His changes are nearly all bad, but they ARE
different. And he was bold about it. Unapologetic.
Clinton’s policies were not, for the most part, bad. But I have NO
IDEA what she would have done with her first 100 days. I know exactly
what Trump will do with his. This seems obvious. Boil the policies
down to some key ideas and push them. PUSH THEM HARD. For all his lack
of focus, Trump was a better communicator in this campaign than
Because . . . . other than 1) she would have been the first woman
president and 2) she is NOT a fascist . . . why would anyone vote for
her? Admittedly, these ARE compelling reasons but not to an electorate
hungering for change.
They needed a message of HOPE. They heard a message of FEAR. And
many. Far too many. Embraced it.
02 Nov 2016:
Software code (aka syntax) is a set of instructions for a computer. It
is also a way to communicate with other people. Any language, computer
or natural, enables the writer to express ideas using rules and
structures. Within the confines of these rules and structures, the
writer makes stylistic decisions (consciously or not). This is as true
for natural languages as it is for computer code. For example, take
the first three sentences from the second book from the
Leatherstocking Tales by James Fenimore Cooper, published in 1826:
It was a feature peculiar to the colonial wars of North America,
that the toils and dangers of the wilderness were to be encountered
before the adverse hosts could meet. A wide and apparently an
impervious boundary of forests severed the possessions of the
hostile provinces of France and England. The hardy colonist, and the
trained European who fought at his side, frequently expended months
in struggling against the rapids of the streams, or in effecting the
rugged passes of the mountains, in quest of an opportunity to
exhibit their courage in a more martial conflict.
This is a classic example of 19th century English literature. To
modern readers, it is also a damned hard read, because of the verbose
sentence structure and other stylistic choices made by the author. In
the 19th century these choices were unremarkable. Today, they are
anachronistic. Steven King’s next novel will be stylistically very
The same is true with code. How you write (and document) your code
(work) matters. In the Open Source world, where we ASSUME other people
will read/use our code, these style choices are regularly discussed
and debated. Below, I present links to two R style guides:
The Google style guide is similar to th one used by the R-Core
team. It is a conservative style. I prefer the Togaware guide
over-all, because it is more stylistically progressive. That said,
both present a cohesive set of expectations for programmers.
You WILL write better code/documentation if you assume someone will
inevitably read your code and try to use it. Even if your work is “for
your eyes only” having better written and documented code can be
helpful. And if anyone ever inherits your work, they will thank you,
not hate you.
16 Oct 2016: Mr. Trump, please don't break our democracy.
I thought I would start with a quote from you, Mr. Trump. I use this
quote to highlight just how out of line you and your campaign are. You
will get defeated in November. Hell, you’re going to get flattened,
because you are not a winner. Not this time.
In the meantime, please don’t break our democracy. This election has
been one ongoing shit-show from top to bottom. This debacle has been
driven by the deplorable policy positions taken by Donald Trump, the
Republican nominee. Since the beginning of his campaign, I have argued
that his campaign has been a traditional Republican campaign. The only
difference was that it embraced, openly, the deplorable ideology that
other Republicans only wink at. Let’s be clear, Donald Trump is the
nominee the Republican Party deserves. Paul Ryan, John McCain, and all
the others are running away from their candidate, but this is the
logical end-result of the reality-distortion play that has been run
time and time again by the Republican leadership.
He didn’t come out of nowhere. He was created by the Republican
leadership. It took years for their crazy train to go this far afield,
but there ain’t no stopping the crazy now. Do establishment
Republicans WANT an openly sado-masochistic, racist nominee? Probably
not. But they have long winked at the right-wing cultural crazies, and
now they run the party.
Congrats. This is what the Republican Party deserves. It isn’t what we
as a nation need. I don’t particularly like Hillary Clinton. I might
have even been open to voting for a responsible Republican this
BUT I WILL NEVER VOTE FOR A FASCIST LIKE TRUMP
In the past few days, Trump evolved as a candidate. He metastasized
from being a cancer of the Republican Party to a cancer of the
electoral system. His baseless claims that he is losing the election
for any reason, other than the obvious (he is a terrible person),
undermine the trust our democracy rests upon.
At this point, I’m worried. Could there be violence on election day? I
truly hope not. But if there is, I lay the blame squarely at the feet
of Donald Trump and the establishment Republicans who created him.
Don’t break our democracy. Please.
29 Aug 2016: Spread the word! We are celebrating 10 years of 1st Friday Albany at the UAG!
Spread the word! We are celebrating 10 years of 1st Friday Albany at
the UAG! This is shaping up to be one for the history books. School is
back in session (meaning more people on the street) and we have
several new participants this month, combined with some old
participants we haven’t seen in a while. I am really looking forward
09 Jul 2016: Most of the retro posting is done . . . for now.
Success! We spent most of the day at Albany Med (of course). Leila is
doing great. More on that later. But we are still chilling in the
NICU. Today, I spent some of that time working on the laptop and wrote
lots and lots of backposts. I still need to get Karen’s AWESOME videos
up and a few of her pictures, but this finishes most of my old
Ha! Old . . . none of them are more than two months . . . old. Whatever.
I’ve got a picture or two from today I’d like to share and some
AWESOME video, but for some reason my phone is NOT wanting to sync to
Google’s cloud. Not sure why. Once I figure that out, I’ll update /
tweak this post with a pic or two and a video.
06 Jul 2016: Not sure how conscious she is here.
She may or may not be looking at me.
05 Jul 2016: Again. I am bad. I will do better. For Monkey.
I am, apparently, a horrible person. My daughter was born on May 12 of
this year. Yet, it took me nearly two months to write anything about
Clearly, I must make amends.
I am going to write some back posts, documenting the journey of my
Monkey. She deserves that and so much more. To recap, she was born
over two months early. She has been in NICU all this time. She was a
mere four pounds, nine ounces when she was born.
She is perfect.
Question: Why is her nickname Monkey?
Answer: Because she makes monkey sounds! On the day she was born,
and every day since, she has made these little squeaks. Sometimes they
sound like a premature laugh. They are adorable. And for some reason,
they made me thing of a monkey.
And there you have it. The origin of the Monkey.