And so it is over…

It’s September, and we’ve been home for a few weeks already. The holidays we spent in Portugal were PalmeMotHimmel absolutely wonderful, and did a great deal of good to our tired geeky carcasses. Current weightloss since I started on Atkins: 11.5Kg down

 

The diet I was on was put to a complete stop – I knew I’d suffer if I had attempted to stay on it, and not to mention what my family and friends would have said if I refused to eat batata frita.

Dog with attitude in spite of short height

We didn’t “do” antyhing this time.

Instead, we maxed out the chill, ate well, went to the beach and spent loads of time with family and friends. Isn’t that what holidays are all about?

So, expect no huge slideshow from this vacation, other than these two li’l images that kind of summarised the 3 weeks; lazy, hot, algarvian.

Restaurante Capri

I have to mention this restaurant in particular for anyone thinking of travelling to the Algarve. It has an exquisite selection of seafood, great spirit from the personal, it is highly affordable, and provides an overall feeling of Algarve that you will be challenged to find anywhere else. You really feel like part of the family in this little restaurant – this summer’s absolute recommendation for your culinary requirements!

Capri

Happy shoot!

close and blue

A niece, with some white and blue to her

Shooting again!

On friday, I had a photo shoot with my niece at home, just to see if I had gotten the theory about how to work with whites correctly.

The aim was to get control of whites in the background, and learn how to set it without adding spill around her hair and skin.

The result? I’m super happy! This is by far my best shoots so far, so good, in fact, that I had to publish it on flickr for your viewing pleasure. Go check it out now, and let me know what you think!

Atkins hasn’t been as good with me this week – notibly no change at all on the weight, but still a nice total of 7 kilos down in four weeks is enough to keep me happy.

Loving Atkins! Loving it!

Well…

…it’s been two weeks into my Atkins diet, I’ve been a good boy and followed every rule, eating my proteins and fat to my heart’s content, and staying away from any food not listed as well as only eating upto 20g of carbohydrates/day. Result? 4Kg down so far. That’s an even 2Kg/week, which, for me, is miles and miles better than any other weight loss scheme I’ve been on…

Squeeze baby, squeeze!

And what did I have for breakfast you say? How about an omelet made of eggs and green veggies, accompanied by bacon, as much as you can eat.

Dinner? how about chicken with bernaise, or a fried surloin with curry sauce, or.. for simplicity, just fry a few porkchops and pour some cream into the pan afterwards and stir it up with extra pepper and garlic.. Can you tell I’m suffering? Neither can I :)

Can you tell I’m snickering with laughter? I am :-)

So, with Atkins proof of concept in my pocket, I’ll continue towards the end, which is to dump yet another 20Kg off my weight to reach 78Kg before summer 2010. That should be realistic enough.

All I have to do is to live through a vacation in Portugal for 3 weeks, as well as probably having to stay on the diet past Christmas. It’s going to be tough, but once I’m there, I am picking up weight lifting again. Until then, a spinning lesson or two per week should suffice.

I kid you not though, I will get off this diet eventually. I cannot be without my french fries, bread, and other essencials for the rest of my life, but I’ve learned to control them, and keep them at a low level of intake, the so-called maintenance-stage of the Atkins stuff.

Anyways, I’m happy. It’s been two good weeks.

Facelift

Young roses

Young roses

Change

Summer again and time for frantic attempts to upgrade oneself with a minimal effort.

I started on the atkins diet last week, having seen how effectively it has reduced my collegues at work in weight. The concept of denying the body carbohydrates in order to force it to use its own reserves is as simple as it is painfully obvious. The first couple of days were as expected, mood fell drastically, mostly due to lack of coffeine. Once I gave that one the finger, and started drinking coffee again, everything was cool. Plan is to weigh in every sunday, and measure progress. Tomorrow is the first week past with eating max 20g of carbs every day. If there is significant loss, I’ll let you in on it :)

Openly

My opensource project got a nice boost yesterday when Balsamiq mockups granted me a license to their no less than fabulous product. I am now able to sketch up user dialogs in zero time and discuss them almost real time with non-technical friends and family to plan the user experience way before I start coding. This saves me a bunch of time in redesign as well as giving everyone a chance to discuss and pitch ideas without feeling that they are imposing on a near-finished product. This product is, hands down, one of the best products for user interface design. I recommend it to anyone and everyone wanting to try out their design before they actually  make it. You’ll be surprised!

Mock me, Amadeus!

I hit a barrier at work yesterday with the otherwise super cool mocking framework moq as it does not offer any  stubbing functionality. This little feature lack results in that you actually have to decorate all your expectations with the virtual keyword, or extract an interface for the class that you’re mocking in order to let Moq override it. A nuisance, and one I hope that there will be a fix for in coming versions. I belive the proper term for what I want here is stub funcionality, but – I’ve been wrong on computer terminology before.

Press me over

Finally, just wanted to express how amazed I am with wordpress as a blogging tool. I hadn’t upgraded this software in over a year, and so much has happened since that  I feel like I got a brand new blogging tool with great ease of use and administration. WordPress is seriously an awesome blog server!

Peace out.

eDemocracy or eCircus?

True democracy can only exist if you leave a vast majority of the decision making to the people.

Today, this is not an option because of the logistics involved in asking the people for their opinion. Instead, we elect someone to represent the majority’s selection based on promises that are not always fulfilled.We elect them because we agree with most of what they say.

My dream is, that when we as people, have the technology to securely identify ourselves digitally, we are no longer bound to the whims and promises of politicians. We as a people, are then no longer technically impaired from expressing our opinion on all the matters where we do have an opinion.

In a dream I had, the politicians were promotors for change, advocates for their points of view and henchmen of the people, carrying out the people’s will, but all decisions were ultimately voted for by anyone and everyone who cared enough to cast a vote on the subject. Because doing so was effortless, and represented the will of the country’s people on every single matter.

But would this lead to circus?  Are we, as people, enlightened enough to be trusted with such power?

Primitive obsession

Primitive obsession is a developer’s reluctance to write small objects instead of using primitive data types. One such example could look like this:


// when I blog, I have no fantasy for function names
public long ShoesInStockByShoenumber( int shoeNumber )
{
var matches = from shoe in _datacontext.Shoes
where shoe.size == shoeNumber
return shoe;

…etc…

The parameter named “shoeNumber” is an integer, and, defies oop in that the function should really be named ShoesInStockByShoenumberAsInteger( … ) (yup, eww!)

What you really want is to objectify shoenumber:
public class ShoeNumber
{
// This is all we need for now
public int Size{ get; set; }
}

… you can quickly expand the functionality of the ShoeNumber class if and when you need to. One typical first could be to throw an exception whenver a value is given that could not possibly represent a valid shoenumber.

So:
Why should I bother with packaging small parameters like this into objects?

Answer:
Because it is semantically correct, because it is oop in practice and because it makes refactoring your code that much better. But, to me, most importantly:

Packaging your parameters into objects means you can save your functions from having to check them. Objects should be smart enough to validate themselves.

Dont be like me; avoid the obsessing with primitives, no variable is too small to be turned into an object. Overcome this, and a world of options will open up for your code.

Signs of life

After a fairly long period of nothingness, I find myself back again with renewed umpf as a shadow mysteriously lifted away from a long period of darkness (perhaps I’ve started loosing eyebrow hair!)

shot from the hip

A quick trip to Skeikampen rejuvenated my interest in photography and moving around. It’s lovely up there, and I cannot but praise Bergfrid’s workplace for allowing me and Quita to tag along up there for the whole week-end. Wonderbar! The image above was a hipshot using my D300 together with the inconspicuous 50mm f/1.8. Easy to fire when everything is a reflector.

Gadget Home

We bought a small printer to print out some photos with (10x15cm images) – For it’s price, the photos look amazing. Maybe now, Bergfrid will finalize that scrapbook that she’s been going on about for the past two years..

A Denon blu-ray player had to find it’s way as my DVD player stopped working. It’s doing ok, but I find that we’re getting ripped off more and more, taking 2 minutes to load a disc, how is that progress?

Wanted to get me the new Nikon D700, but the price went up with more than what a smaller Nikon DSLR costs. Nikon has decided to up their prices at a time where a financial crisis has scared everyone away from doing purchases. I should send them a postcard with a hint… People do not take well to prices going up when the finances are as they are..

So I figured, let me get a better satellite tuner! The one I have is sub-standard – downright pathetic. A few calls later,  I desisted. The remaining shops that sell these kinds of tuners have no concept of service-mindedness.

Instead, I ended up buying a satellite signal finder hoping for a better performance from my HD Satellite PVR, now, all I need is fine weather to climb up on the roof and connect it…

See you soon!

Painful correctness

Catching up

Back to work again to my new employer, this time (back) in the role as an IT consultant and a senior one at that. It is refreshing to work in an environment that is constantly challenging my knowledge about various technologies. Now if I only could figure out how to get used to having a laptop computer with me back and forth every single day and I’ll be one happy camper..

Away, fatness!

Managing to work out in the morning without sweating down my clothes afterward is a challenge. As spinning classes now are back to their normal 3-day per week schedule, I need to figure out how to stop sweating after the shower!

Look sharp! Look dry!

A thing that is bugging me, is that it really isn’t easy bringing a gym bag, a laptop backpack AND dress nicely all on top of my mountain bike on the way to the train station. This is getting to the point where I am seriously considering taking the car to the train station just to avoid the hassle. Clearly, being environmentally aware is not compatible with being a commuter – not in the consultant business!

Rough waters

The basement is now dry after the flood now and ready for a fresh coat of paint. We still haven’t moved anything down there, as we are hoping to do something with the roof while we’re going to paint/lay new flooring there.

Chip! chip! chip! chip!

Photography has been dead the last month or so. With the new job taking up all my available brain power, and Stargate SG-1 taking up the spare time, I am saving most of my creative energy for work, but I still have managed to push forward a project for controlling my Pre-Amplifier. Expect a dedicated home page soon. I had a similar project far too many years ago, written in C++ using MFC and virtually no knowledge about agile software development. The new version is being written in C# using a 3-tiered model, complete with a separate unit testing project, installer, user documentation, and scrum as the project management methodology. The thing is practically writing itself!

Tell me about myself!

Oh, I woke up this morning thinking that I have really never written an “about-me” page in spite of having had a home page on the internet since around 1995! Of course, you cannot wake up a Sunday morning thinking a thing like that without immediately scratching your groin, jumping out of bed, and writing one, so.. I did, and here is the result.

Flood!

As We were quietly watching Federer and Nadal go at it at the Wimbledon finals in men’s tennis, rain broke new records (highest amount of rain in my area since 1952) and with my usual luck, my basement was flooded ( images here ).

So do not expect a lot of photography from me in a few weeks, at the least until I’ve gotten things more or less in order again – it may even be that my webserver goes down every now and then.

One Saturday morning…

I spent the better part of this saturday morning fixing up an application that will let a slacker friend of mine export his images to his apache-based web server. At the same time, I figured I needed a wee bit shorter URL’s to my own images (if you’ve ever tried to look at the image url, you’d probably be scared!), so I wrote a small wrapper that is able to fetch the correct image using the filename of the original without disclosing the RAW image that lies behind. Pretty cool, innit?

flower

This lets me insert images like this without a link that takes up 5 lines of space, AND they now include an embedded watermark! Go ahead! right-click the image,check it’s properties, and look at the sexah url!

So tell me, what did YOU do this morning? :)