diary entries for bex

Welcome to my diary... lets hope that sharing the mundane minutia of everyday existence with a pack of strangers on the web will make me a better person...

Thu, 21 Apr 2005

In Memory of Syd, My First Pet

Im sad to have to write that one of my pets passed away today. His name was Syd, and he was the first pet that I had as an adult. He was a textbook cockatiel - grey body, yellow head, and bright orange cheeks. He also loved sitting on Michelle's head, as you can see in the photo below. Click on it to see others pictures and video of him:

I found him at the Humane Society. He was, believe it or not, a stray bird... which is fairly rare, although one of my other 2 birds is also a stray. They didn't know for certain, but they think he was five years old when I got him. That would make him 15 this year. I know that's average for his breed, but it was still such a shock. He was happy and singing last night, not one sign of illness or age. It looks like he passed away peacefully in his sleep.

I have 2 other cockatiels, but Syd was everybody's favorite. Not because he was the nicest of birds, but because he had the best personality. Despite being completely tone deaf and the worst composer ever, he was frequently singing. He was also quite sneaky, sticking his head out of the cage so you could pet him, then pulling it back at the last second. Then putting it back out again too see if you'd fall for it again. And when he was out of the cage, he refused to go back in unless I bribed him with his favorite treats.

He would whistle, and chatter, and chuckle, and bob his head up and down like a woodpecker listening to heavy metal music.

He was definately a character, and a wonderful pet, and Im going to miss him a lot.

[17:43] | [] | ### | Brian 'Bex' Huff

Tue, 31 Aug 2004

Some Fun Python links

If only I had the time to check out all of these projects...

  • Python Cookbook - a living list of recipies that will go into the next Python cookbook
  • Python BuildBot - for distributed building and unit testing
  • Twisted Matrix - event driven Python framework for building servers (HTTP, NNTP, SSH, IRC, etc!)
  • OPeNDAP/DDOS - an app using Rendezvous inside Python, interesting!
  • pyDev - yet another Python IDE, but this one has a debugger and runs inside Eclipse
  • py3d.org - a good list of all the 3D graphics engines available for Python, including POVRAY, and OpenGL
  • Cheetah - a Python templating engine, as opposed to JSP/ASP/PHP/PSP, similar to Velocity
  • PAMIE - Python Automation for IE, for writing web app test drivers
  • mechanize - Python version of WWW::Mechanize for building web page test drivers
[18:11] | [] | ### | Brian 'Bex' Huff

Wed, 18 Aug 2004

Our Honeymoon

For our honeymoon, Michelle and I will be speding two and a half weeks in Tahiti! Everbody has heard of Tahiti, but Ive gotten several questions about where it actually is on the map. I think I found the perfect map to illustrate its locale:

It reminds me of a great clip from the Daily Show. They were talking about the Lord Of The Rings, and how its a great boost to tourism in New Zealand... and John Stewart responded, "you know what else would help New Zealand? Being closer to the REST OF THE WORLD."

Trust me... more photos will be forthcoming...

[23:52] | [] | ### | Brian 'Bex' Huff

More Personality Tests

Well, I goaded the Cragmore Crew into all taking personality tests... its the closest we guys can get to actually talking about out feelings without risking a punch in the mouth. Here are the results, in order of who is coolest:

By 'who is coolest' I naturally mean who took the test first...

[22:46] | [] | ### | Brian 'Bex' Huff

Cleaning out my inbox...

While cleaning out my email, I came across several links to pretty cool sites that I wanted to share with my readers... both of them.

[22:37] | [] | ### | Brian 'Bex' Huff

Wed, 11 Aug 2004

My Personality Test

I saw a diary article on kuro5hin today, and it inspired me to take an online Myers Briggs personality test. The results were that Im an ENFP:

  • moderately expressed extrovert (33%)
  • very expressed intuitive personality (78%)
  • moderately expressed feeling personality (33%)
  • moderately expressed perceiving personality (56%)

That was a surprise... I read a few of the descriptions of this personality, and they were quite funny, and sometimes exactly correct:


I share this type with Haydn, Mark Twain, and Dr. Seuss. Quite an odd mix... and not a scientist or computer geek among them. I apparently have more in common with MLK and Ghandi than any US President. I guess I could live with that... Some quotes:

"Close enough is satisfactory to the ENFP, which may unnerve more precise thinking types, especially with such things as piano practice. Amazingly, some ENFPs are adept at exacting disciplines such as mathematics."

"ENFPs hate bureaucracy, both in principle and in practice; they will always make a point of launching one of their crusades against some aspect of it."

"ENFPs have what some call a 'silly switch.' They can be intellectual, serious, all business for a while, but whenever they get the chance, they flip that switch and become CAPTAIN WILDCHILD"

"They have a strong need to be independent, and resist being controlled or labelled."

Sounds about right to me... the only thing I disagreed with was the listing of which professions I should choose. Of the 10 least compatible professions to have, I have already done 6 of them... and enjoyed them fairly well... hmmm... maybe if I were 'right' for them, I'd still be doing them?

I took another online test, and it had the same results, except this one said I was slightly more introverted. Im not sure I agree with that...

Either way, I suppose the lesson is that personality tests can be useful tools, but they can never really tell you who you are. Or maybe that's just my ENFP hatred of control and labeling shining through...

[23:44] | [] | ### | Brian 'Bex' Huff

Mon, 09 Aug 2004

I repeat - you do not talk about Bike Club!

Michelle was out of town again this Saturday, so naturally I joined the guys again for the Saturday night bike ride.

This one was a bit less adventurous... we rode from the Minneapolis U of MN campus, to the St Paul campus. Yay. We pokes around the State Fair grounds, and from that moment onward everybody had a yen for fried cheese curds...

We then hooked up with a few other people, and kept heading East. We eventually hit a trail that could either take us to downtown St Paul, or all the way to dang Wisconsin. We seriously debated the Wisconsin route... while we waited, one of the bikers caused a smal ruckus. He didn't bring any food or water, but for some reason he remembered to bring fireworks. The night sky was lit up... Tim admired his randomness.

Eventually we decided to head to St Paul, and we swung by the Capitol building. Another fair was there, also closed, and also advertising cheese curds. Well, that fixed it... we blasted down Univeristy Ave back to the Minneapolis campus, to the only place in the city that sells cheese curds at 2 AM. And there was much rejoicing.

I hope I can ride with these guys again soon, but given my busy pre-wedding schedule, I dont think it will happen for a while yet. Oh well...

[12:00] | [] | ### | Brian 'Bex' Huff

Sun, 18 Jul 2004

you do not TALK about bike club!

Michelle is back in Seattle this week, so I decided to spend my Saturday night with Alec on his Saturday Night Bike Ride. Thirteen people showed this week, and we probably biked around 50 miles around the city... It was pretty high speed too...

We started at the Minneapolis U of MN campus, we went to St Paul along the river, blasted through some trails by Fort Snelling, meandered into downtown St Paul, and crossed the High Bridge.

At that point it was about midnight, and Alec wanted to head back to the King And I for a cocktail and a snack... but the group wanted to keep going, and claimed to know a great way to Minneapolis. Well, we went along the west bank of the river for a while, and wound up in Mendota. Not the most direct route Id say... we didn't get back to Uptown till 2:30 AM... of course, Chuck getting a flat didn't speed things up any.

Most of the trails were pretty dark. Luckily Alec brought two headlghts, and let me borrow one. That was a lifesaver, literally! We were really close to home - barely a mile - and wouldn't you know it... I took a nasty spill on the greenway. My left leg and arm are a bit banged up, but that's life when you bike everywhere!

I hope to be able to do it again sometime... but I'll need a bit of time to heal first...

[13:00] | [] | ### | Brian 'Bex' Huff

Sat, 17 Jul 2004

finally up and running with PyBlosxom

I finally got some spare time to set up PyBloxsom on Alec's site this weekend!

Im still working the kinks out, but I got it to format the blog posts just the same way that the rest of my site does. I also whipped out a little web based Python script to allow posting via the web, and output the dynamic data to static HTML files.

It amazes me how publishing static HTML pages is such an afterthought in so much blogging software. How else could a small site POSSIBLY handle any traffic?

Anyway, Ive moved some of the news items over to the new PyBlosxom format, and will hopefully set up the 'articles' section to use the same architecture. Lots of people out there have nifty plugins for PyBlosxom... maybe I'll find something I wont need to totally rewrite ;)

[16:00] | [] | ### | Brian 'Bex' Huff

Thu, 01 Apr 2004

Wedding Update

The wedding is near! Well, three and a half months. We're doing the invitations now, and trying to tie up some of the loose ends before we start to panic.

Go to the wedding homepage for more information.

[12:00] | [] | ### | Brian 'Bex' Huff

Mon, 01 Mar 2004

March News

I really hate blogging... I do it so often, as you can tell.

I tried several different times to get into it. I tried some of the free online systems, but there weren't enough options. I also downloaded and tried out several extensible blogging / web site management tools, from pyBloxsom to Zope (Im a Python bigot). I just couldn't get motivated. Id set up the systems just fine, I even had a lot of the UI design already done... I'd just suddenly realize that Im spending WAAAAY too much time setting up a system that I would probably never use.

I think it probably has something to do with the fact that I spend most of my day programming, and therefore its the LAST thing I want to do when I get home. I dont even listen to music or watch TV... I usually just read... there's nothing more ludicrously tragic than a luddite software engineer.

I then decided that getting a new G4 laptop and broadband would make me want to spend more time on the computer. It did, but now Im just a sad BZFlag addict. Oh well... a couple more months and it will all be out of my system, and I can get back to setting up a bigger better web site.

[12:00] | [] | ### | Brian 'Bex' Huff

Thu, 01 Jan 2004

January News

Happy new year! For those who dont know, Im engaged to a wonderful girl by the name of Michelle Jones. She's the dark-haired beauty with the great smile in my photo album. The light-haired beauty with the adequate grin is myself...

Michelle will be moving to Minneapolis this spring, so I'll be going through some serious changes in my life... namely I think I'll have to get cable, a TIVO, and internet access to keep her entertained. Ive been a luddite for so long, I dont know if I can deal with shelling out $100 each month just so I can STILL complain, "there's nothing on."

And she's not a fan of the huge sythe I have hanging in my living room. Hmm... I think I'll need people to take a poll on that one. Hands up if you like the scary blade!

We also just got back from a trip to the Virgin Islands. The photos for that should be up soon... we chartered a yacht with my buddy Alec and six other friends, and spent a week sailing around the Carribean. It was an incredible time. Swimming, snorkeling, sailing, and just plain doing nothing!

The water was amazingly clear, and blue. You could see the ocean floor through 50 feet of water! We saw a dozen dolphins, some stringray, a few sea turtles, and a handful of barracuda lurking about.

[12:00] | [] | ### | Brian 'Bex' Huff