Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How true, Keder

This screenshot was in my Twitter timeline this morning. Amazing just how true it is, Keder. I thought it was ironic that these two were together: Keder and my local newspaper spouting the AP crap that comes down the wire

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cops going "fishing"

I used to work for a software company that made Public Safety software: Software for Police, Fire, EMS, Dispatch, etc. I apparently wasn't there long enough to get the chance to ride with a police officer and see him use the software first hand. But I had a co-worker who spent a whole day with one. Luckily for him, he got to ride in the front seat.

Anyway, one thing he told us upon his return was that "cops go fishing." Meaning that they are looking for a break: someone who has a warrant, someone who is wanted, etc. They are looking for "the big one," and the way they find them is by pulling people over for minor offenses. They're hoping that by pulling someone over for an improper lane change, or broken head/tail light, that they'll find someone other than a soccer mom without a record.

3 case points:
  1. My co-worker, while riding with the police, pulled over someone for an improper lane change and the officer not only found that the woman didn't have her license, but she also had drugs in the car.
  2. FLDS president Warren Jeffs was on the FBI's 10 most wanted list. He had been in hiding for years, always eluding authorities. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia:
    On August 28, 2006 around 9 p.m. Pacific time, Jeffs was pulled over on Interstate 15 in Clark County, Nevada, by Nevada Highway Trooper Eddie Dutchover because Jeffs' red 2007 Cadillac Escalade's temporary license plates were not visible.

    Emphasis mine. The officer recognized Jeffs and took him into custody.
  3. Last night, 11/12/09, in Layton, UT, a car was pulled over for a broken headlight. When they pulled the car over, the 16 year old female passenger admitted to having a consensual sexual relationship with the 37 year old male driver. So a broken headlight led to a pedophile's arrest. See the article here.
The point of the story is, don't get upset if you get pulled over for something minor. The cops are just fishing, and if you don't have anything to hide, you just might get away with a warning. My family was pulled over while we were moving from Utah to Oklahoma back in 2005 because we didn't have a front Utah license plate. Since we were moving out of state, and didn't have anything else wrong with us (no speeding), he let us go. Catch and release.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Boys night out on the town

I had the privilege of taking the boys out on Saturday night. We hit up a few places and had a good time. Ain't nothin' like T-Town on a Saturday night! To understand that last statement, you can substitute your own favorite redneck town. For example: "Ain't nothin' like Monks Corner on a Saturday night!" or "South Augusta" or "Altus, OK".

We went to Blockbuster and nabbed Super Smash Brothers Brawl for the Wii, then we went to Micky Dee's for McDoubles, fries and waters, otherwise known as "Sad Meals". If it's not a Happy Meal, then by definition its a "Sad Meal", right?

I made sure to wear my ring so it wouldn't look like it was out on visitation. Then we stopped at Walmart and then came home. The boys did great and had a wonderful time.

Later, I had a vision of this same night out in 8-10 years. We'd stop by Blockbuster for a game for our PS4 or Wii2, or whatever it'll be called. Then we would go to McDonalds and get 5 twenty piece nuggets and 4-5 large french fries and sodas. Then we'll have to go to Walmart to get something for the ladies at home, and another 5 gallons of milk that would last the next 3 days. Who knows. But we'll take it one day at a dime. And one gallon of milk at a time too.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Awesome. Just. Freakin. Awesome.

I agree with these guys, "Everything should taste like bacon." --Justin and Dave, Bacontrepreneurs

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

WPF Animations

WARNING: This blog post assumes you have some software development experience in WPF and/or Sliverlight. If you don't, then go here.

The title of my blog says "the ramblings and words of a computer crazed individual", but I don't think I've actually written anything computer related on here. Well, there's a first to everything!

For the last couple of months, I've been working in WPF. I've had yet another sharp learning curve to tackle in my attempts at producing the next generation of Public Safety Software. One of the hardest concepts for me to grasp was what to do about Height animations. Take this scenario:

You've got a Panel that you want to remove, and the way you want to do it is by making it shrink, then setting it's Visibility to Collapsed. But the catch is that the panel that you want to animate is a variable height (Auto). WPF will complain about animating a Height (or Width) attribute that is set to Auto. It will actually throw an exception. This is because Auto really means Double.NaN. There are two ways around this: a code hack, or the preferred method.

In the code hack, you catch a routed event, measure the panel, and fire the animation with a now known value. This also causes a layout render for the parent control as well as your animated one.

The better method simply involves modifying the ScaleTransform value from 1 (full height) to 0, which is collapsed. Then you set the Visibility of the Panel to Collapsed. (or vice versa on making it appear). I don't have a code sample on me, but the ScaleTransform can all be done in XAML.

Another way around this is to avoid the height animation and simply change the Panel/Control/Whatever Visibility to Visible while keeping the opacity at 0, then fading it in. It's really up to you on how you want to have it done.

I'll try to update this with a code sample, but don't hold your breath.

Excuses, Excuses

Yeah, I know I don't blog much anymore. I'm just too darn busy, and I've made a commitment to not blog at work, so finding time to write is really hard to come by.

I don't make time for social networking. I hardly get my home teaching done every month. I'm lucky to get dishes done for my wife. Even now, I should be getting the kids off the Wii and ready for bed while my loving, sweet, most beautiful woman in the whole world wife is at the gym. I've got a 17 month old on my lap with a cold, and 4 other boys crowded around a 24" LCD watching the oldest play Lego Batman. Good times in the Lynes house.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Insensitive Jackass

Originally posted on the family blog:

How many of you have met an insensitive jackass, or worse, been one? It's no secret that our family has challenges and issues. Our oldest, Hyrum, has been diagnosed as being on the Autism spectrum. To an outsider, he would appear to be a super-active, uncontrollable teenage brat. However, those who know him know that he is not physically able to sit still. He gets his enormous growth pattern from me, his father. He is just the size of a teenager, but just turned 9 on 20 December, which was yesterday as of this writing. Most people who get to know him, love him in spite of his difficulties.

As you can imagine, this leads to occasions where his inability for silence and stillness are a determent to him and his family. Mainly, Church, but especially sacrament meeting. Today was the easiest to have to sit through. The annual Christmas program. No High Councilor talks to put you to sleep. No open-mic travelogues or thankamonies to cringe through. Just Christmas music.

It's a small miracle that we come to church every Sunday. With Hyrum just turning nine and his 4 younger brothers in tow, Sacrament meetings turn into 3-ring circus events, with us as the clowns, or the idiots for even attempting it in the first place. Church is the place where you are supposed to feel the Spirit; to renew and invigorate for the week to come; to be among friends.

Given the emotional week that we had, with the miscarriage, the D&C, me coming home so late on Friday and just this morning, sick kids, Sara stayed home with the three youngest boys. So all I had were the oldest two. The two that most people would think should be able to sit still through the easiest Sacrament meeting of the year. But one of the children was my sweet Hyrum. And as you can imagine, he couldn't just sit still and listen to the off-key singing of songs celebrating the birth of our Savior. He fought with Noah, fidgeted like he was "feeling the spirit" at a southern revival, and got up and left a number of times. I sent him home at one point, only to have him come back in after apparently playing in the snow. He decided to kick the snow off of his shoes at the chair set up right by the doors so the teacher or extra deacon can close them during the sacrament and hand out programs. So in other words, it was a usual Sunday.

Despite all of this, I was really enjoying the meeting, and honestly feeling the Spirit. It was almost over, during the first verse of the closing song, when this old man comes up and tells Hyrum that "[he] disrupted the whole meeting." Hyrum replies, "What's the problem, I'm just a kid?" The old man barks in response, "You're the problem!!" and goes back to his seat.

I couldn't finish the song. It totally punctured a hole in my happy balloon. I looked at Hyrum, and he looked back at me and asked "what?". I couldn't speak or say anything. I was floored. The meeting ended and we came home.

Of course I told Sara about the event, and she made a few calls, and left a message on his machine. He called back, but not to apologize, but to further humiliate us. "I'm not attacking the child, I'm talking about his parents. Your husband was sitting there like a zombie while he disrupted the meeting. After I told him to stop, several people came up to me and said 'I'm so glad you did that. We should have done that sooner.' "

To further stoke the fire: this idiotic cold-hearted jackass used to be the Bishop of our ward. We're glad that he wasn't in charge when we got here. Our current bishop talked to Sara on the phone and was so apologetic and wanted to know if he could do anything to help. We have to wonder how much damage control our bishop has to do from the old man's current remarks or past actions as bishop.

People don't realize the production that goes into a church event for us. They don't realize what has to be done to get five boys nine and under to church every Sunday, or even what it takes to get two boys off to school 5 days a week. Hyrum fights going to Church every Sunday. Every Sunday we have to tell him that no, it's not Conference and yes, he has to go to Church. Once, two years ago, a girl at school told Hyrum that the coat he was wearing made him look fat. He never wore that coat again. This old man doesn't realize that him trying to do my job or "offer constructive criticism" will probably be remembered by don't-forget-anything-Hyrum for years to come, or maybe for the rest of his life.

Don't get me wrong. I want Hyrum to sit still. I did my best to encourage him to do so. It's just not that easy with him.

We're going to keep going to Church here. No words or actions of stupid people are going to affect the salvation of me and my family. One day, all this crap will be worth it. Then we'll look at the young couples struggling and smile. One thing about having these kinds of difficulties is that makes us so much more tolerant to disruptions and for people with disabilities and challenges.

I'm sure in a past fit of rage, I've cursed Hyrum to have 5 just like him. I really don't wish that on him. I would love to have 5 little angels sitting on the row, but that isn't our fate in life.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I wanted to wish all 2 of my readers a Happy Thanksgiving. I'm taking a minute while my turkey is in the oven to post a quick message.

For the last month, I have been working on upgrading a tool that we and our customers use. My team rewarded me for my hard work by nominating me for the Most Outstanding Coder award for the month. I was very flattered and glad to be able to get the award. It comes with a $200 gift card, just in time for Christmas, er, I mean Black Friday.

Well, I'm being kicked off the computer by my son, so I must exit. We'll be having Thanksgiving with my niece.