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.