Time flies

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Friday, August 18. 2006 in Personal

Today is my youngest son's birthday. Andrew turns 8 years old today. 8. It's hard because both Eileen and I know that before too long, he's going to be "too old" to want to kiss us goodnight, won't want to sit next to us when we're all watching TV together, won't think it's "neat" to be able to help us cook, things like that. All the stuff you take for granted when they're young. And all the stuff that they want to do, not the stuff you have to ask them to do. My 2 other sons are 14 and 17, so they've long ago past that point. They're (young) men, not "kids" or "boys". I'm proud of how they are turning out, but I also know that they are closer and closer to branching out on their own. All of which makes this phase with your youngest harder than it is with your other children. You see the change, you feel it, but it's not over yet... Your role as parent for that particular child has changed, but not your role in general. Once your youngest reaches that point, however, that whole "kid" phase of being a parent is over. And you know it. It feels kind of good, but in a sad way. That's more common in life than I would have expected.
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Slow down and speed up

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Tuesday, August 15. 2006 in Personal

Last week we went away for a week's vacation at our usual spot: the Outer Banks, NC. This year we stayed a bit more northern than we usually do, renting a place in Corolla instead of Ocean Sands. It's amazing to see how much it's been built up over the last 16+ years since we first starting vacationing there. It used to be a nice little open secret; now you can't drive I-95 without seeing tons of OBX stickers on cars. Still, it's no where near as crowded as Ocean City, MD, so it's still worth the drive. The weather held out nicely for us, so we had good beach time. The waves were simply OK, but I did manage to get some good body surfing in as well. The rest of the time was spent relaxing and reading, and making a serious effort to avoid opening up the laptop, an effort which I failed at a few times. As usual, there was a nice selection of residential open wireless setups to choose from, so I "borrowed" the one with the best signal and did some minor Email checks. But I stayed on no longer than 15 minutes, closed my iBook and went back to vacation-mode. Speaking of iBooks, I've now determined that instead of getting an upgrade to my existing dual G4 desktop system, I'm going to go ahead and get a Quad G5, as soon as I can find some good pricing. I had hoped that Apple's announcement of the MacPro would result in some price reductions on the G5s. No luck so far...
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Python or Ruby, my 2c

Posted by Jim Jagielski on Wednesday, August 2. 2006 in Programming

Sam Ruby's post on Python-vs-Ruby was interesting because it pretty much matches my experience as well. The reason I stuck with Perl was that, well, there were some Perl idioms that Python lacked that I just liked too darn much to do away with (eg: v. simple regex usage). When I *really* started learning and using Ruby, it allowed me to "give up" Perl, and yet enjoy a lot of the cool stuff that Python allowed as well. I also agree that, in general, Python has a wider and deeper wealth of libraries that Ruby does, currently, making it easier to use for more involved applications. When the application is more self-contained (a super script as it were), then Ruby is my 1st choice.
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