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Banff & Jasper

My dad and I spent last week in Canada, touring the Banff and Jasper national parks up there. It's beautiful country, and I got lots of pictures!

We saw lots of scenery, lots of bear cubs doing cute things, and lots of momma bears threatening to eat us for getting too close to their cubs. Delightful.


I had seen a couple of episodes of Dexter from season 2, casually, at a friends house. I thought it was okay and thought I should watch the rest of it at some point. I figured if the first few episodes sucked I wouldn't bother watching the rest.

So I got season 1 (it's 11 episodes) and have been watching the occasional episode here and there. Tonight I sat down to watch one before bed. Instead I watched all 5 remaining episodes at once. So now that I've seen all of season 1, some thoughts:

Watch all of season 1, in order. It takes a few episodes for you to get to know Dexter, and then after episode 3 things start to get interesting.

Leave yourself a big block of time, because after episode 6 you won't want to stop until the end.

Don't watch any of season 2 until you've finished season 1. (Although even knowing how season 1 ends up, it's still a work of art. But the less you know about the Ice Truck Killer, the better.)

Yes Rita looks like Discount Linda Hamilton and is a really irritating sub-plot. She's still worth putting up with.

Make sure you've had a bathroom break before you start the last episode. It deserves to be watched uninterrupted.

(If you want to know how riveting it is, consider this: when I walked in the door tonight I intended to watch just one episode and then go driving. I gave up driving to watch Dexter.)

It's coming.

The last part of the kit cleared backorder today, so it will be here next week.

God what have I done.

Yes, I noticed, thanks

I love building web servers in Java. The language is great, the tools are great, the libraries are great. It rocks.

But good LORD why do people continue to insist on building desktop programs in Java? The most recent version of the JRE now appears to launch this "Java Starting" window while it slowly does god knows what. And I must admit, this is the best-styled and slickest "please wait" window I've ever seen.

But you know what's better than a really slick window to let you know that Java is starting? How about a program that just starts quickly and doesn't need to tell you to wait? This dialog was on the screen for so long that I had time to come up with the premise for this blog entry, screenshot the dialog, and start editing in photoshop.

This dialog box is actually from a Sun application. And I imagine that somebody at Sun thinks it's good PR for Java to have the language waved in my face every time I use this program. But really, all this says is "This hideously slow piece of shit brought to you by Java!" Its not really good advertising.

i am a do-gooder

JotSpot (now Google Sites) has been the highlight of my career, and I'm proud to announce that a few weeks ago we finished launching it to all users. Working with JotSpot the last 3 years has been a blast, and now I'm ready for something new.

So as of the end of June, I will be working for Google's philanthropy division, Google.org. The actual work is not that different (it's still software engineering), but my new team is working on energy issues instead of trying to generate ad revenue.

If nothing else, it should be interesting!

(Also, my new boss is an astronaut. Weird, huh?)

The views expressed on this site are mine personally, and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.