WildBill's Blogdom

Mongo only pawn, in game of life.

Proposal: English-Lint

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We have “lint” for all kinds of programming-oriented things in technology. “Lint” makes sure whatever we’re writing passes basic syntax checks and is relatively sane. Why don’t we have this for English?

Seriously. I need “english-lint” as a plugin to my email program. That way, every time I get an email that is horribly mangled in some way, it kicks back an autoreply that looks something like the following:

Error: syntax, line 4. Expected question mark due to grammar, received period.
Error: syntax, line 5. Expected period due to grammar, received question mark.
Error: syntax, line 8. Missing preposition.
Error: syntax, line 12. Unnecessary use of plural. Language suggests singular.
Error: divide by zero, line 18. English-lint can't decipher this, but something's clearly wrong. 

Can someone PLEASE make this? I spent a LOT of time forcing my brain to parse weirdly-written English. We have all manner of other types of “lint” checks for programming tasks, so why not for written language? This has caused lots of confusion in the work environment from time to time – I’ve seen status reports miscommunicated and complete misunderstanding of project requirements due to this. I can tolerate a mistake or two in an email, but when I’m cocking my head sideways like the RCA dog trying to make sense of something, it’s incredibly frustrating. Even more so when the person is a brilliant programmer. Come on… you can learn various complex programming language syntax, but not English? Gahhhhhh. English-lint… it’s not just a good idea, it’s a great idea.

Life Hack: Eat Your Cereal From a Red Solo Cup

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If you eat cereal from time to time like I do (especially Lucky Charms) you may want to drink the milk you put over the stuff, but you may not want to look like a kittycat or caveman if you do. My solution: screw it, put the cereal in a cup. Then just slurp the sugary moo juice away when you’re done munching on the oatey goodness.

Cereal My Way by wildbill

You can thank me later. :)

Earworms and Gutterballs…

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Ever stumble across something that just completely blows your mind? It’s either a complete joy or something totally freaky when that happens. Had it happen to me just the other night when I was watching THE BIG LEBOWSKI for about the 800th time. My favorite scene came on – the “Gutterballs” mini-drug-powered-movie-dream that The Dude has in the middle of the movie. If you’ve not seen LEBOWSKI yet, well, I’m just gonna leave this right here for your education and enjoyment:

Now, if you know me at all, you know I’m prone to getting earworms, and then having that earworm stay lodged in my noodle for days at a time. Well, the theme to “Gutterballs” was no exception, and it got wedged in there for at least two days. My usual fix for this is to just buy the damn song on iTunes and play it incessantly for a couple of days until I want to vomit, so I started figuring out who sang the damn thing so I could give the Ghost of Steve Jobs my 99 cents.

Imagine my shock when I learned that this song about dropping acid, this hip, bluesy, Doors-sounding tune was recorded by none other than KENNY ROGERS. That’s right. “The Gambler” dropped acid before he developed a gambling problem. As someone who grew up in the 70s in a house that listened to a metric buttload of country music, this pretty much blew my mind. That is, until I found out that the guy who rocked the guitar on that was GLEN CAMPBELL. The guy that did the song “Rhinestone Cowboy” from the 70s whipped out this jewel of 60s rock. The last piece of the puzzle was finding out that the producer of the song was MIKE POST. If you’re not familiar with that name, he’s the guy responsible for just about every action-based TV show’s theme song in the 80s. Yep, the guy that composed the A-Team theme produced this song.

Finding out all of this made me look like The Dude for a minute or two while my brain adjusted itself to a hip Kenny Rogers in the universe:

the dude by wildbill

As The Dude would say: “That’s wild, man, you know? Just wild.”

And in case you don’t believe me, check out Kenny Rogers and First Edition rocking “Just Dropped In” live in the video below. I’m gonna go fix a White Russian and just groove, man.

Resolutions for 2014

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My New Year’s Resolution is going to be 1920x1200. Widescreen is best.

OK, outside of the geeky joke – it’s a new year, and with a new year comes new promises that I can make, break, and then guilt myself over. I’m good for about two weeks then I fall apart like a house of cards being sprayed with a firehose, but this year, it’s going to be different, dammit. I’m going to CHANGE! cough

So, without further flimflammery, here’s the list of crap that I intend to do this year, in no particular order:

  • Blog more. I have been hit and miss on blogging all year long, so I want to write at least one blog post a week. That’s 52 in a year. I can do that. I just need to be consistent and not lazy.

  • Journal more. I’ve got some amazingly cool journalling tools that I’ve got setup to do all kinds of things, and aside from automated snarfing of my social feeds I don’t do much independent journalling. This will happen daily - it’s easy enough to do, I just need to do it.

  • Lose a couple of tons. I’d lost 20 pounds back in August, but most of that was due to having pneumonia. I’ve put 10 of that back on - I need to get back a healthier bandwagon.

  • Find my patience. I used to be a lot more mellow than I am today. I need to recover my mellow. Part of me wants to blame others for damaging my calm, but I know that I can maintain a mellow despite any ruckus that may be cycloning around me.

  • Write more. I submitted four articles for Linux Journal this year, and that’s not nearly enough to make me “feel like a writer” these days.

  • Have more fun. 2013 was full of stress and angst on a few fronts, and I am not happy about that. 2014 is going to be better, because I’m going to make it better.

Come at me, 2014. I’m gonna kick your ass.

Not Dead!

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I just realized I haven’t posted here since AUGUST. Jeez. I get one little disease and completely fall off the internet…

Tweet could not be processed

Been hanging out on the social media thing slightly more sporadically than I’ve been blogging, but even that’s not much. Heck, I’ve even fallen out of the habit of journalling, and that takes almost no time at all. Well, fear not, dear readers… (hopefully there are more out there than one of you!) – I’ve got at least three blog ideas written down, and I’m feeling the urge to spill my grey matter out over these virtual pages again.

So if you’ve missed me spouting my particular brand of nonsense, you don’t have long to wait. And if I don’t make good on that promise, just give me no end of shit on any of the networks I hang out on. Please. Someone’s gotta keep me honest.