The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

The Fishbowl

A little over a week later, and I'm in my new office.

[Edvard is a bit agitated over the office move]

Yes, it's a larger window, but I don't quite have as nice a view outside as I did in the old office.

[Edvard calmed down after a bit]

But given the larger window, and the fact that the office is in a more heavily trafficked part of the office, I now feel like I'm in a fishbowl awaiting food pellets from management.

Or something like that.

On the plus side, my current office is less likely to be the lunch room.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Bill who?

The only thing Bill ever asked of me was that I not reveal he had worked on Pearls until all three of his strips had run. (And if you haven’t yet seen those three strips, they can be found HE RE, HE RE, and HE RE.)

Via Hacker News, Pearls Before Swine—The Blog O' Stephan Pastis

“Bill,” eh? Let's see this “Bill's” work …

[The drawing style in the middle panel looks familiar somehow …]
[… can't quite place my finger on it …]
[… it's not … it can't be …]

Oh. Yeah. That Bill! No need to hit you over the head with it.

[Then maybe Bill will continue with the strip!]

Then again …

[And please, follow the link to Hacker News, there are a lot more links to Bill Watterson goodness and it would save me the time to link to every single one of them.]

Monday, June 09, 2014

That darned Peg Game, Part III

Bunny and I were at the Cracker Barrel playing the ever ubiquitous Peg Game. As I was struggling with the game (I am phenomienally bad at that game—so bad I have my computer do it for me) when Bunny asked, “What's the maximum number of pegs you can leave on the board?”

That's an interesting question, and I was curious if there is any way to do worse than ten pegs left.

Well, I forced my computer to play a bazillion times and the results are interesting: ten pegs are the most pegs you can have left on the board. What's more interesting is that discounting rotations and reflections, there is only one way to leave ten pegs on the board (six if you want to count reflections, rotations and reflected rotations as distinct).

Even eight pegs is pretty darned tough as well, with only two solutions (or twelve if you include rotations, reflections and rotated reflections).

So, if leaving one means you are a genius (and there are several thousand ways to leave just one peg), what does it mean to leave ten?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Selling out, part deux

Five years ago, I sold some advertising space on my blog and frankly, I think I got the worse end of the deal. For five years (until June 10th of this year) I sold ads on seven posts, all for the huge amount of $105.00.

Hey, at least I negotiated him out of permanent placement for $75.00.

Given the ads, and their placement, I knew that the seller had no intention for anyone ever seeing the ads—he (and it was a “he”) just wanted to leech some Google PageRank to his sites (or his clients' sites), and he wanted it done stealthily because he didn't like my heading of “Paid Advertisement” and instead suggested:

as a header, because

See, we are doing every thing for search engines and thats why we want to place links at the bottom of the pages, where the traffic has to be lower. The search engines dont like words advertisement or Sponsor, so, that will hurt your site as well as our sites.

That's why, we dont need paragraphs with the heading of words “Advertisement” or “Sponsor.”

So, please use anyother word or make it image with out Alt Tag.

I countered with:

We finally settled on “And now some words from <company name>” but I did add a subtle background image of a dollar bill, and labeled the <DIV> with “paid_ad”.

Now, earlier this year, I received the following email from a potential advertiser:

Advertising on
Sat, 25 Jan 2014 12:43:44 +0800


I'd like to inquire if it's possible to purchase adverting space on your website.

If there is any space available please let me know and we could discuss further details.

Looking forward to your positive reply.

Warm regards,
Helena Jones

I get emails like this from time to time, and usually, I just ignore it and never hear from them again. But a month later …

Fwd: Advertising on
Fri, 21 Feb 2014 09:56:46 +0800


I just wanted to check if you got my email about buying advertising space on your site. Looking forward to hear from you.

Best regards,
Helena Jones

[previous email she sent cut]

Hmm … okay, she's persistent. Let's see what the terms are.

Sean Conner <>
Re: Fwd: Advertising on
Thu, 20 Feb 2014 21:47:09 -0500

It depends upon the advertising you want, and the pages you want to place the ads on. I'm not averse to the idea of advertising. What did you have in mind?


And a few days later I receive:

Advertising on
Sun, 23 Feb 2014 17:50:34 +0200


my name is Adam Barney and I'm working with Helena Jones She sent you an email about advertising on your site

I represent a few gambling sites and I would like to make a permanent article in your site. I can assure you I have a brilliant writer and the article will fit the content of your site.

If it possible let me know your price for it

Best Regards,

Adam Barney
Senior Marketing Manager | XXXX XXXXXX

Ah, the punctuation deficient. [facepalm] And gambling sites. [double facepalm] And a brilliant writer to boot! [is a triple facepalm possible?] Okay, I have really lost interest in this. But at the same time, I'm curious as to what brilliance this author can bring to bear about gambling sites that would enhance the content of my website (and bear in mind, I have no idea if he's talking about or So, let's see how serious this Adam is.

Sean Conner <>
Re: Advertising on
Mon, 24 Feb 2014 02:42:37 -0500

It was thus said that the Great Adam Barney once stated:


my name is Adam Barney and I'm working with Helena Jones She sent you an email about advertising on your site

I represent a few gambling sites and I would like to make a permanent article in your site. I can assure you I have a brilliant writer and the article will fit the content of your site.

If it possible let me know your price for it

Without any other knowledge about the article (and not an advertisement), and making it permanent (seeing how I've had the domain since 1998, it could be a long time), at this point in time, with just the information given, I would have to set the price at $100,000.

I am interested in seeing how your article could fit in with the existing content of my site.


I never did hear back from Adam.

Color me surprised.

And yeah, this is probably a site you don't want to advertise on.

In pieces

Our friend Kurt, Bunny and I headed to the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood (Florida) for the Art of Nathan Sawaya featuring IN PIECES, a collection of sculptures made from Lego bricks.

[Yup, this is your typical art museum in Florida] [Little fluffy clouds] [Oh, so that's what my face looks like on the inside!] [He could have been a contender if he just wasn't boxed in] [Lego skulls are the rage—crystal skulls are just so passé these days] [It makes for a remarkedly quiet and clean pet] [I can't believe I ate the whole thing!]

Each sculpture was also used in a photograph by Australian photographer Dean West. I didn't really bother with taking pictures of the pictures, beacuse, well, taking a picture of a picture is just silly talk.

Besides, we came for the Lego bricks, not pictures of Lego bricks.

[Portrait of the artist as Lego bricks] [This towel has just a tad too much starch in it] [The arm, the leg, and the pedistal are all Lego] [I'm crushing your head!] [The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire!]

Mr. Sawaya used kragle to hold the bricks together instead of just relying upon the inherent “snapness” (and I'm sure, to help keep everything together during transport—I mean, the instruction sheet for his self-portrait would rival the documentation to fully understand the Mac computer) and frankly, I don't think the clouds would fully stand up (or rather, float up) without the extensive use of kragle. I don't think the kragle use diminishes anything.

If you are near Hollywood, Florida, you should probably check it out while you still can.

Obligatory Picture

[The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades]

Obligatory Contact Info

Obligatory Feeds

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Obligatory Miscellaneous

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