Thursday, January 24, 2008

New job with Visual Studio Platform & Ecosystem

I have accepted a new position within Microsoft with the Visual Studio Platform & Ecosystem team.  Rather than working on the .NET Compact Framework I will be working on "VS10".  I'll start work at my new office in a few weeks.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"If" by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And - which is more - you’ll be a Man, my son!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What a horrible way to start a morning

So I got up this morning at around 6:05 AM as I usually do.  I got dressed, putting on my new .NET Compact Framework coat that I got yesterday, ate breakfast, and headed out the door at 6:40 AM.  I unlocked my bike and headed toward the bus stop.  This is my usual routine.  I aim to catch the 277 bus that shows up near my condo anywhere from 6:42 to 6:50, hoping that it's in the earlier of that range so that I can make a connection with the 644 bus in time to get to work by 7:30 AM, and before traffic on the freeway slows my 15 minute ride to 40 minutes.

Before my bike got around the first curve in our parking lot, my wheels lost traction on ice that I forgot I was supposed to be watching out for. My bike immediately slammed me to the ground.  Ouch.  Fortunately I didn't have my laptop in my backpack today so I didn't have to worry about that damage.  A quick inspection (in the dark) didn't show any damage to bike, limb, or clothing, so I continued, walking and slipping, to the bus stop. 

The 277 bus, on the 6:43-6:50 schedule, is driven by a very new bus driver, who has tended to be a few minutes late.  But she never showed up.  This was unusual but not unheard of.  I find the 277 to be unreliable.  I waited until around 6:55.  I knew I completely missed the connecting bus by now, and deliberated going back home and coming out again in 20 minutes to catch the 277 on the next scheduled stop, but decided to just wait it out.  It was very cold out, probably below 32 degrees, but I still had my nice new coat on and imagined I could bear waiting for the next route outside.   Going back inside risks my missing another bus, and the pain from the accident wasn't that severe.  Bad idea.

Eventually another route (not the 277) came by and I just took it to where my connecting bus would be driving by.  While on that first bus I took the opportunity to remove my coat and just see if there was any damage to coat or limb.  The first thing I noticed upon pulling out my left arm was that there were two huge bloody spots on my arm.  Wow.  I guess my coat hadn't protected me as much as I had thought.  Upon completely removing my nice new NetCF coat I found black tar marks all over one side of it.  Rats!  What's worse, I knew that the bus I was on was taking me to where I'd get off into the open, freezing air to wait 30 minutes for the next 644 to go by.  I'd either freeze in my short-sleeve shirt, or bleed inside my new jacket to keep warm. 

Now it happened that the bus stop where I got off to wait for the 644 was on a bridge directly over the freeway that the 644 would be getting onto.  As I waited for the next 644 to come, I watched as the freeway got slower and slower with building traffic -- traffic I had meant to get in front of by leaving at such an early hour.  And all the while I'm freezing even though I decided to wear my coat, bleeding and all.  There weren't active drops of blood coming out of my wounds, so I hoped the damage to the internals of the coat wouldn't be too bad.

I'd been waiting for 30 minutes now, and the 644 hadn't shown up yet.  "Great!", I thought sarcastically, "now the 644 won't show up, or will be late."  Then I saw not one, but two 277's go by in a row.  That's right, that new driver was apparently 30 minutes late on her route, so that she was now only a minute or less ahead of the next scheduled 277.  My gosh!  Here I am trying to be a good citizen and take public transportation in Seattle where traffic is so bad, and the bus gets away with being 30 minutes late.  !!!

The 644 bus that I was waiting for ended up being 8 minutes late.  More time to freeze outside.  By now the carpool lane (which the 644 uses) was almost at a standstill.  I boarded, inspected my wound again to find that it hadn't been actively bleeding in my coat, for which I was thankful. 

We actually got to Microsoft in surprisingly good time considering the traffic.  Once there I had to still ride my bike the few blocks from the bus stop at Microsoft to my office building.  I used the first aid kit at my building to bandage myself up.  I'm going to look great today in my interviews for my new job at Microsoft.

I wonder what my ride home on public transportation holds in store for me.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Food storage for $5 a week

The best source of food storage information is probably www.providentliving.org.  But here's a useful schedule that a nearby ward put together.  With it you should be able to accumulate food for two adults for a whole year -- in about a year spending $5/week.

Week 1 6 lbs salt
Week 2 5 cans cream of chicken soup
Week 3 20 lbs sugar
Week 4 8 cans tomato soup
Week 5 7 boxes macaroni & cheese
Week 6 50 lbs wheat
Week 7 10 lbs powdered milk
Week 8 8 cans tuna
Week 9 6 lbs macaroni
Week 10 50 lbs wheat
Week 11 6 lbs yeast
Week 12 20 lbs sugar
Week 13 5 cans cream of chicken soup
Week 14 1 bottle 500 multi-vitamins
Week 15 50 lbs wheat
Week 16 10 lbs powdered milk
Week 17 8 cans tomato soup
Week 18 20 lbs sugar
Week 19 5 cans cream of mushroom soup
Week 20 50 lbs wheat
Week 21 5 lbs honey
Week 22 7 boxes macaroni & cheese
Week 23 5 cans cream of mushroom soup
Week 24 20 lbs sugar
Week 25 50 lbs wheat
Week 26 20 lbs sugar
Week 27 10 lbs powdered milk
Week 28 20 lbs sugar
Week 29 5 lbs peanut butter
Week 30 8 cans tomato soup
Week 31 7 boxes macaroni & cheese
Week 32 50 lbs wheat
Week 33 10 lbs powdered milk
Week 34 8 cans tuna
Week 35 6 lbs macaroni
Week 36 50 lbs wheat
Week 37 6 lbs shortening
Week 38 20 lbs sugar
Week 39 5 cans cream of chicken soup
Week 40 1 bottle 500 multi-vitamins
Week 41 50 lbs wheat
Week 42 6 lbs salt
Week 43 8 cans tomato soup
Week 44 20 lbs sugar
Week 45 1 bottle 500 aspirin
Week 46 50 lbs wheat
Week 47 5 lbs honey
Week 48 8 cans tuna
Week 49 5 cans cream of mushroom soup
Week 50 20 lbs sugar
Week 51 50 lbs wheat
Week 52 8 cans tomato soup

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Excellent article on Mormon political unacceptance

In Doug Robinson's Deseret Morning News article on Tuesday entitled "Better duck -- if you're a Mormon", the tendency of the public to disparage Mormons in a way they wouldn't dare to disparage the black and the female who is running for president is exposed and analyzed.

And if you like it, visit sustaind.org and sustain it there to give it more visibility.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The problem with the keystone analogy

arch“I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” - Joseph Smith, emphasis added.

That Joseph Smith used the keystone as an analogy to the role the Book of Mormon plays in our religion is fine.  But the way Sunday School teachers tend to expound on that analogy is what I take exception with.  Here are some points I often hear in Sunday School:

  1. The keystone bears the weight of the entire arch.
  2. If you remove the keystone the whole arch will fall.
  3. You may be able to remove any other piece of the arch, and while it may look crooked, it may still stand.

This is one of those things where it sounds good, but if you stop to think about what you're saying (or hearing), you'll see that the opposite is true for each of these points.  We'll take them one at a time.

arch diagram

First, the keystone (D) bears the least weight because it is on the top.  In this diagram, the stones labeled C bear the most weight.

Next, if you can imagine quickly removing the keystone (like whipping a tablecloth off a table with plates still on it), one can easily imagine that the two sides of the arch (B stones) would fall toward each other and stop each other's fall.  So removing the keystone does not necessarily cause the arch to fall.

Finally, I can't prove this, but imagine pulling out one of the lower B stones.  I'm pretty sure there's no safe way (quickly pulling or otherwise) to remove the lower B stones without causing the whole structure to fall. 

So what are we left with?  Nothing from what I typically hear in Sunday School.  I'm sure there are remaining pieces of the keystone analogy that Joseph Smith had in mind when he said it.  Perhaps it's that the keystone is at the center of the arch, or that a lot of weight from above the arch rests on the keystone.  Who knows?

Here's another point to thinking before you repeat what you hear--especially if you are in a teaching setting.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Dispelling Mormon myths

Mormons are not polygamists. Learn that and dispel other myths by watching this 10 minute video: