Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Eclipse Rules

Eclipse must be doing very well. I can tell because there is now at least one blog entirely dedicated to listing all of the problems with Eclipse. By comparison, I can't find any blog or website dedicated to NetBeans complaints.

It may seem counter-intuitive that one's vocal critics are a measure of one's success, but consider the case of author Dan Brown. In an interview on NHPR, Brown talked about the uproar over The DaVinci Code. He was initially surprised by the volume of criticism. After all, his earlier book, Angels and Demons, was just as controversial, but it didn't generate anywhere near the same number of objections from readers. Brown's mathematician father explained all by pointing out a simple fact: The audience for the earlier book was a tiny fraction of those that read The DaVinci Code. You can't please everyone, so statistically speaking, lots of complaints might just be a sign you are a smash hit.

Taking the Eclipse vs. NetBeans comparison a step further, try comparing the number of Google hits for these two phrases: "eclipse sucks" and "netbeans sucks". Using Googlefight to do the comparison, I recorded 1840 hits for the Eclipse phrase vs. 421 hits for the NetBeans phrase. Knowing what I know about Eclipse, I'm sure this doesn't mean Eclipse is four times worse than NetBeans. More likely, it's an indication that Eclipse is four times more popular.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Vast Centrist Conspiracy

We have been listening to the thunder of partisan politics for so long, it can be difficult to hear the moderates speak. Is it just me, or are the moderate voices getting louder? Here are just a few I've heard lately:I'm sure there are others too who want to replace all the talk about wedge issues with serious, civil discourse on the important issues of the day. The question is will their voices be heard?

I'm afraid both major parties have already nominated candidates from the fringes. It may be too late to inject reason into the mid-term elections, but I'm hoping for a vast centrist conspiracy to take hold in 2008.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fall Foliage

According to this online foliage report, southern New Hampshire foliage peaked this past weekend. We got our first hard frost on Friday night, so the leaves will be past peak before you know it.

As I scurried around doing errands this weekend, I kept my camera with me and got some nice shots. See my Fall Foliage tabblo for some samples.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Blogger Beta

I just discovered Blogger has some big changes available in Beta. One feature I've been waiting for is tags. They are in the list of Beta features, but of course Blogger calls them labels -- just like labels in Gmail. To get label support you have to upgrade to the Beta and switch to a new template system called layouts.

So I've taken the big leap. This blog will be under construction while I try on different layouts and slowly bring back some of the customizations I did to my old template.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

You Learn Something New Every Day

This past weekend, my thirteen-year-old son and I completed the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Hunter Education course. This is a sixteen-hour course required by the state. You can't get a hunting license unless you present a certificate proving you have completed the course.

I am not sure I will ever get a hunting license or go hunting. We took the course because my son is absolutely crazy about hunting. I don't know how it started, but he has worked incredibly hard at this. He has devoured books and videos on the topic. He spends hours in the woods looking for deer sign. And he easily completed the hunter education course.

Although I was ambivalent about hunting at the start, I am very proud of my son and I'm glad I tagged along. I've known hunters all my adult life. I certainly respected the hunters I know, but I guess I had acquired the prejudice that most hunters are yahoo rednecks. I thought my friends were exceptions to the rule. Having spent hours over the past few weeks with dedicated volunteer instructors from our local fish and game club, I'm convinced my prejudice was unfounded. These guys are serious about their sport and committed enough to spend hours of their own time to help others learn. They are especially passionate when teaching hunter safety and ethics.

Yes, there are yahoos out there, and you will certainly hear about hunting accidents this Fall, but please don't assume the guys in blaze orange are idiots. Maybe they're not from your tribe, but they deserve your respect.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Ten Favorite Songs

Picking up the thread from Pete, here's a list of my ten favorite songs:
  1. Workingman's Blues #2
  2. Ain't Talkin'
  3. When the Deal Goes Down
  4. Spirit on the Water
  5. Beyond the Horizon
  6. Nettie Moore
  7. Someday Baby
  8. Thunder on the Mountain
  9. Rollin' and Tumblin'
  10. The Levee's Gonna Break
All ten songs are on Dylan's new Modern Times. I love this CD.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Applefest Half Marathon

It was beautiful weather for the Applefest Half Marathon this weekend. I worked at one of the water stations and took lots of pictures.

This tabblo features a few of the many Applefest runners and this tabblo is a behind the scenes look at what makes Applefest so unique.