personal, net comments edit

We call it “Day 0” because technically all I did today as far as Devscovery is concerned is travel. Tomorrow morning is when the conference actually starts.

The trip up was decent, if a bit on the wet side. Stu and I drove up together (well, Stu drove) and we beat both Portland and Bellevue/Redmond traffic, so I’d call that a success.

The Homestead where we’re staying is one of those “extended stay” places so there’s a little kitchenette and they offer wireless Internet (hence my ability to blog and check email, albeit on a weak 802.11b signal) for $4/stay. It’s a little… dicey… though. I mean, there’s sort of this mysterious stain on the carpet, and there’s no shampoo in the room even though there’s soap… No little disposable plastic cups, but some actual plastic…ware… cups. But no dish soap, and like I’m going to use those cups without washing them out myself.

Oh, well. I’ll be here for the next couple days, so I’d best get used to it.

Luckily I brought my PS2 and went to Radio Shack to get an RF converter thing so I can hook it to the primitive video display box they have in the room. Stu and I watched far too much Strong Bad email on DVD.

And now it’s bed time. I’ll catch up on my email, then hit the hay. Tomorrow: .NET!

downloads, vs, coderush comments edit

UPDATE: CR_JoinLines has found a new home with theDXCore Community Plugins project. Head over there to get the latest and read more!

I use TextPad for text editing and one of the things I like a lot about TextPad is the Ctrl+J shortcut that allows you to join selected lines to each other. Visual Studio doesn’t offer that line joining capability, so I decided to write it.

CR_JoinLines adds a command (“Join Lines”) that you can bind to a keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+J, Enter is what I use) and will join lines in the code editor. It also allows for an optional delimiter, so if you want a pipe or comma or some other string (yes, string - you’re not limited to a single character) inserted between the joined lines, you can do that.

CR_JoinLines in

Installation is as easy as copying a DLL into a folder and adding the keyboard shortcuts you want.

DXCore Shortcuts Menu - Click for larger

The included readme.txt outlines installation, usage, and workarounds for known issues.

Requires DXCore 1.1.58 or later (DXCore is a FREE download from Developer Express - go get it!). UPDATE: CR_JoinLines has found a new home with theDXCore Community Plugins project. Head over there to get the latest and read more!

Version History: First release. Added ability to provide Delimiter parameter to join lines with a delimiter between each joined line. Fixed issue where, in later versions of DXCore, joining on selection functioned incorrectly.

General Ramblings comments edit

Well, for all intents and purposes it’s done. I only have to make five more buttonholes (using the automatic buttonhole attachment on the sewing machine) and put on the buttons, so we’ll just call it done.

I spent probably eight hours on it Sunday, fighting with the various pieces to make them line up, adjusting things as needed to make them straight and compensate for my amateur sewing abilities. In the end, it turned out pretty well, and it fits, which is really what I was hoping for. I was gonna be pissed if it was too small or something.

I used McCall’s pattern M2447, a combination of views A and C so I could get the collar without the collar stays in it (so I can flip the collar up like Wonka without the stays falling out) and the French cuffs.

Let’s see if I can remember how much all this cost me…

Pattern: $6.50 Fabric: $16.00 Interfacing: $4.50 Buttons: $3.75 Collar stays I’m not going to use: $2.00 TOTAL: $32.75

And, of course, about 16 hours of my time. Suddenly that $50 shirt at the store isn’t looking so expensive.

I’m pretty pleased with it, though. Mom always said that when you’re done sewing something it should look just as good inside as it does outside, and I’d say I’m there with it - everything inside is nicely put together, the outside looks crisp and clean. Granted, the lines aren’t perfectly straight (pretty close, but if you look you’ll see flaws), the buttonholes aren’t perfectly spaced (making buttonholes is a pain in the ass), and there’s a spot on the front band toward the bottom where it sort of takes a slight… turn… so the bottom of the front isn’t perfectly straight. But that part gets tucked in anyway, so I’m not too bummed about that. All in all, not shabby.

Things I discovered during the making of the shirt:

The chair we have for sewing sucks. It’s one of those foldable “director” chairs with the canvas seat and back. Far from ergonomic. By the end of the day, my back and neck were killing me.

Shirts are a bitch. I made a Neo costume last year

  • a long black trenchcoat thing. It was a piece of cake compared to this shirt. There was a lot of hand-stitching and crap on this shirt, and a hell of a lot more pieces. Of course, the costume I had last year was a costume, not, like, an official piece of clothing, where this shirt is from a pattern where they actually intend you to wear it regularly, so it’s a much higher quality garment. Still, with the plackets and collar pieces and such… shirts are a bitch.

The worst part of the thing is cutting out and marking the pattern. It’s way, way, way too boring. I like it when you get to sewing the pieces together and it starts to take shape, but there’s a lot of prep work in there that I could just do without. (That’s not a new realization, but I thought I’d get it out there anyway.)

Next step is to get the Wonka walking stick going and start in on the vest. I’ll save the coat for last because I think it’s going to cost me a frickin’ arm and a leg with the velvety fabric I’m going to have to buy. It’s also going to be a total pain in the ass, I’m sure, because I actually bought a real trenchcoat pattern (lined and all) and it’s about an inch thick still in the envelope so I can only imagine how much work that’s going to be. Good thing I got started early.

UPDATE 10/02/05: The costume came out well. Here are the details.

General Ramblings comments edit

Redballs Red Wonka
CoatJust got word from Redballs - they’re going to have more of the red Wonka jackets in mid-September. Perfect! I’ll hang on until then (which is closer to my budgetary timeline anyway) and get the 2XL. That should save me hella time and money compared to making the thing.

UPDATE 10/02/05: The costume came out well. Here are the details.

General Ramblings comments edit

Each night I work a little more on my Wonka Halloween costume. Right now I’m trying to make his shirt, a red dress shirt with a blue paisley print (a pretty decent approximation of which I found at the fabric store) and… well, I ran into a bit of a snag last night working on it.

First, it took forever to cut out all the pieces. There are like 25 pieces to this thing.

Once I got that all done, I sewed the first bit together and started wondering why it didn’t look like the picture. Then I searched around and found that one of the pattern pieces had this random “cut on this line if this is the left piece, but don’t cut on it if it’s the right piece” crap on it. I didn’t see that discussed in the instructions. Argh!

Out came the seam ripper, removing all the work I had done. Cut along the line, then re-attached everything. Now it looks like the picture.

That was just the first seam. I have the whole rest of the shirt to go. This is going to be quite the project.

Stu found a good approximation of Wonka’s coat at the local Hot Topic. I went to check it out and tried on an XL. The arms were okay, but the width of the thing left something to be desired - I could barely raise my arms before the back started pulling. I emailed the company to see if they offer a 2XL. The arms might be a little long, but the rest would fit better. Plus, it might be a hell of a lot cheaper and easier than making my own.

I’ve also started working on the cane. I took the bottom of the finial that will serve as the handle and I have slowly started filling it with Shoe Goo to even it out (there are hollow spots in there that need to be solid so I have something to attach the pipe to). Once that’s set up, I’ll bond the pipe to the finial with more Shoe Goo (seems to be pretty good stuff, and it dries clear). I ordered a package of cane tips that fit a 1” diameter cane. The pipe is 1.05” in diameter, so I’m hoping I can fudge the tip on. If all else fails, I can sand down the area the tip needs to fit on until it fits - the pipe walls are pretty thick.

UPDATE 10/02/05: The costume came out well. Here are the details.