media, tv comments edit

Saturday morning at 8:00 my dad showed up, and by 8:30 we were starting the first episode of the second season of 24.

Over the course of the rest of the day, we watched, back to back, the entire season.

We took breaks, of course, to go get food, sit and talk, and so on. We lost a little time on those, but considering there are almost 20 minutes of commercials in every episode when it airs, it only takes about 16 hours to see all 24 episodes.

Dad left a little after midnight, skipping out on the final four episodes of the season (those were the ones he had originally seen when they aired; he hadn’t seen the rest), but I watched them, finishing up a little after 3:00a the next day.

It was a blast. I love hanging out with my dad, and getting a chance to watch a great story over the course of a day with him gave me the same feeling that you have when you’re a kid having a sleep-over with friends: sort of giddy… and a little sad when it’s time to go home.

We ate junk food (donuts, candy bars, pizza, pop… you name it) and did nothing but watch the show. It ruled. No responsibility, no jobs, no problem solving. True decompression.

I noticed an interesting thing after finishing the show. After spending basically a day with the characters in the show, you get to know them and like them. You see how they interact with each other, you see how they live their [fictional] lives. After that day with them, it’s hard to believe they don’t exist, and it’s hard to see the story end because they’ve become your friends.

That happens to me after reading a good book, too, and it makes me realize how people can get attached (and even lose touch with reality) after watching soap operas and other long-running serials for years on end.

Then again, I don’t know it would have happened had I watched on a week-by-week basis the way it’s broadcast. As it was, I had a hard time keeping track of all of the subplot threads going on and occasionally had to watch the “last time on 24” summary at the beginning of the show to keep it all straight.

It also makes me wonder what would happen if I watched some other show back to back like that. Alias, maybe. I already know those characters; would it have the same effect, or would it anything change at all?

General Ramblings comments edit

I just scheduled - and got approved - my week of luxurious paid time off duing the first week of November for…

Wait for it…

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas!

That’s right! The entire first week of November, my vacation in San Andreas begins. I will be sitting on the couch, eating junk food, sitting next to my 16-pound fat cat (who likes to lay around next to people playing video games - it’s my Tubby Game Cat), doing drive-by shootings and robberies. Living the life of Grand Theft Auto.

I seriously can’t wait.

net, build, vs comments edit

I’m working on a Visual Studio .NET add-in project where we need to be able to build the project both through the Visual Studio IDE and through NAnt.

So I’ve got NAnt 0.84, which builds all the other projects (using the <solution> task) I’ve got just fine, but gives me this error: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object. at NAnt.VSNet.Reference..ctor(Solution solution, ProjectSettings ps, XmlElement elemReference, SolutionTask solutionTask, String outputDir)...

And so on, tracing down the whole call stack. What’s the deal?

As you (probably) know, references in a .csproj file look like this:

<VisualStudioProject>  <CSHARP>   <Build>    <References>     <Reference      Name = "EnvDTE"      AssemblyName = "EnvDTE"      HintPath = "..\..\..\..\..\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.1.4322\EnvDTE.dll"     />    </References>   </Build>  </CSHARP> </VisualStudioProject>

Of course, the “HintPath” attribute is optional.

Apparently it’s not an option for NAnt. The add-in wizard doesn’t put HintPath in for your references, and regardless of what you do, NAnt won’t build without it. (Yes, I added <assemblyfolders> attributes to the <solution> task - you need those, too, but it doesn’t fix it.) So manually edit your .csproj, add the HintPath, and you’re in.

General Ramblings comments edit

Hockey season, at least as far as the Winter Hawks are concerned, has begun. This means 36 home games between this past weekend and next March, which is quite a lot if you think about it.

We went to two hockey games this weekend - one Saturday night (which we lost) and one Sunday night (which we won) - and we’ve got another coming up on Wednesday. I love hockey season - it’s a social event, similar to folks meeting up at the local pub or whatever - but it sure does take a lot out of me.

At last night’s game, during the first intermission, two altogether too avid hockey fans got married at center ice, the team mascot acting as “best man” (or “best bird,” in this case). I’m not sure I’m into that. I think it’s cool to be a fan and all, but married at center ice at the second game in the season for a junior league team? That’s a little much. (The “best bird” dropped the ring in the middle of the ceremony and wasn’t able to pick it up off the ice with the mascot gloves on. They had to stop the ceremony and pick it up for him. Too funny.)

An idea came to me while watching the Zamboni ice resurfacer run its course around the rink at the game: They need to make a riding lawnmower that looks/works like a Zamboni. A Zamboni lawn resurfacer, if you will. The collection tank could catch the grass… it’d be brilliant. Maybe I’ll have to submit that idea to them.

Side note: Last month my dad was driving home from work and the motorhome behind him was driving a little erratically (according to witnesses). It then attempted to pass (or something) in a no-pass zone. For those who think they can pass in the no-pass zone, here’s the accident that happened right behind my dad:

Don't pass in the no-pass

Pieces of motorhome landed on the back of Dad’s truck. Apparently they had to use the Jaws of Life to get the motorhome driver out. Crazy stuff.