Mr Freeze Gun

I am working on a gun for my Mr. Freeze costume for our Superhero night. I have a product here called "Haze In A Can" by Fantasy FX (http://www.citcfx.com/product_fantasy_fx_01.php). The can is about 7.5 inches rim to rim and including the nozzle 9 inches. The nozzle shoots horizontally, like a standard aerosol can would, however they make a version that shoots vertically instead.

Last night I had a lightbulb go off and I realized that there is such a thing as silly string guns. Trouble is they are designed for much smaller cans. Essentially I would like to have a prop gun very similar to this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/280965047029 that can use Haze In a Can instead of silly string (same gun, larger can). Icing on the cake would be if there could be some LED lights at the front that would light up when the trigger is pushed.

So - thoughts? Contacts? Suggestions?

Nerd programming post alert.

I had a coding epiphany the other day - kind of a "duh" moment. We've been doing error handling for the applications we've built for at least the last ten years or so. I get hundreds of them a day for just one of my applications. I use them as a general gage of the health of the application. If I start getting ten times as many emails for a particular type of error than usual, its a good indication that something is amiss. These emails range the gamut from 404 errors caused by search engined to genuine 500 errors as a result of an internal server error. The latter ones are sometimes difficult to track down. I send myself most of the pertinent information so I could see what the user was doing - cookies, querystring, form values, etc... But sometimes the message is cryptic like "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" or "There is no row at position 0". And without knowing what object or row they are talking about or where in the code they were when they got that error, its a bit like being blindfolded in the dark.

Yesterday it hit me (and sorry for getting technical here). I can send along the full request headers and body that the user sent to the server when they got the error. See behind everything you type into a web browser is HTTP. Its the language (protocol actually) that handles requests and responses between your browser and the web server. If I get the raw request from the server in the error I can drop it into this tool called "Fiddler" and run that exact request against the code in my dev environment and see exactly where it craps the bed!

So far I've killed 6 or so obscure bugs. This is awesome. I look forward to seeing what else comes my way.

(no subject)

I very much support the further investigation into the death of Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman needs to be arrested and tried before a jury. I applaud that the media has shined a light on this case and that in doing so it brought it to the attention of the DOJ. If thats what it takes then thats what it takes.

But I hate that Al Sharpton is involved. There is something just parasitic about how whenever anything happens in the black community that garners media attention Al Sharpton is there to absorb the spotlight.

I also can't help but feel weird on how federal politicians are weighing in on this local issue. Its happening because everything is politically charged on a federal level right now but I don't like it. I didn't like it when it happened with Terry Schaivo and I don't like it now.
Kool aid

(no subject)

Its been forever since I posted here. Its probably better for long form posts than Facebook. Its also better for keeping things somewhat hidden from the general facebook public. Not that people can't find my public posts here but I feel a bit weird posting stuff where my mother, family, and co-workers regularly read.

I have a Google alert set up for "crashed into wall nj" for one reason and one reason only. See icon. This one looks perfect but its too far to travel to. http://www.nj.com/salem/index.ssf/2012/03/out-of-control_suv_in_funeral.html

(no subject)

Yesterday was Kate and my 1 year anniversary. Thank you to everyone who sent well wishes and cards and FB posts. I totally didn't expect them but they were definitely appreciated. This year has been wonderful and everything I ever wanted in a relationship. we get along swimmingly and everyday we spend together is just better and better. Seriously I managed to win the nerd lottery with her.

To celebrate the anniversary we went to the Bronx Zoo. We were originally going to get married at the Bronx Zoo but there were some unjustifiable expenses there and we went with the Hudson Theatre instead. I think it turned out way better that way. Kate and I still have a soft spot for zoos so we decided that we're gonna celebrate our anniversaries at zoos across the country. Its a good coincidence that out anniversary can be celebrated on Memorial Day every year (makes it hard to forget the date too)

The zoo was great. We hit almost all the exhibits. If we had another hour we would have gotten everything. We walked all over the place. I really liked the monkey house and the hall of rodents. It was fun to play "wheres waldo" at all the exhibits. At one point my back started hurting but it was fine again after lunch - probably hurt from too much walking. We went to the gift shop and bought a postcard. I totally remembered a great animal joke at the gift shop - ask me about it next time you see me in person and I will tell you. We ended our trip with the monorail and then shuttle. It was a great way to get a glimpse at some animals we didn't see while walking.

After the zoo we went to the Garden State Plaza. Kate took me to Best Buy and got me an awesome anniversary gift - an iPad 2. It was a choice between that and the Xoom and the thing that clinched it was that the iPad supports cisco anyconnect but Android does not - if an emergency at work comes up I need it to connect. I have 14 days to change my mind. If I can't get my connection to work seamlessly I will exchange it. I tried firing it up today only to discover I need to connect it to a PC on first use. I'll do that this afternoon.

We ate dinner at Grand Luxe Cafe. It was an anything goes off diet dinner. We had two appetizers, entres and a desert. It was a lot. Pre diet it would have been a standard out to eat night and we'd have done it every weekend. It was delicious but I don't think I'll be doing that again anytime soon. Today I woke up feeling like pooooop. Like hungover. But now I'm alright.

On account of felling poopish I took PTO from work today. I dropped Kate off for a horseback riding lesson and I took the car to get detailed - that's part of my gift to her. I'm sitting here waiting for it to be finished.

(no subject)

Passover week is still going strong and I am working my way through the leftovers until the end of the week. Last night we finished the chopped liver and the guacamole. Tonight the chicken and the salad will go.

Lessons learned for next year:
  • We need a cap on the amount of people coming. Not because we don't want all the people in the world, we do! But the living room has a seating capacity. If we can figure out where/how to move the couches we can probably fit another 15.
  • High octane maror was a big hit. Good call Todd.
  • Costumes and toys are essential to the plot. Again good call Todd
  • Cook as though half the people you expect are coming and you'll have just enough. Only one package of chicken. Half a box of farfel. 2.5 pounds of beef.
  • No Spanish eggplant salad. The only people in love with it are me and Kate and there is so much other good food.
  • Guacamole is good but I can probably skip that next year too in lieu of other more Jewishly ethnic appetizers.
  • Crabcake style salmon gefilte fish might have been my best idea EVER!
  • Multiple types of charoset are a hit. But half the recipe, not double.
  • Hire a helper to serve food, to finish cooking easy things like kishka and to clean up.
  • I like that everyone brings wine. If people bring food we should encourage kosher for passover desserts.
  • Plates of ritual food should be prepared in advance. Possibly plates of appetizers too.
  • If only one vegetarian is coming there is no need to prepare multiple servings of vegetarian stuffed cabbage.
  • Next year the second seder falls on a Saturday. We should hire a drunk bus to take people to the show.
  • I should edit the haggaddah myself and highlight more stuff that will make it interesting for the people there. I.e. A Viezel Family Haggaddah
I think that covers it. Any other suggestions?

(no subject)

So spammers are getting brilliant. I received a google alert for my name last night - I totally do vanity searches. And there is this prom dress maker in Poland who had this nonsequiter in the source code of their web page:
Were here to study everything about the so adorable, expensive dress prom designer a baby Santa Suit. Please excuse the ugliness of some of. Note all list are expensive dress prom designer deesigner discussion, in specific style, esp. When we first saw Peter Jacksons The of protective garments; its purpose was to Ring, we were amazed by what we AA cells for the Transmitter. Halloween is a time for both adults a mom who just found desinger your you with good foundation garments for later expansion if you want a fancier wardrobe. The dandies of the period wore petticoat. Since then, Larry Viezel has periodically had that is radio controlled. There has never been such a good and go over the top. All others are off desi gner here. Expensive dress prom designer then, Larry Viezel has periodically had you directly by phone or email with.

Now I have NOTHING to do with prom dresses. That paragraph doesn't make any sense. But knowing I do a vanity search on my name these people just made money from me going to their site from the ads they serve. Pretty clever. If done on a mass scale it could raise a few bucks.

Entertaining audition videos.


.Net help

I want to use a SEO friendly link button on my page. Mind you i am sure that the page is really not all that accessible as the page I am linking to will still have javascript running on it - but thats besides the point. The correct way to do this would be to put the href thats generated by a link button into the onclick event and return void or false or whatever. And then have a SEO / accessibility friendly URL in the HREF. This seems to be what Google recommends and t seems to make sense to me.

I found this nifty .CS file here - http://files.codes-sources.com/fichier.aspx?id=44402&f=CrawlableLinkButton.cs. Essentially it inherits a linkbutton and adds a NavigateUrl parameter to it so that I can put whatever href I want in there. Awesome. Just what I was looking for.

Trouble is I have no idea how to include it in my code. I feel ashamed for admitting my ignorance here. I can register a control at the top of the page, but I think I need to either use a .dll (like I do with things like the AjaxToolKit) and then reference the assembly name and the namespace. Or I can register an ascx control, and set the tagname and the src. How do I reference this .cs file in the aspx page the way this dude does? I feel like I am missing something so obvious.

For example:
<%@ Register Assembly="AjaxControlToolkit" Namespace="AjaxControlToolkit" TagPrefix="asp" %>

<%@ Register TagPrefix="uc1" TagName="videocontrol" src="~/controls/videocontrol.ascx" %>

Assume for the moment I have the file stored in ~/controls/CrawlableLinkButton.cs, and I want to refer to his control as he does:
<cs:crawlablelinkbutton runat="server" commandname="Select" text="Select" navigateurl="<%# "temp.aspx?PID=" + Eval("id").ToString() %>" />

Any help here? I am a bit thick and getting more and more tired. I know deep down I am a good .Net developer, honest - so why can I not figure out the little things?