I’m Alive And well

Hi. I’m alive and well.

Yesterday was crazy-busy, but I got to meet some of you in the flesh, so that’s cool

Right now, I’m trying to do the promo post, but Amazon keeps glitching, so I might have to do it tomorrow.

Anyway, don’t worry about me. I’ve got a Minotaur guard of honor, and I got to harass LawDog — TWICE! — (I need a button with that last) so, I’m fine.
If I don’t get the promo post up, I’ll do it tomorrow.

75 thoughts on “I’m Alive And well

    1. Well, do the promo in the morning. We can wait (or can we). 😉

    2. Ah, software… Software that misreads 12:00 as 12:00 AM, or that interprets your times as Greenwich Mean Time and therefore posts it 6-ish hours earlier than you expected. I have to deal with a lot of that kind of thing. Pretty sure it’s not your fault; more likely the software was poorly designed and didn’t make it clear that it was going to interpret times in GMT or something.

      1. Or maybe its time zone is muddled.

        On the bright side, it’s not one of the worlds where the hours only go to eight, the aardvark points out. (I think he thinks it’s helpful.)

      2. Robin, I am currently explaining to the biggest banking company on the planet that storing all the payment dates and times customers enter, whether from Peoria or Peking, in a date time field without timezone offset is possibly going to lead to issues about whether payments got made before deadline.

        God save us all……

        1. slaps forehead

          Yeah. You and I know the rule for date data: store what the customers enter in their local time zone (including the time zone it was entered in), immediately convert it to UTC, and do all date math in UTC thereafter. But not every software engineer is as clued-in. I found a bug in one of our software where someone who normally should know better had a brainfart moment: a timestamp without timezone was being written to a file, and the letter “Z” appended to mark it as UTC. But elsewhere, it was being set from DateTime.Now instead of DateTime.UtcNow. That one went unnoticed for years until I wrote some tests that actually used that particular code path, and started wondering why my test results were consistently N hours off from the time they were supposed to be, where the value of N was equal to my timezone’s offset from UTC.

          (For the non-programmers: UTC = Greenwich Mean Time, pretty much, but UTC is the name of a standard while GMT is the name of a timezone.)

          1. You want real time fun? Start messing with timestamps from GPS units. In many cases they don’t include leap seconds which have been added in since the satellites were launched. There are something like 14 of them over time to make sure the time base doesn’t slowly start sliding around. The other thing that can be fun is when the leap second is added. Normally time would go to 23:59:59 on 12/31 to 00:00:00 01/01 in the next year. But if a leap second is declared it goes to 23:59:59 then 23:59:60 and finally to 00:00:00 01/01. And leap seconds can go the other way too, though to the best of my knowledge they’ve always been added never subtracted. If you end up subtraction it just jumps from 23:59:58 to 00:00:00 01/01 and 23:59:59 just never happened. The good news is most date time classes in various languages understand this and hide it from you its only if you’re dealing with straight GPS clock output that life gets interesting.

            1. “they’ve always been added never subtracted.”

              No, but they are occasionally not added;

              “The year must be evenly divisible by 4;
              If the year can also be evenly divided by 100, it is not a leap year;
              The year is also evenly divisible by 400. Then it is a leap year.”

              Leap seconds are not automatically determined:

              “In January 2022, the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) announced that “NO leap second will be introduced at the end of June 2022.”

              The next possible date is December 31, 2022. However, the Earth’s rotation has been relatively fast lately, so it is unlikely that any leap seconds will be added in the near future.”


              Confused, yet? 😉

              1. Right normal state for leap seconds is NOT to add them, That just adds to the excitement. As noted one can subtract seconds but so far there has been no need (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_second#Process). The 100/400 rule in leap years was not well known and there is a DEC SPR (search for VMS leap year spr and you’ll find it I dare not put another URL lest I get put in the awaiting approval queue 🙂 ) that is an absolute riot. The Gentleman who wrote it was quite a joker and VERY knowledgeable in all sorts of strange things a bit of a polymath I knew him in my days at DEC.

          2. I was taught how to handle dates working on DoD projects, and they seem to be the only ones that mostly have a handle on it.

            I once spent a pleasant 2 hour meeting in 2008 pounding that concept into the US Census to show them how to meet their own requirements for recording the time of Census interviews.

      3. To avoid this kind of problem, I always specify that special time as 12 noon or 12 midnight. After all, AM and PM stand for Ante Meridian and Post Meridian, respectively. 12 noon is the meridian, so it can’t be either ante- or post-. And 12 midnight could be either, depending on what day you’re referring to. If one is not using a 24-hour clock, use noon or midnight, not AM or PM, when referring to 12:00. It clarifies things.

        (Sorry, one of my little peeves. Not quite a pet, so I haven’t named it.)

    3. > “I am not insane.”

      I have to assume you’re baiting us when you say things like that. You KNOW we’re not going to just let it pass. 😛

  1. Thank you for indulging everybody with “moose and squirrel” and giving me the chance to introduce myself. The Hoyt comedy hour was one of the highlights of Saturday. Did you talk LawDog into more anthologies?

      1. I believe you. I am sure it really isn’t. Right. 😉 Now if you could just convince the reader, and audience…

        Oh, and it was also nice to meet Orvan in person, too.

                  1. “Are you talking to yourself again?”

                    “Yes, and don’t interrupt. It’s rude.”

                    Yes, I’ve actually said that IRL. 😉

          1. But how many carp? Can you imagine the consequences of a carp shortage here?

      2. “Oh and for the record IT’S NOT THAT KIND OF BOOK!”
        So you kept telling us while at nearly the same time Marshal was reading rather salacious bits in that posh British accent of his.
        At least you did confirm with a short reading that at least a portion of “Bowl of Red” really does exist, that mysterious fourth shifter book that has been “almost ready” for what, at least two or three years now.
        So when exactly can I expect to see it magically appear in my inbox? I need to order fresh quills and a large economy pot of red ink.
        And by the way, I lost count of the number of times folks stared at my badge and said, “Oh, so YOU”R that Uncle Lar we keep reading about!”
        Also, get Lawdog to tell you the story he told us in the No $h!t there I was panel. I think you were otherwise occupied during that time slot.

  2. I wasn’t wondering. I knew you all were at LibertyCon, so I figured posts and updates were going to be slow or non-existant until you all get home.

    1. Heck, I was just an attendee, and I barely found time to read blogs and post a few comments, mostly here and at OldNFO’s place. Almost LOLed when I was reading Dorothy Grant’s post at madgeniusclub and Peter and Dorothy Grant walked in for the panel I was waiting for.

      It was so much fun to be at a con again, and it was my wife’s first sci-fi con. I pre-registered in 2019, when we were still dating. Alas, shutdowns. She’s not been a big sci-fi fan in the past but had a lot of fun and would like to go back.

  3. The writing Hoyts comedy hour was a blast and Marshall is awesome. And he’s right about sheet music.

    1. My people traditionally have a phrase which, loosely translated, vows “Next year at LibertyCon.”

        1. I all fairness, it is traditionally pledged after four or so glasses of wine, so some allowance for grape-fueled enthusiasm must be granted.

            1. No – John Adams. Which is why we ritually invoke (in chorus) “Sit down, John! Sit down, John! For God’s sake, John, sit down!”

  4. If I don’t get the promo post up, I’ll do it tomorrow.

    Monday, 20 June 2022 being a holiday, the delay seems appropriate.

    1. Son has to work on Juneteenth (stupid holiday name). He also has to work on his 33rd birthday … 33 years ago, today, at 8:20 pm via emergency c-section. Also it is Monday, so his choice is Unlimited Shrimp …

  5. Alright, things are screwy. Heading out, planned breakfast at City Cafe Diner. It’s closed. You read that right. Scrawled sign says they will reopen at 6:00. It’s now 6:30….

    1. Hope they got whatever issues sorted out. I’m already missing their M&M cake…

    2. Saturday morning I staggered to the con suite at about 8 am only to be turned away and told we don’t open until 9:30. I must have looked so pitiful that a very kind staffer popped inside and fetched me out a styro cup of coffee. May blessings fall upon him.
      Was not until later that morning I discovered that the mysterious black cube in my room was actually a coffee maker that actually made a drinkable brew.

      1. Hopefully, you took a picture, because Murphy is junking it as we speak…. 😎

    3. Apparently the neon “Open 24 hours” sign is a lie. The food there is awesome, though.

  6. I might not have been able to get a membership but living close enough to drop by and see everyone that I could between panels was awesome in its own way! Glad I got to see you again and Dan too, however briefly, and of course me and the kitties are glad you all made it back safely!

  7. “And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense? –now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man’s heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.”

    ― Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings

      1. Please keep one foot on the sidewalk at all times…

        My own? (Asking for a friend who’s prone to being footloose and fancy free.)

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