Thursday, December 23, 2010

BBC Top 100 Books

Today's challenge, the BBC Top 100.

Instructions: Bold those books you’ve read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish or read an excerpt.

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling (all)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis 
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White 
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

That's quite a list.  Some of my all-time favourites (in no particular order):

2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams

And some of the worst books I've ever started reading, and couldn't drop fast enough:

9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving

What's missing?  Some Philip K. Dick for sure, and Kurt Vonnegut.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Conversation of the day

There's nothing like shopping at this time of year to bring out Man's hatred for his fellow Man...

So there I am, at the checkout in the local LCBO, buying some Christmas cheer.

LCBO guy: Can I see some I.D.?

Me: [stunned silence]  Uh, sure.

LCBO guy, looking at my driver's license, realizing I was born in the 1960s:  Oh my God!  Yeah, that'll do.  What the hell was I thinking?

Me: I have no idea.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Some of them standing, some are waiting in line

We have a fancy new coffee machine here at work.  It has a touch screen to make beverage selections and it produces all kinds of grinding, whooshing and gurgling noises at it works its magic.  There is even a progress bar to watch as the coffee pours into your cup.

All of this has had the effect of producing a lineup at the machine to get a shitty cup of coffee.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The "Best Use of the Word 'Freakishly'" award goes to...

The seven-year-old had an announcement the other day.

"Dad!" she yelled.  "I have two loose teeth!  My snaggle tooth and the one where my adult tooth, which-by-the-way-has-become-freakishly-large, is coming in behind!"

I’ve got a little black book with my poems in

You won’t often see poetry here, but this was too good to pass up.

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the House
No spin could be heard, not a rant, not a grouse.
The doors had been locked, no lightbulbs were burning.
In the hopes that this might stop John Baird from returning.
The MPs were nestled as snug as could be
And having their best sleep since last week’s QP.
When out on the Hill came a noise loud and scary
Like a thunderstorm clap or a speech by Don Cherry.
Police and Saint Nicholas were deep in discussion.
Seems Peter MacKay mistook Santa for Russians.
“The CF-18s – send them up,” he decreed.
And that’s how eight tiny reindeer became three.
Saint Nick tried explaining the Christmas occasion
But to Vic Toews it sounded more like home invasion.
Fantino frisked Santa in case he was packing
Tom Flanagan eagerly called for his whacking.
All the kids were in tears, all the towns were displeased
No presents were found under Canada’s trees
When what to our wondering eyes should appear
But the PM in the sleigh he just commandeered.
He spoke not a word – but ran ads on all stations
That a phony coalition would be our damnation.
He had make-up and hair that were expensively styled
And he called out ‘Majority” just to make himself smile.
Our deficit, he warned, grows larger each day
But these toys will sure help when they’re sold on eBay
We’ll cut corporate taxes – for the rich more to make
And have a jolly old laugh down by my fake lake.
But the children turned angry and turned angry quick
So Harper gave each kid a G20 glow stick.
When that didn’t work he sprang to his sleigh
And flew off in great haste to prorogue Christmas Day.

Conversation of the day

Disclaimer: Those of you who have children will not bat at eye at this story.  Those of you without children may want to look away.

The cat ralphed last night.  Not just a little vurp, either.  A real technicolour yawn.  It Was Huge.  Somehow, it was my turn to clean it up again.

I grabbed some paper towels and started scooping it up.

Me: Does vomit go in the Green Bin?

J: Well, cat litter is allowed, so vomit should be.

Me [dumping handfuls of vomit into the Green Bin]: Excellent!

I wonder if the Region will update their list...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday afternoon follies

Let’s see… run the tests one more time before checking the code in and… WTF?


Better look for that in the code, to see if I’ve broken something.

// This code shouldn't be executed right now, 
// but has been run manually to test.

console.warn("*** Subsequent patient id merging 2 full patient nodes on pid=", this.PatientIdentifier);

I think the “shouldn’t be executed” part is correct, at least.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

15 Songs

Today's meme is 15 Songs.

Here are the rules:

  • Turn on your MP3 player or music player on your computer
  • Go to SHUFFLE songs mode
  • List the first 15 songs that come up (song title and artist) - NO editing/cheating.  Even if you might skip the song when it comes up or be embarrassed for people to know that it's in your collection, you still must list it.
  • Pass it on.

My list:

1) Desperado - Eagles (from Hell Freezes Over)
2) That Was Your Mother - Paul Simon (from Graceland)
3) Top Of The World - Van Halen (from Right Here Right Now)
4) See Emily Play - Pink Floyd (from Echoes: The Best Of Pink Floyd Disc 1)
5) Every Night - Joe Williams (from Verve Story 1944-1994 Disc 4)
6) Cleaning My Gun - Mark Knopfler (from Get Lucky)
7) The Confessor - Joe Walsh (from Greatest Hits)
8) South Side [featuring Gwen Stefani] - Moby (CD single)
9) I'm Not Supposed To Care - Gordon Lightfoot (from Gord's Gold Vol. 2)
10) Soul Man - The Blues Brothers (from Briefcase Full Of Blues)
11) Money for Nothing - Dire Straits (from Brothers in Arms)
12) Piano Concerto No. 1 - Ljubliana Symphony Orchestra (from Tchaikovsky’s Greatest Hits)
13) Lions - Dire Straits (from Live at the BBC)
14) I'm Gonna Crawl - Led Zeppelin (from Box Set - Disc 4 of 4)
15) The Happiest Days of Our Lives - Pink Floyd (from Echoes: The Best Of Pink Floyd Disc 1)

A little heavily weighted to Dire Straits, when I expected it to be more Floydish, but... what the heck.  Still a nice way to spend the afternoon while writing integration tests.

What are your 15 songs?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

me = hipster++

The move to the new team is going well.  Yesterday, Eclipse and Maven had me pinned down, but today I wiggled out and now I’m on top.

I just need to decide which eyebrow I should get pierced.  Maybe all of them…