Who am I?

I’m an Agilist, a former software engineer, a gamer, an improviser, a podcaster emeritus, and a wine lover. Learn more.

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Paul Tevis

Entries in things that make me happy (8)

Sunday
Feb122012

Link Roundup for 12 February 2012

I’ve been sitting on a bunch of improv and storytelling links for a while… and now it’s time to share them.

Sunday
Dec252011

I Can't Think of Christmas Without These

I.

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory o’er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight!
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of Might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times didst give the law
In cloud, and majesty, and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

II.

The boar’s head in hand bear I,
Bedeck’d with bays and rosemary.
I pray you, my masters, be merry
Quot estis in convivio.
Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino

The boar’s head, as I understand,
Is the rarest dish in all this land,
Which thus bedeck’d with a gay garland
Let us servire cantico.
Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino

Our steward hath provided this
In honour of the King of Bliss;
Which, on this day to be served is
In Reginensi atrio.
Caput apri defero
Reddens laudes Domino

III.

Lo, how a rose e’er blooming,
From tender stem hath sprung.
Of Jesse’s lineage coming,
As men of old have sung;
It came, a flow’ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah ‘twas foretold it,
The Rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind;
To show God’s love aright,
She bore to men a Savior,
When halfspent was the night.

O Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious splendour
The darkness everywhere;
True man, yet very God,
From Sin and death now save us,
And share our every load.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Saturday
Apr302011

Laying Down Track

I love refactoring, perhaps even more than writing new code.

For those of you aren’t software geeks, refactoring is the process of changing the structure of a body of code without changing the behavior. It’s about redesigning code so that does the same thing as before but in a different way. Usually you do this because you’re going to add new behavior to it, but the current design doesn’t allow you to. There are other reasons, but that’s the big one.

I just spent an hour working from home on a weekend, which I never do, because of something I realized late yesterday afternoon.

The project I’m on at work has a lot of what one of my co-workers described as “hand-crafted code.” The code does exactly what the first release of the product needed to it to do, and nothing more. In one way, that’s a good thing, because it wasn’t overbuilt. In another, it’s not, because the code is fragile and hard to re-use. Even worse, much of the code uses the Big Ball of Mud design pattern. There are lots of long methods, objects with multiple responsibilities, and modules that are hodgepodges of different pieces of functionality.

What I realized yesterday afternoon was how to eliminate two unnecessary and confusing functions from a module’s interface. This particular bit of code has been vexing me for quite a while, so I take any chance I can to clean it up. And as I moved the code around today, it really sunk in how much I love this kind of work. I love seeing the potential in a body of code, working within the current constraints, improving what is there. There’s something about the process of refining, of letting the new design emerge, that hooks into the synergistic part of my brain. A lot of my role on my current team involves taking functionality that other people have developed and making it work in ways or in situations they didn’t originally design it for. Other people can blaze the trails. I’m happy building the railroad behind them.




Update

Fitness: Ran 2.25 miles
Writing: 448 words, 258 average
Saturday
Jan292011

For Meghann and Josh

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
That alters when it alterations finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark
Whose worth’s unknown those his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks
And bears it out even to the edge of doom
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116

 

I wish you the best on this, your special day.

Thursday
Apr222010

A Pair For Your Ears

As some of you know, I have a deep and abiding love for a cappella music. In high school, I was in a guys' quartet called The Overtones, and in college I was part of the Rice Philharmonics. I'd love to get back to it, but for now I have to content myself with singing along with the Acapodcast, my collection of recordings, and whatever I happen to find on the Internet.

Here's two things that fall into the latter category. The first is an a cappella standard given a new twist by incorporating some particularly ingenious sound effects. (The thunder is my favorite.) The second is a multi-tracking a cappella take on a classic rock song, which rarely fail to make me smile.

Enjoy (and feel free to sing along).