News from the flip side

News from the flip side

Lots going on.  More than the usual Christmas – that’s for sure.

1. I need a new roommate: my old roommate is moving out – so I need someone for January.  Anyone looking for a good place downtown?  Contact me (mattfife at!

2. Holidays: Got a bit bogged down with running the name exchange for my family.  Funny part was doing the name drawing.  Here I was thinking about writing this clever program to draw names for other folks.  We have some members in school so you want each person’s gift giver to be a mix of folks that have money and don’t have money.  Each person got two or three names depending on ability to pay, etc.  After pondering the problem I realized the fastest solution was just to write the correct number of names on paper slip, drop them (literally) into a bucket and draw.  First round produced almost perfect results.  The only conflicts and clumps were resolved by just re-drawing with only the affected names.  Took 5 minutes tops.  Sometimes you can try to out-smart yourself – and the easiest solutions are also the fastest. Thank you Jamie from Mythbusters – I took his motivation to always to do the quickest, easiest approach and not try to over-engineer something when a much simpler and faster solution is available.  As Fr. Bob would say – “Be brief, Be holy, Be done”

3.  We might get snowed on:  Oregon is funny.  It’s like they haven’t seen snow – even though the mountains have dozens of feet on them.  But everyone’s been talking ALL WEEK about the *blizzard* we might get this weekend.  If I had my bets (and I’m putting one down now) the WORST we’ll get is 2″ of snow that’ll melt off in a day or two at most.  My real guess is that it might flurry but it won’t even stick.  Oh, the mountains will get good snow, and the coast will get some bad rain storms for sure – but the “blizzards” out here don’t even beat the average snow front in the midwest.  Still, one never drives when it snows out here.  They simply can’t drive on it.  I’m parking my car in a safe spot away from traffic and intersections for the inevitable bumper cars.

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