Monthly Archives: June 2003

Specifications

A spec has to be specific or it’s worthless. If after a spec is published it becomes a apparent that the spec isn’t specific enough then a new revision of the spec must be revised to address the lack of specificity. If the spec is frozen at a certain revision then the only way to address the inadequacies is by starting over with something else.

Now, if people need to keep contacting the author of the spec for clarification of any points then the spec isn’t specific enough to be frozen. Actually it probably isn’t specific enough to be published as a spec and needs to remain as an RFC until a person can read it and implement what is being specified without having to write to the author for clarification.

Now some folks have some brilliant ideas but admittedly write shitty specs. These people should never, ever freeze their specs because doing so can only cause babies to be thrown out with bathwater. If that one thing can be understood then perhaps a lot of what one might otherwise view as a flame or a personal attack can actually be understood as frustration being vented.

Vacation, Summer 2003 – Orange Beach, Alabama

On Vacation

I’m staying in a condo in Orange Beach, Alabama this week with my family. I’ll be trying to write about some of my experiences while I’m here and and maybe load them up during the week to the ‘blog but I’m making no promises. I’m on vacation.

With us is Matt who is a friend of my youngest son, Nick, and lives down the street from us. Nick and Matt went parasailing today. Yesterday, Matt was stung by a jellyfish.

The Summons: A review.

Everybody has just so many books in them. I think I have just one in me and it’s a comic book with bad artwork and is only about thirty pages long. John Grisham is no exception to the "just so many books" rule and I think he has hit his last one with The Summons.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad book. It had me turning pages for three days and I enjoyed the read but the ending came off fairly flat and predictable. That isn’t what Grisham is known for writing. This book seemed written more for fulfilling a contract than for the tales that I’m use to from him.

Actually, I think that he could have easily written the ending so that I would have been more pleased with the effect without actually changing the whodunnit part of it. This brings up another topic, derivitive works and copyright. What is wrong with someone getting an idea out of their head and onto paper when that idea is brought about by a previous work?

Right now I have an idea for a slight change in the ending of The Summons that would basically just add about three chapters to the book but I think that doing so, even though I’d only sharing the work with friends, that I would be infringing on Grisham’s copyright. For me this isn’t a problem, I just dwell on the idea for a day or so and then forget all about it, but some folks get these things in their head and can’t get them out until they put it on paper. There are other folks that would love to read derivative works like this. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to?

Bizarre ID

Imagine yourself driving your two children to a doctor’s office for an appointment. Imagine seeing a dozen police officers rushing through stopped traffic with guns drawn and finding out you were the one they were after. Now on top of all of this imagine these police officers claiming you are a French fugitive, Nadine Tretiakoff, who is guilty of kidnapping her children from her ex-spouse, seeing your children driven off in one car while you are taken and thrown in jail, no one believing you or caring that you have a passport, birth certificate and work record stating that you were not this French fugitive. Imagine after four days you meet this supposed ex-spouse in a court room where he swears that you are indeed the ex-spouse who kidnapped the kids and are thrown back in jail.

This did, indeed, occur to Nona Cason. Had it happened to me I would be more than just a little pissed and I think that’s about how Nona feels about the matter. How could it happen? Mistaken identity happens quite often but it look like the paper documentation should have been enough to have gotten Ms Cason released from jail until the court appearence.

That still doesn’t explain how her supposed ex-husband, Pierre Fourcade of France, could have misidentified her in court. His explanation for the mistake is that he hadn’t seen this ex-wife in six years and the authorities told him this was the right woman. He said the kids were his too. Either this guy has way too much faith in his government or the fellow wasn’t an interested enough parent in the first place to know what his children looked like.

Still, Fourcade admitted that he was wrong. Kathleen Ruckman, supervising attorney in the international division of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, isn’t so quick to accept the DNA testing that proved the kids weren’t the progeny of the genius Fourcade. She said Tretiakoff could have been unfaithful during their marriage, resulting in the children having DNA that didn’t match the husband.

Ms. Ruckman, I hope you get the pants, or skirt, sued right off of you if you were in any way involved in Ms. Cason’s wrongful imprisonment.

Title 40, Chapter 6, Section 315 of the Georgia Code, Unannotated

It’s small, but it’s a change I’d really like to see made to the Georgia Code:

(a) No person under the age of eighteen (18) shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle
unless he or she is wearing protective headgear which complies with standards
established by the commissioner of motor vehicle safety.
(b) No person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle if
the motorcycle is not equipped with a windshield unless he or she is wearing an
eye-protective device of a type approved by the commissioner of motor vehicle
safety.
(c) This Code section shall not apply to persons riding
within an enclosed cab or motorized cart. This Code section shall not apply to a
person operating a three-wheeled motorcycle used only for agricultural purposes.
(d) The commissioner of motor vehicle safety is authorized
to approve or disapprove protective headgear and eye-protective devices required
in this Code section and to issue and enforce regulations establishing standards
and specifications for the approval thereof. The commissioner shall publish
lists of all protective headgear and eye-protective devices by name and type
which have been approved by it.

I’m not anti-helmet. I’d advise everyone to wear one while riding. I just think that whether or not a person chooses to wear a helmet is a decision that should belong to the individual.