Watts (chipotle) wrote,

Except for that out-of-work thing, life is good

I'm sitting here with the "Jazz Traditions" channel on the Dish TV audio network playing--great music for doing other things to, I've decided. It's good enough that if I just sit around and listen to it I won't be annoyed (like I would with easy listening or a Snooze Jazz Smooth Jazz station), but not intrusive enough to be distracting when I start paying attention to other things. What I've been paying attention to today has been cooking and C coding.

I've put on a pot of chili, the first one I've attempted in a while. I'm suspecting that I don't do it too much because good chili is expensive--the ingredients in this batch come to about $13.50. If I'd gotten the on-sale ground chuck instead of a "chili grind" and gone with a cheaper brand of crushed tomatoes, I could have saved another $2, and I'll have to see what the whole shebang would have cost at Albertson's rather than Lunardi's--but I doubt I'd have ended up with it under $10. If you wonder why it's rare to see a good bowl of chili in a restaurant for under $4, now you know. I'm expecting I'll get 4-6 bowls out of this, of course. If you look at it that way, it's an investment against eating lunches out, even if I only have two or three of the bowls. (Which reminds me that I need to check in with the Florida unemployment office when I finish this update to claim my next "paycheck.")

Why C coding, you may ask? Do you think that upon completing that textbook you can legitimately put C on your résumé? Well, actually, yes, I can, but I know that for practical purposes it won't matter--I won't have it in any job listings. (Thinking about it I can actually list it as a skill from NetPoodles--I did some C debugging--but I still won't be a professional C coder.) It does mean that I could conceivably get a certification in C, which might help ameliorate that lack a little; I'm considering trying to pursue a few other certifications in web coding and technical writing.

I suppose ultimately it's because I'd like to get back into coding, and C is a good base to do that from. It's still being used, of course, and the other languages I'm interested in--Objective-C, C++ and Java--are all based on C (I'm sure some Java programmers might dispute that, but c'mon, guys, it looks more like C than Objective-C does). I keep telling myself to learn Java and its associated acronyms (JSP, EJB, J2EE) but I'm honestly more interested in Objective-C and the Cocoa API. What will I do with it? I don't know. I have crazy ideas about an XML editor--all of the ones I've seen strike me as far too complicated, and I have an idea for a UI that would make it much more like a conventional text editor, possible to use it as a word processor (albeit one much closer to Yeah Write in feel than Word), but still be a true XML editor able to create any well-formed (and possibly DTD-validated) document. Nobody's likely to write this program for me, so that likely leaves it up to me to try it.

The problem, of course, is that my track record with personal projects is abysmal. Not just with creative writing, but even my recent Yodel! program is stalled due to decreasing interest (I'm unable to convince myself it's really providing a service other things don't do better, but perhaps I'll find a different way to look at it in the future). I haven't done the "Road Trip" website I've been planning. So am I really likely to be able to single-handedly pull off something as complex as this when the first step is "learn Objective-C and Cocoa"?

I don't know. But hopefully I'll have a good bowl of chili later tonight.

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