Jim's Blog Ramblings about novels, comics, programming, and other geek topics


Charting using .NET just got a lot easier

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In the past, I've used various open source .NET charting libraries or Flash based libraries. I've even coded my own charting libraries for some complex data visualization requirements. Today, Scott Gu blogged about the the free Microsoft Chart Controls for Microsoft .NET 3.5.


What’s your blog’s psychological profile?

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A new web site (Typealyzer.com) is offering a blog analysis to determine your psychological profile. The analysis use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality types to categorize blogs. After running my blog through the analysis, it determined that the blog was ESTJ (Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judging).

I've taken this test before and this wasn't the same outcome. So I wouldn't put too much faith into this analysis. After all, most bloggers don't write about everything in their life, they usually fall into niches like technology, politics, etc. Based on this, I think I'll need to start writing about more imaginative topics and express more feelings to be a little more balanced in the brain.


California Voter Registration Trends

The below statistics is based on California state voting registration data from June 1980 to September 2008.

Four party affiliations are indicated:

  1. Democratic - The Californian Democratic Party
  2. Republican - The Californian Republican Party
  3. Other - All other parties, such as Green, Libertarian, etc.
  4. Decline to state - voters who are not affiliated with any party

20,000 San Diegans rally against Proposition 8

The nation's largest Proposition 8 opposition march and rally was held on November 15, 2008 in San Diego. The group marched from Balboa Park south to Broadway and then west to the County Administration building on Pacific Blvd. (see route) That was a long march, so I'm surprised to see so many turned up to make that trek down 6th Ave and through the heart of downtown (Broadway).

Just for comparison, the average attendance of a 2008 San Diego Padres game was around 29,000.


How to extract pages from a PDF document

One of the great things about being a programmer is that when you need software that you don't have, you can usually write a small utility application to do what you need without having to purchase the software.

If you own Adobe Acrobat ($299 USD) or FoxIt Editor ($99.00 USD), then you can just right click and extract pages from an existing PDF to create a new PDF document. However, if you don't want to shell out the money for it, then you can always write your own code to perform the same task.


California Proposition 8 Vote Analysis By County

Of all of the propositions, Proposition 8 has been the most discussed and has drawn the most attention. Here's the vote breakdown by county for California Proposition 8 along with some highlights.


California Proposition Results

It's been a week since the election and here's the finally tally on the state measures.

  Yes No Status
Prop 1A - High Speed Rail 52.2% 47.8% Pass
Prop 2 - Treatment of Farm Animals 63.2% 36.8% Pass
Prop 3 - Children's Hospital Bond 54.7% 45.3% Pass
Prop 4 - Waiting Period & Parental Notification 47.9% 52.1% Fail
Prop 5 - Nonviolent Drug Offenses 40.0% 60.0% Fail
Prop 6 - Police & Law Enforcement Funding 30.6% 69.4% Fail
Prop 7 - Renewable Energy Generation 34.9% 65.1% Fail
Prop 8 - Eliminates Rights of Same-Sex Marriages 52.3% 47.7% Pass
Prop 9 - Victims' Rights 53.5% 46.5% Pass
Prop 10 - Alternative Fuel Vehicles & Renewable Energy 40.1% 59.9% Fail
Prop 11 - Redistricting 50.8% 49.2% Pass
Prop 12 - Veteran's Bond Act of 2008 63.3% 36.7% Pass

I voted Yes for Propositions 1A, 2, 11, and 12 (all passed). I voted No for Propositions 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. Of the ones that I opposed 3 of them passed (Propositions 3, 8, and 9). I feel copasetic about Propositions 3 and 9 passing, but I'm really disappointed that Proposition 8 passed.

Of all of the measures on this ballot, I think Proposition 8 was only real important measure on the ballot. I do feel that same-sex marriages will one day regain it's full status, but like all other civil rights movements, the pace of acceptance is usually slower than most would want. I also think that this will return to the courts to be settle, since it's too easy for a simple majority to take away minority rights through a popular vote process.



Help Rebuild the Grand Old Party (Republicans)

The GOP started a new web site today called "Rebuild the Party" to collect ideas on how to focus and position the party for the future. Users of the site can submit ideas and others vote for the ideas. The site works similar to Digg and Reddit. Each user gets 10 votes and you can spend 1, 2, or 3 votes per suggestion.

I guess they didn't really understand the true nature of the Internet as demonstrated by the John Gabriel's Greater Internet F* Theory (Penny Arcade) since as of right now, there's no moderation going on at the site...


USMC Birthday and Veteran’s Day

Today marks the 233rd birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Tomorrow is Veteran's Day.

233rd Marine Corps Birthday

Having served in the Marine Corps and participated in a few birthdays, I understand the importance of this event. One year, I just happened to be on a temporary assignment to a training course over the birthday and I was able to met R. Lee Ermey (most known for his role as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket) who was our special guest at a Birthday. R. Lee Ermey did serve in the Marine Corps, but he left the service as a Staff Sergeant. He was later bestowed the honorary rank of Gunnery Sergeant.