Archive for the ‘Whinges’ Category

* Flat( bat)tery will get you nowhere

Posted on November 9th, 2009 by whinger. Filed under Whinges.

Flat battery today. Some ignorant bitch decided that she would have strop at me because I asked her to go up over the pavement (while I had C’s car next to mine) and it “would damage her wheel”.

Nice bit of understanding for your fellow man, honey, it’s not my fault you can’t drive well enough to go up and down on the dropped kerbs…


* your negative aura just zeroes me out

Posted on October 6th, 2009 by whinger. Filed under Tech, Whinges.

So in this post I talked about -COALESCE(null, 0) returning -0 in my legacy 5.0.15 mysql server and moaned that I couldn’t use -COALESCE(null, -0) to get around it.

It occurred to me that this might be because the parser intercepts the “-0” and goes “don’t be silly”. So I tried this:


and – genius! – it works!

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* someone needs a boot somewhere…

Posted on September 28th, 2009 by whinger. Filed under Whinges.

So I placed an order for collection at my local store with boots online on the 16th September (yes, boys and girls, that’s 12 days ago). They told me at the time it would be available to collect by the 23rd, which I thought was a bit slothlike, but hey!, how urgently can you need toothpaste, right?

The despatch note came on the 18th, which gave me hope that I might be experiencing shiny clean teeth and that fresh breath that 3 cups of coffee and a mustard-filled sandwich does its best to destroy (and I’m sorry but the Colgate I can get from everywhere – actually that’s another rant, but I’ll leave that for another day – just doesn’t compete) within a reasonable amount of time; however it’s now the 28th and I’ve still not had the nod from Boots to tell me that I can collect.

I sent them a polite email on Friday and have heard nothing. So today I tried a different tack – this is the text of the email I sent this morning.

Order status is despatched and has been for nearly a week. I dropped into the store on Friday and they suggested that the next delivery date would be Saturday but your status still says “despatched”. Now given that I could probably have attached the package to a tortoise and it could have travelled the 20 miles or so from Nottingham to Alvaston by now, unless you’re shipping from the Outer Hebrides using the pony express I’d say it has either not been despatched at all or it’s been lost on the way.

Can you investigate and let me know when you expect to be able to fulfil my order?

So I guess either I’ll now never receive it or I’ll give them a laugh and they might actually do something. We’ll see 🙂

Edit – the automated bounce email I got back states (about their 0845 number):
You will pay at the local rate and calls may be recorded for training purposes
I thought they weren’t allowed to call 0845 “local” rate any more?

Update (2009-10-01) I received a phone call from a very helpful boots rep today: their courier has admitted mislaying my parcel. Oh well, at least they’re dealing with it!

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* vici ergo sum optimus

Posted on September 24th, 2009 by whinger. Filed under Poker, Whinges.

I love to see people look back on hands and think “I played that really well” whereas in actual fact they played like a weak donkey.

Nick Schulman’s post on full-tilt is the perfect example. He raises with a middling hand, gets reraised and decides to call anyway. He then misses the flop – there’s an overcard to his middling hand – but calls the bet on the flop. He then proceeds to give his opponent two opportunities to hit a card that beats him, assuming that he wasn’t beaten by the queen on the flop or indeed before the flop.

In almost every situation this is just rubbish. He’s then giving himself kudos because he won the pot but that’s just results-orientated thinking. If he’d reraised all-in he’d have won much more, was that a better play?

IMO he played the hand badly from start to finish. Thoughts?

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* MySQL’s design team triumphs again!

Posted on August 24th, 2009 by whinger. Filed under Tech, Web Development, Whinges.

From this upgrade note for MySQL 5.1

As of MySQL 5.1.15, InnoDB rolls back only the last statement on a transaction timeout.

Oh, what a fantastic design decision.

I love that there’s no explanation, no reasoning. Just “we’ve fucked over transactions”.

It’s almost like they decided that MySQL was getting far too close to being a usable enterprise solution so they did this to make sure it stayed where they know it really should be – website backend city.

Edit: MAD points out that the old behaviour can be turned back on with an option, but most people new to a database will install it with the default options and really, implementing this option at all just displays complete disregard for the ACID ideals

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* Dude, you’re so, like, negative (zero)

Posted on April 23rd, 2009 by whinger. Filed under Tech, Web Development, Whinges.

Edit: this is fixed in 5.1.30, so I’m guessing it was fixed a while back – I’m working on a legacy system using 5.0.15.


So MySQL thinks that


should return -0

(Whatever -0 is)…

Clearly I’ve simplified my code and there are ways around this, but… WTF?


For what it’s worth,

SELECT -COALESCE(null, 0) + 0;

results in the expected “0” value.


I was disappointed that


doesn’t work though – if you’re going to believe that -0 is a valid number, you should be able to get +0 out of it.

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* Have I lost it?

Posted on March 31st, 2009 by whinger. Filed under Poker, Whinges.

No, that’s not a question on the state of my sanity.

The last few live games I’ve played I’ve bemoaned the fact that I’ve hit no cards. However last night I played in a game which was the weakest table I’ve ever sat at but I singularly failed to make any moves at all. Maybe it was because the first hand I tried I lost but it’s almost like I was having some sort of out-of-body experience, watching myself playing as a complete passive fish.

I have been blaming my recent run on a complete lack of cards (which is admittedly true, last night I hit one pair – 66 – and one AQ in 90 minutes of play) but I’m beginning to wonder if actually I’m running scared.

Perhaps I went out early too many times playing overly aggressive; however I think I’ve reached the conclusion that I had more fun losing quickly being caught out in a bluff than painfully. Last night I just watched myself melting into nothing and, unless I can fix it, I think my live game will be dead.


* Scunthorpe???

Posted on March 19th, 2009 by whinger. Filed under Tech, Web Development, Whinges.

So Google Streetview has come to the UK, with street-level pictures of Southampton, London, Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford, Norwich, Coventry, Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Leeds, York, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen, Swansea, Cardiff, Belfast, Lisburn and… Scunthorpe.


WTF? Does Google UK’s mapping director live in Scunthorpe or something? I mean, I’ve nothing against the town but it’s not exactly the most attractive or well-known, is it?

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* mysql in completely incomprehensible design decision shock

Posted on February 6th, 2009 by whinger. Filed under Web Development, Whinges.

Who at Mysql AB decided that SHOW TRIGGERS LIKE ‘…’, unlike the SHOW TABLES LIKE ‘…’ command on which it is modelled, should not display triggers whose names match the ‘…’ string but instead display triggers which relate to tables whose names match ‘…’


Sometimes I wonder about these people, I really do.

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* whinging^Wwinning poker strategy

Posted on December 19th, 2008 by whinger. Filed under Poker, Whinges.

Today’s state-the-bleeding-obvious award goes to Jordan Morgan in the featured tip in this week’s Full Tilt newsletter.

One of the keys to making money at the poker table, however, is being able to interpret when the three-bet means what it’s supposed to mean, and when a player is only representing a big hand and making a move.

The next tip in the series is “only bet when you think you have the best hand or your opponent might fold”.

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