XSL(T) and Dates 
2007.06.04 15:24 - Work-related
Because XSLT 2 support doesn't yet exist for the MSXML parser, I'm limited to solutions centered around XSLT 1. Quickly hit upon the EXSLT project, but the options there are decidely limited. In particular, there doesn't appear to be a satisfactory implementation of parse-date, which is the function I actually need.

But, a-ha! There is a project, MVP XML, which is an implementation of the EXSLT project in .NET. This might work if, having chased them through three different generations of links (from gotdotnet.whatever to Sourceforge to Codeplex) I was not greeted with a notice that the server is down for maintenance.

Spectacular.

I have to do some conferring tomorrow anyway, so I may ask if we can't get all the dates in the XML file in a format that doesn't suck. (Two-digit years? Is it 1987 again?)

[Update: the Mvp.Xml site is up now. Hooray.]
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That went better than expected. 
2007.06.03 01:53 - Miscellanea
Got back from my 10-year high school reunion about ... thirty minutes ago? Yeah. More or less.

Went swimmingly up to the point where I joined half the high school class0 at Fourth Street Live!1 for drinks after dinner broke up. Can't say I didn't have fun, but that's the second drunkest I've ever been2. Apparently, everyone wants to buy me a drink (since I don't drink much). Made it home safe, sound, and still a little tipsy, so it's just as well I was 100% alert3 and obeyed every traffic law I could remember on the way home.

In the future, I will have to insist on buying my own drinks, stopping at two, and not starting with a double bourbon. I did stop at two drinks this evening4 , but I failed on the other two points. I'll have a better idea in the morning if I'm allowed to do shots of tequila5 ever again.

Footnotes
0. The entire graduating class was about thirty, so, even with various people's spouses from outside our diminutive class, this wasn't that large a crowd.
1. Home to trendy and overpriced bars and restaurants serving the downtown Louisville area. Actually, it's not a bad area to get lunch, if you're already downtown.
2. Most drunk, ever? St. Patrick's Day pub crawl, 2001.
3. Mountain Dew around 11:30-ish in the pm. All booze between 10:30 and 11:15.
4. Drink #1: double Knob Creek, straight up.6 Drink #2: tequila shot, under polite force.
5. Or of anything else, I guess.
6. It was very gracious of one erstwhile classmate to cover that double bourbon at the bar's prices!

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Comments are enabled. 
2007.06.03 01:35 - Site/Meta
Many, many apologies for the long delay.

(Thanks, Herb!)
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AMUSED JOHN IS AMUSED 
2007.05.30 19:59 - Entertainment, Microcode, Internet Stupidity
I am simultaneously horrified and amused.

(Link stolen from Brian Tiemann.)
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Time for some album reviews 
2007.05.24 22:41 - Entertainment, Music
  • Minutes To Midnight, Linkin Park: I guess this is the third or fourth Linkin Park album I've got.0 If you're curious but not already familiar with the band, pick up either of their earlier albums, Hybrid Theory or Meteora1. I'd advise skipping Minutes To Midnight, which never manages to be as catchy as either earlier effort, and throws in a couple of mediocre political screeds in as a bonus. It does show some mental and musical growth on the part of the band members, but I really hope that means that the next album knocks it out of the park, because this one strikes out. 1.5 out of 5.
  • The Sun And The Moon, The Bravery: Sounds like the latest round of British pop to me, but I don't know if that's actually correct. I'm enjoying it well enough, if only because it's a nice change from the last several albums I've purchased.2 Reminiscent of Franz Ferdinand (but, it seems to me, with rather less referential irony), for what it's worth. 3.5 out of 5.
  • Vena Sera, Chevelle: It always takes a little while for my brain to warm up to a Chevelle album, and I really haven't listened to this one much, yet. The first track, "Antisaint" seems to show some sonic similarity to Tool, which is an interesting development.3 Recommended if you enjoyed their previous albums, but skippable otherwise. 2.5 of 5.

All in all, not a great line-up there.

Footnotes
  1. Seriously, my taste in music is all over the map. And I listen to too much of the 'new rock' station here.
  2. Skip Reanimation, which is just music from Hybrid Theory remixed by other people. It's not bad, if you like this sort of thing, but it doesn't really sound like their other albums, either.
  3. Other recent albums, in no particular order:
    • Centuries Before Love And War, Stars of Track And Field: 4 out of 5
    • Okami Original Soundtrack: 4 out of 5
    • Best Blues, Porno Graffiti: 3 out of 5
    • mCABI, Porno Graffiti: 3.5 out of 5
    • Mangekyo/Unlimited (single), Aikawa Nanase: 4 out of 5
    • 18, Kitade Nana: 3.5 out of 5
    A lot of J-Pop in the last two months. Can't go much farther back than that, though, because iTunes blew up my library in late March, so dates get fuzzy. If you like video game music, you owe it to yourself to check out OC Remix's Metroid and Chrono Trigger projects, Relics of the Chozo and Chrono Symphonic, respectively.
  4. I've kind of got a tin ear4, so YMMV.
  5. As evidenced by, say, having recently purchased a Linkin Park album.

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