Camp Stutz 2009

Back from the annual Stutzbach family camping trip in New Hampshire. This year's menu included:

  • frushi
  • filet mignon
  • french fries (from scratch)
  • pickles (pickled on-site)
  • chocolate chip cookies (baked on-site)
  • homemade marshmallows (vanilla, chocolate chip, and root beer)
  • waffles (from scratch)
  • grilled pizza
  • ratatouille
  • green eggs and ham
  • bruschetta (with mozzarella made on-site)

What can I say? Several years ago, Dad picked up gourmet cooking as a hobby and now we're all spoiled!

DefaultValue Attribute as Initial Value

Visual Studio Properties

C# lets the programming define a default value on a class property, so that GUI widgets can test the property to see if it still has the default value. Visual Studio, for example, bolds any properties that have a non-default value, making them easy to pick out.

Unfortunately, the default value isn't used to actually initialize the property. The initialization must be done elsewhere in the code, typically in the class's constructor. Having to type the same value in two separate places in the code is error-prone, since it's easy to inadvertently change the value in one place and forget to change it in the other.

Playing with Google Voice Transcriptions

Want to play the Google Voice Transcriptions Game? It's the solitaire version of the "telephone" game that children play. Here's how to play:

  1. Click this button:
  2. Have Google Voice call you, which will connect you to my Google Voice Voicemail.
  3. Leave a message.
  4. Reply to this post with what you actually said.
  5. I'll reply with what Google Voice thinks you said.

Here's what it made of a message my wife left me last night:

hi sarah it's matt and that the alright new voicemail if and i think we should placed in one now or rather reformer neil scoop really try to fix my computer weren't tuesday okay and

How to debug a program


Debugging is a fundamental programming skill. It's also one of the least fun and least glamorous tasks a programmer faces. In order to reduce time spent debugging, I've invested time in examining my debugging methods. Below, I've documented the techniques that most reliably lead me to a solved problem.

I'll avoid getting into the gritty details of particular tools and instead stick to basic principles that can be applied in almost any situation.

Website Facelift

My new website/blog is GO! And automatically mirrored to LiveJournal.


Alisa and I caught Pixar's Up three nights ago. What a great film! Possibly Pixar's best film to date, and that's saying a lot. It opened the Cannes Film Festival this year and received an 8-minute standing ovation, Roger Ebert gave it four stars, etc.

Up is one of those films where the marketing for the film didn't really match the actual movie (another such film is the excellent Zero Effect). The trailers made Up look like a campy adventure movie, but the truth is that the trailers showed only the campiest parts of the film and little else. While there certainly is adventure and campiness, Up is also sentimental, sad, sweet, and even romantic.

Historical stock data

Is there someplace I can download historical stock data in a machine-friendly format?

I want to test the following hypothesis: investing in 10 stocks chosen randomly from the S&P 500 Index has a similar return to the S&P 500 Index as a whole.

I'm interested in long-term effects, so one quote per stock per year would be sufficient. Some kind of server that I could programmatically query for the closing price of a ticker symbol on a certain date would be awesome.

Disney investing in Hulu

Last week I saw several headlines similar to this one: What Disney-Hulu Means for Apple

Seeing as Steve Jobs sits on the Disney's Board of Directors and is the largest single Disney shareholder, I don't see Disney as a likely direct competitor for Apple. Jobs owns 7% of Disney, way more than Michael Eisner (1.7%) or Roy E. Disney (1%).

Dear Lazy Web

Where can I buy a 2.5mm x .45 bolt, 25mm long, without having to pay $9 shipping?

(hint: not in my local hardware store)

Speaker repair?

Anyone know anything about speaker repair?

I've got a pair of speaker cabinets that my parents gave me when they invested in a modern 7.1 speaker system. Recently the woofer in one of the cabinets stopped producing sound. After disassembling the cabinet, I was able to determine that the woofer has a short (0 ohms).

Googling around for parts, I've discovered that it's a valuable vintage set (Sansui SP-1700s), which means that:

  • It may actually be worth the trouble of repairing, and
  • Spare parts are not available