A Good Memory Is A Great Thing To Have

Well, I haven’t posted in a while. Still busy as ever. Was up north for the 4th and my 10 Year reunion. Pics are on Flickr.

Anyways, this post is about a “Good Memory”, or even better, the ability to memorize things. Memorization.

So what does memorization have to do with anything? Well, as far as computer stuff goes, programming, development, database stuff, networking, sysadmin, all aspects, even just regular old users using their computers. Memory (not RAM), but remembering how to do things is going to make you better. Not just better, but substantially better.

Remembering things will probably make you a very good developer. How? You won’t have to keep looking things up. It should start out with you remembering the syntax of the language you are using. Then comes remembering how to setup and tweak your tools (IDE), then comes remembering different concepts (loops, OOP patterns, etc). Next comes remember old code you wrote to solve some problem, and going back to it and using it again. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

As any good developer should, you should be able to remember how to use the OS and tools you are using. If you can’t even do that, you probably shouldn’t be developing software. A simple example, like setting up a printer in Windows XP, or pinging Google, or using CTRL+C and CTRL+V – these simple concepts are going to make you a better computer user, not just a developer. There is no excuse for not knowing these simple things!

Now, if you can remember tons of little things like that, and then start adding in Framework libs, and IDE tricks and how the network works, or every other nugget of info you should be remembering. You might not remember every blog or site bookmark full content, but you should remember that you bookmarked it and why. Just little things.

Another area where memorization is key is with music. Playing music. Singing music. Take playing guitar or piano for instance. You can read off the music time and time again, but you are using part of your brain on that, not focusing on actually playing. Once you memorize the music, you can play it better, and focus on actually playing, not where you are on the music page.

Same thing with looking up things in help or guides for development. If you keep having to look up DATEDIFF in SQL books online, you are just wasting time. Learn how it works, learn the params and what they are, and memorize it.

I think the only time you should be using the help is to search for something that you haven’t memorized. Like, “I wonder if there is a C# function to do XYZ”. Then, you search help, even better Google, or ask someone who you think might know. But you shouldn’t have to Google or ask someone “Hey, do you know I set up a FOR loop?” – That you should know, and have memorized (plus a ton of other things!!)

The more you memorize, the better you will become, because you can focus on the problems to solve, not learning the tools and concepts you should already know. Oh, and you can play some wicked guitar as well 🙂

4 Stages of Karaoke Songs

We have all been there. At some bar, karaoke bar, whatever, and just watched people sing. There are really good people, really bad people, weird songs, good songs, and everything in between. But over time, I have come to pick up the 4 stages of Karaoke Songs.

Why am I even thinking about this? Well I need to pick 4-5 songs for the band, as we are going to learn some new songs, I think my first pick is Piano Man, we will see.

Anyways, here are the 4 Karaoke “songs” that you can do

1) You really suck, and you pick a no-name, horrible song

Everyone knows these ones, someone who can’t sing, or someone who is trying to be stupid, and they pick some song that even the KJ doesn’t know

2) You are really awesome, you pick a no-name horrible song

This is ok, if you really rock. Someone singing some “Little Shop Of Horrors” b-side that no one knows, but rocks it, is usually ok, but boring

3) You really suck, you pick an awesome song

Don’t go here. You take a song everyone wants to hear, dance even, and you sing to soft, or just bad. Please don’t do this!

4) You are really awesome, you pick an awesome song.

The best choice, you can rock out and you pick a song everyone knows, they feel like they are at a concert, with PBR and Tator Tots!!

Now get out there and sing, or at least make fun of someone else singing!

The Commercialization of Music Makes it Worse..

So, this morning, after a night out on the town in Madison, I am listening to Pandora.. and the Rolling Stones come on. Rolling Stones! Classic..the song is “I’m Free”. The thing is, all it does is remind me of those stupid credit card commercials that use the song. (ok the nitpickers will say it was The Soup Dragons, but their version wasn’t popular).. Anyway’s, the point is, that the commercialization of music just makes it worse. I didn’t feel like listening to the song.

It is so prevalent in TV/Media today, companies take popular songs, use them as they are (maybe remixed or covered) or they take them and change key lyrics to match up with their brand identity. I hate it!

One of the biggest things is, you will hear TONS of Beatles songs in commercials. But NEVER by the Beatles. Just bands covering them or whatever. The thing is, 95% of people listening don’t even know it is the Beatles. They hear the commercial and think its a unique new song. Just because Macy’s took a good Beatles song and had some no name hip hop artist or rock artist play it, does not make it new.

I think I would be more OK with it if people actually knew the original songs that were used or at least knew that the songs on the commercials are just taken from old songs, but still to me it doesn’t make the songs better.

It is even funnier when the song in question has a totally different meaning than what they use it for. A few I think I can think of of the top of my head..

Ford – they used a song by Morningwood called “The Nth Degree”. They cut out the part where the band sings (spelling out) “M-O-R-N-I-N-G-W-O-O-D”

Macy’s (or some other shopping company) – They used a song by Fats Domino called “Whole Lotta Lovin” – basically once you get into the song it turns out to be about kissing, and then a little “bomp bomp” (he usually does it with his foot) in the song, you can figure out what that is…

Westminster Dog Show/Apple, others – They use The Caesars – Jerk It Out. oook…even if the song isn’t about that, you can kind of figure out what it might be taken as.. * note, this is the 3rd time I have blogged about this song – First Time, Second Time

I am sure I could go on here, but you get the idea.