Face manipulation

Have you ever watched those FBI/CIA/OCA (Other Covert Agency) programs on TV where they have this funky software that they use to either build up a the face of a suspect, or can see what a suspect would look like after some facial reconstruction/hair colour/style changes?

Well, now you can do that yourself using!! They have a fairly small set of faces, but the software is quite cool, and aparently they’re going to be adding more faces soon.

Be warned… don’t go there unless you’re prepared to spend a significant amount of time having fun…

I’m in the middle of trying to build a face that looks like mine… it quite a bit more difficult than you’d think it might be, especially over a slow-ish internet connection.

Home Cell

Home cell…

Last night was our first “Leaders in touch” meeting… For those of you who haven’t been at New Covenant Church Bryanston for over a year, the “Leaders in touch” were put in place about a year ago to help connect homecells and people in the church with a broader base of leaders. 

While we have about 7 eldership couples at the church, there are probably about 1500 members in the church.  Which means that there are about 214.28571428571428571428571428571 members per eldership couple.  So there’s no way that everyone will be able to connect with an elder when they have problems… On top of that, the elders don’t devote every second of their entire life to counselling (that just wouldn’t be feasible).  Home cell leaders are probably the next point of contact… but then I’m not really in a position to be “couselling” people on deep issues (there would be no accountability for my actions), and what about those people who aren’t in home cells?

So that’s where the “Leaders in touch” come in… they’re people who are trusted by the elders, and who have the maturity to deal with whatever issues they’re faced with (even if it means referring them to the correct elder).  Anyway, the “Leaders in touch” connect with the home cell leaders to help them if they have hassles, teach them, encourage them, exhort them, etc.

Anyway, last night was our first meeting with them… actually it was dinner.  There were 4 home cell’s leaders there, which was great.  Its awesome to hear other people with similar issues to you, and to hear how some of them have solved problems you’re struggling with, or to be able to help others with suggestions from what you’ve done to solve problems that they’re experiencing.  Simon and Tarryn(sp?) Murphy are our “Leaders in touch”. (Ok, I’m getting tired of putting “Leaders in touch” in quotes all the time, but the only other way I could write it to signify that its a “title” is to say Leaders-in-touch – but even so its not really a title as much as it signifies a relationship)

It was a good evening, and it was great to get to know everyone better… πŸ™‚


An update (finally)

Well, so much is happening, and I’ve not done an update…  I have a partially completed “Wedding Update”, but too much happened and I don’t want to leave stuff out or mess up details… the next thing I know I’ll find myself sleeping on the couch again.  (Um, actually its not “again”, coz I’ve not done that yet.  Christie’s too nice to do that to me)  Anyway, back to the point… I’m going to skip writing about the wedding till I have time.  I’d also like to upload some pics from the wedding to coincide with the wedding blog entry, so I’ll have to spend some time at home getting the pics and details ready.

In other news: My company has made 2 big sales!  One to Denel (announced internally on Friday), where our software is now going to be going into their entire set of companies/divisions.  It was used in about 8 of the over 30 companies… and the deal is worth between R50 and R100 million. (That’s a big enough ballpark not to cause any concerns over leaking out the details – not that we were told to hold off the details, but I’d rather be a bit more on the safe side)   And the other sale is to “SAS” or “Siemens and Forecia” (or something that sounds similar)… the “SAS” sale is WAAAAY smaller in value than the Denel sale, but its aparently a really good foot into new/other market areas for us. (Don’t quote me on that I’m just clueless underling, so I know nothing.  On top of that, all comments are purely my own views and not those of my company, or any company related to my company, or anyone else’s for that matter (unless otherwise specified(your milage may vary(batteries not included))))



I want to work for Microsoft :)

A quick blog…

Two cool recruiters at Microsoft (ZoΓ« and Gretchen) started a blog recently… It has a whole bunch of information on Microsoft interview questions, etc….  All the links above are in response to their “Search Engine Baiting” post.

And incase you’re wondering, I’d love to work at MS – sounds like they have an awesome attitude towards development and customers.  I had a few friends of mine from varsity start working there about 4 years ago (I’ve lost contact with them now), but they all seemed to love it.



WOW, there’s a lot to talk about… but I’ll get to that in time.  A brief synopsis of the last week and a bit follows:

The wedding was great, we really enjoyed it.  The honeymoon was awesome, its a great place to stay – really relaxing.  Came back a day before we expected, but we got to do some shopping for our home which we wouldn’t otherwise have done.  Charlie, John, and Keri left for the Singapore LTT. It was great to be back at church – the Jazz picnic was cool.  The public holiday on Monday was an excellent day to catch up with household stuff, and prepare for the week.  Tuesday was great, the first day in the “normal” routine of life as a married couple.  Home cell went well (Helen spoke), and that brings us to today. πŸ™‚


Final blog before the wedding

Cool… one last blog before I get married… Being the “uber-geek” that I am, and having everyone at work asking “how many hours left?” (ok, ok… I admit… it was just one person that asked) I thought I’d get my PC to work out how many hours were left.

So I set up an excel spreadsheet to do it for me… but then I thought… hrm, maybe I’d want to check this when I am not at my PC… so I thought I’d setup a web page… but what good is a web page if you’re not at a PC?  So I ended up making a mobile web page… so I can check the countdown from my cellphone(A Sony Ericsson T300).

So, if you go to, you’ll see my Wedding Countdown… When it gets to 0, the service should have started, when its at -1, I should be officially married.  At around -4.5 to 5 hours, I should be making my speech, so if you want to pray for me, that’s when I’ll need it. πŸ™‚

Bye. I’ll write again after the honeymoon. (I’m back at work on the 22nd of March, so that’s possibly when I’ll write my next blog)


Trial run

Last night was the wedding rehearsal, and dinner.  The bed I’d ordered was meant to arrive some time today (after 3pm), but I got a call at about 3pm yesterday to find out if they could deliver it yesterday.   Eventually they dropped it off at 5pm – I had to leave work early to meet them.  (After agreeing to drop off the bed at 5pm, they rocked up at 4:30pm wondering where I was… so I told them to come back at 5, which they did)  As I arrived at my complex, I got a call from my mom asking directions to the church, and from christie to ask if I could give her a lift to the church.

I hate it when you have 2 phone calls, and a bunch of people waiting for you… especially when you have pretty crappy reception and the calls are important.  Anyway, my mom got her directions, Christie got a lift, and the bed people not only delivered the bed, but they also helped me move my current bed to its new room in the house. (in the loft)

The practice went well… oddly enough, the people who had to drive the furthest (my dad and colleen) were the first to arrive.

Malcolm (the guy doing the service) is great. We’ve not been the best at communicating what we want to him, but he seems very relaxed about it.  He asked a whole bunch of questions that we hadn’t thought of regarding how the service would run, and I learned a lot about what we’re doing when, and how.

The supper was great… the Coffee Shop ladies cooked an excellent stir fry, and we all enjoyed chatting and eating. πŸ™‚

Afterwards, Mark (my brother) decided to stay the night with me which was great coz we sat and chatted for an age, and we both worked on our speeches for the reception.  Mine’s kinda finished except for a list of people to thank, a few last touches, and I want to get it checked for “appropriateness of humour”. (some people might not get some of the jokes)

Home Cell

Of Freedom (Home cell this week)

This week was an interesting home cell…   I’m trying to focus more on the “relationships” than what we *do* at cell, getting people to interact more, suggest ideas, talk, etc.

Anyway, so while I didn’t really talk huge amounts, that was ok… everyone contributed something.  When I was stuck finding a verse, Charlie read it.  Mitch & Shaleen did a lot of explaining (especially for points where I was trying to say something but just not quite getting it right) Matt, Helen, Linda, Sean, Nike, Gizelle, and Christie all contributed… which was great!  Everyone’s contribution was excellent.

Basically the point of the “talk” was to try and get everyone to think about Christianity outside of church… And it focussed mainly on “What is freedom?”, “How do we define it?”… And was answering questions like “If we’re free, why are we ‘not allowed’ to do certain things?”.  It also touched on “Why we should vote”, and “Do we follow God’s commands, or the ‘law of the land’?”.  Part of the reason behind this was to get everyone thinking about these things so that we could begin to define for ourselves how we understand them.  Because only when we understand these things are we truly able to live the beliefs out and explain/teach them to others.  And if we can’t explain/teach what we believe to others, then we’re not really maturing as fully as we could. (And since the “great commission” is “to go and make disciples of all nations”, we’d better be able to explain our beliefs if we ever hope to achieve this)

As Charlie blogged today, I’ll probably put up the notes I’d prepared some time after my honeymoon.  (I might need some reminding)


6 days down, 2 to go

Ok… so I’m hopefully excused for not blogging since last week Friday (6 days ago!) because I now have 2 more sleeps till I’m married. πŸ™‚

On Friday evening, Christie and I went to see PayCheck (so did Charlie) and even though we were at the same cinema complex, Christie and I did our own thing… (possibly kinda rude, but we needed some time for the two of us, so I hope you weren’t offended Charlie)

Anyway, PayCheck(IMDB) (with Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman, directed by John Woo, and based on a Philip K. Dick short story) was really good… I liked having to “guess” with the actor as to what was going on and watch how he slowly realised what had happened, and how to use the items he’d sent himself.  If you liked Minority Report, you’ll (probably) like this movie.

Saturday was taken up with home cell leaders training in the morning, some shopping in the afternoon and then me resting at home till about 7pm when Christie and I went to get a video, which we watched at my place.

Sunday was cool, the Choir were excellent – easy to lead, keen to sing, etc.  Sean came by for lunch, and then Sean, Christie and I went to her folks place to start preparing the “favours” for the wedding.  “Fortunately” we found out that we had run out of ribbon, so we didn’t do much.

Monday was the usual work day. (except that I arrived about 1hr earlier than I usually do, which is what I’ve been trying to do for an age) In the evening I had supper with the Seymours, and while Christie was getting a pedicure(sp?) I was cutting ribbon for the > 100 favours we had to make.  After Christie’s pedicure, Elaine started cutting the material and we all sat makng them.  We finished at around 11:30pm, at which point I had to go home and prepare what I was going to be talking on at home cell. (fortunately I’d written it out, but it was over 8 A5 pages worth of notes that needed to be reduced and made more easily digestable)  I eventually got to bed just before 2am.

Tuesday was ok… I started getting the guy that owes me money listed on the ITC, so that they can start chasing him for the cash instead of me.  (I deposited the money into their account, it only reflected on their website today, so some time today I’ll list him with their collections people)  Home cell was good (but I was VERY tired).

I’ve been drinking lots of coffee to keep me awake this week, so I’ll have to start weaning myself off it next week. πŸ™

Yesterday (Wednesday) was interesting.  At work we started talking about changes to the middle tier and to the Object Query Language that I’d written to get data from our database.  Basically, I’ll end up writing a parser which links into our metadata to determine what expressions can be used.  So if at a later stage some 3rd party developer wants to add his own function that can be used in the Query Language, he can.  So the parser effectively is getting a “plugin” framework added to it so that we can deal with any new things we might have in the future, as well as a total change as to how it builds its object tree, the ability to declare and use variables in the queries, and a whole lot more.  Its like we’re “upgrading” the language from a simple data query language to include some of the functionality of a normal programming language (and then some).  This will be quite cool to work on. 

The “plug-in” concept for our language, is pretty much the same as if like Microsoft was to allow any developer to modify the C# compiler to include a new bit of syntax in the language definition, while maintaining usability/readability of the code – and I’ve never seen that done in any other languages. (lets hope I can make it work :))

In the evening, Christie and I took some more of her stuff to our place and unpacked it… which leads us to today.  Tonight (Thursday) is the wedding rehearsal, tomorrow night(Friday) I’m having my bachelor’s party, and Saturday is the wedding.

Geek food

A Geek’s valentines card

What with my wedding only 4 more sleeps away, I’ve not posted yet this week… but I couldn’t resist posting this SQL code… Open up Query Analyser, copy and paste this code into it, press CTRL+T (to make the output show in Text mode (as opposed to Grid/File), and run the query…

Taken from Suresh’s blog posting “Love vs SQL” – he’s a Microsoft MVP in India.

Author: Steve Kass, Drew University
Hosted by:
Script works on SQL Server 7.0 and 2000
USE tempdb
CREATE TABLE [seqA1740E61-1E21-11D6-B831-E02C0D466A26] (nbr int IDENTITY)
DECLARE @i int
SET @i = 0
WHILE @i < 25
 INSERT INTO [seqA1740E61-1E21-11D6-B831-E02C0D466A26] DEFAULT VALUES
 SET @i = @i + 1
DECLARE @heart binary(264)
SET @heart =
+ 0x080105120a280501031406
+ 0x2a03010215042b02010116
+ 0x022c010100160201000100
+ 0x1602010001000100010001
+ 0x0001000100010101002c01
+ 0x010201002b020104010029
+ 0x0401060100270601080100
+ 0x2508010a0100230a010c01
+ 0x00210c010e01001f0e0110
+ 0x01001d10011201001b1201
+ 0x1401001914011601001716

AS N’I love you/Eu te amo/Ti amo/Je t”aime/Ya vas lyublyu/Ich liebe Dich!!!’
      LEN(S+’*’) AS L,
      REPLICATE(S+’*’,4) AS S
    FROM (
      SELECT ‘Happy-Valentine”s-Day’ AS S
    ) X
  ) V CROSS JOIN [seqA1740E61-1E21-11D6-B831-E02C0D466A26]
) W JOIN (
    CONVERT(int,SUBSTRING(@heart,6*Nbr-5,2)) AS A,
    CONVERT(int,SUBSTRING(@heart,6*Nbr-3,2)) AS B,
    CONVERT(int,SUBSTRING(@heart,6*Nbr-1,2)) AS C
  FROM [seqA1740E61-1E21-11D6-B831-E02C0D466A26]
) X
ON L = Nbr
DROP TABLE [seqA1740E61-1E21-11D6-B831-E02C0D466A26]