Cartooning and Comic Art

Today I registered to take “Cartooning and Comic Art” at Wake Technical Community College. Classes begin on Monday August 27th.

Here are the supplies I need to get (I’m posting it here mostly for my reference later):

  • Sketchbook
  • Graphite Pencil set including 4H-6B pencils
  • Strathmore Bristol Pad (smooth)
  • Micron Pen set including sizes: 005-8
  • Colors of your choosing (colored pencil, ink, watercolor, acrylic)* if you bring paint be sure to bring proper cleaning materials!

Should be an interesting class.

nature walk

We’ve been walking Adan to school in the morning, and today we took the greenway path. On the way to school we saw a rabbit, 3 deer, and 2 cardinals. The boys were excited to see animals up close. I guess we’ll be taking this route to school a few more times 🙂

Learn the vowel sounds

I’ve always wondered by gringos have such a hard time with Spanish words. I realized that if you get the vowel sounds right you can pronounce most words.  In English, vowels have 2 different sounds whereas in Spanish they have one.

For instance, my son’s name is Adan which is pronounced ah-dahn not uh-don the a sounds the same in all cases.

  • a – ah (like the sound the doctor asks you to make)
  • e – eh (short)
  • i – ee (like the long e in English)
  • o – oh (but a short oh not the drawn out oh from English)
  • u – oo (like a monkey)

So mono is not mah-noh, it’s moh-noh. Marco (my other son’s name) is pronounced “mahrr-coh”. The hardest part about that is trilling the r which even I have a difficult time doing.

So remember folks, if you learn the vowel sounds in Spanish, that will help you pronounce Spanish words that much more effectively.

Java getters/setters

One of the things I dislike about Java are having to write getters and setters. In this discussion on Sun’s Developer Forum, someone was wanting to know how to auto generate getters and setters. They seem to frustrate a few folks to the point where some want to ignore them altogether:

i gave up on gets/sets about 2weeks after my lecturer introduced them to us :/

if a var can be modified, then make it public. Though adding a get/set method does provide encapsulation, it also requires more typing, bloats code and is also a fraction slower.

Sometimes gets/sets serve a purpose, but most of the time theyre just a waste of time.

Its quite funny watching a newbie programmer start writing a class, they identify the classes required attributes, then write 200lines of gets and sets before they even consider tackling the ‘hard’ bit[s] of the class :]


While I find not using getters and setters a bit extreme, I don’t like the fact that I need an IDE to auto generate getters and setters. What would really be nice is if Java could “just know” when it finds a member variable at runtime with no getter/setter, it’s implied. It’s a lot like the default constructor behaves.

For example, it should suffice to be able to write the following User class, and be able to call it’s getters and setters.
public class User {
private String name;
private int age;

Then I can say:
User u = new User();
u.setName("fname lname");
assertEquals("fname lname", u.getName());

If I want to override the default functionality of Java, then I can create the getter or setter like I do today.


I’m saddened that Father John Parish has passed away Sunday night. I saw a resurgence at Saint Catherine of Siena in Wake Forest. It was fun going to church again. He made everyone feel welcome with is warm introductions, and was great at explaining the day’s readings in his homily which most priests (at leasts the ones I’ve heard) are really bad at. I pray that he will find peace and that he will be reunited with his mom who passed a few months ago.

rpm –test

Often times I need to install an rpm, which I didn’t get from a repo, that requires other dependencies. I used to try to install it and have it fail. But today I found –test, which is faster than doing a failed install.

So to see if you have all the needed dependencies try:

rpm -Uvh --test foo-1.2.i386.rpm

If everything looks good you see:
Preparing... ########################################### [100%]

Otherwise, you see a list of failed dependencies:

error: Failed dependencies:
       java-gcj-compat is needed by xml-commons-apis-1.3.03-0jpp.1.fc7.i386 is needed by xml-commons-apis-1.3.03-0jpp.1.fc7.i386
       rtld(GNU_HASH) is needed by xml-commons-apis-1.3.03-0jpp.1.fc7.i386

vacation 2007


We got a late start to the beach on Sunday. It takes quite a bit of time to pack for 3 kids including a 4 month old. And since we were staying in a rented beach house, we needed a lot more things like sheets and the like. We finally got on the road at 1:45pm on our way to Holden Beach, NC.


Got up around 9ish, and it took a long time to get everyone ready: 4 kids (9, 5, 3 , and 0 years of age), and 4 adults. When we finally strolled out of the house to get the wagon ready with all of the beach stuff, a thunderstorm started to roll in. We debated whether we even bother, but we decided to do it because the kids were dying to go for quite some time. The rain went away leaving some clouds. We spent the entire rest of the day (about 5 hours) on the beach.

For dinner, we went to Aunt Judy’s nephew’s beach house for hot dogs and hamburgers. Billy did a great job on the grill, and Aunt Miriam did a great job organizing the dinners for the week.


Another day at the beach, this time Liz tried to keep the baby out a bit longer, but as usual with a newborn, that didn’t happen. Then the boys were not interested at all in the beach after spending all day Monday there. We took he boys back to the house for a nap, unfortunately, they were wide awake once we got back. So they spent 3 hours in their room and lost movie privilege for the week. I was planning on taking them to see “Surfs Up”.

While we were fighting the kids to take a nap, Frank & Vivian (my inlaws) were fighting for their life against a rip current. Thankfully, they survived.

Tonight was Mexican night. Billy & Miriam made tacos and fajitas. After dinner, the guys wanted to watch the All-Star game (for the sports challenged that was the baseball all-star game), but we couldn’t figure out how to work the satellite TV. We ventured over to our place to watch it. The cutest part was when I asked the boys if they wanted to stay, Adan said he’d rather go with me to watch baseball 🙂 Later that night, everyone else showed up at our place to socialize with Liz, since she had to put the baby to sleep.


Yep, you guessed it, another day at the beach 🙂 The boys were having a great time, though they got sunburned under my watch. Bad things always happen under daddy’s watch 🙂

Tonight we hit Osaka Japanese steakhouse for dinner. Thanks to Benny for treating all of us to dinner. The entertainment was great! Adan’s favorite part was the knife show while Marco liked the flaming onion volcano. They both got squirted with a plastic little boy squirt bottle. A few of us guys got squirted with sake, I got my shirt drenched with it. A great time was had by all.


We didn’t spend as much time on the beach today, only 2 hours. I took the kids back, we showered and got dressed to go shopping. We stopped by the ice cream shop again to get the kids more ice cream and Liz some as well, as she didn’t go Sunday night. After shopping at Wings, we went back to eat some of Billy’s great grilled steak and baked potatoes. It was mighty tasty.


Liz & I got some time to walk on the beach alone with no kids. It was nice and relaxing.

Drove down to Myrtle Beach, SC to have dinner at Phillip’s seafood restaurant. Since I can’t find decent steamed Maryland blue crabs here in NC, I get my fix at Phillip’s 🙂 After dinner, we took the kids to Broadway at the Beach to shop and ride the kiddie rides.


Got up at 7am today so we could pack and get out of the house before 10am to avoid being charged a late checkout penalty. We stopped by Liz’ cousin’s house to say out goodbyes. We were treated to a wonderful steak and egg breakfast. Spent a couple hours chatting with everyone before leaving at 12:15pm. The ride home was uneventful, no traffic at all which was great. We stopped for a late lunch at Perkin’s, then stopped by the grocery store to pick up some essentials for the week ahead.


Today is our first full day at home after a week at the beach. I finally made Alton Brown’s waffle recipe which turned out quite well, after some measurement mishaps. At 1:45pm, I took the boys to see “Ratatouille” since I couldn’t find “Surfs Up” anywhere. Then I picked up the “Bubba”, our Shih Tzu, from the kennel. Unfortunately, I think they fed her wet dog food because she’s got the “shits” now. 😦

Well, tomorrow we all return to “normal” life, sigh. Adan starts first grade tomorrow, and I need to go back to work. The week off was much needed and too short. I could’ve used another week.