George V. Reilly

Review: Winter

Title: Winter
Author: Len Deighton
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Ballantine
Copyright: 1987
Pages: 536
Keywords: thriller
Reading period: 15–27 March, 2016

Peter and Pauli Winter are brothers, born to a wealthy German in­dus­tri­al­ist and his American wife at the end of the nineteenth century. They proudly serve as young officers in the German military in the Great War, live through the tumultuous 1920s in Berlin, but go in very different directions, and end up on opposite sides in World War II. Peter, the elder, is a brilliant lawyer and talented pianist. Pauli, loyal but less talented, bonds with other embittered veterans of the First War, serves in the Freikorps, and joins the Nazi party early, rising continue.

Doctests, Unicode Literals, and Python 2/3 Compatibility

I rarely use doctests, but I do have some code that uses them.

Although I still mostly write Python 2, I usually import several features of Python 3:

from __future__ import unicode_literals, print_function, absolute_import

Un­for­tu­nate­ly uni­code_lit­er­als doesn’t play well with doctests.

The following code will pass with python2 -m doctest, but not with python3:

from __future__ import unicode_literals, print_function, absolute_import

def upper(s):
    Convert `s` to upper case.

    >>> upper('Hello!')
    return s.upper()

Python 3 complains:

Failed example:

The problem is that Python continue.

Lugging CRT Monitors to Montréal

My most recent trip to Montréal was a year ago this week for PyCon 2015, following another trip there two years ago this week for PyCon 2014.

My first trip to Montréal was a very long business trip in 1995. Four colleagues and I spent five or six weeks in Montréal, just before the Quebec in­de­pen­dence referendum, working onsite for our client, in­te­grat­ing the UI we had written into the rest of their software.

We had to bring our own computers, as they declined to provide us with any equipment. In 1995, this meant shipping our desktop systems and our heavy CRT monitors. Through Canadian Customs. And back through US Customs when continue.

Find remote Git branch with change to a file

I needed to track down a remote branch created a couple of months ago on another machine. I knew which file had been changed, but none of the far-too-many remote branches’ names rang a bell.

Turns out that using git branch –contains in the right way finds all the relevant branches.

git log --all --format=%H FILENAME \
    | while read f; do git branch --remotes --contains $f; done \
    | sort -u

The first line, git log --all --format=%H FILENAME, lists all the hashes for commits that contained changes to FILENAME. The second finds all the branches that contain those hashes (I added --remotes). The third continue.

Review: The Mercy of the Night

Title: The Mercy of the Night
Author: David Corbett
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Copyright: 2015
Pages: 431
Keywords: thriller
Reading period: 5 March–2 April, 2016

Jacqi Garza was abducted when she was eight. She got away but her life has gone far off course in decade since. Now she’s the prime witness to a murder. Phelan Tierney, a former lawyer, has taken her under his wing, but she’s not easy to help.

This is dark and disturbing, if ultimately hopeful. It’s a portrait of a town in distress and of some of its citizens. Some are still trying to make a difference, while others are too lost in their own pain and continue.

New 520 Floating Bridge

I moved to Seattle in 1992 and spent the next 13 years commuting to the Eastside, largely across the SR-520 Floating Bridge. Ten of those years were at Microsoft; the rest, elsewhere in Redmond and Bothell. It was im­me­di­ate­ly obvious that 520 needed more capacity. Only now, 24 years later, are we getting that extra capacity: a new bridge that will replace the old, worn-out bridge.

The old bridge has only two lanes in either direction and there’s no shoulder. If anything happens, like a flat tire or a stalled car, one lane im­me­di­ate­ly grinds to a halt. The second lane promptly jams up as everyone merges into it. The oncoming continue.


Ad­ver­tis­ing would make you think that acne is a problem only for teenagers. Not true. It’s never entirely gone away for me. I often find spots on my nose. Less often, on my chin or forehead. I’ve even had a few spots inside my ears.

For some reason, I woke up with three spots this morning: on the side of my nose; under my jawline, hidden by my beard; and on the back of my neck, near the hairline. Go figure.

Migrating to a New Mac

I got a new MacBook Pro on Monday: a 13" Retina with 16GB RAM and 500GB SSD, which doubles both the RAM and the disk capacity of its late-2013 pre­de­ces­sor. 8GB wasn’t really enough for software de­vel­op­ment. By the time you run Chrome and PyCharm and Docker, you don’t have much RAM left. And I was constantly having to run Grand Per­spec­tive to clean up disk space.

For the first time, I used the Migration Assistant and a Thun­der­bolt cable to transfer settings from the old laptop to the new. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked. In one hour, the new machine had all the files and just about all continue.

Review: Trap Line

Title: Trap Line
Author: Carl Hiaasen & Bill Montalbano
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Open Road Media
Copyright: 1982
Pages: 224
Keywords: crime
Reading period: 10–17 March, 2016

The drug smugglers who bring their mer­chan­dise in through the Florida Keys need some local expertise and decide that Breeze Albury is their man. Although he has no desire to be involved, they force him to take part. When they need a convenient fall guy and set him up, he turns on The Machine and on the corrupt local cops. Revenge is sweet.

Although it’s set in Florida, this early Hiaasen novel lacks the humor of his more famous books. Still, Breeze is an engaging character and the continue.

Review: Run Jane Run

Title: Run Jane Run
Author: Maureen Tan
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Warner
Copyright: 1999
Pages: 292
Keywords: thriller
Reading period: 13 March, 2016

Sequel to A.K.A. Jane.

Jane Nichols’ parents were murdered in front of her on a Greek hillside when she was six. An MI5 operation triggers some dormant memories and she starts to suspect who was re­spon­si­ble. An attempt on her life confirms that she’s not imagining it. She returns to her life in Savannah to lay a trap.

Another en­ter­tain­ing entry in the Jane series. The last, presumably, since it’s nearly 20 years old.

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