Hockey season is upon us!

Well, keeping a positive spin on tomorrow, many NHL teams open training
camp on the 11th.

It’s hard to explain to people that don’t play or really get passionate
about hockey just how much the game can mean. I never really played
until well into university, and I’ve only ever really played rec leagues
of course, but still, there is something about the game, the speed, the
elegance, the complexity, and the sponteneous nature of the game that
just brings about the closest thing I think there is to a perfect
balance in sports.

Team sports usually have superstars, and hockey is no exception, but it
is interesting that the superstars can still be brought low by a team of
hardworking people that act as a team, and this holds most obviously in
hockey. Man to man coverage is one thing, but in hockey if the team
isn’t acting in unison, the breakdown can be devastating. I play goal,
and while many think that’s more of an individual place when names like
Roy, Hasek, Tretiak, Dryden and the like come to mind, that position is
as reliant on the team as the team is on the goalie. You don’t get a 90%
save percentage facing an unending streak of 2 on 1 breaks and
breakaways. You get it by your team limiting the types of shots you
face, and by working with them to present the hardest options possible
for the opposition to score.

If you think scoring is the only exciting part of hockey, go to a live
game, where you can see more than the individual view the TV often
shows. Watch how the defending team denies whole sections of ice to
players and passes. Watch how the good defense pairs cover for each
other in offense and defense as the situation changes. Watch how the
defense keeps the shots and scoring chances limited by forcing the play
to the perimeter.

None of that requires clutch and grab hockey, which is a cop out. It
requires good positioning, good planning, and good skill. I like seeing
a good goal, I love seeing a great save, but I really deeply appreciate
the execution by the team of effective defense. The offensive excitement
is the other team solving that defense, and seeing as the sides adapt
and adjust.

Anyway….. GAME ON!!!!

Martin Fowler in Calgary

I had the opportunity to attend a talk by Martin Fowler.

It was less themed and more ranging than one would expect from a
highly-regarded author, and as such, I found it that much more
interesting and valuable. He covered a lot on patterns and new books
coming out, as well as some books that have shaped some of the design
and architecture aspects of the programming field. He touched on some
interesting ideas around domain models as the underlying foundation of
enterprise apps. Definitely worth more investigation.

One thing that crossed by mind that I will have to look into is whether
there are any pattern repositories that address the security that could
be applied to a pattern. I wonder if we are reinforcing the security
afterthought epidemic by basing patterns on the pure, unassailable
programs we create in our minds where the crackers can’t get at them…

And now for something completely different…

At risk of being accused of publicity mongering, I’m going to wade in on
the whole civil union issue.

Laying some groundwork, I am a heterosexual, and married within a
church, and have kids. Additionally, I know and have friends who are
homosexual. None of them are currently in an official or contractual
union of any kind. I have no objections to the concept of equality
before the law. If the union of a same sex couple proceeds through legal
channel, and rights and obligations are all entered into under civil
authority as is done in marriage, then the economic benefits and legal
rights should accord to any couple, regardless of composition. I suspect
that polygamy may raise itself in awareness as this proceeds. As may a
number of other non-traditional unions. But we’ll stay with the matter
at hand of same-sex unions, assuming two people.

I do have an objection of calling it a marriage. Why? Because it is
different. It’s not necessarily better or worse, and obviously I have my
biases. I do have a serious issue with the tendency of today’s society
to turn everything plain vanilla and base it all on the eyes of the law.
A same sex union of two people is different than that of a heterosexual
couple. This is based on the nature of men and women being different. If
that wasn’t the case, it’s unlikely there would be such a divergence in

A same-sex couple has a different viewpoint than a traditional marriage,
at a very fundamental level. Marriage is a religious union in history,
and has a long social history. A same sex union is a new aspect in our
society. If we paint it with the brush of marriage, it will be judged
against marriage. Any unique aspect of the union, or major difference in
the philosophical nature of the union will be lost in the jumble of some
sort of “which one is best” competition. If we can unify the legal
aspect, and preserve the uniqueness of both styles of union, within
their distinctive moral frameworks, I think we would be better set to
enrich the society over time, rather than reducing everything to more
legal framework, lawsuits, and rule by law.

That seems to me a soulless society of the future, and I’d rather that
we not allow that to happen. The goal should be to celebrate the
differences, rather than to bury them, hiding prejudice behind legal

Expose the prejudice, and confront it head-on, and conquer it.