Not-So-Enlightened Path to Coding Enlightenment

A friend of mine is finishing up a BSCS and looking to get into the tech industry. Ready to code? Here’s the list I sent him…

  • Pick a Linux distro (Fedora or Ubuntu). I would recommend Fedora if this is your first encounter with Linux.
  • Read How to Become a Hacker
  • Read The Art of Unix Programming
  • Master Vim – (
    • This is kind of a personal preference, as are all editors.
    • I recommend mastering vim because it is ubiquitous. You can run it on all of your workstations (Linux / Win) and you can usually depend on it being installed on just about every Linux server you SSH to.
    • Being able to use the same editor everywhere has its advantages.
  • Read Learn Python the Hard Way
  • Read Pro Git
  • Install Django, then run through the tutorial
  • Read Test Driven Development with Python
  • Next…. JavaScript stuffs
    • Learn JavaScript (don’t have a readily available book for this)
    • Learn Angular
    • Learn NodeJS
    • Learn Meteor
  • Along the way, you should pick up some knowledge about
    • Cryptography
    • web services and REST APIs
    • security
    • networking
    • Databases
      • Start with…
        • MySQL
        • PostgreSQL
        • MongoDB
      • Move up to
        • DynamoDB (Amazon’s AWS)
        • Hadoop
        • other NoSQL stuffs
        • Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server if you have to

Watch your…

This was seen on Facebook, but I’ll count it as a mailbag post.

A preacher wanted to raise money for his church and on being told that there was a fortune in horse-racing, decided to purchase one and enter it in the races. However at the local auction, the going price for a horse was so high that he ended up buying a donkey instead.

He figured that since he had it, he might as well go ahead and enter it in the races. To his surprise, the donkey came in third! The next day the local paper carried this headline:


The preacher was so pleased with the donkey that he entered it in the race again, and this time it won. The paper read:


The bishop was so upset with this kind of publicity that he ordered the preacher not to enter the donkey in another race. The paper headline read:


This was too much for the bishop, so he ordered the preacher to get rid of the donkey. The preacher decided to give it to a nun in a nearby convent. The paper headline the next day read:


The bishop fainted. He informed the nun that she would have to get rid of the donkey, so she sold it to a farmer for ten dollars. The next day the paper read:


This was too much for the bishop, so he ordered the nun to buy back the donkey and lead it to the plains where it could run wild. The next day, the headlines read:


The bishop was buried the next day.

The Brother-in-law

Another joke from the mailbag. Enjoy:

A few minutes before the church services started, the congregation was sitting in their pews and talking.

Suddenly, Satan appeared on the altar of the church.

Everyone started screaming and running for the front entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate.

Soon the church was empty except for one elderly cowboy who sat calmly in his pew without moving, seemingly oblivious to the fact that God’s ultimate enemy was in his presence.

So Satan walked up to the man and said, ‘Do you know who I am?’

The old cowboy replied, ‘Yep, sure do.’

‘Aren’t you afraid of me?’ Satan asked.

‘Nope, sure ain’t.’ said the cowboy.

‘Don’t you realize I can kill you with one word?’ asked Satan.

‘Don’t doubt it for a minute,’ returned the old man, in an even tone.

‘Did you know that I can cause you profound, horrifying AGONY for all eternity?’ persisted Satan.

‘Yep,’ was the calm reply.

‘And you are still not afraid of me?’ asked Satan.

‘Nope,’ said the old cowboy.

More than a little perturbed, Satan asked, ‘Why aren’t you afraid of me?’

The old cowboy calmly replied,

‘Been married to your sister for 48 years. ‘

The $2.99 Special

A husband and wife were traveling the country, celebrating their golden years together. They went to breakfast at a restaurant where the ‘senior special’ was two eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast for $2.99.

‘Sounds good,’ the wife said.  ‘But I don’t want the eggs..’

‘Then, I’ll have to charge you $3.49  because you’re ordering a la carte,’  the waitress warned her.

‘You mean I’d have to pay for  not taking the eggs?’  the wife asked incredulously.

‘YES!’ stated the waitress..

‘I’ll take the special then,’ the wife said..

‘How do you want your eggs?’  the waitress asked.

‘Raw and in the shell,’ the wife replied.  She took the two eggs home  and baked a cake.

Moral of the story:

They’ve been around the block more than once!

Today Must be Math Day

Today I ran across two separate math articles from two different sources.

The first was a video from a segment on the Dave Ramsey show. He talks about Obamacare and how you are not exempt from math regardless of whether you are a Republican or a Democrat. He also mentions the effects of being forced to purchase insurance. Have a look:


The second was an article brought to my attention by a friend:

The modern-day ‘slave class’ is anyone who cannot do math… and that’s about 95% of the population (click here)

Overall, it is a good read. I do not agree 100% with everything the article has to say. For example, I understand that it is a wise decision to transfer risk by purchasing certain types of insurance (such as term life insurance and homeowner’s insurance). The article does bring up the control factor of taxation and the national debt. That, I can certainly appreciate.

There was a slight bit of overlap between the two, but they underlying premise is more or less the same:

You are not excused from math!

It does not matter what you believe or don’t believe either side of politics.

  • Do not fall victim to any of the “loudest voice in the room” arguments on either side of the political spectrum
  • Do not buy into the euphemisms designed to cover up the theft imposed on you by the government
  • Do not be fooled by the trickery used to mask the true nature of our country’s dire financial situation

Jesus is Watching You

Saw this one on a friend’s Facebook wall:

A burglar broke into a house one night. He shined his flashlight around, looking for valuables when a voice in the dark said, ‘Jesus knows you’re here.’

He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight off, and froze. When he heard nothing more, he shook his head and continued.

Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard ‘Jesus is watching you.’

Startled, he shined his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice. Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot.

‘Did you say that?’ he hissed at the parrot.

‘Yes’, the parrot confessed, then squawked, ‘I’m just trying to warn you that he’s watching you.’

The burglar relaxed. ‘Warn me, huh? Who in the world are you?’

‘Moses,’ replied the bird.

‘Moses?’ the burglar laughed. ‘What kind of people would name a bird Moses?’

‘The kind of people who would name a Rottweiler Jesus.’

Can You Help Me Hide the Body?

Someone created a fake Facebook account and made it look like one of existing friends. I received a friend request and accepted it thinking perhaps she had lost access to her other account or was wanting to set up a separate account for business. It wasn’t too long before the new account started arising suspicion. Sure enough, I knew for certain it was a fake account as soon as the person operating the new account tried to fire up a chat session with me. Naturally, I decided to mess with him/her. Here’s the transcript:

Them: Hi Stuart
Me: Hello
Them: How have you been?
Me: Very well, thank you. Yourself?
Them: Doing pretty good. Ive been trying to reach you lately cause i have a great news to share with you and im not sure if youve heard about the recent good news yet?
Me: What good news is that?
Them: Are you aware of any Agent Williams Stephanie,hes a Federal Agent that holds the new Federal Govt empowerment program??
Me: Don’t think I have heard of that agent
Them: Im so happy about the help i got from this new program recently and not sure if youve gotten yours too,cause i got $50,000 cash delivered to me at my doorstep……did they come down to your house?
Me: OH THAT person
Me: yes, they came to the house… I abducted them and have them tied up in my basement.

[around this time, either Facebook shut down the fake account or the person operating it blocked me]

Me: You have access to the forest. Can you help me hide the body?

Failed to send

Take Me to Jail!

It has been a while since I posted a mailbag joke, but this one passed the test:

A Virginia State trooper pulled a car over on I-64 about 2 miles south of the Virginia/West Virginia state line. When the trooper asked the driver why he was speeding, the driver said he was a magician and juggler and was on his way to Beckley, WV to do a show at the Shrine Circus. He didn’t want to be late. The trooper told the driver he was fascinated by juggling and said if the driver would do a little juggling for him then he wouldn’t give him a ticket. He told the trooper he had sent his equipment ahead and didn’t have anything to juggle. The trooper said he had some flares in the trunk and asked if he could juggle them. The juggler said he could, so the trooper got 5 flares, lit them and handed them to him. While the man was juggling, a car pulled in behind the patrol car. A drunken good old boy from West Virginia got out, watched the performance, then went over to the patrol car, opened the rear door and got in. The trooper observed him and went over to the patrol car, opened the door asking the drunk what he thought he was doing. The drunk replied, “You might as well take my ass to jail, cause there ain’t no way I can pass that sobriety test.”

Recycle your Old Computers and Mobile Phones

For those of you blessed enough to receive the latest and greatest electronics as gifts this Christmas season, please remember to NOT throw away your old computers and mobile phones. Recycle them responsibly.