Archive for December 18th, 2013

And now I’m pinned.


confused cat huhWell, it was bound to happen working on all the backend stuff today. Once I knew that I was reading the data in; today it was all about putting the data in a commonly accessible area; formatting the data for different calls; and then letting those calls bask in the glory of real data.

At least that was the plan. (Hang on kids, it gets technical now)

Originally, the data was pulled in at app startup using the call:


Then I moved that out of the startup system and into its own data management class. All was going along well, but I couldn’t get the shared data where I wanted it. So I decided to pull out the big guns. We call that “Gang of 4.” This is the bible of software design patterns. I reached into the tome (well, not actually; as I don’t really need the book as much anymore) and called on one of my favourite (albeit most overly used and accursed) patterns: The Singleton.

The singleton, is muchly like building a cookie cutter for a one of a kind cookie. You take great care in making a cookie cutter, which could make lots of cookies; but this one is specially crafted so that people will simply have to share the one (and only one) cookie it will ever cut out.

That’s when life got weird. Suddenly the call above stopped working. It didn’t cause an error; it didn’t complain; it didn’t throw a wild exception and crash the device… It just blithely skipped over it.

I tried wiping the object files and compiling fresh. That didn’t work. I tried changing and maintaining the queue. That didn’t work. I changed how the singleton was instantiated… Nope. Just weirdness all around. Sadly; I got to this point about 30 minutes before I had to leave to pick up my boy from school. (My spouse got the flu). I figured, Okay… I guess I’ll spend 3-4 hours fixing it more tonight.

This also would not come to pass because I also am deeply invested in the show “The Sing Off” and have been writing reviews and analysis…es…(plural?!?!). Granted, if you read this blog… which you are at the moment (take my word on it) , then you probably have noticed a few of those posts.

So tomorrow: I have to write my Sing Off review from tonight, spend about 5 hours figuring out why the API took a hike, and then gearing up for the penultimate episode of the Sing Off. Oh what a hard life I lead at the moment. Honestly, I’m hoping that it’s 1 hour of fix and 4 hours continuing to get the real data in the app.

Oh, and to those who said they’d be interested in testing once I get to the iPad; Please remember that iPhone apps run just fine on the iPad and you can test them early. (Yes, S… I’m looking at you first and foremost 😉

We’ll figure out what went kerschlump tomorrow. I’m going to actually try to get some sleep tonight.

The Sing-Off_ Season 4, Episode 5- Movie NightThe main post will come by about 11am Eastern time tomorrow. It was two hours with a lot to talk about. I also took down about 50 quotations from twitter. Everyone will get attribution.

All I want to say is that I love when my pre-show guesses are wrong. I’ll break down how I felt, what I said, how it changed as the show went on, what others said, and try to sum it all up.

As always… how did you stack up against your pre-show guesses, the judges, and the performances? I know (from twitter at least) I am not the only armchair director out there.

The Sing-Off_ Season 4, Episode 5- Movie NightIt’s an hour until showtime so I better type quickly.

I’m really looking forwards to tonight’s episode. I love theme songs. Yes, I am that level of Geek and I embrace it. We’re back to having all the groups together tonight. I feel badly for the short schedule because it feels very rushed. I also (in agreement with many others) find myself greatly missing the swan song. It’s just a really strong way to send off a group after they have competed.

The Ultimate Sing Off still annoys me. It’s bothersome because it creates false looking rivalries in one of the few reality shows that tries to be “Feel Good.” Following any of the groups that compete you learn that there is camaraderie, respect, and outright love between the groups. I wish they’d show more of that. I specifically remember a moment in Season 3 where they showed members of some of the groups spontaneously doing a bass and rhythm to one of the visiting professional artists. It was a really strong moment showing the real fun of A Cappella.

Tonight’s episode is “Movie Themes” – And it’s time for my pre-review evaluation. This is where I look at the singles on the iTunes album and guess (without listening) if this seems like a good or bad idea for the group performing it. Tonight’s two-hour episode will be interesting because it’s going to have a double elimination (which brings us down to the final 4) and then is supposed to have a full 6-group Ultimate Sing Off. (Which I guess just goes to show that you can never have too much of a thing that much of your audience hates.)

On to the songs:

The group intro will be “(I’ve Had the) Time of My Life.” From the film ‘Dirty Dancing.’ This is a great ‘poppy’ hit that has fantastic room for different style male, female, and choral vocals. This should be a nice blast to start the show.

Then onto the groups

Home Free – “Oh, Pretty Woman” – Roy Orbison. I sense in this one a potential for Home Free to fall back into the rut of “All Austin” with a quick show of the Bass to be impressive. Home Free has been good about being tight and keeping the fun up and is not for a lack of surprise. So as long as this isn’t “More of the Same” this should be a group solidly in the Top 4.

Vocal Rush – “Against All Odds” – This is smart. Vocal Rush has an incredible sound when they have the intensity up but their Achilles heel comes from when they ‘blast off’ into fun. We haven’t seen them do a full straight ballad. We’ve seen songs with slow and fast. If they can keep this one under control; this could be a top seed for them.

Acoustikats – “Old Time Rock and Roll” – Counter to Vocal Rush… This is dumb. Yes… Big movie hit. However, I’ve chatted about the fact that Acoustikats (the Gemini Group) wears the two faces of Frat Boys and Serious A Cappella Colllege group. Their problem is that when they go for the fun, they lose their edge and originality. This song is about as “Party” as you can get. The main vocals aren’t even sung. So, putting an actual vocal to it will distract from the original or not doing so will distract from being a competitive group. This seems like a lose-lose for the Kats.

Filharmonic – “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” – In case you don’t remember this is, ‘That Aerosmith Armageddon Song.’ The Filharmonic is coming out with a Ballad. And one that I think would lend well to the Boy Band sound they have. This is the coin flip. This could either work stunningly well or be an exploding failure that would be called Glorious by a cadre of Kingons. (Did I mention that my Geek runs deep and I do embrace it.

VoicePlay – “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” – I really like VoicePlay. I’ve made it clear. They have a Pentatonix vibe but different. Several people have actually gotten on the other side of the fence for this group because of this. This is a song that I think they will knock out of the park. It falls in their (to use a growingly annoying term) wheelhouse. But I think the pleasant surprise here is that we’ll see more of the other vocalists step up in this one and Honey may move to harmonies. This is a song like “Video Killed the Radio” that has such pure fandom and love behind it, that doing it right could seal them into the top two. Not doing it right could end the competition for them. I lean towards success.

Ten – “Skyfall” – This is basically a Torch song from Adele. I think Ten is going to suffer the most from the short season. With the longer run of Season 3, the groups definitely had time to grow and mature. The shorter season doesn’t allow for much growth of experimentation. I think this is something strong for Ten’s voices. But the cohesion that we want to see may not get a chance to shine with this one.


  • Home Free – Oh, Pretty Woman  2:1
  • Vocal Rush – Against All Odds 5:1
  • VoicePlay – Don’t You (Forget About Me) 10:1
  • The Filharmonic – I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing 12:1
  • Ten – Skyfall 15:1
  • Acoustikats – Old Time Rock and Roll 25:1

I have no idea how the Ultimate Sing Off plays into this tonight. Whether they just critique everyone and then put them all in the grinder (which personally I’d hate) or if it’s just for fun. I did see in the coming attraction someone singing (what I think was) “Fame” from the movie of the same name. For those under 25, the original with Irene Cara. I find this ironic because it was playing in the restaurant I had dinner at tonight. So, twice in one night would be a… um… treat? Potentially, this is the unannounced song for the Ultimate Sing-Off.

See you all back in the next post and on twitter. How did my guesses match with yours?