Meet Bella

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Bella

Meet Bella!  I had the unplanned privilege of hosting Bella last night at my home while we were trying to find her owner.  She wandered about two miles ( we think) from her home through the woods and next to a lake.

It took her the rest of the night to calm down and rest – she wouldn’t eat or drink and that much exercise was pretty tough for her to say the least.

During her stay at our house, I realized how much I missed having my own pet, and being able to project my own love and care toward something like a pet.  In a previous life, I had an orange tabby cat named Lucky.  Much the same story as Bella, but he was born into the home where I was staying at the time.  Not such a sweet disposition as Bella, but he was just Lucky.  Lucky didn’t get much attention from the other home dwellers and was often bullied by them.  But he and I got along just fine.  I still miss Lucky.

Lucky’s ending isn’t happy, and he passed away much sooner than he should have, and that was a very hard day for me.  And with only spending a few hours, roughly one day and a half with Bella I starting getting attached to her very quickly.

Belle’s story has a much happier ending though.  We put up flyers around the neighborhood where we think she came from and we found someone who thought they knew the owner.  So we left the dog with the neighbors.  Unfortunately the potential owner’s English Bulldog passed away last March.  So, the neighbors took her to the county animal shelter the same day we left her with them.

Almost a week passed before we knew any of this, and the potential owner never contacted us to say anything about the dog.  So we decided to go back to the potential owner’s house and see for ourselves.  The neighbors decided not to take the dog back the potential owners once they found out from another neighbor that the “real” Bella had passed.  So after I rang the doorbell, and asked the potential owner how Bella was doing, she was very confused.

She gave me the story about her Bella, and I gave her the story about mine.  Not a comfortable conversation once I learned the real Bella had passed.  So, what now?  I queried the family that took her that one day, and they gave me the whole story.  I shared that with Bella’s owner and she set out to find out where this dog is, or was going to be.  She was transferred to a rescue shelter because of some health conditions she had, but was also placed on an adoption list, which Bella’s owners are at the top of.  We’re hoping this Bella can connect with her new owners so everybody wins in the end.

 

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Crazy Kitchen Talk

kitchen.01I want to cook, or pick up where I left off when I used to cook for myself a lot. Most folks that cook have an arsenal of tools they use from kitchen string, to spatulas designed by NASA – well, maybe not NASA but there are a lot of pampered chefs out there – I’ll leave it at that for now.

So my arsenal consists of four new knives pictured above, and a few baking pans and skillets I’ve collected over the last few years. The skillets and bakeware I used for a dinner I cooked for my girlfriend’s nanny. She’s British and I thought I cook a “Thank you, you’re awesome!” Sunday dinner for her and her family. It turned out amazing! Their words not mine. All of the recipes I took out of a Jamie Oliver cookbook that targets British favorites his family and friends shared over the years. The recipes were wicked simple to follow and made sense for the amateur taking a whack at a full-blown three course meal for 11.

This past weekend I was shopping for the two smaller knives pictured and stopped at a store I thought would have what I needed. So, I’m standing there looking over the myriad of brands and sizes of cutlery and the knife angel shows up – not a store employee but someone on the same type of quest a few months back who, unlike me, did all of research to make an informed buy. More than I ever thought I know about metal, age, steel, handles, grips, knife duties, etc. I left with the two pictured “Cuisinart” knives pictured.

I’m not sure my “arsenal” is complete, but it’s started. I also picked up another cookbook from a book fair at a local elementary school with my girlfriend and her daughter. Simple recipes, full of flavor, that don’t need the full arsenal, but enough to get me started for sure.

One of my blog followers (Tina Schell – http://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/) was looking for more sparks based on a blog entry I composed about writing code; I’m hoping there won’t be to many sparks from my crazy cooking that would lead to a mishap in the kitchen. I promise to be careful. There. I’m good now. Besides, like my good friend Z says, “what’s the worst that could happen?”

j@s

Distracted Progress

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There’s a lot of distractions that run across your desktop, kitchen table, cafe table, and your mind throughout the day.  So I decided to block them all for this long Memorial Day weekend and dive deep into a new web thingee that’s been getting a lot of chatter and traction in the developer community. I set a simple goal after asking myself, “what do you want to accomplish with this deep dive, given the time you have to spend?”

 

I wanted to get through the first three chapters of the online tutorial and get three things:

1)  figure out what I don’t know and should

2) learn the lingo of the this particular language so my Google and Bing foo doesn’t suck and I can find what I need;

3) stick with the tutorial as close as I can and get my laptop setup so I can do my web development going forward;

4) build something that works and has some tests built into so I’m not just slinging code, but testing what I sling.

So the effect of doing something like this is that (for me anyway) is I want to keep going and go deeper and understand more – part of my Magic Factory initiative I blogged about last month.  My goal is to finish this tutorial and actually move into some more advanced content and site construction.  But, baby steps – always baby steps with this type of thing so I glaze over something I need to “get” and would miss if I’m in a big hurry.

j@s

Afternoon Harvest

I had some free time this afternoon so I decided to spend some time walking (and riding) around a popular theme park close to my home town. I snapped a few pictures along the way to capture some of the magic going on.

j@s

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So, how did this blog get here?

There was a time when I knew and spoke with many developers across my region (FL, GA, TN, OH, MI) who weren’t very connected to one another’s efforts and successes – and lessons learned. So, for the Florida-based coders I was thinking how cool it would be to have a Florida Coders United blogging area, or portal.  I started with that idea on Blogspot over a decade ago and ended up here, and took the handle of “onefloridacoder”, that’s where my handle came from.

Blogging about my own lessons learned, tips, tricks, and efforts was just “ok”, but getting up in front of a group of people at a talk, or sitting around a table full of beverages (beer, coffee, water, soda, etc.) was much more powerful.

Still, I find through a lot of conversation over the years that my fellow developers that do blog a bit, do it for the sake of “OH!  I figured it out! Let me leave a trail of bread crumbs so I can find this in the future.”  Some developers blog about other things going on in their lives, not much, but some do here and there.

So, the logo for Florida Coders United would have looked something like “FcU” – yeah, there’s a subtle pun in there but it wasn’t the intent.  At any rate – I migrated from Blogspot, to GeeksWithBlogs, to a Microsoft hosted blog – then finally had that converted it to a WordPress blog as “john@scale”.

This is why, and how, this blog got started in case you were interested.

j@s

The Magic Factory

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I recently discussed the “Magic Factory” with my girlfriend to see what she thought about a Grand ReOpening.  Oh, what is the Magic Factory? It’s a place I walk into mentally with one, or two, maybe three ideas and blue sky what might happen if I built applications around those ideas.

I’ve had a bunch of ideas up on AgileZen waiting to be unpacked and built but just lost the fire last year about this time to pick up my tools and start writing software again until this conversation happened.  But after trying all last year to relight the fire, all I could render was a spark and that was about it.

Then last month our shop announced Hack Day 2014 – hmm… how could I pass that up, right?  Our shop is going to give us 24 hours to build something from scratch then present to leadership the next day.  The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes were pretty sweet, but it wasn’t about winning for me – it was a test to see if I could start and finish – something you take for granted when you a bit less gray over the ears.  So, freakin’ sign me up!

I found a great (and smart) peer on my team who wanted to help build something in 24 hours from scratch.  I thought this would be the real test to see if I could pry the doors open on this place I used to spend so much time in.

We didn’t win the grand prize, or make the final cut – but we built an app in 24 hours that conveyed the business idea we wanted to promote.  So, now with the doors to the magic factory swinging with activity and visitors like my grandma’s front porch screen door, things feel a bit more normal now that this place is open.  Oh, by the way, welcome to my “Grand (Re)Opening!”

 

Mobile First. Cloud First.

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A few weeks ago I listened to Scott Guthrie discuss mobility and how they relate to Azure, and vice versa.  I knew a bit about the mobile pieces, but the Azure side of the talk was pretty jammed up with new/updated services and offerings from Azure.  This platform has really come a long way in the last fours years for sure.

One of his first Azure talking-points was about IaaS and what it could mean to developers.  Enter TitanFall.

He discussed some of the elastic infrastructure the development and program folks were using to prop this game up – all over the world.  It was a pretty amazing aspect.  From this part of the talk we heard the quotes “Deploy at the Speed of Light – on your terms” and “Compete in a global market, but close to your customers”, “constantly available resources”.

All of those Azure or not, have a very nice ring to them – and true from what we saw in the TitanFall highlights.  So from what I can tell from the TitanFall preview, the size of your application isn’t as large of a problem like it has been in the past; IMHO the understanding of the architecture needs to really matter – how do all of the Legos fit together and if they talk to each other at all – who talks to who, when, and why.  That statement holds water in a lot of scenarios, today and yesterday however I think it fits in with future goals we set for our solutions today.

TitanFall has a lot of “headroom” to grow into, and the development tools are pretty sweet at this stage. And Scott promised they’d get better and better as time goes on.  Awesome!  If you’ve used the older versions of the Windows Azure portal, SDKs, and Visual Studio integrations, you know they’ve all matured into things that remove friction from our daily development goals.  The notion they’ll mature more is even more awesome (yes I use the word awesome quite often).

The statistics he shared from Azure were just as impressive, here’s a few screen shots:

1) The footprint of the data-centers around the world, and a few more coming online soon;

2) Interesting adoption stats ranging from authentication to Visual Studio Online registrations, to requests per second.

3) An updated portal dashboard that displays the development, production, and financial concerns of the portal owner – very slick indeed!

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