And another year passes me by

I turned 24 yesterday.  It was pretty uneventful since I took the day off of work and just bummed around the house.  All of the celebration happened during the weekend.  Saturday, my wife and I met her family in Des Moines and we celebrated at the Cracker Barrel there.  On Sunday, we went over to my parents’ house for another party.  It wasn’t too bad turning 24… I came out with the new Underøath and Project 86 CD’s, the book Dreamer of Dune, a new shirt, and Home Movies seasons 3 and 4.  My wife is also taking me to the mewithoutYou concert at Gabe’s Oasis tonight.  Still no iPod, though…

Capoeira

Last night saw my wife’s and my first try at Capoeira.  The Capoeira Angola Palmares school down in Iowa City welcomed us and we started right in by learning to ginga (the basic capoeira move).  We also learned esquiva lateral (lateral escape) and (a trimmed down cartwheel).  After two hours, my legs were tired, my feet blistered, and my clothes drenched, but it was a blast.  We got to watch a roda and meet some really cool people.  All in all, it was a good night.  I can’t wait until next monday.

And life keeps flying by

It’s been almost a month and a half and my blogging has been quite absent. Here’s what has been happening…

Life
Our trip to San Jose (last month) went great. We had 4 days to bum around Silicon Valley and the surrounding areas. Since this was a vacation, we decided not to do too much and really only did one touristy thing: we went down to Carmel and 17 mile drive for a day. It was fun and it was a really beautiful area. And the driving out there wasn’t too bad. The Dojo Developer Day (which is what I went out there for in the first place) went great as well.

Dojo
Dojo has been taking off recently. Last month, we released 0.3.0 and about a week ago we released 0.3.1. For the 0.3.0 release, I refactored/rewrote the effects portion, James Burke wrote a cross-domain loader, Tom Trenka added a Google and Yahoo! maps interface, and Torrey Rice added the new widget theme. There was more, but those are the ones that stick out in my mind. We had about 50k downloads in the month that 0.3.0 was out. For 0.3.1, the cross-domain loading has been improved and we have a cross-domain package now, plus AOL is now hosting Dojo on their CDN, IBM is actively helping with a11y, and Sun just announced they are going to start developing widgets for Dojo. All-in-all, it’s been a good month.

Miniature people majorly sucking

Friday night, September and I went to see Mini-Kiss.  Yup, that’s right.  Mini-Kiss.  If you ever get a chance to see them, don’t.  Not only did we have to wait an hour longer than we expected to see them, we were sorely disappointed.  I figured a Kiss tribute band would actually play the songs.  The only live music was the lead singer singing along with kareoke tracks.  It wouldn’t have been so bad if the guys “playing” the instruments would have actually looked like they were, but the drummer was completely off the whole time.  It also amazed me how he got a cowbell sound out of his high-hat.  Yeah, it was good for a laugh, but it wasn’t worth the cover charge we paid.

Sad state of affairs

I saw a commercial last night for the American Red Cross urging people to give blood.  It would have been an alright commercial (aside from the poor acting which I’ve come to expect from all commercials), except they were urging people to give blood to save their own lives.  Are we so self absorbed that the Red Cross can’t even get us to give blood to possibly save someone else’s life?  Unbelieveable…

Do you know the way…

We just booked our flight and hotel for the Dojo Developer Day on May 13 in Mountain View, CA. We’re flying into San Jose and staying at a hotel a ways from the airport. It should be a fun experience driving in California, since I’m used to driving out here in the sticks. My friend, Rick, who’s originally from LA thinks the traffic here in Iowa is nothing compared to LA and Seattle. This should be interesting :).

We found the hotel and plane tickets for a good enough price (thanks priceline.com) that we’re actually staying one day longer than we originally planned. We’ll be there from May 11 to May 15. I’m really looking forward to seeing the Pacific ocean and checking out some of the sights in San Francisco, Santa Clara, and San Jose. Any suggestions for where we should go? Are there any good art museums/galleries we should check out?  How about restaurants?  Anything we should steer clear of?

Dizzying weather

So, tonight we had a big storm. Lightning, wind, rain, hail, tornadoes… the whole kit-n-kaboodle. We had to go to the first floor laundry room and our cat didn’t like it (we ended up putting her into one of the non-running dryers so she could “hide”). It wasn’t really bad here, but Iowa City got hit pretty hard. The weather didn’t really bother me… it was the stupid weathermen on the local TV station.

Really, it was just one in particular (sorry, no picture). Whoever put him in charge of running the computer that shows the weather really needs to reconsider. I just about got sick watching him click all over the map, then zoom in, re-center, zoom in some more, zoom out, re-center, draw some things on the screen, zoom all the way out, etc. He also couldn’t hold the mouse still to save his life. It was like watching a crack addict play Mahjong on the computer. And it was readily apparent that the program that he was using wasn’t very user friendly since he kept having to move the mouse off screen to change tools. Have we heard of keyboard shortcuts?? Must not have taught you that when they taught you how to only be 25% accurate. I wish I got paid to only be about 25% accurate.

Pardon me while I go take a dramamine…

My current endeavors

Ok, so I said I would keep up with this blogging thing, but I’m not doing a very good job. It’s been over two months since I last blogged. What the heck is my problem? So here’s the run-down of what I’ve been doing:

Work
I’ve been steadily plugging away at Master Packing’s web site over the last two months. I’ve been trying to implement interactive features to some fairly boring things. Once its up, I’ll highlight what I’ve done, but until then, I’ve got to explain. On the mechanical packing page, I’ve used the Tree widget from Dojo to let you figure out which style of our mechanical packing matches other companies’ packing. Also, you can compare the temperature, pH, and speed ratings on all the mechanical packing we offer using the SortableTable widget. On the rail and marine page, you’ll be able to search for a partial or complete EMD number and the server will show you what part number we sell that part under and also suitable replacements. This search feature is something that isn’t available anywhere else in the EMD aftermarket industry. We should have it up and running by mid April. I’ll definately post when it’s up.

JavaScript
For the last month, I’ve been delving deep into the world of JavaScript for SitePen. It has taken me a while, but I think I’ve gotten the hang of the prototype-base inheritance that JavaScript uses. I think I’m past the fact that you can extend the prototype of any class so if you want a new method or want to modify an old method, you don’t create a new class. You just “mask” the old method on the current class. Coming from C++, that blew my mind.

Coaster
Development has pretty much stalled. I’ve been so busy with life, music, Dojo, Django, work, contracting, and everything else that I haven’t had time to sit down and code on Coaster for a long time. Also, the success of programs like Serpentine have shown me that other people are more motivated than I am. If someone wants to take the coding portion of the project over, contact me or Sean Harshbarger on the Coaster mailing list.

When did…

Just a couple of random questions that I’ve had over the last week:

  • When did they start showing reruns of primetime shows in the middle of a season? (My Name is Earl, The Office, Supernatural, etc.)
  • When did it become cool for guys to wear girls clothes? (I keep seeing it over and over on American Idol)