Author - Web Developer - Educator
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My ArtistFirst Radio Interview

I was interviewed by ArtistFirst! You didn't listen in? No worries - my interview is available for you to listen right here:



Tags:#radio #interview #artistfirst #books #author

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Night Blade Progress and Birthday Results

Night Blade 2 Cover This may be a little late in posting, but I just got back from my family vacation over the weekend. The night before I left for it, I finished "Night Blade: Day of Reckoning". 300 pages, 82200 words later, it is finished.

My original goal was 10k more than book #1, and I believe I passed that by 37%. Not bad for my 2nd book, but now I expect that book #3 will have 100k, and book #4 will have 120k, if the pattern continues. Anyway, the manuscript has been submitted for editing and I'm expecting the book to publish in the next few weeks.

Although my progress was a bit shaky, I'm proud that I was able to finish half of the Night Blade series. Let's just say that this is the "bird's eye view" of book #2:
Chisai is captured, Niko and Kitsune fight to get her back, all three of them fight Omego and the people they met at the matsuri, Tsuyoki re-enters the scene, Tsuyoki tasks 3 people with challenges, all of the main characters go to Niko's parent's house, Kitsune's parents visit, give the main characters new clothes, they all go to Chisai's school's festivals and get into a major fight, one of Chisai's friends gets majorly hurt, Niko's friend gets hurt (emotionally), and they start to chase down another thief.

That's it for Book #2. Book #3 will have a major fight in it, more progress with Niko's blade, Tsuyoki's plan progress, the secret processing in the background, and starting one of the biggest fights the characters will have to go through, along with going deeper into a relationship. We'll just see what happens.
Words vs Goal

Words per day


On to the family retreat: I left friday for Murphy to meet up with my parents, my sisters, brother-in-law, and nieces and nephew. Although I expected it to be something like last year, I must say that it wasn't too bad. My parents and I (and Keat) went to a new restaruant in Murphy and got some pizza, then the rest of the family arrived. We all went on a trip to Georgia (Amicalola Falls) on Saturday, had a picnic, watched a bird show (really great), walked down the waterfall and got some great photos, and got back. Then, we talked, celebrated my (and Jarrod's) birthday(s) with a brownie cook-off, got some great presents, and played "Cardinal Mexican Train", which is extremely confusing and requires a few rounds to understand it. We then left on Sunday and toured Leatherwood Falls, which I'm glad that the GPS got us there instead of "Let's go this way" kind of trip. Afterwards, we all departed our own ways.

Overall, it was a great family vacation, I got Book #2 done, and I'm spending the next week exploring my new gifts.

Here's an overview of what I got: my dad's old work laptop (it's a Dell, but I can work with it), an android tablet (which needs some work, but for an inexpensive Taiwainese-knock-off, it isn't too bad), and some Star Trek comics (which I didn't even know existed).


Tags:#startrek #murphy #nightblade #georgia #falls #brownie

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Bachelor for a Week 2013: Day 5

Last night was a bit of a doozy. I spent most of the night watching Season 3 of Reboot. Apparently, I haven't seen that season in quite a while, because nothing looks familiar.

Well, the good news about yesterday is that the Internet came back. Long story short: I have no idea why it came back.

Long story: On Tuesday, the internet went out. So I found the most recent paper bill and saw that "If $4.55 was not paid by 3/25, then service would be cut off". Since the Internet was out, I couldn't pay the bill online, so I had to use my phone to do it. Good News: Charter has a mobile friendly site. Bad news: their payment system doesn't work on mobile (and I have a market smartphone, so having an "Unrecognized device" was irrelevant). Since I thought that the bill wasn't paid, I freaked out a little and paid $150 to cover the bill cost. That charge went through successfully, however, since it took 24 hours to process, I was internet-less on Tuesday night.

I came home yesterday and I find out (to my surprise) that the Internet is still out. I logged on to Charter's site from my phone, and somehow, the billing system says that I paid $150 at the beginning of March, so I have a credit of $78, which means that I overpaid. If that's the case, where's my Internet?

I called Charter and said "Internet is out", which apparently is a key phrase that starts their automated system troubleshooter. After it automatically ping'ed and restarted our modem (which was the first thing I did along with power cycling the router), the Internet came back up.

Miracle? Probably. But I didn't do anything to fix it.

Well, semi-rant over.

Today started out weird. I first had a call from the building Director that his computer was acting up and some program was making him buy some antivirus software. As soon as I arrive at the office, my first question to him was "Were you using Internet Explorer"? His response (of course) "Yes, I think so". Found the problem.

So I booted into Safe Mode, found the location of the issue program, removed it and all traces of it, cleaned up his computer, scanned the registry (Thank you CCleaner) and rebooted. Problem solved.

I told him (for the xth time) to use Firefox or Chrome to browse the internet because IE is bad and etc, etc, etc.

ILK


As you may be able to tell, I don't like IE - the fact that over 80% of the world uses it and having to develop for Microsoft's excuse for browser standards.

After that was done, I played catchup all day, including re-convincing a client to not pay extra for SEO services again (let's just say that the client paid somewhere around $2000/yr to a company to perform "SEO Services". Translation: they added some Google Analytics code and provided meta tags for pages (which were very poorly written and irrelevantly coded). As I told the client, "this is 'first year developer' stuff. There's no need to pay somebody else $2000 for this when we do it for you". I have been told by the client (again) that she will contact the other company and cancel the service. Here's hoping it turns out better and doesn't come up again.

On the brighter side, my Raspberry Pi came in!
Raspberry Pi!


At first, I thought: provide power, connect network, all is good.

However, nobody told me I had to configure it myself.

Here's what I have done: provide Ethernet cord, Provide power supply, go to raspberrypi.org/downloads, download OS, dd'ed it on SD card, provide USB keyboard, provide RCA cable (I don't have any HDMI TV's), connect everything together, (here's where I am) boot from SD card, set up OS, configure system, and then ready to go.

So far, I have everything, but I'm not sure if my SD card (which is in the form of a 8GB Micro SD card in a SD Card reader, which is in a SD/USB dongle to write with) is working right. When I plug the SD card in and power on the Pi, the red POWER light comes on, but nothing else. Even by connecting the RCA Video cable to the TV (and making sure it's on the right input setting), still nothing. I'm supposed to get a green LED to light up, but no luck so far. I think I may need to get a full fledge SD card, which nowadays are pretty cheap.

Other good news: our peppers are finally coming in! I took a look last night, and 9 sprouts are coming up!
Peppers!


I've also started watching Breaking Bad - not bad so far. (Sorry for the pun). I'm halfway through episode 3, and it is still keeping my attention.

I also did some research on Zero Hour, found out it was semi-cancelled. Can't same I blame it - the first episode dragged on, set up the mystery at the very end, and basically told the whole story in the first hour of show. I like a quote from The New York Daily News' David Hinckley stated the series "dodges several bedrock problems that have torpedoed other recent attempts to make engaging series TV out of mystery thrillers", adding, "The question is whether Zero Hour can sustain [the setup] for 13 weeks, because what makes a good two-hour movie doesn't always make for 10 gripping hours of television." (wikipedia)

I'm going to see what I can scrounge up tonight on the server and call it a night. Good thing is that this is the last night I will be spending alone for a while. In just over 25 hours, I get to pick Keat up from the airport! YAY!


Tags:#zerohour #raspberrypi #breakingbad #reboot #ie #seo #ccleaner #internet

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Bachelor for a Week 2013: Day 2

I did not report in yesterday because I was in immense pain, almost flu-like symptoms. Needless to say, I spent most of the day in bed, surrounded by cats.

Today, however, was much better. For me, but not for the weather.
Garfield

(Seriously: a major downpour of rain today, snow last Thursday, great short-sleeve weather on previous weekends, then heavy gusts throughout the month....all that we're missing is hail)

I moved the Wii into the guest room/office so I could have some entertainment while I coded away. Let's just say that if I had a fridge and a toilet in this room, I'd never leave.

I watched a good chunk of Enterprise today. Now, I'm only 6 episodes away from the end. What's on my "To Watch" list next?

I also wrote 3 articles for Shadow Dev, which will be premiering over the course of the following week.

I worked on the small blurbs and larger fancyboxes of our new pricing page, which should also be premiering sometime soon.

I lastly worked on the Portal 2.0. I made some great stride with window.location.hash when trying to reload pages based on post-hash URI's. jQuery just became a lot better now.

Here's what I am happy about today:
 
$(function(){
 
	$('#db_menu').find('a').live('click', function(){
 
		var link_id = $(this).attr('id');
 
		$.ajax({
 
			type: "GET",
 
			url: "/get_box.php",
 
			data: { q: link_id },
 
			success: function(data){
 
				$('#db_box').html(data);
 
			}
 
		});
 
	});
 

 
	var path = window.location.hash;
 
	if (path==""){
 
		$('#main').click();
 
		window.location.hash = "#main";
 
	}
 
	else
 
		$(path).click();
 
});
 


I basically had to scrap the whole project and start from almost square 1. I kept the original login scripts along with the database structures in tact. My main starting point was from the Dashboard and so on.

My plan over the following week is to improve the new Portal to a point that it is ready to launch. The plan to launch Portal 1.0 with the new site launch had a small...drawback. It didn't convert with the new CSS well, and had a few delayed bugs in it, along with a good chunk missing for the Clients. My goal is for Portal 2.0 to fix that.

I don't usually like scrapping projects during development, but the pro is that the revamp comes out much cleaner than originally expected. Only time (and late nights) will tell if my feats become useful.

On a some-what related note, I was told by Keat (I don't recall if it was today or yesterday, as both days are a bit of a blur) that it is 4° out in Frisco right now. I would have been okay (that's a joke) with 4° Celsius, but we're in America, and that's 4° Fahrenheit. I do wish her the best in that frigid temperature. I'll stick with the rainy 40° here.

XKCD


Also, I used a gift code from StateFarm to order the next Star Trek/Doctor Who Crossover Vol. 2 comic book today. It only cost me $5.71 (and that was with shipping and tax). It would have cost me somewhere around $18 in a shop. Although I do support local shops, I had a gift code that I had to use or it would have expired.


Tags:#jquery #javascript #enterprise #startrek #projects #garfield #keat #articles #xkcd #doctorwho #comics

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Leave my childhood alone!

Ctrl+Alt+Del


Although the latest TMNT movie wasn't bad, I hope Michael Bay doesn't proceed with his version of it. The Nickelodeon series was bad enough.


Tags:#cadcomic #tmnt #movies

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We're building a Dalek! We're building a Dalek!

Dalek Blueprints

Through some internet connections and an totally tangent idea, a few friends and I are building our very own Dalek! Yes, it is true. Here's the conversation to prove it:
Dalek Conversation

I can't wait to see what happens when we get together and start getting this thing off the ground. We may even be able to enter it into a convention or two!

And just because I'm on a Doctor Who craze right now, enjoy this:
Tardis and Daleks together?


Tags:#doctorwho #dalek #building #friends

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Monday Rollercoaster

Since I seem to droll on with my previous catch-up posts, I promise to keep this one short and sweet:

Today:
  • Came in today, worked with Janet to get her new menu ready
  • Recorded/processed payments/invoices for 3 clients
  • Added rewards to said clients
  • Signed up for Basecamp, explored it a bit
  • responded to emails, including Tom, Kat (+debugging), client (previous system), client (current checkout system), client (invoice followup), Amazon Spoofing
  • Checked my backlogged Reader
  • Ordered mini-squishies
  • Scanned for Health Insurance quotes - couldn't find anything usable under $90/mthCompany insurance survey
  • reconciled accounts (both)
  • split insurance declarations into one document
  • updated SD's G+ page
  • added G+ to Blog and site (for Author Verification program)
  • updated Janet's site with new roll
  • explored IdeaPaint some more
  • worked on the Team Operating Manual a bit

Previous to today:
  • Rewatching the reboot of Doctor Who, got Keat hooked
  • Signed SD up for Pintrest, flickr
  • made some major progress on the SD Portal
  • became Google Engage partner
  • talked with White Fox Studios
  • went to family gathering, had fun
  • started going to N-Scale meetings
  • PiLam volunteer meetings
  • Interviewed two people
  • Southern Atlantian Archery Day (SAAD):, rain, bow broke, stayed a night at Keat's parent's place, got refund for busted bow
  • JapanFest!
  • Sacred Stone Baronial Birthday: fun, shot some, went and stayed the night at friends house b/c it was so humid
  • met with SMDC, we are moving! (videos)
  • SD now insured
  • Got award from Powder Creek Traditional Archery


See? Told you it would be short and sweet.

And here's a short and sweet comic to sum up what Niko has been doing when I'm not in the chair:
Kitty in Chair


Tags:#doctorwho #janet #invoices #basecamp #squishies #insurance #googleplus #ideapaint #pilambdaphi #saad #japanfest #trains

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Summer is over...but it's not a bad thing

Garfield


It has been some crazy past few weeks. Let me do a quick summary of what's happened:


  • I got into work today at 9:45am. Yes, AM! I had a crazy idea (based on an American Dad episode - the one where Roger has the "Sidney" persona that takes the hit out on himself. You remember that one? Don't cha? Right? Anyway...) to place my glasses by my "alarm". I turned off the alarm at 8:15 this morning (because Keat had to get into school before 10), reset it for 9, and went back to sleep. I got up at 9, turned off the alarm, and put my glasses on. Somehow, I felt more....awake and didn't want to go back to bed. So I got dressed, shaved, etc, and went into work. Anyway, I spent 2 hours going through my Reader and finding a lot of interesting business- and website-related articles that I felt would be good resources to share with the interwebs. So I scheduled i-don't-know-how-many posts into the Shadow Dev facebook page all the way through August 30, posting 2 per day. I then got the green light from Tom to send out an intro letter to a potential client in Asheville (after much editing), and sending some carefully worded explanations out as well. Afterwards, I worked on the Analysis followup links (see more below) and created that from almost-scratch to finished; jQuery, Paypal, form creation, and all, in a matter of about 2 hours. I then worked on a setInterval() on the Shadow Dev β site making random testimonials show up in a testimonial box every 4.5 seconds. That took about an hour or so. I had the hardest time figuring out 1) how to have the loop continuous, then 2) having the previous entry fade out, then the new one fade in. Afterwards, I met with Marti (see below) at 2 and met with her until about 4:45ish discussing different and new Project Management techniques, forms, and methods, along with a "Project Closure" sequence, which is new to me. I was getting things prepped for my teleconference at 7 when Tom sent me some requested files for the Maintenance and Rewards programs. I used the files he sent over to create the Rewards and Maintenance pages (finally). After I got done with that, I realized that I was supposed to meet Eric at Frog Level at 5 for casual beers. I hope he doesn't feel bad that I stood him up...? It was about 6:40 when I was done with the previous item, and I thought I would lay down for about 15 minutes. I set a timer for 15 minutes, and an alarm that would wake me up at 6:55. I started it (I saw it counting down), then went to lay down. About ~15 minutes later, I wake myself up, thinking that I overslept...again (see below). I woke up a minute before 7pm. Freaking out, I go over to my phone and try to call in. I see that my phone had only count down 2 seconds (from when I put it down), so it never counted down from 15 minutes. Somehow, I don't think my phone doesn't like to set alarms on Wednesday nights (see below, again). I called in to the teleconference, participated, and we were done in about 45 minutes. I then took it upon myself to clean out the office fridge. Long story short: it was over-freezing, so we turned down the temp. and the ice melted - all of it, so I transferred some out and emptied it in the sink. I then went home and watched some Big Bang, Futurama, Big Bang, and Battlestar Galactica. And that's just TODAY!


  • So, my Wednesday went a little wonkier than usual. I'll skim through the rest:


  • I created a Quote Generation System for Shadow Dev. I also created a Automatic Quote Followup system to send an email to the person who generated the quote for a followup. Quite nice if I say so.


  • The HCC Student Incubator was delayed until the beginning of September.


  • We recieved a new client: Premier Vacation Rentals


  • We gained a new staff member: Marti Daves! She comes to us with plenty of Project Manager experience, with a fine interest in hand-coding web development. Certainly a great addition to our team.


  • We re-worked the packets, again. Removed some pages, added some, and added a design to some of the packet folders. Hopefully, the response rate will be better.


  • Ordered 20 more bowls and sign holders. I find it hard to believe that each GLASS bowl was $1.44 each, but each PLASTIC sign holder was $5.34 each. It was pretty expensive, but the source for the sign holders was the least expensive option out of all of them that were researched.


  • I modified our Quota page to show what the Quarterly bonus would be if Quota is met. Should make things easier to manage


  • I created a newer version of a Contract Creator. Adding in some new clauses, price modifications, and service inclusions, and the new created contract is better than ever!


  • We launched the new SMDC design. Now to implement the information.


  • Added something a little different to a client: Instead of processing credit cards (as expected), they wanted "House" accounts (as in, give us your name, and we process your card on file). That wasn't discussed during the project negotiations, so the checkout system wasn't developed with that in mind. But, we did it.


  • Our first Contest winner won the free website, and turned it down, which is good and bad for us. Good: we have less work and don't have to shell out a loss to cover it. Bad: the Winner doesn't get a new site or PR, and we don't get good PR for offering this. Let's see how Round 2 goes...


  • After the last Monthly Meeting, I delegated out "Drinks with Geeks" and "Hello World". Good news: less on my plate to take care of. Now just to train/help the delegatees on how to do that.


  • I also created an auto-followup for websites that are analyzed using our GetMyAnalysis.com analyzer. For the past few weeks, the followup email would say "Get ____ service!" with a link, but never went anywhere. Now, the ordering page has all 3 services available, along with a checkout system (see above for more detail).



That's it for business. If you got this far, I know you're tired of reading this. I'll finish the rest quickly.

First, a bonus comic:
The System


Personal:

  • I reworked my Magic deck using Core 2013 cards. My battles with Chip and Keat are going better, and I'm not being slaughtered as badly.


  • I am now the Project Manager for Pi Lambda Phi Internationals for the front-end portion of the website. I didn't know what to expect, but I thought it would be a good PR rep, along with experience in the PM world.


  • Allstate was charging me $51/mth for auto insurance. Peaking my curiosity, I searched for some quotes from other companies. Out of all of them, State Farm had the best rate at $37/mth. The rest were $44-84/mth (Geico, Nationwide, Progressive (which has a very flash-heavy version), Farmers (they operate as 21st Century around here), and more). I received an auto-followup email saying that my rate was $34/mth. I went to talk to the agent with a few questions, and she said that it was ~$32/mth. Maybe if I keep talking, it may drop below $0/mth! That'd be nice. Anyway, the same auto coverage I was getting from Allstate for $51/mth, I can get for $32/mth from State Farm. Talk about saving $100's (actually, about $240/yr). I have nothing against Allstate - I know my parents have been with them for years, and my policy was spun off about 6 months ago. My Allstate agent was super nice and helped me out a lot. State Farm just provided a better rate.


  • I tried watching the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood. I'm sorry, but 5 episodes in, and I couldn't get into the storyline. It's too much like Warehouse 13, which I also couldn't get into.


  • I started watching Battlestar Galactica (the 2004 version, with Katee Sackhoff). I'm not totally immersed like I was with Doctor Who, but I like it. Maybe it's because I'm writing a futuristic space-based manga called Phoenix Eye. I don't know...


  • I visited a new Jamacian restaurant around here called One Love. I gotta say: for being out in the middle of nowhere, it was some pretty good food! And not badly priced, either! As soon as I get my paycheck, I know where I'm going again!


  • I gathered the stamina and finally went to a meeting of the "Smoky Mountain Model Railroad Club" 3 weeks ago. I've had their brochure for about 6+ months. The club was mainly about O-Scale trains. Those are nice, but I prefer my N-Scale. I met a guy named Eric there and we tried to go train-spotting during the following week. Due to some bad communication with the relays, our spotting turned up empty. Regardless, it was good to meet someone new. We went to a guy's house in Canton who had a super-ginormous N-Scale layout that he had been building for 20 years. Let's just say that it puts my old 4'x8' plastic-grass oval track to shame. No, worst than shame; I may be in the same "sport" as him, but my set would be "Here's how to play Tee-ball" while his was MLB Atlanta Braves (I'm no sports fan, so if my analogy is incorrect, please let me know). I brought out my N-Scale set and a few books and hope I can go back soon and run my set.


  • Keat and I helped Janet cater a super-fancy party for one of Janet's friends. Let's just say that this guy's garage was the size of our house! He was super-nice, and certainly blows away the "I have a vault-load of money, therefore I have the right to be snooty" stereotype. I don't think this guy could be more friendly. Regardless, the catering event was fun, even if we did walk around for about 8 hours.


  • I am working on a new service called CityFix. It's only in Phase 1 so far, and I'm doing some additional research in order to complete this service. Apparently, there is a need for this, but it hasn't been thoroughly met...yet!


  • I receive daily emails from Randy Glasbergen's publisher for his comic. I will say that I appreciate his humor and quick wit, he has some super-strict copyright policies. If his comic is republished on ANY format, it is $25 per showing. Thank you Randy, but I don't have the budget to shell out $25 per comic. Maybe later...


  • I found a new YouTube series I like: Doctor Whooves. Yes, you read that right. I think my "Brony" is showing...


  • Keat and I attended a MTN. RENDEZVOUS Archery event late July. Personally, I thought "Okay, I pay $10, I get to shoot 10, maybe 15 targets down a range. Not too bad." Instead, Keat and I found out that it was 40+ targets in a woods-style shoot (uphill, downhill, around trees, across creeks, etc). It was 1 arrow per target. 5 pts for the animal (ranging from a rabbit to a bear), 8 points for the inner ring, and 10 points for center ring. I don't recall our scores, but (I believe) Keat beat me during the first 20, and I beat hear during the last 20. $10 for 40+ challenging targets? I'd do that again! (Minus the ticks - I found one on our bed during the next day, and one under my nipple (stop laughing) later that same day). Keat also found a local supplier of traditional archery supplies! Not too bad for one crazy and tiring day!



Okay, that's enough from me for now. Ranting over. Enjoy this penguin:
Penguin!


Tags:#thesystem #garfield #penguin #facebook #reader #americandad #rewards #maintenance #futurama #bigbang #quote #client #hcc #packets #bowls #contract #smdc #contest #magic #mtg #allstate #statefarm #doctorwho #torchwood #galatica #onelove #nscale #janet #archery

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May June Catch Up

(get it?)

Before I go apologizing for not posting, let me say that the absence of posting is a good thing and a bad thing. But before I go blabbing on what happened, here's the first comic as promised:
Garfield


So, in no chronological order (because I can't recall exactly what happened), here's a summary of what has happened since my last post:

Personal:

  • Alright - where to begin? Well, I guess I can start with the obvious. Kat and I are working on an online tabletop emulator for role playing games. Long story short: Kat, Keat, and I just didn't have the time (or resources) to meet up and play our role playing game, Werewolf the Apocalypse. So Kat and I designed an online system that will allow for players to virtually role play. The system is still in the planning phases, but Kat hopes this will expand her PHP experience. More details as they come.

  • I'm still a newbie at Magic, and since I only have 1 deck (white and blue), I feel good about any games I win against veteran players. I've won a few games against Kat, and 1 or 2 against Keat (who is also a newbie). When Chip Green came over last weekend, we had a bunch of Magic rounds. Now, keep in mind that Chip has over 20 years of experience, and I have.....2 months? Out of the numerous games we played (against my 1 deck and his ??? decks), here was the final score: Chip: Infinity; Me: 3. Hey, I won 3 games against him! I call that a victory. A small one, but a victory nonetheless!

  • I traveled to Keat's parent's beach house in Nags Head during Memorial Day weekend. I won't go into details, but I will outline the "highlights": we brought the Wii to watch Netflix at night and during alone time. It was "taken" by one of her cousins who used it to play Lego Star Wars for 5 days. I'm surprised he didn't kill the remote batteries when we got it back. Aside from not being able to use our Wii, it was still fun. And I didn't turn into a lobster this time!

  • I finished Doctor Who on Netflix in just over a month. No, not the WHOLE series, just Doctor #9 (Christopher Eggleson) to Doctor #11 (Matt Smith) in the latest season (The Wedding of River Song and the Xmas special). I won't go on a rant about this, but David Tennant did it for me; he defined the "Doctor" and made a role that only a few could fill. Matt Smith has his own personality, which is okay, and I know the primary writer (Russell Davies) left the writing cast, but the Matt Smith series isn't a replacement for David Tennant. Overall, it was a good run. I would like to see what the latest series has to offer once they put it on Netflix (since I don't get BBC).

  • In addition, I wish they put the Tennant-Smith transition on Netflix in order of the seasons. For most people, they went from Tennant saying "Bye" to Donna, then Smith came in. There were some DW movies that filled the transition during the downtime, but you had to go searching for them on Netflix. I mean, at least have "End of Time" easily available so people can understand why Tennant left, Smith came in, and why the Tardis comes into the Matt Smith/Amy Pond season flaming.

  • Great news! (and I will admit it) My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 1 and 2 are on Netflix! No more having to find torrents or 3rd party video services to watch MLP. I'm almost through Season 2 - still need to watch the Wedding epsode(s), but I hear that Season 3 is in the works (and John de Lancie will be in it again! Ponys vs Q - Take 2!) Yay! And to sum up the past 2 statements, here's something totally relevant:
    Doctor Who [Tennant] Pony Shirt!

    And for those Star Wars fans, here's DW/SW crossover which I found funny:
    Dw vs SW


  • After a year of being in our new house, we finally changed the dreaded iron lamp on our front porch! We changed it to an almost flush structure that gives off plenty of (almost too much) light. It soothes my head just knowing that we don't have to duck every time we come on/off the port. Now, for the dining room "death-by-chandelier"

  • I know I've been the advanced Developer on a lot of our clients' projects, but this past week has been especially stressful. To give a better idea about my "sleep schedule" (or lack thereof), here's a graph of my sleeping times (Thanks to @Sleepbot) :
    Sleeping schedule

    Yes, I have been going to bed between 4-7am for the past week or so.....?

  • Thanks to my wonder girlfriend, I now have a new bow to shoot with! I appreciate the 3rd-level hand-me-down bow that I used to shoot with (all 29lbs of it), but it was getting a little too.....used for my purpose. This new bow (which came in today) is a 45-pounder, which requires about 1/3 more power to pull back. After a few break-in rounds with it, I realized a few things: 1) I need a larger arrow rest; 2) I need to either build calluses or get a shooting glove; and 3) I need to do some muscle training (45 lbs of strength is a little too much for me right now, but I can do it).

  • A while back, we invited some of our SCA friends over to our house for a little get-together. Little did we know that the "little get-together" invitations spread like wildfire and we had 10 or so people in our house (we only have 1000 sq ft). Since we were not prepared for 10+ people, we were a little sparse on the meal (but that was okay since only a few were hungry). Most of us shot in the backyard with a "Marshal (In Training)", and did fairly well. I actually "Robin Hood"'ed an arrow. Regardless, all of us had a good time with music, signing, food, shooting, talking, and more. Defiantly something to repeat (with better planning) in the future. On a semi-related note, we didn't know that one of our good SCA friends, Dervila, lives about 20 minutes away from us! Small world, huh?

  • Our Sushi Chef friend, Janet, had to close her restaurant for a few weeks. Don't worry - nothing bad. She just needed the time off to help her husband recover from a surgery. However, before she closed, she called us over to get some leftover soup and some free sushi (to get rid of materials before the closing, since the fish wouldn't hold up for a month). In the process, we helped create a "Kaita" Roll, which is "The Best of Both Worlds Resembling an Everlasting Love". Janet said that the roll name should be "the marriage between you and Keat, so make it special". Trust me - it was much harder than it sounded. Photos to come later.

  • I also made 2 major Linux upgrades: I upgraded my home computer from CentOS to Debian (better supported), and finally got my work computer to dual-boot Win7 and Debian (Ubuntu wasn't working well with nVidia). So, long story short: I can now use Linux at home and work (and since my Windows-only programs run ok on WINE, I don't really have a reason to go back to Windows!)



Business:

  • Modified the "Request for Information" page for Shadow Dev to automatically save upon textarea blur. This was done for many reasons - the main one being because the form is so freakin' long! If Clients type in their information, and (for some reason) their computer loses the connection, the information will be automatically saved based on what was previously put in. Not a bad mashup of HTML, PHP, MySQL, and jQuery if I must say so.

  • I've been working on Fairview's website probably harder than any other client website. Let's just say that it has been one hurdle after another. Not to say that it is bad, but playing the middle man was not easy. I've pushed my limits on PHP/MySQL/jQuery and I've learned a lot, and by creating a PHP/MySQL/jQuery auto-save function on the Address portions of orders, the RFI-auto-save feature (above) was created. Fairview's site is almost complete and I expect it to launch in the next few days (if everything works as it is supposed to). The biggest challenges in this project were: creating the custom scraper to auto-download the information from their old templated website from the 3rd party, auto categorize/label/describe the information downloaded (and the different types); getting an answer back from their Credit processing company (finally received an answer, and they sent me somewhere else, which gave me the authorization codes, and I had to go somewhere else to get the documentation and PHP code in order to process the forms); and lastly, creating the custom checkout process (standard e-commerce systems just wouldn't cut this project).

  • I worked on adding a testimonial page to NSMT. Found a way to add a dropdown function via jQuery, and (through some confusion in technology) posted a testimonial video to their site along with restructuring a few pages

  • We have a new client! Frog Level Brewing Company - long story short: owner received a WordPress site from a competitor, he became tired of just "blogging" and needed a more functional and more responsive website. Since we already had a relationship with him hosting our "Drinks with Geeks" event, we got him signed on!

  • We've also hired on 3 new people on the Shadow Dev staff: Rachael Caldwell (Developer), Darren Mastrangelo (Designer), and Steven Rich (Intern). Our family is growing! We are now 10-strong! What an eventful 2012!

  • Had the Shadow Development Annual Shareholder Meeting on Tuesday. Lots of things discussed. Lockwood attended via phone, which was a little unexpected, but we have "Part II" on July 2. Hopefully some good things come out of that meeting.

  • I can't say much (because some competitors may be reading this), but we are expanding our Markets! Without giving out too much information, I can say the following: We are expanding to Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, and Central/East North Carolina. More to come in the next few months. The numbers are coming in, and things look good to expand!

  • One of our oldest clients, Smoky Mountain Development Corporation, asked us to perform a redesign for their site. I won't specifically say "they needed it", but it was time for their site to be refreshed. We completed the design early this morning (5am to be specific), and things look good.

  • I've reconfigured the main Shadow Dev site to reference images via "img#." subdomains. To put it in simple terms: it's like driving some moving trucks. By having 1 really big truck go from Point A to Point B, it will take a lot of gas and effort. By having 10 trucks drive from Point A, C, D, E.... to Point B, the loads each carry are smaller and they use less gas. This is in reference to loading images from the Shadow Dev site. By having the main site load all of the images through the www subdomain, the one request had to load EVERYTHING from the one source, and it took forever. By dividing the images onto dedicated image subdomains, and assigning random numbers to each, the load time decreased and the site loads a lot faster! Yay for me

  • I discovered a security issue with some of our sites that required password functions. Personally, I was encrypting the passwords with sha1 and md5 encryption. Bad news: they are easily decryptable. So, in order to respond with a more secure feature, I've switched the encryption to a crypt functionality, which automatically generates a $salt each time (a randomally generated key to encode the string), which makes each decryption that much harder.

  • Shadow Development has a Rewards Program in the works. The proposal phase is complete, it has passed the initial approval, and it is being formalized. Things should be ready to launch for the Rewards program by July 1

  • The Shadow Dev portal has kind of been left in the dust for now, since we have other urgent matters that require advanced developer attention (ie: mine). As soon as things calm down and I have a moment of free time, I will work on the portal again.

  • I've proven a proof-of-concept and +1 for automatic generators. By testing an "keyword density" tool on my own blog, I believe I have created an automatic keyword generator for pages. I know this won't replace in-depth SEO practices, but it helps automatically create keywords based on dynamic content (like blog entries). This tool is still in Phase 0.01, but it's a proof of concept none the less

  • We've started a public toolbox for anyone to use. In regards to the Game system and the Security hole above, we've created tools.shadowdev.com which will allow visitors (mainly developers) to use these tools for many things. So far, we have an automatic encryption form for SHA1, MD5, CRYPT, and BASE64 items as many times as needed. Other tools (like an auto web-font viewer) are in the works.



And for the end of the night:
System


If you are reading this far, I would like to congratulate you. This portion is reserved for a sneak preview. Not really, but since my comic repository is building up almost beyond belief.


Tags:#garfield #thesystem #robinhood #sca #gaming #werewolf #magic #doctorwho #mlp #sleepbot #sushi #fairview #rfi #froglevel #smdc #encryption #tools # #debian #linux

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Alton Brown to develop Zombie Cooking Show

Alton Brown


"And just so you know…I am working on a zombie cooking show spoof. My zombie cooking show doesn’t have a home yet though…I’m guessing youtube as I doubt #foodnetwork will appreciate it. brain brûlée, brain chili, brain cake, brain sliders, brain on the half skull…" [via @AltonBrown - full tweet: https://twitter.com/#!/altonbrown/status/200911207312539648 ]

My input: not enough statements of "AWESOME" can be said.

How can something that has "Alton Brown", "Zombie", "Cooking", and "Show" not be more awesome?

Source: thebraiser.com/alton-brown-zombie-cooking-show/


Tags:#altonbrown #twitter #zombie

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Starting to feel like a President

Garfield

Today is certainly the start of something new. Let's just say that I think I'm finally starting to understand the phrase "Work on the business, not in the business."

Put it this way: a typical day would consist of covering a bit of all areas (as the President does when he wears multiple hats), but mainly development time making adjustments, tweaks, and additions to client sites.

However, today, I worked on the following: Accounting reconciliation, HR development, Internal Affairs planning, Business Credit establishment, Marketing Strategy planning, Client File reconciliation, Budget Planning, Loan Application, Server Status Reporting/Investigation, Partnership Proposal Negotiations, Technical assistance, Sales Team development, chasing a support team for solving a business profile issue, and 5 minutes of coding to update the browscap.ini file.

On top of (finding the correct place to vote and) voting, delivering an application to HCC, delivering a payment for a personal bill, paying my insurance bill, playing with the cats, watching some more Doctor Who (I'm on Season 4), and cooking dinner.

That's a Tuesday for you!

MthruF Fail


Tags:#garfield #mthruf #browscap #president #business #sales #marketing

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This should help Monday suck less

It doesn't matter how bad your week is going to be, or how much you hate your job, you can't stay mad at this:
Corgies!


Tags:#corgies #monday

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April Showers bring May.....Vacations?

It's been super crazy around here. That's probably why I haven't posted since February. I mean, with everything that is going on, I've barely gotten 6 hours of sleep at night.

But first, here's one reason why I hate March:
FatCats - March


I've put out the latest Shadow Dev newsletter that gives a good insight to what's been going on. But for those of you who don't get it, here's the run-down (business-wise):

  • We've signed on 2 new clients: Fairview Flower Shop and Dehydrated Delites. Fairview is a family-owned company in Decatur, GA, and Dehydrated Delites specializes in dehydrated and chocolate-covered fruit. Yay yay! The downside is that Fairview needs their site done by May 1, and it's one of the biggest projects we've taken on

  • It's been a record-breaking quarter for us. With the accounting records finally (and correctly) updated, we can see how things have been and are going to be. Let me put it this way: All financial reports have increased 430% and higher!

  • Tom and I have been discussing a lot of things and figured out a lot of good (and bad) ideas, both manpower and budget wise. This should allow us to proceed correctly down the right paths

  • Drinks with Geeks has a date: Saturday, May 5th at 4pm. The event is free, and we are trying to see if we can get food there or not. Details to come

  • Tom and I were at the HCC Career Fair. At first, we thought that we would have 3 or 4 people interested, but.....let me put it this way: our table was crowded from the point the fair opened to just about closing with potential applicants and clients. Way to go!

  • I'm researching a way to automatically export a pre-created pre-filled contract for Shadow Dev. Based on our previous process, it would take roughly 1.5 hours to manually fill out the fields necessary, along with doing the necessary calculations to figure out the rates. With this new PDF-Contract system, (which is in a prototype stage now), just put in the information, check the services requested, and BOOM! Contract created. A 1.5-hr process now takes 30 seconds. I call that Success!

  • We are working on 3 new (well, 1 is somewhat-new) services. I haven't started programming anything yet, but we may be able to enter these into the business competition later this month. Here's the overview: an automatic menu ordering system, a city-report tool, and a service comparison tool/app. Can't wait to get started!

  • I re-requested a quote for Shadow Dev from an Insurance Company that specializes in IT Companies. Luckily, the quote they gave us has the same rates from the quote they gave us last year. It would be nice to see that in action.

  • Tom helped re-plan the finance schedule. I don't know how he did it, but the system he developed (with a little tweaking) made the whole "check how much each person is making and payout" system a whole lot simplier.



And now Personal-wise:

  • I'm rewatching Heroes. So far, I'm halfway through Season 3. Although the latter seasons aren't as good as the first, it's still a great series

  • I've been doing a lot of editing on Neko Sentou and found a few areas that need improvement, and a lot of areas that need correcting. Hopefully, by going through the 300+ page draft, it should make for a better storyline

  • My mom came up to visit me yesterday. We had a good visit, but the best part was that she said she was proud of me. I'm so happy (YAY!)

  • I really need to catch up on MLP:FiH. I'm about 10 episodes behind and just haven't had the time to watch them yet

  • I am now off of my parent's car insurance. I know my Dad is happy, but now I have another $48/mth cost I have to work in to my payment schedule.

  • Keat is with her parents from Friday until Wednesday. It's super lonely here without her. I think I may go insane with 3 cats......are they talking to me?

  • I will (with keat and kat) be going to Drums of War next week. This event usually isn't until July-ish, but with the weather being what it has been, along with a wonky schedule update, it is now in April. I just hope it doesn't rain like it did last year



I'll end it at that since this seems like a rant, but hey, if you can't rant on your own blog, who can you rant to?

And now, an additional comic (since my stockpile has been growing):
Pearls March 25


G'Nite!


Tags:#fatcats #pearlsbeforeswine #heroes #mlp #insurance #sca #pdf #automated #hcc #fairview #dehydrateddelites

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Hello October!

SYAC

If you are wondering why this is my first post of October, I've been extremely busy over the past month. And I have a lot of comics I'm waiting to display in the upcoming entries.

So, here's the overview of what's kept me busy over the past month:

  • I updated my blog using HTML5 fonts instead of the JS Cufon. It processes faster and works in more modern browsers instead of having to load the page and post-process the H1 and specified div tags into the font I chose.

  • Tom and I worked on our "Intro to Shadow Dev Seminar". That took a lot more time than we expected, but the seminars we produced went well

  • We've signed on a new client: Saki Sushi! They are opening their new restaurant in the next few weeks, and we've signed on to help them get a great web presence before their opening

  • We've also signed on another new client: Cullowhee Mountain Arts, Inc, with the help of Dr. Lockwood

  • Tom and I have been running up and down Route 19 to find some new clients - had some very interesting adventures up Rt 19

  • Watch MLP:FiH episode 2 (John de Lancie was great as Discord) and episode 3, which I can sum in 2 words: unorganized chaos (emphasis on "organized")

  • I'm working on a few domains and subdomains for Shadow Dev: docs.shadowdev.com (for a documentation area (wiki-like) for our quotes to help reduce our carbon footprint instead of sending our 30+ page quotes), getmyanalysis.com (our site analysis landing page from Fox Carolina), m.getmyanalysis.com (GMA's mobile version), and a few others

  • Celebrated Shadow Dev's 6 Year Anniversary!

  • Shadow Dev joined the NFIB

  • Wrote an article about Domain Name Expiration Notices, since I'm sick and tired of them anyway

  • Registered ReceiptRescue, ScrumIt, and Zoomiform on Twitter too

  • Finally saw the season premiere of Psych! I'm so glad a new season started

  • Attended War of the Wings in Elkin. Sacred Stone won! Yay!

  • Watched Last Man Standing on Hulu. It's good to see Tim Allen back on TV

  • Attended a forum for WCU. Best part of it: "We should have a beer department!" - WCU Chancellor Belcher. I like the way he thinks!

  • Ok - I'm on Spotify now. Whoppie. It's good, and the music is more controlling, but it seems that the SAME commercial shows up after every 3rd song.

  • Beat Angry Birds without the Eagle

  • Watched the last episodes of Eureka - Season 4. Wil Wheaton had a very "Vulcan" acting style....ironic?

  • Finally saw the new Producers movie. Certainly one to look back on and laugh, in a good way. Although, I can't think about it without hearing John de Lancie singing "I want to be a Producer"....creepy (?)

  • Started a new book: Final Theory, which is pretty good. Here's a quick preview:
    ICHC

    Ok, that's not a preview. But it's cute, right? (and the book does deal with the String Theory)

  • Got our Fox Carolina ad up and got some great team shots for Shadow Dev

  • Dealt with Netflix's price increase, then the Netflix/Qwikster split, then the Qwikster descent. I believe this comic works well for this:
    the Joy of Tech


  • Received a complaint on my blog in the past few days. If you are reading this, please keep in mind that this blog is a personal reflection of myself and does not reflect the views, opinions, and/or skills of Shadow Development or any associated companies. In addition, all comics are © of their respective authors. I do not take credit or responsibility for any comics posted. (If a comic has a super-offending word in it, but the context is acceptable, I will edit the comic, but I try not to if I don't have to.) If there is something on here that offends you, let me know. Don't go behind my back and tell your friends to tell me. Have the guts to take 10 seconds to send me an email saying "Hey! I don't like this: _____________". My email address, facebook, twitter, linkedin, and other contact methods are located on the right side of every page



That just about does it for me. I know this is a little long, but I think I need to catch up for almost a month of no entries (in addition for being 20 days away from my 1 year anniversary of this blog, and 5 entries away from my 100th entry). Back to watching Mythbusters on Netflix. Yay!


Tags:#syac #joyoftech #wcu #hulu #timallen #spotify #zoomiform #receiptrescue #psych #angrybirds #newclients #mythbusters #deviantart

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Ponies vs Q

RealLife


Yes, I'll admit: I watch MLP:FiH. And best part of all, the newest episode (Return of Harmony (part 1)) has John de Lancie in it (the voice was too obvious)! If the ponies are going up against Q, they have no hope. But we'll see in Part 2.

On a semi-related matter, my favorite is Rainbow Dash!
Rainbow Dash
Credit goes to ~Creshosk


Tags:#ponies #mlp #Q #deviantart #rainbowdash #reallife

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Busy Monday: Part 4

Yeah, yeah, I know: it's Thursday, but this day seemed like a copy of monday.

Anyway, here's the comic. Enjoy.
Endless Origami

For those of you who do not get this reference, here's an (edited) snippet from the movie that references the above comic (head's up for all of you "PG-13" people: it does have the F word in it)


And here's the rundown:

  • I arrived just before 10am to meet with a potential client. Apparently, Tom had the same idea as I arrived just seconds behind him (extra points for him for showing up before the Boss). We had a good talk while waiting on the potential client, who called at 10:30 to say he was going to be late. No biggie. He arrived, we talked, possibly have 3 potential contracts from one source. Yay!

  • Which leans into the next item: our 10am potential client called one of our current clients and asked when they could deliver an outstanding check. Next thing we know, the outstanding check arrived less than 30 minutes after the call was made. A week of constant emails and calls to get one task done, and he does it in less than 30 minutes. I would say "Showoff," but I'm appreciative of the fact

  • Anyway, the reason why I showed up so close to 10 this morning was because the kitties decided I shouldn't go to work today. 1 kitty decided that he wasn't going to take his pill, 1 kitty decided to make a run for the door, and 1 kitty decided to knock everything off of my nightstand (and the stories go on). So I had to deal with the kitties before I could leave for work.

  • Back to the chronological timeline: Since Tom had never deposited a check via Wachovia before, we left to 1) deposit the check, 2) have lunch, and 3) stop by a potential client that Tom didn't know where they were.

  • While we were stopping by the potential client's location, I received a call from our Fox Carolina ad rep. Apparently, our ad went live yesterday without our approval, and (in addition) there was some confusion on exactly where the ad was to show up on the Fox Carolina site. The call I received said that they were deeply apologetic about the ad going up, as it usually never happens (why do I not want to believe that?), the ad would be taken down, they would wait for our final proof, and more representatives would get in touch with us about our requests (because our previous contacts weren't very helpful; long story short: the person I was told to call said he didn't know how to help us, and he didn't know why we kept calling, so he gave us a number to call at another location, so I called and left a message, but THAT person won't be able to get in touch with me until tomorrow (I hope)).

  • SOOOOOOO....after that was done, Tom and I stopped by his wife's place, Women in the Moon, and his wife talked about her services as an interior designer. Certainly something we could use in the future. She and I got on a discussion about how the office could use some sprucing up to make it "more attractive for clients". Although I fully agree, I told her the short-and-sweet version of how the SMDC Board has basically full control over the building, and we really can't do much (except to hang stuff). We'll see how it goes.

  • After Tom and I realized that there wasn't much else for him to do that day, he dropped me off and took care of some personal business. Anyway, our friendly janitor came by today and spent 15 minutes in our office to clean it up. I believe I have said it before, but I'll say it again: she can perform miracles in a fraction of the time it would take us to clean it.

  • After she left, I made a bunch of calls that I was supposed to make: 1 to a potential client from this morning's source (left message), 1 to Dr. Lockwood to schedule our strategy meeting next week, 1 to a client about a contract, and a few others. It's a little hard to remember all that happened today since it was a lot.

  • I then took care of a few client modification requests and tied up some loose ends in the financials and some file locations. Finally, i checked my reader for the day.

  • I then came home (around 5), changed clothes, and tried to find some headphones. Long story short: I have become a Celldweller fan. I planned on playing Pandora on my cellphone while I cut the grass. After unsuccessfully finding headphones, I called Keat to ask her where some were. After not finding any from her suggestions, she said there were some at the office. Luckily, it's only 6 minutes down the road. I drove down there, got the headphones, drove back, started by Pandora, and cut the grass. I know that the grass usually takes me roughly an hour, but having some background music (especially some hard-core instrumentals), the cutting process went by a lot faster.

  • After that, I found that my cell phone had only gone down 10% in an hour of constant pandora usage. Not bad. not bad at all.

  • Anyway, I gathered some materials and decided to wash my car, since Tom's wife would be borrowing it (you know the story about "My boss needs my car"? This situation calls for "My employee's wife needs my car"). I got some soap, water, a cloth, and luckily one of our faucets is hot water. So I proceeded to wash my car. At the end of my washing, our neighbor, Lee, said "Looks better when it's clean, don't it?" I agreed, and said "This is first time I've washed it in....6 years." Without skipping a beat, he responded with "You're kidding, right?" I was not. Since I had the Pontiac since 2005 and it was at college, and at apartment complexes after that (with strict rules), I never had a chance to wash my car myself (stupid rules of "no soap on the asphalt" and other BS). So finally, I washed my car.

  • Nightfall came, Keat got home. She checked some things on her computer, and basically went to bed. She was tired. After she went to sleep, I had some custom-made mushroom/onion/extra cheese/hot sauce pizza, which was pretty good for a last minute menagerie of toppings.

  • At this moment, I'm watching Matrix Reloaded. Yes, I know it's nowhere as good as the first one, but I'm watching it more for the philosophical points and fight scenes. I know Tom would approve. Although while I'm watching it, I'm realizing that in retrospect, the Programmers are really the controllers of the world. I mean, if you think about it, programs do run our lives. Our cars, bank cards, medical records, communication, travel, etc, all run on some type of programs, whether software or webware. As a programmer, we have the "key" (pardon the pun) to access, read, modify, or even delete our lives. I mean, I know Identity Theft is a big crime, but think about this: with a few clicks and some raw code, all records could be deleted for 1 person. Just imagine how insane their life would be if they couldn't purchase anything, travel, communicate (long distance)....you get the picture. Who knows - the machines are running our lives, and if the machines are gone, our lives as we know them would cease to exist (or at least, revert to medieval times).



Okay, enough philosophical crap for today. Tomorrow's going to be a long day as well, since we have to plan a seminar, more calls to make, cars to trade, 5 hours to travel, and more. Here's to tomorrow.


Tags:#endlessorigami #matrix #client #kitties #foxcarolina #witm #ad #janitor #meeting #grass #pandora #celldweller #car #pizza

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What a day...EARTHQUAKE!!!

Working Daze

Wow, today has been a busy day. I came in this morning a little tired and expected to finish a few things that I started yesterday.

Anyway, here's the rundown of today:

  • Apparently, there was a 5.8 earthquake in Virgina around 2pm. I was unaware of it, but curious when my chair was moving under my desk without me moving it. I thought it was a low-flying plane or a big truck or a fast train, but when I went to go check outside, none of the above were present. After going through my emails, apparently Glenn Beck reported on it, but I was not aware. More details can be found on Google Maps and USGS. This makes the 2nd earthquake I've been through (and the 1st one I've been conscious for).

  • I am in the process of finishing the last episode of Voyager. It's still a good series, although it seemed like they ran out of material in the last season (as usual).

  • I called the Fox News guy back and began our ad run with them. I was contacted by Tom an hour or so ago with his expertise, and I'm glad that we were on the same page: it's a gamble, but hopefully it pays off

  • I talked to Janet today, and she's working on her new place. I can't wait till she's ready to open for business!

  • I was also contacted by Tom with a potential client connection. We have performed a site analysis and sent it over, all within 20 minutes

  • I finished the PiLam mobile site, and that worked out quite well. I used Shadow Dev's mobile site as a template, but overall, I think it works nicely

  • I received feedback from Lionel, and although I don't completely agree with the idea of switching from our current web development means to a mobile-only app development

  • I had a potential client walk in today and talk about his new service. His service sounds nice, and I told him I'd have his quote by Friday. I got it to him today. Hence the saying "Under-promise and over-deliver" - thank you Dad.

  • I sent an email to Dr. Lockwood for catchup and to get a meeting time for our monthly Shadow Dev meeting. Hopefully I get a response back soon.

  • I added images and information to a client's site and implemented a function to display September-only material in September. So far, it works well.

  • I finally received the new address for the Pi Lam house. Can't wait to see it!

  • A client had some images that they sent over that were too small. Apparently, they googled images and sent the thumbnails. To be honest, I'd really expect an organization to send over some higher-quality images for a site like this. Hopefully, we can get some better images soon.


Server says I've been signed on since 10:23. 7 hours later, I'm signing off. Same hours go for yesterday, so 14 hours thus far.


Tags:#earthquake #voyager #clients #lockwood #lionel #analysis #pilam

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Bachelor for a Week - Day 4

The System

It's been a while since I posted a System comic on here, but I thought this would be nice.

Day 4 of Bachelor-ship, and the days are starting to run together. I've completed more work on the Shadow Dev Beta site, and if I keep this up, I should be able to release it by September 1st. That'll be one major accomplishment out of my way.

Not much has really happened today. I kept watching Voyager - I'm on S7:E2 now, so almost done with the series. Still glad I got to see the whole thing from the start.

I also found out the issue behind why my txt's wouldn't sync with Gmail: my IMAP was turned off. After I turned it on, all of my txt's synced within a matter of minutes.

If I keep up this "blogging" thing, I'll have been blogging for a year in just short of 3 months. To be honest, I'm glad I'm doing this. If not for a personal record (or for you readers out there), then for personal enjoyment to entertain whoever is reading this.

Keat comes home in T-48 hours. Honestly, I can't wait. With the kitties meowing their heads off, no internet access at home, and trying to get work done during these ever-longing days, I may lose my mind before Saturday gets here. Good thing I have a small client meeting and a janitor coming tomorrow to keep my schedule in tact.

PS: According to the server log, I've been logged on since 1:05pm. To date, I've worked 35 hours so far this week. Only 5 more, and I'll qualify for overtime! (that is, if I got paid for it)


Tags:#thesystem # #keat #voyager #txt #blog #kitties

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Bachelor for a Week - Day 3: Lazy Day

Dilbert

Yep, today was a lazy day. I was awoken at 10am sharp by a fellow door-to-door "Do You Believe In God" advertiser, and after that, I went back to bed. My plan was to sleep for a hour, then go into the office. I didn't get into the office till 3. So 3 till 8, not a bad (or good) work day length-wise. So far, that makes....what? 26 hours so far? Either way, I'm still ahead of schedule if I'm going to get 40 hours in this week (is that too much to say since I'm employed by myself?).

Anyway, I did some more work on the Site Analyzer and it's coming along nicely. It's not 100% perfect yet, but it's pretty close.

I also watched 6 episodes of Voyager today. I just finished the one that Kim Rhodes is in. I think I first saw her in Zack and Cody, but she still has a unique perspective on her acting style.

I've also downloaded SpinFire for Android. As a hint from @WhitsonGordon, I've explored it and it seems a lot better than the stock browser. I had Dolphin for a while, but Android 2.1 only has <20MB of free space, and no APP2SD support, so I'm stuck uninstalling items to install new ones. 2.1 sucks - I can't wait till I upgrade and finally get 2.2+. If you are wondering why I still have 2.1, it's because I have the Eris, and Google/Verizon don't want to upgrade the Eris for some unknown [insert curse words]in' reason.

Anyway, that's pretty much the extent of my day. I better get home and let the kitties out before it gets too dark.

Also, here's a bonus comic I've wanted to share for a while. One hint: SPLORF!
Dilbert


Tags:#sinfest #dilbert #kitties #voyager #android

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Long Weekend

Garfield

Thought the above comic would work for this past weekend and the past week. I know it's been a while since I posted last, but things have been super busy. Here's the run-down of the past few weeks:

  • Shadow Dev hired 2 new employees: KC Weeks (Developer) and Dr. Thomas Hughes (Sales). We had our first "team meeting" last week, and things have been good so far.

  • I played our 2nd episode of WhiteWolf which is going nice. Keat and I went to a friend's location and had a restful and eventful weekend. It's not D&D, but it actually makes things better since it's more in real-time than in medieval times (now, if only the holodeck was real....)

  • I was mentioned in a book! YAY! The book itself is called "Starting your Career as a Freelance Web Designer", but I'm mentioned in it 4 times (along with Shadow Dev)!

  • there are a few things I'm missing, but I'm gonna call it a day and go home.


and since I haven't posted in a while, here's another comic:
Fail



Tags:#new #employees #book #garfiend

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Send in the Mythbusters!

I was going through my image files, and wish I had shared this 2 weekends ago:

Saw this guy at ConCarolina 2011 and couldn't pass up a photo!
We asked where Adam was, and he didn't know


Which leads me to this image:

Don't worry PETA: no animals were harmed in the sharing of this image

Later!



Tags:#mythbusters #jamiehyneman

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Mustard

xkcd
What if Wikipedia existed during the Magic School Bus? That'd be a short series...

Wow, has it really been 2 weeks since I posted last? It's been a super-busy 2 weeks and a lot has happened. Here's an overview (without too many details):

  • We moved into the new house! YAY! We're still moving in stuff and getting it organized, but we are now living there and it's great to be right down the street from downtown and the office! It did take a while to get things packed up and moved, and we're still doing it

  • We had a dispute with one of our clients: NSMT. Apparently, some communcation got crossed/lost/misunderstood and things got a little hectic, but now it's better and we're working our butts off to get their stuff done ASAP!

  • Keat's parents came down for the weekend to help us move. I can honestly say that the tension was so thick, you couldn't cut it with a knife - you'd need some type of chainsaw on steroids! On the good side, they didn't talk about much - just the moving. That's also the bad side: we needed to talk about our wedding plans, and they didn't want to. However, we did get some house repair and needed items (like the blue recycling bags that Waynesville requires). So it's an adequate trade-off.

  • We are in negotations with a few new clients. I won't say much, but here's our potential client list thus far (minus some personal details):

    1. A photo sharing/selling company

    2. An anniversary that has a party and needs an invitation site

    3. A travel and booking business

    4. A local entertainment center

    5. A Psychic person (?)

    6. An unknown person that contacted us at the office and wants to help us (or us help them; I'm not sure)

    7. A local Retirement lodge

    8. A political action group

    9. and a Property management company


  • I just got June's Hello World out today. I know it's the 13th, but better late than never, right?

  • Had a bunch of meetings with current clients and the Exec. Director for SMDC. Along with NSMT, we're also working on Lu's Specialties Foods and Innocent Footprints at the same time (while moving....yay)

  • and a few other things that I can't recall right now. Like I said: it's been a busy 2 weeks.


On a semi-related note, I know the xkcd comic is a little far-fetched, but I thought it would be a good re-entry to the posting. Along with seeing an episode of it (about Heat) on Saturday while eating lunch. Pretty cool!

I have also collected some pretty cool comics while out and about, so I'll be posting those as well to catch up to my quota.

Hey, look! Here's another one:
Bug


I'm gonna finish moving stuff in and get some NSMT stuff done too. My "To Do" list is getting longer everyday....not good.

And I know the title of this posting is "Mustard". I already have one called "Ketchup". Why not add a little "Chili", "Relish", and some "Hot Sauce" while I'm at it? I think I have some titles ready to go for the rest of the week....


Tags:#xkcd #bug #todo #new #clients #house

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Calling it a night

Dilbert

After 2.5 weeks working on the same thing, I'm calling it a night. I finally have the advanced record modifier done for a client. It uses jQuery to find eligible fields, turns them into a textbox on click, allows for editing of the content, and auto-saves it when the field is clicked out. I spent the past few weeks trying to get the .live function to work with the .bind function, only to have the whole system backfire on me. I finally did a small-scale model from scratch, and made the whole system work in 25 lines (with error trapping and notifications). I was baffled that I could get this 25-line jQuery to work properly and more, but couldn't get it in my original 200+ line script. I finally decided to scrap that and use my small scale model to do that. After some initial tweaking, it finally worked. I then had to add some features covering drop down boxes, and that worked as well. Afterwards, I made a tutorial video for the client showing the New system in action, and just emailed them about that. Here's the code now:
$(document).ready(function(){
 
  $("div.clickbox").live('click', function(){
 
    // find the box's name and value
 
    var boxname=$(this).attr('name');
 
    var boxval=$(this).text();
 
    if ($(this).has('form').length==0){ // dont add form if it exists
 
      $(this).html("
"); $("#box").focus(); } $("#box").blur(function(){ var boxname=$("#box").attr('name'); var boxval=$("#box").val(); $.post("save.php", {name: boxname, box: boxval}, function(data){ //alert(data); //troubleshooting }); $.get('fetch.php', false, function(data){ $("#results").html(data); //get the results as we add more }); // replace the text box with the value $(this).parent().parent().html($("#box").val()); }); //dont submit the form if someone presses Enter $('#boxform').submit(function(){ return false; }); }); $('#results').load('fetch.php'); //initially show the results });
I'm sure there is an easier way to do this, but for the basic jQuery knowledge I have, this works.

On the flip side, I have a lot to do for this client. My todo list is already growing, and it seems that they keep emailing me with new features and ideas. I hope they know that we have other clients waiting to get work done as well.

I came in this morning (early afternoon?) and was determined to finish the jQuery record modifier. I also received word that a tenant had some internet issues, so I made sure to take care of that first since I didn't get to see her Friday (like I promised). After about an hour of debugging and troubleshooting, I guessed that the wireless device was bad, so I went to the office, got a spare one (thank god), and replaced it. She was up and running in a matter of minutes.

I then got an email from the Executive Director of the building asking for some Tech help with installing a program. He was out of the office at the time, so I emailed him saying to tell me when he got back in and I'd take a look at it. I got a text from Keat saying to pick her up from school, and a short moment later, the Executive Director walks in and says he's here. I ask him to wait about 30 minutes, and I'll be right in. I went to go pick up Keat, got back, helped him install a piece of software, and got back in the office. By this time, it was 2:15. I hadn't even touched the system.

I finished up my Reader and went to tidy up some loose ends I had yesterday. IE was giving me a headache because of a new request the Client had asked (switching two sections on the main page). Everything was fine yesterday until I went to email them saying it was done, but I got the idea to check the page in IE first. I did that, and (of course) IE messed everything up. I tried to insert some IE-specific CSS, but IE didn't want that. I finally made the code inline, and still no luck - that's when I went home last night. After re-looking at it, I made one small change (deleting the space between -- and [ for the IE-specific CSS comment), and that worked. Finally, 1 task down. Time to work on the Record modifier.

...and that brings us to the beginning of the post. I'm glad to call that Task complete, but I can guarantee that for every 1 task completed for this client, I'm gonna get 2 more. It seems like my todo list will never end.

I'm trying to teach Keat how to do some basic coding (do cover some of the more basic work while I work on the advanced stuff), but it seems that we either can't find a common time to do it, or every time we CAN do it, something comes up and we can't train. We're looking to hire an additional developer soon (if this work load keeps up) and an HR person down the road. Don't know how salary will be, but I'll look into that once I'm done with this ever-growing todo list.

PS: I also beat R&C: Up Your Arsenal last night. It took forever to get R&C 1 to the point where I could get the 10% discount on weapons, and the boss fight only took me 4 tries, but I will give the overall game a 9/10 on fun.


Tags:#jquery #ie #css #dilbert #todo #video #ratchetandclank

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Google Maps API Success!

Garfield

Today was a fairly successful day. I worked on the NSMT system a bit and got the Shuttle Service 80% complete. I also revamped my ToDo list, and now have it squared away better. And HEY! I even got today's blog entry in.

The reason for the title is because I researched, learned, tested, and successfully implemented a Google Maps API today for NSMT. I applied for a Google API key for the site, found some test scripts, and customized the scripts to return the road distance between a location and their office (my first script only calculated the direct distance, but I'm guessing my client wants the "Road" distance, which makes more sense). I also used those variables to calculate rates based on their service charges. Best part of all: it works in all browsers, even IE!

I also researched a JS function to detect if you're using IE (which you shouldn't be, anyway) and if you're using IE 8's compatibility view (which you ALSO shouldn't be either). Turns out that NSMT tested the "Request a Transport" system we created at a local school, and the majority of students were using IE8 with Compatibility View! What a nightmare for Web Developers! Luckily, the script successfully determines if IE8 Compat. view is on, and how to remove the site from Compatibility view standards so it runs better (IE8 and html5 were hard enough, and now we have to deal with Compat. view!)

I also browsed the internets some and found a lot of good stuff, like the live feed of the Firefoxes at firefoxlive.mozilla.org and the 24-hour broadcast of Keyboard Cat at exitthroughthepetshop.com - how entertaining! (not sarcasm)

I actually got a 20+ increase in twitter followers this week, which for me is great! Usually, I see a 1-2 increase, but to see a 20+ increase was amazing.

Overall, this has been a great day and I'm heading home. I've been in since 12 and only had 1 can of Dew so far (I know, I know....BLASPHEMY!) I'm going home to rest.

Oh, I also finally beat "Ratchet & Clank" yesterday. I got it Friday(?) and beat it last night. The last boss was a killer, but after I realized I had the PDA to order weapon reloads on-the-road instead of running out of 1 type and using whatever I had left. It actually worked better to use my Blaster (200 mini-shots) first, then use my Devastator (20 big shots) to kill the boss. The first 10 tries or so, I would use the Devastator and keep reloading, but the PDA charges a convenience fee to restock, so it was 2000 bolts each time. After I realized I could use the Blaster first, I killed him on the first try. Now I can go back and get the RYNO and Tesla weapons and get them free in R&C: Going Commando and R&C: Up Your Arsenal.


Tags:#nsmt #ie8 #compatibilityview #js #firefox #keyboardcat #garfield #ratchetandclank

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Post-day blog rant

The System

Wow, another late update. Either this week is really busy, or I'm just lazy. I'd like to go with #1. Anyway, here's what happened yesterday:

I watched the Eureka Xmas special, which was pretty good, even for Eureka standards. It was also good to see everyone come together in the end. We also got the result from the Board presentation of the SMDC Expo idea. Guess what: it was pretty much beaten to death. All of the ideas we had (except for the open house) were shot down. But we're not giving up that easily! The whole idea has now been "morphed" into an open-house (only) expo! And it's now scheduled for the spring instead of late winter.

The Client meeting went well. I dropped Keat off at class at 11, then went to the office to set up. I arrived at about 11:10, and the perspective client showed up at 11:15. Glad I got there early. I set up the conference room with a very simple setup (laptop, notepad, chairs, etc), and noticed my laptop was making a "WHIRRRR-CLICK-RRRR-CLICK-RRR-CLICK-RRR-CLICK" noise. Usually, the fan makes a low humming noise, but this was an annoying "CLICK CLICK CLICK" that I couldn't get rid of. I tried to blow out some dust and shake it a bit, and it calmed down a little. When I went outside to get the client and came back in, it was down to its usual hum. Overall, the client meeting went well! She was looking for someone to help her out of an almost-given up situation, and we provided all of the options she needed. Can't wait to get started!

I also added a few subdomains via the Plesk control panel on Wednesday, but they weren't showing up. I was about to contact the support guy again and say "Hey! My subdomains aren't showing up. What's going on?" Instead of losing my temper, I thought about logging into the VPS Control Panel (since I recall having to do a 2-step procedure before), and I added the subdomains that way as well. It seemed like a hassle, but they worked today!

Dr. Lockwood also asked about having dinner sometime. I responded "OK" and asked for a confirmation time. I'm still awaiting a response.

Keat and I were ready to watch the DVD we received from Netflix, but by the time we sat down and attemped to watch it, the PS2 wouldn't play it. After fiddling with it for about 2 minutes or so, I opened it up and saw the DVD was cracked. I mean, a clean, straight crack! Don't know how that happened (honest!), but I notified Netflix and sent it back today.

I'll make sure to post today's post tonight.

PS: According to my tracker on the blog (top right corner), I have also been blogging for 1 month! YAY!


Tags:#netflix #plesk #vps #subdomain #client #ps2 #lockwood

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Server Issues and Bad Day

Well, the server file transfer is done, but there are a few DNS issues with the subdomains and the uptime. It is getting very confusing. That is why this posting is a day late. I'm working with the support guy, but I think either he's getting pissed at me or the server setup is so specifically confusing that it is causing issues.

Garfield

Yesterday had to be one of the worst days I ever had. I'm not quite sure what the issue was that made me have a totally "mad-at-the-world" mood, but I think it had to do with Chi scratching drywall and the Director's Cut newsletter (called "Hello World!"; appropriate, right?) I wanted to get out on the 1st. I stayed up till 5am writing it, then got about 3 hours of sleep before Keat had to be at school. I'm normally good on 3 hours of sleep, but I don't think that helped at all.

I woke up grumpy, which has been unusual since high school (when Mom would come in and say "Time to get up." "Time to get up." "Time to get up." / Me: "OKAAAAAAYYY!!!"). I was pretty much mad the whole day. Couldn't really work much. I got some emails sent, some files updated, and tried to work on the subdomain issue.

Keat didn't have her phone, so I left around 2:15 to pick her up. After I picked her up, it turned out that she was in a sour mood as well. We went to Wendy's to get some food, and tried to act civily. I think it helped a little, because we had some food and started joking around. Keat and I felt better, so we went to Ingles and got a copy of The Mountaineer, which contained an article about us. How exciting!

We came back to the office, I clipped the article out and posted it, and things got better. Keat approved the newsletter, took a nap, and I sent it off. I sent off a few more emails and tried to work on the subdomain issue again - no luck. Couldn't figure out the issue.

Keat had class at 7:30, so she got up and left. I watched some American Dad and tried to clam down some more. Keat got done with class and we went home, played with the cats, and went to sleep. There goes Wednesday.


Tags:#garfield #americandad #dns #subdomains #helloworld #ingles

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Weekend is over already? I'm just getting started!

Garfield

What a way to wind down the weekend. Keat and I are getting ready for the stupid inspection, and we've knocked a huge dent in the mess, but we're still a ways off from being done. However, I do have good news: I saved a bunch of money by switching to Gei... Shadow Development has a new Advisor! Yes, Hugh Simpson is now an Advisor for Shadow Development, and we're excited to have him on board. Hopefully, this will allow us to proceed on our 6-9 month plan with SMDC to get a loan.

Not much else happened today. I mean, I got up around 1pm (I slept ok - I mean, 8/10 on 'greatness'). I checked on the server transfer today, and not much has changed. I'm still waiting on the shadowdev.com transfer, because that is one of the most important transfers on the server. I spent most of the day cleaning and playing with the cats. Didn't go anywhere (except to the library at 12am to drop a book off).

Although, I did watch Star Trek (XI) for the first time in 6 months or so. After watching the whole Heroes series, I can't see Zachary Quinto as Spock anymore. I'm expecting him to turn into Syler and cut everybody's heads open. I know that's kinda dark for me, but Heroes was good. (I was the same way after watching Star Trek for the first time in theaters, then watching FlashForward; I expected John Cho to be Sulu in FF - didn't work out that way, but he did a great job as Noh, and FF was great anyway.)

On to Monday.......yay. I have a lot planned for Monday, so hopefully I get through it all. Still gotta clean...grrr.


Tags:#garfield #heroes #startrek #flashforward #hughsimpson #smdc

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Bad day? That's okay! I have GENIES!!!

More Genies? Why not?
(edited from the original for audiences - view original)

Today seemed to start off good, but then it went down the hole.....fast. And it seemed like I had to build my own ladder to get out of the hole.

Anyway, onto the details: I woke up at about 10:30ish, because Keat had class at 11:30. After writing last night's entry, I wanted to sleep for as long as I could. However, after falling asleep to Futurama and hearing the "Anthology of Interest II" episode (the one where Leela finds her "true home" in a certain film containing lollipop children, a brain-less scarecrow, a squeaky 1930's android, an ironic lion, and an omnipotent wizard), and I realized, "If the Wicked Witch of the West melted with just a small amount of liquid, then does that mean that she never drank anything or ever took a shower? I mean, I can understand the 'no shower' thing because she's a wicked witch and that would make her ugly, but never showering? That's just down right repulsive!"

Anyway, Keat was dropped off at school, and I went to the office. I knew that the server transfer was taking place, and I really want to thank the support guy I'm working with at my hosting company. He's helping me out through the transistion from RHEL 3AS (cPanel) to CentOS 5 (Plesk). I thought that it would be a lot of work to transfer the files over, but I didn't realize it would take this much work (I'll get into one bugging detail at the end).

As I drove to the office, I received a call from Allan, the Executive Director of the building. I couldn't get to the phone before it went to voicemail, but he said that his computer wasn't connecting to the internet and his computer was "fading out." Wasn't quite sure what that meant, but I was only 5 minutes from the office.

I arrived and jumped straight into work. I opened the office door, placed my laptop bag on my chair, and went right into the server room to check the primary connection. It was working fine. So....what's up with Allan's computer?

I went back to my office and set up my laptop. After going through my daily emails and my DDN (or RSS as most know it, but I call it my "Daily Digital Newspaper"), I jumped back into the server transition. It seemed kind of slow since only 1 domain was being transfered at a time. Apparently, the MySQL databases weren't being moved until I said so. 1 task down.

I had a to-do list from a client from yesterday, so I took care of that while I had the chance. 2 tasks down.

After about 2 hours, I had an issue with the MySQL database transfer and credentials. I asked the support guy, and he fixed most of the issue. However, I found out that they want each site to have its own unique login to the database instead of 1 generic login. I went with 1 generic login for the longest time because it was quick. Security wise - that is a large risk. Now I know that Q&D (quick and dirty) isn't the best way to go.

After a while, I realized: "Hey, when they are transferring the shadowdev.com domain, my email system will be down!" So I sent an informative email to the support guy with my backup email address.

After a LONGER while, I was wondering what was taking so long. I hadn't heard anything from my support guy since 1pm (EST) and was wondering how things were going. I went to go pick up Keat at school, got some quick lunch (needed to get back in case there were more server issues), and got back to the office. Guess what: the internet goes out. I started to get furious! THIS IS JUST WHAT I NEEDED! Here I am trying to oversee a sensitive server transition, and the freakin' internet just went out. What a day.

I went to the main server room thinking the problem was local. Nope, the main server wouldn't connect either. Therefore, the problem was on our ISP's end. I tried to load the community college's website on my phone for a contact number (they're our ISP), only to find out that their main site is down. Great. So if their site is down, then the whole county is down. I called someone I knew over there only to get voicemail. I thought "If their phones are on a VoIP system, and the network is down, then their phones are out." Just great. I called again after 10 minutes just because I could, and got the person I was looking for. She let me know that the main internet supplier in the whole region had a fiber link cut and they didn't know how long it would take to fix. That was 3pm. I'm online now, so I hope they fixed it if the office and home use the same artery for the connection.

Keat asked me a few marketing budget questions while we were waiting, and then (after leaving an informational letter) we left for Keat's oil appointment. We pulled into the station to have her car serviced and went for a stroll downtown. Stopped by the library, then had a chocolate malted and a Cheerwine at the Woolworth's Sandwich bar in downtown. Add a Turkey sandwich, and that's good livin' right 'der.

We came home and I took a little nap. Got up, responded to some emails and checked by DDN, then did some laundry. However (here's the detail) I found out that the main reason why the server transistion is taking so long is because the server support guy is going through each of my database configuration files and changing the information to the site-specific login. All 11GB of files.

Honestly, I would have been happy if the files, databases, and domains were transfered as they are, and I would take care of the relative and absolute file location updates and database privileges. That's how I expected to spend Thanksgiving: updating server files.

However, the server support guy said that since so many sites depended on the main shadowdev.com domain, he was going to wait to transfer that until Friday or Saturday. One problem: most of the sites that have a news feature use a centralized function for parsing content links and link-like information - and that's in the main shadowdev.com files. Without the shadowdev.com files, the sites with news features can't parse the link-related content properly. It's going to be a long break.

But I found two things that cheered me up today. 1: the comic above. I can't believe nobody thought (and published) of it before! It all makes sense! and 2: Keat and I were finishing up our chocolate malt, and she stood up to go to the restroom. She put her phone on the table and said "You hold on to it if the car guys call." The moment she places it on the table, "RING RING RING". That was something you couldn't time if you had to do it again. She answered, her car was ready, and she ran to the restroom. She and I had a fun hypothetical conversation after that. Her: "HELLO! YOUHAVETHEWORSTTIMINGINTHEWORLD!" / Car guy: "Your car is ready." / Her: "THANK YOU!" That made me laugh.


Edit: 2010-11-23 22:14:32 Forgot one thing. This photo made me smile as well. Thought I'd share it around.


Enough for today. Time for a whatever-we-can-cook-up dinner. Then, off to Thanksgiving....yay.


Tags:#thanksgiving #cyanideandhappiness #genie #car #server #parse #oz #futurama #centos #internet #mysql

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Science is Blinding!

Heard a Swiffer commercial. Love this song. Enjoy.



Edit: 2010-11-21 23:00:00 I decided to replace the flowplayer video with the a youtube link due to legal reasons. Although the concept was proved wonderfully, I don't want to get in trouble in case the owning company of the video found it. Although I do state in the footer that all content is © me, I also mention that all other respective ©'ed work is © of their respective owner(s). I don't want to take credit for something I didn't do. I still have the original proof of concept available online for viewing purposes.


Tags:#science #thomasdolby #youtube #zen #thesystem

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It just had to be Monday

Garfield

Last night was fun for me, especially since I was on a roll with the .fadeIn()/.fadeOut() jQuery functions, along with a few animated sequences that I'm proud of. However, I was also working on making the .remove() function working as well with the "parent of the parent" issue. Luckily, I got that resolved.

However, I was up till about 4am last night working on the form builder, and I'm glad to see how far I am, but I regret staying up till 4. Keat had class this morning at 9:30, which meant that we had to get up at 8-ish. Knowing me, I usually kill the alarm and go back to bed till the last possible moment. And it doesn't help that Winter is unofficially here and it felt good to be under the nice warm covers and soft pillows. I wanted to call it a "sick day" if I could, but I knew that stuff had to be done and other requirements needed my attention, so cancel the "sick day" idea. How I desperately wanted to go back to sleep........

While Keat had class issues and presentation due at 7:30pm, I used the majority of the day fixing the data submission feature of the form, along with catching up on Eureka. I finished up Season 2, proceed to Season 3 3.5, and finished watching Ep. 7 earlier this evening, but let me back up a bit.

Since jQuery is still kinda new to me, I decided to study up on the form submission process, along with the AJAX background structure. I still prefer server-side coding to client-side, but getting to play around with a new, exciting language is just fun!

I found out about the .ajax() feature, and experimented with a lot of the .ajax() features, but the ones that interested me the most for this task were .submit(), .serialize(), and .serializeArray(), all of which come with their own pros and cons.

It turns out that I had to submit information via jQuery .ajax() method and send it in POST format, which was the idea until I saw that the original data stream for the tutorial was only in GET format (example: page.php?id=3&sel=Hi&p=4q), so I researched and found out that I could switch out the .submit() and .serialize() functions for .serializeArray(), which submitted the information in their original Array format instead of a serialized string (GET). Afterwards, I had to write a function that sorted through all of the fields (which were all arrays) and set up the database form structure based on the array placement, type, and name (along with maintaining the tableDnD library to allow the rows to be moved dynamically). Overall, it was quite a challenge, but I believe that Milestone 4 is 90% complete.

That brings me to about 7pm. Keat had to leave for class, and I thought about another sub-feature: What if the person designing the form needs to make a form go in-active, or they need to take it offline for a while to make some corrections? That's when I thought about adding a "Active" boolean variable to make forms active or not. And what better way to allow for this option (along with showing it off) than the iButton jQuery plugin! Most people see this on mobile versions of WordPress pages, but I found a custom library from Giva Labs which allows for custom iButtons side from the default On/Off.

Maybe a little show-y, but I like to test new features I learn.
Business Accelerator Progress - Form Builder:
78%


Tags:#jquery #eureka #netflix #ajax #miletsone #ibutton #garfield #tracker