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End of November Catchup


Where to begin, where to begin......

Ok, here's the rundown:

  • I've become a fan of Rules of Engagement. It's actually a pretty good show, and Patrick Warburton is doing well for a sitcom.

  • I participated in my Fraternity's Initiation Night on Friday, and since I can't tell too much, all I can say is that we finally used the FPAC for I-night and it was visually exciting! I wish that the planning was a little better so things went a little smoother than "Okay, it's been 2 hours! What are we supposed to do?" and turning into "We have 2 hours left! RUSH EVERYTHING!"

  • Keat and I were in charge of the Turkey for her parent's Thanksgiving. After all of the criticism, questioning, confronting, questioning, "process correction", questioning, and so on, we did the following:
    - Brined the Turkey for roughly 12 hours
    - stuffed it with an apple, onion, rosemary and other spices
    - baked at 500 for 30 minutes
    - put on a turkey triangle, baked at 350 for 1.5 hours
    - rest for about an hour
    - carved, eat, nap, repeat
    Overall, the Turkey was the best turkey we'd ever had! Now, my parents want us to do it for their Christmas, and Keat's parents have put us on permanent Turkey duty.

  • We are moving our office from the 200 sq ft space to (just under) 900 sq ft! Progress is really going well, and we should be done by Dec 20 (photos are here: flickr.com/photos/shadowdevelopment/sets/72157632013766916/ )

  • We landed a new client: Omega Safety, and a Contest Winner. PR will be released soon

  • Our facebook page reached 100 likes! Yes, through a combination of a Facebook Advertising Beta program (which gave us $100 worth of FB advertising) and some article sharing, we reached 100 likes today! Yay!

  • I created 2 items with jQuery that I thought were really cool: play sound with jQuery and Color blocks with jQuery - most jQuery "Masters" may think that they are super simple, but I thought they are great because I thought about them and created totally from scratch (although the blocks require the jQuery UI plugin)

  • My dad had a weird change-of-careers. Let's just say he doesn't have his job anymore, but has been hired back on with the same company with the same job responsibilities working his own hours at 3x the pay. Yeah, go figure. Apparently, his company got rid of his position, but hired him back on as a Consultant to do his same job. Yeah, that just happened.

  • Found a good solution for our online payment conundrum. WePay is an integrated payment system with an API for automatic charging. Otherwise: a solution to manually monitoring Paypal and manually typing into Square.

  • I started watching the classic Doctor Who episodes (at least, all of the ones available on Netflix Instant) from Hartnell through Baker (translation: First Doctor through Fourth)



I'll stop it there. November was busy, and I'm expecting December to be twice as busy (as always).

Until next update.....

Also, I found out that this blog is just over 2 years old. You can easily see what kind of updates I post on this thing.


Tags:#doctorwho #jquery #november #turkey #keat #dad #pilambdaphi #fpac #japan

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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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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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CICADA!

Pearls Before Swine


I know that the last few days have been absent of my entries, but I have a few reasons of explanations.

  • With our new sales person, he has kicked out butt into gear at the company. We've been spending the past few days getting sales folders ready (printed, punched, assembled, distributed, etc), and working on a brochure as well. It has been rough going, but I'm glad that he is pushing us in the right direction, instead of us just sitting around waiting for the next assignment.

  • Last weekend, Keat and I went to Elkin for a Pennsic Pity Party. While it was hotter than anything I've felt before, it certainly was interesting. I saw a live cicada for the first time in my life! Most people usually just hear them or see their shells, but I had one actually land on me!
    Cicada!

  • We had some unexpected visitors last night for dinner. Janet and Ivan came over to our house and we had some of Janet's famous curry! I don't mind having some last-minute visitors, but I do wish I had some time to clean up the house a bit. Either way, it was good to have some of her curry after so long.

  • I've also been working on an Alumni list for the PiLams. It was a bit harder than expected, since I had to get 1 form to go 2 ways (to the local database and to Paypal). After implementing some jQuery, AJAX, and some unorthodox methods, I was able to get the appropriate data to go where it needed to go, and got a collection of names for the Alumni database. I've also been asked to provide some friendly advertising on the site. We'll see how that goes.

  • We may have a new Janitor at our office. Details to come.

  • We should have our own URL shortener for Shadow Dev! Unfortunatly, sd.to was taken, but shadowdev.co was not. I should be working on a way to allow for shortened urls through shadowdev.co soon.

  • There were a few other things, but that's the jist of the past few days. I'll try to find some time to make some more entries before long.



Tags:#cicada #pilam #url #pearls

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Ketchup

Wow, has it really been over a month since I posted last? It seems like yesterday that I made my last post. Since then, it's been nothing but busywork and client jobs.

Here's a comic to help relate to my previous month+ of absence:
Dilbert

I won't bore anybody with the finer details of what has happened over the past month, but here's a quick overview (just to keep you entertained):

- last week was a week of bad luck: had a co-worker's computer crash (had to re-install A LOT of software and do a full hard drive backup since the backup manager wasn't syncing everything), had the roof of an office space collapsed and spewed water and insulation all over, the co-worker had to find an old copy of Office 2007 so his SBA software would work right (OOo didn't cut it, unfortunately), prepared for a client's Open House, worked at said client's Open House, had both of our PPT and SEO seminars (which went great, with the exception that our PR got out late (again) and the first attendee showed up before we did), had a confused conversation with a current client over a chart display, had a very odd sewer smell in the office all week (turned out to be a lack of water in the drainage system; finally solved that after playing the "blame game" with the building secretary), one of the units got a fresh coat of paint which made the whole building smell odd, our first marketing order arrived (YAY!) and a client got some custom t-shirts, Tokyopop shut down their US office (not relevant, but I thought it was important news to mention), switched our DNS servers to CloudFlare which made the response rate lower dramatically and the uptime much higher, helped a client with a business plan for a competition (after having to re-write most of it), had some confusion over a potential client website and the hosting issue, finally switched over 2 clients DNS records (one had a major pain trying to get her domain from her old provider), made a video for switching over DNS records for said (and future) clients, had a mixup of payment systems for a client (although they had an invoicing system from the credit processor, they wanted another one created from us; we got a call today saying they wanted to go with the credit processor's invoicing system instead of ours, which we are okay with), said client had confusion when issuing credit to organization payers, uploaded the financial reports for the past 4 quarters to the corporate site, had some SSH and FTP issues with the server (solved?), went to a new Thai restaurant in downtown, had a large influx of followers for both my and the business's twitter accounts, got a DM from George Takei on Twitter (YAY!), and that's about it for last week.
George Takei DM

- not much else happened in the past month, aside from getting some insurance quotes, WCU getting a new chancellor, offering remote tech support for some clients, received an email that was sent 7 months ago (talk about being lost in cyberspace), had a mis-payment of a license (which was fixed), participated in a ΠΛΦ ΩΖ initiation, had a hard communication with a client's old hosting service, attended my first MeetUp, uploaded a few videos of Niko and Chi, installed our first successful SSL certificate, got 2 new clients signed on, and worked on other client works (still have no time for other projects), wrote a few informational articles, and got a mini squishy fox!
Squishy Fox!


That's about it for the past month. I'll try to be better about posting on a regular basis and not every other month.


Tags:#dilbert #pilambdaphi #server #georgetakei #squishy #dns #ssh #ftp #sba #tokyopop #office #ppt #seo #pr #ssl #niko #chi #

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Not 4 years, but a Lifetime...

Internet Time - Pearls Before Swine

That's the motto for my brotherhood, Pi Lambda Phi, and today marks my 2 year anniversary of being a PiLam Brother! While today is a day for celebration, a number of things have also happened today.

While still cleaning the apartment for the inspection, I also got a lot added to the blog and did a lot in the apartment today. For example: I shared a video link and enabled a video player on the blog. I modified the Flowplayer code from the F&I site, along with the Flowplayer API documentation, and allowed for videos to be played on the blog. The current structure of the code may be a little long-winded, but it works for now until I find a better method to make it work.

I've also updated the Tweets with an AJAX-ified version so the blog loads a lot faster. The original code I wrote actually reads the RSS feed generated by Twitter and parses each entry as a "tweet." If Twitter has an issue with producing the RSS feed, then the blog would take a while to load and could take up to 10 seconds before a timeout is produced. The new way loads the page first, then loads the tweets with a limiter a second after loading. In a sense, it makes 2 small requests instead of 1 large one, so the processing method is faster. I also added a "Tweet" feature to each entry so the entries can be tweeted individually. Nice implementation if I say so.

I also completed the book interview sheet late last night and sent it in along with a few forms. I received a notification from the author saying "Thanks for your response. Yup, the questionnaire is a wee bit detailed, but I figured more info is better than less. Thanks for taking the time." I can't wait until the book is published to see what is said about me.

It seems like tomorrow should not be Monday, but I guess I better make the best of it.


Tags:#pearlsbeforeswine #flowplayer #ajax #pilambdaphi #book