Thursday, November 29, 2007

CodeMash 2008 - Spread the Word!

Data Dynamics is damn proud to be sponsoring CodeMash 2008! We sponsored (and attended) the event last year, and we'll be sponsoring (and attending) the event again this year. Last years event was a huge success for the entire development community around here. The crew that puts this event together is just "with it"... big time.

For example, last year, Scott Guthrie gave the keynote, and they had all kinds of high class speakers giving sessions on some pretty cutting edge technologies (ie. grid computing was pretty informative). I actually made "small talk" with Scott Guthrie in the hall (mono 'e' mono) before his keynote; he's pretty grounded for a man with such wisdom/respect. This year, the other Scott will be giving the keynote. That's right, Scott Hanselman! I just blogged about this guy the other day (Scott Hanselman - The Realtor) and I listen to his podcast (HanselMinutes) all the time. It will be great to see him face to face... who knows, maybe I'll bring the floor plans to my house and ask him to lunch for some Google Earth / SketchUp wizardry. :)

Last year I was able to take the family and we made a mini vacation out of the event:

CodeMash 2007 @ Kalahari Resort

This year, the family is staying at home, so I'll be in "full" nerd mode. It will just be James and I, and we'll be talking a lot about our latest products ddReports and ddAnalysis. We'll be giving lots of demos and plan to give a presentation of just how powerful and easy to use these products are. If you plan to attend CodeMash this year, please take time to visit our booth and attend our presentation.

It goes without saying (thanks Pilgrim) that the CodeMash agenda looks pretty stellar this year. I'm thinking that James and I might split up and check out some different sessions, then share knowledge over a beer afterward. We will be giving a presentation of our latest products in one of the side rooms (more details in a later post). We plan to create a compelling use case for analyzing data (source code included).

If you are reading this post, and haven't got a ticket for CodeMash, go do it! This is a high class event, put on by some high class people. The best part is that the organizers have made this event cheap to attend, with a list of speakers that are highly respected in the development community. CodeMash made the #1 Technorati search term last year (beating the iPhone)!! I gotta admit that the overall feel of CodeMash just makes being a geek "cool"! It's gonna be a fun one this year! I wonder if there will be more head shavings... Josh? :)

Oh yeah, if you didn't know this, the Kalahari Resort is a huge indoor water park! I do plan to bring my trunks... and about $20 extra for the massive arcade room as well.

Spread the word!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

O Sweet Static - CD's for Sale

The ever famous O Sweet Static CD's are in and available for purchase. :)

So if you don't already know, I was in a rock band for a few years and we did a bunch of gigs out at many of the local bar scenes in Columbus. We played at Whiskey Dicks, Little Brothers, Club 202, OldFields on High, just to name a few. We also played some private party's as well that were more low key unless you were in our "groupie" click. :)

Here's to all my peeps: Woody, Steve, Eric, Jay, Pete, Jon Chinn @ Workbook Studio, & Bonnie Young @ BYoungDesigns... It's done!

So basically, if you like rock and roll and you dig funky drumming, buy this CD. I'm trying to get $10 a pop out of them if possible. Of course, I've been selling them pretty cheap to my coworkers and those that were there for me when it was all going down (family & friends). Truth be told though, $10 isn't that bad for the quality of product that you would be buying. It comes shrink wrapped, it's all arted out, and has all the lyrics inside so you can sing along. I'd pay $10 for it... if I hadn't already spent @#$@#% on it already. Let's just say that it cost a hell of a lot more than $10 to make 'em! :)

As the drummer, my favorites are probably Love Drugs & Bombs, Anger Management, Hazy, & Summer Fun. Ok, I guess I forgot Tripping Along, Conversation 29, and Carnival. But then there's also Attitude, Beautiful Thing, Alcohol, & Mild Concussion, oh hell, they're all good! Honestly, they all have their own hook in them. The more you listen to them, the more you'll like them.

When we played at gigs, we did a couple of songs that aren't on the album. Therefore if we ever get together and do another album (very unlikely), you can expect to see songs like SoundCheck, Anthem, Ode to Fans, State Your Claim, and a few others. All of which are very fun songs that didn't make it on the album. I do have some studio clips of them in my iTunes that are un-mastered. If you're interested in these, let me know and I can post them on my site for you to listen to.

Ok, if you're interested in getting your hands on our CD, send me an email. I have tons! I'd be happy to get you hooked up with this disc (lucas (at) hardbarger (dot) com). We put a lot of time and effort into this thing and we are all real happy with how it turned out! Note that if the album artwork looks confusing and "dark", fear not, for it was intended to look this way. Always remember to "never judge a book by it's cover". Most all of our songs are actually bright and fun!!

Check out our GarageBand demos if you don't believe me:

My Desktop Backgound

I am using the following image as my desktop background image:

Just last week I was in a meeting at work and someone made mention of how cool of a picture it was. I actually took this picture on my hill the day after our bonfire. That next morning was beautiful and Jennifer and I had a mini picnic with the girls.

Check out some of the other photo's that were taken that day from my online photo album:

For instance, this one is pretty cool too showing the girls playing on the wood pile:

Anyway, I got lots of pictures in my album and so far, my current desktop background is the most professional looking one yet from my collection. :) The others are just "fun".

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ajax Gif Generator

I'm doing some black majik ajax stuff and was looking for an animated gif to load while waiting on the server calls in my web page. I did a google search for "ajax gif loader" and found this (among others of course):

Thought it was worthy of sharing since it basically shows every Ajax loader gif I've ever seen... Except for that damn dog wagging his tail!?

Friday, November 16, 2007

...For Pilgrim

Country boy can survive!

My dad built a custom "trucker radio" from a $20 Wal-mart toolbox using spare material. The overall idea is to allow him to carry a CB radio with him anywhere he goes and it has come in handy many times out here at our house (working on the tractor, camping in the middle of nowhere, our bonfire, etc...). It's basically just two used speakers, a CB, some bungy cords, crazy wiring, and a detatchable clamp welded to a huge antenna for hanging it on the truck mirrors. The box comes equipped with 3-4 car lighters, (handy for charging your phone, or actually heating up a... car lighter). He uses one of them to run his XM radio. It weighs about 30 lbs, but has a handle for carrying, and a wooden base for placing it anywhere you want... like on an uneven engine of a pick-up truck when hot-wiring it to a 12 volt battery. :)
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Cool Ruby Linq

... ok, the "q" was not necessary; I just thought it made my title look cool... Well?

Whatever, click this:

Scott Hanselman the Realtor

Wow! I was listening to episode 105 of Hanselminutes and Scott got me excited about planning my upcoming house projects. He discusses using along with Sketchup and Google Earth along with VirtualEarth to model a house that he and his wife are building. The best part is that he walks you through exactly what he did to make it work.

This could keep me up all night in the near future. :) Jennifer and I want to make a walk out basement, finish our basement, and build a deck on the front of our house that would connect the front of our house to the back of our house. After listening to Scott's podcast, I can see great value in modeling my house projects and landscape first in SketchUp... then getting the hammer and nails.

If any of this sounds cool to you too, then listen to Scott talk about it: Planning, Placing and Building a House Google Earth and Sketchup. He makes it sound much cooler! If he does decide to get into real-estate, I definitely want him as my Realtor!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Gphone... really!

James sent me a link to a Scoble post about a rather boring (but exciting) new platform called Android from Google... Can you say Gphone?

Of course you should definitely read Scoble's post too since he adds a lot of extra talking points and sparks some pretty amazing comments on his blog.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Gphone? This Monday? What?

Google to unveil 'Android' phone software | One More Thing - CNET "Can Google really be a mobile-software developer, search engine, application house, and wireless carrier? And will people actually want to use that? We might soon find out."

I did some link digging and saw that Google is amping up their mobile market since everybody has a cell phone these days. Why wouldn't Google get a piece of this? To be honest with you, I'm hope they do! I know I'm using the crap out of their services every single day. I haven't given them a penny out of my pocket. So it appears that "Corporate America" is floating the bill for my Gmail space, web space, this blog, Picasa, and everything else I use of theirs.

How cool would it be to just buy a phone (ie. a Gphone) and then never pay for phone service again? With the right device and an open wireless network this sounds not so far off. Basically, build a cheap device that would have Google Talk service for the speech capabilities to talk to other people with a Gphone. Preload a lightweight browser (ie. Firefox) for quick access to everything else "Google" (ie. maps, local search, ). Once you buy it, just keep it charged and take it with you.

The Safari & iPhone combo is a perfect example; Scott let me tinker on his iPhone one day and after about 5 minutes with it, I "got it". Ingenious! Now just take away the wireless service agreement and you've won.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't see this as being that far off... I'd love to get away from sending money every month to Sprint for my cell phone service. I'm on my PC most of the time anyway.

Columbus 1/2 Marathon - My Goal Race

Mission Accomplished! I did it, damn it! I got the picture and medal the to prove it. :)

This really was my "goal race". Back in February 2007, I set a goal to run the Columbus Half Marathon this year. Well, I did. However, I gotta say that after the 20K Indian Trail Run last September, this race was (almost) a walk in the park. I didn't stop once from exhaustion and I held a damn strong pace the entire race.

I'll be totally honest, I wasn't nervous or worried about finishing the race, but I wasn't quite sure how I was going to do with my mindset. James and I were in Tulsa, OK for Tulsa TechFest 2007 (which was a blazing success by the way). We didn't back to Columbus until 7:30pm Saturday night. By the time I got back into Newark, it was almost 9pm and Jennifer talked me into stopping at my parents for a cookout. I had honestly wanted to just go home and go to bed because James and I were up all night Friday night posting Data Dynamics Analysis to the website. We ended up staying at my parents cookout until 10:30pm and by the time we got home and settled down, I didn't go to sleep until 1am!!

The Columbus Marathon and Half Marathon started together at 8:00am. Therefore, I had to get up at 5:30am to eat breakfast and get out of the door by 6:30 to beat the race traffic. I did. I got to the race around 7:30am and I had plenty of time before the race started. I decided to find the port-a-potties and take some pictures of the race crowd. As I made my way toward the port-a-potties with my camera in hand, I was met with a wall of people around the corner. I had no idea how many people were actually going to be at the event. It was amazing to see so many people in downtown Columbus at one time (besides Red, White, and Boom of course). It took me about 20 minutes to get through the bathroom line, but I got some (kinda) cool pictures during my wait. You can find them in my picture gallery here:
By the time I got done at the port-a-potties, the race was about to start. I literally ran back to my car to drop off the camera, took a bite of a protein bar and sprinted to the starting line. I didn't even have time to stretch... Believe it or not, I had to catch up to the police car that was following the "last person"... therefore, I was the last person to start the race. If you knew me, you would agree that this only makes sense, I'm late for most things. :)

The race environment was absolutely awesome. There were people on the side of the road every step of the way cheering the runners on. I heard "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes, I heard a high school drum line rocking out at a couple of spots along the way (that was really cool too btw), and there were many local musicians setup along side the road playing their instruments for the racers. Many of the local residents of Columbus sat out in their yards cheering on the runners too. It was simply awesome to be a part of this. I knew the race was going to be easy at about the 3 mile marker believe it or not... I was so in tuned with everything around me that I didn't even thing about the fact that my body only had 4.5 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours. My senses were all on overdrive that I didn't even notice that my legs were moving at a 9 minute pace!

I met a lot of people on the course too. Lots of runners had little sayings on their shirts. For example, one lady had a shirt on and the back said "My name is Linda. I'm 50 years old today, and this is my first marathon!". So of course, as I passed her, I congratulated her and wished her a happy birthday. This was the whole race too, I talked to so many people and everybody was so nice.

The only downside to the race was my nipples... Yes, my nipples. At about the 7 mile marker my nipples hurt really bad from my shirt rubbing them over and over. I eventually looked looked down on my shirt and saw that my new white shirt now had a red patch of blood where my nipple had been rubbed raw. Needless-to-say, I still had 6 more miles to go. I was going to have to ignore this piercing pain and move on. Honestly though, this was easy to do; I was so high on energy and no sleep that my nipples didn't bother me that much. They just felt weird, but didn't really hurt at that point. However, as I ran past people on the sidelines, I found myself watching their eyes. I then knew what it was like to be a busty woman... Nobody was looking me in the face anymore; they were all looking at my (red) boobs. :)

The course finished on a slight uphill climb, but then turned a corner and the finish line was toward the bottom of a nice downhill slope. I finished the race with a 9:09 mile pace.

Going into the race, I told myself that I wanted to to have a sub 10 minute mile pace. I finished the 13.1 mile race in 2 hours 7 minutes 12 seconds. This calculates to a 9:43 pace!! Never would I have guessed that to be possible! Never!

There really isn't much more to say about my first 1/2 marathon experience other than it was a blast. I'm so happy that I did it. I'm already planning my 26.2 mile adventure for next spring. There are actually quite a few marathons in the spring, so I'm going to do my research before committing to one.

Oh yeah, to finish my story about my lack of sleep and overall body torture... I got home from the race, talked to Jen and my girls, and then crashed on the couch for about 3 hours. When I woke up, my dad and I went camping for 3 days. I slept in a tent for the next 2 nights. Yeah, my body still hates me for all of this. I figure I'll catch up on sleep over that next weekend... Wait I'm having a bonfire that next weekend... Crap!? :)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Hippie Daizi

Only a father could think this is adorable.

Others don't seem to think so though...(?)
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My Guitar Hero

I know I haven't blogged in a while, and that is about to change, cause I have a backlog of things that need blogged. However, this is very blog worthy post for a comeback.

Tonight, I logged in to do some PCing, and James sent me a link to his buddy's guitar hero video on YouTube. This guy's name is Adam and I've met him before. At that time I had no idea he had mad-jammin-chops. Well... I'll let the video speak for Adam now:

From now on, whenever I'm in the room with this guy, he will be known only as "Mr. Guitar Hero".

Rock on Adam!.. I mean... Mr Guitar Hero, sir.