What really matters?

Disclaimer: This post uses fck in place of something. I am sure many of you know what that means. I am not trying to be vulgar here. Instead this is a word used throughout the book I speak of and so why change it…

So I bought a new book to read, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fck” by Mark Manson. (https://markmanson.net/books) So far the book is really good but this is only through Chapter 1. The first chapter, titled “Don’t Try”, was eye opening into how many fcks I probably give about things and why I drive myself nuts on a regular basis. I am always trying to be better, achieve some new goal, and be something to someone who probably in their own mind doesn’t give a fck about me, why should I care how they see me?…

So how did I find the book? Well, I am a subscriber to Code Magazine and while sometimes I just file away the new issue like it is some precious archive in my library, I actually had time and decided to read this issue. In the issue was an editorial talking about focusing on what really matters. What really matters? This is something I often think about and believe has become clouded with too much interference the last few months that I have lost that sense of what really matter. In the beginning of the article the author talks about the experience of reading the book that I mentioned above. That’s it… Saw it in an article that caught my eye and decided to go online and get a copy. Now I read…

Chapter 1 of the book, “Don’t Try” already has reached me. Don’t try… what do you mean, don’t try… but if I don’t try I can never be successful, rich and happy, right? WRONG!!! Don’t try doesn’t mean literally do not even try, pack it up, leave, it’s never going to happen. No, instead,  don’t try means don’t do something to the point of pushing yourself to do something because of a pre-conceived notion of what success is. The pushing yourself, the forced effort, that entire journey isn’t a positive. The positive is accepting the outcome no matter what and doing it because you want to. Why do I have to give a fck, why do I have to care about someone else’s definition of success when I am happy with mine?

That last piece is something I think I have forgotten as of late… I give too many fcks when it isn’t my place. I needed to hear that and to focus on what really matters. So, What Matters to Me?…

  1. My kids… I want them to be happy, learn, grow and experience life. I want to spend a good deal of time with them this year. Laugh with them, cry with them, just be with them. The way I figure I have at most another 2 years before eldest is on her way to college. Let’s make the most of every day!
  2. My wife… We’ve already cried so much together, been through thick and thin and battled our way to what will be 16 years of marriage this year. Time to really put our life together to the test and see if happiness is more than a word or a label.
  3. My mind… Yes this one is weird but I value my mind for the knowledge and the creativity and thought processes it takes me on. I am happiest when I am lost in my thoughts, thinking about something, learning something obscure or just solving the puzzles that come with the programming I do so much. I want to get back to my code. I want to stop trying so hard and just do.

That’s really my goal for 2018 (not be mistaken with new year’s resolutions, I don’t do those..). My goal is to do more and just be happy or at the very least accept things as they are and stop trying so hard for notions that aren’t even mine.

Has It Really Been Over a Year!

WOW! I have not blogged or posted anything to this site in over a year. That is bad… I must try and post more often. I also need to do some maintenance to this site and my godaddy.com experience in general as this site is very slow. So first a couple goals for the upcoming weeks:

  • Improve site performance (possibly a new template or something)
  • Post at least 3 times in the next 2 weeks and 1 post every week thereafter

Now on the plus side I have had a lot happen in that year of absense so there should be a lot to talk about. Look for future topics on:

  • My decision to leave the Guild and pursue a startup
  • Development in Electron/NodeJS
  • Development using Electron-Edge to access .NET code from my electron app
  • Kinect Programming
  • Unity 3D programming
  • Leadership, mentoring junior developers and IT staff
  • Leading from the trenches to improve productivity and chemistry
  • Development of my own MVC ASP.NET web application
  • Implementing Git in the workplace
  • and much, much more…

Another post I will be sure to get off here in the next few days is my initial review of the Google Pixel 2 phone as I just upgraded.

Stay Tuned!

Nike Run Club Rebranding Woes

I have been an avid user of the Nike+ running application for a number of years. When I first started using the application it was clean, simple and an overall great app. The relationship grew to a partnership as I started using Nike as my sole running application. Fast forward a few years and over 2000 miles running and Nike has rebranded their application to Nike Run Club. My first thought is why fix what isn’t broken. The application works just fine, I actually even avoided the update as long as I could because I did not understand why the change. Then the unfortunate happened where I had to reset my phone and had no choice but to go with the new rebranded application, Nike Run Club.

My first run was a disaster… The music kept stopping, the run paused way too many times, the GPS is no longer accurate, or at least the old application and every other application I have used disagree with it, and my phone won’t leave the running statistics up. When I am running all I ask is that the application stay on, it can even dim to save battery and allow me to hear my music. I accepted that maybe I didn’t know how to use the application yet and maybe there were new settings that I was missing causing some of these issues. NOPE… Settings were good and haven’t found anything I can do to make it work. The most frustrating part was running and having the GPS off by .07 – .1 miles off and keep pausing. At first I thought there was an issue since I was in the woods, but the old application never failed in the same spot. I also had the pausing in an open spot, no trees and no excuse for the pausing. Turning auto-pausing off seemed to help the pausing but GPS still not good.

Once my run finished, my nerves were really tried. In the old applications I could set where I ran (road, path, etc), how I felt, and add a note. All GONE. I could automatically share on twitter, GONE. I could share my run stats, GONE. All of this is replaced with POSTERS. WTH are POSTERS?!! seriously, a picture that I can put together that doesn’t even appear to scale well on social media. WHY??? I couldn’t believe the fact that they took a solid application like the previous version and made it so awful.

I gave this application another few tries before I decided this was just too much. I couldn’t stand that they broke the sound, awesome application I was use to. I went to search for another application.

Today I went back to see how the new version 2.0.5 would do and it is better than before but far from the previous version still. The music only died on me once, the running statistics would not stay up but the lock appeared to make it come up first when I woke the phone back up. The sharing on Twitter still sucks. I don’t like the controls. I really find the app very unfriendly now.

I really don’t understand rebranding and breaking so much of the core functionality of the application. I may give Nike another chance if they release another new version but I am already on the lookout for a new app. This appears to be a case of a development team padding resumes or doing something because it seems hip and cool as they have not rebranded the site to match the phone app. WHY? I thought the old app was getting good ratings and well liked. Why change it to make it so awful and have to start from square one again.

My recommendation to the Nike team is the same as I have seen others make, go back to the old application. Figure out what you were trying to do with the new app and add some of those features. Don’t use the current code base anymore, go back to what worked. enhancing what has solid features will be easier than trying to fix what you have now. just my thoughts.

 

Initial Look at .Net Core

In the last 2 days I have done something new and jumped straight from the diving board and into the pool that is the .Net Core. No more researching and thinking about it just going to dive in and code a few things, watch some videos as I go and all the research will be inline with a project or purpose. Trying to avoid that analysis paralysis that I have so awesomely perfected…

To start, the .Net core isn’t too much different than .Net, really (duh!)… C# is still my language of choice and I have created two applications and dissected them to the point of being able to show someone how to write them on their own already. The one application is the famous “Hello World!” that every programmer has to do at least once just to see it. Then, of course, I had to dive into the web realm a little and see what trouble I can get in there. I wrote a standard ASP.Net Hello World application to see the beginnings of the web architecture. So far, so good.

Getting started I looked at the following site: .NET Core

I also had already installed Visual Studio Code from a previous use of the editor. I did update it before I started this process. I also told myself that for better or worse I would stay in VSCode for all of my workings for the time being to give it a fair shot. This turned out to be a big distraction in and of itself as I got caught up in git within the editor.

I know, me get caught up in git… Who would have thought?!?

What I have found is the following:

  • .Net Core on Mac has no more hand holding… Meaning the code is mind to write and there isn’t much to the project templates as without yeoman there isn’t much of a template.
  • Web applications still had the Program.cs and a Main method… Weird… I didn’t expect that.
  • Not having openssl led to a couple issues in the beginning. I didn’t expect this and plan to research this a little more.
  • command sequence = dotnet new -> dotnet restore -> dotnet run
  • Git appears fairly well integrated but has a few options that can get you in a lot of trouble (anything where you can undo… NO! WHY?!?! undo changes history, you shouldn’t try to rewrite history)
  • Current materials for the stuff are lacking and I can’t wait to attack this with a few friends!
  • If you want templates there is this thing called Yeoman which is next to play with
  • I also get to figure out Bower, Grunt and Gulp as they are installed as part of the tutorial I am going through.

so far I have to say I am not as big a hater on VSCode as I once was. Don’t get me wrong, it is still just a text editor but the fact that I can use the terminal inside the editor and I can navigate multiple solutions, play with git (basics -> add, commit mainly) is a bonus.

For those looking to get a start I would start with the .NET Core link above. Make sure that you get VSCode installed and ignore Yeoman, Gulp and Grunt and all the other stuff until you have something working. Then you can play with more toys. It’s like any good collectible game, start with the base set first. Make sure you learn how to play and that you like it before you go buying (installing) all the other expansions (features).

 

You can count on more to come here… I’m just getting started.

Changing the Past

So I just finished season 1 of the Flash on Netflix and the episode ended in a very profound fashion. SPOILER ALERT!!! (kinda anyway) The Flash had the opportunity to change something in his past and made the move to do so but then didn’t change the past. Instead, he said goodbye to what could have been and accepted what is. This immediately led to me wonder would I change my past if I could. I can definitely think of a couple events that I could alter that would have the same kind of profound effect but would I change them?…

NO…

The past happened the way it did for a reason. That reason is sometimes very difficult to understand or justify but there is a reason.

My life is what it is because of the events that have occurred. I think of the events that led to me applying for late admission to Cleveland State University and how my life would be different if I truly did go away to school and I don’t even get passed that… Mostly, because I was at Cleveland State when I started dating my now wife and we had our two beautiful kids then. I started my career on the path it has gone because of my connection to CSU and can’t imagine any other life. I don’t want to imagine any other life.

I have thought of what life would be in a two parent home and realize I am the father I am because I didn’t have my biological father around. I instead saw various people as role models and looked up to different people for different reasons. I tried to take all the good of those experiences and put that into what I thought a father should be. I know what I felt I missed and I won’t ever let my kids miss on that. I may not have had a father but they will have the best I can be.

Saying, “If only this one event didn’t happen” is easy. Because that event happened and there is nothing you can do about it. Living through that event and driving forward is hard, no doubt there. But if life was easy wouldn’t we all be millionaires living on a beach with yachts, cars and everything we always wanted?…