Photo from Chile

Bob's Basement to Debut on CodeBass Radio on Monday

You remember hanging out in your friend's basement? You'd go down there after school, and on the weekends, and you'd chill out and listen to tunes. You'd have your favourites that you'd listen to, but as often as not someone would pull out a new record for everyone to check out. Maybe it was something they'd just picked up at the local record store, or maybe something from their collection that hadn't seen the stylus in awhile. Everyone would sit back on the old sectional, the needle would hit the vinyl and you'd be transported somewhere else.

You'd close your eyes and listen as the sound waves did their thing to you. Sometimes they'd delight, sometimes they'd annoy, and every now and then they'd turn you onto a new band or disc that would stay with you for years to come. Often for the rest of your life.

I remember those days, and I'm going to do my part to bring a touch of that back. Join me on Monday, March 7th at 1:00pm Eastern time, on CodeBass Radio for the inaugural trip down those stairs and allow me to spin some tunes for you. Some may be familiar to you, a lot will not be. I hope that you'll enjoy them, and maybe discover some new stuff that you wouldn't have otherwise.

A big thanks goes out to Vicky Ryder for providing me with this opportunity. You can listen in at or by using the awesomely cool MediaSlurp AIR app which comes bundled with a bunch of other great community streams and podcasts, including the brand-spanking new 2 devs from down under.

I hope to see you online on Monday afternoon.

My First Whiskerino

Well, I've gone and done it. I managed to register for Whiskerino this year, and I've shaved off the couple of weeks of growth that I've carried around for several years. Thanks to Andy Matthews, aka creole, for turning me on to this beardfest, and for the advice that I should try to register early. My wife isn't thrilled about the whole thing, but I figure if she can have fun putting on makeup and jewelery and fancy dresses every now and then then I should be allowed to have some fun with my appearance for a change.

There will no doubt be another blog post or two about this over the next four months, but for now, for posterity, I leave the interwebs with before and after pictures from today, as well as a video of me starting the endeavour.

We're in the Market for a Car - OT

Sorry for the OT post, but I was hoping to solicit some feedback from the community.

My wife and I have decided to buy a car. Since we returned from our nearly two years abroad in 2003 we have not owned a car. We've survived six Toronto winters, and getting things done with first one, then two, children without owning a car. We managed that by:

  • Living in mid-town Toronto, thus being able to walk to many places (grocery store, book store, hardware store, library, etc.).
  • Making extensive use of public transit. Our house is a five minute walk from a subway station.
  • Getting access to a car when we need it through our membership in AutoShare, a car sharing program.
  • Renting cars for longer trips (e.g. vacations).

We've noticed, however, that we've been getting AutoShare cars more and more frequently, as much as three times per week. We believe that even at that rate using AutoShare is much less expensive than owning a car, but it's also less convenient. Particularly when one has to install and uninstall two car seats on each occasion. So we're taking the plunge and buying a car!

The first step, of course, was to define the requirements for our new car:

  1. It must fit comfortably on our parking pad, which means that the car must be around 4700mm (15.5 ft) or less in length.
  2. It should have a reasonable amount of cargo space, as we enjoy camping and road trips with the kids.
  3. It should have reasonably low fuel consumption.
  4. It should be nice enough to justify buying a car after all of these years ;-)

With those requirements in mind, we started looking at specs online, and have compiled the following list of candidates:

  • Acura RDX
  • Audi A4 2.0T Avant
  • Volvo V50 T5 AWD
  • Saab 9-3 SportCombi
  • Lexus RX 400h
  • Mercedes R350

The Lexus and the Mercedes might be a bit too long to fit on our parking pad (it's kind of hard to judge without actually attempting to park them), and they are also more money than we think we're prepared to spend, but we're leaving them on our "long list" for now. I should also mention that we're not considering buying a brand new car - we'll be looking for a late-model (e.g., 2007 - 2008) car.

I haven't paid attention to the world of cars for a very long time, but I'm guessing that some people reading this might have. So, if you have an opinion on any of the above cars, let me hear it!

Getting Ready for cf.Objective()

I've been rehearsing my presentations for cf.Objective(), "The Only Enterprise ColdFusion Conference", for the past couple of weeks, getting ready to jump on a plane one week from today. I'll be arriving fairly early on Wednesday, so I plan on doing some shopping and possibly some sightseeing, and then sitting down to a nice dinner prior to the Opening Night Reception. So if anyone reading this will be in Minneapolis late Wednesday afternoon and would like to join me for a decent (i.e., high quality and not necessarily inexpensive) meal, leave me a comment, or email me directly.

I'm also keen to hear any recommendations from anyone familiar with Minneapolis on good places to shop/sightsee/eat.

I'll be using Twitter between now and the end of the conference, after which I imagine I'll be giving it up for good. If you like you can follow me (I tend to be pretty quiet) @elegant_chaos. I hope to see lots of you there!

Presenting at cf.Objective() in May

When I started blogging seriously, around 9 months ago, I had my reasons. I wanted to give something back to the ColdFusion community, from which I had received so much. I wanted to learn about new and interesting ideas and techniques, and quickly discovered that the best way to learn about something is to attempt to write about it. I wanted to solicit feedback for my ideas so that I could verify and improve upon them. And I had one goal.

I had just returned from cf.Objective() and had had the time of my life (OK, maybe that's exaggerating a bit). I had attended excellent presentations during which I learned a lot of new and useful things. But more importantly, I had a chance to meet and mingle with some of the nicest and smartest ColdFusion developers one could ever hope to meet. I made some friends, had some very enlightening conversations, and drank a beer or two as well. There was no doubt in my mind that I'd be returning year after year. In my mind it was the ColdFusion Conference to attend.

Having a background in training, and enjoying the challenge of teaching people, I thought to myself, "Self, wouldn't it be cool to present at cf.Objective()?" So that became my goal. It didn't have to be next year - it could be two or three years down the road, but my goal was to eventually speak at a cf.Objective() Conference.

So you can imagine how pleased I was to hear back from the cf.Objective() Steering Committee yesterday that they had accepted two of the topics that I submitted for their approval. I am delighted to announce that I will be presenting the following sessions at cf.Objective(), in May:

  • An Object Oriented Approach to Validations
  • Building an Object Oriented Model

I'll undoubtedly provide more details on those sessions in the future, and I'm sure that a summary will appear on the sessions page in the not too distant future as well. In addition to achieving my personal goal, I am honoured to be among the group of speakers whose ranks are filled with those whose work I greatly respect. I strongly encourage anyone reading this to make an effort to attend. In my opinion it is truly the best ColdFusion conference available.

Lucky Me, Got iPhone

Wife gave me iPhone last night.

Typing this on tiny keyboard.


OT: I Drink Your Milkshake

First off, I apologize for the OT post. I really do try to limit these, and hopefully putting OT in the title of my post means that most uninterested people won't even be bothered by it.

Anyway, here's the story. I don't get much of a chance to watch movies, what with being a part-time stay at home father to two boys under the age of 4, and a part-time CF developer trying to keep on top of things and learn OO design and development. I've recently started a new exercise regimen that has me riding a stationary bike in my basement for an hour every other day, and while I ride the bike I usually get a chance to watch half of a movie. That is why I was finally able to view There Will be Blood the other night.

Loved it, which is usually the case for me with P. T. Anderson movies.

By some strange coincidence I was up late last Saturday night, reading blog posts and not really watching what was on the TV, when a skit came on Saturday Night Live that caught my eye. Now I'm old enough to remember when SNL was really, really funny, and also when it became really, really not funny, at which point I pretty much stopped watching. So I really have no idea whether the current cast of SNL does a good job or not, but I had assumed the latter. So I was amazed as I watched this skit, which I found to be one of the funniest things I've seen in years. It was a spoof of There Will Be Blood, with a touch of No Country for Old Men, and even Juno thrown in. I was laughing out loud. I laughed so much that I had to see it again, so I googled it and found a link to it.

So, if you've seen There Will Be Blood, and enjoyed it, and haven't seen the related SNL sketch, see below. I'm pretty sure you'll be entertained.

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