Personal

Chris Spam

Even the spammers get us Chrises mixed up – here’s an email I got last night:

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My Day of Advent – Dec 10th

Lookit! It’s me!

Chris has posted my contribution (self-promotion?) to the Advent Calendar for this year – my (not so brief) look at planning your applications. Thanks to Chris for including me on the list for this year’s calendar (there’s going to be more, right?)

I got to try out the new photo editing in Flickr to make the picture for it – works pretty well for being web-based.

In the way of a personal plug, besides the holiday themed calendar version of each of the days that Sean’s created, I’ve also been keeping up with each of them in a post over on PHPDeveloper.org.

28 Days Later

Well, unfortunately, this year’s Nanowrimo has come to an end and I’m just over the halfway mark on my “piece of literature”. I started a little late – the 2nd – so it’s been a catch-up game since. It’s been an interesting experience so far and different than I thought it would be. I suppose I’m too used to writing to more technical things – tutorial copy only has to explain what’s already there – and not things that are plucked right out of nowhere. I can do short fiction (have in the past, at least) so I thought I’d try my hand at taking the month to work up what I could. I only really got the chance to work on my lunch breaks, so I didn’t think 27k-ish was too bad.

So anyway, here’s a few things I’ve learned from the experience. I thought they might be helpful to someone out there:

  1. Planning is sometimes not such a bad thing
  2. Working with two or three major characters is much easier than six or seven
  3. It’s okay to kill people off
  4. Stick with a concept – don’t write to write to whatever comes to mind
  5. Write where and when you feel comfortable
  6. Know what you’re talking about – readers can tell when you’re faking it
  7. Yes, it’s a lot of work, otherwise everyone would do it

Having been on the other side of writing – doing technical stuff – it’s funny to see how many of these same things apply there as well. Well, okay…with the exception of a few. It’s been an interesting experience and I’m going to go as long as I can on what I’ve come up with so far (27k+ words) and I’m going to keep updating my count on the right to keep up with it. I figure that if it took me about a month to get here, I can get a lot done in December and maybe hit the 50k+ mark by the beginning of next year.

Oh, and Elizabeth, you’re not giving up either 🙂

A Shiny BlackBerry Pearl?

So I’ve been thinking about upgrading my cell phone for a little bit now (stupid tempting ads in the mail) and I’ve been looking around for something I thought would make a nice upgrade from my current flip-phone. What I really wanted was something with a bit more power so I took a look at the PDA/Smartphone category on my provider’s website. There were some nice ones on there (expensive ones too) but the one that really caught my eye was this one:

I’ve been using a BlackBerry (older model) at work and have found it pretty easy to use. The one for work is a bit bigger and older, so the slightly smaller size of the Pearl would be nice. The only problem I’ve come across, though, is the differing opinions as to the quality of the phone and things like battery life, signal strength, etc. I’ve seen a lot of people on forums swear by them and, two threads down, people cursing them after having to exchange them four times already.

Has anyone out there had any experience with these phones? Are they worth making the upgrade to or should I just walk on by?

Webmaster Jam Session 2007

Yeah, so it’s a little late to mention it (the conference starts bright and early tomorrow morning), but I’m going to be hanging out the next two days at this year’s Webmaster Jam Session here in Dallas. Looks like a good lineup this year – I’d wanted to go last year, but scheduling conflicts didn’t allow it.

Being all PHP, all the time is a nice place to be, but it’s good to branch out and get a little bit of the other side of things. My inner designer is practically jumping for joy.

Webmaster Jam Session 2007 at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Dallas, Tx

Fun is…

…finally getting to the vacation spot (after two plane trips and a 1 1/2 hour layover – did I mention with a 3 month old) only to check your work email “real quick” only to discover that the SSL cert for your companies website expired the morning you left.

Nothing like 50 panicked emails sitting in your inbox from customers and fellow employees alike to make you feel bad for leaving on a work day – heh.

Little Baby Connor

Well, this is the first time that I’ve managed to get back to a net connection where I can add this new post, but I wanted to share with everyone the latest addition to our little family – Connor: