Archives / 2003 / April
  • What my blog is about

    I have been out sick for the past week(+).

    While I am a .NET developer, there is more to my life than .NET.  Therefore, I will continue to be posting lots of info about many things that are important to me besides .NET.


  • What happened this week?

    I ate lunch on Monday with three of my good friends.  They are excellent, high quality developers.  Not only would I trust them with my life, I would trust that what they said about code was 100% true.  Two of them said that when their company is sold this summer that they will most likely be out of work.  On Tuesday, thanks to my sickness(es) over the last several months, we lost additional work from a customer.  I also got an email saying that another customer said that they decided to shelve a project I was working on for them.  On Wednesday, I got a call from a friend of mine that he lost his job just and hour or two before.  What happened that I missed in the news?  Is this "Get rid of good developers week?"  Or maybe I am finally seeing the signs that the work situation is pretty bad right now all over?


  • Sick again

    Hi folks.  I have been under the weather too much this year and I am sick once again.  This is the sixth time i have been sick since January 1.  Accept for about a 5 week window, I have been nothing but sick, sick, sick this year.  I have been to the doctor and I feel better for a week or two and then bang, I am sick again.  I went again yesterday.  They drew blood so we might see what is going on. 

    This is being sick crap is out of control.   It has already cost me a client because they think I am "uninterested or bored" with work for them.  This being sick crap has cut too far into my pocket book.


  • Who makes a better programmer?

    I read the following on Kirk's Blog.  I dont think I quite agree with it.  I have had to work with people that all they have is an MCSD and a AS degree from a tech school.  There are some good people out there, but when you look at a majority of the code that they produce, I am not impressed by most of the code.  I have a friend of mine that calls this type of code "Bobby Logic" as it was named after a guy named Bobby.  Bobby Logic is this type of logic produced by programmers that try and make things harder or use the latest coolest thing when a simple approach would have been the quickest way to satisfy the customer's needs.  I think a full four-year degree shows that someone has made a commitment to education and is capable of more.  Obviously, things like experience need to be taken into account.  I just feel that it takes a number of items to create a successful programmer (experience, education, intelligence, understanding what the customer's needs are, familiarity with the programming environment, and programming language skills).


    PS. And I do understand frustration.........

    "MCSD" versus "BS"

    I guess it depends on the dev work you do. I got by BS in CS ;) and while I agree it does give you a great foundation, it did not teach me to program half as good as those people going to the tech schools to get their certs. Unfortunately, I have found, when it comes to getting the interview and getting the job a lot of times the letters "MCSD" do better for you than "BS"


    Sad, but ain't it the truth?  I studied my arse off for 4+ years (OK, my wife might read this one... 7 years) and endured more than my fair share of financial aid flunkies, student aids with a chip on their shoulder, obscure and unreadable text books priced just shy of a mortgage payment while trying to scrape enough pocket change together for really cheap beer on the weekends... all of which I continue to pay for for the next 10 years in student loans.

    Or just buy a study guide and Transcender tests and wing it.

  • Working out this weenend and Golf on 4/12

    Man, I was horrible in golf on saturday.  It rained every day this week leading up to Saturday.  The course looked more like a mud hole than a golf course.  I feel luck to have had a 94 due to the horrificly muddy conditions.  I'll do better this next weekend.

    One thing that did get me really upset was that I was really tired after I played golf.  I spent today working out for 75 minutes on the eliptical trainer.  I did a 30 minute session this morning followed by 45 minutes this afternoon.  I am going to up my workout intensity over the coming weeks and see if I can keep from getting worn out while I play golf.


  • Non-tech part of being a consultant

    There are several non-tech parts of being a consulting company.  Some are fun, some are not. Yesterday I had to do one of the harder non-tech parts of running a consulting company.  I had to let one of our developers go.  He is a good person.  I did not enjoy doing it, but I had no other choice.


  • Warren Buffett

    I got to meet Warrenn Buffett on Tuesday.  He was in the big city of Knoxville to meet with Clayton Homes, a company that Berkshire Hathaway just bought.  He is a very friendly person, which I did not expect.  He was asked what he thought about the current economy.  He said that he didn't think that things were as bad as the media were protraying them to be.  He then added that the only thing that could really things bad would be if Alan Greenspan ran off to South America with Anna Nicole Smith..........................


  • The importance of .Dispose()

    I was checking out the Oracle OTN forums last night trying to get some good info on the Oracle Data Provider for .NET (aka ODP.NET).  I ran across a post that reminded me that there is more to be done when writing good .NET code than just depending on the garbage collector.  The postor stated that he was seeing memory allocations that were continually going up for inetinfo/aspnet_wp processes(s).  The person from Oracle stated that this was consistent with not calling the .Dispose() method for each object (OracleConnection, OracleCommand, .....) created with ODP.NET. 

    From what I have seen, the lack of calling.Dispose() can sneak up and bite you.  I wrote some code last year that used the Performance Monitor objects to see what was happening with different processes.  I forgot to call the .Dispose() method.  After about four or five days, my code would quit working and give me out of memory errors.  It took me a couple of days before I realized that I had not called .Dispose() to clear up the unmangaged resources.  That's a mistake that has never been made again.


  • Golf on Saturday!!!!

    I played golf today.  While I shot an 89 and am not a world beater, i felt really good about how I played.  I had ended last year with a 12 handicap, which is starting to be respectible.  Since I had not played a round of golf since last October and I had surgery 6 weeks ago, I was just hoping to break 95.  Then at the last second, I decided to play with everyone else from the championship tees.  I am even more shocked that I was able to be respectible.  Hopefully, I will play well again on Sunday (yeah, I decided to play 2 days in a row).  I'll be playing with this same group on Sunday. 


    PS. I walked and carried my bag.

  • Starting to work on an outline / TOC for a new .NET book

    I  talked to my publisher the other day and she wants me to start working on an outline / TOC / proposal for a new book.  I am really STOKED about this one.  Writing a programming book is very hard work and not a lot of reward (aka money), but it is a great excuse to work with new technologies and get access to the real beta program.  I feel that this gives me a leg up in the consulting business and part of the game that must be played.


  • TimeTracker Starter Kit

    I download the TimeTracker Starter Kit from  I am going to be going through it and seeing how I can incorporate some of the features into our TimeSheet application.  I think it is really cool that MS is doing this.  For all of those people that bad mouth MS (and I have been one in the past), I am impressed that they have created these example applications!!!!!!!!!  Whoever came up with this idea should be congratulated.


  • 13 days in a row......and stopping

    I made it 13 days in a row working out when I went to the gym right before lunch.  Friday will be an off day in preparation for golf on Saturday.  I hope I can find a golf game because called me and said he can't make it this Saturday.


  • 12 Days in a Row

    Made it to the gym this afternoon.  Performed a slightly different workout today.  I used a different eliptical trainer today where I could use my arms.  My back got sore within about 5 or 6 minutes, so I had to alternate between using my arms and not using them.  It sure does feel good to get into the gym and workout.

    My "regular" golf game is scheduled to start up on April 12th.  When golf starts up, i'll scale back my workouts to 5 days in the gym, 1 golf day (I walk and carry my bag), and an off day on Friday.  I may have a golf game this coming weekend (April 5th), so I may not workout on Friday.  We'll see how the weather looks.

    I had gotten my golf game to a pretty good level.  By the end of last summer, my handicap had gotten down to a 12.  It will take a while to get back to that level, but I am looking forward to getting out and playing.  Too bad I will have to put up with some of Art Grayson's really bad jokes while I work out the kinks in my golf game.


  • Why do I post more on working out than .NET?

    DGG and I were talking over IM the other night.  She was wondering why I post so much about working out rather than .NET.  I love .NET.  I find it is a great environment to develop ASP.NET and other applications.  I really do like what it has built in.  The reason I post so much about working out is that I am so excited about how I look and feel.  About 8 years ago, I got hurt in both of my feet and developed a medical condition called plantar fasciatis.  That has to be one of the most painful things in the world.  It literally felt like a knife was being shoved up into my foot.  I had no motivation to do anything.  I was almost afraid to move for fear that I woul hurt my feet worse.  As a result, I ballooned up to 250 pounds.  My right foot healed, but I had to have surgery on my left foot.  I went back to exercising, but the weight did not go away.  During the summer of 2001, I started working out really hard in an effort to lose as much weight as possible.  I dieted, worked out, and the weight came off.  I still workout everyday, or nearly every day (at least six times a week).  My current weight is somewhere between 200 and 205 pounds.  I think that as the swelling from the surgery I had in February, 2003 continues to subside (the doctor said it will take three to six months for it to completely go away), I think I will be in the 195 to 200 range this summer.  Once I can ramp my workouts back up to the pre-February 2003 surgery, I know that I will once again be in better shape than I was when I was in high school or college. 

    You just don't know the feeling of looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing an outline of your abs when you have spent the last so many years wondering if you had anything but a big gut around your middle.


    PS.  Check out DGG's web log.

  • 11 Days in a row

    I have been in the gym 11 days in a row.  On Monday, I had my best workout yet.  The intensity was pretty high.  According to the eliptical trainer, I averaged 23 calories per minute for 30 minutes.  While I don't think that the numbers are accurate, because I use the same machine each time, I do use the calories per minute as a general test of intensity.  I did my 30 minutes this morning, but I was just too tired to do more than just go through the motions.  Still, that's better than doing nothing.