Fuck Cancer

Having a personal understanding of the stark emotions lingering underneath this phrase, I’ve come to turn to it anytime someone asks me about how my mom is doing.

To see my mom’s health slowly decline daily, evokes a cluster of emotions and thoughts : sorrow, anger, frustration, resentment, happiness, confusion, nostalgia, joy.

Supposedly she’s “off to a better place”, but the suffering she’s enduring is nothing more than a punch in the heart, serving as a reminder that she will not be able to grow old with my dad, or see her 4 grandchildren navigate the waters of life, or be there when her 3 children come to her in times of happiness or sadness.

Bo Knows Laravel

These last 4 months, I’ve migrated away from Ruby on Rails, and back into the PHP MVC framework realm.  My last excursion with any PHP “MVC” framework was based on CakePHP, CodeIgniter, and Symfony of which I had a combined 6 years experience.  Each framework had its share of pro’s and con’s on a per project/use basis.  Ruby on Rails had always been a framework I wanted to learn, but only because it was something I kept reading about over, and over, and over.  But, I did a good job avoiding this for 5 or 6 years by instead learning other useful languages such as Python, Perl, and even dabbling in Objective-C and Cocoa.  1/2 way through my 2nd set of Objective-C and Cocoa books, I felt my brain slowly imploding and felt it was therefore time to take a break from this limited-use garble and get back to web development.

Ruby on Rails was refreshing because the Rails books seemed to speak my native language – web.  But for some reason, Ruby has always felt like that baseball pitcher whom was so inconsistant, you couldn’t tell if they were brilliant or incredibly horrible.  Stepping into the batters box, Ruby would throw sinking curve balls I’d eventually adjust to and send sailing over the fence.  But each trip to the batters box, more often than not, I’d manage to achieve a full count before being beaned or taking a walk (you don’t really strike out, as developers can always figure out a way to reach the endgoal or objective – some ways are just absolutely the worst ways ever, but, nevertheless, a basehit is a basehit).  I’ve just grown tired of inconsistencies and on a whim, happened upon a new opportunitiy, leveraging a fairly new PHP MVC framework – Laravel.  Because of my Ruby on Rails experience, my RBI, OBP, and SLG averages have been through the roof.  Laravel has a wicked yet beautiful slider ball that I look forward to, and Laravel’s fastball is down the center of the plate at 86 MPH, just like at the batting cages.  Because of Laravel’s syntax and workflow consistencies, my confidence as a developer has been at an all-time high such that when I do see the knuckleball, a nice changeup, and a curve, I’m prepared and Bo Jackson the hell out of it.

Fresh projects keep my mind engaged

Recently, I’ve been working on a fantasy sports application which has allowed me to utilize new tools and ideas.  Although the core application is still in a beta/development phase, the process of which I’ve been apart has been unique.  Being the sole developer, I’m able to push new tools and techniques into the design and application,including MV* javascript frameworks such as Backbone.js.

Javascript applications have always enticed me, although once upon a time, I was rather anti-javascript.  This thought or notion, although a distant memory, resonated deep within me and I was adamant in keeping javascript use to an absolute minimum.  The first time I ever used anybit of javascript was around 1996, in the form of pop-ups.  When a user would happen upon my website, I would prompt them to enter in their name and in so doing, I was able to carry their name throughout my website (in the form of cheezy greetings).  Other common uses of javascript included simulated ‘weather’ (falling snow), form-validation, annoying graphics that followed the pointer, and more clunky uses.  Around this time, Flash was gaining momentum.  Everyone wanted the animations, the embedded sound effects, and the ‘flashy’ness flash presented.  I do was intrigued and taught myself the basics of flash in 1999.  I created a 3 minute website intro, surprisingly similar to a lot of videos you see today actually… The text would fly into and out of view, lens flares would highlight the words, and objects would move around the screen, telling a story.  Flash seemed to take over and soon, a lot of websites were converting their entire site over to flash and this practice carried for years it felt.

The greatest drawback, to me at the time, in basing the entirety of your website around flash or javascript, was the assumption the user had flash installed or javascript enabled.  I know my parents didn’t do either as they were under the assumption to install something like flash just to view a site was shady and likely malicious intent would ensue.  Because javascript contained the word ‘script’ this too created hesitation in terms of keeping javascript disabled.  As a developer, I saw this a lot actually which caused me to steer clear from Flash and Javascript almost entirely.  When I would use javascript, it was for minor UX.

Fast forward to last year – single-page javascript applications had taken over and javascript MV* frameworks where commonplace.  I’ve enjoyed being able to “revisit” javascript and am excited in continually learning new javascript methods and techniques.  This project will allow me to keep my sleeves rolled up and get crazy with my ideas and capabilities.

Sports commentators

I have a bone to pick with sports commentators.  I really don’t think the Steeler’s defense is “..on fire..” after making a big play when the score is 14 to 0, Giants. Moreover, players: when you make a big offensive first down, or a nice defensive stop, and your team is behind, your dances and taunting serve no purpose when you are losing.

If I were a cop

I’d write all my tickets with one of those 4 foot tall pencils making the already absurd act of ‘writing a ticket’ a little easier for the clearly mischievous  and uninformed driver to accept.