My Homies

By James at May 27, 2008 06:12
Filed Under: Life in General, Web Development

As I mentioned in a previous post, I presented at the SQL 2008 Firestarter event. What I didn't mention was a story about a bit of metaphysics and a prime example of how the Universe looks out for those believers.

Working on Latina Business.NET with Carmina, I ran across, at one of our customers, a toy machine that sold little plastic "homies". I thought they were cool and one day went with a ton of quarters and bought as many as I could. They all sit on my monitors and inspire me when building a web site for one of our customers. These little plastic figures are great. With a lot of detail, and fantastic expressions on their faces, having them look down on me while I'm working, gives me the ideas to build a great bakery, jumper, party supply or mercado web site.

I was having problems getting my site together. Computer issues, bits changing, work things, you name it, I had to deal with it. But what got me through were my homies. They kept staring down at me, and settled me down. I got my stuff together and was ready for the next day.

I packed my stuff up the night before and was ready to roll early. As I was heading downstairs to leave, a voice in my head said "take us with you". Usually when I'm heading out, all I can think of, is traffic, being on time, whatever. But this time, I stopped, looked at my system and said to myself "OK". I scooped up the two homies that always seem to call to me; my first one, and old dude sitting in a chair, and a crazy looking one selling bags of oranges.

I got to the event site without a hitch and things went smoothly. As it turns out I was the scheduled to be the first presenter for the Developer's Track. Taking a few minutes to check out the meeting room and setup, I did so, and took out my Old Dude, and Orange Guy, putting them on the podium. Not blatantly so, but in a position for them to watch over me unobtrusively. I was just getting ready to start my presentation, when I was interrupted that I needed to move rooms. A bigger room. So many people wanted to see my presentation, the organizers actually moved me to a bigger room.

I packed up my stuff, put Old Dude and Orange Guy in my shirt pocket, and moved over to the big place. Nice. My presentation went great; no issues, the demo gods where nice to me, intelligent questions were asked, and I got not one, but two rounds of applause. All the time my homies were watching me.

I head back to the speakers room to see what is going on. My two friends Geoff Emery and Matt Penner are having major problems with their demo, and their machine. No Internet connection, SQL Server is giving them fits, PowerPoint slides are jacked up. The demo gods are not happy. As I set my bag down and get behind my buddies, I fold my arms (what I usually do when concentrating) and I feel two little objects in my shirt pocket. My homies!

I put Old Dude and Orange Guy on their laptop, mostly just for grins, but then something amazing starts to happen. Things start coming together, Geoff decides to use his cell phone for connectivity, the machine decides to behave, both Geoff and Matt calm down. Their presentation is right after lunch. And they just rock. No more problems, no more issues.

In thinking about this I'm looking at my homies and see "HOMIESHOP" on the back. Doing a quick search I find, with complete listings and descriptions of all the homies figures made so far.

Actually Orange Guy is named Orange Vato and Old Dude is Wizard. Read their descriptions, especially Wizard's and see if they make sense to you after this story.

Browsing around the Homies site, I really started liking it. They have created all these great characters, embracing their differences, while ending each description on a positive note.

You just gotta love your homies.

Firestarter 2008 ADO.NET Data Services Slides and Code

By James at May 18, 2008 09:47
Filed Under: Web Development, Microsoft

Yesterday I gave my presentation on ADO.NET Data Services at the Firestarter SQL 2008 event at the Microsoft Training Center in Irvine. I had a great time presenting, they even had to move my group to a bigger room, and it more than made up for the stress of trying to prepare a presentation with fluidly changing bits.

For your pre-beta, pre-CTP enjoyment I give you my slides and code (588.30 kb)

If you have questions, drop me a line,


About the author

James James is a five time and current Microsoft MVP in Client App Development, a Telerik Insider, a past Director on the INETA North America Board, a husband and dad, and has been developing software since the early days of Laser Discs and HyperCard stacks. As the Founder and President of the Inland Empire .NET User's Group, he has fondly watched it grow from a twice-a-month, early Saturday morning group of five in 2003, to a robust and rambunctious gathering of all types and sizes of .NET developers.

James loves to dig deep into the latest cutting edge technologies - sometimes with spectacular disasters - and spread the word about the latest and greatest bits, getting people excited about developing web sites and applications on the .NET platform, and using the best tools for the job. He tries to blog as often as he can, but usually gets distracted by EF, LINQ, MVC, ASP, SQL, XML, and most other types of acronyms. To keep calm James plays a mean Djembe and tries to practice his violin. You can follow him on twitter at @latringo.

And as usual, the comments, suggestions, writings and rants are my own, and really shouldn't reflect the opinions of my employer. That is, unless it really does.

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