My daughter’s video

By James at May 22, 2009 02:56
Filed Under: Life in General, Non-Technical

When I first met Carmina, I also met all her friends. One our first date, we we’re accompanied by Alma and her three daughters, Kayleigh, Nicole, and Dagny. I’ve known these bright, funny, intelligent, beautiful girls for going on 5 years now, and it has made my life even “more better” watching them grow up and being a part of their lives. When I introduce them to friends of mine, I refer to them as my “daughters”

Nicki is just finishing up her first year at UC Santa Cruz (um, go banana slugs), majoring in film. She sends Carmina and I links to her videos from time to time, and last night we got the latest. This one is a short little ditty, which she decided to put together because she was “bored”.

I wish I was bored like this girl. See for yourself.

Nicki's boring video

Time to dance,


Mix 08 – preamble

By James at March 04, 2008 15:36
Filed Under: Life in General, MIX 08

I’m on my way to MIX08! Man, I am excited to go! I have been waiting so long for this and I am so happy that my former boss approved the funds…just before he resigned. (Note to self: send him a thank you note).

Driving through the desert in a new UC owned Grand Am is ok, but I wish I had the Civic Hybrid I was promised. Oh well, it’s comfy and has a lot a power, and my iPod jacks into the stereo so I can catch up on my dotnetrocks podcasts. I get into Vegas about 1pm and am greeted with 1) smog, and 2) traffic…jeez; at least the Venetian lets me check in 2 hours ahead of time.

MIX registration starts at 4pm, so I settle in, then head over to the registration area. I go up the longest escalator in the world, only to be met by 2 gigantic bouncers who say I can’t go any further until 4, and that I have to go back down to wait. For the next 20 minutes I count how many people take the trip up…then down. One developer…I know he’s a dev as he keeps testing the system…actually takes the ride EIGHT times!  Finally its check in time and a herd of geeks, and weirdo designers head up. Check in is painless, and I’m on my way.

My best friend Rich moved to Henderson (just east of Vegas) a while back. We stay in touch with IM and email, but haven’t seen each other since. So I head over to his house to have dinner, visit, catch up and get to know his two boys, Jack and Carson. It takes a while for the boys to warm up to me, but then Jack tells me he wants to do a puzzle, and Carson keeps climbing on me. What can I say? Little kids love “tio James”. Hope starts giving the boys their bedtime baths, and Rich and I head over to a little “wine lounge” Vox ( This place just rocks! It’s a trendy little bar with mixed drinks and great wine. The wine is super expensive; $13 for half a glass, but if you sit at the bar, and nurse a twenty dollar bill in the video poker machine (or at least pretend to), they keep refilling your glass. Sweet! If you go, be sure to hit up Edgar, Allison and Danielle.

Rich and I had a great time catching up… I really do miss this guy… and he bounces several of his latest enterprise level, make a gazillion dollar ideas off of him.

I head back to the Venetian to sleep and get ready for the morning… the first day of Mix with Ray Ozzie and Scott Guthrie giving the keynote.

I miss Carmina. We’ve talked several times today, and Rich started giving her the old “Rich” routine. This is the first time in our marriage that we’ve been, or will be, apart longer than a day.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings.


My Che Guevara hat

By James at December 17, 2007 19:25
Filed Under: Life in General, Miscellaneous

I've always had an independent streak. I don't know if it's because I was raised by two, loving democrats in the midst of the '60's turmoil or not, but I've never felt comfortable in playing by the rules. I also love hats. Strange but I like hats; baseball caps, fedoras, bowlers, driving caps, trucker hats. I'd love to wear one of those big, ostrich feathered hats the three musketeers wore. I have a big collection of ball caps that I usually wear on the weekend, but have never gotten around to actually buying something different.

But now that Carmina is in my life, and with all the goodness that comes from that, I decided to change my look. A few weeks ago, we were on our way down to Carlsbad to see my dad in his annual gig as a professional Santa Claus and we stopped off to do a little Christmas shopping. As it was "black friday" and the stores had all their sales on, we stumbled across a black, wool, Kangol cap. I wasn't too keen on it, but my Carmina said I looked handsome wearing it and insisted I buy it. So, I decided to go for it. And of course, since I'm somewhat of a rebel, I immediately decided to wear it backwards....Carmina immediately commented that I looked like an Artistic Sandinista. Ricki said I looked like Che.

I love this cap. I wear it all the time, and have gotten tons of comments on it. Members at the user group (especially the VS 2008 Load Fest), in meetings at work, and even from people on the street. And, you know, it keeps my head warm too.

So tell me what you think? Am I cool or what?

My apologies to my fellow .NET User Group Leads... Art Villa, Mike Vincent, Woody Pewitt, Reza Mandani, that weird guy in the green metal suit, and the others...

The Red Stick Ramblers - Right Key, Wrong Keyhole - Grand Texas

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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