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 – Day one

By James at March 05, 2008 16:25
Filed Under: MIX 08

Alarm goes off at 6 am…ugh, but I asked the guards last night when people start lining up for the keynote, and they tell me 7:30. Ok, shower, dress, make sure I have my badge, room key and note book. I’m sorry, I am excited as hell to be here, but I will not be seen in public with the effing metro sexual tote back they handed out last night. Sigh…

The dining hall has seats for the 14 bazillion attendees here, and I’m the fourth in the room. At least the eggs and bacon will be warm. Feeling like a dork, I finish eating and think perhaps I’ll head back up to my room for a bit, when another attendee asks if he can sit with me. “Sure”,  I say, wondering to myself “hmm….” We start chatting, he notices my badge and asks what I do for UCR. After a brief explanation of My UCR, I notice his badge shows he works for Microsoft. “So”, I ask, “What do you do at Microsoft?” He replies, “I’m on the team that builds SQL Server. Have you heard anything about the Entity Framework? I designed that.” Holy crap! I’m having breakfast with Britt Johnston and we’re talking about SQL Server design, entities, and stuff. I tell him about the User Group and ask if he’d would be interested in coming down to present. We then talk a bit more about My UCR and I ask if he’d be interested in going over the architecture with me. He said he’d be glad to. How effing cool is this?

A new friend of mine Geoffrey Emery walks by and I flag him down. Lynn Langit introduced us last week at the 2008 launch and he’s a cool guy. He works as hard as I do at promoting community among developers and runs a series of Bar Camps. The three of us eat, keep chatting, and just hang out.

Time for the keynote.  Geoff and I head off to get in line and meet up with some friends of his. The .NET gods must be smiling at us as we get seats just behind the press row. It’s freaking crowded, and my claustrophobia is bubbling just under the surface. There’s a young kid, impersonating Johnny Cash on stage. I can’t figure out the connection, but this kid just rocks.

Ray Ozzie comes on stage and starts talking about his dream of inter-connectivity and services in the cloud. Ok, I think, this is interesting, but we’ve heard this time and time again. Interestingly enough though, I look around, and every other person has a laptop. Those I can see all have Live Writer open and people are actually transcribing what Ray is saying. Weird.

Scott Guthrie comes on stage and Geoff and my first impression is, “this dude makes over a million a year, and he comes on stage in jeans and an *old* polo shirt.

Scott starts talking about stuff then introduces Dean Hachamovitch, the lead of IE 8. He goes through some demos of the product, some of which is cool. Standards support, support for CSS2.1, nice developer tools including Javascript debugging, and web slices; a way to select a portion of a page as a bookmark. Nice. Then he announces that IE8 beta 1 is available now. Ok, I’ll give it a try.

The rest of the keynote is made up of demos of what Silverlight 2 can do. I’m glad I waited and didn’t do a lot with Silverlight 1. Sl2 has so many more features; controls, layout, data binding; CLR with C# and VB support. Beta 1 with a non-commercial go-live license is released today, and Scott emphasizes that all the demos were built with Beta 1 bits.

Lunch time, then on to the presentations.

With all the good stuff Microsoft does, you’d think they could schedule better. Um, the keynote focuses on Silverlight, so why are the topics on Silverlight in the smallest rooms? I go into the room for Silverlight data binding to web services. I’m one of the lucky ones and get a seat. There have to be at least 20 people sitting on the floor.

Next is “Developing Rich Internet Applications with Silverlight”. At least this is in a bigger room, but there’s a traffic jam outside waiting to get in. I start to think I’ll just bail, but then find a side door, and a chair on the isle. Bitchen. This is a two part session and it just totally rocks.  

Silverlight is the next best thing and will make our lives as web developers so much easier. In the keynote, Scott Guthrie stated that there are 1.5 million downloads of the Silverlight plugin a day!

Meetings are over for the day, so I head over to the Sandbox to see if I can find Woody or Lynn. No such luck, so I start looking around for Geoff. Found Geoff and a friend of mine who I had lost contact with Perry Birch. We catch up and make plans for meeting up at the after party.

After party at Tao. Nice. Good food, open bar. I can’t find Perry, but meet up with Lynn. She introduces me to Bruno Terkaly, the new Northern California Developer Evangelist. Lynn bubbles about what an asset I am to the Inland Empire Developer Community and enlists his help in getting me MVP status.

I finally meet up with Perry,  and we spend time catching up. Perry is a sharp guy with a lot of great ideas and we make plans to talk more, when we don’t have to shout at each other above the noise. Perry and I keep chatting when, none other than my friend Don Kiely walks by. I flag Don down and we sit and catch up.

Wow, what a day.


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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