Front-End Web UI Frameworks and Tools

I just completed and enjoyed the Front-End Web UI Frameworks and Tools on Coursera. It’s part of a Full Stack Framework 6 course specialization.

I’ve taken a couple of courses through Coursera, with some being great and others not so much. This course specialization has been pretty great so far. The courses are very well organized and the instructors do a pretty solid job. They even are very active in the discussions (you’d think it’d be a given, but it’s not).

I’ve been very impressed and am looking forward to the next courses in the specialization. Particularly the angular.js and PhoneGap courses coming up. Good stuff.

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Amazing Night of Dodgeball Crazyness

I’ve been playing dodgeball for five years now, and this past week had some truly rare moments. Luckily were were able to defeat our opponents, Bad Mother Duckers in a most fun and exciting game.

The first amazing play for me would be when I won a match, knocking over a guy with my peg. Granted, clearly his momentum and lack of balance at the time were what sent him tumbling to the ground. Though the timing of my peg and his fall looked most dramatic. It looked like I literally knocked him back off is feet. My team erupted in excitement and his team laughed. It was pretty amazing to behold.

The second amazing play is when I was involved with the first double peg I had ever seen. Ron and I both squared up and ripped off throws at one another. Ron’s hit me first, but mine got him as well. We were both out, and both amazed at the play. It was pretty awesome, and again a scene out of a movie.

The most exciting play for me though was my game winner with the matches at 8-7. They had a much deeper rotation and we were beginning to tire. We didn’t want this thing to go to overtime.

In what was a pretty exciting match on both sides, eventually it was down to 2 on 2. Jared and I threw everything we had and them, and they were doing the same. It was pretty exciting, and you could feel the entire team reacting to each close call.

With around 10 seconds left in the match Jared got hit. So we were not down 2-1 with only 10 seconds remaining from a loss and going to overtime. I immediately, knew that I would have to somehow get a catch even though they would most likely not give me anything at all to catch. So I saw their guy wind up and I took a step back like I was going to retreat to the back wall, then sprinted forward upon his release.

I gambled that he would throw something short thinking I would be in the back. It played out perfectly and I caught a ball near the front court with just around 5 seconds remaining. My team exploded in excitement and I just waited for time to expire as we were now up 2-1.

An amazing victory and probably the most dramatic play I’ve had to date in the fine sport of dodgeball.

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Cornfield of Terror

This installment of the Honey Badger Fun Day took us to R and J Farms for their Cornfield of Terror. We’ve done the corn maze in the past, but decided to be a bit more brave this time and enter the Cornfield of Terror.

We got tickets then waited in line for a little bit. The line wasn’t too bad, however had we arrived a few minutes later it would have been an entirely different story.

A tractor picks up a group and takes them away into a maze of corn. The driver was a good sport, and put on a solid act. While on the ride to the Cornfield of Terror and chainsaw wielding guy and Mike Myers paid us a visit. They both did a really good job. Myers smelled weakness and taunted a poor old lady for most of the ride.

Once we got off the hayride, we could enter the fun. Sadly a poor girl in front of us got a bit too scared and backed out at the last second. We did attempt to cheer her up and encourage her that there was nothing to fear, but alas I don’t think she ever went in.

Walking through the maze was a lot of fun. Again, I though the various actors did a pretty amazing job. My favorite was their taunts. They did a great job of taunting a “blondie” throughout most of the maze. It was quite funny to overhear.

The guys also did a great job of popping up out of nowhere, running by, and a scarecrow come to life was well done too. What really stood out to us was a green fox laser light tunnel thing. It was really awesome looking, wish I had a photo of it.

All in all it was a very fun time, and I was very impressed with the experience. It was a lot of fun and I’m glad I got to take it in this year.

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Star Wars Aftermath

Star Wars: AftermathGetting a little excited for the upcoming Star Wars film, I was glad to see that Aftermath was available at the library. I was eager to get caught up with events leading up to the new movie.

The book was well written, but didn’t really touch on any of the big players in the Star Wars universe. I guess this should have been expected, but still I was hoping to read more about some of the big names.

Granted Wedge Antilles was always been a favorite of mine, even his story was all that large in the book. I really thought he was going to have a bigger role when I first started reading. Oh well.

Overall, it was interesting to get an idea of the state of affairs immediately after the Return of the Jedi. Looking forward to the movie in a few weeks.

Currently 3/5 Stars.

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Append DOM to Another Page Using YQL

Apparently there is a data limit to how much we can fit into a content field on our CMS at work. The problem was that there is an incredibly long list of donors names, and when saving the edits to a page in the CMS, it just wouldn’t save past a certain point in the list.

So, I was a bit stumped on how best to workaround. So, I created another page with a good amount of the names in an unordered list. I then used YQL to create a REST query that would output only the HTML on the page that I wanted into and XML feed.

select * from html where url="" and xpath='//*[@id="main"]/ul/li'

I’m not too sharp on my xpath selectors, but luckily it’s very easy to find an xpath using Chrome. Just right click on an element in the inspector, and the option is there. Huge timesaver!

Ok, now I had a REST query courtesy of YQL of the HTML elements that I wanted to take from that page.

Next was to load and append the data from the REST query onto the unordered list on the other page.

        type: "GET",
        url: "*'%2F%2F*%5B%40id%3D%22main%22%5D%2Ful%2Fli'&diagnostics=true",
        dataType: "text",
        cache: false,
        success: function(xml)
            $(xml).find('li').each(function() { 
    			$("#main ul.append-list").append($(this));

Using the jQuery library I was able to load view the ajax function the REST query. I had to choose the dataType of text not xml in this case. That way I was simply appending the results as they were in the REST query.

I can clean up the javascript a bit, and will work on that. However for now, I am able to add data from another page to work around the data limits of the CMS.

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Dustin and Ginny’s Wedding

Dustin and Ginny’s wedding was a fine time. The ceremony (I believe that’s what it’s called) was on the beach in OC. Parking turned out to be quite interesting, it was a Saturday in OC after all. Glad that I had left plenty early, I eventually did find a spot several blocks away.

Chairs were beginning to be laid out as I arrived. As one of the first to arrive, I found myself letting others know that yes, this was the location. Met some interesting folks for sure, all very polite.

The beach scene was nice and pretty quick. Before I knew it, all was done. It was interesting to watch folks dressed up walking on the sand. I didn’t get nearly as  much sand in my shoes as I though I would.

Things then moved to Greate Bay. I’ve been to a few weddings there over the years, so I had a good idea of what to expect. Immediately upon arriving I began to eat, and eat a lot. I was quite famished, plus it gave me an excuse to not have to initiate conversation with people I didn’t know.

A few people sang and play instruments. It was nice.

Jared, the best man was a nervous wreck with having to give his speech. There was no hiding it, you could smell the fear on him. As a long time friend I did my best to calm him down and let him know he’d be fine.

Despite my encouragement, when speech time came I was expecting bad news. He is not known for his public speaking skills, or any speaking skills for that matter. However, I must admit he got up there and spoke from the heart and seriously gave one of the best speeches I’d ever witnessed at a wedding. It was truly a clutch performance, right up there with the catch (from dodgeball). An amazing moment that I will surely never forget.

My amazing table was table 5, and it seemed like a collection of wedding misfits. I fit right in. They were great, very entertaining. They couldn’t believe my age which did bring a fine smile to my face. They were a lot of fun.

All in all it turned out to be quite a fun time, and they both seemed so very happy. Very glad to see that and I wish them nothing but the best.

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