2016 OmniUpdate User Training Conference: Travel Day

Traveling over to LA with Lou went pretty well. I woke up a little before 2:00 am with no problem. Drove over to his house and his super friendly father in law gave us a ride to the airport. We arrived at the airport with no issues, got our boarding passes, etc.

Security was a cinch too. We didn’t have to wait in line at all. I did have to be patted down (this seems to happen to me often), and Lou had to have his notebook checked out, but besides that no issues.

The flight was pretty easy. We sat next to small children or skinny women, so there was plenty of space for us on the ride. Very minor turbulence, and the take off and landing were very smooth.

The shuttle service from the airport to the hotel was great too. The driver was super nice and very fast.

However, travel and the early morning hours left me a broken man. I was dehydrated, had a really bad headache, and my whole clock was just off. Quite frankly I was mad that I wasn’t in the comfort of home for a good part of the day. Not in good shape.

After taking a very long shower, attempting to eat (it was difficult to put food down I felt so lousy), and drinking water constantly I eventually got close back to being my normal self. Oh and I no longer curse California to hell as I’m now feeling a lot better.

Later in the day we had the conference registration where I got some cool long sleeve tech shirt thingy. Might be good to go running in on colder days. We also had a little area for people to play huge games. A massive game of Jenga, Operation, etc. It was pretty cool, and we were able to meet a lot of people from other schools. Though I was still feeling pretty lousy and probably said some very strange things to some of the folks.

The Millennium Biltmore, the hosting hotel is pretty unique. It’s very old and really sums up the golden age of Hollywood. Very glamorous and you can tell it must’ve been a very big deal back in the day. The only drawback is that our rooms are pretty old too. But alas, I just need a place to sleep so I’ll live.

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Opening Night of Winter 2016 Dodgeball

Last night was one of my favorite nights, the start of a new dodgeball season. We had some departures and new faces to the roster this season. So while it was sad to see many go, it’s also very exciting to welcome new people aboard.

To make opening night even better, the season was opened against the Bad Mother Duckers. They’re a great team to play, and really understand that it’s fun first with dodgeball. Great bunch.

I had a feeling that our updated girls roster would be tough, and they met and exceeded all expectations last night. They were dominant! I think they won all their matches, and seemed to be in a favorable position all night. Very impressive.

Our guys put on a very solid show as well. There was a lot of energy, and teamwork on display. I’m really excited to see how the season unravels with the new additions.

Apparently I was hit and kept on playing. I have no recollection, and hope it wasn’t as bad as I’ve been told it was. I genuinely have no recollection of being hit and continuing on like I was told by my entire chuckling team at the conclusion of a match.

Great times, and so thrilled to be back on the court with great people!

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Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3I finally got around to finishing up Mass Effect 3, the third chapter in a pretty amazing series. The first two were great, and some of my favorite games. The sci-fi world and characters really are well done.

What really makes the games great are all the decisions that you must make. Though it’s only a video game, some of the decisions you are faced with are pretty tough to decide on. There’s moments where you can save an entire race, but at the cost of another race. What’s impressive is how the game actually has you caring about a silly video game decision. Well done.

I recall hearing a lot of complaints about the ending, but I didn’t have any problems with it. I thought it was very well done, and a fine closing to an impressive trilogy. Amazing series and some of the finest science fiction I have come across in a long time. Always a pleasure playing alongside Garrus, Liara, Joker and countless other characters.

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Christmas 2015

This year was a bit more quiet than past holidays. Spent the day at my parents with my younger brother Frank as well. Ant couldn’t make it up from Florida this year, and there weren’t any guests in attendance either.

I wound up giving out a lot of gift cards this year. Not so much because it’s easier/safer, but mainly to get these guys to get out of the house to use them up. 

To Florida I sent an Amazon gift card, an assortment of board games (notably Monopoly), a solar charging light/phone charger, Richard Scarry books, a beaver dog toy, and a Netflix gift card. Really wanted to get a little something for everyone, as well as things to entertain.

I got Dad a gift card to Bagliani’s and a block of cheese. For Mom a gift card so she can have s shopping day and get away from the guys. Frank got a new tennis racquet and Netflix so he can watch the Marvel shows (almost binged them all already).

I made out quite all right. The first thing I opened were sponges, so I was a bit concerned. However, it picked up after that. Got some much needed towels, a Lowes gift card (used on a mitre saw), a Sports Authority gift card, and my Mom surprised me with a new tennis racquet (I’m so bad, but it’s fun).

Dinner was quite, and I just hung out with the family for the day. We Skyped with Ant s few times, so that was nice too. 

All in all a quiet but nice Christmas.

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2015 Honey Badger Holiday Party

Honey Badger Holiday Party 2015Had another fine Honey Badger Holiday Party this season. It was an excellent turnout, and a lot of fun.

It was held at my home for the second year in a row, and I was glad to at least have a couch this time around that they were able to sit on. I suppose I’m getting there slowly but surely.

Many brought amazing treats or beverages. It’s really great to see so many contribute even when we’re not playing a team sport. A pretty great bunch.

We picked teams (my partner was multi-defending champ Cait), and got started on some games.

  • First off was Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa. It’s just a variation on rock, paper, scissors, but oh so much fun.
  • Then we played the Christmas Ornament game, which involves moving an ornament across the house by blowing on it. Again, a fun time to watch others.
  • We then had a round of Honey Badger Trivia.

After all that fun, we had our gift exchange. Jen provided all the rules, and the exchange began. All went well, everyone came away happy and it was a good time. I got some card based games.

In a surprise gesture, the team created an amazing Honey Badger card (it really is awesome), and were incredibly generous in giving me gift certificates to Home Depot, Wawa, and Amazon. I mean they were really generous. So very kind of them, again they are pretty great.

I then coaxed the team into having our photo taken in front of the Christmas tree at the arboretum. It’s a pretty scenic spot, and just a few steps from my home. Everyone was a good sport, and we got a pretty amazing Honey Badger photo.

We then returned to play some Marit Kart 8. People then began to slowly slip out as it was on a weeknight after all.

All in all I’d have to say it was another success!

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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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