New Year

So here we are again, in a new year, with all the possibility and opportunity ahead of us. The big thing I have started in this new year is I started the ketogenic diet again.

For the past few years I have started the new years off with keto, it goes for a few months, I lose a bunch of weight, and then the summer and holidays roll around and I gain a good portion, if not all of it back. This year, Linda and I have committed to reaching our goal weights before we go into maintenance mode. So far it has been going pretty well.



So far what has been working for us is a lot of meal prep and easy to cook meals. I started a pinterest board of recipes that are our go-tos throughout the week, and every week we try something new.

- Jan. 14, 2016, 1:26 p.m.
Blog Ketogenic Diet Health Weight Loss Energy

Catching Up

So its been a while since I've posted here and I wanted to keep the story in sync everywhere, so here are a few updates in my life.

This month marks the 1 year anniversary of my girlfriend, Linda, moving in. Its been a hell of a ride, and I absolutely love living with her. This weekend was her birthday which we celebrated in NYC and we spent a lot of time reflecting on what we have accomplished in the past year. We have helped each other in many ways and been through a lot together, including what is now 5 cats (2 of them are looking for homes, if you want a beautiful black kitten, let me know), a few job changes, her learning Web Development and working on our first project together, introducing each other to a number of cuisines, and exploring other areas of life. So for the overall point of the checkin, the personal life is going great.

Im going to break up the work part of life into 3 categories, Personal, RED Development, and Professional:

Personal development projects have been a blast. In the past year I have written a turn based online board ...

- Oct. 19, 2015, 2:54 p.m.
Blog Life Snapshot

Landmark

This post is cloned on my new scriptogr.am.

Landmark

Landmark

So while this has nothing to do with code or the few things that I said I would post about in my kickoff post, I would like to have a post to do a bit of a feelings dump on one of the most influential experiences of my adult life.

What is it?

Well the textbook answer goes something like this:

The Landmark Forum is a course, throughout which you will have a series of conversations and explorations, through which you will gain access to a set of tools that allow you to remove that which is in the way of you achieving what is most important to you.

That is the best I could sum up the Landmark Forum in a sentence, however that sounds very, as many of my friends have put it "MLM-y" (Multi Level Marketing). So I will try to expound on my one-liner in a much more authentic way.

Its a Technology.

One of my favorite distinctions of what the Landmark Forum is, is the word "Technology". It is a toolkit for dealing with life in a powerful way that for the majority of ...

- Feb. 6, 2015, 4:31 p.m.
Blog Life Perspective Beliefs Learning Education Degree Landmark

The Console

I got a bit bored with my old templated personal site and I wanted to change it. I have a friend who has a block of code as his personal site, with code highlighting and everything, with the code class describing himself. I thought it was really cool, but I wanted more than that. I wanted interaction. I wanted to build a command line interaface you could use on my website to explore me.
Thus the Console was born. At first, I wanted the basic commands such as help, cd, ls, some sort of display contents of a file. I build a JSON structure to mimic a directory structure and filled it with bits of information about me and my career that you would be able to find elsewhere on the site. I used the paradigm of "folder or file" that I became very familiar with when writing CONECT.

So to get it all working, I had to breakdown what I wanted to see in the console. I really liked the idea of code highlighting, so I wanted the console to highlight the keywords. I needed a way to pass arguments into commands. I needed a way to differentiate between ...

- Aug. 8, 2014, 1:55 p.m.
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22 in Review

As I sit on the verge of my 23rd birthday, I can help but pause and recollect what this past year has been for me. Both on paper and in person, this year has been a banner year for me:

  • Bought a New house
  • Got a new job at a significant salary increase... twice
  • Bough a new Sports Car
  • Attended both the Landmark Forum and Advanced course
  • Got a new, amazing girlfriend
  • Beta Launched a number of projects, including CONECT and Helm.io
  • Took on a number of new side contracts
  • Went on my first vacation as an independent; a cruise to the bahamas for a week with my awesome girlfriend

In reflection, the amount I have grown both monetarily and in maturity. If you had told 21 year old me all the things I would accomplish in the next 365 days, he wouldn't have believed you.

Which then brings me to my next point, and subsequently year of my life. Not that I am intentionally trying to one-up myself (ok maybe I am), but it leads me to wonder what the coming year has in store for me. Immediately off the bat I am teaching some classes at ...

- July 5, 2014, 12:40 p.m.
Blog Life Snapshot

Eye of the Storm

These past few weeks have been hectic. That is an understatement; between the job transition, my parents moving into their prospective new homes, both my girlfriend and brother graduating, my completion of the Landmark Advanced course and the Forum In Action Seminars, an increase in my contract work, overdriving on Helm.io, and culminating with my 3 month anniversary today, I have barely had time to breath, let alone sleep. So as a major pivoting point in my life, I am here to do my best to document everything as best as possible. I will try to keep everything in order.

Job Transition
So the thing that made the timing all so appropriate and slightly more difficult, is having a 2 week vacation between my last day at Nuix and my first day with Sungard. I had vacation time left I was planning on using for the cruise with Lynn this June. Seeing that I wasnt going to be working there in June, I just took those 2 weeks as some me time. At first it was great. The Extra Me time was exactly what I needed to really get some work in on Helm. Due to the extra time ...

- June 3, 2014, 1:10 p.m.
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Diff

This blog post comes following a series feedback I received from unexpected sources related to this blog. Namely, a few technical recruiters quoted myself to me, and it got me thinking about the important of maintaining my internet facing life. So in reaction to the realization of the impact of this blog, I am posting what we programmers call a diff, or the differential between the last post and this one (in laymans terms, what has happened since i last posted).

So going in order of the most important things first, I would like to share about my newest project; helm.io. This is going to be a quick touch compared to the post that will follow that will be dedicated to the subject. Helm.io is a project that arose out of necessity for me; the necessity to manage a number of different contracts simultaneously, track requirements and hours between them, and invoice for them. However there are a few things that make helm.io different. As many of you readers who know me personally, I get many project ideas, I get super excited about them, I tell a bunch of people about them, I brainstorm endlessly on them ...

- April 30, 2014, 8:18 p.m.
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Catching Up

Hello again, its been a while. To put things in perspective, the last time I posted, a bitcoin had just broken the $100 threshold.

Since then there have been many changes in my life, many of which have consumed my time and consequently prevented my from writing. I now find myself at another interesting crossroads so before I leap into the great unknown of my future, I would like to take a core-sample and preface a few of the following posts. My last entry here was about my Coworker Bob being ejector seated out of the company. To quick list off a number of things that have occurred since then:

  • Immediately following Bobs exit from the company, I started interviewing with other companies. A lot. At the peak of my interviewing, I was in regular contact with 9 different recruiting agencies. I was evaluating an opportunity a day, phone screening twice a week, and in person interviewing once a week. I will definitely post more about this entire process later
  • Related to the previous point, I found a new job! I accepted an offer that was well more than I was looking for and am now employed at Nuix, a ...

- March 6, 2014, 11:36 a.m.
Blog Projects Life Snapshot Javascript Development Health Beliefs Learning Education

The Third Domino

Last Friday my good friend, coworker, and partner in Crime Bob left the company. The circumstances around this development where hazy and are up to interpretation to anyone. I know more than most, but I am not going to comment on the events and reasons for it happening. The fact is, Bob wasn't happy with the direction his career was going here so changes needed to occur.

As sad as I am to loose a good friend at work, I am happy for him that he is a lot less stressed out and that he will be moving back in the originally anticipated career direction.

But his leaving represents a lot more than a loss of a good friend in the workplace. He was a fellow member of a group of workers at this company who we like to call the Transplants.

The Transplants are a group of high-skill, motivated workers who the owner was friends with and wanted to be on his "A Team". Each of us was hired on different premises in different situations. All of us are driven, talented, and extremely hard-working. When transplanted into this company, we were spread across a number of key areas ...

- Oct. 1, 2013, 3:06 p.m.
Blog Projects Life Project Management Burn Out Employment

CONECT

After an early-alpha testing round, a good friend and coworker Don Langsdorf gave me a ton of helpful feedback and suggestions. He even went as far as building some basic branding for me. So as of yesterday, ONTE is becoming CONECT (Centralized Organizer for Notes, Events, Connections, and Tasks) and will be still available for alpha release at http://getconect.com/.

- Aug. 27, 2013, 11:20 a.m.
Python Projects Django Colors Development Design Bootstrap Project Management Tasks Groups Management Layout CSS Deployment Testing Alpha

ONTE Alpha Release

For the past week and a half, I have been working with my father on a new project. We both realized that we both deal with very multi-threaded businesses, with many projects and components. Then outside of business, we had other opportunities and tasks we had to take care of. So we designed a site that help organize tasks and notes in a multi-threaded capacity.

After a lot of test initial testing and molding, we are ready for alpha testing. Anybody who wants to test it out, give some feedback, and help perfect this tool can register for an Alpha account at onte.mc706.com.

- Aug. 20, 2013, 8:01 p.m.
Projects Django Project Management Tasks Deployment Testing Alpha Tree

jquery.tableSortFilter

So last night I completed a first for me; I wrote and published my first jquery plugin.

jquery.tableSortFilter is a quick, non-intrusive, jquery plugin that applies sorting and filtering functionality to HTML tables.

The idea came from all of the model index tables I am writing on another project. I realized as the site grew, and the tables began to fill up, I would need a better way of filtering and sorting the data. Traditionally I have done this with get variables being passed to the backend. However that solution is neither scaleable or modular, as it requires new database calls for every sort/filter and has to be implemented for each model. I decided since I was trying to do everything the "right way" for this project, I would handle visual data manipulation on the frontend.

My first instinct was to look for a jquery plugin library that handles sort and filtering all together. After a few hours of poking around, I came up greatly disappointed. All the solutions fell into one of three categories:

  • The plugin only handled sorting
  • The plugin only handled filtering
  • The plugin handled both, but required you to use its own styling
Since ...

- Aug. 17, 2013, 1:06 p.m.
Blog Projects Table Filter Search Javascript Development Code JQuery Plugin

Ryan McDevitt, Homeowner

As of yesterday, I am the proud owner of a new home, making me a citizen by the original sense of the word (21, male, property owning). All joking aside, yesterday was the close of a long saga of house purchasing, culminating in a 2:30 hour meeting, consisting mostly of small talk and paper signing.

It was a little over a year and a half ago I first expressed interest in buying a house. I was getting tired of the same old scene and living with my parents. At the time, most of my friends were away at college, and I had fallen into a bit of a monotonous rut; go to work, work late, come home, game a bit and sleep. Rinse, Repeat. Sure there was some comfort in the predictability of my daily life, but I the feeling I was locked into the path daunted me; and it bothered me that I was on track to be a 30 something, still living in his parents basement. (On a side note, that probably would have never happened with the now overlooming divorce). It was on a skiing trip that I started discussing with my father about renting and ...

- July 12, 2013, 1:57 p.m.
Blog House Life Finances

I am the Orthoman

193 hours, 210 bugs, and 3 weeks later, I have emerged from the gauntlet of my first User Acceptance Test beaten and exhausted, but victorious. It has been gruesome learning experience, at times pushing me to the brink of my sanity, but I have learned and accomplished so much in a very small period of time. I am taking this time now to review, and recap the project and its testing period. I will go over the Do's, Do-Not's, and Do-Differently's of the testing period, partially for my own reference, but also to help anybody else out there who needs to ever do client acceptance testing.

Do's
  1. Project Acknowledgement:
    One of the biggest things that created the success of this project on time was the Project Acknowledge document that was written when our new VP of Professional Services took control of the project. It outlines everything that is involved in the project, and ties deliverable to dates. This document was then signed by both companies. This prevented all of the scope creep that dooms so many projects by stating that anything requirements not in the document must be agreed upon by both parties and will be ...

- June 28, 2013, 3:24 p.m.
Projects Production IDE Feature Creep Customers Development Energy Design Project Management Tasks Users Permissions Burn Out Management Learning Deployment Platform Workflow Testing

Down to the Wire

So there have been and are many to come, snippets especially regarding IE and cross browser comparability of different code. These are mostly due to a project entering User Acceptance Testing (UAT) at work, and I, being the sole support provider, having to kill the bugs as they arise. It has been a learning experience, and it is my first time being part of a development team and having to go through UAT (previously I did most of the testing or managed a control group to do it). So far things have been exciting to say the least, although chaotic would better fit the bill.

A little bit of background on the project. The project is a visual "re-skinning" of an existing inventory ordering system. The old system was written in the late 90s in classic ASP. As of current, not a single developer from the creation of the original project is on staff, and it has not been updated much since then. The site, while having an impressive level of functionality considering the time period it was written in, is a messy clusterfuck of iframes in iframes and javascript calls throwing POST data around the pages. After the inital ...

- June 13, 2013, 4:33 p.m.
Blog Projects Production Javascript Feature Creep Customers Development Project Management Tasks Burn Out Mentor Management CSS Learning Education

Web Aggregator Deployment

So over the long weekend, I spend a lot of time polishing and deploying the beta release of WebAggregator.net.

The site came from a conversation from a few months ago with my mentor Eric discussing the sites we regularly visit. Everyday at lunch we would sit down and visit a bunch of articles and web comics to see what the daily updates of them were. The problem was that it took a while to get between sites, and some updated daily, other on frequent intervals, and others at random times. This project was a theoretical test into aggregating my daily web habits into one place so I didnt have to go crawling around the web for all my daily visits.

Design-wise I wasn't too worried for the beta release so i went with Bootstrap and some fluid css colmuns which I wrote about here. I tried going for a newspaper-like feel for the site, which the columns did a nice job with, but futher development will move the site away from the stereotypical bootstrap look and feel and more towards that of a newspaper.

The backend is django and python's BeautifulSoup library for web scraping. Initially I ...

- May 28, 2013, 5:39 p.m.
Python Projects Django Production Javascript Koding.com Development Design Bootstrap Tasks Users Permissions Management Layout CSS Code Learning Admin ManyToMany Deployment

Moving in and Living on My own

Last weekend, I made the jump; I moved out of my parents house and into a home of my own. While I still don't officially own the place yet due to delays and complications with settlement, upon renegotiation of settlement, my realtor included a presettlement occupancy clause that allows me to live here rent free until settlement.

It took me 2 evenings to pack my life in its entirety into what ended up being about a dozen boxes. While it was nice to be easy to move everything, it was very humbling (and a little bit depressing) on how small my life could be compressed into. Those boxes, along with my bedroom furniture and a few other pieces my parents were willing to part with barely filled the 14' Uhaul i rented last Saturday.

On an side note, driving the Uhaul was my first time driving a truck, large vehicle, or any vehicle that didnt have a rear view mirror. It made my RX300 feel like a sportscar. So I took it slow, and made it the entire day renting without incident. Lucky for me, the Uhaul rental center is less than a mile from my new place, which ...

- May 18, 2013, 4:05 p.m.
Blog House Life Snapshot Health Energy Tasks Mentor

Atlas Shrugged

Typically a book review would be in the reviews section, but this book has had a profound impact on my life and how I see things that I feel it belongs here.

“Two novels can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other involves orcs.

That quote, along with repeated prompting for my mentor Eric, led me to finally pick up a copy of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and dive into it. At first, the book was slow and it certainly showed its age, talking about industrial revolution and railroads. But as Part 1 continued to progress, I found myself getting angrier and angrier with the book and the behavior of its characters.

Before I continue with the reflection, let me explain the disposition at which I approached this book from. I had never read it before, and in fact, never even heard of it before. Now, looking back, im not exactly sure how that is possible, but part of ...

- May 6, 2013, 6:54 p.m.
Life Mentor Books Perspective Beliefs

Why Python is Not Enough for Me

Not that long ago I wrote a post about how python is the end-all be-all programming language for me. In light of recent events, my view on the subject has changed and I have decided to start my foray into the world of other programming languages with Ruby and, accordingly, Ruby on Rails.

The realization that I should broaden my coding horizons came as a culmination of recent events, discussions and self led meditation. The spark that put the train of thought into motion was when Eric first brought up the possibility of resigning. Previously, due to my close relationship with the owners of the company I have worked for, I have never had to consider the position of the programming market as an influence on how, and more specifically, what, I code. Instead, job security not being in question, I was free to choose what language and framework I pleased. But in light of a rapidly changing work environment, and the rocking of the proverbial boat caused by Eric jumping ship, I have begun to look at keeping opportunities open, and being flexible with what languages I can program in drastically increases the number of opportunities. Choosing Ruby and ...

- May 3, 2013, 11:31 p.m.
Blog Python Projects Django Development Ruby Ruby on Rails

Life Update

I know it has been a while, but some life has taken some unexpected turns since I last wrote and consequently, maintaining this has fallen by the wayside.

A few major events have occurred since I last wrote that have profoundly changed the way I work and think, as well as significantly altered the course of my carreer. I will cover each of these events, as they are all deserving of the proper level of detail and reflection, in separate posts, but I will give an overview and status quo now.

Firstly I will address the status quo in respect to my last Life post.

After a long delay on the house purchase due to some confusion involving the bank, foreclosures, and shortsales, the dust has finally settled and I have a signed agreement of sale and a pre-settlement occupancy clause written in. Next Tuesday I will be running through the home inspection and plan on moving in the following weekend. The weekend after that, my two best friends will be coming home from college and moving in. Final settlement date is May 30th, by which time I should be nicely settled down.

As far as work goes, it has ...

- May 3, 2013, 11:27 p.m.
Blog Python Divorce Projects House Life Snapshot Development Project Management

Why Python is Enough for Me

I develop entirely in python. Many programmers or other software engineers I have worked with code in dozens of languages, have written their own, or try out new ones all the time. And while its never explicit, there is always that subtle pressure to learn more and expand my boundaries. And I see the benefits of learning other languages. If I had never looked beyond my boundaries, I would have never gotten out of programming things in excel. Despite knowing, I feel no need to learn anything beyond python, and here are my justifications.

Programming is a tool to solve a problem for me. Many see it as an artform, which i have no doubt it is. But First and Foremost for me, the reason I program, is to solve problems. Python to me is the ultimate multi-tool. Its got the screwdrivers, knives, beer bottle openers, and mini saws. It may not be perfectly suited for any one particular situation, and isnt always the best tool for the job. But for its cost and versatility, it may be the best tool for all the jobs. Sure I wouldnt try to chop down a tree with my mini saw, or try ...

- Feb. 23, 2013, 1:44 a.m.
Python Projects Django Production

Kickoff Post

This is my first venture into blogging, so excuse the delivery until i can settle of a style and feel of writing. I have always been intrigued by the blogosphere and while I may be a few years late to the party, I still think I can work this out. Blogs have always interested me, not for the sharing and broadcasting aspect, but for the archiving aspect. Anyone who has worked with me knows I love tracking, reporting, and running statistics and the pretty charts and infographics that go with them. Blogging, the way I see it, is a great way for me to take snapshots of my life and thought processes as well as share my views and experiences to whoever will read them.

The creation of this site and blog, non-consequently, comes at a interesting point in my life. I am currently in the process of buying a house from the coworker and taking the steps to jump out of the nest. To make things even more complex, my parents are breaking up, and from the looks of it, it will be permanently. So during this turbulent takeoff into my own life journey, I decided to consolidate and ...

- Feb. 22, 2013, 8:24 p.m.
Blog Python Divorce Projects Django House Life Snapshot
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