Oats Are Groats


“oats are groats and groats are oats…they’re the same
oats and groats they float your boats…down the drain
an ode to oats with notes of groats…don’t complain”


Mah Epiphone

Say hello to my little friend. I picked up this Epiphone four-string banjo from the fine folk at Shamrock Music Shoppe. I’m currently teaching myself how to play “Cripple Creek”, “Old Joe Clark” and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”.

Hello Backbone.js

I am wrapping up a project in which I created a custom model-view-presenter solution that was tied to a ColdBox controller and model. As much fun as I had reinventing the wheel I plan working with an established Javascript framework in the future. I am in the process of evaluating Backbone.js in my free time. Here is a simple Hello World thing that I whipped up…


Note that I was using this tutorial. Be warned, it has more than a few syntax errors. Those looking for a more comprehensive tutorial should check out “Up and Running with Backbone.js“.

Fourth Grade




I’m working my way through some great iOS training at the moment (more on that in a future post). I’ve been at it for several hours now…perhaps it’s time to take a break and play some Magic: The Gathering.

Checking In

A Brief Update

Hi there! It’s been a few months since I’ve shared anything here. The single biggest piece of news on the personal front is that my son has returned from Australia and is now back home with me. To say that I am overjoyed would be an understatement. Since he’s been back we’ve played a ton of games, spent a week at the beach and spent time with friends and family.

Goals Are Good


Here is a list of languages and technologies that I am either in the process of learning or plan to learn in the coming months. I’ve also included a second list of personal goals.


  • Apache Flex. Not the newest language on the block, but learning this language will allow me to support several existing systems at my place of work. Additionally, I have a soft spot in my heart for Flash that dates back to the Macromedia era.
  • iOS Languages (Objective-C, SpriteKit and Swift). Developing for a limited hardware set, for a large audience and with languages that have Model-View-Controller built in. That and I get to use Xcode.
  • Git. I’m still using Subversion, and it’s time to ‘git’ with the times.
  • Lego Mindstorms. My son is joining a robotics club at school, which means that I get to play with a Lego Mindstorms kit without shelling out the money!


  • Hike. The weather will be cooling off soon and I plan on getting outside hiking some of the amazing trails that Western Maryland has to offer.
  • Exercise. I’m not getting any younger and I’m not getting any thinner. Honestly I could care less about being thin or young, but I would like to be healthier.
  • Mental Health. The tragic death of Robin Williams was a reminder that mental health matters. Many (including yours truly) view asking for help as a sign of weakness. I’ve come around to realize that this is not the case. Asking for help, getting help, doing whatever one can do in an effort to be well, peaceful and happy is a sign of strength.
  • Connect. My relationships to the people closest to me are sacred. I wake up every morning and vow that I will nurture these connections.
  • Play Games. I’ve set aside video games for the most part in favor of board and card games. At present my son and I are playing lots and lots of Magic: The Gathering. I am also a fan of RPGs, and have been playing Mice & Mystics with Bella, Domenico and Lisa and am at present trying to wrap my head around the crunchy mechanics of Champions.
  • No Smoking. I haven’t had a cigarette in 5+ months. I like to have this on my list as a reminder of this accomplishment.

What Do You Call A Trap With No Five Cent Pieces In It?

A Nickle-less Cage

My son and I created this horrible, horrible pun using Yakit Kids for iPhone, etc.

Game Two

The Trollbloods failed to defeat their opponents in game two. I neglected to use “Scroll of Grindar’s Perseverance”, which would have bought me another round on the battlefield. Oops!



A Father’s Day Meditation

I used to scoff at “Hallmark Holidays” like Father’s Day..but that was then and this is now. The years have transformed me into a sentimental middle-aged goofball who is becoming increasingly aware of both the how temporary this life is and how important it is to savor every moment. With Father’s Day upon us I want to take a moment to reflect on two people that help to guide me as I walk the path.

The first is my father, who has been gone for many years. His love, his ability to look within and improve his life and his artist’s heart are all qualities that I work to cultivate in my life.

The second is my son, whose mere presence gives me the gift of purpose. He is the funniest, smartest, most dynamic 9-year-old that I have ever known. His hunger to learn, his joyous presence and his hilarious and fun energy are all qualities I work to cultivate in my life. I won’t be celebrating Father’s Day with my son this year as he is in Australia with his mother.

I miss my father and my son dearly every day. With an open mind and a gentle heart I pause to reflect on these two amazing people. Memories come rushing into my mind. I take a moment to savor each memory. I allow these same thoughts to leave when it is time…making effort to avoid both pushing the thought away and clinging to it (’cause that’s how we Buddhists roll).

Happy Father’s Day to you all.  If you can, visit your father today. If you cannot, visit the memories. The same goes for the dads out there…snuggle your children if they are close, and if they are far away visit the memories, call ‘em on Skype and tell them that you love them.

Hanging out with my father in my grandparent’s living room…80’s style…rocking the Indiana Jones shirt and playing a Nintendo Game + Watch.

Here he is playing a few songs. Listen with headphones to hear the bass properly.  I’m digging that top hat


Domenico and I during one of our many Skype chats.  Sometimes we play Magic: The Gathering…sometimes he wins ;)

Dinner and Magic Deck Review

Kraken Burgers

This massive beast of a sandwich is a 1/4 lb crab cake served on a fried ramen bun with bacon, spinach and Sriracha. The recpie below serves two.




Kraken Burgers

Servings: 2 (with a few crab cakes left over)


4 slices of thick cut bacon
6 Leaves Baby Spinach

For the ramen buns
2 packages of ramen
2 eggs

For the crab cakes
2 slices dried bread, crusts removed
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Parsley Flakes
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 pound lump crabmeat


Prepare two packages of ramen per the instructions on the packet. After it’s cooked let it sit for five minutes, strain out the broth and add it two a bowl. Add a beaten egg and form into patties per the instructions on this video. Chill the uncooked patties in the fridge.

Next cook four pieces of bacon in a large pan. As the bacon is cooking make the crab cake mixture per the instructions on the side of a container of Old Bay.

When the bacon is done remove it from the pan…important: keep the grease! Form four large crabcake patties and fry ‘em up. Then (using the same bacon greese) cook the ramen buns. Again refer to this video for more info.

Assemble the kraken burgers in this order: bottom bun, crabcake, bacon, spinach, sriracha, top bun. Before taking your first bite be sure to speak these words…