Lego Robot Rock

Domenico and his Engineering Club team-mates are building a Lego Mindstorms EV3 Robot. This particular build can move, detect color and open doors.

Photo on 11-10-14 at 4.26 PM #2

Photo on 11-10-14 at 4.25 PM

Dirt-Simple Overlay

Does your system get all whim-wham when your users get all clicky? Have you inherited a system that gets all whim-wham when your users get all clicky? Hold those extra clicks at bay with this dirt-simple overlay (just add JQuery).


Domenico and I had a chance to participate in the first ever TinyCon at the always awesome Round Hill Arts Center in Round Hill, Virginia. The appropriately named convention may have been small in size but was jam-packed with fun activities, panels, vendors and folks in cool costumes. We handed out goodies from Huzzah Hobbies in Ashburn, Virginia and taught folks how to play Magic: The Gathering.


Fall Update

Lego Engineering Club

Domenico is one of the over seventy-five children that participates in the Lego Engineering Club at his school. His team is tasked with building a robot to solve various problems and navigate a course. I am one of the volunteer parents…which gives me an excuse to play with the Lego Mindstorm EV-3 Kits.

Puerto Rico

Domenico and I spent four days in Puerto Rico last month. We split our time between the El Conquistador Resort and driving around the eastern part of the island in search of amazing local food and cuban wedding shirts.

Watermelon Park Fest

For the seventh year in a row Domenico and I attended Watermelon Park Fest. We enjoyed several days of spending time with friends, listening to music and making music.

Khans of Tarkir

Domenico and I attended a Khans of Tarkir prerelease event at Beyond Comics. We were both 1-2 headed into the last round. When pairings for the final round were announced we learned that we were to face off against each other! Domenico ended up winning and we both went home with a bunch of cards from the new set. This week I will be spending some time play testing my new Standard decks. Deck lists as always are at

Cooking Up A Storm

Now that the awful, humid weather has gone away (good riddance) I am back to cooking up a storm. Domenico is learning how to use a kitchen knife and is an eager sous chef.

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.