# Thursday, November 16, 2006

 This is just awesome. They've done Star Wars in ASCII text animation. I can't imagine how long it takes to put this stuff together.

                         /__\                            /__\
                        | <><|         Look sir -       |><> |
                        (__/\)           droids.        (/\__)
                       /      \  /O                    /      \
                      //| __  \\//                     ||/(===o
                     // |/  \| \/                      | /  \ |
                    //__[][][]                         \/][][\/
               ____/|'  |\  /|.                         |\  /|
 ,---,_______ /         |_||_| \                        |_||_|
/|O O|      /           [ ][ ]   \                      [ ][ ]
 |O O|    /             | || |     \                    | || |
~~~~~ "          _______|_||_|_______\                  |_||_|
       " " " " "/       [_][__\        \________________[_][__\____

            |<   <<<   <<   1<   #   >1   >   >>   >>>   >|

Thursday, November 16, 2006 11:48:30 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Thursday, November 9, 2006

It sounds like Cory Smith has one of those MVP MSDN Subscription cards available and he's giving it away!

The theme is "What would you do to get one?" and it's a great opportunity. Think about it... a subscription just in time for the release of Windows Vista and Office 2007. What more can you ask for?

The idea is to be creative... it doesn't sound like you would actually have to perform your act to win. But don't let me be the final say on that!

Thursday, November 9, 2006 10:38:34 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Saturday, November 4, 2006

I noticed this evening that Microsoft's Live Local has increased the availability of "Bird's Eye" views. Even our house is in here. Now, as cool as this is, I guess I need to be even more careful of what I'm doing in the front yard!

untitled picture

Saturday, November 4, 2006 11:09:18 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]

Reading Paul Thurrott's WinInfo newsletter and saw this:

Microsoft Provides New Theme for Windows XP
Since the dawn of the Luna UI style in Windows XP, Microsoft had promised a variety of colorful themes to replace the stock three it shipped in the first version of the OS. It even toyed with graphics-based themes for holidays like Halloween before abandoning the project due to its complexity. Since then, only one new theme--Royale, part of Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005--has emerged. But this week, Microsoft shipped what we might assume to be the last official XP theme: Zune. As its name implies, the Zune theme is based around the Zune MP3 player, which is unfortunate. But it's pretty attractive looking, with black window, Start Menu, and taskbar treatments, and an orange Start Menu. And you can replace the lame Zune desktop wallpaper easily enough. You can download the new Zune XP theme from the
Microsoft Web site.

What perfect timing! Just this week I downloaded the new Windows Media Player 11 and found that it just didn't fit my choices for color scheme. I'd been using the 'standard' XP Blue Theme and switched to Silver, but WMP was just a little too "Vista-ish" for XP.

Well, the Zune Theme solves this. Compare:

XP Silver Theme <-- Before                 After-->XP Zune Theme

I'm just so darn happy! Hey, it's the little things that count.

Saturday, November 4, 2006 9:16:52 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, November 2, 2006

Oops! What happened to October? I think we got a little too busy. Bad Nerd Herder... Bad!

Well, we can make up for this faux pas next week. Oh, and you should come out to say "so-long" to Phil as he has become Borg! Another one lost. I just hope there will be some nerds left in the Portland Metro Area in the future.

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Lloyd Center Food Court (Third Floor; typically, straight out from Billy Heartbeats - 2039)
When: Tuesday, November 7, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: To give others a chance to teach Rich about Time and Space!

Be There and Be Square!

Thursday, November 2, 2006 8:13:14 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Sunday, October 29, 2006

Wow! What a fun night out!

Jesann and I went to a Halloween party last evening and I put on the '70's outfit that Jesann put together for me a couple of years ago and she assembled a great little French Maid outfit (OK, Stuart, Here she is!). She was looking really fine and we had to make a couple of stops post-party, too.

First stop was, of course, Nonna Emilia Ristoranté and we made a great splash. We always have a good time stopping in there.

Next, we stopped by the Tillicum Club and happened in just at the point they were having a costume contest. Jesann and I hopped down to the dance floor and it happens that my costume won second prize for a $75 coupon for the place!! Wow!

Not only are we pleased with the winnings, but I didn't realize that this was  a totally smoke-free restaurant/bar. They will be getting more than $75 worth of business from us now !

What a fabulous night. Now, it's time to sleep.

Sunday, October 29, 2006 1:01:34 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [2]
# Saturday, October 7, 2006

Three years ago today I posted the first entry on this blog. Although I technically started experimenting about four months previous on Blogger, I tend to think of the beginning as when I started on my own domain.

I've not been as prolific in more recent times, but I sure do appreciate the ability to make notes about life out here.

Saturday, October 7, 2006 11:39:01 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]
# Saturday, September 23, 2006
White & Nerdy

I don't know why I've resisted the urge to go check the White & Nerdy video out, but I finally got past it and watched. This is our theme song.

I just wonder what they will do when a herd of nerd walks into the local shopping mall for the next Nerd Dinner and they all have their iPods synchronized and blasting this music through iPod Hi-Fis wired into car batteries? Should be fun to watch !

Saturday, September 23, 2006 2:55:43 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Sunday, September 17, 2006

"Phil Factor" asks the question what, "If IT had been responsible for the Creation." I've seen this linked from a couple places and finally followed the link to the complete article. It is very funny and all too relevant. Here's just a quote starting with an executive angel:

"Our mission is to achieve total excellence in meeting the timescales for delivery of the project to the defined and agreed scope".

"Quality… excellence...", harmonised the assembled IT angels, upon hearing this confirmation of their mission statement, and rustled their feathered-wings to signal their commitment and solidarity.

"..and we're all clear on the project deliverables?" asked God. "Being more of the instinctive sort of executive, I realise I may have been heavy on the overall project vision…you know 'let there be light', and that sort of stuff…and light on the practicalities. I'm not really a detail person. That's why I delegate that sort of thing to you. I can appreciate that this is really a logistics and facilities-management issue but, we're 5 days in to a 6-day project and exploding two-headed donkeys at this stage make me rather nervous."

Check it out.

Sunday, September 17, 2006 11:26:57 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, September 8, 2006

Although posted first by Paul Thurrott, I happen to see this wonderful tool on Omar's blog sooner. I've gotten so use to using the <ctrl>-i shortcut for finding items in Visual Studio, I find myself trying to do the same thing in other applications. Now, Internet Explorer provides for me!

Give it a whirl... I don't think you'll be sorry!

Friday, September 8, 2006 6:49:50 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, September 7, 2006

There's a nip of fall in the air. Even on these warm days, it cools down plenty in the evening. How about spending a nice warm evening with a bunch of warm nerds in a nice warm shopping mall food court?

It's time to get back to the mall and have a Nerd Dinner!

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Washington Square Food Court (Second Floor; typically, straight out from Picture People)
When: Thursday, September 14, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: To keep the food court at Washington Square afloat!

Be There and Be Square!

Thursday, September 7, 2006 7:44:44 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Friday, August 25, 2006

I've read enough that I guess I just have to try this out. Nothing too interesting, though. I may just play with this for a few weeks and see if it motivates me to post more often.

I am impressed with how easy it was to set up.

UPDATE: Okay, that was really easy. Admittedly, I haven't played with any of the posting tools, so I really don't have a clue, but goodness... that's too easy.

UPDATE V2.0: Well, in fact, Live Writer has got me blogging more often and the plug-ins are making me happier all the time.

Friday, August 25, 2006 11:23:32 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Thursday, August 24, 2006

This is just one of those little reminders to self. Self, you never seem to remember how to assign the return value from a stored procedure to a variable in SQL. I try various forms and always seem to miss the right one. So, in an effort to mark it for my future use, I place it here in the blog.

One does NOT accomplish it through any of these methods:

DECLARE @ReturnedValue INT

    SET @ReturnedValue = StoredProcedure @Param1, @Param2

IF( @ReturnedValue = @Something )


    --Do This Stuff



DECLARE @ReturnedValue INT

    SET @ReturnedValue = StoredProcedure ( @Param1, @Param2 )

IF( @ReturnedValue = @Something )


    --Do This Stuff



DECLARE @ReturnedValue INT

    SET @ReturnedValue = EXEC StoredProcedure @Param1, @Param2

IF( @ReturnedValue = @Something )


    --Do This Stuff



DECLARE @ReturnedValue INT

    SET @ReturnedValue = EXEC StoredProcedure ( @Param1, @Param2 )

IF( @ReturnedValue = @Something )


    --Do This Stuff


One does by this method:

DECLARE @ReturnedValue INT

EXEC    @ReturnedValue = StoredProcedure @Param1, @Param2

IF( @ReturnedValue = @Something )


    --Do This Stuff


I just have to remember the order. I suppose it makes sense when I see it, but I forget when it's time to type it. It's just too easy to get mixed up with Function format.

Thursday, August 24, 2006 5:50:34 PM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, August 23, 2006

We always want to take advantage of Rick Strahl's time in the northwest. He's a fabulous presenter and really knows his stuff when it comes to programming ASP. He'll be heading home to Hawaii next month, so don't miss this opportunity to see him one more time!

WHAT: August PADNUG Meeting

Wednesday 08/30/2006
6:00 p.m. Pizza (by Microsoft)
6:30 p.m. Presentation

WHERE: PCC Auditorium at Capital Center
18640 NW Walker Road
Beaverton, Oregon
The auditorium is in room 1508 through entrance B. There is a $2 parking fee. The kiosk for paying for parking is located between entrances B and C.

Rick Strahl
Rick Strahl is president of West Wind Technologies on Maui, Hawaii. The company specializes in Web and distributed application development, training and tools with focus on ASP.NET and .NET in general. Rick is author of West Wind Web Connection, a powerful and widely used Web application framework, West Wind HTML Help Builder and West Wind Web Store and Business Framework for .NET and Visual FoxPro. He also collaborates with Kevin McNeish on the Mere Mortals Framework for .NET. Rick is a Microsoft C# MVP, a frequent contributor to magazines and books and speaks frequently at professional developer conferences all over the world. He is co-publisher and co-editor of CoDe magazine. In the summer months, Rick spends his time in beautiful Hood River, Oregon to play on the river, forests and mountains.


Taking ATLAS for a ride
This session presents ATLAS, Microsoft's new client side/AJAX extension for ASP.NET slanted for release as an Add-on for ASP.NET 2.0 later this year. ATLAS introduces a rich framework for remote scripting with a wide variety of tools and approaches available to build rich client applications. In this session he'll overview the features available in the framework and show business oriented examples of how to utilize the various features. We'll look at the server centric approach with ATLAS Server controls like UpdatePanel, and a client centric approach relying on core ATLAS network features and the client side ATLAS framework and contrast the two approaches.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 7:58:07 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [0]
# Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Not surprisingly, with the fabulous, big Code Camp event last month, there wasn't a place for having a Nerd Dinner. Heavens, we had enough food, fun, and geeking out that day to last until the next month!

Well, guess what? The next month has arrived!

We're going to kick it off early this month and finally get back to the West side of town for one. Heck, it's been four months since we visited Washington Square - we can only hope that they have found other business to keep them running while we've been away.

What: Portland Nerd Dinner
Where: Washington Square Food Court (Second Floor; typically, straight out from Picture People)
When: Wednesday, August 9, starting around 6:30 PM
Why: To keep the food court at Washington Square afloat!

Be There and Be Square!

Wednesday, August 2, 2006 12:32:40 AM (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)  #    Comments [1]