# Monday, 03 March 2014
Monday, 03 March 2014 22:19:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Sunday, 02 March 2014

3/2
Today I am grateful for all the kind birthday wishes yesterday.

3/1
Today I am grateful I made it safely to Columbus last night, despite driving while exhausted.

2/28
Today I am grateful to see so many old friends and to meet so many new people this week.

2/27
Today I am grateful for the amazing job that @ChadGreen and his team did in making my first CodePaLOUsa a great success. #cpl14

2/26
Today I am grateful I was able to finish all the training, scheduling, expense reports, travel booking and other required administrivia yesterday so I can now focus on important things.

2/25
Today I am grateful that I am attending CodePaLOUSa for the first time.

2/24
Today I am grateful for audiobooks, which make a long drive more pleasant.

2/23
Today I am grateful for a trip back to Louisville, KY.

2/22
Today I am grateful for a couple days at home to catch up on things.

2/21
Today I am grateful I was able to spend half the week in and around my old Kentucky home.

2/20
Today I am grateful for 1. Lunch with my old friend Patricia Desmarais 2. A packed classroom last night for my workshop at the University of Cincinnati. 3. Reality Tuesday Coffee House in Park Hills, KY. 4. The opportunity to know Jim Weirich and those whose lives he touched these past few years.

2/19
Today I am grateful for 1. Spending an afternoon with my son Nick. 2. A front-row ticket to the Louisville-USF game 3. Lunch with Jonathan Hunt whom I haven't seen in over a year 4. Skyline Chili

2/18
Today I am grateful for a successful workshop last night. It was the first time I demoed App Studio.

2/17
Today I am grateful to learn something new every day.

2/16
Today I am grateful for the opportunity to be a Lector and Eucharistic Minister at St. Francis Catholic Church these past 10 years. Today is my last scheduled day as a Lector.

2/15
Today I am grateful for 1. A great crowd to hear my presentation at Avanade. 2. Discovering, on my way out of Chicago, that downtown Portillo's has a drive thru.

2/14
Today I am grateful to John for last night's basketball ticket and to Patrick and Susan for a place to stay last night.

2/13
Today I am grateful for 1. Great student groups who came out to hear me yesterday at the University of Toledo and at Eastern Michigan University 2. Lunch with my old team in Toledo.

2/12
Today I am grateful for the anticipation of a full day.

2/11
Today I am grateful for the flexibility to attend conference calls while sitting in my living room, sipping coffee in my pajamas.

2/10
Today I am grateful that I found 3 unused gift cards in my desk.

2/9
Today I am grateful for a night in my own bed and a chance to catch up on things at home.

2/8
Today I am grateful for: 1. Lunch with Joseph Guadagno and his brother; 2. A Coyotes hockey game last night; 3. An unexpected Alice Cooper concert between periods

2/7
Today I am grateful that my recent travels have allowed me to avoid a couple weeks of sub-freezing temperatures back home.

2/6
Today I am grateful for my cousin Sharon, whose positive attitude in the face of ovarian cancer and chemotherapy is humbling.

2/5
Today I am grateful that my mother is heading home after weeks in a hospital and a rehab center following her recent back injury.

2/4
Today I am grateful for the diversity of cultures, colors, and ideas that makes my country great.

2/3
Today I am grateful for the opportunity to pay off a large amount of sleep debt the past 2 nights.

Sunday, 02 March 2014 16:00:56 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Here's something I just learned.

You can take a screen capture of a your Windows 8 phone by simultaneously pressing the Windows Home key (at the bottom center, on the front of the phone) power button (at the center of the right edge on my phone). When the screen is captured, you will hear the sound of a camera shutter, similar to when you take a photograph. For me, it usually takes several attempts in order to hold down the buttons simultaneously.

PhoneScreenCapture-Fig1

After you take the screen capture, you will find the captured image in the phone’s Photos application – in an album titled “Screenshots”.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014 21:21:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Tuesday, 25 February 2014

I've never found a Windows 8 Twitter client that I like (I've been using the default web site or the in-browser Tweetdeck), but I've been giving Tweetium a try and I like it. It allows you to view your timeline; "Connect" tweets - directed about or to you; "News" tweets - tweets on popular topics; Direct Messages; and each of your Lists. The interface is intuitive and I displays many tweets at once, including attached twitpics.

Today's "News" section features tweets about comedian Harold Ramis, who passed away yesterday, including many by his friends.

My favourite feature is when you click an embedded hyperlink, it launches Internet explorer in two-thirds-screen docked mode, but keeps Tweetium on left third of the screen, so you can still see your tweet and maintain your current position in the Twitter list.

I'm testing the free trial version, but you can upgrade to the full version for $2.99.

Links

TweetiumOnSurface[1]

Tuesday, 25 February 2014 07:28:50 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Monday, 24 February 2014
Monday, 24 February 2014 18:01:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Saturday, 22 February 2014

I didn't know Jim Weirich well. But I knew of him. And I knew the impact he had on others.

Those of us who have been engaged in the community could not help but be aware of Jim.

Jim had a reputation as an excellent Ruby developer; but, more than that, he had a reputation for sharing his knowledge with others. At conferences, he would explain Ruby concepts to experienced and novice developers alike and taking the time to make sure you understood it. I first met Jim when I attended his "Ruby Koans" session at CodeMash 5 years ago. Most people worked the Koans in either the morning or the afternoon session, but I was a slow learner and I stayed for the entire day, trying to figure them out. Jim was patient and answered all my newbie questions.

Jim also had a reputation for being friendly to everyone he met. Some people called him "Ruby Santa Claus" - partly because of his large size and his thick white beard, but also because of his quick smile and friendly outlook. I last saw Jim on the final day of CodeMash this past January. Walking past the Neo booth, I shouted "Hi, Jim." He smiled and asked how I was doing. It was a brief interaction, but I'm glad I have this as my final memory of the man who touched so many lives with his smile and his teachings.

We lost Jim earlier this week. He collapsed at work Tuesday evening and died shortly afterward.

To Jim's family and to those  closest to him - especially Joe, Leon, and Doug - I send my prayers and my condolences. To the rest of you, I send this challenge: No matter how well you knew Jim Weirich, take his life as an inspiration to share knowledge and joy with those around you.

IMG_1674-M[1]
Jim Weirich at CodeMash 2009

Saturday, 22 February 2014 14:44:32 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Monday, 17 February 2014
Monday, 17 February 2014 17:01:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Monday, 10 February 2014
Monday, 10 February 2014 23:24:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Tuesday, 04 February 2014

Spelling Champion is the first app written by my former colleague Peter Lu. It makes clever use of the voice API, reading a word and a sample sentence using that word; then asking the student to spell the word with his or her keyboard. It keeps track of right answers and offers a second chance if you get it wrong. The words are simple and aimed at beginning readers.

When I first saw the app, my only criticism was a lack of pictures, which I felt would help to draw the interest of a young child. Peter promised to add this in his next release.

There is a free version and a paid ($2.99) version. The paid version includes many more lessons than the free version.

You can download Spelling Champion from this link and you can read details about the app at http://spellingchampionapp.blogspot.com

Tuesday, 04 February 2014 17:35:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Monday, 03 February 2014
Monday, 03 February 2014 20:35:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)