# Saturday, 09 August 2014

The Thrawn Trilogy consists of 3 novels: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command. The books tell a story that takes place in a galaxy far away, a long time ago. But it is not as long ago as the events of the 6 Star Wars movies. The story begins a few years after the the Rebel victory at the Battle of Endor at the conclusion of Return of the Jedi. Although the Endor conflict and its aftermath left the Empire weakened and resulted in the deaths of Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader, The Empire still maintains a formidable navy commanded by Grand Admiral Thrawn, a brilliant military tactician.

Han Solo and Princess Leia are now married and Leia is pregnant with their twins. Thrawn, in his quest to re-establish the Empire, enlists the services of Joruus C'baoth, the insane clone of a dead Jedi master, who is intent on enslaving Luke, Leia, and Leia's twins (the last of the Jedi line) and establishing himself as galactic dictator.

The rebels match wits with Thrawn across multiple planets, the battles flowing in favor of each in turn. Both sides try to enlist the help of neutral parties, such as a guild of smugglers led by Talon Karrde and the Noghri, a race tricked into decades of servitude by Darth Vader and the Empire. In the final book, our heroic rebels face off directly against Thrawn and C'baoth for control of the known galaxy.

These books are part of the Star Wars Expanded Universe (EU), the name given to books, games, and other media that describe the events of the Star Wars universe. Although LucasFilms recently announced that expanded universe stories are no longer considered canon, it is still fun to follow the further adventures of Luke, Leia, Han, Lando, C-3PO, and R2-D2. Zahn stays true to the characters created by Lucas. He also introduces fascinating new characters, such as Karrde, Thrawn, Mara Jade, and others, who appear in later EU stories.

Along the way, Zahn weaves an exciting tale of action and intrigue, loyalty, and betrayal. It's not the most intellectually stimulating tale but it is loads of fun. Like an unexpected visit from old freinds.

Saturday, 09 August 2014 14:33:48 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, 04 August 2014
Monday, 04 August 2014 18:08:18 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)

8/3
Today I am grateful I was able to complete a lot of work around my house yesterday.

8/2
Today I am grateful for a few days without the pressure of driving hundreds of miles.

8/1
Today I am grateful for
Finally getting my electrical account straightened out
Finally getting my parking pass at my new apartment
Random Packer fans who showed me around Lambeau yesterday.
7/31
Today I am grateful for the chance to visit 3 great user groups in northern Wisconsin over the past 3 days.

7/30
Today I am grateful for drinks at The Lazy Monk, lunch at Taco Juanita, and conversation at The Green Mill - 3 great places to hang out in Eau Claire, WI.

7/29
Today I am grateful for my first trip to Eau Claire, WI.

7/28
2 nights ago, I slept on the floor and got very little sleep. Today I am grateful for the air mattress on which I slept last night.

7/27
Today I am grateful for my new home.

7/26
Today I am grateful to be invited to my first MGX conference and for the free Lady Gaga concert last night..

7/25
Today I am grateful for free lattes and free Dove bars.

7/24
Today I am grateful for all the people I met on my team at the DX dinner last night.

7/23
Today I am grateful for a visit to the amazing Georgia Aquarium last night.

7/22
Today I am grateful I attended my first Atlanta Braves home game last night.

7/21
Today I am grateful for my first trip to Atlanta in about 10 years.

7/20
Today I am grateful for a fresh start. And a chance to take back control of my life.

7/19
Today I am grateful that I found my drivers license, which has been missing for a week.

7/18
Today I am grateful for 2 great user group audiences in Indiana this week.

7/17
Today I am grateful to see young people getting excited about software development.

7/16
Today I am grateful to spend time with my mother for the first time since the death of my father.

7/15
Today I am grateful that I am starting to get rid of all the crap I've accumulated over the decades.

7/14
Today I am grateful for: 1. Attending the 125th anniversary Mass at St. Henry - my old church in Kentucky. 2. Lunch with Gary Desmarais and Patricia Desmarais. 3. Visiting my cousin Susan Jean Kight. 4. Surviving 2 severe thunderstorms on the drive home.

7/13
Today I am grateful to the organizers of #Codestock, who put on a great conference and allowed me to be a part of it.

7/12
Today I am grateful for the 50 years my sister Denise spent with us before she passed away, 5 years ago today.

7/11
Today I am grateful for my first #Codestock in 4 years and for time spent with old friends last night.

7/10
Today I am grateful for: 1. Great sandwiches and amazing potato pancakes at Izzy's in northern Kentucky. 2. A great audience at the Nashville Microsoft Azure Users Group. 3. Seeing Kent Fehribach for the first time in a year 4. Dinner and sidewalk music in downtown Nashville last night with Brian Sherwin and Kent.

7/9
Today I am grateful for lunch with Jeeva and for watching soccer with my son Tim.

7/8
Today I am grateful for an unexpected extra day at home between trips to help me recharge.

7/7
Today I am grateful to spend the holiday weekend with family in California.

Monday, 04 August 2014 01:05:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Thursday, 31 July 2014

Recently, I recorded an interview with Greg Levenhagen about the Beerology Windows 8 app he helped build. This interview is available on the DevRadio podcasat and below.

Thursday, 31 July 2014 13:43:39 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, 29 July 2014
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 01:07:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, 21 July 2014
Monday, 21 July 2014 19:02:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, 14 July 2014
Monday, 14 July 2014 05:52:42 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, 07 July 2014
Monday, 07 July 2014 05:23:41 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)

7/6
Today I am grateful for the hospitality and generosity of my cousin Sharon and her family, who shared their San Rafael home with us this week.

7/5
Today I am grateful for an afternoon watching the Oakland A's win in walk-off fashion yesterday with Tim Giard and cousin Billy.

7/4
Today I am grateful for my first trip to California in 6 years.

7/3
Today I am grateful for a successful apartment search yesterday.

7/2
Today I am grateful for:
1. Running into old friends yesterday
2. A good night's sleep last night
3. Staying close to home most of June before the crazy travel month of July.

7/1
Today I am grateful to my friend Mike for taking the time yesterday to teach me about Azure Notification Hubs.

6/30
Today I am grateful for a strong end to the first Fiscal Year with me on the inside.

6/29
Today I'm excited that I've had the chance to meet so many entrepreneurs the past couple months. Their energy is contagious!

6/28
Today I am grateful for a few hours hanging out yesterday in my hometown of Grosse Pointe, MI.

6/27
Today I am grateful I could spend yesterday evening with my son Tim.

6/26
Today I am grateful I had a chance to spend yesterday afternoon with Nick Giard before he returned to Florida this morning.

6/25
Today I am grateful for my teammates, who often go out of their way to support one another.

6/24
Today I am grateful I have the opportunity to work from home when it makes sense.

6/23
Today I am grateful by the overwhelming choice of videos I can watch whenever I have free time.

6/22
Today I am grateful for some extra sleep this weekend to make up for the last few weeks.

6/21
Today I am grateful for a combined birthday/Father's Day dinner celebration last night with my boys.

6/20
Today I am grateful I finally got my car fixed after being unable to open my trunk for a month.

6/19
Today I am grateful for the Great Lakes Area .NET User Group. Volunteering the past 6 years has been a great experience! I will miss you guys!  #‎MIGANG‬

6/18
Today I am grateful for a week full of user groups and other dev community stuff!

6/17
Today I am grateful to all those who missed the USA-Ghana World Cup game last night to hear me talk about Azure Mobile Services at the Windows Developer Group in Columbus.

6/16
Today I am grateful I could spend Father's Day with my 2 favourite people - Nick Giard and Tim Giard - at the Tigers game yesterday. (and a walk-off RBI)

6/15
Today I am grateful for
1. The example set and the lessons taught by my father.
2. The privilege of being a father to my 2 boys who have grown into excellent young me.

6/14
Today I am grateful for
1. Sushi with my boys
2. Technical assistance from a friend.

6/13
Today I am grateful my son found a summer job yesterday.

6/12
Today I am grateful for a successful Dev Day yesterday in Columbus - our final first-party event of FY14.

6/11
Today I am grateful I could spend time yesterday with my boys and I got to meet Nick's girlfriend for the first time..

6/10
Today I am grateful my son's car trouble was easily repaired.

6/9
Today I am grateful for the network of smart people I find myself surrounded by.

6/8
Today I am grateful to the organizers and attendees of the Pittsburgh TechFest for making me feel welcome here. ‪#‎pghtechfest‬

6/7
Today I am grateful for dinner and an evening with Randy and Pam in Pittsburgh. It has been too long.

6/6
Today I am grateful to see my son Nick yesterday for the first time in months and to share dinner with both my boys last night.

6/5
Today I am grateful for a full day yesterday and a chance to meet so many new people.

6/4
Today I am grateful for
1. Lunch with an old friend I haven't seen in years
2. A chance to clear the air
3. The enthusiasm in the audience last night for my Azure talk at The Factory Co-Working space in GR.

6/3
Today I am grateful to my brother Doug, who found and fixed up a used car for my son.

6/2
Today I am grateful to Peter Ritchie and Susan Yount, who said nice things about me in public.

Monday, 07 July 2014 00:21:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, 30 June 2014