# Monday, 15 May 2017
Monday, 15 May 2017 13:49:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Sunday, 14 May 2017

I was told there would be corn. I did not see one ear of corn.

Last week, I made my first visit ever to Iowa. In 3 days, I drove over 500 miles from Chicago to Dubuque to Cedar Falls to Cedar Rapids to Iowa City to Des Moines.  Between 6PM Monday and 8PM Wednesday (just 50 hours), I spoke at 4 user groups ion 4 different cities

This trip came about as my friend Javier and I were chatting online recently about upcoming speaking opportunities. He invited me to speak at his user group in Des Moines and I asked if he could connect me with other groups in Iowa.

20170508_192641

I entered Iowa by crossing the Mississippi from Illinois at Dubuque and I was surprised by the landscape. Cliffs rose along the river and and rolling hills marked the landscape for miles on either side. This contradicted my mental image of Iowa as hundreds of miles of flat prairie and farmland.

The Dubuque group was small but engaged. I talked about Cognitive Services, which is an exciting technology and fun to talk about. The only issue I had was the at Microsoft changed the Cognitive Services web site the day before m presentation and I found it difficult to find some of the features I wanted to show off.

Tuesday morning, I drove to Dyersville, IA to see the site where the 1989 film Field of Dreams was filmed. The Lansing family still owns the farm and continues to maintain the iconic baseball field carved out of the corn field by Kevin Costner. They built it; I came.

20170509_094823_Pano

I continued for a lunchtime presentation on Angular and TypeScript at the Cedar Valley .NET User Group in Cedar Falls. This was another small group, but I enjoyed it - in part because it was held in the back room of a restaurant that served excellent pizza.

Tuesday evening found me in Cedar Rapids for the CRINETA group, where I give another presentation on Cognitive Services. The room was full as the organizers cross-promoted with the local SQL PASS user group.

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Wednesday morning, I stopped in Iowa City for lunch near the University of Iowa before heading west toward Des Moines. This was the most stressful part of the trip as I drove through a driving rainstorm surrounded by semi trucks.

But I arrived in Des Moines for the Iowa .NET User Group and spoke to a packed room on Angular and TypeScript.

I delivered the following presentations at the following user groups in the following cities:

Date User Group City
Mon May 8 Dubuque .NET Software Development User Group Dubuque
Tue May 9 (noon) Cedar Valley .NET User Group Cedar Falls
Tue May 9 (evening) CRINETA Cedar Rapids
Wed May 9 Iowa .NET User Group Des Moines

It was a great experience and I enjoyed meeting people and engaging local developer communities and seeing the sites and driving across the prairie.

Now, I have to return when the corn is in season.

Sunday, 14 May 2017 13:54:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, 08 May 2017
Monday, 08 May 2017 13:58:38 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Sunday, 07 May 2017

5/7
Today I am grateful for:
-My son Tim graduating from Indiana University yesterday
-Guy King concert last night at Buddy Guy's Legends with Kevin Remde

5/6
Today I am grateful for dinner last night with Ondrej and J.

5/5
Today I am grateful to complete all the paperwork on my car yesterday.

5/4
Today I am grateful for dinner with Hadi last night.

5/3
Today I am grateful for:
-dinner last night at Untitled Supper Club
-a chance to meet Java developers from all over the world

5/2
Today I am grateful for my first time speaking at GoTo Chicago

5/1
Today I am grateful for:
-My first visit to the Baha'i temple in Wilmette yesterday
-Drinks last night with Bryan and other out-of-state Azure experts planning a workshop in Chicago tomorrow.

4/30
Today I am grateful for dinner, drinks, and fellowship last night in Kalamazoo, MI with old friends - especially Jim Holmes.

4/29
Today I am grateful to complete a project yesterday working with an excellent startup for the past 2 months.

4/28
Today I am grateful for tacos 3 days in a row!

4/27
Today I am grateful for dinner last night at Mercadito with teammates from around the country.

4/26
Today I am grateful for an internal hackathon to practice writing a full application.

4/25
Today I am grateful for dinner last night with Shahed, Sarah, and Ross.

4/24
Today I am grateful for:
-breakfast yesterday with Derek
-lunch yesterday with Lee

4/23
Today I am grateful for:
-My first time speaking at the Twin Cities Code Camp
-My 5th time at the Global Azure Boot Camp

4/22
Today I am grateful for my new car.

4/21
Today, I am grateful to Dan, who delivered an excellent presentation on health care data yesterday at UIUC and made me look good for inviting him.

4/20
Today I am grateful to the organizers, volunteers, speakers, and panelists who made the first Chicago Machine Learning Venture Capital Summit a success.

4/19
Today I am grateful for my first workshop at DePaul University

4/18
Today I am grateful to Mike, Mitch, and Lance for organizing & speaking at the Visual Studio Best of Launch event yesterday.

4/17
Today I am grateful to have my sons in town for Easter weekend.

4/16
Today I am grateful that God sent his only son to redeem us all.

4/15
Today I am grateful for coffee with Dave and Bobbi this morning.

4/14
Today I am grateful to see Eric Church in concert last night.

4/13
Today I am grateful for 2 user groups in 1 night.

4/12
Today I am grateful for lunch with Hao yesterday.

4/11
Today I am grateful for:
-Dinner with Tim last night
-The mechanic who quickly fixed my car yesterday and only charged me $20.

4/10
Today I am grateful for a weekend mini-vacation in Madison, WI.

4/9
Today I am grateful for a walk and drive around Lake Mendota yesterday.

4/8
Today I am grateful for all the people I met at dinner last night in Madison.

4/7
Today I am grateful to those who taught me and inspired me to learn more and do more.

4/6
Today I am grateful to speak at MadDotNet for the first time yesterday.

4/5
Today I am grateful that there is always something new to learn.

4/4
Today I am grateful for lunch with Aalap yesterday.

4/3
Today I am grateful to spend the weekend in East Lansing with some of my oldest friends, celebrating Patrick's retirement.

Sunday, 07 May 2017 16:08:52 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Friday, 05 May 2017

Yesterday, I showed how to automatically generate lorem ipsum text in a Word document. While this is useful for showing what a document layout will look like with text in the appropriate places, you may prefer actual English words to the pseudo-language of lorem ipsum.

To generate paragraphs of English text, enter the following on an empty line of your document

=rand()

Press ENTER and the text above will be replaced by the following:

Video provides a powerful way to help you prove your point. When you click Online Video, you can paste in the embed code for the video you want to add. You can also type a keyword to search online for the video that best fits your document.

To make your document look professionally produced, Word provides header, footer, cover page, and text box designs that complement each other. For example, you can add a matching cover page, header, and sidebar. Click Insert and then choose the elements you want from the different galleries.

Themes and styles also help keep your document coordinated. When you click Design and choose a new Theme, the pictures, charts, and SmartArt graphics change to match your new theme. When you apply styles, your headings change to match the new theme.

Save time in Word with new buttons that show up where you need them. To change the way a picture fits in your document, click it and a button for layout options appears next to it. When you work on a table, click where you want to add a row or a column, and then click the plus sign.

Reading is easier, too, in the new Reading view. You can collapse parts of the document and focus on the text you want. If you need to stop reading before you reach the end, Word remembers where you left off - even on another device.

I have confirmed that this works in Word 2016.

Friday, 05 May 2017 14:16:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Thursday, 04 May 2017

Here is a Microsoft Word feature I recently learned.

For sample documents, it is often useful to insert some meaningless text to fill sections of the document. This is especially useful when you are just starting a document and you don't have any content yet, but want to show how the completed document's layout will look. A popular method is to use "lorem ipsum" text filler - paragraphs of nonsense words that have similar word size and letter selections as English.

In Microsoft Word, you can quickly create a section of lorem ipsum text.

Type the following on an empty line of your document and press ENTER:

=lorem()

The entry above will be replaced with the following text, which you may delete or copy-paste to adjust the length.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Maecenas porttitor congue massa. Fusce posuere, magna sed pulvinar ultricies, purus lectus malesuada libero, sit amet commodo magna eros quis urna.

Nunc viverra imperdiet enim. Fusce est. Vivamus a tellus.

Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Proin pharetra nonummy pede. Mauris et orci.

Aenean nec lorem. In porttitor. Donec laoreet nonummy augue.

Suspendisse dui purus, scelerisque at, vulputate vitae, pretium mattis, nunc. Mauris eget neque at sem venenatis eleifend. Ut nonummy.

I am using Word 2016, but this appears to work on older versions as well.

Thursday, 04 May 2017 13:47:19 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, 01 May 2017
Monday, 01 May 2017 11:25:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, 24 April 2017
Monday, 24 April 2017 12:54:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Saturday, 22 April 2017

The next couple months include lots of travel and lots of presentations

Date Event Host Location
Apr 22, 2017 Big Data Solutions in Azure Global Azure Boot Camp Downers Grove, IL
Apr 22, 2017 Adding Image and Voice Intelligence to your apps with Microsoft Cognitive Services Twin Cities Code Camp Bloomington, MN
Apr 29, 2017 Adding Image and Voice Intelligence to your apps with Microsoft Cognitive Services Chicago Code Camp Chicago, IL
May 1, 2017 Cognitive Services and HoloLens GoTo conference Chicago, IL
May 8, 2017 Adding Image and Voice Intelligence to your apps with Microsoft Cognitive Services Dubuque .NET Software Development User Group Dubuque, IA
May 9, 2017 Building Powerful Applications with AngularJS 2 and TypeScript Cedar Valley .NET User Group Cedar Falls, IA
May 9, 2017 Adding Image and Voice Intelligence to your apps with Microsoft Cognitive Services CRIneta : Cedar Rapids .NET User Group Cedar Rapids, IA
May 10, 2017 Building Powerful Applications with AngularJS 2 and TypeScript Iowa .NET User Group Des Moines, IA
May 12, 2017 Keynote: You and Your Tech Community Convergence Detroit, MI
May 20, 2017 Big Data Solutions in Azure Chicago Data Science Conference Chicago, IL
May 25, 2017 Big Data Solutions in Azure IT Camp Cluj-Napoca, Romania
May 25, 2017 Building Powerful Applications with AngularJS 2 and TypeScript IT Camp Cluj-Napoca, Romania
June 1-3, 2017 Adding Image and Voice Intelligence to Your Apps with Microsoft Cognitive Services Music City Code Nashville, TN
June 1-3, 2017 Big Data Solutions in Azure Music City Code Nashville, TN
June 1-3, 2017 Own Your Own Career - Advice from a Veteran Consultant Music City Code Nashville, TN
Jun 6, 2017 Adding Image and Voice Intelligence to your apps with Microsoft Cognitive Services Xamarin University Online
June 8-9, 2017 Adding Image and Voice Intelligence to Your Apps with Microsoft Cognitive Services DevSum Stockholm, Sweden
June 28, 2017 Building Powerful Applications with AngularJS 2 and TypeScript Node Indy Indianapolis, IN
Jul 10-12, 2017 The Hitchhiker's Guide to Azure Mobile Apps Detroit.Code() Detroit, MI
Jul 10-12, 2017 Big Data Solutions in Azure Detroit.Code() Detroit, MI
Aug 3-4, 2017 Effective Data Visualization KCDC Kansas City, MO
Aug 3-4, 2017 Building Powerful Applications with AngularJS 2 and TypeScript KCDC Kansas City, MO
Sep 20, 2017 Big Data Solutions in Azure VS Live Chicago, IL
Sep 20, 2017 Building Powerful Applications with AngularJS 2 and TypeScript VS Live Chicago, IL
Saturday, 22 April 2017 10:57:07 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, 17 April 2017
Monday, 17 April 2017 08:28:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)