Scott Rutz on Dapr

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Episode 741

Scott Rutz on Dapr

Scott Rutz describes how to use Distributed Application Runtime (Dapr) building blocks to simplify your microservices applications. 

Episode 740

Mike Shelton on Data Lakehouses

A Data Lakehouse combines the advantages of a Data Warehouse and a Data Lake. Mike Shelton discusses this technology and how to use it.

Episode 739

Jimmy Bogard on Vertical Slice Architecture and MediatR

A few years ago, Jimmy Bogard become frustrated with building and maintaining applications that partition components horizontally. He found that separating application code along vertical lines reduced the complexity and rigidity of his applications. He discusses this pattern and MediatR - the open-source tool he created to facilitate Vertical Slice Architecture.




February 2023 Gratitudes

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Today I am grateful for all I learned about Kubernetes over the past 2 weeks.

Today I am grateful for a new countertop combination toaster oven / air fryer / convection oven.

Today I am grateful to be a guest on the Visual Studio Toolbox show last night.

Today I am grateful to pass 700 subscribers to my shows "Technology and Friends" and "GCast."

Today I am grateful to talk with Matt yesterday for the first time in years.

Today I am grateful to see a musical production of "Wuthering Heights" last night at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.

Today I am grateful to see the Tannahill Weavers in concert last night.

Today I am grateful to have friends over to watch the Super Bowl yesterday.

Today I am grateful for dinner with my son last night

Today I am grateful for the outpouring of support for those affected by the shooting at Michigan State University.

Today I am grateful to see Ana Popovic in concert last night.

Today I am grateful for:

  • a successful surgery for Marlene
  • a conversation with Betsy yesterday

Today I am grateful to go to Andy's Jazz Club with John and Kim last night

Today I am grateful for a birthday conversation with my brother across the International Date Line

Today I am grateful

-to attend a memorial service for Ed yesterday -to see Denny Laine in concert last night

Today I am grateful to see Dave Mason in concert last night.


Today I am grateful to be a guest on the Visual Studio Toolbox show. 2/23
Today I am grateful for lunch with my sons yesterday

Today I am grateful to pass the AZ-204 exam

Today I am grateful to replace the batteries in my smoke detector.

Today I am grateful to visit Marline in the hospital yesterday.

Today I am grateful to edit a bunch of videos last week.

Today I am grateful for a fresh haircut.

Today I am grateful to work with a partner on-site this week.

Today I am grateful

  • to all who sent me kind birthday wishes yesterday
  • for dinner with Mike and Travis
  • to see Drunk Shakespeare last night at the Lion Theater

Today I am grateful to celebrate my birthday last night with some of my favourite people by seeing 1776: The Musical.

Today I am grateful that the predicted severe storm mostly missed us yesterday.

Today I am grateful to see Elle King in concert last night.

Drunk Shakespeare performing MacbethI have walked past the Lion Theater on Wabash Street hundreds of town without noticing the entrance, the sign above it, or the play inside.

Finally, I made my way inside to see "Drunk Shakespeare."

The premise: A group of actors perform a play by William Shakespeare. They switch between a faithful adaptation of the bard's script and off-color humor. The twist is that one of the performers publicly downs four shots of whisky before the play begins. He drinks a few more during the night, becoming progressively more drunk and sloppy. "You cannot spell 'bard' without 'bar'," announces the Master of Ceremonies.

Tonight's performance more or less followed WS's script for "Macbeth"; but the cast interjected plenty of jokes into the mix.

Drunk Shakespeare performing MacbethThe performers often break the figurative fourth wall, interacting with the audience, sometimes flirting or telling raunchy jokes. This was easy to do as the audience sat on benches along the long narrow stage, making it difficult to separate the performers from the observers.

The show was funny enough without adding the gimmick of one drunk actor. It was one more joke, and while amusing, it was far from the funniest part of the evening. I am not convinced that he was consuming alcohol. The shots he downed could have been anything. But a schtick is a schtick, and this one did not detract from the show.

"Drunk Shakespeare" is part scripted, part improv, and all fun.

I enjoyed this show more than I expected I would.

GCast 143:

Invite External Users to Azure Active Directory

You can allow users outside your organization to access your Azure Active Directory resources without the need to manage their accounts. This video shows you how to invite external users.

Episode 737

Kira Soderstrom on Power Platform

Kira Soderstrom describes how to build low-code solutions using Microsoft's Power Platform.


Power Platform Training Material:


Power Platform Learning Resources and Customer Success Stories:


PowerUp Online and Interactive Training Resources for Canvas Apps:


Power Platform Admin Documentation:


Power Platform Center of Excellence Overview:


The Tannahill Weavers The Tannahill Weavers have been performing for 55 years. Dozens of musicians have come and gone over the years, but the two consistent members have been Roy Gullane on guitar and lead vocals; and Phil Smillie on various woodwind instruments. Saturday night at the Old Town School of Folk Music, they were joined by Malcolm Bushby on fiddle and Iain MacGillivray, who rotated between woodwind, fiddle, and bagpipes.

The Weavers have recorded some modern music over the years, but this concert consisted primarily of traditional Celtic songs - mostly from their native Scotland. Some of the music was written in the past century, but it still had a classic feel to it. They played jigs and ballads and reels, alternating between instrumentals and vocal compositions - many of which showed off the band's tight harmonies.

Roy Gullane took center stage, singing lead on most songs and chatting with the audience. He joked about the pleasantness of bagpipes and his younger romantic self. But it was MacGillivray who stole the shoe with his impressive bagpipe playing. This was the first time I had seen a bagpiper up close, and his melodies and rapid finger impressed me.

The show felt more intimate than most shows at the Old Town. The band performed in Szold Hall, which is much smaller than Maurer Hall, where most visiting artists perform.


Other bands have worked to keep Celtic music alive, but few have done so as long or as well as The Weavers.

Wuthering Heights cast I was unprepared when my friend took me to The Chicago Shakespeare Theatre Friday evening to see "Wuthering Heights."

I knew the Emile Bronte novel from reading it years ago. I remember very little of the 1939 William Wyler movie I saw decades ago. But I knew the story. Adopted Heathcliff, abused by his family and neighbors and haunted by the loss of his love, descends into madness and mistreats his own family in his quest for revenge. It is a dark tragedy that takes place on the depressing moors of northern England.

I was not expecting a musical.

This production by the UK's Wise Children Theatre Company is filled with song and dance. But, while the music entertains, the story retains the darkness of the source material.

Although this night's show elevated several understudies, I witnessed excellent performances! Ricardo Castro was brilliant as Heathcliff. We believe he was consumed by his anger and haunted by his lost love.

Among the regular cast, Georgia Bruce stands out in her portrayal of Heathcliff's abused wife Isabella, their sickly son Linton, and one of a group who portray the 18th-century Yorkshire moors.

In this adaptation, playwright and director Emma Rice omitted the character of Nelly, who served as a housekeeper and narrator of much of the story in the novel. Instead, she opted to bring to life the moors, casting multiple actors to speak, listen, sing, and dance as they advance the narrative. This technique works. The anthropomorphic moors frequently break the fourth wall to make sense of a plethora of characters, subplots, and deaths.


The entire performance exceeded my expectations.

Mavis Staples Mavis Staples is growing old. She turned 83 last year and has neither the energy nor the vocal range that made her famous in her youth.

But she pours into her performance all the energy that she has. She did so Saturday night at a sold-out Symphony Center. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra usually performs at this venue. However, Staples took the stage this night, accompanied only by a drummer, bass, guitarist, and two backing singers.

Inglewood native repeatedly told the delighted audience, "It's good to be home."

Although fans in the crowd cried out for "The Weight" and "I'll Take You There," Mavis skipped those songs. Still, the sold-out crowd loved her musical selection, as she mixed blues, soul, gospel, and R&B. My favourites were "Respect Yourself" and her version of The Talking Heads' "Slippery People."

Between each song, Mavis relaxed, sipped her tea, and gathered her strength before throwing herself into the following number.

There was no encore, but it was an entertaining evening. Even the warmup band (blues singer/guitarist Celisse) was excellent. Mavis Staples is a national treasure, and I am happy I finally had the chance to see her live.



Episode 735

Jeffrey Miller on Building a Second Brain

Tiago Forte's book "Building a Second Brain" describes how to manage the flood of information we consume each day. Jeffrey Miller discusses the principles and practical applications of Forte's framework.

January 2023 Gratitudes

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Today I am grateful for some time off over the holidays and a chance to work on some non-work things.

Today I am grateful for a new power supply in my computer

Today I am grateful my chiropractor was able to see and treat me on short notice

Today I am grateful to attend an exciting Bulls - Nets game with my son last night.

Today I am grateful to replace the battery in my car key fob

Today I am grateful my replacement CPAP machine arrived

Today I am grateful to see "Improvised Jane Austen" at iO Theater last night.

Today I am grateful my back pain is finally subsiding after two weeks

Today I am grateful to arrive safely in Sandusky, OH.

Today I am grateful to Chris for a place to stay this week.

Today I am grateful to see so many old friends this week.

Today I am grateful for those who say nice things about me in public.

Today I am grateful to the organizers of #Codemash, their willingness to adapt, and their transparency toward the attendees.

Today I am grateful for my new electric kettle.

Today I am grateful to see "The Ripple, The Wave That Carried Me Home" at the Goodman Theatre last night.

Today I am grateful to see the Sheryl Youngblood band perform at SPACE last night.

Today I am grateful for a long conversation with an old friend last night

Today I am grateful:

-for lunch with my team to welcome the new guy

-to Jason for answering my questions about book publishing

Today I am grateful for lunch with Michael yesterday

Today I am grateful that I am still employed.

Today I am grateful to see John Ondrasik, a.k.a. Five for Fighting in concert last night.

Today I am grateful to schedule a bunch of interviews with smart people for my show over the next few weeks

Today I am grateful for a new wireless mouse and keyboard.

Today I am grateful to stay at home when the weather is bad.

Today I am grateful to see Patty Griffin in concert last night.

Today I am grateful for a bunch of minor repairs on my car.

Today I am grateful that the gym in my building is open again after being closed for 3 years.

Today I am grateful to see "Chicago - The Musical" from the front row of the CIBC Theatre yesterday.

Today I am grateful to deliver a virtual presentation at the SpartaHacks hackathon at Michigan State University.

Today I am grateful for exactly 5 years in my current home.

Today I am grateful for drinks with Dan and a group of MVPs last night.

Today I am grateful to see a live recording of "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" last night at the Studebaker Theatre.

Today I am grateful to see Spafford in concert last night.


Today I am grateful to see Mavis Staples in concert last night.

When John Ondrasik signed with EMI Records in 1995, the record label convinced him to release his music under the name "Five for Fighting". They were convinced the era of the singer-songwriter had passed and wanted a name that sounded like a band.

EMI's American label folded shortly after the Five for Fighting's first album, but Ondrasik kept the stage name. 

On Saturday night at Evanston's SPACE, Ondrasik appeared under his real name. He was alone on stage, accompanied only by his guitar and piano.

Ondrasik announced that he would take requests and play any song that he could remember. Immediately, multiple audience members shouted for his 2003 hit song "100 Years". He replied, "If I play 100 Years now, it will be the earliest I have ever played it in a concert." He sat down and played it right away. The audience loved it, and Ondrasik joked, "I hope everyone doesn't leave now."

They did not leave, and the singer-songwriter entertained them for over two hours, drawing on his catalog of six studio albums. At 58, his voice still retains the great range that appealed to adult contemporary radio audiences in the 1990s.

In between songs, he told stories of his life. He explained how much he enjoys playing "100 Years," - a song describing changing feelings as one ages. "When I wrote the song," he explained, "I was in the second verse. Now I'm in the bridge."

Ondrasik has a passion for supporting American soldiers. He has performed for the troops many times and written songs about military struggles in Afghanistan and Ukraine. He spoke on this topic for some time during the show. It was an interruption in the music, but his passion held the audience. After his speech, he presented a slideshow of his recent trip to Ukraine while he performed "Can One Man Save the World?" - a tribute to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is currently fighting the Russians invading his country.

His SPACE performance was not part of a tour. Ondrasik was in town to see the premiere of "Last Out" at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre - a play about a green beret attempting to rescue those left behind after America withdrew from Afghanistan. He decided to schedule a solo show while in the area. 

Chicagoland was fortunate on this night.

GCast 139:

Creating a JWT Bearer Token with Azure Active Directory

A Bearer Token provides information to an API request about an account from a trusted authority. Azure Active Directory can serve as a trusted authority to authenticate an account and provide a Bearer Token in JSON Web Token (JWT) format. This video shows how to accomplish this.

Episode 733

Eric Lawrence on Web Browser Complexity

A web browser is a complex application built on millions of lines of code. Eric Lawrence describes how they work and why you should care.

Is it ever ok to lie? What if your lie brings comfort to those around you? And, if so, is it ok to benefit from the lie?

"Dear Evan Hansen" addresses these questions with a clever script and beautiful music.

This moral dilemma faces high school senior Evan Hansen, who writes a letter to himself, which is found in the pocket of Connor Murphy after Connor commits suicide. Connor's family assumes that Evan and Connor were best friends. Evan does not deny it - partly because he sees how much this means to the family, partly because he sees an opportunity for a family he never knew.

Friday evening's performance of DEH at Chicago's brought all the emotion of Evan's predicament. Anthony Norman brings a sensitivity to the title character. The audience believes his painfully shy awkwardness and the pain it causes him. And they believe his transformation as he gains self-confidence with reinforcement from others. And they feel the pain when he suffers the consequences of his actions.

And then, there is the music - a collection of beautiful, often melancholy songs by  Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who also collaborated on the "La La Land" soundtrack. Norman and the rest of the cast show impressive vocal range and style range in their deliveries.

"Dear Evan Hansen" is a tragic tale of the consequences of well-intentioned lying.

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