Aging

Hello, Dr. Jones.Garret P. Vreeland: “Ageism is starting to raise its ugly head – people are judging based on wrinkles and hair color (none) now. That totally sucks. Yet my photography skills are burgeoning, and I’m up to my eyeballs in video and video editing again (yay, FCPX!). Got some good web contracts in as well. Yet I’m not comfortable yet. Goal one for my 57th year – achieve satisfaction.”

Then there’s this from a developer I have a lot of respect for.

A couple years back I went through an interview with a company I’d still love to work for. I didn’t get the gig and to this day I still don’t know why. It’s totally possible I did something completely wrong during my interviews but in the end I was told “You’re a good developer and a great communicator, but you’re not a good fit.” I was crushed. At the time I was in a bad place mentally and physically. A lot going on in life at that point in time. I didn’t handle the rejection well. That is my fault of course, but the only reason I could find that fit was I was too old for their group. Sour grapes I suppose.

I have a feeling getting a gig with Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple will come down to your ability to do the work. I’ve interviewed with Microsoft and worked for them. I’ve interviewed with Apple and didn’t get through the interview. I know for a fact that Google interviews are notoriously difficult to get through.

The best companies hire the best people. I have no doubt James Thomson could work for any of these companies. He’d probably have to prepare for the interview process, but he could do it.

Binge-worthy TV shows

Scripting News: “Shows I loved and highly recommend”

Dave has a pretty big list of shows he’s binge watched. I will definitely be adding many of these to my list.

Here are a few I’ve really enjoyed missing from his list.

  • The Walking Dead
  • Fear The Walking Dead
  • True Detective – Season one is very good
  • Longmire – I’m only into early season four.
  • Stranger Things – So very good

That’s all I can think of for now, I may add some more later.

On Cycling

Slack Blog: “The key to embarking on the journey to an urban cycling life starts with promptly ignoring Captain Spandex and his merry band of avid cyclists. Instead, seek out like-minded individuals who just get on with it and ask for advice about routes. Get a bike — any old bike — and start practicing. On weekends, in the evenings, to get your head around it. Astronauts need fancy gear and training. The rest of us just need practice and encouragement.”

The piece linked above gives great advice to anyone commuting to work on a bicycle, but I love the paragraph I pasted above. There is one thing about Americans that always feels funny when it comes to cycling. I see folks out on their really expensive bikes outfitted with spandex and all the fancy gear for their commute and I wonder why? European bike culture is so far ahead of ours and most commuters wear their work clothes when they ride. Oh, they also tend to ride very simple bicycles. Why is that?

Would you wear a full fireproof suit, helmet, five point harness to drive to work? Not likely. Why get all duded up for a bike commute?

Dream a Little Dream

A wonderful bouquet of flowers.Bitwise Industries: “In downtown alone, hundreds of lofts will become thousands. Eateries will line the streets. Nightlife will spring up. And on Sunday mornings, the thirty-somethings will sit outside sipping coffee from that shop on Fulton Street and tell tales of how people used to scoff at the notion of downtown revitalization.”

I love this vision. I’ve been dreaming of a vibrant Fresno downtown since we moved back from Seattle in 1997. I loved stepping outside the office and having everything within walking distance. Restaurants and shops, so many to choose from. Scores of people going about their business. It was a beautiful experience and I miss it.

If you’re looking to relocate or build you should consider downtown Fresno. There are amazing old buildings everywhere waiting for someone to show them a little TLC and make them wonderful again. If you need someone to show you, drop me a line, I’ll show you some of my favorites.

Oh, Bitwise has also gone a long way toward fixing this issue. The valley is now very different because of their efforts.

Thank you Irma and Jake — and everyone else involved behind the scenes – you’ve given me hope for a revitalized downtown.

P.S. – Can you guys try to convince Alamo Drafthouse to add a location downtown? I know the perfect space for it! Thanks!

Dumpster Bike: Day 1

When I was a kid my brothers and I were into BMX racing. We were good, big fish in a little pond you might say. We rode for Dick’s Bicycles here in Exeter, California. We were co-sponsored by Vans so our team racing shoes were supplied to us. We just picked a style, back then it was high or low tops. They were blue and gold like the rest of our team uniform. Jerry, my middle brother, was co-sponsored by SE Racing so he had the privilege of riding new gear before SE released it. 

Anywho, long story short, we know bicycles and spent many a day tearing them down, re-greasing, and reassembling them. Good time.

Move ahead almost 40 years and I still admire nice bikes. Especially older steel frames with beautiful lugs. I’ve wanted to rebuild and old steel lug frame into a fixed gear cruiser for a few years know, but I’ve never been able to happen upon a nice steel lug frame (I have one that might be worth something, so I’m afraid to strip it down to bare metal.) 

Recently we had a City cleanup day. Basically you can take anything you want to our local City Yard, pay a $5US fee, and the city properly disposes of it. This year I needed to cut down a dead tree so the cleanup day way the perfect opportunity to dispose of it. 

While I was there I thought to look for some bike frames and parts. I happened across a 2007 Giant Boulder SE. Frame, forks, and cranks just laying on the ground. I adopted it. 

Giant Boulder SE

I spent day one stripping off the chain, derailers, and handlebars. I was unfamiliar with how the forks and headset were assembled so they’re still in the frame and the bottom bracket is pretty rusty so I need a crank puller to remove the cranks. A guy at our local bike shop taught me how to take apart the headset so I can get that taken care of next. 

Once I get this thing stripped down I plan on stripping all the paint and giving it a nice fresh coat of Burnt Orange paint. Then I’ll reassemble it into a nice casual to ride bike. Nothin fancy.

I plan on keeping a little journal as I fix up what I’m calling “Fahrni Dumpster Bike Mark 0.”

Rob’s 2016 Summer Blockbuster Must See List

There are a few things to point out about this years list. It’s a bit long, I started from mid-April (which is a bit short of May, the “traditional” blockbuster season), it runs through September, and all the trailers links are pointed at my new favorite site for watching movie trailers; Trailer Town.

The Jungle Book April 15
Green Room April 15
Criminal April 15
Captain America: Civil War May 06
Free State of Jones May 13
Money Monster May 13
High-Rise May 13
The Nice Guys May 20
X-Men: Apocalypse May 27
Alice Through the Looking Glass May 27
Warcraft June 10
The Conjuring 2 June 10
Central Intelligence June 17
Finding Dory June 17
Independence Day: Resurgence June 24
The Legend of Tarzan July 01
The BFG July 01
Ghostbusters July 15
Star Trek Beyond July 22
Genius July 29
Suicide Squad August 05
Ben-Hur August 12
Pete’s Dragon August 12
War Dogs August 19
Snowden September 16
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children September 30
Deepwater Horizon September 30

While I’d love to see all of these at theaters, I know I won’t. This is the shorter list I really hope to catch in theaters; Captain America: Civil War, Central Intelligence, Warcraft, Finding Dory, Ghostbusters, Star Trek Beyond, and Suicide Squad.

Prior years 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009.

Home Matters

Nick Harris: “I’m about to start a new job search. After 5 years of remote work I’m particularly interested in working in an office again – maybe even a startup again – though remote work isn’t out of the question. What is out of the question is leaving Denver even if that means missing the opportunity to work at some pretty amazing companies.”

I’ve been through this process over and over. I romanticize living in other places. We’ve lived in Seattle and in San Luis Obispo, California, yet we always end up back in Exeter. It’s home and home is important.

Here’s hoping Nick finds the job of his dreams, at home, in Denver.

Just say No to Big Brother

Apple: “The FBI may use different words to describe this tool, but make no mistake: Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.”

I hope Google, Microsoft, and Facebook join in this effort to keep our data safe from the US Government. It’s none of their business what beer I drink or to see the conversations I’ve had with my wife, daughters, family, and friends.

While the FBI may have the proper motivation, hackers and thieves do not. You might as well publish your Social Security number and all of your financial data for the world to see.

Bravo Apple.

Mac Apps I Use

If I had to choose one device to keep it would have to be my Mac. Not because I use it more than my trusty iPhone. I would pick it because it is how I make my living.

A wonderful bouquet of flowers.To that end we all have our very personal daily workflows. Some are way more complicated than others. Mine is fairly simple. 

There was a time in my life when I had to customize everything I possibly could on my desktop rig. These days I don’t bother.

Here is a list of software I use day to day.

Safari

Safari is a great browser that supports OS X extensions and browser plugins which gives me all the power I need to connect the web to my favorite desktop apps. I do not sync my opened sites between desktop and mobile.

Slack

Who doesn’t use Slack these days? We use it at work for most of our communication needs. Nuff said, it’s awesome. 

Evernote

I store quite a bit of information with Evernote. When I run across and interesting development article I clip the Simplified Article to Evernote as a reference. It is a great way to organize reference material. I do it through a combination of Notebooks and Tags. It’s a fantastic service and I love their native Mac and iOS Apps.

Wunderlist

I use Wunderlist to organize my personal project thoughts, so it mostly used on my home Mac and on my iPhone, but it’s a great app and service.

Reeder

I know RSS is dead, right? Not really. If you’re in the market for a beautiful, solid, easy to use RSS reader for the Mac or iOS, Reeder is a good choice.

Alfred

I only use Alfred for one thing, lunching apps. I keep my dock clean and find it easier to launch apps by smacking a shortcut and typing. I know I could do many more awesome things with it, but I don’t.

Dropbox

When I need access to a document or picture from many different places I use Dropbox.

Terminal

I use the built in terminal app. It’s used for git mostly.

SourceTree

I like using a nice application for git and SourceTree covers the bases for me. I split time between this app and the terminal. 

BBEdit

On occasion you have to edit something other than a file for the app you’re working on. BBEdit is more than capable. 

Xcode

This seems an obvious entry given the work I do. I develop iOS Apps. This is the best tool for the job.

I think that’s it, I’m composing this on my iPhone using the WordPress for iOS App, so I’m doing this from memory.

That brings me to this list.

Stuff I no longer use on my Mac

MarsEdit

At one point I used MarsEdit for all my blogging needs. The app is fine but I use iOS more and more for blogging. Like I said above, I’m using my iPhone to compose this post. Most of the time I use my iPad Mini on the weekends to catchup on all the stuff I pushed to Pocket. That usually results in a blog post right from the Mini. 

Fine software, great developer, no iOS App. For iOS I use the WordPress for iOS App.

Twitterrific

Unfortunately Twitter’s developer hostile token limits have all but killed off development of my favorite Twitter client. I have resorted to using the web site for my desktop browsing. If Twitterrific saw a renaissance on the Mac I would switch back in a heartbeat.  Thankfully Twitterrific for iOS is going strong. Here’s hoping Jack opens up Twitter to developers. 

My Christmas Movie List

I know this is quite random, but we all have movies and other special programming we associate with Christmas.

Here’s my list. These are the things we must watch between now and Christmas. 

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Cartoon)
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Ron Howard Movie)
  • A Christmas Carol (Patrick Stewart)
  • A Christmas Carol (Disney Animated Film)
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (Jimmy Stewart)
  • Scrooged
  • Jingle all the way
  • Christmas with the Kranks
  • A Christmas Story – my all time favorite
  • Jack Frost
  • Snow Day
  • Rudolph the Red Nosed Raindeer
  • Frosty the Snow Man
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • A Year without a Santa Claus
  • The Santa Clause
  • The Santa Clause 2
  • Santa Claus is coming to town
  • Elf
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas

I see a lot of lists that mention Die Hard and Christmas Vacation. I have never seen Christmas Vacation.