Government Life

Hope and Worry

Steve Beschloss: “Yet we would be remiss to ignore the many ways life has improved. So share your thoughts: How has your life improved since Trump was evicted?

I worry less about having a sociopathic, narcissistic, idiot, misogynist, antisemite in the White House. All Presidents have their flaws, we’re only human, but at least we have someone in charge who cares about America and our place in the world.

I do continue to worry the Neo Republican Party continues to devolve into a party of conspiracy theories with their eye toward an oligarchy in charge of the country. A ruling class that makes all the rules and pushes us peasants down even further. In some ways we already have that. The GOP wants to codify that with a Dictator at the top.

I don’t understand the want – need for – power like that. How much money can you spend and how much influence is enough? To feel the need to dictate life to an entire nation to satisfy your psychological faults is beyond me. Yes, I said psychological faults. It clearly takes someone with delusions of grandeur to need that kind of power.

Until we can remove the ruling GOP class and their puppet masters I will worry about the survival of our democracy.

Tumblr WordPress

Automattic ❤️ Day One

John Philpin: “There’s so much Automattic could have done to improve Tumblr – they didn’t …

I was just wondering what was going on at Tumblr. At one point I’d put links to my blog posts out on Tumblr, then I kind of forgot about it. That’s kind of sad, isn’t it?

I hope they’re still working on their transition plan to use WordPress as the backend to Tumblr.


Windows 11: Sun Valley

Windows Central: “The next major Windows update, known widely as Sun Valley, is expected to debut in October 2021. Microsoft is planning to unveil the next generation of Windows, and the teaser appears to suggest that a “Windows 11” could be announced.

I recently replied to a Jennifer Gentleman tweet asking if we’d stuck to a single OS more or less over the years. I was a Windows developer for years and years. From 1989 to 2006 I worked in Windows.

In 2006 I became a development lead for a small team and spent less time writing code. At that time work purchased me a MacBook Pro. I’d SSH to my Linux box and ran Windows in a VM. Even when I went back to being a contributor the same workflow was just fine. It even lead me to building a GDI based renderer for our media pipeline because DirectX wouldn’t work in a VM at that time.

I’ve been all in on Mac since 2006.

At some point Microsoft really shifted focus to web based messaging and I feel like they lost their messaging on the desktop. Now, to be fair, that could have been me falling out of touch with Microsoft and Windows as a developer. It seems like C#/.Net are the definitive language and runtime choice but what about the desktop framework? I’m old. I learned on Win32, AKA the Windows API. It was so simple and straight forward to develop with. Sure it was all C code. Sure it was procedural. None of that mattered. It provided base level functionality necessary to build a great Windows application. Heck, it was really easy to wrap in C++ to build your own framework. My 20 year old little framework still works to this very day.

So, what should you use today to do a great Windows Desktop application? Is it Win32, WinForms, WPF, UWP, or the latest offering, Windows UI 3? Oh, and don’t forget WinRT as a replacement for Win32.

My sincerest hope is Windows 11 is a rework of the Windows user interface that makes everything consistent and that it provides a clear and concise guide for all Windows apps moving forward. So, I’m thinking a combination of WinRT and Windows UI 3 are the way to go.

Here’s hoping Windows 11, or whatever it’s called, gives new life to Windows.

I’d love to build a Windows version of Stream after I complete the Mac version. To that end I’m building a C++ framework just for Stream that handles the network, feed processing, models, and database persistence. That framework will be coupled with a native Windows UI 3 user interface. At some point I believe I’ll bring all that code back to iOS and Mac.

We’ll see.


Eastbound Day Four: Cookeville, TN to Charlottesville, VA

What can I say besides I’m tired. That’s about all there is to say at this point.

We routed around road work yesterday which took us up into Missouri and back down through Kentucky. Beautiful countryside. Especially a little town in the southwest mountains of Missouri called Van Buren.

It looks like we’ll cover 467 miles and take about six and a half hours.


Eastbound Day Three: Yukon, OK to Cookeville, TN

I prefer driving West. At least then we’re traveling back in time. Heading east always makes the days feel longer. 😃

Today’s drive will cover 773 miles and clock in at around 12.5 hours.


Eastbound Day Two: Gallup, NM to Yukon, OK

Yesterday was a downright slog. Siri rerouted us and I swear we added two hours to the trip. We pulled into Gallup around 3:20AM local time. We’re both pretty ragged this morning.

The one lovely thing about pushing through to Gallup is Gallup Coffee Company! We’ll definitely be enjoying a cup from them this morning.

Today we should make it to Yukon, Oklahoma. Maps says it’ll take just over nine hours and cover 661 miles.

Family Travel

Eastbound Day One: Visalia, CA to Gallup, NM

Headed back to Charlottesville. It’s been great to be back home but all good things come to an end, right?

Surprise, surprise, I’m bringing our youngest daughter back with me! Yep, Taylor is gonna be near Mom and Dad again. That means the family is together once again. We’re so happy.

Our Bug
Our Bug

For the next four days we’ll be pulling a trailer loaded with her things with us.

Today’s journey should take around 10 hours 30’ish minutes according to Maps and cover 739 miles. That is, of course, a best guesstimate. It’ll most likely take us around 12 hours what with pit stops and all. But the drive is really quite lovely.

Day one - Visalia to Gallup
Day one – Visalia to Gallup

I really do miss California. We are definitely California kids through and through. But now that COVID seems to be headed in the right direction it’s time to explore what the east coast has to offer.

Yosemite 2021 - Half Dome
Yosemite 2021 – Half Dome
Apple Development

macOS on iPad

It’s that time of year. Time for the Apple Developer community – and punditry – to make wishes for their favorite features to be added to their favorite OSes and hardware.At this point macOS and iOS are so mature I can’t think of any feature I’d like to have. I’m sure Apple will come up with something I’ll enjoy but we have so many features I’ve never touched as a developer. Some because I have no real need for them in my apps and some because I just don’t know they exist.

The only thing I keep coming back to is macOS on iPad. Why?

Well, now that macOS can run iPad apps it seems a natural fit to put all that power and openness on a smaller device. I can see walking into my office with my iPad, sitting it in a VESA mount next to my VESA mounted display, having it connect to my keyboard, monitor, and mouse and off we go.

It would take some time for Apple to make it work, no doubt, but iOS and macOS already share a lot of code. There will be plenty of things to sort out, like touch, but it’s not like they couldn’t do it if they wanted.

Consider swiping between the Mac desktop and Launch Pad. Launch Pad could act as you iOS springboard for all of your iOS apps. Perhaps you group them together or maybe the OS is changed to do something special for you. That way you could put yourself in that mode when you’re not docked and use all of your favorite iOS apps then move to the Mac Desktop when you’re docked and need Xcode to do your dev work.

It feels like a natural progression to me and I definitely do not agree with the punditry about keeping iPad pure. Offer two versions. A Pro model with iPadOS and a Pro model with macOS. Problem solved.

Let Pro users and Developers pick their poison.

I know which one is pick.



When you move away from your hometown you’re going to miss family and friends. It’s inevitable. I also miss my favorite places to eat, drink, and socialize. One of my absolute favorites is Exeter Coffee Company.

Staci and Jason Welch started this Exeter gem in 2017 and I instantly fell in love with it. The coffee is wonderful but the morning crew of misfits is the real reason to visit.

It’s a place built to socialize. No WiFi and working on your laptop is discouraged. It’s all about people and making new friends.

With COVID restrictions easing up it’s been a real pleasure to visit with the old crew. We’re able to sit outside, properly distanced, and enjoy each other’s company. The last couple days I’ve spent a few hours in the morning down there and I’ve loved every minute of it. I told Kim this is what I want to do. Spend my mornings with her, good friends, and good coffee.

If you ever find yourself in Exeter, California, make sure you stop by and see our good friends at ExCoCo and tell ’em Rob sent you. That will cause some confusion as there are three Rob’s that hang out in front of the place. Just say it was the handsome Rob. 😃


Day Four: Kingman, AZ to Visalia, CA

Today is the final leg of our trip across the country. It’s been a lot of fun but I’m tired and ready to be out of the truck for a while.

This morning I found a local coffee joint called The Human Bean. It’s a little walk up and drive thru joint. Perfect setup for a pandemic.

Here’s hoping it hits the spot.