Archive for July, 2005

Pizza = good

July 29th, 2005 No comments

I’m sure this won’t strike anyone as controversial – heck, most people would call this a no brainer, but man, pizza = good! Last night my father and I partook of yet another “father-son golf/fishing extravaganza” tradition by seeing a movie (more on that in a bit) and eating at one of the single greatest pizza joints around: Rafferty’s in Brainerd. Frankly, I put Rafferty’s in the class of Sven and Ole’s in Grand Marais so if you ever find yourself up that way, you owe it to yourself to stop in. If you are brave enough to venture beyond pepperoni (so that pretty much disqualifies my good friend Ryan!) I highly recommend trying the Lucky Chicken. Who knew you could put jelly on pizza? I don’t know what a lingonberry is, but man its tasty on a pizza (and apparently Swedish Meatballs, who knew?)

Discovering Rafferty’s was a happy accident. On the first incarnation of the “father-son golf/fishing extravaganza” we decided a movie was the perfect way to escape the oppressive heat (see Golf in Minnesota) since at that point in time our cabin was not blessed with AC. Anywho, after nearly wetting ourselves watching American Pie, we asked the tweanager behind the counter where the nearest pizza joint was. Of course he spit out Pizza Hut, which is OK but we wanted something local so we pressed on. Eventually he divulged Rafferty’s and our life hasn’t been the same since.

Rafferty’s now enjoys a treasured spot in the “father-son golf/fishing extravaganza” line up along with a cold pitcher of 1919! Oh, and if you’re in Nisswa, check out that Rafferty’s branch there. If the weather is decent, you really should eat out on the patio.

BTW, we saw Wedding Crashers – what a funny movie! Very worth watching especially the dinner scene… Joe, you were right, though I’m not quite sure I’d pay full price just for that ten minutes. I’d give the movie 4 out of 5 stars but be prepared for some juvenile humor.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the premise, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson play a pair of divorce mediators and committed womanizers that make a killing by sneaking into weddings to take advantage of the state weddings put women in. Of course John (Owen Wilson) falls hard for one special woman (the adorable Rachel McAdams of The Notebook fame) and the rest of the movie more or less revolves around his attempt to woe her from the evil blue blood boyfriend.

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Golf in Minnesota – an Ode to the Weather

July 28th, 2005 No comments

Minnesota weather is, well, weird. I know, some of you are thinking we have permafrost and it never gets above 50 but I swear, that’s just not true. In fact most of July has been hot – not Arizona hot, but still toasty warm. And for those of you that have heard a Minnesotan say of our winters “its a dry cold” well this time of year we get plenty of humidity.

We’ve had quite a string of 90 degree days so it was with this streak in mind that I packed my bag for the annual “father-son golf/fishing extravaganza” this week at the family cabin (its almost the law around here – everyone has a family cabin.) I brought plenty of shorts, extra golf shirts, lots of light colors…everything you need to play a few rounds when the temperatures are in the 90s. But this is Minnesota and the one truth about our weather is that it changes, often very quickly. So imagine my surprise when it was around 50 degrees when we teed off at Golden Eagle on Tuesday. OK so I wasn’t really surprised per-say but I wasn’t prepared so I had to buy a fleece from the pro shop (it is MN after all – they even had winter hats and gloves.)

Another oddity about our weather is the rain. For some reason, we always seem to have a bunch of rain in the Spring then we have near droughts during the summer. This year held to form – we had a ton of rain early and then July hit and the spigots turned off. It has hardly rained during all of July until, of course, this week. This is the sixth incarnation of the “father-son golf/fishing extravaganza” and in five years we haven’t had a single round impaired by rain. Sure, we had some drizzles, but nothing that drove us off the course.

That streak ended this week. On Monday we played Golden Eagle with my cousin, Gerald (he and his wife came up to the cabin for a couple of days). Gerald is also my golf instructor and he’s a good stick. Because we are such fans of Golden Eagle we were really jazzed to show him this North Woods gem. Things were going great…until about the 7th hole. By the time we made the turn it was pouring so we huddled in the club house. According to the radar it was going to be an all day rain. Sigh. Our first raincheck in 6 years.

Oh well, losing half a round, it happens, this is the real world. Dad and I went back to Golden Eagle on Tuesday and got 18 in (with a nice warm fleece) and we figured we were good for the rest of the week. We had a tee time at The Classic at Madden’s on Wednesday with one of my father’s friends and his brother. We arrived to absolutely gorgeous weather – temps in the mid 70s, blue sky, a bit windy but ideal golfing weather. Things were going great until about the 6th hole when I noticed clouds off in the distance. By 10 we started hearing some thunder, nothing ominous but still something to think about. By 13 we saw lightening and we bolted for the clubhouse. As we were putting the sticks in the truck, the sky opened up and we got drenched. Sigh. Another rain check.

Oh well, that’s Minnesota and that’s golf.

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Improved application development, Part 4: Building a Web client

July 27th, 2005 No comments

My second tutorial for IBM developerWorks is now available. Here’s the abstract:

In this tutorial, you’ll return to the Auction application that you developed in Part 2. You’ll add functionality to what you developed previously and connect to your entity beans via a Web-based front end. You’ll take advantage of leading-edge technologies like JavaServer Faces (JSF) and Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML) to create a dynamic Web project — and, thanks to IBM Rational Application Developer’s powerful Web design features, you’ll hardly have to touch the keyboard.

For the entire tutorial, click here: Improved application development, Part 4: Building a Web client. You should check out parts 3, Incorporating changes in requirements and 5, Testing and verifying with Rational tools both written by MC Brown.

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Improved application development, Part 2: Developing solutions with Rational Application Developer

July 27th, 2005 No comments

My first tutorial for IBM developerWorks is now available. Here’s the abstract:

In this tutorial, you move from modeling your use cases to building the components of your application. Learn how Rational Application Developer enables you to create class diagrams while generating much of the template code for your components. With this outline in hand, add application-specific implementation code that extends the original model, which you will test in the final part of this tutorial by deploying your code to WebSphere, working through any bugs before moving to more formal testing.

For the entire tutorial, click here: Improved application development, Part 2: Developing solutions with Rational Application Developer

You should really read the first tutorial written by MC Brown before embarking on mine.

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Hello world!

July 26th, 2005 No comments

Well, this is my very first post – I’m a bit late to the party… So what do I hope to accomplish? Mostly, I will ramble about random thoughts on software development but I will probably drone on a bit about other topics as well.

So who am I? Well, I’m a software engineer from the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with extensive experience in the financial services arena primarily developing J2EE based web applications. I have a Master of Science in Software Engineering degree from the University of Minnesota and for the last several years, I’ve focused on user interface design. I’ve contributed to corporate interface guidelines and consulted on a variety of web-based applications within my organization. I believe strongly that if the user can’t figure out your application, you’ve done something wrong.

Along with UI work, I’ve contributed to two corporate Java frameworks, developed training material, and lead several study groups. During the brief moments of warm weather found in my home state of Minnesota, I spend as much time on the golf course as my wife will tolerate. I’m currently exploring Ruby, Rails and after recently making the switch, Mac OS X.

I’ve been heavily influenced by the Pragmatic Programmers and Don Norman. I’m pretty sure Martin Fowler is one of the smartest people around. I think Ajax is a huge stride forward and will make the web a much better platform for applications.

OK, that’s good for now – heck I’m on vacation this week! For now, be well.

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