Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dead Blog

It saddens me to announce the death of Sam the Giant's Evil Adventure and Experiment Log.  It was a good blog, but in my opinion the ever present nature of modern social media sites has rendered the personal blog irrelevant for anyone unwilling to make a major commitment to constant updates.  It's just easier to keep up with people on the various social sites.  The domain will be redirected to a personal landing page at that will display a brief bio and links to the social media sites I participate in.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

CodeStock 2011 - Adventures in Speaking

Adventure 20110603

CodeStock 2011 was fantastic.  Once again Mike Neel out did himself and set the bar higher than any other local code convention has any hope of reaching.  Unfortunately for the poor attendees he did make one mistake.  He let me be a speaker.  ^_^  So Friday at 12:30 PM I presented a short session in the general track titled "A Knoxville Hackerspace - What do you want to build today?".  Despite some issues with swapping rooms at the last minute I did manage to draw eight people in for what turned into a pretty good discussion on what exactly is a hackerspace and am even hopeful that one or two might come to check out the local Knox Makers group.  I will note that even though I got flustered by the room change and ended up speaking and going through my slides far too quickly I think I may be hooked.  Presenting a session was exciting and I felt much more involved in the convention itself.  I think I'm going to have to see if I can come up with another topic for next year.

Aside from speaking I also got to attend several great sessions:
  • The Geek's Guide to SEO by Jay Harris.  Walked out with a half-dozen links to hit up for more info.
  • Kinect Hacks 101 by James Ashley.  Unfortunately, now I have to go buy a Kinect to play with.
  • Introduction To Ruby On Rails by Rod Paddock.  Goes under my "nifty toy I must find time to play with" category.
  • The Open Spaces discussion on how we learn and the future of publishing with Charles Petzold was fascinating.  It may simply be time for tech authors to reach directly out to their readers and skip the publisher entirely.
  • Open Spaces discussion about the Netduino with Brady Gaster. Of course I had to go and back-order a Netduino Plus as soon as I got home that night.... 
  • I shared an Open Spaces session with Thomas Langston discussing gameful ways to build developer communities.  I really think that a coding based version of the Chore Wars website has a lot of promise.  This discussion also helped me make the mental shift to start thinking about team leadership and the Agile Scrum Master role the same way I think about the Dungeon Master role when setting up a pen-and-paper RPG for my friends.  Saving throw versus deadline!
  • Eulering up your coding skills by Matthew D. GrovesProject Euler is now in my "must play with" bookmarks folder.
  • Arlene Gray led a great Open Spaces discussion about what it would take to hold a SQLSaturday here in Knoxville. Can't wait!
  • Why aren't women speaking at CodeStock? (and other WiT issues) by Mike Neel and Jennifer Marsman.  Very thought provoking.
  • Your OS is going the way of the dodo by David Smith was a good intro to Google’s Chrome operating system.
My top pick for "Best of CodeStock" this year has to be the Open Spaces discussion on how we learn and the future of publishing with Charles Petzold.  Although the Open Spaces session with Thomas Langston discussing gameful ways to build developer communities and the over-the-top buffet at the Keynote tied for second place.  ^_^

Greg's Peanut Butter Tardis Birthday Cake

Experiment 20110521

For Greg's birthday this year I wanted to try something a little different, so I came up with a new Peanut Butter flavored cake recipe.  It turned out well if not as strongly Peanut Butter flavored as I would have liked.  For a decorating theme I used Greg's interest in Doctor Who and one heck of a lot of blue dye to create the dreaded Peanut Butter Tardis.  Powered only by Peanut Butter it travels through Time And Relative Dimensions In Space!  Next step, Daleks out of Nutter Butter cookies.  ^_^

Photo Album on Picasa

Douglas Adams themed 42nd Birthday Party

Adventure 20110430

For my 42nd birthday party this year I decided to go with a Douglas Adams Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy theme.  I even went so far as to hold a "Worst Dressed Sentient Being" contest so I suppose I can only blame myself for the pictures below....

Photo Album on Picasa

Sunday, April 17, 2011

KMG Meetup with Hacker Consortium and Midsouth Makers in Nashville

Adventure 20110416
The Knoxville Makers Guild had an impressive turnout for our trip to Nashville with all nine of what are quickly becoming our "core" members able to attend.  It was an awesome opportunity to get to see what the Hacker Consortium has been able to do with their space, and Mudflap, Seeblind, Skydog and the rest of the HC folks were fantastic hosts.  It was even better that three members of Midsouth Makers were able to come over from Memphis as well and Joe, Dan and Mary had lots of great information for us to use to get our group up and running.  You hear that Knoxville?  Nashville and Memphis already have their cool maker/hackerspaces up and running.  ^_^  What are you waiting for?