Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I think Kiki sums up the first day pretty well.

Sunday was good for me too. I went up to Rattlesnake Wall with Joe, enjoying a shitty trail up to a good wall. Though Joe had left the book in the van, we did a few moderate routes, then I bailed to go boulder.

Hitting up the Forestlands with Mateo and Tara was a blast. We got on some really fun problems, and Tara (hopefully) took some good pics.

It got cold Sunday night so we headed back to the campsite early. Long story short, I invited to big, burly biker dudes to camp in our campsite, since they were having a hard time finding a place to pitch their tent. I just offered. I didn't think to ask everyone else, and I didn't think to go back with them to the campsite. I guess I wasn't thinking at all. When I got back, EVERYONE was pretty pissed at me, which I could understand. Luckily the guys ended up being cool.

We just bouldered at the Fridge boulder Monday then drove back to PDX. It was a much quicker drive back. Overall it was a good trip. Now that I know the area it'll be easier next time to get more climbing in.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Silver Surfer Is So Damn Cool

Fine, I'm a nerd. Whatever. I still read comic books. Go ahead, chuckle. All I know is that I'm really excited to see Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. I'll even give the game a chance! Not on a PC though... well, maybe, if it's first person. Anyway, chut up!

I need to see this too.

Punctuation Means More Than You Think

Ze Frank has a nice little video tutorial on coding emails with punctuation. How many emails would I re-write using this technique? Probably a lot.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

RailsConf '07 - Sunday Sessions

Keynote: The Rails Way
Jamis Buck and Michael Koziarski of therailsway.com gave a nice talk this morning on how things can be done right in Rails. Maybe if I had more experience with Rails I would have taken more away. I just need to remember that Rails does nice things, and I should use them.

Session: Choose Your Battles and LetIt::REST
Hampton Catlint on HAML fame gave a cool talk on a plugin he's developed called make_resourceful.

Session: Deploying Rails on Windows
Not that you should. No one should. However, I did take away some good advice on load balancing and how easy it is to set up.

Keynote: Dave Thomas
Actually, I was so out of it I spaced the start time of this session and only caught the last 15 minutes. It's ok though, I was pretty done at that point.

RailsConf '07 - Saturday Sessions

Session: Exploring Virtual Clusters for Rails Development and Deployment
This talk was mainly on why you should use virtual machines for pretty much everything you do. For those that aren't familiar with virtual machines, they are computers, just like the one you are using, except they run inside another computer. So, if I'm using Windows Vista (no flamewars please) I could use a vm server to run Windows XP, a flavor of Linux or Unix, or even another Windows Vista, like an application.
While this is nothing new, here are a few reasons to use VMs:
  • Consolidation - you can run many servers on a single hardware box
  • Isolation - if one of the vms has a problem, it's easy enough to shut it down and boot it back up, or use a backup and go from there.
  • Replication
    • You can easily create vms from existing hardware configurations and stick them up on any available vm server.
    • Your deployment will be standardized, so once you get a VM setup, it's copy and paste for new servers.
    • VM provisioning can be automated. So, if you need a new server because your site is getting slammed, just boot them up.
  • Utilization
    • Though there may be a slight (3-5% is what I've heard) for running VMs, you'll be utilizing much more of your CPU, which goes largely unused most of the time.
    • You'll get to reclaim unused memory and disk space.
    • You paid for your hardware, might as well use it to its fullest extent!
  • Resource Allocation
    • You can "grow and shrink" your servers on demand. Need more disk space on your database server? Just add some (as long as there's free disk space on the physical server)
    • "Load Balanced" servers on Hardware - If you need to transfer a VM from one physical machine to another, it can be done on the fly. Everything, including the in-memory data, will be transfered, and your customers won't even know. No downtime!
    • Guaranteed vs Burstable Resources - You can guarantee resources to the VM, and if a VM needs more resources, those resources can be allocated.
Session: The Business of Rails
This session was a panel of professionals that went into business for themselves, solely related to Rails. Robby Russell of Portland's Planet Argon was present, as was the founder of PeepCode. The gist was to strike out on your own and have a plan, even if it's not the best. It's better than nothing!

Break: Pioneer Square
I couldn't take being inside anymore, so I took the Max over to Pioneer Square and hung out at Outside magazine's 30th birthday. The guys from Climbaxe and PRG were there manning the portable climbing wall. It was nice to get out in the sun and rest the eyes.

Highlight of the day was the Extra Action Marching Band. Really cool concept, and the girls were nice to look at. The performance I saw (slightly NWS) was PG-13 bordering on R, while the performance at Dante's later in the evening was I'm sure R bordering on X. I bet it was a damn good show.

Friday, May 18, 2007

RailsConf '07 - Friday Sessions

Session: Building Community Focused Apps with Rails
This session was mainly on how to structure a project from the ground up, looking at Cork'd and stepping through the process the Cork'd developers used.

Session: Scale Rails Without Bounds on Amazon EC2
This was a very interesting talk on how to use Amazon's EC2 service to horizontally scale your app servers within minutes using a product called RightScale. I thought this might be a great server-side solution for Terra IMS's possible need for lots of computers for data processing geo-location information into usable web geo-location information.

Session: Build and Working with Static Sites in Ruby on Rails
Um, I didn't pay attention.

Session: Lessons from the Real World
Dirk from RackSpace gave a lot of good tips on things to avoid when developing Rails apps. The story on how his team's first Rails app helped to reunite families in San Antonio that had been evacuated from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina showed how Rails could make a real difference in a very short time.

Session: Spam I have Known
This was an enjoyable session on battling wiki spam. While no final solution will ever work for all wiki spam, the few that were suggested (blacklist web service, captchas, etc) were interesting to think about.

Keynote: "Smalltalk: Ruby from the Future"
Avi Bryant's talk on how Ruby and Smalltalk were essentially the same language was very informational and I thought very valuable for the Ruby and the Rails communities. Smalltalk seems to have solved many of the performance issues that stalk Ruby, and hopefully the Ruby and Smalltalk communities can work together to push Ruby to the next level.

Keynote: "Acceleration Anxiety"
Ze Frank is freaking hilarious. Like standup comedy funny. Like, I was crying funny. He's a "Content Producer", whatever that means. I've seen his site before now that I look at it again. I recommend you look through the site, and I'll see if I can find his video.

RailsConf '07 - Day 1

Well, day one has been going well at RailsConf '07. I got here a little late, missing the first 15 min welcome session and probably the first half of DHH's keynote on Rails 2.0 features. What I did catch was how easy it would be to utilize the features of REST to get a lot of stuff "for free". Right now my dad's site is not using REST, but I'll be making the switch.

I'll post a little on my sessions...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Bravery v4.0

Pretty sure this was the 4th time I've seen the Bravery. Regardless, it was a great show tonight. The Photo Atlas opened first, who put on a great set. Described on the radio last week as what the child of At the Drive-In and Gang of Four would sound like, I was an instant fan.

We missed the 2nd opener because we were hungry and felt like bbq, but got back in time for the Bravery. I'm pretty sure the whole band was drunk, but they still managed to put on a good show.

Craziest thing was seeing some dude attack another guy and almost beat the shit out of him. Not sure why. Too much testosterone maybe?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Madrone on a Sunday is really pretty nice

Ozone yesterday was much better than Ozone a few weeks ago. After warming up on a few new routes, I went down at got on The Crumbling, 12a sport route that has pre-hung draws. Not sure if I'd even make it to the top, I took twice, putting in a good effort. It's actually got me psyched to go back. And, it's nice having the drive to send hard again. It's been a few years...

Today I went to Madrone. I warmed up on 2 routes I had done before, then went down to do Where the Wild Things Roam, 11d onsight (supposedly), 11b otherwise. I did it first try today (having tried it once a few weeks ago) and ended up doing it again as my last climb. It's nice to have something like that wired.

I'm starting to feel like I did before I left St. Louis, like I can actually climb. My hand feels better, my right shoulder isn't bothering me too much. This year looks to be a great one. Though I have the RailsConf all next weekend, I feel good about the Memorial Day weekend trip up to Leavenworth.

UPDATE: Pics have been posted. Thanks mom!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I love bacon.. real bad

I went to Trout Creek this weekend for some crack climbing. Yes, me. I went crack climbing. And it was fun, and it was beautiful, and I'll go back. My first attempt at tape gloves didn't work too well, but it'll happen. Looks like I'll need some better crack climbing shoes too. And a rope. Time to finally buy some gear!

Here are the pics of Trout Creek. It was about an hour hike up there, but not as bad as I'd heard.

I got on Gold Rush, a 10a crack, and while it was just a little bigger than hands, I did it. Felt good too, since I don't have much experience on cracks. 2nd route was a double crack called Suzuki, 11a or so. Took me a few tries to get off the ground, but once I did I managed to get to the top. Last route of the day was JR Tokin', a 10b/c (shit was HARD} crack with a definite crux that was hellish. None of us actually dit it clean. Well, Micah did on his 2nd try. It'd be a nice one to get wired but it'll take some time. Here's the start of his fall sequence his first try.