Archive for the ‘ Off-Topic’ Category

Zend USA celebrating the Zend Server 6, Zend Studio 1o release.

Man I work with a fun team !!

ElePHPant stampede as Zend Corporate Headquarters.

Folks who follow me know that I’ve been bi-coastal for about fifteen years.

Zend is based in Silicone Valley and I live in the woods of New England.

This week I was at our head quarters and in Andi Gutmans’ (Zend CEO) office where I witnessed a veritable stampede of ElePHPants.

I wonder what color we’ll see next ? 🙂

The Kindle Family Experience.

Myself, my Wife and my 8 and 9 year olds all have Kindles and reading together is an encouraged nightly activity.

From the very first clunky version I’ve thought that the Kindle would change content delivery. My kids are many times more likely to read a book if it’s in the Kindle than when I provide them with the same book on paper.

The Kindle Fire expands the content delivery experience to Video, Audio and Applications.

The more I talk to companies about building standards based apps the more I believe we’re on the verge of a huge surge in new software development.

The view from the Mozilla San Francisco Office

Yesterday I spent my first day in the Mozilla San Francisco office. I was there for a talk by some guys from Twitter on how they built their HTML5 Twitter Application.

This is the window in front of the desk I stole for the day. Interesting view so I went out the office back door.

This is the view of the back deck of the Mozilla San Francisco Office 🙂

Turn around from where I tool the above photo and this is the outside work area on the deck.

I held my afternoon meetings on those orange sofa’s 🙂

My Favorite thing about the Mozilla Mountain View Office.

In addition to the wide variety of breakfast options and caffeinated beverages there is Bawls Energy Drink and G33k B33r in the refrigerator !!!!

I figured out how to solve Americas national debt problem.

Yesterday on a motorcycle ride I figured out how to solve America’s national debt problem.

Fine every fool that throws a lit cigarette but out a car window $1000 !!!!!!

OFF TOPIC – Update from my Iranian Friend

Since I had many emails from folks about my previous post I thought I’d post this update from my Iranian “little brother”.


Hey My Dear Brother,


Thanks to all our American brothers and sisters who’ve been supporting us , I have always said ,there’s no better friend for Iranians than American people.

We’ve been trying to show the world that we’re not bunch of terrorists and losers and we’re not the same as our GOVERNMENT, and i think we did what we could,but I’m afraid that after the rallies stopped people of the world start thinking “that’s it” and people accepted the lost of the election!!!

But i have to tell you that we are STRONGLY under the control of the government, and they don’t understand, they’ll kill first and then they’ll judge us!!!

There are armed guards in every meter.

Phones , internet , any move we make is under their control and THEY WILL KILL ,this is the only thing they’ve learned.

They have all the money that we make from selling oil and they’ll do anything with it to stop us, even if your shirt is green they’ll hit you!!

But even if all of this doesn’t work for us I’m still happy, because we (the Iranian people) started something new and if it doesn’t work now it’ll work in time, like  2  or 3 years later we’d get our rights.


[ Edited for his safety ]

OFF TOPIC – A note from my Iranian Friend.

I have never posted here on my blog anything that related to politics, and this post will only appear here (not syndicate to

For all the folks who have watched with dismay the recent events in Iran, I wanted to share this.

This note is from a young Iranian friend who I have corresponded with for several years. We met when he emailed me a question as he was learning ASP.NET.

Over the years we have discussed many things about our peoples and our countries. I’ve learned that there ARE many people in the Middle East that loath the fascism and terrorist violence.

He has become like “my little brother” over the years.

I wanted to share this so the rest of us can remember how lucky we are …………

I’ve removed his name for his own safety and made some minor edits for English language clarity


Hey buddy,

How is it going there?

Here, after the day that the government guards has beaten down the people and killed a lot ,we are thinking to find some other ways to protest because street is now full of armed guards, in every meter there’s one.

Man i hope you never taste the batons and gas and whatever stuff that they’ve used to beat us with , it hurts like hell and since i had the surgery i couldn’t run much. I got kicked in my surgery spot a couple of times too !!

To tell you a very sad fact, when guards kills someone they’ll have the body and they’ll contact her/his family and tell them that they have to pay for the bullets if they want to recover the body, one of my friends died with 2 bullets, and they’ve contacted his family and said you have to pay 3 million Tomans for each bullet to get his body, it’s an unbelievable situation, they kill someone and they want to get played for it !!!!  What a disaster !!!

Hopefully they’re going soft on blocking the internet now, cause they can’t ban it for ever because it’ll cause problems in their own departments and organizations, and till now it did cause lots of problems, so internet is on right now but the speed is much less than before .

I’m lucky that I’m not dead right now, I  felt the bullets right beside my body a couple of times, I wonder where god would take me to :), but I’m okay now 🙂

And thanks my friend for showing your support in twitter, love for all the American people specially for my dear brother and his family over there 🙂


Your friend

Happy birthday to and old friend and developer.

To JeffG……

Happy birthday old friend.

Where ever you are 🙂

When Friends Find Your Photo On The Internet

My friend Armin who is a student in Iran sent me this last week 🙂

The great Ice Storm of 2008

First, thanks to everyone who has called and emailed. Jill, the Girls and I are all fine, if not warn and well rested.

We lost Power and Phone service on Thursday Night – now Sunday, Electricity, Phone, Internet, and Cable are all still out. Due to compromised towers, even cell phone service is effected.

400,000 homes in our tiny little state of NH are effected.

We’ve been declared a “State of Emergency” and 4 deaths have been reported.

The State Emergency Services office is warning that all power may not be restored untill NEXT weeked (a total of 9 ot 10 days without power)

I waited in line for 11 hours for a Generator on friday and thankfully was able to purchase one of the few that were successfully shipped to the state.

So we have a generator and a bit of propane powered heat. I’m also able to scoop water through the ice of a local pond so that we can flush the toilet once a day 🙂

I’n the meantime, I’m making a daily trip to the Borders Book Store in Concord NH once a day to sync email and make phone calls and spending much of the rest of the tie making sure the pipes don’t freeze and such.

More news soon.

What’s wrong with this picture ?

In addition to my real job, I’ve been building a recreation area (1000 SqFt) on the side of my house for the kids.

Each evening I put in an  hour or two. This photo was taken last night. I’m on my knees while my children are enjoying the hot tub 🙂


I’ve started a SocioPolitical Blog –

For anyone that’s interested…..

I’ve started a Social / Political blog at

I hope your join me over there as well !

OT – My MeMe Turns 5 !

I thought I’d share this while I’m waiting for VS2008 SP1 to Install …….

MeMe (pictures on the right) turned 5 yesterday. She had 3 parties in one day!

(Our morning family celebration, her classmates school party, and dinner at our local Mexican restraint which she chose !)

Code is fun, but producing truly HAPPY children is the important job !

I Flunked Anger Management !

 For Sean who Tweeted early this morning that he’s having and angry day !

Of course !!! The API is tired !


Twitter…..Ah MAN !!!


Take Risks !

Yesterday my wife and my children left the house and my 6 year old asked where they were going.

When Jill told Mia they were going to the mall, Mia said “Good, I wanna get my ears pierced.”

She went through with it with no crying and only a few tears and was excited to come home and tell me.

So what does that have to do with Software Development.

Well, it was a reminder to “go for it” !

A while ago I was asked to speak at a conference about something I didn’t know if I could make work 🙂

I’ve been dragging my feet getting down to working out the implementation details.

So today, I’m going to solve some tricky interop problems !

Coffee Drinkers Have Slightly Lower Death Rates

Since most of us Geeks are caffeine addicts……

“Coffee consumption has been linked to various beneficial and detrimental health effects, but data on its relation with death were lacking,” says Esther Lopez-Garcia, PhD, the study’s lead author. “Coffee consumption was not associated with a higher risk of mortality in middle-aged men and women. The possibility of a modest benefit of coffee consumption on heart disease, cancer, and other causes of death needs to be further investigated.”

[ Read the article HERE at Science Daily. ]

The Developer’s Guide to loosing 20 pounds in 8 days !

Nope, this is not an infomercial.

I’ve been on the road for lots of this spring. For the last two weeks I was in Seattle for the MVP Summit, then in Orlando for Dev Connections, then in Atlantic City for the Microsoft Health and Life Sciences.

I got sick about half way through the 2 weeks. Some sort of intestinal fun, probably a bacterial infection.

It make Dev Connections and the HLS conference interesting.

Have you ever tried to give a presentation while concentrating on not throwing up or having another kind of embarrassing accident ? 🙂

Usually stuff like this lasts for about 24 hours. Today is day 8 of the really “active” part and I’m feeling almost ready to try eating again after a week of Ginger Ale.

I just got on the scale and have lost nearly 20 pounds from last Sunday to this. Yuck !

In any event. I’m expecting to be back on line this week.

3 of my 4 sessions this past week were well received (considering) but the ListView talk was a bomb so I’ll be doing How Do I videos of the material.

Since I’m in the office for few days, I’ll be cranking out some videos. As always , feel free to send suggestions.

Happy Birthday to the Love of My Life !

I nearly never make non-technical posts to my blog, but today is my wife’s birthday – and since I’ve developed friendships with so many of my readers, I wanted to wish Jill happy birthday “Out Load”. (Thanks to my geek readers for indulging me.)

Jill, after 10 years, I Love you every bit as much as I did on the day I asked you to marry me. 

You are everything!

And, though I don’t tell you often enough, I thank god every day for crossing our paths. I have no idea what I did to deserve you and our children, but life wouldn’t be worth living with out you.

I promise to work to make this year one of your happiest !

I’m sure all my readers join me in wishing you the loudest Happy Birthday !

YouTube – Microsoft conference call !

I Now have Bawls in the Morning :)


I don’t smoke, drink (much), I don’t do drugs, but I a AM a caffeine addict. 

It’s a productivity enhancemenmt.

But, how many cups of coffee can you drink a day. Plus, my bathroom is a couple hudred yards and 2 sets of stairs away  

So…. I’ve become an energy drink fan.

I usesually get Monster or Red-Line.

But, several of the guys I worked with n the MSDN Events Team drank Bawls, which is very hard to find.

Yesterday I stopped into a CompUSA store and they had Bawls by the case ON SALE !

So now – I HAVE BAWLS in the Morning. (For the next 10 days or so anyway  )

The Intercontental Super Heavyweight Championship

I’ve been involved in the sport of Kickboxing for over 30 years.

Up until this January I owned a Gym and now am a (somewhat) silent partner in one.

This guy, Jason “The Trooper” Bonacorsi is one of the fighters that I’ve trained fort about 10 years.

He’s won the US Heavyweight Processional Kickboxing Championship, The North American Pro Title and lost an attempt at the Super Cruiser Weight Title (Which he had to loose 20 pounds for.)

In two weeks he’s fighting for the PKF Super Heavyweight Intercontinental Championship.

The Guy he’s fighting is the current USKBA World Heavyweight Champion.

The reason I’m blogging this is that he’s broken all his sparring partners. So with two weeks left to go, I’m wrapping myself in rubber and going to the gym tonight to spar with him. (It’s been over a year since I really sparred with a pro.)

So…. If this is my last blog post, I’ve enjoyed writing to you all. Donations can be sent to the “Joe’s Kids Foolish Dad Died Because he Never Grew Up Fund”.

Couch Desk – ‘Cause I gotta go home at night.

If you like me, after dinner it’s back to work.

Duringthe day it’s recording videos, and phone calls most of the day.

Night time is research, coding, learning, etc….

While my office is only a few minute walk from my house, I like to be in the house at night so I can hear the kids play. They run in and out of my den or turn my TV to the Disney Channel  

Sitting on the couch with my laptop isn’t comefortable and the laptop on my lap doesn’t really work either.

I recently found this “Lap Desk”.

It’s the second of these type of products that I’ve tried. The first was junk, but this one is cool.

It’s light but pretty firm and it’s vented so your lap doesn’t sweat. It’s also wide enough for my Trackball or my mouse dock.

So now I can sit back and comefortably type away.

Check it out HERE.

She Asked me – Do I Look Fat ?

My office is across the driveway from my home, and three days a week, when my beautiful wife Jill loads the kids in our mini-van to take them to pre-school – I run down from my office to kiss the girls goodbye.

This morning my wife asked me “Do I Look Fat” ?

Now, lets forget the fact that, as I define beauty, she is the most beautiful woman that I’ve ever met.

And lets ignore the fact that she’s a little tiny thing.

Not only is the question itself foolish, just the ASKING of the question is foolish.

I mean really!

If I wanted to get divorced – I’d just hire another lawyer!

In fact she isn’t fat – she’s just had two children in the past 4 years and taking care of them (and me) doesn’t leave her the time for exercise that she has had for the first 35 years of her life. (She’s always been a health and fitness nut.)

But I got to thinking about the question.

1.) If she thinks she looks fat, when I tell her she’s not – she won’t really believe me , will she ?

2.) If I thought she actually DID look fat, does she really think I would SAY SO?

3.) If she really think she looks fat, ad I tell her she doesn’t look fat, then won’t she now think that I routinely lie to her – and if I’m lying about that am I lying about other things?

So…… Honesty aside, there is no right answer. The truth doesn’t even matter, if your wife asks this question, you’re screwed !

Marriage is great, but it never stops being complicated.