MSDN Subscription - Zupancic Heroic MVP

Props, kudos, and thanks a million to my good friend Aaron Zupancic, one of Microsoft's most valuable MVPs. Last week I pinged him to ask his opinion about a site I'd found adversting an VS 2008 Pro MSDN Pro 2 year sub for $999. It was a decent price but the site seemed a bit sketchy. He seemed to agree with my assessment and then asked if I'd like one of the complimentary VSTS 2008 MSDN Premium subscriptions that Microsoft had sent him with his MVP package. Wow!

That's over $10,000 worth of tools!

Thanks ten thousand times over, Aaron! You're awesome!

In exchange, I promise to faithfully attend the Utah user group meetings!

And before you inundate Aaron with begging, let me dispell the rumor that he has an unlimited supply. Aaron gave the other complinetary sub to another friend and user group supporter. And please don't nag him for picking me over you. Blame me, blind luck, and accidentally perfect timing!

Serenity and Leukemia: An Angel's Battle with Cancer

One of my very best friends, Phil Burns, whom I love like a brother, called me Friday afternoon. But it wasn't him.

It was his phone but I did not recognize the voice on the phone. The voice belonged to a woman whom I assume was a hospital emergency room employee. She informed me that Phil's wife Adria was boarding an ambulance with their 22 month old daughter Serenity to be transported from the American Fork Hospital to the Primary Childrens Hospital in Salt Lake City. I asked what was wrong and she told me that Serenity was very sick and may have leukemia.

I was stunned. I told her to let Phil know I'd be in touch very soon or to call me when he was able with more news. I cut short a business lunch and walked back to the office from the food court and let my boss know that I'd be gone the rest of the afternoon. On the way home, Phil called me and was very upset. He told me some of the story that you can find on his blog.

Between sobs of grief and fear, Phil begain to tell me the story. His tiny little angel named Serenity, not yet two years old, was on her way to the best childrens hospital in the intermountain west. A helicopter was on standby in case her breathing became more shallow. Phil was on his way home to pick up some things for a hospital stay that he was told would be at least three or more days. I told him I'd meet him there.

Serenity is the very definition of purity and beauty. Here large brown eyes, which you can see here on a site that a friend has put together, can melt your heart and make you want to do anything you can to alleviate her suffering.

The good news is that her prognosis is very hopeful but she will have to go through a lot to get there. She will get through it with a mountain of love and sea of patience from her parents and family and friends. But it will take one more thing: a Greengotts vault full of gold. The Burns family has no health insurance. And the hospital calls leukemia babies "Million Dollar Babies." The Burns family will need every bit of assistance we can give them. You and I can help. A donation account has been setup. Please open your wallet as far as this bright little angel can open your heart. If you have the courage to look into her eyes and wonder what the rest of her life holds in store, opening your wallet to help with the bills will be something you cannot avoid.

Starting Something New -- The Forseti Project

I've recently taken a position with a company as Principal Technologist which means I'll be doing more writing and more meetings than I have in the last few years. It also means I'll be writing less code during the work day. The great part about that is that I'll be able to focus more of my own time on writing code that I want to write.

So what is it that I'm writing? Well, I can't tell you that right now, but I'll tell you the name of the project, the name of this code: The Forseti Project.

No, I don't own the domain name. It's specifically designed to take advantage of some of the things I've learned in the last couple of years and to explore things I've not had time to work on because of a very hectic coding schedule. Now that the coding schedule seems to be lightening up, I'll be exploring some things I've wanted to delve into.

And that's all I have to say about it for the moment. As I move along, I'm sure I'll be sharing some of the things that I learn and discover as I work on this exciting new project.

I'll keep you posted.

Geek Dinner and Superman

Last Thursday I attended my first Geek Dinner. Great food. Good conversation. And then we went to the Wynnsong and watched Superman Returns in our own reserved theater thanks to their great management. And many thanks to Phil Burns and DevUtah for hosting it.

Dinner was at Tucanos in Provo. Great food. Fun atmosphere.

The movie was vintage Superman. I expected more but my kids will love it.

And if you live in Utah, come join us for the next Geek dinner. If you don't, then start your own. Way fun!

What About Me

I am a .NET developer and architect with more years in the software industry than I care to admit, the last seven of which have been spent architecting and implementing web and rich client applications for the enterprise. For the last four years I have worked nearly exclusively in C#.

I jumped into C# in 2001 when I read Borland's lawsuit against Microsoft over the fact that Bill had lured many key people away from Borland (all's fair in love and war, no condemnation here) to work on what was the precursor to .NET and C#. That's where I first learned of Anders Hejlsberg. I was already a Delphi enthusiast and reading about Anders journey north got me very interested in what he had produced.

At the time, I was considering moving away from Delphi and into the J2EE world. I consulted with a friend who was already a very successful consultant in that space. He read the winds blowing in from the northwest and suggested I would be better off, in terms of job opportunities in the future, if I went with C# and .NET. I haven't looked back since. I do look over the fence at J2EE from time to time to see what's happening but I don't think you could get me to switch from Diet Coke to coffee.