Thursday, December 18, 2008

What's Up, December!

Well for anyone who's interested, here's the latest happenings.

I am in the last stages of getting our wedding photos online. I have setup Gallery2 on the server at home. It's a great PHP app that allows you to host your photos, that my buddy Nick put me on to. I hope everyone will enjoy it. I have the domain name for our server, and I think I have resolved the DNS server stuff (more on how to do all this in a separate post, since it simply does not seem like there is one place to get all the information you need to do all this on your own, and I had a lot of trouble cobbling it together from the disparate sources. I hope it will help others who find themselves in my situation. At any rate, the wedding pictures are awesome. If anyone has any sort of professional photography needs, then by all means, check out Thomas Graves. He is personable, talented, and on the day of the event, extremely unobtrusive, while capturing all the special moments. If anyone wants to see a preview, check out this site. Thomas put together a little sampler before we got all the photos.

We also have all of our honeymoon pictures up on Snapfish, so feel free to take a look.

I just finished The Professor and the Madman, which turned out to be a fantastic story. I mentioned it before, but the story is about the creation of the venerable Oxford English Dictionary, and one of its most prolific contributors, Dr. William C. Minor. For anyone not familiar with the OED, it was an incredible undertaking that required decades of work before it was all released. A dictionary is an interesting thing, because it's obviously never finished, as new words pop up every day. Minor's incredible contributions to the dictionary (tens of thousands of definitions and supporting quotations), are no small feat for anyone, but are more amazing when you consider that he was a lunatic, who murdered someone because of his paranoid delusions, and was doing his word from an insane asylum. The story takes the reader through a quick history of dictionaries, the OED's beginnings, the life of the OED's leader, James Murray, and the life of William Minor. It's a pretty short, quick read, and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in words or just interesting historical stories in general.

I am now back on This is Your Brain on Music, which I started and shelved a while ago, and have also made it about a quarter of the way through Flights of the Mind, a biography of Leonardo Da Vinci. So far I have only made it through his apprenticeship, but it's definitely interesting, if for no other reason, because we were just in Florence for our honeymoon, and can picture the scenes described in the book, along with the works of art that I just saw in the Uffizi Gallery. What makes these renaissance thinkers so amazing is the fact that with minimal real academic training, they produced incredible output, be it art, science, or literature. These people are simply brilliant, and their achievements just seem to dwarf anything that is taking place now.

Christmas is fast approaching, and we will be heading to Indiana to visit my Grandparents. I know they are excited, and I am excited too, to spend my first Christmas with my beautiful wife. What else...We are also getting the house painted finally - Jena had the kitchen redone some time ago, but we never ever got the patch work and painting done, so now's the time. The first estimate comes today - hopefully it won't be ridiculous. I have no concept of how much house painting costs.

Work is busy. I have moved on to new projects, and no longer have to dwell on the evil LAMP site install. It's back to Sportsvite core stuff, which is much more fun. Currently, I am finishing the latest round of updates to our Powerade/CBS Sports partner site. I have been able to use some interesting libraries in this endeavor. I have also been toying with content by using some of the Web APIs out there, like YouTube and Flickr's. The world of content that is consumable is fascinating to me. The interwoven world of the web allows everyone to focus on what they are best at, and to supplement their offerings with other people's core competencies. Incredible. I think things will really get rolling when our fourth engineer joins the team in the new year. There are so many cool things coming down the pike.
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