Tap My Mind

A Blog by Scott Isaacs

Month: November 2007

I Was Wondering When This Would Happen

Silverlight 1.1 becomes Silverlight 2.0. (Thanks for the heads up, Dave.)

Now I just have to find a way to get to Mix ’08 next year.

Maybe Another Time

So, we got our news today.  It wasn’t what we we hoping to hear.  Some of you will know what I’m talking about.  For the rest of you, I’m sorry, but I’m not really in the mood to talk about it right now.  I guess that doesn’t make for much of a blog post — maybe another time.

And Now This!

Kelly and ScottWithout really going into any detail, Kelly and I are facing some issues and are expecting to hear either really good news or bad news later this week or early next.  We’re both staying really positive, though.

Charlie in Mommy's glassesSo anyway, thinking about that, I started thinking about all of the things that we’ve gone through this year, and since we’ve been together over the last several years.  It hasn’t all been roses.  In the last 13 months, we’ve both lost jobs.  We’ve had some struggles financially due to a declining real estate market.  My grandma died earlier this year.  I’m sure if I tried, I could think of a number of other things. 

And now this!

Charlie's blue eyesIt’s so easy to get caught up in the "and now this" mentality, and just keep piling more things on.  It’s so easy to get discouraged, frustrated, angry, depressed, or whatever.  But for every bad thing that has happened, one or more good things has happened.

When I lost my job last year, within roughly a week, I had four job offers on the table, and I could take my pick, each better (in so many ways) than the job I lost.  Now I work with my childhood best friend, building a company doing things I never thought I would do.  There are struggles and stress to be sure, but it’s an amazing thing to be able to be in this position.  I never imagined that I would have been involved in designing and creating a product like this.  Or that our first client would be a company in the top 150 of the Fortune 500.  Or that it looks like our second client will also be a company on that list.

After losing her job earlier this year, KellyKelly now has three jobs (aside from the "mom thing"), and they’re all perfect for her.  She works a few hours a week at a place that loves having her and gets her out of the house to interact with adults.  She is also a work-from-home executive assistant to one of the top real estate brokers in California’s Central Valley, so she gets to see Charlie all day long between her tasks.  And to top it off, she is starting her own business.  (Buy something now!)  I can say, without a doubt, that I have an amazing wife.

We never did sell our last house.  But we found renters.  Good renters — a young family who pays their rent on time and takes good care of the place.

Charlie deep in thoughtMy grandma died earlier this year, and that was hard for me — especially since I live so far from the rest of my family.  Sometimes, being so far away, I forget, then I remember and feel sad all over again. 

Then I remember that just a few months before she died, before she even knew she had cancer, my grandma had a chance to meet and hold my daughter, Charlize.  I can’t imagine anything that has ever happened — or will ever happen — to me that could be as life changing as having Charlie.

And now this!

See, the thing about the "and now this" syndrome is that it works both ways.  You may have heard it described as being "on a roll", "on fire", "in the groove", or a million other phrases.

Charlie trying to steal the cameraI’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve added a few photos to this post.  As you might have guessed, those are the things I am most thankful for this year.  For that matter, for the rest of my like those are going to be the things for which I am most thankful.

I love my wife.  I love my daughter.  They both love me.  That alone make any struggle or loss seem almost trivial.  I’m blessed and I don’t believe it’s coincidence.  To that, add the rest of my family, my close friends, my faith, my job, my new home, all of my opportunities, and the fact that, through it all, we’re happy.

And now this!

We don’t yet know what "this" is, and it may prove to be a painful process to find out.  But I do know that there is a "this" and when we find it, it will be amazing.

If you pray, please keep us in your prayers this week and next.  Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving from the Isaacs family.

Holiday Party 2007 — Already Sold Out

I recently posted about a Holiday Party that Microsoft is sponsoring for the WI .NET Users Group.  Well, unfortunately, a mere 3.5 hours after making the announcement, the event has filled up.  The Chicago .NET Users Group is also having a similar event, and theirs "sold out" in 2 hours.

Microsoft had a particular number of licenses available for us at this event, and we have already reached the limit.  My contact there is working to see if there is anything that can be done to add more, but he’s not sure yet what will be available.

If anything else comes up and more space is made available I will definitely make an update.  I apologize for those of you that wanted to register but were not able to get signed up in time.  This booked up much faster than anticipated.

Please check back regularly in case more seats are added.  I will send a newsletter update as well if that happens.

Math Is Calming

Not gonna happen...Many of you know that I have a little 14 month old daughter, Charlize (we call her Charlie, and she has a website).  Some of you are aware that 14 months is around an age that is not an uncommon age for first steps.  A few of you may also know that our house is largely covered with wood flooring.

See where this is going?

Charlie has been walking here and there for almost two months, but is just now starting to really take off.  She’s finally at the point where she walks more than she crawls.

Tonight was no exception, and she was taking a few laps around the living room.  The center of the living room is carpeted (roughly 15′ square) and there is a 3′ perimeter that is wood.  Also, with the "open concept", the wood extends into the surrounding entry way, dining room and kitchen area.

You can always tell how tired she is by one or more of three indicators:

  • She rubs her eyes,
  • She pulls her knees up under her and lays her head on the floor for a minute (really cute by the way), or
  • She gets a little clumsy

Tonight she took a tumble in the entry hall and clocked her head on the wood flooring.  Basically, it went like this:

  • Smile, happy, walking around.
  • THUD!
  • Calm before the storm.  This part seems like an eternity, but scientists have proven that, in reality, it is only 1-3 seconds.  Somehow babies instinctively know how to mess with the space-time continuum.
  • Crying that makes you wish that pulling your fingernails out with pliers and then pounding them into your tear ducts with a hammer would make her feel better.

Nothing would calm her down.  I picked her up and held her for a minute and tried to soothe her.  I have no idea why I thought that would work, by the way.  Kelly took her and gave it a shot.  She tried the pacifier, which normally helps if she’s more tired than anything else.  She tried talking to her.  She tried singing.  None of the normal things were working.

Then my brilliant wife started saying, "1 + 1 is 2.  1 + 2 is 3," and Charlie started to calm instantly.  Even though she was completely calm by the "mid 2s", Kelly went all the way up to the "10s", and Charlie just watched her the whole time.

Is it possible?  Could it be?  Have the stars aligned?  Is this cutest little girl in the whole world really a geek at heart?  Let me tell you, it made this geek dad smile.  [:)]

By the way, if you have a little girl, or if you want to be really mean to your young son, Kelly is starting up a little side business making accessories for girls.  Buy something so we can send this genius kid of ours to Harvard or MIT in a couple years.

Deeper in .NET 2008 – Planning

So, if you’re a .NET developer in southeast Wisconsin, or if you’ve read my blog for a while, you may know that I am the president of the WI .NET Users Group (UG).  You may also remember that in spring 2006 we had a day-long conference called Deeper in .NET 2006.  It was a great event, with several hundred attendees and five nationally recognized speakers.  Best of all, since the UG is sponsor supported, Deeper in .NET was completely free for all attendees.

Well, after a hiatus in 2007, we are currently planning Deeper in .NET 2008 right now.  While no plans have yet been finalized and everything in this blog post is tentative, I wanted to share some of what we have in mind to get community feedback.

Currently, we are planning to have DiDN08 on April 5, 2008.  The format will be similar to previous years, and we will have 5-6 sessions over the course of the day.  As usual, we will be trying to attract the top speaking talent we can find to present of the topics that are the most interesting in the Microsoft development world.

Although we are already in contact with a few potential speakers, I’d like to give everybody this opportunity give their ideas for both speakers and topics.  Have a burning desire to hear your favorite speaker or author right here in your own backyard?  Let me know.  Really want to find out more about Microsoft’s latest and greatest product that will meet the impossibly difficult business need you are facing at work?  Leave a comment.  Have any other ideas about the conference, or about the UG in general?  My ears are open.  While I can’t promise miracles, I will promise that we will review every suggestion and try to make this conference what our members want it to be.

Also, if you’re a past or present sponsor of the UG and are interested in finding out how you can get involved with this thriving community, let me know.  I will be sending out some e-mails over the coming weeks to those that have sponsored or expressed interest in the last couple years, so be sure to watch your inbox.

As time gets closer, more and more info will be available on the UG site.  In the meantime, I’ll be sure to post anything here on my blog tagged with DiDN.  If you’re a blogger, by all means, blog about it, and trackback to this post, and/or tag it DiDN.  And if you blog, be sure to check out our Evangelist program.

WI .NET Users Group Holiday Party

Ho ho ho!  Merry Christmas!Ho, ho, ho!  I’ve got an early Christmas gift for those of you who are .NET developers near the Milwaukee area.

Microsoft and the WI .NET Users Group are teaming up to throw a little holiday party this year.  Many of the details are still in the works, but plan on having a lot of fun.  We’re trying to arrange some extra prizes and perhaps some better food than we have at our normal meetings — not that there’s anything wrong with pizza, though.  We’re also checking the possibility of having an XBox setup for some gaming that night.

Also, and this is pretty exciting, in addition to the fun and food, bring your computer and you will have a chance to install the RTM bits of Visual Studio 2008.

Yes, Microsoft will be providing licensed versions of Visual Studio 2008 for those who bring their computers and install right then and there.  Once they’ve installed VS2008, we will take their contact info and Microsoft will ship them a licensed version in the coming weeks.

The date has been set for December 11, and we will probably be meeting at the Waukesha Microsoft office.  Please register now if you plan to attend.  Microsoft would like to get a good head count to make sure we are prepared with everything. 

So, tell all your friends, your co-workers, your boss, your family members, your neighbors and the waiter at your favorite lunch establishment about it.  And blog about it.  You can link back here or to the "official page" at http://www.wi-ineta.org/holiday.  Who knows, maybe we’ll have another Evangelist blogging contest?

Keep watching my blog and the event page for updates as more info is available.

Silverlight Hangs My Computer

So after months of forgetting and never thinking about it when I am at my computer, I finally remembered to subscribe to Brad Abrams’ blog today.  I was reading his recent post mentioning Silverlight hosting, when I ran into an increasingly familiar problem I am having on my computer.  I clicked on the link to the Silverlight Streaming site and my browser pegged out the processor and my computer was unusable for a few minutes while I tried to get a Task Manager window into view to kill the process. 

I have Silverlight 1.1.20816.0 installed, and it only seems to happen when I use IE.  I haven’t noticed this with Firefox although I haven’t tried that as much, and I have only noticed it on sites using Silverlight.  I’m on Win XP SP2 with IE7.  Has anyone else experienced this?  Anyone have any thoughts on what I should do to fix this?

Please contact me here or leave a comment if so.

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