Monthly Archives: August 2008

The Codestock / DevLink T-shirt challenge wrap-up

30 Aug 2008
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  Comments Off

As I posted here, here and here, I (with James’ help) have been raising money for the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum.  After some shipping issues kept me from following through at Codestock, I finally received the shirt the Monday before I left for DevLink

Instead of wearing it on the bus, I decided to wear it for the first day of DevLink.  As I was getting dressed that morning, I actually realized it was gonna be a bit tougher than I thought.  :-)   The cool thing is that it turned out to be a conversation starter throughout the day and into the evening.  As you can see, it appears to be a picture of the band Ratt.  If you look close, you’ll see it’s this picture (courtesy of James).


Let me give everyone the background on this particular picture.  A few months ago I mentioned on twitter that I had never been to a concert.  I actually caught a lot of flack from people for that simple comment.  Keep in mind that during this twitter exchange, I NEVER mentioned anything about Ratt or wanting to see them. :-)

James, for whatever reason, decided to fire up Photoshop and add me to a picture of the band.  Even as the above twitter conversation was still going on, James twittered the picture.  It has since become a running joke with my friends and was even used as an icebreaker when I first met Sarah.

It still pops up on twitter and IRC every now and then, but now that I’ve turned the tables and actually raised some money for charity, I’m ok with it. :-)

Like I said, it was a conversation starter during DevLink and I enjoyed talking about it AND how it was being used to raise money for the museum.

So, finally, in the end, how much did I raise?  More than I expected, but not as much as I hoped.  Including James’ donation of $125, I received a grand total of $365.  Not bad for the simple act of wearing a t-shirt. :-)   I’ll be heading to Ann Arbor soon to hand them a check.  I hope to get a picture while I’m there.  If I do, I’ll update this post.

Personally, I would love to see more of us do things like this to raise money for charities we care about.  It definitely feels good. :-)

The Codestock T-shirt challenge

12 Aug 2008
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  1 Comments

As I mentioned in this post, James and I decided to raise some money for what I consider a very worthy charity: The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum.  The plan was for James to bring a custom-made t-shirt to Codestock for me to wear.  The shirt, which was supposed to cause me some embarrassment during my talk, ended up not being delivered to James’ house until *after* he left for Codestock.  We were both really disappointed, BUT there’s some backstory I can share.

James originally tried to get the shirt made at, but for whatever reason, they rejected his design (copyright issues?).  He eventually got the shirt made at Cafepress, but even though he chose “2-day shipping”, it took about 8 days for the shirt to be delivered.  I feel pretty bad about it because I did get quite a few donations and was really looking forward to “earning” them.  I even added a slide to my session deck that talked about it. :-\

We’ve decided to extend the challenge a bit.  He is sending the shirt to me sometime *before* I leave for DevLink.  My plan is to wear it on the DevLink bus (more on that in another post), although James suggested wearing it during the event.  We’ll see how things go. :-)

So, no pictures yet, but I promise there will be. :-)

Oh, I should mention something else.  After the Codestock poker game, Dennis Burton donated his winnings to the “challenge”!  That was an additional $70 I wasn’t expecting!  Thanks Dennis!

While I’d prefer everyone click on this donate buttonThe Codestock/DevLink T-Shirt Challenge - raising money for the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museumso I can collect all donations and then write the Museum one big check after DevLink, you may certainly skip that and simply donate directly to the museum using this link.  If you do donate directly to the museum, please leave a comment on this post. :-)   100% of the donations I receive will go directly to the museum.  If you have any questions, please use the contact link on my blog.

Technorati Tags: ,

Codestock rocked!

12 Aug 2008
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  1 Comments

My pictures | Alan’s pictures | Jeff’s pictures

Note: blog post about the T-shirt challenge is coming soon.

What a weekend!  Huge thanks to Mike Neel, Alan Stevens, Wally and whoever else helped organize and run Codestock!

It all started for me when I packed things in my neighbors car around 8:30am.  Since I was meeting Jason and Jamie in Toledo, my wife and neighbor decided to take all the kids to the Toledo Zoo after dropping me off.  It worked out really well, so while we were driving through Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, they were all enjoying the zoo. :-)

The three of us left Toledo right around 10:30am in the car Jason rented.  The rental was equipped with GPS, so after entering the address of the La Quinta in Knoxville, we headed out.  The drive down was pretty uneventful.  While we stopped once for gas and once for food, we arrived at the hotel just after 6.  dinnerAfter a quick check-in, we made our way to the restaurant (which was, thankfully, within walking distance of the hotel) and met up with a bunch of people.  I’m pretty sure we must have had over 20 at dinner.  It was awesome to finally meet James and Scott, although when Scott first introduced himself to me (only as “Scott”), it took me a couple minutes before I made the connection. ;-)   We had a great time at dinner, if not a just a bit too much to drink.

After dinner, a bunch of us headed over to the hotel’s pool area and hung out, drinking and talking, until the hotel staff kicked us out asked us to leave.  That was around 10:20.  After that, we ended up on the second floor balcony, just 100_0016outside (and inside) Steve Andrews’ room.  Thankfully, we were able to stay there until after 2am. :-)   I had a great talk with Robert Cain (Arcane Code), Scott Spradlin, Jim Wooley and Mark Watson.  There were some other really good discussions and I had a tough time leaving, but I knew the conversations would continue a few hours later at the event.

My alarm was set for 6:30, and since I didn’t sleep too well to begin with, I was up and around by 7.  Jason, Jamie and I headed for the event sometime between 7:30 and 8.  While I was standing in line, I met Nathan Blevins (Nate and his team kicked ass at Give Camp last month, so it was great to meet him).  Check-in at the event went really smoothly, but I have to say, the keynote really felt like a Microsoft marketing speech even though it was given by Jeff Prosise from Wintellect.  Silverlight is cool, but I don’t believe it’s the game changer he described.

During the first time slot I attended most of James’ session, “10 Open Source Tools You Should Use”.  After that, I spent the rest of the day in the open spaces room for some really great discussions.  Chris Williams caught some on tape, but I don’t know what the plan is for them.  I’d love to see them posted somewhere.  My talk was in the last time slot of the day, and while the room wasn’t packed like it was for James, I think it went really well.  Hopefully those that attended agree. :-)

After my talk, it was time for the giveaways.  Once again, I didn’t win the 360, but I did win a book, so it wasn’t a total loss. :-)

After the giveaways, me, Jason, James, Justin, Scott, Kevin Hazzard, Jamie and Phil Japiski (did I miss anyone?) went to dinner instead of hitting the after-party.  To be honest, I think the after-party sounded kinda cool, but I was hungry and wanted more than hotdogs and chips.  After dinner, we headed over to 100_0129Alan’s house for a few more hours of great conversations.  I ended up *not* drinking all night, but instead played poker with some great people including Jeff (he started the game), Jamie, Aaron, Amanda, Dennis, Amy, Rick, Dave and Jay.  I had a lot of fun, but expected to be out early.  I was definitely short-stacked through most of the game, but ended up hanging in and made it to the final 3. :-)   By that time the blinds were crazy-high, so it only took a couple hands before I was knocked out.  I was a bit disappointed, but at the same time, I got my money back for coming in 3rd. :-)   The heads-up game was between Dennis and Jeff with Dennis winning.

After the game, I went out and hung out with whoever was around the camp fire. :-)  

Jason, Jamie and I headed back to the hotel around 1:30am or so.  A few hours later (sometime around 9:30) we headed out for the trip back home.  I think we arrived in Toledo a bit before 5.

Overall, I had an awesome time at Codestock and I’ll definitely go next year!  My biggest complaint? Not enough time to talk to everyone I wanted. :-\  So many smart people, so little time.

Technorati Tags: ,

Codestock countdown, the Codestock T-shirt challenge and helping a great non-profit organization

04 Aug 2008
by mjeaton, posted in Uncategorized   |  1 Comments

Wow.  I can’t believe it’s August already.  Where did July go?

In a few short days I’ll be jumping in a car and making the long drive down to Knoxville to speak at Codestock.  Of course, I’m not crazy enough to make the 9-hour trip by myself, so Friday morning I’ll be driving to Toledo to meet up with Jason Follas.  I’m really looking forward to this event for several reasons.  Not only will this be my first trip to Tennessee, but I’ll be meeting lots of great people.  It’ll be great to finally meet James, Scott, Nathan and several other tweeps in person.  Of course, as I review the speaker list, I start to panic  a bit and wonder if they really meant to select me as a speaker. ;-)

Once again, I’ll be doing my “An Introduction to Castle ActiveRecord, or Stop Writing CRUD!” talk.  Based on the recently-released schedule, it looks like I’ll be speaking in the last timeslot of the day. :-)   That should make for an interesting day.  I’m making a few tweaks to my presentation and hope to record the talk.  The last time I tried to tape a session, it didn’t turn out too well, but I’ll certainly give it another try.  :-)

A few weeks ago, James approached me with an idea.  He said, “I’ll donate ‘x’ dollars to the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum‘ IF you wear a t-shirt I’m having made during your presentation at Codestock.”  After a little thought, I told him I’d do it. :-)   The t-shirt I’ll be wearing will remain a surprise, but I will post pictures after the event.  When I mentioned this to several friends in IRC last week, they chimed in and said they’d be willing to donate some money as well.  Sweet!  In the spirit of helping a fantastic children’s museum in Ann Arbor, I’d like to open this up to everyone.

I can say that the t-shirt will be in good taste, but it will be cause me a bit of embarrassment. ;-)   So, if you’d like to a) see me sweat just a little bit more during my presentation and b) help a great organization, please take a minute and donate what you can.  It’s a great cause – the museum is an awesome place to take your kids for a few hours!

While I’d prefer everyone click on this donate buttonThe Codestock T-Shirt Challenge - raising money for the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museumso I can collect all donations and then write the Museum one big check after Codestock, you may certainly skip that and simply donate directly to the museum using this link.  If you do donate directly to the museum, please leave a comment on this post. :-)   100% of the donations I receive will go directly to the museum.  If you have any questions, please use the contact link on my blog.

Technorati Tags: ,,