it is all about the Javascript

So there I was, on an interview with a cool company called Clevertech, with a pleasant lady named Rena, and the question of Javascript came up, and I mentioned that I saw basically most of their dev team was Javascript developers, and I said something like 'I guess they are doing a lot of front-end'... Not sure why I said that, knowing full well that we already live in a world where Javascript is taking over the back end, but you know sometimes things just come out, and I probably won't get that job anyway but at the end of the day I'm never sure which is which in terms of good vs. bad. Quite to the contrary - when I think I've done well, I've often done rather poorly, and when I think I messed up a bit that is often when I get an offer. But either way, JS is taking over the world, and unless I want to hang my hat on being a Rails dev forevermore (please, no?) -  then I had better get with the program. And now I am doing a little 'code project' for a prospective employer, and pardon my French but I love that shit, because no one ever says no once they see my code. I am a poet who writes code, and that means I care about every line.

So anyway I am working my way through a Node.js proof of concept, and seriously I am having more fun than I remember having in a long time (Node + Express + EJS). Coding is fun, anyone will tell you that, that is how we all get hooked; but if you keep your head down long enough you may forget it is art at the end of the day. I can't tell you how excited I am to get started on something new. I've got a lot more interviews coming up and it all just feels really good right now.

It is really strange to be back on the market, so to speak, it has been almost a decade now since I've been looking for full-time work. But I feel really ready right now for whatever comes my way. And I have until next Friday to deliver on a pretty simple POC in Node.js, and I'm telling you, that app is going to fart rainbows by the time I'm done with it. :)

this is the best I have ever looked on TV

NOTE: This story was originally published on my old blog (from before I moved to Squarespace).

I would like to announce, to the media gods who are always keeping score, that this is the best I have ever looked on broadcast television. Remember me thusly when I am at the pearly gates.

screen grab from the CHEYENNE DVD (MTV 2006)

screen grab from the CHEYENNE DVD (MTV 2006)

I finally watched the dvd that I have had for 6 years now, and it is actually not a bad show. I remember how much empathy I had for her, she was such a sweet girl with so much going on and I can't imagine what it's like to have had so much success so early in her life. As turns out, I got on camera a little bit, which surprised me. My face was in the tag montage, which was cool. And the shot above is a screen capture of me walking on stage in Breckinridge, about to play keys and sing backup for CHEYENNE at our show there which was being filmed for an HD special. There are a few other shots of me in the earlier episodes, but this is far and away the biggest shot of me in terms of time and closeup level that has ever been broadcast on any channel of television. I have set my own bar in terms of media slam dunks.

The line-up was:
Cheyenne Kimball - acoustic guitar, lead vocals
Dave Krusen - drums
Joey Clement - bass, vocals
Krister Axel - keyboards, vocals
Travis Arnold - electric guitar

Happy November

Hello, and happy November. It has been quite a few months for me.

Some of you may have heard here and there that I'm super busy, I've been working non-stop since August. I had a few posts about what has been going on, and frankly the details are not super interesting and perhaps I am not at liberty to fully share, but the short of it is that we had some technical debt that needed to be paid and I went ahead and did it. I refactored an 8 year old code base in 3 months. That is an order of magnitude of roughly 4. What?

Yes, I said it. If I was x amount of programmer 8 years ago, I am roughly x^4 of programmer now. That's insane.

Luckily, I was able to make a very compelling case to my employer that I am irreplaceable. It feels really good to know that my contribution is valued. I have worked really hard for years now and it feels today like it finally paid off. I live and breath this stuff, and I know our whole system in and out. Those of you in tech know how valuable that is. Some of this business knowledge lives mostly in my brain.

Anyway, today is a good day. My hard work has paid off and it just goes to show - good things come to people who work their ass off even when they're not sure if anyone notices.

Eventually, someone will notice.

my only surviving test from Composition school

I spent a year in composition school as a youth and it is a bit of a shame that I wan't in a place to get much out of it. I learned a lot of technical stuff but my teacher hated me and had every reason to. I was quite irreverent in my early years. Learning music theory was always very hard work, much like any of the sciences. You first learn about who came before you and it is always very humbling. My teacher had a thing for Copeland and Bartok. They were kind of a big deal.

Anyway, as I'm looking through stuff I came across this old test from my class in harmony. I probably kept it around because I did ok. Now it just feels like a relic from a very different time. It's funny, I still remember and use rules from species counterpoint, so I guess some of this stuff does stick.

Ashland Railroad District

So the story is, the rail used to run through here to get from Portland to San Francisco but it got rerouted in 1927. And more recently than that the rail lines were used for local deliveries between Talent, Phoenix, Medford and Ashland. Apparently they will be getting started again sometime this year.

For the moment, the Ashland Railroad district is just a handful of city blocks near downtown that happen to be near the railroad.  It's the flattest part of the neighborhood which makes sense. It's the most walkable area and has all of the important stores - the Ashland Food Coop, the Hardware Store, and the Grange. You are pretty much covered for anything.

I go by there all the time when I am jogging, there is a great trail that follows the railroad for a while.

Looking east.

Looking east.

Looking west.

Looking west.

again with the post by email

Oh I am showing my age but I remember the last time post by email was all the rage and it was a long time ago. Back then it never took off because internet connections weren’t stable enough, I think, so the trust level was low but now of course even phones are perfectly capable of consistent email delivery so maybe it could come in handy. Test post completed. :)