Site Update...

Yes, I'm still alive!!! :-)

I've had to ditch my old site design, at least for the moment, to try to correct a problem with the site. Assuming the problem has been addressed now, I'll be looking to post more in the upcoming weeks. I've got a large backlog of things to share!

How I got started in ColdFusion... place holder...

I missed the "how I got started in ColdFusion" flurry on 8/1/2011. Unfortunately, I've got some personal issues to deal with right now that are taking up all of my free time, and that don't lend themselves to introspection. It's a long story, and I have talked about it on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. I don't mean to be cryptic. I just don't want to get into the whole story right now, but you can see the beginnings of it here:

https://plus.google.com/117969149458240167988/posts

There's more... but that can wait.

I will tell the story of how I got started in ColdFusion later in the month, once the dust (and mold) have settled.

I am a fanatic of The Event! Help us get a season 2!!!

If you follow my Twitter stream, you probably already know that I'm a big fan of The Event. In fact, I haven't been tweeting about much else these days. No, I haven't lost my marbles... in fact, things are good these days. However, I am near-fanatical about this show and I want people to know it!

I am tweeting about it a lot these days for one very, very important reason: It's very possible the show will be canceled at the end of the season, and I want to do whatever I can to make sure that doesn't happen!!! We should know in mid May its fate.

It's not a perfect show. It has some flaws. Some of the episodes seem like they could use another draft before they go to air. Since I sold a story to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine way back... wow, fifteen years ago (a story for another time)... I sometimes get the "I could have written a better episode than this" feeling. That's, in my case, a good sign, because I haven't had that feeling when I'm watching a show since Star Trek: TNG was on... and I was as much into that show as I am into The Event.

It's a roller coaster! It's pretty much a cross between 24, Lost, V, Flash Forward and The 4400 (from what I am told... I haven't caught up with that show yet). I was initially intrigued by its combination of action, suspense, science fiction and serialized storytelling that I was very excited when it was announced and was a fan, even before it started. Once it aired, it didn't disappoint, though I did understand some people that were a bit confused by the pilot and how it was told in a very non-linear way... not the best for a casual viewer that may not be fully paying attention. I'll save you from going into a long explanation of the story, as there are other websites that can give you detailed synopses of each episode, such as Wormhole Riders, but we pretty much now know what the Event is, and that it's coming soon (probably the season finale).

SPOILER ALERT!!! If you don't want to be spoiled, don't read on.

At this point (episode 1.17 - five more episodes left in the season), we pretty much know that "the event" is the mass arrival of 2.5 billion humanoid aliens that have superior technology, have infiltrated every level of society, and are hellbent on the "winnowing" mass-extinction of many or even most of the humans on this planet. These aliens, or as what was suggested in one episode "guardian angels", have visited Earth for thousands of years, and are now coming here to day. They want Earth for themselves. Their sun is starting to go supernova, and will be uninhabitable within the next year, so they have to move. We also know that Sean Walker is an outsider, but has been accepted by a tribe of "sentinels" who have also been around for thousands of years to protect us from the angels/aliens, and see him as humanity's best hope for survival. His girlfriend, Leila, at the start of the show, has discovered that she is half human, half alien, and that her father is one of them.

If you haven't gotten into the show, or gave up on it early on... I do suggest you try the two minute replays if you can't watch all of the episodes in their entirety. If you have Hulu Plus, you can watch all 17 episodes with your subscription. If not, the last five are available on Hulu and nbc.com. If you're outside of the US, I'm not sure what might be available. I know citytv.com has episodes on its site for Canadian viewers, but I'm not sure about the rest of the world (please comment if you have info). I have seen download sites on the web... but I'm not condoning that. They are available for purchase on amazon.com and ITunes, as well as the Zune marketplace and I'm sure other places and on demand for many cable systems.

Anyway... so why all the twittering, facebooking and whatnot? Well, the show hasn't done all that well in the ratings. It started strong, but with stiff competition in the schedule, a network that took the show off the air for three months and is having major problems throughout its schedule, and a big budget, the show is in jeopardy of cancellation, and it would be a tragedy if that were to happen. I'm not podcasting these days because my podcast studio has been disassembled, and it's difficult to do the show without it, and I'm pretty busy these days at the office, so I'm taking a break from any open source projects, but what I CAN do is help do what I can to help fans of the show be heard, get people watching the show when it's aired (especially if you're a Nielsen family!!!), talk about it to friends and get them into the show! What's more, I'm trying to do whatever I can do to help rally fans to get the word to NBC Universal to not cancel this show. WE WANT A SEASON 2!!! If it's removed from the NBC schedule, my hope is that they will move the show to one of its sister channels, such as Syfy or USA Network, or bring it back as a mid-season replacement. That might be a good alternative because the show suffered from pre-emptions and that long hiatus. Law & Order: LA, which also went through a long hiatus, has suffered a similar problem in the ratings since its return, and that, and lackluster ratings from the network in general, will help NBC give this show another season. Shows like 24, which has a lot in common with The Event, had a very similar lackluster season 1 but were strong in subsequent seasons, and I am hoping that will be a factor in bringing back the show.

To that end, I have set up a new blog & website at theeventfanatic.com, where I will keep links, theories, episode info and whatever I can find about The Event. Check out my Other Websites page, where I have links to every website, Twitter account and Facebook page I can find devoted to the show. I have also created a new Twitter account devoted just to this site, called @TheEventFanatic. If you're interested in the show, I have moved most of my The Event specific activity to that account, though I still post some on my main @coofuushun account from time to time.

Also, I want to publicize another website that has been created to help fans of the show know what they can do to save the show. It's called savetheevent.blogspot.com. There, you'll find things you can do to help this show.

Thanks for reading!

End of an era: I've stepped down as an Adobe User Group Manager

It's been a long, long, long run... but it's time to end it.

At Tuesday's Cleveland CFUG meeting, I officially stepped down as an Adobe User Group manager. Dan Vega, my long time co-manager, has taken over the group. Mike Cooper, the AUG manager, has also decided to step down to spend more time with his family. Andrew Maurer, the Cleveland AUG co-manager, becomes the co-manager of a combined group. I will no longer serve in any official capacity within the group, though I will remain involved, advise, and contribute as time allows.

[More]

Vote for me to speak/open mike podcast at CFUnited!

I'm hoping to do a CFConversations Open Mike at CFUnited this year... but I need your help to get on the schedule.

I'll be at CFUnited regardless (well, hopefully; I'm planning to be there), but I'd like to have a big audience for one of the podcasts.

You can vote for the open mike here:

http://callforspeakers.cfconf.org/?event=vote&eventId=188

I've sent in a total of four topics, including one on LightFront, that could all use your vote:

  1. CFConversations Open Mike
  2. Improving Website Performance in the Browser
  3. LightFront - The CFML Framework that you don't need to be a rocket scientist to use!
  4. Object Oriented CFML: 2010 Edition

RE: CFConversations - I probably won't get another podcast out until March, as I'm pretty swamped with work right now until the end of the month, but I've got a few episodes coming, including a few guest interviewers, and two that are already recorded. I have to hit it hard in March, as CF Hour() is about to lap CFConversations. :( I'm all about healthy competition. :)

About to leave for CFUnited

I am about to leave for CFUnited... I just wanted to just send out a quick post.

It's been a while since I've released a CFConversations episode, just due to me being insanely busy on a bunch of things. There hasn't been any time for a podcast, but I'll be trying to get some out this week, including ones recorded at the conference.

I'll be hosting a day 1 open mike round table podcast scheduled for 5:30 on Wednesday, and CFConversations will be situated in the Legolas room throughout the conference, interviewing and podcasting away. Anyone who's at the conference can attend the open mike session, to listen and/or participate, and I'll be looking to schedule interviews throughout the conference.

That's all I have time for right now, but for more, see here:

http://www.cfconversations.com/index.cfm/2009/8/11/I-know-I-know-On-my-way-to-CFUnited

The new me at cf.Objective()

A lot of people have asked me to upload a pic, and thanks to O?uz Demirkap?, I've got one:

UPDATE: I forgot to say that on my last weigh-in on Wednesday (at the gym located in the hotel), I weighed a super unofficial 279.8 lbs. That makes my current weight loss total at 98.7 lbs!

UPDATE 2: I am back from cf.Objective, and weighed in today (5/17) at 278 lbs. That means I have now lost over 100 pounds! 100.5, to be exact. Here's another pic:

At cf.Objective(), and I'm no longer CF_Heavy...

I arrived in Minneapolis this afternoon, and am waiting for the fun to begin for CFObjective. My presentation is on Friday, What to Do When OO Fails You in ColdFusion. It should be interesting, and I'm looking forward to presenting it.

If you are reading this on my Blog, you'll see that I've finally got the last couple of kinks out of the new design, and I've just uploaded it. I found the Notepad theme at Skinpress. I made several mods to it, including the background from the main column is completely different, a few font differences and many of the icons are different as well.

Weight loss update: As of last Sunday, I have lost a total of 94 pounds since June, and 51 of that since the surgery on 2/27. I'm probably down even more as I write this, but until I get on the scale, I won't know for sure.

With that, I am retiring the CF_Heavy name of this blog. I may STILL be heavy, although a lot less heavy, and you will see that those days will soon be over. It no longer seems appropriate, and I will discard that just like I have the clothes that used to fit me only a few months ago that are now WAY too big.

UPDATE: I've finally uploaded a pic, which you can see here.

So how AM I doing?

I'm doing well, for the most part.

After some coaxing, I thought I'd finally say the things here that I should have said on here for months now.

Before I get into the now, how, what and why, here's some backstory, and I'll take you step by step through the last few months, as I had planned to blog about it, but hadn't until now. I have Twittered on it a lot, but until now, no blog entry.

For those of you who have never met me, except for a few years in high school and at the start of university, I've been big most of my life. It's embarrassing to say how big I've really got. I hope by coming clean, my story can help others.

I had been considering weight loss surgery for the last two or three years. I was reluctant, and thought I should give it one last try the old fashioned way, like I did seven years ago. I'd say over the last two years, I started having issues I never had before. Over the last year, my health was just getting worse and worse, and I had enough. I realized it was time to take it off once and for all. Something needed to be done.

I came close to losing the weight seven years ago. I was 380 pounds then. I went on a low carb diet, got a gym membership and a trainer, and started working out like crazy. I had one point where I lost 29 pounds in 29 days. I thought I had it. I had lost over 100 pounds. However, that success was short lived. In November of that year, I switched jobs, and moved from Jacksonville, FL to Charleston, WV a few months into working out very hard. That move didn't go very smoothly. I started work 2 weeks later than I was supposed to, of no fault of my own. I was broke, and couldn't afford a gym membership, and had to use the crappy gym at the apartment building. The workouts slowed down and I eventually stopped working out. I lost my momentum. The weight loss slowed, then stopped, and then I gradually started putting it back on. After my mother passed away, and some other stress, the weight gain accelerated. By late 2004, I had gained all but about 25 pounds of it back. By 2006, I gained it all back. I fluctuated from that point on, but with my health worsening, it was time.

I had friends who had the surgery, my wife had it, and I knew it was the right thing and the right time to do it for me. Surgery is not a cop-out. You still have to do everything you'd do to lose the weight without surgery. It only makes it more difficult to overeat. It's an insurance policy, and if I do everything I am supposed to, I will lose the weight.

The weight loss process actually started months ago, June 25th to be exact. I weighed 378.5 pounds that day, the day I went to the surgery workshop.

What's worse? Two weeks later, at my family doctor, I gained and came in at 381, tied for my all-time high, which I set two years before.

On August 5th, I started six months of medically supervised weight loss, as per my insurance carrier. I weighed 375 that day, and was asked to lose 20 pounds in the next six months. It seemed attainable, though so far away.

A few weeks later, another trip to the family doctor, and tests were run, and for the first time in my life, I had type 2 diabetes. I had tested positive a few times, but this was the first time I had fasted before the test, so it was clear that I was diabetic. Though it wasn't high enough for insulin, I was put on metformin, a pill to help control blood sugar. That diabetes news made me more serious to lose than ever. It was quite a shock.

When you're told you need to lose 20 pounds in six months, you might do what I did at first, and not take it too seriously, even with the diabetes news. It seemed so far away that it was hard to take seriously even though it was more clear than ever I needed to lose the weight. The closer I got to the six month deadline, the more serious I got.

By MAX, I was down to 361 pounds, only six pounds from my goal, and that's the weight many of you saw me at last.

Somehow, a week away from home (vacation after MAX) and I gained ten back. I still can't figure out how because I didn't eat badly while I was away and got a lot of walking in. I had only about six weeks left in my six months, and I was at 371 - 16 pounds to lose! I was shocked, and still am about that weight gain, but that got me even more serious. Two weeks later, at my weigh-in, I got that 10 off and reached 360.4 pounds. A bad month, only .6 pounds lost, but my goal was still in reach and considering I got that 10 pounds I gained off, I was happy.

Thankfully, after six months, I reached my goal and a little more. I got down to 353 pounds, down 22 pounds over that six month period.

A month later, I got the call that I was approved for surgery, set for Feb. 27th.

Two weeks before the surgery, I was put on a strict 800-calorie liquid diet. Through that, I lost another 18 pounds. My weight the day before the surgery was 335.5 pounds.

The surgery itself went well. I was on my feet and walking the night of the surgery, and was out of the hospital in only two days. It was not that bad. I fought through the pain. My mother, may she rest in peace, told me that your only goal once you're in the hospital should be to get well enough as fast as you can to leave the hospital as soon as possible. I kept hearing her advice to me and she was right. She motivated me. Only two incisions caused any serious pain, but the major pain was something I wasn't prepared for: Gas. No, not that kind of gas!!! :) When they do laparoscopic surgery, they pump your cavity full of gas, and most of it stays in you. Once I realized that the pain medications they were giving me weren't doing anything for the majority of my pain, I realized it was gas pain, and although it was painful, I ignored it as best as I could. It took about a week to get rid of that gas, passing it as any other kind of gas, but I had to absorb it before I could release it! :)

The day after I got out of the hospital, I went to the gym. I started slow, on the treadmill only, and slowly increased my exercise routine over the next two months. Up until a few days ago, I have been working out 4-6 days per week.

Last Tuesday, April 28th, I officially broke the 300 pound milestone, weighing in at 295.1 lbs. That was a big milestone for me. To put that into perspective. I haven't been that low since before I was a user group manager, in early 2003. That means I've lost 83.4 pounds total, with 40.4 lost since the day before the surgery. Most of you reading this didn't even know who I was back then!

Unfortunately, the last few days have slowed me down a bit. I got rundown, had abdominal pains and became light-headed. I didn't drink enough, and I think my electrolytes or vitamin absorption is a little low. It could also be a flare up of diverticulosis. I am better now, but still not quite 100%, and I will probably see a doctor if I still don't feel quite right in a few days. I should be OK, I am better, but not 100% yet. I've still got occasional abdominal pain, but it's not like it was. At the time of writing, I haven't worked out since Tuesday, five days ago.

There are some things that it's difficult to get used to after surgery. You're not supposed to eat and drink at the same time. You are supposed to stop drinking 30 minutes before eating and not start drinking again until 30 minutes after eating. Sometimes, you have a hard time eating. You'll eat too fast, or too much, and it gets stuck. When that happens, it takes a while to get unstuck. Sometimes, you have the opposite: It takes you a long time between bites, and a meal lasts hours. When either of those happen, you can have a lot of trouble getting in enough fluids. You also have to make sure to get at least 60 grams of protein per day and it can be a challenge on those tough days. I get lots of protein some days, but the days you could dehydrate are also days when you might not get in enough protein.

It's late, and I really should go to bed, but before I do, it's been five days, and I haven't gotten in a workout. I vow to you that, despite the very late hour (and all of the edits I've made since posting this entry), I am about to go on our elliptical machine and get my first workout in since Tuesday. I've been busy today, and these two blog posts and one I made on the podcast blog didn't help me get down there any earlier, but I'm definitely well enough to workout, and I will after I stop editing this entry! As I said in my last blog entry, I can edit myself to death at times.

Update: Yes, despite the late hour, I did do an hour on the elliptical, which said I burned 833 calories. It was good to get that in, and get that workout in on the fifth day (though, technically, it was the sixth by then). So, I took four days off.

By cf.Objective(), in a week and a half, I will probably be under 290, which would mean I will have lost somewhere around 90 pounds total by then, assuming the last few days without working out haven't slowed down my weight loss too much.

What's my goal? Well, I'm keeping my goals small, and attainable. When I make that goal, it's time for the next goal.

My first goal was to get under 350, and I did that just before the surgery. Next was 320, which I made about one month after surgery. The 300 goal was next, and I passed that one on Tuesday (officially, but I unofficially passed it the Saturday before, when I weighed 298 at the gym). My next goal is 275, 20 pounds to go. That's another big milestone. During three previous weight loss attempts, including the attempt in 2002 and two earlier attempts where I started at a lower weight, I plateaued between 277-279 each time. Making it to 275 will mean that this attempt has been more successful than any other attempt to lose the weight in the last 15 years or so. Assuming I make the 275 goal, my next goal will be 250. Other goals I've thought about are 225, 200, 180, 160 and if I get that far, I'll try 145, which I weighed at 17 and I was the best shape of my life. Now, I doubt 145 is attainable, and 160 may not be. They are not goals. I only have one goal right now and that is 275. I don't care about any goals I might have down the road, even though I have what those goals might be in my head. Before I could get to 250, I have to reach 275, so that's the only goal that counts. Keeping my goals in reach is the right way to do it.

What's more, I may say those will become goals, but that may change. Like many who have been overweight for years that manage to lose it, I have no idea whether I will have a lot of loose skin, or if I will be one of the lucky ones. That will have a bearing on how much weight I will be able to lose. That loose skin can weigh a lot, too, or so I am told. I may decide it's better to beef up, and go muscular and that may keep the weight up but have less loose skin. My point is that having loose skin will be a problem, but it's a problem I'd like to have, and that's some months from now if at all. As I say, the next goal only becomes one when the previous goal is reached. Those weights mentioned above and proposed goals may and probably will change.

So far, despite the little setback in the last few days, I do highly recommend getting the surgery if you're morbidly obese and decide, like I did, it's time. For one thing, my diabetes is gone. In fact, it was gone within a few days of the surgery, and I no longer take any medication for it.

Pictures? No, I don't have any yet to show. When I do, I'll post them. I know I need a few, and I'll probably have some by next week.

So that's how I am doing. Any questions?

I suck at blogging! I'm better at Twittering!

Look at me... it's been almost three months since my last blog entry, and there have been no CFConversations since 2/24. What gives?

People might know I've had surgery recently, and are wondering how I'm doing, and still nothing on the blog until now. I'll talk more about the surgery in my next post.

On this blog, I tried to complete a new blog design before my surgery, but just didn't quite finish it, and haven't gotten back to it. I think that failure turned me off a bit from the blog. Who knows? Maybe I'll work on it when I'm at the airport or on the plane coming or going from cf.Objective() and get it done. It's a really nice design. I took two Wordpress designs, made a few custom changes, and came out with something nice. I just have to fix up a few pieces, like comments. My favicon is a bit of a sneak peek of the design, though I changed the colors slightly since then.

I am one of those people who just can't get a blog entry written. To be honest, I used to ATTEMPT to blog a lot, 90% of what I would write would either get lost (a browser crash, an incomplete thought), goes stale (a nearly finished post that sits, and is no longer relevant) or otherwise never sees the light of day.

My other tendancy is that I edit myself to death and edit so much that I just don't feel like sending it out. I do that in emails, too.

If you are clamoring to hear from me, rather than checking the blog, check me out on Twitter,, as I do post a lot there: http://twitter.com/coofuushun

It's probably ADD-like symptoms, but I tend to get out entries easier if I am limited to 140 characters. :) I've said quite a lot on there. You can go back and look at what I've tweeted to get a sense of things. I'm on Facebook, too, and most of what I tweeted went to Facebook also.

Another reason why I haven't blogged... the podcasts. I've had two episodes to finish up since before the surgery, and I just got another long interview done tonight, and probably a bunch more at cf.Objective(). I thought I would have had at least another five published after the surgery by now, but it's been difficult getting time to do the editing, first while recovering, then getting back to work, and now working and working out. I haven't want to blog until I could get podcasts out.

Nevertheless, and a friend suggested I REALLY should blog something.

I am doing well, and recovering well from my surgery. In my next post, I'll tell you how well.

My Blog has moved to HostMySite...

Yeah, I know I don't update my blog as often as I produce CFConversations, my ColdFusion podcast. Part of the reason for that was a long standing change I had to make that I just never got around to. This weekend, in preparation for some personal things coming up, I decided I had better get this done now, and I wanted to get it done before I had to pay another hosting bill.

My blog has been moved over to Host My Site, hosted where CFConversations is also hosted. The old and dated look and feel is on the site for now, but I plan to give it a really nice change in the next few weeks. Thanks to Host My Site for getting me setup, particularly Rory, one of the tech support guys who was very helpful in getting a few remaining things finished in the changeover.

If you are a subscriber, you will notice the emails are now coming from a brianmeloche dot com domain. That was also changed in the process.

Adding new blogs to the "Other Blogs I Read"

I have added some new blogs to the "Other Blogs I Read" pod, all of which are fellow CF bloggers:

  • Todd Sharp - I've added fellow Cleveland CFUG member Todd Sharp's CFSilence blog. I've been reading Todd's blog quite a lot lately, and although I don't see my own blog in his long blog roll (that's OK - I'm not sure I'd read my own blog if I didn't write it!), I wanted to give him the credit he deserves.
  • Rob Munn - San Diego CFUG manager Rob Munn, whose IT Evolution in Practice blog is a recent entry to the CF blogosphere. Rob's blog has been very interesting reading since I first discovered it, and, since it appears not too many people are reading his blog, I wanted to offer up a permanent link for him on my blog.
  • Ben Nadel's Kinky Solutions - A Student's Perspective blog. If you are a CF developer, you should be reading Ben's blog.
  • Peter Bell's blog - Another must read blog!
  • Matt Woodward - Whom you probably know from the ColdFusion Weekly podcast and Mach-ii. I have also been recently involved in his CHUG open source user group application project.
  • Brian Rinaldi's Remote Synthesis blog, both for his open source content, and for his content overall.
  • Brian Kotek's blog, where there have been several gems lately...
  • and... last but not least, the wonderful Charlie Arehart's blog.

I also updated the great Leo Laporte's blog link.

Are there any blogs I didn't list here that I should be reading? Let me know!

My Adobe Community Expert bio is up at adobe.com

A follow-up to my last post...

My Adobe Community Expert bio, minus pic, is now up. You can find it here.

I've stepped down as manager of the Cleveland AUG

At tonight's Cleveland Adobe Users Group meeting, I announced that I am stepping down as manager of the group. Mike Cooper, who's been my co-manager since last year, has officially taken over as the group's manager. If you go to adobe.com's user group listing, you will notice he is now listed as the manager of the Cleveland AUG.

http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/usergroups/search_results.cfm?findType=1&country_id=D6D8274E-1954-4FEA-87FD8F85B651B29A&state_id=3C393EF7-9B3B-43A1-B8456A862C39B70B

I started the Cleveland Macromedia Users Group in May, 2004 and have served as its manager throughout its history. Since then, we've gone from 12 members the first meeting, to 191 members today. We've seen the Macromedia acquisition by Adobe, the branching off of the ColdFusion and RIA User Groups, a few website catastrophes, a name change, and several location changes. We've had some great meetings and great speakers. It's been a blast!!! And now, it's time for me to step down.

Over the last several months, I have been managing both the Cleveland AUG and the Cleveland CFUG. It's too much, and both groups are suffering. The AUG needs someone who can focus more time on it, and so does the CFUG. Three years+ is a long time to run a group voluntarily, and I have been doing less and less design work and more development and supervisory work at the office.

As the new manager, Mike will invigorate the group and help it continue to grow. He's got some great ideas, and I think he's going to be an awesome manager.

I will stay on as Mike's co-manager, help him get up to speed with everything that goes into running an Adobe Users Group, advise and help as needed. I hope to be able to present to the group once in a while, too. I'll still be attending meetings most months, too.

I will also continue on as the Cleveland CFUG manager for the foreseeable future. This change allows me to focus more of my time on the CFUG. Anyone that knows me knows that ColdFusion is my passion, and I intend on continuing to instill that passion into the Cleveland ColdFusion Users Group. Dan Vega, my co-manager, and I will continue to work on making the Cleveland CFUG everything it can be.

I WILL be at MAX 2007

I was supposed to be at CFUnited this year... but circumstances, both work and personal, got in the way, and I didn't end up going. I never booked the conference, though...

Well, that's not going to be the case for MAX.

For the fourth time, I will be attending MAX this year. I am all booked - conference, training on Sunday, hotel and flight. I will not be making a vacation out of it, like I have in past years, as my wife will probably not be coming to Chicago with me.

I will be staying at the Palmer House Hilton, which is one of the three official hotels for the conference.

MAX looks like it is going to be a fantastic conference, and I am looking forward to it. Hopefully, I'll come up with something to top my last MAX (see the related entries for a hint of that).

Goofy Cat

In the spirit of a recent post of our cat Xena snuggling up to my wife while she's on her laptop, here's a picture of our most recent addition, Loverboy, who was fighting with this blur of an empty water bottle this afternoon.

Julie found Loverboy a few weeks ago, after someone dumped him in the park at the end of our street. He was only 7.5 lbs when we got him - fur and bones, but he's gotten healthy in the short time we have had him. His coat is now shiny and beautiful instead of the matted mess he was, and he's put on about 5 lbs. Someone didn't take care of him.

Although he's a beautiful and affectionate cat, we'll probably not keep him. We are overloaded with animals now (five other cats and three dogs), and it's difficult with this many. We'd love to find him a new home, but we're also not in a hurry to give him up! :-)

Sleepy Cat...

These pictures were so cute, I had to post them...

This is Xena, our appropriately named "warrior princess" cat... who is cuddling up to my wife while she's on her laptop... taken this weekend.





She's being more of a princess in these pics than a warrior... but, trust me, she can be a warrior, too!

this.personna

Like several other people in the CF community, I thought I'd give my personna:

  • 40 years old (unfortunately... as my hairline would attest) but I act like I'm younger (or so I am told).
  • Proposed to my wife and soulmate, Julie, on hour 18 of our first date, and haven't looked back; we've been married since December, 2004. No children. This is my first marriage, her second.
  • I take that back... I DO have children! Three dogs: Buster (a goober of a pitbull mix; around 9 years old), McKenzie (a Sheltie, around 6) and Stella (an Eskimo mix... unsure of her age - probably 8 to 10 years old); and five cats: Madonna (a calico, about 16), Smokey (aka. Doo Doo Man, a grey domestic short hair, about 13), Simba (a white domestic long hair, about 8), Misty (a Siamese/tabby mix, about 5) and Xena (a warrior princess, and a tabby mix, about 1 1/2). I had no pets prior to living with Julie, and we have gotten three of them since we were married (McKenzie, Stella and Xena).
  • We have also fostered several animals, who are now in their forever homes.
  • I was very close to my mother and father; they both passed on earlier this decade.
  • I have a HUGE extended family, which I haven't seen much of in recent years. My mom was the oldest of 14... my father was sixth of seven children. I am an only child.
  • Born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. I've lived in Windsor, Waterloo and Toronto, Ontario, before moving to the U.S. in 2000. In the U.S., I have lived in suburban Cleveland, Jacksonville, FL, Dunbar, WV, and back in Cleveland since 2004.
  • Former consultant... now a fulltimer.
  • I have been programming since I was 14, where my first language was Fortran... using punch cards.
  • Purchased my first PC (a Commodore 64) at 17, my first DOS machine in 1987 (at 20), and my first Mac in 2005.
  • Procedural background. I really hadn't learned OO until last year. Now, that's all I do!
  • First exposed to ColdFusion in 1998, when I was consulting at a 3D software company. Fully converted to CF in 2000, after dabbling in Perl, PHP and ASP.
  • I live in suburban Cleveland (in the city limits) and work in downtown Cleveland at a wholesaler with an enterprise B2B website.
  • A self-confessed workaholic. I work best when under a tightdeadline.
  • I struggle with my weight. I don't always take care of myself, especially when working long hours. Thankfully, I am fairly healthy otherwise.
  • I used to love working out... but haven't done so in a long time.
  • Food - Just about anything. I love good buffets. I love a good steak. Sushi and sashimi. Anything unusual or exotic, but I also love a good burger. Cheap eats are awesome! I prefer substance over presentation.
  • Drinks - Coffee (a recent convert), Crystal Light and other powdered drinks, or plain water. The occasional beer...
  • Music - Too much to mention! I'm into metal, both classic and alternative/nu metal, hard rock, classic rock and progressive. I'll occasionally listen to some pop. I can't STAND country!!! That's all I ever heard growing up... and I got very tired of it. I'll listen to Johnny Cash... but rarely. When I crank up the tunes, that's when I work the best.
  • TV - The Biggest Loser, The Dog Whisperer, Survivor, The Apprentice, Grey's Anatomy, ER, Intervention, Wife Swap, Trading Spouses. All Star Trek... although I really haven't watched it much since Enterprise went off the air. I used to watch a lot more TV. I've had a DirecTV Tivo since they first came out in 2001.
  • Movies - The Matrix, Fight Club, Pulp Fiction, Braveheart, Gladiator, Star Trek movies... all sorts of comedies.
  • I used to be a game junkie... but that died off long ago. I don't have the patience for most of the epic games of today. The only exception would be first person shooters, which are awesome... I bought an XBox and it sat there.

We're live... for real, this time!

Remember the other day when I said I was working this weekend? That's actually not an isolated event. I have to work almost every weekend, some weekends more than others. I have to do promotions to production environments on the weekend. This past weekend, I worked more than normal. Among other things, I was working on this...

Although I announced that the BIG project went live way back in November, some business issues prevented the full release of that project. It was pushed back several times, but finally went live as of this weekend. As of yesterday morning, a pilot program started for approximately 25 of our retail customers.

Just to review, we released a new version of our extranet that turns our ordering system to also take on drop shippers, and allows new types of content. It's nearly a complete rewrite. Is it a big system? Our existing system processed approximately 80% externally, and, with our inside sales team, accounts for almost 100% of our sales last year (sorry, can't tell you how much), and the new version will take over as our retail customers are slowly converted over the next two years. The primary technology, for both systems, is ColdFusion.

I can only describe the old system as spaghetti, whereas the new system is harmony. Back in May, I was skeptical about developing in OO, but I wouldn't develop any other way today. And, although skeptical in the beginning, I have grown to love Mach-ii.

I am long overdue discussing some of the many techniques I used in this project, many design based, and I will try to talk about them here.

For now... I am off to work!

On this day in history...

1967 - Brian Meloche was born...

Yes, today marks a day I have been dreading for a long time. Today marks my 40th birthday.

Most people are surprised, although not all, when I tell people I am 40. I guess I probably don't act 40, and you could take that as either a compliment, or that I have never fully grown up. I think it's a double edged sword.

I had to work today (I'll blog more about that)... and so did my wife... so it's a pretty low key day.

I recall a past job I had prior to going back to school, where I delivered pizza in between better jobs. One of the cooks, who was only sixteen, thought I was forty when I was only 24. I still remember that, and wonder how old she'd think I was if she met me today.

Anyway... just thought I'd mention it to anyone reading this blog o' mine.

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