Seven Things about me - tagged by Brian DeShong

Mon, Jan 5, 2009 12:08 AM
So, my Haystacks teammate Brian DeShong tagged me in his list of seven.  We won
that trivia contest by the way.  It was a real team effort.

So, here goes my seven things:
  1. I have six kids.  Okay, let that sink in.  Yes, six.  Logan(12), Macy(11), Molly(9), Parker(7), Collin(3), and Hudson(6 months).  I know what causes it.  Yes, it is hard at times.  But, there are those moments when you are sitting in the yard or in the den and all is right in the world.  The best program I will ever write will not compare to what have done with my children.  They are truly my greatest project.  My wonderful wife blogs about them at Moonmania.
  2. I started my career as a Visual Basic programmer.  PHP and VB are very much alike.  Neither is OOP, yet people keep trying to make them so.  You can write truly powerful applications if you know what you are doing.  Much of the outside community thinks poorly of the language.  In both cases I was way too busy making cool things and getting stuff done to care or pay attention.
  3. I play disc golf.  It is a great sport.  It reminds me of the Open Source community in that it is a very community driven sport.  The courses are installed and maintained by the players, usually on public land such as parks.  The tournaments are run by local players.  The sport is largely managed by players.  I maintain the web site of one of the larger regional (maybe the largest) tournament series in the world.  I have played in most cities that I have visited including those I go to for conferences.  We have a group of 9 or so people at dealnews that play on a semi-regular basis when the weather is right.
  4. I never graduated college.  The VB work and then the PHP work got in the way.  It is a regret in some ways.  But, I can't tell you what I would have changed about how my life has gone.  Perhaps I will go back and finish my degree at some point.  Sadly, in this world, there are doors that are closed to you no matter how brilliant you are if you don't have a simple piece of paper.  I know people with that piece of paper that ended up working fast food.  But, they could get an interview where I could not.  They would not get the job, but I can't even get in the door.
  5. I have contributed two PHP internals functions.  mysql_fetch_assoc and the now deprecated set_file_buffer.  In the case of mysql_fetch_assoc, I was fixing what was IMO a bug.  mysql_fetch_array originally returned only an associative array.  Someone decided it should return the data in both associative and numeric forms.  mysql_fetch_row already existed to return numeric keys.  So, I simply copied it and added mysql_fetch_assoc.  That was the real wild wild west days of PHP CVS.  You either had full access or you didn't have any access.  I did not keep my development up on PHP so I lost karma on the core later.  My C is not super polished.  Still I will admit I liked being part of the club.
  6. I watch pro wrestling.  There I said it.  Guilty pleasure.  The Tivo makes it easy.  2 hour show only takes about 40 minutes.  Heh, I skip most of the wrestling.  Not everyone is entertaining.  My great grandmother would sit and watch it every Saturday night.  I was hooked from that point.  I won't get going on it.  I would lose you guys.  FWIW, I am a big fan of mixed martial arts too.  That stuff IS real and very exciting.
  7. I am a compulsive code rewriter and/or write it myself kind of guy.  It is something I struggle with every day.  It is why I started Phorum and Wordcraft.  Luckily, the guys I work with at both dealnews and on Phorum are good programmers.  My biggest problem is opening a file I last worked on 5 years ago.  The way we write web applicaitons has evolved so much in the 11 years I have been doing this.  I am using the same language, but have such different ideas.  I can only imagine what the next 11 years will bring.

I will be tagging these seven.  Forgive me if I get a title wrong.
  1. Brian Aker.  The creators of sites like Facebook and Digg may have had some great ideas.  But, without guys like Brian Aker, they would be nowhere.  He makes the things that make dealnews, Facebook and Digg possible.  And he continues to contribute with Drizzle and the new C based gearmand.
  2. John Allspaw.  John manages the operations team for Flickr.  He is a smart guy.  He and I see eye to eye on a lot of web performance topics.
  3. Joe Stump. Joe is the lead architect for Digg.  I have not met Joe in person.  But, I have heard him interviewed and we are on the same page about a lot of things.  I have started using some of his contributed PHP code lately as well.
  4. Alan Kasindorf aka Dormando.  Alan works for operations at Six Apart.  They bought Danga.  They formerly owned Live Journal.  He has kind of become the care taker of memcached, gearmand and all those other cool things that Danga created.  The community is helping him more each day, but he still does a lot of work for those projects.  Including, but not limited to coding.
  5. Jay Pipes.  I think I saw him on someone else's list.  But, I am putting him down anyway.  Jay has been good to me over the years.  It is cool that someone can chair the MySQL Conference, go around talking to user groups and commit code to fix MySQL bugs.  Jay is great because he and I can disagree on just about everything when it comes to programming then toast our beers.  You need people like that in the world.
  6. John Allen.  I work with John at dealnews.  He has learned the search engine optimization and marketing world the way I learned programming.  John posses skills that I don't.  We butt heads on a regular basis about things.  But, the end result is always better than what existed before we started.  I have learned many things from him.
  7. Daniel Beckham.  Daniel is my partner in crime at dealnews.  We have been a two headed monster (yeah, a monster.  Just ask the CEO.) for 8 or so years now.  Unfortunately, Daniel does not blog or twitter or much of anything like that.  So, we likely won't see his seven things.  Many of the things I have blogged about when it comes to building dealnews' architecture were thought of and done by both of us.  I am just a show off extrovert that needs a lot of attention.  So, I do all the blogging and talking at conferences.  
And, I am told I need to post this for my taggies to follow:
  • Link your original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post - some random, some weird.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.

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