BAF's Ramblings

Project Pages

May 31, 2014website

I’ve implemented a first pass at project pages! I mentioned wanting to add them in my last post, and now it’s here!

I’m sure it will evolve over time, just like the rest of the site. The primary thing remaining now is to point at the newly implemented pages here.

Website Overhaul

It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally overhauled my site! Actually, I’ve only just begun the process of doing so, but it’s in a state of being able to show it off. I’ve still got some more things I’d like to do with it, but it’s off to a good start already.

I’ll begin by giving a quick overview of the current state of things. I’ll dive into deeper details about everything in future posts.


Spring Motorcycle Work

April 11, 2013

Spring is on its way in, as much as mother nature does NOT want to admit it this year. I didn’t get much riding in over the winter, because, unfortunately, the weather wasn’t anywhere near as nice as it was last year. This means it’s time to get the 1125CR ready for the season. The bike is fine, and I’ve ridden it a couple times this year, but it still needs some preparing.

I’m almost due for an oil change, after last fall’s trip down the east coast (it’s occurring to me that I didn’t write a post about the trip… I’ll have to do that!). It’s not due for a filter (Buell specs changing the filter every other oil change), so I probably won’t bother, since it’s so messy to do so. I’ll just drain and refill with fresh oil.

I need to give the bike a good washing. I’ll wash the whole bike, and polish and wax the body plastics.

I then need to mount new tires. I bought the newly-released Pirelli Angel GT tires, front and back. I’ll be mounting these with my trusty spoonbars, and double checking that the TPMS sensors in the wheels are still held in place securely and that the wheel/tire assemblies are balanced.

Finally, I’ll flush the brake and clutch fluid. I need to buy a Mityvac or an Actron unit to do this well, so I’ll be ordering one of those soon.

After all of this, the 1125CR should be ready to go for the season! First major outing is coming up in about a month - the Adirondack Buell Rally.

SantaHack 2012

Following SantaHack 2011, the site needed a bit of work. Namely, support for hosting the competition across multiple years (and allowing prior years data to be shown), and to clean up the backend code, which was some pretty crappy PHP based on Symfony (which was hugely overkill for a site of this magnitude).

Not much at all has remained the same. The new system is written in Coffeescript (which compiles down to JavaScript and is then run on Node.js). MongoDB is the database of choice now, and all of this is hosted on Heroku for pushing new code to be hosted. I’ve got properly separated dev, staging, and production environments now (before, I had separate codebases, but it usually went back to the same database). The pages are all templated using Jade for some of pieces of styling, and jQuery for a bunch of the dynamic/AJAX stuff. I’m using numerous Node packages on the serverside; I may elaborate more on that later.

The site itself also much more dynamic. Wishlists are saved via AJAX and votes are stored instantly via AJAX. I have yet to write the entry submission page, but that will be dynamic as well. I’m also planning on adding a blogging feature, which allows participants to blog as they write their entries. Blogs will be private during the event, and made public at the same time their entry is. User supplied content (aside from data that is stored in the database), like entries and blog screenshots, will be stored on S3. And, since I know there are some folks in the community who like to block JavaScript, all of the JS addons are simply upgrades. If JavaScript is disabled, the site still functions fine in a more traditional way.

The code is much cleaner this time around, which is surprising given this is my first time using most of the technology at play here. About the only thing I have prior experience with is HTML, CSS, and to some extent, JavaScript.

Anyhow, I’m liking these new technologies so far, and look forward to working with them in the future.

What's in my pockets?

October 30, 2012

I try to have a minimal amount of crap on me at any given time. So… what do I have in my pockets right now?

  • Keys - car key/fob and a keychain with home/garage/work keys.
  • Cell phone - communication, calendar, time, etc.
  • Money clip with $40 cash, driver’s license, Discover card, debit/ATM card, backup credit card, and movie theater reward card.

That’s it. I used to carry a wallet with endless amounts of crap in it, most of which I never need anyhow. I recently made the decision to get a money clip and take only what I use most often, and am liking the results so far.

Occasionally I carry a knife (you never know when it will come in handy), and I’ve toyed with the idea of buying a pocket-size, high power LED flashlight to carry, but I’m not sure if I’d get enough utility from it to justify carrying it.