Doing the 2017 year in Review early…

Doing the 2017 year in Review early…

I’ve set goals for myself each of the past few years, and gone back at the end of the year to see whether or not I met those goals. I normally do this in December, so I’m a month early. But one more month won’t change the answers this year… Here we go – how I did on each goal: 1) Work — I want to start a new job. Preferably with my current employer, but either way, a new…

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Fall Break Mini Road Trip

Fall Break Mini Road Trip

The kids had a 4 day weekend, so we took a couple of the days to explore… We first camped out overnight at Dead Horse Point. There were clouds out when we went to bed, but I got up in the middle of the night and everything was clear, and with no moon, it was a pleasant time to look at stars for a little while before going back to bed. In the morning, we got up early enough to…

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Laravel Learning Update…

Laravel Learning Update…

I haven’t posted in days! Which is hardly unusual. I’ve gone years before. But I’m in the middle of something, and posting keeps me accountable to myself, as nobody else reads this.. (I checked, nobody has read any of these posts of as yet.) In any case, my current project’s code is complete. At least complete enough to launch. I  do have some improvements in mind to the user management system to find people easier if they need any help…

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Last Hike of the Year to Diamond Fork Hot Springs

Last Hike of the Year to Diamond Fork Hot Springs

It is not winter yet, but school has started, snow has hit the tops of the mountains, and seasonal roads will close one of these days. So we did a hike to the hot springs yesterday afternoon. When we got there, the parking lot was packed – we had to parallel park on the edge of the creek. But most people were leaving — by the time we got up to the springs, there were only half a dozen people…

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What does it mean to have “Deep Expertise” in a software platform?

What does it mean to have “Deep Expertise” in a software platform?

As I go through this process of re-tooling my ancient skill set, I am re-living the process I went through as a beginner so many years ago, of knowing the basic of a platform, but not the details, or having “deep expertise” in the platform. so I’ve been thinking about what that really means on a practical level. What is deep expertise in a platform, why does it matter, and how does it help you when writing software? First of…

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About Learning New Frameworks…

About Learning New Frameworks…

Seeing as I am currently in the boat of being an old dog learning new tricks, it is worth mentioning part of a conversation I had with a recruiter yesterday. (It was a great conversation, BTW… a real conversation, with a real person, not just a recruiter running through a checklist of questions, although we did that part, too.) But I raised my concern with her that I have whenever I talk to new companies about coding jobs, that my…

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On To Laravel Project Number Two

On To Laravel Project Number Two

I finished the lists project this morning… and decided not to launch it. My primary goal was to use it to learn Laravel, and I did. Launching it would do nothing but complicate my web site, and give me not only more code to maintain, but also have to maintain incoming content from internet strangers, which is just as likely to be a headache as it is to be entertaining, so I put the code aside and moved on to…

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How is Learning Laravel going?

How is Learning Laravel going?

Pretty well, actually… Monday, I re-watched all 32 videos from laracasts.com, and alongside them, paused the videos and created an application of my own, creating corresponding features to the videos. The applications is a variant on the “useless lists” site I’ve had off and on since the early 90s.  Running through the videos got the basic CRUD of the app in place, including user accounts.  In this variant, visitors to the site can post their own list topics, if there are…

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How I’m Learning Laravel

How I’m Learning Laravel

Now that I’ve decided to learn Laravel, for a variety of reasons, I am left with a plethora of choices on how to actually go about doing that. There is a series of videos at Laracasts.com that is highly recommended by the community, which I agree is a good starting point. Let me give you the good and bad about them really quickly: Good: The pacing is very quick. I normally cannot stand video-based training because the pacing is too…

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Time to Learn a New Web Framework (23 Years on One Platform is Long Enough)

Time to Learn a New Web Framework (23 Years on One Platform is Long Enough)

Did I really spend 23 years of my career working on a single platform? Yes, I did. Today, Lotus Notes is dead, reviled, ignored, but mostly forgotten except in the few pockets where it actually still exists. But I started on it when it was new, innovative, leading-edge technology, and lived through the full life cycle of a product line as it grew, became successful, had ups and downs, was bought by larger companies (IBM), grew more, got messed up,…

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Snow Canyon State Park

Snow Canyon State Park

Snow Canyon State Park is a short distance from St. George, and can be as simple as a short drive through a scenic canyon, or can be a full day of hiking or weekend of camping. There are multiple trails through the rock formations in the canyon, and a small area of sand dunes to explore. (Although they can feel like an oven on a hot summer day, so cooler times of year might be a better choice.) I recommend…

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Sand Hollow State Park

Sand Hollow State Park

Sand Hollow State Park, in Hurricane, UT, was a notable trip for multiple reasons. The largest crowds, the most crowded boat ramps, the most rock formations coming out of the water, the longest line to get into the park… in short, it is not an escape to the wilderness. But it is a way to spend the day outside, spending time on the water. For those living in the St. George / Hurricane area, it is very easy to get…

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Territorial Statehouse State Park

Territorial Statehouse State Park

Territorial Statehouse State Park is the site of Utah’s original State Capitol, in Fillmore, UT. The park is primarily a museum housed in the original building, surrounded by a few other buildings, including the first schoolhouse in Utah. I feel a bit odd posting about it, however, because when I was doing my road trip of all the parks, the place was packed full of boy scouts so I felt like I was invading, and didn’t actually get to spend…

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Goosenecks State Park

Goosenecks State Park

Goosenecks State Park is a long drive, but a great view. It overlooks the San Juan river, showing the cliffs surrounding multiple bends of the river, reminiscent of the famous Horseshoe Bend of the Grand Canyon. It has very little in the way of amenities – just a viewing area and a parking lot. So this is a park where the images have to speak for themselves. How To Get to Goosenecks State Park I’m just going to recommend getting…

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Escalante Petrified Forest

Escalante Petrified Forest

Escalante Petrified Forest is a State Park with a unique collection of petrified wood. It has a small walking trail right at the entrance of the park where you can see an entire petrified tree, and a collection of boulder-sized petrified pieces of wood. There is also a hiking trail that takes you through the forest. The petrified wood itself is impressive – it is colorful, looking like agate, and larger than I have seen anywhere else.  The park also…

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Anasazi State Park / Museum

Anasazi State Park / Museum

Anasazi State Park houses a small museum and archaeological site where an Anasazi village has been partially excavated. The museum displays artifacts found at the site, with information about the people who lived there, including the Fremont people and the neighboring Ancestral Pueblo peoples, as this site was believed to be on the borders between different groups. Outside the museum, the site has a replica of a dwelling, and the dig site where you can see the remains of the…

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Deer Creek State Park

Deer Creek State Park

Deer Creek State Park is easily accessible from Provo, Midway, or Heber, and is primarily a destination for boating and fishing. It does have a campground with a beach and a resort/restaurant as well. And there are some hiking trails around the back of the reservoir, but if you want hiking, you are better off heading just up the road to Wasatch Mountain State Park. At Deer Creek, you’ll find multiple areas you can park, with multiple boat ramps and…

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Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, near the Arizona border, is one of my favorite parks, as it is a 7 mile walk on the beach, made of the softest most comfortable sand you’ll ever set foot on. That is one of the reasons the dunes formed — the sand is just the right consistency to be formed by he wind, without being completely blown away. The result is a large stretch of pink sand, open to hiking or ATV…

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Utah Field House State Park / Museum

Utah Field House State Park / Museum

Utah Field House Museum is a Natural History museum in Vernal, UT with information about the artifacts, geology, and fossils in the surrounding area. And that is more impressive than you might think — one of my favorite parts of going to this museum is that they lay out how the entire geologic history of the Earth can be seen in the nearby area, and how you can drive north of Vernal, watching the terrain to see the different geologic…

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Rope Swing At Burraston Ponds (Mona Rope Swings)

Rope Swing At Burraston Ponds (Mona Rope Swings)

South of Mona, UT, is Burraston Ponds, with a nice walking trail around it, and is a decent place for a short hike or job, or taking some photos. But who are we kidding… everyone comes here for the rope swings. From what I can gather, the rope swings have been here for decades, and although I have heard of a few injuries from people letting go too soon and dragging themselves along the shore or the shallow water on…

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Kodachrome Basin State Park

Kodachrome Basin State Park

Kodachrome Basin State Park really was named after the photographic film. A National Geographic crew touring it in the 40s named it. This is one of those parks that you drive in, look around, take your photos, and then have to pause and look at the map because because there are enough roads and hiking trails that you need to think out where you really want to explore, especially if you have limited time. One of the most unique spots…

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Wasatch Mountain State Park

Wasatch Mountain State Park

Wasatch Mountain State Park is one that needs to be explored more than described in a blog post. Many of the parks I have posted here are easy to boil down into their obvious features, but Wasatch Mountains is a large area without a centralized recreation center. Instead, it covers a wide area of mountainsides and valleys near Midway, UT, and contains hiking trails, ATV trails, camping, and also enough roads that you can make a driving tour through the…

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Green River State Park

Green River State Park

Green River State Park is right where you would expect by its name… in Green River, on the Green River. The park itself is just a park – campground, picnic area, etc. What makes it unique is that it is an excellent place to begin or end your rafting/kayaking/canoeing trip up or down the river. The river is wide and smooth around here, with a variety of trips that can begin or end here, from as shorts as just a…

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Frontier Homestead State Park

Frontier Homestead State Park

Frontier Homestead State Park is a museum in Cedar City, UT that exhibits items, vehicles, and entire buildings from the frontier days of Utah. When you enter the museum, you’ll find exhibits of carriages, clothing, weaving looms, tools, weapons, and all the items you might expect from a frontier museum. And while that is all great, I really enjoy the outdoor part of the museum, where a collection of restored buildings await, also filled with items from those days. The…

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Goblin Valley State Park

Goblin Valley State Park

Goblin Valley State Park is the favorite camping place of our local scout troop for overnight camping trips. So much so that before I visited, I was starting to wonder about their lack of creativity… but once I visited, I understood why they liked it so much. Goblin Valley is a relatively small area where the sandstone has eroded in a way that left behind  a collection of rock formations unlike anywhere else. There is a ridge from which you…

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Willard Bay State Park

Willard Bay State Park

Willard Bay State Park is on the Salt Lake, but is actually not salt water. It is a fresh water bay, man-made, and excellent for swimming. It has what may the largest beach of all the state parks, and a marina, in additional to the camping and picnic areas and all the other amenities you’d expect. It is popular — enough so that you can end up waiting in line to get through the gate, but once you get in…

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Dead Horse Point State Park

Dead Horse Point State Park

Dead Horse Point is an a amazing place with a terrible name. It is an outcropping of rock sitting 2000 feet above the curves of the Colorado River, with amazing views on all sides. There is a trail that goes around the rim of the park, and some observation points where walls have been built to make standing at the cliff edges a bit more comfortable and safe. The name does have  a story behind it. In the days of…

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Dare I Say It?

Dare I Say It?

I’m going to say something that may sound blasphemous to those of us who have been working remotely for years… It isn’t good for everything. Specifically, it is kind of terrible for innovation. I know people want to claim that you can remain innovative with a distributed team, but after having worked remotely for the past 5 years, I just don’t see it. Innovation is, at it heart, the melding of old ideas into new forms and mixing them up…

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Edge of the Cedars

Edge of the Cedars

Edge of the Cedars is a museum in southeastern Utah housing exhibits and artifacts from the Ancestral Pueblo people. It also includes an outdoor area with a restored kiva (that you can climb into), an excavated home, an unexcavated home, and a few other sites. There is a wealth of information about how they explore the sites and dig up the artifacts, including explanations that they sometimes deliberately leave sites alone for the future, hoping that future technology can do…

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Red Fleet State Park

Red Fleet State Park

Red Fleet State Park stands out to me among all of Utah’s Parks as one of the most enjoyable. It isn’t the most impressive in any one category, but it is above average in so many categories that it adds up to being a great park. It has the swimming, boating, and camping that you’ll see described in almost every park I post about. But it has sandstone formations that meet the water, creating dramatic scenery, with deep water directly…

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Jordanelle State Park

Jordanelle State Park

Jordanelle State Park is a large reservoir between Park City and Heber City, with 3 different recreational areas that have been developed. In addition to beach, boat ramps, and campground, there is a marina at the main area, a nature center at the Rock Cliff area, and a notable trail that go around the perimeter of the northern half of the reservoir, for almost 15 miles.  Although it can get crowded, being close to the major cities in Utah, it…

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Non-Unique State Parks – Rockport, East Canyon, Steinaker, Starvation, Piute, Otter Creek, Yuba, Gunlock, Scofield, Hyrum

Non-Unique State Parks – Rockport, East Canyon, Steinaker, Starvation, Piute, Otter Creek, Yuba, Gunlock, Scofield, Hyrum

As I’ve been writing about all the State Parks, taking their photos, visiting them all, there are a collection that I struggle with. I don’t want to diminish any state park — they are all great places in their own right. People work hard to maintain them, and they provide recreational opportunities to us all. However, many of them provide the exact same recreational opportunities, and the only difference being exactly where they are located, and body of water they…

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Fremont Indian State Park

Fremont Indian State Park

Fremont Indian State Park (Official Site) is built around a collection of petroglyphs in central Utah. There is a small museum on-site with more information about the petroglyphs and the Fremont people. You can hike a short trail behind the museum to see many of the petroglyphs, and drive down the road to find more than a doze other sites. You can also hike between all the sites, if you prefer. There is a cave full of hand prints, and…

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Migrating Lotus Notes and SharePoint… 5 years later.

Migrating Lotus Notes and SharePoint… 5 years later.

Am I really posting something to my “MigrateNotes” category almost 10 years after I started that ancient migration? 5 years since my last Notes migration contract? Yes, because now that I am consulting again instead of working a full-time job, I learned how much the industry has changed. 10 years ago, SharePoint was in its infancy. Broken, incomplete and misunderstood. Notes/Domino was starting to decline, but with a strong community resisting that decline. 5 years ago, SharePoint was solid, if…

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Utah State Parks — Just the ones I want to visit with the family…

Utah State Parks — Just the ones I want to visit with the family…

Over the past few weeks, I have done a few road trips and visited all of Utah’s State Parks. I’m slowing blogging each one, with photos (see below). (And I’m instagramming them, too). I expect it will take me a couple months to get all of them posted. In the meantime, I now wanted to list out the parks that had something special about them that make we want to go back with the family to spend more time exploring. …

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Bear Lake State Park

Bear Lake State Park

Bear Lake, in north-eastern Utah, is a popular spot for people from Salt Lake and cities north. Almost too popular – the roads are crowded on the weekends, as are the recreation areas. But that is because the lake is large enough to handle the crowds even if the roads are not. Bear Lake is over 100 square miles is size, with some places in the lake over 200 feet deep. The water is blue, clear, and clean. There are…

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Quail Creek State Park

Quail Creek State Park

Quail Creek State Park (official site), in Hurricane, is far enough south that it can be enjoyed for most of the year. It has camping, boating, fishing, and swimming. While mostly popular with folks local to the St. George area, it is also close to I-15, so it makes an easy stop if you are in the area. This summer, a new feature also appeared — a swimming platform with slides, trampolines, and a rope swing. It isn’t free, or…

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Snow Canyon State Park – Hiking and Camping

Snow Canyon State Park – Hiking and Camping

Snow Canyon State Park (Official Site) is a few minutes outside of St. George, UT, and offers either a short drive through some impressive red sandstone formations, or a number of hikes. There is also a small area of red sand dunes close to the road that kids would enjoy exploring. It does get hot in this area in the summer, so I’d recommend this park for cooler times of year.  It has a campground, and is one of the state parks…

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Utah Lake State Park – Boating, Camping and Fishing

Utah Lake State Park – Boating, Camping and Fishing

Utah Lake is a large freshwater lake, popular for boating and fishing. Utah Lake State Park is the most developed point to access the lake. It includes a marina, campground, picnic areas, and breakwaters (that you can walk/drive to the end of). As a State Park goes, it has the basic boat ramp, campground and picnic areas that you’ll see at a dozen other State Parks, so Utah Lake State Park is not necessarily one you’d travel across the state…

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Paragliding at Point of the Mountain

Paragliding at Point of the Mountain

The Point of the Mountain isn’t just a place where traffic slows down and you see the geologic and cultural dividing lines between Salt Lake and Utah county. It also has some of the most consistent wind patterns in the country for learning paragliding. On most mornings, on the south side of the mountain, you can see at least a few people learning how to paraglide, practicing how to control their wings, or drafting back and forth across the ridge….

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