# Tuesday, 03 January 2006
There’s still time to sign up for the next web services class I’ll be teaching at OIT.  This class (which I haven’t taught before) is going to be on “Enterprise Web Services”.  We’ll cover the things you need to know to build a real enterprise application using Web Services, and how emerging standards make that much easier and more standardized.  The focus will be on applying web services standards to building B2B applications, and participants are expected to already have a solid grounding in XML/SOAP/WSDL, and be able to code in C# or VB.NET.  Class starts Monday, 1/9 at OIT Portland’s Capital Center campus.  CST 407P. 
Tuesday, 03 January 2006 15:58:14 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 

Scott posted some great easy preparedness tips last week.  I’m hoping to get it together and do the thumb drive bit soon.  It’s a great idea, and once it’s done provides a lot of peace of mind knowing that you could bail and have all your important documentation.  It’s also very cool that Scott got some Red Cross kits for his and his wife’s cars.  If you want to go one step further, consider putting together or buying a premade “evacuation kit”.  If Katrina taught us anything it’s that a 72 hour kit designed to support you in your home without power/water may not be enough.  One of the coolest premade kits I’ve seen comes from Nitro-Pak.  The kit is designed to support a family of 4 (there’s a 2 person kit too) in the event of an evacuation, so not only does it include food, water, 1st aid supplies, etc. but also emergency tents and sleeping bags, and the whole kit fits in a duffel bag.  Very cool.  Expect to shell out some cash (the 4 person kit’s on sale right now for $349.99) but you’ll get everything together in one place and ready to go.  Another thing worth investing in (which I haven’t yet but hope to) is some of the freeze-dried food from places like Mountain House.  They come in #10 nitrogen filled cans, which have a shelf life upwards of 30 years.  So you might have to shell out $400, but you’ll have a ready food supply for your family for a week, and you won’t have to think about it again for 30 years or so.  Nitro-Pak carries such kits, as do other places like Survival Unlimited

For more quick preparedness tips, check out the Hillsboro CERT website.  You’ll find a bunch of tips, including a featured “one minute preparedness” tip.

Tuesday, 03 January 2006 10:59:23 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
Vikki and I took the kids up to Mt. Hood on Sunday to play in the snow and try out the new sleds they got for Christmas.  We decided to head for the Trillium Lake snow park, which is just past the turnoff to Timberline (maybe a mile) right across from the turnoff for Snow Bunny.  It’s a nice snow park, usually not too crowded, and a great jumping off place for Nordic skiing or snow shoeing.  Unfortunately, their new sleds need a steeper slope, so the sledding didn’t go as well as hoped.  But we had a very nice time playing around in the snow and walking down the snow covered road watching the skier and snowshoers.  Also impressive was watching the tractor.  Some brilliant individual had decided to drive his 4Runner down the snow covered road (we’re talking probably 4+ feet of snow) past the chained gate, and got stuck up to his axles at the bottom of the hill.  They had to bring in a little snow tractor on a flatbed and pull him out.  Must have cost a fortune.  As well it should for doing something so stupid.  It did provide a fair amount of amusement for the spectators, so not a total loss. :-)
Tuesday, 03 January 2006 10:41:18 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 

Thanks to Rich Owings, I now know how to make my own custom maps, both for printing and for downloading to my GPSr.  Rich has a great book called GPS Mapping: Make Your Own Maps, which is truly a wealth of information.  It includes rundowns on a number of mapping packages for the PC, as well as information on making your own maps for a GPSr.  I spent Saturday morning running through the instructions on downloading free data from the USGS and turning it into a downloadable map of Hillsboro for my Garmin GPSMAP 60C.  Rich’s instructions are very easy to follow, and make a very complex process pretty understandable.  In retrospect I’d have to say that I’m glad I know how to make my own downloadable maps, but I can see that it’s something you’d really have to want.  It’s a very long and cumbersome process involving about 6 different PC applications and a great deal of data manipulation.  For most applications, the data that comes with Garmin’s MapSource Topo product is enough for me, but I’m glad that I understand how to create more detailed maps.  I may cook up a few for areas I visit frequently. 

If you are interested in GPS and/or mapping, also check out Rich’s personal blog gpstracklog.

Tuesday, 03 January 2006 10:32:56 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
We’ve had a lot of rain here in the last week or so, and that’s come with some flooding here and there.  Ivan and I tried for a bunch of geocaches over the long weekend, only to be frustrated on 2–3 occasions to discover that the cache location was totally under water.  Hopefully the caches haven’t washed away, and we’ll be able to come back and find them after the waters have receded.  We stopped off after sledding on Sunday to find 2 caches on the old Barlow Road up on Mt. Hood, just a bit East of Rhododendron.  Those were good finds, with some cool locations.  I’ve passed those turnouts on the Barlow Road dozens of times but never actually stopped.  I’d like to come back and hike around there when it’s a little warmer.
Tuesday, 03 January 2006 10:23:55 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 27 December 2005

We had a pretty mellow Christmas this year, visiting family up in Seattle and then finishing the festivities yesterday at our place.  In years past we’ve had some pretty crazed holiday seasons, so it was nice to chill for the weekend.  Got a chance to hang out with my sister and her new baby, my first nephew. 

We managed to work in some gadgets, as is traditional.  I got a new Highgear Axis watch, with compass, altimeter and barometer.  Very cool for geocaching.  Also got some extra software for my GPSr, so now I have topo maps that I can load onto it.  I have yet to try it out for caching, but I’m thinking the maps will be a big help. 

I got my son his very own Garmin GPS 60, which was a huge hit.  We went out Christmas morning so he could find his first geocache by himself, which he did quite quickly.  A chip off the old nerd block. :-)

For those of you who might happen to read this blog for the technical content that once was here, hopefully there’ll be a bit more in the weeks to come.  I’m starting to work with Indigo, WWF, and Enterprise Library 2.0, so I should have some interested tidbits to report soon.

Tuesday, 27 December 2005 11:15:50 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 02 December 2005

I haven’t tried doing any WCF (formerly and still known as Indigo) development in probably 6 months or so, and some things have changed since then.  Also, this is the first time I’ve tried implementing a duplex contract.  I made some mistakes along the way, due in part to the fact that the sample code in the November CTP doesn’t match the docs (no surprise there).  Over all, though, it was way easier than I thought it might be.  Certainly easier then .NET Remoting, and the fact that there’s a built-in notion of a duplex contract solves tons of problems.

Anyway, I was trying to get my client to work, and for the life of me couldn’t figure out the errors I was getting, until it finally dawned on me.  Here’s what I had:

        static void Main(string[] args)

        {

            InstanceContext site = new InstanceContext(new CallbackHandler());

 

            // Create a proxy with the given client endpoint configuration.

            using (MyDuplexProxy proxy = new MyDuplexProxy(site))

            {

                proxy.Send("Joe");   

            }

            Console.ReadLine();

        }

    }

It’s probably obvious to everyone who isn’t me why this won’t work.  You can’t dispose of the proxy and still expect a callback.  Now that I say that it makes sense, but it didn’t occur to me for a while, since the callback itself isn’t on the proxy class. So, I changed one line to this:

        static void Main(string[] args)

        {

            InstanceContext site = new InstanceContext(new CallbackHandler());

 

            // Create a proxy with the given client endpoint configuration.

            using (MyDuplexProxy proxy = new MyDuplexProxy(site))

            {

                proxy.Send("Joe");   

                Console.ReadLine();

            }

        }

and everything worked out swimmingly.  I continue to be impressed with how well thought out Indigo is.  While many people like to point out how many mistakes MS has made over the years, you certainly can’t fault them for not learning from them. 

Friday, 02 December 2005 14:31:53 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 29 November 2005

Geocaching is the bomb!  I’m totally hooked.  Even in the crummy weather we’re having today, Vikki and I managed to find two caches at lunch.  We’ve been geocaching in Sisters, out to Cannon Beach, and up on the Columbia outside of Vancouver.  There are a couple we haven’t been able to find, but for the most part it’s been pretty successful.  Even if we don’t find it, it’s a great excuse to get outside and go hiking with the kids and the dog.  And the thrill of the hunt really keeps me going.  I’m hoping when the weather improves (April? July?) I can plan some longer hikes to caches in the backcountry.  We’re also planning to hide a few of our own come Spring. 

It’s also been an excuse to finally learn map & compass navigation.  I’ve been wanting to try orienteering for a long time now, and now that I’m getting practice navigating it’ll be that much easier.  I’ve found some really good books on navigation and geocaching, and I’ll try to get around to posting a list some time. 

 

Profile for SafetyGeek
Tuesday, 29 November 2005 13:47:08 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 

Over the weekend I finally got a chance to go down to the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville.  The Spruce Goose is one big plane!  When I’d read that it was the biggest plane ever built, that still didn’t prepare me for the actual scale of the thing.  The whole museum is essentially in one big room, and the goose makes the other planes (like the “little” B-17) look like kid’s toys in comparison.  Not too surprising that it couldn’t actually fly.

The museum is very well done, with good, informative graphics, and a very nice building.  A clean, well lighted place for planes. One of the coolest parts of the visit was that we got to go inside the B-17 (for $10 extra for a family) and talk with some of the volunteers about the plane.  My grandfather flew B-17s and B-25s in WWII, so it was pretty cool to get a look inside and get a sense of what it would have been like to ride in one.  It would have been crowded, cold (30° below) and pretty scary, considering there’s not that much aluminum between you and the bullets. 

On the way down I managed to hunt up a couple of geocaches in Newburg, which made the trip that much more fun.  We also got a chance to check out the Hotel Oregon, McMennemin’s hotel in McMinnville.  Typical McMennemin’s food, nice atmosphere.  It’d be a nice place to stay.

Tuesday, 29 November 2005 13:38:06 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [1]  | 
# Monday, 07 November 2005

I got in some more geocaching this weekend.  I had a bunch of free time on Saturday, but unfortunately it started to rain really hard just as I found the first cache of the day, so I decided to call it quits.  So instead I went home and started reading up on navigation, which inspired me to get a snazzy new compass and start boning up on my wilderness navigation and mapreading skills.  I’ve wanted to try orienteering for ever, so this might get me towards that goal too. 

I had better luck yesterday since the weather was way better, although caching with both kids and the dog is an additional challenge.  They all hung in like troopers though, and we found 3 caches in Lacamas Park, up in Camas, WA.  It’s a lovely park, even this time of year.  It’s even better in the early spring when the camas lillies are in bloom. 

Monday, 07 November 2005 09:53:25 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |