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Miscellaneous articles, often unrelated.

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Speaking Engagements, Technical Sessions and Demos

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I recently got back from AnDevCon V in Bostom, MA after delivering 2 technical sessions on OpenGL ES in Android, running a game development workshop and hosting a panel of professionals in a session about the business of Android apps, and decided maybe it's time to actually track all of the various sessions, workshops, demos and other such professional public things I've done. It's cool to look back and see the progression of small, local events out to larger events with bigger audiences. I'm more comfortable now than ever teaching classes, speaking to groups and working with people. I've got a good list here and will keep it up to date as I do more events and will also dig for links to recordings, livecasts, etc from past events. If you are looking for a speaker to present at your conference, please reach out! I'd love to work something out. Read on for the complete list...

Where Has All The Time Gone? (A 15 Month Recap)

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If you used to follow my blog then please allow me to apologize. I may have just been through the busiest year of my life, but I have something to show for it so allow me to get everyone caught up with this post and then I am going to make some efforts to keep things a little more current going forward. It's amazing, when you're really in to a project or multiple projects as my case usually is, how fast time starts to slide by. I'm always stretched thin these days but I have managed to crank out a few things so here it goes...

Working For Yourself: Part 2

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It's been a very eventful 8 months since the first article of this series. I moved cross-country, took on my first reasonably-sized contract, bought my first house, ran deep into debt, paid all the debt off, then went way back into debt, started my first e-commerce site, worked on a book and saw it get published, developed & marketed a new software product and recently hired a full time contract developer and 2 sales roles. When I write it all out like that, it seems a little ridiculous. I like to think that everything I'm doing is making perfect sense, but if you haven't noticed, my blog updates have become extremely sparse since I became self-employed and there is a good reason for that: I never seem to have enough time anymore! So what does a person do in this sort of position?

Working For Yourself: Part 1

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It's been nearly 2 years since I've received a corporate paycheck. I left that world in Jan of 2009 and haven't looked back since. Was it an easy jump? Hell no. It's been hard - very hard, but I don't regret it and still consider it one of the very best things I've ever done for myself. Read on...

Teleportation will be the end of us all

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For years I've had a theory about teleportation that has only recently been brought to mass attention by the movie The Prestige.  Many films have been made about the topic and I'm sure some lesser-known films have covered the idea of copy and kill but not as well as this film.  With such a wide reach across the world, I'm happy that many people are able to see the issue with this concept.  If you think I'm just being a paranoid sci-fi nut, think again because this technology is being actively researched with some success and may actually manifest itself in a human-usable way in the future.

Three Minute National Guard Movie Theater Ad Is Too Much!

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Remember a time when there weren't ads before movies? It used to be that people were excited just for the previews and previews were all you got. Times were simpler then. People actually showed up early to see previews because previews were considered a perk of going to the theater. After paying $10 per seat and the same for refreshments, most people expect a certain level of comfort and service for their money. The TV-style ads have been annoying to say the least but recently I hit a new limit.

How to contest parking tickets and win

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Few things in life can ruin a good mood faster than a big orange parking violation hanging off the side of one's car. I have been fortunate and have gotten myself out of the vast majority of tickets. Read on to find out how you can, too.
In Chicago, we have the option of sending in a written dispute of the ticket within 2 weeks of the incident. It's called contest-by-mail and I always opt for this route. A clear, well written letter with photos is much easier for you and hard to refute for them. If it doesn't work, you can always go to court and hope the police officer doesn't show up.

Easy plant care for the brownest of thumbs

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I received my first plant in 2001. It was a 5-leaf baby spider plant which had been cut and given to me by a coworker. I had never put much thought into plant-care before this gift, but within a few years I was finding that my friends were all asking me how I have such a green thumb.

How to learn to play almost anything on bass guitar

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I feel like it's a universal desire. Everyone seems to want to play guitar at some point or another. I definitely did. I was thirteen years old and a friend of mine was telling me how his dad just bought a couple of guitars and an amp so they could play together. I was invited over just to mess around with them because neither of us really knew how to play. We were in a dark, dingy basement trying to figure out how to play nirvana songs when Bob, the father, showed up and said "Let's jam. It'll be fun. I'll show you guys what to do." They only had 2 guitars but he brought a bass guitar in with him and asked if I've ever played before. Of course I hadn't, so I told him, "Nope." He assured me it'd be a piece of cake. I slung the bass over my shoulder and right then I got my first bass lesson.

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