The Quiet World

In an effort to get people to look
into each other’s eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.

When the phone rings, I put it to my ear
without saying hello. In the restaurant
I point at chicken noodle soup.
I am adjusting well to the new way.

Late at night, I call my long distance lover,
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.
I saved the rest for you.

When she doesn’t respond,
I know she’s used up all her words,
so I slowly whisper I love you
thirty-two and a third times.
After that, we just sit on the line
and listen to each other breathe.

The Quiet World – Jeffrey McDaniel

“I Teach You”

So here I am trying out the condo gym to get myself into shape. I’ve been in a runt recently, and nothing feels better than working out ( well a few things do). As I’m doing my set, a big muscular guy walks in, does his alpha thing and crush the machines, then just sits there and stares at me for a bit. Mind you I’m still working out and ignoring him. Once he was done observing me, he walked over and said “No no, I teach you”. He had a thick Russian accent, and had a hard time formulating what he wanted me to do in words, so he’d just show me.

Machine by machine he showed me how to properly use them, how to effectively breath in and out to maximize my lifting, and what weights I should be using. In short, he schooled me and became a temporary trainer. I definitely learned a lot from him, and could see improvements in what I was doing immediately. I asked him what he did, and how he got to be knowledgable about this. He said he was a soccer coach and that he did this as a routine.

When I used to go to proper gyms, no one ever corrected me when I did something wrong. Not even the trainers there. Here in this simple condo gym, this guy goes above and beyond to help me out. Gyms need more heroes like him.

Bitmaker Labs – The Final Two Weeks

In the final two weeks of class, lectures almost become sort of “optional”. Everyone is so busy with their final projects, that any free time that’s available is used up for more work. This has certainly been true for our group.

During these two weeks, we saw each other almost every day, for 12 hours a day. This was really an experience of its own. A lot of good times were had. From talking about design choices, to then getting into arguments about which javascript library to choose from, we were constantly talking or coding.

We ended up dividing the work pretty evenly. I did the front-end and parts of the back-end. Natalie did the majority of the back-end. Eric did all the copy writing, marketing materials, and service info. Each of us drawing from our expertise.

Once we were ‘done’ with our two weeks of time, we gave a presentation that was well received. A majority of our peers want us to pursue this project and make it into an actual business. We’ll see about that.

Bitmaker Labs – Day 34

Today was actually pretty fun. We used Geocoder, which is a ruby gem that takes physical addresses and gives you their longitudes and latitudes. You can then use those coordinates to populate google maps easily with exact accuracy. This might come in handy for our final project, but I’m not sure yet.  Anyways, crowd funder is almost done, so I’m going to go and finish coding it. It’s all about priorities :)

Bitmaker Labs – Day 33

Today’s lecture introduced us to a gem that enables us to tag things and produce a word cloud from it. Kind of like how I have been tagging these posts under “bitmakerlabs”. Nothing really exciting in terms of class, but outside of class our crowd funder is now basically MVP ready. Users can join, add campaigns, and back other campaigns at different tier levels. We’ve also styled it with CSS, so it looks decent too. Anyways, back to coding!

Bitmaker Labs – Day 32

Today we learnt about Sorcery, which is a nifty Ruby gem that does user authentication for us. Up till now we’ve always manually done it using bcrypt, and oh my does Sorcery make it so much easier (and more secure). Not only that, but it also takes care of user activation, sessions management, as well as cookie management. Needless to say we’ll be using it a lot going forward.

After sorcery, we dived a bit into name spacing and how we can use it to build a backend view for admins using a web app. Basically, it means creating a dashboard for administrators that’s separated from what users are able to access. A user for example can edit his account at : http://www.example.com/users/mfarazi. A name space basically routes all that for admins and provides them whatever super powers you code for them. Then they’d be able to access other users and do whatever to them by accessing: http://www.example.com/admin/users/index.

All that aside, we’ve been kicking ass with our crowd funder app, and are really excited with it. We decided to skip Sorcery for now since we already wrote a user model via bcrypt. Now we can at least deliver a functioning app first, then do the fun stuff like Sorcery later.

Bitmaker Labs – Day 31

Today we learned about Action Mailer, which allows us to send out emails in Rails. This is pretty neat and is really important when setting up your own user model. Why? Because you want to be able to send users confirmation emails and so forth. We didn’t really focus too much on Action Mailer, as there’s plenty of guides for that. The majority of the lecture instead was spent on git workflows and branching.

Up till now, we always worked within our master branch in git and never thought of anything else. Today we learned how valuable branching is, and how easy it is to then just merge our branch back to our master branch. Easy being only easy if you don’t have any merge conflicts ;)

Today was also the start of our crowdfunder app, which is a clone of Kickstarter. I’m working with Eric and Natalie on this project. They also happen to be my teammates for my final project.

Bitmaker Labs – Day 30

Today was a pretty cool day. We spent the entire day just testing jQuery animations, and making a game out of it. jQuery animations are fun, but they’re pretty slow when compared to CSS animations. Fortunately for us, getting jQuery animations working is easy. Getting CSS animations working on the other hand is not easy. It’s hard for me at this point to create them from scratch, so I resort to looking them up online. At least I’m resourceful!

The lecture itself was explained well, and I could follow along without issues. I don’t think I’m able to replicate everything she did straight out of the box though. I’m going to try it this weekend and see how far I can get. This is something that I’m surprised not many students do here, which is go over the material after class on their own. Oh well.