The End of Ambition

I have read over and over that the age of 30 and beyond brings with it an end to all of those silly self-centered dreams. Those lofty goals of becoming a billionaire. I have witnessed it in the behaviors of my peers. They clamp down and tirelessly do the work of someone else’s dream. It’s sad. I’m beyond that age now.

Mathematicians say they are  beyond their prime when they reach into their 30s. They can no longer hold the intricacies of the algorithms in their head to piece them all together.

I see it a lot differently. With age comes wisdom. A view of the world which has been enlightened from years of experience. Instead of fewer opportunities I see more and more everyday. A chance to create something for myself. Programmers call it “scratching an itch”. Not for the chance to become that wealthy entrepreneur who doesn’t need to worry about money anymore but for a chance to make something. To share something. To leave a legacy.

Sure… I am at the end of my ambition. Statistically I will produce less testosterone each year and theoretically that will make me more timid. Less bold. Less likely to build something amazing.

But I feel differently. I feel inspired. I feel a desire to inspire others. Does that make me weird?

Yeah, I’m at the end of ambition but my question is: Which end?

Work-at-home Moms need backup

I’m furiously writing this blog post out of rage for which I am partly guilty and I would like to write these words out of penance and as a call to action. Our society continues to place less and less value in the age old art of child-rearing.

Sure we all acknowledge here and there that it is a tough job but does anyone seriously consider the amount of skill it actually takes? You are talking about small humans. Not animals… but higher thinking actual human beings. These creatures all have a mind of their own and will do and say just about anything.

Unfortunately these small people also do not have the rational of an adult and as such they do not add stimulating conversation or provide an adequate level of companionship that most moms need.

In the past week I have witnessed my poor wife being left out of conversation and even completely ignored due to a lack of value in the work that she does. Honestly let me say that she does far more than simply stimulate young minds and keep noses (and bottoms) clean. She also is an amazing personal assistant, financier and chauffeur. All of which I couldn’t even afford on an individual basis if I hired it out let alone together and at the quality for which she does each.

I now confess that even I am guilty of spending far too much time concentrating on my personal projects trying to push each one forward and you know what? She has been behind me every step of the way pushing me, encouraging me and even helping me (oh yeah did I mention she studied my area of work in school and is as good as any out there? I guess thats some added value as well.)

My desire is that this message will reach enough people and that those same people will understand fully what I’m asking here. These Work-at-home ladies need a tremendous amount of support. Who else is going to stand for them? The whole world is pushing women to be selfish. What about these fearless ones who are brave enough to go through child birth (or take on the responsibility of caring for one who needs caring) and do it alone. While the rest of the world keeps moving.

I will close this post by just asking, if anyone out there can think of some way to help these amazing women feel valued. Please comment or message me. Please help by doing one of these things to a working (at home) mom in your life. Also please forgive any grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors in this text because I wrote it as a rough draft and I’m not going to take further time from my amazing wife to proof read it! Thanks!

Life is too short

Sara and I have been realizing that life is passing us by far too quickly. I have had jobs at 2 companies (maybe 3) since the last time I posted. Caleb is now 8 years old, Ciara is 4 and Curtis was born sometime in there. It just seems that the more we pack into our lives the faster it seems to go without any hope of unpacking it.

Ciara is going to be starting Kindergarten next year, she is currently enrolled in pre-school and Cheer. Caleb is in CrossFit preparing for football and Sara is doing a great job keeping up.

I have been busy building several web applications. I developed a web framework that wraps any modular ORM which means they are interchangeable and I have used it to wrap PHP ActiveRecord. I like to keep the logic on the Server relatively simple to the point where it primarily checks for permissions and retrieves data. By doing this I have the ability to build Web Applications or even Mobile Applications around the API. I’m lovingly calling the Framework “Torch” or “The Torch Framework” after all of my fire-themed services.

I have recently toyed with the idea of simply releasing my Torch Framework to the open source community to see if anyone uses it. The trouble is that there are so many frameworks available and mine is so ultra-simplistic that any developer picking it up would need to do a bunch of work to hook in the ORM and then a bunch of work to build the Controllers… then following that use a Web MWC like AngularJS to actually build the Web App to communicate with the back-end.

Still. Its so simple that I think it would appeal to most developers because good developers like to do things on their own anyway, and Torch simply gives them a very barebones framework.

I’m thinking about starting a section of my blog for code ideas sort of as a repository for my thoughts. Not only would it give me a place to read my crazy ideas in 6 months after I think of them and realize how crazy I am but I could also get feedback from the trolls out there.

Anyway, my hope is that this will be the first of a flurry of Blog posts now that Sara is working on a project of her own!

Sweet Irony

Its Ironic that the title of the previous post was related to the fact that I had not posted in quite some time. Now it has been far over a year since I have posted even that very post. Needless to say, when it comes to writing on my blog I’m a slacker.

My wife has given me a little kick in the pants to get me back on here writing again. She created a blog called “Payneful Business” which you can reach by clicking on the “Sara’s Blog” link to the right under the blogroll. She has been faithfully writing on her blog every single night. She’s awesome about it. She plans to have her posts made into a little memorable book each year. Its really fun to see her with a hobby.

So now that I’m back what should I discuss? I have been moving between jobs quite a bit in the last year. I left Vantage Controls to get some kind of development experience in something other than their proprietary home automation, which is great but not something you can stick with your entire life. I got a job working at an e-commerce software company called StoresOnline. This was all fun and games for about 9 months when the company decided all the new developers they were bringing on were just a bunch of added overhead which they felt was unnecessary. I was told that I could relocate to Arizona and stay with the company or find another job.

I scrambled for the next week applying to every job I could. I took a few interviews and before a week had passed I was offered a job working for a health and wellness company developing software in their Finance Department. The company is called Xango LLC. and they have been very kind and patient with me while I take the necessary time to come up to speed. I find it difficult to work on Financial Software but the job is close to home and it brings in a steady income.

Meanwhile at home I have been trying my hand at different projects. I have been playing with the Go language and started working on a little app to prove my skills (to myself) using Go and Web.Go. This is all fun and games but I’d really love to put together something useful and create a long-term financial solution for my family.

I love my family. My son is getting SO big. He will not be my “little boy” for much longer. I’m very proud of him though. He is smart, social, and amazing at everything and also, he is a big guy. I always wished I weren’t so small so I’m probably guilty of living vicariously through him. I hope he doesn’t mind.

My little girl is the most beautiful thing you could ever lay eyes on. She is also the sweetest little girl in the world. Even if she is hurt or sad for some reason, if she notices that I am sad as well she will put aside her tears and sadness to take care of me first. Its a very strange feeling to know someone cares so deeply about you.

My wife is the most amazing and supportive woman in the world. She is encouraging to push me to increase my knowledge and understanding around my field of study and she also encourages me to put that knowledge to use by having hobbies. We both hope that one day these hobbies will lead to bigger and better things, but she is so amazing that she has no immediate expectation. She just supports me, and loves me no matter what life brings us. I am super lucky to have found her. I love our marriage and I am excited to see what the future will bring us.


So I married this wonderful girl and she had this adorable little boy from a previous marraige. He is such a good little boy, anyway…. His “real” father has nothing to do with him which is fine. I take care of him, cover his medical costs and buy him food and toys to play with and stuff. Its all well and great until his sister (the swine that she is) sends this to my wife.

its from feel free to spam.

#include what the…..? // UVU students

UVU students just starting into Computer Science this year aren’t exactly getting what they are paying for. Many of these students have a desire to be prepared for industrial software development and are being robbed of the opportunity by a few UVU professors with a greater ambition to further their own ideas than actually instruct and prepare students for the future.

This fall (2009) UVU Computer Science students are being subjected to learning C# as a beginning course rather than C++. This decision was made without consulting students and without consulting industry workers.

In the past students have had the opportunity of choice to pick their development environment. C++ has many different implementations, and can be done on just about any platform. This choice has been taken away as some professors choose to grovel to the great software giant in Redmond Washington. The argument from these professors is that the choice isn’t taken away due to projects like Mono. This argument would seem not to hold much water because it would segregate students not using the “standard” Operating System.

Failing to teach fundamental, and core principles to enable faster development of more abstract concepts robs students of valuable knowledge that could be used to carry them forward in the field of Computer Science. Principles like pointers, and memory management for solving less abstract problems are essential in more advanced courses. Do professors think this all just too hard? Will adding a C# as a crutch help or hurt students?

As a graduate of Utah Valley University I am quite disappointed in the lack of research put into this decision, as well as the lack of concern some instructors have for their students. What will happen to these people as they try to program in C for their future Operating Systems course? My belief is that these professors have truly lost their connection with students, and are much more interested in pushing forward their own personal agendas.

Security is the enemy of Freedom

One can always tell immediately what their friends are motivated by just by listening to the advice they give. “That sounds risky.” “What will you do if it doesn’t work out.” Perhaps even the classic, “Are you Crazy?” There are some that are motived by opportunities. “That sounds like an interesting idea.” “That should open up a lot of options for you.” Perhaps even: “I’d like to help you with that.”

The point is that being motivated by Freedom often leads a person down some “risky” paths in life yet folks often achieve what they are seeking from life, the issue is that most are seeking for security. Often times those motivated by freedom are willing to provide the security sought by others and in return the others scenselessly provide the freedom.

I often ask myself what I am motivated by and if my motivations are leading me toward what I want.

What are you motivated by?