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Fantastic First Frisbee

April 4th, 2012 by Ben Wagaman.
Categorized as life.

Well, it’s been confirmed. John is my one-year-old left-handed sports genius. He’ll exceed me in athletics at this rate in about 5 years!

Lego X-WIng 9493 Review

February 19th, 2012 by Ben Wagaman.
Categorized as life.


The Lego X-Wing 9493 is a fantastic set. It was simple enough that my five-year-old son was able to assemble the whole thing in 5-hours, but complicated enough the it was exciting to put the pieces together. It is a very sturdy ship. The only piece that are potentially brittle are the four posts on the outside of the four wings. I love how the gears fit together to allow for the X-Wing to move into attach position.

This set comes with two starfighters: Luke Skywalker and Jek Porkins. It also comes with two droids. I was able to buy it through ebay for $50. At that price, it is a must-buy for any Lego Star Wars enthusiast.

This ship is a perfect example of what make Lego the best toy company in the world.

Uninstall all of my system gems

November 17th, 2011 by Ben Wagaman.
Categorized as bash, Ruby on Rails.

I needed to uninstall all of my system ruby gems, but I didn’t want to go through line by line removing them. This script removes them all using some scripting.

Using script/bundle exec

Groupon: Confused in Columbus

July 16th, 2011 by Ben Wagaman.
Categorized as life.

How long does it normally take to get a Groupon? A few months ago, I signed up for one and then was informed I couldn’t buy it because I didn’t have the right payment account set up, with no ability to remediate. I set up my credit card, and thought everything was good.

A few weeks ago, I signed up for the Westerville Golf Center one, and then it just “disappeared” a week later without any notification about what happened. I have another one in my list right now, but it has been a week and I haven’t seen any notifications on the status. This is the third one I have tried to purchase, but to no avail.

What is happening? Why can’t I be a part of Groupon’s revenue stream?

Sincerely,
Confused in Columbus

Becoming the Man

October 19th, 2010 by Ben Wagaman.
Categorized as management, philosophy, programming.

A month ago, I was promoted to the Manager of my group. When I agreed to take the position, I knew it wouldn’t be all lollipops and ice-sculptures. There are a lot people that have needs. There are a lot of things to think about, and there are a lot of things to do. Ergo, it is important to know what things to do at any given moment. There is little leeway for incompetence when you have demands coming from all directions.

My Strategy

1. Maintain and Rebalance Priorities.
Keep a short list (no more than 3 or 4 items) of my big priorities. These are the things that must be focused on. I keep them ordered so that I know what takes precedence. I rebalance this weekly so that I am adjusting to the current needs.

2. Make Progress.
Identify the most important gaps to fill and start there. I realize that I can’t finish everything I want to right now, but I can make progress as long as I break down each item into small enough tasks so that they will get done.

3. Communicate clearly.
One of the first things I did was to write up a position focus document for everyone on my team. It is important that everyone knows what is expected of them. How else can you know if you are successful?

4. Write things down.
I was doing this before, but I am trying to focus on recording my thoughts, discussions, and actions, so that they are available to review.

I have yet to come up with a plan to maintain the backlog of my position, but as long as I know what to do to make progress, it’s just a matter of time before I have things under control.

How do you like them apples?

June 5th, 2010 by Ben Wagaman.
Categorized as life.

macs_in_the parking_lot

Welp, I finally did it. I bought a 15″ MacBook Pro on Thursday. My brother-in-law, Justin, picked up the 13″ MacBook Pro. We’re both new to the Mac OSX platform (first Mac purchase) though we both have iPhones.

First impressions

Apple Store
First of all, the apple store was awesome. Though I had to wait in a queue to find a salesperson to help me buy, the guy there was very helpful. It was cool to see how clean and simple the store was. I haven’t felt a smidgin of buyers-regret, though I have been thinking about this purchase for a very long time.

Laptop Physical Design
I decided to go without the anti-glare or higher resolution screen. I don’t seem to notice the difference. The 15″ screen is plenty large for me. I probably would have been fine with the 13″ screen, but then I couldn’t have picked up the Core i5 processor that allows for 4 concurrent threads.

The unibody design feels very sturdy and simple. It adds to my impression that this is a well-designed machine. It feels a little more industrial to me, probably because the body is made out of a solid piece of aluminum. The only downside that I see is that underneath the trackpad there are two sharp corners.

The keyboard feels solid and the keys are just at the right pressure. I like the way that they click and it’s nice to have a lights under the keys. The trackpad works great. It’s a bit revolutionary to have a multi-touch trackpad, especially with the support for gestures. I’m still getting used to not having a home or end key. I love the power cables and the magnetic connection that separates easily. Such detail everywhere.

Software
I have only touched the surface thus far, but I am finding most of the operating system’s features are intuitive once I find out where they are. Mail, Contacts and My Calendar all synced to Google for domains with almost no configuration (just username and password).

What’s next
I have a lot of software to install. Thus far, I have installed:

  • homebrew
  • Skype
  • Dropbox
  • iWork
  • Tweetie
  • GIT
  • xCode

….more to come?

LOST Terminal

May 23rd, 2010 by Ben Wagaman.
Categorized as Lost, tv.

lostterminal

LOST, how I will miss you! To bid you adieu, I offer you my final creation for the finale tonight. The LOST Hatch Terminal. Thanks to Adam McCrea for your help unbenkownst.

NOTE: just enter in the “numbers” every 108 minutes or some really, really bad things might happen.

In case you forget, those numbers again are:

4 8 15 16 23 42

Good Luck, Desmond! I’ll see you on the other side.

p.s. The LOST Terminal looks best in Firefox or Safari. Sorry Internet Explorer :(

Core of the Core: Reflection Talk

May 17th, 2010 by Ben Wagaman.
Categorized as programming, Ruby on Rails.

ruby reflectionTonight at the Columbus Ruby Brigade meeting, I gave part two of my “Core of the Core” speaking series.

Part two was on Reflection in Ruby.

Core of the Core: Reflection Presentation

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