# Thursday, February 21, 2019

GCast 36:

Managing Tables with the Azure Storage Explorer

The Azure Storage Explorer is a free resource to manage Azure Storage Accounts.
This video shows how to manage Azure tables with this tool.

Azure | GCast | Screencast | Video
Thursday, February 21, 2019 9:44:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Monday, February 18, 2019

Episode 551

Jeremy Miller on Automated Testing in .NET Core

Jeremy Miller describes how testing ASP.NET applications is simpler with ASP.NET Core. He discusses the modularity of .NET, the lack of dependencies on IIS, and his open source testing project Alba.

Monday, February 18, 2019 9:21:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Saturday, February 16, 2019

AtonementCecilia Tallis and her Robbie Turner were making love in the Tallis family home when Cecilia's 13-year-old sister Briony saw them. Later, Briony witnessed the rape of her cousin in the darkness outside their home.

Despite getting no good look at the rapist, Briony's overactive imagination and her desire for attention lead her to wrongly accuse Robbie, sending him to prison.

This is the setup of Atonement by Ian McEwan.

It is the story of an aristocratic English family torn apart by a scandal and lives ruined by a lie and the lifetime of guilt that comes with the telling of the lie.

The book follows the 3 main characters at various points in their lives, following the initial scandal. World War II breaks out and Robbie enlists in the infantry after he is released from prison, while Briony and Cecilia work as nurses. McEwan gives us a look inside their heads (particularly Robbie and Briony) and how the incident affected them. The images of the war in Europe and the hospitals in England are particularly intense.

A final chapter takes place decades later with an aging Briony returning to the family home. Here we learn that the story is even more tragic than we originally believed.

The atonement itself is less satisfying than most readers will hope for. But Atonement the novel is a very good story of psychology and pain and guilt.

Saturday, February 16, 2019 8:51:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Thursday, February 14, 2019

GCast 35:

Customizing Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a set of tools that help users collaborate with one another. Learn how to create a new Team, add a Channel to an existing team, and add a Tab to an existing Channel.

GCast | Screencast | Teams | Video
Thursday, February 14, 2019 9:02:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Monday, February 11, 2019

Episode 550

Cassandra Faris on Personal Branding

Cassandra Faris talks about her involvement with the developer community and how she has managed her personal brand.

Monday, February 11, 2019 9:05:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Saturday, February 9, 2019

GoTellItOnTheMountainSet against the backdrop of black families and churches in Harlem and in the American southeast during the Great Depression, Go Tell It on The Mountain by James Baldwin takes us through the struggles of a family dealing with God, religion, and temptation, sin, guilt, and redemption.

The story begins ends with John Grimes on his 14th birthday. John is troubled by his relationship with God, which is negatively affected by John's poor relationship with his unloving stepfather - an evangelical preacher at a Harlem storefront church.

But most of the book's stories are told in flashbacks: We learn of John's birth father, who was arrested and beaten by police because he was a black man walking around the city at night; We learn of John's aunt, who left home because her mother reserved her love for another child; and we learn of John's stepfather Gabriel.

Gabriel grew up a wild youth in the south. After years of rejecting God, Gabriel is saved and decides to become a preacher. His idealism helps him, but his weaknesses hinder him. Desperately desiring a son, Gabriel is frustrated at his wife's inability to conceive. He meets Esther at church, who flirts with him. A brief extramarital affair with Esther results in a bastard son, which Gabriel tries to cover up by stealing his wife's money and sending Esther out of town, thus compounding his sin. Like nearly all of us, Gabriel falls short of what he seeks to become; but his greatest weakness is his inability to accept personal responsibility for his mistakes. Consistently, he blames others for his own failings. This hypocrisy hinders his desire for forgiveness - from himself, from others, and from God. As he grows older, Gabriel becomes more bitter and unloving.

The most powerful scene of the novel is when Gabriel finally confesses his illegitimate son Royal to his wife Deborah after learning that the teenage boy has been murdered. Royal never knew his father, but Deborah knew all along. Deborah does not chastise Gabriel for his infidelity; instead, she chastises him for not helping Esther when she needed his aid and for not taking in his infant son after Esther's death and for not accepting the gift that God gave him.

The language of Mountain poetic, mixing references from Gospel hymns and the King James Bible. It is a beautiful story that is well told, even though it describes many ugly things.

Hours after finishing it, I was haunted by the characters and their actions and the circumstances that shaped them.

Saturday, February 9, 2019 11:24:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Thursday, February 7, 2019

GCast 34:

Exposing Local Web Apps with ngrok

Learn how to speed up development and testing by using ngrok to expose to the public Internet web applications running on your local machine.

GCast | Screencast | Web
Thursday, February 7, 2019 8:08:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Tuesday, February 5, 2019

StrideTowardFreedomIn 1954, 25-year-old Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. moved to Montgomery, AL to lead a small Baptist Church. Alabama of the 1950s was known for embracing "Jim Crow Laws" - which enforced racial segregation by bogusly claiming "separate but equal" services.  Among these laws were rules giving preference to white passengers on public buses.

In 1955, King helped organize a boycott of the Montgomery bus system after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat for a white passenger. The protest lasted for over a year and ultimately resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the segregation laws of Montgomery were unconstitutional.

Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, Dr. King gives his firsthand account of the historic boycott. It is a moving story of strength and prejudice and perseverance and hatred and solidarity and bigotry.

The white establishment in Montgomery fought to end the boycott and to defend their segregationist laws. The protest was noted for embracing King's philosophy of Non-Violent Resistance, encouraging local blacks not to respond to white violence and threats of violence with violent acts of their own.

In between King's narrative, he describes how he came to his Non-Violent Protest philosophy, what it means, and how it could be effective. King embraced similar philosophies promoted by Jesus Christ and Mahatma Gandhi.

Ultimately, the Montgomery boycott was successful because of the U.S. court system, which took a position based more on fairness and constitionality than on maintaining the status quo.

King concludes this book by taking stock of where the country was regarding race equality following the events in Montgomery. He notes that equality is a national - not a regional - issue and he calls out many who were not doing enough, including the President, Congress, and people in both the North and the South.

I was struck by how little the boycott organizers demanded from the city (they did not ask to end segregation) and how forcefully the local police harassed the protestors (volunteer cab drivers were detained and those waiting for rides were arrested for loitering). It is unlikely that change would have taken place in Montgomery without the intervention of the Supreme Court.

Stride Toward Freedom is an excellent history of one of the most significant events of the U.S. civil rights movement. But it is also an inspirational story of what a small group of very determined people can do to change the world when they know they are right.

The United States has made progress since 1954. But we still see the ugly specters of racism and bigotry today.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 8:08:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Monday, February 4, 2019

Episode 548

Jennifer Wadella on Gatsby

Jennifer Wadella describes how to use the Gatsby tool to quickly create static web sites.

Monday, February 4, 2019 9:07:00 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Sunday, February 3, 2019

Today I am grateful that United Airlines found and returned my lost Kindle.

Today I am grateful that the worst of the polar vortex weather is behind us.

Today I am grateful to see Wanda Sykes in concert last night.

Today I am grateful for 1 year in my condo.

Today I am grateful that United Airlines found and returned my lost Kindle.

Today I am grateful for my new electric blanket, which arrived just in time for this polar vortex.

Today I am grateful for a week in London.

Today I am grateful for sightseeing in London yesterday with Brent, David, and Michael, including:
-a trip to the top of The Shard
-a visit to the Churchill Museum and War Room
-a cruise along the Thames
-a quest for Sunday roast!

Today I am grateful for a much-need 11 hours of sleep last night.

Today I am grateful for lunch with Andy yesterday.

Today I am grateful for everyone who helped make yesterday's meeting a success.

Today I am grateful:
-to visit St. Paul cathedral yesterday afternoon with Brent, David, and Michael
-to see my first play in London's famous West End theatre district with Jonathan.

Today I am grateful that the winter storms in Chicago last night did not cancel my transatlantic flight.

Today I am grateful for an extra blanket last night.

Today I am grateful to watch football with Tim yesterday.

Today I am grateful for the excitement of college basketball.

Today I am grateful for my new Kindle Oasis.

Today I am grateful for the ability to connect with people through social media when I cannot connect with them in person.

Today I am grateful for Thai food with Dan yesterday.

Today I am grateful for dinner last night with Timothy and Sanjeev.

Today I am grateful to visit Ottawa, ON for the first time in 12 years.

Today I am grateful for a gym in my building.

Today I am grateful to watch yesterday's snowstorm through my window from a warm living room.

Today I am grateful to all the volunteers who continue to make CodeMash a great conference year after year.

Today I am grateful for the generosity of Brian and Jonathan.

Today I am grateful to see so many old friends this week.

Today I am grateful to learn how to play Hanabi last night.

Today I am grateful for:
-A return to my old user group
-Driving to Sandusky last night with Jonathan and Jennifer

Today I am grateful to Ondrej and Desislava for their hospitality.

Sunday, February 3, 2019 1:41:03 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)