The 2K11 24/7 CCXLII: How to Network Sans Jerk

Last night I found myself visiting #devTO — an event described as follows:

You love it, hate it, debug it, dream about it, obsess over it, test it, throw it away… because you don’t just write code.

#devTO, a place for all developers, regardless of age, experience or sex to gather and collaborate on the problems we face as developers. These problems are as broad as our job descriptions, can’t figure out how to get that interface to look good in Chrome and Safari? Not sure how to deploy code to multiple servers with no downtime? What is the best way integrate social media into your projects? I’m sure at some point you’ve all run into something like one of the problems above, so why not share it and benefit from the experience of others.

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Though I’m not really a developer, I was going to check it out due to my sheer interest in the world of development. But before I knew it, a text message from my buddy Kevin soon found me taking photographs for the event (which in turn prompted my urges to get my new camera once more, but we’ll save that for another post). Of course, I can’t really prove I was there through the photos (think about it), but you can catch a glimpse of what went down here:
But one thing I definitely saw a lot of going on before and after the speakers took the floor at the event was networking. A number of developers, and people seeking the assistance of developers, getting out there and talking about what they do, what they’d LIKE to do, and making the connections necessary to enable those ideas.

The 2K11 24/7 CCXL: YOU CAN DO BETTER!

We all have to do some things in life that we just don’t want to do. By extension of that, many of us wind up with jobs we don’t want, significant others we don’t live and kids that drive us up the wall. We get so down in the dumps about our life situations that we often forget one of the fundamental truths of our existence — one that might be able to pull us out of the abyss:

YOU CAN DO BETTER.

The 2K11 24/7 CCXXXIX: The Dilemma of Daily Dedication

Sticking to something daily is a huge challenge. Some people try to hit the gym every day. Sometimes it’s making sure to make time for a significant other. My daily thing — obviously — is blogging. I can’t lie, it takes up a lot of my time. I’ll often think that I’ve wrapped up for the night, only to remember that I have a blog post to get up for the next day. It’s those moments that I groan, I gripe, but I write. It’s important to me that I keep up with the daily posts — it’s the first time where I’ve made a public commitment and have been pretty good at sticking to it, so I can’t be my source of sabotage at this point; things need to get done.
How about you? Is there something that you want to do every day, but you feel that something’s holding you back? Do you try to schedule things into your life but often get sidetracked?
It’s mind over matter, and your mind is more powerful than you think. The first step is convincing yourself that you have the ability to achieve whatever it is that you’re seeking out of life, and then just go for it. My list isn’t getting any shorter, and I’m not getting any younger, but I’m still hustling hard, day after day, since I’ve yet to give up on the dreams that’re floating in my head.

The 2K11 24/7 CCXXXVIII: Crashaversary — The Fourth F

The farther I travel down the rabbit hole of social networking, the more I discover about myself and the things that matter to me. Last night's Crashaversary was key in helping to illuminate this point for me.
Starting with Twitter is much like how you’d first use any new technology or toy — you excitedly play around with it, trying to figure out all the things you can do with it. but you soon realize that simply using Twitter as social media does you no favours. You can send a million tweets out into the depths of the Internet as you please, but it doesn’t mean that anyone’s actually going to LISTEN to you. It doesn’t mean that anyone’s going to RESPOND.
Despite having a Twitter account for three years now, it wouldn’t be until October 19, 2010 where I’d figure out what you need to do to take all that aimless tweeting and endless tinkering to the next level — hitting up the tweetups.

The 2K11 24/7 CCXXXVII: Tempus Fugit (Time Flees)

Time doesn't like you very much. Time doesn't even need a good reason to hate you — it could be the way you look. Maybe you broke their toy back in the day. But whatever the reason, TIME. DOES. NOT. LIKE YOU.
Time is never ever EVER on our side. Ever since our cave-dwelling ancestors walked the Earth, we've still been trying to find ways to get our hunting, travelling and exploring done before nightfall. Even when fire was brought into the equation, we knew that the source of the flame would only last so long before the darkness took control once more.
“So,” you say, “We get it. Time is the enemy.” I'm happy for you. But tell me — how do you defeat an enemy  you can't touch? Can't see? Can't STOP?
While time will always control you and your life, what you CAN do is make the arrangement a little less PAINFUL.

The 2K11 24/7 CCXXXVI: When Disaster Strikes

Is it just me or are natural disasters happening a lot more often than they used to? Up here in Toronto, we can't really complain — the latest disasters we've really seen are the rumblings from a 5.0 magnitude earthquake in 2010 and a 5.8 yesterday, but others across the world suffer FAR worse than we do.

The 2K11 24/7 CCXXXV: Can’t Handle My Scrabble!

Scrabble is a hell of a game — horribly underestimated, though. Often I hear it lumped together with other family games such as The Game of Life and Monopoly, but Scrabble is far more than trying to place a bunch of tiles to win. It RELIES of you making the right moves to survive. It’s a great game for increasing mental acuity, being fast on the draw when problems need solving, and of course — expanding one’s vocabulary.
But Scrabble is a vicious game. It can show you people’s bad sides very, VERY quickly. It can make or break FRIENDSHIPS. Past the strategy, vocabulary and sharpness that’s involved in a good game of Scrabble, there’s one thing it’s taught me above all else — HUMILITY.

The 2K11 24/7 CCXXXIV: We All Knew Jack

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After spending five days out the cottage and writing up a decent amount of blog material, I had no idea of which one I’d choose as today’s post. Then, as I regained access to the 3G network and got on Twitter, I got some news that no one in the car really expected — at 4:45 am, Jack Layton had passed away.

For anyone out of the know, Layton was arguably one of the most charismatic political leaders Canada’s seen in a VERY long time. He inspired some of the most unlikely people to vote for a party which had never seen much power in Canadian politics, elevating them to the position of the official opposition to the government. He took strong stances on things that affected ALL Canadians, such as public pensions, AIDS and universal health care.
In short, Jack was a force to be reckoned with. WIth his passing, it’s uncertain what we’ll see next in Canada’s political future, but with the letter he left behind to all Canadians, I hope that it continues to give us the fuel we need to make the right choices for ourselves, the people we care about, and the entire nation we’re all proud to call home.
Jack’s Letter: http://www.ndp.ca/letter-to-canadians-from-jack-layton
So long, Jack. You did good.
–Casey E. Palmer
234/365

The 2K11 24/7 CCXXXIII: But WHY Be Honest?

Having just wrapped up Honesty Week where I gave people a clear look into the inner workings of everything Casey Palmer, I figured it’s a good time to answer the question that my friend Andrea (http://imadoodle.blogpost.com) hit me with — WHY be honest?
I think honesty is key to any good relationship. Many relationships are slain where they stand because at some point, somebody involved chooses to be dishonest. Honesty involves transparency, guts and vulnerability, but the more honest we all choose to be collectively, the easier life will be.
But while it’s easy to see the perils of lying and where it can muddle the understanding we have between one another, it doesn’t mean that BOTH honesty and lying are without their caveats:

The 2K11 24/7 CCXXXII: HONESTY WEEK 7/7 — In Conclusion

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a little look into my mind and the things I’m trying to accomplish. I don’t think any of them will be easy to pull off, but TRYING to make them happen keeps me going and gives me hope that there’s something tangible I can contribute to better the world.
Will I get the help I’d like to make them happen smoothly and quickly? Who knows — someday, maybe. Will these projects actually succeed or are they doomed to fail? Not to for me to say. Regardless, the work will be done to take them as far as I can.
Blogging is serious business. Doing it daily, on top of all the other stuff I’ve somehow committed myself to doing in life and everything that’s expected of me — it’s really difficult. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.