PucksAndProgramming.com - Software http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPosts en-US AnotherBlog RSS Monolith has a tax as well http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2015/7/15/Monolith_has_a_tax_as_well 7/15/2015 7:09:00 PM Arthur Correa Lately everywhere I look I read about the Microservice "tax".  Meaning when you implement microservices there are new dynamics involved that your company may not be accustomed to dealing with such as Additional operations overhead - Rather than just focusing on keeping one or two farms of servers up and running to a reasonable SLA you have to instead worry about as many farms as you have microservices.   Communication between services is slower than in process communications and have a higher risk of failure. Data consistency between services I completely agree with those problems, my problem isn't with the industry recognizing that there are differences with how your Microservices impact your business.  My problem is using the term "tax" to say that.  I can't think of a single instance where a "tax" is a good thing in any way shape or form.  From the time that we first understand what a tax is, we are conditioned to think that taxes are bad and somethin Microservices and Monoliths http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2015/6/16/Microservices_and_Monoliths 6/16/2015 12:00:00 AM Arthur Correa One thing I've had to do a lot over the years is deal with a Monolith .  In some cases it was not a bad experience, in others it was pretty horrific.  Often Monoliths aren't an intended outcome, but unless you take explicit actions to isolate functionality as the code grows the code base will gradually grow into a Ball of Mud.  A codebase starts off as something small and focused, but then over time, it grows organically as new user stories are added to it.     As these new user stories are added the code is extended in a tightly coupled way and the Monolith can be an advantage to an organization.  It enables any of its people with the right skill set to make changes in any areas of the system.  This gives the organization a lot of flexibility in how it staffs projects, and speed in how it can effect change on its codebase.  it lets a company focus on getting the right solutions in front of i JSON or XML http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2015/6/7/JSON_or_XML 6/7/2015 10:21:13 PM Arthur Correa Recently I was discussing about whether to use JSON or XML as the data exchange format for a web service.  I was surprised to hear that in today's environment my coworker wanted to use XML instead of JSON.  As for myself I pushed for JSON for a number of reasons. Now back when I first started coding years ago XML was just gaining in popularity.   At the time flexibility provided by the data structure was something new and incredibly useful.  Couple that with its ability to have defined schemas and transformations and it was a very interesting and powerful tool to use.  The first time I implemented web services in production I used XML for the requests and responses, and it worked very well.  After that I moved on and worked some SOAP services and again the XML worked really well. Then about a decade or so ago I was introduced to the idea of using JSON instead of XML.  I admit, at first I was resistant.  Why change?  XML worked we C# getting optional parameters http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2010/4/2/C%23_getting_optional_parameters 4/2/2010 6:35:40 AM Arthur Correa Scott Guthrie just posted about a few new features in C# 4.0.  Optional parameters are now part of the language.  These are something that I've missed since I made the switch to C# from C++ back in 2001 (Dont' get me wrong, it wasn't the end of the world, its easy enough to work around when you dont' have them, but its nice to have them back). He also shows an example of how you could use them with ASP.Net MVC.  All in all, like usual, he has some good info so check it out.  Android is catching up to iPhone http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2010/3/30/Android_is_catching_up_to_iPhone 3/30/2010 5:59:47 PM Arthur Correa Admob recently postest the latest Mobile operating share number latest numbers, and its not good for the iPhone.  The Android is rapidly catching up to the iPhone in terms of US market share, to the point where its looking like the Android will pass the iPhone in the use sometime within the next month or so. Is this really a big surprise?  I've always thought this was inevitable.  The iPhone is only on a single carrier (currently), and only has a single vendor that makes and sells the hardware for it (Apple).  Android on the other hand has multiple hardware manufacturers making phones for it (HTC, Motorola, Acer, Dell, amongst others), and is available on a number of different carriers.   Android is just setting themselves up to have a bigger market right out of the gate.  On top of that, if one phone maker screws up and makes a bad phone, no big deal, there is another phone maker making a great Andr Long over due post about NHibernate http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2010/1/13/Long_over_due_post_about_NHibernate 1/13/2010 9:04:19 AM Arthur Correa So back in August I mentioned that I was being slow in posting because I was making the switch to NHibernate.  Well I finished that conversion about a week after that post, so what's my excuse now? At any rate lets talk about NHibernate.  First of all.  I used it in conjunction with Castle's Active Record project.  It was a really quick and clean implementation.  I converted over from LINQ2SQL in about a weekend with the worst of the changes being some minor tweaks to my Repository classes over some LINQ object naming quirks.  The fact that I had placed a Repository layer between my Services and my data store really helped with this since I had a logical place to store all my CRUD logic that was independant of my ORM classes. From a development point of view everything worked out great, a few attributes and my data was loading and saving cleanly.  Now as I mentioned I'm using a Repository pattern in my Data Layer and you may have noti Agile development doesn't always mean Scrum http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/10/9/Agile_development_doesn%27t_always_mean_Scrum 10/9/2009 1:35:54 PM Arthur Correa I've noticed an interesting trend lately.  Whenever people talk about Agile development or Scrum they use the two interchangeably.  Like one always means the other, and there is no other Agile process other than Scrum worth mentioning.  Why do I think this is an interesting trend?  According to recent surveys (for example here) Scrum is the most popular Agile process in use today so why not just equate the two words?  It definitely isn't a horrible idea.  Then again is Scrum really the most popular?  I can also find evidence from just a year ago that Extreme Programming is the most popular Agile process (here), but for some reason Scrum wins out, why is this the case? Ok, we'll get to that, but first what are the other options out there?  Maybe looking at those other options will give us an idea why Scrum seems to be so widely known.  Scrum is a very good process for most software projects, but that doesn't mean its a good fit f Agile Development - Scrum http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/10/8/Agile_Development_-_Scrum 10/8/2009 1:41:47 PM Arthur Correa Ok, so you've heard about Scrum and want to know what all the fuss is about.  What does it mean to say that you are following a Scrum methodology?Well Scrum is one particular way to do Agile Development.  For example there are a set of practices that are common to Scrum projects such as.The team is self-organizing.  That is there is no project manager that plans the order of work, or give guidance on how to fulfill the iteration goals.  Instead the team has the authority an dresources to make all of these decisions on their own.A Scrum cycle, which is called a sprint, is 30 calendar days (unlike most Agile methodologies the Scrum guidelines are fairly specific on this.  This is actually a practice that a lot of Scrum teams ignore and generally end up with sprints that run anywhere from 2-4 weeks).Once all the features to implement have been selected for a sprint they don't change for that sprint.  The team focuses on getting those features working, if anything else comes along they go Agile Development - Extreme Programming http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/10/7/Agile_Development_-_Extreme_Programming 10/7/2009 1:43:35 PM Arthur Correa From what I can tell Extreme Programming (XP) is the most misunderstood Agile methodology out there.  For example one time I was giving Extreme Programming (XP) as an example of Agile development, and one person's response was "Extreme Programming?  I don't want to talk about just how you plan to write the code, I want to talk about how you're going to run your project." *SIGH*I think its name helps to tie into this sort of thing.  Some people hear the word "programming" and just shut down because they think they're going to start hearing about something technical.At any rate, I digress.  So what is Extreme Programming (XP)?  Like all the other Agile processes it focuses on frequent releases to promote the gathering of feedback and incorporation of that feedback to create a stable product that meets the customer's needs. Like other Agile methodologies XP has a set of core principles that it focuses on for success.  The team must deliver customer satisfactionThe team must deliver custom Agile Development - Unified Process http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/10/6/Agile_Development_-_Unified_Process 10/6/2009 1:45:15 PM Arthur Correa The Unified process is yet another method of Agile Development.  One of the key strengths of this process is that it encourages its users to tweak and change it so that it meets their needs.  Activities and artifacts in this process are considered optional and can be done or not as the team decides.  Even the order in which steps are done are up to the project team.   As a result there are a number of different variatons on this including the Agile Unified Process, the Rational Unified Process, the Enterprise Unified Process, and I could go on.  At its most simple and basic the Unified Process (UP) has a number of key practicesDevelop in short timeboxed iterations. This is a common theme in all Agile processes.  Deliver quality software in short, frequent cycles.  Gather feedback, iterate, and improve upon it.Develop the high-risk/value elements early (for example get the core architecture in place). This is something that isn't called out explicitly in other Agile processes, and I thi Took some time to convert to NHibernate http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/8/20/Took_some_time_to_convert_to_NHibernate 8/20/2009 2:08:57 PM Arthur Correa I know I haven't posted in a while.  I took the last month or so to convert my DAL over to use NHibernate instead of LINQ to SQL.  Why the change?  Well, when I first started this project the idea was that I would use this as a vehicle to try new technology.  NHibernate was one of those things on my list to try.  On top of that I started using it on another project at work, and honestly found I liked it a little bit better than LINQ to SQL.  More details to come, I just wanted to get some sort of post up here since its been so long (and also test out that my insert code still worked after the switch). Displaying Error messages in ASP.Net MVC http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/6/12/Displaying_Error_messages_in_ASP%3B%3BNet_MVC 6/12/2009 8:01:33 PM Arthur Correa Ok so as I implemented my blog software for this site I had to figure out a way to display error messages to the user.  For example if I had a required field that the user didn't fill in I wanted to alert the user to fill in that field. My first thought was that MVC should have something to handle this, so I was going to start there.  Unfortunately, after looking around a lot online, I realized that at the time MVC didn't have that.  So what to do? Well I have a base class for all of my Models, can I put something in there?  Just about every screen might have a need to return an error message so why not?  Ok, I had a place to put my errors, but how would I actually implement them?  I decided upon using a Dictionary to hold the messages.  The key to the dictionary would be the name of the control that the error message was associated with, and the value was the error message itself.  Then in my page code I checked that dictionary for IIS7 Injector null reference error on GoDaddy http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/5/27/IIS7_Injector_null_reference_error_on_GoDaddy 5/27/2009 6:28:05 PM Arthur Correa When I first launched this blog I found I was frequently getting the following error. Object reference not set to an instance of an object. Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more information about the error and where it originated in the code. Exception Details: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.Source Error: An unhandled exception was generated during the execution of the current web request. Information regarding the origin and location of the exception can be identified using the exception stack trace below. Stack Trace: [NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object.] IIS7Injector.InjectedContentStream.Write(Byte[] buffer, Int32 offset, Int32 count) +146 System.Web.HttpWriter.FilterIntegrated(Boolean finalFiltering, IIS7WorkerRequest wr) +265 System.Web.HttpResponse.Filter Implementing ASP.Net MVC Plugins - Storage http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/5/3/Implementing_ASP%3B%3BNet_MVC_Plugins_-_Storage 5/3/2009 10:23:32 PM Arthur Correa So I had my infrastructure in place for allowing plugins on this blog, now I wanted to add some sort of storage mechanism for those controls. My first thought was they could just connect to the database and add tables themselves, but there were a few things I didn't like about that. I wanted the blog site to just grab the plugin and be able to immediately use it.  However that would require allowing the control to add tables to the database.  Which means I'm writing code that uses a connection with db admin level permissions.  I didn't like that at all.   Now maybe if I had a separate database for plugins this could be an option, but still a poor one, but a separate database wasn't an option anyway.  So for security purposes if the plugins wanted to add data access they would need to do a separate step to run a db script.  Pfft. I also didn't like that granting the plugins data access would potentially allow them to manipulate the core blog data Implementing ASP.Net MVC Plugins Part 2 http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/5/2/Implementing_ASP%3B%3BNet_MVC_Plugins_Part_2 5/2/2009 6:06:13 PM Arthur Correa Okay so I had found a way to do MVC plugins, but it didn't work in my environment.  So now what do I do? Well I still wanted to work in the MVC framework somehow.  Maybe not for showing my plugin control, but I did want to somehow handle form submissions cleanly.  Mainly for administering my control (configuring it as neccessary).  So what did I do? Well I went back to the way I've done plugin architectures in the past.  I defined an interface that would get used by my site to interact with the plugin.  The interface looks like public int ExtensionId - Uniquely identifies this plugin. public virtual bool IsBlogSpecific() - Is the control configured differently for each blog, or the same configuration for the entire site? public virtual ExtensionDisplay ControlDisplay - How to display the control on the page and handle its submissions. public virtual ExtensionDisplay AdminDisplay - How to display and admin UI and handle its submission Implementing ASP.Net MVC plugins http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/5/1/Implementing_ASP%3B%3BNet_MVC_plugins_ 5/1/2009 7:28:19 AM Arthur Correa So my blog software was pretty much fleshed out.  I could write posts, have tags, have a calendar of posts, an archive links.  Multiple blogs, mutliple blog writters per blog, File uploads, WYSIWYG text editing.  All in all I was pretty pleased. Now though I was starting to get into personalizing my blog with some controls that only I may care about.  Since I'd like to share this software with others and let them use it I thought it would be better if I made these features optional plugins.  No problem I've done plugin architectures in Win Forms, and in ASP.Net, how bad could it be in ASP.Net MVC?  Unfortunately it was conceptually easy, but ended up being prettty technically challenging.  I started off thinking that I'd do it like any other sort of plugin architecture.  I'd define an interface for my plugins, and then anythign that implemented that interface I could dynamically load and integrate, but the more I thought about it, the more Microsoft is Open Sourcing MVC http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/4/2/Microsoft_is_Open_Sourcing_MVC 4/2/2009 2:13:10 PM Arthur Correa I thought it was pretty interesting to hear that Microsoft is releasing this new .Net technology under the Microsoft Open License.  It was announced on Scott Gu's blog (no big surprise there, he is the source for all the best information about ASP.Net MVC)I think this is a great move on Microsoft's part.  It puts them on the same playing field as other MVC technologies that are making headway into the developer market.  From talking to some of my friends it works a lot like Grails and Ruby right down to the file layout.  Sure all three have some differences, but overall they sound pretty similar.Having become such a big fan of MVC I'm hoping that this move makes this new Microsoft Release successful. My MVC Experiement - Calendar http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/3/24/My_MVC_Experiement_-_Calendar 3/24/2009 2:02:50 PM Arthur Correa Ok so I had the basics of an ASP.NET MVC blog site up and running.  I had my data layer written using LINQ, I had my business layer defined with Services and Entities, and I was starting to build my MVC code on top of those.  I had figured out how and where I wanted to do Ajax, and how to page my result sets.  Now I decided I wanted to implement a calendar. Now if I was doing a Web Forms project I'd just grab a Calendar control and drop it onto the page.  Then tell it what dates to highlight server side.  Unfortunately I didn't have that option. The first thing I did was go out and look for some sort of open source/freeware sort of control that did what I wanted it to do.  I managed to find one provided by Yahoo here.  I started to use it, and it was sort of working.  I got it on the page, I managed to start styling it with CSS, and I was starting to set the dates on the calendar. I found it a little bit more than I needed though.  It's a pretty powerful calendar, and I'm sure it works My MVC Experiment - Paging http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/3/21/My_MVC_Experiment_-_Paging 3/21/2009 5:47:16 PM Arthur Correa Ok so I had the basics of an ASP.NET MVC blog site up and running.  I had my data layer written using LINQ, I had my business layer defined with Services and Entities, and I was starting to build my MVC code on top of those.But now I was finding that I needed to page a number of things such asUser lists when administering siteBlog lists when administering siteBlog entries Tag managementAnd I'm sure there are a few other things that I'm forgetting about right now, but those are the bigs ones I recall.So how did I do it?  Well at first I was thinking about writing my own control, but then I decided I'd do a little research first and see what other people were doing.  It was definitely possible that something already existed in the MVC framework that I didn't know about.Well after searching for a while I came to the conclusion that there wasn't anything in MVC yet, but there were some alternatives.  In particular I found this and this.  I ended up going with the first one that I found on My MVC Experiment Part 9 Ajax http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/3/11/My_MVC_Experiment_Part_9_Ajax 3/11/2009 12:00:00 AM Arthur Correa Something nice for the user experience.What do I mean?  Well take the login section for example.  That little login section up above to the right gave me some problems.  How could I have an mvc submission for a login action, but still get sent back to the same view? My first thought was that I could just get the name of the current view and just return that from the controller action.  Nope, I couldn't find anything that gave me that information.Now what?  Well the easiest thing is to just do an AJAX submission to just submit and refresh that section of the page.  Okay, MVC has some support for AJAX so lets look into doing that.   using (Ajax.Form("SendMail", new AjaxOptions { UpdateTargetId = "resultDiv" })) {    Your form elements here } using (Ajax.Form("Login", new AjaxOptions { UpdateTargetId = "loginDiv" })) { } Pretty basic, define a form with some controls to submit via ajax and update a specific div with the return results.  Okay this sort of worked, but I actually wanted to My MVC Experiment Part 8 - Route Mapping http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/2/19/My_MVC_Experiment_Part_8_-_Route_Mapping 2/19/2009 12:00:00 AM Arthur Correa So I've finally gotten to start working on actually MVC portions of the Blog code.  Lets see how does this stuff work?  Hmm ASP.Net looks at the url coming in and determines the controller and action from the url pretty straightforward. So just as an example here I am at http://www.alwaysmoveforward.com/software/Blog/Post/2009/2/19/My_MVC_Experiment_Part_8_-_Route_Mapping.  How does MVC use this url? Well it starts off by ignoring the first part of the url that contains the site.    Then, by default it looks next for the controller portion of the URL.  It takes that portion of the Url (in this case it says Blog, and looks for a Controller class called BlogController.  ASP.Net will then instantiate an instance of that Controller and try to do something with it. But what does it do?  Well it has to figure out what Action to execute on the BlogController class that it created in the last step.  To do that it looks again at the URL, wh My MVC Experiment Part 7 - Fun with ViewData http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/2/11/My_MVC_Experiment_Part_7_-_Fun_with_ViewData 2/11/2009 12:29:20 PM Arthur Correa Okay so I'm actually going into my MVC details now.When I first started using ASP.Net MVC I dumped everything into the ViewData dictionary using ViewData[""].  I had noticed the ModelContainer class that is created for you when you first create an MVC project, but honestly why bother?  You can just dump whatever you want into the ViewData at will so why create a bunch of properties on a class?Uhm ok, but lets take the opposite approach.  Why NOT create a bunch of properties on the class.  My opinion was that you'd very frequently have a lot of properties that were on the ModelContainer that weren't used all the time.  As a result a ModelContainer interface that was clutttered with junk whenever you used it.  Sure if you had stuff that was used all the time then it might make sense, but I hadn't yet come across enough commonalities in my code to justify it.So I went on my merry way.  I liked using ViewData[""], but I found it a pain in the view because it wasn't strongly typed.  Having My MVC Experiment Part 6 http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/2/10/My_MVC_Experiment_Part_6 2/10/2009 1:46:38 PM Arthur Correa What has gone before-I had problems installing blog software with my host, so I decided to write my own.  I sort of force myself to do ASP.Net MVC, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it.  I decided to do it as a multi-blog site just to make life interesting, and then used LINQ and realized that it made life pretty easy. So now that I've described to you the underpinnings of my site.  Here is where I get into the MVC stuff.  There were a few areas that I'll dive into such as How I used ViewData - Essentially it was the debate do I use ViewData[""] or create model classes and pass everything back that way? How I mapped my Routes - Which was largely based around how I wanted to target my different blogs. Where, when and why I used Ajax and how I used it - I tried using the MVC Ajax stuff, but I really didn't care for it.  It didn't feel all that easy to use. How to page my results in my web UI (again, I'm used to Web Forms power What to use f My MVC Experiment Part 5 http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/2/9/My_MVC_Experiment_Part_5 2/9/2009 7:57:55 PM Arthur Correa myself to do ASP.Net MVC, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it.  I decided to do it as a multi-blog site just to make life interesting, and then used LINQ and realized that it made life pretty easy. Ok, so I need some place to put my core business logic and my data access code.  Well I'm using MVC so I could just put my business logic in the Controller, but in my last post I explained why I didn't like that.  So I want to put my business logic in a Manager class.  First I define a Service layer.  Essentially it decouples entities from the Input Interface (whether that be Web app, web service, client app, another internal object, whatever needs to call into that domain logic to do work).   An important thing to note is that these Service classes are stateless. Ok, those are definitely staying.  I need my Business Logic after all.  But what about my Gateway?  The purpose of the Gateway is to encapsulate al My MVC Experiment Part 4 http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/2/5/My_MVC_Experiment_Part_4 2/5/2009 4:02:22 PM Arthur Correa What has gone before-I had problems installing blog software with my host, so I decided to write my own.  I sort of force myself to do ASP.Net MVC instead of ASP.Net Web Forms, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it.  Then I went to create my schema and decided to make my life more difficult for myself by having a multi-blog site. So how to architect my system on top of the LINQ generated layer.  Hmm well I'm using MVC.  I could just throw my business logic in the Controller classes.  Its the way they're described as should be done, but I dunno.  I'm not feeling it.  I'd like to be able to have my Business rules completely separate from my UI layer so I can put any kind of interface on top that I want.  WCF Web Service, Windows Form, Silverlight, whatever.  So if I put my logic into the controller, well I'm kind of rooted in the MVC stuff. So lets see, can I use designs I've used in the past?  Why not, should work.  Some minor problems upgrading to MVC RC http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/2/5/Some_minor_problems_upgrading_to_MVC_RC 2/5/2009 8:06:31 AM Arthur Correa Yesterday I ran into a couple of problems when I went to upgrade to the release candidate for MVC.  The first had to do with a custom autorization filter I had created for this site.  The second problem had to do with request validation suddenly being enabled. The AuthorizationFilterSome quick background for those not familiar with this method.  I wanted to do my own flavor of request authentication.  So I created a class that derived from FilterAttribute, and from IAuthorizationFilter.Deriving from FilterAttribute allowed my class to function as an action filter (i.e. it can be associated with a controller action and executes when that action executes).  In this case it allowed me to easily added this filter as an attribute in the code as well as allowing the custom authorization filter to execute just before my method was executed so that I could ensure the current user was allowed to execute the method. Implementing the IAuthoriztionFilter interface meant that this filter would run My MVC Experiment Part 3 http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/2/3/My_MVC_Experiment_Part_3 2/3/2009 12:19:33 PM Arthur Correa What has gone before-I had problems installing blog software with my host, so I decided to write my own.  I sort of force myself to do ASP.Net MVC instead of ASP.Net Web Forms, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. Ok, so I'm writing my own blog software using MVC.  Sounds good, first lets get a schema going..Ok, blog entry table, a table for tags, a table or comments, throw in a users table, what else?  How about a role table for user roles.  Hmm I guess that's all I techincally need.  Its not much really when you get down to it.  Pfft you know what.  I want to learn more about the ins and outs of MVC and LINQ.  Honestly I don't think five tables are going to really push the envelope there now is it? Tell you what.  Lets make this blogging software that can support mutliple blogs, that's a bit more interesting. Was it neccessary? No, would I just willingly add complexity in my daily job?  Most definitely not.  I p My MVC Experiment Part 2 http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/2/1/My_MVC_Experiment_Part_2 2/1/2009 12:39:48 AM Arthur Correa What has gone before - I had some problems installing my blog software so decided to write my own.  Now what do I do?Well my original idea was to implement this using ASP.Net Web Forms, couple that with a little Ajax action, some LINQ, man this will be so sweet I thought.I started playing around with it, and in my travels of reading up on LINQ I came across some MVC stuff.  Hmm interesting, what is the new ASP.Net thing they're talking about.  Looks interesting.  I kind of like the way the files are laid out and how the pattern implementation ties them all together.Wait a second.. Where are my Web Forms?  I'm used to Web Forms, this UI code looks like plain old HTML.  Bah who wants to do plain old HTML I thought.  The heck with that, I'm sticking with my web forms site that I started, couple it with a little Ajax action, some LINQ, its going to be soo sweet.Wait a second, what's that?  MVC is the way of the future?  You mean its not just some fly by night thing that Microsoft is going My MVC Experiment http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/software/BlogPost/2009/1/31/My_MVC_Experiment 1/31/2009 11:09:05 PM Arthur Correa So I wanted to start blogging, no particular reason, I just finally decided I wanted to do it.  I go to my hosting provider, and click on the link to add some blogging software to my site.  You are not authorized to install that... Hmm, let me check.  I have basic hosting, I have the correct hosting platform type, it says I should be able to install it. So I try again. Nope. *Sigh* okay.  Email tech support, "Ok let me take a look" Mr Support responds cheerily.  "It looks like it needs a database instance to exist to install.  Create a database instance and you should be all set." Great ,lets do it!  I create the database, click the link to install Nope. *Sigh* okay.  Email tech support.  "What am I doing wrong."  I ask. Mr. Support cheerily responsds.  "Your blog software needs a database instance.  Make sure you have one created."  "Uhmm, ok" I say, "but I do have an instance." "Well then that must be the PucksAndProgramming.com - Games http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/games/BlogPosts en-US AnotherBlog RSS Magicka http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/games/BlogPost/2011/2/7/Magicka 2/7/2011 8:03:59 PM Arthur Correa The latest game I've been playing is Magicka.  Its an action adventure game where you're a wizard running around you're typical medieval world casting spells. So what's the big deal?  Well there are a few great points to bear in mind. First there is the spellcasting system.  Essentially you're given a number of spell casting aspects you can combine for a spell.  First there are a number of elements (Fire, Earth, Lightning, Cold, Life, and Water), plus a couple of ways to enhance them (shield or arcane).  So you combine up to five of those and then specify how you want to cast the spell (as an AOE, on yourself, or as a projectile).   You can use your spells however you want.  Do you want to just blow things up from a distance?  Then create a fireball with lots of earth and fire.  Do you want to lure things in and do AOE damage?  Then grab some fire, lightning, and a little arcane for spice and anything close to you drops like a rock A few interesting browser games http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/games/BlogPost/2010/4/26/A_few_interesting_browser_games 4/26/2010 7:44:37 PM Arthur Correa There have been a few new browser games recently that have grabbed my attention lately. First is a Flash version of Valve's Portal game.  This game is a lot of fun. I loved the original portal, and this Flash based one really keeps the feel of the original despite being in 2D.  Next is Zombooka.  Its a physics game where you have to shoot a protectile and take out a bunch of targets.  Nothing really new, other than the fact that the targets are zombies. Who doesn't like to kill zombies?  If Left For Dead has taught us nothing its that killing zombies is fun. Last is a browser based strategy game called Lords of Ultima.  Its takes place in the Ultima universe from the Ultima games from the late 80s and 90s, which were hugely popular to RPG fans.  Strangely though it takes place on a new world?  Uhm so are they just using the Ultima name?   Regardless from what I've seen so far its a fun little Strategy game that's worth checking PS3 Slim http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/games/BlogPost/2010/1/14/PS3_Slim 1/14/2010 12:13:16 PM Arthur Correa This Christmas I got the latest version of the PS3, the PS3 Slim, and I have to say I'm really liking it. I've been a PC gamer for years, usually playing RPG or RTS games with the occasional First Person game thrown in, and I haven't felt any sort of burning desire to get a console.  Sure a time or two when a new game came out that was console only I thought about getting an XBox or PS3, but I never really cared enough to pull the trigger.  I had a hard time justifying a console for a couple of reasons. I had a perfectly good gaming PC, that I upgraded pretty regularly so why get a console too? How much was I really going to play the console?  It would have to be setup on the main living room tv, would I get a chance to play it enough for the purchase to be worth it? I hate spending money.  Well I do and I don't, once I decide to spend it, no problems, but deciding to spend it is a chore. Then this last summer I changed my mind and decided I wanted to get a Bioshock http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/games/BlogPost/2009/6/1/Bioshock 6/1/2009 7:17:38 PM Arthur Correa Okay, so Bioshock 2 is on the horizon. Can you name a better time for a Bioshock review? I picked this game up on Steam around Christmas time. I was looking for a game to play since GTA IV turned out to be a bust for me, and Steam had it up on their site for $4.99. I figured how could I go wrong? A game of the year candidate for $4.99, what the heck. So I start to play the game, and I'm hooked right from the get go. The scenery is phenomenal. They did such an incredible job of the underwatever vistas that I was blown away. Right away you see this grand city under the sea as you're brought down in the bathysphere. The neon signs and the art deco architecture float serenely amongst the undersea creatures swimming in your sight. Then you get introduced to the story. And what a great story it is. You're drawn along, learning about the underwater city of Rapture, and its founder Andrew Ryan. Who is Atlas? And how does he fit into the power struggles that went on. What is with the creepy Left 4 Dead http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/games/BlogPost/2009/5/9/Left_4_Dead 5/9/2009 6:45:51 PM Arthur Correa Left 4 Dead is a new game by Valve Software.  The guys that brought us Half Life 1 & 2, Portal, and Steam.   I've actually had this game for a while and just haven't written something up about it. The premise of the game is that you and three others are trying to survice a zombie apocalypse.  How the zombies got there is essentially your Dawn of the Dead/Shaun of the Dead/World War Z sort of scenario.  The player and the other survivors have to slug their way through the undead hordes until they can be extracted safely by the military. The game is interesting in that it is built to be played in co-op mode over the internet.  Sure you can play it as a single player, but honestly you'll get creamed at the end levels because the survivor AI just isn't quite good enough for you to survive. First what do I like about this game?  The graphics are pretty good, not great but good.  You won't confuse this for having hte latest and grea Max Payne 3 http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/games/BlogPost/2009/3/25/Max_Payne_3 3/25/2009 2:23:08 PM Arthur Correa I just saw this announcement for Max Payne 3, and was so excited I had to post something.  I can't say how much I liked Max Payne 1 and 2.  I think i've already played through both of them twice and after reading this announcement I'm about to go play through them a third time.I have to say I liked Max Payne 2 better than 1 from what I recall (its been a few years), but both had a great storyline, and a atmosphere that really drew you in deep into the character.  He was so flawed, dark and brooding, but I wanted to see him succeed and take revenge for the games opening.   Oddly enough this dark, gritty, and brooding game takes a page from Disney to establish an immediate bond with the main character and advance the story at the same time.They kill off his family.I'm not revealing anything crazy here.  First the game is 8 years old, second even the original reviews refer to this in the first paragraph or two so Ptthhppt.  But anyway that's a classic Disney move mechanic.  Kill off someo Pocket God http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/games/BlogPost/2009/3/23/Pocket_God 3/23/2009 12:00:00 AM Arthur Correa I downloaded a game for my iPod Touch the other day called  Pocket God.  It has 1000+ reviews with the vast majority of those being 4 star rating so I figured for .99 how could I go wrong.For 99 cents its a great game.    The gist of it is that there is a little island where you can control the natives.  You get to change the weather on them and zap the with lightning, toss them in a volcano, feed them to a shark, give them an earthquake (by shaking the Touch/iPhone), and number of other things.  Its pretty fun.  Lets be honest.  Its not very deep,  But for what it is, its lots of fun.Overall its easy to control as well.  My son Eric had no problems playing it for a few minutes.  He had a little trouble launching the natives into the volcano, but then again I did at first as well.  But he could zap them with lightning pretty well, and pick up the shark. The graphics are simple, but effective and very fun to watch..  You fry a native with lightning and he turns into a pile of ash.  Drop Battle For Middle Earth II http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/games/BlogPost/2009/3/12/Battle_For_Middle_Earth_II 3/12/2009 12:00:00 AM Arthur Correa So, I'm sure you're thinking.  Why am I bringing up BFMEII?  It came out about 4 years ago or so, what's the point?Well first of all I wasn't blogging 4 months never mind 4 years ago, and secondly I just rediscovered this game.  I was playing a bunch of Dawn of War and remembering just how much I love to play a good RTS when there was a Lord of the Rings movie marathon on TV at the same time.Naturally my brain put the two together and reminded me of these games.  BFME II is a great game, not perfect, but a lot of fun.I rememeber I didn't really like the campaign.  It was alright, but not quite as engrossing as the campaign of BFME I.  Sure BFME I was just the same story as the movies (and mostly the books), but you felt like you were a hero from the get go.  You felt like you were an epic part of what was going on.  On top of that you got access to special powers as they came around in the books more or less (like you hit 10th level and got access to the Paths of the Dead summoning pow Dawn of War II http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/games/BlogPost/2009/2/26/Dawn_of_War_II 2/26/2009 12:00:00 AM Arthur Correa Now I was really looking forward to this game when I first heard about it.  The screenshots were awesome.  The trailer videos were awesome.  I loved DOW I.  I was all set to get this game. Then it came out and I read some reviews...hmm, maybe I won't be getting this... People were complaining a lot.  It's not an RTS. It's nothing like DOW I.  It uses DRM like Steam and Games For Windows Live (GFWL).  Its not stable. Hmm, maybe I should rethink getting this game.  Was I really afraid of the stability? No, there weren't enough people complaining about it for it ot be a huge concern.  Sure a few people had problems, but not enough that I was really worried.  Was I anti Steam/GFWL?  Nope, I already use Steam (quick aside, when I first got it with Half Life 2 I hated the idea, then I built a new system and was able to install all my Steam games with just a click.  No more hunting for CD's or licence keys, and I was hooked).  Dawn of War http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/games/BlogPost/2009/2/21/Dawn_of_War 2/21/2009 12:00:00 AM Arthur Correa No, not Dawn of War II, but Dawn of War I.  I was getting ready to buy Dawn of War II when I saw a lot of bad feedback on it.  Well while I was trying to make up my mind on if I wanted to take a chance on Dawn of War II I thought I'd boot up DOW I for some mayhem. Man I had so forgotten how much fun this game is.  Just the right mix of base building, resource gathering and slugfests.  No resources that run out (something that while interesting in the earlier warcrafts, got hold quick).  Not too many units so you get lost with them.  No crazy tech trees You just go in, and you slug it out. On top of all that the graphics are perfect or the game.  The units look cool, just enough detail.  Not crazy detail, but the units have a unique styling that makes you really get a feel for how they operate.  You add special weapons to your units and you can see them in hands of your game pieces.  Very cool. I have the first two expansions (Winter World of Warcraft http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/games/BlogPost/2009/2/17/World_of_Warcraft 2/17/2009 12:00:00 AM Arthur Correa So roughly 4 or 5 years after it launched, I'm finally trying World of Warcraft on a free trial account. Why did I wait so long?  Well it gets to my own opinions on how companies should charge for online games.  I don't mind if an online game charges for the game, but if you do, don't then charge me monthly to use the game I bought (this is the Guild Wars model).  On the other hand, if you don't charge me for the game, I don't mind the monthly fee, the company has to make money somehow.  That opinion pretty much kept me away from WOW, and instead steered me to Guild Wars for a number of years.  I really enjoyed Guild Wars (and all its expansions), and never missed out on WOW.  The fact that most of my gaming friends were playing Guild Wars as well helped. Then one by one, people faded away from GW.  Hey it happens.  People want something new.  Well I'm the same way too.  I mostly played single player for a while until Warhammer Onli How I stopped playing GTA, for now http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/games/BlogPost/2009/2/11/How_I_stopped_playing_GTA%2C_for_now 2/11/2009 12:00:00 AM Arthur Correa So like a lot of my gaming friends I couldn't wait for GTA IV to come out on the PC.  When it finally came out just before Christmas I told my wife I'd wait to see if I got it for Christmas rather than buy it, but I was really looking forward to playing it.To steal a line from My Blue Heaven.......5 o'clock Christmas morning, I run downstairs and look under the tree and what do I find? Uncle Alfresco, dead on the floor, shot through the back of the head. Plus no GTA IV. It was a dispointing Christmas on many levelsActually that's not true at all, I did get GTA IV (that movie just has so man grea lines in it), and I couldn't wait to check it out.  But what happened when I finally checked it out made me feel like that line.So a few days go buy before I get a chance to try to install it.  I put the DVD in, run the installer and go to play it.You need to setup Rockstar Live (or whtever its called).  Uhmm ok, I really don't want to, but I have to so fine.  I register and create an account o Warhammer Online, the best game I'm not playing http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/games/BlogPost/2009/2/10/Warhammer_Online%2C_the_best_game_I%27m_not_playing 2/10/2009 12:00:00 AM Arthur Correa So the funny thing is, when I started this blog I was certain that my gaming entries would be the most prevalent.  Apparently I couldn't have been more wrong.At any rate I thought I'd take a stab at talking about Warhammer Online. Why? It was released about 4 months ago, why talk now?  Well I just loaded it up again and started playing it.  (I played for about two months when it launched then it kind of fell by the wayside). First what do I like about it?  Well a lot of things actuallyThe Realm based PVP Areas - I have so much fun doing this.  I love that you can have an area where you can do PVE if you want, but then when you want to do PVP you can just wander to another area and fight a fight with the other side.  The fact that you can have massive battles when you're trying to takeover a keep makes it even more fun.  The pure chaos gets a bit too much at times, but its what a huge battle would probably feel like. The PVP scenarios - This is actually where I spend most of my PVP time PucksAndProgramming.com - Artie's Blog http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPosts en-US AnotherBlog RSS Disney testing abolishing waiting in line http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2014/10/10/Disney_testing_abolishing_waiting_in_line 10/10/2014 7:07:58 PM Arthur Correa I saw this post and felt sick to my stomach.  I can't believe that Disney is testing elminating a wait for any line.  To me part of a vacation is the ability to kick back and go with the flow, make things up as you go along.  I know with Disney there is a growing segment of the population that feels like its a once in a lifetime trip, and they want it to be perfect.  So they plan everything down to the last minute.   However these are also the type of people that come home and say Disney is a terrible place to go.  Once their finally laid out plans fail in some way either due to a kid being too tired to git up at the crack of dawn, or taking to long (in the parents minds) to eat their lunch, or a ride going down unexpectedly, or a lunch seating running late, or it starts to rain, or you get the idea...   Anyway once those finely laid plans break down these people just can't deal with the change and the whole day is ruined.   We experience Is it just me or have I seen Toy Story 3 before http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2011/6/29/Is_it_just_me_or_have_I_seen_Toy_Story_3_before 6/29/2011 9:08:21 AM Arthur Correa Now before I get into this.  I first want to establish that I'm a Disney fan.  My family and I have seen/own all the Pixar movies to date (including Toy Story 3, reasons below), and enjoy them  The Incredibles is one of my top 10 movies to watch.  We go to Walt Disney World at least once a year (sometimes more), we belong to the Disney Vacation Club.  In short, we're only a Disneyana membership short of being feral Disney addicts. That being said i really don't undestand the hype around Toy Story 3.  From what I can tell its just a rehash of Toy Story 2 wth the major roles reversed.  In Toy Story 2 (TS2 from now on)  Woody is the one freaking out about his lot in life, and the rest of the gang is trying to make him feel better.  In Toy Story 3 (TS3) its the opposite, the whole gang is freaking out about their lot in life and Woody is the one trying to make them feel better.  So right out of the gate the overall plot of the movie has a Making a game out of chores http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2011/2/10/Making_a_game_out_of_chores 2/10/2011 12:00:00 AM Arthur Correa Like all parents, my wife and I have been struggling with getting our kids to help out more around the house.  They're good kids and they do the chores when we ask them, but like most kids they aren't crazy about the whole thing. Then a few weeks ago I was reading Influencer: The Power to Change Anything and I got an idea.  I was reading the section on changing peoples behaviors and how its hard.  You know what, I get that, I've seen it first hand in my job over the years.  In one role in particular the people I worked with were gun shy about ever trying to change peoples behaviors because they've never gotten it to stick. The book talked about how you have to give them an incentive to change their behavior, one that appeals to their ethics, morals, and points of view while also interesting them enough to stick with it.  As I read about that I started thinking about how I could use this to help my kids do chores. Now I've also been a video gamer for years, a A new version of Monopoly http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2011/2/9/A_new_version_of_Monopoly 2/9/2011 11:27:30 AM Arthur Correa I don't think I like this new version of Monopoly.  From what I remember about playing Monopoly as a kid half the fun was cheating.  And isn't that what a monopoly is really all about anyway? It was always fun trying to sneak out on not paying the rent when the property owner forgot to check, or slipping yourself an extra 50 from the bank when no one else was looking. Not to mention the fact for some reason that all seeing tower makes me feel like I'm sneaking through Mordor, Just saying.   The Google Book Settlement disturbs me http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2010/4/2/The_Google_Book_Settlement_disturbs_me 4/2/2010 12:00:00 AM Arthur Correa As someone who is an avid reader I find the ramifications of the Google Book Settlement disturbing.  If you want more information check out this post here.  Now I'm not a huge fan of how Google does business to begin with (in the interest of full disclosure I do have an Android phone so I do have some interaction with Google that I find enjoyable, but the way they infringe on privacy and copyrights bothers me, that and I totally don't buy they're whole "don't be evil" mantra). At any rate, the post covers 5 ways that the GBS will impact books, and it has some insightful comments so check it out My phone is dead, long live my new phone http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2010/1/19/My_phone_is_dead%2C_long_live_my_new_phone 1/19/2010 10:36:50 PM Arthur Correa Yes its true, after three years with the same phone I finally pulled the trigger and upgraded.  It was a long time coming.  For the last 3 or 4 months the battery life on my HTC 8525 had been nearly non existent.  On top of that the screen on the phone had been acting really funky for the last few weeks.  Every so often the screen would just go all white, and the only way to get it back would be to hard boot the phone.  Then just last week my screen developed what can best be described as a dying heartbeat.  The screen would fade to the all white state, then slowly come back to a normal screen, then fade back to white.  All within a very regular interval.  It was kind of bizarre.  Now I'm not complaining about my old phone.  Like I said it was three years old, thats gotta be like 90 in phone years right? So I switched to Verizon and got myself a Motorola Droid.  In addition to needing a new phone I'd also I had a few problems wit Disney and Transformers http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/9/2/Disney_and_Transformers 9/2/2009 10:24:21 AM Arthur Correa Okay so this is nowhere near the same scale as the Disney buying Marvel.  But I saw this and thought it was cool.  A Mickey Mouse that transforms into a pseudo Optimus Prime semi.  Like one of the comments said, I'd buy this just because its so obscure.  Sure its a completely useless toy, but admit it.  You're a Disney fan, you're a Transformer fan, you want one don't you..... Disney buys Marvel http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/9/1/Disney_buys_Marvel 9/1/2009 2:53:57 PM Arthur Correa For those who haven't heard yet, Disney apparently is buying Marvel for 4 billion dollars.  If you ready anything on this blog you probably know that I'm a big Disney fan.  Well I'm also a big Marvel fan.  Back when I was a kid I collected comics, Marvel comics mainly.  I never really got into the DC title.  Sure a few like Shadow of the Bat were good, and I was always a Green Lantern fan, but I definitely read more Marvel than DC.  Series like New Warriors, Nova, X-Men, Wolverine, Thor, and the Incredible Hulk were always my favorites (especially the Peter David/Dale Keown years).  So when I heard about this I was actually pretty excited.  I know there is a lot of concern that Disney is going to kill a lot of classic Marvel characters by making them cute/cuddly/PC.  Essentialy going corporate with them.  And I admit that concern may not be completely wrong, but I just don't see Disney doing that.   I think Iger is smart enou Firefly's BBQ http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/8/24/Firefly%27s_BBQ 8/24/2009 1:08:23 PM Arthur Correa This past weekend my wife and I went out with some friends to Firefly's restauraunt in Marlborough.  It was great! First we started off in the bar and got some drinks, we all had a different specialty cocktail.  Unfortunately I forget the names of most of the ones we got, but they were all good, and a great way to start off the night.  Then at around 8 or so we moved into Dante's, and ordered dinner.  We ended up going with the an appetizer of bbq chips, a Picnic for 4 with macaroni and cheese and bbq beans as sides. We also tried to order a Waffle Lot O Chicken, but they were out of waffles (seriously?  How can you be out of waffles?  And at the begninng of the night no less) so we ended up just getting an order of Fried Chicken with some sweet potato fries. So how was the food?  It was great.  The bbq chips were awesome, I was bummed we didn't get two orders of those.   They were just like home made ch Ice Cream http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/6/14/Ice_Cream 6/14/2009 5:32:02 PM Arthur Correa Tonight we made ice cream with the kids using our new Ice Cream Ball for the first time.   To be fair the Ice Cream maker wasn't exactly new.  I had gotten it for Christmas, but it was the first time we had actually used it.  I remember making ice cream as a kid with an ice cream maker that you put ice and rock salt around a bucket ingredients and then spun a handle to keep the bucket of ingredients moving.  I remember I had fun doing it, but it was a lot of work, and took a long time to do. Well Ice Cream Ball did take a while as well, but it was much easier and a lot more fun than I remember doing as a kid.  The kids, my wife, and I all sat down in a square on the floor in the living room and just took turns rolling the ball to each other.  The kids had a blast, and the ice cream was done in about 20 minutes or so. So how did the ice cream come out?  Overall it was frozen pretty well, but it was a bit soft  Next time we'll mak Las Vegas http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/5/31/Las_Vegas 5/31/2009 7:52:11 PM Arthur Correa So last week my wife and I went on our first trip to Las Vegas.  We've been wanting to go for a few years now, but for whatever reason we just never made it out there.  So we trekked out there on the Wednesday night before Memorial Day weekend and came back on Sunday.  Las Vegas is a really interesting town.  For example we got to our hotel, Treasure Island, and checked in at about 12:30 Vegas time.  Then we went out for a walk on the strip.  I have this thing where whenever I go someplace new, when I first get there I want to go out and see something.  Anything. Well the great thing about Vegas is that you can go out walking around at 12:30 at night, and see plenty.  Sure a lot of the stores are closed, but the hotels themselves are all lit up.  The people our out and about.  Bars and casinos are open, and there is really no bad time to just take a stroll around to see a few sites.  So that was the start, and the rest of the wee UFC 98 http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/5/26/UFC_98 5/26/2009 6:28:56 PM Arthur Correa So this past weekend I went to UFC 98 in Las Vegas.  I'm not a die hard fan of MMA, but I am definately a fan of the UFC.  I don't watch every MMA thing out there, but some friends and I usually take turns getting the UFC fights on a pretty regular basis.  I also usually try to watch the Ultimate Fighter competition whenever I get a chance. So when my wife told me that her brother was getting married in Vegas,  and it happened to be over the same weekend as UFC 98 I started to think about trying to get tickets.  When I heard it was a title fight between Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida (one of my favorite UFC fighters) I knew I was going to get tickets.  A title fight in Vegas?  Of course I was going to try to get tickets. Off to TicketMaster I went.  Hmm, the tickets started at $125 and just went up from there, but by the time I got the tickets the cheapest I could get were second row balcony in section 221 $250 ins Why I'm eating through a straw http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/5/17/Why_I%27m_eating_through_a_straw 5/17/2009 8:42:38 PM Arthur Correa So where were we.  At the annual Alpha Tae Kwon Do tournament I was the lone Goju student in a sea of Tae Kwon do.  My son had just finished up, and now it was my turn.  First up the forms.  For my form I decided to do Geki Sai Dai San.  I knew I wasn't going to have some of the flashy kicks that the TKD forms would have, but I have decent technique and power so I was hoping that would show through in the form.  On top of that the form has some elements that show off really well, and I really like to do it. There were three other students in the forms division.  I'm watching them, thinking, well hey at least my son will be happy I did the tournament.  I get up, I do my form, and present myself to the judges, hmm, they were all TKD instructors.  Neither Sensei Rollinson or Shihan Sidlik were on my judging panel.  So none of the judges had any idea what my form was supposed to be like.  That could be good, or that could be bad.... The Hanmadang http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/5/17/The_Hanmadang 5/17/2009 7:38:36 PM Arthur Correa The Hanmadang!  What is a Hanmadang?  Well, honestly I don't know what the word means, but its an in house tournament at the Alpha Tae Kwon Do school where I take my Goju Ryu classes. Wait a minute I take Goju Ryu Karate classes at a Tae Kwon Do School?  Well yeah.  The chief instructor of the school, Andrew Rollinson (who also owns the school with his wife Michelle), is also studying a number of other martial arts and bringing them into his school.  So he is studying Goju Ryu under the auspices of Hanshi Bernard from the House of the Samurai up in Londonderry, NH, he is also studying Kobudo through that school.  As part of that relationship Shihan Dan Sidlik comes down to Alpha and helps us in our in Kobudo and Goju on Saturdays.  On top of that Sensei Rollinson is also studying Hapkido through a different school (sorry I'm not sure of the name of that school). At any rate so this past weekend was the Hanmadang at Alpha.  T My opinion of the Bruins season http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/5/15/My_opinion_of_the_Bruins_season 5/15/2009 5:06:55 PM Arthur Correa AAARRRRGGGGHHH!!!  . . . . I'll post a more coherent opinion when I'm done gnashing my teeth.   Is Joe Thornton the A Rod of Hockey http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/4/30/Is_Joe_Thornton_the_A_Rod_of_Hockey 4/30/2009 8:33:59 PM Arthur Correa What do I mean?  Well look at their careers, they both have a history of great regular season success.  They also both have a career of post season failure.  So sure, there are some similarities, but how comparable are they? Ok, lets start by looking at Regular Season success. Since Joe Thornton came into the league he has averaged just over a point per game for his entire career.   On top of that his points per game averages are skewed down quite a bit by his rookie year.  That year he played in 55 games and only scored 7 points.  Not what one would expect from a #1 overall pick, especially if you see the impressive numbers for the rest of his career.  However he didn't get much ice time.  Coach Pat Burns believed in bringing him along slowly, which has apparently worked out pretty well for Thornton. Since coming into the league Thornton has won the regular season MVP trophy  (the Hart), and the regular season scoring Bruins Canadiens game http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/4/22/Bruins_Canadiens_game 4/22/2009 6:59:27 PM Arthur Correa Like the first three games, this was a great one to watch.  The game was back and forth with a lot of action overall, just like the whole series.  Lots of hits, lots of shots, and just great enegy. The Canadien's got the early lead in the first period (sorry I wasn't home to watch this goal so I don't know the details).  But the lead was short lived.   Michael Ryder opened up the scoring for the Bruins to tie the game.  With a little more than 2 minutes left in the first period he took advantage of a horrible defensive laps by the Canadiens.  Krecji carried the puck in front of the Canadien's net, but got wrapped up by 2 defenders and lost the puck.  A third Canadien's defender came in to help, but ended up making things worse.  When that third defender came in, Krecji stopped whacking at the puck to try to get control and peeled away.  But at the same time the other two defenders did the same, expecting the incoming third d A cool new sweepstakes http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/3/31/A_cool_new_sweepstakes 3/31/2009 2:45:07 PM Arthur Correa I just came across this post on JimHillMedia.com.  Apparently active annual passholders have a chance to win a sign from Space Mountain!  Not just any old sign, a sign that has been there since the opening.  There is a picture of a space mountain sign in the post, but no word on if its THE sign.  I'm really curious just which sign it is, mainly so I can find out how big it is and if it will fit anywhere in/around my house.  The sweepstakes is running from March 1st - April 3rd so get moving!  For those of us that can't make it to the parks in person, you can also mail in entries somehow (I'm trying tohunt down that information now). Good luck! January 2009 Trip - Epcot http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/3/30/January_2009_Trip_-_Epcot 3/30/2009 2:44:28 PM Arthur Correa Ok, so I'm way behind on finishing up these Disney posts, but they will get done! So Epcot.  We didn't spend a ton of time here.  The kids were all about Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Soarin This is my son's favorite ride.  I think we did it about 5 or 6 times this trip.  If you go on this ride anytime then try (if you can) to go to the one on the right.  That one appears to have the better quality film right now.  The one on the left has a LOT of wear and tear in the film.  Its pretty noticeable and distracting.  On the right has a few here and there, but nothing as bad as the one on the left.  I'm amazed at how quickly this film has deteriorated, why isn't it digital! That being said this ride is awesome.  The scents, the feeling you get in the pit of your stomach, Patrick Warburton, what else could you ask for?  We were lucky enough to get center seats in the center section a couple of times this trip which makes it t The Bs just aren't clicking http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/3/22/The_Bs_just_aren%27t_clicking 3/22/2009 2:50:00 PM Arthur Correa And I've gotten to see it live in person this time.  I went to the Kings game on 3/19 here in Boston.  I had great seats.  Front row balcony just slightly to the right of center ice, right behind the Bruins bench.   I was with a good group of guys (my cousins Bob, John and Al (who are all brothers)), and we were all set to see the Bs take down a bad Kings team.I was really looking forward to this game because I was supposed to go to the game on January 16th with these same guys but I couldn't make it.  I wanted to, I just physically couldn't make it.  So there I was at home wishing I was at the game, watching it on tv, and it was an awesome game.  Two goals and a fight in the first 10 minutes.  I was dying.So now I had a second chance at seeing what has been a great Bruins team overall this season, and I was pretty excited for it.The Bs got out to a two goal lead by the end of two periods, but they weren't controlling the game.  For example, at one point in the first period they were g Well the Bs got a win http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/3/13/Well_the_Bs_got_a_win 3/13/2009 2:49:22 PM Arthur Correa Sure it was against Ottawa, who isn't much of a power this year (what the heck happened to Ottowa anyway, they still have great players like Spezza and Heatly, but they're terrible this year), but its still a win.For the most part they got the win in a good way.  They started off with a shorthanded goal by Aaron Ward in the first period.  Its great to score first in a game, and even better to do it short handed.Then, for the most part, the B's were in control.  The score was 3 - 1 for most of the game until Kessel got a beautiful goal in the third.  He came in on the right wight with Stuart  joining him on the left wing to take the attention of the defenders.Kessel kept the puck, and put it in the top corner on the near side.  Just a great shot into a tight spot. After that though things changed.  For about three minutes or so the B's sort of fell apart and gave up 2 goals to the Sens to make the score 4 - 3.  A bit too close to comfort.  But, unlike recent games, they rose to the chal January 2009 Trip - Magic Kingdom - Part 2 http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/2/26/January_2009_Trip_-_Magic_Kingdom_-_Part_2 2/26/2009 2:43:47 PM Arthur Correa Liberty Square Oddly enough, for all that its not a major land in thie park I've always liked Liberty Square.  Something about the buildings there, the bridge, and the Liberty Belle just makes for a nice area.  Sleepy Hollow For a long time the Sleepy Hollow bakery was a bit unknown, it just was never that busy unless people were waiting for a parade.  Couple that with the fact that it was one of two places where you could get ice cream cookie sandwiches (on the big chocolate chip cookies that they sell), or a root beer float, and it was a nice little hidden surprise. That being said they don't use the same vanilla bean ice cream in those treats as the Main Street Bakery does, they use soft serve so its not quite as good.  But it will do in a pinch.  Haunted Mansion I've liked the Haunted Mansion for years.  Sure the effects are not crazy complex, and they are blown away by modern computer generated stuff, but the ride is just down so well. &nbs What is up with the Bruins lately http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/2/21/What_is_up_with_the_Bruins_lately 2/21/2009 2:48:43 PM Arthur Correa So I start my blogging, all excited about writing about the Bruins, and as soon as I start to get into it the B's aren't doing so well.So they only have a single win in their last six games if I'm not mistaken (1 - 3 - 2).  Their power play hasn't been effective in that span, the one game that it was effective was in their win against the Hurricanes.  Now they were getting some offensive chances, they outshot the Panthers 41 - 29.  Is it that they're getting too cute?  Are their injuries starting to catch up with them?  Are they hitting a wall?My opinion?  They're hitting a wall.  A lot of people say its the injuries, but they've been getting people back over the last few weeks and they're still having problems.They're a young team, that has done great this year.  Maybe they're just starting to get run down and don't quite have the experience to fight through this bump in the road.  I'm actually hoping it is this, because the approach of the playoffs should jazz up the team and give th January 2009 Trip - Magic Kingdom - Part 1 http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/2/16/January_2009_Trip_-_Magic_Kingdom_-_Part_1 2/16/2009 2:43:09 PM Arthur Correa Ok, the next park we wanted to go to was the Magic Kingdom.  Like I said in my Hollywood Studios post this park has the most for the entire family.  From the kid stuff in ToownTown in Fantasy Land, to the tweener stuff like Pirates, Buzz, and Monster's Inc, to the thrill stuff like Space, Splash, and Thunder Mountain. My kids really love this park, Eric loves TomorrowLand, Catie loves FantasyLand, makes sense for their age groups if you think about it (6 and 3 respectively). Tomorrow Land We spend a lot of time here, on just two three rides. also talk about cosmic rays and carousel of progress Buzz Lightyear This is just a fun ride for everyone.  Sure its been surpassed in just about every way by Toy Story Mania, but its still a lot of fun.  Everyone on my family can hop on and enjoy it in some way.  Even my three year old at least gets the idea, even if she doesn't reall get aiming yet.  It doesn't matter, she has fun on it. My son, Eric, on the oth Boston Bruins play San Jose Tonight - The Wrapup http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/2/11/Boston_Bruins_play_San_Jose_Tonight_-_The_Wrapup 2/11/2009 2:47:56 PM Arthur Correa Okay, so the B's lost last night.  My prediction was that they would win 5 - 3, and going into the third period with the B's leading 2 - 1 I felt pretty good about that. Then, well everything just fell apart.  In the span of 5 or 6 minutes the Sharks rattled off some goals and before you knew it, the score was 5 -2 in favor of the Sharks (hey at least I got the winning teams goal total right). How did Joe Thornton do?  Well, personally I think I was dead on with him.  He had a quiet night and didn't do much. Whats that?  Yes I know according to the box score he had a goal, but come on it was a fluke goal.  A pass in front of the net by Setoguchi happened to bounce of Thornton's foot into the net.  The pass wasn't even to Thornton, Setoguchi was trying to pass it by THornton to another Sharks player.  Thornton just happened to get in the way by accident and happened to get a goal. Then again, as the saying goes. Sometimes its better to be Boston Bruins play San Jose Tonight http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/2/10/Boston_Bruins_play_San_Jose_Tonight 2/10/2009 2:47:17 PM Arthur Correa It's  been three years since Joe Thornton last played a game in Boston  The Boston crowd didn't get much of a chance to react to the game since Joe got ejected, but I'm sure they'll make up for lost time tonight.Back when the B's first got Thornton I really liked him.  Sure he only had something like 7 points his rookie season, but you could tell by watching that he could be really good.  I told everyone that complained about his performance that if you go to a game just watch him.  He was smooth, he was calm, he made nice smart passes.  He just looked like he had it.Over the years he started doing better and better.  He started to come into his own under Pat Burns (not really, but started to), and really begain to flourish under Mike Keenan (why did he only last a year again?).  Until he really started to become a force putting up some solid numbers including a 100 pt effort in 02-03.That being said I'm glad he's gone.  He never really seemed to get it done.  He was big, and talented, January 2009 Trip - Hollywood Studios http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/2/10/January_2009_Trip_-_Hollywood_Studios 2/10/2009 2:42:22 PM Arthur Correa So our first day of our trip we spent at Hollywood studios, and ended up there in some capactity on more than half of the other days.  Why do we do it so much? Well its a great park for the kids.  Sure it has some great adult rides like the Rockin Roller Coaster and of course the Tower of Terror.  It also has things like the Voyage of the Little Mermaid (great for Catie), Playhouse Disney (still enjoyed by Eric and loved by Catie), Star Tours (one of Eric's favorites), Beauty and the Beast, and of course Toy Story Mania. So for both the parents and the kids, Hollywood Studios is a great place to go.  It doesn't quite have the densitiy of great rides for all ages that the Magic Kingdom has, but out of the four theme parks it easily comes in second in my opinion. The park itself was much busier than we expected it to be.  There were a lot of tour groups there and I think that was part of the problem.  Couple that with the fact that it was one of only Here we go Bruins, Here we go http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/2/6/Here_we_go_Bruins%2C_Here_we_go 2/6/2009 2:46:34 PM Arthur Correa Ok, so I was browsing ESPN this morning and I saw this. Wow! I honestly didn't expect to see an article commenting about how the Bruins are Stanley Cup contenders.Sure, they're playing great this year.  But to be honest, back when in the beginning of the season (say late October, early November) when they first started to string together a lot of wins.  I said to myself "Yeah, they do this every year early, then they barely make the playoffs when its all said and done."Well, I was wrong, dead wrong.  They've done an amazing job of keeping their season moving forward.  And you know what, I don't mind being wrong about this at all. January 2009 Trip - Toy Story Mania http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/2/6/January_2009_Trip_-_Toy_Story_Mania 2/6/2009 2:41:19 PM Arthur Correa We checked in about 10 or so, but our room wasn't ready.  So we stored the bags and decided to hit the Hollywood Studios.  The kids were excited (as were my wife and I).  By the time we got our park passes and into the park it was around 11 or so.  Studios was a lot busier than we expected it to be, very busy in fact, lots of tour groups.  Ok, what to do first.  Toy Story Mania was the overwhelming choice from my son.  So we headed back there to check out the line and/or get fast passes.  It was only 11 it shouldn't be a problem, or so we thought.  Actually fast passes were already gone for the day (those tour groups must have sucked them all up).  .  Pfft, that stinks, but whatever the line was at 70 minutes.  We could wait right? Well not really.  My daughter, Catie, is just barely 3, and a 70 minute line wait just isn't going to work for her (or us) between potty needs and snacks never mind an extreme lack January 2009 Trip - Saratoga Springs http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/2/5/January_2009_Trip_-_Saratoga_Springs 2/5/2009 2:39:58 PM Arthur Correa My family and I just got back from a six day trip down to Walt Disney World.  I'll be posting my thoughts, as well as my So we stayed at Saratoga Springs.  I have to admit I was a little nervous.  My wife and I stayed in that area for our Honeymoon back when it was the Disney Institute.  We had a great time (its what kicked off our whole love fest for Disney), and it worked great for a young couple.  We could walk to Downtown Disney when we wanted to, the busses were no big deal.  It worked out well. Then a few years ago we went down and stayed there when it was Saratoga Springs.  To be honest it wasn't as great, not because of the resort itself, but becouse our situation had changed.  We were going with kids this time, and the spread out nature of the resort as well as the location on property made the resort more of a pain.  Waiting for busses to come, and then riding through all the stops with kids was incredibly different.  Now w January 2009 Trip http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/2/4/January_2009_Trip 2/4/2009 12:00:00 AM Arthur Correa My family and I just got back from a six day trip down to Walt Disney World.  I'll be posting my thoughts, as well as my families on a number of rides and restauraunts that we checked out while we were down there. We went down on Monday 1/26 on the 6 AM flight out of Manchester.  It was kind of brutal, and I'm not sure I'd do it again.  My kids were troopers though.  I tried to put their sneakers on them without waking them.  Hoping they would just sleep right through the car ride to the airport, but nope, once they caught on that we were leaving they were too excited to sleep! So they got up at about 4:30, and only took a short 1 hour nap on the plane ( unfortunately it wasn't longer ).  We landed around 8:45, got our minivan rental from Alamo and then off to Saratoga Springs! Now rather than do a typical play by play for a Trip report.  I'm just going to post things I noticed, and my families opinions about each parks attractions that w Sports I'll talk about http://blog.alwaysmoveforward.com/Blog/artie/BlogPost/2009/1/31/Sports_I%27ll_talk_about 1/31/2009 2:45:55 PM Arthur Correa So what sorts of sports am I going to talk about? The Boston Bruins (and pro hockey in general).  I'm a fan of ice hockey.  I've been playing it off and on since I was five years old.  To be honest I hadn't watched much the last few years (really not since the lockout), but the Bruins have been fun to watch this year and I'm getting sucked back in.  NFL Football - I really enjoy football season, and I'm pretty bummed that its almost over.  I'll continue to cheer for the local Patriots and, I'll admit, probably have a homer attitude towards them.  Goju Ryu Karate - I took Karate as a kid for a couple of years and got about 6 belts in (which was green I think), and I always wanted to get back into some sort of Martial art.  My son took up Tae Kwon Do at a local dojo (Alpha), and so I tried the adult classes.  Meh, it was ok, but not quite what I was looking for.  I started talking to Andrew and come to find out he was starting to offer Goju Ryu classes there as well.  Sounds interesting,