When you have more than you need…

Photo of a very long table with a couple dozen people sharing a meal, captioned 'When you have more than you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence.

Even for those of you who don’t think it’s good immigration policy, it’s still good career and life advice.


Tampa’s OpenHack Ybor meetup: Tonight at Brass Tap!

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OpenHack Ybor’s August gathering at New World Brewery.
Click the photo to see it at full size.

If you’re in the Tampa area tonight and would like to get to know your fellow developers, show off your current passion project, find out what their passion projects are, and enjoy some pizza and beer (or whatever beverage you like) in a friendly, convivial atmosphere, you might want to come to tonight’s OpenHack Ybor meetup!

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Another scene from the meetup at New World Brewery.

OpenHack Ybor, held once a month at one of Ybor City’s many beer-dispensing hangouts, is run by local Ruby developer Tony Winn for software developers of all stripes who want to get to know other local developers, see what they’re up to, and enjoy some free pizza. We’ve already had two OpenHack Ybor meetups — the first at the new pub at Coppertail Brewing, and the second at New World Brewery. Tonight’s meetup, which starts at 6:30, takes place at the Brass Tap in Centro Ybor.

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Tonight’s meetup location: Brass Tap in Centro Ybor.

If you’d like to attend, RSVP on OpenHack Ybor’s meetup page (there’s no admission, the pizza is free, you’ll have to buy your own beer) so that Tony’s got an idea of how many will be there and can order pizza accordingly. It’s fun, it’s friendly, and it’s one of my go-to geek events. I’ll be there, and I hope to see you there too!

This article originally appeared on my tech blog, Global Nerdy.


Peegate: The Canadian federal election’s strangest scandal (so far)


Those of you outside Canada may not be aware that there’s an upcoming federal election on October 29, 2015. Compared to other countries, our elections campaign periods are relatively quick; at eleven weeks, this one’s will be the longest and most expensive in modern Canadian history. Canadian elections are also typically dull affairs compared to those in America and other places, but this one’s turning out to be somewhat different.

The latest candidate for the incumbent Conservative Party of Canada to stumble is Jerry Bance, who’s running in the contested Toronto riding (that’s Canadian for “electoral district”) of Scarborough Rouge Park. When he’s not running on behalf of Canada’s most dickish party, he owns and operates XPress Appliance Service, which will soon be Canada’s least-wanted home repair company. That’s because he was caught on hidden camera peeing into a customer’s mug while on a service call.

Here’s the video:

The footage was shot in 2012 for the CBC television show Marketplace, a “consumer watchdog” show that airs the sort of pieces you’d expect, from product tests and safety to exposing the bad practices of shady businesses. According to Wikipedia, Marketplace has helped influence changes in Canada, from the banning of urea formaldehyde foam insulation and lawn darts, to the creation of new regulations for less-flammable children’s pajamas and safer baby crib design, to the successful prosecution of retailers for false advertising.

The video appears in “When the Repairman Knocks,” a special one-hour episode of Marketplace that aired on March 2, 2012 that looked into the “skills and ethics of home repair services”. They set up a house with hidden cameras, called a number of home service companies to work on simple repairs and watched what happened. They probably expected to be overcharged a couple of times and see some half-assed jobs.

They probably didn’t expect to see a repair person do the following:

  • Do a quick check to confirm that no one was in the kitchen
  • Grab a mug from the dish drying rack
  • Pee into it
  • Empty the mug into the sink
  • Give the mug a quick rinse
  • Leave the mug in the sink

When contacted by CBC news for comment, Bance made this statement:

I deeply regret my actions on that day. I take great pride in my work and the footage from that day does not reflect who I am as a professional or a person.

To which I must reply:

Bullshit. It absolutely reflects on who you are as a professional and person. Character is what you do when you think nobody’s watching.


Back to the Florida

It’s funny because it’s true:

florida turn signals

Based on a meme posted on Florida Street Scene that I found
via Monique Guggino.

driving in tampa banner