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So if you are anything like my mother you probably are wondering what the heck has Chris been up to lately? Well, I am not AWOL, just busy!

I spent last week in Lincoln Nebraska at the SCCA Solo National Championships, what’s that? Car racing. How’d I do? eh, not worth mentioning where I actually finished, but I did get to see friends I haven’t seen since Nationals in 2008, the last time I attended. I couldn’t really believe that I hadn’t been since 2008, but that is the truth, with the move to Colorado in 2009 and then California in 2010 I just didn’t get to go. I’ll have more blog posts/videos/photos from Solo Nationals in the coming week.

Day 247 of #Baby365When I got back from Nationals I spent two days catching up with Natalie and Jacqueline. Sunday we headed into San Francisco to get out of Half Moon Bay and see some things. We didn’t do much, but had a nice brunch in the Presidio, drove around Golden Gate Park, and walked around near Fort Mason. Here's a photo from a lookout point at the Presidio

This morning we went to Olivia's first birthday party in San Carlos. Check out some of the photos from the party. Saturday Natalie and Jacqueline went to Sophia’s birthday party as well, photos here.

After the birthday party today we had a few folks over for a crab fest. A couple of weeks ago I had a crab dinner at a local restaurant and was kind of grumpy that I paid $22+ for half a pound of crab, so I decided that we should have our own crab dinner at our house. We had the Strohls (4), Jeff Seeling (1) and Heyward and Julia (2) over for dinner tonight. I picked up some crab from the Half Moon Bay Safeway. It was $7/lb, cooked, cracked and cleaned. I had gone to the Half Moon Bay Fish Market on Sunday to see how much it was there, I thought it was a good deal at $10/lb cooked/cleaned. I am glad that I went to Safeway this morning before the party to check things out though, the Yelp reviews for the Fish Market made me start to have second thoughts. Safeway turned out to be great for this dinner.

Basically we took the crab from Safeway, put it into foil lined and covered pans with a small amount of water in them, and put them on the grill for 6-9 minutes. I think they turned out great. We had 5 crabs, probably 12 lbs total, and it seemed to cover the 8 of us, though I think only 5 or 6 of us actually ate crab, in the future I’ll likely do 1 per person if we do this again. I only took 2 photos tonight, was too busy cleaning and having a good time with friends!

Crab dinner Crab dinner

This week I have a lot of catching up to do on work! It was great to have the week off, but I feel like I am now way behind at the office!

So where I Chris at? I’m doing this all week!

What I'm doing this week

I’m at the 2011 SCCA Tire Rack Solo National Championships in Lincoln Nebraska. Stay tuned to Flickr and YouTube for videos and photos from throughout the week!

If you don’t know Will Strohl, you are one of the lucky ones. He’s an annoying guy, a total lunatic when it comes to DotNetNuke, but even that can’t fix his flaws.

You can however help fix one of the flaws of the “Mighty” Will Strohl. Will has a problem, he can’t afford collared shirts. Seriously. if you’ve ever met him you know this.

Check out this public service announcement for Will.

Now, here’s a challenge for you, two of them actually.

1) Bring your un-needed collared shirts (size XL) to DotNetNuke World in Orlando in Florida. Will needs them.

2) Make your own video for Will! Actually, provide your own audio track. I created the video and audio in about 30 minutes. I’m looking for people who can come up with a better audio track for the video, come up with something funny, something sad, something crazy, I don’t care! Just download the original WMV file (right click, save as) for the video and remove the audio, add your own. Then upload it to YouTube or Vimeo, and tweet the link to the video with #Collars4Will in the message. http://cjh.am/strohlc

Disclaimer: this video was generated out of necessity, check out the video that Will made for me a while back.

Those of you from Vacaville may recognize the title here, those of you who aren’t, maybe you’ve heard of a little band called Papa Roach.

Anyways, today in St. Louis I ran around a bit. I went to lunch with a guy who got me where I am today. My first real boss after college, though I also worked for him before I left college. Bobs as I like to call him (Roberts is his first name) is the guy who got me into the .NET world, and without that I wouldn’t be doing what I am today, I am very thankful for all that he has done for me over the years. Though I really should thank my dad, because had they not played golf one day back in summer 99 I wouldn’t have met Bobs to begin with!

After lunch I ran up to UMSL (University of Missouri St. Louis) to see if I needed to do anything while I was in town for my final course that I’m waiting for the grade to come through on. I had to fill out a change of graduation date form, but other than that there wasn’t anything else to do.

This evening we went to a little party put on at the Nelson’s house. It was great to see a lot of my fraternity brothers and their wives and all the kids running around, We had a little graduation party, and it even included cake! I hope my Final score was enough to get me to graduate, otherwise I probably need to give the cake back! Unfortunately we had to cut short from the party as Natalie came down with some sort of stomach bug this afternoon, hopefully she feels better tomorrow.

Tomorrow is my last full day in St. Louis, we’re planning on heading out to a barn so the baby can see her first horse, hopefully they scare her and she never wants to ride them! Daddy can’t afford two ladies in the family riding! Open-mouthed smile

So today was our second full day here in St. Louis, and I tell you what, we sure haven’t missed the weather here since we left. It’s been rainy, icey, and sleeting pretty much since we arrived. Between icy winters and hot HUMID summers there isn’t much to like about the weather here!

Today Natalie and her sister and the kids went to the mall for a while. I headed over to Best Buy to check out the new Motorola Xoom tablets. I must say, it was hard not to walk out of there buying one (two actually because Natalie wants one too) but I held off. I’m curious to see what happens with pricing here in the next few weeks. I have a feeling with the IPad2 announcement likely next week that the Xooms may be changing things a bit, we will see.

This evening we went by SoloPerformance and saw Dave Beth and Sam there, then headed down to Bill’s house for dinner with Kathy and the kids.

It was a good day, great to see old friends.

2011 So Far

Chris Hammond

So what’s gone on so far in 2011? Let’s recap on this 33rd day of the year.

So far I’ve kept up with my blogging commitment, every day, You can find a list of all the blogs at http://www.chrishammond.com/

I’ve managed to post 33 photos of myself for #Flickr365 and 33 photos of Jacqueline for #Baby365. The baby is growing! She’s up to 13lbs 13oz last time she was weighed and in the 95th percentile for height at her age, a jump from her last measurement.

I’ve managed to autocross the 350z once already this year, and have at least 2 more events coming up this month, with a possible 4th as well.

The Super Bowl is coming this weekend, I’m ready for it, we’re going to finally get up to Fairfield and see some friends we haven’t seen in probably 8 months!

So this post is not meant to be rude, even though it might come off that way, so here it goes.

Do I know you? Do you know me? Do you want to know me? Do I want to know you?

These are questions I ask almost every day. Every time someone sends me an invitation to connect on LinkedIn, or a Facebook Friend request, or an Instant Messenger buddy list add, I wonder: Who are you? Do I know you? How do you think you know me?

For some people it’s easy. Yesterday I got a LinkedIn request from Natalie Hammond, that’s an easy one, my wife, though I had to think about accepting it (just kidding) I knew who it was.

Today I got a linked in request from another person, and for the life of me I have no clue who they are. Looking at their profile doesn’t tell me anything except their name and where they are/went to school. Other than that, no hints as to how I might know that person, or if I don’t already, why I might want to know them.

So a word of advice, and a small request. When you send me a LinkedIn request, or Facebook friend request, please include a brief message, remind me who you are, or intrigue me as to why I should know who you are.

That being said, Facebook is for friends, family, and past classmates. LinkedIn is for professional connections, so if you are a DotNetNuke user feel free to send me a LinkedIn invite (with some info about why), but don’t bother with Facebook friend requests please unless we are already friends.

LinkedIn Profile

Facebook Page

Twitter

Flickr

A California Update

Chris Hammond

So things have been really hectic lately, so blogging has taken a backseat. So here’s a brief update on what’s been going on. I’ve been in California for almost three weeks now, minus a few days back home in Colorado for my Birthday. Work at DotNetNuke is going great, I enjoy being back in an office again (after working at home the past 7 months).

I’ve been staying in a hotel this whole time, switching locations after my trip to Colorado so that I could test how I would handle commuting. So far so good with commuting. I’ve been driving about 26 miles each way the past few days, which takes about 40-45 minutes around 8am. On Friday leaving 40 minutes earlier it only took me 25 minutes, so I am going to give that a shot again Monday to see what traffic is like.

Finding a place to live hasn’t gone as smoothly as I would have liked. We were surprised to learn that the rental market on the peninsula is competitive! So far we’ve only actually applied to one place, not getting selected. There are a number of places available, though most of them aren’t what we are looking. We’ve come to accept that we’re going to have settle for about half the square footage of what we have in Colorado. I found a couple of places today that I think are interesting, one that I am really hoping works out. I’ll post more info if it does!

I’ve decided I’m going to sell my 18’ car trailer. We towed it out here to California and it’s in storage. I figure I am not going to be racing much over the next year, so holding onto the trailer isn’t something that is going to be necessary and paying storage fees on it doesn’t make too much sense. I’m going to put it up on Craigslist later this week.

Back in Colorado the house is still on the market. We’ve had 14 different showings in the 6 weeks it has been on the market. We’re hoping that something happens with it this month, we’re working on lowering the price right now. If something doesn’t happen this month we are likely going to rent the place out for a year or two. I figure that putting some money into a mortgage will be better for us than simply paying rent out here in California for a few years and not getting any equity out of things.

Yesterday I got to have a little bit of fun, after being frustrated with the housing search. I went to dinner with my best friend from 8th and 9th grade when we lived in Riverside California. Back in the day Jaysen and I were inseparable. I have only seen him a couple of times since we left Riverside back in the summer of 92, the last time being a few days before Natalie and I got married in 2006. I met him and his girlfriend in San Francisco last night for dinner. We had a great time catching up. I spent the afternoon driving up the coast and taking photos.

Jaysen and Myself

I have a ton of photos to go through, though I am not sure when I’ll get to them! Here are a few that I have uploaded. (you can see more on my California 2010 page)

Golden Gate Bridge Golden Gate Bridge

It’s been a year since I was last in Cali, and I’m heading back! What’s the big deal? Well I half consider California home, even more so than Missouri even though I lived in MO for 14 years. I spent 6-9 grades, and 11-12 in California, in both Southern and Northern California. I got married in California, my brother lives in California, and quite a few of my friends do as well. So any chance I get to go back I look forward to.

This time around I’m heading out to the Bay area for a few days of DotNetNuke Training with a client, I’ll be there later tonight training Tues thru Thursday, and then flying home on Saturday. I’m going to visit with some friends from high school Friday night at a little dinner get together I’ve arranged. I’m also hoping to check out the DotNetNuke offices in San Mateo on Friday while I’m there.

I’ve yet to decide what camera(s) I’m taking with me, I’d like to take both DSLrs but I don’t want to carry them both. If I had a flash attachment for the 5D Mark II I would leave the old Rebel at home, but I currently don’t, so I need the Rebel if I want to shoot any flash shots of the gathering Friday night, though I guess I could just use the point and shoot for that.

It looks like 2010 is going to be another busy travel year, I am headed to Rhode Island next week for 2 days of DNN consulting out there as well.

Stay tuned for some pictures of my Cali travels later this week.

8 years ago today I was sleeping in my hotel room in Topeka Kansas, getting ready to wake up and drive to the Kansas Speedway to meet Dale Jr. A good friend of mine was working for DEI (Dale Earnhardt Inc.) at the time doing engineer stuff (that’s what he is) and the team was at Kansas Speedway doing testing for upcoming races.

I was in Topeka Kansas for the SCCA Solo Nationals (which are now held in Lincoln Nebraska, this week, I’m sad I am not there), and had an off day, one in which I wasn’t racing or working. So I was excited to get to the opportunity to go up to the raceway and meet Dale Earnhardt Jr. I had just left my gig at The Sporting News a few months earlier, and I was still into NASCAR at the time, I had even been writing a column with my good buddy Roger Kuznia where we went head 2 head on a Nascar topic each week (don’t judge me based on what you read!).

Unfortunately, that morning I woke up with the TV on and it ended up being September 11th, 2001. It was a rough morning for our nation, and the world. I ended up staying at the hotel for a few hours, watching all the coverage, internally thinking to myself, what if we’re at war, what is going to happen next. Eventually I got myself out of the hotel and headed off to the speedway to try to meet up with Dale Jr., but as I was just about to get on the highway I got a call from James, my buddy, saying that they were headed home, because the airlines were all shut down they packed up the semi trucks and all hit the road back to North Carolina.

So I headed down to Forbes Field in Topeka where the Solo Nationals were held, and hung out there until we were all kicked off the base for a couple of days. Gas prices in Topeka skyrocketed, above 4 dollars a gallon at some places, grocery stores were flooded, I remember I went to the liquor store that day to get some whiskey. A couple days later the Solo Nationals continued, in a much shortened version.

8 Years later, the Solo Nationals are still going on, the world is still reeling from the impact of 9/11, and I’m married to a beautiful lady living in Colorado. Things have changed!

Here's a photo of my car at Nationals in 2001

My old Camaro by you.

So here’s the time lapse video from yesterday’s garage sale. No audio, so turn up your Zune software if you need music to go along with it, what, you don’t have a Zune? You should!

What do you think? I think I need to get a power cord for the camera (if they make one) to prevent the times where I missed video because the battery ran out and I had to switch.

UPDATE: apparently I did add audio to it... uhhhh

So it’s just after 1am on Monday March 9th, 2009. Pat Renner and I have wrapped up and submitted the final chapter of our DotNetNuke book. We are far from complete on the whole book writing process, but we are at least at the big milestone of being done with the majority of the writing of the book.

Now we begin the process of editing our chapters that we are getting back from the editor and technical editor. I got the first chapter back for author review before my trip to Orlando last week but had to set it aside and focus on finishing up the writing process before starting on it. Tonight (Monday) will begin the process of the author review and cleaning up the materials so that they can be sent off to the production department.

The book writing process is interesting, fun, painful, a great education experience. I’ve learned so much about DNN, but more importantly about how to communicate what I know about DNN in an easy to understand manner. At least I hope I have! I guess we will find out when people start reading the book!

I’ll post more about my trip to Orlando later this week, I wish I had stayed another night to watch the Kepler launch, but because the book wasn’t finished I had to get home.

So December 15th was our first book deadline. Pat and I met early Sunday morning and went through both of our chapters making some reviews. He ended up submitting his chapter on the 15th, mine was submitted late due to some pretty major overhauls we made to the structure of the chapter. I found the first chapter hard to write, I think the next few chapters will be easier. Chapter 1 was the intro/overview of all things, so it was hard to try to wrap all that information up into basic content that our intended reader will be able to understand.

We’re waiting on feedback from our editor for the submitted chapters, hopefully we’ll get some of that before our next deadline of 1/15, otherwise we feel like we’re writing blind. We’ve already started on the next chapters for the deadline, I’m dealing more with actual DNN content in these chapters, so I think they will be much easier to write now.

More updates in the future.

So last night 7 of us went out to dinner at Llywelyn's in Webster Groves. I wanted to go see Steve Ewing from The Urge playing there, and I figured I'd drag along a few guys from work so Natalie and I would have some people to talk to. It was a great time, and I must say, Steve is an amazing singer, if you get a chance to see him playing somewhere do. In person he sounds just like the recordings except with a little more crowd enticement there. Check him out at www.steviee.com I'm also proud to say I'll be using some of his music in upcoming videos for www.corvettez06.org and www.project240z.com
So I made some minor adjustments to the site tonight. I made the header at the top 62% smaller, taking up less area on the page. I also changed some of the photos around. My good buddy Chad Hobson got pulled from the headers for now. He might make an appearance again in the future.

A quick personal update

Chris Hammond
So you might have seen all the DotNetNuke posts lately, but what about just a Chris and Natalie post? Well here it goes! (you can follow along with some of the photos here on Flickr) Natalie and I had a blast in Las Vegas this past week. We went on the 3rd, a day before her Birthday. Her parents came out on the 3rd as well so we got to spend time with them for a few days before the DNN conference started up. During those few days we went and saw "KA" at the MGM, took a trip out to the Hoover Dam. After the Hoover Dam we took a quick jaunt North of Las Vegas looking for Red Rock, only to figure out an hour north that Red Rock was actually West of Las Vegas, so we turned around and headed back towards LV. It turned out perfect though, our little detour had delayed us enough to see the most brilliant sunset I've ever seen from Red Rock. Monday I had a DNN Core Team lunch, and then came back to the hotel to go with Natalie and meet Rich and Henry (two owners of Engage Software) and their wives for dinner and drinks. We repeated that process on Tuesday evening after the conference as well. Wednesday evening Natalie and I went to a gathering of people at Mix In Las Vegas, the restaurant on the 64th floor of "THEHotel" which is attached to the Mandalay Bay. The dinner was great and I must once again thank Tracy from www.t-worx.com for the most excellent evening. Thursday evening a large group of us, 17, got together for dinner. We met up in the bar at the Mandalay Bay and then decided to take Taxis down to the Venetian. Somehow we all actually made it to the same place and got to eat dinner together at one restaurant. It was a great time and I got to talk to Erik quite a bit, hopefully talking him into trying to get me to speak at SDC in the Netherlands next September! One can only hope :) Friday Natalie and I took off by ourselves for once. We went to Grand Canyon West, with the main goal of getting out onto the SkyWalk (www.grandcanyonskywalk.com). It was roughly 120 miles from the hotel, though took 2.5 hours as there was 14 miles of dirt/gravel road. The funny thing (well one of them) about the road, this 14 mile stretch was County maintained, as soon as we got to the Indian reservation grounds the road became paved... We were in Minivan for the trip, it was what you might call dirty at the end of the day. Lucky for the Minivan it didn't have a handbrake, just a footbrake/e-brake, otherwise I would have had an easier time getting the tail end of the car to swing out around the corners. We had a good time at Grand Canyon West, even though I have a little beef with the operation they have running there. The SkyWalk is very cool, and you essentially have to pay $79/person to get out on the SkyWalk. They don't allow you to take any personal items out there, for fear of you dropping them on the glass, or worse over the edge into the Canyon below. So you can't take a camera out there with you, they of course will gladly take your photo for you and sell it to you for $25/each. We ended up buying 2 photos, so we got the third one free. But they can only print them, not give them to you on CD, or even email them to you. The prints weren't what I would acll the highest of quality. I'm hoping I can email the staff there and try to get better quality photos from them. Friday evening we returned back to Vegas and went to see "O" at the Bellagio. It was another great show, definitely worth the investment to go see if you're in Vegas anytime soon. Saturday morning we headed back to the airport and flew back to St. Louis. We got home around 7pm and pretty much crashed. Sunday I headed out with Nick and went hunting. It might be deer season here in Missouri but I was hunting bugs, one particular blue one that I hear rumored to still be around Alton Illinois. Our hunt was not fruitful, we didn't find my old Super Beetle, but I will keep hunting. Sunday evening we joined Dominique and Colby for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory to...

Angry angry Man

Chris Hammond
Chad Hobson is an angry angry man over there. Though, if you're looking for a DotNetNuke Developer in Lexington Kentucky be sure to drop him a...
My good buddy Chad Hobson has created his first meaningful technical blog post to help the masses. He had some issues when upgrading to Asp.Net Ajax Beta 2 for his AutoCompleteExtender controls and took the time to create a helpful post on how to make those controls work. Be sure to drop Chad a comment on his blog as well, tell him how cool he is in that mean looking photo. Posted from...
Since I was up here in Maine, I figured I'd shoot my old friend Dustin Price an email. Dustin and I went to school together in Riverside from 6th to 9th grade before I moved to Indiana the summer after freshman year. He lives down in Dover New Hampshire so I took a drive down there last evening after finishing up with the day's training class. We played poker for a few too many hours then snapped these photos. I say a few too many hours because I was winning till about halfway through, then my game fell apart! See you in April...

Sold, and gone....

Chris Hammond
Well, my 2003 350Z Enthusiast model is officially paid off. It is also no longer my car!My buddy Jasyn "Dozzle" Randazzo took a train from Kansas City to St. Louis last night and drove the car home today. I talked to Dozzle this afternoon, he made it back to KC and was out and about showing the car off to friends.Have fun with her Dozzle! She's a good ride! Now that the 350Z is gone I hope to spend more time on the 240Z to get that going soon. posted from...

Oh yes, yes I am!

Chris Hammond
Chad thinks I'm not his God anymore. But I beg to differ. Without my assistance he wouldn't have his site up and running. So, yes, yes I...
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Any blog posts here are solely the opinion and views of Chris Hammond only. Comments on blog posts are the opinion of the commenter, and not Chris Hammond.

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