Archive for the ‘Days’ Category

Here we are again. The end of another year.

First off I’ll recap 2013. 2013 was an overall good year. There were some rough patches but what year doesn’t have those? The year started out as many do, Gun-ho about completing everything on my list. Looking back most of the things I posted as my goals last year I did not complete but I did make some serious progress. To start I have yet to finish the games but I am closer to completion. I didn’t pick my guitar back up as I wanted. However I did read a good deal throughout the year! So out of the 3 goals I came in at 1 complete, 2 missed.

Along with a recap on my goals I had a downturn in events regarding my dad. Theย leukemia came back and this time it was fatal. My dad passed August 11th. It has been pretty hard on all of us in the family but we are slowly picking up the pieces and moving forward. He would of wanted us to keep going and not let this event hold any of us back.

On the work front I took the newly created mobile department head on and developed an app utilizing the Titanium framework. After this was completed we hired on a few more mobile developers and rebuilt the app in native Objective-C and Java. The mobile team is pretty much where I am and I can now put on my resume Objective-C developer along side iOS Developer. This is a huge accomplishment and something I have been working towards for a while now. I still do work with the web team and code in PHP when needed, especially when it comes to the API that the mobile app interacts with.

On the game end of things I recently picked up Unity and am playing around with that. I may release my games utilizing Unity. I’m not 100% sure yet. Only 2014 will tell.

Now lets talk about 2014!ย This next year I’m going to keep a few old goals and add a few more.

1: Make a game darn it all!!!

For this goal I want to finally complete a game and market it somewhere. Even if it’s an old school arcade style game it will get done. Speaking of old school arcade style games… Maybe one of them could be a collection of these classics all in one… hmmm. That sounds pretty promising ๐Ÿ™‚ I also want to make some progress on a platformer style game that I have brewing in my head.

2: Publish at least 2 mobile apps to the app store.

I have a couple plain jane app ideas in the works and one already prototyped. These will most likely be iOS only apps but if I get extra motivated I may release them to the play store as well ๐Ÿ™‚

3: Blog more often.

I would like to pick up and finish something i started a while back… Making a weekly blog post about a random programming topic. I did this with a few focused on PHP but I may expand it to Objective-C as well.

4: Loose more weight!

OK OK… This is one of those new years resolutions that everyone and their pets make… As for this past year I actually made some progress. I lost around 20 or so pounds! Not too shabby I think ๐Ÿ™‚ I want to step it up for this year with increased exercise and even better eating habits.

5: Organize myself (Attempt 8,643)

Here we go again with another traditional one. I will eventually get this down ๐Ÿ™‚

Now to accomplish this I may utilize a service a friend of mine has mentioned a few times,ย Beeminder. This seems like a cool concept. You basically pledge money to stay on track with a goal. If you fall off track you have to pay the beeminder service your pledge and then the cost goes up. I might give it a go.

Anyways here is my new years resolutions/goals. Now it’s time for me to get on with the night!

Farewell 2013! Hello 2014! Have a happy and safe new years everyone!

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So, here we are again. Another new year! I want to say goodbye to 2012 and say hello to 2013!

This past year was crazy and it went by faster then I ever thought it would. I stopped 90% of my freelance work, picked up a full time gig at a local Providence company called ShapeUp as one of their PHP developers, and started taking a few classes online again at http://www.coursera.com. I also picked up my game development and have a few iPhone and desktop titles in the works.

A few other things about this past year… My dad went into remission from the leukemia he was diagnosed with in late 2011. He is still in remission and is doing good. The world did not end in 2012, which is good ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s been a year since I’ve moved back up north ( still missing Florida though ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

So with 2012 behind me I have a new year to look forward to. With this new year I have set myself some goals that I’m going to shoot for. My main goal is going to have a couple games finished either on the iPhone or desktop by the end of the year. They will most likely be free to play games but it’ll be a start into my indie game endeavor. I also plan to be more outgoing and actually take some time off to get back into a few hobbies of mine that have been slacking. Mainly I would like to play a bit more guitar again and find more time to read a couple books here or there.

So to recap, my goals for this coming year is:

  • Complete two or more games.
  • Pick up my guitar again
  • Find time to read a few new books

Now to state some traditional resolutions. These will be more of your traditional resolutions. Well here they are ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Since I’m now officially a member at a gym I will be working on getting into shape and finally loosing a few pounds this year. I’m not going to put an amount or date on the goal. I just want to loose something ๐Ÿ™‚
  • I would like to be more outgoing
  • Get my act together ๐Ÿ˜‰

And now it’s time to celebrate the new year! Good bye 2012 and welcome 2013!

Happy new year everyone!!!

– Miah

So today I picked out a transformation card from myย wife’sย “The Nature of Infinite Love & Gratitude‘ set. We try to pull out one card a week to see what we should focus on to better improve our lives. This week’s card for me was spot on. I am in the process of moving my Freelance business into an s-corp so lots of changes (and the accompanying challenges) are happening. I though I would share it here ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you enjoy!

I do not really have “problems”; I only think I do by the way I interpret my circumstances. A “problem” is an illusion. It is a limiting perception without gratitude.

Hello there, It’s been quite some time since I posted. I got pretty busy with my freelance and wasn’t able to get to writing any new posts. I’m hoping to get back in the groove and give at least one post a week.

So what have I been up to? Well, work mostly ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s a good thing though so I’m not complaining. I have some pretty steady clients and have been actively advertising on Facebook for more clients. Other then that I picked up a few more games which has re-inspired me to continue with my game development. I started a couple small projects using FLEX and the Flixel game engine. Flixel isn’t not too bad but it is in the very early stages of development. Check out a couple of the apps I’ve posted on my site! I’ve also resurrected my browser based RPG. I’m might start a new string of blog posts following my progress with that as well. It will be written in PHP/MySQL with supporting Javascript libraries like jQuery.

That’s about all for now ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll keep you all posted!

– Miah

Well here we are again. I can’t believe that four months have gone by since I last got a blog post out. Boy does time fly when you are busy!!!

First things first. I have updated my main website and finally put my portfolio section online. You can check it out here, http://www.igzactly.com. I am also including a new section for tutorials. These will be based on anything from PHP/MySQL tips and tricks to game development. I am contemplating publishing each here as well but I have not decided if that will be the case yet or not.

Some of the other things I have been busy with is integrating a couple API’s into a clients web application I have been working on and expanding. I finished a website for my fiancรฉe’s father. He is a local musician and you can find his site here: http://www.juansarante.com. Another site I launched this past weekend was for a local companies annual award ceremony called “The Golden Peep Awards”. This was a fun site to do and I am looking forward to supplying some music to the actual events. If your interested in checking it out you can visit it here: http://www.goldenpeepawards.com. Most of the content is hidden behind a log in system. One more major site I launchedย  within the last four months was “The Best Damn Pub”. This is a listings site for bars and pubs in the Florida area. They have plans on expanding to more states in the near future. You can check out the site here: http://www.thebestdamnpub.com.

I have also recently found an excellent graphic designer to work with on my projects. She does an outstanding job and is awesome to work with. If you are looking for someone to do some design work please give Ruby over at Vellephant a shout! She will take good care of you ๐Ÿ™‚

Well that’s pretty much it. I’m going to try to keep up with the posts but as I am extremely busy with work (that’s a good thing :)) they may not be new posts every week. Well see ๐Ÿ™‚

– Miah

Thanksgiving Turkey Brine

Posted: November 28, 2009 in Days
Tags: , , ,

This year I decided to do something different with my turkey. Brining. This was something I had never heard of till this year and now that I know of it I will never cook another turkey any other way. So what I have decided to do is write up a little post describing the process I took. But before I get to that here is the basic recipe for a turkey brine. Now the items on this list can really be anything you want as long as the salt to liquid ratio is kept to 1 cup salt per 1 gallon of liquid. The amount of liquid will depend on the size of the turkey. You will want to have at least an inch of water above the turkey when you brine it. This is for an 18 pound turkey.

1 1/2 gallon water
3/4 gallon Pineapple juice
2 cups Kosher salt (very important! Cannot be iodized salt!)
2 cups sugar
Assortment of spices (I had 6 Bay Leaves, 2 tbl spoons of Cilantro, 5-6 pieces of 
Peppercorn, 2 tbl spoons of onion powder)

Now here is the process I took.

Two days before the big turkey day I prepared the brine. I put 1 gallon of water, 1 cup of salt, and 1 cup of sugar into a large pot. I then brought it to a boil so the salt and sugar would completely dissolve into the water. Once this was complete I added half the spices and mixed them together. I then moved the mixture into a large container to cool. I then repeated the process with the remaining ingredients. The following pictures are the results of the mixture.

I then put these into the fridge to get cold over night.

Now to brine a turkey you need to purchase a fresh turkey. It cannot be a frozen or kosher turkey. This is because with frozen or kosher turkeys they pre-inject it with a salt mixture to allow for the turkey to be moist when cooked. If you tried to brine a frozen turkey it would come out way to salty to eat. With this in mind I purchased an 18 pound fresh and all natural Butterball turkey. You can find these in the fresh meat department in your local grocery store. The one that I go to (Publix) puts them out no earlier then a week before thanksgiving. You will also want to brine the turkey for at least 12 hours. A good rule of thumb is 1 hour per pound but no more then 24 hours. I think 12 hours is plenty of time for the job to be done.

So the next night around 10pm I was ready to put the turkey in the brine mixture. They sell bags specific for brining but I had a hard time finding them. You can use XL Ziploc bags as well but yet again I could not find them. I did not have the time to order them online so I purchased 3 of the oven bake turkey sized bags. I also bought a large drink cooler to store it in overnight. You can use anything as long as it is plastic and clean. A bucket will work just as good.

I lined the cooler with the three bags and poured the now cold brining mixture into the bags. I then placed the turkey in with the large hole facing down. This was so I could make sure all parts of the turkey was being covered with the brine. You want to also make sure their are no air bubbles left. I then closed the top of the bags and placed a ziplock baggie full of ice on top to keep the turkey fully submerged and cold. Here are some picks of this part of the process.

I left the turkey in the brine mixture inside my fridge for the next 12 hours. The next day I took out the turkey, cleaned off all the brine mixture, and pat dry the turkey to remove any remaining salts. I then cooked the turkey as normal. Four hours later I had a nicely done turkey! The turkey came out fantastic! It was moist, had an excellent flavor to it and even looked good among the rest of the food. Here are some pictures of the turkey after it was cooked.

Well there it is ๐Ÿ™‚ My brining experience. I think the turkey came out better than ever and I am going to cook it this way from now on. I will be playing with the mixture of spices to get the perfect mix down! If you want to try this don’t hesitate! It is very simple and flexible. You can make any flavor you want.

Enjoy!
– Miah

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted: November 26, 2009 in Days
Tags: , , ,

I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving!

As this week has been hectic getting everything ready for the big turkey day I did not have time to prepare my weekly PHP Functions post. I will be back on schedule next week. I am going to instead prepare a post on brining a turkey. I had for the first time this year bought a fresh (non-frozen) turkey and took the challenge of brining the turkey before cooking it. It came out fantastic! I will have a post up describing the actual process I took tomorrow.

For now I will leave you with this!


function happyThanksgiving() {
    echo "Happy Thanksgiving!";
}

happyThanksgiving();