Gist + LinkedIn = A Time Saving Match Made In Heaven

As most of you know, I’m a complete social media addict, but I just came across a great way to use Gist and LinkedIn together to save yourself a ton of time!

I use to track all of my contacts.  It makes it SO easy since it automatically keeps my contacts up to date from my iPhone, 2 instances of Outlook, Gmail, Facebook and Twitter.  I literally don’t have to do anything except maybe add a tag or two to help organize these contacts into a manageable list.

The end result is that ALL of the people I interact with on a daily basis are always inside of Gist.

I utilize to connect to new people at specific companies, share with employers and customers.  It allows me to share an online version of my resume with folks which includes positive feedback from past co-workers and customers.

The problem I run into is that I need to go into LinkedIn every few months to connect to new people I’ve met and the chances of missing someone is REALLY high.

Here’s the trick:

  1. Log in to and go to your People tab
  2. Make sure you’re viewing All People and choose the Select All XXXX people link in the header.  Make sure you only get 500 contacts in your list as LinkedIn has a limitation which is not displayed on their site anywhere.
  3. Click Export just to the right of that
  4. Save the VCF file that Gist just emailed you to somewhere on your PC
  5. Log in to and select Contacts -> Add Connections from the top menu
  6. Click the small / hard to find link titled “Import your desktop email contacts”
  7. Click the Choose File button and select the VCF file you saved in step 4.

That’s it!  You can now connect to anyone on LinkedIn that you may have missed since the last time you updated!

Good luck networking!

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Sappy Valentine’s Post – Why I Love My Wife!

For all of my usual readers, please excuse this sappy display of public affection.
For everyone else, I thought it would be a cool idea to show my wife how much I love her publicly for the world.  I am an extremely lucky man and if you don’t already agree, you probably will after reading this.  These are in no particular order.
  • She waits on me hand and foot when I’m sick
  • She cooks incredible food and always comes up with new foods
  • CONSTANTLY tries to make sure everyone else is happy
  • Talks to her parents almost daily
  • MA.TTD_012.JPG


  • Says “Delicacy” like “De-Lick-A-See”
  • Loves our daughter more than anything in the world
  • She gives awesome massages!
  • Acts as a match-mater between her friends
  • She sends me text messages to tell me she loves me
  • I wake up seeing her smiling at me on many mornings
  • She puts up with my lack of cooking skills (exploding fish)
  • Her randomness offsets my linear approach
  • She will stop a conversation with her family to come explain to me what they are talking about
  • She usually says exploder instead of explorer.  For example:  “Dora the Exploder” or “Internet Exploder”
  • She leaves me alone with her parents so I can practice my Spanish
  • She has passed me up for number of mayorships on Foursquare
  • She is COMPLETELY supportive of everything I do
  • Some things behind closed doors that I shouldn’t mention here
  • It doesn’t bother her that the dog has trained her to give him treats
  • She asks me to skip Christmas gifts so I can get her more from the gem show
  • She’s got personality – We bump into someone she knows EVERYWHERE we go
  • She will take dinner to elderly friends for no reason special
  • She loves me!
  • When I try out wacky new diets she tries to change her cooking
  • She always says “Have a good time” before I leave for pool on Monday nights
  • She doesn’t back down when something is really important to her
  • She keeps threatening to have Spanish only day
  • She learned to love “The Office”
  • She is an incredible friend and someone I know I can talk to about anything
  • She has a great sense of humor and usually gets mine
  • She always “Likes” my Garious posts on Facebook because she knows it will help give them visibility
  • She can recall the life history of anyone she’s friends with
  • She puts up with my grouchy days
  • Plays scrabble with me even though English is her second language

I could go ON and ON and ON, but I hope this clearly shows why I love her too! She is amazing and I am incredibly lucky!

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Crowd-sourcing Lost Pet Retrieval

We had our landscaper over yesterday and he was doing an awesome job of getting the yard all cleaned up.  While he was working hard, I was trying to get through my homework.  After an hour or so I decided I needed to take quick a break and play DJ Hero with my step-daughter.  I went upstairs and started jamming.

We were playing for a bit and I noticed that the dog was not in his cage and I couldn’t remember seeing him for the last few hours which was unusual.  We began searching the house with absolutely no luck.  It was about to be dark so we decided to drive around the neighborhood and see if we could find little Charlie.  He usually doesn’t go very far so we thought driving with the windows down and calling for him would do the trick.

I didn’t and we spent the next hour and a half driving through all of the neighborhoods near our house.  We had no luck with that either.  We went home to gather our thoughts and try to come up with a plan to get him back.

Charlie Please Come Home!The next morning we got up early and started again.  Lots of our very helpful friends expressed their sympathy and gave suggestions while we had been sleeping.  We took all of it, we called the humane society and animal control, but they hand’t seen him.  Next we posted an advertisement on CraigsList and created some printed flyers.

We went through the entire neighborhood and put flyers at every entrance or exit for our subdivision!  We literally must have put up at least 40 flyers.  We were excited to see people out with their dogs coming up and taking really close looks at the flyers!  We were very hopeful that the beautiful sunny day would bring about a rescue.

By late afternoon we still had not heard anything!  We were all starting to lose hope again and went back to being very sad and missing Charlie.  On top of this the clouds started to roll in…  A massive storm hit our part of town and obliterated all of the signs that we had put up.  We decided that we’d head to the pound the following day and try to remain hopeful.

During dinner my Fiancée was feeling hungry and sad and decided to check her iPhone for email.  It was there that she found a message from someone that claimed to have found Charlie!  She immediately called and talked to a very nice girl that said she had seen him with one of the neighbors.

She had seen the advertisement on CraigsList and thought to let us know that she had seen Charlie with some of the neighbors.  How amazing is that?!?

To say that the last 24 hours have been a pretty crazy emotional roller-coaster is an understatement, but we’re happy to have the crazy little lion home!

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Using My Developer Brain Instead of My Math Brain

Tonight I had a huge flashback to high school after trying to help my step-daughter finish her math homework.  She had a problem where she was supposed to figure out which combination of operations could be used to solve the problem.

15 _ 3 _ 17 _ 11 = 205 You would replace the _ spaces with either addition, subtraction, multiplication or division.

After a few minutes of discussion we decided that she should try a few combinations and see if she could figure it out on her own.  She tried about 20 combinations and then started to get a little frustrated.  In an effort to help I decided that I would try to put together a quick Excel sheet that would compute the answer.  I quickly found out that it’s difficult to get Excel to evaluate formulas dynamically.  It works great if the numbers change, but terrible if the operators change.

This is where my flash-back kicked in.  I remember many times in high school where I was having problems math homework and would go write myself a pascal program to solve the problem.  I never was great at math, but I could break it down into small steps and brute force my way through!

Tonight, I did that again.  I put together a quick console application in C# which generates a permutation and then utilizes XPath to create a dynamic equation and evaluate the result.  If the result matches 205 it can stop.  Otherwise it must try another permutation.

Is there a more elegant solution to this problem in C#?

  1. using System;
  2. using System.Collections.Generic;
  3. using System.Linq;
  4. using System.Text;
  5. using System.IO;
  7. namespace ConsoleApplication1
  8. {
  9.     class Program
  10.     {
  12.         public static double Evaluate(string expression)
  13.         {
  14.             return (double)new System.Xml.XPath.XPathDocument
  15.             (new StringReader("")).CreateNavigator().Evaluate
  16.             (string.Format("number({0})", new
  17.             System.Text.RegularExpressions.Regex(@"([\+\-\*])")
  18.             .Replace(expression, " ${1} ")
  19.             .Replace("/", " div ")
  20.             .Replace("%", " mod ")));
  21.         }
  23.         static void Main(string[] args)
  24.         {
  25.             List operations = new List();
  27.             operations.Add("+");
  28.             operations.Add("-");
  29.             operations.Add("*");
  30.             operations.Add("/");
  32.             double output = 0;
  33.             int ctr1 = -1;
  34.             int ctr2 = 0;
  35.             int ctr3 = 0;
  36.             string math = "";
  38.             while (output != 205)
  39.             {
  40.                 ctr1++;
  42.                 if (ctr1 > 3)
  43.                 {
  44.                     ctr2++;
  45.                     ctr1 = 0;
  46.                 }
  48.                 if (ctr2 > 3)
  49.                 {
  50.                     ctr3++;
  51.                     ctr2 = 0;
  52.                 }
  54.                 if (ctr3 > 3)
  55.                     ctr3 = 0;
  57.                 math = "15" + operations[ctr1] + "3" + operations[ctr2] + "17" + operations[ctr3]+"11";
  58.                 output = Evaluate(math);
  59.                 Console.Write(math + "=" + output + "\n");
  60.             }
  61.             Console.ReadKey();
  62.         }
  63.     }
  64. }
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July Monsoon Sunset Panoramics

Wow, this year has been incredible for sunsets in Tucson!  I can’t remember a year where there were so many incredible photo opportunities.  I’m thinking that next year I should just put all of my shots into a single blog post as it will probably be more visually powerful.

Here are a couple more that I took with my iPhone 4 and Panorama.


Taken right behind my house

Taken from the Rillito bridge (Alvernon & River)

Taken from my driveway facing due East!

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Crowd Sourcing the Eden Family Tree

I had the awesome idea a few weeks ago that I should build an online crowd-sourced family tree web site.  Like with all business ideas your first task is to see what’s going on with your competition.  I began by doing a few searches and found to my dismay that there is already someone doing it, and doing it quite well.  That site is

Eden Family Tree

Eden Family Tree

To continue my research I thought I should give the site a spin. They allow you to quickly add TONS of details about any family members.  After you add a few you can quickly build your entire tree by connecting to Facebook and inviting your family members to participate.

In my case I had already utilized Family.Show to build out a tree a few months ago.  So I quickly imported my data into Geni and began to fill in the additional info that Family.Show did not support storing.

After only about 30 minutes I have a HUGE family tree built out, and Geni is already matching family members in my tree to potential overlaps in other member’s trees!

Eden Family Map

My family so far

It seems that I have quite a varied background like most Americans.  I have ancestors from Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, Germany and much of the north-eastern United States.  All this and I’ve only been able to trace my roots back to the late 1700’s.

I’m very excited to see what I’m able to find with the help of the rest of my family!

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