Whatever happened to that "Wil" guy that always wrote about ColdFusion stuff?

I'm still here! I've really neglected writing for the past couple years. My last real post (other than yesterdays) was in November of 2015. My excuses are I wasn't 'feeling it', I was too busy working, I didn't care about writing. Whatever. I think some people figured I dropped from the face of the earth. I sort of did in some ways. In other ways I've been doing the same things I've always been doing. WORKING and WORKING.

I'm still with CF Webtools, seven years now, and I'm primarily still doing ColdFusion stuff. I say stuff because I almost never do any actual coding. I'm more or less "The Wolf" aka Winston Wolf and "I Solve Problems". At CF Webtools, we are called in to solve problems for companies of all types. What kinds of problems? All problems whether it's coding, database/performance, web server/performance, hackers (oh my), bugs, etc. We solve problems so you can go about the business of your business. I guess I was so bogged down in the front lines that I forgot to write about a few of the battles and share what I've learned.

What's New?

Well, for the most part I'm doing AWS work. I'm midway through some AWS certification courses and I've been building out 'virtual data centers' for clients. Don't get me wrong, I'm still working with ColdFusion servers, but I'm mostly migrating them from physical iron, or other hosting providers, over to AWS. Some of these migrations are mixed environments and include things like PHP and .NET. They may also include full database server migrations into AWS RDS, DNS migrations to Route53, CloudWatch monitoring and more. For the most part AWS is fun and I like working on the platform. CF Webtools will build and/or manage your AWS solutions. Drop us an email.

The 2017 Solar Eclipse

Four days prior to the solar eclipse I decided that I had to see it in "Totality". I saw the 1979 eclipse as a kid at near 80% and that just wasn't enough. I needed the full experience. I managed to find a hotel room that I could reserve near Omaha and the road trip from St. Paul to a farm field in the middle of nowhere Nebraska was set. After telling a friend of my plans she asked if I wanted a traveling companion. Sure thing! Two of us, split the costs, more fun, more laughs. It was a good old fashion last minute road trip like I did in my 20's. I needed to get away from computers!

We left Sunday morning, landed in Omaha that evening. We had dinner, drank a lot of vodka, and smoked cigars until it was way too late. We woke up to thunderstorms and thought the whole trip was a waste. After a few hours the skies started to clear so we started driving to the place I had picked out on Google Maps. It's a farm road just south of Table Rock, NE. My reasoning was that this was dead center in the eclipse path and remote enough as to not have massive numbers of people there. We arrived just as the eclipse was starting, found our spot and had nearly no one else around. An other small group had the same plan and it's funny we chose the same farm road. They had planned their trip well and had lots of camera gear, shielded binoculars, and a nice telescope. We didn't plan for anything and luckily I managed to score two pair of those cheesy eclipse glasses on Saturday. We had camp chairs, cigars, and solar eclipse glasses. Who needs anything else? sunscreen? oops.

The day darkened, the temperature dropped about 10 degrees and we saw totality! We don't have pictures, but we have memories. It was wonderful! I'm officially an eclipse chaser! I want to do it again! For the next solr eclipse, I will actually plan for it and I'll have the proper camera gear and telescope.

Once it was over we left to return to Minnesota. The return trip took 11 hours to drive what is normally a 5 to 6 hour trip. It was as if Omaha was being evacuated. There were massive traffic jams on every major and not so major road, highway, and interstate. While trying to leave the place we were sitting to watch the eclipse, we decided to cut off US 75 onto a "minimum maintenance road" to catch the next gravel side road a couple miles away. We found that road was a mud trail at best and filled up with stuck mini-vans and passenger cars that had no business leaving pavement. I could have made that road with my Jeep, but driving over cars is still frowned upon. A bit further on a semi flipped over shutting down I-80 East for a while. Much later, at midnight I-35 North as we crossed the border into Minnesota it looked like it was mid afternoon rush hour in the Twin Cities. I heard millions of people drove to see the eclipse. Overall it was a 1000 mile two day odyssey that I'm glad we did.

Here is the eclipse path vs where we watched it happen (the red [+]). We were about 20 yards from dead center give or take a few yards. Nailed it! Map

The blog drought has ben busted. Now maybe I'll write some more.