CDC Has Gone Viral: Zombie Apocalypse

CDC has gone viral (no pun intended). Rear Admiral Ali Khan posted on the Public Health Matters blog about a Zombie Apocalypse and how it relates emergency preparedness. As of this posting the site was down presumably because the post has received coverage from hundreds of news outlets such as Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, CNN, and many others. Even the Wikipedia article for "Zombie Apocalypse" was updated citing the reference and it is a trending topic on Twitter.

In my opinion this is an excellent example of the federal government leveraging relevant memes and social media to effectively communicate to the American people. Lets face it, if you are prepared for a Zombie Apocalypse you should be good for anything else.

Read the post >

Looks like the zombie apocalypse wave has hit Google:


Parties, Websites and Running

I've been neglecting this blog for the past couple months and its been stressing me out. To alleviate that stress I'm going to be self indulgent and talk about what's going on in my world.

The biggest thing has been assisting my wife startup her party planning business. The current task is locking down the branding and meeting with the designer tasked with designing the website. Earlier this month she threw an awesome sweet 16 party for my niece as a test run. Everyone loved it so we are optimistic.

As if that wasn't enough I've got a few ongoing web development projects that are keeping me busy in the evening and on the weekends. Those projects plus my day job at CDC equal a lot of C# and ASP.NET. This coding will inevitably spawn some new blog posts related to coding so look out for those if that's your bag.

On the fitness front I've been running again since time sprung forward. In the early evenings I like to run along the Chattahoochee River near my home. It's a relatively flat course so I'm going to need to find some routes with hills to get in shape for the Peachtree Road Race in July. Hopefully by then the training plus my reduced beer intake will enable me to loose the 25 lbs I've needing to loose for some time.

Now I'm even more stressed. Writing all this stuff down makes me realize all the crap I have going on. Did I mention I've got my sister's furniture for sale? I need a beer…wait…forget that.

Book Review – Clout: the Art and Science of Influential Web Content

As a web developer, I don’t get very close to the content. In fact, over the years, I’ve become blind to it when coding clients’ websites. It might as well be “lorum ipsum” gibberish like that found on Microsoft Word templates. Granted without this content there would be no websites for me to work on. Well…at least there shouldn't be. There are many sites out there that put the technical effort into the coding and treat the content as an afterthought. Content should in fact come first, before coding. This requires developing a proper content strategy and a plan to implement it.

In Clout, the author Colleen Jones concisely outlines the methods and techniques that will aid the development of a successful Content Strategy. There are numerous real-world examples that support the core principles of context, rhetoric and psychology. She advises content creators to turn off their fire hose of information, suggesting effective, proven tools to reach people. These techniques are proven to filter out the static.

This book is a top resource regarding the implementation of content strategy. Clients who are inexperienced or non-technical usually don’t understand why developers can’t make the gibberish better. Content just isn’t our forte. Clout is a well-researched and authoritative source for developers who want to help their clients make content work.

You can find out more about Colleen Jones at her blog, Winning Content. She also is runs a boutique consultancy, Content Science, that practices what she preaches for clients such as InterContinental Hotels Group, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Footsmart, among others.

ASP.NET and HTML5 Local Storage

I came across an informative blog post today by Stephen Walther that talks about ASP.NET and HTML5 local storage. It explains this exciting feature by discussing details relating to client/server concurrency, difference between local storage and cookies, intracting with WCF and more. If you are an ASP.NET developer who wants to stay on top of things go check it out.

Vintage photos from the Golden Age of Aviation

A conversation with a coworker today inspired me to post these pictures I inherited from my grandfather in 2004. I used a slide scanner to scan them in, cleaned them up in photoshop and posted them on

Swissair Convair 990 in Zurich

He took this in Zurich, Switzerland in June, 1967. He and my grandmother were travelling the globe on my mother's family flight priviledges as a stewardess for Delta Airlines.

Convair 240 boarding in Miami, FL in June 1953

This one was taken in Miami, FL in 1953 on their obligitory post-war economic boom trip to Florida. He owned a stationary store in Detroit and my grandmother worked for Chrysler before they sucked.


After they were accepted to I received this bitchin' model of a Delta 777 from Herpa as payment for the rights for them to use them in their magazine.

Delta 777 Herpa 1:200 scale model


Why Android on the HTC Incredible Ruled in 2010

In 2010 my crap Windows 6.5 phone got upgrade to an HTC Incredible from Verizon and I couldn't be happier. Originally I was hoping to buy a Nexus One but then along came the Incredible. It had similar specs plus a better camera. Since then I've used the hell out of it and I've always been able to get it to do what I want it to. After rooting it I was able to make the wireless hotspot functionality work with Verizon caring. Shocking. Below are is a list of the apps that made the HTC Incredible RULE in 2010.

Gmail – I have both my personal Gmail and my Google Apps account (for Oliver Media) available from the Gmail app. As slimmed down versions of Gmail go, it RULES.

Google Voice – I love this app because it allows me to have one phone number. This phone number rings at my office, phone and Skype. The free SMS allow me to dump my SMS plan with Verizon saving ~$6/month. I also get crappy text transcribing of voicemails.

Foursquare – For some reason location-based social media makes the dopamine flow and chill the OCD. As of this writing I've built up quite the little empire of intersections and homes. Foursquare FTW.

TweetDeck – This app has had me since the BETA. As Twitter apps go this is my favorite. It's got an endless timeline and it's laggy like other Twitter clients I've used. I configured it to post to Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook, and Google Buzz. Much love to TweetDeck.

Kindle App – The high resolution of the AMOLED has finally made reading on a phone an enjoyable experience. I can now read books on my Kindle and pick up where I left off whenever I have some time to kill. The WisperSync functionality makes it seemless.

Cardiotrainer – This app gets the credit for helping me lose 10 pounds this year. It tracks all my runs using GPS and encourages me to keep it up. There something about it that makes running into a game. It's seemless Facebook integration allows me to brag about running too.

Flybys – Ever wonder when the Internation Space Station is going to fly over? Probably not but this app will tell you. That's all I got. Space FTW.

Sirius/XM – I'm adicted to Opie and Anthony and this lets me listen to it with my headphones anywhere. Especially good because that show is NSFW. You need to have a subscription to XM.


I'm sorry, I just can't stop talking about this damn phone. Love it.

Skyraider Sense 3.5 for Android Available from Ihtp69 for the HTC Incredible

SkyRaider Sense 3.5 for the HTC Incredible was released by Ihtp69 and is available via ROM Manager. It's got a really cool new feature that inspired this blog post. The wifi, bluetooth, GPS, airplane mode, update services and display brightness is now adjustable from the status menu. If your toggle buttons are on your desktop you can make room for other stuff. The phone seems a little snappier too.

Oh, and if your getting the annoying OTA update notification, there's something to get rid of that too.

More information about SkyRaider

Fun with CSS Sprites

Mario sprite from Super Mario Brothers

There's been a lot lately of talk in web development circles about CSS sprites lately. Using them dramatically increases the speed of downloading a webpage with several background images by reducing the amount of HTTP requests the client browser has to make. This is accomplished by consolidating each individual image into a single image. Once consolidated the background-position, height and width CSS properties are tweaked to show only the appropriate part of image. Check out articles from A List Apart and Smashing Magazine for more information and tutorials.

The fun was testing the before and after using YSlow in Firebug. The test subject was a client's website where there were four tabs with different images for three states. The CSS Sprite Generator from Project Fondue can help with the tedious task of making the sprite. The original cluster of transparent pings totaled 6.77 KB which consolidated to 3.83 KB. Combine that with the reduced HTTP requests and that's quite a savings.

Before making the sprite Yslow reports a score of 83. After making the sprite bumped that score up to 88. The total page size was reduced by 43K. This test seems to indicate it'll be worthwhile to make more sprites on this site.




Installing a Custom Android ROM On My HTC Incredible

A few weeks ago I rooted my phone to get access to some features made inaccessable by Verizon. This was taken a step further this week when I installed a custom ROM on to replace the stock ROM on my HTC Incredible. I had had enough of the stock ROM when I realized after rooting it that I still couldn't get rid of Skype or Peep easily.

I had to do something and remembered the cool thing about Android being open source software is any can modify it and come up with a custom flavor. This is also the problem. Google research took me on a long search through Android related message boards where the consensus seemed to be a flavor called Skyraider. This flavor also has a variant that includes HTC Sense UI which I prefer over the vanilla Android UI. I downloaded it via ROM Manager which I purchased for $3.99 from the Android Marketplace.

After downloading Skyraider I tried to install it via ROM Manager. What I found out next is the radio software needed to be updated. After that I was good to go and all my crapware was gone. As it turns out it used my old system settings and desktop. In case it forgot I took the precaution by backing everything up with Titanium Backup.

Proceed at your own risk for things can go wrong and brick your phone.

More detailed information and step-by-step instructions from the XDA developers forum.

Home Screen with Skyraider 3.3


Voting Libertarian in Georgia or I did my part to force a run-off

I was driving to the polls today thinking about who I was going to vote for in Georgia. Roy Barnes (D) was definitely out. I actually worked to oust him in college and have no desire to see him as Governor again. Nathan Deal (R) is probably a nice good ol' boy but he just gives me a bad feeling. The only other choice was the Libertarian candidate, John Monds. Ideologically I'm more on board with the Libertarians than any other party but don't vote for third parties candidates. They have a tendency to split the vote between the Democrats and Republicans or force run-offs. Worse case they eat into Nathan Deal so much that Roy Barnes gets his autocratic crown back. The last thing we need is him at the helm of redistricting in 2011, but I digress.

When I got my first glimpse at the ballot I surprised myself. Not only did I vote for John Monds but every other Libertarian on the ballot. It's done, I've voted Libertarian and done my part today to force a run off. We'll see what happens tonight.


I'll be watching the results tonight on TV and on the web at Real Clear Politics and various other sites.

Oh! I almost forgot, I got a bitching Foursquare badge too, who also have election coverage.


There will be no run-off, Nathan Deal (R) won with 53% and Roy Barnes (D) got 43% with my guy John Monds (L) pulling up the rear with 4%. source