Controlling a GoPro via REST APIs

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“I recently ran across this post explaining how to hack your GoPro camera over wifi and thought it would be awesome to control my GoPro with my Amazon Echo. I imagined being able to set up a home security system that I could control with the power of my own voice. Sadly, GoPro’s “API”, which is really more of a hacked http request, only works when directly connected to the camera via wifi. Technically you could […]

My Favorite Books of 2015

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I’m a little bit behind pace to finish 100 books this year, but with 80 completed so far, I’d like to share my favorites. My Audible app and Kindle certainly have had quite a workout this year. A long cruise at the beginning of the year, several weekends on the hammock, and more traffic also haven’t hurt.  Here’s my full 2015 list on Goodreads  Beach Reads The Girl on The Train, Reconstructing Amelia, The Husband’s […]

Hiking the Ramapo Reserve in Bergen County, NJ

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On an unseasonably warm December Sunday that feels more like September, we decide to take Hershey for a hike at the second closest park to us, Ramapo Reserve right across the county line in Bergen County.  https://connect.garmin.com/activity/embed/976348205 The reserve grounds are home not only to the NJ boy scouts headquarters, but also NJ Search and Rescue, and the NJ Trails Conference, so you know the trails are pristine. It also has the most dogs per […]

How to Control your Nest Thermometers with Alexa on the Amazon Echo with AWS Lambda, the Nest REST API, and Alexa Skills SDK

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Get ready for a long, nerdy post with lots of coding and even more configuration. Don’t worry, I did it in a few nights, so anyone can. Pretty much every night, my wife asks, is the Nest still on? It’s freezing in here. Due to our setup, and hopefully not sedentary lifestyle, the downstairs Nest often things we aren’t home when we’re on the couch, and goes into a balmy 55 degree away mode. I […]

Should managers write code?

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Reminder, this blog represents my own opinions only and is on no way affiliated with my employer, Audible or Amazon. Still I think these thoughts are pretty common. In 2014, I moved from a software development role on my team to managing it. During the time since, I slowly began to write less code, made a concerted effort to contribute on some projects, pick up bug fixes on critical projects, help with low severity issues, […]

2015 Philadelphia Marathon Recap – The Race of Brotherly Love

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2014 was the first year of my newfound hobby of marathon running. Last fall, I ran the New York City marathon and had planned to try to run Philadelphia three weeks later, figuring I’d already be in training shape. When the morning arrived, I decided I was still way too sore from New York to attempt Philly. I pledge to try again in 2015. After running the Belfast marathon in the spring, a race where […]

Give me your tired, your poor, well not all of them!

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I’m not a person who normally feels a need to voice my opinions on anything vaguely political, religious, or generally contentious, but don’t get me started on VIM vs EMACS. However, with the recent rhetoric and what is unfortunately becoming policy regarding refugees, I felt I had to speak out. These are my own opinions and I have no illusions anyone will read this, but I have to get it out. My governor, Chris Christie, […]

What it’s like to eat at Belfast’s Michelin star rated Dean’s EIPIC: A Photo-Tour

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Belfast’s newest Michelin star restaurant, and only the second after Ox sets the bar high with food, drink, and ambiance. Getting a table is a tricky affair, but if you are willing to wait a while, you can get one far out. But the real question is, is it worth the wait and the hype?  Through the Looking Glass: Ambiance and Atmosphere Entering through the attached Dean’s Fish restaurant, there’s a definite feeling of having […]

Race Recap: Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon 2015; Rocking in the City of Brotherly Love

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My second Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon this year after the inaugural Brooklyn race was in the City of Cheesesteak and Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. While this race wasn’t the culinary and beer adventure the last few have been, it was a great trial run for the upcoming Philadelphia Marathon for several reasons. Our good friends John and Rebecca just moved to a huge apartment within a 10 minute walk to the Art Museum, where pretty much all […]

2015 Hershey Half Marathon Race Recap – The Sweetest Race on Earth

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Though I loved the Runner’s World Half in Bethlehem, PA last year, I wanted to try out the Hershey Half this year. This weekend seems very popular with races as the weather is typically perfect. It ended up not being as perfect as desired due to an early season cold front, read on to see how this played out. Pre-Race: Packet Pickup and Hershey Park in the Dark Getting to Hershey and staying was super […]