What is an API?

API stands for Application Programming Interface. Think of this as a contract, or an agreement, between one piece of software and any other piece of software that wants to make use of it. APIs are all around you. Most every well-known software service (think of big names like Microsoft and Google online apps) have APIs you can use. This allows you to extend and combine pieces of software. Coding by jigsaw.

There are many types of APIs. Library files have been around since the early days of programming, and the ways of calling code at one location from code at another location grew over time. One very popular way of doing this today is to use HTTP (web-page-like) requests to signal between applications. This is (very loosely) known as RESTful web services.

Einstein, Pt 6

My prior attempt at a Phaser.js interactive canvas allows the creation of sprites wherever clicked. In this version, I will play a bit with scale.

When you hold down the mouse, the image will scale up and down repeatedly. It's fun. Play!

Einstein, Pt 5

My prior attempt at loading a sprite on a Phaser.js canvas shows the entire sprite. In this version, I will create a small sprite wherever the mouse clicks on the canvas, without losing any of the properties we’ve gained already.

This looks like a good place to start.
and this will help, too.

Sweet. Look at all the tiny einies.

Maintaining Integrity

I respect people who don’t say one thing and act another way. If you believe in fair play, and say as much aloud, then it only makes sense to me that you should be playing fair. In practice, the world is full of lies and the lying liars who tell them (not my phrase). Every day, we make the choice of how hard to defend our principles. Some will gladly make sacrifices of their fellow man, hurting and stealing from others in small and large ways, to “get ahead” in life. I try as hard as I can without surrender to be a better person than that.

Einstein, Pt 4

My prior attempt at loading a game canvas for Phaser.js is now auto-scaling down (and up) to size, but the image is being cut off. In this version, I’m going to try to scale the sprite as per this documentation on scaling and this documentation on anchoring.

Einstein, Pt 3

My prior attempt at loading a game canvas for Phaser.js is still too large. In this version, I’m going to try to make it automatically resize as per this StackOverflow post.

Einstein, Pt 2

My first attempt at loading a game canvas for Phaser.js looks ludicrous on small screens, overlapping menu system and viewable area alike. In this version, I’m going to try to make it smaller.

What I Enjoy

I love having fun like everybody else, but I especially enjoy…

Board Games

* Scrabble
* Uno
* Apples to Apples

Old-School Video Games

* Abandonware
* Gold Box Games
* Atari
* Emulators

Brain Teasers

* Puzzles
* Riddles
* Escape Rooms

Writing Prompts

Conversation Topic Cards

Science Fiction/Fantasy Novels

Short Stories

Pop Science and Economics

… and I’mma put more in here real soon!

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a C-family language popularized by its wide use on the web.
It can be run on the browser. For example, click here to run a short script. JS code looks like this:

  var i = 1;
  var sum = 0;
  while (i < 1000)
   if (i % 3 == 0 || i % 5 == 0)
    sum = sum + i;
   i = i + 1;

I learned basic JS around 1998, tinkering with web pages. It wasn't until around 2004 that I truly realized the power of client-side code. Around that time, Google started auto-completing your search terms with XMLHttpRequest objects (XHR) in the background. We take this for granted now, but it felt very futuristic a mere 13 years ago. Now, we come to expect most SaaS websites to have rich web client experiences powered entirely by JavaScript, and on the back end, Node.js makes the language a full-stack powerhouse! Exciting times.

What I Believe

Foreword: What I Don’t Believe

I went back and forth a bit on whether or not to write anything here. All of the career advice I’ve seen about your online presence says, “keep your personal stuff locked down.” On the contrary, though, I would rather not hide who I am completely. I believe strongly in the ideals of truth and integrity. As such, here is maybe the most controversial reality of who I am: I am an atheist.

I was raised in a Lutheran community as an adolescent and teen, but I discovered on my own that I did not believe in the supernatural. Despite all the good that people of faith do… all of the hot meals, rallying around causes, hugs and high fives that are dished out at churches… there’s still a fundamental problem with belief in the supernatural. I respect people for going out and doing good things, but I can’t get behind things like prayer or worship.

This can cause some problems when people discuss their private lives, especially in Nebraska, where over half of the adults in the state identify as religious, and a majority of those identify as Christian specifically. I’ve spoken with many other atheists about their own experiences in public life, and the consensus seems to be “I try to avoid talking about it.” I’m ignoring that advice, though, and I’m talking about it

Please take this all with a grain of salt – I work and live with people of all walks of life. I love diverse viewpoints, and that also includes traditional Midwestern Protestant ones.

What I Do Believe

I believe that consciousness is an emergent property of matter arranged in certain ways. That there are degrees of consciousness, and degrees of “alive” in the same way that no one temperature is hot, warm, or cold. That life is not binary – it is not an either/or, and that self/not-self as a concept is a false dichotomy. I don’t believe in an afterlife, because I have a hard time believing that there are closed boundaries to what life is, exactly. It’s just an infinitely complex pattern. Anything less feels insulting to the grand nature of the universe.

I believe that progress is inevitable and trying to “go back” to a golden age of society is futile. That the best we can hope for is to achieve some sort of influence over the forces of inter-related change we are caught up in. My hope, as a human, is that we will manage to augment ourselves as organisms with our machines rather than being overtaken by them. I guess you could call this a form of transhumanism.

I believe that there is a fundamental dignity to conscious beings, and that we owe it to each other to treat each other as well as we can. That each generation is called upon to do better to each other than the past.