Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I’m having a lot of fun sharing this with you. Part 2 is out, and I must say my editing skills are getting better 🙂 In this video, Steve discusses single barrel vs. blending. Spoiler alert: Blending isn’t bad.

I’ve also created a Facebook page for Bourbon Bartender… Yes, finally. Check it out.

Looking forward to your feedback – and I hope you enjoy.

Happy Holidays!


I’ve been wanting to do this for a while… Talk with master distillers and others in the industry and see what their job is like. Most YouTube channels, blogs, and so forth celebrate the drinking aspect of bourbon, whiskey, and other spirits. What about the industry? What’s it like to be the part of the team that makes all this great stuff? And thus, my new Meet the Masters series was born. It’s part of my Bourbon Bartender channel, where I try to educate others on all things bourbon and whiskey.

In my first installment, I had the grand opportunity to interview Steve Nally, Bardstown Bourbon’s master distiller. Steve’s a great guy. Funny, a storyteller, and wise in the ways of distillation and whiskeycraft. I drove down to Louisville the night before, imbibed a bit, then headed to Bardstown. Much to my surprise, they have EV charging stations! The distillery is going through a multi-million dollar expansion, enabled after the investment by Pritzker.

Steve and I had lunch, then a great interview. It’s fascinating how similar our two occupations are – he’s crafting whiskey, and I’m crafting software. There’s so much process and quality control, and at the same time creativity and a focus on teamwork.

After the interview, I stayed the night at the Old Talbott Inn and closed the bar with a few new found friends. The next day, I headed home, eager to figure out how to edit video with two camera angles.

Enjoy the video!

I recently enjoyed a “fireside chat” at the Indy .NET Consortium, a meetup I run for local .NET developers.

I’ve had some good conversations with interns and others recently who have struggled with or had insights into this transition. My experience as a young developer was a bit different, because I didn’t take the traditional path of high school -> college -> workforce. Mine was high school -> college -> co-op -> left-school to work and create career -> go back to school -> leave school to work again -> work for startup -> work for consulting firm -> start a business -> shut down business and go back to workforce.

Our October 5 meetup talked about how the traditional path can be a bit jarring. The way I explained it to my employees was “In school, you can get an A, B, C, D, or F. And that’s OK. You learn from it. But in the workforce, you either get an A or an F. You can have as many Fs as you want, as long as you end up with an A. Sometimes, within reason, I’ll accept an A- or B+, but it’s rare. We’re paid to deliver, not pass lessons.”

You can watch the entire discussion below:

I’m often asked what bourbon or whiskey to buy as a gift. So, I added a Bourbon Bartender video explaining how to tackle that topic. Enjoy!

A friend with a hearing aid was having issues after upgrading to a new Android phone. He could pair the device with his phone, but couldn’t make or receive phone calls. What the heck – he used the app, and nothing worked like before! I worked on it for about an hour, and finally figured it out… What a terrible experience for him, so I hope this helps others. It boils down to the hearing aid requiring two different Bluetooth connections to make things work. This is very common with headphones, actually.

For those interested in the root of the issue: You have to set up the Bluetooth Classic connection before the Bluetooth Low Energy – a.k.a. BLE – connection. If you set them up in the opposite order, the hearing aids stop advertising Bluetooth Classic and you’re stuck with being frustrated. It’s probably a firmware issue Phonak needs to address. Unfortunately, that requires taking the device to a service center – not an optimal solution for those needing hearing aids.

This article assumes you already have the Phonak app installed on the new phone.

Step 1 – Unpair the Hearing Aids From The Previous Device

Make sure your hearing aids are no longer paired to the old device. In the Phonak app, choose Forget Device. I’m not sure of the actual verbiage, as I’m writing this without having the app handy. Then, under Bluetooth Settings in Android, tap the widget wheel next to all the Phonak entries, and choose Forget Device or Unpair Device.

Step 2 – Factory Reset the Hearing Aids

Make sure the hearing aids are off. You can do this by holding the power button on each bud until the light turns red and letting go. Once they’re off, count 5 seconds. Now, on each bud, hold the power button until the orange light turns on and then off – don’t let go until it turns OFF. Then, power down the ear bud again.

Step 3 – Power On the Hearing Aids

Now that they’re reset, power them on again. You can do this by holding the power button until the green light flashes, then letting go.

Step 4 – Pair Bluetooth Classic

Do *not* launch the app first. Go to Bluetooth settings on your phone, then Scan for devices, and choose the Phonak device that has a headphone icon next to it. You’ll see a couple icon types – but you need the one entry that has the headphone icon. This indicates the “Bluetooth Classic” connection, if you’re interested in such technical details. Accept the pairing request prompts that will show up after you tap to pair. If prompted to make/receive phone calls with the device, confirm you want to do so.

Step 5 – Pair Bluetooth LE

Now that you’ve paired Bluetooth Classic, launch the Phonak app and run through its setup process.

Step 6 – Done!

You should be good to go. I hope this helps those of you frustrated by such a crazy experience.

My friend Mark and I recently installed a VR pulley system. It’s a much less expensive alternative to Wireless VR solutions, none of which exist for Windows Mixed Reality, which is my headset type.

You can watch the video below:

Special thanks to Thrill for his three-axis pulley suggestion.

I recently read a “Coding Question” thread, and a developer was asking what we all thought about this article. I wanted to hold on to my replies, so I’m posting it here for posterity 🙂


Only a Sith deals in absolutes. There are use cases for everything, with exceptions.


Seriously, though, I’d write tests to ensure the states that you want work as expected.


And now that I’ve had my coffee:

Exceptions are a necessary construct. If something doesn’t go as planned, we need a way to handle it. In his article, he’s against blindly swallowing exceptions. That’s generally sound advice. Ask yourself: “Is this an expected exception? If so, do I have a specific exception handler for it, or am I just using the generic catch-all? Have other exceptions occurred? If so, is this one expected? Didn’t I read about C# support for exception switch statements? Did I just shiver?”

Like I was explaining before, only a Sith deals in absolutes. The way I see it, if an error is unexpected, I should have specific use cases for how to handle that exception. I should, generally, never blindly swallow with no logging, or simply re-throw and assume the code above will address. At least, not without a custom/known/non-generic exception I can check up the chain, or include in an integration test. Good article about testing [written by a friend] here, btw:
At the very least, and I try to follow this rule as much as possible, LOG in any exception for tracking and pro-active/offensive development. Better that you can read logs, or run scripts to let you know about exceptions, and help things go right, than to be blind with a “well, the code seems to work, so let it be” approach. That’s the key goal, really: Help things go right. There are exceptions [heh] to this rule, like simple utility apps whose job is to bulk process data, and exceptions are part of the game. Still, I try to make sure to log, even with those. Unexpected/unintended bugs tend to appear when you’re dealing with massive amounts of data, and logs give a perspective you can’t see from debugging.
Ok, next cup of coffee.

Have you been wondering how to access the Azure Multi-Factor Authentication Settings in the Azure Classic Portal without first having to create an Azure account? I figured this out a few days ago, having an Office 365 tenant, and wanting to use the EMS and Azure Active Directory Premium features. Following Microsoft’s instructions, it said to go to the Azure Classic Portal. The problem is, Office 365 doesn’t include an Azure subscription, it just includes Azure Active Directory, which you manage through the “modern” Azure portal. Unfortunately, the Trusted IPs and MFA capabilities are managed through the Azure Classic Portal, which you can’t directly access without an Azure subscription.

So, here’s what you do:

  1. Go to
  2. Click Admin to open the admin tools
  3. In the search box, type MFA
  4. Select the Multi-factor authentication search result
  5. Click the link to open the Manage multi-factor authentication link
  6. There you go – manage MFA in your Azure AD to your heart’s content!


Type the following command from an admin command prompt:

reg add HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\SynTP\Parameters\Debug /v DumpKernel /d 00000000 /t REG_DWORD /f

I’ve been having this problem with Visual Studio. Alt-Shift-L is a common shortcut for finding the location of a file in your solution. However, on a Lenovo laptop, pressing that key combo also stores debug log info for the touchpad driver. Pretty annoying, totally useless, and no UI element to turn it off.

Found this helpful article:

A note: Don’t call Lenovo support. My gosh, they transferred me 3 times, each time to the wrong department. Thank heavens for the Internet.

From their forums: