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09 April 2015

Where Am I Now?

I haven't blogged here in a very long time.  Facebook happened, I guess.  Life happened.  I got tired of freelancing in my spare time and I took up more gardening.   And I blogged about it for a while, and then I didn't blog about it.  I worked out a lot and lost a lot of weight.  Then I had shoulder surgery, stopped working out and put a lot of weight back on.  Life's ups and downs.

The biggest change in my life, relevant to the people that used to read this blog, is that I'm no longer a Coldfusion developer, after nearly 15 years of it.

Back in June of 2013, I left Duke University and took a job at the University of North Carolina, and that was the end of my Coldfusion programming career.  I haven't touched it since, really.  At UNC, I do a lot of SQL and some .NET programming with VB and C#, but mostly, I manage a great team of 6 soon to be 7 IT people - web developers, programmers, and report writers.

That's really all I have to say right now.  Talk to you soon!

Posted by rickroot at 9:32 AM | Link | 0 comments
30 March 2015

Blog Updates coming!

Deep Thoughts = Empy Screen

 Shannon made me do it!  She better appreciate this.

Posted by rickroot at 1:00 PM | Link | 0 comments
11 June 2007


My good friend Nikki sent this to me on myspace... I filled out the survey and posted it to my blog.


Q. What is your salad dressing of choice?
A. Honey Mustard

Q. What is your favorite fast food restaurant?
A. Quizno's

Q. What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
A. The Angus Barn

Q. On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant?
A. 18%

Q. What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick off of?
A. General Tso's Chicken

Q. What are your pizza toppings of choice?
A. Chicken & Pineapple (and BBQ sauce)

Q. What do you like to put on your toast?
A. Butter and cinnamon sugar

Q. What is your favorite type of gum?
A. Cinnamon gum, like Dentyne Fire. The hotter the better!


Q. Number of contacts in your cell phone?
A. 12-15 I think

Q. Number of contacts in your email address book?
A. None, I don't use an address book.

What is your wallpaper on your computer?
A. Home - solid black background. Work - Voltron

Q. How many televisions are in your house?
A. 4. 5 if you count my computer, since it has a TV tuner card.


Q. Are you right-handed or left-handed?
A. Right-handed

Q. What’s your best feature?
A. My left big toe. Seriously, I don't think I have any particularly good body features.

Q. Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
A. My appendix.

Q. Which of your five senses do you think is keenest?
A. Hearing.

Q. When was the last time you had a cavity?
A. Last year =)

Q. What is the heaviest item you lifted last?
A. A case of water bottles (28x24oz)

Q. Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
A. No.


Q. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
A. Yes

Q. Is love for real?
A. Yes

Q. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
A. Big Dick McGee. Hmmm.. my name is already Richard...

Q. What color do you think looks best on you?
A. Black. It's slimming. I can use slimming!

Q. Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake?
A. Not that I recall.

Q. Have you ever saved someone’s life?
A. No.

Q. Has someone ever saved yours?
A. No.


Q. Would you walk naked for a half mile down a public street for $1 Million?
A. Yes. Duh.

Q. Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100?
A. No. I don't need $100 that bad! Maybe $1000!

Q. Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000
A. No.

Q. Would you never blog again for $50,000?
A. Yes.

Q. Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000?
A. Yes, but dear god, why would anyone *WANT* to see that?

Q. Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
A. No.

Q. Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000?
A. No.

Q. Would you give up watching television for a year for $25,000?
A. Yes.


Q: What is in your left pocket?
A: Lint, if anything. Who keeps stuff in their left pocket?

Q: Is Napoleon Dynamite actually a good movie?
A: Haven't seen it.

Q: Do you have hardwood or carpet in your house?
A: Both

Q: Do you sit or stand in the shower?
A: Stand

Q: Could you live with roommates?
A: I have many times before.

Q: How many pairs of flip flops do you own?
A: Two. I'm not sure either of them count though, because they velcro on top and around the back.

Q: Where were you born?
A. Ann Arbor, MI

Q: Last time you had a run-in with the cops?
A: I got a speeding ticket on Huron River Drive going 52 in a 35 just outside of Ann Arbor. Maybe 5 years ago.

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: A good dad.

Q: Who is number 1 on your top 8
A: My mom. I'm a momma's boy.


Q: Friend you talked to?
A: My wife.

Q: Last person you called?
A: My mom.

Q: Person you hugged?
A: My daughter.


Q: Number?
A: 3. It's the size of my immediately family, and the subject of the BEST Schoolhouse Rock song.

Q: Color?
A: Blue

Q: Season?
A: Fall


Q: Missing someone?
A: No

Q: Mood?
A: Content

Q: Listening to?
A: The sounds of my wife and daughter playing Uno.

Q: Watching?
A. My computer screen

Q: Worrying about?
A: Dealing with the loss of a coworker.


Q: First place you went this morning?
A: Bathroom

Q: What can you not wait to do?
A: Go camping and boating with Emily next month.

Q: What’s the last movie you saw?
A: At the theater? I have no idea, we don't get out often. The last movie I watched that I'd never seen before was "X-Men: The Last Stand" on DVD.

Q: Do you smile often?
A: Yes

Q: Are you a friendly person?
A: Mostly.

Q: Now that the surveys done what are you going to do?
A: Help get Emily read for bed.

Let others know a little more about yourself, repost this as your name followed by "-ology".

Posted by rickroot at 5:48 PM | Link | 0 comments
27 April 2007

The Daddy Dance

One of the consequences of having a daughter in dance class is the apparent requirement that I make a complete fool of myself from time to time.

In this case, it's at her annual dance recital.  they have a "Daddy-Daughter" dance in which I will dance with Emily on stage in front of several hundred other parents.  There will probably be 10 daddies on stage with me.

Posted by rickroot at 7:24 AM | Link | 2 comments
20 April 2007

I Just Won $500,000!

Well, I wish.  I was playing Deal or No Deal on my web site.  I was down to only two cases...$500,000 and $750,000.. the dealer offered me $625,000 and I said "no".  I mean really, what's the difference?  I only "lost" $125,000.

Got a busy weekend planned!  The neighborhood garage sale is tomorrow from 7am to 11am, so Emily and I are going to get up early and go shopping for treasures.  She's got her second soccer game tomorrow morning too, and tomorrow evening we're having a family gathering at my mom's house.  Our old neighbor Terri and her husband are coming to visit from Georgia (Terri was my neighbor from birth until maybe age 10).  I haven't seen her in quite a few years!

Sunday night we're going to see the Durham Bulls take on the Toledo Mud Hens.  I secured a couple of front row seats for me and Adrienne and Emily out by the visitors bullpen, so maybe I'll get to see a few future Tigers.

I enjoy going to the Bulls games.  It's nice to be at the ball park.  The Bulls have a really nice park, and it's pretty inexpensive (our tix were $8 each).  Should be fun, and it's supposed to be sunny and 82 tomorrow!  Great baseball weather!

Posted by rickroot at 7:42 PM | Link | 0 comments
26 March 2007

Workin' For The Weekend

Nothing like a good Loverboy reference to start out the blog entry today, eh?

I had a super productive weekend.  Saturday morning was swim lesson registration at the YMCA, so I dragged my tired butt out of bed at 6:00 AM, ate some breakfast, then drove over to the Y to stand in line.  Yup.  I arrived around 6:30, and there were a LOT of people in line.  You see, at 7:30 they pass out numbers and time slots... then you come back for your allotted timeslot, with the first timeslot being 8am.  I ended up with #93, so I went home, filled out all the paperwork, and returned to the YMCA at 9am to wait for my number to be called (which was around 9:20).  Luckily we were able to get Emily registered for the first session, which was the one we wanted.  Hooray!  They do swim lessons 4 days per week for 2 weeks here.  I could actually have registered her for multiple sessions but we decided to go with just one.  That's 8 days of swimming lessons over a span of 11 days.

After that, I drove up to Merchant's Tire to get some new tires for the Mazda.  Damned low profile tires are EXPENSIVE!  I had driven around the week before getting prices on cheap tires, and Merchant's tire pretty much won out, which was nice because I like going there anyway.  All told, I ended up spending $550 on 4 tires, mounting, balancing, "road hazard insurance", and a wheel alignment which was apparently necessary.  Frak!  Nothing like forking out that kind of cash for a car you'll only be driving for another 12 months / 15,000 miles!

While I was waiting, I wondered over to the nearby strip mall and looked at TV stands at Wal-Mart.  Adrienne and Emily joined me after her soccer practice was over, and we bought some new sandals for Emily.  We're getting some distinctly summer weather this week, so the timing was right.  Afterwards, I picked up my car and we all went home for "quiet time".

Having a child is a good excuse to take a saturday afternoon nap!

I started working on the boat after nap time, which involved washing it (ammonia, white vinegar, and corn starch!), and then I spent some time waxing it.  Got half the boat waxed before I had to head out for the hockey game (CAnes won, 6-4).

Sunday was more of the same.  I mowed the front lawn, sprayed weed killer (Ortho Weed-B-Gone) and sprayed some Round Up too along the fenceline and such, and then went back to working on the boat.

It has some black side trime that was really REALLY badly weathered, so I had picked up a can of automotive spray paint the other day, and used it to pretty it up a bit.  I got a nice glossy black with metallic flecks in it to spray on, and it turned out pretty decent.  After the paint had all dried, I finished waxing the rest of the boat.

Honestly, the wax helped a little, but there's not much you can do to 20 year old fiberglass, short of completely repainting the entire thing.  No thanks!

I also ripped off the seat pads from the bow, and along the sides, which I'm hoping to have re-upholstered.  It's just cosmetic work, but these things count.  I also vacuumed the entire boat, and washed down the inside of the bow as well.

With dad's help, I was finally able to get the damn gearshift out of the side board so I can get that reupholstered too.

I replaced the hinges on the engine cover so that's nice and solid again.

Next weekend, I'm going to replace the alternator belt, and take her back to the marina until the upholstery is done, and probably ask them to de-winterize it and give it a spring tuneup.  Hopefully, she'll be "seaworthy" in a few weeks!  That's all assuming I can get the gearshift back on! =)

Overall, a damn fine weekend.

Burnt the crap out of the back of my neck too.

Posted by rickroot at 4:19 PM | Link | 0 comments
21 March 2007

I updated my home page

I know, it's a shocker, but I significantly changed the content of my home page today (www.rickroot.com) for the first time in probably 4 years.   It was really pretty worthless before but now it contains more information about me, my freelance web development, the last 10 entries from this blog and opensourcecf.com, and the 10 most recently updated photo galleries from Google Picasa.

Note to Raymond Camden - thanks for rss.cfc, you're freakin' awesome!

Posted by rickroot at 4:45 PM | Link | 0 comments
28 January 2007

About the Blogger

UPDATE 2015-03-30

So I posted this 7 years ago.  It's very out of date but I'm going to keep here for historical reasons.  Critical updates

  • I'm not a Coldfusion Programmer anymore, I do a lot of SQL and some .NET in my role as an IT manager in the Office of University Development at the University of North Carolina @ C hapel Hill.
  • I'm not 30-something anymore. =)
  • I still live in Apex.  I guess that's worth mentioning!
  • Most of my open source projects are long abandoned.

And now, here's the historical stuff...


A few months ago, Charlie Arehart (many of you know him from the Coldfusion Developer's Journal, New Atlanta, and others) emailed me and suggested that my blog (and all blogs) need some kind of "About the Blogger" page.  Well Charlie, I've finally gotten around to writing one.  And since I have numerous blogs, I'll just post one here and link to it from my owner blogs.

Evolution of a Programmer

My name is Rick Root.  I'm a 30 something coldfusion programmer, and I've been doing the CFML thing since late 1997.  Back in those days, I was unhappily doing software QA for a company in Ann Arbor, Michigan, called ArborText, doing FOSI development for their SGML editor package, ADEPT Editor.  I hated it, but it was my first job where I was really in the IT industry.

You see, I've been a computer nerd pretty much all my life, starting with a Commodore Pet in 1977, and continuing on with the Commodore 64, and the Commodore Amiga before making the jump to the PC world in 1994.  Even then I think I really went to Linux first before giving up and jumping to Windows 95 when it arrived (I never really used Windows 3.1).

But I digress.  Anyway, although I had a lot of computer skills, and I even did some BASIC programming on the old C64, it never really occurred to me to go to school for computer science.  In high school, I was taking graphic arts classes, and I enjoyed printing - that is, the art of putting ink on a substrate.  I enjoyed it, and it was something that could be a career.  I knew what I wanted to major in before my senior year in high school even started, and I never wavered.  I only applied to one school.  Western Michigan University had a highly respected printing program (and in fact is the only university where you can bring in wood chips and take out a printed product, as they also have a paper science and engineering program that includes a real papermaking pilot plant).

I did take some computer science courses while I was there, intending to get a minor in computer science.  I did fine until I took the C class and couldn't handle pointers, so I dropped the class before the deadline, and that was the end of that.

Life after college was not really very exciting.  I took a job doing cost estimating for a book printer in Chelsea, Michigan (just out side of Ann Arbor) in 1995.  At the same time, when I moved back to Ann Arbor, I got my first "ISP" which offered me the ability to have a home page.  I bought an HTML book and used by graphic design and layout skills to make myself a website.  At the time I was also a fan of a variety of local bands, so eventually I made some fan pages for those bands, and one of them found my page and emailed me.  I had my first "client" and although they didn't pay me, it gave me an opportunity to create my first REAL web site, www.fatamy.com.  The lead singer was Bob Guiney, that you may know as The Bachelor (season 4), but this was way back in 1996.

Anyway, I realized that web development was something I wanted to do, and I enjoyed doing it, so I eventually quit my job at ArborText and started doing freelance web design with some friends who had started their own company doing the same thing.  in late 1997, they asked me to look into this Coldfusion product, because I had told them that doing major database development work in Perl was difficult and time consuming.  Plus, I wasn't very good at CGI scripting yet.  So I downloaded the trial of Coldfusion 3.1 and within 3 hours I'd found the product that I was going to use to build my career.

Unfortunately, the freelancing thing didn't work out, so I started looking for a real job.  I didn't have any "real" experience, at least not working for a real company.  I interviewed for a few positions in Ann Arbor but nothing really came through, and my new wife allowed me to expand my search to North Carolina.  North Carolina had a booming tech industry, and was a great job market for her too since she was a research scientist doing virus research.  I landed my first job as a real web developer, doing Coldfusion programming for Micromass Communications in Cary, NC.  They're still around, which is ironic because I left them thinking that they weren't going to make it, and the company I went to after that went bankrupt.  Go figure.

Over the years, I've dabbled in other languages, like Java, PHP, and even Python.  But I don't like doing any of that other stuff.

More about present day me

So I live in Apex, NC with my wife Adrienne.  Our 10 year anniversary is in July, and we have a beautiful daughter named Emily who just turned 5.  When we moved here in 1998, my sister lived here as well, and we'd been down to visit a few times.  But 3 or 4 years ago, my mom and dad moved here from Michigan, and so did my other sister and her family (from Florida).  So my whole clan is back together, 700 miles south-southeast of our original location (near Ann Arbor, Michigan).

I'm a big sports fan.  I grew up loving Michigan football and Tigers baseball, and I still do.  But over the last 5 years, I've also really grown to love hockey.  My team is the Carolina Hurricanes, who won the Stanley Cup last year.  Yes, I was there, and yes it was awesome.  They've actually played in the Stanley Cup Finals twice.  They lost to Detroit back in 2001, and they beat Edmonton last year.

I'm also overweight, but working on doing something about that.  If you read my blog, you'll notice a lot of diet updates.  I'm 20 pounds into a 70 pound weight loss program where I'm hoping to weigh about 200 by my birthday, which is July 24.  I've got 48 pounds to go.

My web sites

In addition to my personal web site at www.rickroot.com, I also maintain a blog for my open source projects called www.opensourcecf.com, and another for my thoughts on the Carolina Hurricanes at www.thecaniac.com.  My freelancing work is done under the name www.webworksllc.com.

In addition to those, I also run www.cfmbb.org for my coldfusion message board software, and www.blogcfm.org, which is the home page for my coldfusion blogging software.

I'm a chronic domain registerer.  Is that a word?  I often register domains based on ideas that I'm never able to spend enough time on, like www.banphonebooks.com, intending to be a petition type web site to ban the practice of sending printed phone books to people who don't specifically ask for them.  I once built a parody web site where you could complete an offer, refer 5 friends, and get a free asian girlfriend (a parody of the freeipod.com type web sites)

The Coldfusion Community

I regularly attend CFUNITED in Washington DC, and I'm a regular participant of the cf-community and cf-talk mailing lists at the House of Fusion.

If you are attending CFUNITED 2007, please look me up and say hi!

Posted by rickroot at 11:31 AM | Link | 14 comments