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Ristretto: Double Shot, No Room

James Montemagno
James Montemagno
Is it really October already? How did this happen? Where did the time go? Above all, please don’t let daylight savings come and let it start to get dark at 4 pm! As fall starts to set in here in Seattle, the leaves start to turn to lush colors of amber, red, and orange. It is simply stunning to look out my window or walk down the street to see all of it happen in real time. It is probably my favorite and least favorite time of year because while it is beautiful, it also means the Seattle gray is coming and the sun will go into hiding for about 4 months. So pour a cup of coffee into your favorite mug and snuggle up with a good book because we are going to need it for the next few issues of Ristretto.

Live
September is an interesting month because all Seattleites know that we only really have 30-60 more quality days where there is a hope of sunlight and the possibility to go outside and be active. H and I are relatively avid hikers so we wanted to jump start the month by going somewhere brand-new for a hike. This lead us to Mount Pilchuck, just north of the city on a lovely hike of Heather Lake. The 5 mile round trip hike gave us a great elevation gain of around 1000 ft, which is the same as my daily commute from Redmond! When you get to the top of the hike, you are not led to the top of the mountain, but instead to a beautiful lake that sits in-between several mountains that you can do a loop around.
Simply stunning!
Simply stunning!
The next challenge for the month was having some family come into town, and like everyone I know, I always try to step up my game to impress the pants off my family members. What I love about doing this is that we not only got to have a great time with family, but it is also a great reminder of all the awesome things that are in my city. So let’s break down the super rad day:
CenturyLink Field Tour (Sounders + Seahawks)
CenturyLink Field Tour (Sounders + Seahawks)
Amazon Spheres! Behind the scenes tour from my Amazon buddy!
Amazon Spheres! Behind the scenes tour from my Amazon buddy!
Kenmore Air Seaplane Seattle Tour
Kenmore Air Seaplane Seattle Tour
All of this was in just one day, and if you are ever in Seattle you have to give this all a try. CenturyLink Field does daily tours for only $10, the Amazon Spheres are open to the public one Saturday of every month, and Kenmore Air does amazing tours on seaplanes for around $100, which is a steal and an amazing experience!
Love
It is official, I am addicted to a video game. No, it is not Fortnite! I tried it and I just don’t get it! I stumbled upon Paladins a few weeks back, and it is a game that I fully understand and is super addictive. I find myself logging in every day and playing a few games, which is pretty unheard of for me. If you are looking for a shooter where you can play every day, then I encourage you to check it out, and if you are playing on Switch, let me know!
I <3 Paladins!
I <3 Paladins!
On the complete opposite side of the video game spectrum, I finally got my New Wave Toys Centipede RepliCade machine, which is AWESOME! As a Kickstarter backer, I was one of the first to get this 12-inch fully playable (powered by Android) arcade machine, and it is totally adorable and brings me back to hitting up the arcade as a kid.
Bike
I figured this month I would go back to the basics of cycling and talk a bit about my bike that I ride around Seattle. It isn’t fancy, it isn’t expensive, and it only has one gear that is fixed. It is my State Bicycle that I have owned for nearly 10 years, the Zombie Stomper!
I purchased this beauty when I was living down in Phoenix, since it is super flat there and easy to ride with a fixed gear. Seattle on the other hand is a bit more hilly, but I wouldn’t want to ride Seattle any other way. I did put a smaller cog on the front so it is a bit easier to pedal on the hills, but besides that it has been unchanged. It has gone thousands of miles all over this city and is fully tatted up with stickers showing off my geekiness in full glory! If you are in the market for a new bike, I highly recommend State as they start ~$300 and all bikes come with a fly wheel and fixed gear option!
Code
I have always said that when I am not coding that I am probably coding, and 5 years ago when I joined Xamarin I tried testing out live coding. I tried a few different services and formats and never really felt comfortable with the technology at the time. One thing that I did enjoy was getting instant feedback from viewers, answering questions, and showing the issues that I would run into and how I went about fixing them. This is very different then a fully recorded and edited video that you often see from me and is actually really different then a presentation, as it is real life development.
Last year I participated in a charity event where I used Twitch to live stream myself playing video games for 24 hours, and I fell in love with the format. After taking a year off from live streaming and moving into a new apartment with more “stream friendly” space, I decided to give it another go and re-launch my Twitch channel! It is a blend of coding, code interviews, and of course some video games too (it is Twitch after all)!
My First Live Stream Guest!
My First Live Stream Guest!
I have done a few streams of simple topics such as building mobile apps and fixing bugs in my source code. Two weeks ago I decided to test out having David Ortinau on as my guest to talk about Xamarin.Forms 3.2.0 and it was a blast! You can watch the full recording on YouTube if you missed it. I have big plans for this fall to start a weekly live streaming where I continuously build out a real mobile application that I have wanted to create for a long time. I am currently working with a design team to put together mocks to work off of and can’t wait to get this going. So be sure to subscribe on Twitch and my YouTube.
Inspiration
On last week’s Coffeehouse Blunders podcast, Danny recommended a video to me called Look Up by Gary Turk and it is simply eye-opening and has made me start to change some of my technology habits. I couldn’t recommend it enough.
Look Up | Gary Turk - Official Video - YouTube
Look Up | Gary Turk - Official Video - YouTube
Mono of the Month
Say Hello to Mooch 2
Say Hello to Mooch 2
In the first issue of Ristretto, you were introduced to Mooch, who proudly sports her Xamarin Evolve 2016 shirt with plenty of swag. Little did you know that her little sister Mooch 2 also plays an essential role in our household. While Mooch is more of a world traveler, Mooch 2 is more of a homebody and appreciates the small things in life, such as a nice cup of coffee on a Sunday morning while watching the squirrels play in the trees outside of the apartment. She really got into the fall spirit this month and smuggled a tiny pumpkin into the house so she could snap this photo that inspired me to nominate her for mono of the month!
Motz Around the Internet
This last month has been crazy with .NET Conf and Microsoft Ignite and I didn’t have a lot of time to actually write new articles, but that doesn’t meant I didn’t publish a bunch of awesome content!
Podcasts:
Blogs & Videos:
💖
As always I want to thank you so much for being a subscriber to this experiment of a newsletter that I craft together. I honestly hope that you enjoy my ramblings of life and code and find things interesting. I would love to hear from you via the comments on the newsletter, Twitter, or anywhere else you want to reach out to me. I want to thank everyone that bought me a coffee last month! I got to try some new places and really loved it.
Cheers until next month!
Cheers until next month!
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James Montemagno
James Montemagno @jamesmontemagno

James Montemagno's Newsletter: Live, Love, Bike, and Code.

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