Our Blog

01.02.16

So here we sit, 2 years since our last Christmas card, or has it been longer? Probably just two. This is the start of year #2 in our home in Wildwood. We moved into the house in November 2014 and have been loving it out here on the far side of West County ever since.

01.31.09
So I didn't get a chance to blog about this Thursday, but it was the anniversary of our first meeting. We went to dinner at the Applebees in Ballwin, the location of our first meeting and dinner!
01.04.09

If you haven't seen our website tracking our move to Colorado be sure to check it out at www.going2colorado.com

09.20.08
Natalie and I made it home from the 2008 TireRack Solo Nationals today. I'll post an update on www.corvettez06.org tomorrow with a recap of the week.
06.12.08

Both of our sports are in full swing by now. I've been out of town racing more than I have been in town racing, so far I've only been at 1 local event this year.

Natalie has been to a couple of out of town shows as well as the recent SLADS show here in town which she triumphed at! More on results later!

01.30.08
This evening will be the anniversary of the first time I met Natalie, three years ago! It's hard to believe it has only been three years, and we've been married over a year now. I love you very much Natalie!
01.16.08
So Natalie and I are both off to a decent start with exercising in 2008. Stay tuned as I develop some cool DotNetNuke modules to help us track our fitness goals! I'm working on getting http://ChrisHammond.com converted to DotNetNuke and then will have some time to work on these...
12.04.07
Natalie and I had a GREAT first year! The second year looks to be even better! Stay tuned in 2008 as we hope to have more and more...
09.03.07
We just returned from spending Labor Day weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks. Wow, amazing weekend, great weather. A lot of fun, a lot of sun! I'm off to DC tomorrow...
08.03.07
Yet again Auntie Carol had her famous Edy's Ice Cream Party, and yet again no one from her family was invited!...
07.16.07
Natalie and students just returned from Columbia. I'm hoping to get more details when she wakes up tomorrow, but I know she did very well this...
07.06.07
So the headline is a little early, but we all know the inevitable will happen. I've always been a Bonds hater, I don't like the guy, don't think he should get the opportunity to break the record. But I've also come to accept that it will happen, and I'm going to try to be there! I've got two Standing Room tickets to the game on Sunday. I don't plan on using them, there's a race on Sunday. But if by chance Barry Bonds hits 2-3 homers Friday and Saturday that will put him within reach of Hank Aaron's record on Sunday, and for that I'll miss, or leave early, the...
07.05.07
Yesterday was a busy Fourth of July. Natalie and Fabien got up and rode in the morning, I slept in, though I had planned on getting work done on the 240z. Around noon we left the house and headed west. We looked at a few properties for sale, two in Wildwood and one down south of Pacific. The good one in Wildwood is amazing, and might just work out for us, so we're going to try to go get a tour of it very soon. It has almost 5 acres, a barn with two horse stalls, a hay shed and various other features. The property we looked at south of Pacific would be very cool, but at only 2.3 acres doesn't look to be a very good horse property. I loved it because it had a total of 7 garage spots! After that we picked up Lindsey and headed downtown to the VP Fair and then to the baseball game. The closer we got downtown the darker it got, and eventually started raining. We ended up camping out in the Tahoe for about 15 minutes while we waited for the rain to pass. From there we walked up to the stadium and then over to the Arch to see the fair. Honestly, the fair sucked. There wasn't hardly anyone there and the only activities we saw were food/beer booths and some band playing on stage. Nothing else going on to make it worth our trek over there. We headed back to Busch Stadium to hang out there until the game. The game was great, the first Cards game I've been to this year that they actually won! After the game we stayed up on the upper deck to watch the fireworks at the fair. I took quite a few photos with my phone, I'll post more later but here's one for...
05.21.07
A continuation of the weekend discussion. I didn't get home until 11:30pm Friday night, so our plans of meeting up at 7AM didn't quite happen. Kevin and I planned to meet at Fast Eddie's Bon Air in Alton Illinois at 9:15. Before leaving the house I took a few photos.   I stopped to fill the bike up with gas on the way there, that put me at Fast Eddie's around 9:25, a few minutes late. Kevin on the otherhand, didn't show up till 9:55 or so. Apparently Illinois boy got lost over there on those complicated Illinois Roads.    From there we headed north up the Great River Road. We had planned on getting some breakfast and stopped at the Loading Dock in Grafton IL. It was 10:30, and they didn't open until 11, so we kept riding. In Grafton they were setting up for floodfest. We ended up driving 40 miles north of Alton before deciding to turn around and make our way back to the loading dock. Here's a quick shot I took after we finished eating lunch, a photo from where the two rivers meet. From The Loading Dock we went a block north to the Grafton Ferry and caught a ride back to the Missouri side. We headed west towards Highway 94 and took 94 south through downtown St. Charles. After a slow ride through the cobblestone streets of St. Charles we headed down the river roads on the Missouri river past the Family Arena and down Greensbottom Road, near mom and dad's old house in Weldon Spring. We hopped back onto 94 and continued south/west towards Defiance and the Wineries. We were getting short on time, by now it was nearly 2:30pm and we had to return to the bikes to Doc's by 4pm on Saturday. We made a stop at Terry & Kathy's Inn there in Defiance, I'd been by there many times but never on a bike, and I'd never stopped, so we pulled over and had a drink. We snapped a few photos before heading back to Doc's.        We filled the bikes up one last time at the Shell station on Lindberg and returned everything to Doc's. The weekend was great, I know I had a blast, and I think Kevin did as well. My body was extremely sore from the whole ordeal, but that's just a sign I need to get in shape. When I turned my bike in it had 424 miles more than when I picked it up. I put nearly 1/4 of the miles on the bike that was built back in February of 2007. We'll do this again later in the summer, perhaps for a full weekend this time instead of just 24 hours. Here are some other photos I took while out and...
05.21.07
Friday afternoon Kevin and I picked up Harleys from Doc's Harley Davidson. We rented them for 24 hours. After we got all the paperwork squared away we suited up in our gear and hit the road. Since it had been a while since either of us had been on bikes we stayed on a few roads for a while. We headed south from Doc's with the intention of heading to Chester Illinois to try out a seafood buffet that Kevin had heard about. We took 270 to 255 across the river into Illinois and got off 255 at 3 South. Instead of taking 3 south though we got off on Bluff Road. We took Bluff Road down to Valmeyer and from Valmeyer took 156 over to Waterloo. From there I think Kevin took us over to Hecker and 159 south down to Red Bud. Kevin pretty much led the first few hours of the ride. We ended up in Chester and passed by The Pigasus and gave the Harley a few horn honks in case James was around working on the Pigasus. Instead of stopping for dinner we decided to ride for a bit longer, we went down to Kinkaid Lake and too our first rest stop there. I took a few photos on my cellphone in the parking lot   We left Kinkaid Lake and headed back to Chester to find Reid's for dinner. We located Reid's, and shoulda known by the name what we were in for. Reid's Smorgasborg, what do you think it's like? The food was alright for a seafood buffet, though I think we had nicer dining room furniture at the fraternity house in college. While at Reid's I tried Frog's Legs for the first time, tasted like Chicken. From Reid's we decided it was time to head home, we decided we'd go up the Missouri side, taking Highway 55 North. On the way across the River we stopped at the Popeye statue just before the bridge.   The trip North was not near as nice as the trip south was. By the time we finished dinner it was nearly 9pm, and it must of been 60 degrees or less. Lucky for me I had my fullface helmet and my bike jacket on, it kept me fairly warm, but Kevin had some issues. He had an open face helmet, fingerless gloves, and a sweatshirt on. At 70-80mph on a bike the wind can be a little rough, and darn cold! We had to stop a few times coming north on 55 to warm up at a gas station. We got to 55/255 and split up, Kevin headed east towards Belleville, and I headed west up towards Creve Couer. Saturday post coming...
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ChrisHammond.com

New Module Development Templates for DNN8

Thu, 21 Jan 2016 01:29:35 GMT

With the release of DNN Platform 8 last week it is now possible to develop modules using SPA and MVC patterns within the DNN platform. As Part of the buildup of the DNN 8 release, Will Strohl provided a Pull request to my DNN Extension Project Templates project to help clean up some of the basic module templates to work better on Windows Azure environments, and to prep them for inclusion of new DNN 8 specific templates for SPA and MVC modules. Early in the fall Joe Brinkman provided a partial SPA project, with the intention of it becoming a project template. I had a little time when it was initially submitted to work on it, but wasn’t able to get everything squared away on the template until early December. It wasn’t until last week that I got additional time to do further testing on the template and fix a few issues that occurred during the conversion to a project template.

Tracking down no FM reception in a 2003 350z Pioneer avh-x3700bhs

Mon, 04 Jan 2016 04:41:23 GMT

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When I picked up the 350z in Chattanooga back in November, I figured out that the radio wasn’t great, the sound was weak, and it didn’t appear to pick up any FM signals whatsoever. Over the Xmas weekend I decided it was time to rip into the car to remove the stock Bose amp and subwoofer (behind the driver’s seat) as well as try to tack down why the FM reception was non-existent.

The first step was to get into the subwoofer location behind the driver’s seat, a quick screw driver inserted into the panelling to pop the cover off. pry and then pull it off. Once I removed the cover, I quickly found that the stock Bose setup had already been removed, I figured that might be the case, but wasn’t 100% sure until we pulled the cover off. While in there I took the time to clean up some of the stray wiring that was in there, some exposed wires, and some live power wires that simply had electrical tape wrapped around them.

After working on the (lack there of) Sub, it was time to rip into the dashboard. I’ve done it so many times on my prior 350zs that it is straightforward and fairly painless to do. The one thing that gave me trouble was disconnecting the wiring harness from the center console where the harness powers the hazard, and seat warmer switches. I ended up pulling the panel up and off of the emergency brake in order to get to the plug for the wiring.

Once I pulled the plastic for the console out of place I dug in behind the stereo itself. First thing I checked was to see if the antenna wiring was plugged into the head unit, unfortunatly it was, so that wasn’t going to be an easy fix! I tracked down some wires from the stereo by pulling down the manual from the Pioneer website.One thing I did find was there is the “mic” for the handsfree bluetooth setup was plugged into the “wired remote” port on the back of the head unit. I unplugged that, but unfortunately couldn’t plug it into the proper MIC input as the jack was the wrong size. I plugged the mic back into the W/R port and started playing around with the headunit to see if I could get any stations tuned.

While digging in the center console compartment I found a wireless remote for the stereo, thinking that might work with “options” better than the touch screen I try to start using that, with no success. I checked the battery in the remote, and found it was a CR2016, but the remote said it took a CR2025, so I grabbed a spare and popped that in place. Ends up, that didn’t work either, no matter what I tried I couldn’t get the remote to work. Until I once again unplugged the mic from the “wired remote” port, one I did that the remote started working properly. So apparently whomever installed this radio, the wiring was done incorrectly on the MIC, and that was causing problems.

I went ahead and left the MIC unplugged and put everything back together in the car. I immediately tried to tune FM, and found that I could actually tune to a specific station, where previously I was only able to scan, and with the lack of signal previously, the scan would continue until manually stopped by switching input sources. I still wasn’t able to get a clear tune on a station, but when I pulled the car out of the garage to reposition where it was parked, I did find that it started to get a signal to a local radio station here.

So it looks like the ultimately problem with the radio may just have been the miswired Mic, we’ll see, next time I drive the car, how things play out. It might be a while though before I get back out in the Z, it has turned cold here in Missouri and I don’t plan to drive the car too much in below freezing temps, due to the abuse on the tires.

The Hammond Family - Christmas 2015

Sun, 03 Jan 2016 04:01:19 GMT

So here we sit, 2 years since our last Christmas card, or has it been longer? Probably just two. This is the start of year #2 in our home in Wildwood. We moved into the house in November 2014 and have been loving it out here on the far side of West County ever since.

Pictures of Flooding on the Meramec River 2015

Thu, 31 Dec 2015 06:09:45 GMT

Over the holiday here in St. Louis we had an abnormally large amount of rain, with that has come complete chaos in the rivers, primarily the Meramec river, but also high levels on the Missouri and flooding from the Mississippi river. I had a little time this afternoon after an all day meeting at the office to head home quickly and grab some of my gear, I headed up to Bluff View Trail, a new trail here in Wildwood, MO that has a great view over the Meramec River. Two weeks ago I went out on the trail with a buddy and rode my MTB for the first time, on Christmas Eve I took Natalie and Daniel and we went and hiked it a bit. Little did I know taking a photo there that day would provide me a cool opportunity to shot a before and during shot of the extensiveness of the flooding going on.

The photo on the left below is from 12/24/2015 and the photo on the right is from tonight, 12/30/2015

Missouri Safety inspection exhaust hole, fail

Sat, 21 Nov 2015 05:14:28 GMT

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Follow up to the failed emissions and safety test earlier this week.  Last night I got under the car again and checked for leaks, found that one of the gaskets I hadn't touched was leaking, so I tried to cover that up with some exhaust tape.

350z and Missouri Safety and Emissions tests

Sat, 21 Nov 2015 05:06:29 GMT

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The car failed Missouri safety and emissions testing today. When I pulled out of the driveway this morning something happened up front, on the brakes, one of the wheels locked up, "SLIP" and "VDC" lights came on and wouldn't shut off. Restarted the car, got out, checked for anything noticeable and drove down the road to the gas station. At the station I decided to plug the OBDII scanner in and sure enough, it was throwing an ABS code.

Washing, Waxing and then Cleaning 350z Headlights

Mon, 16 Nov 2015 05:57:03 GMT

Headlight-progressThis weekend, being what is likely the last warm weekend of 2015, I decided it was time to wash/claybar/wax the 350z. The weather was beautiful, I spent most of Saturday afternoon performing the first two steps, washing and clay bar’ng the car. The car was pretty clean, but there were some decent cone marks/residue on the side skirts from the previous owner, most of the time spent with the clay bar was there, though there were various other locations on the car that needed attention as well.

Introducing Project350z V3

Sat, 07 Nov 2015 05:48:18 GMT

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Earlier this week, Dave from SoloPerformance.com and I headed down to Chattanooga to pick up Project350z V3. A 2003 Nissan 350z Touring model, with 145k miles on the clock. The car was purchased from a fellow autocrosser, and is primarily prepped for SCCA’s STU class.

How to install Quicktime on Windows 10

Mon, 21 Sep 2015 01:16:05 GMT

Ever since I upgraded to Windows 10 (and then a couple of weeks later, paved the machine straight to Windows 10) I’ve been unable to install Quicktime, from Apple.

Project350z V3, coming soon?

Mon, 07 Sep 2015 00:52:21 GMT

350z Dealer StickerSo the time has come, I am currently car shopping again. I’ve been threatening it for a while now, but with the 2015 Solo National Championships going on this week, and a few other life things figured out, it is time to make the 2016 autocross season happen!

So a few details. I’m once again looking at early 350z’s, this time around I’m not looking for a daily driver, this next car will be built specifically for autocross and a fun weekend toy, with some daily driving here and there (thankful I have a short commute). I am looking for the perfect car, how do you define that? Well, in an ideal world the perfect 350z for me would be

Project350z V3, coming soon?

Mon, 07 Sep 2015 00:52:21 GMT

350z Dealer StickerSo the time has come, I am currently car shopping again. I’ve been threatening it for a while now, but with the 2015 Solo National Championships going on this week, and a few other life things figured out, it is time to make the 2016 autocross season happen!

So a few details. I’m once again looking at early 350z’s, this time around I’m not looking for a daily driver, this next car will be built specifically for autocross and a fun weekend toy, with some daily driving here and there (thankful I have a short commute). I am looking for the perfect car, how do you define that? Well, in an ideal world the perfect 350z for me would be

New release for the DNN Development Project Templates

Mon, 20 Apr 2015 04:28:20 GMT

A few months ago I released V4 of my DNN Development templates, which included a new project template for Themes (skins). This weekend I was working on a new theme (skin) for a customer project and came across a few changes I needed/wanted to make to the Theme project template, so you get to benefit from those changes as I have put a new release out of the project templates.

Latest release of Christoc’s DNN Development Project Templates includes Themes!

Mon, 05 Jan 2015 03:52:23 GMT

For years I have maintained a set of Visual Studio project templates that are used by thousands of people to quickly and easily create Modules for the DotNetNuke Content Management System, and for years, I have had people request that I create a project template for creating a DNN Skin (now known as Themes).

This weekend I finally took the time to do just that. With the latest release of my Visual Studio project templates, you can now create a Theme for DNN. When doing so, you will be presented with a basic skin, using Bootstrap v3.1.1, based on my HammerFlex theme for DotNetNuke.

Building my first Quadcopter, multirotor, drone, UAV flying camera

Sat, 03 Jan 2015 20:51:59 GMT

Over the past few years I’ve been threatening to get into remote control multi-rotor aircraft. Thanks to Andrew McMaster (www.clearuphere.com) I finally pulled the trigger and have built my first aircraft. I say first, because I am pretty sure it will be the first of many.

My first build was a DJI F450, using a kit ordered from UAVProducts.com, as well as many other parts from various sources. If you are looking to get into quadcopters/multi-rotors (don’t call them drones) you need to ask yourself a few questions.

Using Insteon Home Automation for your Christmas Lights

Mon, 01 Dec 2014 04:48:05 GMT

For a few years now I’ve been wanting to tie our Christmas lights into my Insteon Home Automation, but I haven’t had any of the Insteon hardware/software hooked up due to various houses we were in. This year is different, this year my Christmas lights are hooked up to my home automation system!

Starting the home automation thing again

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 05:45:47 GMT

It has been 3+ years since I’ve worked with the Insteon hardware that I acquired years ago (some of which was documented here), since the last time I gave Insteon a go, we have moved to from San Carlos, CA, to Half Moon Bay, Ca, to Ballwin, MO, and now we’ve purchased a home in Wildwood, Missouri.

Our family vacation to Trappers Lake

Fri, 10 Oct 2014 03:13:27 GMT

In late June 2014, we took a family vacation. We left from St. Louis and drove west to the promise land. Colorado, that’s my promise land. The beautiful country, the place I would go if I were rich and could move all of our family (immediate and extended) to one place without thinking about the cost involved in such an undertaking.

Our family of four (myself and my wife, plus a 3 year old daughter, and recently turned 1yr old son) visited Denver, friends, family, and then we went further west, to a place 50 miles from the nearest town, at 9500’, deep into Wilderness country.

We went to Trapper’s Lake.

Shopping for a house in St. Louis

Tue, 02 Sep 2014 04:45:08 GMT

Just over 5 years after we purchased our first house, and almost 4 years to the day we sold that house, we are once again house hunting. This time, we are in St. Louis, as opposed to the last time around with http://going2colorado.com/ and ultimately http://ourcoloradolife.com/. I don’t envision building a full blown website like we did last time around, but who knows, maybe I’ll get creative one evening and do it.

So, why St. Louis? With all the bad stories lately (#Ferguson and the fact that Missouri is rated poorly) you might think, “Who in their right mind would want to live in Missouri?”.

Why should you list your open source extensions on the DNN Store?

Thu, 28 Aug 2014 14:53:00 GMT

One of the best things I love about the DNN platform is the ease of building, releasing, and updating Extensions for your website. If you need custom functionality you can either build something yourself, or likely find something that someone else has developed previously that might fit your needs.

If you are an extension developer for DNN (previously DotNetNuke), you have many options for how you can get those modules into the hands of potential customers. If you want to get your modules into the hands of as many different users as possible, you can’t just stick to one distribution mechanism, you need to reach out and try to get your extension available in as many places as possible.

Some of the ways for distributing your modules include: 1) Hosting on your own website, 2) Hosting on GitHub, 3) Hosting on Codeplex. The often overlooked one however, especially for free and open source modules, is 4) The DNN Store.

The Store is a great marketplace for DNN extensions, and while it primarily is used to “sell” extensions, there was even a time free extensions were discouraged or even removed, that is not the case anymore. You can list your extensions, modules, skins, or even providers, to get your products out in front of more customers. Some of the benefits of doing so

  1. More exposure – Besides searching on Google, the Store is the single most accessed place when people are looking for an extension for DNN.
  2. Customer downloads - By uploading your extensions to the Store, people can “purchase” them, with $0 pricing. This allows for those customers to easily find those downloads again in the future, as products that they have purchased and download them again.
  3. Customer updates – You can put out a new release of your extensions, and using the Patch tools provided within the Store you can easily get that patch out to customers as well.
  4. Customer email option - After someone purchases one of your modules, you can have the Store automatically send them an email with information related to the module, resources on how to use the module, what your support policy is, etc.
  5. Customer list – One of the biggest benefits of people purchasing your extensions, you can build up a customer list. What you do with that list might vary.
  6. Referrals – Finally, and one of the biggest items, is the ability to earn some cash from your free extensions? How you might ask? Referrals, if you link to the Store with referral codes included in the links, if a customer actually pays for a module, in addition to downloading your free extensions, you can earn a percentage of that sale. You won’t likely get rich from this, but if you do things right you can get yourself a bottle of Jack Daniels here or there!

One thing I would highly suggest, if you are selling modules, DO not use the Store as a way to get people to “try” your modules, and then point them to your own website to do the selling. That is just not cool.

Please be sure to check out some of my free extensions in the Store: HammerFlex and DNNCHAT being the two most popular extensions I have there. And yes, to be upfront, those links have referral codes embedded in them!

Scheduled Tasks won’t run in DNN 7.3.0

Mon, 16 Jun 2014 15:19:23 GMT

If you’ve recently upgraded to DotNetNuke 7.3, you might not have noticed that your scheduled tasks aren’t running. How do you know if your tasks are running or not? Follow these steps

DotNetNuke (DNN) upgrade failed due to 'ARITHABORT'

Sat, 14 Jun 2014 05:40:55 GMT

With the release of DNN 7.3.0 this week, it was time for me to get my sites upgraded. I upgraded most of the sites without any issues, but wanted to point out a few errors that I received on sites, and how I resolved them.

The very first upgrade I did started out bad, it was for this site, and while the upgrade was 100% successful, as soon as I tried to load the site I got a generic 500 error. Accessing the site from the webserver gave me a little more information, seen below, but not much.

This baby is trying to walk, what he does at the end will make you smile

Fri, 16 May 2014 04:09:00 GMT

This little boy is trying to learn to walk, and won't give up. What he does at the end will make you smile. 

baby trying to  walk
Age: 11 months

2014 Blytheville ProSolo Recap

Mon, 24 Mar 2014 03:51:01 GMT

This weekend Dave and I headed down to Blytheville Arkansas for the first SCCA ProSolo of the 2014 season. I haven’t given autocross much though since Nationals in September, the primary thought I have had since then is that I figured I wouldn’t autocross much this year. The local SCCA region really put a damper on my autocross spirits last year, so I figured I might run a few National level events, but few if any local events.

Introduction to SCCA ProSolo

Wed, 12 Mar 2014 02:21:40 GMT

Warning, a little bit of unsolicited SCCA ProSolo propaganda: tl;dr Do a ProSolo, they are damn fun. The next ProSolo is March 22-23 in Blytheville Arkansas, more info at http://cjh.am/arprosolo If you've never done a SCCA ProSolo event, you are missing out. It is some of the most fun you can experience in the sport of Autocross, it can get your blood pumping like a normal autocross can’t.

The Layouts of the HammerFlex open source skin for DotNetNuke

Tue, 25 Feb 2014 06:02:56 GMT

One of the things I’ve failed to do with my latest free open source skin, HammerFlex, for DNN is provide a good overview of how to utilize the skin. To really understand a skin, one must know the layout, and the thought process behind the layout (panes).