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Ryan Vanasse
Worked at Code 42
Attended Northwestern College
Lives in Coon Rapids MN
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Ryan Vanasse

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So, today is Google Glass open-purchase day...I'm curious what the existing Explorer community thinks of it. +Norton Lam +Breon Nagy

Also, would you recommend Glass or is it not yet ready for prime time?
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Honestly, for me personally I can't think of much right now, other than the "This is cool" and "seeing the future"
which is why I personally wasn't really seriously thinking of getting one

But what problems is Glass good at solving right now?
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Ryan Vanasse

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Do you ever see a book in your dream and pick it up and read it just to see how far the rabbit hole goes?

I did that tonight with a book about the subjugation of native peoples in the Americas, and got a good few paragraphs through a foreword, written from the perspective of Russia talking to America, "one of only two places that dared to throw off the shackles of a society centered around slavery" before deciding to give up and wake me up.

Sure, it was because I had to go to the bathroom. Suuuuuuuure.

(Russia was speaking also of the slavery of monarchy and other political systems. Also, I didn't say it had to make sense) #dreams
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Ryan Vanasse

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"Remember those times where annoying people who read the book would be all smug when they were watching the TV adaptation? Revenge time. Sweet revenge time."
 
If anything, though, that makes things more difficult for the book fans uninterested in the TV series. If the TV show had a completely different ending, that would be one thing, but if the TV show is going to reveal who gets the Iron Throne, who Jon Snow's parents are and the motivations of the Others/White Walkers are, and that's the same information as will eventually come out in the books, then it will constitute the biggest and most expensive spoilering of the end of a book in history. Because of GoT's media presence, it may be untenable for people to avoid spoilers for years on end.

Remember those times where annoying people who read the book would be all smug when they were watching the TV adaptation? Revenge time. Sweet revenge time.

You do know that they've completely butchered the story in the book, right?
HBO has confirmed that it is planning to end Game of Thrones with its seventh season, due to air in 2017. The show's fourth season starts airing in a few weeks, meaning that the show has three seasons to run afterwards. Thi...
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Ryan Vanasse

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Good to see that I wasn't the only one subtly disturbed by this commercial:
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I love the Olympics, but I think that one's 20s are the worst possible time to watch them.

When you're a kid watching the Olympics, there's a certain element of "I could do this" to your watching. You can be inspired and maybe, just maybe if your interest survives past the end of the closing ceremony, you can sign up for figure skating or snowboarding or skiing or whatever, and learn how to do it and practice REALLY hard and maybe get there someday. Everything is looking up.

When you're an adult, like a REAL adult, then you have that same kind of hope for your own kids. Hey, maybe someday, if I encourage them and drive them to practice and am a really supportive parent, I could be that parent in the stands, I could have an Olympic athlete.

When you're a 20 something, all the athletes are your age (or younger), and mostly remind you of what you never did. All these people chose to work really hard and get really good at something, and sure, natural talent had something to do with it, and we can't all be good at everything, but they at least did something, and you've done nothing.

I still love watching the Olympics, but it's certainly different now, emotionally. I think it helps put one into that frame of mind in general.

A group has started at my company where experienced developers help non-devs learn to program. It's pretty freewheeling so far--there's no curriculum as much as there is "let's figure out what we want to learn." Today I floated amongst a number of different groups learning things like Golang, shell scripting, our product's API, git, and sound generation. I got to listen to explanations of goroutines and how different languages handle threads. Even once the computers were closed up, conversations continued about things like teleportation and turing machines. It was pretty great!

But the rest of this night, I've been feeling down on myself. Should I have studied "hard" CS so I too could know what half of the stuff these people talk about means? Probably not, but then what am I doing? What can I be great at? Where do I belong? If only I had ...I don't even know what, really, just... something. I feel so completely unremarkable.

Of course, there is always some hope. In the Olympics, it's Curling, where most of the players seem to be over 40 and a person feels like he could get started now and somehow make his way to a truly competitive team. (It's harder than it looks, but you'll also have a ton of fun, trust me). The hard part is finding that hope in every part of life. Maybe I can work hard enough to learn how to really develop software through this coder42 thing. Or maybe I'll decide to take night classes or something, who knows? Anything to find whatever potential I still have and exercise it.

And now, I should sleep, which will likely wipe this funk away so I can continue being unremarkable without guilt. Have a good evening/morning!

rdv
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I look forward to reading it.
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Ryan Vanasse

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As a swimmer who lives in Minnesota, I pretty much have to post this.
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lol
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Ryan Vanasse

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Watching my sister +Renee Vanasse  row for the University of Tulsa!
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Someone brought in a typewriter today. Must have been windows because it had both a carriage return and a line feed.
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Four years ago, January 26, 2010, I started work at Code42 as a "support genius." When I started, there were something like 20 employees there. I could easily make a single batch of Chocolate Chip Banana Bread II, bring one of the loaves in to work, keep the other loaf for myself, everyone who wants some gets some, and there might even be some leftovers.

Now, I make a separate loaf for each floor and it's still gone by noon.

I have had so much success at this company, from working in several different positions, to traveling all over the country as an ambassador for the product, to being one of the old fogies who tells tales about what it was like working at the company before the rapid growth, before the investment and ambition, when everyone was on one floor and could fit on one tiny patio for lunch.

It's especially interesting to think of that success considering how my time at Code42 started.

The interview was my first after a 7 month stint at Minnesota Public Radio, and I did not think it went well. My technical interview was with one of the developers, and he admitted later that my technical skills were "a bit light". There was also a more "philosophical" interview with one of the founders of the company, and this was where I really think I failed.

"Tell me about your history with computers," he started out saying.

I explained how I was fascinated with computers as a kid, and played with the family computer, and checked out lots of books from the library about them. He pressed me on why I liked computers. After my explanation, he said:

"It seems like you read about computers more than actually do things with them."

Which was true! So true. So true about many things in my life, actually.

When I was a kid, I was fascinated by videogames. But from an early age, my Dad said "I don't intendo to get Nintendo," and the edict was laid down—if I wanted games, I'd have to pay for them myself. Without videogame-level monetary income, I got my videogame fix sporadically at friends' houses, and mostly by checking out copious copies of Electronic Gaming Monthly and Game Informer from the library. I knew all kinds of things about games, except how to actually play them.

Example: Kids on the choir bus talking about Castlevania? My response: "Oh, I hear that game is great!" 

Even now I think about things and read things more than do them. At Coder42, our internal "learn to program" group, one of the developer-mentors said "What's up with you? Do you just read a lot?" because I was asking about a programming design pattern without actually having done much development myself. Yep, I read a lot. And then don't make anything with it or actually do it.

A great example, and the thing that actually inspired this post (I've been thinking about this post for a while without getting around to writing it) is my last substantial non-dream post, from November, about me and girls.

I had a lot of great comments on this, and a common theme with many of them was essentially: Just do it.

Thinking and reading and studying can only go so far in life. I like to think that you can read about something you should do, understand exactly how to do it, and then go execute. If you don't understand exactly how to do it, wait until you do.

But the problem with this is that unlike a videogame, you don't get to go back and try things again. Time is always moving forward, the time that you spend reading and thinking and studying takes out of the time that you could spend doing. It is so natural for me to want to observe life, forgetting that I can't go back and replay things. 

Essentially, YOLO.

I know that everyone hates this phrase, though I'd like to think it's only because it's the kind of thing tweeted by an aspiring rapper while driving drunk at 120mph, or the type of phrase superimposed over an instagram of conspicuous consumption. Or drug use.

The thought behind it though, and please stay with me here, is solid though. You only live once, so make it count. Memento mori—remember you are mortal, not so you shy away from great risks because you will die sooner, but embrace great risks because you only get one shot to make a mark. Studying is great, but if you think that you can exclusively read your way to a great life, you are mistaken. You have to go live that life.

This very post is a bad example of me sticking to the old ways. I know I started thinking about writing it immediately after those two posts back in November, and even wrote most of it back in January, but am only now getting around to posting it. I get to the end part, the money part, and I know I could describe it better, how I am encouraged to put myself out there and just do things! But instead I'm sounding like a middle school kid who fancies himself a Jr. Philosopher. 

But the way I will make this fit my new point of view is by posting it anyway. I can't let making this perfect interfere with my ability to just post it and get it done. Here goes!

rdv
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Ryan Vanasse's profile photonathan perrier's profile photoAnnemarie Metcalf's profile photo
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I love that even with the increased size of the company, you still make them banana bread!

Very true~ I felt and feel the same way, often with video games, and with some AV technology of sorts~ there's only so much experience I've gained first hand, and a lot more knowledge about it
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Ryan Vanasse

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This one's going out to +Kevin Palider . Web-based magic life counter with no gimmicks.
 
I got really tired of every Magic life counter app sucking (with the exception of 20life for iOS) so I decided to be the change I wanted to see.

mnbrn.com is your new magic life tracker

It's a super-simple app that covers only the bare essentials. You've got two life counters, with the ability to increase or decrease each. You can reset both to 20. You can roll dice (d100) to decide who gets to choose to play first. You can search for cards by name. The layout (more or less) works on any device.

And that's it. No horrible background images, painful font choices, or pointless animations. The idea is to keep it absolutely as light as possible.

I'm far from finished. I'd love to improve the visuals a bit more. There will certainly be bugs. Ideally I'll wrap it up as an app for Android and iOS. But for now, you can open your browser of choice and have a life counter that doesn't suck. 
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Have him in circles
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  • Northwestern College
    2008
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  • Code 42
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