Everett Explosion face 8 NBA & D-League players

Today at 5:30, the Everett Explosion (16-4) face Santa Barbra (15-5) in the semi-finals of the IBL West playoffs at Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon.

I played with the Everett Explosion until I broke my face two months ago. Now they are one game away from the IBL West championship, and the team that stands in their way has 8 players from the NBA or the D-League.

I am trying to talk my wife into making the drive down to watch the game and spend the night in Portland, but today is our 7th wedding anniversary, and she already made plans. If they win today, hopefully I can at least talk Julia into driving down for the IBL West All Star game and Championship on Sunday.

Santa Barbara Players
Bryon Russell 6’7” NBA – Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets
2002-03 UD Authentics Uniform Greatness #BRU - Bryon Russell - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com
Samaki Walker 6’9” NBA – Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, LA Lakers, Miami Heat
1996-97 Stadium Club Rookie Showcase #RS8 - Samaki Walker - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com
Toby Bailey 6’5” NBA – Phoenix Suns
Fred Vinson 6’4” NBA – Seattle Sonics, Atlanta Hawks, LA Clippers
Jelani McCoy 6’10” NBA – Seattle Sonics, Toronto Raptors, Cleveland Cavaliers
Justin Johnson 6’0” NBA D-League
Jerry Dupree 6’7” NBA D-League
Mike Efevberha 6’5” NBA D-League

My Day Job

You may have gleaned from my first blog post that my day job is at Microsoft. Well, today two of my babies finally shipped. I am the program manager for the Access Developer Extensions and the Access Runtime. This project surprised us with several unexpected challenges, but we are happy to finally be able to point people at the official downloads.

In order to build the COMC.com website, we use many different technologies, but the heart of the site is driven by a Microsoft Access application on top of a couple SQL Server 2005 databases. Andy (or web developer) and I use the Visual Studio Team System to manage all of our source code for the web site, SQL Servers, the Access application, and some managed code DLLs used by the Access application.

For the last 4 months, we have been “dogfooding” the Access Developer Extensions’ source code control integration with Access 2007. This allows us to check out, undo check out, and check out individual queries, forms, reports, macros, or modules. My favorite feature is the “Show Differences” right-click command. A lot of times you forget the changes you made to a file, and it is extremely handy to be able to see exactly what changed in a module before checking it in.
Tim’s Sports Card App

If you clicked on the screenshot, you may have noticed that we are actually using Team Foundation for our source code control provider. Access actually allows you to use any source code control provider that implements the MSSCCI interface. Typically, small development shops use Microsoft Visual SourceSafe, but if your enterprise has standardized on the Visual Studio Team System, you can install the Team Foundation Server MSSCCI Provider so that your Access databases can be under source code control.


99 problems but a working shopping cart ain’t one

This afternoon a very kind customer informed us that his order of 113 cards didn’t show up correctly in PayPal’s website. It turns out that PayPal shopping carts only support 99 items.

Within one hour the site was updated so that orders of 100 or more items would appear in PayPal as one consolidated item (see screenshot below). We can now handle large orders through PayPal, but this brings up a good point about how a large order gets filled.

It took Jake 3 days to fill his cart with 114 items. Yes, that is not a typo. 6 hours after Jake put the 1999 Topps #100 Ken Griffey Jr. into his shopping cart, Keith purchased that card, which is why Jake now only has 113 items in his cart.
1999 Topps #100 - Ken Griffey Jr. - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

It may seem unfair that a card in Jake’s shopping cart got purchased out from under him, and well, it kind of is. That is why we are building the concept of “instant purchases” into our next major site update. In the next few weeks, people like Jake will be able to create an account, add funds to their account, and then click “Instant Purchase” instead of “Add to Cart”.

Instant purchases will immediately transfer ownership of the card to that user. The card will no longer be available for others to purchase. For the next 24 hours the user will have the option to “instantly return” if they change their mind. The user can spend days, weeks, or even months instantly purchasing cards before choosing to have the cards sent to them. Whenever the user is ready, they can add the cards to one big shipment, and they only have to pay for shipping once. This can really help out now that the USPS just doubled the cost of shipping small packages.

If you want to be one of the first customers to try out this functionality, you can create an account today, and we will inform you as soon as this functionality goes live.

Screenshot of the updated shopping cart. Fancy image affect was made possible by one click in the Picture Tools ribbon of Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007.

Racing Card Designed by a Friend

The Everett Explosion are two games away from clinching the Western Division title of the IBL. On April 18th they will have an opportunity to get one step closer to the title. The first 500 fans at the Everett Event Center will receive the following trading card of local race car driver Darrell Tiedeman. The card was designed by a friend of mine, Steve Kajihiro of JAMK Photography.

Some lucky fans might receive an autographed version of the card. I also caught wind that Darrell might be around after the game to sign additional autographs.

Sports Card Giveaway