Eating Primal at Five Guys

Being in the consulting business, I travel from time to time. Travel sometimes makes it difficult to eat well. In my case, I am trying to eat according to the Primal Power Method.

Last week, I traveled to Houston. It’s was nice three-hour drive there. During my stay, I needed to grab a quick lunch and ended up at Five Guys.

This was tough. I really like a good burger and I really (and I mean REALLY) like Five Guys.

So I rushed my order and asked for a “Bacon Burger” all the way. Usually, I would order a bacon cheese burger but my Spidey-sense told me to skip the cheese. Then something inside me asked if I could have it lettuce wrapped. The guy who took my order said, “No problem!”. I smiled and paid for my order.

While waiting for my order, I realized that I should have asked for no mayo and no ketchup. I love mayo, but I am not sure it is a good source of fat according to the Primal Power Method. Ketchup has a lot of sugar and was probably a bad idea.

A few minutes later, they called my order. Turns out the ketchup, mayo, and mustard were in separate containers and I enjoyed my lettuce wrapped bacon burger without them.

The other ingredients (grilled mushrooms, grilled onions, and pickles) seemed okay to me. Although I should probably double-check on the pickles and the bacon was probably cured (eat uncured bacon instead), it looks like a Primal Power Method meal is possible there.

Home Projects for 2015

Last year with the help of my father-in-law, we started our home garden. We made a number of mistakes. Such as:

  • Putting garden beds next to the foundation. The watering caused a lot of erosion that, if continued, may result in costly foundation problems.
  • Planting randomly. We planted things we commonly used like Thai chili peppers, Serrano peppers, Habanero peppers, Thai basil, mint, lemon grass, Thai egg-plant, bell peppers as we created the garden beds without planning.

As a result, we are doing some planning while I build out two 12×4 foot raised garden beds about 6 feet away from the foundation. I am using 2×12 pre-treated wood to build the beds and planing on getting about 3.5 cubic yards of garden soil from a local nursery to start the beds.

Other projects this year include:

  • Composting bins – we have enough kitchen and garden waste to cut our cost of commercial compost and other garden products.
  • Rain water collection system – we spent a lot on water last year and I am confident we can cut it by collecting and using rain water as our primary garden water source.
  • Building out Grandma’s pantry – we wasted some of our garden produce this year and want to make the best of this year’s bounty by storing it. Additionally, we always run to the store at the last-minute to prepare our holiday meals and want to get ahead of it this year.

There are plenty of other home projects we want to complete and we may do more this year. But we have to start somewhere, and these three projects are a good spot to start.

More details on each as we roll them out.

Getting Back Into Eating Right

If you have followed this blog or know me personally for any length of time, then you know that I have constantly battled with my weight since high school. So much so that a few years back I wrote a few posts on nutrition when I had gotten a few wins under my belt.

Three years ago I stopped focusing on my nutrition and exercise and managed to put on over 50 lbs. Well the time has come again to wage war on obesity and I figured I would openly share my goals and my progress against it.

Now, I am no expert on nutrition or health. So what I do, I do with the goal of living a better life and being a better father, husband, friend, and employee (in that order).

In terms of nutrition, I started eating according to the Primal Power Method a little over two weeks ago and have seen great results.

In terms of exercise, didn’t change a thing. I still try to walk about 15-30 minutes every day. I still try to take the stairs instead of the elevator. I usually park a good distance from my non-home destinations (driving large truck forces that on you anyway). And that’s it.

So, what are my results?

  • On January 5th, 2015, I weighed in at 284 lbs.
  • On January 12th, 2015, I weighed in at 275 lbs.
  • On January 19th, 2015, I weighed in at 270 lbs.

That’s 14 lbs in two weeks.

My goal is to get under 200 lbs. Which means I still have a long way to go. However, I am hopeful after these results and will keep on trucking for now.

I will share some of my challenges along the way. I hope you will take the steps necessary to live better and become an improved version of you.

Houston TechFest 2013

Houston TechFest 2013 is around the corner. This is a free to the public (except for parking) event with a number of great presentations and exhibits taking place at the Reliant Center on September 28.

I will be giving my Up and Running with RavenDB presentation for the third time. Although, I have revamped it by incorporating the feedback I received from earlier events.

Hope to see you at my session!

Am I Doing Dynamic Views with AngularJS Right?

I have played around with a lot more JavaScript and single page applications (SPAs) as of late. More specifically, I have fiddled with AngularJS in my most recent personal project and it has been a lot of fun. However, client side web application development is not the same as server-side web application development. In this post, I will describe a challenge I had with client side routing using AngualrJS, how I solved it, and how I feel about the solution. Hopefully, somebody will give me a little feedback on my approach.

The Problem

The Facebook home page when you are not logged in.
The Facebook home page when you are not logged in.

At the root level of my web site, I want to show one view to an authenticated use and a different view to an anonymous user. This is a very common need and feature in many web applications. For example, let’s look at Facebook. When you point your browser to, you will get one of two things depending on whether you have an authenticated session. If there is no active session, then you are presented with a welcome message which asks you to create an account. If there is an active session, then your get your timeline.

The solution for this from the server-side is actually simple. When the server receives the request for the home page, then we can simply check the session and use it to decide which view to respond with. Done. Easy as pie!

With a SPA, the solution wasn’t as clear. At least not to me with my limited AngularJS experience.


To be honest, I hope somebody else has a better solution than this to share with me. But this is what I did. I started an app.js file containing some simple AngularJS configuration logic:

The template pulled down by the root route was empty at this point and I was forced to make a choice. Should this template contain the welcome page content? Or should it contain the authenticated user content? Or what?

I decided it would contain the authenticated user content. This is because I expect (well more like hope) that most people who visit my application will log in and use it. This hopeful assumption made sense and so I set out to build my home page controller.

The first thing that I thought I would do was to inject the $http service so I could make a call to my website’s API and get the user’s session object. If I get a session back then I can go ahead with displaying the home page for the authenticated user. If I don’t then I can route them to the welcome page using the injected $location service and ask them to sign up or log in.

At this point my update app.js file looks like this:


This approach is very simple. At the end of the day, it is not really what I wanted. What I wanted to do is to dynamically tell the $routeProvider which tempalteUrl to use dynamically. This is probably due to my experience writing server-side MVC logic to select a view based on the session state. I didn’t like that I now have an extra route for my welcome page. This doesn’t feel right to me. At least, it doesn’t feel natural.

Another approach that I considered after this implementation is using an ngView directive in my template and dynamically setting the templateUrl value using the $scope in the controller. However, I don’t like the idea of branching logic in the controller to populate the scope differently based on the session. That doesn’t feel right either.

So what’s next? Well, I think I am going to stick with this solution for a bit and probably create a session service to get the session object since I will probably need it between various controllers. I will probably also push a response interceptor in the $httpProvider to handle unauthorized responses from the API. While I am not entirely comfortable with this approach yet. It looks promising giving my limited exposure to AngularJS. I am hopeful that a fellow reader may offer some suggestions and/or advice.

RavenDB – Up and Running @ North Houston .NET User Group

I had a lot of fun showing the North Houston .NET User Group how to get RavenDB up and running. Below you will find the enter seven slide presentation. The code used during the presentation is available on my GitHub.

This was fun talk that I would like to give again.

Deep Dive into RavenDB Indexes

Last night, I presented a deep dive session on RavenDB indexes at the Austin .NET User Group. It was a blast as I got to see some familiar faces and was able to engage in some exciting RavenDB discussions.

Here are the slides from the presentation:

There are a few upcoming RavenDB events that I am very excited to be a part of. Check the links for more information:

Hope to see you there!