Places to Eat Application Progress

Here is the running progress of what is happening while doing research for my possible new web application to store places you want to eat while home or traveling. The big reason for this idea/application is I’m always asking or looking for places friends, family, the internet, TV, etc. recommend to eat because they have been there and think I would like to go there. Having personal recommendations from at least a reputable sources is better than looking at some application.

Normally, I got places from people in e-mail, text, Twitter, DM’s, Facebook, in person conversations, etc. I want a place to store all of that information, which is accessible to my phone since I pretty much have it with me at all times.

So here is what I have been doing Sunday, December 6, 2015, from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM.

9:00 AM

Was able to get started on time, but had great difficulties with using my old 13″ White MacBook and Time Machine, which decided it had to take all the system resources, so it made using the internet near impossible. Did a quick update to the new MacBook Pro and will switch to that when I leave the house with a log list of articles, forums, website, and phone-based applications to research and review.

10:30 AM

Started writing this blog post on what I had done so far. Most likely around noon going to head out to local coffee shop or two to do some reading and writing about resources I have found so far.

Noon

Spent the last hour or so gathering more resources of food related websites, application, and further URLs to research, along with a few different categories of applications on iTunes to check on applications.

Later today time will be spent downloading iPhone applications that have some kind of community feature or ability to store restaurant recommendations.

Now, it’s off to St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub to get out of the house and start working my way through all the information I have gathered so far, which is a good 35+ URLs. My guess is that will lead to even more information to wade through.

2:30 PM

I have spent the last hour or so adding ten more URLs to my list of things to read while reading through the current list. Even asked a few foodie friends on Twitter what they use to store recommendations and it seems they use applications/websites to look at what other’s recommend, but nothing to keep a list for themselves.

It seems more digging is required and that not many people store this information in any formal way or at least that’s what I have found so far.

Think it’s time to finish this article and get a late lunch before heading to next coffee shop to do more work.

5:00 PM

Didn’t get much done last two hours, since ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in about a year walking towards my car so talked to then and then went to grab a late lunch of oxtail steamed buns and Miso Porky Ramen at Yano, which is a new Ramen shop in Arlington, VA.

Plus, talked to my father for a bit after he butt dialed me on his iPhone, which has happened to me more than once. Not sure how he manages that on an iPhone.

6:00 PM

Thinks it’s time to head home and use a proper chair or sofa to do more sitting. All these coffee shop tables and chairs are not meant to sit for long times or at least all the ones I sat in today.

Once home it might be best to relax on the sofa while downloading and trying out the different iPhone applications I managed to find so far.

9:00 PM

Ended up leaving last coffee shop around 7:00 PM after I did some reading on my iPhone to break up the staring at my laptop all day. Manage to get home by 7:30 PM and threw in some laundry before resetting my iTunes password and downloading the following iPhone applications that I need to investigate further.

  • Zagat
  • OpenTable
  • TripAdvisor
  • theFork
  • FourSquare
  • Yelp
  • UrbanSpoon
  • ChefsFeed
  • Dine

All in all, it looks like I managed to put in around seven hours of research out of the 12 hours I planned for the research activity for today. Which I don’t think is bad for an unplanned event on a weekend, plus I was running around to different locations to see if one was better than another and had to eat too.

In the short amount of time to do research I have done, I have not found anything similar to the application I want to build that stores recommendations and information I gather to use later. Will most likely have to spend time in many foodie forums to see how people are keeping track of where they eat, which I have got to believe a bunch of people is doing.

Conclusion

Started writing this blog post on what I had done so far. Most likely around noon going to head out to local coffee shop or two to do some reading and writing about resources I have found so far.

Thanks, for reading along with my progress on this mini researchathon for this project.

Please add comments or e-mail them to me if you have any recommendation or resources, you think I might find useful.

Starting a Places to Eat Web Application

Over the last couple of years, I have wanted to have an application that can keep track of places I want to eat be that from friends, new people I meet, the internet, TV show, etc. but I haven’t found it yet. Not that I have been looking all that hard and would know what best to Google for to find it.

So after being inspired once again by Amy Hoy, Alex Hamilton, and crew with their create something new in 24 hours I’m going to dive into to this with a 12 version Sunday, December 6th, to see what I can find out this idea. See #jfsathon and Just F’ing Ship the book.

Have already sat down and figure out a few things the application would need to get started and other things that would be nice to have later on. I know they would say I’m doing it wrong without doing research, so that is what most of my time fill be spent doing in this first 12 hours. Then over the course of the next few weekends and will most likely spend some time after work on more of this idea.

My 12 hour started at 9 AM and will most likely finish by 9:00 PM, so I can relax and get ready for a week of training starting on Monday morning. Of course, I will be taking a few breaks to get away from the computer and let things I have found out sink in to help me further down the road in this process.

If you have any suggestions or examples for me to look at please leave them in the comments.

 

NOT Continuing to Work on HoldAnEvent.com for Now

It’s been a long while since I updated you all on how the work on the HoldAnEvent.com prototype is going. The short answer is the prototype is as complete as it’s going to get. The next steps are where the real work needs to begin, which includes the following items but is not the full list of work to be done:

  • Database functionality (currently it’s all smoke and mirrors)
  • Accessible ARIA
    • Error handling
    • Success messages
  • Security checking
  • Payment processing
  • Performance improvements:
    • Minify CSS
    • Minify JavaScript
    • Combine files

The work on Hold An Event has NOT been moving along at all in the last 25+ months besides making some code improvements. The updates were about updating accessibility and some performance items. These improvements will make the pages load quicker by minifying files and  removing necessary code (not needed when using HTML5.)

Part of the reason I have not done any more work on this project is that it is larger than one person or at least for me now with the knowledge I have. I’m looking to work on a smaller project I can complete and learn what I need to complete Hold An Event.

That project is about being able to save information about places you need to eat at while traveling or even if you are staying in town. I’m always asking people where to eat, especially if I’m traveling somewhere new.

The web based application will be simple; in that you store the name of the restaurant and the city at first and can add more information when you have the time or on a computer or tablet.

It’s for when you are in a city or other part of town you can search to find things near you and then sort the results by city, or distance from you, or maybe even food type later on in the process.

If this project sounds appealing to you, please leave a comment. If you would even pay for this service tell me how much a month or year it is worth to you.

 

Interesting Adventures on the Way to/at SXSW

Left for Washington National Airport (Reagan) at like 6:10 AM. The walk to the metro was not that bad. It took a while like 30 minutes to get to the Continental check in and it went very quickly, since no one was in line at all. Then I got to the security line and there were about fifty to seventy-five people in each line. There was a guy that was behind me that had a 7:10 am flight and it was like 6:52 am. I let him get ahead of me, since I had over an hour to kill. Hopefully he made his flight, since he seemed really worried about it. I would suggest tha tnext time he might leave a bi earlier to make sure he makes his flight.

While waiting for the plane I ran into three Refresh DC people. It was the guys from Politico (Ryan, Andrew, and ??). They were going to be on the same plane from National to Houston and then from Houston to Austin as me. Both flights were uneventful. The only thing that was odd was the woman next to meet on the second flight was taking her thin red licorice and tying it into knots before eating it. The other thing was the couple behind me that were both snoring before we even left the terminal gate.

Once we landed it only took a little while to get luggage. While I waited I went over to the information desk and asked them where I should go to catch the 50 cent bus. The lady told me to go to the center island and head down to the column that has the “4” on it and wait for the bus. I got lucky again this year by only having to wait like 10 minutes to to catch it.

The trip from the airport to the Hampton took about twenty minutes. As last year at the first stop on the trip into Austin we stopped and thy changed bus drivers. It was about the same time I took it last year. I guess the first driver must have started at 6:00 am, since we were stopping there at like 1:00 pm.

Got dropped at off at the corner of 6th and Brazos. On my way to the Hampton I stopped at the “Taco Shack” for a chicken burrito. I got it to go so I could have it over at the Hampton and sit in the lounge and relax. When I got there my room was ready so i was able to drop off all my stuff and grab my computer. Took computer down to the lounge and ate while I checked e-mail, blogs, and twitter.

While checking Twitter I started see a great deal of messages about people being getting stuck in Dallas do to snow(?). A bunch of the Brits are stuck there, since none of them have there licenses with them or do not have one to begin with. A few people here were taking about renting a car and driving to Dallas to pick them up.

This is my SXSW adventures so far.

Road Trip to Chicago – Part 3 & 4

Here is how the rest of the trip from Chicago to Columbus, OH went after the conference ended. Sorry, this has taken so long but I was in Buffalo, NY for one of my best friends wedding and just after I got back home to DC my mother went into the hospital. I will talk about that another time.

I stayed up way to late on Tuesday night go for drinks and Chicago deep dish pizza with Maria, Derek, Jeremy, and Dan at Giordano’s Pizza. It was interesting that between the five of us we ordered three small deep dish pizza’s. Dan ordered a sausage and cheese, Derek ordered a pineapple, ham, and I’m not sure what else Hawaiian style pizza, and I ordered just a plain cheese. Jeremy and Maria both were going to try some of ours since they were not that hungry. Once we placed our order the waiter told us it would be 40 minutes since they made their pizzas fresh for each order.

We were all like 40 minutes how can it take that long. After talking about it, it made sense since you have like and inch of cheese in each pizza and to cook it through it would have to low and slow so not to burn the crust. I suggested to Derek to time it to see how close to 40 minutes it would be. We kept talking about a whole lot of different things and after about30 minutes the waiter brought plates, knives, and extra napkins.

Finally the pizzas arrived so we could get at them. Jeremy even commented that he might be able to eat a whole slice now that he was hungry from waiting. Derek looked at his watch and it had been exactly 40 minutes from the time the waiter had left until he brought us our pies. I guess clients should listen to the people doing work for them like we ended up doing with the waiter. Most times the professionals know what they are talking about. We tried to eat as much pizza as we could between us and we ended up with just under two pizzas worth of food left to be boxed up and taken with us.

The next morning I got up, by about 7:00 AM, got dressed and walked over to the conference hotel and asked the concierge where they would suggest for a good breakfast at mom and pop type place. She suggested I go to Mary’s Cafe’. It was a great little place just a few blocks from the hotel. I ordered a cheese omelet with home fries, toast, and OJ, for under like $8.00 not including tip.

Once I got done with breakfast I headed out down Michigan Ave. to take pictures of the “BEAN” in Millennium Park. This a great art sculpture that looks like a giant mirrored bean. After taking about 25 photos I walked over to the “L” and took a ride for a few stops and turned around and came back to where I started so I did not get lost. It was cool riding over the street and on such an old and rickety tracks.

After all that I went back to the conference hotel to cool of f some before heading to Giordano’s Pizza to pick up the three frozen half baked cheese and pepperoni pizza’s for my sister, brother-in-law, and my three nephews. Once I got back to my hotel I finished packing, got the car, paid my bill and headed to Columbus, OH.

The trip was pretty uneventful. I did not know there were so many Wal-Mart’s in the mid-west. Got to Columbus around 7:30 PM. I called ahead so they could heat up the oven so we could put the pizzas in as soon as I got there, since it was a school night and my nephews needed to go to bed.

The next morning I woke up around 7:00 AM and went downstairs to sit with my oldest nephew while he ate breakfast. He asked if I would walk with him to the bus stop. I said sure no problem, his younger brothers heard this since they were now awake and asked if I would do the same for them. Again I said no problem, not realizing that they did not catch the bus until like 8:45 AM. I guess that ruled out and early departure from Ohio.

At that point I started out for home. I stopped at this little place called the “The Tea Cup” somewhere on the edge of the Ohio and West Virginia border. I ordered the chicken fried steak, with home fries, biscuit, and OJ. At the table in front of me was a group of four older people (husband and wife and two other women). On the way back from the restroom I stopped to talk to them since everyone knows I’m the shy, quite, introverted one. Anyway as we talked I found out they were from Columbus and were heading to some inter-national quilting gathering and they had family in the DC area.

After I finished breakfast on my way to pay and then leave I stopped at the groups table to ask if I could get a picture to put on my website (blog). The only man in the group (in his later seventies) asked if I was going to write in my blog that I had sex with all of them. I told them no that was no going to happen and them they said I could take their picture. After paying and leaving I wondered why he seemed so eager about the sex thing. It gave me a good laugh for most of the rest of the trip and still does now and then.

Once I left the restaurant things were moving along until I hit West Virginia. Once I got there the road went from two lanes both way  and 65 mph down to one lane each way in really curvy up and down hill roads. This part of the trip only got longer when two, not just one, but two tracker trailers with double wides on them tried to go up and down the hills for over five or ten miles. I was so glad when they finally got on the interstate road I was on. After that the trip went along as planned and just seem to drag on until I got home.

The next post will be about the different conference sessions and the main points I got out of each. I will even link to all the notes I took.