Extended Hiatus

When I started this site, I had dreams of enough spare time to keep it up.  Then I up and switched jobs.  The move has been great but it has eaten up an extended amount of my time for the last few months.  I’m slowly getting back to an even keel on things and have the itch to get back into posting.  I’ve got a bunch of catching up to do so look forward to more frequent updates.

Weekend Lake Trails Slush Report

So, it’s been a long and dull week without the ability for me to ride (darn skinny wheels).  After work, I decided to do an automotive run along the lake bike trails to see how the ice had cleared.  Overall it looks really good which is as I expected.  For those of you who ride out to Overholser to start their rides, I noticed quite a bit of remaining slush at the bottom of the last hill coming into the lake on 16th street.  The trail itself is in fine shape and I didn’t notice any area of standing water that might be frozen up tomorrow morning.  I can however now personally confirm that the old Route 66 bridge is very much closed.  Let’s hope that they can reopen it soon.

The Overholser/Hefner trail seems to equally be in good shape.  However, on the on-street portion of the path on Wilshire between Rockwell and Northwest Expressway, there was a considerable about a slush and standing water.  Be very careful on this portion if you are riding early in the morning.

The Hefner trail is pretty good but there were a few areas, especially near the golf course where I saw standing water on the trail that might get frozen up tonight.  However, overall both the trail and the road route seem very clear.

TryParse and Nullable Types

I just ran into an irritating little problem with using TryParse when assigning to nullable object.  The following is the code I was using to assign a value from a ASP.NET dropdown list to a nullable Int32 variable:

If Int32.TryParse(ddlExample.SelectedValue, testobj.TestNullableInt32 )Then
     testobj.TestDescription = ddlExample.SelectedItem.Text
End If


Apparently, TryParse actually attempts to access the value of the object to which it attempts to assign the parsed value which can cause an InvalidOperationException when it attempts to retrieve the value of the nullable object.  So make sure to assign the parsed value to a regular type before assigning it to a nullable object.  Oh yeah, I know it’s VB.NET code, but I do what the client wants. ;)


Sorry, it’s been busy around the office as of late and this site has been slower to get started than I had ever imagined, but I’ve got several posts to make and should be able to get started on the rest of the work soon.

New Web Site

Staring at trucking regulation software code had started dissolving my brain as of late.  I’ve got way to much to do and too little time. And yet, I needed a project to take my mind off of it.  As many of you know, I’ve really gotten back into cycling lately (no spandex jokes necessary) and while I love riding around town, there’s not much in information about resources for Oklahoma City cyclists.  So, I’ve started OKCBicyclist.com in hopes of someday fixing that problem.  There’s nothing there yet, but you’ve got to start somewhere.  I figured a few of my local readers might be interested.  Oh yeah, before I forget, I know that  I’m no graphic designer. ;)


parking lot I guess I needed a new experiment.  I’ve recently returned to cycling after an extended absence and while Oklahoma City has improved dramatically as a biking city we’ve still got a ways to go to become a real bicycle friendly metropolis.  One thing that I’ve found lacking is the difficulty to find information about cycling resources in town.  The trail maps haven’t been updated in ages and there just doesn’t seem to be a very active web group out there disseminating information.  So, I decided to put this site together.  I know that there is a lot of work to do, but all great journeys start with small steps.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be adding some new maps of the area trails as well as some other routes I’m going to try to put together.  Additionally, I hope to get the forums started in earnest.  Finally, I know I’m not a graphic designer, so a new design will be started soon.

I want this to be a real community for OKC cyclists, so if anyone has an interest in writing for this blog, please let me know at info[at]lostinok.com.  Thanks for dropping by.


Photo: Idiolector

A One Blog Guy

For all six readers I’ve got out there, some of you may have noticed that my site has been down for the last few days. My long neglected Tom Waits blog got hit by a massive number of spam bots to the point that my hosting provider was forced to bring my site down for an overabundance of CPU usage. I was forced to bring down the Tom Waits blog in order to get my service restored, which was not too much of a hurt since I haven’t found any time to really start that site back up. In any case, I’m back up and running now . . .

Seeking Suggestions for Reading Web.Config

I recently had a task in one of my current projects that required me to extract the authentication mode of the current solution’s web.config file. The only was I figured out how to do it was by parsing the XML of the file by hand as shown below (Yeah, I know, it’s VB.NET. I do what the client wants.):


            Dim config As New System.Xml.XmlDocument()

            Dim authMode As System.Xml.XmlNode = config.SelectSingleNode("/configuration/system.web/authentication/@mode")
            Return authMode.Value

While that works just fine, it seems a little primitive and I figured Microsoft would have introduced a library to get that kind of data. Anyone know of any?

Setting Control Focus in an Ajax Update Panel

I’ve decided to start posting the solutions I find in irritating little problems that take me forever to find.  Some of these will probably be obvious, but hopefully it might save someone’s time.  My current problem was that I had a DotNetNuke module that was sitting in a AJAX Update Panel.  I needed to set the focus to a particular control based upon a post back click on a radio button.  The standard focus() method didn’t work and neither did the old fashioned RegisterClientScriptBlock stuff with a provided JavaScript function.  Turns out there is an extremely easy way to do this which is to use the ScriptManager SetFocus method using the base Page for the control as shown below:


Hope that helps someone.

Web Standards in the Spotlight

Joel Sposky, in his usual highly amusing style, takes on the new IE 8 controversy and points out the enormous gulf between the standards world and the world the rest of us really work in.  I often compare this difference to the difference between open-source and commercial software developers.  There are those who say that it must be done the standard way and there are others that say it should be done to make it easy for the user.  And the rest of us poor suckers live somewhere in between.  My favorite quote from the article:

The web standards camp seems kind of Trotskyist. You’d think they’re the left wing, but if you happened to make a website that claims to conform to web standards but doesn’t, the idealists turn into Joe Arpaio, America’s Toughest Sheriff. “YOU MADE A MISTAKE AND YOUR WEBSITE SHOULD BREAK. I don’t care if 80% of your websites stop working. I’ll put you all in jail, where you will wear pink pajamas and eat 15 cent sandwiches and work on a chain gang. And I don’t care if the whole county is in jail. The law is the law.”

Martian Headsets – Joel on Software