Vinny's blog

My Two Boys

Its been some time since I have put something down on this site. Partly because this past year has been quite challenging in many ways. I'll explain more in the next few weeks. Through it all, I have become more aware and proud of the most important people in my life. My two boys!

Being a parent is tough, and being a parent of two is even tougher. Sometimes you get caught in the middle of it and don't appreciate what you have. Sometimes the big moments make you reflect on this, and lately, I have been having these moments.

I have taken both of my boys to kindergarden, and for each of them, I have left them at their classromm and had tears streaming down my eyes. As I left, the realization that my boys are growing up has hit me. And made me realize how I have been as a parent. How I could have been a better father to my kids. How I could have made their lives better.

Its funny how your life changes when you become a parent. Your life becomes about your kids. Making sure they become good people, and treating them like good people. Sometimes, I wonder if I have done that to the best of my ability. I hope that in the future, my kids will look at me and truly understand how much I love them.

Although this year has been challenging, it probably has been the best thing that has happened to me. It has made me understand what is the most important thing in my life, and reassess what I can do to make them, and myself, better people.

I am a developer, but I am foremost a dad. And being a dad is the most challenging, and most important job I have, and the one I am the most proud of. My kids are truly my life, and I am so incredibly happy to have them part of my life.

The Chess Dad

Growing up, one of my favorite movies was "Searching for Bobby Fischer" with Joe Mantegna and Lawrence Fishburne. A fantastic movie about a boy coming of age and finding a balance between the things he loved, his family, his friends, baseball and Chess.

Part of my love for the movie was my love of the game of Chess. A love that developed back in Junior High School and has grown through the years. Unfortunately, the love extended me to one local tournament. Unfortunately, I was not able to put in the time I wanted towards the game.

While watching the movie, one of the things that puzzled me was the behavior of the parents, not only toward the other parents, but to their children. Pushing them to get better. I vowed if I were to ever have kids, that I would not force activities on them, I would let them develop interest and initiate their participation in activities.

On his first year of Kindergarden, I found it interesting that his interest gravitated towards the game of Chess. His school has a good chess program and he was taking chess after school at the tender age of 5. A few months later, Bradley asked me to attend his first tournament. And suddenly the life of the movie became my life.

I have tried hard not to push him and be very supportive. Taking him to the chess shop, paying games, and plating with the clock, and lately teaching him how to deal with losing and working to play better. As a result, and with his regular companion of friends attending, his interest has grown.

So, now I am a Chess dad. As always, I am trying my best to be the best Chess dad I can be. I am about to take Brad to his 5th tournament, and I think that each event brings me and him closer together, through our love of Chess.

The Big Blizzard of 2010

The morning of December 26th was a cold one, but showed nothing to indicate the big storm that was soon to come.

The weather reports warned of it. Estimates of 12 to 24 inches, coming down at approximately 2 inches an hour. But nothing to indicate the amounts to come. Approximately 12 noon, the first flakes started to fall.

I was in Jersey with my wife's parents at the time and we decided to catch an early train and head home early. It snowed most of the trip. By the time we got home, there was about an inch of snow on the ground and a lot of wind. Arriving home, the snow and the wind continued, white-out conditions everywhere.

Waking up the next morning, I walked to work with the site much like pictured in the slide, About 12 -16 inches of snow on the ground with the streets being an absolute mess. Even now, the Wednesday the 29th, there are subway, train and bus disruptions.

Bradley's Violin Recital

My oldest son Bradley has been taking Suzuki violin lessons for two years. Suzuki Violin is a process that requires two teachers. His violin teacher Joanna who has done a wonderful job, and me, who helps him practice and supports him during his lessons.

I cannot tell you how amazing Bradley has progressed in these past two years. I sometimes wonder if I could have accomplished what he has already accomplished when I was his age. He is truly an inspiration to me and always makes me strive to be a better dad.

This was Bradley's first concert performing a piece other than the Twinkles (Variations of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star). After watching this video several more times, I cannot help but feel an overwhelming sense of pride.

So to my son Bradley, I just wanted to share that I love you and Daddy is so overwhelmingly proud of you!

Christmas in New York

Christmas time is here!!

Maybe I am biased because I have spent almost all of my life in New York City, but the holiday season in New York City is unrivaled. The cold, the lights, the energy, the shops. They all blend harmoniously with the pulse and life of the city. Because of that, a different light and energy comes about in the city.

Along with that, blends a new chapter of my life. A father of two young boys who are overjoyed that the holidays are here. Extremely excited that Santa Claus will be coming soon and bringing them a slew of presents. I enter these holiday excited to see my kids happy. They mean the world to me and their happiness, in all honesty feeds mine.

Its funny how the New York has found a way to blend with the holidays, The skating rink is amidst the shops in Midtown, The trees rise up to meet the skyline, with the bright lights blending with the street lights and traffic lights along the city streets.

Its a wonderful year to feel like this as the year ends. I hope to you all that the holidays will bring you as much happiness as it will for myself. I want to wish you all the happiest of holidays and looking forward to a new and prosperous 2011.

The Dad/Developer Balance

Its really tough to be a dad of two. At the same time, the same can be said about being a web developer. Both require an ongoing learning process and a lot of patience and thinking.

The biggest challenge is the simplest to figure out. Time. I want to be a better dad, which means I need to spend time with my kids. At the same time, I want to be a better developer. Which requires me to learn about new techniques, write better code, and develop better applications. It becomes a challenge to commit time to development when you need to commit your time, your energy and your resources over to your kids. This often results in a loss of one thing I can sometimes live with. Sleep.

No one said that being a parent is easy, but having a profession in a field which requires you to keep up with trends, whats cool, and make better and more accessible applications, it brings up this challenge. The challenge of being a dad and a developer.

Is there a clear solution to this problem, No. Nor should there be. I believe the solution is to admit that there is a challenge to doing both all the time, and doing the best that you can to get both done. With that frame of mind, you can find that balance and be the best Dad/Developer you can be.

So...What Happened Here?

So if you are coming here after visiting my blog in the past. The first thing you may be wondering is what happened with the blog. Everything is different and the old content is gone. Well. let me explain.

I decided that I wanted to start fresh in terms of a concept and content for my personal blog. With that in mind, I came up with the design you see before you. Everything was set to go and I showed this to my wife for her comments.

One of the things she noted was that the branding which I had currently in place ( needed some work. Specifically my initial domain which she felt did not fit the concept of my blog(s). She suggested that I look into re-branding my site and focus onto a specific concept for my personal blog. After a bit of work, I found that concept. Juggling a life.

I'm a dad, I'm a Web Developer, and I live my life in New York City. All three of these things present some challenges, and doing all three at the same time requires some juggling with little time to do so. With that I thought the domain nycdaddeveloper,com fit perfectly. The domain fits all together with no spaces. Much like my life. Hence was born.

This site will still be accessible through which will redirect to this site. As for the old content. I have decided to retire it for now. If there are some demanding requests to repost content. please let me know and I will do so.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy