ben vandgrift · on living the dream

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That's When The Wheels Came Off

Every other week, two nice hispanic ladies drop by my house at an obscene hour in the morning with a carful of cleaning equipment. If this seems extravagant for someone on my budget, recognize that they knock this out in 70-80 minutes and do so for...


Today is going to be an awesome day. It's certainly off to a stellar start.

More generally, every day you wake up, you get to decide who you want to be for that day. It is entirely up to you. Today, I am going to be legendary.

Who are you going to...

2011 Year In Review

It's that time again. Here's 2011, a short retrospective, for a year I will subtitle 'everything was going pretty well, and then summer happened'.


Began the year by hosting a New Year's party with a few friends, some of whom I've grown...

Lies, Damn Lies, And Statistics

This type of things pisses me off. Forget for the moment that it's designed to make us feel either lucky or guilty, to make us feel pity for the less fortunate while we congratulate ourselves on our good fortune–in short, it's sentimental tripe....

Emacs, Finally?

Another Bar Analogy

An editor is like your favorite local bar. Once you've established yourself there, it feels homey, comfortable. It's familiar. All your friends are there, they welcome you when you walk through the door. You know where the bathrooms...

Secure Communication for Rails Applications (3)

User Authentication

This is the third segment in a series dealing with securing the environment of a rails environment. Previously: an introduction, and setting up a certificate authority.

Today, we'll be fleshing out the application that lives...

Secure Communication for Rails Applications (2)

Creating a Certificate Authority

This is the second in a series dealing with securing the environment of a rails environment. If you missed the introduction, you might want to give it a read.

In this segment, we'll create our own certificate authority...

Secure Communication For Web Applications

Using OpenSSL to lock down Apache, MySQL, Passenger, and Rails

This is the first in a series on securing the environment of a Rails application. It will likely see some revision.

Security is hard; there are a lot of moving parts, any number of interacting...

Rails 3: Cascading View Paths

problem: you need to use varying view logic depending on circumstance. you want this to cascade down a view hierarchy, defaulting with the views in app/views.

an example? consider a mobile site deployment. your regular site is all flashy, your...

2010 Year In Review


Left Lexington, KY. That was simultaneously the worst (personally) and best (professionally) decision I'd ever made. Still not sure if it was worth it.

Made a few new friends, lost a few old ones.

Opened and closed a coworking space. Helped...

2009 year in review

short summary: "change is good."

this year was eventful. here's the rundown.

the annual vegas trip was established as a regular thing. made the superbowl party in columbus as well.

worked for HP for a few months, and hated every single second...

Buster's Billiards and Backroom / 3B's

Friday marked the opening of Buster's Billiards and Backroom. Among my friends this was a momentous occasion, as we had been Buster's regulars for around a decade. Bereft of our home-away-from-home thanks to the short-sightedness of Lexington's leaders...

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