Well after the scare of Hurricane Charley last weekend, this weekend was much more enjoyable. My mom turned 85, and my brothers and I threw her a big party. Several of the relatives in Florida and friends attended and she was very happy. She is battling cancer and beating it and enjoying life once again!  

As for the hurricane, thanks for all the replies and some of you wanted to know what you could do... Well, my daughter is running a fund raiser for the Florida Sarasota Red Sox organization (Single A club affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) to support the Hurricane Relief Fund.  As you know, thousands of people were affected, most of whom lost everything, due to Hurricane Charley.  The Red Sox are asking businesses to donate as much money as possible to aid in their recovery.  Their fund raiser takes place as part of the annual Cow Drop that is held at Ed Smith Stadium on Saturday September 4th.  Tickets are $10 and for every ticket a company buys, the proceeds will be donated to the Hurricane Relief Fund. If you have any questions you can contact them at 941-365-4460 and ask for Melissa Fustino or email her at mel_fustino@hotmail.com .

If you would like to make a direct company contribution you can send and make out checks to:

Sarasota Red Sox - 2700 12th St, Sarasota, FL 34237 attn: Sept 4 - Hurricane Relief Fund, For corporate contributions of $100 or more, you will get a press release, banners displayed at the game, and all the free tickets you want to the game itself.  PS. If you are in Florida on September 4, feel free to stop over at the ball park in Sarasota, I will be there!

As for developer type stuff, last week was super hectic. I prepared for the Joint meeting of Gold Coast and Miami User Group at Miramar held on Thursday night. I have a complete list of the .NET Gulf States District developer user groups at my site http://www.russtoolshed.net and if I am missing any please let me know. I did a preview of the ASP.NET 2.0 Membership and Personalisation session we are doing at the MSDN events the October-December time frame. It was a great turn out of 40-50 folks and enjoyed by all. Some killer stuff. I think it will resonate well this fall at our events.

I also have more great news! I finished my book! The title... "Russ' Tool Shed - Tinkering with Visual Studio.NET". We plan on giving the complete book away free to attendees at our MSDN events in Oct-Dec on our content DVD in PDF format with code and powerpoints. The book is written as if you are attending one of my seminars. So, it is a book of demos, seminars in a book if you will. If you are looking to learn some demos, to show your boss or client or co-worker or just to learn it, I think you will get quite a bit out of it. I will be posting it up somewhere for $10 if you want it sooner in PDF format. I will know the url for that sometime next week. It will be about a 30 meg download for everything. I will make sure to update my blog with this info. I will be doing Live Webcasts next week with one chapter each from the book at several live webcast events...

MSDN Live Webcast: Russ' Tool Shed - Tinkering with VS.NET

Aug 30 -  Noon -1:30 EST - Chapters 1 and 2 - Visual Studio.NET - Tools Drive The Phenomenon Intro to VS.NET) - Tampa Microsoft Office MPR – 6200 Courtney Campbell – Suit 450 – Tampa FL 33607 -  pizza and soda provided- for directions see http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/info/usaoffices/tampa.asp

Sept 1 - Noon - 1:30 EST - Chapter 3 - How to Debug with .Net - Bourbon Street Night Club (this should be real fun - cash bar will be open!), 4331 US Hwy 19, New Port Richey Florida 34652 -  - pizza and soda provided. For directions see http://www.clubbourbonstreet.com .

Sept 2 - Noon -1:30 EST - Chapter 4 -  Russ Does Windows - Tampa Microsoft Office MPR – 6200 Courtney Campbell – Suit 450 – Tampa FL 33607 - pizza and soda provided - for directions see http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/info/usaoffices/tampa.asp

Sept 2 - 2-3:30 EST - Chapter 5 - Using ASP.NET with VS.NET - Tampa Microsoft Office MPR – 6200 Courtney Campbell – Suit 450 – Tampa FL 33607 - 2-3:30  - for directions see http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/info/usaoffices/tampa.asp

Other chapters in the book include ASP.NET Tips and Tricks, Base Class Libraries A-Z, XML Web Services and Migrating from VB6 to VB.NET. I will be doing these in other live web casts the week of Nov 1 if you want to mark your calendar.

Live in person registration: email rfustino@microsoft.com  with 'web cast and date' in the subject for pizza head count. I really need your help in attending live, as registration is low at this point. These Live Web Casts are experimental so you never know what will happen! If you attend, bring a friend or 2 (especially for the Wednesday show in New Port Richey at Bourbon Street). If you don't have friends, any developer will do! 

Webcast registration: http://msdn.microsoft.com/webcasts  

For detailed session descriptions see: http://www.russtoolshed.net

I am in Redmond this week for some in-depth Whidbey training so I will have more to report on next week. That's it for now. Remember... You have to know the code to get in the shed. KNOW THE CODE!