Sea salt

I’ve developed a strong liking for sea salt. If I have a choice, I’ll always go for it. It has a different texture from typical table salt and a hearty flavor that complements the food it’s put on without overwhelming it. Delicious.

The first time I really noticed it was when Pam came home from the store with a bag of sea salt and ground pepper potato chips. I tried one and I couldn’t put the bag down. Sort of like they say in the commercial. For a few weeks I ate them with almost every meal. I’d even grab a couple to go with my oatmeal in the morning.

A couple of months ago, Pam bought a little bottle with a twist-top grander. At the time I thought it was a bit odd, grinding my own salt before eating it. But it was sea salt, so I had to give it a try. I put on my oatmeal. Wow. What a difference. I tossed out the big container of table salt.

This morning while I made a pot of coffee I microwaved a bowl of old fashioned  oatmeal (I wonder if that confuses the oatmeal), and drank a glass of protein mix. The coffee finished and the oatmeal finished. I poured myself a cup of coffee, added a dash of sea salt and brown sugar to the oatmeal, and headed out to the deck for a nice breakfast in the warm sun. A seagull then another lazily glided to the bird perch that’s out in the water, A neighbor across the water was out on his seawall, removing mangrove pods. I sat for a short while, but soon retreated to the nice warmth of the sun room. I’m ready for spring.

The coffee was steamy, the oatmeal nice and warm.

I hear one of the kids moving about.

Porting a simple Silverlight game loop to Windows Phone 8

We’re going to have a Game Hackathon tomorrow at the Microsoft Office here in Tampa. For a little diversion, during this Hackathon I’m going to create a little Windows Phone 8 game. All I need is a game loop sample to get me started.

I thought about it for a second tonight, and it hit me: why not port the Silverlight game loop program I’ve been playing with over to the phone. It should be a snap! (


Here are the steps I took:

I downloaded my Windows 8 Store app version of the source code from TFService and opened it in Visual Studio 2012. (If you haven’t tried TFService yet, you’ve gotta give it a try. Take a look at

In another copy of Visual Studio I created a new Windows Phone App project.


I copied the scene.jpg and snowflake.png files from the Windows 8 project into the phone project’s Assets folder.

MainPage.xaml and MainPage.xaml.cs

I copied the XAML from MainPage.xaml in the Windows 8 app to MainPage.xaml in the Windows Phone app, starting and ending with the <Canvas></Canvas> tags.

Since the screen sizes are a bit different between Windows 8 and Windows Phone, I adjusted the location of the image to put the lighted tree in the frame. And I moved the controls for Total Snowflakes, Volume, and Wind into the viewing area.

For the code behind file, I simply copied the contents from the Windows 8 app beginning with the List<Snowflake> line to the closing brace for the class.

I added using statements for System.Windows.Media and System.Windows.Media.Animation.

Then I changed both of the RangeBaseValueChangedEventArgs to RoutedPropertyChangedEventArgs<double>

Snowflake.xaml and Snowflake.xaml.cs

I added a new user control, calling it Snowflake.xaml, then copied the XAML starting and ending with the <Image></Image> tags.

For the code behind file, I simply copied the contents from the Windows 8 app beginning with double _posLeft = 0.0; line to the closing brace for the class. I didn’t have to make any other code changes in that file.


That’s all I had to do. And if you’re copying from the original Silverlight sample code, you probably won’t even have to do that much.

It was super easy and took less than five minutes. Good times. Bring on the Hackathon!