Laravel: Adding A Default Message to a Select Drop Down with Eloquent

I ran into an issue earlier where I needed to add a default message to a drop down box created through Laravel’s Form builder. The difficulty was that the form select doesn’t allow for a default option. You have to manually add that. If you pre-populate your select with an Eloquent model, you will have to deal with using a Collection. So how can you add to put an item at the head of the list?

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How to Properly Use An Ad Blocker

One of my biggest pet peeves is the return of the popup subscription box. Unlike the old popup/pop-under style Javascript boxes, you cannot easily prevent these from showing up. Usually, they are the incarnation of some desperate content site who will sell your email address to a hundred other soulless spam bots to keep their pathetic sites running. Worse yet, beyond these terrible annoyances that are flooding the web of click bait sites, you often times have numerous trackers, intrusive ads and hidden content that loads without your knowing nor permission. Many Ad Blockers these days just prevent the most dubious sites from phishing you or installing worms into your system. However, their subscription list often times are bought and paid for by the aforementioned groups, so there’s really little protection you can easily get without customizing your blocker. For those of you who actually care about not being tracked and having a cleaner web experience, this article is for you.

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Diablo 3: Seasonal Demon Hunter Tips for Casual Players

For season 2, I decided to push a Demon Hunter character since for the most part I’ve accomplished as much as I could on my normal characters. In short, I felt somewhat bored and wanted to give the new seasonal game play a try. I consider myself a casual player (although I do play quite a few hours at the moment) with a fair amount of knowledge of demon hunters, leveling and wanted to share my insight in how a casual player can push a seasonal demon hunter into a reasonable state.

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Signs of When You Should Quit Your Job

As someone who has worked in the technology industry for 15+ years, I’ve become somewhat of an expert on corporate politics. I’ve had numerous jobs in the states and abroad, learning over time various signs of toxic environments that have made me jump from spot-to-spot. My post here will hopefully help others in making a decision when too much is just too much and to start looking before they get the Note themselves.

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PHP: References, Scoping, Arrays and Function Design

Surprisingly, a lot of PHP code that I see in the industry rarely makes use of the ideas of references. However, references are an exceptionally powerful tool in the programming world because it can mean the difference in terms of memory management and performance. Quite a few people might not grasp some of the basic ideas behind references and it’s something I want to go into in this blog.

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Baldur’s Gate 2: Best Route Quest Route?

When you play Baldur’s Gate 2 a few times, you eventually learn what works for you in terms of the game progression. Shadows of Amn is pretty flexible in giving you a fairly non-linear setup so you’re essentially open to do the various quests in almost any order you want (outside of certain key story areas). The real question becomes, “Which is the best questing path to take?”

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World of Warcraft: Siege of Orgrimmar Wing 1 LFR Guide

Now that Siege of Orgrimmar is on farm for me for LFR, I decided to post some tips on doing well. The thing is that there’s a huge variance of difficulty mostly due to how certain bosses had been nerfed or were pre-nerfed while others still are overtuned and can cause trouble for groups because of mechanics that people never bother paying attention to. The key to success with the Siege of Orgrimmar LFR though is that no matter what, patience and a positive attitude with perseverance will win out (unless you’re time constrained).

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Symfony 2: Many-to-Many Relationships and Form Elements

One of the things I’m developing a love for with Symfony 2 is how Doctrine, forms and Twig work together in a fairly elegant manner. With a little bit of code and annotations, you can allow Symfony 2 to perform a lot of the heavy lifting and boiler plate code that normally is a pain-in-the-rear to handle. One such aspect in development is the many-to-many relationship mapping and subsequent introduction of that code into forms. Symfony 2 will remove all the painful setup but nailing down the right technique might make you do a little research online. What I would like to do is bring together my way of dealing with this problem into a single article.

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