WordCamp Phoenix

Header photo credit: Alan Stark

Have I mentioned recently that I work with WordPress rather a lot? Well I do. I really really do.

Not only are pretty much all of my sites powered by WordPress (either .com or .org), but I am also gainfully employed by Automattic, the folks who run WordPress.com and are the publishers of the insanely-popular twin plugins Jetpack and Akismet as well as several other awesome tools like Simplenote and Cloudup.

More rambling below the jump.

Flexibility is NICE

I don’t mean the bendy kinds. I wouldn’t know what those were if they walked up and punched me in the face.

No, I mean the sort which allow you to do what you need to when you need to do it.

You see, my kid, Mal, was the first kid born in AZ in 2013. I would say that is some sort of PII (personally identifiable information) which should never be shared, but there were news articles written about it. He’s never going to be able to use his birthday as a secure method of password retrieval, that’s for sure! But the other down side is that he’s never going to get very good birthday parties. He’s always going to be out of school and the like. And as a guy with a late December birthday, I feel his pain.

More rambling below the jump.

5 Lessons “The Website is Down” Teaches Every IT Professional

Once upon a time, before I was a manager in GoDaddy’s (now sadly defunct) Advanced Hosting Support department, I was a Lead and then a Supervisor for the entirety of its third shift — the graveyard/overnight shift. It was a pretty great job. Third shift was significantly less formal than any other, and it was populated with workers who had either just joined the department or those who for whatever reason refused to face a typical daytime shift (the extra couple of bucks an hour in shift differential no doubt served as a motivator in many cases)!

Like most, I too had started my career in AHS on graveyards, but had bounced around the department while climbing the ranks. Once my chance at leadership came, I ended up back on third and it was like coming home. I could tell all sorts of stories about my time on third shift (and some of those stories are already on this very blog). Despite the stereotype of overnight shifts being the social rejects, a huge portion of my philosophy about customer service comes from my time with those fine folk.

But the point to this post is not about that. Instead, it’s to share with you a video.

More rambling below the jump.

I find myself . . . humbled.

Much of this will not be news to many of you (since we did not exactly hide what was going on when it happened), but last week our youngest, Georgia, got sick.

Quite sick.

We were on our way back from Kendra’s Birthday Extravaganza in Barcelona, Spain, when we got a call from my mom and dad, who had been babysitting the kids. She wanted us to know that little Jordi was running a fever. It wasn’t too bad, but she felt we should know. “No big deal,” we said . . . we were on hour 31 or so of a 39 hour trip home, and so our give-a-fuck about anything was pretty low. “Just keep an eye on her and if it gets BAD let us know.”

More rambling below the jump.

WordCamp US, 2015

This past weekend I had the opportunity to participate and volunteer at the Inaugural WordCamp US in Philadelphia, which is a nation-wide conference for developers of, professionals who work with, and major fans of the software which runs 25% of the Internet . . . WordPress.

It was by no means my first WordCamp, which are held regularly all over the world, but it was my first national-level WC. Before WCUS, the main national WordCamp in the United States has been held in San Francisco each of the previous 9 years and I had never managed to make it, much to my regret. I was so excited to finally get to attend this gathering of people who make WordPress such a huge part of their lives . . . and it didn’t disappoint in the slightest!

More rambling below the jump.

Farewell, 1tess.

I work for Automattic, the makers of WordPress.com amongst many other great products.

Every day, I spend my time answering questions from and fixing the blogs of our several million users in our online forum. My team and I would never be able to do so without the unflagging help of a small and dedicated group of volunteers who donate their time to people they will never meet and never hear from again.

Last week, one of their number passed.

1Tess, the moderator for our English forum (and a one-time applicant to Automattic as well), was purportedly online and helping users right up until she logged out to have a lay down, from which she sadly never got up.

She signed off of one of her last threads with final words of such beauty that . . . well, I hope that when it is my time I manage something half so poetic:

For now my brain is only moon-light, snow-storm, and dream-time.

Thank you, Tess. For all that we never met, you were always wonderful to me and I thank you for all you have ever done.

The Changing Landscape of the Work Week

While it is a bit more than a year old now, that stunning source of scholarship and research, the New York Post, published an article which claimed that “Medieval peasants got a lot more vacation time than you.”

While I could — and probably should — bust out the variety of primary sources from my grad school years that I wouldn’t let my wife throw away during our most recent move (especially since this would give me a chance to put lie to her numerous bitchy “you’ll never use these things again in a million years” rants) to poke holes in the poor understanding of the lifestyle of not just peasants but everyone during the medieval period . . . I’m not going to.

Here’s the whole story . . .