Get Off My Lawn

Adventures of a Curmudgeon

RubyNation 2012

I’m back at RubyNation again; 3rd year in a row for what I feel is the best regional conference out there. But I’m biased. Why am I writing this blog post? Well, I briefly thought about ‘in-conference’ blogging. When I say ‘briefly’ I mean for about 3 nanoseconds. For me it’s difficult to concentrate on the presentation while either taking notes or creating the blog post; I can’t multitask.

However, I still wanted to let folks know about this awesome conference.

Missing in Action

While Octopress makes it easier to blog (at least for me anyways), you still need the willpower, discipline, routine, etc, to keep it going.

Right now I’m struggling with what information I want to talk (blog) about here. Is this strictly a personal blog? Will I also blog about work-related topics here? More than likely it will be a combination of the two.

Requesting Octopress Assistance

Help!

First off, and most importantly, I’m really digging Octopress. I think Brandon Mathis has done an excellent job of packaging all kinds of cool things on top of Jekyll. But I want to do more. I want to learn more of the internals. I have a couple of things in mind that I would like some assistance with:

  • Drafts
  • Processing Trackback URLs

Coder Talk Show

Coder Talk

My friend Joey Beninghove started this weekly Developer Chat called Coder Talk. I tried getting on the very first session but my laptop decided to be mean; it was an excellent session on Cucumber and TDD. You’re going to have to trust me on this one because, unfortunately, the session wasn’t recorded.

But every session since then has been recorded, edited, and made available for listening; including tonight’s session on which I was able to join. Visit the site to get information on downloading previous sessions and joining the conversation.

Feedburner: Enabled

Ok, this one really wasn’t on the list but I went ahead and configured this site for Feedburner support. You can subscribed via RSS/Atom or with your email address.

Again, Octopress made it simple by offering two configuration items I only had to set with the correct URLs.

I may (or may not) style the subscription buttons differenly when I retheme the site. I’m also considering creating a feedburner plugin that will pull in their styled buttons and/or chicklets.

What’s left on my list? you may wonder. Right now it’s creating a new theme for the blog and configuring ‘melriffe.com’ to resolve to this blog.

Cheers

Analytics: Enabled

Time to scratch another item from the list of blog enhancements: Google Analytics.

This one was easy since I already have a Google Analytics account for my Business Website (http://juicyparts.com). Unfortunately the site’s currently: Under Construction

So, adding Analytics to my personal blog was fairly straightforward:

  • Add a Web Property under my Analytics Profile
  • Set google_analytics_tracking_id to the newly created property id
  • Generate and Deploy site
  • Wait for Google Analytics to detect the tracking id

Cheers

Comments: Enabled

Scratch one off the list; comments are now enabled on this site!

Octopress makes it very easy to integrate Disqus! into your blog: you just need the short_name. From start to finish it took me, roughly, 15m to enable comments.

First, I signed up for a Disqus! account; they’re free. Unfortunately, my initial short_name was already taken. I changed it to what this site will eventually become. I then enabled all the options I could.

Second, I signed up for an Akisment account because Disqus! offers Akisment integration. For personal blogs you can use Akisment for Free. With API Key in hand, I completed my Disqus! configuration.

Now, it is at this point I preview my site locally and beam, ear-to-ear upon seeing the Comments section. I deploy my site and verify that, indeed, folks can add comments; I add the first comment.

Then I start filling out my Disqus! profile, enabling services, changing my profile picture, following some folks. And I thought: Blog about enabling comments on your blog!

Cheers

Cub Scouts and Popcorn

Order Some Popcorn

While Noah, my son, has been in Cub Scouts for a few years, this is the first time we’ve tried online popcorn ordering. If you can help out, Noah would greatly appreciate your order. One of the benefits of ordering online is getting your order directly shipped to you.

Every sale will help Noah earn money for his Pack so they will be able to fund many of their planned activities. Did you know that 70% of your purchase goes to Noah’s Pack and Council?

I really want to emphasize the direct shipping. Because a large portion of our family lives out-of-state, it’s really difficult asking them to purchase popcorn and ship it to them. With online ordering, Trails End will ship the order directly to them.

Again, if you can help, it will be greatly appreciated!

Pack 503, Mechanisville, VA

Noah has been in this pack a couple of years. He’s a Webelow2 this year; next year he’ll be a Boy Scout. Last year was a really good year for him and he’s excited for this year. In fact, this weekend (17-18 Sep), he and his pack are going camping at Luary Caverns.

And Noah is really flourishing in Scouts. He’s quite the Outdoorsman and Craftsman.

Heather is now a Pack Leader, the Assistant Cub Master. If you know Heather then you know she’s a “hands-on” Mom. It was just a matter of time, in my opinion, before she would be helping to run Noah’s Pack.

If you’re in the Mechanicsville, VA area and would like to know more, feel free to contact me and I’ll put you in touch with the right people (i.e. Heather).

Cheers

Blog Plans

I’m starting to make some plans to bring this blog up to where I want it:

  • Comments
  • New Theme
  • Plugins
  • Custom Domain

I think the new theme will be the toughest because I want to create it in the Style of existing Octopress Themes. Right now there are no dates associated to my tasks because it’s definitely ‘spare time’ activity. However, each new feature will have an associated blog post. Hopefully I can share something new for the folks.

Cheers

Htc Evo 3d

Today I got a new phone. The HTC EVO 3D. Why? you ask. I dropped my Palm Pre last night and it didn’t survive the fall. :-(

Yesterday

The Palm Pre was a good phone and I really liked WebOS; I liked the “swipe to dismiss an app” metaphor. But, alas, the good times had to end sometime. I was just hoping it would have been a little longer.

Last night, while getting out of my car I fumbled my phone. While it was falling, I over-reacted and actually hit it, propelling it to the floorboard. Due to damages already received from previous drops the screen cracked and there was no life visible when I powered it up. I was sad. I was very sad.

I was already considering upgrading my phone when my discount became available. Although my Pre was a good phone it started acting up; randomly calling people and bringing up apps. But now that it was broken I just decided to bite the bullet and upgrade. Oh sure, I could have had Sprint send it for repair but it was time to move on. It was time to retire the Pre; I don’t hold much hope in HP.

Today

So I jumped in my car and headed over the Sprint Corp. Store in downtown Short Pump. Though I don’t need the 3D camera I like the fact this version of the EVO has a better processor than its predessor.

As some may know I’ve been a Sprint Customer for years; since 1997 I believe. And now the entire family (sans 10 year old son) has cell phones and yadda, yadda, yadda.

They (Sprint) get you with the discounted prices and because I didn’t have any upgrades available (every 2y a phone is availble for an upgrade) I had to pay full price. Ouch! But doable!

I have a lot to learn about the phone and its capabilities. But, at least, I know how to take/receive a call.

Tomorrow

Will this be the phone that entices me to do some Android development? Inquiring minds want to know…

Cheers