Morocco Fall 2014

We took a trip to Morocco over the Thanksgiving week. Despite crazy floods and catching cold, we had an amazing experience. I was surprised at how much the landscape of much of Morocco looked like the Southern California desert area. Driving around the foothills of the Altas Mountains was strikingly similar to driving out to San Jacinto or Joshua Tree. Another thing that threw me about this trip was my lack of expectations. For example, with a trip to Paris, there are things I know I am going to see that I’ve known about my whole life, like the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower. But I didn’t have much insider information with Morocco. All I really knew was the movie Casablanca (which was shot on a Hollywood soundstage, of course) and that it was, to me, an exotic and remote place. Instead of known or expected experiences, it was a series of brand new experiences. This was a definite travel style paradigm shift for me. Now, having seen it, and smelled it, and felt it, and read much more about it, I want to go back, see more and expand on this first experience. (See full Flickr album here.)

WordCamp Ventura County 2014 Recap

I remember when Konstantin first starting talking about putting on a WordCamp Ventura County he mentioned that his vision was for a more intimate, more developer-centric camp. He and the organization team delivered, big time.

Coffee in swag is the best coffee #wcvc

A photo posted by Jeff Zinn (@jeffreyzinn) on

The venue at Green Art People set the tone for the whole event. Right away, it was clear that this camp was going to be an exchange of ideas amongst friends and not a formal classroom which put the whole event at ease. Imagine participating in a groovy think-tank. (I’m not implying the classroom setting is bad or wrong. Each camp style has a time and place. And WCVC did a superb job of establishing the vibe they set out to achieve.)

All the presenters did a fantastic job. I was able take away skills and inspiration from each and every one. Here are some highlights for me.

  • Try using BrowserSync instead of LiveReload when developing front end elements. It has the live reload, but so much more. (Thanks, Alex!)
  • Avoid common mistakes when submitting a plugin to the WordPress.org Repo. (Thanks, Mika!)
  • It is time to start focussing on general WordPress performance, both in core and for themes/plugins. For most benchmark stats WordPress sites are about 20% slower than than the average website. (Thanks, Zack!)
  • Get WordPress communicating with anything using the REST API. (Thanks, Rachel!) (Rachel’s slides)
  • Better coding means coding better. (Thanks, Mike!)
  • Step up your JavaScript game using Object Literal, Immediately Invoked Function Expressions (IIFE), and jQuery plugins. (Thanks, Natalie!)

If you were not able to attend or what the live stream, do keep an eye on WordPress.tv for the videos. All are worth a watch. Wes Chychel also wrote up a great review of the event if you want to read more.

Joshua Tree October 2014

Spent an excellent weekend at Joshua Tree National Park, despite our camper being partially incapacitated. (The electrical system was kaput.) Still, we made due and had an excellent time with our friends. The weather was superb. Highlights include: coyote sighting, full Milky Way viewing one night, Barker Dam, Hollywood-ized petroglyphs, Skull Rock, Arch Rock, Keys View, and Wall Street Mill.

Orange County Designer Meetup Links from 3 March 2014

Here are some helpful links from the Orange County Designer Meetup from 3 March 2014.

Sass – Sass is the most mature, stable, and powerful professional grade CSS extension language in the world.

Bourbon – A simple and lightweight mixin library for Sass.

Neat – A lightweight semantic grid framework for Sass and Bourbon.

Bitters – Scaffold styles, variables and structure for Bourbon projects.

Emmet – A plugin for many popular text editors which greatly improves HTML & CSS workflow

 

Ideal El Porto

Well, the water could have been warmer, but otherwise setting were perfect.  The water was clear and glassy.  There was just enough breeze blowing off the shore to throw a little mist off the crest of the wave.  The crowds were low by El Porto standards.  And the waves, oh the waves.  They rolled in the chest-to-head high range.  And If you picked off the right one, it’d peel all the way to shore.  The Sausage performed beautifully (though I didn’t really do it justice today).  Josh, CW, Mike and I all seemed to have a good productive session. I could have stayed out there forever.  We certainly stayed well past the start of the parking meters by an hour or so, but a parking ticket would have been worth it.  All praise to the surf gods for looking out for us though – no tickets today.

The Sausage Is Back

Big waves on order this week.  I went back up to Harbour to borrow the Sausage again.  Man, I dig that board.  I need to get one of my own.  Although I am tempted to try getting it in a quad set up.  Anyway, big beautiful waves at the Sunset Jetty today.  Long peely rights for the taking.  And I took.  It was very similar to that foggy day in December at Bolsa Chica.  It’s supposed to be even bigger tomorrow.

All Back Together Again

Finally!  The rains have stopped, the holidays are over and we all managed to stay healthy to get together for another coveted El Porto Friday.  Great crew today to: Josh, Mike, Aaron, Edgar, CW, and even Sean stopped by to say hello (but couldn’t stay).  It was a junky day too, but I think we were all craving to get back into the groove that it didn’t matter what the conditions were like.  We did our best with what came, but there wasn’t much to surf.  Mainly we just bobbed in the line-up and caught up with each other.

Bolsa Chica Friday

All of the LA-based crew how to bow out today, so Sean and I opted for Bolsa Chica instead.  It was super foggy.  So foggy one couldn’t see the break from the shore.  Tensions were high while out in the water.  We had to be on orange alert for a rogue wave to come out of the fog and sweep us away.

I was on the Sausage prototype again, this time with my Solus Future Fins.  Had one of my best waves ever.  A nice meaty one came right to me and picked me up with barely a paddle.  It was a long, long right with face like a half pipe.  It seemed like it was going to close out on me at any moment, so I just kept pumping and picking up speed to stay just head of the danger zone.  It was Brilliant.  The memory of that one will keep me going for some time.

Birthday Surf

Poseidon brought me sweet birthday waves today.  Not only were they great size and shape, but they were consistent as well.  Even with the crowds, nobody was want for a waves.  I surfed until my arms gave out.  And I got to test out a new Harbour prototype board.  It’s a kind of thruster biscuit they are tentatively calling The Sausage.  Frankly, I find that a rude name for such a brilliant little board.  I think they should call it The Cloud.