December 2008

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009

Here we have the obligatory last post of 2008. The lists of things that changed this year could fill volumes. Waiting for the fireworks last year, in a house with no blinds on the windows, we were just getting started on the new adventure. Quite an adventure it has been too.

Starting a new Drupal consultancy at the beginning of the year. Getting more involved in the Drupal community and wrapping up the winter with a visit to Boston for my first Drupalcon. Even a few months in Drupalcon was a chance to renew friendships and make many new friends.

After a winter of travel and coming home to Idaho we came home and got down to work. Several projects cranked out and lots of Drupaling later it came time for a summer of travel. From Oregon to Maryland the trips were great. Once again it seemed everywhere I landed the topic of conversation was Drupal. One of the highlights was spending hours manning the Drupal booth at OSCON with Kieran, who would soon become a colleague at Acquia though that wasn't to come till a little later.

Last day to get Acquia subscriptions for free

Sometimes we get so busy doing the good work and solving problems for users that we forget to step back and note some milestones. Tomorrow marks one of those milestones so I took the time to post to Twitter but hadn't thought to blog about it. Fortunately fellow Drupal twitterer Boris Mann reminded me to take a blog post about it.

As the last hours of 2008 wind down it's your last chance to get a free Acquia Network community subscription.

In addition to support in the Acquia forums and access to our site monitoring and cron services there are cool new features coming in the next year. If you're still not sure you can always take a look at Boris Mann's upgrade story while thinking about those sites that need to be upgraded and where you might get some extra help.

A perfect gift

In general we're quite fortunate. We don't have much to want for. We manage to keep things simple and while we have more stuff than we should we're in the culling process. However one area of frustration has persisted. In the list of life's many needs popcorn is writ large with permanent marker. The problem is finding a reasonable way to make popcorn that doesn't destroy the environment along the way. And the added benefit would be to cut off those wonderful preservatives that are used to embalm pre-packaged popcorn.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night...

christmas_tree.JPG With a rapidity that defies comprehension a new holiday season is not only upon us but wheeling by and will soon be gone again. No doubt about it this is a tough year for celebrating. Personally we have so much to be thankful for. Professionally it would be hard to figure out how one could be on a better track. At the same time it is hard to ignore the collective concern and the grave economic and environmental situations we face as a country, a people, and a planet.

Personal responsibility

One of the refrains I see from time to time about the current economic mess we are slogging through is that it comes down to personal responsibility. I am of two minds on this. Sure everything is personal responsibility. Am I in a better position because I've made good decisions, dare I say better decisions than some others? You bet. All and all we've been and so far continue to be in a better position than most in this day.


Taking a test drive of the
BlogPress application for the iPhone. It is a handy little app to allow posting blog posts to Acquia Drupal or WordPress or any of the other popular blogging platforms BlogPress makes it easy.

-- Post From My iPhone

Bye Bye Netflix

Today was the end for Netflix. Not to worry the company still exists as far as I know. But we're through. Just over seven years ago we jumped on the movie rental service's subscription. It's been a rocky road in places. Sure they love us when we don't actually watch any movies and they get a $20 bill every month. However when we go through periods where we watch a few movies a day they quickly forget that they've gotten years worth of months where we watched nothing and start rate-limiting us and playing games.

Having happy babies

Continuing in the theme of resources for new parents there is a book that every new parent should have. In The Happiest Baby on the Block Dr. Harvey Karp lays out a reasonable explanation about how human babies are born premature in a sense. Dr. Karp suggests this is a biological necessity because of the size of the human head.

After explaining why it's so he gives great advice on swaddling and ways of caring for babies in their first months of life to ease the womb-to-world transition. Of course we only have a sample size of one but the advice from this book was invaluable in helping understand what an infant needs.

Whether you're a new parent or looking for a great gift for expecting parents be sure this book is on the list.

Indispensable parenting tools

In celebration of the new arrival soon to join the Boise Drupal User's group I've been thinking about the tools I use lately. One that I've overlooked until recently is just how handy the iPhone can be. The iPod touch is great and all, but the iPhone, with its built-in speaker is a killer tool.

First there are the wonderful Sesame Street Podcasts. Each of these short episodes is a handy little way to spend some time on learning a new word or concept. Combined with the ability to download episodes directly to the iPhone it is also a go-anywhere tool. If we're in a holding pattern here or there, waiting for a table at a restaurant or to meet someone out it's possible to have a little lesson while we wait.

Recently, however, I found an even handier use lately. It started with taking the phone in at bedtime so our little one could talk to her. One night, however, it occurred to me to use the speaker and be able to play songs from the music library. Now we have a nice wind-down playlist. We can start off singing along with the rocking of Jingle Bells and drift off with the chorus of Silent Night.

So I should be the ground?

When we got home from the winter light show at the Idaho Botanical Gardens tonight the trackpad on the MacBook Air was unresponsive. I think it's happened before, though that may be a memory effect, my memory that is. At any rate I managed to use the keyboard to shut down and restart the laptop. Once I did I found out this symptom can indicate a bad ground. The Apple knowledge base article suggests if you can fix it otherwise you should wrest your palm on the wrist-rest. Um thanks but I'm not sure I really want to be the the ground.