I'm just back from Barcelona, where I was at Smashing Conf. It was a lovely trip for many, many reasons. The city itself was a beautiful labyrinth of narrow streets between lovely old buildings dotted with lively shops, bars, and restaurants. The Smashing crew (and Media Temple) treated us to fancy meal after fancy meal, including one on top of a tower we traveled to by cable car. I met loads of interesting people for the first time, attendees and speakers alike. Very late one evening I stumbled past a closed shop and saw this wonderful deer(?) head, and when I walked past the same shop again more soberly the next day, I knew I had to buy it. A perfect keepsake from the trip.
I had the fortune of being a guest on the 1stWebDesigner podcast. Not a new site, but a relatively new podcast. We talked about things like how people tend to want to be told what to use and do rather than considering the situation and a bit about WordPress themes/frameworks and what those things really are.
I have a few conferences coming up that I'll be at.
From there I'm going to fly up to Juneau, Alaska to visit some other friends. We're going to take some tours and camp at the Southeast Alaska State Fair.
David Walsh let me pick out some of my favorite Pens for a guest post on his site last week.
Someone wrote in saying they couldn't watch YouTube videos on a mobile device here on CSS-Tricks. I was able to replicate the bug. I made a video, made a reduced test case, posted on various forum threads that had the same issue, and reported directly to both Apple and YouTube. No follow up yet.
We put up a proper Team page. CSS-Tricks isn't just me, but a whole team of part-time staff that keep this ship sailing. That includes writers. We've always had guest posts, but now, for the first time, you'll be seeing articles not written by me that also aren't "guest" posts, because they work here! Example. Notice it doesn't have an introduction written by me like a guest post would. We'll get proper author archives up soon.
As I write I'm half way through my month-long stay at Hilton Head Health. I like coming here to keep my weight in check. I hope to break some personal records while I'm here this time. It's also been a good way to escape some of the Wisconsin winter. It has been mild up until I left, but it sounds like February has been pretty rough so far.
I thought for this edition of Chronicle I'd focus on some web stuff that I've been enjoying lately.
Today I hop on a plane to Norway for the Trondheim Developer Conference. First time there. Can't wait. The conference isn't until Monday, but I suck at traveling to Europe. I'm a big baby about jet lag, so I like lots of extra time to acclimate.
I was on Craig McKeachie's Front-End Developer Podcast in the episode How to use custom fonts and @font-face.
I also got to be on Real Thread's Local Masters podcast.
Things are going well at CodePen. We just recently hit 2,000,000 Pens created. We've been doing a bunch of maintenance work, a lot of it is kinda unsexy behind the scenes stuff, but I appreciate work like that more and more the longer we're around.
One of the more public-facing features I worked on was converting the layout of the editors to use flexbox throughout. That made it easier to offer resizeable editors, a hotly requested featured since we launched.
One cool thing that I'm sure some of you can make us of: we're giving away 2 weeks of PRO for free. Just click a button to activate yours.
So much more to come!
At the end of August I was back at Hilton Head Health trying to keep healthy lifestyle stuff in check. I left right on September 1st and spent that entire month eating vegan. It wasn't life changing, but I enjoyed it, and hit my all time low weight. Sadly I've come back up a little, so I need to watch it.
Dave and I are still enjoying the heck out of doing ShopTalk. We'll have episodes every week until around Christmas where we'll probably take a few weeks off.
Don't miss Web Standards Southern Gentlemen in the last RAPIDFIRE.
Since I last chronicled, I was at BlendConf which was a huge and wonderful conference. I met a bunch of folks there that I've been wanting to meet. I was vegan at the time and we scouted out the restaurant Bean to eat at, which I loved so much we went back twice. I had also just set up a turntable at home my friend gave me, and so went record shopping at Lunchbox which was pretty sweet. I love the idea of hitting up local record stores in cities I visit.
I also was at An Event Apart Austin, which was super good even as compared to other AEA's, which are always good. I feel like I'm always treated very well as a speaker at conferences, but I extra appreciate the AEA organizer clan and how welcome they make me feel. Shout Jeffrey, Marcy, Toby, Steven and all! Some new very important things clicked for me listening to Mat Marquis and talking with Jason Grigsby about responsive images. Particularly this mostly-use-srcset business.
At BlendConf I met Nicole (and Max) Fenton and at AEA Austin I met Kate Kiefer Lee - the authors of Nicely Said. I look up to both of them tremendously for being so damn good at writing about writing.
A few weeks ago I was down in Key West (another first!) for a wedding. The whole Team CodePen was there, because it was our friend Ryan's wedding. We all worked together back in the Wufoo days and I love it that we're all still friends. I went pretty Florida Man.
I spent some time cleaning up the email that gets sent out around here. If you don't get it yet, sign up here. It's just all the blog posts that get published here but in a nice clean format right in your inbox.
Just plugging away here on CSS-Tricks as well.
Behind the scenes, I'm about to cut over to a larger, dedicated database server which I hope will increase the server side speed around here which has been a might slow.
If you're a member of the forums, there are some new settings as part of your profile for when you wish to be emailed regarding @name notifications.
We tried a little chat widget in the forums area to see if people enjoyed realtime chat, but it just wasn't a good fit.
You might notice some new Wufoo ads on the site. They renewed their sponsorship here, which is awesome because obviously I'm a big fan. They are tinkering with some new design over there, so I got a sneak peak at some of that and I designed these new ads in that direction.
You may have also noticed I'm doing sponsored posts here and there on the site. I'm marking them as clearly as I can so you know what is sponsored and what isn't. If you're interested in that, check out Syndicate Ads.
As always I have ten million ideas for things to write about so I'll just keep on writing if you keep on reading.
Lots of stuff happening lately and far too long since I've done a Chronicle! Where I've been, where I'm going, things I've done, things I'm doing, etc.
I was on How to Hold a Pencil where Reuben Ingber and I chat about what it's like to be a beginner and where to go next.
I was on Pencil vs Pixel where Cesar Contreras and I talked about capturing ideas, motivation, and the future.
I was on the CDNify podcast as well.
Spring is breaking finally here in Wisconsin so it feels good to be back biking around town. I've been doing a good job at going to the gym and sticking with my training. We even trained outside today for the first time this year.
I'm just about to take off for a few weeks though. I'm headed down to Tampa, Florida to see some friends (I used to live there, back in the Wufoo days) and we're also getting together there as Team CodePen for an in-person sprint.
I leave from Florida and head up to North Carolina where I'm picking up a new camper trailer, the SylvanSport Go, which I'm pretty stoked about. It just so happens that MerleFest is going on at the same time so I'm going to meet some of my bluegrass buddies there for the weekend.
Then I need to high tail it back to Wisconsin because I have a flight down to Champaign, Illinois for the University of Illinois Web Conference where I get to keynote one of the days.
From there I fly to Columbia, South Carolina for ConvergeSE.
Then finally back home, where I only have a week before another big adventure. I'll save that for next time.
We've been hard at work at at CodePen. The new feature releases were a little slow for a while because we were buried in a huge one: Teams. It might seem like a simple thing, but it was anything but. We even talked about it a bit on the podcast.
Perhaps I haven't mentioned here? We're doing a new podcast over at CodePen, a kind of self-documentary of what it's like running a web software business. We call it CodePen Radio.
Taxes are another thing on my mind. They are due the 15th here in the US, and despite starting on them as early as I could, I'm cutting it down to the wire. It's crazy how late you can get needed documents to do it all properly. I think I'm just about done and it's a very painful year (mostly due to my own lack of planning in paying quarterlies). Gonna have to tighten the belt for a few months.
It's been too long since I've done a Chronicle. I'm going to try and get in the habit again.
Life's been pretty good lately! I've just signed a land contract with my previous landlord to buy the house I'm living in, in Milwaukee. I quite like Milwaukee and the house, so I'm excited about that. Feels a bit grown-uppy.
Last month I took a trip to Scotland with some friends which was great, in part because it's the only non-tech trip I've taken in some time.
I'm significantly healthier than I was 3-4 months ago. I'm down about 40lbs. I have quite a ways to go to be truly healthy, but I'm doing all the right stuff including a lot of walking, biking, weight training, and eating better and drinking less. I've already booked another stay at the health resort thing that helped me kick it off, so I can really keep it going.
I spoke at my first An Event Apart event in Austin earlier this month. That was cool. I'm doing another in San Francisco in December, but if you don't already have a ticket I'm afraid it's sold out.
This Sunday I leave for CSS Dev Conf which is exciting and obviously right up my alley for a conference focus. I'm polishing my slides right now.
I got to be a guest on some podcasts since I've last done one of these Chronicles. Pixel Recess and Dorm Room Tycoon. The Dorm Room Tycoon one wasn't published, so not sure if that just didn't work out or what, but it's a good show worth checking out.
Speaking of podcasts, ShopTalk took a few weeks off while Dave and his wife tended to their brand new baby Otis. We're now back with what we're calling Season 3 in which we'll have shows every week through at least the holidays.
Most of my time, as always, is dedicated to CodePen. Since the last Chronicle, we've released several major features and countless little features and improvements. Among the biggest features: Customizeable Embeds, the Mobile Editor, and much better Comment Notifications.
We recently got the team together in Bend, Oregon (where Tim lives) for some co-working which was fun and productive. We're doing another little mini-sprint together in December in Palo Alto (where Alex lives).
The year is still going for The Pastry Box Project where I write monthly. Several posts since last time including article about my internal struggle with spammers, my one bit of advice regarding "success", and a fake story about mustard.