Category Archives: Personal

2014 Goals

Better late than never…

I had sketched out some goals I wanted to accomplish this year. I normally don’t bother because follow through on goals never ends up as expected. I figured maybe if I do a recap at the end of the year it’ll highlight points I failed at and how I can do things better. In either case, here’s the short list:

On the personal side I’d like to be more active. I tend to be active in the summer with yard work and tending to the garden. It’s nice to get that movement but it’s never consistent. I’ve gained a few pounds over the past 5 or so years and am nearing the top of the “good” area of the BMI scale for my height. The plan is to do some regular exercise (2-3 days/wk) as well as find ways to change up my diet and hopefully lose 20-30lbs near the end of the year. Current weight is around 165-170lbs and I’d like to get back to something more healthier around 135-145lbs.

I’d like to also book and schedule the honeymoon cruise that we’ve already had to cancel one or two times. Now that the kids are older it’ll be easier to get away for a week without them.

Lastly for personal goals, I’d like to make a habit of eating out with my wife, without the kids, at least one night per month. This shouldn’t be too hard to do, we managed 4-6 times last year. Consistency will make this easily attainable.

On the business side of things I have an internal sales figure I’d like to hit. Will report on that at the end of the year.

I’d like to get to at least 6 WordCamps this year, with 1 of them being international. 

I’d like to blog more regularly– I plan to offer some video tips and posts on workflows, etc. This will be implemented once I re-launch a new design of my business site. I’d like to shoot for 1-2 posts per week for the tips feature and as-needed on regular blog posts. Focus will be on content, not frequency.

Lastly, I’d like to find a way to contribute 1 day per week to WordPress core development, plugins, or other non-paying open source work. This will take some time to get worked into my schedule, but as long as I’m consistently doing it on a weekly basis by the end of the year and it’s sustainable (i.e. I don’t feel like it’s a chore always finding a spot for it on my schedule) I’ll consider this goal met.

Updated Theme

In sticking with the busy developer mantra of “I’m too busy to update my own site’s theme” I did what I usually do and update to the the latest WordPress default theme. Now featuring TwentyTwelve instead of TwentyEleven.

And hey, I blogged about it! ;)

Speak of the Devil

I’ve had something bugging me for years. It’s been so long that I can’t even remember specific dates anymore. It all started when I was in high school. I think it was about 10th grade. Fall; so November 2000 perhaps.

It all started at a Hunter’s banquet at the church I went to at the time. A bunch of us were volunteers to help serve and bus tables.  A friend, Ethan Bennicoff, and I were working together most of the night and were having a fairly regular conversation– until it got really weird.

Through the process of conversation various people’s names came up– people we didn’t even know were at the event. Moments after we brought the name up in conversation we’d look up and see the person walking past. The first time it happened we gave each other a funny look and Ethan said “speak of the devil.” From there it only got worse. It happened at least 20 times that night, each time with us looking at each other and saying “speak of the devil.” Each time getting creepier and creepier.

For those that don’t know, or didn’t click the above link– “speak of the devil” is a short form of the idiom “speak of the devil and he shall appear.”

This continued through high school, happening fairly regularly. By the time I had graduated I think it had happened at least 50 times. We didn’t really keep count, but it was enough for it to be a running joke. We could talk about people and they would show up. (If only we could harness this when we needed somebody!)

It happened on and off over the years since even though I’ve had little interaction with Ethan other than my first wedding in 2005, and a friend’s wedding in 2007. Recently it’s begun to happen more frequently. Unfortunately in my old age of late 20′s I haven’t kept track.

Most recently this week it’s happened a few times. I was talking with a friend the other evening about the cost of Air Force One. I noted how it came up to my area and did touch and go practice at MDT on occasion. These practice sessions are always unscheduled so there’s no way I could have known. The next afternoon, guess what plane I saw circling around outside my window?

I laughed to myself and immediately went to tell another mutual friend that was in the know since the other person wasn’t online. No sooner did I tell the mutual friend, the other person signed on. This was all within a matter of two minutes. It was a double “speak of the devil” — and quite creepy at that.

Tonight after dinner I was talking with my wife and continuing a conversation from earlier in the day. A person’s name came up and not 30 seconds later my phone lit up– a twitter notification from that person. The tweet was not a reply, but a random question. The timing was a bit odd to say the least.

Maybe I’m reaching a bit with the whole online scenarios, but it still happens IRL too. Perhaps I should start a blog to log the occurrences. I don’t know. What do you think? 12 years later and it’s still happening and still freaking me out.

Restored Archives

I set up my first WordPress site back in 2004 when WordPress was a very immature project. It was a great site and there were some good discussions, but due to some circumstances in 2006, it led me to delete my blog and all my content. It wasn’t necessarilly “deleted”, but taken offline.

About 2 years later, near fall of 2008 I set up my site again. Just to get something going I started from scratch and never imported the content. There were some bad memories with some of the old content. I wanted to move on.

Over the past 6 months or so I had toyed with re-importing the content. I had the backup. The last version I had run with the old site was 2.0.4. Today I decided to pull the trigger and import the old content.

I’ve imported 439 posts into this site. Now I have archives back to 2004. In September it will be 8 years I’ve been using WordPress– since version 1.2. It truly is an awesome publishing platform.

Should I Write This on Twitter?

There’s a lot (not alot) that gets said on Twitter and some things really can’t be conveyed in 140 characters. On Twitter, your only real option is multiple tweets or a service like Twitlonger.

It’s something I’ve thought about on and off for a while now. The other week I stumbled across this post from Ian Stewart regarding tweeting vs blogging. It was the inspiration for a code muse last weekend. The result of that was shouldiwritethisontwitter.com as well as some more thinking about the subject in general. (Code from that site inspired by Aaron Jorbin’s Scotch is for Shippers site).

After looking at my personal blog and seeing how few times I’ve written a blog post in the past year and then looking at my business blog and seeing the blog entry dated May 17, 2011 I decided things need to change.

I’m going to try and write here on things more personal where pretty much anything is fair game. I’ll continue to keep my blog over at Fusionized Technology WordPress related and more technical. Hopefully when I think about tweeting something and realize it’s blog material I’ll generate a few posts per week.

The last thing I want is someone setting up a site like this: When did Nacin last blog?

The Radio Shack Battery Scam

I made the mistake the other day to walk into Radio Shack. I needed a specialty battery and wasn’t really thinking. Almost every single battery was $4.99 or $5.99. Each.

Ok, well they’re specialty batteries, I thought. Really, they’re not so special. I needed 2. My options were $4.99 x2 ($9.98) or $11.99 for a 3 pack. That seemed like a deal  even though I only needed 2 batteries. Its actually a common marketing ploy, but I digress.

I got my batteries and walked out, grumpy about the whole situation.

When I arrived home, I decided to research the price of these batteries online. I went to Amazon and did a quick search. A 2 pack of the same batteries cost only $2.49 and a 5 pack cost only $8.50!!! Wait, I just paid $11.99 for 3! In some cases I was even finding 50 packs of batteries for around $10.

This left a bitter taste in my mouth and reminded me that certain “disposable” items were much cheaper online than in any store. Radio Shack has you cornered if you need specialty batteries right away just like Best Buy has you cornered when you need some sort of cable or part for your entertainment system.

The high markup on these types of items is probably the only thing keeping these brick and mortars in business at this point. They’re a dying breed and if they can’t adapt they’ll soon be extinct.

BBQ Tweetup

Overview

As some may have heard, we’ll be hosting a BBQ Tweetup at our house this summer. It will be held on Saturday, July 31st at 2PM. Food will be served around 4PM. There will be a $5 cover for adults, because (good) meat is, well, expensive. The party will be held at my house in Goldsboro, PA

Update

50% of all proceeds will be donated to the American Bird Conservancy to assist in oil cleanup efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Menu (What I’ll Be Providing)

  • Pulled Pork
  • Baby Back Ribs
  • BBQ Chicken
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Rolls
  • Cornbread Muffins
  • Soda (limited quantities, extra requested[Coke, Sprite, Gingerale])
  • Water
  • Plates, Napkins, Plasticware

Update: My neighbor will be donating a 30 pack of Coors Light, a 24 pack of Yuengling, and a (2)24 packs of Corona.

If you’d like to add to the menu, you can bring a covered dish, desert, chips, soda, etc. Alcohol is more than welcome, but it is BYO.

The Afterparty

As the sun goes down, we’ll get a bonfire started and you’re welcome to stay as long as you’d like. We’ll have stuff to make s’mores if you’d like. If you’re coming from further away and wish to stay overnight, there will be an area where you can set up your tent and camp out as well as a few hotels 10-15 min away.

To RSVP

If you plan on attending, please email me at ryanduff [at] gmail [dot] com to let me know how many will be attending. Upon RSVP, I’ll send you the exact street address.

Other Misc Notes

  • Seating will be limited, but I’ll try and get as many tables and chairs as I can. If you have folding chairs, please bring them. We’ll need some for the bonfire as well, if you plan on staying.
  • I think I have a set of horseshoes, but if you have any other picnic games, feel free to bring them and we’ll find a place to set them up.
  • Since BBQ is cooked low and slow, I’ll only be able to make so much of each meat within the time frame. If it looks like we’re not going to have enough, I’ll also plan on cooking some hamburgers and hot dogs. As it stands, I’ll be starting the pulled pork at 7:30PM Friday night so that I have time to cook the ribs and chicken and be done at 4PM Saturday…
  • I could use a hand with prep and set up Saturday morning. If anybody would like to volunteer to help out in the kitchen, etc please let me know. As an incentive, there will be no cover charge if you volunteer and help out.
  • There will be no rain date. I will have covered areas so hopefully the weather cooperates.

Guest List (local tweeps)

  • @dziner
  • @imthegirl
  • @williamsba / @amber331 – Veggie tray, dip
  • @onefinejay – watermelon, salad, dressing
  • @hodgepodgery / @mdguzy – Spinach, strawberry, and pecan salad; baked beans
  • @mpthomas1
  • @privatestorm
  • @jgillette
  • @tyrannytierny
  • @edgrohl
  • @alobodig
  • @phillip_copley – (2) 12 packs of soda
  • @deuscain
  • @sandrasarcasm – veggie burgers, cookies
  • @rhoadesrage – chips, cheese dip
  • @sarah_sherrif / @asg_warlord – chips, guacamole
  • @bpolensky / @ljoreo
  • @dahcheet – chips
  • @mattheyfrey
  • @technog33k
  • @christinerobyn
  • @rycoco
  • @kulabk – pasta salad
  • @dani_pa – pasta salad
  • @kimparsell
  • [neighbors / family] – brownies (2x), watermelon, pasta salad, fruit salad, potato salad, baked beans