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The Gratitude Challenge

Submitted by matthew on Thu, 2014-09-11 20:20

I was challenged by my wife to post three things I am grateful for, each day for seven days. I did this on Facebook, but I thought it might be nice to post them all here. I am indeed lucky. So, here it goes in no specific order.

  1. I am grateful for books. My parents instilled me with a lifelong love of reading even though I wasn't supposed to learn to read or write. The extended to my working in a book store and eventually managing one.
  2. I am grateful for my family. I crossed international borders for grad school and stayed because of my amazing wife. We adopted an fabulous girl who blows my mind away. Every day I am with these amazing ladies, I marvel at how blessed I am. I can't even express how much I love them both.
  3. I am grateful my unbelievably brave sister Sean Mary Ann Saunders who completely amazed me two years ago in a conversation we had in her car. Once again she became a hero in my eyes. I adore her.
  4. I'm grateful for Drupal. It has kept me well employed for many years now. Who would have thought a little project dreamed up in a dorm room in Belgium would turn into such a phenomenon. Thanks Dries - I appreciate what you've put into the project and it is my honour and pleasure to be serving on the Association Board with you. It is my great privilege to work at Aten with great colleagues.
  5. I'm grateful for my kookie dogs. Felix, who runs back and forth under my legs when I'm putting my shoes and socks on. Fremont, who despite all odds keeps going and going. Seneca who is just the sweetest thing with such kindness. They are all good dogs.
  6. I'm grateful for my brother Alec, who has quietly influenced almost all of the positive choices I've made in my life. I probably wouldn't be a technologist if it weren't for him blazing the way before me. If I hadn't made that choice, I would likely have never met my wife and I wouldn't enjoy the prosperity I have found.

What Just Happened with Apple?

Submitted by matthew on Tue, 2014-09-09 23:32

Apple, the Great Mimic


Apple is trying really hard to become the centre or hub of everything we do. To this end they have produced:
apple computer
  • Laptops and desktops
  • Music players
  • Tablet computers
  • Headsets
  • TV Streaming devices
  • Music Retailer
  • Smart watches
  • Telephones

We're going to see them continue to try and penetrate all kinds of markets where digital devices can enhance how we interact in the world.

Apple started as a kit company. You would get the circuit board, but you needed to add a keyboard, case, and some kind of monitor. Apple has been a company that analyses the market and tries to figure out best how to duplicate and improve on existing models. I've experienced quite a few of those failed precursors myself that have later been leveraged by Apple in extremely smart ways. Think about the following...

Anatomy of a Drupalcamp - Tasks and Timing

Submitted by matthew on Thu, 2014-09-04 16:50

This is the second post in my Making A Drupalcamp Happen series. I've been involved in camps for about 7 years and recently was the main project manager for Colorado. The first post was around tools, coordination and management. This post is really focused on tasks and when they need to be done to not go crazy.

There are certain things that need to happen every year. The earlier you can sort them out, the easier things will be as you approach the deadline of your event. So, I've listed some tasks below along with some rough timing and notes on some of the items. This is by no means an exhaustive list and the timing might be a little off on tasks, but I think it does give a sense of task, scope, and order.

Anatomy of a Drupalcamp - The Tools

Submitted by matthew on Wed, 2014-07-30 20:20

I've been involved with Drupalcamp Colorado since 2007. Sometimes I've had a significant role, other times I've taken a bit more of a back seat. I was also pretty heavily involved in Drupalcon when it was in Denver. Over the last 8 months or so, I've had quite a bit more insight into the Cons themselves through my interaction with the Drupal Association. This last year I've been the project manager for Drupalcamp Colorado 2014. This has left me with with some personal insights that might help others wanting to run a camp.

Drupalcamp Colorado 2014

Submitted by matthew on Thu, 2014-06-19 22:06

drupalcamp colorado

The Camp is Coming!

Drupalcamp Colorado 2014 is on it's way, August 1-3! Planning has been going on for months and the camp site is now live and ready to take session proposals and donations.

Sessions and Keynotes

We'll be having a training day on August 1st. If you want to do a little bit of a boot camp, there will be "Build A Module" curriculum as well as several other day-long trainings. Saturday and Sunday will be chock full of sessions.

Michael Meyers of Now Public and Examiner fame - currently VP of Large Scale Drupal for Acquia - will be presenting one of our keynotes. An exciting second keynote is being lined up right now and we'll be able to talk about that in the very near future. Both speakers will talk about how Drupal is being used in giant ways.

Drupalcon Austin and the Drupal Association

Submitted by matthew on Sat, 2014-05-31 10:00

I was musing yesterday morning while heading to the airport that I've been attending Drupalcons since 2007. Seven years. When I entered into the Drupal community back then, I had no real idea that this would become the focus of how I chose to make my living. I had no idea that, mostly, twice a year I would join with other like minded people. I didn't know that I would find myself in a leadership position in the community. I didn't know that I'd end up helping lead companies. What I did know was that I was working with a software project that made it easier for me to do my job.

Commenting on dogstar.org

Submitted by matthew on Thu, 2014-05-08 21:03

I'm afraid I'm limiting commenting to only authenticated users. It appears that the spammers are successfully getting around my spam control measures often leaving me with more than 50 spam comments to clear up each day. I like and encourage commenting on my site, but from here on out, if you want to leave a note it will require an account.

NTEN and the Nonprofit Technology Conference - 2014

Submitted by matthew on Mon, 2014-03-10 12:49

NTC logoThis week I'll be headed to Washington DC to attend NTC representing Aten. I'll give a talk called "Drupal: Making the Nonprofit Case" on Wednesday at 3:00 pm during the preconference. I'll be telling 6 or 7 stories about how Drupal can impact people and organizations. I'll leave lots of time for questions. Come see what all the fuss is about!

Fitbit Flex

Submitted by matthew on Thu, 2014-02-27 22:44

The Setup

Matthew's Fitbit FlexI have used a variety of pedometers in the past. By in large, they were curiosities without enough utiIity to keep me engaged. I got bored.

In the recent past, I used a Virgin Pulse GoZone pedometer. It was head and shoulders better than any device I had used to this point and it still discouraged me pretty badly. I found GoZone website difficult to use - I understand it is better now. Finding metrics wasn't intuitive for me. The device would fall off my belt - the tether didn't tether well - and I lost several over the couple of months I used it. Probably the worst part was synching it. I needed to plug it into the USB port of my computer and it would often crash losing my steps. I like metrics, and the effort to get bad data proved too much for me.

Fast forward to this past holiday season I hopped on the scale. I was not happy with what I read. The years between using my bike as primary transportation and simply sitting at a desk day after day had added to me. I decided I had had enough.

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