This post is a tad late (15 days to be exact) but I released my first open source Python package into the wild. Meet Django Frontend Skeleton.
In a nutshell, Django Frontend Skeleton is a basic Django template skeleton built on HTML5 Boilerplate and Twitter Bootstrap. With the convenience of an installable Django application, create custom templates built on top of one of the most well-known, widespread templates (HTML5 Boilerplate) and a robust front-end framework (Twitter Bootstrap.) …continue Django Frontend Skeleton
This is a repost of an article I wrote for the K-State OME web team blog.
Sans explanation, these are a few mixins that I’ve used on a couple of recent projects: …continue Snippet Sunday – Sass Mixins
Of all the lies we tell throughout our lives, whether they be little white lies or the life-altering-spiral-out-of-control type, the people we lie to the most is ourselves.
Why do we lie to ourselves? I’m sure like most lies it helps us cope with or compensate for something, but my background in Psychology is certainly lacking, so I’ll leave the theories for others to explore. When I was traveling back from the Philippines, I realized some lies that I often tell to myself, and occasionally other people. …continue Lie to me
This is a repost of an article I wrote for the K-State OME web team blog.
Sometimes I can end up being a little too dogmatic when I approach building new designs, especially when I become overly focused in certain areas. Recently, I became a little obsessed with reducing HTTP requests and page weight while implementing a cool, new design.
The design was a single, vertically-scrolling page, and was pretty graphically intensive, all of which was starting to weigh down the page. After the page was built, I was looking at over 34 HTTP requests and a little more than 5 MB page weight. Certainly not ideal for many pages, let alone a vertical-scrolling page. The answer to reduce most these requests was obviously to use CSS sprites. …continue Practically Sass-y: CSS Sprites
This is a repost of an article I wrote for the K-State OME web team blog.
At OME, I’ve been pushing Sass for a while. Recently, I asked some local web developers/designers on Twitter whether or not they use Sass. All of them said no. A few of them said they wanted to try it, but just hadn’t yet. Others were reluctant to add a pre-processor to their workflow. All of their reasons are understandable, but here’s why they (and you) should consider adding it to their workflow.
Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets (Sass) is a CSS “pre-processor.” Or in their own words: “Sass is a meta-language on top of CSS that’s used to describe the style of a document cleanly and structurally, with more power than flat CSS allows. Sass both provides a simpler, more elegant syntax for CSS and implements various features that are useful for creating manageable stylesheets.”
…continue Gettin’ Sass-y
I was definitely late to the DVD-by-mail game, but when I finally decided to take the plunge I chose Blockbuster because (at the time) it offered the best deal for me. Streaming selection on both Netflix and Blockbuster was practically nonexistent, but Blockbuster’s ability to trade at the store won me over. Eventually things changed and I switched to Netflix.
One of the first things I immediately disliked about the switch was the rating system.
…continue Why I nearly always underrate titles on Netflix
Although my traveling to non-English speaking countries is limited, I’ve noticed that being able to say a few key phrases can go a long way.
When I was in the Philippines I started compiling (with the help of my GSE team members) a list of those phrases in several different languages – mainly in languages of countries that I aspire to visit. Like too many things that I start, the idea was an obsession for a short while and then sat unfinished. Well, it’s time that I finished it.
…continue Konnichiwa, bitches
It was only the first Friday in the month that I claimed I wouldn’t eat out for lunch, but there I was, sitting at the Chipotle counter happily eating my barbacoa burrito (which I could barely finish for some reason). At least I have a legitimate excuse, or at least a personally-justifiable one, for not driving home for lunch – my truck was in the shop.
Impending $300 windshield replacement cost and my false claims aside, the point is that Chipotle Mexican Grill is fucking magnificent.
For those of you who know me, or even those of you who tolerate my Twitter rants, it’s probably no surprise to you that I love Chipotle. I’ve pretty much told anybody who would listen that I could be a happy (although slightly more overweight) man eating Chipotle for nearly every meal. (The thought of it for breakfast kind of makes me nauseous, or maybe that’s just the barbacoa starting to make a move.)
…continue It’s pronounced chi-POHT-lay
December 21, 2012—the big day, right?
Maybe. Maybe not. However, for the sake of my next questions, let’s pretend it is. If you knew you had two years until the world ceased to exist, what would you do?
Let’s lay some ground rules so we’re all playing the same game.
…continue It’s the end of the world as we know it
Here’s the deal: I don’t like Christmas. And now is when you give me the
omg-he-just-kicked-a-puppy-look. That’s right, I don’t like Christmas.
I don’t like Christmas music, I don’t like Christmas decorations, I don’t like Christmas food, I don’t like Christmas commercials and I certainly don’t like Christmas shopping.
Yeah, I know that pretty much makes me Mr. Scrooge, the Grinch, Satan and an asshat all rolled up into one. To that I say:
…continue How the real world stole Christmas
My one month (25 days) of experimental vegetarianism* is over, and I couldn’t be happier. For me it comes down to one simple, hard-to-overcome obstacle – lifestyle.
The sad truth is that I eat out way too much. Trying to navigate a vegetarian diet in modern fast food is rather difficult, and seldom satisfying.
Almost every time somebody wanted to go out to eat, the first thing I did was google “<restaurant name> vegetarian”, which usually brought me to a handful of websites that list acceptable vegetarian dishes. Those websites were extremely helpful to me, and are invaluable for modern vegetarians and vegans.
…continue Plight of the modern vegetarian
Sometimes I like to try things simply to try it; usually just to see if I can. This can be a good way to push myself out of a comfort zone. In this case, it’s vegetarianism.
I have absolutely no ethical, moral or religious objections to eating meat. In terms of the food chain, it’s only natural – not to mention delicious. (However, I do have a major objection to the mistreatment of animals that are raised for food.)
Being a temporary vegetarian is just something that I wanted to try (or in this case, try again.)
…continue If he says he’s got beef, that I’m a vegetarian
Fact one: I like music, a lot. Fact two: I have not been to nearly enough concerts in my lifetime. (I still refuse to count several of the ones I’ve seen at local venues, such as Wild West Fest.) Maybe it’s just me, but fact one and fact two don’t seem to go together very well—it’s time to rectify that.
I can safely say that I’ve been to more concerts this year than ever before, and it’s a trend that I would like to continue. My recent concert summary:
…continue Brand new eyes
Today is the start of what promises to be a very good weekend. Beginning tonight I will be taking a motorcycle basic rider course. It’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but decided it was time when, co-worker & friend, Dan Warner decided he was going to take it. Dan’s wife, Mervi, will also be taking the class, so I’m pretty sure we will make up half of the class, which is good should something embarrassing happen.
Tomorrow afternoon I will be joining some of my friends at Wilson Lake. Going to the lake is usually good times, especially since we will have two boats out there. However, I’m not really an outdoorsy person, and especially dislike sleeping outside. So, I’m not really looking forward to getting less sleep than I already do. But the prospect of good friends, cool water, beer and possibly a few girls makes it something to look forward to. Unfortunately, fireworks are usually not permitted at the lake, so I won’t be buying or watching too many fireworks on July 4.
Culminating the weekend is something I’ve very excited about – a No Doubt concert with opening act Paramore. I’ve been a fan of No Doubt since Adam had me listen to Tragic Kingdom in the 8th grade. I’m also a big fan of Paramore, so I’m definitely pumped to see both of them together. For some odd reason I’ve never really been to a concert (not counting lame Wild West Fest and the like), so this will truly be my first concert experience. It should be good times listening to two great bands with one of my best friends.
…continue No Doubt, it’s my birthday
This is the point where I’d have to tell a few people in person to hush, because I’m not talking about my social status, I’m talking about weight loss.
First, let me say that I don’t think I’m fat, or obese (technically my BMI calculation puts me at “overweight”) – I think that I’m out of shape. Well, I know that I’m out of shape—both in terms of cardio and physique.
…continue I am the biggest loser
Sometimes when I travel, I absolutely devour books. When I went to Germany I couldn’t put down Ender’s Game. In the Philippines I read Harry Potter six and seven.
With an impending 26 hours worth of travel time, I needed to pick up more reading material. Since I knew I wanted to read the Twilight series next, I picked up Twilight in Manila, but knew it wouldn’t be enough after buying it. Since we’d have a short layover in the Tokyo Narita airport, I decided I would pick up New Moon so I could get through part of the series, but came across a book that I had forgot I wanted to read—The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. (I also came across some hardcore pr0n, but that’s another story entirely.)
After awkwardly paying for my two new books (the Japanese sales girl didn’t speak any English apparently), I sat down and started devouring The Game. This isn’t so much as a review of the book, but a look into some of the truths in the book. This brief review I wrote begins five of these truths:
…continue Truth about the game
There are many words to describe my recent trip to the Philippines – wonderful, exciting, educational, tiring and eye-opening are just a few that come to mind immediately. There are so many people that helped this trip come to fruition and I would just like to thank a few. (Really, I would like to thank everybody, but that would be entirely too long.)
This trip would obviously not be possible without Rotary International—it is their program, and they sponsor the entire thing. Therefore, I owe one of the biggest thank you’s to Rotary International. First, thank you for having such a wonderful program, and allowing me to be a part of it. Second, thank you for sponsoring myself and my team to make such a trip possible. Although some things might be cheaper in the Philippines, traveling there is not one of them.
Even within Rotary there are so many different entities and people to thank, hopefully I won’t forget any.
…continue Maraming salamat po!
Dear dad/mom/sister/niece/nephew/friend/yet-to-be-determined hot chick,
The Philippines is great, I wish you were here!
Two weeks has gone relatively fast, and we have seen so many amazing things. The only thing that would make this experience better is if you were here to share it with me.
…continue Open postcard
Americans can barely drive in America, there is no way they can drive in the Philippines where “traffic laws are merely suggestions.” Obviously there are traffic laws in the Philippines, but they are laxly enforced. Even the driving conditions are vastly different than in the United States.
Roads in the Philippines are small, the majority of which are only two lanes. However, there is a tremendous amount of traffic because of the dense population, which results in chaotic driving conditions. Roads are congested with cars, jeepneys, tricycles, buses, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians – and everybody (except for maybe the tricycles) are trying to get to their destinations as fast as possible.
Passing is usually done on the left-hand side of the road (much like on U.S. highways), but is done at random intervals including when oncoming traffic is visible. There is supposedly a maximum speed limit (although I have not seen a single sign), but there is no minimum speed limit, which makes aggressive passing a very common driving technique.
…continue Americans couldn’t drive in the Philippines
I think anybody who knows me reasonably well knows that is completely untrue, but thanks to the Philippine Peso (PHP)–U.S. Dollar (USD) exchange rate, it holds a little more truth in the Philippines.
While the majority of my trip is paid for by various Rotary clubs and organizations, I did bring some money for incidental expenses, including any souvenirs that my sisters force me to buy.
Although varying with market, one USD was worth 48.5 PHP when we arrived. I had 110 USD exchanged to an astonishing 5,300 PHP (approximately. This is only an approximate value since I had changed 10 USD early in the trip for a lower exchange rate of 45 PHP, and I’m not sure if there were any fees incurred with the rest.)
…continue I’m rich, bitch
“Everything is smaller in the Philippines…but I have a big one.” – Jonel, RC Tanauan.
There are two things that are really funny about that statement: First, Jonel recanted the punch line and went on to joke about use being more important than size. Second, it’s really true.
At 5’8” (5’10” on a good day with padded shoes) I don’t feel tall very often, but in the Philippines I do. I noticed the height difference right away when boarding our (very turbulent) flight from Tokyo to Manila. As I was walking down the aisle a young lady asked me to put her bag up for her because it was heavy and she was too short to reach – easy enough. Another gesture of bag placement made me realize I was useful because I was “tall.”
…continue Everything is smaller in the Philippines
The 2009 Rotary District 5710 Group Study Exchange Team: Brad, Marci, Laureen, Jon, Greg.
Well, the majority of my luggage is packed and I am ready to go—for the most part. I tend to put things off until the last moment, which works for me, but in doing so the realization that I’m leaving the country for over a month has just now hit me. And that is somewhat overwhelming.
…continue Is that time
Today is Friday, and normally that is enough to celebrate, but it also means that my Rotary GSE trip to the Philippines is right around the corner. As a matter of fact, it also means that I will be off from work until April 7, after today of course. A much needed break indeed.
We are leaving this upcoming Wednesday, March 4, but I still have a lot to do before then – including packing. I’m not looking forward to packing, because more often than not I over pack. Over packing for a week-long trip is bad enough, let alone a month-long trip.
We’re told to bring only a week’s worth of clothes; mainly so we don’t have to drag around various suitcases when we change host families. Bringing only a week’s worth of clothes is going to be a challenge for an over packer like myself. The majority of the clothes that I will be bringing are actually Rotary affiliated (polo, button down, blazer, etc.) so that does take some of the guesswork out of packing. I also have to make room in my suitcase for the host family gifts (I’ve never bought this much stuff about Kansas or K-State before), which will take a fair bit of space.
…continue About that time
It seems like I learn something new everyday during the preparations leading up to my Philippines trip. When I was first told that I would need an antimalarial drug for the trip, I didn’t think much about. Honestly, who thinks much about malaria unless you work in some sort of medical profession? I also didn’t think much about it when my doctor prescribed Lariam®. Although he did say, rather nonchalantly, that there were some severe side effects — the one that stands out in my memory is hearing loss. At the time his summation that
it was better than malaria sufficed for me.
Fast forward a month later and I still hadn’t got my prescription filled, so one day when I was talking to my sister (who is a RN) she told me the day I took the pill probably wasn’t going to be pleasant. Feeling ill one day a week for a few weeks seemed like a small sacrifice to stay malaria free.
Fast forward a few weeks later, after having the prescription filled (more on that later) and here I am, slightly freaked out with the idea of taking my prescribed antimalarial. During our monthly preparation meeting, Brad – a GSE team member, asked the rest of us what antimalarial we were taking as he was still undecided. At first, I thought this was a weird question because I am hardly one to question or prescribe a medicine that I know nothing about, but I was later grateful that he asked.
…continue Larium? More like scarium
Despite not quite believing it myself, in less than one month I will be in the Philippines. Actually, looking at the airplane itinerary, it is exactly one month from today.
On March 4, we leave from the grand MCI airport in Kansas City and have brief layovers in Detroit and Tokyo. While layovers in themselves are never too much fun, it is nice to have such a long trip broken up a bit. I’m still quite sad that we won’t be in Tokyo longer, because I would absolutely love to see the city. I will just have to add that to my must-visit-cities list.
I haven’t looked at the GSE itinerary in a couple of weeks, so I’m not quite sure of two things – 1.) where exactly we will be going, and 2.) when exactly we are going there. I do know there are basically two things we will be doing while we are there – 1.) observing Filipino professionals in our field, and 2.) attending Filipino Rotary meetings.
…continue One month away
When I bought my domain and hosting space four and a half months ago, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it. In fact, the only thing I did do was put up a place-holder page, which merely confirmed my enjoyment of unicorn blood. (It keeps me young and healthy, but at a very high cost.) Once the place-holder page was up, I wasn’t completely sure that I would actually replace it with anything else. But, here we are – my first official blog. (Believe it or not I had an opendiary.com account in late high school and early college, so I guess that was technically blogging.)
What is this?
I haven’t planned all of this out, so I don’t know what kind of consistency this site will have. What I do know is that I will be leaving for the Philippines in a little over a month, and I really wanted to blog about some of the things I experience, and maybe take a picture of two. So, I guess that’s something to look forward to. There is also an official Rotary District 5710 GSE Team blog, so there will probably be some cross-posting.
I do have a few plans for the site, most of which I wanted to get done before putting it up, but I guess I’ll start slow and build it up. Let’s break those down into short and long-term goals:
…continue Behind the times