Roadtrip 2014

For the last few years, the idea of an open road has captivated me very much so. Going on an endless journey with no limit on where you can stop is my definition of excitement. being that I am from an urbanized area (NYC), the open road as well as the tranquility of being outside of the city has called my name.

With the help of Roadtrippers, I've been planning out a roadtrip for the past two years.

Summer 2014 Overview | My new trip on Roadtrippers.com!

Along with some friends, I'll be traveling to places that I've never been and seeing sights I've never seen. This is all quite exciting.

The benefit of using Roadtrippers is that they also let you discover nearby attractions, sights and more right where you are driving. From a model Flintstones city to ghosts towns, it's looking to be a pretty exciting trip. I had to break it down into legs just to handle all the stops.

Summer Roadtrip Westbound Leg 1 | My new trip on Roadtrippers.com!

Big stops here include Washington DC, Nashville, St. Louis and Texas.

Summer Roadtrip Westbound 2 | My new trip on Roadtrippers.com!

Summer Roadtrip Westbound Leg 2 | My new trip on Roadtrippers.com!

Continuing on with Route 66, includes stops at the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and up the coast of California to San Francisco.

Summer Roadtrip Eastbound Leg 1 | My new trip on Roadtrippers.com!

Heading back east, stops at Reno, Salt Lake City, Denver and Topeka are to be expected.

Summer Roadtrip Eastbound Leg 2 | My new trip on Roadtrippers.com!

The saddest part of the trip looks to include Des Moines, Chicago, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. After all that, it's home sweet home. The car will need a rest.


Hopefully this is a prelude of many posts to come sharing with the world the adventure that has yet to come. Warning: lots of photos and American culture.

Thank you to Roadtrippers for the help! #dreamroadtrip

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Remembering Everything

Life is just plain too short. 24 hours in a day, 168 a week. Time just disappears as the week wanders on. Recently, I've been optimizing my life by keeping better track of things. Instead of forgetting a missed deadline because I wasted time doing something else, I always make it right on time. That's something I have become quite good at and I haven't added any capacity to my memory. One of the most helpful things I've added to my productivity workflow is a simple app called Simplenote.

Simplenote takes a somewhat radically different approach to things. A simple and beautiful interface for OS X and iOS, lack of features (good thing) and simple organization. I love it. Tagging a post is something similar to a folder. Organize thoughts and notes into tags. Or multiple tags. Have a meeting note that also is a todo list? Tag it. Remember it. Get it done. Some may think:

oh you cannot have folders? or folders of folders? that's sh*t!

I think it is incredibly simple and just the way it needs to be.

The details.

As an active freelancer as well as a student, I tend to have to manage a facet of things on my plate. From meeting with a clients to chatting with classmates on a project, I have to remember the little details across a variety of issues. Previously, I presumed that I could just retain all these things in my head and I will remember everything that I need to do. That didn't go so well.

It bit me in the arse as I forgot a number of important deadlines and failed. That was unacceptable.

Setting out to recover from failure, I needed to find a better way to remember everything. Could I just create a reminder for everything? Or an email? That never worked for me. Plus, Reminders on OS X are quite ugly as of 10.8.5. I wanted a simple way of organizing everything across most of my life and I found a pretty versatile solution. Ironically, the Simplenote has a smaller feature set that other solutions but that's why I like it more.

The Flow

For me, I organize my notes in a number of tags, a few of them you can see here.

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 2.13.03 PM

 

I constantly tweak and see what works better, never stop improving there. Clicking on Meetings will give me a quick view of all the recent conversations I've had and I can go back and find something relevant in a few clicks.

Simple sync.

When I am out on the go, my Macbook Air can even be to heavy to bring with you. To keep things light, bringing an iPad or just a phone to write things down for a meeting is perfect. But this means that you are going to be writing on your iPad but you still need to access those notes right away back at home. You shouldn't have to wait to sync it. It should just happen, magically. Simplenote tends to make this happen.

With iCloud's Notes App, I've seen syncing issues. Duplicate notes and a note on one device and not on another to name two. Simplenote just removes this; i don't have to worry about it because it just happens and I love it.

Beautifully useful.

When sitting down for a class, I open up Simplenote and check out last lectures notes as well as any questions I might have for the professor. After that at a meeting with a client, now I have to pull up the things I've done since last meeting with them and any questions I have. Done and done.

Now, Simplenote didn't affect my life in that I now had an excellent and free note taking application. I started changed things in my life. Having a simple conversation with a client, I now already have a note open and I'm jotting down whatever might come up. Instead of being left straggling behind because I missed a deadline, now I know anything and everything that I've ever discussed with a client or for a project. It's all there and it's all accessible via a simple search on Simplenote.


To learn more about my freelance work, learn out some services I can do for you and let's get in touch.

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Wrote a new WordPress plugin: wp-composer

wp-composer WordPress meet Composer.

Recently, I've been working with a lot of different PHP frameworks. Learning from some of the most annoying parts (I'm looking at you Drupal) and some of the best (oh yeah, go Laravel and Symfony!), I always wish some of those good things were including in good-ole WordPress. Maybe a man can dream. But I'd love to see some more things happen.

I'm introducing a plugin called wp-composer. It attaches a way to manage Composer dependencies inside of WordPress plugins and themes using WP-CLI. It's a first solid step towards making dependencies inside of plugins handled right from the command line. Why should this even matter?

Where I think WordPress is going

WordPress is one of the most valuable pieces of code ever written. Millions of developers and millions of visitors alike have used WordPress and have been somehow affected by it. Even if they don't know it. But since millions have used it, that must mean that the software is a bit older, right? WordPress has a lot of old code thrown in there, though the core developers are always improving it. But they are still forced to support some older code than they should: PHP 5.2.x.

In the future, when they make the jump to at least PHP 5.3.x, you should see some pieces of the puzzle coming in. A more modern code base managed by Composer with the different components separated from WordPress code: wpdb, themes and plugins API, Widget, etc. And with this distributed nature of code, the ability to bend and use WordPress to your liking will change like it never has before.

Maybe one can dream of a modern code base for WordPress. I know it'll come one day and I'd love to be apart of the movement to push for it. This is my start.


Sidenote: I have recently discovered WordPress Packagist by the guys at Outlandish Ideas, a way to have WordPress.org plugins as Composer dependecies. It's the best thing since sliced bread. Check it out!

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