Feeling Lucky Craft Pagination

I've implemented a google-like "Feeling lucky!" on this blog's pagination. At current date, there are 21 total pages of entries. It's a toss of the dice whether or not any of them are actually worth reading, so I thought to make the gamble easier, I'd provide a random number to automatically populate the url for you. Here's the code:

{% set randomPage = random(pageInfo.totalPages) %}
<a href="pageInfo.getPageUrl( randomPage )">Feeling Lucky! Take me to a Random Page</a>

CSS Solution for WYSIWYG

Stupidly simple way to make sure empty p tags from WYSIWYG don't muck up space:

p:empty { display: none; }

Go Check It Out!

9/6/2014

Conference Talk: Leiden 2014

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Today I am giving a talk about women in technology. This is something I’ve been preparing for since I first learnt Basic at age 13 on a Commodore 64. I’ve had several amazing men encourage me in this field and even in the age of feminism and women’s rights, there is still a lot of speculation and discussion around women equality in technical and scientific fields.

As one of only two women in my Graduate program at Western Oregon where I studied computer science, the idea that more women weren’t in the undergrad or graduate program boggled me. At the same time, however, I struggled with things like Java and building Server Sockets until I would vision jamming a knife under my large toenail as more enjoyable.

My Professor at one point noted, “You can get 100% of the logic on the quiz but you don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to the syntax.”

I preferred to study PHP, which seemed to make more sense to me than Java. I pursued Python and Ruby and HTML/CSS instead of the huge, monolithic class structure of Java. Networking, routers, the IP stack; these are all things I found intuitive and interesting whereas the standard course for most computer science majors was the single hardest program for me to learn.

I figured I was not alone in this. I submitted a dissertation proposal in the winter of 2004, which was accepted at Oregon State University, and excitedly planned the research for my doctoral degree on women retention rates of undergraduates in the computer science departments and the correlation of programming languages taught. Continue...

5/6/2014

Reflections on A Talk, A conference, A week

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It wasn’t what they were expecting. I called it the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie talk. I baked in a discussion about gender equality within the title “Creative Development.” I think someone in the second row rolled their eyes.

It was probably the 8th or 9th time I’ve been on stage. It’s always so hard to begin the speech you’ve been feverishly obsessing over. The last nine months, since Low asked if I’d speak, were filled of notebooks and research and outlines and more outlines. I was a proper freak stopping a TED talk or an audiobook to jot down a point I wanted to expand on or integrate in my talk. I spent more than a few meetings scribbling notes to myself in Evernote, only partially related to the meeting topic but relevant to a future conversation I would have with myself first, and an audience second.

After a few hiccups and akward moments, it began to flow. Stats, Stories, Ideas. Youtube excerpts. Comics. Scientists. I knew all the content, I just wanted to nail the delivery.

Perhaps I didn’t “nail” it, exactly.  It felt more like a piece of art hung on the wall with a sticky hook, but it was well received. I was so wrapped up in my own nerves that it wasn’t until the fourth or fifth man that approached me for advice when I realized something shifted: They were asking about their girlfriends, wives, daughters, employees. They wanted to support their female companions, they just didn’t know how.

  Continue...

5/1/2014

She’s Geeky

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In an inadequate attempt to capture the spirit of a few hundred geeky women sharing advice, knowledge, code snippets, work ideas, and life discussions, I can summarize as best as I can.

In a word: Support.

In two words: Comforting Validation.

In Three Words: We Laughed Together.

In Four Words: I made new Friends. Continue...

On Coaching: Can Corporate America work like a Team Sport?

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I’m used to being yelled at. “Point! Point your toes!”
“Drop now!”
“You’re overextended, bring it back, good, good, POP! MORE! Nice!”

These are words I heard coming from the side of four apparatuses growing up. I can still, to this day, call muscle memory from years and hours in the gym. I can answer, almost turrets like, questions about gymnastics.

“What is the olympic order of events from 1- 4?”

“VAULT! BARS! BEAM! FLOOR!”

“Who was the silver medal winner in 1985” Continue...

3/6/2013

No Regrets. Or. Why we need version control for life.

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They always say not to have any regrets in life. Thing is? It’s hard to avoid.

There’s that time you thought the tattoo of Winnie the poo was going to be a good idea wen you were 16. There’s the night you got so drunk you told off the barmaid who happened to be your boyfriend’s sister’s ex-lover and a former heavy weight boxer. (Consolation: your black eye looked a bit like an Eeyore so you claimed a “pooh” theme.)

There’s the time you majored in Exercise and Sports Science when you MEANT to major in Computer Science. (This one I actually have done. I’ll tell you about it some day.)

And then there are the three days you spent watching Felicity in sequence that you’d gladly take back.

I have the perfect solution for this: Git: Version Control For Life. Continue...

9/9/2011

Bird by Bird - A business plan

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Bird by Bird - A business plan

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds,  immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy.  Just take it bird by bird.’ -Anne Lamott

I’m overwhelmed to a ridiculous state. Somewhere along the path of amazing, whilst traveling and producing and speaking, my cart became full of expectations, deadlines and impossibility.

“If you say no too often, Leslie, they won’t ask you back to babysit. Be careful when you turn down a job opportunity.” -Oma Flinger

I was 7 when I started my first business. A friend from down the street and I ran in to the woods beyond our houses and collected rocks, interesting twigs and other “potentially beautiful” items. We ran home, painted each carefully, and set out knocking on every door asking if they wanted to purchase our art for ten cents each. I made about a dollar that day peddling my work amongst the neighborhood.

At 10 I decided to run an in-home daycare for an hour a day at my parent’s house. My mother wasn’t a fan of having 12 children in our small home, so I set up the garage as a small “school” setting and offered to take children who lived near by at a small fee to teach them a play that we would perform at the end of the week. It was a cabbage patch kid reenactment set to the tunes of a record I owned. At the end of the week, parents came to watch the play and praised the sweaty mess of children I directed in the two car garage in Houston.

Having recently decided to take life by the unicorn horn (if you will) and start a new, more amazing, better freelance business than I’d ever had before, I opened up my contacts to accept new work. Happily, Joyfully, Thankfully work flew in the front door, even more than I knew I could take. My mother’s words bubbled to the surface and her years of an incredibly strong work ethic and high expectations of her own life replicated in my own. I took the work, even when the deadlines were smashed together, with travel booking both ends, and said yes to it all. Continue...

7/10/2009

Community and The Stuff We’re Made Of- Reflecting on EECI2009 and Mommy Bloggers

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I have so many wonderful photos and stories to share about being at the EECI2009 conference. Community. The Spirit of Lifting Each Other Up. Truly inspirational.

I’ve been to a lot of conferences as of late. Blog Conferences, Development Conferences. Twestivals. But the conferences surrounding the ExpressionEngine Community is by far my favorite experience to date. I wish you could all experience this.

It’s a drastic change from the mommy blogger drama.

I had meals with the “stars” of the EE community. The Geeks that create modules, plugins, extensions. The people who extend the fabulous code EE already offers. It was like sitting with people whose brains should be too big for their heads.

But more importantly, they are people. Not overly geeky, not overly egotistical. Just funny, amazing, hilarious, real, friendly, beer-drinking people. Continue...

Internet Explorer and my two year old: a toss up

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I can’t decided which I am more frustrated with today. IE or LB. They both throw tantrums when asked to behave. They both push my buttons until I’m ready to yell. Neither of them plays nicely at times and neither of them gives a rats ass about web design.

Look, let me come right out and say it here. I gosh-darn strongly dislike Internet Explorer. (LB threw out the word crap the other day followed closely by damnit. I am now speaking only in “rated LB” terms around the house and it gets so. bleeping. irritating. But really, do I need my two year old saying fuck? I obviously hit my fuck quota for the year.) Ok, it goes like this….. I get frustrated and unsettled at life in general. Perhaps it’s a mom who is prettier and not gagging hours a day over her sink that makes me wish I wasn’t me. Or maybe it’s the car’s “check engine” light that appears on a random basis having nothing what-so-ever to do with getting gas or a gas cap like one would hope. Or maybe it’s the two year old being very two-sie and me being very preg-sie and we just collide a little too long. It is times like this that I really want to escape to my happy place. You’d never guess where that is? (No, it’s not partying in the bathroom while the 6 month old sleep in the hotel room, but that was a fun memory…) My happy place is my blog. It’s the escape I get when things just are too .... real.. in real life.

Y’all are my happy place. (Sounds of people going “ahhhh” followed closely by gagging.)

It’s no surprise that I come here looking for a warm feeling in my heart but when I see the ick template, I decide it’s time to change it. Then I obsess for a couple of days about css rules and why you have to use javascript to get your sidebars to align correctly and I nerd out in my happy zone. When I step back, it’s pretty (enough) and I like it (for now).

Until I load the page in Internet Explorer and there is blood and shrieking and violence in my happy place. Continue...