I was invited to Seattle by Ben Lobaugh for what I called a Super Sailing Weekend in Seattle.
Ben had told me he volunteers at the Footloose Disabled Sailing Club and if I wanted I could come down to help out as well. The entire venture sounded great so I packed my bag and came down for the weekend.
The thing I really liked about the association was they really made it accessible to everyone possible no matter what your disability and each sailboat is slightly different configuration but all were completely accessible and very stable and unable to tip over (or in sailing terms turtling).
The Access dinghies were similar to lasers just much LESS tippy and the participant sat side by side with the skipper.
The 2 Martin 16 other boats the participants and skipper sit front and back of each other.
The skipper is a volunteer with the association and is completely experienced with the boat. They are there to assist the participant, whether that be teaching them how to sail, co-piloting the boat or just along for the ride while the participant controls everything.
Paraplegics easily operate Access dinghies with a joystick. While quadriplegic can operate the Martin 16 which are equipped with electric winches and can be operated by either a hand joystick, neck joystick or the or a sip and puff method commonly used by quadriplegics.
The two Colombia 21 that are part of the fleet are larger boats and can hold up to six people. They also have a skipper and at least one crew member to help rig the boat. My job was to helping the participants get on and off the boat along with grinding the winch on the jib.
For those with limited mobility Footloose has two davit hoist system with a hoyer sling to transfer participants from wheelchair to boat and back.
It was a real pleasure to volunteer on a beautiful sunny saturday out on Lake Washington. I I didn’t know but from the water you can see Mt Rainier to the south and Baker to the North. It was beautiful!
It felt great to give back and learnt a little bit more about sailing slightly larger boats as well I hope I can do it again on my next trip to Seattle.
Roman Mars of 99% Invisible spoke about city flags at the 2015 Ted Conference in Vancouver. It’s awesome, brilliant and speaks to the urbanization of our culture and our love of design. Give it a watch it is certainly worth you time.
I had even played around with the development plugin Gary Pendergast was creating to solve this problem it was affectionately called x1f4a9 or 💩, I though this is cool, can I make this work on my local installation running trunk and oh my that Gary Pendergast is one funny dude.
Little did I know… Little did we all know…
Except for a couple people on the WordPress security team. No one really knew how important enabling emoji support were going to be to fixing the security with in WordPress until Andrew Nacin spoke at the recent Loop Conf.
I wasn’t able to attend Loop Conf in person but they had an amazing live stream which was completely free (major props organizers) and Nacin walks us through the Anatomy of a Critical Software Bug.
I had a hard time following the code in Nacin’s talk it was well over my head. Ryan D Sullivan tweet exemplifies this completely. But instead I tried following the story. As Nacin walks us through a two year journey to fix a vulnerability and it was a fascinating story.
A lot of patches in WordPress aren’t this hard… but they are similar rabbit holes of problem solving to make something better.
I made one wrong assumption about LLC was their tutors were only women. Nope! male tutors are invited to volunteer as well.
So when I heard that LLC was having a Girls Learning to Code and was in need of some volunteer mentors for a HTML / CSS course. I had some time and I decided to sign up and give it a try.
I was a little nervous as what to expect but was warmly welcomed when showed up. I got myself a name tag and sat down next to a girl who was having a little trouble getting started.
Turns out she wanted to make a photography website. Well did I ever pick the right girl to sit next to. I was a photographer for 7 years before I switched to web design and I have built a few photography websites in my day.
The hot topic of website creation was Minecraft but also cats, grumpy or other wise, dogs, fashion tips and bagels!
Clio ( Legal Case Management Software for Law Firms Tech as a service ) provided the location, bandwidth and a wonderful lunch. ( Along with a couple beers with the fellow tutors after our apt pupils left for the day. )
Just before we broke for lunch one of the tutors overhead a girl saying.
“I don’t want to have lunch, I am still coding”
We’ve all been there. Trust me.
I also met a number of developers from the wider Vancouver Tech Community. Great networking time at lunch and over beers afterwards.