The great cheezies tornado of 2015

My friend Ernest wanted to know of my adventures or mis-adventures during my European Trip. Well It didn’t take long for the action to start.

I waiting for my baggage to arrive at CDG and I see this blob of clothing cheezies dust and the last  remains of my bag.

My niece wanted some cheezies that she couldn’t get in Germany. So I got two bags and then double wrapped them just incase:

Destroyed luggage covered in cheezie dust
The Great Cheezie Tornado of 2015

Whatever monster inside the bowels of YVR Or Pearson ate my bag I’ve never seen such destruction taken out on a bag.

Funny enough the lock which prevent everything from being stolen was still completely intact and “working perfectly”

I couldn’t even leave CGC airport without a buy a new bag.

New Travel Bag
Meet Bag 2.0

The staff at the luggage storage and sales places couldn’t have been more helpful though. Now it’s off to find a laundry mat in Courseulles sur mer.

ps. Yes I am submitting a claim to the airline, yes I purchased extra insurance for damage on my trip. But for now it just a funny story.


A boy and man scale a climbing wall in the sun.
I like the contrast between my nephew on the left and climber on the right. Both were climbing a wall at the recent Canada Day celebration in Coquitlam.
Robert Dall standing infront of a Columbia 21 at the Footloose Disabled Sailing Association

Footloose and fancy free

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.

Sailboat used by the Footloose called a Access Dinghy
Access Dinghy / Photo Footloose

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.

Martin 16 sailboat with electric winch of the footloose sailing club
Martin 16 sailboat with electric winch / Photo Footloose

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.

For the love of Flags

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.

oh ps. I asked Roman about Vancouver Canada’s Flag and he gave it a thumbs up.

WordPress logo and Horse Emoji as a graphic

Emoji in WordPress = 🐴🚨🚫👍

I wanted to post quickly about what Brian Krogsgard coined The Trojan Emoji.

This seemed to many as frivolous, unimportant and most useless feature ever. (These comments were three months old at the time of this posting May 10, 2015)

What a lot of people didn’t realize even at that time was that the 4-byte unicode characters in WordPress that makes those fun emoji’s happened also allows for Chinese, Japanese and Korean characters is important to making WordPress more global.

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.

Confessions of Trac Ticket Lobbyist

I recently had a guest post on the WPTavern on lobbying trac tickets, IPTC captions and photography. Check it out.

Foss 300

Foss 300 derrick, The last steam crane still operating on the West Coast of North America. Leaves the Ballard Locks
Foss 300 derrick, The last steam crane still operating on the West Coast of North America. Leaves the Ballard Locks in Seattle Wash.

Great UX, hard demanding but fulfilling work. NOTHING is ever as easy as it appears.

50 Year Anniversary of “The Maple Leaf”

The largest collection of Canada Flags I have seen. Yes even more then the previous Canada Day.
2010 Olympic Hockey Gold. The largest collection of Canada Flags “The Maple Leaf” I have seen. Yes even more then the previous Canada Day (2009). Since the Olympics I have seen more love of our maple leaf.

For a nation that is still quite young in many respects it certainly has had a large number of flags flown over it’s soil. Although I don’t know one that suits it more then our Maple Leaf, Happy 50th Birthday.

Ladies Learning Code Presentations

Tutoring Ladies Learning Code

I come from a family of teachers. But I never took up the trade myself. While it may not be the highest paid career in the world many people find it completely rewarding.

Sure I train clients on how to use their website and I’ve worked the odd Happiness Bar at a WordCamp, but I had never actually been in a tutoring role.

Some months ago at a SaturHack I met Meredith Underell who runs the Vancouver Chapter of Ladies Learning Code or for short LLC. I thought it was a totally cool project and friends like Mandi Wise and Christine Rondeau have both volunteered as tutors in the past.

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.

The girls used Mozilla Thimble code editor which gives real time updates of their code.

I’d highly suggest any developer sign up for a Saturday of this. It was fun, lite, easy, rewarding and filled me full of good karma.

The Girls and Tutors. Photo by Florida Elago
The Girls and Tutors. Photo by Florida Elago