Blowing Rock

Yesterday was my 40th birthday so I took the day off work, let the kids skip school, and we headed up to the mountains of NC to visit Grandfather Mountain and walk across the swinging bridge. After our 2+ hour drive, we arrived and at the entrance, the guard said the top of the mountain included the bridge was closed for maintenance. Talk about disappointment.

We pulled out the map and found that Blowing Rock was nearby and it’s a place we’ve never visited so headed in that direction. On the way, we stopped at a few overlooks to stretch our legs and get some photos. Even though the trip didn’t go as planned it was still a lot of fun. Here are some of the photos from the trip.

Pedialyte – A Marketing Success Story

A few weeks ago I went on a vacation to the city that is in the middle of the desert, Las Vegas. Even though it was technically late winter or early spring the weather is always dry and hot.

On the massive billboards down the strip, I kept seeing marketing for Pedialyte. Something to the effect of “Stay hydrated Vegas, drink Pedialyte.” It stuck in my head because I’ve always thought of children when I hear the word Pedialyte.

Flash forward to this past week when I’ve been mountain biking every day, and I got dehydrated. The first thing that came to mind was Pedialyte, and I went out and bought some.

They didn’t use invasive tracking pixels, they couldn’t measure engagement, it was just an old school traditional advertisement with a simple message everyone can relate to. That’s marketing!

Closed Captioning

Kottke has a new post outlining why everyone is watching TV with closed captioning turned on and it made me think of my own habits and how I’ve started using it.

I think around six months ago I would be watching a movie and it seemed like I had to have the volume fairly loud to hear the dialog, but then when scenes played music the music was super loud. So then I’d have to turn it down, only to turn it back up again 30 seconds later. I thought it was quite annoying and rude of the movie producers.

Anyway, because of this I turned on closed captioning so I didn’t have to fiddle with the remote or the volume. Since doing it I don’t even like watching TV without it on, and as far as I know I don’t have any hearing problems.

Of course, I’d also rather read a blog post than listen to a podcast. I think maybe I’m just wired to prefer reading over listening.

PHP: Underscores for Private

Jeffrey Way released a new Laracasts Snippet, and in it, he mentioned a tweet from me:

In the podcast, he talked about how PHP felt more “libertarian” in the early days. The underscore represented that this should be protected or private and even though this is a recommendation from the creator of the code, you are an adult, and if you want to do something with it, then you accept the risk.

The language and community have since switched the stance, and now everyone wants to restrict it with the feeling that if it’s code you are writing, then you know best how it should be used.

I’m not sure one way is better than the other, but as I mentioned in the tweet, I miss the old days.

Not on Facebook?

A few years ago I remember I’d be in a conversation with my parents and they would ask me about some person. Proudly I’d say what they are doing now and how I keep up with them from Facebook.

Flash forward to this weekend and we had the exact same conversation in reverse. I asked about an old family friend that I haven’t seen in years and they both told me details about their life, their recent vacations, and more.

I’m actually glad I quit Facebook because it was cool to hear about them but I think all the time I’ve not wasted scrolling through that feed looking at people I’ve not seen in years.

A Decade Ago

I just had this image from ten years ago pop up in my “on this day” feed and it’s crazy thinking back over the last ten years. My life is a complete 180 from when this was taken.

It seems every day I make a todo list and try my hardest to get it done, and I feel like I accomplished nothing when my head isn’t down pounding out “work” all day. Or if all I come with is one or two big things and little things keep from staying on task.

I have to remind myself that a day, a week, even a month are all just minuscule time frames over the course of our lives. I can’t look back on a single day years ago and say that was a good day, or that was a bad day.

However, if I look back over the past ten years I can see how the smallest decisions have seemed to have changed my life for the better and those are not things I would have ever put on a todo list.

It is easy to get discouraged that you aren’t hustling hard enough, but if you take a step back you’ll see how all the little things compound and make bigger changes than you might imagine.

TablePlus Workflow for Alfred

It seems many developers are making the switch to TablePlus because it supports a wide range of different database types, has an active development team, and is a stable app.

I started using it yesterday and I’ve been fairly impressed, plus they are working on an iOS version which I’m super excited about. If you are using it on a Mac here is a cool Alfred workflow by Chris Renga for opening a database quickly.

TablePlus Workflow for Alfred

If you are interested in this you can grab the workflow from GitHub.