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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Normally when I sell advertising spots on Laravel News it’s a one off purchase so I’ve been using Quickbooks Invoices for it. This works okay but it doesn’t support recurrning payments. So I have to regenerate an invoice every month for those customers. It’s not an idea workflow but it works.
Today I had a request from a customer that wanted this payment to be automatic and my first thought was that I would need to integrate something like Laravel Cashier which is overkill for a single customer. After doing some research and talking with some friends I was pointed in the direction of Stripe Checkout.
In about 10 minutes I had it all setup and I could sent the customer a link to initiate the flow and make the payment. Thinking back to how hard this would have been before Stripe makes me really appreciate the tools we have available to us now.
From this I do have two thoughts. The first, is always try to find the simplest solution to a problem you are facing, and the second is to keep your eyes open on new tools. I had heard of Stripe Checkout before but I didn’t see the value in it so didn’t pay it much attention. Now that I needed it I’m thankful I had a friend that could point me back to it. Without that I might have wasted an entire Saturday building a complicated setup.
Austin Kleon has a new book out named Keep Going which gives you 10 ways to stay creative in good and bad and for me it was a fun read. The pages are short and the wisdom easy to digest.
Although it’s written for artist I feel like a lot of the book carries over to being a developer as well. We all have to be a little creative when solving problems and it does a great job of helping you when you are having those bad days. It’s also a natural next step to his previous book Show Your Work.
The book is fairly short, around 200 pages, and is a quick read. Here is the list of chapters to give you an idea what it covers:
Every day is Groundhog Day
Build a Bliss Station
Forget the noun, do the verb
The Ordinary + Extra Attention = The Extraordinary
Slay the art monsters
You are allowed to change your mind
When in doubt, tidy up
Demons hate fresh air
Plant your garden
It’s full of quotes and drawings and just a fun book. I’d recommend you pick up a copy and get the paperback because the format is great.
People love to share coding tips on social media and I’ve seen some take screenshots of their editor and share it, or others might use a dedicated service that allows you to copy and paste your code into it. All these options are fine but I like to make mine standout by using something custom and I have a Sketch file where I can paste my code into it and then export.
The way I have this setup is in your code editor screenshot the code you want to share (shift + control + command + 4) and then open the Sketch file and paste it in. The file currently comes with four artboards. Twitter light and dark, and Instagram light and dark.
In the included samples the code in the “light” artboards are from Sublime Text using the “Inspired GitHub Color Scheme” and the “dark” artboards are using the “Dracula Theme” in VS Code. The theme you use is really not important but I’m sure I’ll have people ask me what I used. Below is an example of one of my recent tweets using this template:
If you’d like to grab this file I have a zip available here. It’s made with the latest version of Sketch (v53.2) so it may not work with older versions. But you are free to do as you wish with this and consider it licensed under MIT.
Finally, if you have any feedback or would like to see any improvements please comment below. I hope you enjoy!
I recently got a new MacBook Pro, and this is my first time with the Touch Bar style of keyboard. First, let me say I love this machine so far, it’s been running all the huge apps without trouble and I haven’t heard the fans spin up once. I’m sure this will end after a few months, but right now it’s fantastic.
Now the Touch Bar is a different story. It’s just annoying and feels like a gimmick. Not having a “real” escape is grim but worse than that is the touch id. I’ve been using an iPad Pro and the face to unlock is so much nicer than the touch id.
Apple should go back to a real keyboard and use Face ID on all the Mac’s. It’s so much faster and better as a user.