I’ve been a fan of Andy Baio’s work at Waxy.org for many years (and even contributed to one of his research projects in the past) so when he announced a few years ago that he was planning a conference I jumped at the opportunity to attend. I went to Portland in both 2012 and 2013 for XOXO. I’ve enjoyed it both times and will try to make it back for 2014. My favorite improvement last year was the expanded Arcade event which dedicated giant projection screens to independent games. They also had a board game night. Above all the people are one of the greatest assets of XOXO. I’ve been to many conferences but some of my favorite and most diverse new friendships were made at XOXO. Here are three of my favorite talks from this year that you should watch. I would consider the first two essential viewing: Read the rest of this entry »
I turned 33 this year. If you’d like a comparison… just scroll down a few posts. Although the blog hasn’t changed, I did switch from ASmallOrange to WebFaction hosting finally. This last year was interesting, I worked on the television shows Capture on The CW and Killer Karaoke on TruTV. Now that they’ve both aired, I’ll probably write them up. I built custom hardware that the contestants on each show wore. Last month I sold my motorcycle which I had ridden less than 200 miles since registering it in California 6 years ago. In January, I sold my 1957 Chevy Panel Truck on eBay. It had become a drain on my bank account and spirit. It’s now on its way to France. I haven’t picked up a new vehicle yet and have been riding public transportation in the mean time. This month we’ll celebrate our 300th Hacker Drinkup. I’ve been attending monthly Spec.LA events where we show off technical projects we’ve been working on. I’ve also been buying more board games which we play every couple weeks. Sweetums is still where I post all the random things I enjoy; I did a daily project where I made a GIF for every single episode of Adventure Time. I’m still looking for work and next month I’ll have been in LA 6 years.
A couple months ago Pinguino let me know that she was going to be in a Doctor Who themed art show and really really wanted to build a Tardis (The main character’s time/space traveling phone booth) of her own. The Tardis is known for being larger on the inside so we thought about how to make that happen. I’ve wanted to do an infinity mirror project for a while and we decided that would be the best approach. Read the rest of this entry »
My mom always says she doesn’t know what to get me for christmas, so last year I told her I wanted a counted cross stitch kit. She sent me this one specifically. I had done cross stitch before and had the idea that it would be fun to stitch pixel art like game sprites. But before I embarked on that I wanted to stitch an actual kit for practice. It took a lot of time to complete and I would listen to books on tape while I stitched. I finished the project off by changing the original text to a well known rap lyric. Thanks, Mom. Read the rest of this entry »
Earlier this year I did a couple projects for my friends at Virsix and Two Bit Circus. I really enjoy working with the creative minds of Eric Gradman and Dan Busby who I met when we were working on projects like Glow at Syyn Labs. For the first project, I constructed various hardware sensors for physical games (including a laser maze) that were installed in Great Wolf Lodge. Read the rest of this entry »
I turned 32 this year and we celebrated at Hacker Drinkup since our waitress Alia turned 40 and @n3wscott turned 29. I still live in Santa Monica and I’ve been unemployed for nearly a year. My last company, Tecca, closed last fall. I have been doing a lot of freelance technical work for friends’ companies like Virsix/Two Bit Circus and Angel Valley Media. It’s really interesting and fun work, I just wish I had more of it. I’ve been updating my LinkedIn profile as I go. I recently started a Tumblr for random nonsense that I would have shared on Google Reader Sharing if it still existed. On April 1st, I’ll have been in LA 5 years.
I went to Aruba to celebrate New Year’s with friends. Chris had spotted tickets on AirTran for $600 in June and we thought it was a great deal so we booked immediately. He then found a house on AirBNB that we rented for a week. The group was Chris, Erin, Dave, Pinguino, Craig, Erik, and me. We went snorkeling, visited caves, and participated in the Aruban tradition of buying way too many fireworks. You can find many more photos from the trip on Flickr including me harvesting a coconut found in the backyard. I’ve managed to celebrate New Year’s Eve with Dave and Pinguino every year since moving to LA: 2008 was at CCC in Berlin; 2009 was Fakearctica camping at Lake Isabella; 2010 was Prommunism in Seattle with Jo; 2011 was Breakfast of Champions in San Francisco.
I’ve spent part of this summer working at Cross Campus in Santa Monica. It’s a workspace for individuals and small companies. You can read more about it in this recent Forbes post. I originally met the founders Ronen and Dan at a JS.LA meetup almost immediately after they signed the lease on the space. I liked their ideas for the space and tackled various projects for them as the built it out over the following months. I also built the Ninja Cola machine there. Here are a couple things I built for Cross Campus: Read the rest of this entry »
I caught a ride with pinguino to El Segundo this morning to watch the Space Shuttle Endeavour land at LAX. It was on top of the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. The SCA, Endeavour, and its two T-38 escorts entered LA via Santa Monica at 11:50AM. It flew by many LA landmarks before doing a flyby of LAX’s north runway. It toured more of LA and then did a pass of the south runway complex (pictured above) before coming around one more time to land. There were a ton of people on the hillside where I was viewing and the El Segundo police warned us if we fell off the hill we’d be in LAPD territory and wouldn’t be rescued for days. From our vantage point, we saw people on top of the tallest hangars along with all of the construction workers from the Tom Bradley terminal covering the ground and scaffolding. You can see a few more of my pictures on Flickr. Endeavour will be removed and prepped for ground transport over the next month and I hope to see it on the road in October as it travels to its new home at the California Science Center.
Update: Pinguino posted her photos to Flickr.
I do most of my eBook reading using the Kindle app on my iPad. It’s very simple and works well except for one obnoxious bug. When you highlight a word or passage, the app automatically looks it up. Unfortunately, the highlighting assumes that any string of characters without a space is a word. You can see above that it has selected ‘Time?”‘ as the final word. The most frustrating bit is that it won’t let you adjust the selection to trim off those extra characters, you can only remove whole ‘words’. If you could trim off the last two characters, it would have easily found In Search of Lost Time. I assume this feature is intended mostly for dictionary lookups; imagine how frustrating it is to be unable to look up a word because it comes at the end of a sentence. Unconscionable!