It’s Okay to Quit Sometimes

I’ve seen a rash of complaining lately from folks who’ve put themselves into groups or crowds who are really aggravated by other members of that group or crowd.

I’d like to share a little secret: you can usually remove yourself.

Your Twitter stream is full of who you chose to follow. Unfollow the problematic individuals or brands.

“This Facebook group is filled with _____ (undesirable thing)”

Unless you’re the admin of the group, the best solution is probably to move along and find a different group that’s not filled with whatever it is that’s annoying you.

“Ugh! This conference isn’t what it used to be!”

That’s probably true. Having attended and organized a ton of conferences, you’re right: they evolve due to factors in the community, technology, and more. If you’re not evolving along with the conference, it’s probably not the right conference for you any more.

After all, when it comes down to it, there are plenty of times when it’s okay to not give a fuck. Yes, I realize there’s some irony in this post related to that very issue.

Because Ken Jennings Said So

I recently finished reading Because I Said So, a fun easy read from Ken Jennings.

The premise of the book is simple: Jennings does some research to either prove or disprove various chunks of wisdom and advice that have been passed along from generation to generation. A few topics that I found interesting:

  • Dropping a coin from a tall building – how bad could it hurt someone?
  • Whether you should drink 8 glasses of water each day
  • If peeing on your feet can cure athlete’s foot
  • What would happen if you ate the “Do not eat” silica gel packets

As you can see, some of the topics are more serious than others… as I shared some of the insights with my wife, she noted that some of them had also been themes for episodes of the Mythbusters TV show.

Each topic/chapter is pretty short – a few pages – which makes this an easy book to read intermittantly. This probably makes it a good candidate for bathroom reading :)

Here’s an Amazon affiliate link if you’d like to purchase Because I Said So!: The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales, and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids.

RIP Kim Parsell, aka #wpmom

Today the news is spreading in the WordPress community that we’ve lost Kim Parsell, affectionately known as #wpmom.

I didn’t know Kim well, but as happens we began following each other on Twitter a while back, sharing friendly banter and discussion about WordPress and other topics. Leading up to WCSF 2014 and this year’s community summit, she was one of the first people I noticed to be tweeting with the hashtags, and we met for the first time just a few months ago at those events.

Kim’s contributions to WordPress will be missed, as she was an important member of the documentation team. Sarah remembers how excited Kim was to have received mention in Matt’s State of the Word talk. Her contributions and kindness earned our trust, respect, and appreciation. What she brought to the project will exist for years after her passing.

WordPress is an army, and we mourn the loss of Kim Parsell from our ranks.

WordCamp Dayton 2014

photo by waterlass, used under Creative Commons licensing

Instagram Photo Books from Blurb

So this is neat.  I’ve used Blurb a couple times in the past to make photo books.  I used Blurb to print Alcratraz Views.  They probably introduced this a while ago but I just became aware that they make it easy to make an Instagram photo book.

They offer an online tool that connects via Instagram’s API to access your feed, allowing you to choose which images to include.  After picking out your images (up to 240 of them), you can preview how the book will appear, and it’s then available for printing on demand either for yourself or for others.

Of note if you’re reading this shortly after I write it: save 10% on any Blurb order (or 15% if the order’s over $50) with code ROMANCES at checkout.

I’ve been trying to post at least daily on Instagram (and you’ll see those photos also shared here on this site).  It might be fun to package up my best shots at some point as a gift book.

Check out Blurb’s Instagram photo books and have some fun!

Blurb Instagram Photo Books

(Yes, I’m a Blurb affiliate, and you can support my writing by using a link above to check out and order a photo book)

More Writing in 2015

Desk AppI hate to use the term “New Year’s Resolution” because it brings a ton of baggage along with it, but one of my goals as we move into 2015 is to do more personal writing, which will significantly increase the number of things published here at

A few weeks ago, after reviewing Instagrate, I started sharing photos here as they’re posted to Instagram.

Now, look for more writing as well. Will I post every day? Perhaps.

I just purchased Desk, which appears to be a fantastic little app from John Saddington. Seems like it might be a more streamlined way to publish than my current system. Again… time will tell how this plays out.

Now would be a fantastic time to subscribe if you’d like to keep up to date with new things from me in 2015.


The Wonders of Public Schools, Chapter 27

Daughter’s classroom is writing documents using Google Docs/Spreadsheets/Drive/etc. So when the kids need to work on them at home, does the teacher tell the kids to just sign in from home? No. Instructions were to export to .docx, save to thumb drive, then expect parents to have MS Office at home to edit.