On vacation for the last week of the year

Lucky me. Mindshare closes the office doors for the last week of the year. This on top of getting two weeks vacation to take during the year. What a fantastic company to work for. So this week I’m off and getting bored. Sondra’s family came to town and celebrated Christmas. It was short and sweet. They have all left now and Sondra has gone back to work. So for th emost part I’m on my own during the day. Her mom is also home. so I try and spend my time doing things. At the moment I’m sitting at Mozart’s Coffer house on Lake Austin Blvd. http://www.mozartscoffee.com/. I took a turn walking around Town Lake trying to drop some weight for the new year and before we go on our cruise in Jan. 2007.

I have some projects I’m trying to work on. I’ve changed the theme on this site. And I have a list of WordPress plugins to develop. Mostly these are from working in WP for the past 14 months. Looking at what is offered and what clients request. So keep this site bookmarked so you don’t miss the announcement of the new WordPress plugins I develop.

Farewell Sam!

Today is the last day at Mindshare for a fellow coworker. Samantha Slaughter-Mason came to Mindshare just some 11 months ago by way of Alaska, Oregon and Los Angeles. She was to be our office Manager and spearheaded the office move that took place just this past June 2006.

Sam eventually moved into a media management role buying and managing ads for clients on Yahoo!, Google, etc. Sam was accepted at Oregon State for a full-tuition paid scholarship. This is fantastic for her but sucks for us.

So is a very bright and cheerful soul and we all will miss he smile in the office. Good luck to you Sam and do keep in touch. I will always remember our Trivia nights at Mother Eagan’s Pub

Missed Feb…and March

Well seems two whole months have gone by without any updates to this blog. So let’s see if I can recap things.

Worked first part of Jan on the Mindshare site redesign. Take a look www.mindshare.net. This would turn out to be my 6th WordPress site. Using WordPress is so easy. It’s pretty much PHP functions underneath. No special template tags to work with.

Been working a lot of hours these last few weeks on a client project. Can’t say here who the client is. But they’ve seems to really been booking my time lately. It’s been all custom PHP work. This client uses a system I build back in August 2005. There are no less than 26 forms in use on this site. No add an online survey as well.

Just this past weekend I upgraded to WordPress 2.0.2 from 1.5.2 which was the version I initially loaded here back during Thanksgiving. Thanks again Matt for a great product. PhotoMatt

Have been playing around with DOMScripting these last few months also. I don’t refer to it as AJAX. I’m just funny that way. Maybe because many of my co workers and peers are all on the AJAX bandwagon. Getting me back into JavaScript development. Though I have been working on development of a file viewer with tree-view. The inspiration came from a DHTML book I was reading from SitePoint.com. I’ve added more functionality but have not had tome to get back to it. I do want to release version 0.01 soon.

Attended SXSW this March 2006. I do enjoy the 4 days of fellow geeks being huddled together to converse and get our geek on. Good times. Met many more people and old friends from last year. I pretty much attended a trac of sessions on Accessibility and Web Standards.

Spoke to a good friend Armando from Houston a few weeks back. He and I worked together at SYSCO Foods. Great guy, and great programmer. I miss just being in his shadow.

Look for more posts early this week. I’ve got some comments and question in my head I need to get out on paper.

Wow! Has it really been a year since my last BLOG post?

Well I guess it has been a year. A lot has changed and a lot has remained the same. Time to give you all an update on what is going on in my life. First the biggest thing. I left my job at SYSCO Foods. Gave notice the first Tuesday of 2005. This way I get full payment of vacation for the year. Three full weeks paid. It all went into my car. Well $1800 of it anyway. Left to be a full-time web developer with Mindshare Mindshare Interactive Campaigns, a company based in D.C that creates web pages for non-profits (that is a very simplistic definition, sorry). Had to spend the last three weeks of Jan. 2005 in D.C for training. Along with the snow and cold. Was nice. Had to stay in a garage apartment of someone from the office. Seems the company could not afford a hotel for me for the entire time. I’ve grown to really like the job. At first I had conflict mainly because I was not as well versed on the technical support end and wanted to really concentrate on PHP development. Then got into support of some other sites not written in PHP. I guess maybe I’ve come to be more acceptable of the job over time. When I started in Jan there was only one other person in Austin, Bethany. We were together in an office downtown. We’ve since expanded to seven total in the Austin office. We had to move North out of downtown. It’s a drive in the morning with traffic but still better than my drive to Round Rock for SYSCO. And I do get to work with 6 very nice ladies. Oh, did I mention I was the only male in the office and expected to do the heavy lifting like change the Ozarks water bottle twice a week etc. Still not a bad place to work.

Still with Sondra. We are still talking about getting married. More on that later.

Have been working since April-May doing more and more contract work. It keeps me busy and I get to work at my pace using my techniques. Nothing too big. Not like for Mindshare. Most of these sites are small static content. Still I use PHP and some form of CMS. The most current site is Big World Photo Big World Photo. This has a full working shopping cart and integrates with Authorize net for credit card processing. I’m not taking any money from Lorri since this is giving me more experience.

Bought a MAC Powerbook 15″. I love it. Everyone (or I should say no one) thought I would finally do it. And most, like Sondra, thought I would hate it. But I have to say I only miss the MS Office and my Photoshop CS tools. I’m about to take a Flash class at ACC and will be able to re-purchase the Adobe and Macromedia products again at the discounted prices for the MAC. Though I do have a word for both the mentioned vendors. Why can the PC license not be transferred? Huh? I mean damn those are expensive packages to have to purchase dual copies.

I know I need to update this more. Was thinking about it back in July-August. Then realized it had almost been a year. Decided to just wait the full twelve months.

So there you go. A full year’s update in just a few paragraphs. Man I really need to get a life and provide you guys (all three of you) with more information. Check back later. I just might start hitting this more than once a week.