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Swimming, Biking and Running Scared

May 6, 2007
Me, signing up for IronMan 2007

I’m scared.

If you know me, then you probably know that I signed up for IronMan 2007, Lake Placid, NY to take place July 22. If you don’t know me, or didn’t know that, now you do.

IronMan triathlons are endurance events that require every athlete to challenge themselves to complete the following:

  1. Swim 3.8km (2.6 miles)
  2. Cycle 180km (112 miles)
  3. Run 42.2km (26.2 miles)

Continue reading Swimming, Biking and Running Scared

A visit from Glenda Watson-Hyatt

March 6, 2007
Book cover for I'll do it myself by Glenda Watson-Hyatt

Glenda Watson-Hyatt is one of those people that I’ve seen on various accessibility mailing lists over the years but have never met. Glenda is a web accessibility professional, a member of the Guild of Accessible Web Designers, and is dedicated to making the web more accessible for everyone, regardless of their ability.

Glenda has cerebral palsy.

While we still haven’t met, I feel like I know her a little bit better after reading (most of) her book: I’ll do it myself. In celebration of her writing and publishing adventure, Glenda devised an ingenious plan: a virtual book tour. She’s visiting 40 blogs in 40 days, and I’m very pleased to have her visiting here today.
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I hired Jeff Smith

February 19, 2007

I’ve been waiting to announce this for a few weeks now, so I’m very pleased to finally be able to tell everyone (or at least everyone that reads this blog) that I’ve managed to get Jeff Smith to become part of the Further Ahead team. He officially started today. Jeff has loads of experience and brings a lot to the team as a standards-based designer/developer hybrid.

Jeff and I have been talking on and off for some time now about him possibly doing contract work for me on an “as needed” basis. That work would be during his freelance time, though, as Jeff had a full-time job, and that just wasn’t going to solve my problems.

Despite the fact that I hadn’t met Jeff in person (we have known each other for quite some time online), we had a few serious discussions before and after Christmas. At that point, I decided that I was ready – or more accurately, I decided that I was more than 80% ready. 80% ready is the new metric I use to decide if it is time to do something. That is based on the following premise:

If you wait until you’re 100% ready, you’ll never do anything.

You will never be 100% ready, but once you’re 80% ready, you’re committed and the rest is details.

When I met Jeff at Web Directions North, I knew I had made the right decision, and I’m really happy to have him on board.

Please join me in welcoming Jeff to the team!

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Looking for Exercise at Conferences?

January 14, 2007

Let us be honest: when you’re at SXSWi (and other conferences for that matter), you pretty much drink at some social event or another every night. That leaves almost everyone hungover to some degree every day. So, how do you deal with that?

If you’re already an active person, then I suggest continuing to stay active: hit the gym in the hotel for some early morning activity, or even better exercise outside! Run on the treadmill, do something on the elliptical trainer, or even the stationary bike. It will be a bit tougher if you’re hungover but sweat it out and drink lots of water – it will help get the alcohol out of your system and make you that much fresher for the rest of the day.

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Solving problems with social networking

November 21, 2006

I’m tired of re-stating my intentions with the same person on every social networking site I join. For example: I have met Jeremy Keith. He is my friend. He is a colleague and co-worker based on our conference and WaSP involvement.

This is always the same – whether I’m using LinkedIn, the d.construct backnetwork, Web Connections, defining my flickr contacts, or the new craze – Twitter.

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In Memoriam: Lang

April 26, 2006
Photo of me, Stacy Bleeks and Lang

I first met Lang about 3.5 years ago – the same time that I met Stacy Bleeks. Lang was Stacy’s guide dog, and more importantly – Stacy’s friend. (Stacy has worked with me on various accessibility projects since I met him and is now a good friend)

Just recently, Lang was quite sick with an inoperable tumour in his intestines that was causing him quite a bit of discomfort from a swollen belly and ultimately leading to difficulty eating. His weight loss was noticeable and he just wasn’t doing well. You could just tell. He wasn’t the Lang we all knew, though he seemed to be in good spirits.

Last week – Thursday April 20, 2006 – Stacy had to make the difficult decision to have Lang put down. And yes, I know that “difficult” doesn’t even describe it. Stacy told me that he felt a wierd sense of relief afterwards. That’s when I knew Lang was more than just Stacy’s guide dog and companion. Lang was part of Stacy’s family.

Getting the Most from SXSW 2006

March 6, 2006
See me speak at SXSW 2006

Spring Break for Geeks is on again in beautiful Austin, Texas. Take some 3000+ web developer and designer types, put them all together in a conference center and watch in amazement.

I had a blast last year, and suspect this year will be just as much fun. Here’s a few things that I’ve picked up about SXSW and conferences in general that may be of use to you:

Continue reading Getting the Most from SXSW 2006

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Ottawa Group of Ruby Enthusiasts (OGRE)

January 26, 2006
Ruby on Rails

Last night a group of us here in Ottawa, formally known as OGRE (Ottawa Group of Ruby Enthusiasts), got together for a few hours to chat about some new things happening locally and to generally “get out of the house” (at least that was a good part of my reason for going – when you’re working for yourself, its very easy to get stuck in “work all day and never leave the house” mode)

Here’s a few notes, observations and questions:
Continue reading Ottawa Group of Ruby Enthusiasts (OGRE)

Four Things

January 24, 2006

Andrea tagged me with this meme so I figured I’d better play along and then pass it on. I’m looking over the questions and my answers and they seem pretty boring to me. Nonetheless, here are my four things:
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Social Networking Diseases and Disorders of the new Millennium

August 31, 2005

Contact Flickritis

Symptoms: general uneasiness, sometimes accompanied by mild headaches and sweaty palms; often characterized by feelings of deja vu and that feeling you get when you meet up with someone you think you know but can’t remember their names.

Continue reading Social Networking Diseases and Disorders of the new Millennium