Santa Cruz WordPress Meetup

I found and attended my first Meetup last week. The Santa Cruz WordPress Meetup was started about 3 months ago, and has already outgrown its space at Cruzio. I am excited about meeting some new folks, and learning about WordPress and web development.

Last week’s presentation was a very impressive demo of using WordPress as a CMS by Philippe Alexis of no diamonds web services. Philippe and his team have really pushed the envelope of what you can do in WordPress. Anyway, you can see my videos of the event below. Apologies for the low screen resolution — I recommend you pull up the Easton Hockey website and follow along if you try to watch these.

Alternate: Part 1 : Part 2

OpenSource World 2009

I attended Linuxworld, which is now OpenSource world for the first time in many years today. The last time I attended was the last year that Linus Torvalds actually gave a keynote at the event, which should give some idea how long ago it was!

This year’s was a very different kind of event, but I actually picked up some good information and had a good time. Stopped in at the Dice career fair and made the rounds of the 10 or so companies represented. Phoenix technologies was actually looking for a system administrator, and is located in the right part of the Bay Area. Amazon and Rackspace are hiring, but in Seattle and Texas, respectively. Talked to an FBI Analyst for a minute and pictured myself as the hero of one of those fast paced crime dramas – NOT.

Best talk of the day was Gavin Roy’s presentation on scaling web applications. You can see his slides here. If you can make it tomorrow (8/13/2009) at the Moscone Center check it out. I’m not going to make the long drive tomorrow myself, but there are some talks I’d really like to see (Laura Chappell doing her protocol analysis thing, and another one on troubleshooting). If you go, let me know what you liked.

New Contact Page

I am pleased to announce the addition of a contact page to After a brief Google search I selected the Contact Form 7 WordPress plugin for my contact page. It was dead simple to install – just unzip the Contact Form 7 files and copy them under the plugin directory in your WordPress directory. After you activate the plugin all you need to do is add one short line of code to a page or post to insert the contact form. By default it will send mail to the admin contact for your blog, which is what I wanted anyway.

You can see my contact page here. I think the minimalistic styling fits right in with my design, though it could obviously be tweaked endlessly with style sheets. What do you think? Please leave a comment, or send me an email on the new contact page.

New Theme, New Focus

I have made my first custom WordPress theme and installed it on my site. I think it is fun, readable, and looks like me. I have also decided that this url ( will be repurposed for my web design business, rather than my net engineer job search.

For my Network and Security Engineer work I can just use LinkedIn. But I can’t really be a web designer without a web site, ya know?

I should credit Small Potato and the wpdesigner blog for this very helpful tutorial on creating a WordPress theme from scratch. My theme borrows heavily from the example web site — I just changed the color scheme, the masthead, and came up with the little robot graphic.

First Post

I’m still messing around with the layout of my site. I figured out how to have a static front page, and link to a blog on another page. Pretty cool!