Nice people sometimes ask where the videos of my talks are. Well, most of my presentations have not been recorded, were screwed up during recording, are being sat on by the organisers, or were recorded in the dark without a mic. Thus, I’m especially pleased that our wonderful, laid-back friends at Whoooz! have been feverishly uploading well-produced videos from last month’s EECI2009 conference.
Alongside talks from EllisLab, Veerle, Leevi Graham, Brandon and others to follow, my EECI2009 tale Five Years of Quiet Revolution is up on the EECI2009 Vimeo page, on the complete page of videos/slideshows, and is also embedded below, alongside my slides.
My sincere apologies for the shirt. It’s Primarni.
Finally, look out for @eeci2010 on Twitter, as there will be some announcements about next year’s events on or around 30th November 2009.
I can’t wait any longer. It has taken me over a week to collate all that follows, with videos, slides, images and reports still appearing day by day. I’m channeling my enthusiasm and pooling almost everything from the last two weeks into this post for your pleasure. If you care about ExpressionEngine, I advise you cancel your plans for the rest of the day, make a massive pot of tea, and get comfy. Here we go…
On an eerily foggy day in May, we laid my Dad to rest at the head of the Hope Valley. Just myself, my Mam, and a lone crow that arrived at the beginning, stayed throughout, then left as we did.
A few weeks ago, whilst summing up @Media 2009 I pledged that I’d try and get a transcript of my presentation onto the interwebs in some form or other. Well, I did just that, although I got a bit carried away, turning it into a nine-part series over at Erskine Labs. Here’s a handy list of entry points:
In early 2006, a book called CSS Mastery was published. Written expertly by Andy, it also featured case studies from Cameron and myself, plus a foreword from Dan. The book sold like hot cakes and became the best-selling Apress/Friends Of ED title ever. Now, we’re all back together for the release of CSS Mastery, Second Edition.
The almost-annual Geek In The Park get-together takes place this Saturday (15th August) in Leamington Spa. I will be hammering on about Nailing Your Own Projects, and Remy will be probing HTML5 and Friends. If you can make it, we’d all love to see you, even if - like my good self - you hate the idea of being a “geek”. Still, it trumps “nerd”. Or “spod”.
I’m reaching the end of a wonderful week off, which included a five-hour drive to remote Wasdale in the Lake District, two full days of trekking and scrambling, and a return journey of over eight-hours through three national parks. And all of that under sun-kissed skies. Plus, my highest-ever tweet!
As previously blogged, I have thrown myself right back into epic wilderness walks, scaling summits (in February, I twittered that I should climb 25 summits in 2009), and generally losing myself in the mountains. It’s the tonic my weary soul needs. I’m back sellotaping together old maps, re-reading Wainwright and stocking up on new camping and trekking kit.
Twittering from England’s highest mountain
This trip included a long, hot clamber up to England’s highest mountain, the epic if rather rock-strewn Scafell Pike, with stunning views across the Lakes, Scotland, the whole Isle Of Man, and even Snowdon and Northern Ireland (just).
In a valley devoid of mobile coverage, it was a delight to power up the iPhone on the summit and find coverage, which resulted in a summit tweet or two, and me TwitPic-ing myself and the views and engaging in plenty of @replies from over 3,200 feet. I know I’m a sorry geek, but this was quite a thrill - sharing images and receiving congratulations/abuse via Twitter whilst on the summit. More real-time Twitter sharing pleasure.
The route back to Wasdale, known as the Corridor Route, was one of the most stunning treks I’ve ever taken, and it includes some classic scrambling, with a fine pub at the end.
The Hardknott in a Datsun
On the drive back, I also took my 32-year-old car over the notorious Hardknott Pass, the incredible winding, steep (it’s “1 in 3” in old money), dipping, frightening route between Eskdale and Langdale. Unless you’ve attempted this route in a 1977 Datsun, you can’t argue with me. People were actually cheering me on round the steep bends!
To get an idea, watch this 9 minute video of a bloke on a motorbike doing the Hardknott Pass. You’ll see the worst bit at around 3:50 and also 5:24 - except I was traveling in the other direction - up that!
An epic drive home
I drove for hours through some of my favourite English countryside, the full route being Lake District National Park (Wasdale, Eskdale, Hardknott and Wrynose passes, Ambleside, Bowness On Windermere), Kirkby Lonsdale, Yorkshire Dales National Park (Ingleton, Clapham, Settle), Gargrave, Skipton, the Pennines (Keighley, Haworth, Hebden Bridge, Huddersfield, Holmfirth, Peak District National Park (Longdendale, Glossop, Snake Pass, Bamford, Hathersage) and so on… all the way to Nottingham. Quite a journey!
If you’re interested, there’s a Lakes Flickr set with a host of other photos from the trip.
More summits to follow
I’m already scoping out numerous further walks and summits for the rest of the year, including a full Kinderscout plateau circuit, the Snowdon Horseshoe (via the frightening Crib Goch knife-edges), the Glyders, Cadair Idris, and the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge. In the mean time I’ll be trudging a few old and familiar Peak District summits such as Win Hill, Lose Hill as I try and get a fit enough to cope with all these tougher climbs.
I might invite others to join me on some of the routes, so drop a comment or email me if you might want to come along at some point. I’m also working on a special trekking-based case study for a forthcoming book’s second edition. More on that - and maybe a couple of other web-based crossovers as and when…
It’s turning into a busy speaking year. As well as a few business and university talks, I recently presented as part of the Future Of Web Apps Tour, which went down a treat. I’ve got @Media coming up in a couple of weeks, and something special in October (more soon). Today, the first Future Of Web Design Tour was announced, and I’ll be presenting and workshopping alongside such fine speakers at Paul Annett and Brendan Dawes. Here’s a bit more detail about the FOWD stuff…
I recently realised that the main thing missing from my life over the “web years” has been my love and understanding of the mountains and national parks. With this in mind, I made a return trip up my beloved Kinderscout for the first time in years today, a sort of “training” trip prior to the bigger fells of the Lake District next week.
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.
I read that quote writ large on a wall in Edale‘s new Moorland Centre after today’s walk. Written in 1901 by the Scottish-born American naturalist, author, and campaigner for the preservation of wilderness John Muir, it sums today up beautifully - and probably every walk I’ll ever do.
Erskine Socials will be an umbrella for a variety of meet-ups; a series of occasional discussions, talks and events for web designers, developers and beer drinkers from Nottingham and beyond.
Our Jamie Pittock (fresh from dropping an EE knowledge-bomb on FOWD attendees in London) has concocted the plans, and our Phil Swan is responsible for the animated birdies. If you’re interested, head over to Erskine Socials and sign up for our forthcoming email updates. Who knows what you could get invited to?!
Now the issue is off the shelves, I guess it is OK to share the full scan. If you’ve too much time on your hands, you can read the full Profile on Flickr. The shirt I am wearing is sponsored by Daz Automatic.
I’m now providing my own short URLs for all posts on this here blog (you’ll see one just above the title), essentially divorcing myself from all those third-party link shortening services. This post briefly describes the problem, and provides an EE plugin to enable your own short links with ease.
I had decided not to write about the Watchmen movie, partly because I’m the kind of Watchmen fan that many of you will dislike, in that I only read the original comics a few months ago. Does that mean I love the story any less than you? Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t really care, because I found myself giddy with anticipation for this film, and I know the details enough to care deeply about it. Anyway, I decided to blast through my thoughts on the film version to help me understand whether I actually liked it or not. As you’ll discover, I’m still not sure…
Route no.1 is a pedal-based fiasco bookended by Nottingham and Paris. You can find out more at the lovely new One More Hero website, should you feel so inclined.
Extra bit of speaking news. I’ll be presenting Knowing Your Audience on the Leeds leg of the freshly-announced Future Of Web Apps Tour, landing in Yorkshire on 28th May 2009. The tour also takes in Edinburgh, Bristol and Cambridge. Hoping I genuinely get picked up in a double-decker bus, but more likely it’ll be the train. See you there?