Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe another year has passed. I hope you and your ʻohana had a wonderful 2018!
My goal for November was to pass my National Registry exam for Emergency Medical Responder, but I couldn’t get the test scheduled until December 1. I’m happy to say I passed the exam and I am now a certified first responder!
Podcasts to Audiobooks
Throughout the month I started questioning some of the podcasts I listen to. It’s not that they’re bad, but a podcast is going to cover what the podcast host(s) want to cover (though some do take input). This is nothing against them, as that’s how I expect it to work. But I am subscribed to a lot of podcasts. Some weeks I would listen to over 60 different ones. That’s a lot of time spent on topics that are “kind of” what I want.
I decided to cut back on the number I listen to so I can focus my time on things I want to learn or “read” about. I’ve been spending more time on audiobooks than I had been, where I pick the topic every time. I still listen to all the WordPress-related podcasts I can find, whether they are relevant to me or not.
I’ll be sharing the podcasts I listen to on my new resources page once the site redesign launches on January 18.
Goal from last month: Review the code, ensuring it meets WordPress coding and Plugin standards. Start using the plugin on geoffreyshilling.com.
Progress:Goal not met. I made a lot of progress, but didn’t have as much time to work on it as I had hoped. This is also going a lot slower since it’s the first time I’ve gone through everything like this on one of my plugins. It not only involves fixing the code, but going through the entire plugin handbook and standards to make sure I’m doing it right. I’m won’t be submitting it to the WordPress plugin directory but I want it to be up to standards so that I could if I wanted.
Goal from last month: “Finish sketches of the site before I do any more work on the site itself. It will use a coffee-inspired theme called “Kope 808,” likely built on the Mai Lifestyle Pro Theme. The planned launch date is January 18, 2019 – the day Captain Cook discovered Hawaiʻi in 1778.”
Progress: I was part way into the project and decided to do more of a beach-inspired theme for now. It won’t be anything special, but will give me a chance to work with the Genesis Framework. The majority of the new theme is built and I’m calling it “Big Island 808,” inspired by the beaches of Hawaiʻi’s Big Island. I will add the theme to GitHub soon.
Learn the Genesis Framework
Goal from last month: I know I’m not going to learn the entire framework in a month, but I want to familiarize myself with what’s available. I got the Pro Plus plan and can’t wait to really get going!
Progress:Goal met! I read through quite a bit of documentation about Genesis and watched a few videos. I at least have a much better understanding of what’s available to me now.
I took a little hiatus from fitness but now I’m back. Although this isn’t directly development-related, I think fitness is important for developers. And fitness is going to be taking more and more of my time, so I’ll be doing a little less developer stuff in the coming year. I’m aiming to run at least 5k every day. My actual goal is to run at least one mile daily and do a cross-fit-type workout at least three times a week. I’m currently doing Beach Body’s Insanity Max 30 (no, I’m not a coach and I don’t sell anything) and I love it! You can follow my progress at geoffrey.gets.fit on Instagram.
Running Miles in December: 73.11
Total Miles for 2018: 571.1
Total Runs: 128
I wasn’t getting much reading done, but am trying to set aside more time to do this. Here’s what I’ve been reading this month:
January is the last month on my current schedule. After that, there are some major changes that I really can’t wait to share! Once those changes take effect, the time I have for development will likely drop. That’s OK though, I’m stoked to see how the year goes!
GeoffreyShilling.com Redesign Plan [Website]. URL: http://orangeriverdev.com/ Finish up the theme and get the site launched on January 18, 2019, the day Captain Cook became the first European to discover Hawaiʻi in 1778.
AlohaGeoffrey.com [Website]. URL: https://alohageoffrey.com/ I keep going back and forth about my non-development stuff and how I want to handle it. I’m getting more into fitness in the coming year. This will be my personal blog for all that stuff. Topics will include recipes, fitness, productivity, general thoughts, and Hawaiʻi.
I’ve had a revelation and I think I’ve finally figured out what I want to do. It’s hard to narrow things down when you want to do all the things.
WordPress Websites. I want to build professional, high-quality websites. I have a number of friends and family that have businesses and have asked about helping them get started.
I’ve been watching a lot of Carrie Dil’s Genesis courses on LinkedIn Learning. After playing around with the Genesis Framework for a while, I decided this was the best path for what I want to do. I’m now working with the Pro Plus All-Theme Package and learning a lot.
I’ve decided to move my recipes over to a site designed mainly for our family. This will allow me to focus on development here at GeoffreyShilling.com. It’d be great to help others going down the same path as me.
My schedule will change again in a couple months, but starting Monday my plan is to try blocking off time. I hadn’t done that much in the past because things get shifted around a lot, but I’m going to see how it goes. I’m definitely much more of a morning person and I wake up pretty early every day of the week. This lets me get my “fun” stuff done without taking time away from family after my day job.
WordPress Support, 2.5 hours: I know this has been on my list for a while, but this month I’m making time to get back into the WordPress.org forums.
Projects, ~5 hours: This can be anything I have to work on, whether it’s a plugin, a theme, or a site redesign.
Running, at least 3-4 days a week: I love running and would do it every day if I could. For now, my goal is at least 3-4 runs each week.
Cross-Fit-Type Training, at least 3-4 days a week: I’m probably going with Beach Body’s Insanity Max 30, a version of Insanity compressed to 30 minutes.
Posts as Grid [Plugin]
Goal from last month: I want to work on a plugin that will display the posts in a category as a grid using the post’s featured image and title. This will be used on my recipe pages so you can see what there is without scrolling through each recipe.
Progress: Completed! I decided I didn’t need to create a separate plugin and stuck with adding it to the theme, though this may be used as a prime example of scope creep. As I mentioned above, I split the recipes off my main site and those will now be at Island of Aloha. I also worked on a new theme for this, ʻOhana Favorites, using the Genesis Framework. The original (Foodie Pro) theme probably could probably could have done exactly what I wanted, but my goal was to learn. And that I did. I used CSS Grid and am very happy with the results. The site itself still has a few tweaks, but the grid I like.
Progress: Completed! The password generator defaults to everything I want and it’s as automated as possible. Features include:
Default to uppercase, lowercase, and numbers selected.
Default to 16 characters long.
Set focus to the Generate button after updating any options so it’s ready to press enter and create a new password.
Automatically generate a password and select it on page load. As soon as the page loads, I just need to press CTRL+C and I’ll be ready to use the password.
Goal from last month: I had ordered an SSD and plan to rebuild my laptop this month. I’ll be upgrading from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS to 18.04.1 LTS. I use VVV for my local development. The biggest change is that I’m hoping to get rid of my dual-boot system (Windows and Ubuntu) and only run Ubuntu with Windows in a Virtual Box. I’d love to ditch Windows completely, but a couple things I use for the Navy require it. I don’t want to mess around with the hacks that would let me potentially run a Windows program on Linux.
Progress: Almost complete. Shortly after last month’s post I started having a number of other issues and decided to go ahead and replace my laptop. I got rid of my dual-boot setup and now run Ubuntu 18.04 with Windows on a VirtualBox machine. I have a couple Navy websites I’m still working on, but email is finally working now.
National Registry Exam
Goal from last month: I want to try to schedule and take my National Registry Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) exam this month. We took a class with our fire department a couple months ago and I’ve completed that, but I won’t be certified until I pass the National Registry.
Progress: Almost complete. I need to take the exam on a Saturday due to my schedule. They don’t offer it every weekend and the next Saturday exam they had is today. I’ll be taking it in a couple hours after this is posted. Wish me luck!
I took most of the LinkedIn Learning courses I could find on Genesis this month and continued on with the Become a Junior WordPress Developer learning path. I’ve decided not to list the individual courses here and instead just add them to my LinkedIn profile. I’ll add individual courses as I take them. Once I complete a learning path I’ll remove those and just keep the main learning path certificate. Part of the reason for this is that I’m taking more courses as I devote more time but also there are some of the courses I find really helpful and go through them several times.
Goals for The Month
Although I may work on other things, I’m going to limit myself to setting three goals every month.
Finish sketches of the site before I do any more work on the site itself. It will use a coffee-inspired theme called “Kope 808,” likely built on the Mai Lifestyle Pro Theme. The planned launch date is January 18, 2019 – the day Captain Cook discovered Hawaiʻi in 1778.
Learn the Genesis Framework.
I know I’m not going to learn the entire framework in a month, but I want to familiarize myself with what’s available. I got the Pro Plus plan last and can’t wait to really get going!
I’ve had a really hard time trying to figure out a schedule and a plan moving forward. I absolutely love WordPress and want to continue working with it. I know I can’t learn it all, but I want to.
Goal from last month: Plan a new design for GeoffreyShilling.com that I will ultimately build using the Underscores starter theme.
Progress: I figured out a basic design for the site and started working on the theme I’m calling “Kope 808.” Kope is the Hawaiian word for coffee and 808 is Hawaiʻi’s lone area code. The theme is, of course, coffee inspired.
There was a slight change in that I decided to go ahead and use the Gutenberg Starter theme instead of the Underscores theme. I started working on some drawings but I was anxious to try out the Gutenberg Starter Theme so I worked on code a little bit.
Goal from last month: Continue to work on the plugin and have it functional by the end of the month.
Progress: Goal met! The plugin is now working as expected. I’m sure I’ll run into a few small things along the way, but I’m just about ready to put it on this site and start using it. The last thing I want to do before then is to go through the code and make sure it’s following all the WordPress coding standards and styles and that it’s following the plugin best practices and standards. I learned a lot this month. I had some frustrating days working through adding a default featured image, but I finally got it figured out.
WordPress Essential Training
SASS Essential Training
Making Sense of the CSS Box Model
Learning Responsive Design
Introduction to CSS
Git Essential Training
Bootstrap 4 Essential Training
I’ve been making big progress the past two months in the amount of things I’ve been learning. I’ve been working on several projects, but it adds time going back to make sure everything is coded properly and following the styles I want. This month I started taking notes for my own style and development guidelines. Although this will mostly be based off WordPress.org’s various coding standards, there will be a few minor changes. One of those being CSS: I like to organize my CSS alphabetically within elements and sections. This style guide will help me as I’m working on new projects and continue to learn so I won’t have to go searching for how I want things.
I took a couple weeks off from fitness in October but now I’m back! As much as I would like to run every day, I really need to get in some other training as well. I’m still trying to figure out what’s going to work best, but I think I’m going to do P90X three days a week and run 3-4 times, maintaining my mileage that I was with 5k/day.
Audible: The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated) by Timothy Ferriss. Thoughts: So far it’s an interesting book. I’m not trying to make millions or get my work down to hours a week, but I’ve heard a lot of people recommend it.
Kindle: How to Parent a Genius: Raising Kids that are Smart, Successful, Nice and Happy! by Pat Quinn
I’m always on the lookout for more efficient ways to get things done. Here’s what I found this month:
“To-Do” Email Address. I use Trello a lot and there are plenty of ways to for it to help make you even more efficient. Trello allows you to create cards by email and add them to a specific list. I created a very short email address, such as firstname.lastname@example.org ,and have it forward to the long email address Trello gave me for my “To Do” board. From there the item is added to my “Inbox” list until I move it where it needs to go. Any emails I receive I can easily forward to this address and have it added to my to-do list.
A Week of Sandwiches. A couple weeks ago I heard a suggestion about making sandwiches and freezing them. I really wish I remember where I heard/saw this so I could give credit. My son makes his lunch the night before school. I had him try freezing one sandwich to see how it worked and he said he couldn’t notice any difference in taste. This is the second where he’s made his lunch on Sunday night and four more sandwiches for the rest of the week. Each sandwich goes in a bag, he puts them in the freezer, and grabs one as needed when he’s making lunch. It’s amazing how much time it saves him getting things out just once instead of every school night.
My News Highlights
A few of the things I found interesting this month.
Finish sketches of the site before I do any more work on the theme itself. The theme will be called “Kope 808.” It should be built mobile-first and will likely include designs for small, medium, and large screens.
Posts as Grid [Plugin].
I want to work on a plugin that will display the posts in a category as a grid using the post’s featured image and title. This will be used on my recipe pages so you can see what there is without scrolling through each recipe.
I had ordered an SSD and plan to rebuild my laptop this month. I’ll be upgrading from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS to 18.04.1 LTS. I use VVV for my local development. The biggest change is that I’m hoping to get rid of my dual-boot system (Windows and Ubuntu) and only run Ubuntu with Windows in a Virtual Box. I’d love to ditch Windows completely, but a couple things I use for the Navy require it. I don’t want to mess around with the hacks that would let me potentially run a Windows program on Linux.
National Registry Exam.
I want to try to schedule and take my National Registry Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) exam this month. We took a class with our fire department a couple months ago and I’ve completed that, but I won’t be certified until I pass the National Registry.