19 Years Ago

Today marked 19 years since Dad died. I spent much of the emotion during my uncle’s funeral a few weeks ago, but it helped being surrounded by 450 of some of the greatest coworkers a guy could ask for.

Even though I only told one person, I appreciate y’all helping me stay social and making today a good day.

Hot Dogs Across America—Flash Talk Edition

In October, I joined 400 coworkers in Park City, Utah, for the annual all-hands Automattic Grand Meetup. During the weekend, everyone gives a 4-minute flash talk on any subject they would like.

This year, Hot Dogs Across America. Hot Dogs Across America is my quest/challenge with Fischer to see who can eat a hot dog in all fifty states (plus DC!) first. You can watch all four minutes of glory:

The beginning was meant to be a little comedic misdirection, but it fell pretty flat and I didn’t sell it that well. The trip itself, in June 2004, happened pretty much as the video said and ended with the Arizona hot dog. The trip was to the Gila River Indian Community outside of Phoenix to a school under the direction of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. The local community and the Sisters in general are both wonderful and was a transformative experience. After my first year (and the sponsoring parish opting to not continue the trip), Vanessa and I coordinated the trip for two or three years more.

In addition to Arizona, the video touches on the hot dogs from the District, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Hawaii.1

  1. I’m still backfilling pictures, maps, and information for all of the states. It’ll come! 🌭 

WordPress Tattoo Party

At the Automattic Grand Meetup, we had gold temporary tattoo sheets to take home. Much better than anything I could have bought at the airport for the kids.

Happiness Badges

Happiness Badges

A number of Automatticians worked to create these “happiness badges” for a variety of roles that Happiness Engineers serve in. The badges were retroactive to things you’ve worked on in the past too. For me, the badges represent work in our old “Core Happiness” team, Jetpack, VaultPress, WordPress.com’s public forums, Themes/CSS (even though I turned the badge to look like a frowny guy 😄), WordPress.com’s private e-mail support, mobile app support, community guardian (Terms of Service enforcement), and a new hire/trial trainer.

No badges for VIP or working on the open-source project (yet) and I have my sights set on leveling up on Akismet in the near-ish future.

While small and of little tangible value, I love things like this. I forget the variety of things I’ve done and that I still have new places to explore and things to learn. These little bits of fabric are pretty darn cool.

Old Park City