A World Of Change

The past four weeks have been an absolute whirlwind, and my feet have barely had time to touch the floor, let alone update my blog, but let me try to get you caught up on what’s been happening.

Most importantly my immigration stuff is complete. I no longer just have work authorization, instead I am now a full fledged permanent resident of the United States of America. That’s really cool and has me very excited and not just because it means I get to stay with Sara without any legal worries hanging in the background, but it also means that I get to take my business in new directions as new avenues are now open to me.

One of those avenues has already opened for me and I have taken on a long term contract as IT, marketing and web consultant for Pinnacle Brain & Spine Center which is proving to be a very fulfilling and challenging job. Consulting for medical practices is a different ball game than for other businesses.

We’re still continuing with our sites such as UrlyBits and Geek Is Awesome, we’re just rearranging our workflow to allow all aspects of what we do to coexist while still managing to have a personal life.

Speaking of personal lives…

We managed to make it up to Birmingham for BarCamp Bham and had a blast. Sara ran a gaming session on “Cards Against Humanity” and I got to present back to back with Evan Travers about responsive web design.

After BarCamp we got to hang out with the Birmingham posse again, and spend a great night with our friends, shooting the breeze and playing Cards Against Humanity. It’s fair to say that “Cards” has become a staple recently and we’ve been actively corrupting exposing our friends to it. Last weekend we had a 10 player game at our house and I must say that there’s nothing like that game to expose your friends’ true sense of humor.

Did I mention we got cats? No? Damn! Well, those of you who follow me on Facebook know that we adopted two adorable kittens who are now about 16 weeks old. They’re names are Cersei and Daenerys (yes, after the characters in Game of Thrones) and are the most affectionate cats I’ve ever encountered. They’re the best of friends and amazingly cute, except when they come to our bedroom door at 5:30 am and demand entry. I’m not sure they’re cute at 5:30 am. I’m not sure anything is cute when it wakes you up at 5:30 am.

Cersei and Daenerys
Cersei and Daenerys

So that’s what has been happening. I’m sure there’s more, but those are the highlights. Sara continues to amaze me and make me wonder how I got so lucky and life swirls around in a whirlwind with no sign of stopping.

Did you know my mom is coming over from Ireland for a visit at the end of September? Mobile, you have been warned!

BarCamp Birmingham 5

Morning Schedule
Photo by Josh Self

Last weekend Sara and I made our way to Birmingham Alabama (photos on Flickr)to partake in in my first BarCamp. Sara’s an old hat at BarCamp’s having previously organized the last one in Mobile but this was a chance for me to pop my BarCamp cherry.

I’m not sure what I was expecting having never attended an “unconference” before but the atmosphere and mix of great people were a very pleasant change from the more “normal” conferences.

I must admit to being slightly in awe of amount of experience and knowledge that was being shared without a single thought for remuneration. There was no shilling of products, no attempts to get me to sign up for anything… just people coming together to make new friends, share their experience and knowledge and have a great time.

Some of the sessions were amazing filled with (highly) charged discussion and it was unfortunate when the 30 minute time limit was reached.

Some sessions, such as the one on Critical Thinking by Mykel Alvis, were completely unexpected at a “tech” conference yet I wished that it could have gone on for hours. I was seriously impressed and enthralled.

Of course I also got my own opportunity to get in front of everyone and gave a talk on “Optimizing WordPress for Shared Host Environments”. I gather that it went over well but, like so many other sessions that day, I ran up against the 30 minute time limit just as things were starting to get juicy so didn’t manage to get to some of the cooler stuff.

Me presenting - Photo by Creding

Still, Sara and I will be at TechMixer University on the 27th of September where I will be speaking again and this time I believe I’ll have an entire hour to really dig my teeth into the matter.

TechMixer is free to attend, has some really big name sponsors behind it and last year boasted over 500 attendee’s. I’m really excited about speaking there and meeting new, and perhaps old faces again!

Wrapping up this post I want to extend a massive “thank you” to everyone who made BarCamp Birmingham, where I lost my BarCamp virginity, such a success and such a great time.

Sara and I can’t wait to see all of you folks again soon and if we don’t see you in Birmingham, maybe you’ll make it down for BarCamp Mobile… (hint hint) 😉