On May 2nd, I hopped on a plane to Huntsville, Alabama on a journey to my 40th state. I would spend eight days in The Heart of Dixie. My time would be split between the TBEX conference in Huntsville and a post TBEX trip with a smaller group to Montgomery. I have spent a lot of time in The South, notably in Arkansas and Texas, but had never been to Alabama. While many people have preconceived notions, I went to Alabama with an open mind and had a surprisingly awesome trip. I was blown away by the history, culture, technology, and friendly people I met as I explored Rocket City and the heart of the Civil Rights Movement. The trip was so wonderful that I wanted to take the time to share the details. Alabama is an affordable vacation destination. If you are looking to get away on a budget, Alabama should be at the top of your list. Let’s dive in. Huntsville Traveling to Huntsville and Getting Acquainted Flying from a small airport to a small airport, I had a bit of a journey getting from home to Huntsville. I drove up to Santa Barbara and flew on United SBA > LAX > IAH > HSV. From the time I got into my car until I reached my hotel, it was a bit over 12 hours of travel, … [Read more...] about TBEX and My Surprisingly Awesome Trip to Alabama
My amazing client and friend Paula Pant, owner of Afford Anything, wanted to give her readers an option to see all posts from the start of her site on one page. She calls it a "binge" reading experience. You can see the page at Afford Anything here. In this page template, we can see a history of all posts by month with the newest posts at the top and oldest at the bottom of the page. Once it is setup, there is no manual maintenance required. All is generated by the PHP code in the page template. Essentially we are customizing the Genesis Archive Template to display posts by month. The page turned out to be quite popular. I couldn't find any easy ways to set something like this up, so I put together a page template that does exactly this. If you want something similar, you don't need a plugin. Just copy the code below into a new file in your child theme's root directory. This code is optimized for Genesis, and has not been tested with other themes or frameworks. Once you have the code in the directory, you will have a new page template available to select. You don't need to add any content, just create the page and choose the new "Archive" template. See screen shot below for an … [Read more...] about Create a Binge Reading Archive Page on Your WordPress Site
With the big news that Mandrill is dropping its free plan, I decided it is time to move on and find a new transactional email service. While it looks like there are a handful of competitors offering a free introductory plan, I decided to go to Amazon Simple Email Service (SES), a service included in Amazon Web Services (AWS) suite of products. … [Read more...] about Using Amazon SES to Send Transactional Email for Free
When I started thinking about what to say in a d’var Torah for Rosh Hashana, my first thought was to read the Torah portion. When I was reading, though, I had another question come to mind. Why are we reading this story today? As we know, odds are that many Jews in the world only catch two Torah portions a year, so Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are the Torah’s days to shine. When it is your big moment, why pick this story out of the many, many options we have. We could spend the day reading about Kashrut. We could spend it reading about Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden. But we instead spend it focusing on something else completely. And one of those highlights is the birth of Isaac, the first person in the world to ever be born Jewish. In Judaism, there is a big focus on ends and beginnings. We do that every week on Shabbos, when we celebrate the end of a week. We can look back and reflect, kick our shoes off, and enjoy a good l’chaim with friends and family as we rest and recharge for the next one. Rosh Hashana is very unlike Shabbos in that regard. We were not together yesterday kicking off our shoes and relaxing to celebrate the end of another year. Instead, we are facing … [Read more...] about D’var Torah – Rosh Hasahana 2015
Back in college, I decided that there was not enough Jewish Hip Hop (aka Heeb Hop) music, so I joined forced with a friend and started a rap group. While the website doesn't exist anymore, I wanted to memorialize one of my favorite past projects here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQKAZGf-tX0 The Facebook Fan Page is still up and well, so feel free to give a like! The images below are from our big show at the Fox Theater: … [Read more...] about HWChet – The Heebs With Chutspa
I woke up this morning at 2:00am because I had to go to the bathroom. When I rolled over and looked at the clock, I realized that the first thing I had to do in my 4th decade of life was waking up mid-sleep. I hope that is not a sign of things to come. It dawned on a few hours later, when I woke up on purpose, that 30 is an interesting milestone in life. We are old enough to clearly be considered “adults,” but we still have so much to learn and experience ahead. It is a time when we may realize that our years on this Earth are, in fact, limited, but we have more than half of them ahead of us yet. When faced with an existential moment such as this, I knew I had to do what all normal people do at a major milestone in life: write about it. So, while they may not be quite as amusing or insightful as Dave Barry’s 50th birthday tips to the world, including such gems as warnings against licking a steak knife and combining laxatives with sleeping pills, I still have something interesting to contribute to the world today. And I know that I still have another 20 years to reach the level of transcendence that led to Mr. Barry’s list. Here are a few of the most important lessons I’ve … [Read more...] about Thoughts at Thirty
As a WordPress site owner, you may use your site to send emails for a variety of reasons. Whether your site is running a contact form, product sales, or event signups, it is important that your emails make it to their intended inbox and don’t end up in the dreaded spam folder. Lucky for us, MailChimp has a free tool to help with that exact need. … [Read more...] about Improve Your WordPress Email Delivery with Mandrill
We recently invested in a D-SLR camera, which stands for digital single lens reflex. SLR cameras are the big ones that you see people carry around with the giant lens on the front. I am super excited about how it has been so far. Here are my first publish worthy shots. … [Read more...] about SLR Cameras Take Great Pictures!