(Re)Building In Public

Summer of 2015, what a doozy! Cooking, accident recovery, resignation, consulting, festivals, and adult education. Much to talk about, but let’s cover development for now.

Here I sit, in a code review at my friend’s company, gleaning the difficulties of software development. I’ve been stumbling through my own difficulties in relearning JavaScript, getting up to speed on the state of the art of software development. Past experience has always been rewarding, but never sticky enough to turn into any sort of gainful employment or meaningful skill development. This time around, with the right guidance and the time necessary to maneuver, combined with my past years of professional experience, it’s time to really build something.

So I’ll start with my own site. Until I dive into any customization, this blog won’t count, focus will just be on the things where I’ve worked directly with the code. If you’ve got 15 seconds, check it out.

Prepare your mind to be blown: http://woodhoot.github.io

Stunning, right? :-p

Yeah, pretty lame. But I made it. And I wanna make it better! What should I do next?

Screenshot for posterity (since I plan to change this a lot):

woodhoot

Get Involved: Come to SFYD’s 9th Annual Ball in Blue

 “’How lucky am I to live in this… magnificent place?'”

…reads Dan Moore’s call to arms to the would-be San Francisco tech immigrant.“But then you’ll start wondering if you deserve it,” he continues in his recent Open Letter in the Bold Italic. “When you do get involved, and when you do immerse yourself in the community, you’ll start feeling less lonely and more like you belong. “ From my own experience, I can tell you that involvement in my neighborhood has always been a reliable way to generate a real sense of belonging. Looking for a good way to start getting involved yourself? Try starting here:

Come join me and the San Francisco Young Democrats for the 9th annual Ball In Blue!

Flyer

(Promo code: ‘Woody’. NOTE – select the amount of the ticket type you want before hitting “Submit”)

What is SFYD’s Ball in Blue?

Paris Hays explains, “SFYD’s Ball in Blue is the Bay Area’s premier event connecting local leaders with young San Franciscans of the Democratic Party.” This social event provides a relaxed atmosphere in which attendees can comfortably mingle and interact with local leaders. “Last year, I did everything from taking a selfie with Mayor Lee to speaking with D8 Supervisor Scott Wiener about increased property stock over cocktails.” said SFYD’s Treasurer, Matt Herrick.

mayor speaking

What is SFYD?

The San Francisco Young Democrats (SFYD) is an active organization that strives to engage young people in the electoral process. Further, it seeks to shape the future of San Francisco and California by engaging its members in policy development, advocacy, and leadership training. Many notable public figures trained to eventually run for and hold office as members and leadership of SFYD. Watch for former club President, CA State Senator Mark Leno, in the lineup of the evening’s speakers. Are you between the ages of 14 and 35? Consider joining! No matter what your background, this is one way to start getting your voice heard. (NOTE: Event is 21+)

pelosi group shot

Leader Pelosi w/ SFYD, 2015 New Year’s Luncheon. (pictured: yours truly, Matt Herrick, David Kornahrens, Nancy Pelosi, Kayla Unger, William Lee-Wagner, Angeles Roy, Julian Bartlett, Diane Le)

Why should you get involved today?
“Your experience living in San Francisco will only be as rewarding and fulfilling as the sincerity of the effort you put into it,” Mr. Moore goes onto wisely state. For anyone enjoying the freedoms provided by the system we live in, SFYD Board President, Diane Le points out that “government and politics affects everything around you, whether you realize it or not.” In the realm of local politics, “young people are always the margin of victory that help candidates/propositions pass” advises SFYD Board Issues and Actions Chair, Chris Gembinski. In my own experience, I’ve been able to make connections with local officials, many of whom will actually pick up their own phones and really listen to feedback.

Come to SFYD’s Ball in Blue IX!

You’re ready to get started and can do so on Wednesday (9/30) at Ruby Skye, 7pm sharp. So brush up on your public policy, dust off those business cards, suit up and get yourself to Ruby Skye. Don’t forget your tickets! Buy now, promo code ‘Woody’.

See you there!

three amigos

PS: I’ve got a LOT less hair than that at the moment…

Making the Most of Summer 2015

Is it the end of August already?? How has this happened…

I hope your summer has been a good one! Hopefully we’ve had the chance to hang out and share an experience or two in this fine city of ours. Not the case? Let’s fix that soon!

If you’re up to date on the life of Woody, you know Summer 2015 has certainly had its ups and downs. How it all plays out remains to be seen, but what is certain is that this has been a very busy summer and a rather promising one at that.

What Summer 2015 been all about, in no particular order:

  • Professional Development: At the beginning of the summer I resigned from the company I cofounded over 2 years ago. Not to waste the first summer “off” in years, I’ve been doing everything possible to re-shape myself for my next all-in endeavor.
    • Check out my “website“! I’m utilizing the free pages offered by GitHub, working with Sublime Text 2 as my editor, and hosting simple content on Google Drive and Imgur.com.
    • I’ve been re-learning JavaScript as well, taking guidance from the internet as well as the venerable Nolan Brown and others.
    • Consulting has also captured a good amount of my attention. No better way to stay sharp than to select a business you know nothing about, mystery shop the hell out of it, then figure a way to massage all your feedback into a concise format that is both congratulatory and prescriptive. A delicate balance, like unicycling the Playa.
  • Event Production: In the past 5 years I’ve had a part of my brain dedicated to producing events with/for my friends. With free flowing information and ubiquitous, low-friction consumerism as a part of our daily lives, the needs of the human system have moved up Maslow’s Hierarchy. Sharing experiences with your friends, new and old, remains a matter of research and luck, rife with hoping that you have chosen correctly in the use of your time, energy, and resources. Producing experiences that are worth spending one’s time and resources on, especially in the era of Facebook Events, is an art and something I will continue to strive to perfect. Got an idea for an event? Let’s talk, it could be a golden opportunity to connect us all.
  • Body Design: Since moving in with my roommate in January, we’ve been succeeding at cultivating a healthy lifestyle. We redoubled our efforts at shaping our behaviors at the beginning of the summer and the results have been staggering. From pushing ourselves to maintain both a delicious diet and a sustainable exercise regimen to honing our methods and philosophies that guide our behavior, we’re close to defining the full system in such a way that anyone interested could step up and take the challenge and see real results for themselves.
  • Food: A large part of the Body Design philosophy is centered on what we’re eating. If you are what you eat, then in my mind, if you’re interested in being the best version of yourself that you can be, you should eat the best things possible. Going one step further, being able to efficiently produce those things for one’s self and friends, you can take control of the definition of who/what you are. You may have heard of a few of my specialities:
    • Nuggets: Designed to feed 2 or 20, my nuggets recipe uses real chicken, a crispy panko crunch, and serve as the ultimate vehicle for sauce consumption.
    • Travel Guac: Designed to travel as a show-stopping addition to any barbecue, my guac recipe contains the mess of production to home and saves the freshness of mixing for the absolute last moment.
    • Festival Ribs: Originally a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen, it’s been adapted for portability and extreme deliciousness by adopting some (accidental) methods developed by our own test kitchen.
  • Local Politics: Since early 2014 I’ve found myself at an increasing number (and quality) of local political events. It’s been remarkable to develop personal relationships with the people that run this fine city. Don’t like the job they’re doing? Get involved, it’s pretty impressive to see what they are capable of when provided with actionable feedback. Some highlights:
  • Life Logistics: Fitting it all in has been a wild ride. But, if you know me, I have a penchant for running a million things concurrently, usually with pretty decent results. From breaking down the ¢/mile merits of scooter ownership to optimizing the perfect morning workflow, I’m tireless in finding more efficient ways to lively deliciously. Hopefully, this section of publishing can become a great way to share and hone the best hacks we’ve discovered together.

Though I’ve focused a lot on myself and what I’m doing, the reason I’m putting it out there is that I want you to join me! In my experience, there is no more productive or engaging way of living than when the friends, family, and community around you are involved. If you’ve made it to this point in the article, then maybe we’re of a like mind.

Reach out, let’s join forces!

(Re)Building In Public

Summer of 2015, what a doozy! Cooking, accident recovery, resignation, consulting, festivals, and adult education. Much to talk about, but let’s cover development for now.

Here I sit, in a code review at my friend’s company, gleaning the difficulties of software development. I’ve been stumbling through my own difficulties in relearning JavaScript, getting up to speed on the state of the art of software development. Past experience has always been rewarding, but never sticky enough to turn into any sort of gainful employment or meaningful skill development. This time around, with the right guidance and the time necessary to maneuver, combined with my past years of professional experience, it’s time to really build something.

So I’ll start with my own site. Until I dive into any customization, this blog won’t count, focus will just be on the things where I’ve worked directly with the code. If you’ve got 15 seconds, check it out.

Prepare your mind to be blown: http://woodhoot.github.io

Stunning, right? :-p

Yeah, pretty lame. But I made it. And I wanna make it better! What should I do next?

Screenshot for posterity (since I plan to change this a lot):

woodhoot

Take Control of your Gmail Inbox with Filters

Have you ever looked at your email inbox and wondered, “how did I manage to accumulate all of this nonsense?” From the constant crush of social media notifications to the latest from your favorite mailing lists (and even some real person to person communications!), the onslaught is truly, by definition, endless and insatiable. If you are a user of Gmail, I have a simple starting point for identifying the noisiest of this torrent and framing it for judgment. I’d like to take just a few minutes of your time to help you get started.

Do you use filters in your Gmail account? Regrettably, I didn’t discover their beauty until very recently, but I must say that I’m very happy now that I have. The veritable armada of filters that I employ today has transformed my inbox from an ever renewing heap of communications into an intelligent list of self-identifying inbound traffic. We’ll start simply with a single filter to highlight the awesome power of filters and set the stage for your own uniquely optimized email future.

One filter to rule them all:

No two inboxes are alike; the way in which an inbox fills is as unique as its owner. I have no intention to recommend a set of filtering rules to fit all users as I believe it would be far too generic to be useful. Instead, I’d like to propose a single filter that can be applied to 100% of inboxes and show the simple steps necessary to set it up. Yes, you read correctly: 100%.

If you’ve created an account in any of the myriad services available through the wonderful world of the internet, I’m willing to bet you’ve ended up with a good amount of marketing email. Thanks to the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, the FTC requires that “a visible and operable unsubscribe mechanism is present in all [commercial] emails.” We will take advantage of this fact.

Create THE filter:

1. In your gmail account, click inside the Search box found at the top the window
2. Type “unsubscribe” (quotes or not, it all works the same)1 - search unsubscribe

3. Click on the down arrow icon at the far right of the Search box
4. At the bottom right of the resulting panel, click on “Create filter with this search”3 - set actions

5. Check the box next to “Skip the Inbox (Archive it)”

6. Check the box next to “Apply label”

7. Click “Choose label…” (to the right of the “Apply label” check box), select “New label…”

8. In the text field “Please enter a new label name:” enter “Unsubscribe”

4 - new label

9. Check the box next to “Also apply filter to matching conversations.” found at the bottom of the panel
10. Click on the button “Create New Filter” at the bottom left of the panel

Congratulations! You’ve now created a mini-inbox that will identify all inbound mail containing the word “unsubscribe.” You can see all mail labeled as such by clicking on the label found just under the “Compose” button on the left side of your screen.

5 - new mini inbox

What’s next? Search and Destroy.

Now that all “unsubscribe” email routing into its own area of your Gmail account, you’ve created a context for reading marketing email. Odds are, a good amount of it is useful. The rest no doubt falls under the broad general category of noise. If you’re feeling bold, I’d recommend killing it all. If not, then I’d like to suggest that now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party and finally make good on that Fed-mandated unsubscribe feature.

Happy filtering!