Some of my favorite definitions of NPM

NPM is super awesome and I totes heart it. First coming into the world of Node.js and seeing the power of installing modules to add new functionality to my projects I was super excited. It also made sense when I heard or saw people call it “node package manager” since it was for loading and managing packages in Node.js.

But, I quickly learned how it was much more than that and how that definition limited how one could think about NPM. Most obvious is that even though NPM is bundled with Node.js you don’t have to use it solely in Node.js projects. It can be used to manage dependencies of a purely frontend workflow. You can also find lots of awesome CLI tools for making your shell life easier as well. I am also a huge fan of the purely silly packages that exist to bring smiles to people’s faces. I keep thinking about how I need to write more of these.

Through posts online and such I have seen that the folks who maintain NPM also feel the same way, that NPM is so much more than a Node.js package manager. On the NPM homepage you can see in the upper left corner a playful definition of what NPM stands for. It changes every time you load the page. I recently found myself refreshing the page repeatedly and taking screenshots of the ones that made me laugh the most.

So I present to you, my favorite “definitions” of NPM.

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Lake Union in Black & White

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I took this shot with my Polaroid One Step on black and white Impossible film. It was shot from Gas Works park looking out on Lake Union.

Lil Woody’s made my burger dreams come true because they’re amazing

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Behold the Lil Big Mac in all its glory!

I am a huge fan of Lil Woody’s. They make my favorite burger in all of Seattle. It is one of my favorite restaurants in not only Seattle, but just in general. They make great food. When Cassidy and I moved to Seattle we got lucky and ended up a couple of blocks away from their Capitol Hill location. We went there pretty regularly. Something awesome they is to have a different special each week. In years past they have done themed events around the special like Seattle Burger Month, which I have participated in the last two years. Recently they did a Fast Food themed month where they made their own version of well known fast food burgers, like the Sourdough Jack, Baconator, and the Big Mac. They even did their own version of the KFC Double Down.

Back in September I had surgery on my mouth. I had some pretty bad recession happening in the front of my teeth and I needed to have a procedure done where “material” AKA my own flesh was removed from the roof of my mouth and was then grafted onto my gums to cover up the recession. It wasn’t very fun. Because of this procedure I was very limited in what I could eat. For the first couple of days I was basically on a liquid diet and then ate pretty much baby food for the next couple of weeks.

Unfortunately, this time corresponded with Lil Woody’s fast food specials. I was able to eat the first two, but sadly realized that my mouth would not be healed in time to get the Lil Big Mac before the special would be over. I was pretty heartbroken. It was the one I was looking forward to the most of all of them. I kept counting the days out on the calendar, but it just wasn’t going to be possible. I had to accept that I wouldn’t get to eat this burger that I really wanted to try.

So, in an act of desperation I reached out to the Lil Woody’s Twitter profile and poured my burger loving heart out. I explained that I was a big fan and how I was really sad that I wouldn’t be getting the burger and if I had known about the special I would have scheduled around my gum surgery. The next day I got a response thanking me for being a big supporter and that they could help me out by making the Lil Big Mac for me after my mouth is all healed up. I was floored. I was beyond excited. I read their message and yelled out “Fuck yes!” Cassidy was in the other room and asked me what was going on. I read their message out loud to her and she was so happy for me. I ran around our apartment with my hands in the air proclaiming “no one is having a better day than me!”

After being in communication with them via email we coordinated the day I would come in for the burger. It was this past weekend on November 13th. I came in and gave them my name. The staff at the counter knew who I was and were ready to go. The burger was brought out to me and I got a chance to talk a little bit about it with the cook, which was super cool. I stared at it for a moment and reveled in how awesome it is when businesses do rad cool shit for their customers.

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My first bite of the Lil Big Mac

Cassidy took a picture of me taking the first bite. It was really freaking good and was totally worth the wait. It tasted just like a Big Mac, but a Big Mac made with quality ingredients by people who care about the food they make.

I am so thankful to Lil Woody’s for being awesome and making this special burger for me. It was so good.

Green and black film under a bridge and how I feel about the world right now

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I took this while standing under 99 facing down the hill away from the Fremont Troll with my Polaroid One Step on Impossible Green & Black film. It was a weird and fun film to shoot with as I didn’t really have an idea of how it would come out. I tried to over expose as it seemed like the green would darken everything and shooting under a bridge doesn’t have much light anyways.

Being uncertain of how things will come out seems to the general theme in my thoughts lately. I didn’t vote for Trump because I didn’t want him to be President. I think his hateful rhetoric will divide this country even further. Already there have been many reports of people getting harassed and attacked as targets of hate and he hasn’t even been inaugurated yet.

I’m not sure yet of exactly how I want to help, but I know I want to help. I’m a straight white male. If I wanted to I could ride this out and come out relatively unharmed except for paying more taxes, probably. But, equality or the lack thereof has always struck a chord with me. It boggles my mind that anybody who lives in America would think that someone else is less than human based on something that makes them different. Our differences is what makes us stronger and betters everyone’s life. Moving to Seattle and seeing the world differently has opened my eyes to a lot of things I knew little about and I am better for it.

Not being willing to hear each other out is what has gotten us into this divided state. I will admit that I have shut down the idea of hearing out those who disagree with me politically because I couldn’t understand their point of view. The thing to do now is to listen to each other, to find those that disagree with us and hear them out, to debate with them our own view, and to find somewhere we can meet in the middle.

Unless your view is full of hate, racism, and misogyny. I can’t meet you in the middle there. That just has to go. I don’t have to respect that opinion because it has no basis in reality.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this post. I just felt like saying something because saying nothing is part of the problem.

I’m going to start saying something. I haven’t been one to post much about politics, but I’m going to start being part of the discussion now. Call me a social justice warrior or whatever all you want. But, I want to be part of the process and have my voice heard.

Right now I’m going to start with donating to organizations doing work I think is important like Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the EFFFight for the Future, and others. I know I can contact my Senators and Representative to let them know how I want them to vote and represent me as a citizen and I will do that.

I also want people to know that they can be safe with me. If you are feeling victimized because of your race, gender, religious beliefs, or anything else you can come to me for help. I will believe you and I will do what I can to help.

Playing around with Hipstamatic and drinking coffee

Yesterday morning I made some coffee in my Chemex and sat down on the couch to enjoy it. Cassidy was out with some friends for the morning so I sat quietly and enjoyed the coffee as I looked outside. I ended up playing around with Hipstamatic and snapped these shots of the coffee table in front of me. I’ve used Hipstamatic since I got my iPhone 3G. It is pretty fun to have used an app for so long and to have seen how it has progressed over the years. I’m starting to really like the newest incarnation and taking photos in various formats like 16:9 and other non-square shapes.

It was a nice distraction from thinking about the historically absurd day we are sure to have tomorrow in the United States. Good luck everyone.

New York City Subway

Taken with my iPhone 7 while waiting for a subway train in New York City. Edited in VscoCam. 

View from the Empire State Building at night

We went to the Empire State Building while we were in New York City. It was early in the trip and we were relaxing for the evening and were debating if we should go out or not.

Before the trip we decided that we wanted to go to the observation deck of the Empire State Building, but couldn’t decide whether to do it during the day or at night. We got a few recommendations from friends to do it at night.

We decided to make the most of our trip and headed out. It was totally worth it. The view from up there is awesome and at night it is breathtaking. I took this with my iPhone 7 and edited it in VscoCam.

Rainy day at the Statue of Liberty

On our trip to New York City last month we went to the Statue of Liberty on my birthday. Have I mentioned that? I was pretty excited. Even though it rained while we were there it was still awesome. I took this shot with my iPhone 7. Thanks to it being water resistant I was able to take pictures with it. I edited this in VscoCam on my iPhone as well.

I Halloween’d

A friend of ours works at a company that throws a fun Halloween party each year. This was the first year that we’ve gone and it was a lot of fun. I wasn’t what I wanted to be this year because I didn’t make the time get it all together. I will have to do it next year. Thankfully I have this Winnie the Pooh adult costume I bought almost fifteen years ago. For some reason I have kept it as a kind of backup costume. It is really hot and hard to go to the bathroom in, but I love it. The party had a photo booth and I got this one for posterity.

View of South Lake Union from Gas Works Park

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Last weekend Cassidy went to meet a friend to hang out. I hadn’t planned on going out for photos, but Cassidy messaged me to let me know that it was really nice out and would be a good photographic opportunity. I’m sure she just wanted to make sure I leave the house since I am very good at turning into a hermit and staring at my computer when she isn’t around.

I looked outside and agreed that it would be a great time to go Gas Works park and snap some shots. I walked down there and took 111 photos in about an hour or so. This is one that I got from the water’s edge looking out at South Lake Union.

Going back to bash-ics with dev tools

I recently nuked my entire development environment and I did so purposefully. As I have been teaching myself to write code I have come across many fun, shiny things that can make developing for the web easier, flashier, or something-er. As someone new to the whole world I just kind of grabbed everything because people said it was cool and would fix so many problems. I also installed things at the advice of others I met who said a particular tool made something really easy for them.

Over time this has gotten me lots of cool things, but in the end it is LOTS of things. I recently read an article on Hackernoon regarding How it feels to learn JavaScript in 2016 and it got me thinking about my own dev setup. If you haven’t read it already I would suggest it because it is funny and sadly accurate at the same time. After reading it I began to think about my own development process and how I would make an app today if I was working on a project. It also reminded me of how a few months ago I erased my system and set everything up cleanly on my Mac. When I did this I made a list of all of my tools that I would need to install afterwards. I took great care to make sure I got all of these “important” items.

As I mentally went over what I have installed on my computer I realized that if someone asked me why I use a particular thing that I don’t think I could truly defend my choice in using it. I would likely start with a story of how I found out about the thing and read or was told how it solves a certain problem. If I was asked if I had experienced that problem I probably couldn’t say so for sure. For example, I was using Oh My ZSH on top of zshell instead of using bash as my shell in my Terminal app, which was Hyperterm instead of Terminal that comes with macOS. I was told awhile ago that Oh My ZSH was an awesome tool with these great configurable features, but it required using zshell. So, I changed the shell on my system and installed Oh My ZSH without ever really using bash and seeing how they are different and if I actually prefer one over the other.

This is also true of NVM, another tool I installed after reading a blog post. I understand the benefits of having multiple versions of Node on your system in case you need to develop apps using a particular version, but I have yet to actually have that need myself. It will likely come as I work more, but until then I am leaving it off.

Now, I have my shell set to bash, hence the awesome and pun-tastic title of this post, and I’ve uninstalled all of the things I can’t justify using. Going forward I plan on working on projects and as I experience the pitfalls of a certain process I can look into solutions for that issue. But, until then I am going to work with a more default setup. One benefit to this is that to get my dev environment setup on another computer will just take a .bashrc and .bash_profile along with installing Atom and Node.js. The contents of those bash files are stored in Google Keep, so I can easily copy and paste their contents into place. Fun fact, I have already replicated the things I was using and like about Oh My Zsh and zshell in bash. So, I probably won’t be switching back unless something pretty drastic comes up. I’m also using Terminal over Hyperterm.

In the end this is meant to help me solidify my learning in web development so that I can speak directly to the stuff that I am doing and why I am doing it.

Accepting auto-focus in my photography

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I am not a professional photographer. I am an enthusiastic hobbyist when it comes to photography. I try my best to learn how a camera works and how to adjust manual settings to get the kind of photos I am looking to take. I do this because I find the photographic process very interesting and like deducing what I can do with my camera.

But, I also wear glasses because I don’t have great eyesight. I’m not totally blind without my glasses, but I definitely need them to function in the outside world. At home I can get away without glasses because I know our apartment well enough to feel comfortable without glasses although I don’t do it for long. I would never entertain the thought of leaving our apartment without my glasses on. That would be insanity!

With this I have a hard time getting photos focused how I want them. Since I can’t take my glasses off I have to wear them as I look through the viewfinder. I’m not able to get the viewfinder to sit cleanly against my glasses and I see how the lens of my glasses is at an angle to the viewfinder.  From my experience this seems to cause a distortion that tricks me into thinking things are in focus that actually aren’t and I find that this gets me inaccurate results. I tend to see the image in focus as I like and snap the shot. On the smaller rear display of my DSLR the image looks good for the few seconds it previews. Afterwards I will transfer the images to my computer and see something very different. Once I have the picture up larger on my computer I see that what is directly behind the point I was focusing on is actually in focus and my intended focal point is just slightly out of focus. Mostly, it is close enough that nobody will say anything, likely because it is my friends or family seeing my pictures and they just are being nice to not ask me if it is meant to be out of focus. It is even more frustrating when working with my film cameras. Shooting film is an expensive process and to have shots not come out right on a roll is really disheartening. It’s a big bummer and makes me feel like a failure. That is part of why I shoot mostly digital photos. There is a safety in being able to snap multiple shots of something and being to delete it if it doesn’t turn out as I want.

Because of my focus woes awhile ago I turned on the auto-focus on my lens. I still shoot entirely manual settings otherwise, but I let the camera do the work for me in regards to focusing. I have played around with the auto-focus settings and am starting to get the hang of its behavior. By adjusting zoom level and shifting my camera angle I have been able to get it to focus on different parts of the image. But, in the end the camera does it for me and I am honestly happier for it. I am getting much better results, the kind that I am actually looking for and I am much happier for it as a hobbyist. I have come to accept and enjoy using auto-focus. Part of me felt like it was cheating, that as a photographer I should be making adjustments to every aspect of my photos 100% manually, otherwise it is not really my photo. Thinking about this more I see it is silly and bullshit to put that level of expectation on myself for something that is meant to be a fun pastime. Photography is something I love doing and I find it very fun, but I’m not trying to be a professional. I just want to take pictures and experiment. That’s the fun and the fun is what matters.

The photo above was taken using auto-focus and I think it looks pretty cool. What do you think? Do you use auto-focus when you shoot? Are you a photographer that wears glasses and have awesome tricks for me to try so that I can focus as I want?

 

Sunset in JarrBar


Cassidy and I celebrated our anniversary by visiting restaurants and bars that we’ve never been to in Seattle. It was really fun to explore new places in our home city. One place we went to is called JarrBar. It is a small place near Pike Place Market and it was a lot of fun. The drinks and snacks were tasty and the people working there were really nice. It felt like a place that welcomes people to come in and hang out.

Cassidy visited the restroom and I took this moment to snap some pictures with my phone. As the place faces West we got some awesome light in there as the sun was setting. I didn’t feel like editing this much, as it looked great to start, but I used a VSCO film in VscoCam on my phone and did a couple other tweaks.

I really like how the lighting turned out. So far I am really happy with pictures I’ve taken with my iPhone 7.

Statue of Liberty in Black and White

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My birthday this year was during our recent trip to New York City and we planned on a trip to the Statue of Liberty that day. I was really excited and had an awesome time exploring it even though it rained most of the time we were out there. With the weather I wasn’t able to get as many pictures with my DSLR that I wanted. But, I did get this one from the ferry.

I edited it a little in Lightroom and used a black and white instant film emulation from VSCO.

Two years of being married, infinity to go…

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Today is Cassidy and I’s second wedding anniversary. One thing I enjoy very much about our relationship is that it feels like we have been together forever and everything is new and wonderful at the same time. Cassidy points out that one of her favorite things about us is the foundation of respect and honesty we have put into the relationship in these first two years of marriage and I have to agree. With her I have done the most mature, life changing things in my life, like moving to another state and challenging myself in my career. Supporting each other has allowed us to give each other the confidence to go after the things we want in life since as we make ourselves better we make our relationship better. Happy people are just that much more interesting to be around.

I really appreciate everything Cassidy gives me in life. I love her more than anything I can fathom, more than any way I can appropriately express. Cassidy brings balance to my life and helps me be a better person. Her unapologetic passion for the things she loves and her tireless dedication to others makes her the most honest, thoughtful person I’ve ever met. I can easily emotionally disconnect from things and it is usually my defense method for dealing with crap I don’t want to, but Cassidy reminds me of the importance and beauty in caring about the important things in your life. She reminds me that it is our duty as humans to care about shit. Plus, she is the most beautiful, gorgeous lady I have ever seen in my life which is a serious bonus.

Cassidy, I love you more than words and a GIF could express. You’ll forever have not just a pizza, but all of my heart.