25 Pounds Lighter and I’m Eating Hooters Wings!

Back in July, April and I decided to make a drastic lifestyle change. We had just recently moved to King of Prussia, PA and decided it was time to get in shape! We joined the local Ballys Gym, started eating super healthy, and completely changed our lifestyle. Surprisingly it wasn’t as hard as I expected.

Hooters logoIn just three short months I’ve lost over 25lbs! My initial goal was to hit the 200lbs mark. As a little incentive I wanted to treat myself to a reward, and that reward is a delicious dinner at Hooters! I love wings, and Hooters wings are some of my favorite, so this was all the incentive I needed to get my rear in gear and lose the weight!

As luck would have it I just hit the 200lbs mark this week, which is the same week that I’m going to Las Vegas for BlogWorld Expo! So tonight I get my reward dinner at Hooters that was three months in the making! Sure it’s completely unhealthy, but I’ve earned it!

As a side note I wrote this blog post 30,000 ft in the air on my flight to Las Vegas. I love technology!

Best Wings in Philadelphia?

Last night April and I decided to try the winner of the “Best Wings in Philly” as awarded by Philadelphia Magazine.

Cinnamon Wings

The winning wings were from Teresa’s Next Door Bar in Wayne, PA. When I heard the wings were cinnamon I was a bit skeptical, but being the best wings in Philly I had to try them.

The first thing I noticed is the wings are whole wings. So even though the serving is only 5 whole wings, it’s actually 10 traditional wings. When the waitress brought the wings we immediately smelt the warm cinnamon aroma. Even the guy sitting next to us asked if they were cinnamon flavored.

The wings were extremely delicious! The meat was juicy and cooked perfectly. The cinnamon was better than I expected, but I still felt like I was missing out on my normal hot wings.

Overall the wings at Teresa’s Next Door Bar were really good and I would recommend them to anybody. Now I need to go back and try the hot wings!

The Big 30 – Happy Birthday to Me!

Yesterday was my 30th birthday and amazingly it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Sure I’m an old man now, but I certainly don’t feel like it. I guess turning 30 is just a state of mind. As they say you’re only as old as you feel right?

I spent part of the day waiting for FiOS to be installed in the new house. After the install was complete we had my birthday dinner at Hooters, which is pretty much a tradition at this point. All in all it was a good birthday!

I found this quote online that seems appropriate:

Everything I know I learned after I was thirty. – Georges Clemenceau

WordCamp San Francisco 2010 Recap

WordCamp San Francisco has come and gone and here I am a month later writing a recap about it. I had an awesome time in San Francisco, not only for WordCamp, but also hanging out in California for a week!

WordCamp Day 1 was held at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco. The location was really nice and had plenty of room for all 700+ attendees at the event. I attended a few sessions throughout the day, but spent most of my time (as I usually do) chatting with fellow WordPress junkies in the hallways and outside.

For lunch we had an amazing BBQ buffet and some live jazz to enjoy while we ate outside. At the end of the day Matt Mullenweg gave his annual State of the Word address. However the best part was yet to come, and that was the afterparty!

The WordCamp after party was held at the Automattic lounge on Pier 38. After passing through security (yes security) we were treated to an open bar and a nice assortment of snacks including fresh made crepes! I knew we were in trouble when the drinks were being made at about a 90% alcohol and 10% mixer ratio.

I would share all of the photos from that night, but it would look more like the credits from The Hangover, so instead I picked my favorites of the bunch to share:

Photo credits to Chris Cochran

Professional WordPress Has Hit The Shelves!

I’m extremely excited to announce that Professional WordPress, a book I co-authored, has hit the shelves at major book retailers nation wide! The book is also in stock on Amazon.com!
Professional WordPress BooksThis journey started in April of 2009 when Matt Mullenweg posted a blog post that Wiley was looking for WordPress enthusiasts to author a new book. I emailed Carol Long that night and before I knew it was one of the co-authors chosen for Professional WordPress along with Hal Stern and David Damstra!

The entire process was quite a learning experience since I had never written a book before. Luckily Wiley/WROX has an amazingly talented staff that helped guide us during this book writing journey. Hal and David were also great co-authors to work with during the process.

Professional WordPress is a book written by programmers for programmers. We take a more in-depth look at WordPress to help explain how WP works from the inside out. Learn how to create powerful plugins to handle any task. Explore how to build amazing themes using the latest features in WordPress. Learn how to use WordPress as a CMS. We even cover WordPress in the Enterprise and migrating to WordPress from another system. This book has something for everyone so make sure you pick up a copy today and help support your favorite WordPress hackers!

Keep an eye on this blog as I’ll be giving away a few copies of Professional WordPress in the coming weeks!

My Interview on the WordPress Weekly Podcast

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Jeff Chandler on the WordPress Weekly Podcast! It was great to be back on the show, even though the spotlight was on me this time. I’ve been participating on the WP Weekly podcast since the start (episode 1) so it was fun to reminisce a bit about how we both started into WordPress and how the podcast came to be.

Hal Stern also joined in at the beginning of the show to discuss our new book, Professional WordPress. Jeff and I also discussed many different topics including the challenges of running a business around open source, secret projects in the works, my thoughts on WordPress and how it compares to other open source CMS solutions, and much more! Be sure to check out the episode and let me know how I did!

WordCamp Boston 2010: Recap

I’m freshly back from WordCamp Boston 2010! I had a blast at the Microsoft N.E.R.D Center Saturday hanging out with other WordPress geeks!

I attended the inaugural event this past weekend with April, Chris, Scott, and Mark from WDS. I had a great time hanging out with my WordPress buddies! I got to catch up with Jeff Chandler, Michael Torbert, Brian Gardner, Craig Tuller, Stephan Segraves, Jane Wells, Danielle Morrill, Pam Kueber, Elisha, and many more! I’m sure I forgot somebody so sorry!

I also met Joshua Strebel from Page.ly, Andrew Christian, Boone Gorges, Corey Miller and James Dalman of WebDesign.com, Danielle Morrill, and a few more I’m sure I’m forgetting.

The organizers did an amazing job putting this WordCamp together. They were constantly giving out prizes, announcing surprises, and keeping everyone thoroughly entertained all day long. Hats off to Amanda, Jake, and John and all the volunteers for an amazing job! They even handed out Monsters!

Don’t mind the Colts slides in my security presentation. I think it gave them good luck when they won the AFC Championship game!

My presentations from the event are below, enjoy!

Top 20 WordPress Plugins You’ve Never Heard Of 2010

Top 20 WordPress Plugins You’ve Never Heard Of 2010 Slideshow

WordPress Security 2010

WordCamp Boston Here I Come!

Tomorrow I’ll be attending WordCamp Boston! I’ll be speaking about WordPress Security. I’m also giving an Ignite presentation on the top 20 WordPress plugins you’ve never heard of.

I'm speaking at WC BostonI’m looking forward to seeing many of my WordPress friends that I haven’t seen since WordCamp NYC. I’m also looking forward to meeting new people in the community, many of whom I’ve only spoken with over Twitter. One of the best things about working with WordPress is the community behind it and WordCamp is the best place to meet new friends and see old ones.

This will be my first trip to Boston since I was a little kid so I’m really looking forward to it. I’m also looking forward to watching the Colts win the AFC Championship in a Boston bar surrounded by Patriots fans. Hopefully I make it back alive! I’ll be sure to post both of my presentations from WordCamp Boston in my recap post when I return.

End of a Decade

So here we are at the end of another decade. It seems appropriate to write about major milestones in my life during the last decade so here goes:

  • Served in the United States Marine Corps (1999-2003)
  • Adopted my two best friends: Lecter and Clarice (2002)
  • Lost my Mom to cancer (2002)
  • Stationed in Kuwait/Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003)
  • Promoted to Sergeant (2003)
  • Got married/divorced (2002-2005)
  • Worked my way up to become IT Director at Batteries.com (2003-2008)
  • Attended the Super Bowl w/ my Dad and watched the Colts win! (2006)
  • Sold my house and moved to New Jersey (2008)
  • Started my own Web Development Company (2008)
  • Met the girl of my dreams! (2008)
  • My Niece was born: Indiana Brooke Dundas (2008)
  • Wrote Professional WordPress (2009)

The thing about life is it’s not always a rose garden, but that’s what makes us who we are. Here’s to a great decade ahead!

WordCamp NYC 2009 Recap

I just returned from an awesome weekend at WordCamp NYC 2009! This years event was massive, with 8 tracks of WordPress related sessions and over 700 attendees, all gathered for the love of one software package: WordPress
wcnyc
This year I attended with Matt Martz, Jeff Chandler, Travis Ballard, and the entire WebDevStudios crew. We had an awesome time bouncing around the various sessions.

I gave a presentation on WordPress Security during the event. My presentation was so well received that I was voted to present during the ultra-fast 5 minute ignite round on day two. WebDevStudios also entered two plugins into the plugin/theme competition: WP Manage Plugins and BuddyPress Registration Options. Although we didn’t win the competition our plugins were very well received and we received plenty of compliments. In fact Mark Jaquith stated our plugin was the only one in the competition with no security holes, which equals a win in my book!

The best part of any WordCamp is networking and finally getting to meet people that I’ve talked to online but never actually met. It was great seeing some familiar faces like Lisa Sabin-Wilson and her husband Chris, Mark Jaquith, Matt Mullenweg, Andy Peatling, Aaron Brazell, Jeremy Clarke, Jane Wells, Steve Bruner, Keith Casey, Margaret Roach, and Ken Smith. I also finally got to meet Brian Gardner and Craig Tuller of StudioPress, Jonathan Dingman, Andrea and Ron, Dan Milward, Shane F, Syed Balkhi of WPBeginner.com, Todd and Darin from Inmotion hosting, Beau Lebens, Daryl Koopersmith, Elisha Dang, and Daisy Olsen. If we met and I missed you on the list please ping me on Twitter. I talked with so many people it was tough keeping it all straight!

WordCamp NYC was the best WordCamp I’ve attended yet! Props to Jane and Steve for organizing, and all of the volunteers who helped pull it off. This is the fourth and final WordCamp I’ll be attending this year, but I’m already looking forward to more WordCamps next year! I hope to see you there!