Planning a road trip (move) from St Petersburg, FL to Portland, OR

Marti and I have been wanting to move to Portland for many years now and in the recent past, all of the stars aligned and we’ll be picking up and leaving FL early next year. I’ll be moving our belongings and vehicles across the country, so with many months to plan, I want to make sure that if I’m going to travel 3,500 miles, I’m going to make it the most enjoyable and beautiful road trip that I possibly can.

It has been our dream to move to Portland, OR for many years now. We’ve been waiting for the right time when my company was able to accommodate me in our Portland office so that I could stay with my company (whom I enjoy working for) and so that I would have a job waiting for me at the other end.

Sadly in my case, my company isn’t going to pay for the move because it is my preference to move there: they’re not requesting that I move for work reasons, so the financial burden is on me which I understand and accept. It’s just the price that we have to pay to realise our dream of moving out west.

So with that in mind, I now find myself in a position of trying to figure out how to achieve this. It’s quite a logistical operation, especially when you have a wife, two children and four cats. Continue reading “Planning a road trip (move) from St Petersburg, FL to Portland, OR”

“Donald Trump didn’t come out of nowhere”

Donald Trump is the product of years of political stunts, extremism and a wide variety of differing right-wing political stances that have caused big chasms in the Republican party.

I typically try to stay out of political discussions, mostly because the opportunity for meaningful, thought-provoking and intelligent discussion has all but evaporated these days and because as a British citizen, I am little more than a bystander in American politics.

On a broader note, I saw this video this morning of a speech that President Obama made, where he criticised the GOP for creating an environment in which Donald Trump could succeed, abandoning him at the eleventh hour because openly bragging about sexual assault is apparently one step too far, and then trying to benefit politically from ditching him.

He brings to light the fact that the GOP has promoted, fostered and cultivated such extreme and disparate positions that there is simply no unity in the party anymore. Donald Trump is the prime example of this, saying what his brain tells him to and then recanting, flip-flopping and swerving in response to popular consensus, rather than stating his honest views and sticking by them. Continue reading ““Donald Trump didn’t come out of nowhere””

Because I said so

“Because I said so” stops conversations dead in their tracks, and that’s how we intend it: to shut our children down and expect their obedience without their understanding. This robs them of an opportunity to learn, develop and become more capable, functional people.

“Because I said so” is one of those phrases that drove us crazy as kids, that we swore we’d never utter and yet slips out of our mouths almost unconsciously.

Conventional parenting says that children are to be seen and not heard, which makes phrases like “because I said so” acceptable. They’re our last line of defence in a conversation that we’re seeking to end without any further explanation or inquisition. We expect full adherence because we’re in charge and what we say, goes. Continue reading “Because I said so”

An introduction to git and how I use it in my workflow

At WordCamp Tampa 2016, I gave a talk about what git is and how I use it in my workflow to make life much easier for myself, my clients and the people I collaborate with. This post includes my slides, video and useful resources.

Today, I gave a talk at WordCamp Tampa about git, what it is and how I use it in my workflow.

As soon as I have a video of my talk, I’ll post it here, but for now, here are the slides and some useful links that I mentioned during the talk.

Download the slides

Brexit: an autopsy

In June, the UK collectively and narrowly voted to leave the European Union in a referendum which has divided the nation on a scale never seen before. Alexander Betts looks at the causes and effects of the result in an intelligent and considered way that helps us to realise that there’s some ugly demons in all our societies.

It’s been about 6 weeks since Britons went to the polls and narrowly decided that they wanted to leave the European Union. I had some thoughts on the matter the day after the result, but perhaps the best autopsy on the result that I have seen thus far has been from Alexander Betts in a TED talk he gave just days after the result.

Alexander is a social scientist and works specifically in the field of migration and refugees. No matter which side of the fence you are on, it’s hard to deny the validity of Alexander’s arguments. Continue reading “Brexit: an autopsy”

My 4th of July trip to Kingston, MA and Bath, NH

This past 4th of July, I went to spend some time with my family in Massachusetts and then traveled with them to their cabin in rural New Hampshire to enjoy the peace and quiet.

This 4th of July, me and my family planned a trip to visit with Marti‘s cousin and her kids in Kingston, Massachusetts before heading up to Bath, New Hampshire to their cabin for some time in the mountains.

It was a really nice trip. The weather was a refreshing change (it still got pretty warm during the day, but with much less humidity than Florida, and it cooled off in the evenings) and the terrain and landscape were also a very welcome change coming from the monotonous and flat swamps of Florida.

I happened to spend 4th of July there and so participated in the town’s 4th of July parade, which is kinda cheesy and stale, but it’s something to do for the day. However, despite trying to fit in on the 4th of July, my American family still tried to send me to my grave by sitting me such that my chair fell through the deck and the balcony railings. Fortunately, I stopped just shy of falling over the edge and slept with one eye open for the remainder of my trip. Continue reading “My 4th of July trip to Kingston, MA and Bath, NH”

Fees: the death of your brand’s reputation

We’ve all been there: going through the checkout process buying an airline ticket, or a ticket to a concert and at the last possible second: a booking fee or a caredit card fee or any other number of stupid fees that they can concoct. This is awful for business and I encourage you to build your costs into the fees you charge your customers/clients.

I’ve long had thoughts about fees charged by service providers but a recent experience annoyed me enough to want to write about it.

I booked a trip to Boston to be with family up there over the 4th of July (which always gives me mixed emotions). Owing to the holiday, flights were fairly expensive, so I opted for the cheapest ticket which happened to be with Spirit Airlines.

I was happy with Spirit, having nabbed a reasonably-priced flight over the holiday weekend and everything was going well until it came time to check in.

During the check-in process, Spirit let me know that there is a fee for checking a bag. Okay: that’s to be expected given the current climate in the airline industry and the fact that this is a budget airline. However, what I was not prepared for is that aside from a free, small personal item, they also charge you for your carry-ons. And they’re not cheap. Continue reading “Fees: the death of your brand’s reputation”

Fleeting thoughts on Brexit result

Yesterday, the UK held a referendum on its EU membership in which the electorate decided it should leave the European Union. I personally think it was a mistake fuelled by anti-immigrant sentiment and its inherent fear, especially among older people. I hope the UK comes back stronger in the end, but it’s going to be an uphill battle, especially for the first many years.

Yesterday, the UK held an historic referendum in which it decided whether to remain in the European Union which it joined in 1973 or leave it altogether (Brexit).

Early this morning despite a tight race, the result was declared in favour of leaving the EU. I was very much in favour of remaining in the EU. I’m not very good at coherently collecting my thoughts into a single unified article, so here’s some thoughts I have on the whole matter: Continue reading “Fleeting thoughts on Brexit result”


The recent atrocity in Orlando is just another event by which to reflect on how awful guns have been for America and yet, we continue to make their ownership commonplace and cultural. Don’t bother with your thoughts and prayers: try acting for a change.

Obviously the events of Saturday night were horrific and devastating.

But what do we do with all of that? We might be quick to offer “thoughts and prayers” to those involved, or to comment on how tragic, scary and senseless it all is.

However in a week, America will get bored of hearing about it and our drive to do something about it will have all but vanished.

I think people resort to offering “thoughts and prayers” out of a numbness and an acceptance that “this is just what happens here. It’s bound to happen and there’s no way to solve it.” Continue reading “Orlando”