I’ve been asked a number of times for the date of BarCamp Harrisburg 2015 on both Twitter and in-person.
The answer, sadly, is there isn’t one.
It’s hard to believe that Harrisburg has had a rendition of BarCamp since 2009, and normally around this time I would be scrambling trying to promote the event and seek sponsors. While 2013 had an incredible turnout, last year’s event saw an unfortunate decline. The lack of 2014 t-shirts aside, I would attribute the lessened attendance to three factors:
A sudden schedule change.
BarCampHbg has traditionally been held in April, however, the event has always been subject to longtime host Harrisburg University’s room availability. Due to scheduling conflicts, the date was pushed to May. With the warmer weather knocking, many people likely had other engagements.
Harrisburg City Parking.
With the city’s leasing of street and garage parking came higher rates and longer hours on Saturday. While I can’t scientifically point towards this change as being a definitive factor, it wouldn’t be a surprise, and I’ve talked to other event organizers that have noticed attendance decline during this time.
General interest waning.
General interest in BarCamps have declined over the years. Just look at the lessening number of camps being held globally on barcamp.org or the stats via Google Trends (below). While BarCamp Philly still has a strong following, I’ve seen BarCampNYC practically evaporate, to the point of once sitting in on a session where attendees asked “Do we even need a bar camp?”.
Ultimately, none of these factors play into the success of an unconference for learning, sharing, and networking. I look back at all of the past camps with an appreciation for everyone I’ve met and what I’ve learned. I’ve had to explain to attendees that each year’s themes have been different thanks to what the attendees brought, and that some of the smaller camps have actually been more fun.
Last year, HU notified me that they would no longer be able to hold the event on a Saturday. While I could search for another venue, frankly, the thought of it exhausted me. I’ve learned the hard way that without a sponsoring venue one has to navigate facility size, room rental fees, and event insurance. I’m not necessarily opposed to doing this, but I think I’ve reached a point where I shouldn’t be doing this, alone.
I’ve reached out to the organizers of Harrisburg Startup Week (many of whom I met at BarCamp Harrisburg) on the possibility of making BarCamp Harrisburg a part of their schedule of events. There’s nothing definitive, yet, but in the meanwhile, I’d love to hear from you. Is BarCamp Harrisburg worth continuing? Does anyone know of a suitable venue that would sponsor space? Should a fee be collected to help rent a venue? Comment below, and if any details do solidify I’ll be sure to post them.
I recently spoke with a web design student from another college who mentioned that their program was taught through Adobe Dreamweaver. As a graphic design instructor and web professional, it’s enough to make one cringe.
While Dreamweaver has a nice search and excels at converting word processor copy to HTML, the “design” view and WYSIWYG (without truly knowing what’s being written for you) has always been a crutch. Furthermore, I can’t say I’ve really seen it used professionally in the last 12 years.
Dreamweaver’s changed so significantly in an attempt to keep up with the industry that, upon opening up CC 2014, I felt like a visitor in a foreign land. Regardless, I take pride in the fact that my program at HACC nearly affords me carte blanche when it comes to curriculum and software, and I’ve exercised that freedom to transition our program from Dreamweaver to Adobe Brackets.
While I personally still lean on Sublime Text 3, Brackets is a great learning tool at the right price for students (free!). Originally the underpinning of Adobe’s Edge Code, the fact that it’s open source leaves no surprise why it left its proprietary sibling in the dust.
It’s not perfect, and I did have to wait for it to become stable prior to introducing it to students, but the extensibility of Brackets is a niece touch. While I wish Brackets’ Extension Manager better resembled NPM, Bower, or WordPress’s Plugins directory (as in, having a solid rating/ranking system and dedicated spot for comments and questions), it still works nicely.
Getting to the meat of the post–here’s a list of extensions I requested installed for my class (In no particular order…I’d love to hear suggestions):
Rather than let Facebook algorithmically botch my pictures (and keep all the credit whilst making me remorseful of this past year), I’m posting outside of the walled garden. Once again, my self-imposed rule applies–a rule where I only unearth candid photos taken this year that haven’t (and normally wouldn’t!) see the light of Web publication.
Celebrating 500+ miles and 24 hours with my BFF (and his nephew).
I finally worked up the courage to attend an Imminent Liquidation.
I made it to http://iidcon.com in Millersville this year.
The aftermath of the annual Turkey Bowl…
One of the pictures from sushi night that somehow didn’t get published. Sour beer in a flute…hardly etiquette.
Art director Mary Blair is my hero.
Counting the Lombardis with Daphyn at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
Brunch with Ed. And Sara. And Andy. And Brandalynn. And Theo. And Dani.
Old and new in Vermont.
The development brain trust of Chris, Chris, and Chris.
I finally got to examine this mitt close-up (in SF).
Wine tasting is a tough job (at Mumm Napa).
Negotiating the safe release of two cats with Lissa.
Sarz’s bathroom, a crow, and me.
My penance for taking the redeye from SF to NYC and having a client meeting shortly after touchdown.
Bucket list #42 checked off!
One of my favorites of Monet, in LEGOS.
Hill Farmstead. Beer Mecca.
Graduating one of my favorite people. Picture by Burnsie’s mom (who knew she taught?! I did.).
I love how every cover is a story (Stockbridge, MA).
Visiting Memorial Stadium (Baltimore) 22 years later.
The boys at Dewey Beach.
Catching the last of the Captain.
Yes, a doll house in Provincetown.
The horizon at Plymouth, MA.
Chuck holding the roundtable at Startup Weekend Harrisburg.
Well, unless you live in Connecticut, are related to me, and happen to be someone I’ve neglected, you should have received this year’s Christmas card. If you didn’t, my apologies–this just so happens to be the first year we’ve actually created a recipient list, so if you want on it for next year (or if I missed you this year), let me know.
All told, this probably took me 20-30 hours from concept to drawing to printing. Daphyn just told me that if we weren’t sending these out, we’d be doing those canned family picture cards. Talk about incentive to never stop…
I also need to add the year on these things. In case you’re wondering, here’s all the previous ones:
I thought it was funny how people would apologize to me that the Orioles didn’t make it past the ALCS. Sure, I was a little bummed, but I got to go to two exciting ALDS games, made my Kansas City friend very happy, got to take some pretty pictures (like the one, above), and made a little money to subsidize my 2015 season, too.
I love baseball, as its pace and the trip down serves as a vehicle for spending time with friends and family. A car trip is the viscosity of intriguing conversation, and the extracurricular side trips to such places as Of Love and Regret, Joe Squared, Dangerously Delicious, and Rye kept things refreshing.
With the Phillies back for a series in 2015, I’m hoping to have a good turnout. If anyone’s interested in hitting a game next year, let me know!
My season started with the tradition of attending the Harrisburg Senators opening day with my son, Grayson.
A rainout led to a two-game sweep of the Pirates.
Hitting a bobblehead game with Terry.
Less than 24 hours later, I found myself solo at AT&T park in San Francisco.
Technically, I didn’t drive to Iowa to see a ballfield surrounded by corner. I’ll give credit to Andrew for that. Wrigley pre-renovation was a must.
Red Privet developer reunion! Okay, so we swapped a Chris for a UX Designer. Lissa’s prettier.
Mandatory Yankees game with Grant and Dave.
My first time at club level (with Anna). I didn’t feel worthy.
Took Anna, Tina, and Rob (and his daughter) to a Boston game. It marked the first time I’d seen Rob in over 15 years.
Catching one of the captain’s final games at Yankee Stadium (with Mo). It marked the first time I visited the Bronx rooting for a team without pinstripes (The O’s won).
ALDS 1: Making good on my promise and taking Terry to his first postseason game since the ’83 World Series.
ALDS 2: Making up to my brother-in-law for taking my sister-in-law to the postseason in 2012.
After a few years of dormancy, I got back on the horse and created two new TorchBearer Sauces labels. The first (above) is a reinterpretation of the original Slaughter label, which was created by the now-defunct Neiman Group. The label really needed to be revised due to the change in bottle sizes several years ago.
The labels have have more recently featured real people, and in this case, local blogger Sara Bozich graces it (sorry Jaime, you’ll get a label, soon!). If you’ve ever sampled Sara’s Slaughter meatball recipe, you’d immediately know why she’s been immortalized, here.
Of course, translating real people into cartoons requires a balance of not defaming them, yet exaggerating them in the askew perspective of the TorchBearer label world. The example above definitely took far more versions than any other, and I was constantly running it by the Sara and the hot sauce brass.
Grant’s label was far easier. It was initially inspired by a picture of Grant as a child on a tricycle, but the horse version (below) ultimately trumped the original sketch.
As with all of the other labels I’ve drawn, everything’s done digitally with Photoshop, Illustrator, and a Wacom Cintiq. They generally take 20-40 hours a each, so I’m looking forward to a break before the next one.
It’s hard to believe it’s been over a month since Daphyn and I took a trip for our 10-year anniversary up to New England. The original plan was to get lobster (mission accomplished!), though the quest for Spencer Trappist ale and Hill Farmstead beer were more than just coincidence.
It started with this crazy idea last year to take my sister-in-law to the movie site of Field of Dreams in Dyersville, IA. Since we were spending that much time in the car, I figured why not take the opportunity to finally visit Wrigley and see my Chicago-based (not Wisconsin!) friend Becca. Throw in an impromptu stop at the home field of the White Sox along with some missed opportunities at touring some Frank Lloyd Wright homes, and it’s suddenly a baseball-themed road trip.
Our first stop into the Windy City had us ushered into U.S. Cellular Field, the home of the Chicago White Sox. I managed to take a picture of the rest place of Comiskey Park (the White Sox home from 1910 to 1990), located in the parking lot across 35th Street. We were provided parking and ushered in with a small crowd, not realizing that a high school all-star game was taking place. Regardless, we were provided free parking as well as an opportunity to wander through a portion of the ballpark.
I’d always been curious about U.S. Cellular, as it has the dubious distinction of being the last ballpark built before Camden Yards, meaning it just missed out on the retro craze. It doesn’t have the character of a warehouse in the outfield, but they’ve certainly put in a fair share of effort renovating the place. I’ll have to reserve judgement for when I actually attend a game.
Next up was Wrigley, and I was grateful to visit it prior to the proposed renovation that is supposed to start next month. I love the fact that the primary souvenir store had to be built across the street (clearly for space issues) and that the game day crowd spilled out onto the streets. It reminds me of the old Yankee Stadium, and harkens to a time in which architects didn’t account for personal space upon approaching a large sporting venue.
Overall, the Friendly Confines are rather quaint. We benefited from the nice breeze coming from Lake Michigan, which was just viewable from our seats. The bullpens flanked the ballpark, similar to another park I saw the previous week.
Escalators? Elevators? None seemed to be found here, as it’s a labyrinth of catwalks to the upper deck. The exposed suite level certainly makes the rest of us feel less bourgeoisie.
I don’t think I’ve come across a more vibrant-looking hot dog than the Vienna Beef dogs at Wrigley. Overall, though, I found the food options relatively sparse.
Other disappointments: walking behind the bleachers and batter’s eye is limited to ticket holders of that area, meaning we couldn’t circumambulate the field. While I liked the hand-operated scoreboard, I found it difficult to find certain stats (I suppose I wasn’t trying hard enough after Pittsburgh started losing). The worst thing, though, was the video screen in left field. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for video post-production folks to design around such a narrow strip of a screen. It seemed like a hollow attempt to bridge this landmark to modern times.
I left out some Cubs fans booing my Orioles hat. While I didn’t understand their beef with an out-of-division non-rival, I suppose a century without a championship can leave any fan base disgruntled.
A spider web blocked entry to a row, and the size of it in such a public place simply blew me away. I suppose Wrigley’s arachnids simply work overtime between games.
Lastly, we (or perhaps I should say primarily Andrew) drove roughly 7 hours round-trip from Chicago to Dyersville. I guess I miscalculated that one.
Is it crazy to drive that far to see a cornfield? Maybe. Some people asked me if I was going during Father’s Day to see Kevin Costner and members of the original cast revisit the field for the film’s 25th anniversary. “Not for the hundreds of dollars they wanted for tickets!”, I’d reply. Now that’s crazy.
Here’s a few more tidbits from my trip. Coincidentally, I got to see a lot of old friends, yet somehow didn’t bother to take pictures with them…
The Golden Gate was cloaked in fog for most of my trip, causing me to appreciate the shot I took of it last time.
Has Napa changed? Probably not. Still, no wineries were willing to “look the other way” and ship wine to my PA home this time. Tasting reservations were abound, as well as winery memberships. I’d say it’s an inevitable roadmap for craft beer to follow.
There’s nothing like tasting great wines by the glass, especially when you’re too cheap to buy a bottle.
I think Russian River wins the award for best sampler plate design. Seriously, why must every other brewery insist you memorize what the server recites to you?
I visited perhaps the coolest address west of Waverly and Waverly.
Yes, I own Windows PCs. I still made the trip to Cupertino as it intrigues me how this particular store is the only place in the world to sell Apple-branded pens, coffee mugs, and apparel. It’s a testament to how spoiled the Internet has made us.
I’ll confess I’d have visited the Google Campus Store in Palo Alto, as well, if only I could get in. That store is invite-by-employee-only, and besides, their goodies are available online.
Overall, I was a little disappointed. Oh well, it’s off my list.
Sure, an employee of Lucasfilm gave me a funny look, but when you have a fountain with Yoda perched on it you’re bound to have some fanboys loiter.
I did the quick, QUICK tour of the Walt Disney Family Museum in Presidio. Here’s that famous castle.
The Walt Disney Family Museum was running an exhibit of the art of Mary Blair, Disney’s art director for a number of classic films. Mind. Blown.
I'm a creative technologist at Hauck Interactive, Inc. and an adjunct instructor at HACC. I live in Harrisburg, Pa. with my wife and two boys. I enjoy good coffee, Trappist beers, Orioles baseball, and good design.