Aztec dictation

[Dictation started]

This post is created using dictation.

WordPress has updated they’re their mobile editor to a new version called Aztec. This version really utilizes voice dictation!

[Here is where I started typing.]

I did have to correct the word “they’re”. But not bad! I was using a Samsung Galaxy S8 using Google Voice Typing and the dictation was quick to respond and did a really good job with recognizing words. If you say the phrase, “new paragraph” it creates a new paragraph buuuuuut… the spacing is double what a keyboard ‘enter’ key gives you. I looked up what some of the keywords are that you can use and, instead of saying “new paragraph”, if you say “new line” or “enter” you get appropriate spacing.

Also, you’d never be able to dictate a post with the word ‘period’ spelt out as ‘period’ is a keyword that returns punctuation. I hit up the Googs for more punctuation command words!

As someone who goes on passionate rants and forgets half of what she was saying I could see myself opening up a new post and letting dictation copy it all down for me into a draft for later editing!

I’m one of those annoying people who travels with a single carry-on bag. I tend to leave my laptop at home and make do with just a smartphone. In the past, this has meant when I travel I stop writing because I find typing on a smartphone to be slow and frustrating compared to my laptop. Now that I know I can dictate blog posts I might actually blog more often!

It’s been years since I last tried using voice recognition software and I am really impressed with Google Voice Typing! I’m equally impressed with the changes WordPress has made to their mobile editor. Three cheers for Aztec!

Aztec dictation

National Learn to Code Day 2016

Blatantly screen shot from

It’s National Learn to Code Day! Woo! Woo! Imma be leading a sold-out class on building a choose your own adventure game using HTML/CSS! So it’s sort of like a different approach to teaching basic HTML/CSS. I’m pretty curious how this approach will work!

I’ve been teaching web development for 3~ish years now, both with Ladies Learning Code and as a sessional instructor at a university and it still delights the crap out of me when I see that ‘a-ha’ moment on someone’s face when it all clicks and they understand the lesson!


National Learn to Code Day 2016

CLI, JS & CSS Libraries, Little Snitch, Zaps, Wilde Life

It’s been a while since I’ve done any link blogging so here you go: a bunch of useful links that I’ve had open in tabs for the past couple of weeks! (Yes, I know, I’m a horrible person for keeping so many tabs open. And yes, I do have One Tab installed but old habits die hard…) – Wes Bos is a quality instructor and I really enjoy learning from him. Command Line Power User is a free course and I highly recommend it for any developer using a Mac who might want to boost their CLI skills. It’s also very useful for developers who are transitioning from a PC to a MAC like I did.

I’m always on the lookout for new JS and CSS libraries to leverage in my work and this list, unlike many others, actually has a lot of gems! As always with these sort of round-ups you have to take the recommendations with a grain of salt.

Smashing Magazine has a great article about HTTP/2 and how you can get ready for it.

Little Snitch is a network monitor that helps to protect your privacy if you’re on a MAC. I haven’t tried it out yet (I’m gearing up to wipe my laptop and improve my setup) but it came highly recommended.

“Little Snitch not only reveals any outgoing network connection attempt to make sure that sensitive data doesn’t leave your computer without your consent. The inbound firewall in Little Snitch provides you with the same level of control for incoming connections.”

Melissa posted about how to use Zapier to help with automating your WordPress site. I don’t have a lot of zaps set up (I still use IFTTT more than Zapier) so I’m very interested to see what other people have done.

Did you find your command line tools were broken after updating to El Capitan? (Me! This happened to me!) This fix should help set you right.

I recently devoured the archive of this comic then backed their Kickstarter campaign! Wilde Life is about a normal guy who’s running away from his life and finds himself living in a most curious little town. I don’t want to spoil too much but I have to say I really enjoy how the author has used the supernatural in this comic.

CLI, JS & CSS Libraries, Little Snitch, Zaps, Wilde Life

Time vs. Money

As you can see from the lack of posts on my blog I’ve been working pretty hard over the past few years. I switched jobs to work at a fast-paced digital marketing agency and the past three years have flown by in a blur of deadlines, learnings, and community events.

I have really enjoyed the past three years but every time I pass by my home office-slash-studio I feel my heart breaking a little when I think of all of the unfinished creative projects I haven’t been able to devote any time to.

This year, I made the decision that time was more important than money so I have been taking my Fridays as unpaid leave so I can work on languishing projects. Yes, I am feeling the pinch a bit with the reduced paycheque but I’ve told myself that extra day every week is more important.

In the interest of accountability, here is my list of, shamefully, unfinished projects:

  • Sock monkeys – I, literally, have a box full of unfinished sock monkeys. They stare at me with their eyeless faces every time I walk by and I can hear them whispering, “shame shaaame shaaaaame” at me despite their lack of mouths.
  • Painting – This really should be plural but, to be fair, I only have one painting in progress at the moment. The others are just sketches so they hardly count. It’s ridiculous it takes me so long to complete a painting but, honestly, the light is only right during the day and I’m usually at work during the day.
  • Non-fiction book – This project was started over a year ago and I still only have an outline and a half-finished introduction. I have almost all of the information I need to write this darn thing! I just need to sit down and write.
  • Comics – I have a whole notebook in Evernote devoted to comic ideas. I have a sketchbook full of rough comic sketches. I have a domain and twitter handle reserved. I have zero finished comics.
  • Code – Here’s the thing: I’m interested in learning about the code I don’t get to do at work every day. Things like advanced CSS animations, different JS frameworks, non-standard implementations of WordPress, I even have a notebook in Evernote dedicated to different video game ideas I’d like to try creating! My laptop is full of abandoned code that I never got the chance to finish for whatever reason.

It was a hard decision to let go of four days pay a month in exchange for time to tackle my creative projects but, so far, I haven’t regretted this decision.


Time vs. Money

Developer Tools For Custom WordPress Development

What do I do at my day job? I make custom WordPress themes and plugins. Four years ago I was still using Dreamweaver as my primary developer tool but, these days, I’ve updated the tools in my toolkit. (Just as a warning, I’m on a MAC these days so not everything listed here is PC-friendly.) Continue reading “Developer Tools For Custom WordPress Development”

Developer Tools For Custom WordPress Development