Two years later…

Ayup. I’ve been absent from this blog for two years but I certainly haven’t been idle!

In the past two years I’ve kept very busy volunteering my time with many organizations and I’m even teaching a class at a college/university this quarter! All while still working full-time for a great company where my developer skills have been growing by leaps and bounds.

I suppose I’ve been away because there hasn’t been much art or writing going on but I’m looking to change that. Or the focus of this blog. Or both!

Here’s hoping I don’t disappear for another two years. If nothing else, at least I updated my WordPress installation today? 😀

Two years later…

Ladies Learning Code – Edmonton

This Saturday I’ll be mentoring at a Ladies Learning Code event.

The attendees will be learning HTML/CSS and the event has sold out! Sorry if you were wanting to attend and missed out, but I understand there will be future events.

Check out the other cool people presenting/mentoring the event!

Woof! This blog sure is dusty. I blame the two-part project I’ve been involved in since last September that doesn’t wrap up until the end of this September. I’m far more active on my twitter account, @tammalee, and my tumblr,

If you’re looking for fun web tech stuff to play with check out knockout.js! What a fun framework to use, especially for building forms!

Ladies Learning Code – Edmonton

I am a PC Traitor

The other day I tweeted about ordering an iMac for work.

There are many practical reasons why I decided to replace my dying PC at work with an iMac:

  1. As I attend more and more developer conferences and camps I find I’m the odd one out because I develop on a PC. All those developers can’t be wrong, right? This isn’t the same as everyone jumping off of a bridge, right?
  2. Macs are built on UNIX. Web servers are, too. Seems like a no-brainer to me!
  3. I’m starting Ruby on Rails development and, apparently, Macs are superior to PCs for that.
  4. I haven’t used a Mac since the nineties and it’s about time I climb back up on that pony.

This morning a friend IM’d me to share her opinion of my switching teams:

Even the most dedicated PC enthusiast has to admit that Apple products can be nice. I’m not going to regret switching from PC to a Mac.

I am a PC Traitor

Podfic – Ghost of a Smile

On Halloween 2011 a ghost story I had written was included in the ‘Re-Vamp’ anthology published by The Mad Docs of Literature.  In honor of our one-year anniversary I decided to record myself reading my ghost story, ‘Ghost of a Smile’. This is my first time releasing a podfic so feedback is welcome!

It is free to listen to and share around and if you like it enough to purchase a physical copy of ‘Re-Vamp’ we have arranged a discount!

Buy Re-Vamp on Lulu for 25% off the regular price!

For those curious what equipment and applications I used in the making of this podfic:

I recorded two takes with @bingofuel in the Unknown Studios‘ recording space. They offer their space, equipment, and expertise for rent and I would rent from them again. Adam had great advice for me on how to speak so my files would be easy to edit later in the process.

I edited this podfic on my iPad using the Hokusai app. I was frustrated when I started using Hokusai but when I switched from my big fingers to a Targus stylus the editing became much easier. I found the controls to be intuitive and easy to get the hang of. It took me maybe an hour and a half to edit nearly 13 minutes worth of audio, cutting and pasting sections from two recordings into a third, master, timeline. When I was finished editing, I exported my work as a .wav file to my dropbox and uploaded to

If I can do it, so can you! XD

Podfic – Ghost of a Smile

Pecha Kucha

I attended my first Pecha Kucha last night.

The phrase ‘Pecha Kucha’ is one of those delightful Japanese phrases that are onomatopoeia; in this case pechakucha is the sound for ‘chit-chat’. For those unfamiliar, the concept is: a presenter get twenty slides, twenty seconds per slide, to present an idea to the audience. It was a surprisingly effective way to get your point across, when the idea was simple and there was a clear call to action or purpose.

I walked away with these tips for anyone looking to present at Pecha Kucha:
Start your presentation off clearly stating what the point of your presentation is
Don’t try to cram in too many words per slide (20 second interval)
Dead air as you wait for your slide show to catch up to your speech is awkward for everybody involved; say something! Anything!
If you can work humour in, do it! The audience loves to laugh
Stay focused on your point; Repeat your point now and then
End with your point or a call to action
Pecha Kucha isn’t your typical presentation. There is an art to paring your thoughts down to a simple concept that can be presented in increments of twenty seconds with a matching image.

It was an enjoyable way to spend the evening and I may have to attempt a presentation at Pecha Kucha sometime in the future; after I practice.

Pecha Kucha