Categories
Personal Technology

The Techie Continuum

When referring to myself over the years, I’ve always adamantly declared that despite whatever skills I might have,

“I’m not a techie.”

I didn’t study computer science and I’m not what I’d call a “hard-core programmer.”

And yet some might point out the obvious. I’ve been sharing WordPress knowledge in forums and at conferences ever since I started using it. I’m my family’s on-call tech support. I help folks with technical issues all day, every day, and even get paid to do it. I solve people’s WordPress problems, quash quandaries, clarify conundrums.

Even so, I still wouldn’t dream of referring to myself as an expert, guru, or ninja. (And let’s not even bring up “rock star” – just don’t go there.)

Due to a combination of low self-esteem, imposter syndrome, and, let’s face it, a severe case of Canadianitis, I’ve only recently come to truly believe that I may actually know some stuff. I now realize that everyone can be found somewhere on a techie continuum, and perhaps, just maybe, I’m somewhere toward the higher end of it.

No matter where you are on the techie continuum, chances are you know a bit more about something than someone else. Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge with them. It feels good. It’s giving back. And maybe some day you’ll even start to feel confident that you know a few things.

Ninja
Not a ninja. Photo (cc) by Nick Harris
Categories
Personal WordPress

Perfectionism and Blogging

I shared some thoughts on the Press Publish blog about how perfectionism affects my blogging. The conversation it sparked reminded me that I’m not alone.

Press Publish

Perfectionism is a tricky flaw to have. It makes me want to do everything perfectly – and doing a thorough and awesome job at something can bring on the accolades, which in turn makes me want to be just as perfectionistic the next time.

But striving for perfection is stressful. And sometimes it stops me from doing anything at all.

Take my blog, for example. After not even having a blog for many years – especially embarrassing considering my profession, first as a web designer building custom WordPress sites and later as a WordPress Happiness Engineer – I finally launched one in late 2013. But I’ve only published 26 posts since then! I want each entry to be special and memorable, whether it’s a gallery of images I’ve taken, a story I tell, or an experience I’ve had.

Other bloggers I follow talk about their kids, or their cats, or…

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Categories
Automattic Personal Travel

Hawaii in February

Earlier this month I took an extraordinary trip to Hawaii. The entire Automattic theme division met for its annual gathering on the island of Kauai – a meetup locale rather different from last year’s Charleston ice storm. I stayed on in Hawaii a bit longer, getting a few more days to enjoy this beautiful place.

As cliché as it may sound, Hawaii was simply magical. Sea turtles silently crawling up the shoreline on Poipu Beach, scenery as stunning as it gets, and an unforgettable helicopter ride around Kauai – including the waterfalls where the famous arrival scene from Jurassic Park was filmed. It rejuvenated my soul and provided sustenance to carry me through the rest of this vicious winter.

I can’t wait to go back some day.

Categories
Art Personal

Nothing Has Changed

The gentleman sat back in the bus seat in front of me, put up his feet and took out his phone. He was going through his contacts, making the requisite round of New Year’s calls. I could tell this one was a message he was leaving on someone’s voice mail.

“Hi, happy New Year. Everything is the same as before. Nothing has changed. OK, good-bye.”

And so it is.

I’ve never been one to make resolutions, but today I went to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for a culture injection and realized that is something I’d like to do more of this year: feed my soul through art. I’d also like to eat more fruits and vegetables – to that end I stumbled on a new recipe compendium with an amazing collection of salads. Both happen to be WordPress sites. Coincidence? I’ll let you decide. Happy 2015.

 

 

Categories
Personal

Superhospital

I’ve always been fascinated by hospitals and the world of medicine: curious about the secrets of “authorized personnel only” zones, addicted to shows like House and ER, and devouring behind-the-scenes tales like The Night Shift.

Today I had a chance to tour my neighbourhood’s brand new “Superhospital”, before patients and staff move in next spring. The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) will consolidate several large – and aging – Montreal-area hospitals on one site, including The Montreal Children’s Hospital, Royal Victoria Hospital, and Montreal Chest Institute, as well as the Research Institute and Cedars Cancer Centre. A new Shriners Hospital for Children will also be housed nearby.

The visit was a rare opportunity to explore a huge, pristine, health-care facility before the first blood draw is taken and first baby born. Here’s what it looked like.