135 Different Beers in a Year, 135 Different Beers…

My beer bottle-shooting DIY "studio"
My beer bottle-shooting DIY “studio”

I’ve made a bad habit of documenting most, if not all, of the beer I’ve drank over my lifetime (see writer, technical). It started with a Microsoft Access database that went nowhere, even after paying someone to input tons of bottle information. After a house move where I angered friends who helped move 27 cases of empty bottles, and moving in with someone who had zero interest in keeping them around, I started photographing the bottles and getting rid of them. I believe there’s somewhere between 650-850 beers cataloged, but not in one meaningful way — yet.
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Photos from the 2012 Lime Rock ALMS Race

The Lime Rock experience

A few photos I took at this year’s race at Lime Rock, CT. Despite (because of?) zero phone service, this is one of the best and most relaxing places to see a race, ever. Lime Rock Park is in a beautiful valley where spectators sit on grassy hills to watch the race. You can bring your own food and drink, and they even have a full-service tent from the Harpoon Brewery in Mass.

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Leveraging jQuery scripts and CSS3 in your Online Help #techcomm

I often get frustrated when people ask in technical communication forums and email lists what are the “current trends in help”. Why limit help to such a small, self-enclosed space, when we have an incredible wealth of knowledge that is current and also contains what users want: the Web.

There’s really no reason that help has to look like traditional “help”, and not like a web site, especially since framesets, the “technology” that creates the tri-pane TOC/content/navigation most help authors are familiar with, went out of style in, oh, 1999. MadCap is finally taking the lead here with frameset-less output, though I suspect Adobe’s RoboHelp isn’t far behind.

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How to win a Photoshop contest and influence people

“Win tickets to the Honda Grand Prix of St. Pete”, the tweet said. Take a screen shot of the TrueCar Web site and “be creative”. IndyCar driver and British hottie Katherine Legge will choose a winner.

Before
The TrueCar web site - source of inspiration and potential free tickets

Right up my alley, I thought. I love IndyCar, I love being creative, I love Photoshop, and I’d sure like to meet IndyCar driver and British hottie Katherine Legge (note: both Katherine and I are engaged, presumably to other people). The last time I saw her race in person was 2007 at Road America, the year after she had a horrifying crash at the same track. After that, she raced in German touring cars for three years, then spent most of last year trying to get an IndyCar ride.

Thankfully, TrueCar’s site design is incredibly simple – Big main picture, tagline, and testimonials – leaving lots of room to… be creative. My first thought before I even saw the site was to base my concept around IndyCar, and the idea gained traction with the testimonial on the bottom from “Michael C. “.

So I opened up Photoshop, pasted in the screen shot (a technical term. No, really.), and off I went.

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Roasted Brussels sprouts, sausage, and hazelnuts in less than an hour

Brussels-sprouts-with-hazelnuts-sausage-and-cranberries

You can make this. Yes, you. The one who doesn’t have a lot of time, or a lot of ingredients. If you can set aside 15 minutes and get the produce, you will like this.

Seriously.

The best part about this recipe is you don’t need much more skill than being able to cut things in half, and know how to use a stovetop and oven.

Seriously.

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Technical Writer, Content Strategist, Podcaster, and lover of beer.