St. Louis

In an attempt to validate some theories I had regarding using WordPress in Higher Education, I attend the 3rd annual WPCampus conference in St. Louis. I had never been to St. Louis, and discovered was hotter and more humid than Baltimore. I was able to use the MetroLink to get from the airport to Washington University in St. Louis and to my hotel.

I met a lot of other folks who are using WordPress as their main institutional CMS. I learned what plugins are useful for universities. I learned about other CMS solutions. I learned about governance in higher ed (the politics are so vicious because the stakes are so low). I learned about Gutenberg. It was nice to be at a WordCamp again.

And, I learned a few things about the city itself. I visited the arch, which one really has to see in person to understand how astonishingly big it is.

The Arch in St. Louis

On the second night, I decided it was just too gross out to take the train to whatever was happening post conference, so I decided to wander around the neighborhood around the hotel. I found a place on Google Maps called El Burrito Loco. Upon entering, I wanted to move in and never leave.

I’m only sharing a few photos of the many I took, but some of my favorite aspects of this outstanding establishment are, a diorama of skeletons in a door transom:

loco burrito diorama

The fabulous art and colors. The COLORS! loco burrito

The giant skeletons partying outside the building: loco burrito

And the HUGE papier-mâché skeleton on the ceiling of the dining room. YES!!!

loco burrito

I ate very well that night – they had the best queso I’ve ever had – so, I decided to walk about, and I turned down Maryland Avenue (because, well, I’m from Maryland).

I happened upon a chess club, which I visited, and a chess themed cafe. As I looked across the street, I observed the world’s largest chess pieces, and the Word Chess Hall of Fame (which has an informative  web site).  I spent an hour and a half here and it was great!

historical Staunton chess pieces

Floating chess exhibit from London

The Word Chess Hall of Fame

World's Biggest Chess piece

I wish I had more time to explore St. Louis, but for a guy like me, I lucked into an amazing experience.

Baltimore WordPress Meet-Up

Baltimore now has a really good WordPress meet-up. The next one will be on January 17th, 2011.

I should have been writing about this – the first meeting loosely covered some popular WordPress plug-ins, and I gave my “20 Things the New WordPress Person should know” talk at the second. Last night was an open forum – we have a broad mix of technical, business and beginner folks. It’s great. If you are lurking out there and mildly interested, join us.

Thanks to Ben Sterling and Kenzo media for being a sponsor.

WordCamp Philly 2010

WordCamp Philly was great. Super well organized by nice WordPress enthusiasts  who actually return e-mails and are interested in their own event.  I enjoyed seeing Temple University and what they are doing with WordPress.

Aside from all the raisins that ended up in my messenger bag, I’d call it a successful day. My previous post has a link to my talk.

photo courtesy of .js at jennschiffer.com

I wanted a “Smothie” but they were closed. I wonder if they are anything like Smoothies.

Also, I think it’s fantastic that Mike serves steaks out of the carpets truck. I bet they are full of fiber.

I almost crapped my pants when I pulled up to the toll booth in the wee hours of the morning. Who the hell hired an evil clown?

If I HAD crapped my pants at the evil clown, it would have been okay – they are super pants.

It was a good trip.

WordCamp Midatlantic 2010

John Waters was at Barnes & Noble signing his book!

I had a quick book signing, too, [ Head First WordPress – see here for complete details ] for a complete stranger that I’ve never met, ever.

Finally, Baltimore WordPress peeps, there’s a new user’s group meeting on Monday the 20th.

I’M ONE OF THE 3 MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN WORDPRESS

I know this because I have a piece of paper saying so.

And, in case you missed it, this is a joke.

There was some noise in the WordPress community a couple weeks ago about the premium theme developer (paid theme) that was violating the WordPress (GPL) license. He declared himself to be one of the three most important people in WordPress to the most important person in WordPress. The most important person in WordPress, in turn, sent out these certificates and t-shirts to many, many other most important people in WordPress. I’m sorry – it’s just too good not to share.

I am, however, going to attach a copy of this to my resume. And hang this in my office at work. I don’t think even the good Bava has one of these.