Playing Around with Flexbox by Starting with Articles and CodePen’s from Others

About a week ago on January 13, 2019, I saw a tweet from Heydon Pickering  ( @heydonworks ) talking about how he was using Flexbox to switch directly between multiple and single column layouts but didn’t have time to read it at the time because I was at work.

Later that day I saw Jonathan Snook ( @snookca ) had tweeted about some tweaks he had made to Heydon’s CodePen example.

Here is Heydon’s “The Flexbox Holy Albatross” article which he didn’t want to use media queries or JavaScript, along with Jonathan’s article about Heydon’s “Understanding the Albatross” article. NOTE: I used media queries to change font sizes in my example.

Started to Play with Heydon’s Code

After reading through both articles, I started playing around with Heydon’s CodePen to see what would happen with only two blocks for my jfciii Ate Here restaurant list. After playing around for a bit, I grabbed the HTML and CSS I had messed with and copied it into Textmate to make one page using my template for jfciii Ate Here. At that point, I gathered a few restaurants from my list of place to eat in Washington, DC and replaced the blocks with real content to see what doing so would be like on the page.

Part of my picking certain restaurants was to gather ones with different lengths to content for the same row for a wide width screen (think desktop/laptop). At first, I started with two per restaurants to see what that looked like for desktop/laptop and different width between there and a narrow width for a phone.

To me, it seemed that having two items to a line/row seemed like it could be confusing when reading the content, But then I remembered that most of the time people would most likely checking for restaurants on their phones while they were out wandering a city or sitting with friends instead of a desktop or laptop.

Pushed My Code Example

After pushing the updates a few different times to my website, I asked a coworker what they thought about the two columns, and they thought maybe adding a bit of space between the two columns would make it easier to read.

I then spent some time working on my CSS to add a few REMs worth to the right of them which seemed to work. But then I had the problem of forgetting I had to only added it to the first item in the list for a widescreen device. I ended up using :nth-child(odd), so the extra padding was on the first item in the row. Next, I had to remove the extra padding when in a narrower view such as on my phone.

Then I decided to attempt to use three restaurants to a row for a few rows and then two for one, and one with only one restaurant to see how they all looked before updating my PHP code to generate a given amount to my application page.

When I did that, I then had to add a max-width to the restaurant content container, so it didn’t span the width of a row, so the reading experience was better for people because of the long line length.

So here is my experiment with a bit of flexbox for jfciii Ate Here and the current look of one restaurant at a time for the wider width.

Thanks, Guys

Thanks, again Heydon and Jonathan for your articles and examples to get me to play around with flexbox.

Further Reading and Video Watching

Now it’s off to spend time finishing up reading Rachel Andrew’s ( @rachelandrew ) book from A Book ApartThe New CSS Layout“. Then start reading Rachel and Jen Simmons ( @jensimmons ) other work and watching both of their amazing videos to understand CSS Grid better. See below for more of their work.

Rachel Andrew

Jen Simmons


Please leave a comment of which number of restaurants per row for wider screens you think works for ease of reading and compare against my current version of jfciii Ate Here.

You Should Use Your Local Public Library to Do Work

You should use your local public library to read, do tech related work, catch up on e-mails, etc. on the weekends or nights after work when others are not around. Over the last year or two, I’ve found working at my local libraries has been easier than working in a coffee shop. It’s also a change of pace from working at home.

Using the library is easy on your budget. Doing this means you don’t have to buy another latte or fancy pastry or sandwich or salad or Gelato so you can get another hour and a half of internet connection. Or so you do not feel guilty that you stayed there for a few hours more without buying anything. Plus, if you’re drinking lots of coffee or tea, you won’t be all hopped up on caffeine by the end of the day. Even though some libraries let you bring in beverages in a fixed lid container. I think the main Columbus library sells drinks on the first floor.

Over the last year or so I have gone to a few of the Alexandria, VA and Washington, DC, libraries. Did this on a few nights and most weekends when I’m home. I spend my time working on improving my list of restaurant’s I want to visit when I travel or even at home application (jfc iii Ate Here). A lot of the time is spent finding the details about a restaurant. Such as their address, phone number, a description of the place and what they serve, and URL. Once, I have that information I put it in a GitHub issue so I can add them to the proper city or state JSON file when I have the time.

I especially like visiting the central libraries in bigger cities when I’m there visiting for work or on vacation. It’s great seeing how grand some of the older libraries are. In the last year or two, I have been to the following cities and their libraries.

Libraries are Listed Alphabetically by City Name

NOTE: Updated list of libraries and URLs on October 9, 2019.

I have found at the smaller libraries, the earlier you get there doing so allows you to locate a power outlet. Be they in, on, or under some tables. Other time you need to find a chair along the windows of the walls for an outlet. To avoid having the problem of lack of power I make sure to charge my laptop the night before. Or in the morning if the library doesn’t open until late morning or early afternoon.

Bringing headphones to help cancel out some of the noise can be useful depending on the library. Sometimes having headphones in or over your ears is enough to cancel out most of the sound so you can think. Doing so gives you that option if that is what you need to do.

No matter the size of the library they now all seem to have wifi so you can get to the internet. With not knowing how good the wifi is or how much content other people are going to be downloading I tend to bring my “Your Karma” mifi. Doing so allows me not have to worry about what others are doing on the internet.


Use your local libraries to get work done, so they continue to get the funding they need and are open for others to use. It beats sitting at home all the time. You might even see people you know or meet some new people.

On hot summer days or cold winters ones too it’s a pleasant place to relax and get out of the weather when you are traveling be it for work or vacation.

Bonus Location to Work

Use your local libraries to get work done, so they continue to get the funding they need and are open for others to use. It beats sitting at home all the time. You might even see people you know or meet some new people.

On hot summer days or cold winters ones too it’s a pleasant place to relax and get out of the weather. When you’re home or traveling be it for work or vacation libraries are a great place to be. Another great place to get some work done is your local auto dealer. I know you’re thinking I’m crazy. But if you can get an appointment on the weekend when they open. You then tell them you are waiting and will be sitting in the salesman’s section out front. Doing this is great if you have your own wifi/mifi. Because the service section has desks and opens an hour or two before the sales people get there. Giving you plenty of time to work quietly. Usually, the only person running around is someone either sweeping or mopping the floor so it looks good for customers buying cars.

Plus, it’s interesting on a Saturday towards the end of the month. Doing so lets you listen to the dealership manager or owner come to talk to the sales team to get them pumped up to sell cars. Along with reminding them they have to sell a certain amount of vehicles to meet quotas and they can get bonuses.

Use your local library to get work done.

December 2016 – What I’ve Been Doing at 8:16 PM (20:16)

Here is my December 2016, installment of what I had done at 8:16 PM each night during the month. I also found it helpful writing down what happened during the day as a small journal/diary of what was good, bad, or interesting.

Little Background

I started keeping track of what I was doing at 20:16 (8:16 PM) every day for the last month after reading Kitt Hodson’s Pastry Box article from Jan 1, 2015. Which was about how a year earlier she read Erica Douglass’s article about writing down what she did at 11:11 AM and 20:14 (8:14 PM) everyday.

December 2016 Events

Dec 1 – Sitting at my house watching the newest episode of “The Big Bang Theory.” Not that exciting of a day at the office. We continued to work our way through the website broken or redirected links.

Dec 2 – Sitting over at my buddy Ron’s house getting ready for the music to start back up. That was after first going to St. Elmo’s to correcting an issue my “10k Apart” and “Ate Here” application had when hitting enter on the “Submit” form without picking a city, state, or location. Along errors that occurred when a person attempted to mess with the URL to see what they would end up displaying. Worked wasn’t that busy besides a few things that showed up and had to deal with them. We continued to work our way through the website broken or redirected links along with sending the government tech boss the five JIRA issues to see if he could find the proper place to direct people on the website.

Dec 3 – Walking with friends from St. Elmo’s to an Italian place on Mt. Vernon Ave. to grab dinner after watching the Del Ray, VA, tree lighting ceremony from the bar at Pork Barrel restaurant. I met most of the same friends at St. Elmo’s for coffee in the morning after sleeping in until 10:05 AM. Once I left St. Elmo’s I stopped home quick and then headed to M. E. Swing Coffee Roasters to work on updating broken or redirected links in my slides. Then went over to Pho 75 to grab a small bowl of Pho with raw round eye and fatty brisket with extra noodles and extra fatty brisket. Next, I went to Boccato Lounge to continue working on my “Ship in Six’ project.

Dec 4 – Laying on my sofa reading Twitter while watching last weeks episode of “Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain” waiting for this weeks show to start at 9:00 PM.

Dec 5 – Working in my spare bedroom on my ARIA slide pages to now use HTML5 instead of XHTML code. Doing so will help reduce the page weight by a few bytes along with making it cleaner and easier to read.

Dec 6 – Eating veggie lasagna at my buddies in Cabin John while tasting a few different Italian red wines. Today wasn’t my day to commute. Had to get into work early for an 8:30 AM meeting and Metro took an extra 20 minutes which only gave me 10 minutes to grab breakfast before the meeting. Then getting to leave 30 minutes early meant getting home at 6:15 PM which is when I would normally get home. So an extra 30 minutes to commute home. To get to Cabin John, it takes about 35 – 40 minutes at none rush hours times. During rush hour in the rain today it took about an hour and 15 minutes to get there, so it was nice to spend time with friends catching up and having a nice simple meal with some wine. The trip home only took about 40 minutes.

Dec 7 – Started updating my NVA and DCA JSON files for both my 10k Apart’ and “Ate Here” websites. The changes I made were to correct grammar for Stachowski’s Market, added an asterisk to Beefsteak which I haven’t gone to, and added Vaso’s Kitchen.  Also, updated my slides to use HTML5 where they didn’t break them because the JavaScript was looking for things from XHTML. My work day consisted of attending a team meeting, then looking over a bunch of Microsoft Word documents before meeting with the creator on how best to make them accessible since they had 20 documents to change. We decided on a plan and they were going to correct one document first to make sure that was accessible before doing the rest of them. Later in the day had to come up with a list of things content creators should think about when creating content. Luckily we already had an accessibility checklist document that I could start with and in about fifteen minutes had a good first draft to send to the necessary people.

Dec 8 – Sitting in a stranger’s living room in DuPont Circle area listening to a two piece band play music and answer questions as part of “The Little Salon” event. Which is a monthly creative art, music, spoken word, etc. event that moves around the DC area and is held in different people’s home. I managed to find a nice comfy chair and sat back and watched the event move around. During the first break, I managed to locate the restroom on the second floor and then updates to the third floor to see the study and seating area which also had another bedroom up there. A part of the whole center of the house was open to the third floor so all the light from the skylight could get down to the bottom of the house. When I left closer to 9:15 PM to catch the metro when I was outside you couldn’t tell at all that there were 80 – 100 people inside the house. I also tried a six types of shrub (bitter mixer) and bought two bottles from one of the vendors there.

Dec 9 – Finishing up a small bowl of raw round eye and fatty brisket Pho with extra noodles and fatty brisket with my buddy Sam at Pho 75. At work during the day, I worked on reviewing a few PDFs for accessibility issues.

Dec 10 – I was home taking a two and a half hour nap until right before 9:00 PM after doing web work and meeting a few people at St. Elmo’s in the early morning. That was before heading out to meet old co-workers and their significant others for lunch at Maketto and then off to a few wine stores for wine tastings which were mostly champagne. First, we went to MacArthur’s and tried about 8 – 12 champagnes and I bought a few hundred dollars worth of wine for only six five bottles. Then is was off to Wide World of Wine where I/we tried three Spanish wines. Here I only bought two wines for about $260, but these were older wines from two of my favorite producers in the world. Then finally, to Pearsons for a few more champagnes. I ended up buy four more wines there which were Piccolo Cru. After that, we headed over to 2 Amy’s to grab some pizza and other appetizers.

Dec 11 – Driving back from William’s after figuring out where the pre-CSUN road trip will be which is going to be Los Angles, CA. WE might meet up with one of William’s friends while we are there. We are going to look for AirBnB places near Venice Beach so we can either spend the whole tie there relaxing or use at a base to go and eat a=our way around LA. Then I helped William with getting firewood for the main house along with help to clean out the gutters. Then we each stacked a ton of pig feed (barley and corn) and once that was done we went and filled up the pig feeder with a dozen bags and finally filled the water tank at the back of the barn, so the pigs had water to drink for the day. We had to make sure to blow out the water hose so that it didn’t freeze and crack because it was so cold (34F and felt colder with the windchill).

Dec 12 – Working on making updates to my presentation slides in my spare bedroom.

Dec 13 – Sitting in Cabin John, MD, for Barry’s birthday with Bev and Aimee on Skype from Chicago while eating box frozen pizza and drinking a few nice red wines from Matt Cline while the girls drank the same wines in Chicago. Attended the work Xmas party/potluck lunch. As usual, I brought cheese and crackers.

Dec 14 – Was working on a bit of paperwork. Another slow day at the office but managed to enter an issue in JIRA at 10:00 AM before the standup meeting and we worked to get it fixed, tested, and in PROD by 3:00 PM. Which could be a record of fixing something in five hours start to finish.

Dec 15 – Watching The Big Bang Theory where they are having a baby girl. Spent the part of my day going over the changes I wanted to make to the dataset pages to only use one set of information instead of one for desktop and another for handheld along with making it accessible and using one set of TABLEs to do it all. Plus, started reading an article about CSS Flexbox and Gird where I noticed they used a max-width which gave me the idea to use min-width for IE stuff and it looks like it will help correct are display issues with IE in handheld made or at least make it better. We are not expecting people to use IE in a narrow handheld width much if at all. Finished up my paperwork and updated the NYC JSON file for both my 10k Apart and Ate Here applications which were missing Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop and had two versions of Ippudo Ramen in them.

Dec 16 – Driving from Pho Viet Flare on Van Dorn on my way to Wegmans to do some grocery shopping and to look if they have any Hardywood Gingerbread Stout for my buddy Sam. I managed to get my shopping done and could not find any Gingerbread Stout the first two times I looked around where it typically is stored. After talking to another couple that was looking for Hardywood beer and showing them, I went over to the area where they keep the new bomber bottles and saw some weird looking bottles that caught my eye. Doing so let me notice that there was one lone Gingerbread Stout mixed in with everything else.

Dec 17 – Driving from my buddy Sam’s house after having dinner that Bangkok Golden on my way to Boccato Lounge to continue working on reading through the “Ship in Six’ old e-mails and finding places on AirBnB in Venice Beach, CA. I was look where we wanted to stay at during our mini road trip before CSUN at the end of February. We had the usual of crispy rice salad, duck laab, and pork drunken noodles at Bangkok Golden. We first drove to Banh Mi DC Sandwich to pick up a few egg rolls and a roast pork Bahn Mi for later or lunch on Sunday. Managed to get about a three-hour nap in the afternoon instead of doing more reading on Ship in Six e-mails and Pho at Pho 75.

Dec 18 – Not sure if I was reading Twitter, a book, or watching TV after spending a good part of the day making updates to GitHub and reading through the “Ship in Six” e-mails from Amy Hoy along with taking notes on them and the “Stacking the Bricks” podcasts and a few videos from the “Ship in Six” series.

Dec 19 – finishing up a phone call with a college friend to see what her plans for Christmas were with her family, parents, and brothers and sister, along with her grandchild and son. Instead of doing work after the day job I spend about an hour and twenty minutes on the phone talking to the older of my younger brothers, along with my youngest sister on how things had been going, the weather, plans for the holidays, and how all their kids were. Figured I would be easier to talk before the holiday weekend when things were a bit slower and less hectic.

Dec 20 – Checking my GitHub issue comment through Grammarly after making changes to the way the address information is displayed. I removed the words “Address” and “Phone” from the screen along with adding a line break when the street address ends and again if a second address is there. Next, I need to move the last few days updates to the server so I can have people check them out.

Dec 21 – eating a small bowl of Pho with fatty brisket, raw round eye, extra noodles, and extra fatty brisket over at Pho Viet Flare on Van Dorn St. in Alexandria, VA.

Dec 22 – Watching TV but nothing that exciting that I never wrote it down. Needed to relax and unwind a bit. We finally, started working on consolidating the dataset TABLE information on the dataset pages from two different sources only to use one by using “flexbox” in our CSS. After playing around a bit with using “min-width” for the mobile data, TABLE cells corrected the display issues for IE browsers. I managed to find time to show a co-worker how we were going to consolidate the dataset TABLE information too, along with starting on my DAD JIRA issue. Which ended up being one of the top five largest pages of the 40 or so pages we need to fix.

Dec 23 – taking a few hour nap after getting out of work at 3:00 PM. Finished up the large DAD JIRA issue I started along with finishing the second one and almost completed the third one before going home at 3:00 PM. After work I to the red line to the New York Ave metro station to head over to A. Litteri’s to get some cured meat because they were open until 6:00 PM and I would not have to go on Saturday then. Luckily they were not too busy, so I made sure to give a nice tip to the two older guys that wait on me all year when I go in on Saturday’s.

Dec 24 – Having Christmas Eve dinner over at the Kamin’s and having great conversations a diverse set of people. Spent the morning at St. Elmo’s to visit with friends then it was off to M. E. Swing Coffee Roasters to work on taking notes from Amy Hoy’s Ship in Six e-mails along with updates to GitHub. Only managed to get a short nap.

Dec 25 – Relaxing and watching TV after napping mid afternoon after going to see the new Star Wars movie “Rogue One” and then driving around DC to see what was open along with what people were doing. On the way home I stopped at “Bob and Edith’s” to have breakfast for a late lunch

Dec 26 – I was watching reruns of American Pickers while catching up on Twitter and doing a bit of relaxing too. Went to St. Elmo’s to visit with friends until about 12:30 PM and then headed over to M. E. Swing Coffee Roasters to have some hot chocolate. I worked at reading and taking notes on the final few “Ship in Six” e-mails from Amy Hoy. Worked on making updates to GitHub which I think was creating ReadMe files for my slide presentation folders since they were missing and might help explain more what the folders were about.

Dec 27 – Sitting in Cabin John at my buddy Tony’s house with two other friends drinking a 1999 Château de Beaucastel which they all thought was great. I had some issues since I managed to burn my tongue a few days ago while eating a small bowl of Pho. During the day I managed to complete three DAD JIRA issues. After the others left spent some time talking to Tony about my buddy William’s pigs and what he thought they needed which were mostly to have more intermuscular fat. We spent more time talking about his pigs in general.

Dec 28 – Backing up my iPad mini 3 while pushing updates to the DC JSON file for “Cucina Al Volo”. Working on cleaning up some e-mail along with adding a few things to GitHub for my 10k Apart and Ate Here repros. Need to add two restaurants one to the DC JSON file and the other to the NVA JSON file. Today at work I managed to get through four more DAD JIRA dataset issues along with starting the fifth one which is one of the most difficult files to update since it contains 26 different tables.

Dec 29 – In my kitchen filling up my water bottle along with grabbing some Mortadella and Provolone cheese. I did some QA and accessibility testing of the ILAB Android Child Labor application. Once that was done, I continued working on updating another developer dataset page.

Dec 30 – Sitting at a table in Pho 75 reading an article from Twitter while waiting for my food. I managed to finish two more DAD JIRA issues at work even though we got to go home two hours early. Managed to get about a two-hour nap after doing a bit of reading what happened n Twitter during the afternoon.

Dec 31 – Lying on my sofa reading Twitter and watching Ohio State lose to Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl. Met friends at St. Elmo’s this morning and chatted over two hours. Then went to M. E. Swing Coffee Roasters to work on making more updates to my Ate Here and 10k Apart JSON files with new places to eat. Next, I went to Earl’s Sandwiches in Arlington, VA, to try two of their sandwiches and have the rest for dinner while watching football/TV in the evening. I got the turkey pesto, roasted red pepper, cheese, pickles, etc. special along with eh “Bay of Pigs.” I ate half of each and saved the rest for later. I then added more money to the meter and went down to Boccato Lounge for some hot cider while I worked on posting my “what I did at 8:16 PM” for the month of November around 3:30 PM. While getting everything ready to post my December one too once, I finish this bit of writing. Once I left there, I picked up a buddy of mine, and we headed to Banh Mi DC Sandwich to pick up some egg rolls t snack on while watching football. We then stopped at the Good Fortune Grocery Superstore to pick up some roast pig which I planned to use with some Ramen over the next few days. Our final stop was at Total Wine to help my buddy pick out a six pack of miscellaneous beers. WE managed to grab three IPA’s, two stouts, and one porter. During the afternoon I realized I had written a hundred or two words shy of 31,000 for my “What I was doing at 8:16 PM” each day this year. Once this is done, I should easily be over 31,000 words. Next year I will attempt to write more, so I get to 40,000 words along with less spelling and grammar errors.


Hopefully, this has been helpful to you and gets you to keep track of what you do a particular time of the day, along with a short daily diary entry to see what you have done or can accomplish over the course of a year.

If you want to meet up to do something exciting at 8:16 PM some evening, please leave a comment. Or a suggestion of something that is not part of my ordinary life you think I should do.

November 2016 – What I’ve Been Doing at 8:16 PM (20:16)

Here is my November 2016, installment of what I had done at 8:16 PM each night during the month. I also found it helpful writing down what happened during the day as a small journal/diary of what was good, bad, or interesting.

Little Background

I started keeping track of what I was doing at 20:16 (8:16 PM) every day for the last month after reading Kitt Hodson’s Pastry Box article from Jan 1, 2015. Which was about how a year earlier she read Erica Douglass’s article about writing down what she did at 11:11 AM and 20:14 (8:14 PM) everyday.

November 2016 Events

Nov 1 – sitting in Cabin John at a buddies house drinking wine, talking a bit of politics and deciding what the meal will be next Tuesday for the election. Not that I’m staying late.

Nov 2 watching the Chicago Cubs play the Cleveland Indians in game seven of the World Series. I watched more baseball during World Series than I have watched in over a decade all put together. Before hand, I was making updates to phone numbers in nine cities the my Ate Here application. Still need to move all the changes to my servers.

Nov 3 – Watching “The Big Bang Theory” on TV. At work spent time looking into why a Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 user couldn’t user the Flash application. My guess is the application wasn’t built properly, so it was going to be a problem with any assistive technology. My problem was I don’t have an updated version of Flash, so I can’t see the application at all. So I’m waiting for the tech team to do that. In the meantime, I asked a friend who uses Dragon all the time if it could be an issue even if the application was built correctly and he said it would. Another friend at DOL said that maybe if the person upgraded to Dragon 14 (newest version), it might help.

Nov 4 – watching TV of some sorts and catching up on the day’s tweets so didn’t pay attention to what I was watching at the time. It was either “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” or “Storage Wars”, since those were the two shows I was bouncing between most of the night while waiting until “Abandoned” came on the Viceland channel. Spent a good part of my day working with a co-worker on making updates to pages that have broken or redirected links.

Nov 5 – I was sitting in Peter Chang’s restaurant eating dinner after ordering way too much food. We ordered four appetizers and three meals. We figured what we didn’t eat we could take home for lunch or dinner the next day or so. We ordered: pork pan fried dumplings, brazed cold tofu in a spicy chili oil sauce, a cumin crusted lamb leg, crispy pork belly, which was a thick cut bacon about two inches wide that was tempura deep fried. By the time we got through all that we were pretty much full and still had three main dishes coming which were pork riblets, Golden Mountain Chicken (crispy fried chicken strips with orange type sauce. And finally, Hot Numbing Beef Hot Pot.

Nov 6 – can’t remember if I was busy watching reruns on TV or reading Twitter after being gone for the day. My guess is I was reading Twitter to catch up on the day after being out at the Shen-Valley Flea Market in White Post, VA, with an old co-worker while watching TV. I ended up buying five or six knives, mostly chefs knives, and four cast iron skillets. I bundled three knives for $50 instead of the $70 the guy was asking, another one or two I bought cheap. I got an expensive German chef knife for $8 after they were asking $10 and it’s worth way more than that. I got two cast iron skillets cheap and then bought an 8 inch Griswold and a 10 inch one from what the guy says was made in about 1870 that were so clean you would think the were never used. The guy was asking $30 and $40 for the skillets I offered $50 and he said now after a very long time thinking about it. He replied with $60 and I countered with $55 but he wouldn’t budge so I took them for $60. Both are worth at least that much individually.

Nov 7 – watching last week’s “American Pickers” while waiting for the new episode to start at 9:00 PM. Previously, to watching TV, I started creating the November EventBrite event which I would finish a few minutes before 11:45 PM when I would be sending out the first batch of invites since EventBrite only lets you send 250 invites per day and our group is about 450 people currently.

Nov 8 – In Cabin John eating breakfast for dinner while drinking red wine and watching the United States Presidential election results come in. At this hour they were slow because a handful of east coast states pools had closed at that point. Ended up being a long night and didn’t it was going to end they way I had hoped. I knew things were in trouble when I was back home watching MSNBC and James Carville the “Ragin’ Cajun” face started contorting, and his tone changed after someone announced the President-elect was leading or won a state that fails me now. IT could have been when they announced he was winning or they were uncertain Hillary would win Michigan or Wisconsin. At the point, I knew it was probably over. Knowing this information, I persevered until I called it a night at 1:16 AM. Have felt a bit lost today with everything that happened in the presidential election. Wasn’t ruling out the outcome but thought the country was smarter than they were to vote for what our President-elect stands for. I guess I will leave it at that because it will only make me angry and who knows maybe he and his followers will change by coming together as a nation.

Nov 9 – I was copying the November 16th, EventBrite event to Meetup so I could notify that group about our talk this month. After that, I watched TV mindlessly which was an old episode of “Jay Leno’s Garage” while I was waiting for the new season to start. Was a long and confusing day at work yesterday after the election.

Nov 10 – Driving back from Five Guys where I got a cheeseburger and a small fry. It was a bit of a slower day at work with a bunch of people off or working from home so they could start their long weekend earlier. Ended up testing the updates to the ILAB iOS “Sweat & Toil” application for changes to read out abbreviated words for VoiceOver (screen reader) users.

Nov 11 – Sitting in my South Philly AirBnB cleaning up my e-mail and sending out an e-mail to someone I was introduced to about possibly meeting to discuss accessibility issues or how I can help them learn about accessibility. I only slept into about 7:30 AM on my Veterans Day holiday. Read a bit of Twitter in bed then headed over to St. Elmo’s to see what people were doing. Of course, they were having a heated discussion about the election results. After left I worked on publishing one of my what I was doing at 8:16 PM posts along with getting two more ready since I’m a few months behind posting them. Once I was done with that around 11:00 AM I headed home to pack for my trip to Philly for BarCamp on Saturday. After packing both my new and old laptop so I could make updates to my website’s skip navigation, along with the updating the Accessibility DC one for the first time in close to or over two years. I went to Pho 75 for a small bowl of Pho with fatty brisket and raw round eye with extra noodles and extra fatty brisket. Lunch was relatively quick, so I stopped over at Bocatto Lounge for some cherry and fig tea while making those skip navigation updates. My websites still had the skip navigation anchors pointing to in page anchors instead of an ID with and additional tab index equal to negative one. Updated them and then place all the code in Dropbox so I could grab it on my old make Macbook laptop and then FTP them to my server for each of the different websites. Once I’m done writing this and checking my grammar using Grammarly I’m to send the Accessibility DC, Accessibility Camp, and Accessibility Camp DC code to Dropbox to then FPT from my old Macbook.

Nov 12 – laying on my bed reading Twitter to see what happened during the day at my AirBnB after a tiring day at BarCamp Philly. Ended up giving my “Is Your Website Accessible?” talk to about a dozen people. There were a lot of talks about how to run for office, what to do now that we have a President-elect. One was even entitled “What if You’re Mr. Rogers in a Trump World”. The most interesting talk I attended was how to use iMovie on an iPad or iPhone given by a 10.5-year-old girl. I learned the general way to make a trailer type movie. This was her third Philly BarCamp giving this talk which she must have been 7.5 years old or so when she gave it the first time. I wanted to make sure she had people at her talk to keep her interested and motivated to continue with movies or other creative endeavors. Ended up getting interviewed by her at the end of the day.

Nov 13 – watching a few videos on my computer in my spare bedroom after a day shopping and eating in Philly along with a slow long drive home. First went to South Philly to stop at Forinalli’s for Italian sausage, then Di Bruno Brothers for cheese and hot sopesotta, next stopped at Superior Ravioli and Pasta for some frozen cheese and meat ravioli along with fresh spaghetti. The final stop in South Philly was at Isagro’s for a few cannoli’s. Headed to Reading Terminal Market where I picked up cured German sausages, five kinds of pate (house blend, pork liver, curried goat, head cheese, and I can’t remember the fifth one). I also went Golden Bowl for pork lo mien and a breakfast sandwich. For the road, I grabbed a Tommy DiNic’s roast pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and aged Provolone along with a Train Wreck (chopped beef, onions, cheese, and spicy  Italian meat with spicy mayo/ranch dressing.

Nov 14 – sitting in Buzz Bakery with an old co-worker talking about accessibility improvements to the new version of along with possible new CMS ideas and accessibility things to think of before designing/creating.

Nov 15 – home watching TV instead of Cabin John having dinner and drinking wine or beer like most Tuesday nights.

Nov 16 – walking from Naan and Beyond on L St. with four samosas after leaving Blackboard and the monthly Accessibility DC event.

Nov 17 – talking with Rochelle and Benno taking new jobs in healthcare UX and the like.

Nov 18 – driving into Baltimore with Zac Gordon the night before for WordPress Camp Baltimore. Then went looking for my AirBnB which was what ended up on a side street that was more like an alley. It took the time to find street parking near by. My place between three bars. Thanks, goodness I was staying on the fourth floor above the hair salon.

Nov 19 – listening to Jacob Panic play an excellent banjo set at the WordPress Camp ice cream social. Attended a few talks and took notes about A/B testing and learning JavaScript.

Nov 20 – I was watching the previous week’s episode of Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain while unwinding from two days of Baltimore WordPress camp. Attended a few talks and took notes about what plug-ins the United States State Department use with their WordPress websites along with some about responsive images.

Nov 21 – I was watching the previous week’s “American Pickers” because I was at Buzz Bakery with old Army co-worker helping figure out a few accessible options to create their new CMS along with going over accessibility issues with the new design/code for

Nov 22 – Driving home from Wegmans after going there to have a bit of turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing a few days early for dinner. Also picked up four bottles of Hardywood Gingerbread Stout for myself and a few friends. Didn’t go out to Cabin John today because the rest of the old retired guys started early and had had enough plus we will be gathering at around noon on Friday for an organic snow day.

Nov 23 – Driving home from Wegmans after going there to have a bit of turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing a few days early for dinner. Also picked up two bottles of Hardywood Gingerbread Stout for me to bring to Thanksgiving dinner and our organic snow day in Cabin John on Friday. Got a few things done at the office but it was a slow day with it being the day before Thanksgiving and the government sending us home early. Luckily one of the government bosses stayed and extra hour so people who had planned for getting sent home two hours early could get their eight-hour day in instead of only seven.

Nov 24 – Sitting around the small kitchen table at a friend’s house after an awesome Thanksgiving meal talking about politic, getting old, kids these days, and pretty much whatever came into people’s heads. Got up before seven 7 AM and read in bed a bit before going into Del Ray, VA, to have a hot cider and wait for the Del Ray five-mile Turkey Trot to start at 9 AM. After that went to Wegmans to grab a turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing lunch. Came home and read some more and then napped for an hour before heading to friends for Thanksgiving dinner at 3:30 PM.

Nov 25 – Sitting in my spare bedroom texting with an old co-worker about plans in Frederick, MD, on Saturday along with working on my computer.

Nov 26 – Sitting in a parking lot near the Vienna Metro while my buddy was in the Micro Center getting his phone replaced after dropping it earlier in the day and cracking the screen which made it unusable. Earlier in the day, I raked leaves for about an hour and a half. Came in the house and cut my hair and showered before heading to St. Elmo’s to meet friends. I left a bit before 11 AM because I was meeting an old co-worker to head to Frederick, MD, to meet another old co-worker for late lunch, etc. but my main original reason was to get my beard trimmed so I looked less homeless as some might say. Once done with the beard and lunch went to buy some cherry fig tea and then dark chocolate with roasted almond slivers. Next, we headed to Purcellville, VA, to my buddies house to get some more pork from the pigs he is raising.

Nov 27 – Sitting my leather chair and using the ottoman getting ready to read the Success magazine article(s) about legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. I woke up around 8 AM this morning and did a bit reading of Twitter in bed before heading to the DuPont Circle Farmers Market where I grabbed a scone, some fucsisa bread, ramp mustard, along with a few other things. After that headed over to the Palisades Farmers Market next to MacArthur’s where I picked up a cone shaped cabbage, broccoli, and some turnips to make a veggie soup on Monday. I then headed home to drop off my purchases before heading to M.E. Swing Coffee Roasters for a hot chocolate. Worked on cleaning up my e-mail and added a few more issues to both of my GitHub projects. Once they closed at 3 PM, I headed to Boccato Lounge to start working on my “Ship in Six’ project. Went through the challenge from lesson #1 to answer the six or so questions on paper. Read through lesson #2 and stopped before the challenge because it was going to take more time than I wanted to spend there. Part of the reason I ran out of time was I responded to the challenge #1 e-mail with a bunch of stuff I guess I needed to get off my chest for some reason. I spent a little over 45 minutes sitting in a comfy chair reading over more of Twitter.

Nov 28 – Sitting on my sofa watching TV of some kind. Guess I was not paying attention, so I don’t remember what it was. Today I had the day off to make for a long, long weekend over the Thanksgiving. I slept in until about 8:15 AM then read in bed until 9:30 AM at which point I got out of bed to work on my 10k Apart and Ate Here code. I added two new restaurants to the Northern Virginia JSON file for both projects, along with writing out a few bills that were due. Once done with that I headed to Hoffman 22 movie theater to see JK Rowling’s new movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” I enjoyed the movie and once done headed over to M. E. Swing Coffee Roasters for a hot chocolate and to work on reading through and doing the challenges from Amy Hoy’s “Ship in Six” e-mails. After being there an hour and a half, I headed home to spend about 45 minutes finishing up raking the leaves at my house which was the section of the yard where I park my car and most of the leaves end up. After that, I got a chance to relax and catch up on Twitter before getting a shower.

Nov 29 – Sitting in Cabin John at my buddies eating home-made shredded pork pasta sauce and drinking wine with friends. My day was spent creating JIRA issues for broken links in the header and footer of the pages. I also was looking over a friends accessibility bookmarklets page and noticed it seemed he had duplicate links by the text, but they went different places. So I put in a GitHub issue for the page with a suggestion to add off-screen text to help screen reader users along with possibly doing that and placing the content/links in an accessible TABLE which might be easier for people figure out what they links do.

Nov 30 – Sitting in my spare bedroom adding e-mail addresses to both the “10k Apart” and “Ate Here” application footers. Figured it would be helpful to have them in case people had questions or suggestions of places I should eat when traveling. Another day at the office working on fixing broken or redirected links.


Hopefully, this has been helpful to you and gets you to keep track of what you do a particular time of the day, along with a short daily diary entry to see what you have done or can accomplish over the course of a year.

If you want to meet up to do something exciting at 8:16 PM some evening, please leave a comment. Or a suggestion of something that is not part of my ordinary life you think I should do.

October 2016 – What I’ve Been Doing at 8:16 PM (20:16)

Here is my October 2016, installment of what I had done at 8:16 PM each night during the month. I also found it helpful writing down what happened during the day as a small journal/diary of what was good, bad, or interesting.

Little Background

I started keeping track of what I was doing at 20:16 (8:16 PM) every day for the last month after reading Kitt Hodson’s Pastry Box article from Jan 1, 2015. Which was about how a year earlier she read Erica Douglass’s article about writing down what she did at 11:11 AM and 20:14 (8:14 PM) everyday.

October 2016 Events

Oct 1 – Working on my 543rd painting or digital painting in the last 545 days. Somehow I have managed to only miss two days in all that time is hard to believe. Attended another excellent Boston Accessibility Camp and think it’s my fifth or sixth one out of Sven years. Had only planned on attending and not speaking but was asked to talk on a panel of what new people to accessibility should know. I volunteered to do my accessibility basics talk since there were so many new people attending the event.

Oct 2 – Watching Treehouse Masters on TV where the team built space crab structure for Zack Brown the musician for his camp after coming home from Boston after another Boston Accessibility Camp. Managed to get to sleep by 10:45 PM last night after only getting three hours sleep the night before. I managed to sleep until 7:15 AM and then rest some more until about 9:00 AM. I got dressed and went to Veggie Galaxy for breakfast. Had a great veggie omelet with Portobello mushrooms, caramelized onion, Feta cheese, and roasted red pepper sauce along with a side of seitan sausage. Once done there I flew home on a 1:00 PM flight which got me to my house by about 3:30 PM with enough time for a couple of hour nap.

Oct 3 – Watching The Big Bang Theory.

Oct 4 – Not sure what I did her bit it must have been so exciting I was too busy to write what it was or boring and not memorable to talk about a few days later.

Oct 5 – Walking past Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub after going for a three and a half mile walk since I’ve only managed 3,500 steps the last two days because I’ve been doing a lot of running around getting things done I normally wouldn’t while working. During my walk, I stopped at Eamon’s Dublin Chipper for some fish and chips. I hadn’t been there in a while so thought it would be great to go but not the best again today. Last few times haven’t been great. The extra curry sauce was a bit bland, and the fish batter was a bit thick and dense. Think it’s time to take them off my Northern Virginia area places to eat list.

Oct 6 – Watching more TV after another busy day and getting a massage today to use up my last prepaid massage. Figured it was a good time to help me relax and loosen up a bit.

Oct 7 – Watching TV after napping because I ran around Northern Virginia all day. Met up with two old co-workers for lunch at Punjabi by Nature out in Leesburg area. Once done went with one of them to my buddies house in Purcellville, VA, to visit plus see his pigs. Once we go there, we had to go and wander in the woods since the pigs where out there foraging for extra food along with napping. It was interesting how the larger/older pigs would let you pet them and then rub up against you to get your attention while the younger ones would come up to sniff your head but pull away when you went to pet them. After seeing the pigs, we both raided the freeze to take a few things home. On the way home we stopped at Four Sisters for Vietnamese food for a light dinner.

Oct 8 – Eating dinner at Kalos with a few friends from St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub. I had the oyster Po’Boy with salt and vinegar chips.

Oct 9 – Watching “American Pickers” while catching up on what happened during the day on Twitter.

Oct 10 – Watching The Big Bang Theory. Met up with a few friends at At. Elmo’s Coffee Pub along with working on reviewing Dropbox pages for accessibility issues for my interview in the early afternoon. The interview went well and once done headed to M. E. Swing Coffee Roasters to work through old e-mails and read a few articles. Next, I headed to Wegmans for a light lunch and some veggie shopping, along with some Wegman’s pasta that was on sale to stock up since I’m going to make soup stock and pasta sauce.

Oct 11 – Catching up on Twitter after spending the day in Bethesda, MD, at the Government interagency Accessibility conference where I talked to people I knew about looking for a job, and they made suggestions and told me to send them my resume. To which I informed one of them I had to make sure it was accessible first with me being an accessibility person to which they said they never thought to do that themselves. Plus, they would be the only person that would know and those they would be passing resume on to would have no clue whether it was accessible or not. The other fun part of the day was helping a buddy of mine who is blind get through the crowds on the rush hour metro at Metro Center sine I could take the blue line the long way around. Only issues with that were the blue and orange lines were single tracking because of track issues in SW DC. By doing this, I added an hour to my commute home. Fun times.

Oct 12 – Finalizing an e-mail to send to someone about a job. Spent most of my day working on updating my resume along with figuring out what is going on with a job offer, along with conversing with old co-workers through chat. Attempted to watch some afternoon TV and nothing on was on that I cared to watch. Managed to get in an early evening walk of about a mile and a half since I had only done about a half mile up until that point. Plus, spent some time talking with different neighbors before and after my walk. Talked to one about their grass that was growing in a bit thinly another about the large tree that part of which came down over the long weekend and how the city came t take the rest of it down the other day. Then talked to a third neighbor about take out the weeds in his lawn while we talked with another neighbor about her having time to herself while the kids were at choir practice.

Oct 13 – Sitting the audience at the Naval Heritage Centers auditorium lessening to Sir Tim Berners-Lee the founder of the World Wide Web answer questions after watching “ForEveryone.Net”. Some days it pays to look at Twitter during the day so you can find out about events like this and even have someone put you on the list to attend on a few hours notice.

Oct 14 – Watching “Tony Robbins: I’m Not Your Guru” on Netflix on my 34″ widescreen monitor which is about what happens at one of his six-day Unites States events. After that, I watched a few episodes of “Street Food Around the World” where this guy goes to large international cities and spends twenty-four hours eating street food. He usually, gets a few shop owners/employees to let him in the back to watch and help make whatever their specialization is. Along with meeting up for lunch with another chef friend so show them the best local place to go. I spent my day making a couple of runs to the post office to pay bills, buy stamps, and mail in some paperwork. While earlier re-working a social media widget to have fewer items, along with no images. The only issue is that it was originally written using jQuery which means adding 90 Kb of minified code to the page wait of a page that weighs less than 20 Kb. Still having issues with the Twitter link, so once that’s corrected I will work on converting the widget to JavaScript. Doing so will give me a project to work on while trying to finally, learn JavaScript or at least put a dent in my knowledge.

Oct 15 – I was half watching football on TV. I think I was watching the Notre Dame vs. Standford game at 8:16 PM. The game was pretty good with Notre Dame leading most of the game until they lost in the late parts of the fourth quarter. Managed to get to the Courthouse Farmer’s Market along with the Del Ray Farmer’s Market. Also stopped into St. Elmo’s to visit friends and found a friends family there which was unexpected since I figured they would be at the hospital visiting after her brain surgery which went fine. After that went to M. E. Swing for a hot chocolate and a bit of reading before picking up a buddy around 1:30 PM to have lunch at Peter Chang’s. Once we were done, we went to Super H Mart so I could pick up some pork necks and backs and chicken necks to use in homemade soup, along with fish fillets. On our way to drop my buddy off, we stopped at Banh Mi DC Sandwich to pick up a few egg rolls, which I consider the sleeper dish there. I would have never thought about getting them until a guy came in with friends and family and order like eight of them for four people.  Asked him about them and eh said they were great and the reason he was there to have them try them. He was correct that they are the best. I dare say the best ones I have ever had not that I eat a lot of egg rolls because so many are bad.

Oct 16 – I was watching TV waiting for Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” show to come on CNN. Earlier in the day, I drove out to the Shen-Valley Flea Market in White Post, VA. On my way there and again when going home, I noticed that there were a lot less Republican Presidential signs and the ones I did see seemed small than in years past. Not that there were a lot of Democratic Presidential signs either. Guess this year’s election is so much different in the last few years that people are not necessarily saying which candidate they are voting for or at least not publicly.

Oct 17 – Watching a new episode of the Big Bang Theory. I spent my day sending e-mails and dealing with computer stuff so could spend Tuesday learning about JavaScript. Late in the afternoon, I left the house for about a two-mile walk.

Oct 18 – Talking about diversity and inclusion with people after the panel discussion about gave they thought of individuals with disabilities as part of their hiring or customer base over at WeWork Crystal City. Earlier in the day, I started reading A Book Apart’s JavaScript called “JavaScript for Designers”. I didn’t get too far because I spent time taking notes and responding to e-mails and Twitter direct messages.

Oct 19 – Listening to Marcy Sutton’s closing comments from her great “Accessibility Testing with Angular 1 and 2” talk at Blackboard. Had planned on getting more done reading about “JavaScript for Designers” today but wasn’t feeling well so napped instead so I was better to go run today’s Accessibility DC event at Blackboard with JoAnna Hunt.

Oct 20 – Listening to Carrie Hane’s closing remarks of her Content Strategy talk at Refresh DC at WeWork Crystal City, VA. I did an accessibility talk at Pivotal Labs Crystal City, VA, office which is in the WeWork office space for now. Had hoped I could have more time to do the talk, so I didn’t have to rush through the content. I stuck around for a while to continue reading through more of “JavaScript for Designers” and taking notes while testing JavaScript in the Chrome console. While there Nick Whitmore challenged me to some ping pong, which I did pretty good for not playing in a long time.

Oct 21 – Talking with Chef James from Makatto at the TEDxMidAtlantic after party.

Oct 22 – Talking with TEDxMidAtlantic attendees at the closing party at the xxx venue.

Oct 23 – Watching last weeks “Parts Unknown” show about Sichuan and eating dinner on the couch while waiting for the newest episode to air about London. They were there right after the Brexit vote.

Oct 24 – Watching “The Big Bang Theory” for the last time on Monday night this season.

Oct 25 – Sitting in Cabin John drinking Matt Kline wine, eating BBQ pulled pork with coleslaw, while talking politics.

Oct 26 – Watching TV of some kind it must have been so exciting that I forgot to write it down while watching. Started uploading accessibility test results, etc. to SharePoint at the office.

Oct 27 – Watching The Big Bang Theory. I spent a good part of the day help and reviewing the accessibility updates the Presidential Innovation Fellow were making to the website.

Oct 28 – Watching TV of some kind it must have been so exciting that I forgot to write it down while watching. Finished uploading accessibility test results, etc. to SharePoint at the office.

Oct 29 – Driving to Lost Dog to get a meatball sub along with some cake donuts from Sugar Shack afterwards.

Oct 30 – wWatching the repeat of the London episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown”.

Oct 31 – Adding issues for phone numbers missing parenthesis “(” in the front of the them for nine locations. Spent the early evening outside talking to the neighbors while handing out quarters to the children as they gave them candy.


Hopefully, this has been helpful to you and gets you to keep track of what you do a particular time of the day, along with a short daily diary entry to see what you have done or can accomplish over the course of a year.

If you want to meet up to do something exciting at 8:16 PM some evening, please leave a comment. Or a suggestion of something that is not part of my ordinary life you think I should do.