I Made It Through Wordcamp Portland

Note: Today is Day 23 of my 30 day blog challenge. If you want to get my random thoughts about random stuff in your inbox, you can subscribe at the bottom of any post or mash the RSS button if that’s how you roll. 

Wordcamp Portland was today and I a gave a short talk and did Q&A during the last session of the day, four days post surgery-that-was-supposed-to-be-minor-but-wasn’t. This blog has been a little quiet because I’ve been spending all my time and (limited) energy preparing for today and also making a screen cast and related follow-up blog posts on my company site.

I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal to go to Wordcamp and give my talk because I felt so good the day after surgery. Little did I realize, that the good drugs just hadn’t worn off yet. Thursday and Friday were pretty challenging, made more so because I had committed to doing things and refused to give up doing them even though I probably should have just stayed in bed most of the day.

I got a message from a concerned Wordcamp organizer, letting me know it was totally fine if I didn’t feel up for speaking. But the major reasons that I postponed my original surgery date (Aug 20th) was so that I could attend Wordcamp. So I told her I was fine, and I’d be there because

My conference experience was definitely a little different than normal. My energy was much lower than usual, and even though I’m normally pretty extroverted, I found talking to strangers or near strangers unusually exhausting. I missed a few sessions I might have otherwise attended if I were feeling better, and took in a steady supply of Ibuprofen and Tylenol to keep my pain at a manageable level.

When the time came to actually talk, whatever super power I have that puts normal me in a corner and turns on the presenter version of me, took over and the talk seemed to go well. Actually it went amazingly. I risked the wrath of the computer gods by doing a live coding demo and it did NOT blow up in my face.

I think my favorite part of the whole experience was when Taylor from 10up asked the first question and it was, “Does the Serenity in your bash prompt refer to the firefly class spaceship of the same name?”

“Of course,” I answered, and there was a round of applause.


There were also 12 minutes worth of other questions, related to the actual material I presented, as well as that of my co-presenter Zack. And a few people came up afterwards and gave me positive feedback.

Once it was over, I didn’t care about saving energy and was actually feeling pretty good, so I went to the after party and even used my free drink ticket on a martini, after checking with my nurse of course.

I really have to thank the Wordcamp organizers for the opportunity to speak on my first official tech topic at a tech conference, my wife for being amazingly supportive as ever and taking on ALL the house chores this week, and Maylene for saving me from the horrors of having to take Trimet to and from the conference.

I am so glad I went, I had a great time, within my limitations and affirmed once again how awesome the Portland WordPress Community is to be a part of.

I’m very much looking forward to a long sleep and doing as little as possible tomorrow.

This post is part of the thread: Tech Journey – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.


  1. what lotus said. also, great seeing your biz site up with helpful tutorials and all. kudos for hanging in there and I look forward to catching up soon.


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