So I’ve been a bit out of pocket the past few weeks. Most people probably know why. For one thing, I was doing a personal experiment to see how going without IM and IRC during work hours affected my productivity. The change seems to have been positive, so I’m most likely going to stick with it for the time being. I’ll continue checking Twitter and e-mail throughout the day, but I just seem to get more done by limiting my focus to just those things and my work.
That’s not the only reason for me having been out of the picture, though. I’ve been making preparations to speak at ZendCon for the first time, which will be comprised of an official session on Creating Web Services with Zend Framework as well as uncon session on Web Scraping with PHP. As time-consuming as it can be to make arrangements to attend a conference, it’s all the more so if you’re speaking at one. Putting an hour-long presentation together from nothing is quite the daunting task, especially when you have to do it twice.
Lastly, I’ve secured an agreement with a publisher to author a book on web scraping using PHP. I’ve had a number of people ask me if there were any good books on the subject and I’ve never been able to suggest any. I’ve also become a frequent “go to” person of sorts for web scraping applications. It’s been on my personal list of goals to author a book, so it seems a good way to kill two birds with one stone. The book should be coming out sometime later this year and I’ll post to my blog again to announce it when the time comes.
Some of you may know that tropical storm Gustav recently came onto the scene in the Gulf of Mexico. At the time of this writing, it is a borderline hurricane and currently projected to sweep right through Vermilion Bay, about 10 miles from where I live. At the moment, I plan to evacuate west with my family to stay with relatives until the storm has passed. Tropical storm Hannah is likely to be only a few days behind Gustav, however, so that may extend my absence. Internet connectivity will likely be limited or unavailable where I am, but I will continue to use my phone to send messages to Twitter where cell coverage is available. For those of you who are spiritual, I ask that you keep my family and other residents of this area in your thoughts and prayers during this time.