February 12, 2017


What Time Is It?

I thought it would be nice to have a screensaver that told both the date and time, so I coded one using just a little HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Here is a CodePen of the static version of the clock, and here is a CodePen of the screensaver version where the date and time will move around randomly on your screen every 7 seconds. Cool!

I've also put the static version of the clock on my porfolio site here, and the screensaver version here.

Below is the screensaver version:

See the Pen Cool Clock Screensaver by Jonathan Huffman (@jonathan-codepen) on CodePen.

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February 11, 2017


I Just Discovered BrowserQuest

This is cool! I discovered BrowserQuest, a game that runs in your browser, developed for Mozilla by Little Workshop. It's a pretty fun little RPG style game with a few references to other video games and pop culture hidden within the game. It is built entirely with HTML5 and JavaScript. And by using WebSprokets technology it is able to be a massive multiplayer online game. Pretty impressive! The functionality is awesome. The graphics are fantastic. I really like everything about this game, but they took it another level and added a wonderful homage to Portal, my favorite video game!

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February 9, 2017


Coolest Charlotte Places

Having lived in Charlotte for over 10 years I've discovered a lot of really cool places to explore. Here's my list of the best places to hang out.

Abari – a video game arcade plus bar. They have a lot of classic arcade machines that are restored to their original glory. You can relive your childhood playing Ms Pacman, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and many others. They also have a great selection of pinball machines (my favorites include: Star Trek The Next Generation, Indiana Jones, and The Adams Family), as well as a bunch of console classics for the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis. If you like video games and beer, you've no excuse not to check out this really fun and geeky place to hang out. For the low price of one dollar you can buy a life-time membership. Visit their website.

The National Whitewater Center – home and official training site for the US Olympic kayaker and rafting teams. I actually stumbled on the USA and Canada teams training before the 2008 Olympics. If you like outdoor fun, you have access to tons of hiking running and mountain biking trails. They also have several whitewater courses for kayakers and rafters, as well as a climbing wall, ropes courses, and flat-water kayaking. In the summer they often feature free or inexpensive concerts. Visit their website.

The Common Market Deli – essentially a pilgrimage site for hipsters. This place feels like ground zero for the alternative crowd. They serve a great beer and wine selection, and some really great coffee. But the main reason to go is for the deli which makes some of the best sandwiches! It's always crowded, but it's a really cool crowd.

The Map Shop – If you're a map or flag enthusiast, you have to make a trip to the Map Shop. Some of the most interesting maps from around the world are available in their selection. Its a great place to find travel guides as well. And of course they have some great custom maps of Charlotte. Visit their website.

Exit Strategy – if you're looking for an unusual team building exercise, then consider Exit Strategy. The idea is your group is put into a room with a theme that requires using problem solving to escape in less than an hour. My company went there and we actually escaped the room with a Bank Heist theme just in the nick of time. Visit their website.

Breweries – in recent years breweries have popped up around Charlotte like mushrooms overnight. There are quite a few great choices when it comes to selection and atmosphere. My favorites are: Birdsong, Noda and Unknown.

BB&T Ballpark – When it comes to sports, Charlotte has a lot of options: from the Panthers (NFL), to the Hornets (NBA). There's also the Charlotte Checkers (minor league hockey), the Charlotte Independence (minor league soccer), the Charlotte Hounds (major league lacrosse), and the Charlotte Roller Girls (roller derby). And you can't forget that the city is home to the Charlotte Motor Speedway, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame. But a ticket to BB&T Ballpark, home of the minor league baseball Charlotte Knights (AAA minor league baseball team for the Whitesocks), is the best deal in the Queen City. I think it has the best view of any ballpark I've attended. I'm biased because I love baseball, but I really think it's the best sports arena in the city. Visit their website.

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February 8, 2017


L'eggo Our Eggo: Stranger Things Season 2 Trailer

Whether it was intentional or not, the relevance of Eggos in Stranger Things season 1 was a brilliant piece of product placement. I've had quite a few Eggos after watching season one (I tell myself it's out of solidarity with Eleven). Really they are the perfect food when your on the run in a parallel universe.

Netflix just released an awesome trailer for Stranger Things Season 2. And it's also pretty much an ad for Eggos.

The trailer for Season 2 begins with an actual Eggos commercial from the 80s. Their twitter stream is certainly taking advantage of the publicity. It looks like we'll have to follow Eggo for clues about the next season.

This screenshot has some clues I noticed in the trailer:

But there might even be more clues in these tweets by Eggo:

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February 4, 2017


Coding Until 3AM

It's not that unusual to get focused on coding and lose all track of time experimenting with code into the late hours. You keep telling yourself that it'll just take "one more hour" to solve the problem, or finish the design, or complete the article. Then 3AM rolls around and you realize you have a meeting first thing in the morning. I think this happens to a lot of different creative types of professions, but it seems especially prone to coders.

This week I got the urge to redesign this blog, and it's a bit complicated since you're working around bloggers unique elements that dynamically pull in the blog post data. But it's fun to come up with a new design every once in a while. In fact, that set of buttons in my last post was an exercise because I was working on redesigning the buttons for this blog. It's the little details that make all the difference. And those details can becoming overwhelming at times. But if it's what you like to do, then it's worth the payoff of discovering something new.

Below is a screen shot comparing the old design with the new.

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February 1, 2017


Nine Button Styles

I thought it might be fun to design some button styles this evening. Then I thought it would be a good opportunity to post on CodePen.

See the Pen Nine Button Styles by Jonathan (@jonathan-codepen) on CodePen.

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