WordCamp Detroit 2011 Recap

My experience from WordCamp Detroit 2011:

I arrived to the Renaissance Center in Detroit early in the morning (around 8:30am), and took a seat in the Ambassador Lounge.  They gave us some swag, t-shirts, pins, etc etc., but of course I left the bag behind when I left the first day of the seminar, so I didn’t end up taking anything home with me.

Things started a bit late, but they started the convention with some flair.

They started off the event with an ice breaker, where we got into groups and talked to people based off our cards that we received.  I meta few people, including Jim Raffel and Emily Hay. Right off the bat, it seemed like all types of people, from skill with WordPress to age, were here. As a whole, the group was bloggers, developers, and designers, but I was surprised to see such a wide range of people.

After all of that, the speakers went on, with all of the having interesting and useful things to say. The wi-fi broke down fairly quick, causing some issues for some of the speakers, and making things a bit difficult for myself, since I don’t have my phone set to tether.  I figured with a big venue like the Ren Cen, the wi-fi wouldn’t be an issue, but it’s a lesson to make sure you’re prepared just in case.

Favorite speaker would have to be Christopher Ross, who spoke about making a living with WordPress. Maybe a bit biased from one developer to another, but in the notes I took my most practical and useful notes came from that meeting, for sure.

Also, I decided after this convention to go ahead and start using my Twitter account more. It seemed like everyone had a handle!  A good number of comments and announcements from WordCamp Detroit came from Twitter, and mostly everyone had a good background in using it.

On the prizes front, there was a section in the first day where we answered a few questions, and each person answering something right would get some kind of WordPress item and maybe a shirt.  I ended up answering a question that got me the Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog book and a red t-shirt, which I ended up giving to Rose Tantraphol (it didn’t fit me!)

After the first day of seminar, I stopped in Detroit for a bit, and stayed the night in the Marriott, a pretty nice hotel.

I didn’t go to the second half of it since I overslept and didn’t have my alarm go off, but no worries, I basically got what I needed. Looking back, it might have been nice to get myself to the second part, with all of the prizes and everything that were there, but there will always be other WordCamps to go to.  Instead, I traveled a bit and explored the city.  In particular, we stopped at Lafayette Coney Island, and then traveled on the People Mover for a bit, and ran into the Occupy Detroit movement.

Occupy Detroit – Not nearly as many people as I would have thought…


Overall, it was a good experience! I definitely plan on being involved with WordCamp more in the future, and I picked up a lot of useful things that’ll help towards my WordPress developer. If nothing else, it’s a great chance to network with others and make a few friends.

Here is a page with all of the slides from the seminar.


USAPL MI State Championships 2011 Meet Report

For this meet, I didn’t write down a lot of stuff, so I don’t have much to say in terms of having a meet write-up to get to.

The night before, I was not feeling well, and I did not get very much sleep at well, so that affected me in my lifting for sure.  I made improvements from my previous meet (Ironwoeks Open VII), but not as much as I would have liked to.  Either way, a learning experience.


For weigh-ins, I weighed in at 184, and planned to compete in the 198 weight class, so I was much further away from my planned weight than intended.  I didn’t want to try and drop for 181, but it was a good reminder that I am not eating enough, and need to up my food intake.

No video of the lifts, just some pictures.


  • 135 kg
  • 150 kg
  • 162.5 kg

For the first squat, I brought in my hands way too close, being confused by the bar having multiple knurls.  Past that, I don’t remember struggling extremely hard with any of my attempts, and I definitely could have added more weight.


  • 100 kg
  • 105 kg
  • 120 kg (no lift)
I don’t know what I was thinking for the third bench attempt, making a big jump like that.
  • 150 kg
  • 175 kg
  • 182.5 kg
Same with my squat and first two bench attempts, I don’t have much to comment on my deadlift attempts.  I decided to go for a 400+ total for my third attempt, and I was able to get it fairly easily.
465 kg, taking third place in the Raw 198 Open class.  I didn’t stick around, so no medal for me.
Not the best meet I could have had, for sure.  The lack of getting a good rest hurt a lot, and I had tried to overshot my lifting by going for 1100 when it was definitely not in the cards.  The single biggest thing I learned at this meet was not to make too big of jumps, especially on the bench press, because the margin of error is not very large.

USAPL MI Ironworks VII Meet Report

For my first meet, I ended up getting only a few hours of sleep (falling asleep around 1am because excited) and getting up at 4:30am to start my drive to Midland.  I got into the venue at around 7am, much earlier then I needed to be there, but good to everything settled out and comfortable.

I was there alone, which I wouldn’t recommend to do for anyone else, because there was a lot of stuff going on, and no one to help me understand anything that was going on.  After some time, I figured out how to get registered and weighed in, so I was ready to go.

I was put in the middle of the first flight, in the 198 class.  I didn’t have any kind of plans to win or even place, all I wanted to do was establish some PRs and then go from there.

For my attempts, I decided to use the following formula:

  1. 5RM
  2. Midway step to 1RM using formula
  3. Calculated 1RM


  • 132.5 kg
  • 145 kg
  • 157.5 kg
I didn’t have any issues following commands, and I felt like I could have done quite a bit more.


  • 95 kg
  • 102.5 kg
  • 110 kg
No issues with holding the pause, and I also could have added more to this.


  • 132.5 kg
  • 152.5 kg
  • 165 kg
Also felt quite easy, I could have added more.

432.5 kg (953 lbs.), 4th out of 4 in 198 Raw Open



Went pretty well for a first meet.  Looking now, I am glad I had that motivation to go to the meet on my own, since I wasn’t able to find anyone to support me to come with.  A couple points for the future

  • Bring clean shirts, underwear, and socks.  I was sweating pretty hard at the end of the squat round, and a fresh set of stuff to wear would have been nice.
  • Bring a lot of food to eat, you’ll most likely go through all of it.
  • There were a lot of older lifters lifting a very respectable amount of weight.  A guy in his 40s or 50s didn’t look very strong or intimidating, and I watched him pull 500 lbs. without much effort.
  • A number of people had trouble with the cues, so I just focused on the cues completely.
  • A lot of people weren’t going low enough in squats, and were being red-lighted for it.
  • About 150 people were in attendance, I really was expecting less.