Thoughts, adventures, projects, and photography by Shawn DeArmond


Please note:

This is an archive of Shawn's Blog and contains posts from between 2004 and 2014. It will not be updated in this format.

If you're interested in seeing what Shawn is up to, please visit

Recently, I have been delving into the world of homebrewing beer. My brother managed to get pretty much the whole family into it. Add in the regular Brew Day my buddy hosts at his house, and now I'm making beer faster than my wife and I can drink it... Which is probably a good thing.

This past week, I launched a cool new web site on Drupal. It's called Circle of Gifts, and it's a tool to help families and friends make their holiday shopping easier. Users build their wish list on the site, and their Friends "claim" items so others know not to buy that gift. I originally built it for my family, but have since expanded it and it's now open to the public.

There were a lot of moving parts and a lot of challenges to overcome in building a social network on Drupal. Let's look at some of them:

At the 2012 Bay Area Drupal Camp, I presented a session laying out a possible dev-test-live development workflow branching model using Git. This continues on from the session I presented last year, Beginning Git.

It has become fairly well-known that our family likes Disneyland. Traditionally, we have made our journey out to the Magic Kingdom about once per year, which is nowhere near the "true" Disneyland fans, but for a NorCal family, that's not bad. Friends frequently ask us for advice when they're planning their trip, and we're only happy to oblige because we believe we had really nailed down the Disneyland process.

Then we had a kid.

In just two weeks, June 8-10, the Sacramento Drupal User Group will be hosting the second annual DrupalCamp Sacramento at UC Davis. Last year was a resounding success, and this year we look to build on that momentum. We are pleased as punch to have Chris Shattuck as our keynote speaker, and it will prove to be a great weekend.

Day 6: For our last full day, I scheduled a dive trip to Turneffe Atoll, which is about an hour boat trip south-east from Caye Caulker. It's the east ridge if the mountain chain that is the Belize barrier reef and cayes, about 10 miles wide and 30 miles long.

Mapping means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. You ask The Word Shop, and they just want a navigable map with a single point indiciation their location. You ask Development Seed the same question, and you get a completely different answer. You ask my wife, who is a GIS analyst exceedingly proficient in ArcGIS, and you'll get an entirely different concept of the word "map".

That's what makes this hard.

Day 5: Snorkel time. We had booked an all-day snorkel trip with Ragamuffin Tours before we arrived. They have this great sailboat to take you out to the reef.
Day 4: We arrived on Caye Caulker the night before and first order of business today was some scuba diving. I had reserved a spot on the "Barrier Reef" dive trip from Belize Diving Services.
Day 3 of Belize. So much to do, so little time. We wanted to go to Cechal Pech, the Belize Zoo, Blue Hole and St. Herman's Cave. We had to choose. We went for the Blue hole and cave and it was totally worth it.


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